Five Things you Can do This Week to Make the World a Better Place

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Many times, we think we have to do something big to change the world, but really, it starts with small steps to put a smile on someone’s face.  Here are five small things you can do this week to change someone’s outlook.

Monday:  leave a treat in the mailbox for the postman/woman.  We have had so much snow lately, and they have delivered the mail faithfully every single day!  Brighten their day and let then know how much you are thankful for them.

Tuesday:  Write a letter to a family member, friend or colleague letting them know how wonderful they are.  I recently got a letter in the mail “just because”  from my grandmother-in-law.  This made me feel so special and makes me want to do this for someone else!

Wednesday: Have your family round up the carts in the grocery store parking lot.

Thursday:  Hold the door open for people with a smile on your face.

Friday:  Hand out hand warmers to homeless you see on the streets as you drive around.  Remember not every one makes it to a shelter for the night, and it is cold outside.  It is something small, but it is something.

Please post any other ideas that you may have for making a difference in the world.  Its starts with the small, and snowballs into something big!

Love,

Suzy

 

The Return of Women Who Make A Difference

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Next week, I will be starting the series of Women who Make a Difference.  This series will be every Wednesday and it will highlight women who live out their calling every day.

One thing I want to make clear is that a calling might not be what you think it is.  We tend to think on a grandiose scheme.  We forget that what we do every day, the tedious things, the “small” things add up to make huge impacts on ourselves, kids, husbands, families, communities, an eventually the world.

In the past I have highlighted all my grandmothers.  They truly lived, and are still living,  simple lives in which small things made huge impacts on so many around them.  Calling of making quilts, to cooking, to teaching the fine art of yard sales.

I have some wonderful women lined up to highlight in the upcoming weeks, but would also love suggestions that you may have.  One thing I am changing, is that I would like to interview the women and ask questions as to why they started, how they keep going etc.  If the woman is no longer with us, please give details as to how they made a difference in your life.

I am truly excited to be doing this again.  I hope it will bring inspiration and encouragement to so many of you.

Love,

Suzy

Women Who Make a Difference

Since being married, I have had the honor of getting to know one amazing women. This is my husbands grandmother.  We call her Grandma Schiffer.

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Grandma Schiffer is an inspiration to me on so many levels, but it is her strength that has had a huge impact on my life.  Grandma Schiffer is in her late 80’s, but one would hardly know it.  Her strength shines through in the way she presents herself.  Grandma Schiffer is always put together, has  a way of standing and walking into a room in which one knows she takes pride in herself and all that she does.  She never wants to be the center of attention, or at least that is what I sense from her. Instead she is perfectly happy serving everyone who is around her.  She makes sure that the everyone else has their needs met before she does.  She knows exactly what your favorite dessert or main dish is, and when one is around, she spoils you.  She makes the most amazing quilts, and will help all the people in her family to look and feel their best.  To me this is strength.  Grandma Schiffer is strong in who she is, so you can be raised up to be the person you need to be, and that is special.  When someone goes out of their way to make you feel so loved, that is strength beyond words.

She has watched so many others pass before her, and she still stands strong.  Never complaining, always willing and always beautiful.

Grandma Schiffer, you have been an amazing example in my life of strength, love and courage.

Thank you so much for welcoming me in to your family and for being a part of your life.

Love you!

Love,

Suzy

Women Who Make a Difference

A few years ago, my Grandma Curtis passed away.  She had been sick a long time, and we expected the end, but somehow with all the preparation, death was still shocking.  My grandma and I are similar in many ways, and as I looked through the pictures, I began to realize how similar we were.

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Here are just a few of them.  My very favorite ones.

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Here is my grandma around high school graduation age.  She loved her high school, as there were only 20 or so in her small farm school in Oklahoma.  Every year, they got together for their reunion, every single one of them.  They even went on cruises together.  She stayed in touch with others so well, and everywhere she went, people would know her.

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This is her sister and her, and don’t they look like they like to have fun?  Trouble.

This is my sister and I when we were little.  That is my grandpa Curtis standing next to us as we travelled to one of our many camping trips.  They loved to travel, and I think this is where I got my love for it as well.  But look at how my sister kept trying to help, and I would have none of it!

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Everyone tried to get me to sit still, but it was no use I liked to go.

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See what I mean?

They could not even keep me in the tent.  My sister is beginning to get frustrated.

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As I got older, my sister became more frustrated.  I thought it was funny then, and I still think it is funny.

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My grandmother had the same mischievous way about her.  I think that is why we would laugh, argue and love so extremely together.  She had spunk, passion, happiness, joy and most importantly love for life.  She loved to go on trips and often talked about their travels around the country.  When I would talk to her about our own trips, she would mention a time when her and my grandfather travelled to that particular place.  It surprised me and didn’t all at once when she would talk about her adventures.  She could not and would not sit still, she even fought against death for so long.  Would not let it happen.

I learned from her how to enjoy and love life.  I learned from her how to argue and debate with the best of them.  I learned to get to know others by her example of knowing everyone in town.  She was an amazing woman, mom, grandmother and friend.  I am so grateful she was a great example of all those to me.

Love and miss you Grandma Curtis!

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Thankfulness

 

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I am thankful for this morning, quiet and peaceful.

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I am thankful for the weekend.  It was full of family, projects and worship.

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I am thankful for the caffeine that sits in front of me, helping me to wake up and look forward to the day.

I am thankful for the food that gives me nourishment so I can start the day off strong.

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I am so thankful for the week that is beginning.  Fresh, new, full of wonders and new experiences waiting to happen.

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I am thankful for my family, and the joy they bring to one another.

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I am thankful for this blog, and the community that is being built all over the world.

 

What are you thankful for today?  I would love to know.

Love,

Suzy

Make a Difference Monday

A few months ago, I started to write about good deeds that you could do to help make this world a more peaceful place.  For some reason, I have seemed to stray from this practice.  I am not sure why this is.  Maybe the business of my days with home school, maybe I have become so wrapped up in my own craziness, that I have not been focusing on this all to important task of promoting kindness to others.Whatever the reason, I have felt a great urgency to bring these posts back.  To show how easy it is to love all we come into contact with.  When we start to show even the smallest amount of love, we begin to change the world.  We are not called to show love just towards our relatives and friends, but also to strangers.  Especially towards strangers.

So, Mondays are now dedicated to how we can make a difference.  Small ways that you can bring a smile to others, making their day brighter, and hopefully encouraging them to pass that smile on to someone else.  Small changes, that could make a huge impact.  I urge you all to comment on what happens, or other ways in which you plan to make a difference during the week.

Focus on the grocery store week!

Oh, the grocery store!  This place can drive me crazy.  People stand in the middle of the aisle, try to race each other to the line.  Avoid eye contact at all cost.  Hit you with their carts.  Leave their carts all over the parking lot.  Stare at you if your kids are screaming, or screaming nasty kids in general.  This can leave you in a nasty mood for the rest of the day.  But, stop focusing on how miserable you feel, and really take a look at what is going on around you.  Here are some things you can do to take the focus off your own misery and help bring a smile to those who are having a truly miserable time.

1.  When there are children screaming, do not give the mom or dad a nasty look.  Just because their kids are screaming does not make them bad parents.  This is something I have learned the hard way.  When I was childless, I would watch children scream in the store, and say to myself, “My kids will not do this.”  Oh, let me tell you, they did and still do.  My kids can be angels all day, but if we take one step into a store, they become devils.  It is like we have stepped into an alternate reality.  I have received dirty looks, but we have to eat!  I have to finish the shopping, because I do not want to come back any time soon!  Let me tell you, a simple smile to the mom will change her whole outlook.  A simple, “Hang in there, we have all been there.”  Will give her hope and encouragement to finish shopping.

2.  Let someone who has less groceries go ahead of you.  It is alright!

3.  Buy a ten-dollar gift card and give it to the person behind you.  The look on their face is priceless.

4.  Take stray carts in the parking lot to the cart corral.  I do not know if this is what they are called, but that is what we call it.

5.  If you see someone whose groceries are falling out of the cart, or who have two carts full of groceries, help them out.  I have had people stare at me and offer no help whatsoever while I wheel out two carts and try to keep my three kids next to me.  This of course was when they were much smaller.  I now have an 11-year-old that can help take a cart.  But it was so discouraging to hear, “Looks like you have your hands full!”  and they keep walking.  I try my hardest now to help those who do have their hands full.  I know what it is like!

6.  Smile and hold the door open for others.

We can make our shopping more enjoyable by taking the focus off of our misery and helping others.

Have a good time trying out these ideas!

Love,

Suzy