Thinking of you Friday

It’s Friday again…





Gratitude Journaling through the years

Dear Fellow Journalers,

Mary Beth shares her Gratitude path  with us…


I’ve been keeping a Gratitude Journal for years. My first one was a composition book covered in wallpaper samples. I was in High School and I remember that my comments were mainly centered on friends, grades, hobbies. Later in college, my habit of writing in the journal waned due to the excitement of new relationships, college courses, experiences. My notes were few and scattered among the many notes on my calendar. I didn’t pick up writing again until I was married and expecting our first child.

My pregnancy journal reminded me of my “Things I am grateful for” journal so I started a new attempt. Over the next few years in between raising our young family, moving, New careers etc. I wrote. Most of my journal notes were written on pocket calendar pages. When I noticed a pattern of my repeating myself “I am grateful for the good weather, TJ’s grades etc.”  I realized that I had to make a change. You see, I wanted to be true to myself and I felt that my writing was forced and oftentimes written just for the sakes of being written.

I began to surround myself with pictures and inspirational music. Solitude was hard to find but the times I did find peace and quiet were the times I was most grateful. Now, repeating phrases (mindfulness practice) , looking at  picturesque landscapes etc. helps me remember who and what I am grateful for. Next time I will share some prompts that worked for me.

Mary Beth

Every minute

Dear Fellow Journalers,

November is Gratitude Journal month … how is your writing going?

Every minute someone leaves this world behind.We are all in “the line” without really realizing it. We never know how many people are before us.We can not move to the back of the line. We can not step out of the line. We can not avoid the line.

So while we wait in line….

Make moments count. Make priorities. Make the time.

Make your gifts known. Make nobody feel like a somebody.

Make your voice heard. Make the small things big.

Make someone smile. Make the change. Make love. Makeup.

Make peace. Make sure to have no regrets. Make sure you are ready.

Above all else, make sure you tell your people that they’re loved and come to have a  personal relationship with the God that created you.


Do you wear costumes?

Dear Fellow Journalers,

This is a copy of a post written in 2015!

Today is Halloween. When I was a youngster, the entire month of October was filled with thoughts and planning on my costume for the big event and all the candy we kids were going to get.

I got to thinking the other day about costumes. In a sense, we all still wear costumes. Think about it- costumes make you feel confident ( I used to wear a certain necklace my Grandmother gave me when I went on interviews or had a presentation to make.) can change your perspective and perhaps your life.
Some costumes involve REAL clothing (“Clothing makes the man”.) Clothing can include jewelry, watches, ties, hair coloring, makeup, plastic surgery – all these things can enhance a costume.

Why wear costumes at all? One of my friends says “What you see is what you get” and she is not far off. I don’t think there is a pretentious bone in her body. What are we afraid of? Are we letting our thoughts control our emotions so that we put on fake persona and become other people?
Will the REAL __________ please stand up!

‘Til next time,


Sharing questions

Dear Fellow Journalers,

Have you ever been in a group where each of the participants was given an assignment that had an assigned completion date and the results of their findings had to be made verbally at the meeting? Most of us have had that experience. Have you ever been late with the assignment or witnessed someone who was? Besides the feelings of embarrassment  there’s also the reaction of the moderator’s to consider, who probably is your boss.

Roberta Hestenes, who was a small group dynamics expert in California in the 1980’s had that experience with a man we’ll call “Fred”.” Fred” failed to complete his assigned task and Roberta was irritated but simply instructed “Fred” to bring the finished information to the next meeting. You would think that “Fred” being let off the hook would complete the assignment and have it ready for the next meeting. But no, he failed again. Roberta was beyond angry. “Fred’s” work was holding up every body’s else’s project. The next meeting she decided to try something new and that changed everything not only for “Fred” but for everyone in her organization.

Roberta gathered everyone in a circle and began with this sharing question: “If you wish to share, tell about a high point and a low point of the past week.” The participants went around the table until they came to “Fred.” “A high point?” he mumbled. “There really wasn’t one. It’s all pretty much a low point. My wife is terminally ill and we’ve brought her home to die. I’m trying to hold down this job while caring for our three young children. Things are pretty rough right now.”  Roberta and everyone was speechless. Roberta had no idea her employee had been having so much difficulty in his life because  she had never asked.

That day, Roberta made a commitment to herself. Whenever she led a group discussion she would first offer people the opportunity to share what was going on in their lives. It might be the only time all week that someone expressed interest and received compassion.

One of the participants in the above group went on to form her own company. Following her previous boss’s example, she used sharing questions in her meetings. Some of the questions were: “If your home was burning and you only had time to bring out three objects what would they be?”, “How did your parent’s decide your name?” and a really telling question was “What was your dream job when you were 21?”

Sharing questions develop empathy and community and I think they are worthwhile. What about you?


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