Broken Shells

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Its been a while since I have posted anything on my blog … but it has been on my mind. So here goes ….  I love visiting Wilmington where my son Paul and his family live.  While there, I always try to visit my favorite place on earth … the beach.  Every year I take my family to Topsail Island, located near Wilmington, for our annual family vacation.  Every morning during our week on the island,  I get up and watch the sun rise.  I set my alarm, look outside to see if its clear enough to see the sun rise, grab my camera, and find a comfortable area to sit and watch.  Every single sun rise is amazing!  Its my favorite moments every day.  It gives me a sense of peace like nothing else.  Another thing we do each day is walk along the beach and look for pretty shells and sharks teeth along the seashore .  

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We even pick up beautiful broken shells. My daughter Kimbo has taught me to appreciate the beauty in broken shells!  We have many jars of broken shells on display in our home.  Even though they are broken and battered, they have beautiful colors and pretty edges and intricate beauty.  Each of us are like these shells. We get tumbled, torn and scarred on our journey called life. In essences, we are all broken shells!  None of us have arrived where we are today completely unscathed or untouched by life situations.  Our battered and broken shells also are a reminder that each of Heavenly Father’s children have a special, unique beauty or talent all their own.  Isn’t it wonderful that we can also help others to see their uniqueness by taking the time to look for the unique beauty in others that are scattered on our path in life.

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In all of my shell searching along the beach, I have only found one small starfish with one of it’s points broken.  It’s still very beautiful.  I consider it as one of my most treasured finds.

I am sure you have heard the old story of an older man walking along a beach who finds a young man throwing starfish back into the ocean.  When he asked the young man why he was doing it … because there were so many laying in the sand and that he couldn’t possibly throw all of them back into the ocean.  The young man replied, “It sure makes a difference to that one!” as he threw another one back into the ocean. A small act of service!

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Isn’t this our Savior’s message to the world.  Love one another!  Serve others! My message is to encourage you to do one small thing that blesses just one someone. It only takes one small act to make a difference! It doesn’t have to be costly … kindness is free! One of our family’s annual favorite service act is serving Thanksgiving Lunch at our local Community Outreach Center.  Knowing that we are helping families be able to celebrate Thanksgiving with their families with a good meal brings us so much happiness.

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One of my favorite quotes comes from a great man, Spencer W. Kimball, who said: ““God does notice us, and he watches over us. But it is usually through another person that he meets our needs. Therefore, it is vital that we serve each other.”  I also love the African Proverb:  “If you think you are too small to make a difference … you haven’t spent a night with a mosquito!”

Another great man, Thomas S. Monson, gave us more insight on serving others. “To find real happiness, we must seek for it in a focus outside ourselves. No one has learned the meaning of living until he has surrendered his ego to the service of his fellow man. Service to others is akin to duty, the fulfillment of which brings true joy.”   Isn’t that great advice!

What you do does makes a difference … you just have to decide what kind of difference you want to make.  Be the “difference maker” in life! It does matter to that one!

Just saying …

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Breast Cancer Awareness Month

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Six years ago on June 19, 2012, my life was forever changed! That was the day when it went from “you have cancer” to “your surgery was a success.”  Six years as a survivor … so far so good!

Unless you have experienced cancer, or another horrible disease, you cannot begin to grasp the reality of the disease. Some days I am amazed that I am still functioning after those very harsh treatments for Triple Negative Breast Cancer. I have had chemotherapy and radiation, felt like death, fought the best way I know how, never gave up, prayed always, worshiped every Sunday, laughed a lot, cried just as much, worried, not worried, mourned new losses, enjoyed life, lived each day to its fullest, and gave the best of me. I have come to love me! I am a new me with a new normal … remember my Plan “D” …or is it “E?”

I have found strength that I once thought was beyond my reach! I have accepted that I am different from many others! I have made priorities and dismissed as much negativity from my life as possible. I have fallen deeper in love with my Heavenly Father and His Son, my husband who is always in my thoughts, my children and grandchildren who keep me going, my family and friends who give me hope, and most of all … life! I have met other survivors who motivate and inspire me! Yes, my life was and has forever been changed since six years ago when I heard those words “you have cancer.”

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October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and so I have been thinking about my life since that day and how many blessings I have enjoyed!  Yes … there are many … and from many areas!  Let me share one of my biggest blessings other than my family.

How a community treats each other says much about who we really are. Respect, compassion, service, kindness and integrity hold our society together. I am so blessed to belong to many communities (my little town, church and family communities) that really care about each other.  Just check out Facebook any day and you will find prayers offered up, good deeds being done, or money being raised for someone in our community.

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I am thankful to belong to such a community … They have been and are a daily blessing!  When I needed lifted there were so many people with acts of kindness for me that touched me in such a way that motivate me to pay it forward as best I can, every single day!

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Here’s the moral of my blog today … we ALL can give compassion, encouragement and hope. So to really spread and honor BREAST CANCER AWARENESS MONTH, let’s all make an extra special effort to lift and bless others with our smiles, our hugs, compliments, and kindness. We can be generous with our time, treat others like they really do matter, and be sensitive to their feelings and their needs.   More often than not, these are things that do not cost money.  Rather, they are gifts of our love, and of our self. Through these simple actions we can ease the difficulties of those we love.  We are all in this together! …So let’s see what we can do! Look around yourself right now and find someone that needs support, encouragement and hope. You have it within yourself to give.   If you want to be happy and to get your mind off your own problems … do something for someone else!   Real happiness doesn’t come from selfishness, but by being selflessness.  Everything you do comes back around.  In life you get what you put in.  When you make a positive impact in someone else’s life, you also make a positive impact in your own life.

ALSO … Let’s not forget to thanks those that help us through our difficult times … They deserve to know how wonderful they are too!  Be the reason someone smiles today … then two people feel better!

Just saying! …

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