2019 Word for the New Year

Just before the New Year began, I noticed on social media that several individuals had posted their “word” for change beginning in the new year–intentional, decisive, gratitude–to name a few.

In thinking about what word I would select, I had an almost immediate connection with the word “serenity”. The more I thought about this word, the more I decided to choose it because I definitely needed to be more serene-like in my life.

DEFINITION of SERENITY (Merriam-Webster Dictionary): calm, calmness, hush, peacefulness, quietness, restfulness, stillness, tranquility.

As I thought back over 2018, I can truthfully say that there had been times when I needed to be more serene-like in times of chaos. Now, as I reflect on the coming year, serenity is constantly in my thought process and whenever I find myself getting frustrated or anxious I begin to recite SERENE: CALM, PEACEFUL and I immediately begin to breathe deeper and try to remain more focused on my surroundings and circumstances.

Since I am musically inclined, I remind myself that:

“I need music to CALM my soul,

I need music to make me whole.”

Everybody has a story, and everybody has a song

So lift up your voice

And let it be heard.



Following the Rules By Using the Right Tools

Reference and How-To Tools

Recently, while watching an episode of “Mutt and Stuff” with my grandson, the segment talked about “following the rules” while you are on an airplane. Since this is a show about dogs, the dogs were actually passengers and were to sit in their seats. After a while–perhaps out of boredom–they got out of their seats and definitely were not following the rules. I turned to my grandson and said, “Look, the dogs are not following the rules.” He looked at me and said, “I don’t like to follow the rules.” I asked, “why not” and he plainly said, “because I don’t want to.” We talked–rather I talked–about the importance of following the rules in certain situations (i.e. preschool, safety). He just smiled and we left it at that for now.

Over the years, I am sure that I did not always follow the rules but eventually was taught the importance of following rules so that I could sit quietly in school, etc. We have books that teach us “how-to” do almost anything and everything IF we follow the instructions that we are given. There have been times when I have purchased a piece of furniture and thought I could put it together without looking at the instructions. Finally after struggling to put the item together, I realized I had to get out the instructions and read them step by step in order to finish the project that I started. Over the years, when I do buy something, I always check with the instructions first. Believe me, it saved a lot of undue frustration.

Sometimes we just don’t want to follow the rules and almost always–if we do not–there are usually consequences of some sort.

The Word of God teaches us to follow the Lord and His teachings in order to live a life that is good and to know right from wrong. We certainly need to teach our children this philosophy in order for them to survive in this world that is so big and vast and at times in turmoil. Knowing God and learning “more about Him” is learned by reading His Word and practicing what we have learned.

Scriptures clearly show us how to live and how to react even in the midst of trying circumstances. Living a life pleasing to Him should be important enough that others will see that in us. Scriptures that teach us about knowing God are as follows:

Colossians 1:10-12 (NIV): “And we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and joyfully giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the kingdom of light.”

John 17:3 (NIV): “Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.”

Ephesians 1:17 (NIV): “I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better.”

I John 2:3-4 (NIV): “We know that we have come to know him if we obey his commands. The man who says, “I know him,” but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in him.”

Even though my grandson is only 3-1/2, he too is still trying to understand and learn about following instructions and the rules everyday. More importantly as parents, grandparents, and teachers of children, it is up to all of us to show them how to live and follow the teachings, love, and grace of our Lord by being an example and role model. In this day and age, they need it more than ever.

Help us all to be teachers and doers of His Word and let His light shine in us every day. May the Lord bless you, and make His face to shine upon you.


Reading: “The Traveler’s Summit” by Andy Andrews (sequel to “The Traveler’s Gift”)

Soulspiration: Quotes About the Soul

In researching information regarding the soul, I came across a list of Soul Quotes which I thought were interesting, based on man’s own interpretation of what the soul means to them. I would like to share some of them with you as follows:

Neither height nor depth can measure the possibilities of the human soul–James Lendall Basford (1845-1915), “Sparks from the Philosopher’s Stone”, 1882

(A) great soul, with a great purpose, can make a weak body strong and keep it so…Mark Twain, “Personal Recollections of Joan of Arc”, 1895

When you say a man has guts, you say he has a soul–Martin H. Fischer (1879-1962)

The windows of my soul I throw Wide open to the sun–John Greenleaf Whittier, “My Psalm”

The soul has no secret that the behavior does not reveal–Lao Tzu

You don’t have a soul. You are a Soul. You have a body–C. S. Lewis

If I should die tonight what have I to show for my life in the way of soul-winning?–Fredonia Ellsworth Holloway (1867-1920), c.1909

Why do you hasten to remove anything which hurts your eye, while if something affects your soul you postpone the cure until next year?–Horace

Nowhere can man find a quieter or more untroubled retreat than in his own soul–Marcus Aurelius, “Meditations”

Be careless in your dress if you must, but keep a tidy soul–Mark Twain

You are a beautiful soul hidden by the trench coat of the ego–Mike Dolan@HawaiianLife

If you hide things in your soul, don’t forget about them–Terri Guillemets

The defects of the soul are like wounds in the body–whatever care one takes to heal, the scar still appears, and they are every moment in danger of reopening–Francois VI de la Rochefoucault (1613-1680)

Most men have more scars on their souls than on their bodies–James Lendall Basford (1845-1915), “Sparks from the Philosopher’s Stone”, 1882

When you do things from your soul you feel a river moving in you, a joy. When action comes from another section, the feeling disappears–Rumi

With all your science–can you tell how it is, and whence it is, that light comes into the soul?–Henry David Thoreau

Is soul the stem and body the blossom–or body our stem, with soul its seasonal bloom?–Terri Guillemets

One thing in the world, of value, is the active soul–Ralph Waldo Emerson

In my soul, the music of the universe can be heard–Eric Honeycutt, August 2011 entry to The Quote Garden create your own quote contest on Twitter

What is soul? It’s like electricity–we don’t really know what it is, but it’s a force that can light a room–Ray Charles

Webs of strange patterns we weave (each owns), From colour and soul; and like unto these, Soul has its tones and semitones, Mind has its major and minor keys–Amy Levy, “In a Minor Key (An Echo from a Larger Lyre),” c.1884

The soul, like the body, lives by what it feeds on–Josiah Gilbert Holland

The most powerful weapon on earth is the human soul on fire–Ferdinand Foch

You see, when weaving a blanket, an Indian woman leaves a flaw in the weaving of that blanket to let the soul out–Martha Graham

The above quotes can be found, along with others, on The Quote Garden (www.quotegarden.com) if you would like to look up additional quotes about the soul. I found it most interesting to see a number of quotes from the 1800’s. During that time period, many individuals wondered about the purpose of the soul as well.

From my earlier post (Scripture Quotes About the Soul), we learned that the Bible has many answers regarding the mysteries of the soul. We just need to continue to read God’s Word and allow the Holy Spirit to speak to our inmost being–our souls–for the answers to His will and purpose for our lives.


Book Reading Now: “Winter Garden” by Kristin Hannah.

Soulspiration: Bible Verses About the Soul

The scriptures give us a number of verses from various books of the Bible that reference the soul. In my search for them, I came across many that give answers as to what the soul means. Some of them are as follows:

Deuteronomy 4:29 (NIV) – But if from there you seek the Lord your God, you will find him if you seek him with all your heart and with all your soul.

Matthew 16:26 (NIV) – What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul?

Psalm 62:1 (NIV) – Truly my soul finds rest in God; my salvation comes from Him.

Jeremiah 6:16 (NIV) – This is what the Lord says: Stand at the crossroads and look; ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is, and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls. But you said, ‘We will not walk in it.’

Psalm 42:11 (NIV) – Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.

Psalm 103:1 (NIV) – Praise the Lord, O my soul and forget not all His benefits–who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion–who satisfies your desires with good things.

Psalm 130:5-6 (NIV) – I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in his word I put my hope. My soul waits for the Lord more than watchmen wait for the morning, more than watchmen wait for the morning.

Psalm 19:7 (NIV) – The law of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul. The statutes of the Lord are trustworthy, making wise the simple.

Psalm 139:13-14 (NIV) – For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.

Psalm 63:1 (NIV) – O God, you are my God, earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you, my body longs for you, in a dry and weary land where there is no water.

Proverbs 16:24 (NIV) – Pleasant words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.

Psalm 42:1-2 (NIV) – As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, O God. My soul thirsts for God for the living God. When can I go and meet with God?

In reading the above scriptures one can see a common theme throughout and that is the theme of Salvation (Psalm 62). God created us to thirst after righteousness and to seek Him because even in our mother’s wombs we were created to praise Him. Psalm 139 says that He created our “inmost being” and that we are “fearfully and wonderfully made”.

According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, the definition of a soul is:

“The spiritual principle embodied in human beings, all rational and spiritual beings, or the universe; a person’s total self; an active or essential part; a moving spirit.”

If we seek Him, we will find Him, and He will reach down into our inmost being (soul) and show His love to us. Romans 8:38-39 (NIV) says:

“For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

May the Lord richly bless you and keep you in His loving care each and every day.


Books reading: “The Bridge” and “The Chance” by Karen Kingsbury

Soulspiration: The Windows of the Soul

Last week I ended with a quote by Thomas Phaer: “The Eyes are the windows of the soul.” I have heard this quote many times and wanted to explore it further. The eyes help us see the “true colors of someone.” I believe that is what Jesus does with us. He looks deep down into our being and knows us–the good, the bad, and the ugly.

About two weeks ago as I was scrolling down on my FB page, I came across a story that I think might help illustrate this even more.

It begins by setting the scene: A young couple with their young child entered a restaurant and were promptly seated. The child sat in the high chair provided. Another man–very rough and gruffy–enters the same restaurant and is seated across the room. As soon as he sits down at his table, he begins smiling at the child and begins making comments such as, “Do you know how to play peek-a-boo?” The parents looked at the man and then at the gleeful face of their child and questioned whether or not they knew or even recognized this man. This back and forth continued between the child and man until it was time for them to leave. As soon as the young couple stood up and headed towards the cashier, the man did so as well. The child apparently couldn’t wait to get near the man and showed this by practically leaping into his arms. The couple was extremely puzzled by this entire situation. The man gently gave the child back to its mother and said, “You take care of him. He is a very special child.” Upon hearing those words, the mother began to cry and the family left the restaurant.

Outside, the mother tried to process the entire incident and it was then that she realized her child had looked past the man’s appearance and looked straight into the very soul of the man. Her child didn’t see a rough and gruffy old man, but he saw the kindness and love that he had in his heart. She thought that this is also the way God looks at us. He looks straight into our hearts and our souls.

What will God see when He looks into our hearts and lives? May He always find us full of love for one another by loving our neighbor as ourselves. We can do this by reaching out to those who are going through a difficult time in their lives, who need a friend to just listen to their concerns and not judge–actions definitely speak louder than words.

May the Lord bless you and keep you in His continued care.


Currently Reading: “The Bus to Corinth” by Ladine Housholder.
Finished Reading: “The Well Women” by Ladine Housholder.

Soulspiration: Reflection

Recently, my thoughts for inspiration have turned inward, and I find myself dwelling on thoughts of reflection and the soul. Following are a number of scriptures which talk about reflection:

Proverbs 27:19 — As water reflects a face, so a man’s heart reflects the man.

I Corinthians 13:12 — Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.

James 1:23-24 — Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like a man who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like.

Merriam-Webster describes reflection as:

“An instance of reflecting; the action of bending or folding back; something produced by reflecting such as an image given back by a reflecting surface”.

A number of years ago, Matthew Wilder and David Zippel composed a song for the movie “Mulan” entitled “Reflection”. As Mulan gazes into the water, she sings:

“Who is that girl I see
Staring straight back at me?
Why is my reflection someone I don’t know?
Somehow I cannot hide who I am, though I’ve tried
When will my reflection show who I am inside?
When will my reflection show who I am inside?”

Sometimes when we look into the mirror, we are pleased with who we see staring back at us/who we are–what we have become; but sometimes it can be hard to look into the mirror and we see someone we don’t recognize; someone who has become angry, bitter, selfish, greedy, and just mad at the world and blames God for all the “bad” things that have happened to him or her.

Proverbs 3:5-6 says that we are to “trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.” God wants nothing but good things for each and every one of us. As we study His Word, He directs our paths and teaches us all things. We need to believe and trust Him!

The Soulspiration series will reflect upon “the soul”–a person’s total self–the spiritual principle embodied in human beings. I will share a number of quotes and explore how the soul reflects who we are. The following is one such quote:

“The Eyes are the windows of the soul”–Thomas Phaer

May the Lord richly bless you and keep you in His care.


2018 New Year Positivity

January 1, 2018 has finally arrived. The New Year’s Eve ball has been dropped, the parties/get togethers are over, and we are now whisked into another year–a new beginning!

I would like to share a quote that I came across recently and I have given much thought to the profound words written on the page. This quote says it all and I would like to remember this the entire new year.

“Let go of what’s gone,
Be grateful for what remains,
Look forward to what is on the way!”–Inspire Positive Soul Sensations (IPSS)

May each of you have a wonderful and blessed New Year as you look forward to what is ahead!


Nana’s Corner: Quiet Moments


After a morning of intense cleaning, I sit quietly looking at my laptop trying desperately to write. So much time has passed and I realize that I haven’t written in “Nana’s Corner” for a while. My thoughts quickly return to Gryphon and Gabriel who are on vacation with mommy and daddy this week. I know that they will enjoy going to the park and having fun at Grammy and Pappy’s in PA. It is hard for me to believe that Gryphon is almost three years old and Gabriel will be nine months this month; and yet I have witnessed their development firsthand since birth, and I would not trade those precious moments for anything in the world.

Both grandchildren have definitive, distinct personalities with Gabriel being more intense in all his movements (especially eating), and he tries to imitate and follow Gryphon in everything that he does. When Gryphon runs down the hall toward his room, Gabriel quickly crawls after him. They even wrestle together on the floor and both of them laugh and giggle at trying to get away from each other. He is taking many more steps and I believe he will be walking soon. Gryphon’s vocabulary has just blossomed and when you say something he doesn’t understand, he repeats it. For example, the other day I “jokingly” talked about the “sky is falling.” This was from a story about a chicken who thought the sky was falling. As Gryphon looked at the sky and at me, he questioningly said, “The sky is falling!” Realizing how this might have sounded to someone his age, I told him it was a “joke” and about the chicken book. He repeated, “It was a joke Nana!” He realized that the sky was not actually falling at that point. We both laughed about it.

The day is mostly filled with laughter, some “no’s”/confrontations regarding what is acceptable behavior, and also many “yes’s” as the morning and afternoon slip by. Whenever both of them are taking a nap, I try to regroup myself with “quiet thoughts/prayers” by shutting my eyes so that I can re-energize. Gryphon has such an imagination when he plays and believe me, we play hard and laugh until tears come to my eyes. Although I have had some physical issues during the past couple of weeks or so (sinusitis, osteoarthritis–had a cortisone shot in the tendon of my hand–aches and pains all over), I realize that my grandsons are both a gift from God not only to my daughter and her husband but also to the grandparents, aunts and uncles, and other relatives who will get to see how these two will grow up to learn more about God’s love and what it means to them.

As the rain begins to subside and the sun is peaking through the clouds, I reaffirm in my heart that I want to be the best Nana and babysitter–as I watch them here in VA–that I can be and to enjoy every moment with them because time is passing by too quickly. The same can be said of my daughter as well. I want to be the best mother and role model that I can be with her as well. That’s why it is important to tell your children and grandchildren that you love them every day.

Quiet thoughts for a rainy day.


Songspiration: Because He Lives

“Because He Lives”, written by Bill and Gloria Gaither in 1971, is one of my all-time favorite songs to sing on Easter Sunday. According to Wikipedia, a majority of the Gaither songs have been sung and recorded by Christian artists such as the David Crowder Band, Carman, Sandi Patty, The Cathedral Quartet, The Speers and the Heritage Singers; and country singers such as The Statler Brothers; and pop artists such as Elvis Presley. Their songs are known worldwide.

The Gaither Trio has received a number of Grammy Awards and GMA Dove Awards, as well as other honors such as ASCAP “Best Gospel Song of the Year”; Christian “Songwriter of the Century”; and they were named among the top 75 American entrepreneurs in “Entrepreneur Magazine” in 1997.

Since Gaither first began singing with the Bill Gaither Trio in the 1950s, he has constantly been performing. The Bill Gaither Trio originally consisted of Bill, his brother Danny Gaither and his sister Mary Ann Gaither. In about 1964, Bill’s wife, Gloria, took Mary Ann’s place. They founded the Gaither Music Company, which includes a record company, concert booking, television production, copyright management, retail store, recording studio, and telemarketing for the Gaither organization, as well as a retail center called Gaither Family Resources.

Gaither’s Homecoming Tours, which began in 1991, brought together major stars of the southern gospel and CCM industry, such as Gary McSpadden, Steve Green, Lee Young, Jon Mohr, Mark Lowry, Larnelle Harris, as well as others.

This Sunday is Easter Sunday and this holiday will be celebrated around the world. The purpose: to celebrate the resurrection of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. A number of churches, various denominations, will sing this renowned hymn and will sing it with fervor. It is a song that speaks of Jesus’ love, death, and resurrection, and it is because of this that “we can face tomorrow and life is worth living because He lives.”

As you celebrate Easter resurrection Sunday with your family and loved ones, let us all remember the words in Hebrews 7:24-25:

“But because Jesus lives forever, he has a permanent priesthood; therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them.”

May the Lord bless you and keep you all.

Songspiration: In The Garden

This Sunday we will celebrate Palm Sunday. Just before Jesus was betrayed, he prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane asking God to “take the cup from him”, knowing that he would be betrayed and then crucified.

According to the Wikipedia Encyclopedia, “In the Garden” was written in 1912 by C. Austin Miles, who served as an editor and manager at Hall-Mack publishers for 37 years. This song was first published in 1912 and popularized during the Billy Sunday evangelistic campaigns of the early twentieth century by two members of his staff, Homer Rodeheaver and Virginia Asher.

Since that time, this song has been recorded and sung by such artists as Roy Rogers and Dale Evans, Perry Como, Rosemary Clooney, Doris Day, Elvis Presley, Willie Nelson, and Glen Campbell, as well as other recording artists throughout the years. The song is also included on Johnny Cash’s 5-CD box set “Cash Unearthed.”

According to Austin Miles’ great-granddaughter, the song was written “in a cold, dreary and leaky basement in Pitman, New Jersey that didn’t even have a window in it let alone a view of a garden.” I would imagine Austin Miles depicted and imagined a beautiful garden where he felt safe, peaceful, and loved by Jesus as he wrote this beautiful hymn.

When I think about a garden, I envision a place of peace and tranquility, where one can go to reflect and pray, and listen for the voice of God, and talk with him. In this beautifully acclaimed hymn, the first verse and chorus are as follows:

“I come to the garden alone, while the dew is still on the roses; And the voice I hear, falling on my ear, the Son of God discloses.
And He walks with me, and He talks with me, And he tells me I am His own; And the joy we share as we tarry there, none other has ever known.”

In Matthew 26:36-56, the story is told that Jesus took his disciples to the Garden of Gethsemane asking that his disciples stay “awake” while Jesus prayed. But each time Jesus returned to his disciples, He found them asleep. It is during these three times that Jesus tries to tell them that He is going to be betrayed. It wasn’t until Judas arrived with the soldiers that the disciples actually realized what Jesus was talking about. Luke 22:39-46 also recounts this story: Jesus’ betrayal and arrest.

Jesus must have felt “let down” by His disciples because the scripture tells us that Jesus even questioned them about why they could not stay awake for even one hour while He was alone praying.

How would we have reacted if we had the chance to actually be in the same situation? Would we have fallen asleep as well? For many of us, staying awake would have been very difficult.

Jesus wants us to walk, talk, and tarry with Him and He says, “Come to the garden where it is peaceful and you will find rest in me.”

May each of you find joy, peace, and rest in Him continually.