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From 2009: #133: Our Treasure Within

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Monday, November 09, 2009

In the background as I write this is a television special on the History Channel about a search for treasure supposedly hidden by outlaw Jesse James. Interesting show. But all shows about hidden treasure fascinate me, whether it be undersea sunken ships or buried treasure allegedly left behind by an entity like James.

In comparison to all of the lost treasure we will never find, however, is one treasure that remains abundantly available -- our treasure within.

This inner treasure may be as simple as an offer to help clean up after dinner or a party or driving someone to a doctor appointment or may be as complicated as organizing a neighborhood cleanup or coordinating a project focusing on literacy, or helping a Scout carry out work needed to earn a merit badge.

Sometimes the treasure within that we can offer someone is only to listen, to extend an ear to a shut-in or perhaps to read books to groups of children. Do you crochet or knit? How about making blankets for nursing home residents?

Are you skilled in woodworking? What about making a few small toys for presents?

Maybe you can offer to cut the yard of someone recovering from surgery or an injury.

We all have a treasure within we can share with others. Sometimes, if we are fortunate, we have more than one treasure waiting to be multiplied by being used for those less fortunate.

Love animals? What about volunteering at a local animal shelter or collecting unneeded blankets and towels to donate to the shelter? Even shredded newspaper is needed as a replacement for more expensive litter.

Whatever your inner treasure, don't hide it, but bring it into the light of day and watch it bloom, very likely into something more valuable than you began with.

For to help another, to offer a hand to one in need, is one of the most noble acts we can make.

What is your inner treasure?

Will you share it today?

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TEDYBEAR2838 12/23/2014 5:14PM

    What a great article, I always enjoy reading your items.
You make a lot of sense out of every day things
and let us all know we could do better. Thank You!

Merry Christmas!

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GABY1948 12/22/2014 5:36PM

    Lou, you know I always love your blogs but this one is SO emoticon ! I read the true spirit of Christmas within you! Always knew it was there in other ways but this is just beautiful!

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IMLOCOLINDA 12/22/2014 3:57PM

    emoticon Thanks for sharing!

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MALEXANDER4 12/22/2014 7:13AM

    Most often the greatest gift we can give is of ourselves.

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IAMWINNING 12/21/2014 11:01PM

    Lou, you've presented another great blog, and thank you for giving us ideas of things we can do for others. God bless you.

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THEEXERCISER 12/21/2014 8:04PM

    This is a great blog very inspirational

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UMBILICAL 12/21/2014 7:54PM

  So true

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From 2009: #40: A Real Fairy Tale

Sunday, November 30, 2014

August 08, 2009

Once upon a time there was a little boy named Jack and his sister, a little girl named Jill. They were good little children. They were polite and respectful. They helped with chores around he house. They did their school homework every night. All in all they made their parents proud.

Every time the children did a chore or received a good grade on their schoolwork their parents gave them a treat such as chocolate chip cookies or a piece of cake or a cupcake or some other sweet goodie.

As the children grew into teenagers they discovered the world of hamburgers and French fries, pizzas, banana splits and other fast food delights.

When they became adults, Jack and Jill learned the pleasures of dining at restaurants and chicken wings at the sports bar and beer and wine and other adult gastronomic pleasures.

One day Jack and Jill happened to walk in front of a store window that showed them their reflections. They stopped to look at themselves and were aghast at what they saw. For reflected back to them were two people who looked nothing like the people they thought they were. The people Jack and Jill saw in the store window were FAT.

"Jill," moaned Jack, "how did this happen? When did we become so overweight?" Jill simply cried. They knew they had a difficult time climbing stairs and bending over and they knew that they were buying larger and larger clothes, but they never considered themselves FAT. Until that day when a simple store window showed them the reality of their lives.

"What shall we do, Jack?" Jill asked.

"Lets talk to Mary and Mark. Remember when they lost all that weight? Maybe they can help."

So the children, who had grown into very large adults, called Mary and Mark on the telephone and asked them how they had become so skinny.

"SparkPeople.com!" Mary and Mark yelled in unison.

Jack and Jill rushed home, turned on their computer and learned of a new world, one filled with people with similar weight problems, people who were on their way to better health and fitness, people who were caring and supportive, encouraging and inspiring.

At first it was hard for Jack and Jill to give up ice cream and candy and other sweet treats for fruit and vegetables. And when they tried to exercise they could only walk the distance of three houses before they became winded and had to rest.

But today they are close to their target weight and they both jog a mile at a time.
They each had to buy new skinnier clothes because they no longer had the need for their FAT clothes. They are happier than ever before in their lives. They now gain satisfaction from participating in their SparkPeople groups and by encouraging and supporting other SP members who are embarking on their own journey to fitness.

The moral of the story? Weight creeps up on us as we grow older and live in ignorance of the long-term consequences of overeating good-tasting food like pizzas and candy and ice cream and cakes.

But for Jack and Jill, their lives were changed forever by a simple piece of glass, one that showed them who they really were. After their transformation to fit, healthy people, Jack and Jill lived happily ever after.

The end.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BOVEY63 12/18/2014 1:17PM

    emoticon
Loved it Lou!

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NANHBH 12/3/2014 4:18PM

    That's an awesome story! I love how you write.
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WARRIORGIRL121 12/2/2014 11:31PM

    emoticon Thank you for sharing! :)

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MOMMA_BEAR_69 12/2/2014 10:30PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
SPARK PEOPLE is the GREATEST!!! What an inspiring story!!! Thank you for sharing, Lou!
Blessings and hugs,
Helen

Comment edited on: 12/2/2014 10:31:10 PM

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GABY1948 12/1/2014 10:30AM

    emoticon I am a SUCKER for Happily ever after!

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IAMWINNING 11/30/2014 11:28PM

    emoticon another cute story with a powerful message.

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DEBRITA01 11/30/2014 9:02PM

    With healthy eating and exercise we can all live happily ever after... emoticon

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SLIMMERJESSE 11/30/2014 8:38PM

    How wonderful! Congrats!

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From 2010: #415: From Unhappy to Happy Land

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Monday, November 01, 2010

This is a story about people who lived in Unhappy Land and were very unhappy. emoticon

Their unhappiness dominated their lives and kept them from being able to walk or bend over to put on their socks and shoes. They were unhappy because they couldn't climb stairs without breathing hard and having their knees hurt. They were unhappy because they couldn't fit into seats on airplanes or at the movie theater. They were unhappy because they had to use a wheelchair to get around when they visited a theme park and other attractions.

They were unhappy because they were all overweight. emoticon Some slightly, some grossly obese. All of their extra weight caused them health difficulties such as diabetes, heart problems and high blood pressure. But no one knew what to do about their situation.
emoticon

Until one day when several slim, in-shape visitors came into town promoting a fitness and weight loss program called SparkPeople. They educated the Unhappies about nutrition, exercise and healthy living. Their enthusiasm and especially their own fat "before" pictures showed the residents of Unhappy Land that there truly was a way out of their unhappiness. emoticon

The visitors explained that the Unhappies' weight did not accumulate overnight and so it would not evaporate overnight and told them if the Unhappies would simply focus on one healthy meal, one exercise, one positive day at a time, then they, too, could become fit and healthy and in shape. emoticon emoticon

This news excited the residents who asked the visitors to create eating and workout programs for them. The next day everyone gathered in the town square and began walking around the block. emoticon emoticon Some made it only half way down the street, others made it most of the way around. Along the way they all cheered for and rooted for the others, urging them on, encouraging them to stay positive and take baby steps. emoticon

As the months passed from spring into fall the Unhappies began to realize they enjoyed eating healthy food and that they could exercise longer and with more intensity. Bending over, climbing stairs and other daily activities became easier to do. They noticed, too, that they all lost weight and were feeling, for the first time in their lives, HAPPY! emoticon

In celebration of their new lives the residents voted to rename their town Happy Land and started wearing t-shirts and buttons that had smiley faces on them. Signs appeared around town bearing messages such as, "You CAN do it!" and "NEVER give up!" and "Stay positive!" and other inspiring sayings. emoticon emoticon

The now Happies were surprised when reporters came to town after hearing of the residents' magical change. They were from "People" magazine, "Woman's World" magazine and radio and television stations and scrambled to interview and profile the successful transformation of Unhappy Land. The reporters all asked the same question: "How did you all change from being overweight and out of shape to being fit and healthy and happy?" emoticon

To a person the residents of Happy Land shouted in reply, "SparkPeople." Now they all tell strangers that they, too, can become a new person living emoticon lives if they will only try to change, if they will only take that first baby step emoticon to a more fulfilling and exciting life, a step all who are unhappy can take IF they try.

It was a message that passed around the world and changed scores and scores of people from being Unhappies to Happies.

Will you be one of them? emoticon

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MOMMA_BEAR_69 11/30/2014 5:39PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
WHAT A FANTASTIC BLOG, LOU!!! THANK YOU SO VERY MUCH FOR SHARING IT. VERY MOTIVATIONAL!!!!
emoticon emoticon

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WENDYSPARKS 11/27/2014 1:00PM

    emoticon Great blog!!

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BOVEY63 11/26/2014 4:05PM

    Great blog Lou!
emoticon

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IAMWINNING 11/25/2014 8:31PM

    Fantastic! Love the story, and especially am glad that the concepts are so do-able.

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TEDYBEAR2838 11/25/2014 6:19PM

    I LOVE IT!

What a great story, just in time for the holidays!

Wonderful to see you blogging. I missed you!

How are you doing?

Comment edited on: 11/25/2014 6:20:23 PM

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NANHBH 11/25/2014 5:31PM

    Lou,

Love this story! Is that how you found out about SparkPeople - because they came into town?

Have a blessed Thanksgiving holiday. Great to hear from you.

Nancy

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GABY1948 11/25/2014 5:10PM

    Oh, Lou, I was SO GLAD to get notification that you had written a blog! I miss you! This is so GREAT! I love this story....you always did write fantastically!

Have a wonderful and blessed Thanksgiving, dear friend!

emoticon

Gaye

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#528: 1,600 Straight Days -- Only 22 Pounds -- Say What?

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Today is a milestone -- my 1,600th consecutive day logging in to SparkPeople. But during that time I'm currently only showing a 22 pound loss? What gives?

Actually, I was down from 290.4 pounds, my highest weight, to 235 at one point but then the addition of numerous medications, steroid injections in my back, subsequent limitations on exercise, operations, and a long bout with depression all combined to jack me back up to 280 pounds.

Frustrating? Definitely! Enough to make me give up the battle to lose 64 pounds -- my goal of four 16-pound bowling balls emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon --?

NEVER!

Most of us have likely lost, gained, lost, gained, lost, and gained the same pounds over and over and over and over, haven't we?

But to give up is to admit failure and that is NEVER, EVER, an option!

We are NOT failures!

Success is ours for the taking! Yes, there has 'only' been a net loss of 22 pounds over 1,600 days but those 22 pounds represent nearly 1.5 bowling balls further toward my goal. My clothes are looser. I am in the last hole of my belt and need to punch new holes in it. People are complimenting me on the weight loss. Failure? I think not!

I will NEVER give up and neither should you.

One pound at a time, no matter how long it takes. Even if it takes to the next milestone of 1,700 consecutive days. The weight may go up then down again but the lesson to be learned is that:

We must NEVER GIVE UP!

We are NOT failures!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

WARRIORGIRL121 12/2/2014 11:29PM

    That's still an accomplishment, Lou! 22 pounds is nothing to sneeze at, and I know you will conquer the rest! We are not failures and we can do it! emoticon

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MYLOVELYCURVES 10/18/2014 4:46PM

    Congratulations on that amazing milestone AND the 22-pound loss! It's still 22 pounds, even if it's not as much as you planned to lose by now. You could have gained it all back and then some, and given up on yourself. But you haven't! You're making progress and you're ready to take the next step. You can do this, Lou! I know you can :) We're all here to support you along the way!

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WENDYSPARKS 9/22/2014 5:56PM

    emoticon

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TEDYBEAR2838 9/20/2014 11:35AM

    Great Blog! Thanks for sharing my friend.
We all face those hurdles and we WILL NOT GIVE UP!
Just think you could have been 22 pounds heavier,
so in essence you are 44 pounds lighter... well it's
just a thought, but you get my point.

Thanks for letting me know you blogged.
I missed hearing from you and reading your blogs.
I do hope you will be here more often. Just try for
once a week, it don't need to be a long one, just
let us know you are still with us.

HUGS

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KENDRACARROLL 9/16/2014 9:08PM

    Wow! My login streaks usually end after 3 days :) even though I'm here every day. I just forget…
Great streak!
Keep on pushing, after all, what's the alternative?
Wishing you well.


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BOVEY63 9/16/2014 2:02PM

    That is one awesome streak my friend!
emoticon
I too have been up, down, up, down...in this weight loss journey, but I also refuse to give up.
emoticon emoticon

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2NDCHANCEWITHEY 9/14/2014 2:34PM

    Lou - I am amazed that you are still going strong! Thanks for continuing to be a source of encouragement and inspiration

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MALEXANDER4 9/12/2014 7:18AM

    I love it. Thank you. I'm at 196 days consecutive logging and guess what? I'm the same right now and actually up a few. So what does that mean? We are just still a work in progress nothing wrong with that. One pound at a time is what we have to do to get there from here. So no matter the length of time it is in the work that matters. So keep working at it and so will I.

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GABY1948 9/11/2014 6:06PM

    I'm with YOU, Lou! "Failure? I think not!" You are doing emoticon no doubt about that! It's so great to have you blog again!

emoticon
Gaye

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DEBRITA01 9/11/2014 5:59PM

    Such a good blog to read, Lou. It's not how many times we stumble, it's that we get up and keep going. Like you, no matter how long it takes, I'm going to do it.

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NANHBH 9/11/2014 4:39PM

    Great blog, Lou! And so true. We ONLY fail if we give up. Over those 1.600 days, your weight could have gone up from your starting point. But it didn't thanks to your perseverance. Keep up the good fight. It's a good fight to fight!
emoticon emoticon

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SLIMMERJESSE 9/11/2014 11:45AM

    I share this same frustration with you, but while we are not losing as fast as we'd like, we definitely are making healthier food choices (and exercise) contributing to better health. Best wishes.

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IAMWINNING 9/11/2014 11:15AM

    Thank you, Lou, for posting this honest appraisal of your success. It IS success because you are not giving up. Your example, and similar ones of others, are part of why I'm not giving up either.

Just as Jesus has already overcome Satan and the power of death, so we are already victorious, even though we do have pounds to lose.

emoticon emoticon emoticon

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NHES220 9/11/2014 10:53AM

    Keep on pushing and you will get there. You have overcome obstacles and you will continue to do so!

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ABBY_G 9/11/2014 10:44AM

    You wrote: One pound at a time, no matter how long it takes.

Yes. That's definitely my way, too. I just recently gained back some weight and am now getting back on track. My main motto is that I will do whatever it takes to be fit. After reading your blog, I'm going to add 'and for however long it takes...'.

Thanks for being an inspiration to me today!

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#527: I Was Truly Blessed Today

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

When discussing developing a positive outlook, many public speakers are fond of using the rhyming phrase, "An attitude of gratitude." To me, giving thanks for blessings throughout the day is a natural habit. Sometimes the blessings are small, sometimes so huge that merely saying, " emoticon," is not enough.

Here is an example of a small (to me) blessing: Earlier this week the light bulb emoticon in my dining room burned out. I made a mental note to change it but promptly forgot. That happens often to us, doesn't it? Later, as I pulled laundry from the washing machine to put in the dryer, I turned on the laundry room light to see better. As the light came on, I recalled the burned out bulb, finished loading clothes into the dryer and then grabbed a new bulb to replace the burned out one.

I often receive "alerts" this way. Perhaps you do, too. Always, I give thanks.

A major blessing is what happened today. This has to rank as one of the most major blessings I have ever received. Maybe not on a par with not being killed, maimed or blinded in car crashes (not my fault), but major nevertheless. emoticon

I had parked in a library lot on my way to attend a seminar. For some reason, instead of putting my keys in a pocket, I went to retrieve several items from the front passenger side of the car and set the keys on the car's roof. I went inside and 90 minutes later searched frantically for my keys. Then I recalled that I had left them on top of the car.

Scared of what I would not find in the parking lot -- my car -- I ran outside without hope the car and keys would still be there. But they were. Praise the Lord! Cars around mine had changed so I figured either no one saw the keys (unlikely since they were so obvious) or were honest enough to not take them.

My heart was beating wildly with relief emoticon . Imagine the trouble a stolen car would have caused -- lack of transportation, loss of hundreds of dollars of bowling equipment, office files and more. Plus dealing with the insurance company and police, finding a way home, having to get rides to look for a replacement car, not being able to bowl league until I could afford new equipment, missing doctor appointments, etc.

The list could go on and on.

All I could do was look into the blue sky and say, "Thank you, Lord. Once again you saved me." emoticon

You may have different beliefs but if you develop the positive outlook of "An attitude of gratitude" and give thanks for every daily blessing (traffic lights on green, dropping something and not having it break, and so on) your life will be enriched.

Being grateful for blessings does not eliminate money woes, trouble at work, rude drivers, a disrespectful teenager, poor customer service or other things that could aggravate us daily, but giving thanks to God or to the universe for blessing you will allow peace into your heart and soul.

But don't take my word for it. Try giving thanks for everyday blessings for a week and see how life becomes more positive for you. It works for me and could for you, too.

And, yes, from now on I will put my keys in a pocket as soon as I get out of my car. emoticon

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TEDYBEAR2838 7/8/2014 10:40AM

    Just read this. WOW that was a BLESSING!

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MJEFFERSON23 5/22/2014 1:48PM

  I'm grateful for Sparkers (no, people) like you! emoticon

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BRAIN-STORM 3/20/2014 2:41PM

  Love it!!! Words so true and well spoken!!!
emoticon emoticon emoticon

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PRAYERBLUE44 3/11/2014 2:01AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

Comment edited on: 3/11/2014 2:04:10 AM

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PRAYERBLUE44 3/11/2014 2:00AM

    Thanks for sharing this! Amazing grace! emoticon

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EVER-HOPEFUL 1/4/2014 3:37PM

    emoticon emoticon i have always said it is not so much what life throws our way but more how we deal with it.having a positive attitude is what has carried me through most of my lifes burden that and the strong belief god would never give us anything we canīt handle and who am i to disagree with god so i just get on with it. emoticon

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MOMMA_BEAR_69 6/4/2013 12:54AM

    Praise the Lord Lou for watching out for you!!!
Continued blessings and hugs,
Helen

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LITTLEFARMMOMMA 5/20/2013 12:44PM

    Great blog, Lou! Our 24 year old son, Jeff, will never forget the time he had put his $600+ in his lap and then made a pit stop at the grocery store before going to pay his rent. It had dropped off of his lap onto the parking lot! He called me, in frantic tears, telling me he knew what he had done. I told him to GO BACK to the store and retrace his steps; and to go see the manager. A young SACKER had picked up the cash, and turned it in to the manager! What a BLESSING! A great lesson, too, as Jeff admitted that he had no idea if he would have done the same thing had the roles been reversed!

I'm so glad your keys were still there! emoticon

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GOSPELCLOWN 5/4/2013 11:21AM

    GREAT BLOG- and so true!

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SUSANNAH31 4/12/2013 3:38PM

    I couldn't agree more about being grateful for all that is good in one's life.
Too often we don't appreciate something until we have lost it.
I often give thanks for having my eyesight so that I can see some of the beauty of nature around us.

Thanks for this inspirational blog.

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WARRIORGIRL121 4/9/2013 10:24AM

    Loved this blog, Lou! Definitely the Lord was looking out for you! Wonderful! emoticon

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NANHBH 3/31/2013 3:05PM

    I love this blog, Lou. I'm so grateful that your car wasn't stolen. You must live in a safe place!

Have ever read the book, Prison to Praise"? Your blog message reminds me of that book's message.

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HIKETOHEIGHTS 3/26/2013 2:58PM

    I wish I could write "Gee Lou I can't relate to losing the car keys"

I wrote the book on losing stuff! I could tell you stories, but then everyone who knows me would interrupt me to finish the stories.

The only attitude I want is gratitude. I remind myself each day to be grateful for my blessings.

Some times when I watch the news, I wonder about some folks. How did they turn out so awful-what happened to make them so mean. But then something cool happens like no one stealing your car and it reminds us of the goodness in humanity. I am grateful no one took your car too.

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WENDYSPARKS 3/16/2013 7:50AM

    Glad you got your keys back!! You are a blessing to me Lou...

hugs, Wendy emoticon

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NOTFATCAT 3/15/2013 5:04PM

    Lou, you are living right! I also believe that if I live by the Golden Rule that others will be apt to show me the same courtesy, even God.

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BOVEY63 3/15/2013 1:44PM

    So glad everything worked out so well. I had a similar incident once - my oldest son was a baby and we had gone shopping. I took him from the shopping cart, put him in the car along with my purchases. At the next stop I realized my purse was still in the cart in a Shopko parking lot. I was so relieved when I got back and found the cart with my purse still in it.
emoticon
Blessings come in all sizes.

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TEDYBEAR2838 3/14/2013 8:57PM

    You are so right. I spend a big part of my day talking
to the Lord. He's my closest friend and He looks out
for me in situations that I can't even imagine.

You are blessed your car was not stolen.

Maybe your angel was hiding them from the bad guys
sight? Could be!

Thanks for sharing your story.



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GABY1948 3/14/2013 6:50PM

    OH, Lou! My heart was racing with yours as I read about the keys! Yes, I have the same beliefs as you and do believe He blesses us in numerous ways...big and small.

I am so glad that He blessed you and saved you all the numerous inconveniences that you already know would have been.

Needless to say, I am so happy that it turned out the way it did! emoticon

How happy I was to see your name on a blog again. It's been far too long, my friend! emoticon Gaye

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KENDRACARROLL 3/14/2013 10:51AM

    That was a big blessing indeed. Glad things worked out alright.
Always good to stay positive and appreciate your blessings big and small.
Also good to be reminded from time to time to do so.
Thanks for posting.

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SLIMMERJESSE 3/14/2013 9:24AM

    OMG! That wasn't good luck - it was a miracle! (smiling)

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MALEXANDER4 3/14/2013 7:12AM

    Sometimes a thanks is all the lord is looking for. I know I did it a few times yesterday myself. Just feels right. glad it all worked out for you.

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GOLFGMA 3/14/2013 7:00AM

    Had a similar incident happen recently when I went to visit my Mom. I had done laundry for her and when I reached to get the laundry I placed my keys on the console , got out ,locked the door and went inside the facility. Not until I was going to leave and reached into the pocket of my bag and didn't find my keys did I realize what I had done. I was thankful that my husband answered his phone and came to my rescue. The Lord is good to us!

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DEBRITA01 3/14/2013 6:57AM

    If we focus on the blessings in our lives, we can live a more positive life. Glad your keys were waiting for you! emoticon

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SORTIZA99 3/14/2013 2:32AM

    God bless you always.
Good day.

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1STATEOFDENIAL 3/14/2013 1:46AM

    It's also a great feeling to whole-heartedly thank someone who does something simple but helpful for you. When someone holds a door, picks something up that you dropped, or steps aside for you to pass, take a second to look them in the eye and say an honest and grateful "thank you". It shows them that you really do appreciate their moment of kindness and can encourage them to do the same for someone else.

As for your keys, consider getting a carabiner clip to put on your keys. Then instead of setting them down, you just quickly hook them onto a belt loop. When you get into a habit, they'll always be there. I've used one for years, hooking it either to my purse or a belt loop, and it's great because my keys aren't buried in my purse or poking a hole in my leg in my pocket.

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IAMWINNING 3/13/2013 11:24PM

    Praise the Lord, indeed! Certainly His hand was on you and your keys.

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JO88BAKO 3/13/2013 10:23PM

    What a blessing!

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