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Unraveling The Mystery of Karma, A Tale of Subway and a Bible

Monday, June 25, 2012

We spent the weekend helping our son and daughter-in-law prepare their new home; scrubbing walls and appliances, landscaping and a bit of painting. When we left yesterday afternoon it was all starting to come together. But our tale this morning concerns the notion of karma and how it occurred rather vividly Saturday afternoon. Now, you may call it other names, it is the notion that how you behave returns to you either in a positive or negative manner. I try really hard to make sure it comes back to me positively.

My daughter-in-law asked me to run to Subway to pick up lunch. She handed me her credit card and a list. This is where it starts to get interesting. Her dad, who can charitably be described as over bearing and irritating, decided he was coming with me and that he was driving.

We walked into Subway with some specific instructions: Get five foot long turkey subs on whole wheat, one foot long ham on whole wheat. Have them put the cheese and veggies on the side so people could dress their own sandwiches. I’m not sure what we walked out with because her dad decided we could do all this much cheaper. As I told Joan later, the only choice I had was to stand there mute while he took over unless I called him a few select names in a store full of people. I carried the bags to his car and went to sit the tray of veggies on the back seat. His Bible was lying there. Some folks don’t want you touching their Bible unless they know about it. I am not sure if they think some sort of evil is going to seep through the pages but I always ask before I touch someone else’s Bible. So I told him I was moving it so the tray wouldn’t spill.

When I got in the car he turned to me and said “I’m surprised YOU people know what a Bible is.”( I’ve always wondered who YOU people are but when our kids started getting married Joan pulled me aside and told me it was imperative I behaved at all times when we were around in-laws. I try really hard to listen to Joan all the time. )

I looked at him and smiled, “Yeah I know what a Bible is.”

‘Well it only took you people three hundred years to catch up, didn’t it?”

If this conversation hadn’t been so inane I’d have been offended. I am Roman Catholic by birth but my belief system is……. Well we could blog about that for a year, lol. I just sat back in the seat and kept telling myself we only had a five minute car ride home.

We started to leave the parking lot when a person coming into the parking lot proceeded to hit us head on. If we hadn’t been at a stop sign it could have been worse. The man who hit us was elderly and said he didn’t see us. I was shook up a bit, still a little sore but no worse for the wear. Her dad? He was okay too but his brand new car looked like an accordion on the front end. As I stood there the thought ran through my head “Karma can indeed be a b***h.”

Later that evening Joan said that if the bad karma was meant for him, why I was involved. I grinned at her and said:


“You are who you hang around with!!!”

A cautionary tale my friends, LOL.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SILLYHP1953 6/28/2012 2:37PM

    My first thought was the poor elderly man who had to deal with your in-law after running into his car! I'm sorry he had to be at fault instead of your in-law. I'm glad you were ok. Sometimes karma is instant...funny.

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GIRANIMAL 6/27/2012 4:08PM

    Ha! OMG, one of my favorite Johnisms come to life!

I'm sorry you were in an accident, and even sorry your in-law was in the accident even though he seems to have earned some lessons coming to him. I'm very glad neither one of you were seriously hurt.

Dare I ask: Did this affect your back at all? *fingers crossed*

Comment edited on: 6/27/2012 4:09:14 PM

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SPARKENISTA 6/26/2012 12:03PM

    John! I was out all day yesterday and just saw this now. I hope that you are okay. You never know how things will work out, do you?

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SHELLIECAN 6/26/2012 9:23AM

    What a great blog - I`m chuckling here for 2 reasons
..Firstly because you write so well and put so much humor into your words that its impossible not to be drawn into the story...
..Secondly because on first reading I thought to myself (idiot that I am at times !) how on earth does a person carry a five foot long sandwich !!!


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AVANDREA_ 6/26/2012 8:41AM

    The only bad thing about Karma that time was that you were in the car at the time... glad that no one was hurt John. I am sure my ex father in-law and that guy would have been like peas in a pod... too bad Karma takes such a long time sometimes to catch up to people like that.

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KATHRYN1955 6/26/2012 7:56AM

    Interesting that your DIL gave you the credit card and menu list and not her own father. At least you kept your cool and did not descend to his level. And perhaps in some way that you will never know, your more positive and calm energy may have had an effect on him, much more so, than if you had responded negatively.
As far as karma goes, he is the one with the wrecked car and you are the one who found out that you can stay true to yourself no matter how tempted!!!
Take care,
Kathy

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MARCYNA 6/26/2012 6:57AM

    As a RC myself, I know we're supposed never to know what a Bible is-even if we read it every day-..should we walk with one copy in hand as a sign we're good believers???
What a damage prejudices do!!!!
It was funny what happened, they say the Lord has a good sense of humor.... emoticon

Comment edited on: 6/26/2012 6:59:08 AM

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LYNMEINDERS 6/26/2012 4:18AM

    Love it....

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KATD13 6/26/2012 1:03AM

    I do love Karma! It's not everyday that you get to witness it so quickly.

As for playing nice ... I can not do it. As I've grown older, I've found it harder & harder to turn the other cheek. I can not let stupidity & ignorance go. If it is directed at me, it is my duty to call you out on it.
It's also come to my attention that the loudest bible thumpers are usually the biggest hypocrites.

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CLOVER2 6/25/2012 10:45PM

    Well, it WAS his car, now wasn't it?? emoticon
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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CARTOONB 6/25/2012 10:18PM

    LOL! You've always said, you are who you're with. Maybe next time you'll let him go by himself. emoticon

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ONEKIDSMOM 6/25/2012 6:57PM

    I'm afraid I had to giggle at "you people". Wonder what that means to him?

And as you said, be careful who you hang out with! emoticon

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JCDROLSHAGEN 6/25/2012 4:43PM

    Kudos to you John for having such grace. Opinionated so and sos are hard to take. And I think this man misses some (much) of the message of the good book.

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ARCHIMEDESII 6/25/2012 4:09PM

    WOW ! You certainly showed restraint. Gee, if that's what he thinks about Catholics, I wonder what he would have thought if his daughter decided to marry someone who was Jewish, Muslim or Buddhist. Unfortunately, I have a cousin with a similar belief system. She firmly believes that Catholics, Jews, Muslims, gays, etc... are all going to Hell if they don't repent their ways. What does she think of her heathen cousin ? I'm merely misguided. eh-hem.

What matters is that no one was hurt in the accident. However, the fact that his pride and joy was bent out of shape says that maybe there is some justice in the universe.

Glad you survived your weekend car wreck and family get together.





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ANATASHIKI 6/25/2012 3:54PM

    nah , you HAD to see it in all her splendor (I mean karma emoticon ) . and obviously a Bible is something that the guy doesn't understand a bit emoticon

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ROSGETSSERIOUS 6/25/2012 3:49PM

    Our son was married last weekend and his new FIL is similar - a miserable old B with such a negative outlook on life - luckily his beautiful daughter knows exactly what he is like and walks on eggshells around him.
My DH and I have already had the " this man will also be the grandfather of our grandchildren one day, so we have to play nice" conversation!!!LOL
So true - what goes around comes around!!


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DANAWALKER4 6/25/2012 3:23PM

  It is good to be passive and turn the other cheek. It makes for better relationships.

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BAMAJAM 6/25/2012 2:53PM

  Just thought of a post script---- (topic of in-laws) lol

Did your DIL ask you what kind of sandwich you wanted, or did she decide for everyone. Did your DIL appreciate all your hard work, helping them on their new home-- OR--- Did DIL consider it unwelcomed "interference"---- You son might know you are being that great helpful Dad, BUT DIL--- might want you to move away to another country (Joan too) LOL

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WORLDSERIES11 6/25/2012 2:31PM

    Glad you're OK! And congrats on being the better person and biting your tongue:)

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NATRONA32 6/25/2012 2:01PM

    Wow... I think I would have asked him, when was the last time he actually READ his Bible & then asked, 'Or do YOU people not know how to read?'
Apparent;y not based on his behavior...
what a jerk

(you are a better person then I, I would NOT have put up with that at all!)

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LLINDY65 6/25/2012 1:40PM

    Glad you were ok.... I have seen things work out just like this in my own life... I try always to be kind and appropriate no matter what because I do not want Karma to get me too! LOL

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BAMAJAM 6/25/2012 1:38PM

  Good for you, John, "turning the other cheek"--- Religious zealots need a dose of humility, and need to judge not. However, next time you are in his company, when "YOU people" are in his company, you can tell him that Catholics do know about the Bible. Welcome to the world of "in-laws"--- kinda like walkin' on egg shells. By the way, does your DIL read your blogs ?! LOL

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HKARLSSON 6/25/2012 1:23PM

    Hmmm. Obviously, his tail was showing (as my dear departed grandma used to say to people making asses of themselves). Karma can be a subtle goddess, but by crackies, she's the most effective when she is immediate. Sorry you got caught in the middle (or the side), but I'm sure the humor of the situation was not lost upon you. A plague of exuberant flatulence upon annoying in-laws!

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DEARTOMYHEART 6/25/2012 1:04PM

  John so glad to know your ok. I would have loved to have spent that time with you John. You are a beautiful bible believing man. If this man was truly a bible reading man, he would not have said what he did and would have honored his daughter request. You are a man of faith John. What goes around does come around! Feel sorry for this man that he is that blind. He needs a lot of prayers and duck tape for his mouth. emoticon

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HAPPYSOUL91 6/25/2012 12:50PM

    wow, I wouldn't have been able to hold my tongue but then karma took care of it in a clever way.

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MORTICIAADDAMS 6/25/2012 11:17AM

    LOL. It's odd how many so called Christians use the Bible like a weapon but they know little of what it contains and follow even less of it. This applies to ministers as well as laypeople. I encounter it on a daily basis. If you want to bring someone to God the best way is to act as a beacon - "This little light of mine. I'm gonna let it shine." Berating people for not living up to your own limited view of God is not where it's at, even in the Bible. "Judge not, that ye be not judged." I'm not a Bible thumper so I don't feel compelled necessarily to follow this rule but it is there for those who do. I am religious in my own discreet, nontraditional way. I don't tolerate people like your in-law very well because a lot of people like my husband and I have studied the Bible fairly extensively and if you want to use it as a weapon, we can beat your brains out with it. There is nothing more detrimental to leading people to God than a religious zealot and I am not referring to the Jewish sect mentioned in the Bible. I'm referring to fanatics. I feel sorry for your DIL. She sent someone on a simple job to pick up a few sandwiches and they were bushwhacked by a control freak who wouldn't let them even honor that. He is lucky he isn't my dad. LOL. There are fathers and then there are dads. I wonder where he falls.

Comment edited on: 6/25/2012 11:20:14 AM

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NASFKAB 6/25/2012 11:16AM

  Glad you are OK how patient of you

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WILDHONEYPIE1 6/25/2012 10:57AM

    emoticon I'm also glad you are okay. Your self control is going to become legendary. As an aside, it's okay to tell irritating people that you are going alone. emoticon

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GLORYB2014 6/25/2012 10:41AM

    I'm really smiling as I read your blog John, because I truly believe in Karma!
We get what we give . . . sooner or later!
Glad neither of you weren't hurt, maybe his feelings but nothing physical.

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VONBLACKBIRD 6/25/2012 10:28AM

    o my goodness think we all have "those people" in our family somehow...I'm laughing with you as it is just so funny how people can be..You are a very very gracious man who firmly believes in God and His grace for us. It doesn't matter our belief system but only that we believe and also how we treat others. God Bless you immensely!!!

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SIMPLY-VICKI 6/25/2012 10:27AM

  Glad you weren't hurt and your "good Karma" won out. In laws can really be a pain at times but what goes around, comes around. emoticon

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THEFLORIDAFAIRY 6/25/2012 10:20AM

    I agree wholeheartedly with LDRICHEL. She said it perfectly emoticon

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MYOWNHERO 6/25/2012 10:18AM

    This is what I love about you.This is a story full of hurtful remarks, irritation and personal attack. You CHOSE to see the humor and life-lessons here. I'd say you know your Bible rather well!!!

Bravo on being awesome :D

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JEWELLE217 6/25/2012 10:04AM

    Karma can definitely come around and bite you on the backside! Guess he got his! LOL!

Great blog as always!
Deb

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LDRICHEL 6/25/2012 9:59AM

    OMG...what a jackass!!! This story made me laugh out loud. Thanks, buddy!

And, for the record, I have always assumed you to be a man of faith and an all-around great person...and I've never even met you in real life!

Sad that he is missing out on the joy and privilege of getting to be WITH you...when so many of us would love to be but just can't.

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HDHAWK 6/25/2012 9:59AM

    I agree 100% John! He got the karma he put out into the world. How miserable to put up with people like that. emoticon

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SANDRALEET 6/25/2012 9:56AM

    So many people think they are the only ones who believe in God.When they are saved do not have to change. emoticon

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KMSIMMONS1 6/25/2012 9:55AM

  Good self control man. Glad you're OK.

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SFREY217 6/25/2012 9:54AM

    Cute story with a great moral to it ! Thanks for sharing.

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It's Difficult Being Your Own Inspiration, Isnt It

Friday, June 22, 2012


2

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SILLYHP1953 7/14/2012 3:51PM

    My strength and hope does have to come from within me...that was a powerful reminder.

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AVANDREA_ 6/25/2012 12:55AM

    So true John, thank you again for some very thought provoking thoughts.

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LYNMEINDERS 6/24/2012 1:42AM

    Such an awesome reminder...thankyou

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CURVYELVIESAYS 6/23/2012 7:33PM

    Thanks for reminding us all that we are our own inspirtation. It's very hard to be my own inspiration but, worth it. Thank you!

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VONBLACKBIRD 6/23/2012 3:36PM

    You do inspire me also.

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MYGOLDENBOYS3 6/23/2012 6:02AM

    Thanks John. A lot to think about and, honestly, have never quite thought of it that way. Yes, internal inspiration. It comes from within.

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Have a great day.

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NASFKAB 6/23/2012 5:01AM

  thought provoking as always thanks

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ANGELWENDYMAMA 6/23/2012 4:02AM

    Yes, I am my own biggest inspiration, too. :) Thanks for the reminder!

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CBRIGGS1956 6/22/2012 10:32PM

    Thanks John, something else to work towards.

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DEBRITA01 6/22/2012 6:14PM

    Thought-provoking...as usual. What I love about your blogs/vlogs is how encouraging and honest you are. Even when we don't always want to acknowledge the truth or do the hard work, you have a gentle way of inviting introspection. It is a gift that you share freely with others and through your words and experiences, I know I've learned more about my self.

Hmmm, guess I am going to work harder on being my own inspiration and accepting the responsibility that goes along with. Thanks, John...


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GIRANIMAL 6/22/2012 5:04PM

    LOL @ bilingual redundancy! Sorry, the editor in me couldn't help it. emoticon

Consistency in your mind AND actions really is key. And that's why "lifestyle change" is so much more effective (albeit sometimes more daunting) than dieting.

Accountability is a great tool, but reliance on others for inspiration does seem like a bit of a trap. What about when people get busy, as they always do? Why leave your success to other people's (understandably) erratic availability as your cheerleader? Or what about when even the most inspirational folks stumble, as EVERYONE does? If you're not also inspired by you, you've left yourself kinda high and dry.

Personal responsibility is hard, but it's more effective and it's worth it.

Bravo, John!

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TRISTAROSE 6/22/2012 4:16PM

    I liked what you said and you are so right! Thanks for another great Vlog!

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TRESA7 6/22/2012 3:53PM

    John, you've made a terrific Vlog! It gives me a lot to think about. What you have become is an Inspiration, a Motivator and perhaps a Weight-Loss Coach!!

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TRIANGLE-WOMAN 6/22/2012 1:24PM

    Great vlog! I'm gonna friend you! Want to keep checking in and getting inspired.

You get out what you put in and you have put in a lot and gotten a lot in return. I'm here if you ever falter!

¸.•´¸.•´¨) ¸.•*¨)
(¸.•´ .•´ ¸¸.•¨¯`-:¦:
*We Can Do This~
-:¦:-•:*'*:•.•:*'*:•-:¦:-
One Day at a Time~
-:... ¦:-•:*'*:• •:*'*:•-:¦:-
.(¯`v´¯)
..`•.¸.•´... ¸.
(¸.•´ (¸.•´


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ADAMSMOB 6/22/2012 1:19PM

    John,
I have to say, I love, love what you are saying. You could not have said it better!!!! I enjoyed every word!!!!!! As you said, we sometime don't like to take responsibility for our own selves or anything. Consistency Is The Key!!!! emoticon emoticon

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LDRICHEL 6/22/2012 12:41PM

    I totally am my biggest inspiration! haha

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Seriously, though...I completely get what you're saying because it's exactly what I've been trying to tell my SparkFollowers. I feel the same desire to impart this very information to anyone that says I inspire them. I just wrote a blog called "Fitness Isn't Free" that talks more about this.

Comment edited on: 6/22/2012 12:47:51 PM

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DEARTOMYHEART 6/22/2012 11:48AM

  I so agree with what you are saying. You are what you think. We need to inspire ourselves as you say every hour or even moments. Some times I must give myself a good taking to. We can take food for thought from others but it still comes down to me. John, you do inspire me. I have gotten great food for thought to the point my eyes have been opened to things I didn't what to admit to myself I was doing. I do miss when you are to busy in your work to blog. I feel you are a great mentor. Thanks John. You have a great friday and weekend also. emoticon emoticon

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TRULYVISIBLE 6/22/2012 10:48AM

  I totally agree with that philosophy, you take the things you like from others and incorporate those things you like into yourself. One needs to be their own inspiration for themselves.

Some people say, you can't do it alone (referring to business success, weight loss, etc.) I think you can only do it alone. You can take from others but ultimately you are the one who puts things into action.

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NEWMOM20121 6/22/2012 10:04AM

    Very true and well said. To many people look to others for inspiration, you are correct we should inspire ourselves.

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LIBRARYBELL1 6/22/2012 10:03AM

    Thanks John! I appreciate your words today. I've been taking a class called "You are Powerful" about how a person's thoughts create their reality. I know this to be true and I use it a lot for all the easy stuff - the main thing would be getting jobs - ie: 3 times in my life I have noticed a job opening in the paper or something and I would immediately know it was for me. I wouldn't worry about it. I knew it was mine and I'd walk in with confidence and get it. Several things outside of me is like that, material things that I want, seems easy. It's the inside stuff that is so hard!!!

You've given me a lot to think about. This weight loss would be so easy for me and I could motivate myself if I could just get a handle on my emotions. I've always used food to keep my emotions in check, afraid it might spill out all over the place. Hmmmm....lots to think about. Thanks!!!

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THEFLORIDAFAIRY 6/22/2012 9:53AM

    As always, a pleasure viewing and reading your blog posts. You are an insightful person and very well articulated. Have a great day! Ruthie

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BILL60 6/22/2012 9:20AM

    Hang tough, John.

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SIMPLY-VICKI 6/22/2012 9:07AM

  Thank you John. It's actually what I needed to hear this morning. Have yourself a wonderful Friday! emoticon

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Learning To Live With Life's Hurdles

Monday, June 18, 2012

Yesterday was the first Father’s Day I’d celebrated without my dad. He left us a little over three months ago and just about the time I was eking out a bit of a normal routine it dawned on me I was facing another hurdle in learning to live without him. We were separated by four hundred miles of geography but we talked on the phone once or twice a week. Our discussions centered on sports; mostly golf, baseball and football. While his body failed him over the past few years his mind remained sharp and focused. He listened to television and while our opinions weren’t always the same it made for good discussion. Any time something unique or quirky happened in the world of sports I could always pick up the phone and get my dad’s take on the situation. That defined our relationship. A child of the Depression he wasn’t much into sharing emotions and thoughts. He always had some good advice for me hidden in the news of the day.

Yesterday as I sat down to watch the U.S. Open Golf Tournament I felt this void inside of me. It’s always on Father’s Day and I would always call him at least three times during the course of the day. Before he lost his vision he was an avid golfer and could always draw some parallel to “now and then.” Two of my sons were with me and we talked and chided each other on who would win and stuff like that but I had this feeling inside of me, as if someone left the back door open on a cold winter day and a wind was blowing through my soul. I went to bed last night and stared at the ceiling, shedding more than one tear. Somewhere in the midst of my sorrow a glimpse of reason appeared. Like most events in life that challenge us this was just another hurdle. It wouldn’t be the first and I’m quite sure it wont be the last. In laypersons terms it sucked. It wasn’t how I planned to spend this day but I lay there last night with a choice. I could drown in my sorrow or I could accept it for what it was, acknowledge the loss and move on. The longer I laid there the more I began to draw comparisons to my health journey. Don’t you and I face a series of hurdles each and every day? Don’t some of those hurdles present us with facing some realities in our lives we might normally brush away? Hurdles, challenges, call them what you will, they present us with a choice on how we approach our lives. We can sit in our own swill and point the finger of blame at everyone else or we can sigh, put a band aid on our wounds and move forward.

There is no magic here, just often the dreary resignation to putting one foot in front of the other and moving forward. I will grieve my father for some time and I will have really bad days. They are part of the race we all run. I did walk away with the knowledge that I can control how these hurdles affect me. I’d like to tell you I feel a lot better after writing this but I don’t. There is still a dull ache that will subside in time I’m told.

Every day of my existence is full of hurdles and choices. What to eat, whether I walk or go to the gym, how much rest I get, etc. It’s up to me, and you, to jump those hurdles and take some measure of satisfaction that we survived yet another day. I realize this isn’t my usual cheery “go get em’ guys,” sort of post. But life is like that, full of twists and turns and the knowledge that you and I and so many others aren’t alone.

Take consolation in that feeling. I do.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SILLYHP1953 6/28/2012 2:30PM

    I have so few people in my life who are able to express their emotions and their growth and their failures...I am so grateful you are willing to share yours. You are helping me learn to feel, to grieve, to love, to hope.

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TRESA7 6/22/2012 4:10PM

    emoticon for our loss. My mom passed on March 18th. Both her birthday (Apr. 5th) and Mother's Day were extremely difficult! For Mother's Day, all I could think of was, "I wish I could call Mom."

I finally sat down (both times I think) and wrote my thoughts in a journal. I believe our loved ones can look down and see what we're doing or writing or even what we're thinking about.

I still have my bad days, too. I sometimes cry over the least little thing (like missing a bus) and don't know why until I've bawled my eyes out and taken time to examine things. They say, "Time heals all wounds." But, we never know How Much time.

Hang in there. Know that you have numerous friends supporting you!

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SWTHNY- 6/21/2012 12:54PM

    Thank you for the blog.Both of my parents have been in heaven since I was young. I didn't think about them to much or tried not to because of the hurt that came with it.
It seemed my mind and spirit needed to deal with it more because all of a sudden in my 50's I began noticing I would dream about them. Sometimes it was a dream that was about something unresolved in my mind OR the best ones were when I just was trying not to deal with something overwhelming in my life (sometimes good stuff or sometimes questions or bad things)
I feel they came to me in a dream so I could handle something or figure something hidden deep out. So even when they are gone I believe with my whole heart and soul...God gave them to us...forever. The sadness mellows over time kinda but they find their way back to us in so many ways...forever ours

cheryl

Comment edited on: 6/21/2012 12:54:35 PM

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LKEITHO 6/19/2012 10:05PM

    Beautifully written. Thank you.

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MORTICIAADDAMS 6/19/2012 8:25PM

    Like I told my hubby, you never really have grown up until you lose a parent. You never get over it. My mom died in 96 and I miss her and my grandparents and think of them almost every day. It's not a raw burning pain any more but it still is a dull ache.

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LYNMEINDERS 6/19/2012 7:47PM

    Thankyou again John....we do have choices and we need to make the best ones as we jump our hurdles in Life...thats so what builds us and makes us who we are....

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NASFKAB 6/19/2012 2:58AM

  Lost my Pa 16 years back & still feel lost without him HUGS & all the best

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GEEMAWEST 6/18/2012 11:50PM

    Wish I was there to give you the hugs that I would like to.
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BE-THE-CHANGE 6/18/2012 10:13PM

    emoticon

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GIRANIMAL 6/18/2012 5:16PM

    Sometimes it's hard for me to think of grief as just another of life's hurdles, but in the end, it's true. We all will experience it at some point in our lives, and it does take some work, some energy to climb up and over it.

That ache will continue to dull over time, as long as you address your feelings of loss. I think that's the real hurdle of grief -- facing the loss, and the feelings it creates (the way binge eaters must face their demons, etc.) rather than just waiting around passively for the pain to fade.





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THEFLORIDAFAIRY 6/18/2012 4:44PM

    emoticon

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EILI359 6/18/2012 4:27PM

    emoticon emoticon

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HDHAWK 6/18/2012 3:01PM

    Unfortunately we all have to go through these losses. You are right when you say it's how we deal with them that matters. It's ok to take some time to grieve as we need to. Take care. I'm glad you got to spend some of the day with your boys.

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SNOWANGELDIVA 6/18/2012 2:39PM

    No, we are not alone. wanted to write a blog honouring my husband and what an Angel of a Father he is and my heart was numb with grief over missing my Dad. I tried to dull the pain with the sad memories , but, I couldn't hold onto the pain, it was gone. I had let that Bitterness Boat sail years ago, but, the "He'd love it here with me...", "He'd be so proud of these grandbabies..." the absence of his joy...haunted me.
One day at a time, sometimes it's one painful breath at a time, but, we press on toward the mark.
We are not alone.


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DEARTOMYHEART 6/18/2012 2:30PM

  I lost my father 18 years ago and each fathers day I feel that empty feeling come back. This happens on his birthday too. I miss my dad a lot, but each time I feel down we talk as if he were here. Makes me feel so much better. He will be for ever in my heart. We will make it through just like each day we are given, we make it through. Some good, others not so good. One day at a time, life is a GIFT. emoticon

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GETFIT2LIVE 6/18/2012 12:51PM

    I lost my dad 38 years ago and still miss him; lost my father-in-law over 20 years ago and miss him as well. The first special day like a holiday without a loved one is hard, no doubt about it, but we make it through, like this journey we are on--one step at a time, one choice at a time.

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VONBLACKBIRD 6/18/2012 12:25PM

    Big big emoticon

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SPARKENISTA 6/18/2012 11:35AM

    John--

This loss has dealt you a huge blow. My heart goes out to you.



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BAMAJAM 6/18/2012 10:57AM

  John,,, I hope your Father's day with your children gave you a big dose of JOY!
When your own dad is fondly missed, you can be thankful (even in your sorrow) that you had a dad that left pleasant memories to be cherished. My dear mom passed away and left a huge hole in my heart----but I am ever so blessed that she was my angel mother. Life is a journey and the path is not all bliss.
God bless you!

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RSTENNER 6/18/2012 10:34AM

    Sending you a big hug John. That's the part of life that is so hard at times. When we love deeply, it's hard to have that loss. But, lucky for us, a new day dawns and we have to look out and see the sunshine and dedicate ourselves to be a encouragement to others. This too will pass! emoticon

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PATTILYNN224 6/18/2012 10:28AM

  Sorry for your loss. Thank you for sharing.

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DOLLYHOLLY 6/18/2012 10:25AM

    What a sweet blog! I had lost my dad years ago and wish I had read this before I stress-ate over this past weekend.





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DOODIE59 6/18/2012 10:12AM

    I am sorry for your loss and sadness, John. There is nothing to do but "live it out":)
Hugs to you
Deirdre

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STEADFASTNSEE 6/18/2012 9:39AM

  12 years ago I lost my father (January) and then my husband (March). I had similar "firsts". In fact I had a recent "first" (if you can call two years ago recent). In 2010, I was officially a widow longer than we were married. We were married 9 and a half years. That one was tough. But this is what I did. I went out on my anniversary and bought myself a card. I told myself to stay strong in my faith and stick close to my spiritual family. I also told myself that, with Jehovah God's help, I would make it. And, John, I am. emoticon emoticon

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LDRICHEL 6/18/2012 9:24AM

    I feel your pain, John...although, not fully because I've yet to lose a parent. But I've had those days when I think of my Aunt (who I watched take her last breaths a few months ago) and the grief washes over me anew...just when I feel like I've "handled" it and moved on.

No one expects you to be happy all the time. You are you. You are real and genuine and that's why we love you so.

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TERRIPAL1 6/18/2012 9:20AM

    You are right we all have hurdles, the first holiday without your dad,is always the worst and sometimes,you'll miss him just out of the blue! I lost my dad in 2009 and not a day goes by that I don't think of him or talk about him!

You have your good memories,about your dad,share them write about them savor them no one can take that away from you! emoticon

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NEWMOM20121 6/18/2012 9:13AM

    Thank you for sharing.

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CBRIGGS1956 6/18/2012 9:10AM

    I lost my dad several years ago and still think of him daily, the firsts are always the toughest though. emoticon

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BARB5970 6/18/2012 9:04AM

    I read your blog with teary eyes. I'm sorry for your difficult time. I remember the first Father's Day without my dad and the date of his birthday, the first time it past without him here to celebrate. All the "first's" are very difficult, but somehow, as time goes by, it does get better but it's never easy. (Is anything ever easy?)

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SIMPLY-VICKI 6/18/2012 8:52AM

  I'm sorry for your loss. My dad died in 1977 and I still miss him. emoticon

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Sometimes Good Things Take Forever; But They Are Worth The Wait

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

I don’t read the newspaper very often. I’ll admit it makes me seem grossly uniformed, but if I’m looking to create negativity in my life I can do that without paying someone twenty dollars a month. In the past week our community has experienced an ex-high school principal being granted shock probation for having relations with an underage student, a Catholic priest being indicted and arrested for sexual molestation and a teacher aide/assistant baseball coach fired and arrested for having relations with underage, special needs students. As positive of an outlook as I have on life, these events strained my capacity to look for any goodness, kindness or; well you fill in the blank.


I was waiting for my water to boil this morning when I glanced at the sports headlines. A baseball coach at one of our high schools had turned in his resignation. That in itself wasn’t surprising but his reason was. He wanted to spend more time with his four sons. They were reaching an age where they could be active and he wanted to be there with them ---- all the way. He’d remain a teacher and devote his coaching time to his kids. My generation would have cautioned him. We’d have told him he was letting go of an opportunity to advance, earn more money; you can fill in the blank here.

I don’t know him or his dad, but I’ll bet his dad had the same mindset we all did back in the 70’s. Work as much as you can, make as much as you can and provide your kids with a chance to compete in this world. I worked as much overtime as I could and I believed that was how I showed my love and support. As that generation comes of age, they shake there head a resounding “No.” They are giving their kids what many of us didn’t recognize as pure gold, our time. I didn’t miss everything my kids were into but I missed enough for them and many like them to identify the missing link, the lost piece of the map, you can fill in the blank here with your own experience.

In many ways it’s like getting on the scale on weigh in day and finding the needle hasn’t budged or if it has its budging the wrong way. You do all the right things and you do them consistently but no matter where you turn you run into a wall of frustration, anxiety or; well you fill in the blank.

Something good evolved. It took decades to gain shape and substance but the need to nurture, foster and appreciate the lives of our children pushed the need for material gain to the back. No matter how hard we try sometimes, no matter how frustrated we get, if we stick to what’s right in our minds it bears fruit in the end. One thing usually leads to another, and so this morning my heart is a tad bit lighter. In the midst of all the swill, perversion and negativity there comes a beacon in the form of a coach who put the right things first.

Now, it’s time for us to fill in the blank.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SILLYHP1953 6/28/2012 2:25PM

    You are right on, again. My mother and step-father did not have time for me, but thank God my grandmother and grandfather did. I don't know what would have happened to me without them. But as I look back I also see how being on my own (today it would be called neglected) developed characteristics that have helped me.

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JAVAGAL47 6/15/2012 10:04PM

    Great comments John and Happy Father's Day!

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LADILADIDA 6/14/2012 9:26AM

    LOVE - "No matter how hard we try sometimes, no matter how frustrated we get, if we stick to what’s right in our minds it bears fruit in the end." So true. Welldone blog, my friend.

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CBRIGGS1956 6/14/2012 8:55AM

    As usual you are absolutely correct about time being golden, I am one of the ones who unfortunately found that out only after my kids are grown. Thanks, for the message.

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VTORIA3 6/14/2012 7:51AM

    Wow, John, your blog is really uplifting. I'm so glad I stopped by to read it today. emoticon

Wishing you a great day!

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SPARKENISTA 6/13/2012 11:48AM

    I don't buy newspapers, either.
The fact that the perverted individuals you mention have been caught is a good thing. You mention the evolution of our society. When you and I were growing up we didn't hear about this stuff b/c it was taboo to mention it. It probably would not have been believed much less prosecuted.

The golden lining in this black cloud is that people who do this are getting caught and, hopefully, punished--or at least removed from society, lose their jobs and will be pariahs for the rest of their miserable lives.

In terms of spending more time with your kids--I just saw a headline that said that on their death beds, most people regret not having spent more time with their loved ones.

I agree that our society is evolving and that people are recognizing the "profit" of spending time with their families. Setting a great example by working hard is something that this father is doing. He doesn't have to worry about that.

Having lost my father at age seven, you know where I weigh in on this, so...

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NASFKAB 6/13/2012 12:41AM

  thanks for your profound & thought provoking comments we do not always see what is really important & MORTICIAADAMS your husband is great

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GEEMAWEST 6/12/2012 11:20PM

    This is so 'right on'! People find it hard to believe that I would rather spend time with my grandchildren than make the 'big bucks'. But that's my choice and I'm proud of it! We are much better grandparents than we were parents. Live and Learn (I hope).

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STEADFASTNSEE 6/12/2012 9:04PM

  Very insightful! HUGS

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CARTOONB 6/12/2012 8:47PM

    What can I say? Fill in the blank...

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LYNMEINDERS 6/12/2012 5:14PM

    Amen...I am so so proud of that coach and it is great to know that some things in this world are changing all be it slowly.....woohoo

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MARITIMER3 6/12/2012 4:00PM

    My children grew up with me pushing myself for a better job, more responsibility, more money... and unfortunately they have picked up some of my bad habits.

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KIMCOLLINGS 6/12/2012 2:41PM

    Terrific blog. Thanks for sharing!

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ANATASHIKI 6/12/2012 2:01PM

    I don't watch news either , no paper , no TV . I don't want to waste all my time working either, no amount of money is worthy of it . everybody looks funny at me when I say it and they probably think I'm crazy . I'm grateful that I have a job , and one of the better paid here but it's too much work. I insist to believe that we should work to live , not live to work.

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HDHAWK 6/12/2012 12:52PM

    My husband and I have had this conversation many times. He can see that he attended classes and trainings to advance in his job. He and their mom divorced 11 yrs. ago and what he missed the most was time with his kids. As they've started their own lives the time together seems harder to find.

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SGRAY478 6/12/2012 12:39PM

    I am so glad that some people still put the right things first in life.
Thanks for sharing this story!!

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BAMAJAM 6/12/2012 11:37AM

  Thank you, John, and thank you too, MorticiaAdams---- for wonderful words of wisdom. Words that explain true contentment in life. Having a family of virtue and integrity is the BEST statement about parenting. You have realized this--- and your messages have great merit!

Indeed, the sad news of the day can bring a shadow of gloom. Alabama has shocking news of a triple murder in the college town of Auburn. A "party" got out of hand and a fight happened. And one of the deceased victims had himself killed a family relative last March with a gun. Guns are common weapons. Sad.
We hear the scandal of Catholic priests, the bad ones, but there are so many good priests. A beloved priest in my life became my true hero.

I sometimes joke about retirement years and say: We should turn off the news, and play only happy music!! ----- The news should report more good stuff---

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VONBLACKBIRD 6/12/2012 11:19AM

    O so true...I see one of my granddaughters growing up to know empathy and that it is better to spend time with family and friends than trying to get ahead. She does want a college education but she spends time where it is most appreicated...We as parents went against the flow in doing for our kids. I was raised this way as a child..and I bucked my parents in wanting to put aside my time for our sons...I see our sons not doing as well and sometimes it is heart breaking to see the grandkids wanting their dads there as much as their moms. Thankfully their moms don't work so they give them all lots of quality time.

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DEARTOMYHEART 6/12/2012 10:54AM

  John, thanks again for a very awesome blog. I'm a grandparent and enjoy these previous gifts our beautiful children gave to us. God is great isn't he.. emoticon emoticon

Comment edited on: 6/12/2012 10:55:21 AM

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HEALTHIERKEN 6/12/2012 10:44AM

    Great sensitive blog. I rarely watch tv news or listen to radio news or read newspapers. I do a quick overview of a couple of news websites so I have a bit of an idea of what's going in politics and world events and I mostly avoid reading about "man's inhumanity to man" I know it exists in dreadful amounts but I don't need to know details.

On the other note, the thing I like best about being a grandparent is I can unabashedly and unashamedly give my grandchildren every single moment they ask for!

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MAMADWARF 6/12/2012 10:34AM

    Great blog!! Thanks for writing it.

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MORTICIAADDAMS 6/12/2012 10:33AM

    My hubby and I used to watch a lot of news, several times a day in fact, until I read a book by Andrew Weil and it said people need to take a news break from all of the bad news which affects your mood and health, I thought about it and it was true as it caused my hubby to gripe after seeing all the doom and gloom and it bummed me out too.

It's sad that so many people in the past and still today base their value of a person on how much money they make. When my son was little my husband's job was transferred to Canada. At the same time my son was very sick and missed 20 days of kindergarten and 20 days of first grade before he had surgery. I could make more money working as a nurse than my husband could starting over so he stayed home and took care of our son while I worked. Many women were very understanding but my husband took a lot of grief from other men. When we would be in social situations my hubby would explain to me that when one man meets another man they first ask what they do for a living. He said when he told them he was a stay at home dad that the men he was talking to couldn't wait to get away. How sad that some people think the most important job in the world is beneath a "real" man.

Trust me when I say that my hubby is a real man and I will put him for comparison to any man out there without a qualm because he sets the standards for husbands and fathers. He can build a house, fix a car, talk at length intelligently with an entomologist or mycologist or any number of other subjects, can cook, do laundry, and comfort a child as well as any woman. A lot of men would dismiss him as unimportant because he doesn't own a Mercedes or a mansion. His jewels are his son and me. WE are what he treasures. When he meets his maker he will have plenty of "real gold" to show for a life well lived.

Comment edited on: 6/12/2012 10:34:33 AM

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THEFLORIDAFAIRY 6/12/2012 10:00AM

    Thank you for verbalizing these profound statements. Great job!

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To Stand Alone

Friday, June 08, 2012

A few years ago when our son Paul was married I was asked to give the speech and toast at his rehearsal dinner. A number of options floated through my mind as I prepared and I decided to look back at my life with Joan and pull from the wisdom I’d developed over 36 years, at the time. One thing seemed to reoccur over and over and that was an amazing similarity between weddings and funerals. (No it’s not what you think, lol.) In both cases, people are eager to rush forward and offer advice, support and in the case of a death comfort and a willing ear. Both events are surrounded by emotion and seem to pass so quickly that we hardly have time to take them in for what they are. A month or so later we blink our eyes, become infused with a degree of helplessness as we struggle with a new experience. As we look at the landscape all of those well-wishers and those shoulders to lean upon are nowhere in sight. We stand alone, forced to grapple with the changes.

Thirty eight years of marriage have taught me that’s how it should be. The best lesson life has to offer us is the one we experience on our own. That is why we have so many diet books lining the shelves of our book stores. Every one promises us great things, mystical transformations and a fresh outlook on life. “Out with the old and in with the new.” We plunk down our hard earned money, break the speed limit getting home, curl up in a chair and about three chapters in this sinking feeling slowly grips hold of us. Maybe it comes in the form of a little voice that whispers “This isn’t gonna work!!!” We immediately lash ourselves for being weak, uncommitted, oh shoot your pick an adjective!!! It dawns on us after a bit that we are; like the newly wed or the recently bereaved, all alone. There are no landmarks or road signs to direct us.

If this is the point you expect me hail the virtues of Spark Teams and Spark Friends you are mistaken. I love them all dearly and they are an integral part of my life. The operative word is “part.” When the dust settles on my weight loss journey and on my quest for improved fitness and health I know there is only one person staring in the bathroom mirror and that person is me. Only I know when I cheat or when I have those gray, forlorn days. I am learning that no matter how much support I can conjure up for myself when the dust settles on my life there is part of this journey I have to walk alone.

I believe God knew this when He created the Universe. In His infinite wisdom He knew there would be points points in our lives when we had to “go it alone.” There would always be the loving and guiding hand of the Divine and yes all the scriptural promises still hold true that we would not be abandoned and we are indeed loved. Yet, I believe He lets us walk the tight rope now and then so that we learn, we grow and we develop. Somewhere in our pain, our indecision and our anxiety we find this glowing truth that surpasses all wisdom and knowledge we’ve learned to date. For that we are stronger and wiser. Yup we feel a bit beat up but we’re fortified and renewed. Maybe battle tested is a better word.

My personal reassurance here comes from Jesus last words as he hung on the cross dying. “My God, My God,” he cried out “Why have you forsaken me?” Crucifixion is one of the worst imaginable deaths and Christians believe that Jesus hung there for three hours to redeem the world. During his ministry he worked miracles, raised people from the dead and followed a preordained path that led him to that moment alone. In despair and with a twinge of fear he cried out those words and then completed his mission, alone. At that one moment of redemption God knew that He had to take a step back and allow Jesus to pass through all on His own. I am reassured by that passage. Hopefully I’ll never be crucified or charged with the task of redeeming the world.

If my choice is health I will stumble, I will fall; I will despair and if I choose get up and continue my journey forward. My friends, my family can love me, encourage me and support me but there is always that moment, sometimes each day, that I step off the path by myself and make choices and decisions all alone, often feeling forsaken, that impact the rest of my journey. Only I know them for what they really are and that’s as it should be.

Be blest today.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SILLYHP1953 6/28/2012 2:20PM

    Yes, we can have all the support in the world, but we have to do it, not someone else. Support does help, it's sure better than saboteurs, I do that enough myself!

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KAT573 6/19/2012 9:01AM

    JOHN: thank you for sharing this. I, too, believe that I am alone and when I choose, I can 'see' God is also with me; when I don't choose, things look grey and helpless, when I DO choose to meet God halfway or even less, no matter how scared, hurt, sad I feel, I KNOW He is gonna help me through, no matter what; people come and people go; we all do things to/ or receive from, other people, either through actions so focused on self, the trespasses are inadvertent, or purposely, still unaware of what we have done TO another FOR ourselves, or deliberately; in any of those cases, GOD will help us develop ownership, whether it is a strength or a weakness we possess, in order to help us to grow into wholly who we truly are, the light and the dark; but with God, the darkness shall never overcome us.
HUGS emoticon

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GAILSQUEST 6/13/2012 12:03PM

    Yes,I have more diet books than a library and every time I get one it`s like Christmas.I`m not kidding.
Then about 2 or 3 days in,I start to cheat and by the end of the week,the book goes on the shelf with the others to collect dust.
I have to say that the Spark meal plan I use every day.And I`m always looking for recipes to try.
And I have found that I do best when I follow my exercise routine not someone elses.

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SPARKENISTA 6/13/2012 11:39AM

    This is a particularly insightful blog in a sea of insightful blogs.

We come into this life alone, we leave it alone (at least physically if not spiritually) and I have always felt that although a teacher can present material and influence our opinions, most complex learning has to be done alone in a focused way.

Certainly, after a wedding or a funeral, after the social dust clears, it is up the the individual or couple to find their own path.

I think that having others around to share our lives is candy--a sweet treat.


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BELDONDOG1 6/10/2012 7:59PM

    John, I feel that this was one of your best blogs that I have read!! You made a point and the point was well taken. If you can find time and can take a few minutes to read my blog posted 6/10, I think you will understand that your words were like a light that I needed at this point. I also believe that we can have a lot of motivations, ideas and "i did this" kinda of things, but in the end, it is what I do alone. Thanks for the blog!

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SLIMLEAF 6/10/2012 6:44PM

    Maybe I miss your point (probably) but I find this thought of going it alone scary, sad and bleak.

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STEADFASTNSEE 6/10/2012 12:03PM

  Thanks for this John. emoticon

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LISALGB 6/10/2012 11:20AM

    What an encourager you are, John. I am so blessed by reading your blog today. I have been teaching my son that we never walk alone, the Jesus is always with us. I believe He walks with us in everything we do, including our weight loss journey.
I am just amazed at His love!!
I hope you are blessed today, too!!


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TRISTAROSE 6/9/2012 9:48AM

    Thank you for another incredible blog .... emoticon

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NASFKAB 6/9/2012 5:07AM

  You teach so much unforgettable thanks

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LYNMEINDERS 6/9/2012 2:14AM

    you are such a Blessing with your blogs John

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HDHAWK 6/8/2012 10:52PM

    That's the truth John! All those books and friends can help us along the way, but in the end it's up to us to do the work.

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LDMCNIEL 6/8/2012 8:54PM

    You have such words of wisdom. emoticon

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MAUITN 6/8/2012 5:13PM

    I love reading your blog and alway take something away from them which enriches my life.

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DEBRITA01 6/8/2012 3:02PM

    It's all about the power within ourselves...the power we often don't realize we have. At the end of the day, it's up to us to make the choices. God has blessed us with strength, wisdom, courage, and many gifts...what we do with them is up to us.

Loved the blog (as usual) and it's good food for thought... emoticon

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MORTICIAADDAMS 6/8/2012 2:43PM

    We are the masters of our own fate. No matter how much support we have it still is up to us to steer our own ship. When we fail the failure is ours.

Comment edited on: 6/8/2012 2:44:48 PM

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PATTISLIM2 6/8/2012 2:40PM

    John - What an incredible and truly insightful blog! You have gained great wisdom on this path of weight control and wellness. You give hope and encouragement to me and yet, you're right, I am the ONLY master of my ship! I will succeed or fail from MY CHOICES. Thank you for your thoughts that will help me and many others.

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SIMPLY-VICKI 6/8/2012 2:34PM

  Thank you for what you post. It really does help me, whether you realize it or not. emoticon

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TEACHING1ST 6/8/2012 2:24PM

    I always look forward to 'hearing' more insight from you, John. Very well said.

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DEARTOMYHEART 6/8/2012 2:10PM

  Thank you for sharing a awesome blog John. These are the words I need to hear. Some times I just don't want to go it alone, even when I know it truely is choses I make not someone else. emoticon

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DMANN104 6/8/2012 2:02PM

    Very well said - it's sometimes hard to hear that it's all up to us, but so true.

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DOODIE59 6/8/2012 1:06PM

    I find that personal truth very hard ... I am responsible for my choices ... one day I will recognize my (onerous) responsibility for what it really is -- the freeing power to embrace my true self. Not there yet ...

Have a wonderful weekend, John:)
Deirdre

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FINDGME 6/8/2012 12:55PM

    Just the words i needed to hear.. Thank you emoticon

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VONBLACKBIRD 6/8/2012 12:32PM

    Thank you again my friend.

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LDRICHEL 6/8/2012 12:18PM

    This was soooo good. It comes just a couple days after hubby and I have returned from intense faith-based marital counseling (3 entire days). This blog was just so poignant for me in so many ways. Thank you. And, more than that...thank you, Jesus.

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GETFIT2LIVE 6/8/2012 11:34AM

    One of the greatest truths I have learned on this journey, John, is that we alone are responsible for our choices and our actions. Much as I love SparkPeople and my friends and family, no one can do this for us, and we have to find our own way. What works for me may not work for you and vice versa, but we can learn from one another and encourage one another to keep at it. We only truly fail when we refuse to get back up again; stumbles and mistakes and sidetracks may happen along the way, but we do not have to allow them to become permanent. Well said, my friend.

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MISSROCKABILLY 6/8/2012 11:19AM

    Thank you so much for sharing these thoughts, John. They are exactly what I needed to read this morning, and so very true. I've just recently returned to focusing on creating my healthy lifestyle, and it's hard to stick to all the time. I just need to keep picking myself back up and persevering on my own, instead of creating excuses based on others.
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KIMCOLLINGS 6/8/2012 11:18AM

    Very well said. Love your blogs!

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