JOHNTJ1   68,052
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Starting Over: The Greatest Gift We Have

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

The greatest gift we have ever received happens every morning when I open my eyes. As we plant our feet on the ground before us lays a fresh canvas, blank and unpainted upon. There are no errors, no mistakes, no wrong colors, just a canvas waiting for us to paint on it.

Had a bad yesterday, you might say. It matters not. This morning is fresh and new and no matter how hard you try, good or bad, yesterday with its triumphs and its mistakes is gone forever. When my eyes flutter open each morning I am given another chance to be what I was intended to be. I am given a chance to simply cast aside the shackles of years past, shrug my shoulders and take a step into the light. The scary part is that once I embrace this way of thinking, I no longer have any excuses. If each day gives me an opportunity to be better, wiser and stronger, to learn from yesterday what I can, vow not to repeat it and then discard it, I am out of reasons not to grow and be happy.

In my life time I have been given 20,782 opportunities to begin anew, learn from my past mistakes and start over. I wonder sometimes when I took advantage of that opportunity. Mostly, I slide out of bed, complaining and moaning about what “I HAVE to do” today. I complain about the weather, the world and the fact that I don’t believe the Chicago Cubs will never win another world series. I ingest a beverage to jolt me awake and like some sort of drone I fall into place with something called “conventional wisdom.” That’s code for how I got fat. I got fat following what everyone else does, paying attention to rumors and fallacies about life

We fall into step with everyone else because it’s easier. We ARE NOT athletes. We ARE NOT cooks. IT’S EASIER to go to a restaurant after a hard day’s work. I AM OLD. We all have our own built in mechanism to defeat our success. We are comfortable in doing so because when we look to the right and look to the left we see everyone else doing as we are. It provides us with comfort.

Every morning we have a chance to change it. While I can’t repeat yesterday I can build on it and I am fooling myself if I believe I can only build on positive things. I can build on all the negativity I hold on to. If I am not careful, my life begins to spiral downwards.

But there is hope. If you are reading this blog you are part of it. Every day the amazing support mechanism you and I have kicks into gear the moment we boot up our computers. Every day we get a chance to get it right, once again.
Didn’t log your food yesterday ---- Start again today. Forgot about the gym, or maybe you just didn’t feel like it ---- Today gives you the chance to sweat a bit and build on your success. Lost, not sure where you are at in all of this ---- Pick up your copy of The Spark and “get back to the basics.”

All I have to do is get it right once and every day I have an opportunity to do so. Like the man said in the movie:

“Come on in boys, the waters fine!!!”

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JAE_HENNINGTON 7/29/2010 9:31AM

  I love this...its exactly true and so freeing to know that every morning you have another chance to get it right

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LIZZYMITCH 7/21/2010 12:36PM

    Love the painting analogy. It was an image of perfect clarity for me, and I'm glad you shared it =)

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DENISE223 7/20/2010 3:54PM

    Thank you for sharing your beautiful blog post. Each new day IS a gift.

Peace & Happiness to you and yours,

Denise

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WEIGHTDIP 7/20/2010 1:59AM

    Thanks for this.

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MOTIVATIONFOUND 7/19/2010 4:13PM

    This is a great blog! Thank you for posting it. You are so right - we have an opportunity every single day. What we do with that opportunity is up to us and we have to own it.

I know I'm a little late in reading this, but I think it was perfect that I read it today because I was pretty bad yesterday. This morning when I woke up, I basically wiped the slate clean and started over making the choices that I know are going to make me happy with myself when all is said and done. Just because I was bad yesterday doesn't mean I have to follow that road again today. It's up to me and I choose to start over and make myself proud.

Hope you're having a wonderful day! :)

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KAT573 7/17/2010 3:29AM

    AMEN! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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MARCYNA 7/16/2010 10:24AM

    Wow John this is great, never thought about this. emoticon emoticon

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ROSE5328 7/15/2010 6:38PM

    I needed to hear this today. Thank you!

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WALKNLOVE 7/14/2010 9:02PM

    Need to find time to read my copy of the s[ark....bought it months ago & still haven't read it...and find myself starting over every day! So much going on, but believing with God's help, I can & will do it all! Thanks John!

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SLY_REDUX 7/14/2010 7:55PM

    Nice blog. I like the way you think.

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PENNYAN45 7/14/2010 7:28PM

    You are so right! Every new day presents us with the opportunity to begin again! I love that message. Thank you!

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JPRICE217 7/14/2010 5:59PM

    You are right we have a clean slate every day. Thanks for the insightful thought

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GIRANIMAL 7/14/2010 3:45PM

    This is so important! So many of us used to use one little slip-up as an excuse to give up.

And, yes, I too always groan my way out of bed rather dreading all the things I "have to" do that day, when what I should be doing is greeting the day with thanks for the ability to do them.

Ah, it's too bad old habits die so hard. But getting skinnier and healthier is proof that it is only difficult, not impossible, to learn new tricks! emoticon

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DIASTER 7/14/2010 3:28PM

  Thanks for that. Everytime I turn to a new page on the calendar I think the same thing, all those days that I haven't messed up yet, a clean slate so to speak, well no more waiting for the new month tomorrow is a whole blank day to fill in just as I want, onward healthy journey.

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CAHUNO2 7/14/2010 3:16PM

    I'm still learning but I like the idea that I will be doing this the rest of my life. Doesn't seem to bad then if a few days aren't perfect. I have high hopes that as time goes by I'll get better - because I want to!

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LUVMYK9S 7/14/2010 2:06PM

    Thank you John for reminding me that each day is a new beginning full of opportunity to be what I want to be. Yesterday is gone and tomorrow is yet to be, embrace the present!

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LOOKY-LOU 7/14/2010 11:02AM

    Another thought provoking blog John!

I honestly think this site will be "why this time is different" and it's because you wonderful Sparkers let me make mistakes, get lazy or have a "bad" day, but remind me that two steps forward and one step back is SUCCESS!

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JENNY888 7/14/2010 10:44AM

    You have made my day by reminding me that this is an opportunity to start over again. Thanks.

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GETFIT2LIVE 7/14/2010 10:31AM

    Yes, each new day is a new opportunity to start fresh. Yesterday is over and tomorrow is not a given; we have a chance each day to learn and grow and try something that we never thought we could do. My blog last night was about my W6D3 run and the voices in my head--the negative, you can't do this voice and the positive, oh yes you can voice. Each day we have a chance who we will listen to and believe; let's choose the positive one that is echoed each day by our Spark friends. I hear them in my mind, cheering me on when I make the better choices; thanks for being one of the loudest!

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MAWRTIAN 7/14/2010 10:02AM

    here's to another today! emoticon

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STORMTMB 7/14/2010 9:59AM

    Not too long ago, I read the quote on Spark that talked about Mondays presenting a Clean Slate rather than just oh no, another Monday. Gave me a new perspective. Guess I need to remember that truly every day is a Clean Slate Day.

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TEACHING1ST 7/14/2010 9:55AM

    John, when I saw the title of today's blog I had the same thought run through my mind as Tracy did, "Today is the first day of the rest of your life!" It dates me, but I had that poster on my wall in college!

You're absolutely right---no matter what happened yesterday, we're given today as a new start. There's another timely quote about you can't undo yesterday, you don't know what comes tomorrow--you only have today: that's why we call it the Present. I've paraphrased, but you get the drift. Let's all make it the best we can. Thanks again for your insight!

Mary

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CBLANK20091 7/14/2010 9:45AM

  I'm printing this and hanging it on my refrigerator. I especially loved this part and found it very motivating - "In my life time I have been given 20,782 opportunities to begin anew, learn from my past mistakes and start over."
I never thought to count my opportunities.

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TNTEACHER2 7/14/2010 9:44AM

    Great blog, and your life's journey as written on your spark page is a real inspiration.
Marcy

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TRACYDUKA 7/14/2010 9:20AM

    Today is the first day of the rest of your life, so what are you going to do with it?

Great blog today. And I definitely needed to hear it. :) Thank you for posting it. I woke up feeling 'anew' today as well. :) Maybe there is something in this W.KY air?

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JAE_HENNINGTON 7/14/2010 9:15AM

  I wrote a sermon once about God's love and his never ending mercies towards us.
Every morning when we wake up God gives us a clean sheet of paper to start over and begin to paint the picture of our lives and the best part when we mess up he doesant say.. too bad, he stands willing and ready to give us a clean sheet of paper.At any given moment it is the right time to start over... Thanks John... I appreciate your insights so much

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TIME4AFITME 7/14/2010 9:14AM

    emoticon

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MOMGABE 7/14/2010 9:06AM

    When I got up this morning, I told myself it was time to start logging my food again. Your blog reinforced that message for me today. Thanks.

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FUZZY1TOO 7/14/2010 9:02AM

    I love your insight. For whatever, reason, you are usually on the same wavelength as I am and write exactly what I need to hear. Thanks!

Hope your today is everything you need it to be.
Heather

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DOLLBABE56 7/14/2010 9:00AM

    Great blog John. Oh, and by the way, I love that movie. emoticon

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MINENA1 7/14/2010 8:50AM

    emoticon

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MINENA1 7/14/2010 8:50AM

    emoticon

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TOTHEFUTURE1 7/14/2010 8:38AM

    Great attitude

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Living Is An Activity

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

From time to time, it’s a good idea if you heed your own words. A few weeks ago in a blog I said the following, “You deserve only the best and should not only expect it but in most cases demand it.” That resonated with me so well that I posted it on my Spark Page, and then proceeded to let it sit there. For some reason, I looked at it last night before I went to be and to make a short story long, I lie in bed thinking about what I wrote.

Living is an activity. It’s not a thought, an idea or an affirmation. It is an activity. Activity requires that we use energy and the use of energy burns calories and burning calories makes us healthier. When we are healthier we are happier and when we are happier we are more likely to reach out for new goals and activities. Living is an activity.

I talk about what I deserve but how often do I muster up the energy, the faith or the courage to take what is rightfully mine. Most of the time, I sigh, blames it on being fat or something someone said or did to me many years ago, grab my food of choice and listen to the scale creak as I sit in the corner and numb myself into some false state of security. I can blame the fast food industry and technology along with my slow moving metabolism but that fact remains that nothing changes until something changes.

How do I support myself here? Do I seek out people who have a clear vision of what they want in their journey towards health? Do I find active people with positive and healthy hobbies and life activities, or do I sit back in my chair and mutter “Aint it a shame?”

No one owes me anything. That statement is not negotiable. You may counter with the traditional mantra that I am owed the respect every human being deserves and I would respond to you that unless I create an expectation in your mind to give me that respect it is nothing but hollow words.

Life is an activity. Whether it’s pounding down the street, sweat dripping off my brow, lunging forward on the elliptical or pedaling my bike, those calories don’t get burnt by me sitting at home wishing they do so. It may be cranking up the Wii for a round of bowling or tennis or balancing activities. It may be whatever I choose it to be, but please, let it be something.

See, I am way, way too valuable to let myself simply sit in the corner and become as Jesus so aptly put it “A walking grave.” I have a mission to accomplish and that mission starts with me throwing off my old burial shroud, adjusting to the light and moving forward. That’s when I can demand the best for myself, when I am willing to become active and take advantage of everything life has to offer me.

I have been given an opportunity to do great things, but the first step in mine. Do I choose to be an active and equal participant in life or do I choose to be a spectator?
“Expect The Good. Can you get the expectant attitude of faith? Not waiting for the next evil to befall you but awaiting with a child's joyful trust the next good in store?”

That was my meditation for this morning. Short, sweet and to the point and rather than make me feel all warm and fuzzy it stung. In so many respects I am just sitting around waiting for the next thing to happen. It doesn’t matter if it’s good or bad. As long as I am not active, I don’t have to take responsibility for myself and my actions. I can blame it on all of you and the many “you’s” in my life.

Put down the Danish, lace up your shoes, open the front door and whether you run, walk, crawl or move a wheel chair, come out here with me and lets claim what we deserve.

Living is an activity.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ANDYLIN90 9/13/2010 2:15AM

    This is an awesome blog and just reinforces my thoughts today. Thanks for posting.

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GARDENQE2 8/2/2010 12:26PM

    Wonderful blog. It makes me think!!!!!

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SASSYMOMMY 7/26/2010 12:20PM

    Wow. I could have wrote this. Thanks so much for your inspiration this morning!

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SOPHIELEIGH 7/23/2010 4:49AM

    What a great message of encouragement!

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EXUBERELLIE 7/21/2010 9:08PM

  emoticon

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TBVALEGIRL 7/21/2010 7:40PM

  Thanks for the encouragement!!

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XHOOSIERLOSER 7/21/2010 7:18PM

    Okay, now, thanks to you, I am typing this while I stand on my balance ball in my office! Happy now? I know I am!!!! Thanks for the nudge!!

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MRS.CATMAN 7/21/2010 6:02PM

    Great motivational message! I agree that we need to take ownership of ourselves! Living is the ultimate activity!

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TURBO-GIRL 7/21/2010 5:46PM

    Thanks so much for sharing, especially your meditation and how it stung. I know I felt the same way as I considered it - and felt that way in a good "wake-up call" way.

It's a challenge because every day we get up and do it all over again. And yet, that's the gift of life - the opportunity to get to push ourselves!

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PENGUINROSS 7/20/2010 11:24PM

    Whoa! Was that written for me or what!! I am doing better that 6 mos ago but still spend too much time letting time and life pass me by. Great blog

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DAVISS1 7/20/2010 1:03PM

  Wow. Great blog and words I needed to hear today. Thanks for sharing.

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KARBRUCE 7/20/2010 9:32AM

    This was a great message. It's a good reminder that sometimes making no decision is actually a decision- and not in your favour!

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YUMMYBY30 7/20/2010 8:05AM

  wow awesome!!!

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MIZZREVOLUTION 7/20/2010 8:00AM

    I LOVE THE WAY YOUR MIND WORKS,
REMINDS ME OF SOMEONE I USED TO KNOW.
LONG BEFORE THE SILENCE AND LONG BEFORE THE COLD.
AS I LACE UP MY SHOES AND TIE BACK MY HAIR,
PUSH, PULL, AND SWEAT EVERYWHERE,
I CAN FEEL HER SOUL INSIDE ME THRIVE
WITH EVERY POUND THAT CRIES.
REMINDS ME THAT SHE STILL SURVIVES.

THANK YOU VERY MUCH...

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DANYAL_REBORN 7/20/2010 3:45AM

    WOW !! you have a beautiful writing !! thnx for sharing !! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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MASE72 7/20/2010 1:14AM

    emoticon Great Blog!

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LESSISMORE2010 7/19/2010 10:01PM

    What a great outlook! Your words made me stop and think about the way I react to things, and areas that I could use improvement.

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QUEEN_DAZRI 7/19/2010 10:00PM

    Wow - great blog! You have given me many somethings to think about...

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ROSEREDD58 7/19/2010 5:51PM

    Thank you for sharing your insight. I will heed your words and make every day and every effort count!Tammy

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TERRYT55 7/19/2010 12:15PM

    Excellent! You write very well and have thought provoking ideas. Thank you for sharing.

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CINABEE 7/19/2010 12:02PM

    Great blog thanks for sharing!

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MRSSASS2010 7/19/2010 11:46AM

    Abso-freaking-lutely! Bravo, great blog!

Krista

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WPERRUNA1 7/19/2010 11:41AM

    Thanks for sharing! emoticon

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NABDULSABOOR 7/19/2010 9:34AM

    very inspirational

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SPRUCELANE 7/19/2010 8:35AM

    A truly well communicated series of thoughts to get anyone thinking (and moving) this morning. Thank you for sharing! I am getting my shoes now!

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TWINKIEQUEEN 7/19/2010 3:12AM

    interesting...i wish my daughter would read this (she won't want to hear it from her mama)...she is the sit back and whine type.......sounds like you are thinking and focused....good for you!

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JOANOFSPARK 7/19/2010 1:26AM

    oh, wow!! that is so true....and boy, does it make me stop and think...have I been expecting only the good...have I been participating fully in life...and most days I'd have to say no....thanks for reminding me of what is necessary to keep moving forward.....
*hugs*
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JIMDAB 7/19/2010 12:23AM

    Well said, thanks for sharing this!!!!
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FALLENANGELL1 7/18/2010 11:39PM

    love life

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BNUSCIS 7/18/2010 11:37PM

    Very thought provoking blog! You nailed this one.

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MSHUFFNPUFFN 7/18/2010 10:28PM

    Participation is mandatory. Very thought provoking blog. Thank you for sharing.

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MSHUFFNPUFFN 7/18/2010 10:28PM

    Participation is mandatory. Very thought provoking blog. Thank you for sharing.

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MSHUFFNPUFFN 7/18/2010 10:27PM

    Thanks for sharing this with us!!

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Comment edited on: 7/18/2010 11:17:26 PM

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CJJANISS 7/18/2010 10:24PM

    emoticon

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LUCYSRAIN 7/18/2010 9:53PM

    John i just have to say you are an amazing person gifted with inspirational ways of expressing your thoughts. I am blessed to know you here.

Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts!

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CAROLJEAN64 7/18/2010 8:31PM

    Your comments reminded of a line I read years ago: Life is what happens while we are preparing for it. You are obviously not going to let than happen to you.

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KSP3776 7/18/2010 8:27PM

    So very true! We must make life an activity and live each day to the fullest. Any day could be our last day on this earth, we never know, but we can be certain that we lived life to the fullest and we also need to remember to tell others how much we love them. Live life with no regrets.

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SAL1512 7/18/2010 7:53PM

    All I can say after reading this is, "Thank You Sparkpeople for these blogs!" This website has made it possible for me to read blogs from such inspirational people like you! I really feel uplifted!
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ANNANN63 7/18/2010 6:49PM

    I have been blessed with having learned some very important things early. One thing I realized 40 years ago is that most people are REACTIVE. They wait for things to happen and then react to them. A few people are PROACTIVE and they make plans, determine the steps to accomplish the plans, and then start taking those steps.

I have accomplished many wonderful things being proactive. Unfortunately for a lot of years I didn't accomplish much because I just did not know what I wanted. That may sound strange but vague desires like "being happy", "having a lot of money", "having a great job" are not specific enough to allow you to make a plan. Once I decided that what I wanted most of all was to finish college, I was able to do it and I did it while I worked full time.

You are lucky to have realized that you will only accomplish your goals when you specifically state the goal, determine the steps to accomplish it, and then do those steps. You are way ahead of lots of folks.

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GISELLE3POINT0 7/18/2010 6:37PM

    Your blog made a lot of sense :) Very inspirational and, most importantly, very true :) I was thinking about something like what you were saying but I couldn't articulate my thoughts. When I read your blog I was like, "Yes! Yes! That's exactly what I wanted to say and what I needed to read." Thank you for sharing :)

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ELLAPOR 7/18/2010 5:52PM

  Thanks for posting this. Very thought-provoking!

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CIVIAV 7/18/2010 4:13PM

    So much easier to sit back and expect. Thanks for the reminder. I have a big week coming up with a big interview on Friday and will make it part of my living activities!

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WEMINICH 7/18/2010 3:28PM

  So true!

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GMASPARK72 7/18/2010 2:52PM

  emoticon

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THUMPERFTS 7/18/2010 2:12PM

    Love it great inspiration..... emoticon

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DINIE123 7/18/2010 1:52PM

  Hi: Thanks for sharing! We all know what we need to do in our hearts, but it is the effort it takes to actually do any activity. I like to get self help books and read them, but somehow just reading doesn't get any changes made. I have good intentions until it is time for me to "do the walk" and then I keep my good intentions to myself and the next day, nothing has changed. Leslie Sansome says that we are all made to walk and be active and she is so right. I agree, it is all out there waiting, so I am committing to being active with you. I needed this today, thanks for being so honest. Now I am going to put my shoes on and go for a walk with Leslie. Have a good day.
Diane emoticon emoticon

Comment edited on: 7/18/2010 1:53:46 PM

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LIZZYJANE1 7/18/2010 12:01PM

    You have provided my new favorite inspirational quote, "Life is an activity"! Thanks for sharing. Very inspirational.

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NANN66 7/18/2010 11:53AM

    AWSOME!!!

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KIN59VARA 7/18/2010 11:32AM

    Amen! Thanks for the post, there are some days that one feels down and you need a different perspective. This was great!

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BYEFATNANNY 7/18/2010 11:22AM

    emoticon
Wow that shook me up....in a great way.

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Defining Ourselves

Monday, July 12, 2010


Availible on You Tube at:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qiKl8JEKz
E0

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DOLLBABE56 7/13/2010 8:44AM

    I am very blessed to have all of my Spark Friends to "hang" around with. You are right, it is time to draw a new picture of myself with a new vision collage. I do need the motivation today.

Thank you for the suggestion!

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ANGELSANDYBABY 7/12/2010 10:39PM

    Thanks John. I, like many others, needed to hear this today.

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JPRICE217 7/12/2010 3:19PM

    John thanks for the blog I also don= not take complement well. I always see myself as not worthy. It is time for me to change.

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1NEWPAM 7/12/2010 1:36PM

    Thanks John- I'm going to take that challenge and change the picture! I hope your day is blessed.

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AQUABUNNY 7/12/2010 12:50PM

    John-
Wonderful message! I loved the part about the picture on our "emotional refrigerator," that is so true!
So I have to go color now. Thanks for the motivation!



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RONDAJONES 7/12/2010 10:41AM

    I was listening to a pastor on TV last night (I was trying to relax, and what he was speaking on was interesting) and he made a good point. He was talking about when Adam was in the garden hiding, covering himself, knowing that he messed up. God was asking Adam "Where are you?". He didn't need Adam to tell Him "where" he was, He was asking Adam an internal question...What have you done? Where are you? Where should you be? etc. I really started thinking about that during the night and this could be directed toward MANY areas of our life. Most Christians (and others that 'believe in God') treat God like a grapefruit...allowing Him access to some sections, but not others in their lives. Obviously, God is interested in ALL areas, but we get the mentality that He isn't interested in our WL, our job, our debt, or whatever seems embarrassing or something that only we can control. This pastor was saying that God is really waiting on us to jump out from behind the bush and say...God, I messed up. I AM a mess and I do not know what to do...HELP ME!!!
I am not sure why this came back to my mind while listening to you Vblog, but I think we all need to ask God for HIS pictures of us on His fridge. All of His pictures are awesome of us.

Thanks for posting this and getting my mind back on that topic this AM!

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GETFIT2LIVE 7/12/2010 9:51AM

    Thanks for posting this, John. I have been thinking about the same question lately, how do we define ourselves, and how are we limiting ourselves by that definition? Learning to change that mental image we have of ourselves and being willing to explore to find out who we REALLY are and what we are really capable of is such an important part of this journey.

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NACHOSMAMA 7/12/2010 9:50AM

    Well said, John. I had a similar revelation about being a runner; I never thought I would call myself one in my entire life - now I love it. It is amazing how your self-image can change if you just give yourself a chance to try new things.

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LUVMYK9S 7/12/2010 9:31AM

    Thank you for this morning's vlog John! I really needed the motivation this morning and yes, I need to better define myself. My self esteem has been at an all time low recently so I really needed this boost to make myself believe that I AM worth the effort of taking care of myself to become a healthier person.

(((Hugs)))


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MISSROCKABILLY 7/12/2010 9:14AM

    Thank you so much for this--it is just what I needed to hear today!

Many blessings!
Laura

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WISEONE68 7/12/2010 9:05AM

    If we could ALL be brave enough to change our pictures!!! The world would be a better place, don't you think??!!

And, better yet, if we would NOT make silly comments on each others pictures "A purple apple/A runner at your age??" "An orange tree/You want to wear a size what?" We need to listen to the "voice of truth"---God says we are good enough to send His Son to die for us. If I am good enough to die for, then my picture must be excellent!!!!

My picture has changed over the years as well...it is still chaning every day...getting better all the time!!

You are awesome and your 'picture' is GREAT and inspiring!!

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MOMGABE 7/12/2010 8:44AM

    Thanks for sharing, John. This is a message I needed to hear today. emoticon

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Getting Better All The Time

Friday, July 09, 2010

Every day in every single way, I am getting better and better. Some days I have to look harder than others to find it

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TEAWONDERFUL 7/10/2010 11:08PM

    Thanks for your blog. I enjoyed this one and it gave me some much needed motivation.

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MONTANA_ED 7/10/2010 10:17AM

    You are awesome with your blogs and v-blogs. This is a very powerful message and thanks for sharing. This journey is on going for all of us and it's great to reminded just how far we have come no matter how far we feel we must go.

Thanks!

Onwards..
.

emoticon emoticon emoticon

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WALKAWAY 7/9/2010 10:38PM

    John thanks for another great blog. I'd forgotten the story about the little boys and the pony. Made me smile this morning when I read it.

Every day in every way we are getting better and better. emoticon

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JURI62 7/9/2010 7:37PM

    John, another great blog. You may just be giving me that little umph I need to triumph, so I thank you. emoticon

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ANNE-ELIZ 7/9/2010 6:46PM

    Yes, I kind of smirked a bit when I saw "every day in every way..." because for a long time this phrase has been held up as a symbol of the "positive thinking" mode which doesn't necessarily entail doing the actual work of change, but embodies the idea that wishing or believing makes it so.

I know from having read your blogs and listened to your video blogs, that this is not your take on this phrase, so I was interested to see what you would make of it and there was the hint, right in the very next statement.

Just prior to seeing your blog, I was reading an article on maintaining healthy weight which spoke about the "three S's of success"; self-efficacy, self-monitoring, and support. (Ain't serendipity great?!)

This is the work that you are also describing.

Your feeling that sooner or later you would figure this out was the raw form of self-efficacy, which you've honed to much greater precision along the way. It's the sense that you can do what it takes to get to your desired goal and now you've had practice, so you know you can!

Of course, self-monitoring is a large part of what we learn and practice here and support is yet another major gift of SparkPeople!

So, I'm grabbing a shovel...
because I've got to find my horse... emoticon

Thanks for this. emoticon

Comment edited on: 7/9/2010 6:48:13 PM

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MOMGABE 7/9/2010 3:53PM

    Thanks for inspiring blog. Gives me somthing to meditate on today.

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TERESAAVIL 7/9/2010 2:55PM

  John thank you for your honesty and openness. I needed to hear what you had to say. It's so easy to find an reason to give up(especially when you get bad news) Spread the Spark! Every day I am getting better and better!

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LIFEGENESIS 7/9/2010 1:35PM

    I am all for you having a morning talk show/radio show/SOMETHING on Spark. You help get my morning going. Thank you for being so much better! :D

Gotta go now...I'm looking for a pony. ;)

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MSSUNBUG 7/9/2010 1:30PM

    Thanks for such a positive and uplifting message--precisely what I needed on this sort of low day I'm having today.

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JAE_HENNINGTON 7/9/2010 1:11PM

  affirmations, gotta love em.. I don't believe them all the time but I figure it I say it long enough it will become my truth. I often think about where I am and how it is not where I want to be, then thinking backing on my life I really have come along way. Thanks, John for the reminder

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JPRICE217 7/9/2010 12:56PM

    emoticon I am getting better every day and I am blessed more every day. emoticon for the blog I am blessed just by reading your blogs every day

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1NEWPAM 7/9/2010 12:51PM

    Hi John- I can so relate. I have been a member of Spark People for months, but I have just, finally, started to loose a little weight. BUT, even though I haven't lost much weight yet, I am getting better everyday, because I am so drawn to people's success stories (like yours, for one!) and I spend a lot of time EVERY DAY on this site. I get so much inspiration from people like you, and I think that it's finally starting to click! Thank you so much for your help. I hope that someday people will get inspiration from me, too! Pam

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DIASTER 7/9/2010 12:25PM

  OK John, sounds good but have you ever just gone crazy and actually ate whatever you wanted or have you always followed choosing what you knew you should? Needed your message today as I just gained 20 pounds in 3 weeks, had company and just enjoyed the company and food, back to square one and your many messages about choices.
Don't you think it is time for an update picture? You are really changing, one day at a time, and of course getting better and better every day. So thank you again, out to the pool I go for some laps.

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VICTORY-LEE 7/9/2010 11:12AM

    Hey Hey John!!

When you said (i'll paraphrase) "This morning when your feet hit the floor..." You are 100% right! When you make it from 1 day to the next...You are blessed!

Your video blogs are very raw & honest! I have only done 1 video blog because i really could not stand to look at myself. You have inspired me to really get in touch with myself and to realize that I am a person, warts & all, that has a lot to give.

Thank you John!

Have a really GREAT day!

Luv Ya
Lisa emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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LUVMYK9S 7/9/2010 9:53AM

    Thank you John! I love your blogs and the great encouragement from them! YES! I am getting better and better each day, and every day brings new opportunities! I have been so frustrated with myself lately and what you had to say today helps me believe in myself again! Thank you, thank you for that boost!

Have a wonderful day and even better tomorrow!

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LUVMYK9S 7/9/2010 9:53AM

    Thank you John! I love your blogs and the great encouragement from them! YES! I am getting better and better each day, and every day brings new opportunities! I have been so frustrated with myself lately and what you had to say today helps me believe in myself again! Thank you, thank you for that boost!

Have a wonderful day and even better tomorrow!

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LUVMYK9S 7/9/2010 9:53AM

    Thank you John! I love your blogs and the great encouragement from them! YES! I am getting better and better each day, and every day brings new opportunities! I have been so frustrated with myself lately and what you had to say today helps me believe in myself again! Thank you, thank you for that boost!

Have a wonderful day and even better tomorrow!

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LUVMYK9S 7/9/2010 9:53AM

    Thank you John! I love your blogs and the great encouragement from them! YES! I am getting better and better each day, and every day brings new opportunities! I have been so frustrated with myself lately and what you had to say today helps me believe in myself again! Thank you, thank you for that boost!

Have a wonderful day and even better tomorrow!

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LUVMYK9S 7/9/2010 9:53AM

    Thank you John! I love your blogs and the great encouragement from them! YES! I am getting better and better each day, and every day brings new opportunities! I have been so frustrated with myself lately and what you had to say today helps me believe in myself again! Thank you, thank you for that boost!

Have a wonderful day and even better tomorrow!

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LUVMYK9S 7/9/2010 9:53AM

    Thank you John! I love your blogs and the great encouragement from them! YES! I am getting better and better each day, and every day brings new opportunities! I have been so frustrated with myself lately and what you had to say today helps me believe in myself again! Thank you, thank you for that boost!

Have a wonderful day and even better tomorrow!

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LUVMYK9S 7/9/2010 9:53AM

    Thank you John! I love your blogs and the great encouragement from them! YES! I am getting better and better each day, and every day brings new opportunities! I have been so frustrated with myself lately and what you had to say today helps me believe in myself again! Thank you, thank you for that boost!

Have a wonderful day and even better tomorrow!

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LUVMYK9S 7/9/2010 9:53AM

    Thank you John! I love your blogs and the great encouragement from them! YES! I am getting better and better each day, and every day brings new opportunities! I have been so frustrated with myself lately and what you had to say today helps me believe in myself again! Thank you, thank you for that boost!

Have a wonderful day and even better tomorrow!

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THAMLEY 7/9/2010 9:52AM

    Well spoken John! Yes, yes, yes! You're speaking exactly how I feel. I looked for so long for the right thing and this is definitely it. I used the same term yesterday..digging real deep. That's what it takes to get the job done. And most certainly getting better and better each day.
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Have a happy, healthy weekend!

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LUVMYK9S 7/9/2010 9:39AM

    Thank you John! I love your blogs and the great encouragement from them! YES! I am getting better and better each day, and every day brings new opportunities! I have been so frustrated with myself lately and what you had to say today helps me believe in myself again! Thank you, thank you for that boost!

Have a wonderful day and even better tomorrow!

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TIME4AFITME 7/9/2010 9:25AM

    I so look forward to reading your blog or watching you video;s daily. So well said thank you

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WISEONE68 7/9/2010 9:11AM

    As Christians, this is our goal--every day, every way, getting better!! (better for me is being like Christ! and I pray it is true for me).

I try to see how my weight loss efforts fit in to being a better Christian--what I come up with is:

1. I can serve Christ better as a more healthy person!! I will be able to get around on Mission trips better, etc.
2. I can promote Christ as I work out at the gym, run my races, lose my weight---I give glory to Him for my successes.
3. Being a BETTER me is a testimony to God's wonderful blessings and His grace!
4. My relationships get better, I am more outgoing and TELL everyone who asks me "how are you losing the weight"--SparkPeople, Weight Watchers, and FAITH in Jesus that He will be by my side always!!!!

thanks for the reminder--we are getting better--every day--in every way.

love ya, Friend!!! emoticon

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MOMMABOF7 7/9/2010 8:54AM

    Yea! I am getting better every day in ervery way! I am trying new things I never thought I would do. I never even dared to dream about. I bought hiking boots this week. Hubby and I are planning to start BACKPACKING. We have hiked off and on for years but only day hikes. I am enjoying many new adventures...yoga classes and Zumba.

I enjoy your blogs! Thanks for being so motivating!

We are worth it and we do deserve it! and we are reaching goals! emoticon Here's to beating those plateu's!

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DOLLBABE56 7/9/2010 8:53AM

    I really enjoy your video blogs. I needed this today. I've been stalling on stalling doing my my exercise. So, I'm getting up after typing this comment, and I'm going to do WiiFit and some crunches. And stretching afterwards. Thanks for the inspiration.

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MKPRINCESS007 7/9/2010 8:51AM

    Well said, my friend! You have got a beautiful daily affirmation there, and it sounds like a great one that I need to adopt myself. Love the story of the manure and finding a pony! :) Great! Loved your vlog, loved getting to see you in person. You are awesome! Have a great day and weekend too!

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GETFIT2LIVE 7/9/2010 8:37AM

    We have to believe it in order for it to be true in our own lives. Yes, some days we have to dig through a lot more stuff to find out how we are better today than yesterday, but it is there if we look really hard. When things are not going the way we want, it's easy to think that that's just a cute little motivational saying--yeah, yeah, yeah, positive affirmations and all that stuff sound great in theory or when things are going well, but what about when the scale doesn't budge? Well, they are no less true if we will start looking; maybe it's not on the scale, but somewhere in our lives, we are getting better. Thanks for sharing, John!

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HDHAWK 7/9/2010 8:03AM

    I do have an opportunity today to do something I didn't do yesterday. Thank you John! I needed to hear this today. Off for a walk! Have a wonderful day!

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CROBINGO 7/9/2010 8:02AM

    Seeing your blogs and your journey, there is NO DOUBT you are getting better each day (and it seems like you already started out really great)! I have seen that sign/plaque. "Every day I am getting better and better". You are right, though. We we/I believe it? Is it just a nice motivational thought, or do we embrace it. Sometimes we do need to look hard and your story to finding the way and the journey resonated with me.

As usual, great blog and a very timely for me.

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The Wisdom of A Child

Thursday, July 08, 2010

One thing I look forward to when my granddaughter comes to visit is the walks she and I take. Yesterday morning we talked a bit about her starting school next month. She’s worried kids won’t like her because she has red hair. I told her red hair is better than no hair and she giggled, squeezed my hand and we walked on. As we came close to finishing up I asked her if she’d like to play on the playground in the church parking lot across from our house. She looked at me and said we needed to get “all dolled up” if we were going to church. I told her we were just going on the playground to play and in all honesty I don’t think it mattered to God what we were wearing.

She stopped and looked up at me.

“Daddy says there is no God.”

“What do you think?” I asked her.

“I’m not sure.” She said. “Do you believe in God?”

“Yup” I answered

It’s hard to appreciate being five. There is a bit more pressure there than you realize. Dad and mom know everything. Their word is gospel. Both sets of grandparents believe in God. So here you are, this wonderful child and you don’t know what to believe or whom.

As we started to cross the street she tugged on my arm a bit.

“The next time you go see Him, can I come along? After I see Him then I can tell daddy He is real.”

Now I have my head cocked sky ward and I am looking for a real definite bit of divine intervention here. A few angels, maybe a saint or two, something!!!! We cross the street and she swings for a while and starts talking about baking cookies and going swimming. Stuff like that.

We head for home and as we turn into the drive way she looks at me again. “When you talk to God next time, would you ask Him to let me know that He’s there?”
“I can do that,” I say with my voice cracking a bit.

She smiles and says “Good!! “ She runs ahead of me into the back yard.

I am left to ponder what just happened and my mind is blank. I have had many profound moments in my life but none more so than this one. Leave it a five year old to take thousands of years of spiritual history, Biblical studies and Divine inspiration and neatly condense into a simple request. I murmur a quick prayer for Him to watch over her and guide her, knowing it’s already been answered.

I stood looking at nothing and was overwhelmed with how blessed I was to have this moment.

“Just have Him let me know He’s there.”

Yeah, Ava, me to. Me to.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

WALKNLOVE 7/11/2010 8:40AM

    Wow! I cried when I read this. Ya know, everybody has to find God in their own way....it has to be a personal relationship....not a Mommy aid it and I bought it thing.I thank God this little girl has Christian grandparents who can not only guide her, but pray for her also.There is one good thing, if she is seeking him, she will find him!!!!! I used to teach 4 yr old k, I remember teaching about faith, or trying to put it in a way they could understand....because our belief in God is all based on faith....well, simply put I would go to sit in my chair & stop."Kids, I don't know if my chair is going to hold me.What if it breaks,how do I know it will hold me and I won't fall?" John, I know you can fill in the rest.Sounds like your little one is ready for a lesson on faith & I know you are just the man to give it! Big Hug! You are such a blessing and this little girl is sooooo blessed to have you for a grandpa!I will be praying for you, her, and her parents.

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BELLAMIMI1 7/9/2010 3:28PM

    Nice! That is a precious grandbaby ya got there!

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KLEONIKI 7/9/2010 10:39AM

    Children dare to ask questions, accept them go unanswered, propose simple solutions to unsolved knods we adults have manufactured and not set a tear...
It is us reading their stories and imagining those chldren that have our eyes full of tears...
Mostly because we have lost all this graceful simple innocence...
For me, too, those moment with little children are the most precious my most , valuable treasure ,the moments i enjoyed more..
You are a blessed grandfather..
And by the way stop mentionning those lacking hairs of yours every now and then ;YOU ARE HANDSOME as you are..be grateful!!
Hugs
K.

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LAWRALOO 7/9/2010 9:54AM

    John, that was touching.
So often my kids say things that leave my mind blank. I often wonder after these conversations if I'm really cut out for this parenting thing.
My husband and I are not...hm...traditionally religious? That's PC, right? lol
He studies Buddhism, and I claim to be agnostic. I do believe in a god, but I don't chose to be a part of any one religion or church for my own crazy reasons. This brings up some very interesting conversations in our household with our kids. We have friends and family members from different religions and we encourage our kids to learn as much as they can about all of them....but I would never tell them there isn't a god.

Do me a favor John...when you talk to god next, ask him to let me know he's out there too, okay? :)

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SANDYK4BAMA 7/9/2010 9:36AM

    Wow, that gave me chills AND made me cry, and believe me, I'm no crier!!! This redhead grew-up when being a redhead was NOT cool, and got called everything a redhead can be called, but I think it made me tough. You are so blessed to have this wonderful child, but I"m not telling you anything you don't know. My youngest is six, and I'm in so much awe of her. My oldest is 11, and she is really really growing up so fast. My deepest wish for them both is to walk the path that God has made for them and to love and honor him with all their hearts. My 11-year-old is getting baptized in 2 1/2 weeks, and we're so pround of that. Sometimes I look at the two of them, and I think, Wow God, You sure did an EX-cellent job in making those two, and it humbles me so much that He would entrust such wonderful beings of His to me and my husband. He must think a lot of me! I pray that I can live up to the task and help Him guide them right back to His arms.

Thanks for sharing your wonderful grandchild with us, John. I can tell you and she are some of His favorites too! Actually, I think we all are! Isn't that good to know?!!
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MANLEYSANDY 7/8/2010 7:30PM

    WOW!! Thank you for sharing that story...

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KT-NICHOLS-13 7/8/2010 6:18PM

    I've read this blog 3 times today and each time I get teary eyed. Thanks for sharing. Your granddaughter has a beautiful soul that's been touched by God and Angels.
Much love!

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ALLISON145 7/8/2010 6:06PM

    Beautiful! emoticon

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WORKINGSTIFF 7/8/2010 4:24PM

    Your granddaughter has God through you.

Both of you are so blessed to have each other.

Helen



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MORTICIAADDAMS 7/8/2010 12:20PM

    Your granddaughter and I have a lot in common. My grandparents on both sides were devout Christians. Maternal - Baptists. Paternal - Apostolic. My mom was a believer as well. My dad - an atheist. I went to church and loved it. I was saved and baptized when I was 8 years old. At some point cruel people, who thought they were on God's team, felt the need to tell me that my father was going to Hell. I read on my own and it appeared that they were right so it was very disturbing to me. It was disturbing to other people too like some adults who were wary of having their child play with the child of an atheist. Thank goodness that the people who mattered most didn't discriminate against a child for something she could not control. At some point I learned to separate God from people who thought they were God so it helped me to deal with it. And in 1996 when I thought that things were set in stone my father converted to Catholicism. So miracles really do happen. But I will always know that there are Christians and there are Christians. The church is full of people who desperately need to be there and get nothing out of it. I hope you will remember this information in case your grand daughter may have some harder questions later on. The answers will come to you and her through prayer.

Comment edited on: 7/8/2010 12:22:48 PM

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1NEWPAM 7/8/2010 12:02PM

    Beautiful Child!!!!!!!!!!!!

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DOCYJK 7/8/2010 11:32AM

    What a profound and wonderful story on so many levels!!! You're lucky to have this level of innocence in your life to remind you about what's important! Thanks for reminding us too!!! Hugs - Yvonne

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TXNANA_4 7/8/2010 11:07AM

    Thanks for sharing. It brought tears to my eyes. I will pray that she will feel God's love!

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BECCALYNN75 7/8/2010 11:05AM

    John, I don't have the words, but that was so touching. What an incredible blessing, a gift straight from our Lord.

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SMOCKON 7/8/2010 10:51AM

    Nothing like a child's view to get you thinking! Thank you for this story.

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CLOTHEDINLOVE 7/8/2010 10:31AM

    That is precious and so.... mind boggling. I am glad you had that moment to see Him through her eyes, and glad that she has you in her life. :)

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TIME4AFITME 7/8/2010 10:29AM

    That is beautiful thank you for sharing.

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BRYLIA 7/8/2010 10:25AM

    What a special moment..you are blessed as are we when you share your thoughts with us! Thanks for the smile!

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EDWINA172 7/8/2010 10:19AM

    Beautiful. Brought tears to my eyes. Makes me want to be five again.
Also, could you let her know that grown women PAY to have their hair colored red?
God bless the both of you.

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GETFIT2LIVE 7/8/2010 10:10AM

    Okay, I'm starting the day with tears in my eyes; how precious and sacred a moment you had with her. I pray that I will be able to have a similar conversation with my grandson when he is that age (he's only one now, a bit early). God is faithful to answer that kind of prayer, you can be sure of that; just keep being you when you're with her and be available to answer her questions as they come. Blessings to you, my friend.

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RIMAJO 7/8/2010 10:01AM

    You've just started my day on a very beautiful note by sharing this lovely story. Thank-you .. I hope you both get your wish soon.

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GERIKRAGH 7/8/2010 9:57AM

    Out of the mouths of babes! Let the children lead. Amen!

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STORMTMB 7/8/2010 9:54AM

    She will continue to watch you (as she already does) and she will see your faith. Just be sure to verbalize to her when you're thinking about God or how you know that HE is there for you. Someone else said to pray with her. Even if she sees you do it, that will have an impact. Be sure to tell her when God answered your prayers and how you know that He's there with you.

I don't know that my parents ever did that. God was in "King James version" according to my parents. Dad still prays with the Thy's and Thou's. I never saw a personal relationship. They never talked about Him as a friend, only as Diety. Make God real to her through your relationship with Him.

You're having an impact. Who knows, she may show her daddy that God exists.

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JAE_HENNINGTON 7/8/2010 9:42AM

  beautiful moment.. I remember when I was first saved, I was wanting to share God with others and what he had done for me. I prayed asking God to lead me to someone to needed hear the good news that day. I didn't think of the prayer anymore after I went about my day. Later a child I knew came to me and ask me this very question you grandaughter asked, How do I know God is real. I was able to tell her of Gods love and she accepted Jesus into her heart. Sometimes we look for the miracalous in the big things forgetting that God moves through those simple moments of our life.

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MINENA1 7/8/2010 9:37AM

    What a beautiful story! Excuse me while I wipe my tears away. That was really touching. Thank you so much for sharing this.
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MSSUNBUG 7/8/2010 9:22AM

    Gorgeous! What an experience. If only there were a way to explain to her that her simple beauty and sweetness is the very proof she's looking for.

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MOMMYBYCHOICE 7/8/2010 9:05AM

    what a great story.

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LUCKYMKAY 7/8/2010 9:04AM

    There really are angels among us

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CAHUNO2 7/8/2010 9:03AM

    A wonderful way to start the day! Thanks John emoticon

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JERRI82 7/8/2010 8:44AM

    that touches my heart!
aren't children precious?... a gift from God!
thank you for sharing.

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MKPRINCESS007 7/8/2010 8:36AM

    What a beautiful story............I am crying like a baby. Seriously. It is wonderful that you had that moment with her........the blessing of grandparents to children is such a wonder joy. Thanks for showing her the way...........

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RITAROSE 7/8/2010 8:31AM

  I loved your post John! I am a new grandparent (2 yrs--3 grandchildren) and look forward to having a positive impact in our grandchildren's lives. It's a tough thing that her parents don't believe in the Lord!

A grandparent has an opportunity to make a difference in our children's children's lives but it's a touchy thing (or I should say, can be) because the parents are in charge. Maybe that's not an issue for you with your son. I pray that you will have the opportunity to introduce this dear girl to the Lord through prayer and Bible stories. I wonder if you could take her to VBS this summer? I am praying right now. May the Lord use you for HIS glory!

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FANAMAMA 7/8/2010 8:06AM

    Pray WITH her John! Talk with God with her right there, and give her the opportunity to talk to God herself. It could be the start of a beautiful relationship! Let her know that God is always there, waiting to talk with her, and she can talk to God whenever and wherever she wants!

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GRAMMAELLEN 7/8/2010 7:57AM

    OK When I stop crying I'll say Thanks! What a wonderful story. Thanks to all 3 of you. Especially the Big Guy. He does work in mysterious ways. Have a great day... You've just made mine so much better! Ellen

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JPRICE217 7/8/2010 7:55AM

    God will show her he is real. I pray he will also show her dad he is real and her dad will except it. You are blessed to have this chance with your granddaughter. emoticon

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DOLLBABE56 7/8/2010 7:29AM

    If only we could hold on to the innocence we had as a child. I look forward to having grandchildren someday. Seeing life through a child's eyes is certainly wisdom we should cherish.

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FROGGERHKC 7/8/2010 7:23AM

    Wow, great post! I agree with the children's book of Bible Stories. Children have such a way with words!

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HDHAWK 7/8/2010 7:20AM

    What an experience John with memories you'll never forget.

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WANDAH3 7/8/2010 7:18AM

    The wonder of looking through a child's eyes at life! What a wonderful relationship you have with your grandddaughter. She is such a blessing!

Have an awesome day, and thank you for sharing such a beautiful moment with us.

Hugs,Wanda

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PRINCESSNURSE 7/8/2010 7:16AM

    It is amazing how children can express complicated topics in a very simple way. They can teach us a lot.

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_COSMOPAULATAN_ 7/8/2010 7:09AM

    God works in mysterious ways.

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BROWNIEISLANDER 7/8/2010 7:04AM

    Great post...The innocense of a child...Why don't you gift her with a..kid's book of Bible Stories..."Dad can read as well"
Stay strong and Spark with Success emoticon emoticon

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MARCYNA 7/8/2010 6:53AM

    I think all persons we meet have the same desire - that she expressed so beautifully - to get to know He's there.
Are we letting them know or are we just passing by? emoticon

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PALEAN 7/8/2010 6:53AM

    Beautiful experience for you! I am touched and you are so right about the wisdom of children! God Bless you both!

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