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!