Saying Yes To Gratitude

Saying Yes To Gratitude

by Gina Valley

Poem Poetry Trees Humor Funny Humorous Parenting Mom Moms Dad Dads Kid Kids Child Children Son Sons Daughter Daughters Brother Brothers Sister Sisters Grandparent Grandparents Grandfather Grandmother Grandpa Grandma Family Life Love Laugh Laughter Gina Valley Stillness Sunday Saying Yes To Gratitude Thankfulness
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Gratitude

Thankfulness for all that is

And all that is not

Seeing the ever-flowing beauty

Hearing the joyous song

Touching the treasures of life

Inhaling the sweet aroma of peace

Striving to share and sing praises

Holding blessings and setting them free

By Gina Valley

 

I was a bit annoyed with my youngest son.

More than a bit annoyed, really.

I suppose my being exhausted might have been a contributing factor to my quick and thorough jump to irritated, completely skipping empathy and humor along the way.

I’d called home as I left the doctor’s office with my second youngest son to see if the four of my kids who were home wanted me to pick up take out for dinner for them.

As the ill child of the day, my second youngest son had the privilege of picking the establishment we would patronize that evening.  But, a painful rash and a case of wheezing were distracting him, and he was having a terrible time deciding what he wanted to eat.

When my youngest answered the phone, I asked him what he wanted to eat.  Apparently, he mistakenly thought he was in charge of picking the take out place, instead of just offering a suggestion to his brother as to where to pick dinner from.

Turns out that the food from the chicken place my youngest suggested would have been difficult for the ill child of the day to eat, as his rash made opening his mouth very far painful.  So, we went to a place famous for their sandwiches and chili fries instead.

My youngest immediately expressed annoyance at what he saw as a change in plans and told me he didn’t want anything.  I figured he was tired and hungry and would change his mind when I arrived home with the food.  I ordered him the ham and turkey sandwich he loves.

But, when we got home, my youngest not only was sulking, he refused to eat any of the food I brought.

I figured his hunger strike was fueled by tiredness and a tummy filled with snacks while I was at the doctor’s office with his brother.  Surely, he’d be his usual, grateful self in the morning, and be thrilled to find his sandwich waiting for him in the fridge.

Well, Disney didn’t write this story, and my youngest son, even while in the midst of inhaling the sandwich I’d bought him, continued to express unhappiness that his choice had not been purchased and showed a complete (and I must note uncharacteristic) ungratefulness for what had been given to him.

I took a note from the martyr-mom handbook and gave him a snippy lecture about gratefulness and my disgust at his lack of it.

How could he while holding his favorite, and I might add way over-priced, sandwich in his hand not only fail to appreciate what he had, but to lament something he thought was better?  How could anyone do that?  How could such a complete lack of gratefulness happen in my house?

And, then I thought about the shampoo.

My husband was going to the store one afternoon, so I asked him to pick up my shampoo for me.  He did.  Except, he got the wrong kind.  It was close, but not what I’d asked for.  How grateful had I been for his effort?   Not the least bit.

Have I been grateful for our more than adequate supply of clothes or have I been only complaining about the laundry?

Have I been thankful for the means to buy supplies for meals or have I been focused on the chore of making yet another dinner?

Have I been thankful for the privilege of having a house full of children or have I been lamenting the inconvenience of dealing with sassy teens and messy bathrooms?

I have everything I need in my life.  Everything.

I have much of what I want.

Countless prayers I’ve spoken have received a “yes” from my Heavenly Father.

There are so many who would be unspeakably thrilled to have half of the blessings I enjoy.

When did I stop appreciating them?

When did it become habit to complain instead of privilege to thank?

My child acted childishly.  He should.  He’s a child.

I’m not.  What’s my excuse?

As I explained to my child, I now remind myself.

Gratefulness is a small blessing we express to those around us.

But,

It’s an enormous blessing to ourselves.

Love!

-gina

Are you feeling grateful today?  Is there someone you’ve been meaning to thank?  How do you include gratefulness in your day-to-day life?  Shoot me a comment.  I’m looking forward to hearing all about it.

Right In Front Of Me

Right In Front Of Me 

by Gina Valley

Poetry Poem Humor Funny Parenting Moms Dads Kids Children Family Life Love Laugh Laughter Sons Daughters Brothers Sisters Hope Trees Stillness Sunday Right In Front Of Me Being Fully Present Focus
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Right In Front Of Me

Why do I not see

that everything I truly need

is right here       

right in front of me?

 

Why do I search on

Ever scaling mountains gone

Quite alone

Through dry desert dawn?

 

Why do I reach for

That in haze which can’t run or roar

Still unseen

Treasures yet in store?

 

Why do I look to

That which was held and released passed through

Gone in good

Pictures my mind drew?

 

Why do I not see

that everything I truly need

is right here       

right in front of me?

By Gina Valley

 

Are you fully present in your world today?  Are you seeing everything and everyone around you?

I struggle with that.

There are so many things I should be doing, so many things I wish I’d done differently.

All good things.

But, the good is the enemy of the best, and the best is found in the here and now.

I’m trying to be more intentional as I move about in my world.  I was planted here for a reason.  I don’t want to miss a thing.

If I don’t keep my focus on this place, this time, these people, I will miss everything that truly matters.

To that end, I’m striving to be fully present.

I hope you are, too.

Love!

-gina

How do you help yourself stay focused on what’s happening in your world today?  How do you combat distractions?   Shoot me a comment.  I’m looking forward to hearing all about it.

Holding Tight To Hope

Holding Tight To Hope

by Gina Valley

Poetry Poem Humor Funny Parenting Moms Dads Kids Children Family Life Love Laugh Laughter Sons Daughters Brothers Sisters Hope Trees Stillness Sunday Holding Tight To Hope
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Hope

In the rain and the rainbow

Singing and sleeping

The dew and the grass

 

In the twinkling of stars

Laughter of children

The smile of age

 

In the leaves of the trees

Sunshine

The coming dawn

 

In the music of springtime

Aroma of sweetness

The hidden blush of the bloom

 

In the beat of a heart

Breath of a hero

The eyes of love

– Gina Valley

 

No matter where you are.

No matter what you’re going through.

Hold on to hope.

Reach out and grab it.

Life is hard.

But, hope is real.

Never let go.

Love!

-gina

What causes hope to stir within you?  Are you feeling hopeful or heavy today?  Shoot me a comment. I’m looking forward to hearing all about it.

Good

Good

by Gina Valley

Poem Poetry Trees Humor Funny Humorous Parenting Mom Moms Dad Dads Kid Kids Child Children Son Sons Daughter Daughters Brother Brothers Sister Sisters Grandparent Grandparents Grandfather Grandmother Grandpa Grandma Family Life Love Laugh Laughter Gina Valley Stillness Sunday Good Do Good
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Good

Ever present

Oft obscured

 

Precious gem

Sparkling glow

 

Sweetly savored

Silent and loud

 

Bursting out

Flowing gently

 

Soothing

Encouraging

 

Growing

Multiplying

 

Never, never stopping

-Gina Valley

 

Sometimes it’s so easy to focus on the bad.

It’s right there.  It’s in front of us.  It’s easy to see.  It’s hip to talk about.

We stare at it, absorbing every decadent detail.  There’s almost a perverse delight in some to feel the depths of the dark around them.  It’s certainly easy to see.

But, look again.

Look past the headlines in the New York Times.  Look past what CNN has instructed its camera guy to capture.  See beyond the story the reporter from ABC is telling.  They’re delivering what’s called for by the ever masterful public thirst for sensationalism.   They’re doing a job, making a living

We’re building a life. We must look deeper.

Look at the people around you.   Look at your world.

We must see what’s always there, even when it’s hard to see.

Even when it’s so small it seems insignificant.

There’s an old joke about how when we’re all finally the same color we can hate each other for the right reason – for the terrible people that we are.

Is that what we are? Terrible?

Is that what we do?  Is the bad unavoidable?  Insurmountable?

Although we must admit there is certainly the propensity for bad in each of us, to varying degrees, there is also a limitless potential for good.  Whether you believe we were made in the image of a loving Heavenly Father or not, you can see the good in people.

Granted, it’s hard to find in some.  Seems to have been completely extinguished in a few.  But overall it’s there, in every one of us.

I miss seeing the good.

I think I’m out of the habit of looking for it.

We’ve been taught by so many elements in our culture that the bad, the painful, the perverse, are what matters.   That what merits our time and discussion, what titillates our ears and perks up our eyebrows and grabs our attention should be painted with dark undertones.

I need to chase the good.  My soul needs that refreshment.  People around me need the boost.

I need to practice good, like any gift, to grow it.  I must use it, chase it, develop it.

I need to both see and be the good in the world.

Let’s go there together.

Love!

-gina

What can you do to make one person’s day better today?   Are you going to do it? Shoot me a comment.  I’m looking forward to hearing all about it..

Chasing Peace

Chasing Peace

by Gina Valley

Poem Poetry Trees Humor Funny Humorous Parenting Mom Moms Dad Dads Kid Kids Child Children Son Sons Daughter Daughters Brother Brothers Sister Sisters Grandparent Grandparents Grandfather Grandmother Grandpa Grandma Family Life Love Laugh Laughter Gina Valley Stillness Sunday Chasing Peace Inner Outer
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Peace

Trouble flown

Breath savored

Thoughts quell

Harmony sings

Hush spreads

Calm flows

Tranquil grace

Beautiful still

-gina valley

 

Coming off a week filled with tons of kid activities to bounce between, moved up work deadlines, company visiting, and a lingering headache, I’m ready for some peace.

Peace and quiet would be great, but I know that isn’t going to happen.  We’re just not a “quiet” kind of family.  If it’s quiet, usually there’s trouble brewing or about to explode.

So, I’m focusing on seeing, feeling, sharing peace.

Inner peace to calm myself and my thoughts,  my intentions and my ambitions,  my body and my mind.

Outer peace to bring a wave of peace to my wild household, to my frantic teenagers, to my bouncy littles.

I don’t think it’ll ever be peaceful, in the strictest sense of the word, in my house.  There are too many people for that to happen.

But, in the midst of the craziness and the hurriedness and the occasional pauses, we can still feel peace by remembering that we are Loved, that there are Plans, and that we were made for a Purpose bigger than ourselves.

I’m not in charge.  I can only do what I can do, and that’s all I’m responsible for.

Remembering that brings me Peace.

Love!

-gina

What’s bringing you peace this week?  Shoot me a comment.  I’m looking forward to hearing all about it.

The Call Of Hope

The Call Of Hope

Poem Poetry Trees Humor Funny Humorous Parenting Mom Moms Dad Dads Kid Kids Child Children Son Sons Daughter Daughters Brother Brothers Sister Sisters Grandparent Grandparents Grandfather Grandmother Grandpa Grandma Family Life Love Laugh Laughter Gina Valley Stillness Sunday Hope Change
Photo courtesy of Stock.xchng – Used with permission

Hope

In the rain and the rainbow

Singing and sleeping

The dew and the grass

 

In the twinkling of stars

Laughter of children

The smile of age

 

In the leaves of the trees

Sunshine

The coming dawn

 

In the music of springtime

Aroma of sweetness

The hidden blush of the bloom

 

In the beat of a heart

Breath of a hero

The eyes of love

– Gina Valley

 

I’ve had a rough week.

I’ve been burning the candle at 5 different ends, so I’m thoroughly exhausted.

And, although I’ve had a lot of great things happen professionally lately, our family has been experiencing a season of strife, which weighs heavily on me every day.

Frankly, I’m sick of it.

It’s heavy and it’s hard.  I’m tired of dealing with it, and I can’t see the end.

But, even though I can’t see it, I know the end of this mess will come.

One of my favorite phrases from the Bible is “It came to pass…”  I cling to that.

It came to pass.

It did not come to stay.  It came to pass.

This will pass.  Things will change.  They always do.  Change is built into the fabric that everything is molded out of.

Knowing things will pass and change when everything is coming up roses, unicorns, and lollipops is not that exciting, but, right now that hope that this will pass, will change, helps me get through hard hours.

Hope is an amazing thing.  It’s a Gift.

So thankful for hope!

Love!

-gina

Do you feel hopeful?  Does the inevitability of change make you feel secure?  What reminds you to have hope?  Shoot me a comment.  I’m looking forward to hearing all about it.

Stop And Laugh At The Roses

Stop And Laugh At The Roses

Poem Poetry Trees Humor Funny Humorous Parenting Mom Moms Dad Dads Kid Kids Child Children Son Sons Daughter Daughters Brother Brothers Sister Sisters Grandparent Grandparents Grandfather Grandmother Grandpa Grandma Family Life Love Laugh Laughter Gina Valley Stillness Sunday Laughter Slowing down

Home     

Staring out my window

Looking but seeing only you

Passing by

Forgotten longing rises

Aching at a glimpse of you

Wishing I could touch what I only see

All is sweeter, deeper, bolder, softer

I close my eyes

Wiggle my toes

Breath deep

And I am there

– gina valley

 

Today we didn’t have a spare moment.  We had no room in the schedule for downtime or goofing off.

Company coming.  Work trips to prepare for.   Ill family to travel to.  The usual homework and school projects to finish.  Laundry.  Cleaning.  A week we’ve already overfilled to prepare for.

Lots of work to be done.  Much business-of-life to be accomplished.

Much too much to do.

So, we threw in the towel and did none of it.

I sent The Professor and our daughters off to a basketball game and dinner.

I took our sons out for ribs (oh, I’m so full!  I don’t need to eat again for two days) and a movie.

We accomplished nothing.

And, we accomplished everything.   Everything important.   We laughed together.  A lot.

Sometimes we have to remember that this is the only day we’re guaranteed, and to spend it wisely because we only get to spend it once.  We must never forget to stop and enjoy our loved ones.  Time passes.  Children grow.   Parents age.   Opportunities to laugh together slip by if we aren’t vigilant.

Today, we saw an opportunity to laugh and we ran with it.  Granted, we overdid the ribs, and had to waddle home, but that was more to laugh about.

Be sure to grab yourself some giggles before they slip by.  It’s what makes carrying the heavy parts of life possible.

And, it’s great cardio!

Laugh Out Loud!

-gina

Have you had your giggle today?  Shoot me a comment. I look forward to hearing all about it.

Just Thinkin’…..

Just Thinkin’…..

Poem Poetry Trees Humor Funny Humorous Parenting Mom Moms Dad Dads Kid Kids Child Children Son Sons Daughter Daughters Brother Brothers Sister Sisters Grandparent Grandparents Grandfather Grandmother Grandpa Grandma Family Life Love Laugh Laughter Gina Valley Stillness Sunday Love God Jesus Savior Rescuer Redeemer
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Love

I stand alone and wait for you

Always

You are there

Thoughts of you sustain my breath

I am because of you

Tears come

You heal my soul

Joy springs

My spirit soars

Behind me trails of your beauty

Before me your light

Within me truth of you grows smiling

Hope flows through me

Always you

-gina valley

 

Just thinkin’.

Isn’t it funny how there are so many versions of love?

We all want love, but what do we want?

What shape is that hole in our heart that we’re all so desperate to fill?

Is it sex?  Is it friendship?  Is it meaning?  Is it protection?

Is it promises kept?  Feelings?  Fireworks?

What is love?

How do you know when you have it?

Are we mere humans even capable of truly knowing, much less living it?

Do we give it to our enemies?  Our children?  Our friends?  Our lovers?

If we don’t have love what do we have of value?

Where do we get it?

Why is it only truly ours when we give it away?

Just thinkin’

-gina

What do you think?   Shoot me a comment.  I always look forward to hearing what’s on your mind.

Look – A New Day!

Look –A New Day!

Poem Poetry Trees Humor Funny Humorous Parenting Mom Moms Dad Dads Kid Kids Child Children Son Sons Daughter Daughters Brother Brothers Sister Sisters Grandparent Grandparents Grandfather Grandmother Grandpa Grandma Family Life Love Laugh Laughter Gina Valley Stillness Sunday Look A New Day Fresh Opportunities Rebirth Renewal
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Shine

Which dark

To bright

Tiny candle

Small light

 

Heavy shadow

Weighs down

Flicker glows

Hope found

 

Time gone

Dark thine

Lit forth

Spark shine

-gina valley

 

I was struck this morning by the miracle that is each new day.

A whole new one.

Just shows up.

Every morning.

Mine for the taking.  To seize and use for a wonderful purpose.

A fresh start.  Each morning a new opportunity to do all that I want to do.

And, if I mess it up, that’s ok.

There’ll be another one waiting on my doorstep tomorrow.

Amazing how knowing that makes letting go of my mess ups and sleeping so much easier each night.

Here’s to each new day and the promise and Love and laughter it holds!

Laugh Out Loud!

-gina

How are your days going?  Do you celebrate the arrival of each new day?  What are you hoping happens tomorrow that didn’t happen today?  What do you plan to accomplish with the gift of tomorrow?  Shoot me a comment.  I’m looking forward to hearing all about it.

The P Word

The P Word

Poem Poetry Trees Humor Funny Humorous Parenting Mom Moms Dad Dads Kid Kids Child Children Son Sons Daughter Daughters Brother Brothers Sister Sisters Grandparent Grandparents Grandfather Grandmother Grandpa Grandma Family Life Love Laugh Laughter Gina Valley Stillness Sunday
Photo courtesy of Stock.xchng – Used with permission

Walk

I want to walk through the woods

The forest that is my world

My time

And the ones beyond that

Stretch my legs

Breathe deep

Run fast

I want to smell the growth and feel the moss under my feet

Hear the birds around me

Climb every tree

Leap with every lamb

Dance with every wolf

Some wolves twice

Cross rivers

Climb rocks

I want to know as dappled sunshine fades into night

As stars begin to twinkle over trees

As the gentle wind blows the sweet scent of life around me

As the woods go dark

That I have taken a good walk

And I am ready to rest

– Gina Valley

 

I understand stubborn.

Often, I define stubborn.

Like this week.  It’s been a tough week, a trying week.  But, I’m stubborn.  I just keep stubbornly swimming.

I’ve often told my children they might be the 2nd most stubborn people in the world, but I am the first most.  God knew they were coming.  He designed me accordingly.

I think it’s my stubbornness that draws me to sports. So often excellent athletes harness their stubbornness, and turn it into determination and perseverance.  Sports are often excellent metaphors for life.  I don’t think there’s a better arena to demonstrate the importance of showing up than that of our many, varied athletic opportunities.

The athletes’ perseverance, their dodged determination to hang on when everyone else told them to quit, echoes the importance of showing up, being all in, and hanging on.  That’s what got the players in the Super Bowl there.  It’s what sees them through the end of the game.  It’s what will carry and push and pull them through life.

It’s that amazing capacity for perseverance so often demonstrated that sticks out in my mind.  As athletes strive to be the best at what they do, I’m reminded to do so in my own life.  To make an effort.  To take a step.  To flippin’ show up.

I’m encouraged to continue to press on when all that I’m carrying feels heavy and my path is steep. I’m reminded that even one step in the right direction is valuable.

Even. One.  Step.

Perseverance is an almost magical thing.  It’s what turns steps into marathons, words into novels, and faithfulness into life- long love.  Our capacity for perseverance truly defines us as people.

I choose to hang on today.  I hope that you do, too.

Love,

-gina

Has there been a time when you were tempted to give up, but persevered?  What happened?  Has someone inspired you with their perseverance, their stubborn determination to show up?  Shoot me a comment.  I’m looking forward to hearing all about it.