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June 17, 2001 was a Sunday. It was also Father’s Day. A couple of weeks ago I thought about writing about this particular Father’s Day and then I looked at the calendar and realized that Father’s Day fell on the same date this year! It felt almost coincidental.

I’ve always tried to find special gifts or reminders to give to my Dad on his birthday, Christmas and Father’s Day. Sometimes I go overboard but I only have a few occasions every year that I can really buy for him – so why not? Sometimes the perfect gift comes to mind quickly. Other times I look around a few times before finding the perfect gift. As the special day approaches I find myself getting more anxious when I haven’t come up with something. In the end, I usually do okay.

But Father’s Day 2001 was a memorable one. Not because of something I gave him but because of something he gave me.

That year both of my grandfathers were still alive so it was a busy day. I went to church in the morning, visited both of my grandfathers, and spent as much time with my Dad as possible. Watched him open gifts and had dinner; the typical Father’s Day get together. As I said goodbye to my father and started towards my car he handed me an envelope. I remember asking him what it was and he just said that it was for me and wished me a Happy Father’s Day.

Driving home that night seemed to take longer than it normally did just because I had something I wanted to open. I remember pulling into my driveway and opening the envelope before I even went into my house. Inside was a letter and a CD. I won’t go into all the details of the letter but it started like this:

Dear ____,

Today is Father’s Day. I wanted to make this one especially special by giving you a gift. You’re probably wondering why I would do such a thing. There are more than a few reasons. But firstly, it is because I could never have been a father without you. You are responsible for some of the greatest moments of joy that I shall ever experience in this lifetime… (This might be the first moment that I started to choke up reading his letter. Scratch that. I choked up when I realized I had a letter so that must have been the line that triggered the first tear!)

It went on from there but I will probably continue to keep the rest of the letter between my Dad and I.

Towards the end of his letter he reminds me to keep God in my life and that… when all else seems to fail, He will always be there. A reminder I really need from time to time.

Anyway, I guess I just want to send out a thank you to my Dad.

Because Dad, it’s you that didn’t let me quit.

You prompted me to learn a new skill.

You brought me energy that I could not have survived without.

You held my hand and sat awake all night during my hospital stay.

You pushed me to stand and push forward.

Tonight I thought I’d share a quote that seems perfect for today:

100 years from now it will not matter what kind of car I drove, what kind of house I lived in, how much I had in my bank account, nor what my clothes looked like but the world may be a little better because I was important in the life of a child. ~Forest E. Witcraft

Right now seems like the perfect time to grab a cup of tea, read this letter once more and then tuck it away for safekeeping once again.

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Re-examine all you have been told at school or church or in any book, dismiss what insults your own soul, and your very flesh shall be a great poem. ~Walt Whitman

How does this quote make you feel?

What thoughts came to mind after reading it?

…dismiss what insults your own soul…

Love that. It almost gives you permission to let go of something that weighs you down. Or perhaps it provides the strength to stand up against the dismissing force that keeps you from being you. From being at peace. If nothing else it allows you to feel what is home to your soul and reminds you to acknowledge that peace. To let go of the stress in your day and be at peace.

…and your very flesh will be a great poem.

Yes. Yours. A great poem. Feel impossible? It isn’t.

Whether you realize it or not; it already is. Recognizing it is what is key.

If you feel calm, balanced, and at home in your soul then be grateful for that blessing.

If not then take a break. Go for a walk, or sit down with a cup of tea, perhaps go for a drive, pray, read a book, call a friend or family member, unwind, do something that relaxes you. Something that brings you to your peaceful place. You deserve that blessing. We all do.

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I quoted Meg Ryan from one of her movies here at aplaceforthoughts.com once before. And I’m about to do it again. 
 
The other day Kate & Leopold starring Meg Ryan and Hugh Jackman was on television and I caught about 20 minutes of it. I watched it once before a couple of years ago and while watching the other day it reminded me that there was a part of the movie that really moved me the first time I saw it. So I decided to look up quotes from the movie to see if I was able to remember what it was. It didn’t take long to find what I was looking for…
—- 
Kate: …it’s a great thing to get what you want. It’s a really good thing unless what you thought you wanted wasn’t really what you wanted… because what you really wanted you couldn’t imagine or you didn’t think it was possible but what if someone came along who knew exactly what you wanted without asking they just knew… like they could hear your heart beating or listen to your thoughts and what if they were sure of themselves and they didn’t have to take a poll and they loved you… 
—-
 
For me this was a get up and grab the kleenex kind of moment. The part that really struck me was …because what you really wanted you couldn’t imagine or you didn’t think it was possible…
 
Throughout life I have often allowed fear to control decisions that I’ve made. There have been times where what I’ve really wanted seemed so far out of reach or impossible. Or that even if it was possible that it would or could just easily slip away.
 
But you know what? It is possible.
 
And then there is this portion of the above quote:
 
…but what if someone came along who knew exactly what you wanted without asking they just knew… like they could hear your heart beating or listen to your thoughts and what if they were sure of themselves and they didn’t have to take a poll and they loved you…
 
Have you ever had this happen? It can be terrifying and completely lovely all at the same time. Some of us don’t get to experience this type of love, some of us do and it’s taken from us quickly, some of us have the luxury of living this type of love each and every day, some of us have a glimpse of it and the fear of the love leaving us or not being real controls how much we allow ourselves to let it into our lives.
 
But I’m going to say it again. It is possible. Have hope. Allow yourself the joy of being loved. Recognize that if this type of love is there that you are blessed. Not everyone experiences this. We only live once. Embrace it. It isn’t too late. It’s never too late. Believe.

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Have you ever had one of those days where you feel like you are trying to just survive? Where you feel like if you allow your heart and mind to go where they are drawn that you’ll just spend the time choking back tears and trying different breathing techniques in an effort to calm down? It has been one of those weeks for me. Not every single moment of the week, but definitely much of it.

This morning when I got up I tried to think of a few things to do to bring peace into my day. I took an extra minute or two in the shower, had a cup of coffee while spending a few minutes reading something inspirational and I called my grandmother. Not to talk about anything specific but just to check in as I often do. Then this afternoon rolled around and I felt it necessary to do something else to relax. My little one was napping and I had a few minutes. So I made a cup of tea and decided to write a letter. (Do you remember my post Snail Mail earlier in the year?) I guess I can’t really call it a letter. It was fairly short as it was written on a card. But it was a paper and ink type of note. One I’ll place in my mailbox tomorrow morning, raise the red flag, and two business days later someone will have a surprise in their mailbox. Initially I was thinking how it would be a nice surprise to receive something other than bills in the mailbox, but as I was writing I realized it made me feel good just to sit down and do so. It was peaceful and it was just what I needed to bring an extra touch of comfort to my day.

To send a letter is a good way to go somewhere without moving anything but your heart.  ~Phyllis Theroux

What do you do when you are in the midst of a difficult day or time in your life? How do you cope? What little things do you do to brighten your day?

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“Forgiveness is unlocking the door to set someone free and realizing you were the prisoner.” ~Max Lucado

I read this quote by Max Lucado last week and it spoke to me. I immediately jotted it down on a sticky note and it has been in front of my computer screen ever since. When it comes to forgiving, whether it be having to forgive someone else or yourself, how do you do it? Does it come naturally to you? Or do you struggle with it? I’m sure it depends on the situation but I’m asking in general. (If you’d like to be more specific, please do share!)

For the most part I would like to think that I’m good at forgiving others. But when I think of situations that caused me great suffering I start to realize that maybe I just don’t always know how to forgive. Or perhaps it’s letting go. Maybe that is the bigger issue for me. But don’t they go hand in hand? Just knowing how much they weigh on me makes me recognize just how true the above quote is! Thinking of two difficult situations that still consume me I realize that part of my not letting go is probably because of the fear of being hurt by the same situation again and again.

When you think of forgiveness what do you think? Is it something that you tie mostly to your religion, your upbringing or to something else? Some consider forgiveness to be an act or a decision. Do you try to teach others how to forgive? Perhaps your children, a friend, or a family member dealing with a difficult situation? How do you go about doing so?

Today, if there is something weighing on your mind, try to let go. I’m not always sure how to do so but I’d suggest to start by doing something that helps you to relax. Go for a walk, have a cup of tea, read a book, write your thoughts down, call someone who lifts your soul just by saying hello. Allow your heart time to heal and let go. Forgive. Unlock that door. Free yourself.

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Throughout the day yesterday I had thought about love. I had an idea of what I wanted to write about and had all intentions of doing so last night. While the idea was fresh. Then I heard that my grandmother was taken to the emergency room. The world stopped and my evening was rearranged. At some point I think I’ll still try to write about where my thoughts were yesterday but it isn’t going to be this morning.

For now I want to ask you what love is to you. Where do you recognize love in your day? When you think of love what do you immediately think of?

I imagine some people who are married would quickly say their husband or wife and some parents would say their children. Not everyone has children or a significant other. Some may see it in the work that they do. Or through a child they saw at the grocery store. Perhaps they see love in nature. Love is all around us.

Although I felt blessed at different times throughout the day yesterday things quickly changed when I received that phone call. The one where your chest tightens and your heart starts to race. I was feeding my little guy dinner and then I dashed out the door and got to the emergency room right away. When I walked into my grandmother’s hospital room she looked up and said “There you are. I just knew you would be here with me when you found out. ” There it was. The love in my day.

Grandma – I love you. I always will.

To the world you may be just one person, but to one person you may be the world. ~Brandi Snyder

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Have you ever had someone in your life that was just not good for you? We all have I’m sure.

Yesterday I was thinking of one person in particular. She popped into my mind and I immediately felt a sense of comfort knowing that I no longer have to deal with her. It reminded me of this quote by Sun-tzu: Keep your friends close, and your enemies closer. Which is how I felt I had to interact with her. It wasn’t always that bad but at times pretty close!

She was the type of person that if you pissed her off she threatened to make your life miserable. Correction: It wasn’t if you pissed her off it was if you didn’t do what she wanted you to do. There would be times that I would sometimes learn that she would be speaking for or about me and although some of the things may have been true they were always exaggerated. We were once colleagues and I remember feeling relieved so often that she wasn’t a supervisor of mine. Although if there was a public event she was the type of person that acted as if everyone worked for her. You know the type!

At times I wish I had been a stronger person. I wish that I was able to tell her just what I thought and that I could do what was best for me as a person but you know how it is in the workplace. Sometimes you just don’t have a choice. I remember the first Monday morning that she was no longer there. It was a renewed environment!

Think of the toxic people in your world today. If you can’t help them or get them out of your life then try to do a little something to separate yourself a bit. Do something for you.

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I wanted to take the time this morning to thank all of you for being here. Thank you for the support and faith you’ve shown towards this site and to me. If this is your first time here I’m glad that you came by. I hope you enjoy the site and that you’ll be back.

Many of my visitors have their own blogs but I wanted to take this opportunity to invite you to submit something to aplaceforthoughts.com by going to the submit your story tab at the top of this page. As you know many of my posts are fairly short so it doesn’t have to be much. But I invite you to share a little something. You can do so anonymously or as you and I could link your post right back to your site. You could even think of it as a guest post. Or if you’ve wanted to write something and get it off your chest but you don’t want everyone in your whole world knowing than this would be the perfect place to do so.

I invite you to share something that is in your heart. Perhaps a childhood memory, a dream or story of yours, or even just one of your favorite quotes and what it means to you. Remember that this blog belongs to you too.

Wishing everyone a day full of great joy and peace.

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This week I’ve struggled a bit with something that is on my mind. I realized it when for the third time in two days I found myself having an argument in my head with the person that I am upset with. It’s happened at random times. While doing dishes; while driving. I’m starting to feel like it’s almost to the point where it is too late to discuss it because I’m not sure that I can anymore without getting too upset. Of course I could always do so via email but that isn’t really the right way to handle this.

So I’m hoping I find some patience. Patience to find the right words and the strength to address this issue appropriately. Quickly and to the point without making it about more than it needs to be. I so hope I can.

While writing this I decided to look up some quotes on patience. I thought maybe they would inspire me. Help me to breathe and relax and think again about what is upsetting me. Below is a quote I came across that I really like.

Patience and perseverance have a magical effect before which difficulties disappear and obstacles vanish.  ~John Quincy Adams

Do you have a favorite quote related to patience? How do you de-stress so that you can prepare yourself to deal with something difficult?

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Last week I was surprised to find out that Lori over at mommyfriend shared a couple awards that she received with me!

Then a day or two later LizAnn at forgirlsanddolls gave me one of the awards as well!

Really? Me?!? Thank you both so very much!

I am new to blogging so this was a surprise to me and I feel so blessed to know that you both find value here at aplaceforthoughts.com. I appreciate it more than you know!

From what I understand once you receive these awards you need to pass them along to 7 other blogs that you would like to share with others and you have to share 7 things about yourself.

I’ll try (Really? 7 things about me?!? Eek!)

1) I love tea

2) I am passionate

3) I need to learn how to be more patient

4) I hate going to the dentist

5) I hate when people talk during the previews at the movie theater

6) #5 reminds me that I haven’t been to a movie in a very long time

7) I love music

At this time I’d love to tell you about the 7 people/sites that I have decided to pass these awards along to. (I am mentioning them in alphabetical order of the website name)

1) forgirlsanddolls – love this site! LizAnn shares some very valuable information with her readers and she herself is a doll! Thank you for all of your support, LizAnn!

2) heartbeatnews – Amber Smith is a journalist from my neck of the woods. This is a site in which she is trying to spread the word on cardiac health – SO VERY IMPORTANT!

3) mommyfriend – Lori is so hilarious! Her blog is entertaining to say the least and most importantly she has shown me a tremendous amount of support since I’ve joined the land of bloggers. Thank you!

4) thecookinglady – Angela has some very good recipes! If this site isn’t marked in your favorites yet – it should be!

5) thelittlethings – Julie found me here and afterwards I had to go see her site and now I visit it regularly. I was so touched to have someone come by that I hadn’t reached out to! Thank you, Julie!

6) thesahmproject – Pretty soon another little one will be arriving for this mom! Her blog is great and she shares how she has prepared to be a SAHM!

7) walkingtheland – Jessica – you are the first person that I “met” when I entered this blogging world and I so appreciate the friendship you have shown me. Your blog is great! You are a fabulous mother and teacher. The little ones that spend their days with you are so very blessed. Thank you so much for the support you’ve shown me.

———

I’d like you all to know that I just love to visit your sites and catch up on what is new with you. Thank you, thank you, thank you for the support you’ve shown me and for continuing to visit aplaceforthoughts.com time and time again.

Ending with a quote…

Gratitude is when memory is stored in the heart and not in the mind. ~Lionel Hampton

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