Tuesday, May 17, 2016

S is for Schedule

My current schedule is overflowing with all sorts of professional and personal responsibilities.  There's student testing to be done,   School functions to attend, Church commitments to complete, personal development tasks to work on, and the list goes on and on.  When my schedule is this full, I  can easily feel overwhelmed, stressed, and anxious.  Therefore, I need to make a conscious effort to relax and stay focused.  I know I'm not the only one in this situation, so I decided to share some thoughts I find helpful.

You Cannot Control The Results
Pencil, Micron Pens, Opaque Water Colors, and Colored Pencils
Anything But Cute Challenge #13 - Celebrate Your Style
Julia's (& Jan's) What's On Your Workdesk? Wednesday #363
Kristine & Eva's Paint Party Friday Week 11 Year 6
Kim's Show Your Face - Head Positions
Alexandra's Sunday Sketches
First, although I always strive to do my best, I need to be aware that perfection is not always plausible.  I need to remember Allan Lokos quote, "You cannot control the results, only your actions."

Summer in Mustang Island, Texas
Casio Exilim Shot By My Daughter Edited by Me on iPhoto & Pixelmator
Ramona's Inspire Me Monday #228
ABC Wednesday - Letter S
Sue's Image-In-Ing
Our Beautiful World #147 ~ By the Sea
Moo- Mania - Water
I need to make time to relax, even if it's just to reminisce on special moments.  The words in Psalm 46:l0, are a good reminder."Be still, and know that I am God."

Thank You, Jesus!
Colored Pencils and Metallic Pen
Art Journal Journey- Journeys
Try It On Tuesday - Spots, Dots and Splashes
Karen's Word Art Wednesday #230-31
Finally, I need to remember Tecumseh's words, "When you rise in the morning, give thanks for the light, for your life, for your strength.  Give thanks for your food and for the joy of living.  If you see no reason to give thanks, the fault lies in yourself."

I hope you enjoyed my thoughts on dealing with hectic schedules, and would love to hear what you do.  Anyway, I also want to thank all my followers, as well as everyone who took the time to leave a comment on my blog post last week.  Peace!  Paz!  Shalom!

Monday, May 9, 2016

R Is For Relationships

Rather an introvert or an extrovert, everyone needs to have relationships in their lives, hence the "basketball friend" in the movie Cast Away, starting Tom Hanks.  Relationships can be made with family members, friends, colleagues, and even bloggers.  However,  what makes a solid relationship?

Sacrificial Love Mandala
Prismacolor Colored Pencils; Silver Gel Pen; & Stencils
Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge - Stencil It
Denise & Roger's ABC Wednesday - R is for Relationships
Julia's What's On Your Workdesk? Wednesday 362
Alexandra's Sunday Sketches
In my opinion, Paul describes one of the best definitions of what a solid relationship should be like in 1 Corinthians 13:4-7, "Love is patient, love is kind.  It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.  Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.  It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres."

D. F. Wallace Doodle Portrait
Mechanical Pencil; Sakura Micron Pens; Windsor-Newton Watercolors
Moo-Mania - Quotes
Karen's Word Art Wednesday - Challenge #228-#229
Eva & Kristin's Paint Party Friday - Week 10 Year 6
Kim's Show Your Face - Head Positions
I found an article by Alex Lickerman MD, in Psychology Today, that correlates with Paul's teachings.  Lickerman says that a good friend commits to your happiness.  A good friend will be honest, even when it's uncomfortable, when he/she knows it's in your best interest.  He also said that good friends will not compromise your principles in the name of your friendship.  Finally, Lickerman said that good friends will inspire you to strive for excellence.

Ceramic Doll Parts
Nikon D3300 Shot Edited on iPhoto
Our Beautiful World - OBW 146 Ceramics
Ramona's Inspire Me Monday #227
Sue's Image-In-Ing
Rebecca's Haiku My Heart
Therefore, you need a plethora of relationships to be happy - Not!  I'm an introvert, but always try to find a way to connect with people I meet.  Everyone has gifts and talents that I value and can learn from.  However, I only have a handful of people with whom I have solid relationships, such as my mother, my wife, my two girls, my church Rector, a few Church members, a couple of work colleagues, and above all my God.

What do you look for in relationships?  I would love to hear what you think.  Anyway, I want to thank all my followers, as well as everyone who takes the time to leave a comment.  I am blessed by your kind words.  Peace - Paz - Shalom!

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Q is for Quality of Life

Quality of life means different things to different people.  However, no matter what, the choices we make determine quality of life.  For example, you could have trillions of dollars in bank accounts, investments, and other possessions, but would that make you truly happy?  I do not believe so.  I do not mean to say that being rich is a bad thing.  However, in the words found in Acts 20:35, "In all things I have shown you that by working hard in this way we must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said, 'It is more blessed to give than to receive.'"

Mother's Day Tag
DCWV Four Seasons Stack; Tim Holtz Bigz L Tag die, Baroque Die, Tiny Things Stamp, Odds and Ends Stamp, Adverts Stamp, Tissue Tape, Bauble, Heart Charm, Loop Pin & Distress Ink; Brothers Scan'N Cut 2; Paperbilities Collage Tags; Prismacolor Color Pencils; EK Success Corner Adorner & Corner Rounder Punch; DMD Vellum Die; Vintage rick-rack and button; Jute Cording; Embroidery Floss; Darice Mini Spring Clothespin; Dymo Organizer; Itoya Calligraphy Marker; Uni-ball Air Pen; Assorted Paper Flowers; Recollections Flower Paperclip; Making Memories Stapler; Assorted Adhesives; and Ephemera.
Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge: Show Us Your Metal
Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge: Anything Goes
Karen's Word Art Wednesday: Challenge #228-#229
Sue's Image-In-Ing
Julia's What's On Your Workdesk? Wednesday 361
Not everyone can afford to make monetary donations.  However, everyone can afford to make time to minister to the sick, volunteer at animal shelters, or volunteer at other non-profit organizations.  In Buddha's words, what's important is to "not indulge in charitable acts for your own benefit.  Love them for the happiness they bring to others."

Buddha's Thoughts on Charitable Acts
Pencil, Stump, Sakura Micron Pens, Unibazl Air Pen, Talens Opaque Watercolors, Winsor & Newton #6 Round, White Colored Pencil
Alexandra's Sunday Sketches
Ramona's Inspire Me Monday - Week 226
The Mixed Media Monthly Challenge # 24 "Butterflies and Blooms"
Moo-Mania ~ Floral
Kristin & Eva Paint Party Friday - Week 9 Year 6
It's all about work and no play... NOT!  It's important to live, love, and laugh.  In the words of Abraham Lincoln, "in the end, it's not the years in your life that count.  It's the life in your years."  Even King Solomon recognized in Ecclesiastes 3:4, there's "a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance."

The Raven's Omen
iPhone 6s Photograph Edited on iPhoto & Pixelmator
Our Beautiful World: OBW 145 ~ From a Low Angle
Eileen's Saturday Critters #124
Creating and Sharing Mixed Media Art
Denise & Roger's ABC Wednesday - Letter Q
Rebecca's Haiku My Heart
Above all I believe quality of life comes from respect for others.  I believe we all have unique qualities and flaws, as well as special personal values and beliefs.  As long as we are not hurting others in any manner, we need to live and let live.  In the words of the Mexican President, Benito Juarez, "Respect for the rights of others means peace."

I know there are other points that could be made about quality of life, such as healthy habits and family life.  However, I felt I needed to limit my post.  I would love to hear what you think.  I also want thank all my followers, as well as everyone who took the time to leave a thoughtful comment last week.  Peace ~ Paz ~ Shalom!

Sunday, April 24, 2016

P is for Praise

In my mind, Praise is to the soul, what a nutritious meal is to the body.  A simple expression of approval can go a long way, and it doesn't matter if a human being is 1 or 101 years old.  Of course, it has to be sincere and well deserved, or it will not be credible.  I can testify to the power of praise in my personal and professional life, as I've praised others, as well as when I've been praised.  I found an article by Victor Lipman at Psychology Today, where he provides four reasons why praise is necessary at the workplace.  However, I feel that they apply to any situation.  Here the are:

Happy Birthday, Walter!
Roben-Marie Smith Cardbase; K&Company Dimensional Seahorse Die; Tim Holtz Simple Sayings Stamp and Distress Pads; Ephemera; Ribbon Scrap; EK Success Mini-Tag Punch; Adhesive Foam Pad Squares; and Sharpie Micron Pen
The Mixed Media Monthly Challenge #23 - Dimension
Karen's Word Art Wednesday #226-227
Sue's Image-In-Ing
Number 1, praising is cost effective.  Although bonuses are excellent motivators, they're not always plausible.  For example, as an educator, I know I won't get raises for my work, but it is very encouraging when students, parents, peers, and administrators praise my work with the students.

Tangled Horse Tile
Stradmore Artist Tile; Pigma Micron Pens; Mechanical Pencil; and Blending Stump
Alexandra's Sunday Sketches
Try It On Tuesday: Mood Board Challenge
Julia's What's On Your Workdesk? Wednesday #360
Number 2, praising doesn't require much time or effort.  Telling someone, "great job" or "thank you," only takes a few seconds or a few minutes, if you elaborate.  For example, I may praise a student  about a paper he/she wrote by saying, "I like the way you drew an image in my mind through your choice of words."

Butterfly Etegami & Haiku
Yasutomo Sumi Ink; Winsor & Newton Watercolors; Liner & Round Paintbrushes; Uniball Air Pen; Hand carved Name Stamp; and Rubber Stampede Asian Symbols Stamp.
Ramona's Inspire Me Monday - Week 225
Etegami Fun Club
Kristin & Eva's Paint Party Friday - Week 8 Year 6
Number 3, praising is a great way to improve a person's self-esteem.  People are much more productive when they feel good about themselves, than when feeling unappreciated.  For example, as a parent, I always make it a point to praise my daughters when I know they've worked hard to accomplish one of their goals.

My Favorite Café
iPhone 6S and Pixelmator
Our Beautiful World: OBW 144 ~ Café
Denise & Roger's ABC Wednesday - P is for Praise
Rebecca's Haiku My Heart
Finally, "when employees feel good, they work harder."  Positive morale raises the level of energy in people, and this can be attained by feeling valued.  For example, as a husband, I make it a point to complement my wife for everything she does for the benefit of our relationship… which is a lot!

Mother's Day Card
Brother's Scan'N Cut 2; Tim Holtz Tiny Things Stamp Set, Butterfly Tissue Tape, Distress Ink Pads, & Baroque Die; Prismacolor Colored Pencils; Assorted Paper Flowers; Vintage Buttons, Embroidery Floss, & Rick-rack; EK Success Corner Adorner Punch; Making Memories Stapler; Sharpie Micron Pen; DCWV Four Seasons Stack; and Paper Studio Gatefold Card.
Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge: Butterfly Beauty
Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge: Make It Girly
Moo-Mania ~ Floral
As you can see, Lipman's reasoning on the importance of praise in the workplace applies to every aspect of our lives, as I pointed out through my examples.  Most importantly, let us not forget the words found in Psalm 148, "…praise the Name of the Lord, for his Name only is exalted, his splendor is over earth and heaven."  Blessings!

Sunday, April 17, 2016

O is for Ominous

We are living through some ominous times around the world.  If it's not a terrorist attack, a mass shooting, or other heinous act of violence, it is politicians (and their supporters) spreading bigotry and racism with their spiteful words.  I've even heard some people fearfully say that these are signs of the end of the world.

Orar (Pray) - Vignette
iPhone 6S Shot
Our Beautiful World: OBW 143 Books
Sue's Image-In-Ing
Denise & Roger ABC Wednesday - Letter O
I don't know what is causing all these evil acts, but I do believe that people need to stop and think about their words, thoughts and deeds, no matter what their beliefs are.

Nature's Bounty - Haiku
iPhone 6s Shot Edited on Pixelmator
Bella's 52 Photo Project - Gallery 50 {Lush}
Ramona's Inspire Me Monday #224
Try It On Tuesday - Spring Mood Board
Kristina's Word Art Wednesday - Challenge #226-227
Haiku My Heart
It is incomprehensible though, since all major world religions, and even atheist and agnostics whom I've met, profess love and peace amongst humanity.

Secretary's Day Gifts - Hand Sanitizer Tag Holder
Tim Holtz Mini Vintage Fan Die & Tissue Tape; Fiskars AdvantEdge Punch, Corner Edger, & Handpunches; Assorted Cardstock; Unibal Air; Sharpies; Memory Makers Mini Stapler; Wire; Jute Twine; Aleene's Tacky Line Roll; and Mini Hand Sanitizer Bottle.
Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge - April Showers Bring May Flowers
Therefore, all this hatred is coming from humans hiding behind the guise of a "religion" or believe.  No pointing fingers either, because every group has been guilty at one point or another.

Gelli Print Papers; Hand Carved Stamp; Uniball Air; and Sharpies.
Alexandra's Sunday Sketches
Julia's What's On Your Workdesk? Wednesday #359
Kristin & Evas's Paint Party Friday - Week 7 Year 6 
I wish I had an immediate solution to end these ominous times.  I don't, but believe we could begin by following the global golden rule, "treat others as one would like others to treat oneself."  I also believe we all need to keep our faith in humanity that we can one day achieve world peace for the sake of our children and the world at large.  Anyway, thank you for stopping by and for taking the time to leave a thoughtful comment.  Peace - Paz - Shalom!