Our Greatest Gift

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Our Greatest Gift
By Bernadette A. Moyer

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It is that time of year when we think about all the gifts we will give and also those that we wish to receive. Yet for most mature adult our greatest gift won’t be wrapped in tissue and colorful holiday wrap or tied up in a bow. Our greatest gift will be the gift of our heart.

Who we share our hearts with and who shares their heart with us truly is and always will be our greatest gift!

As I was preparing for this year’s Christmas card list and pulling out decorations I discovered our Christmas cards from last year. The one card that captured my attention was a small blue card with snow flakes and the outside read, “It’s Christmas AND ALL MY HEART TRULY WANTS IS EVERYTHING I ALREADY HAVE WITH YOU. Honestly I didn’t remember it. It was from 2016 and as I opened it and read the inside it stated, “THANK YOU FOR EVERYTHING WE SHARE – AND MOST OF ALL THANK YOU FOR GIVING ME the gift of your heart AND FOR TAKING SUCH GOOD CARE OF MINE.” Love Brian.

It was from my husband. It didn’t say wife on the outside or make mention of from your husband. It was a simple card, yet beautiful with a simple beautiful message.

As I processed that message throughout the day, all I could think was how giving and receiving love truly is our greatest gift. And because it is so valuable and truly great, that is why we are so fractured and broken when our love is rebuked or disrespected or even if it is taken for granted and unappreciated.

The capacity to give love is what we were born to do, it is our core, without our heart we don’t live and nothing in life has a beat. We know enough about love to know that you either have it or you create it. We are capable of loving many people and many places and many things in our lifetime. The ones that love us right back offer us the most incredible love.

We can still love without it being returned, we can love from a distance, from that quiet place in our hearts. Giving love is our greatest gift. It doesn’t have to be returned to us. Giving is for the giver.

How many people can we share that thought with, “thank you for giving me the gift of your heart and for taking such good care of mine” this Christmas and holiday season that is my wish for all of you to give and to be given love.

Cherish the love that you receive and give as much love as you are capable of giving, as the gift of giving and receiving love is our greatest gift of all!

Merry Christmas, with heartfelt love and Happy New Year 2018! God Bless us all …

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

Along The Way and Another Way books available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble

Hurting Hearts

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Hurting Hearts
By Bernadette A. Moyer

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Our hearts are broken after witnessing mass murders in Las Vegas, Nevada. Who does this? What kind of a person kills 58 people and wounds over 500 more and why? We want to know why? While we still demand an answer to what kind of “why” response will it ever be good enough. It won’t!

What causes such hatred and anger in a human being that they would go on a killing mission? Prepare for it, plan on it and then carry it out? Thank God most of us will never understand that mindset and those horrific actions.

This story this event is so hard to process and I knew it would be even more difficult when the faces and the ages and the professions of those murdered would be published. These are people who should have had years and years of living life ahead of them. People that have families and friends who are left to grieve their loss and all the while trying to understand why one human being would do this to any other human being. People that should never have died so young were killed as though they didn’t matter by someone who didn’t even know their name.

Most of us will never understand this and that is a good thing, to identify with this crazed mass murdered isn’t normal for anyone that values human life.

Today I cried, it was tears of anger and shock and grief and loss. As if these murders and gunshots of hatred in Las Vegas wasn’t enough we lost an icon rock and roll star who also died unexpectedly and too young. In a recent interview Tom Petty talked about his desire to travel less and do less shows so he could be there for his grandchildren. It was as if he knew how much he missed out on with his own children and acknowledged that this time things would be different, he wanted to be there.

What can we take away from death? What should the lessons be and what should we do next? We can’t control what other people do, we can’t control many things in life except for what we do and how we handle what comes next.

Grief and loss are tremendous teachers and if nothing else they are supposed to drive home that all we really have is the here and now. The way that we treat people says so much about us. Kindness counts. Every single day we are afforded opportunities to respond with love or with hate. It is a choice.

Whatever was motivating and disturbing the Vegas killer he chose to respond with hatred. There is a lesson here. Hate and anger and killing never ever look good on anyone, not ever. There is no justifiable reason for the killing of innocent people. And the cowardly way in which he chose to murder from a distance and to their backs and then take his own life.

Everything in this event is difficult to process …

What should we come away with? How about what can any one of us do? There are two parts here for me; first and foremost we must live all of life to the fullest. Our days here are numbered and we should live like the Tim McGraw song, “Live like you are dying” do the things that matter to you, spend the time with the people that you love, live life without regrets so when the end does arrive, you know that you did live fully.

And the second thing is to check your anger and hate, let it go, use if for the fuel to do good. Hate and anger although normal emotions in humans can be controlled and redirected into something positive. Always try to lead with kindness and with love. Sometimes it is difficult to do but always, always worth it. Something good can always come from something so horrific … if we seek it, we will find it!

“And I loved deeper and I spoke sweeter and I gave forgiveness I’d been denying” Country Music Artist Tim McGraw and song written by Tim Nichols and Craig Wiseman

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

A Different Kind of Beautiful

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A Different Kind of Beautiful
By Bernadette A. Moyer

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“Beauty is in the eye of the beholder” and beautiful is defined differently by different people. As you age you learn that beauty really is more about how something is and feels rather than just how it looks on the surface.

Beauty is as beauty does is a phrase my mother often used when I was coming up. I have thought of that phrase often …

There will always be the obvious beauty as in a beautiful baby or young child, or the beauty in the flowers or the sun rise and sun sets. As we age what we perceive as beautiful often changes, it grows, we appreciate the rains and the storms and all of life’s imperfections more and more. We come to see that beauty really does exist everywhere and in every place and every person if we are open and receptive to seeing it. It’s there.

I have learned to look at my gray hair as “sparkles” and that it is a crown that I have earned from living life all these year. Just the thought of “sparkles” makes me smile!

Rainy days no longer depress me, today I embrace them and see their beauty just as much as a clear and sunny day, each day brings its own unique pleasures.

When I see people behave unattractively or in a poor way or with harsh phrases or judgements I seldom if ever allow it to make me view their targets in that light. But I do  view the person spewing as someone that needs more love. Someone that has their own wounds; and a wounded soul can be viewed in a beautiful light.

We can create more beauty and become more beautiful …

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

Another Year

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Another Year
By Bernadette A. Moyer

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My husband just celebrated his birthday a few days ago and in less than a month I will celebrate mine, God willing. And I truly mean “God willing” since not one of us knows when that actual date of ending life will arrive we just know that it is a foregone conclusion.

There are so many gifts that come with age; the first being wisdom. Wisdom that comes from years of living life and wisdom that comes from learning life lessons.

With each year we become more grateful not just grateful for what we have now but grateful for all that we endured and survived. My parents’ generation was famous for sayings like “youth is wasted on the young.” When you get older you can appreciate a statement like that one more and more.

We celebrated his birthday with a weekend chock full of events and activities and his children remembered him and that was all he needed, he was happy and indeed celebrated a happy birthday.

Another year becomes another chance to do and to see and to learn and to grow. Another year translates to endless possibilities and the magic that is yet to unfold.

Above all else we are just so thankful and so grateful and so truly appreciative, we are here, we are together and we share so much love …

Thank you God for this year and for the chance and the hopes that a new year can and will bring our way.

It just sounds so simple and yet so magnificent … another year … God willing!

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

57 Things I Learned in My 57 Years

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57 Things I Learned in My 57 Years
By Bernadette A. Moyer

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1) My life and my happiness is my responsibility, period.

2) Kids will come and kids will go, build a life that is meaningful long after their departure.

3) Don’t take it personally, nothing other people do is because of you, it is because of them.

4) Gather as much information as you can and then make informed decisions.

5) Pick the guy who believes in you, supports you, loves you and thinks you are beautiful.

6) Bad boys are just that, bad.

7) Trust few but always trust in your own inner voice.

8) Every single day is a blessing.

9) Nothing lasts forever, this too shall pass.

10) People will come into your life and people will leave your life, let them.

11) You are beautiful just the way you are, believe it! No one knows your heart like you do.

12) Work hard, go that extra mile but play hard too.

13) Nature offers peace every single day and in every single season.

14) Animals have incredible souls and are capable of the most love and loyalty.

15) Writers write.

16) Estrangement is strange. It isn’t normal and there are no winners.

17) Trust someone the first time they reveal themselves to you.

18) Marriage requires ongoing efforts and commitment grounded in genuine love and care.

19) Surround yourself with people, places and things that you love. Create your own beautiful life.

20) I was a shy kid that stuttered; today I could debate with the best. Where you start is just a start.

21) Never ever give up on yourself.

22) Campy as it sounds, “Into each life, some rain must fall.”

23) Learn from it and then get over it!

24) Beauty exists everywhere and so does ugliness.

25) Good people can and do make bad mistakes.

26) You are not defined by one person, one experience or single life event.

27) Everything that seems bad really can be turned around and into something good.

28) Be a life-long learner. There is always something new to learn.

29) Gratitude is an attitude.

30) Life goes on …

31) God is good. In an ever changing world God is my salvation.

32) Family is so much more than blood; it is the people that love, support and see the best in you.

33) Girlfriend time is always time well spent.

34) Stress less. Pray more and worry less.

35) Eat the good foods and exercise. Life is about balance.

36) Make love, lots and lots of love.

37) Negative people are just that, negative.

38) Take the time to get to know yourself and always be your own best friend.

39) There is a big difference between being alone and being lonely.

40) Peace is always possible.

41) Stability doesn’t have to be boring.

42) Make something build something bake something create more. Just do it.

43) Build on a solid foundation.

44) Embrace change. Don’t fight it be open to new things, new people and new experiences.

45) Painful lessons are lasting lessons.

46) Pretty comes and pretty goes but being nice will last forever.

47) Share as much as possible but don’t allow yourself to be taken for granted.

48) Hatred and anger doesn’t look good on anyone. Not ever.

49) Forgive but don’t forget.

50) Not everything ends with “happy ever after” but that doesn’t mean your happiness has to end.

51) Give back! Every single person has something to offer.

52) Never wrestle with a pig, because you will both get dirty and the pig likes it.

53) We all have a birth date and a death date, no one gets out alive. Enjoy everything in between.

54) Getting old is a gift, cherish it.

55) Wisdom is born with age.

56) Breathe. Take long deep breathes.

57) Most things can be cured with a long hot bubble bath, a cup of tea or a glass of wine and a big warm embracing hug!

BONUS!

#58 Just because someone said it, doesn’t make it true.

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

All books by Bernadette A. Moyer on Amazon and Barnes & Noble

Simple Pleasures

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Simple Pleasures
By Bernadette A. Moyer

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Simple pleasures, what are yours?

Just a few of mine include:

• That bowl of fresh peaches sitting on the kitchen counter
• My first cup of coffee in the morning
• Snuggling with my two pooches
• Watching my husband drive up after a long work day
• The look and smells of a freshly cut lawn
• Driving top down on a quiet country road with the music blaring
• Sunsets
• Sunrise
• The innocence of small children
• A clean house
• A clean desk
• Quiet time at home
• Lunch with a friend
• Writing a new blog
• The subtle seasonal changes
• Sitting on the beach
• Praying to God
• Good friends
• Happy people
• My roses opening and in full bloom
• A new book or magazine waiting to be read
• Rabbits running through the yard
• A road trip
• A live concert
• A baseball game
• Long meaningful conversations
• Fresh new paper and stationary
• Birthdays
• Holidays
• Cooking dinner
• Baking treats
• The smell of fresh laundry
• Long lazy weekends
• A tall glass of ice water

And I seriously could go on and on …

What are your simple pleasures? Gratitude is an attitude!

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

All books by Bernadette A. Moyer on Amazon and Barnes & Noble

20 Things I Learned From 20 Years of Marriage

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20 Things I Learned From 20 Years of Marriage
By Bernadette A. Moyer

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1) Commitment is key
2) With the right partner all things are possible
3) Most things aren’t worth arguing over
4) Loyalty matters
5) Your partner must feel that they come first
6) Falling in and out of love to some degree is normal
7) Always choose love and it is a choice
8) Kids and money really are the stressors
9) Not every day is going to go your way and that is okay
10) Check in multiple times during the day
11) Choose wisely, make big decisions together
12) There is a time to come together and a time to give each other space
13) Set goals and work together to achieve them
14) Always make the time for fun and laughter
15) Do as many things together as you both enjoy
16) Share a common vision, gratitude and willingness to learn and grow
17) Support each other’s dreams and goals, show up and be present
18) Compliment and appreciate each other frequently
19) Make love, lots and lots of love
20) Talk to one another and really listen and hear one another

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