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Posts Tagged ‘joy’

         Did you ever go to a wedding and just observe the Bride and the Groom closely?  Today, i did just that very thing.  Oh, to be sure…the Bride was beautiful and full of smiles; and she looked the picture of what a Bride should look like.  Youth, beauty, joy and excitement poured forth from her face as she, who is normally very shy, looked everyone in the eye and took her vows.  This was her testiment to her pledge of love and commitment.

          The Groom also looked young and full of love and pride in the bride of his choosing.  There were awkward moments in the ceremony…such as a very loud train rumbling by the church…just as the bride was speaking her vows. Then, they did some wonderfully, unique things in their ceremony.  They took communion during the ceremony which was lovely.  The poor bride got a larger piece of the bread put into her mouth by her groom; which took her several minutes to chew and swallow…which caused her to be somewhat embarassed and caused some good natured laughter in the crowd.

          Part of the unique ceremony took place when the bride was given in marriage by her father to her groom; at that point…the bride and groom took the elevated platform in the front of the church; and the minister then, came out into the congregation and stood with his back towards the back of the church…he faced the bride and groom; who stood facing the spectators.  This viewpoint gave the advantage of watching the bride and groom as they spoke their vows, lit the candles, and smiled into each other’s eyes as they whispered affectionetly to one another.  Then, the groom played the guitar while one of his groomsmen sang a tribute to their love for one another.

           All in all, it was a trusting, loving, innocent step into the future as husband and wife…not knowing what the future holds for them…just knowing that they were taking the beginning step forward, together!  Hopeful for a lifetime journey.

        

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       Sad news today for many baby boomers who will have strong memories of Bozo…the world’s most famous clown…Larry Harmon…one of the original marketing geniuses behind the image and licensing of the Bozo character has died.  I don’t have strong memories of Larry Harmon himself much as the portrayer of Bozo…although I certainly have seen him a bit over the years. 

        What is remarkable to me is that his development and contribution to the image and promotion of the character has brought a lot of joy over the years to many families.  I remember our own local Dick Richards, for WZZM TV 13, as our Bozo; from 1968 to 1999.   Everyone wanted to get their name drawn so that they could win prizes from the bucket bonanza! Thank you Dick Richards for giving of yourself so completely to your viewers.

          Dick Richards was always entertaining and certainly a big part of our children’s development in the western Michigan area. Children’s television programing never had it so good as when people were begging for tickets just to be in the audience for the taping of the Bozo show.   It was all due to the vision that Larry Harmon had to how Bozo should be marketed around the country. 

       I wish to pass along my condolences to the family and friends of Mr. Harmon and our thanks for all that he has given to the many children, whos,  hearts were lifted up by their time spent enjoying Bozo on television, making us laugh with his antics over the years.  Rest in peace, Mr. Harmon!

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       Girl Power rules on dancing with the stars.  Kristi Yamagucchi and her partner Mark took the championship.  They now have the winning trophy.  But class reins because Jason Taylor and his partner Edyta conducted themselves with style and grace and joy even for Kristi as she won the trophy.

         This season was pure joy watching this group of contestants as they competed.  They enjoyed each other and it showed.  Great job everyone.  Next time though, let’s pray that they cut down on how long the finale is.  Three hours of waiting for the results is a bit much!

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        For those of you who have been depressed, despondent, abused, neglected, suicidal, victimized or just oppressed; know this, the human spirit is subject to change at any moment…it is resilient.  The absolutely amazing thing about going through any of those difficulties in life, is that it has the potential of either destroying a person, or strengthening them, like steel that has gone through the heat of a fire. 

          What causes a person to either become submerged under the weight of negative influences; or, to spring up and bounce back even stronger ? 

           I believe it is a combination of things.  We are all products of our past; we have been taught many things throughout our childhoods and young adulthood that influences how we perceive things.  Most of those things are unconscious and basically invisible, but, still they are there; determining how we interpet the challenges in life; and, therefore, how we handle those same challenges.  We have to make a personal committment to ourselves to change the direction our lives are going if we wish to live a life that is full of the good things life has to offer.

          If we have been lucky enough to have a strong healthy foundation during those formative years we have a huge headstart.  If we were instead rooted in poor soil and unhealthy relationships during those years; we often have alot to overcome. 

          It is not impossible to overcome those things.  It is by strength of will and determination that we learn how to channel our inner self to go in the direction of love, health, and personal well-being.  It is a matter of retraining how we think about things and learning not to focus on the obstacles and the negativity that surrounds us on a daily basis.

          I was reminded of these things today, when i read about Elizabeth Fritzl, the young Austrian woman held captive by her father in a basement for 24 years.  She was forced to endure loneliness, sexual abuse, emotional damage and physical confinement.  She was raped repeatedly by her father and gave birth to seven children during this time.  They grew up without “normal” human interaction. 

        At this point they are receiving treatment in a  psychiatric facility.  The family is getting help learning how to bond together; how to communicate with others, how to function outside of their basement prison.  Elizabeth, the mother of the children grew up at home, with her mother and father…until she was 18 years old.  At that point, he forced her to live in the basement while explaining her “disappearance” to the rest of the world by saying that she had run off to join a cult.

          Elizabeth and her children are bouncing back in amazing ways.  One would think that they might never recover.  After all, some of them didn’t speak as we know speaking; they communicated with grunts and noises.  However, they survived against all odds.  Their healing and renewal will happen with good guidance and therapy.  It should be encouraging to us all that the human spirit is resilient; it is meant to sustain us in times of devastation.

            At some point in life we have to “choose” to overcome the negative forces that have gone before and “decide” to grow, heal, strengthen; and, claim victory over the things in life that hold us back from who we were created to be.   It is work, it isn’t easy and often professional help is necessary; but, it is so worth it to have the freedom to once again live life fearlessly, and fully, with joy!

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       Dancing With The Stars continues tonight…it is getting down to the wire.  Who stays, who goes…every week…nobody knows.  Last week was awesome and each week i root for Marissa and all of the contestants…knowing that someone, absolutely has to leave.  They are all so good…but, i just can’t help rooting for Marissa and Tony…they exude such light, joy, laughter and fun…i hate the thought of them leaving.  Yet i know, they are not the most popular contestants. 

      Kristi is just absolutely amazing with her skill and precision.  Jason has grown by leaps and bounds, Christian with the injured arm danced better than he did before the injury; i thought :); in any case, I think skill-wise….Marissa gets huge marks for the amount of growth she has achieved…but, is she popular enough to stay in the competition.  I hope she is…send some votes her way!

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        My parents just got a new car.  It is a Honda, Fit.  Gorgeous medium blue in color.  It is very pretty.  Kind of low to the ground; i think it may be a problem for them in the winter .  But they seem to really like it. 

        Myself…I am not a fan of really, really small cars.  But i do think it looks nice.  I just hope it is a reliable one since there is no local dealer and they will have to drive about an hour or so to the closest dealer.

         My parents have had a couple of really rough years health-wise…so, it is nice to see something positive going on for them.  With the price of gas it will be a good thing to have a car that is economical.

          Whenever i have gotten a new car…it is always a simple joy just to get into the vehicle and smell that new car smell; that is until a couple of years ago, i watched a news program that told me how unhealthy it was.  That smell is released by the chemicals in the vinyl and plastics as they heat up in the new vehicle. 

           Awckkkkk…all the really fun, tasty, enjoyable things in life aren’t supposed to be good for us…so we take pleasure in the things we can.   So, as soon as it warms up…they will be cruisin’ with the windows down, radio on and just enjoying the freedom.   Now that is joy; go Mom and Dad!

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       Well, last night two of the dancers on Dances with the Stars were the first competitors to be eliminated.  All of the contestants this year are fun, talented and very likeable.  It is always sad to see people leave the show in throughout the process.

         You always think that those who leave the contest in the beginning…probably have the least experience in dance; at the same time once they leave, you truly wonder just how much farther they could have gone in the competition if they could have only had another couple of weeks to develop their skills.

          This time the two eliminated are magician Penn Jillette and the tennis player Monica Seles.  Both people are very accomplished in their own fields.   Both of these contestants for me connected to viewers on an emotional level. 

          Monica because she missed out in her youth with things such as school dances and proms…as she called it the girly girl aspect of life. It was nice (and a little awkward at first) watching her discover this side of her person-hood.  It was a bit like watching your preteen daughter as she enters into the world of self-discovery.  So, yeah, it would have been nice to see her have another week or two…but, unfortunately…the other competitors were more capable.

          Now, Penn Jillette was also a person who let his disovery of the joy of dance shine through.  He is a very tall man.  He showed his vulnerability to me by cracking jokes…but, i do think that he truly loved every minute.  He will probably never be a truly smooth, gifted dancer…but, his ability to wring joy out of the experience touched me.   So again, because he so obviously was having a perfectly wonderful experience…it was sort of sad to see him go!  Or is he?  He vowed for this not to be the end of his dance career; faceticiously saying…that Dances With The Stars wasn’t the only opportunity for a dance career :)!  Gotta love that. 

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       I read a wonderful tribute on a fellow blogger’s blog today.  It  was a respectful tribute regarding one ovarian cancer survivor’s feelings of the passing of another afflicted with cancer.  They were in the battle against the enemy cancer.  They had a rich relationship of love and support. 

        The respect and caring just comes through her words that define just what he meant to her.  He was friend, adopted grandfather as well as favored “uncle”.  No i don’t think they were related to each other biologically, but that doesn’t matter.

         They connected in a way that goes beyond surface; so, i know that with his passing she will grieve the loss, even knowing that he is no longer suffering pain or discomfort in the battle anymore.  Cancer might have taken his body; but, it didn’t claim his soul or his essense.  God will not allow the enemy that much power in the battle over his own children called by his name.

         So, I wish for her healing; and, joy in the remembering of their time together.  May the highs from the joy of knowing each other far outweigh the loss in his passing from this world.  It isn’t the end…it is the beginning of forever…they will know each other again in eternity; and they will be blessed from the knowing of one another.

         She is playing a song from Vince Gill on her blog in rememberance, it is a song called High on the Mountain. It speaks of a strong faith and the victory that comes to those at the end of the journey.  It is a song of encouragement and an acknowledgement of the struggles of life.

          Both of my parents have battled cancer…they have friends who have battled the disease right alongside of them.  These relationships are hard to define and the bond is stronger than diamonds.  They sparkle just as brightly too.  So, I pray that the comforter send her the strength she needs at this time of loss.  God bless  you Lady Ashley and those that you touch in your journey!

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         Today my 8 year old daughter is filled with joy.  Want to know why?  The thing that filled her with joy is just that a female classmate invited her to a birthday party at a local bowling alley.  This invitation made my child happy.  She started planning how much fun she was going to have.  She couldn’t wait to go pick out a gift for her friend.

         It is a simple thing… and yet it is not.  She is not an easy child socially.  She doesn’t always fit in.  But she is so excited about going to this birthday party. 

          Fitting “in” is not always easy whether you are a child or an adult.  We all have a need to be a part of the “in” crowd.  It is a couple of hours of acceptance for her which will be good for her self esteem.  Kids can be cruel if you dont wear the right clothes, have the right amount of money, live in the right neighborhood, belong to the right groups…those types of things.  We live in a small town so those kinds of issues are known about one another.

          Yesterday we went out and picked out the important birthday gift…with the right birthday gift bag to put it in.  People who seem to fit in with others as youngsters have a healthy self esteem.   Sometimes my daughter will say, no one likes me…the boys pick on me and say mean things about me to the other kids.  Self esteem is affected by the actions of others around us when we are young and growing; self esteem is important.

           This is an important tool for the teen years and adult years.  That self esteem keeps people from making poor choices when under stress, to make decisions like drinking or using drugs, or entering into healthy relationships when their peers put on the pressure.

           Adults can learn alot from watching their children struggle with acceptance.  It must be taught to not let peer pressure rule them but at the same time…to be accepted by others can be important in learning to accept themselves with or without the stamp of approval from others.  It is growing their judgement skills on knowing when to let someone’s opinion matter enough to affect how they conduct themselves.

            It is hard as a parent to let your child find their own way.  I just want to sometimes step in and say…my child is an awesome person.  Like her, treat her right, show her she is likeable for who she is….but i must let her make her own way in learning how to deal with fitting in and making good choices about who she lets influence her. 

           Those who can be mean or those who try to use their acceptance in the crowd to keep others out of it, have to be  understood by my daughter to learn who she can trust and why. 

            That way, she will understand more complex people as she grows older so as not to be manipulated or hurt.  Loving oneself and freely trusting others is easier when you learn to read others by their actions, body language and by how they treat you with respect.  My daughter is a smart girl; she will learn to let people into her life that know how to have healthy give and take relationships with each other.

             We must learn to understand that by our words, our actions, our body language we have a big impact on others whether we are children or adults.  *  The party was great…she had fun…the others had fun…and she was still filled with excitement when it was over!  This is as it should be.

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        It is a red letter day…Robin Roberts, from good morning america, announced that she has finished her chemo treatments!  She is amazing; she shares on a regular basis that God is at the core of her life.  Her audience has been keeping her prayed up. 

        She has been nothing short of an inspiration daily for those with cancer, and those who have loved one’s affected by cancer.  May God continue to bless her and guide and direct her pathways.  Go Robin…we are so very happy for you and we share in your joy!

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