To celebrate the first anniversary of LightLoveHope.com we are giving away five copies of Jim Brickman’s Greatest Hits CD. You may enter as many times as you like. Enter using the form below. The contest begins Friday September 4th and runs through Saturday September 20th. Winners will be chosen within 24 hours of the end of the contest and notified of winning via email. The list of winners will be posted here on LightLoveHope.com and on our Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/Shirley.LightLoveHope.
Author: Gregory Johnson
About Gregory Johnson
Posts by Gregory Johnson:
It is very easy for me to put off little things I want to get done. For some reason, I get this idea in my mind that it will take too long or that I just don’t feel like doing it. That is something that happens to me when I am in a down kind of mood. The ironic thing is that if I push myself just a little and set my sights on one thing to complete that I have been putting off I always realize something; it feels good to have completed a little task.
All those things in my head that tried to convince me not to complete a task are usually never really true. The task usually doesn’t take as long as I think it will. Or, the task is usually not as difficult as I think it is going to be. I never think of that good feeling of accomplishment that I will have when I have completed that task I have been putting off.
Accomplishment can be a wonderful way to help you feel good about yourself and the things around you. The task you finish doesn’t have to be monumental; even something very small can give you that good feeling of accomplishment. Not only can this work for yourself, but you can help others accomplish goals which will give each of you a feeling of accomplishment and togetherness. It is a great way to help someone out of a funk.
Sometimes cleaning the house can turn into the discovery of forgotten treasures. This past weekend buried in a stack of books I was dusting I found the following card I purchased years ago:
I love card shopping. A good card is a great way to send a message to someone. With all the advancement in technology, one could say that greeting cards are a thing of the past. I hope that never happens as I believe there is a special connection when you send something to someone that they can touch. It is a way to convey our thoughts without spoken words. Needless to say, the card was never given to the intended recipient. It was not sent because I changed my mind or my feelings changed but the situation itself never developed to where I felt I could share this with the intended person and I realized it never would.
As I stood looking at the card and reading the message I started to think about the message and how it could be interpreted in different ways. Of course, the initial intention of the message is to convey the love you have for another which was the reason I purchased the card. Let’s look at the message again:
“To be with you and have your love… is all I ask of life”
Is this not what we as children want from our parents? In our hearts is this not what we want from our relationship with God? Without spoken words, God has given us His love and understanding if we will open our hearts to let Him in. We can do the same for those important to us in our lives. Actions, without spoken words, can convey our feelings much more so than verbalizing our feelings. Even the smallest gesture can make a gigantic impact on someone without you having to say anything.
There has been a lot of talk about depression since we lost one of the most loved men in the world this past week. I would guess that anyone reading this post has at one time or another suffered from some sort of depression with varying degrees of intensity. As many have said in articles this past week, there is not any single thing that can break a person out of this. However, there is a little thing that you can do for someone that may temporarily break them out of their funk; a distraction.
What do I mean by a distraction? I will use myself as an example. I am currently in a very difficult situation at my place of employment. The owner fired 25% of the workforce the beginning of the year. I have been given the privilege of taking over another person’s position as well as having to do my own without any additional compensation. I am completely overwhelmed at the moment. At first, I was able to handle things but as the months have worn on I find myself getting further behind. I feel that I am in an impossible position as there are no jobs in my area for me to apply for to remove myself from this situation. I come home at night to an empty house. I don’t have anyone here to talk to about how I feel. Put all these things together, and I have the perfect recipe for a severe bout of depression. I feel trapped with no way out. However, there is something that helps pull me out for a while which helps to give me a new perspective; distraction.
What do I use for distraction? I find a song that speaks to me and touches my heart in a way that brings a smile to my face. I may play that song over and over again. I have been known to set my iTunes to do a single repeat of a song for hours. If a song makes me feel good, then I play it all the time. It is my way to help pull me out of my funk.
Each of us has something that can be used as a distraction for when we are feeling down. You can touch a person by a small gift. Bring them some ice cream or chocolate. Any little thing can help to bring a person out of the depths of despair. Think of a little something that would bring a smile to each of your family members, then go out and do it for them. It may not resolve their problems, but it will show them that they are loved and help to give them a little different perspective on their current issues.
If case you are wondering what I am using for my distractions of late. Here are the songs / artists I am hooked on:
50 Ways to Say Goodbye – Train
50 Ways to Say Goodbye – California 37
Country Girl – Luke Bryan
Country Girl (Shake It for Me) – Tailgates & Tanlines
Lightning in a Bottle – The Summer Set
(warning: this song has a single bad word in the chorus)
Lightning In a Bottle – Legendary
Take a look around you. What do you see? Do you stop to notice a lavender sunset? Do you wonder at the beauty of a sunrise on a spring day? Do you notice the different shapes of clouds floating above you? All of these things are God’s artistry in action. Each and every thing on earth is God’s artistry in action; every single thing. That includes you and I.
We are masterpieces of God’s artistry; each of us in our own special way. You may wonder how can we be a masterpiece when some are born with some sort of difficulty. God creates us in a certain way as a start to our canvas. He then gives us the chance to take that canvas, add brush strokes to create ourselves into the masterpiece of our choosing.
In our world here on earth, we treasure masterpieces of art and handle them with utmost care. Yet, we don’t do this with ourselves or those around us much of the time. Should we not consider each and every person and creation of God a masterpiece to treasure and nurture? We have the chance to paint brush strokes on the canvases of others with our words and actions. Should we not take care in what we say and do to others so as to not discolor their masterpiece?
You are a masterpiece. Treasure yourself and those around you as such.
I just finished reading the book “Heaven is for Real.” I watched the movie made from the book as well. This book was given to me quite some time ago but in all honesty I was afraid to read it. Why? I knew that I would have a very hard time getting through the book because of experiences I have been through in life.
The book is about a four year old boy who is placed into a life threatening situation because of a burst appendix. His survives his brush with death and begins to tell his parents that he visited heaven while on the operating table. I won’t go into any more details as I highly recommend you read the book or see the movie.
As I said it was hard for me to get through this book. Ten years ago, on a day in July, I spent the afternoon holding my mother’s hand during her last hours on earth. This first of August will mark a year since my little sister passed away. Yet those aren’t the only reasons this book had such an effect on me. I can, in a small way, relate to what this boy experienced.
Let me first say that no, I have not visited heaven. At least I don’t think I did. Actually, I really don’t know what happened. I have a heart condition. Some time ago, my heart went out of rhythm and it would not go back on its own. I spent three days in the hospital hooked up to monitors and being fed drugs that were supposed to make the chambers of my heart work in a normal rhythm again. The cardiologist explained that a condition like this, as acute as it was for me, had to be rectified within 72 hours or there was a chance I was suffer permanent damage to the heart muscle and possibly even death. If the drugs did not “flip” the heart back into rhythm, they would have to stop my heart for fifteen to twenty seconds then resuscitate me with a defibrillator. I would be given a “cocktail” of drugs that would put me to sleep and stop my heart; essentially I would be placed in a state close to death. I was told I would not feel or remember anything. Well that didn’t happen.
For some reason, I have a resistance to anesthesia. I have woken up during surgery before (but that is another story). They gave me the shot to put me under. The next thing I remember is being in a place that was all white. I can’t say I was floating as it didn’t feel that way. I felt a more at peace than I have ever felt before. I can’t explain it any other way. It felt wonderful. I remember thinking I didn’t want this to end. Then I began to see these colors passing by and all of a sudden I was awake. I opened my eyes to see the nurse standing over me and I blurted out; “That was cool!” I explained what I had just experienced and she just looked at me like I was out of my mind. I haven’t told many people about this as I figure most people would have the same reaction as the nurse did that afternoon.
Is heaven for real? Since this experience, I truly believe heaven exists. This belief, or faith as some may call it, has gotten me through the experience of watching my mother slowly slide away before my eyes and the shock of my sisters passing. I miss them terribly but I know they are with God and their suffering is over. I am not an outwardly religious person. I keep that between God and myself; at least until now.
The book is “Heaven is for Real” by Todd Burpo. I highly recommend it if you haven’t read it already.
Last week I talked a little about how we all feel the need to know that we are important to someone. It gives us a wonderful feeling that we matter in this huge world we live in. One way to make a person feel good is to show sincere interest in something they love. I will relate an experience I had with this over the past weekend.
I went on a wonderful four day weekend event called the Brickman Bash. This is an event put on by musician Jim Brickman where his fans get together for a weekend of events, concerts and some time spent getting to know Jim himself. As I have mentioned in previous posts, I am a shy quiet person. I go on these events by myself so I sort of keep to myself. During dinner on Saturday night the tables were setup in eight foot lengths so ten to twelve people could sit at a table. As I was looking around for a corner table to sit at with a lost look on my face when a woman asked me to join their table.
I was right in the middle between two groups having different conversations. I started thinking of some of the things I have recently read in Dale Carnegie’s book. So I thought I might try some of his suggestions for “making friends.”
The woman sitting next to me started showing some photos she had taken of wildlife in their area. The photos were truly amazing. So I complimented her on her photography skills which led her to start pulling up picture after picture. Now to be honest, wild life photography is not my thing, but her photos were quite good and very professional. I kept complimenting her on them and making suggestions for her on places she might be able to sell them as graphic artists are always looking for good photos to use in their works. She was having a wonderful time showing me the photos. I could see that my interest in her photos truly gave her pleasure. It was a wonderful feeling to see her so passionate about her photography.
You can make an impact on anyone you meet by showing interest in them; especially those in your family. Take a little of your time and spend it with them encouraging them in whatever they like to do. It will make more of a difference to them than you can ever imagine.
Do you practice being thoughtful of others? Merriam-Webster defines thoughtful in three ways. The one I want to talk about today is this; “showing concern for the needs of feelings of other people” or their full definition: “given to or chosen or made with heedful anticipation of the needs and wants of others <a kind and thoughtful friend>.”
In today’s world it is so very easy to get wrapped up in our own lives that we can lose sight of what is going on with those family and friends that are an important part of our life. There is a wonderful book that I am re-reading to gain some more insight as to how I can be a better person towards others; Dale Carnegie’s “How to Win Friends and Influence People.” There is a singular concept that is talked about throughout the book that really hits home with me; we all need to feel important. This doesn’t mean we all have to have a big ego, it just means we all need to know that someone thinks of us and cares about us. I try very hard to live my life within this philosophy and to treat people with kindness, compassion and respect for their feelings.
Being thoughtful towards others is not difficult. It could be just remembering a special day in someone’s life and letting them know that you do remember. It could be stepping aside in a long line at the supermarket to let someone go ahead of you when they have a few items and you have a cart full. It is as easy as holding a door open for someone. All of these things can be considered being thoughtful towards another. Just doing a small thoughtful gesture for someone can brighten someone’s day.
Take a moment today and think of those you care about. What is some thoughtful gesture you could do for them today?
This was supposed to be a part of the We Care Wednesdays segment. Yesterday, Tamela shared an important message regarding the need for everyone to feel loved. Gregory’s message complements it and goes hand in hand with the message that everyone needs to feel important! Therefore, we thought we would share these two back-to-back … We Care Wednesdays and now Thoughtful Thursdays. 🙂 We hope you enjoyed! ~Shirley
Each of us, throughout our lifetimes, will experience some sort of tragedy. Though the years may pass, the memories and the pain of those events linger on with us; sometimes it can be felt as strong now as it was back then. There is no getting past the influence of this type of major life event. Many people live with those feelings inside and never share the hurt and pain that comes back during the anniversary of that time.
I have heard many people tell others to just get over it. Bury those feelings. What is past is past. I find that to be rather inconsiderate and a bit cruel. Instead of “trying” to help someone get through an emotionally difficult time should we not try to help them by sharing their pain?
Most people I know have no idea what to say to someone during a time like this. What they don’t realize is that the best thing they can do is to say nothing, but do something. Be there for those you know that are hurting. Spend a little time with them. Tell them you are thinking of them. Let them know that you share their pain and you will be there for them if they need support. Give them a hug. Let them decide what they need from you to help them through those dark times. Just be there for them.
Be someone’s angel.
I thought about this after taking a walk tonight. I am on a short holiday to a quaint little town called Galena in Illinois. Walking down the main street in Galena is like stepping back in time with all the beautiful old architecture that still exists. It is a great place for two people to spend a romantic weekend.
As I was out for an evening walking along the river I first ran into a middle aged couple. The gentleman was walking along with his hands in his pockets, his head bent towards the ground with a scowl on this face that screamed, “What the heck am I doing here.” His wife was walking about a yard behind him with a nice smile on her face and a bounce in her step.
The next couple I came upon was the complete opposite. The gentleman was walking along with a pleasant smile. His wife was walking next to him with her face buried in her phone.
All I could think about was how these two couples were missing out on what I would consider one of the most simple and romantic things to do together; hold hands. It’s free. I can be done anywhere. And I would think it feels rather nice. I say the last line that way as I am single and have not had the experience or chance to hold hands with anyone.
From the perspective of a lonely single person; couples really should hold hands more often. I would love to be able to do that with someone. I don’t have that opportunity, but those of you that have a significant other do. So take it. Enjoy it. Treasure it as in all things nothing lasts forever and you may lose your chance.
~The Quiet Computer Guy
I came across this video today called “Why Do We Hug?”:
What it tries to accomplish is to explain with a scientific viewpoint why we hug. I think there are some things that should not try to be explained by science. This is one of them. To me the video misses one important point about why we hug; it feels good! I think there needs to be more hugging in the world.
Go out and hug someone. Do it often. A hug is one of the best free gifts you can give.
(( hug ))
~The Quiet Computer Guy
I get picked on quite a bit at times. There is a certain person that shall remain nameless that loves to pick on me. Lately it has been at work because of the length my hair. What I find interesting is that it is very easy for someone to come up with a snide remark without having a clue as to what is going on.
I used to wear my hair long. It was the whole hard rock band thing. Plus I have been given the gift of nice hair. When I let it grow out it waves and curls naturally in addition to being thick and soft. But for the past ten years I have kept it shoulder length or shorter. As it has now gone several inches below my shoulders I am wearing it in a ponytail due to the heat of summer. This is what I am getting ribbed about at work. Mainly from the other guys that have less hair than I do at my advanced age.
What no one asked it why I all of a sudden changed and let it grow very long. I have a very special reason for doing this. As I have been told over and over my whole life that I have great hair, I wanted to do something with this gift I was given. My reason for letting it all hang out is that I am going to donate my hair to Locks of Love: www.locksoflove.org.
If you have never heard of them, they provide hair prosthetics to disadvantaged children under the age of 21 that are suffering hair loss from any type of disease or medical treatment. I went through the whole hair loss with my mom when she went through chemotherapy ten years ago before she passed away from the side effects of cancer treatments. And I lost my sister less than a year ago; again to cancer. If I can give this small token to help a child feel a little better about themselves while they fight for their health, then it will bring much joy to my heart.
Today’s RAK is something very simple; a compliment. Compliments are so easy to give. If I notice on of the women at work have changed their hair style I compliment them on it. A small compliment can bring someone a smile and make a difference in their day.