The Choices We Make Reveal the True Nature of Our Character

The choices we make reveal the true nature of our character. -Guinness

This, my friends, is what it is all about. Watch this beautiful video for a surprise ending.

It is so easy to become so inwardly focused that we forget what living an amazing life is really about. I am reminded of a quote by Ben Edwards at the memorial service for the beautiful, brave, kind, and giving, Jen Burgess Thompson.


The best way to heal our heart is to live outside of it. -Ben Edwards

This is the stuff that changes lives. Forever.

I challenge each of us to commit to doing an unselfish act each week. Pin a reminder on your computer, tie it on your finger, just anywhere that you will see it frequently. It matters. It matters a lot.

I am so guilty of getting lost in my own problems that it is often difficult to see past them to see anything else. But is that how we are meant to live? Is that part of our problem? I read the most beautiful article this past week that you will probably see me reference. A lot. Missing the Storm by Tara Banks (Seacoast) is a poignant article on what happens when we turn our eyes upon Jesus in the storms of life. Instead of focusing on the storm, what would happen if locked eyes with the Savior? I just cannot get it out of my head. I believe messages of truth are like that. What if, just what if when we focused on God and others, we found ourselves on the other side of our own storms more fully intact and beautiful?

When it all comes down to it, what kind of person do we want to be?

The choices we make reveal the true nature of our character. -Guinness

The Right Time to Live Is Now | This Is It. This Moment. This Is Life.

The right time to live is now, just the way you are, wherever you are.
Embrace today. Embrace the way you look. This is life. Right now.
This is it.

-Simply Topaz

I love fall, and even more specifically, I love November….for oh so many reasons. It is the month with Thanksgiving. It is the month with the most beautiful and warm colors. It is the month with the most perfect weather with that beautiful crisp feeling in the air. And it is the month in which I was born.

I live in the South, and it’s either wet or hot in the summer, and sometimes it’s both. So I began counting the days until my sweet November. And. Then. It. Hit. Me. I turn 50 this November. Wait, WHAT????? Put. The. Breaks. On.

All of a sudden my hot, wet summer is looking pretty good. It made me realize how much of life is lived like that, not appreciating what we have or where we are but always looking forward to something in the future or sometimes even just missing the past.

The same thing happens with age. We bemoan our age at every new decade. At 29, we do not want to turn 30. At 39, we do not want to turn 40. At 49, we do not want to turn 50. At 59, we do not want to turn 60. At 69, we do not want to turn 70. And on it goes. At 90, ANY of those numbers are looking pretty dang good. But when we were there, we were spending our precious time dreading the coming year and not appreciating the moment in which we were living.

In a similar vein, we do not appreciate the way we look today. We tend to not take pictures with our children, family, or friends because we do not like the way we look. We are too fat or too skinny. We do not like our eyes, our smile, our nose. Twenty years from now, we would most likely look at the picture that we never took and think how beautiful we look. We would not pick apart the way look. Oh sure, we might laugh at the fashion fads, but we would think our younger self was just beautiful. We would laugh and smile at how young we were and what a fun memory the picture brought back. And we would think that she was crazy for not liking the way she looked back then.

this is itThe Right Time to Live Is Now This Is It. This Moment. This Is Life. If we could realize this one thing today, oh how much better it would make our tomorrows. Oh, how full and rich our lives would be. Instead of looking back and realizing that we never started living because we were always waiting for something else to be perfect, we would have so many wonderful memories of how we were so alive and lived and loved so fully in every moment. Our life is happening now. Right now. This very moment. Here. Now. This is where life is lived.

This is it.

The weather is fine. You are just the right age. You are beautiful. Just the way you Are.

This is it.

Enjoy the moment. Take more pictures.

The right time to live is now.

We all like to think we are living like this now, but are we really? When was the last time you did something for the first time? When was the last time you challenged yourself to be brave and to go out of your comfort zone? When was the last time, you said, “Hey, let’s take a picture?” I am sometimes guilty of not always embracing the moment, guilty of waiting for some magical moment in the future when things will be perfect. As I have gotten older, I realized that magical moments do not just come. We make them happen. We make our moments magical by living in them, fully present, fully appreciating the gift of that moment.

Are you embracing the moment and living your life right now?

How The Words We Speak Direct Our Life

What you say and how you say it can greatly influence your relationships; this includes friends, lovers, and co-workers. A few simple words, depending on how they’re spoken, can lift someone up or crush them. There is power in words!

How can you learn to get your point across, to be the best communicator possible, and be seen as a positive influence? Here are some things to keep in mind each time you’re having a conversation.

Learn the Art of Listening
Although you may want to talk and have the other person hear you, get into the habit of listening to the other person as well. Many times people block out what someone is saying because they’re so busy thinking about what they want to communicate. This not only leads to misunderstandings, but you’ll be seen as a person who isn’t sensitive to the needs of others and not very good at conversing. When the other person is done talking, paraphrase what they said to you so they know you heard them then offer your advice or input.

Avoid Gossiping and Criticizing
There are few people who don’t enjoy the occasional lure of gossip. The truth is though that when you participate in this type of conversation it tends to put you in a bad light. Most people tend to gossip because it makes them feel better about themselves and their lives. Successful people don’t need to gossip. They’re too busy helping others and pursuing new and exciting goals. If you’re seen as someone who constantly criticizes or gossips, the very person you’re sharing this information with is most likely wondering if you talk about him or her as well! You lose the trust and respect of others when you use words to destroy and harm rather than build others up.

Constant Complaining Leaves You Powerless
You probably know at least one person who is a chronic complainer. Whether they’re complaining about their health, their finances, their weight, their family, or life in general, these types of people are never seen as strong and independent. On the contrary, others view them as weak and perpetual victims. These are the people who never take responsibility for anything in their lives and believe they live under a cloud of bad luck or are simply surrounded by people who hold them down.

Sure, everyone has bad days and it’s good to talk to a trusted friend and get a problem or worry off your chest, but avoid chronic complaining. Instead, bounce right back and get into a mode of doing something about the situation rather than simply complaining about it. That is true power!

Keep Your Promises and Don’t Be Afraid to Say No
Never make a promise you can’t keep. Engrave this in your mind and try to stick to it. It’s easy to overextend yourself so you’ll look like the good guy, but if you truly can’t do what you’ve promised it simply makes you look irresponsible. Soon people will see you as someone who lets others down and you won’t be trusted. It’s better to say no and feel guilty for a moment than to say yes and know you can’t possibly stick to your word. When you do keep your promises your confidence will grow and others will know they can count on you.

Don’t underestimate the power of words. Always think before you speak and get into the habit of complimenting others, sticking to your commitment, and avoiding negative talk such as chronic complaining and criticizing. To others you’ll be known as someone who’s not only a delight to be around, but also a person who holds true to their morals and values. You’ll be an inspiration to others.

Written by: Debbie A. DeVita

Twitter @ImSimplyDebbie

How to Live a Long and Happy Life – Secrets from a 105 Year Old Woman

We all want to know how to live a long and happy life. I am always fascinated when I see someone in their 90s or 100s who seem so vibrant and has learned the secrets of how to live a long and happy life. THAT gets my attention. WHAT is their secret? While watching The Ellen Show today, 105 year old Edythe Kirchmaier tells all. Just that morning she was getting her driver’s license renewed. She was completely vibrant. May she celebrate many more wonderful birthdays. She is a hero to all of us showing what we can have. Her secrets to a long and happy life are simple.

How to Live a Long and Happy Life – Secrets from a 105 Year Old Woman

  • Be happy.
  • Think positive.
  • Don’t worry. If you can’t do anything about it, don’t let it bother you.

Thank you, Edythe Kirchmaier, for sharing your secrets with us. You are a true inspiration. I also would like to add one more thing about Edythe Kirchmaier and that is that she is a giver. She has volunteered for years with Direct Relief.

I know some of us may read that list and think, “Oh, if it were only that simple.” Sometimes it sure seems that some people are born with the happy gene while others of us are born with the worry gene. Some of it may be learned behaviors. Some of it may be the fact that we never learned healthy attitudes. So for those of us who may struggle with these attitudes, let’s list some simple steps that we can take each day to help us more easily adopt this new attitudes.

Be a Leading Lady Action Steps for a Long and Happy Life

  • Laugh more.
  • Watch funny movies and shows.
  • Read funny books.
  • Spend time with people who are funny and full of joy.
  • Say no to negative thoughts. Become conscious of them. Stop them. And replace them with a positive thought.
  • Realize that worrying never added a single day to anyone’s life. If you cannot do anything about it, you must let it go. When it comes to mind. Stop, drop, and replace. Do not let what is worrying you become your focus. Not only will it not add years to your life, but can take years from your life.

The more we take these simple action steps, the happier we will be, and the easier it will be. Start where you are do something every day that makes you happier. Write a few simple things down on a yellow sticky and keep it where you will see it daily, or even better several times a day or all day. It is easy to fall into old habits if we do not do something to remind ourselves of the new behavior or new attitude that we want to embrace. Make happiness your new habit.

How to Live a Long and Happy Life

What are your secrets to living a long and happy life? Is there anything you would add to her list?

Everyone Has a Story – And There Is Always More to the Story Than You Think

Everyone Has a Story - Bird Story

Everyone Has a Story

Shortly after I woke up one morning, I noticed a bird at the window. I’m not going to lie. I thought he looked a little crazed at first glance. Two words entered my mind: Bird flu. While I’m not really sure what that is, I’m thinking this bird possibly either had that or rabies. Again, I have no idea what I am talking about. Honestly, I don’t really notice the birds outside, so I’m not sure what this particular bird normally looks like. He could always look like this or just be having a bad hair day. It’s not unusual to have birds flying around our windows from time to time, so I did not think much of it, except that on this particular day they would not go away. They sounded like they were going to come through the window at any minute. I have seen the movie “The Birds”, and the scenes are starting to flash in my mind, except that these have the bird flu. This went on for a couple of hours. Now all I was thinking at this point is that this can NOT be their new thing to do all day, every day. We shewed them away. They came back. This went on for hours.

This image was the very few seconds this bird was still. It would come to the window and while looking inside, it would wildly flap its wings as if he were trying to fly through the window and would not leave.

Everyone has a story.

After repeatedly shewing them away for hours, a small, injured bird was noticed on the ground near the window. It appeared to have flown into the window and was dying, and this is why the other birds were acting crazy. What appeared to be an annoying and crazed bird flapping wildly at our window, was just a bird that cared about another bird, an injured bird, possibly a friend, a partner, or a child, and was sending out a cry for help. Everyone has a story.

This made me stop and think. How many times does this happen with the people in our path? How many cries of help do we not notice or misinterpret? Whether it is the cashier, a customer service representative on the telephone, or the driver who just cut us off, or even a friend, we have no idea of the day they have had or what is really going on in their lives. Everyone has a story, and there is always more to a story than you know. It is far better to err to the side of compassion than to miss an opportunity to show kindness to someone who needs it.

Everyone has a story.

Are you missing someone’s cry for help? Or is someone missing your cry for help? What is your story?