A Woman's Voice


THE ROAD OF LIFE ~ December 31, 2011 by Dolores Ayotte

INSPIRATIONAL QUOTES AND ANECDOTES

“If you make the unconditional commitment to reach your most important goals, if the strength of your decision is sufficient, you will find the way and the power to achieve your goals. “ (Bob Conklin)

I would like to thank each and every one of you for your wonderful support in 2011. I know we all lead busy lives and I thank you from the bottom of my heart for spending these precious moments with me.

At this time, I would also like to wish you good health and much happiness in 2012.  The above quote is so appropriate as we start the New Year….when we set new goals and make a personal commitment to hope filled resolutions…when we dare to dream as we strive to reach these lofty goals for our good and the good of all.  Take gentle care my dear friends!

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Seeing Beauty When There’s None ~ December 30, 2011 by Nikki Rosen

INSPIRATIONAL QUOTES & ANECDOTES

“He who has courage and faith will never perish in misery.” ~ Anne Frank

It’s hard to think Anne Frank was only 14 when she wrote this. Fourteen and hated – for no other reason than being Jewish. Fourteen and having her world as she had known it – turned upside down. Fourteen and not able to go outside to smell the flowers, or attend a dance or sit in a classroom and daydream about boys or her future or life…..

In spite of the hatred and brutality that had taken over her world – in spite of the being stripped of all the comforts of home and school and friendships – in spite of those who believed she had no right to exist….fourteen year old Anne wrote as if her world was normal…as if nothing had changed…putting her thoughts down on paper….the thoughts of a normal teen…..

I try to visualize what it must have felt like to be fourteen and forced to live in a small space with people terrified for their lives – fearing the craziness of those who wanted to kill not only you but your whole race – people who lived with fear that if they were found – they would die….or worse…

Anguish – cries heard in the streets – family, friends, respected elders – taken – their lives stolen – beaten like violent criminals – in temples, in shops, in communities – there was no safe place….nowhere to hide. It was always just a matter of time.

Yet in the midst of that senseless brutality – fourteen year old Anne kept her diary and wrote like any typical young teen pondering the world around her and her place in it.

Her words strong, positive, powerful: “I twist my heart round again, so that the bad is on the outside and the good is on the inside, and keep trying to find a way of becoming what I would so like to be….I don’t think of all the misery but of the beauty that still remains….”

I didn’t have the strength that Anne had. Or the courage – nor her positive outlook. I felt the hatred and I hated back. I felt the brutality and I wanted to lash out against every perpetrator who hurt me. I let the brutality pull me into its lies – into its fear, into its hatred – Everything in my world was black – dark  – I saw no beauty. I wanted so bad to give up and to give in to the darkness. I saw no hope – no light – no meaning.

Anne had been raised by loving parents – parents who gave her security and a strong foundation  – so strong that when the darkness came – she was able to push it aside and still see beauty. I’m trying to parent my girls that way. Maybe it’s working. My oldest 13 – almost 14 – is amazingly positive. She inspires me – she teaches me….

Growing up in a Jewish home – I heard the phrase over and over: “to not remember the past is to be condemned to repeat it.” I used to wonder why do Jewish people constantly talk about what happened….and hold memorials and give honor to the survivors.   I was told – ‘so it will never happen again. From one generation to the next – we must tell what happened.’

I think I’m beginning to understand…..to tell of the brutality we lived – in some way is a protection for the next generation – to know – to be aware – to live a bit differently – to understand there is darkness – but there’s also a strength, a hope – a light with each survivor who stands up and says, “I survived. The darkness couldn’t destroy me.”

I never wanted anyone to know what happened to me – all those things I lived – Today I want you to know, “I survived.” And every time I read some of your blogs – and know you too have survived – I’m cheering

Thank you so much Nikki for sharing such an intimate part of your self with us.

Nikki Rosen is the award-winning Author of   “In The Eye of Deception” (A True Story).

Website: http://gentlerecovery.webs.com

Blog Site: http://cultofdeception.blogspot.com

Blog Site: Tips & Tools for Healing from Trauma http://www.gentlerecovery.blogspot.com

 

DRIP…DROP ~ December 24, 2011 by Dolores Ayotte

INSPIRATIONAL QUOTES AND ANECDOTES

When we think about erosion in our environment, we may picture a huge wave beating against the wall of a cliff at sea. Eventually as it pounds away, the cliff caves in and the waves continue to erode the shore line.

In many of our personal relationships, the erosion that takes place doesn’t always  occur in the same dramatic way. Sometimes, it does take one big upset similar to a tsunami to end a relationship but usually it takes many years of neglect or even physical or emotional abuse. At times, our unacceptable or unattractive behavior is more subtle, like a lack of consideration or at times unkind behavior as the drip…drop of our uncaring ways eat away at  the bond we may have once shared.  The drip….drop may include gossip or maligning. The drip…drop may also include conditional love.

Whether with family or friends, a continuous drip…drop of inappropriate behavior eventually takes its toll and the relationship caves in much like the major erosion that takes place at sea.

To create and maintain a quality relationship, it is necessary to show that we care. We do this by taking the time to cultivate or maintain these special connections. In doing so, it is necessary to put forth the much-needed effort in order to keep the relationship alive and healthy.  If we don’t do this, the relationship will not be very positive or rewarding and more than likely will eventually die.

Caring about the people we love involves making them feel like a special part of our lives. It’s not about taking them for granted but rather about showing our appreciation and love for them in some of the simplest ways…putting them first on the list instead of last, a special card, a visit…or any other small act of kindness that we may choose in order to let our family or friends know we love them.

Please, during this special Christmas Season as we are celebrating the birth of Jesus, it is wise to remind ourselves to make room in the “Inn” of our hearts instead of allowing the drip…drop…of our behavior to force family and friends into the stable of our lives. If that’s where they are…perhaps we must ask ourselves why.  Have we really and honestly made room at our “Inn” or have we made them feel like they belong outside? Having room at our “Inn” is a year-long activity not a once a year occasion.

Hopefully, the true meaning of Christmas and the celebration of Christ’s birth, will also be exemplified by our behavior between New Years and Christmas, rather than the short week between Christmas and New Years.  On this note, I would like to wish you a wondrous, peaceful, and joyous Christ-filled Christmas as well as an abundant 2012 with room in your “Inn” to celebrate all year-long!

Positive Attitude ~ December 22, 2011 by Dolores Ayotte

MEMORY LANE

I recall going bowling in my younger years and to be honest, I do not have an athletic bone in my body.  I got the worst score possible.  It was so embarrassing!  I didn’t even realize that anyone had been watching me until after the game when this gentleman came up to me and introduced himself as a minister. 

He said something which has stuck in my mind all these years… something that I didn’t even realize I was doing.  Obviously  he could see how badly I was bowling.  It was pretty apparent but he proceeded to tell me that after every ball I threw, no matter how bad it was, I would turn around and smile at my fellow bowlers.  He then told me how wonderful he thought this was.  Wow…it was like, how could anyone smile after bowling the way I did!  I was so grateful for the compliment that I thanked him and then gave him one of my biggest smiles.  It meant the world to me that someone had given me such a fine a compliment.

That’s me in a nutshell, forever the smiley one…forever the eternal optimist.  You know the one. The one, who would be searching for a puppy if she found a pile of dung in the garage while someone else would be cursing the mess.  I would think that someone probably gave me a new puppy as a gift and I would be busy trying to find it.  There could be no other explanation!  Right?

You want to know my secret? I can usually find the bright side to just about anything. This has been my saving grace in facing the ups and downs of daily living. It has been said that “it is worth a thousand pounds a year to have the habit of looking on the bright side of things”. (Johnson)  So in other words, it is probably where some of my greatest wealth lies because in most instances this is how I choose to view life.   Choose is the key word here. In life we have many choices and our attitude usually has a huge impact on how we view life.  I guess you could always ask yourself if you see your “glass as half empty or half full”.  Your answer might give you a better understanding of what I mean.

 

INSPIRATIONAL QUOTES AND ANECDOTES

“The greatest discovery of my generation is that human beings can alter their lives by altering their attitudes of mind.” (William James)

“The greatest power that a person possesses is the power to choose” (J. Martin Kohe) 

 

HE’S GOT THE WHOLE WORLD IN HIS HANDS ~ December 19, 2011 by Dolores Ayotte

               INSPIRATIONAL QUOTES AND ANECDOTES

I am the mother of three married daughters. I have eight delightful grandchildren.  I always knew that I loved my children with all my heart but I had no way of knowing until I became a grandmother that I would love my grandchildren with the same depth. Each time a grandchild is born, I feel the same thrill as when I gave birth.

When we raise a family we all go through the trials and tribulations that come with each phase of growing up.  I remember thinking to myself that after all three daughters were married and settled down, I would have a lot less to worry about. I must admit that this was one naive thought. 

As my family continues to multiply I find that I actually have more to worry about, not less.  Now my daughters are experiencing some of the woes of raising their children and I am well aware of almost everything that they are going through.  I try my best to encourage them to “not sweat” the small stuff but one of the things I still “sweat” about is childhood illnesses especially in the youngest grandchildren.  The older ones can at least tell you what’s wrong when they’re not feeling good. Is it only in my own mind or has there been an increase in childhood illnesses?  When these little ones get sick, I’m so concerned in a way that brings out the worrywart in me.

It is at these times that I have to search inside and draw from the same strength I used when my daughters were young. That strength is my faith. I know that each and every child born on earth is a whole world to God. I also know that He’s got the whole world in His hands. I not only desire to trust in Him, I need to trust in Him for the benefit of all just like my daughters need to do.

It’s wonderful to have been blessed with such an ever-growing family and I thank God on a daily basis but as I said, it’s not only the family that is multiplying.  The fears and concerns that go with it have also multiplied.  I need my faith now more than ever in order to  encourage my daughters. I want to be there for them as much as possible as they face what life has to offer.  I heard many years ago, that you never fully realize how much you believe in God until you have children.  I couldn’t agree more!  We need prayers and our faith as we work through the challenges that go with raising a family.  Don’t you agree?

 

THE KNOT’S PRAYER ~ December 18, 2011

               INSPIRATIONAL QUOTES AND ANECDOTES

THE TRUTH ~ December 15, 2011 by Dolores Ayotte

INSPIRATIONAL QUOTES AND ANECDOTES

 

THE TRUTH: It may not lead you to where you thought you were going, but it will always lead you somewhere better. When ignored, it will eventually show itself. The closeness of your relationships is directly proportional to the degree to which you have revealed the truth about yourself. It can be painful.  (Source Unknown) 

It is not always easy to have honest and open relationships. The more honest they are, the more vulnerable we become….it is one of the reasons that we choose to wear masks in life.  We do this to protect ourselves from what others may think or say about us.  We usually try to put our best foot forward in order to impress people.  The more comfortable we become in a relationship, the more we feel safe to take down these barriers. 

The truth …”It’s a process of peeling away the layers of your false self, your trying-to-be-something-you’re-not self, your copycat self, your trying-to-sound-a-certain-way self, your spent-my-life-watching-television self. It’s like going to psychotherapy, delving deep and allowing the real you to emerge, only in this case you want it to find its way on to the page.” (Rachelle Gardner-Literary Agent)

Yes, the truth may not lead you to where you thought you were going but would you want it any other way…? 

The truth, if and when you choose to embrace it, has a way of cleansing your soul like a pleasant rain that falls ever so gently and washes away all your weaknesses.

The truth gives us the courage to face all that life offers.  

The truth is why we have chosen to write and to bare our souls to those who honor us by reading our words.  Yes, the truth for those who seek it, can find its way to the page. May you feel the mist on your face that mingles with your tears as you wash away your woes. (click on the above picture to feel the cleansing rainfall that the truth can offer)

 

CHILDHOOD TALENTS ~ December 14, 2011 by Laura Davis

INSPIRATIONAL QUOTES AND ANECDOTES

I was at lunch with my friends and one of the topics of conversation had to do with our children. We observed that certain passions or talents exhibited during childhood led our kids to the careers or ministries they have chosen today. For example, my daughter Sarah took an interest in drawing and displayed a natural talent for it when she was no more than two years old. Today, she is planning a career in animation. One friend told us that her son, as a wee boy, would be drawn to police cars and loved dressing up as a policeman. Today, he is a police officer. The granddaughter of my friend Carol loves to video tape herself doing cooking shows. I’m guessing she is either going to be a cook, or an actress, as Carol tells me she’s quite a natural in front of the camera! 

As we continued to talk, we started to see a trend – what we were passionate about as children or had a natural talent for, eventually led us to what we would do in our adult years. I used to sing myself to sleep at night and began singing at a very early age. As I grew older, God led me into a singing ministry. I also spent countless hours reading when I was growing up and writing all kinds of fanciful stories. So, I shouldn’t have been surprised when, after my singing ministry ended, I started writing. 

So, I started to wonder – what did Mary see in Jesus when he was growing up, that led her to ask him to turn water into wine?  Had Jesus performed other miracles before this one? None are recorded in the bible. So, what made Mary force his hand at the wedding in Cana? How did she know he could help them in a miraculous way? By her knowledge of his birth and childhood! She knew Jesus was God’s son. She didn’t need any convincing on that score. So, like any good Jewish mother she nagged, pushed and prodded until her child did as he was told. Not that Jesus would need to be nagged – the bible said he was obedient to his parents (Luke 2:51). Despite the fact that Jesus was reluctant to display his power so early in his ministry, he obeyed his mother and his first miracle caused his first disciples – James, John, Peter, Andrew, Philip and Nathanael, to put their faith in him. 

What are you passionate about? What are your talents? These desires and gifts, if you look back far enough, have been built into you from an early age. You are God’s workmanship and He designed you with those particular passions and talents in mind. He has a plan for you and made you for a specific purpose. Examine your life. Are you doing what God created you to do? 

“For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” (Jeremiah 29:11)

Thank you Laura for your inspirational story.

Laura is a fellow author.  Her book is titled “Come to Me”. 

For more information about Laura please visit:

Author Laura Davis      Interviews & Reviews 

 

CHRISTMAS LOVE ~ December 12, 2011 by Dolores Ayotte

Inspirational Quotes & Anecdotes

For those of you who missed my post over the weekend on Just a Closer Stumble With Thee, I have reposted my article here. I hope you enjoy it. Once again, much thanks to Janet for featuring me as a guest blogger.  

The Christmas Season is upon us once again. It is only two short weeks until Christmas Eve. The hustle and bustle of Christmas is all around us as we hurry and scurry about to finish our shopping and plan for all the usual celebrations. I want to draw from some precious memories to stress the importance of keeping the true meaning of Christmas alive as we come to the end of 2011. In order to do so, I am going to travel back into my own childhood and the memories that I cherish from so long ago.

When I was a young girl, Christmas was seldom about giving gifts. If I received one…it was usually an unwrapped and much-needed article. I considered myself blessed to receive any present at all. The excitement mounted in our home regardless of the lack of presents. Christmas Eve was the start of the family celebratory season with a midnight church service followed by the special treats of homemade “tortiere”/ meat pie and other Christmas delights.

My siblings and I would tie our stockings to our wrought iron bed and wait for morning with eager anticipation. Sometime during the night, my dad would creep into our bedroom and quietly put one Christmas orange, a few peanuts in the shells, and some hard unwrapped candy at the bottom of our long stockings…stockings that we actually wore and only used in this manner once a year for this special occasion. Even when we were very young, we never talked about Santa Claus. We seemed to always know that it was my dad putting those few items in our stockings that we were so grateful to receive.

To me, Christmas Love is really about family but even more importantly, it is about celebrating the birth of Christ. In doing so, we are sharing in the joy of the holy family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph and that special birth of Our Savior that took place over 2000 years ago.

At times, it is apparent to me that society has taken the Christ out of Xmas and replaced it with many un-Christ-like substitutes…a multitude of X’s. There is much Xtravagance, many unrealistic Xpectations, too much Xtra spending, Xaggerated gift giving, Xcessive eating, Xhaustion, and too many other Xmas activities to mention. In order to truly experience the meaning of Christmas Love, it is necessary to get back to basics and keep Christ in our Christmas festivities by removing as many X’s as possible.

I also feel it is necessary to refocus and redefine what Christmas is all about and what we can personally do to recapture some of the love, joy, and peace of this wondrous season.

Therefore, on that note, I would like to wish each of you a Christmas Season filled…less with the Xploits of consumerism and…more with the Love of Christ. This is what Christmas Love is all about and why I think it is so precious. Wouldn’t you agree? 

 

WHAT APPEARS TO BE THE END…December 11, 2011

INSPIRATIONAL QUOTES AND ANECDOTES

“Surely there is a grandeur in knowing that in the realm of thought, at least, you are without a chain; that you have the right to explore all heights and all depths; that there are no walls nor fences, nor prohibited places, nor sacred corners in the vast expanse of thought…” (Robert G. Ingersoll)

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