It’s A Wonderful Life

It’s A Wonderful Life

This time of year has special meaning in our society…not just because of the season, celebrations and traditions but also from the joys we get from watching Christmas movies.

Today I am going to share my favorite Christmas movie with you and its meaning…and in my next post I am going to share my husband’s favorite.

Each of us has a favorite and I’m sure if you think about it you’ll find you have one too!

It’s a Wonderful Life has been my favorite movie for as long as I can remember.

Filmed in 1946 it is a story about a desperate man, George Bailey, who is ready to throw away his life on Christmas Eve because of a crisis in his life.

In the middle of his desperation, George wishes he was never born and God sends down an Angel–Clarence–to grant his wish.

Through the magic of film we see how the lives of many people were irrevocably changed when George Bailey does not exist to save them.

It is a story of a man who spent his life unselfishly helping others–and who in the end, in the most desperate moment of his life, finds that everyone comes to his rescue.

This heartwarming story demonstrates the strength of the human spirit and the frailty of human life.

The importance of family, hard work, strong values and a love of God and country.

It’s a Wonderful Life is my yearly reminder of how fortunate we are in this life, year after year, because of the people who came before us.

While it is not a traditional Santa Claus tale–it is the recounting of the importance of the season because of the promises Jesus gave us.

Jimmy Stewart and Donna Reed brought the best of the season to life–the love of community, a commitment to serving others and the importance of a miracle at Christmas.

And it really reminds us that it is a wonderful life!

Dear Santa

Dear Santa

When I was a little girl I wrote letters to Santa every year…even after I learned– in 4th grade–that Santa was not real.

He’s always been real to me. Christmas is my favorite holiday of the year and I never tire of the magic at this time of year!

When my children were growing up, I taught them to write letters to Santa too. And I even found a service that I could pay to send the girls a letter FROM Santa postmarked the North Pole.

The idea of Santa is so real to me that I don’t really know when the girls realized Santa was not real…as now, even as adults, I ask them to send me their Santa lists every year.

And so in keeping with my tradition here is my letter for this year:

Dear Santa,

I have been really good this year! And this has really been a good year for my family.

We are all healthy, we have all we need and never miss a meal. The family is strong and united and we are blessed with extended family and friends that are also doing well.

I really don’t want anything for Christmas in particular this year. I know that is a change from my usual lists of items…

But you see–I’ve already have all I want. Family, love, joy, and the magic of Christmas.

I hope all is well at the North Pole! I’ll leave the cookies and milk out for you.

P.S. Tell Donner he’s still my favorite!

19 days left until Christmas! Have you written your letter to Santa yet?

Speaking Victory

Speaking Victory

There is a Christian tenet of speaking victory over people or situations. I don’t mean speaking about victories–like celebrating goals or achievements that have been reached.

I’m talking about speaking–verbally and out load–positive outcomes, encouraging ideas and blessings to those around us as well as ourselves.

I had never really thought about it in this way–although I have known about this concept for most of my life.

And it is a concept that when put into practice works.

Think about this–when we are happy and we talk about it–usually other good things begin happening.

When we complain and dwell on problems, sickness or bad fortune–and those complaints come out of our mouths–things usually continue on a negative trajectory.

But more importantly when we speak victory over others it can many times change the life path for those individuals.

Here is how to do it. First you need to understand that life is fluid and ever changing.

Second, you need to believe that because life is ever changing we should be open to the fact that anyone is capable of anything.

And then thirdly, you share these beliefs with those you are speaking victory over.

For example, speak victory over your children by telling them, truthfully, that there is nothing that can stop them from accomplishing what they want in life.

Speak victory over your marriage by sharing with your significant other the things you appreciate about them. Thank them for their caring, hard work and understanding.

Tell friends positive attributes you like about them and how it has influenced your life. As you do this their victory will manifest in more positive attributes.

Speak victory over people who may be struggling and it just might give them a different outlook to their future.

And speak victory over yourself and you will soon see that all you need will find itself into your life just when you need it.

Use your words for good–Speak Victory.

Getting the Ball Rolling on the Decluttering Journey

Getting the Ball Rolling on the Decluttering Journey

I have really started going through things in my house and feel so relieved to be decluttering. Yes relieved!

Even though my husband and I have done a very good job of paring down each year and make a real effort to not purchase or keep things we don’t use, we still have managed, year after year, to fill up our house with stuff.

Our house is not completely overloaded–but at the same time too much clutter everywhere does seem to add to the stress of living.

What I have found is that it is much harder and more time consuming than I had expected.  And after reading many articles and blogs about decluttering–I am not alone!

I know that there are many levels of decluttering.  From minimalism (wow–I really love their commitment to the movement and the ideas behind it!) to downsizing to Hygge! I decided I am a more a “Spring Cleaning” type of declutterer.

At the same time, I’m not just cleaning.  I am really thinking about what we have, what we really want to keep and why. I want to have more space, not to have room to get more stuff–but just to lighten my load a bit upon this world.

One article I found especially helpful is one from writer Kaylie.  She created a free download entitled: 30 Days of Decluttering and I have found it fabulous.

In it, Kaylie provides 30 suggestions on things to declutter in a month.  It is not only really doable, it really motivates you to get the ball rolling on decluttering and keep it going until your home is exactly how you want it.

One thing I would add that is important to me: As I started decluttering (and I don’t feel I have gotten really going yet!) I found that I had a great deal of excess stuff that was in the “lets get this out of the house” pile.  

Some things I have set aside for a garage sale, (or to sell online–my neighborhood has a great Facebook page where you can post items for sale).  For example, I have a set of crystal wine glasses that I have had for over 15 years and have used maybe twice!

Anything that was broken, damaged, dangerous or worn out I immediately put in trash bags and in the bin. Recyclable stuff went directly in the recycle bin to go out in the next pick up.

But there are things that are still useful like clothes and shoes, household items etc. that just needed to find a good home. Please consider, when you come across those items, to not immediately throw them away but give them to a charity.

We live in a very disposable society–but there are many people not as blessed as we are!

Goodwill, The Salvation Army and churches (as well as other charitable organizations) will all take your items thankfully and  give you a tax receipt. But I have also found it very fulfilling to know that perhaps my gently used items will help another person down the line.

Meanwhile, I have lightened my load a little- but I know I have a long way to go!  Getting the ball rolling has put me on the path to building the life I want faster, better and smarter!  I hope your decluttering journey is going well too!

Please share with me some of your tips and thoughts about decluttering and how it has made you feel. Please comment below!

Also join my Facebook page and follow my decluttering Pinterest board to find more tips and ideas to help you have fun with this journey!