Archive | December 2013

Things I Believe

…I believe…

There are angels among us–people who are sent for the purpose of comfort or guidance. If you’ve ever been blessed with a visit from an angel, if something has occurred you can’t explain, if you’ve felt comforting arms around you in times of fear or trouble…you may be a member of the group who believes there are angels among us!

angel hugs

Best Year Ever!

Empty Promises

Are Our Resolutions Real Goals

…or Just Empty Promises?

Traveling Through This Life
I count them—like the numerous sunflowers of a Kansas field—Those people who pass through my life for a moment—or longer;
I treasure them—like the rare shell found after the ocean’s tide—Those people who emerge victorious through life’s turbulence;
I acknowledge them—with an engraved plaque “for services rendered”—Those people who take the time to inscribe on my heart a new song;
I wish for them—like those wished on a hundred falling stars–A lighthouse on the shore to guide them away from life’s  dark, lonely places;
I invoke for them—like the sacred prayers of intercessors—The courage to create from a shattered past a future that is  undiminished and abundant;
I promise them—with the assurance of experience—The powerful force necessary to mold a life of health , beauty and happiness lives inside your own spirit.
Van Hess, 2004

empty shell

It was 2004 when I wrote the message of Traveling Through This Life at a significant juncture in my life. Since then, like all of us, I have been dealing with other things; and I must admit I’d forgotten the promises I made in my heart for people who came into and through my life.

Digging in a bottom drawer the other day, I found an old file folder. You know, the kind we all have where you toss things you probably won’t need. I was about to throw it out, but reached to retrieve it and nearly fell out of the chair! When my hands touched it, I looked at the words and was immediately overcome with sadness.  What had happened to cause me to let these penned promises pass me by unfulfilled. I felt as if I had failed my friends and associates. Tears formed in my eyes making it hard to read to the end.

Would I have ever admitted what a failure I had been–as a friend, guide, intercessor, supporter–if  I had not run across these words?  Probably not since “ignorance is bliss” and we can’t fault ourselves if we don’t think about it at all.

  • I had forgotten to make people feel the way I promised them.
  • I had not prayed for them or treasured them or helped them.
  • I had not even thought of some of them for years now.

My heart began to feel empty and the tears streaked my face because I knew by not living up to my promise to them, I had lost opportunities—to be a friend and to have a friend. In some cases, I had even lost the chance to make a difference because they had left this life. My negligence may have caused hardships for some without the encouragement they needed or were expecting.

Do I even have the right to ask someone to help me if I failed those I had promised to help?  If we get another tomorrow, we get another chance–the chance to fulfill those promises.  This time I must act upon it.

Many of us will make decisions in the next few days and develop a plan of how we want to change our lives. We think about it, make lofty goals, tell everyone what we will accomplish…then somewhere along the days or months they fall by the wayside. How can you concentrate on people in your everyday life if you are constantly focused on the “lofty goal” that awaits somewhere in the future.

Let’s admit, few of us would ever make a statement like this:

I can’t listen to you right now because I have a goal of making myself more available to people in the coming year !

Sadly, that’s exactly what we are telling people if we have tunnel vision about our goal. We might just miss the opportunity to experience a blessing or fail to be used for a blessing.

You can still do something for others.  It’s not too late.  Maybe spend the next day or two contemplating how you can help and just do it.  If you just plan it, that’s all it is:  a plan.  But if you do it, it becomes something more.  It becomes a blessing or a kind word or just a hello to someone who needs it.  Give it away…it’s easy…just do it!

————

Forget past mistakes.  Forget failure.  Forget everything except what you are going to do now and do it.

Will Durant

Please visit here often and “Leave a Comment” about how you are dealing with life’s struggles and winning some victories. I, too, pledge to leave you messages here as to how it’s working for me.

Empty Tree

Empty Tree

What do we do now that the tree looks so empty?

If that’s what your are wondering today, it may be a perfect time to gather the family round the tree, hold hands and say a prayer of thanksgiving for God’s gifts and opportunities of this past year.  Every person may have a different thing for which they are thankful.  Sometimes though, families may have the same thanks and wishes for the days ahead.

God honors the requests and prayers of those who remember to give Him the praise for what they already received.

It’s not too early to think about your plans for how you will contribute to the your family, your community, your church, your own future when the calendars change in just a few days to 2014.

If your tree looks empty, fill it with faith, hope and love.

And now three things remain; faith, hope & love…and the greatest of these is love.  [ I Corinthians 13:13]

Christmas Wishes

angel

There are angels among us and

Christmas wishes can come true

Hope your many wishes, prayers and thoughts are strengthened with the joy of knowing it’s possible.  There’s nothing as precious as wishes made in your heart at Christmas time.

May peace fill your mind and heart today and for every day of the year(s) ahead. There is no greater peace than what God offers.

Whisper a prayer, and let this angel deliver it to the heart that needs it most…I just did and sent it to you..

http://

One of my all-time favorite singers with a great song.  Thanks, B. J. Thomas, for all the music through the years…and for this particular one!

Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.  Luke 2:14 KJV

Traveling Home or Leaving Home

Click below to listen

Traveling home ~ Leaving home ~ Missing family ~ Finding friends ~

Check your compass ~ you may be going exactly where you are meant to be!

Louisiana Red Dirt Highway – Oak Ridge Boys featuring William Lee Golden (from “It’s Only Natural”)

The Right Road?

Setting your feet on a new path for 2014? Try applying the words above as a test for knowing if it’s the correct one.

I’ve spent too many years looking back, re-thinking my actions, regretting what I did.  Now, I’m focused on seeing the road ahead and building memories on positive reaction to what I choose.  If that’s the goal you have for the coming year, I wish you a year filled with dreams that come true.  But first you must recognize the dream and then believe it is possible, and then just LIVE IT…

Visit this site often to let me know how those dreams are being realized.

Click my “Leave a Comment” beside this post to let me know if you are dreaming big for 2014!

© Van Hess and New Journeys on Old Roads, 2013

Magic Snow

magic snow

A SHORT STORY ABOUT THE JOYS OF CHRISTMAS ~

The people were surrounding me stepping on my foot, jabbing with their elbows, bumping me into other people. I was pushing back just to maintain my balance. There was so much noise my head was pounding.  A squealing sound near the ceiling of the big room made my headache worse.  Long lines, crying babies, noisy talkers, so many bodies pressed against me.

Why did I ever agree to go out shopping and make myself nervous and tired?  Sure, she’s my best friend and her kids are normally fun and cuddly, but right now, I wish they were sleeping in their little beds at home.  I thought it would be festive if Momma, Sabrina, my husband, Matt, and I met them at the mall for Santa pictures where he sits in the big chair surrounded by magic snow and more screaming kids.

Baby Bradley pulled on my coat asking, “What is that white stuff around Santa?”

It’s magic snow, Bradley,” I said as I smiled.

He broke away from his sister’s hand and laughed as he crawled around in the white stuff now covering his Christmas suit and matching hat.  Children–the innocence of Christmas.

And that’s how it all started…with magic snow!

Momma said it would be a good day to get out and enjoy the season.  Really!  Well, I’m worried about her as well as myself.  I would feel so bad if someone pushed her down and caused a broken bone.

My teenage daughter, Sabrina, with all sorts of tubes and ear muffs on her multi-pierced ears, is not listening to a word I yell at her. Of course she’s not because she hasn’t heard anything I’ve said since she was 13 when her aunt Elizabeth bought her those earphone things.  I can tell from the rolling eyes—the only way she communicates with me for the past year—she wishes this “seasonal event” was over so she could meet her friends. I’ve learned to accept that all of us, as old people, are such lame companions.

My husband said he would just wait in the car and watch the rest of some ballgame on his phone sipping his café espresso .

“Well, of course, honey, that’s fine if you want,” I grimaced at him—and he smiled as if I just made a pass at him!

So much for thinking he would carry the packages. I looked back at him as the rest of us got out slowly watching for ice patches surrounding the van.  Why can’t I be the one in the car with my Grande peppermint mocha latte?  When do I get my Christmas wish?

Immediately I heard the shrieks of Bradley and his older sister running up and down the sidewalk. The kids were jumping up and down and waving their chubby mitten-covered hands beckoning us to join their fun.

As we entered the mall and I saw all the people, I remembered how horrible it could be shopping on Christmas Eve.  If I survive this mob, I’ve still got to stop and get replacement bulbs for the tree lights.  Got to go to four more stores for gift cards, and pick up the ingredients for my famous rum pumpkin pie.  Rum? Maybe two bottles I’m thinking!

It’s coming back to me now how much I hate shopping on Christmas Eve.

In fact, I am so tired that if Christmas doesn’t hurry up and get here and gone, I may just see if Santa could use a new elf for next year—I hear it’s a year-long training in a far-away place!

 Splat! Ouch! Ugh!

I’ve been attacked with something akin to a baseball bat!  Oh, it’s just Baby Bradley and his bottle he’s swinging like a boomerang.  The screeching sound in my ear is him laughing and squeaking.

My friend said,“Bradley, honey, don’t hit anyone with that.”

No problem, my friend, it’s not anyone—it’s only me!

A short time later, I got candy cane sticky kisses and hugs from Bradley and his sister.  My friend and her two little ones left us to our shopping.

Where is my daughter?  You’d think I could find her with all that electrical equipment on her head but I think she’s run away and left me in this colossal mess and disorderly crowd.  Surely she knows if she retreats to the car with her dad, I’ll be left alone to fend for myself and Momma.  Would she do that?  In a heartbeat or a drumbeat or whatever her stethoscope-like wires hear when they are stuck in her ear.

Oh, no, where’s Momma!  Did someone slam her to the floor and steal her huge purse. No, they couldn’t wrench it off her shoulder the way she ties that on…and they would be weighted down with its contents.  But where is she?

“Oh, I’m so sorry ma’am – I didn’t mean to bump into you and step on your foot and elbow you and the little ones,” I said.

I apologized profusely to a woman and five children strung out like a “Hands Across America” exhibit.  I really had done nothing to her but it sounded nicer if I apologized to them as they continued on through the crowd forming a bulldozer-like barricade.

Momma, Sabrina, come back and help me.  I’m dropping the packages and a boy has his Game of Thrones-like sword stuck in my back and he’s jabbing for all it’s worth.

I raised my voice above that of the blaring loud-speaker crying, “Come back and help me!

After what seemed like hours of abuse and stomping and noise, I realized it was quiet and dark.  Oh, no, I’ve blacked out and am dying!  The crowd of people are all finally gone and debris is all around me.  My packages are strewn about with their contents lying hither and yon.

Oh, no! My ribs hurt as I chuckled because draped over my feet are the Santa boxers that are supposed to be a private gift for my Naughty Santa husband.  My purse—where’s my purse?  Ouch…that must be it I’m lying on that’s punching me in the ribs.  Well, at least no one took that—one good thing.  The sign which had been hanging near the checkout line was across my body.  I could still read it though:

“Last Mark Down Items For Christmas Eve Shoppers”

Now I remember… I’m in the midst of the Joys of Christmas

  Read More…

Road with Message

Road with Message

When you are traveling, it helps to have a clear conviction of where you want to be. If you think the path is leading you in the wrong direction…do something about it.

vh

 

3 Ways To Be At Peace Now

Positive and Purposeful Approach to Life. Enjoy this blogger’s thoughts! ~ Van Hess

Let Yourself Learn

IMG_0992Today driving back to Chicago from my parents’ house in the suburbs I was particularly cautious because of the dark flurry-filled highway.  Night was fast approaching on my drive home and by the time I reached the city streets there was no longer any sunlight to aid me.

When I had stopped at a light on Lincoln Avenue I glanced out the car door window.  Suddenly I realized it was not a low-visibility snowy evening, but a crisp clear night.  At this I instinctively prompted the wiper fluid.  Lo and behold I had been unnecessarily struggling from something I had expected even before I got in the car, a night where the air was filled with snow, which would be difficult to drive in.  The night air was as clear as it had been on any cold cloudless night in Chicago and I just did not realize all I had…

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