A little light on the subject

blogimg_6770 (2)I’m clueless sometimes.

Often as Sunday evening rolls around and I don’t have any blog posts written for the upcoming week, I ponder over what to do. I don’t have a clue about what to write. My blog ideas folder doesn’t prove to be the fuel that sparks a flame of inspiration.

Should I just skip posting for a few days, remain silent, and hope my readers don’t give up clicking on Mama’s Empty Nest? Do I dust off an old post from years before and re-post one I’ve already published? After all, my blogging dates back to an earlier site (2005-06) and here on Word Press since 2010, so a plethora of old posts exist. 

I shuffle through them but none demand a re-posting so I resign myself to the fact that there just won’t be any new thoughts published here at Mama’s Empty Nest for the upcoming week. And that’s exactly what occurred Sunday evening.

But by Monday morning, there was a different story. As happens so often, a post idea presented itself to me. I do believe the idea didn’t come from my creative resources, but from the Triune God I worship and trust, the one and true God, God of the universe, God of creation, God of all.

When I awakened a bit later than normal yesterday morning. I had the house to myself as Papa was already off to his part-time job and Middle Daughter and Little One were safely ensconced in their own little cottage. My walking partner had appointments that cancelled our early morning walk, so I lingered just a bit longer in my comfy, warm bed.

So Monday morning found me rising after dawn instead of before as usual. Upon leaving my bed, I followed my daily routine and opened the window blinds to peer outside in order to see what kind of day it shaped up to be.

We had a snowfall over the weekend and the landscape surrounding my home was covered with a pristine blanket of white. My kind of January morning – cold, clear, snow-covered, and with the morning sun beaming down on the front of my house.

Sunshine. To quote John Denver, it “makes me happy.” And sunshine during the bleakness of winter is even more cause for happiness. 

I went downstairs to prepare some breakfast and that’s when the idea for this blog post appeared. It stopped me in my tracks. It was visible, right there in front of my eyes.  Blazing from the wall of our home office. A kind of writing on the wall, you might say, except the “writing” was an image.

A thought popped into my head immediately that gave me inspiration to write. I grabbed my camera to capture the image before it disappeared.

Now before you imagine that I witnessed some mystical image, I must tell you that what I saw isn’t that unusual. I’m certain it happens every morning when the sun appears and shines directly on the front of my home. But yesterday, it seemed like I was viewing the image with new eyes, with an open mind to what God wanted me to write.

Rays of sunshine radiating through the decorative glass of our front door created a display of light, a design that decorated the wall of a darkened room where the blinds were still closed to the light of day.

And the thought that entered my mind was this: light in the darkness. Light. In the darkness.

There’s always light to show us the way. No matter how dark it becomes, just one little light chases the darkness away. 

But we often take light for granted. We assume the sun will rise each morning to send the darkness of night away for another period of time. We assume there will be light to aid our vision when we enter a dark room and flip the light switch to on. I wonder if we truly give thanks for light.

Light. It is such a marvelous gift. It reminds me that no matter how discouraged I get by circumstances that try to dim the light within me, one ray of hope sends the darkness scattering away.

No matter how dark this world appears to me with all of the dissension and depravity created by man, no matter how dreary and weary it becomes just living in these days when the news is full of disasters, wars, cruelty, and evil doings, light shatters the despair of darkness.

And I have that light within me. So do others.

The light of the world is Jesus. I have to do my part to shine light into the darkness. I believe God gave me that message yesterday morning. A message I was meant to share with you.

This little light of mine. I’m going to let it shine. Will you?

 “Hope is being able to see that there is light despite all of the darkness.” ~Desmond Tutu

©2019 mamasemptynest.wordpress.com

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30 Days of Thanks

blogthanksFour years ago this very month, I attempted something different while writing this blog. I decided to post every single day of November but each post was written to share something I was thankful for each and every day.

I called it 30 Days of Thanks Giving.

I could try to explain once more why I feel called to attempt this endeavor again, but I find the words I wrote back in 2014 still hold true today as this year – 2018 – starts winding down to close.

So I am re-posting an adapted version of what I wrote on November 1, 2014 as a means of explanation:

It’s November.  The 11th month of the year. 

In one way November reminds us the year is winding down and the garden’s growing season has come to an end. Most things of color turn brown and either die or go dormant. We feel a shiver in the air as the season whisks autumn’s leaves from the trees scattering them to the ground while we prepare to settle in for winter.  

Another year of life is drawing to a close.

On the other hand, the onset of November also reminds us to gear up because Christmas is coming and there’s so much to be done. Holiday frenzy will soon be upon us and we will find ourselves stressed to the max preparing for the big event, then toasting out the old year and welcoming in the new.

I’ve always felt that November gets the short stick, squeezed in like a thin piece of American cheese between two thickly sliced hunks of tasty fresh-baked bread.  It’s overlooked, it’s forgotten.  

It just doesn’t have the appeal or commercial factor sandwiched in between Halloween and Christmas.  November holidays – especially Thanksgiving – somehow get lost in the shuffle. Only important enough for one day of celebration.  And that bothers me…a lot.

So it’s November.  And with the change of season, I’m in need of a change – in my heart and in my blog. You see, I take too many aspects of my life for granted, I spend too much time on myself, and I don’t spend nearly enough time in thanksgiving. 

I don’t mean ‘Thanksgiving’ – preparing a feast, sitting at a well-appointed table, and gorging myself with turkey and all the trimmings.  I mean thanks giving.  Two words. Giving thanks with joy.  Giving thanks with prayer.  Giving thanks in all things to the One who provides all things.

For many years I have claimed my life verses are a passage from the Bible found in 1 Thessalonians, Chapter 5.  You can read those words in the graphic I designed to accompany this post.  

While these verses do guide and direct me and hold profound meaning, my heart tells me – no, my heart demands that I cease using lip service for this passage and commence putting these words that sustain me into real action.

This month, this very month of November, this month of thanks giving, I will attempt each day to post with words, photos, and maybe even a video or two about aspects of life for which I am most thankful.  

Some aspects may be awe-inspiring; some may be just simple everyday occurrences, objects, or feelings causing you to wonder why I’m thankful for such small things.

Some of these thankful blog posts may describe events or experiences that are considered difficult and trying. But see that’s the thing. God’s Word tells me to be thankful for ALL things, not just the good stuff.

Join me this November as I chronicle my thanks giving not to glorify myself but to give glory and honor to the One who deserves my praise and grateful heart.  

My prayer is that you’ll find the month of November causes you to pause and be full of your own thanks giving as well.

Remember to come back to Mama’s Empty Nest every day in November for a new post each day in my 30 Days of Thanks Giving.

“Thanksgiving was never meant to be shut up in a single day.” ~Robert Caspar Lintner

©2018 mamasemptynest.wordpress.com

 

Words for Wednesday: changes

blogIMG_4399Changes loom on the horizon.  

Even though the scene outside my window is not a typical autumn view with brilliantly colored leaves on our trees because the leaves turned brown, dried up, and dropped like flies this year, change is smack dab in the middle of my viewfinder. 

A change from the usual fall we experience and I’ve been a whiner about that. My attitude needs to change.

“If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.” ~ Wayne Dyer

As the weather shifts into more winter-like temperatures, we must adjust to more changes. Put away the warm weather clothes and haul out the cold weather attire.

There are other changes in life at Mama’s Empty Nest, but I will save that for a later blog.

For now, I’m concentrating on yet another alteration. For the last several years, I’ve only posted on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays.

Tomorrow is the first day of November – Thanksgiving month.  A new month. A new chance for change.

I’m hoping to publish a new post every day in the upcoming month. I don’t know if I’ll succeed, but I’m willing to try.

A change that will require a lot of my time in a season when I truly have a lot of other important tasks to accomplish.

But I feel the need to express something I don’t do nearly enough.

And it all starts tomorrow as a new month of this dwindling year is ushered in.

Meet me here. Tomorrow. On Mama’s Empty Nest.

And I’ll explain what I have in mind.

“Change your thoughts and you change your world.” ~ Norman Vincent Peale

©2018 mamasemptynest.wordpress.com

Weaving a tapestry

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“The web of our life is of a mingled yarn, good and ill together.” ~ William Shakespeare

I’m not an ardent fan of social media. As a blogger, I’ve read all the advice that says you must develop a platform. You need to promote yourself to acquire more readers. 

Open accounts on Twitter so you can tweet about your blog. Post your blog photos on Instagram. Plug yourself on Linked In. Use Facebook as a marketing tool; pay to promote your blog.

Advance yourself as a writer by spreading your own publicity on as many social media sites as possible. This kind of advice goes on ad nauseum. At least for me.

Some blog for monetary purposes, I get it. Simple marketing. Fine for those whose blog is a full-time job.  Writing, researching, and posting on a blog in addition to managing a plethora of social media sites would require hours and hours each day.

And frankly, that’s not how I want to spend my time. I’m not that kind of blogger. I blog simply because I love to write and I love to connect with others through my writing. Call it what it is – a calling of sorts.

I do believe this calling comes from the Lord I serve. He’s the one who bestowed upon me this talent and passion for writing. He’s the one who entrusts me to use my words to touch the hearts of my readers, to encourage them, to give them a smile on a dismal day, to provide a glimmer of hope, and maybe, just maybe lead them to search for the one true God.

So while I don’t truly promote myself with several social media sites, I do maintain a Mama’s Empty Nest Facebook fan page, where readers may connect with me as an alternative to commenting here. 

Facebook, oh Facebook. On one hand, I dislike it intensely because such mean-spirited and nasty things find their way to my news feed. But on the other hand, I can’t bring myself to delete my account, either my blog fan page or my personal one, even though I have been oh, so tempted.

Facebook is a dichotomy for this Mama because as much as I rail against it often times, in other ways I truly like it.

It enables me to keep in touch with folks I haven’t seen in many years. Having resided in various areas of the country, we’ve left a string of friends and acquaintances in each place we once called home.

Prior to Facebook’s emergence, the only way we kept in touch with most of them was through exchanging cards and letters at Christmas time. Some we inadvertently and regretfully lost contact with completely.

Facebook corrected that wrong. Connections made there now enable me to view little snippets of our far-away friends and loved ones’ lives through this social media. I smile at their photos. I enjoy their funny statuses. I learn that they are in need of prayer. It is a wonderful way to keep in contact and for that I can say I’m grateful.

This crazy social media site seems like a weaving to me. It interlaces lives in and out of one another. When it shows me a list of mutual friends, I view it as a giant tapestry. Your life interwoven with mine, in an unusual way to be sure, but still linked together by a thread of commonality.

Recently, that happened. That thread of commonality.  Opening my personal FB account one morning and scrolling through my news feed, I paused at a friend’s status and decided to comment on her wall. While noticing other comments, one jumped off the page at me. I didn’t recognize the writer’s last name, but I wondered if it was my friend’s relative, a woman I had known as a child.  

So I did what everyone does – I ‘stalked’ by clicking on the second woman’s profile. I recognized her from her photos even though we have all become – ahem – mature, shall we say?

I knew she had married and moved away from our hometown many years ago, which was why I didn’t recognize her last name. Then I noticed something a bit astonishing. Even though this woman lived in another state far away from me, we had a second mutual Facebook friend in common in that state.

Huh, I thought. What are the odds of that?  Our Facebook friend in common just happened to be a blogger friend of mine.

That ‘six degrees of separation’ thing, I reasoned. Wikipedia describes that phrase’s meaning: “Six degrees of separation is the idea that all living things and everything else in the world are six or fewer steps away from each other so that a chain of ‘a friend of a friend’ statements can be made to connect any two people in a maximum of six steps.”

All of that to say, Disneyland got it right, it truly IS a small world. And we are all woven together by threads of common ground or interaction in some way, our lives entwined by some close connection.

I can’t even recall how many times I have experienced those connections but another one stands out in my mind. Over 25 years ago, a job promotion for Papa took our family from the Midwest, where we had comfortably settled, to the Pacific Northwest, where we knew not one soul.

During our first few weeks residing in our new home in our new town in our new state in our new area of the country, we began a search for a new church home. A place not only for our family to worship our God but a place we would feel connected, at home, with folks who felt like family.

On our very first Sunday visiting the church that did become our “home away from home,” we were welcomed with friendly greetings and warm smiles. During a meet and greet time, we conversed with a couple in front of us.  

As we answered their questions about being new to the area and where we had moved from, we also mentioned where we were originally from – an Eastern state clear across the country. Faces lit up like a Christmas tree when the gentleman said, “Really?? I’m from there too!”

A tapestry moment. We both grew up in the same part of our state; his family belonged to the same church denomination as mine; our home churches were actually in the same district. And there was someone we both knew – a common thread.

All of those common threads mingled together form a web. A tapestry of life. Of friendship. Of being connected to our fellow human beings. 

And that’s why I will, most likely, choose to keep logging into Facebook to share my blog posts there where many of my readers turn to read Mama’s Empty Nest. It’s the same reason I continue to impart my thoughts in writing here on my blog. It’s about connecting with you, my readers.

You are my tapestry, a lovely interweaving of my life with yours. And I’m very grateful for that.

“We cannot live only for ourselves. A thousand fibers connect us with our fellow men.”  ~Herman Melville

©2018 mamasemptynest.wordpress.com

 

Writing signposts

blogIMG_1009 (2)One of the best compliments I ever received was from an acquaintance.

My acquaintance is not someone I know very well although we both were members of an organization a few years ago and that was our connection.  We do have a few things in common, one of those is that both of us love to write.

I’ve been writing this blog for over eight years now and at some point during that time,  this lady told me she loved my writing so much because she felt like she was right there with me experiencing what I wrote. She called my writing vivid.

Wow. That blew me away. And I’ve never forgotten what she said. What writer doesn’t want to hear that? Receiving that kind of compliment from a fellow writer was exceptionally meaningful and encouraging for me as I continued to write in this Mama’s Empty Nest blog.

This blog, this place where I try to put my thoughts into encouraging words. Where I share aspects of life that mean the most to me – my faith, my family, my friends, my view of the world around me, the aspects of life that amaze or astound me.

This spot where I frequently take inspirational insights given to me by my Heavenly Father and attempt to share them with the world.

This site where I regularly pour out my heart in hopes of striking a positive chord with my readers out there in this too often negative, discouraging atmosphere we call life.

Sometimes I’m pleased with the words I summon up in my mind and plunk down on that blank computer screen. Sometimes I agonize and struggle to unite my thoughts with words that truly encapsulate my message.  

Will my readers get my drift? Will they understand what I’m endeavoring to say?

Is my writing clear? Is it expressive? Does it reach the very hearts of my readers?

That’s what I strive to do. I don’t write my blog to garner accolades, although I do appreciate compliments and encouraging comments from my readers. Those mean the world to me.

I don’t write to become the next best-selling author, although that certainly would be exciting. I don’t write in hopes of becoming a social media sensation, go viral, or invite fame. 

I haven’t developed a writing platform or marketing strategy. I don’t even promote my writing much except on my personal Facebook page and my Mama’s Empty Nest Facebook fan page. 

I write because it’s what I do. It’s hard to describe to someone who isn’t a writer. It’s like this huge cache of words are bottled up inside your very self and you have to let them escape because they can keep you up at night if you don’t write them down.

And for me, without trying to sound too ethereal, writing is like a calling. In my case, the calling often comes from the Lord.

He prompts me to tell my stories, to share my joys and even sorrows, to point readers to His Word to give hope and inspiration, to connect with my readers in a way that positively resonates with them. To shed a bit of light in a dark world. To provide a spot where goodness and kindness beam forth.

And if I succeed, then I’ve fulfilled my purpose in writing.

But I must admit that sometimes I get discouraged.

Sometimes I wonder if taking time and effort to reflect over ideas, search God’s Word, and contemplate over just the precise words to convey my point is worth it.  Other than my few regular reader/fellow blogger friends and personal friends and family, does anyone out there in cyberspace actually read what I write?

I don’t have a clue who reads my writing unless those readers comment or click on the “like” button here on Mama’s Empty Nest or on my Facebook blog fan page. And it surprises me when suddenly a comment appears and a reader informs me he/she has been reading my blog for years and has never commented before. Feedback like that motivates me to continue; there just doesn’t seem to be much of it at times.

Oh, WordPress gives me a stats report to show how many readers clicked on my link each day but even though I supposedly have followers well over the thousand mark and seem to acquire new followers, the actual numbers on the stats bar graph are small, barely breaking the one-hundred line.

Every so often, I’m tempted to “throw in the towel.”  Ignore the computer keyboard. Just stop writing. Motivation wanes. Ideas with coherent paragraphs to link it all together just don’t come easily.

And I wonder if the words that I anguish over, pray over, delve up from the depths of my mind and soul… I wonder….do they even matter?

Just last week, another acquaintance informed me that she loves reading my “messages” but hadn’t been taking time to read my blog posts on a regular basis.  Oh, how I get that. Life gets in the way.  So many more important aspects demand utter priority in life than taking the time to read someone’s blabbering online.

I understand that full well and I realize she didn’t need to offer a bit of apology because honestly, it does not surprise me that folks don’t have or take time to read my blog every day.

But her next statement warmed my heart.  “I have been reading them again and you truly are gifted with writing abilities. Keep it up, you are inspiring me,” she wrote. 

Just to know that on that day one person read my blog, and it impacted her enough not only to disclose it but also inform me that my words inspire her….well, shucks, isn’t that what it’s all about?

My purpose in writing. My purpose is writing. My purpose may be for you.

Whether it inspires one person or one thousand or one million, it means the same to me.  Using my words, I connected with another human being in a positive manner. Using my words, I brought meaning to someone’s life that day and it was good.

So I will continue my calling. To write the words I’ve been given to say. To show you the world through my eyes and from my heart so just maybe it helps you, encourages you, inspires you.  

When traveling down the highway of life, there are so many signposts. It can be completely confusing. We search desperately for the signs that show us the right way to go.

My hope is that my writing is like a signpost offering a little guidance for us – you and me – to navigate our way through life. And that’s good enough for me.

“Good writers are in the business of leaving signposts saying, Tour my world, see and feel it through my eyes; I am your guide.” ~ Larry King

©2018 mamasemptynest.wordpress.com

 

Firing up inspiration

blogIMG_1825 (2).jpgSometimes my think tank runs dry. There’s just no fuel in there.

And when that happens, I find myself without the energy I need to get those creative juices flowing again. No topic springs to mind jump-starting my brain and causing an imaginative spark to ignite. Often times I’m just running on empty.

That’s one of the reasons why, for the last couple of years, I’ve enjoyed the weekly photo challenges Word Press published each week. Each weekly theme provided fodder for thought. And thought usually led to a photo I’ve taken either from my files or one I chose to capture just for the challenge. And viewing the actual picture prompted more creative fuel producing written blog posts to accompany the photo.

But the photo challenges have officially ended while the creative folks at Word Press move on in a different direction, and I’m going to miss them.  I know there are other picture challenges out there in cyber-land, but I’m just too lazy unmotivated to spend time searching for one that strikes my fancy.

So I must revert to igniting my own creative fires when it comes to writing this blog. Whoo-boy, that’s a more difficult challenge than simply opening up an email and saying, “Ah yes, a theme!” and tap, tap, tapping away at my computer keyboard.

When I first launched this blog, prior to engaging with the photo challenges, I summoned up my own creative ideas, studied my surroundings and God’s Word, and thoughtfully considered things I’d read, seen, or experienced as worthy writing fodder.

In my defense, my life was a bit simpler back when this empty nest blog became reality. My grown children were all off on their own and living far from home, and the Papa of this empty nest still toiled full-time long hours at his job.

And even though I worked at a part-time job myself, I still had a whole lot of free time on my hands. Time I didn’t know what to do with. So almost eight years ago, I started seriously blogging and Mama’s Empty Nest breathed life.

As time progressed though, I started relying more on the photo challenges and Wordless Wednesday for blog posts instead of my own creativity. It was easier and less time consuming and if I’m honest, also less tiring.

I could sit down at my desktop, peruse my photos, and start composing an accompanying blog post personifying the weekly theme. And I cranked one out just about every week. Wordless Wednesdays were even simpler – choose a photo, type in a title, and voila! A blog post.

In the last couple of years, I just haven’t possessed as much open, free, and uninterrupted time like I once did, so yes, I confess I grabbed the easy route like a white-water rafter tossed overboard grabs a well-placed tree branch in the river to save him.

Time with little or no distractions is still an issue since I watch my three-year-old grandchild while her mama works.  And other issues often prevent me from sitting down in front of my computer screen to get my thoughts down in writing.

Changes happen. It’s just the way life is. And stages of life come and go, reminding me of an old 1960’s Herman’s Hermits song, “years may come, years may go, some go fast, some go slow…”

With each new change that comes along, I must learn to adapt and go with the flow. So as one chapter ends – my use of weekly photo challenges (unless I find another interesting one) – another must begin. Because of this, I may not post as often until I get some creative inspiration flaring again, so I’m preparing you, my faithful readers.

Please don’t give up reading my blog because of that.  I’ll still be here. Just maybe not as often.  But then again, you never know. If creativity sparks a flame, I may post as regularly as before if not more.  Hope springs eternal, you know.

“Don’t fan the flames of despair. Ignite the spark of hope instead.” ~Doe Zantamata

And hopefully, something will light my fire every week and inspiration will come, even if I have to chase after it.

“You can’t wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club.” ~ Jack London

©2018 mamasemptynest.wordpress.com

Let a little sunshine in

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To borrow a line from John Denver, “Sunshine on my shoulders makes me happy.”

We just returned from a long weekend trip yesterday where we experienced a little rain but a good portion of sunshine as well.

Last week, preparing to pack, do laundry, run errands, and all the other items on a pre-trip list that must be attended to prevented me from getting any blog posts ready to publish this week.

But….another blogger came to my rescue with sunshine. Anstalmi at Inspiring Images honored my blog with the Sunshine Blogger Award.

I know many bloggers don’t participate in these award thingies, but my feeling on them is if someone takes the time to read what I write, is in some small way blessed because of it, and in turn wants to bestow a little blessing on me, I should acknowledge that and be grateful.

So thank you, anstalmi, for being so kind and providing a little ray of sunshine in my blogging world. (And giving me something quick and easy to write about for today’s post!)

The Sunshine Blogger rules include:

  • Thank the blogger(s) that nominated you in the post and link back to their blog.
  • Answer the 11 questions the blogger asked you.
  • Nominate 8 -11 new blogs to receive the award and write them 11 new questions.
  • List the rules and display the Sunshine Blogger Award Logo on your post and/or in your blog.

Here are anstalmi’s questions for me with my answers in italics:

  1. Name a person who had a great influence on you. My parents had the greatest influence on me since they were my first teachers providing me with such great role models on how to be a decent, caring human being.
  2. Name an event (or more than one if you like) that had a great influence on you. Being diagnosed with cancer makes you realize what’s important in life. And that’s what happened to me. It also caused me to truly take stock and decide that I needed to forgive someone.
  3. What would you like that you have not yet achieved? Oh, like anyone who calls herself a writer, I’d like to finish a novel someday. And by finish, I mean write it, I’ve finished reading more novels than I can count.
  4. Name something or someone that you are proud of. My children have and continue to make me proud. They’ve turned into amazing adults and I’m not taking credit for that. Being grounded in their faith makes them such great individuals.
  5. Name something that you have done that you are proud of. I would have to say one of the things that I’m proud of is writing this Mama’s Empty Nest blog and sticking with it as long as I have – over eight years.
  6. Why do you blog? I have to get those words out of my head somehow! If you want to know more, check out my About Mama page. 
  7. Who do you look up to? I have two prayer warrior friends who I admire so much for their faithfulness in praying for others. Another person I look up to is one of my professors from my university days who also is someone I’ve known my entire life. And guess what? He HAS written a novel…actually several.
  8. Where in the world would you like to go that you have not yet been to? Hands down, it would have to be Great Britain, Ireland, and Scotland. Then Australia.
  9. If you could change one (ok, or more) things about you, what would that be? Oh my goodness, it would be easy to make a long list because there are so many areas of my life I could improve upon. I’m not concerned about physical appearance at all though because, at my age, the way I look is just life. But I am concerned about what kind of person I am and I keep attempting to change into a more patient one. 
  10. Do you have a cause?  What is it? There are causes I support, but I’d rather say I have a purpose to believe in. And that’s to encourage and bless others through God’s Word and the words He often inspires me to write in my blog.
  11. If you could spend a day with someone no longer with us, who would it be and why? My maternal grandmother. Both she and my grandfather passed away when I was nine, and I have so many questions now that I would have liked to have asked them. But as a child, you don’t realize what may be important to you as an adult.

Okay, that was the easy part. Now comes the difficult element. I’m not sure I can nominate 8-11 other bloggers who participate in these type of awards but I will list a few of my favorite blogger friends (but please do not feel obligated to participate) who deserve the Sunshine Blogger Award.  

You all bring sunshine into my life every time I read your blog posts. And when you click on Mama’s Empty Nest and read thoughts that I manage to convey via computer keyboard into cyberspace and leave such encouraging comments, you really cause golden rays of sunshine to make me happy. 

If you want to spread a little sunshine yourself with the Sunshine Blogger Award, here are my 11 questions for you:

  1. Honestly now, could you live without your cell phone? Why or why not?
  2. If someone were to name your greatest achievement in life, what would you want to be remembered for?
  3. When you smell your favorite aroma, what does it make you think of?
  4. What is the most vivid dream you can remember?
  5. Have you made a bucket list and if so, what’s the #1 item you want to cross off?
  6. What is your best personality trait and your worst?
  7. What would be your ultimate dream career?
  8. You just won $10 million, what will you do with the money?
  9. Where is your favorite vacation spot and why?
  10. Which do you prefer, reading on an e-reader or reading a book with paper pages?
  11. Country life or urban dweller? What’s your preference and why?

“Happiness us a sunbeam which may pass through a thousand bosoms without losing a particle of its original ray. When it strikes a kindred heart, like the converged light upon a mirror, it reflects itself with redoubled brightness. It is not perfected until it is shared.” ~ Jane Porter

©2018 mamasemptynest.wordpress.com

 

Life’s piano

blogIMG_3977.jpgToday is  the last day of the 3 Day, 3 Quote Challenge. I enjoyed participating and adding a little tweak to the challenge by using my own photographs to accompany each quote and adding another related quote at the end of each post.

Thank you again to my blogging friend Yamina at Faith/Love/Soul who sent me the original challenge.

I nominate any of you fellow bloggers out there to accept the challenge and pass it on.

Happy Quoting!

“Life is like a piano. What you get out of it depends on how you play it.” ~ Tom Lehrer

©2018 mamasemptynest.wordpress.com

Wednesday with words

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I’m taking a little deviation from the norm on this Wednesday and posting a photo with words instead of my usual Wordless Wednesday. I agreed to the 3 Day 3 Quote Challenge extended to me by my blogging buddy Yamina at Faith/Love/Soul. Thank you again, Yamina, for nominating me.

If you missed my post yesterday, click here to read more. In order to fulfill the rules of this challenge, I’d like to nominate any of my blogging friends willing to take up the gauntlet of posting three quotes for three days in a row. You don’t have to use photos like I did, just post quotes if you’d like.

Marrying my love for quotes with my photography hobby has been fun and more challenging for me.

I captured this photo near Asheville, North Carolina one summer in the early evening. I remember how well the sun’s rays radiated through the clouds in this photo and I knew it was a perfect fit for the Corrie Ten Boom quote.

Corrie Ten Boom, a Dutch Christian whose family hid Jews in their closet during World War 2 helping them escape from the terror of the Holocaust, spoke volumes about her faith in this quote. 

She knew firsthand how to let God’s promises overcome her problems. Both she and and her sister were imprisoned by the Nazis in a concentration camp for their actions, and at least one of her family members died in prison if I recall correctly.

“God never made a promise that was too good to be true.”  ~ Dwight L. Moody

©2018 mamasemptynest.wordpress.com

To quote or not to quote

blogDSCN0239.jpgIf you’re a regular reader of Mama’s Empty Nest, you probably have noticed by now that I love quotes. My “signature” at the end of each blog post I compose includes an accompanying quote fitting the subject. 

I’ve always loved words. And I’ve always enjoyed reading other’s words especially when they invoke profound meaning or touch my heart in some way. 

That’s why I keep quotes. I truly do. I started a quotes notebook in my college days (more than 40 years ago). I have retained that old notebook, now filled with pages of handwritten quotes I’ve gathered, and open it regularly.

In between the hand-written lined pages, more inspirational sayings written on scraps of paper, are stuffed. I keep adding to my treasured notebook whenever I come across a quote that ‘speaks’ to me.

A dear friend of mine once gifted me with a book of quotations, and I have another online version of a quotation book on my Kindle app. Those three sources are my go-to when I am in need of a meaningful saying.  And if I don’t find what I’m looking for in any of those, I tap into the internet.

Last week, one of my fellow bloggers, who also uses lovely quotations in her writing, nominated me for a perfect ‘throw down’ – the 3 Day 3 Quote Challenge.

So this week on Mama’s Empty Nest is going to be a bit different. Instead of publishing written posts with my own thoughts, I will combine this quote challenge with another activity I enjoy – photography.

It will kind of be like what I post on Wordless Wednesday except with words. A photo with a quotation that fits it well like my first entry above.

But first things first, I must thank my blogger friend Yamina at Faith/Love/Soul for nominating meThank you, Yamina! We have a shared love of good quotes!

Here are the rules for the 3 Day 3 Quote Challenge

  1. Thank the person who nominated you.
  2. Post a quote for three consecutive days (one quote for each day).
  3. Nominate three bloggers each day.

Easy peasy except for rule number three; I struggle with that one. I know not everyone likes or wants to do these blogging challenges, so I may not be able to nominate three bloggers every day.

If I do nominate you, please don’t feel obligated to participate. You can just say “no, thank you” and I won’t be offended.

My Nominees:

  1. Dianna at These Days of Mine 
  2. Beth Ann at It’s Just Life
  3. Mother Hen at Words Like Honey 

To my readers, I hope you enjoy my responses to this challenge today, tomorrow, and Thursday.

And of course, I must sign off with yet another quote.

“Find a group of people who challenge and inspire you, spend a lot of time with them, and it will change your life.” ~ Amy Poehler

©2018 mamasemptynest.wordpress.com