We Choose

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We Choose
By Bernadette A. Sahm

Choices

We choose how we think, how we feel and how we respond. Every situation in life affords us choices. Do we want to respond with love and in peace or with anger and hatred. If you follow me and read my blogs you know that I have experienced my share of loss and hurts, it hasn’t always been easy nor did I ever expect it to be smooth sailing. A full and rich life is about gathering as many lessons and experiences as you can. It is about knowing love and knowing hurt, it is the ability to know up and down.

Not every day is going to go your way. Just like we will come to know sunshine we will come to know a rainy day.

A few days ago I had a special event fundraiser, it happened to fall on the same date as the anniversary death of my first husband. Of course I thought of him, I always do, he has been gone for 37 years now. I remember that day so clearly, it was a Tuesday morning when I would learn of his accidental death. He had a seizure in the shower and drown to death in just a few inches of water. His death was shocking and completely unexpected. It taught me much, most of all that life is for the living, live it!

I was only 23 when Randy died, very young and inexperienced in life. I had this idea that my bad days and ugly hurts were behind me. I had that experience and believed the rest of my life would be happy, smooth sailing and full of joy. That was not at all realistic.

Through the years my life would be impacted by abuse, by family estrangement and family diagnosed with mental illness. More life, more living, more experiences. What did I learn? I l learned that regardless of what I am facing and experiencing in life, I choose how I will respond. Do I wish to be a victim or a victor? It is and always was my choice.

choices quote

How we view things has so much to do with how we respond, and when we make the choice to respond with love and with peace then whatever we are facing allows us to move forward in humility and kindness. The only way I know is what my faith in God teaches me. I choose to see the face of God in every single person, I believe we are all created by God Almighty.

When I see an act of violence or hatred in people, I think what happened? What happened to that person who thought it was okay to rob someone or rape or murder. What caused them to make that choice? I may never know the answer to that question but what I do know is that everything we do in life, every decision we make is our choice.

Through the years I have learned to look at the people in my life as either a “teacher” where I am to learn from them and the experience or a “lover” where I am to give love and/or receive love. The choice to see even the most difficult people in my life as a “teacher” gives the situation value as opposed to being a negative. Certainly I could have done without the “haters” in my life, but then I would not have learned the lessons.

I choose to view my life as being filled with blessings, I am blessed. For the past 28 years, I have lived in the same house with the same man. My husband loves me and in that unconditional love I have healed from many hurts.

“… the Lord will fight for you, and you shall hold your peace and remain at rest.” –EXODUS 14:13-14

There are plenty of people who are bitter and unhappy they carry a grudge and grievances, and then wonder why they have the life that they do? It’s a choice, it’s all a choice. Life doesn’t happen to you, it happens for you. What we choose ultimately determines the outcome. I am happy and it isn’t by accident. I choose happiness and I choose it over and over again …

We witness ugliness and unattractiveness in life and for me, I choose to combat it with healthy relationships, more God, more love, more kindness, more generosity. And sometimes when I feel low I reach out to God and others, and a few flowers, chocolates and pretty things don’t hurt either.

Simple pleasure are often the best! Make good choices … make a good life and one that you can reflect back on and be proud of how you handled yourself and all the situations that you found yourself in … all we have is this moment in time, why not make the best of it with good solid heartfelt choices?

Peace and much love…
Bernadette

Bernadette on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/bernadetteamoyer
All books by Bernadette A. Moyer on Amazon and Barnes & Noble

It is Valentines!

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It is Valentines! Share your story …
By Bernadette A. Sahm

BB wedding

This is ours …

How we met: His former mother-in-law introduced us as I was babysitting his pre-mature newborn infant twins so that the family could attend his wife’s funeral.

Where was your first date: Oriole Park at Camden Yards (he took me to a baseball game to thank me for babysitting his twins)

Age difference: 32 days, he is older!

Who was interested first: he would say he was and I say I was but more as a friend

Who is taller: Brian

Who said I love you first: Brian

Most impatient: Me

Most sensitive: Brian

Most crazy: Both in different ways

Loudest: Me

Most stubborn: Brian

Falls asleep first: Me

Cooks the best: Me

Better morning person: Me

Best driver: Me

Most competitive: Brian

How long has it been: Married for 23 years, together for 28 years

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Gone to God … Gone to Glory

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Gone to God … Gone to Glory
By Bernadette A. Sahm

glory

When I go to God
St. Peter gives a wink and a nod
When I get to Glory
They already know my story

At the pearly gates of heaven
I hope this is what I will hear
You did good your heart is pure
God is ready now be rest assured

When I go to God
I will have passed through this life
When I get to Glory
God knows no more strife

St Peter leads me to God’s grace
There are angels abound
Now we meet face to face
Calm cool and quiet, not a sound

Heavenly Father embraces me
Once again I am whole
The songs they are singing
Pierce my angel spirit soul

As I move forward, who do I see
To my right and to my left
All those before, that mattered most to me
God stands before us, He is our host

When I go to God
When I get to Glory
I won’t have to speak a word
God knows my story

The Lord is my light and my salvation
So why should I be afraid?

The Lord is my fortress, protecting me from danger
So why should I tremble? PSALM 27:1

When I go to God
When I get to Glory

The Ocean is Always Where I Left It

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The Ocean is Always Where I Left It
By Bernadette A. SahmReho

Changing world, places lost
Friends in heaven, parents now gone
Businesses found to be enjoyed
Now leveled, replaced with new

Sun that shines, rain that minds
Fast one day, slow the next
The ocean is still
What I like best

Age can harden and hurt the soul
People and places they come and they go
Count on me, then you are gone
The ocean is a place, I always know

Tree’s we grow them, cut them back
Children raise them, don’t turn back
Count on me, you say you know
Count on me, promising not to go

What I’ve learned is all I have
My heart is steady
It is sincere, peaceful and ready
The ocean is always where I left it

Bernadette on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/bernadetteamoyer

It’s a Wonderful Life

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It’s a Wonderful Life
By Bernadette A. Sahm

wonderful

For Christmas I received an authentic Bevin Bell. I love it! It reads “It’s a Wonderful Life” and beautifully etched into the silver bell. The sweetheart card shows the picture from the movie. The bell sounds beautiful and what is the line “every time a bell rings an angel gets his wings.”

I can’t help but read it and think of the movie but also that I have a wonderful life! The movie is a favorite Christmas movie in our home. My husband insists on viewing it on Christmas day.

There are many small towns that we frequent that have that same It’s a Wonderful life feeling and look, Rehoboth Beach Main Street is just one example. This past year this is where we spent the Christmas holidays. It truly was/is a “wonderful life.”

Most people might see the bell as a Christmas decoration and one that should be put away after the holiday ends, and then bring it back out again for future Christmas celebrations. However, I have decided to keep it out and in sight all year long. What a great way to look at the New Year and every day after that and do so daily. Imagine saying that to yourself, ‘it’s a wonderful life!”

How could it NOT be if that is what I am projecting out into the universe? It just sounds so good and makes me smile every time I say it.

It’s a wonderful life! It’s a wonderful life! It’s a wonderful life …

(Thanks Nancy B for such a neat new gift, I love it!)

What can YOU do to create a wonderful life? What are you doing that creates a wonderful life? What does a wonderful life entail and look like to you? How would you define a wonderful life?

Happy Healthy 2020, make it your own version of a “wonderful life!”

Bernadette on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/bernadetteamoyer
Books by Bernadette A. Moyer on Amazon and Barnes & Noble

Reflection

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Reflection
By Bernadette A. Sahm

reflection

Today I had an opportunity for reflection. It was work related and prayer filled. You can call it regaining my center or re-connecting with my soul or a spiritual awakening. I knew I was bone tired and disconnected from my core. I’ve been busy, very busy not just in my work projects but in my home projects as well. And it’s the holidays, his birthday, my birthday, Thanksgiving, two big special events and a new home purchase. Ongoing family drama that never ceases to end. Spinning plates and managing life putting one foot in front of the other, moving forward, always moving forward.

I have been completing one task after another picking off my “to do” list for the past 11 months with no real stop and time for reflection. I haven’t written in weeks and probably more like months unless it was work related. My last blog was months ago. I felt choked up and uninspired. I was going from pillar to post. I was getting it done. But at what cost?

In quiet reflection I regained my sense of self and my spirit was re-awakened. I went to Chapel and choose NOT to take my cell phone. Then I chose to stay put in the same seat for 2-hours. The first hour was inter-active with others the second hour was alone time. What a tremendous gift this was to me. A gift that I was not aware that I needed until I was fully immersed in thoughtful prayer. I could hear my inner voice I could sense clarity that I was unaware of inside me.

I thought about Advent and I thought about the Blessed Mother as a young girl deciding to take on the birth of Jesus. I thought about my own motherhood experience where I married so young at age 19, became pregnant at age 20 and gave birth just days after I turned 21. And when I learned that I was pregnant I didn’t run to tell my husband but rather ran home to tell my mother. I remember gasping and saying, “I’m pregnant! What should I do, I am not ready.” And I thought how young Mary must have been and how did she decide to give birth to Jesus. Was she scared or brave and fearless? Who did she tell?

I prayed Hail Mary and Our Father, my fall back prayers and then meditated on colors. Black and gray colors to release any anger or ugly issues and breathed in white for holy and pure thoughts. Then blue for peace and green for health as I breathed in and mediated on healthy colors and thought, I released all the bad in black and gray. This went on for a good ten minutes until I prayed more.

Then like magic I have 2 new blog ideas and the desire to complete one that was started weeks ago. I felt new and refreshed and ready to go again. All it took was some down time and much needed time for reflection. I didn’t enter with any expectations but rather with a desire to re-connect with my soul, my core being was neglected and I didn’t even know it!

Reflection – what a wonderful gift to give myself during this second week of Advent.

Peace and blessings …

Bernadette on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/bernadetteamoyer

My Rose-Colored Glasses

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My Rose-Colored Glasses
By Bernadette A. Sahm

rose-colored-glasses

It is a gift and a curse, I admit it, I wear rose colored glasses! I see the best in people, I see the best in places, and I see the best in most things. I always see the potential and the gifts and talents of most things in life.

I love my rose-colored glasses until I don’t love them. It is hard for me to see the ugly and the hate and the anger in people. I have a hard time with those who are afforded with genuine gifts and talents and fail to utilize them. It is difficult to witness people with self-inflicted wounds or the ones with the need to be perpetual victims.

My rose-colored glasses hold my attention, where I see the dream and the goodness that God has granted to so many people that I know and love or knew and loved. But then I am also wise enough to know that each of us learns and grows and uses our talents hopefully when the time is right and at our own pace.

I am guessing that if offered the choice to do away with my rose-colored glasses and/or keep them? I would opt for keeping them. Any disappointments or any ugliness that I have witnessed is far less important than my ability to see the beauty and the best in all things that life offers. And just like a rose with thorns, rose-colored glasses also come with the ability to view some ragged edges.

And as the Italians say, “non c’e` rosa senza le sue spine” “there is no rose without its thorns.”

Bernadette on Facebook at http://www.bernadetteamoyer.com

Now what?

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Now what?
By Bernadette A. Moyer

flower garden

You get older and you have been there and done that! You have known those big moments in life, experienced those grand celebrations and big parties and trips and travel, so now what? What to do to celebrate, what to do to feel excited and inspired? How to make this period more special than the last? These are the questions that my good girlfriend and I posed to one another as we were just about to turn 60 years old.

I am not big on going “out” for the holidays, mostly because I grew up in the hotel bar and restaurant business where I worked most big holidays. People in the business tend to call New Year’s Eve, Mother’s Day and most celebrations out as “amateur night” most sane people stay home! Prices are higher, crowds are larger and service just not as good.

At a certain age what you are looking for can’t be purchased in any retail store and doesn’t exist out “there” but rather inside our own hearts and souls. Peace, love and purpose become the greatest gifts that you give to yourself. These are the only places where you find pure joy. For me this is where God lives …

In another conversation with my 86 year old “Other Mother” she states, “you have an outstanding way of forgiving”  I have forgiven much and I have forgiven often, especially when it comes to family members. Let’s just say I have had a lot of practice beginning with early childhood and forward.

I have the hardest time understanding why anyone hangs on to anger and hatred, why would you do that to your own heart and soul? Hate and love can’t co-exist and I choose love and I do my best to choose it over and over again.

Forgiveness truly is the gift that we give to ourselves. There is no peace, no love nor true joy without the grace of forgiveness. So often it starts with forgiving ourselves and only then, is it possible to forgive all others …

Since beginning this blog my 60th birthday has come and gone and it was a memorable milestone birthday and one that I will never ever forget. There was a really big gift, I will write more about it later, but the truth is that without peace, love and purpose there could not be any gift that would have brought me such joy.

On my birthday, I was remembered by so many and in so many ways, that my peace, love and joy ruled the day.

What else could any 60 year old birthday girl really wish for … all the many blessings that come with peace, love and purpose where there lives joy and an abundance of blessings!

Bernadette on Facebook at http://www.Facebook.com/bernadetteamoyer
All books by Bernadette A. Moyer on Amazon and Barnes & Noble

Writing

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Writing
By Bernadette A. Moyer

writing

I’ve been writing for more than two decades now. My first published piece was titled; A Parent Dies, It was published in a medical journal. It was about being widowed, marrying a widower and raising three children who all lost a parent to heaven.

It took more than fifteen years before I had the courage to share our story and write about it. It was immediately affirmed by a large number of readers. Death is a subject that we will all come to know and most of us prefer not to talk about it.

I hated writing in school and I loved to read and loved words but my grammar was not good, my spelling was great and always came easy for me. So early on I had a love-hate relationship with writing. My shortcomings in grammar made me feel ashamed and caused me to avoid writing and writing projects. Teachers become so fixated on grammar that kids like me end up feeling it isn’t worth the constant correction.

As an adult I created writing vehicles for children. I didn’t want kids turned off before they were turned on to the written word and their ability to communicate and to create. The first book was Caesar Salad and I Like It and the second If I Were President. The children wrote and they were creative and then the adults edited for grammar. If was a positive experience for all involved.

Most of my writing has been about personal experiences and what I learned as a result of them. The gifts were that so many others connected to me as a result and I loved it!

I have written about life and love and joy and also about death, estrangement and abuse. My family doesn’t like when I openly share our family dysfunction. I embrace it, it is who and what made me. It has been said that “97% of families are dysfunctional” I am still waiting to meet that other 3%. If we are honest we can own that we all have our own issues and brokenness. It is called life. We weren’t made to be perfect we are human and come with our own strengths and weaknesses. I have learned that for me, owning my stuff is healthy and allows me to be open to growth and change.

Then there is the professional writing that I began over 20 years ago in my many positions in nonprofit work. It may have been an article or a newsletter, a brochure or flier and often it was a full-fledged grant. My grant writing has secured over two million dollars for a variety of nonprofits that I have been associated. Professional writing with others has opened my eyes to many styles of writers.

I have met the ones that go long and are wordy and others that cut and edit to the bare bones. Grammar was usually key, however I am proud of a new magazine that I have been included in that basically states things like 1) forget the rules and 2) make up your own words and 3) you don’t need an opening paragraph the reader will figure it out!

Everyone has a book and a blog today and yes I have been there, few get rich and make the New York Times Best Seller list unless they have a big machine and lots and lots of marketing and public relations behind them.

Many things have changed throughout the years for this writer, I have learned much and yet the two things that resonate most with me and for me is the Stephen King quote “there is no such thing as writing, there is only rewriting” almost everything written can be improved upon. And I write for the connection to others and the shared life experiences. Most often that is the best paycheck.

Just today a reader found me online and wrote, “My jaw has dropped finding you.” She has read my writings. It really doesn’t get much better than that!

Read … write … communicate … connect … that is what makes this writer deliriously happy.

Bernadette on Facebook at http://www.Facebook.com/bernadetteamoyer
Books by Bernadette A. Moyer on Amazon and Barnes & Noble

60 Gifts and Blessings for 60 Years

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60 Gifts and Blessings for 60 Years
By Bernadette A. Moyer

60th-Birthday-Card

This fall as I am about to turn 60 years old and to begin the celebrating I thought that I would make a list of all that I am grateful and all the many blessings I have had throughout my life.

One blessing or one gift to represent every single year. I hope that in sharing my list you think about creating your own “birthday blessings” list …

1) God who has never once let me down
2) For my parents Bernie and Inez who gave me life
3) My Italian heritage
4) My Irish heritage
5) My Catholic roots and faith beginning with Baptism, First Holy Communion and Confirmation
6) The healthy genes I have inherited
7) Love of reading
8) My writing of poems, blogs and books
9) Connections through my many written words
10) Friends that are like family
11) Childhood in a neighborhood where I could walk to the park, stores, friend’s houses
12) My private Catholic education
13) First loves
14) Broken hearts
15) Laughter
16) My Soul
17) Sense of right and wrong
18) Ability to see both sides of most situations
19) Giving birth
20) Raising adopted twins, a son and a daughter
21) Experience of motherhood
22) Becoming widowed young and learning the value of life and living well
23) A second marriage
24) My loving life- long husband and partner
25) Love of good food
26) Ability to cook from scratch
27) Baking of cookies, cakes and pies from homemade
28) Decorating
29) Party planning
30) Fundraising
31) Driving long distances and enjoying every stop along the way
32) Live musical concerts
33) Theater
34) New York City at Christmas
35) Going home to the Allentown Fairgrounds Farmers Market
36) Connecting with my high school friends
37) Continued education through classes, workshops, seminars and more
38) Learning just for the sake of something new
39) Gardening
40) Growing roses
41) My beautiful hydrangea bushes
42) Growing up on a farm
43) My love of animals
44) My precious pooches
45) Finding and enjoying meaningful work
46) My sphere of influence
47) My intelligence that I am certain came from my mother
48) My creative and artistic side that I am certain came from my father
49) Living through abuse and becoming a full-fledged survivor
50) Our history with our second home at the beach
51) Looking forward to whatever the future brings
52) Giving up control for peace
53) Living a peace-filled and love filled life
54) Enjoying the many beach destinations that we frequent
55) Becoming a wedding officiant
56) Mentoring young people
57) Swimming in the warm ocean waters and swimming in our private pool
58) Saving money and saving memories
59) Our home where we have lived for almost 30 years
60) This big fat beautiful God blessed life that I have enjoyed for 60 years!

Follow Bernadette on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/bernadetteamoyer

Books by Bernadette A. Moyer on Amazon and Barnes & Noble