Friday, June 3, 2011

Allow God To Interrupt!

My June calendar page on my Joyce Meyer Ministries calendar has a quote that I'd like to share:

"If you will make the decision that you don't mind being inconvenienced or interrupted, then God can use you.  You can make a difference in the world!"  by Joyce Meyer.

Wow!  That one really hit home.  I pray daily to be used by God, and have missed some opportunities because it simply wasn't "convenient."  I didn't take the time to call that friend, or stop to chat with an elderly neighbor, because I was in a hurry to get somewhere, and had so much to do.  Not that what I had to do wasn't important, or necessary.  But, in missing the chance to bring a little sunlight into the lives of the people God had placed in my path, I missed being the blessing He wanted me to be. 

I resolve to keep my eyes and heart open.   I am deciding, right now, to allow inconveniences and interruptions into my life, for God's purposes.  I do want to make a difference in the world.

My prayer for today:  Lord, please take these hands of mine, this mouth, these eyes and ears, feet and arms, and use them for Your good, for Your purpose, and to deliver Your word and works to those whom you place in my life.  Amen!



Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Six Ways To Be Kind To Yourself

I'm sure you have had "those days," the ones where you feel trodden on and pulled in different directions, stretching to your absolute limits.  I have had a succession of these days lately, and today I finally remembered to stop, and renew some promises I made to myself.  These promises have been a great help to me in times of overwhelming responsibility and stress.  I am sharing them here with you, in the hopes that, you, too, might make yourself a list of promises or ways to be kind to yourself.
  • I promise to dream more and hesitate less.
  • I promise to believe in myself and stop judging myself on my shortcomings.
  • I promise to accept what life brings each day, and make each moment special.  This is the day the Lord has made, I WILL rejoice and be GLAD in it!
  • I promise to really appreciate my family and friends....they are God's gift to me, and I cherish them.
  • I promise to be less resistant to change, and grow in my independence.
  • I promise to fill my life with special times, and share them with others.
These promises to myself aren't always easy to keep, but I'm working on them.  And each time I read them over, and pray about them, I feel recharged and energized, able to take on the cares of the day.

May you, also, find peace in your list. 
God bless,


Sunday, February 20, 2011

A Glorious Day!!

What a glorious day it was today!!  The weather was pretty rough yesterday, and forecasts are bad for tomorrow, but today the weather was sunny and pleasant (albeit a bit cold), and perfect for the drive to Buffalo.  Not only was the weather cooperative, but today was grand-baby Kennedy Grace's baptism.  The sunny day was a special smile from God as He watched this fresh, pure baby soul be baptized and dedicated to Him!

Proud big sister Keeley
Kennedy's big sister, six year old Keeley, greeted us at church.  As she ran to me, she excitedly said, "Nana, Nana!  They're going to pour water all over Kennedy, then we're going to get cake!"  Don't you just love children!  

There were three baptisms at the same time...quite a process.  That's after Mass, and blessing of marriages and renewal of marriage vows for the parish couples (World Marriage Day).  We all sure did get our "church" today!
Yes, there really IS a baby in all that dress!
Daddy and Kennedy Grace

Although I complain about living so far from my daughter, Faith, her husband, Dan, and their two sweet girls, I realize how blessed I am.  Many of my friend's kids live many states away.  Mine is only an hour and a half away....but it's still too far.  We see them frequently, but it sure doesn't seem enough.  And dd is so good about calling frequently, and we Skype with Keeley, and the family.  But I miss them during the two weeks or so that go by without seeing them.  OK, I know...I said I shouldn't complain, and I am.  I will stop now.  

My favorite girls and son-in-law
My heart is full, and I feel so blessed.  Days like today are such a beautiful gift and a joy to celebrate. 
Forgive me, Father, for my whining.  And thank you, thank you, thank you for the gift of my loving family! And thank you for this day.  And forgive me for my whining...I know I am where I am supposed to be, and I don't mean to question You! I will trust Your plans for me, and I will be thankful, even when I miss my family.  It's these special times together that get me through!

This is the day the Lord has made, 
I will rejoice and be glad in it!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Perfectionistic Thinking

Is perfectionism a good thing? 
You know how during an employment interview there is usually a question about what you consider your most negative characteristic?  The interviewer does not really expect you to tell him/her that you have a problem with tardiness, or that you couldn’t find your way out of a paper bag. I think, perhaps, it may be their way of seeing how well you think on your feet.
The first time I encountered this question during an interview, I became flustered and a little unnerved.  After a few seconds (which seemed like an eternity) I muttered something about being “detail oriented.”   Since that interview, I have polished my answer to this question.  I still answer that I am a detail oriented type of person, but I embellish it with examples that show this trait in a positive light. 

An honest evaluation of this question, and one which I will never reveal in a job interview, brings me to the answer that I am a *gasp* perfectionist.  You may be thinking, “That’s not so bad, perfectionism is a good thing, isn't it?”
I agree that some people’s work could use a little polishing (like that hand-made scarf that starts out wide at one end and is four inches narrower at the other, but is ‘good enough’ in the maker’s eyes).  I, for one, am tired of accepting slip-shod service and/or craftsmanship from people in service or retail establishments, which passes as acceptable by many standards. There are many times I think a little “perfectionism thinking” is in order.
However, and here comes the big BUT, what I’m talking about is when perfectionism becomes a negative force.  Yes, I said negative. 

You may ask, “When is wanting to be perfect a bad thing?”   
My answer:  When it hinders progress, or stops you from moving forward entirely! Let me explain by some examples in my life. 

My Perfectionist Ways Were Causing Me Stress
A friend helped me to see that I have been putting an extreme amount of (unnecessary) pressure and stress on myself by trying to be all things to all people as far as my crafting blog goes.  She helped me to appreciate my own unique style, and how that is what is attracting people to my craft blog, Paper Arts Cafe . By trying to accommodate everyone’s requests, I am going against what comes naturally, and adding stress to my life.  Yes, I will occasionally try something different (often as a challenge to myself so I don’t get stale in my own style), but I will mostly be true to my style, to myself.  That is, after all, where my gift lies (and I say that with absolutely no haughtiness or self-importance.  I say it with respect to God, the One who gave me my talents.

Perfectionistic Tendencies Can Stop Creativity
Another negative symptom of perfectionistic expectations is that it often stops my creative process.  Let me explain.  When I started this blog, for example, I had so many ideas and thoughts I wanted to write about.  Then, as I sat and wrote, my own feelings of inadequacy made me start over and over, until writing became a chore to endure, rather than the pleasant, uplifting experience it has always been for me.  I was trying too hard to make everything I write “fit in” with what I had idealized this blog to be, in my mind.
As I prayed about this, I began to see that the One who leads me to write, the One who supplies the creative power, THE ONE who is my whole reason for writing, simply instructed me to write.  No parameters, no carefully confined guidelines or outlines to follow, just write!  So, that is what I am doing.  And, oh, how freeing that is! I simply sit down at the keyboard, and find, if I take a few moments to get myself out of my way, the thoughts and ideas do come.  And if they don’t always “fit” with my own ideas of where this blog thing is going, then so be it.  It is, after all, for His glory.

Finally, perfectionism can also lead to procrastination,  And that is a topic for another post.  For now, I will work on writing more often, and when inspired.
So, bear with me, please.  I am a work in progress.  I don’t know what I want to be when I grow up yet.  God is working on me, and I am trying my best to stay out of His way.



Wednesday, January 19, 2011

The special blessings of friends

Last week I had breakfast with my friend, Arlene. We get together once a month and go to our favorite haunt, where we share breakfast, coffee, and friendship. We talk and laugh, sometimes cry, and pray. Then we talk, and laugh some more. The lunch crowd is usually beginning to arrive by the time we leave! It’s not easy for us to get together, as we have different work schedules, and other demands on our time. But, because we are friends, we have purposefully set this time aside to be with each other.
Another friend, Karen, and I get together at least twice a month to share our love of scrapbooking and card making. We share ideas, inspiration, and laugh, a lot! We share our hopes and dreams, and encourage each other. Again, making the time to do this together is a challenge at times, but we make it work, because it is important to our friendship.
Yet another friend, Sylvia, and I see each other frequently, as our husbands are also friends, and we get together often to socialize and play games at either their home or ours. We have known Sylvia and Richard for over 27 years. Sylvia and I have a special bond, and I cannot imagine these past almost three decades without them in our lives! We have been there through each others' ups and downs, through child-rearing, special occasions, sadness, and joy. We’ve supported each other’s choices and decisions, and helped each other through crises. Our friendship brings us both much joy.

My friend, Linda, and I like to go to the movies, and sometimes out to lunch or dinner, about once a month. We also socialize with Linda and her husband, Bob, having been friends with them for over 30 years. Linda was the first friend I made when I married my husband almost 33 years ago and moved to Rochester from Marcy, New York. She and I worked at the YMCA corporate offices together, and became fast friends. We, too, raised our families together, sharing joys and sorrows, hopes and dreams, often talking till late into the night about our plans and hopes. For me, Linda has been my rock, and a dear, special joy in my life.
           I share other experiences and times with several other friends, as well, albeit not as frequently as the above. Distance (other cities and states), family obligations, and other circumstances keep us from getting together as often as we would like. We do, however, talk with each other, and keep in touch via telephone and email.

I have been thinking about how important my friends are to me. I believe friends are special people whom God brings into our lives. Sometimes a friend is for a season, and then is gone. Sometimes they are deeper friends, and stay with us for the long haul. Each one touches our lives in their own special way, leaving their unique imprint on our life story. We, in turn, leave our imprint on their lives. This is no trivial thing, if we are to believe, as I do, that people come into our lives for a reason. Sometimes the reason is really evident, as in the case of those friends who are in it for the long haul. Other times, the reason someone touched our lives briefly may not be known to us for a long time, sometimes never. Perhaps it is we who imparted something to them. It is not for us to know. I do believe, however, that it is all in God’s plan.

God uses us, and He uses our friends, to bring us, and them, special blessings. He never leaves us alone, as He is always with us. I believe our friends are given to us, chosen by Him, to be a reminder of His presence in our lives. I truly appreciate every one of these special people God has put in my life.
I resolve to try to be a better friend this year. I will take time from my busy life to be with them, to confirm our friendship through our time together. I will pray for them, and thank God for the gift of love He has given me through them.

Thank you, Lord, for those special people you have placed in my life. Thank you for those angels I call “friends,”and help me to be a blessing to them, as they are to me.


Thursday, January 6, 2011

Never Give Up Hope

Each year, at Christmas, I introduce a theme for the following year.  I am not a fan of making new year's resolutions.  Instead, I choose a value, or a virtue, an area in which I feel the need to grow, or change.  During the Christmas holiday, I decorate my home and tree with symbols, signs, and colors that get me thinking about the new theme.  My Christmas cards are designed (I make my own) around the new theme, as are many of the gifts I choose.   This year's card (click on images to see larger):
Card Front:                                        Inside of Card:

With the dawning of the new year, I begin to study and learn about my theme for the year. I continue focusing on this theme throughout the year.  Last year's theme was peace.  This year, I chose HOPE.  As I look at the world around me, it's easy to feel despair.  Life seldom gives us our own way, and joy sometimes seems far off, or only meant for others.  In choosing to look for the beauty around me, in nature, myself and in others, I find hope.  I choose to believe in the goodness of others, even if it's difficult to see sometimes.  Love and hope counter anger and depression.  It's in giving love that I find joy, happiness, patience, and empathy.   I'm finding that I can make a difference, one person at a time.

I cannot always change someone's unhappiness or problems, or even my own, but I can always do a little.  A smile or thoughtful gesture, a kind word, or a helping hand brings hope and love.  I look for ways to bring these gifts to others.   It costs nothing and is easy to do.  And when someone takes the time to be kind to me, or smiles, it immediately makes me smile, and I want to pass that feeling along.  Then an amazing thing happens....I start to feel better about myself, and find a renewed hope.  My article gives some ideas of ways we can bring blessings to others.

Baby steps.   It's in living with hope, and doing what I can to share the message of hope whenever I can, a little at a time, that eventually makes a big difference.

As I start to research this subject, I'm finding so many resources.  Of course, God has lots to say about hope in the Bible (Romans 5:3-5; 8:24-25;15:4-2; 2 Thes 2:16; 1 Peter 1:13; Col 1:5; Hebrews 6:18; Jer. 29:11.  There are volumes of articles and books written about hope.  Joyce Meyer often speaks about hope, and it is the thrust of her ministry, Enjoying Everyday Life.  Here's the link to Joyce's website if you really want to be blessed.

I leave you with this scripture, which brings me comfort and encouragement:

For I know the plans I have for you
declares the Lord, plans to prosper you 
and not to harm you, 
plans to give you hope and a future.
Jer 29:11 


Welcome to my blog

Welcome to A Little Perspective!  I'm so happy that you stopped in for a visit.  I hope you will make yourself comfortable, and stay a while.

This blog is about life, and hope, grace, and joy.  Sometimes we get so wrapped up in trying to find out what life is all about, but with just a little perspective, the obvious becomes clear.  Living in the present, and giving it my full attention, is my goal.  Sharing and discussing thoughts, ideas, blessings, and revelations, I hope to engage you and inspire you in your own walk through this crazy thing called life.

I will share milestones, triumphs, defeats, hopes, dreams, and things that I have learned along the way.  You can see from my profile that I've been on this journey for quite a long while.  I feel blessed with all that God has given me.  Sharing these insights with you is something I do not take lightly.  I will strive to bring you inspiring, uplifting articles and stories.  May you be blessed by what I write here.  To God be the glory!

This little quote plaque hangs in my kitchen.  It helps me to keep things in perspective, and not take myself too seriously. 

Thank you for visiting.   A second post follows this one.  I wrote about my holiday tradition, and how I carry it over into the new year, and live it all year long.  Hope you'll read on.

I invite you to come again, and if you like what you see, you can click the "follow me" button, and the "subscribe" button, so that you will know when I share a new posting.  I appreciate any comments you may have, and look forward to an exciting new blog experience with you.

Incidentally, I publish regularly on HubPages on the web.  These are full-length articles, one of which has been published in a national magazine.  I'm known as DoodleLyn there, and you will find a link to take you there in the column on the right.  I'm also posting it here: .   I also publish a paper crafting blog here: .  Hope you'll visit soon!