A Woman's Voice


FOR BETTER OR FOR WORSE ~ The Weather Channel ~ September 19, 2011 by Dolores Ayotte

Posted in FOR BETTER OR FOR WORSE by doloresayotte on September 19, 2011
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Sometimes in life I feel like I am a cross between Erma Bombeck with her wry sense of humor or Phyllis Diller and her silliness about her husband “Fang”.  To quote Phyllis, she states that “his fine hour lasted about a minute and a half.”  I sincerely hope that some of you know who these two admirable women are even though Erma has now left her legacy with us and Phyllis is still hanging in there. I love both these women because they have such delightful senses of humor and they have succeeded in making a lot of people laugh over the years.

How great is that when you can bring a smile to someone’s face, or light up their eyes with mirth, or get a burst of laughter that seems to come from the tips of their toes?  Oh…to bring such pleasure and joy to other human beings. What a wonderful goal to strive for and to emulate.  My hoping to be similar to these two well-known women is quite the aspiration.

When a couple retires, they get a good taste at developing the kind of sense of humor it truly takes to sustain a long time marriage and ride off into the sunset together.  During these retirement years, you have the opportunity to discover what your marriage vows are all about and what it really means to say “I do”.  When there is no one else to look at, you have plenty of time to have a better look at your lifelong partner. Some don’t make it after almost a life time together.  Just take a look at Al Gore and his wife Tipper. After forty years of marriage they bid each other adieu, even after that big smooch we observed on national television just a few short years ago.

You know when you’re retired for sure when you have the Weather Channel on for several hours during the day.  Your love is tested when you ask your husband about what kind of weather to expect and he looks at you, points to his forehead and asks, “Do you see a weathervane on my forehead?”

Hey, it could be worse.  I could have to look at the Weather Channel myself. I much prefer to delegate this small task to my husband instead.  You just can’t help but love this guy. He’s a real “stand up” kind of fellow but sometimes I think he should be a “sit down comedian”. Perhaps he is trying to emulate Jack Benny.  He never ceases to amaze me with his one liners. He probably wouldn’t mind using one of Jack’s famous quotes right about now.  Jack says, “My wife Mary and I have been married forty-seven years, and not once have we had an argument serious enough to consider divorce, murder, yes, divorce, never.”

My husband really does watch the Weather Channel but he insists he’s listening to the music!   What do you think?

 

FOR BETTER OR FOR WORSE ~ Early Bird ~ September 8, 2011 by Dolores Ayotte

Posted in FOR BETTER OR FOR WORSE by doloresayotte on September 8, 2011
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FOR BETTER OR FOR WORSE 

“A bird doesn’t sing because it has an answer, it sings because it has a song.”  (Maya Angelou)

Is it true?  Does the early bird really catch the worm?  Every morning, it’s the very same thing.  No matter what time I go to bed at night, my internal clock wakes me up at about 5:00 am.  In a sense, I should be annoyed and grumpy because a part of me would like to sleep in like other non morning people.  The other part of me loves this alone time.

I cannot tell you how productive I am the first thing in the morning.  I have anywhere between three to four hours before my husband saunters into the den with his morning cup of coffee.  I kind of feel sorry for him because after several hours of quiet, albeit productive time, I am ready to talk to someone.

He’s the only someone around and I’m sure he would like to press my “off” button this early in the morning.  Trust me, it is already late from my angle and I am eager to get started on the rest of my day.

I must admit that I have to “back off” just a little so my husband can have a few moments of relaxation to enjoy his cup of coffee and newspaper first thing in the morning just like I do even if it is over three hours later than me.  Hey, different personalities…it’s what keeps us challenged as we learn to respect each other’s differences.

Yup, early birds can get on some people’s nerves now and then.  I’m sure I rub my husband the wrong way once in a while and get on his “only nerve” with my morning chatter, but what the heck! We’re two older birds in this empty nest of ours and we can enjoy life the way we see fit.  We know how to work it out.

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QUOTES AND ANECDOTES

“Personal relationships are the fertile soil from which all advancement, all success, all achievement in real life grows. “  (Ben Stein)

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FOR BETTER OR FOR WORSE ~ Silence Is Okay ~ August 25, 2011 by Dolores Ayotte

Posted in FOR BETTER OR FOR WORSE by doloresayotte on August 25, 2011
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I married my high school sweetheart.  No, we weren’t the prom king and queen.  As a matter of fact, he actually got chosen and I didn’t.  He was so gallant that he refused this honor because he didn’t want someone else by his side to share in this teenage moment.

It’s seems like a lifetime ago that we were playing the dating game in our eleventh grade classroom. My high school sweetheart grabbed my attention right at the onset.  Boy…he was one quiet guy and I sure made up for his silence.

Now, over forty years later, he is a little more talkative and I am a lot less.  Although, I still can outdo my husband, I have nowhere near as much to say.  I find that we have long moments of silence in our home and it’s not one bit awkward.  We’ve discovered that we can still be in each other’s company and provide a sense of comfort with silence. I like it and so does he.  The pressure to fill the silence has been removed a long time ago as we embrace each other in this wonderful and pleasant way.

Yes…silence is okay. In fact, in most instances I have come to cherish it and my husband is still gallant enough to “not” admit this truth. 

I may not have been chosen to be the prom queen but I’ve pretty well been treated like one ever since.   42 years and hoping for more! Happy Anniversary Fred!

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QUOTES AND ANECDOTES

“Harmony is one phase of the great law whose spiritual expression is love.”  (James Allen)

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Miracle Monday –January 3, 2011 by Dolores Ayotte

Posted in MIRACLE MONDAY by doloresayotte on January 3, 2011
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FOR BETTER OR FOR WORSE

It’s a new dawn…it’s a new day… it’s a New Year! 

January 3rd is the first Monday of 2011 when I am about to launch a new theme on “A Wo-Man’s Voice”.  One of the very first blogs I wrote was titled Blue Monday in March 2010.  Today after all these months, I would like to introduce Miracle Monday as one of my regular themes.  I have been inspired by two of my dear friends, Nikki Rosen and Desiray Lewis to add this special touch to my blog. Nikki posts Thankful Thursday and Spiritual Sunday which she features weekly on her blog. Desiray has a regular theme every day of the week.

The topics on Miracle Monday will be varied but they will mostly dwell on what I have to be grateful for and what I consider to be “the positives” at this stage of my life. I have every desire to begin the New Year on a positive note and this is my first post in 2011 to go along with this theme.  I realize many people start off with a list of resolutions and what they would like to change about themselves.  I thought I would be different by stating that I like my life in most instances and there are so many things that I hope and pray don’t change.

I have been married to my high school sweetheart for over 41 years. Every night when I pray before I fall asleep, I thank God for this wondrous gift. If you’ve read any of my posts in the category FOR BETTER OR FOR WORSE (please check out the sidebar), you can see that my husband isn’t perfect. Hey…but then, neither am I.  However, the very first thing I am grateful for in 2011, is our long time marriage and the love and loyalty we share despite the ups and downs of any life long commitment. We have experienced financial hardship, job loss, ill physical and emotional health, and other typical marriage woes.  Over the years, we have learned the true meaning of our marriage vows. I have discovered that I married my best friend who has stuck by my side through “thick and thin”.  Figuratively speaking, because my husband is not the most demonstrative type of guy, we’ve held each other’s hand as we worked through these trials and tribulations. No one ever said that it was going to be easy but it’s been well worth it.

Many years ago when we were in our late teens, my husband’s brother tried to influence us not to get married so young.  He was eight years older and he was offering his younger brother what he thought was some sage advice.  Needless to say, we never took it but I recall a humorous moment in the first few years of our marriage when my husband showed a little “sass”.  He mentioned to his brother that if he had known marriage was going to be this great, he would have gotten married sooner!  So yes…I do have every reason to be grateful, don’t you think?  And what about you?  Are there things in your life that you are grateful for or don’t want to change? I would love to hear from you. If you leave a comment, you can count on a reply from me. All you need to do is check back after your comment for my reply.

In my life and hopefully yours too, there’s no time for Blue Monday.  Instead, here’s wishing you Blue Skies every Monday and all week-long…

Blue Skies is an expression my friend Steven uses when closing off in his communication with me. It makes my day!

“Christian” VS. Christ Centered –December 11, 2010 by Jennifer Slattery

INSPIRATIONAL QUOTES AND ANECDOTES 

I’m a people watcher. And I’ve seen lots of shattered marriages as well as committed. Among the committed, there are two varieties–those who dig their heels and do what it takes to make things work, and those who grow in increasing intimacy day after day. I’ve also talked with numerous “dig their heelsers” and found that when you get right down to it, one key ingredient is missing–the power to make it work. They are going in their own strength, which results in two people fighting against their sinful nature, doing whatever they can to earn or cajole or manipulate a desired response from their mate.

But a Spirit-filled, transformed marriage is a complete 180. It’s something I’ll never understand this side of heaven, but the closer I am to God, the more love I feel for others. Somehow, His love fills me, and pours out. Not a give-me, you scratch my back I’ll scratch yours, kind of love, but a genuine, deep from the heart, no strings attached, love. Not that I stay there. I’ve still got a healthy dose of Adam that gets in my way when I least expect it, but the more time I spend drawing near to God–through Bible study, prayer, and worship–the weaker that selfish dragon becomes and the stronger my love grows.

I’ve done it both ways. As I shared on Reflections a while back, there was a time when my husband and I almost called it quits. The only thing that held us together was our commitment to Christ and our understanding that divorce was not an option. At the time, I thought God was forcing me to live in a terrible marriage. Now, thirteen years later, we found He was inviting us to experience true intimacy. An intimacy that only comes when two hearts are totally surrendered to God.

Now, I do feel like  I need a bit of a disclaimer here. I’m not saying your marriage will always be roses and cream. What I am saying is, if you’re centered on Christ, the valleys won’t seem so deep and the mountains so difficult.

But actually, maybe I am. Steve and I have been through unemployment, vindictive and unwarranted lawsuits, job changes, moves, you name it, and because of Christ, those events that could easily have destroyed us brought us closer together. Now, fifteen years after I said “I do” I couldn’t envision a day without Steve.

The Bible tells us that the heart is wicked and deceitful. We deceive others and we deceive ourselves. We deceive ourselves by saying we’re doing better, we’ve conquered that sin, we understand true love, and we genuinely love others without looking for anything in return.

But if we turn to Christ–not out of some verbal commitment but a true heart-felt surrender, one that says from the depths of our soul, “Lord, I need You! Help me to know you and follow after You. Take my life and change me!” God gives us a new heart. He doesn’t just help us “do better”. He gives us the motivation, and the power, to carry it out. Most importantly, He fills us with an all-consuming, never-ending, life-transforming love.

In Ezekiel 36:26 God says, “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.”

He doesn’t say, I will show you how to behave better. He says, “I will transform you. I will free you from reactive living and your bondage to sin. I will fight your battle for you, will heal your deepest wounds, and will give you the love and security you long for.”

The Bible tells us that we all sin. We lie, we cheat, we brood over petty things and fight to get our own way at every turn. Often even our “good” acts are done for selfish reasons. Our sin separates us from God and holds us in bondage. Our sin also separates us from one another. But Jesus Christ, God in flesh, took our sins upon Himself and died in our place, so that we can be reconciled to God.

Here’s the deal–the real deal. Jesus didn’t die so we can follow a list of rules or join some club. He died so we can connect with Him on a heart-to-heart level. He died so that we could be filled to the full measure with His love and goodness. He died to set us free.

And this freedom and heart transformation is only a prayer away, because if we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9

He’s already paid the price. His gift–the gift of intimate fellowship with our Creator and eternal life–lies at our feet, waiting to be opened.

If you’re tired of trying to go it alone, if you’re exhausted from all your well-intentioned efforts, life up your face. Salvation is here.

You receive salvation by admitting that you are a sinner who has fallen short of God’s holy standard, believing that Jesus Christ died to pay for your sins, and confessing Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior.

If you’d like to know more about what it means to truly surrender your life to Christ and receive His free gift of salvation, shoot me an email and I’ll give you my phone number so we can talk. My email address is jenniferaslattery@gmail.com

Be blessed. Be loved. Be transformed.

Jennifer Slattery is a freelance writer, novelist, and weekly columnist. She reviews for Novel Reviews, writes for Reflections in Hindsight and Christ to the World, and is the marketing representative for the literary website, Clash of the Titles. She’s also written for the Breakthrough Intercessor, Granola Bar Devotions, Bloom, Afictionado, and numerous other publications. In 2009 she placed first in the HACWN writing contest, book category. In 2010 she placed second in the Dixie Kane and fourth in the Golden Pen, in the inspirational category for both. You can find out more about her and her writing at jenniferslatterylivesoutloud.com

Here are two related posts from reflections: http://reflectionsinhindsight.wordpress.com/2010/06/18/cotton-candy-marriages/

http://reflectionsinhindsight.wordpress.com/2010/06/11/tossing-the-garbage-splattered-glasses/

Thanks Jennifer for sharing such an open and honest inspirational post with all of us.  To learn more about Jennifer please visit her @ : Jennifer Slattery
http://reflectionsinhindsight.wordpress.com
http://jenniferslatterylivesoutloud.com
http://www.clashofthetitles.com

MY MUSINGS — May 3, 2010 by Louise Gauthier

Posted in A WOMAN'S VOICE by doloresayotte on May 3, 2010
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A WOMAN’S VOICE

As I sit here writing down my thoughts I wonder where they will take me. First of all I am a single woman, 78 years old and never married….wow what a loser. 

On second thought, it wasn’t like I wasn’t asked for my hand in marriage. I was, not once but three times.  They were not for me.  Marriage was not the biggie for me. True love, the love of my heart was what I was looking for….you might say stupid or perhaps you might call it my destiny.  Whatever, here I am on April 13 at 10:00 p.m. still single, yet not feeling like I was left on the shelf. 

I am just a woman like any other woman…living day by day, doing the best that I can to be good, to be happy and to find peace.   In spite of the fact that I have never married and have no children I believe that I have had and still have a full life.  I have experienced loneliness and regret but who has not? 

I have also been deeply in love with a man whom I thought was my soul mate. Maybe he was.  I say that because I believe that life is not only of this physical world but of the spiritual world also. 

Please do not ask me to explain…the gift of understanding different concepts is given to all of us…some we understand and some are mysteries. 

Unfortunately for me the love of my life died over a year ago.  I loved him from the first day I met him.  I have also had “the challenge” and believe it or not “the pleasure” to take care of a family member for many years. Over time he became not my burden and my cry of “I can’t handle this”, to my child, my angel, my guide to my inner self who showed me a pathway to a special inner joy (I really believe we cannot get to this point without deep anguish). As the years went by in my caretaking of him, I went from why is this happening to me to … I had no idea that I had this kind of strength, loyalty and love for another human. 

So as I end this little musing thought period of mine, I understand that my journey with my beloved brother Paul was a gift that was given to me by a Higher Power.  I only hope that my presence in his life was also a gift to him. 

I conclude my inner musing with this thought…we never know where our path in life will lead us.  Is it our choice or is it our destiny? 

Thank you for listening to me. This felt good.

Thanks to you too Louise!  “A WOMAN’S VOICE” is supposed to make you feel good.

Louise is retired and resides in Winnipeg, Manitoba

May 10, 2010  –THE PERSISTENCE OF THE SPIRIT  by Andrea Cockerill

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