catnipoflife

Observe life at its best, listen to life’s songs, embrace life’s bounties, breathe the breath of life and savor life to its fullest!

Stormy Times

Throughout life we encounter experiences that bring on tears of happiness but all too often those tears are tears of sorrow. While catnipoflife strives to share thoughts of inspiration on life’s beautiful reflections, it is also necessary to sometimes pause in refection of the stormy times in life. Like the firey nature of a storm, the atmosphere may suddenly appear bleak and often dark but never without the shining rays of hope.

Recently there have been several bloggers who have shared ‘stormy’ times within environments of either family members, friends or both. Prayerful thoughts are sent to each of them.

♥***♥***♥***♥***♥

May you always find the light within and
have the courage
. . .
the courage to accept, the courage to bear the sorrow, the courage to show strength to others, the courage to carry on but most of all, the courage to believe. For though the world may at times appear dark, you have the light of the gospel, let it be a beacon to guide your way throughout the long hours of each day.

To each person who reads this message, take a few moments of silent prayer for those who seek and need your support during dire times in their lives. I just did!

23 Comments »

Do you push when you should pull?

The Farside – Gary Larson

You walk up to a door, you push and push, the door will NOT open, no matter how hard you push. Frustration sets in as you push again, even harder. You sheepishly look around to see if anybody is looking when you notice the sign on the door says: PULL.

How many times have the events of a day delegated reactions of opposite direction? Did you turn left when you should have turned right? Did you put your left foot forward when it should have been your right? Did you say ‘yes’, when you should have said ‘no’? Did you think twice or just go?

Within these musings resides one essential question:

How many times do you find yourself pushing and pushing when in actuality, it’s time to pull – to pull away, to pause, to reflect, to let go and let God?

      “Pull the string, and it will follow wherever you wish. Push it, and it will go nowhere at all.”
-
Dwight David Eisenhower (American 34th President (1953-61). 1890-1969)

34 Comments »

Inspiration: Meeting the Challenge 3

Visit Meeting the Challenge 2

Precious Moments: That is the challenge for this week!

Each of us is rewarded at some point in time with moments we deem simply precious. These moments stay with us stored away in our mental scrapbooks to be revisited as necessary through smiles, giggles, and sometimes even tears. Sweet memories!

Like the times the kids fought over whose cookie had the most chocolate chips. What a sight as they picked out the chips one by one just to prove a point! The next batch of cookies I dared anyone to start picking it apart threatening to bake non-chocolate, chocolate chip cookies. [ha-ha] I did decorate each one with a smiley face from then on, which brought on even more smiles and giggles, each delicate cookie equally branded!

Precious moments gently cradled ready to take flight

Meet the challenge! 

What warm, fuzzy stories do you have stored in your mental diary?  Think about it: Recollections of such precious moments might just trigger a poem, a story, a personal reflection.  After all, it is such accounts of life that keep us going, always on the alert for that next precious moment.

“Cherish those precious moments because they did not happen by plan or design
but by feelings, hunch, chance, fate, destiny or just the need to say hello
t
o a particular person at that point in time.”
~Author Unknown

Precious moments
Seconds in time
Treasured memories
Stored in the mind

Frets & falls
Tears have their place
Heartwarming smiles
Remnants of grace

Stories amid laughter
Echo & resound
Playfulness of heart
The true common ground

catniplogosm1
©2013 catnipoflife
Sharla Lee Shults

3 Comments »

Personal Reflection: To my Husband

***************

As you lay weak and weary in the hospital bed. . .

i take your hand

i take your hand
to ease the pain
lend comforting words
for hope to remain

i watch you sleep
restful it seems
questions surmount
nightmares or dreams?

that impish grin
the one i do adore
implies a dream
perhaps of the seashore

a time together
jumping waves, kicking sand
moseying along
side-by-side, hand-in-hand

suddenly the grimace
followed by a shout
grabbing sheets, drawing knees
imply nightmares about

what is it that lurks
in the shadows that bind?
are you searching, seeking
erasers of the mind?

gasping for breath
a soft whisper in your ear
reassures the moment
you know you’re still here

ever so cautiously
struggling to see clear
a soft kiss on the cheek
lets you know i’m near

. . .watching and waiting ’til you are able to come home again.

***************

12 Comments »

10 Cutest Cat Moments

Of course, you know I could not stop with only one ‘cat moment’ posting. Here is another and a great way to end the evening or begin a new day with smiles and laughter (depending upon whether you read this tonight or in the morning)!

Smiles to you yesterday, today and tomorrow:>)

4 Comments »

Mother’s Day

“A mother is a person who seeing there are only four pieces of pie for five people, promptly announces she never did care for pie.” ~Tenneva Jordan

 To my mother, Anita Louise Weston Lee (1919 – 2010):

You Don’t Seem So Far Away

 Sometimes you seem so far away
Memorable moments shorten the way

Moments you firmly held my hand
Guiding me along life’s hardened land

Distance spans an epic terrain
Visions of your smile block out any pain

Smiles of delight as well as tears
Carrying us through the roughest years

As tears fall with each passing day
Voice of memory keeps sadness astray

In other words. . .

Though you seem so far away
You are as close as my thoughts

Thoughts remaining ever so clear
Never to fade from year to year

Images implanted in my mind
Lift my spirits at any time

Spirits to refresh my soul
Keeping me toward life’s goal

 For you see. . .

 Thoughts of you eternally stay
You don’t seem so far away

Echoes ©2012
Sharla Lee Shults

From: catnipoflife
To: all Mothers near and far


May your sons and daughters
Know how special you are

2 Comments »

Inspiration: The Butterfly Effect

Yesterday I ‘happened upon’ a Tweet [literally stumbled upon it among hundreds of Tweets] from writer Claire Cappetta that led me to her posting of the day Love and Coffee. Before going any further, be sure you click the link and read Claire’s ‘top of the morning’ greeting! Then, think about what your reaction would be if this happened to you:>) Of course, I smiled to myself as all kinds of thoughts passed through my mind! Um-m-m? Now, where DID I put that old coffee pot I decided to keep for emergency?

murphys-law2As I pondered the situation, Murphy’s Law entered my mind: Anything that can go wrong will go wrong. The coffee pot scenario seemed to fit since anything manmade will at some point in time ‘decide’ to just quit. It can and it will! Unfortunately, more often than not it doesn’t end there: one thing goes wrong that leads to another that leads to another to another to another. . . and the beat goes on. If it can, it will go wrong and there is nothing that can stop it!

Claire’s posting at least let me start the day with a smile and a laugh along with, of course, hubby’s risque nature:>) However, the day did not proceed so light-heartedly, not even a giggle was able to creep its way in ’til the latter part of the day. In fact, it was hectic from that point on and very mind-taxing with my writing geared toward a totally different direction than that of catnip.

In order for you to understand the discovery and the inspiration that actually led to this posting, you need a little background information. Being an educational consultant, better still an ‘online learning specialist’ (just a fancy title for this ol’ retired school teacher), a lot of writing is necessary in response to the daily evaluations required of teachers’ online submissions. Well, this one video arrived that totally took me by surprise. I watched, I listened, I took notes; I rewatched, I relistened, I retook notes; I watched again, I listened attentively, I took more notes. The phone rang and rang and rang. I picked it up along with every other phone I passed on my way out to the porch, I laid all the phones down on the table and said, ” You answer it!” Then, I slowly turned around and walked back to the computer. A few short minutes later, I heard footsteps and only a head hesitantly appeared in the doorway. “I love you, Babe. Are you all right?” I think the hesitation came about of fear I might snap his head off but he knew the “I love you” gets me every time! He smiled, I trembled, we kissed!

OOPS! Careful animated_computer_studenthere, I am getting off track. Anyway, with attention back to the computer and trying to decide how to formulate the feedback, I decided to set it aside for awhile and collect my thoughts. Sometimes writing too quickly in the wrong state of mind can lead to misconceptions and unsupportive comments. That’s when I thought once again about Claire’s morning and I began to smile and giggle to myself. Still at the computer but now with thoughts of coffee and coffee pots I began a Google search. I cannot tell you what keywords I used nor how many searches I made but the words ‘butterfly effect’ caught my eye. Now, what on earth could butterflies have to do with coffee? When I began reading, it was not long before I was laughing but this time outloud, for right in the second paragraph I read . . .”Imagine you wake up in a good mood but then the coffee maker is broken. . . !

The next morning I found myself chuckling at yesterday’s musings. After many chuckles, the mood was set, I was inspired, and ready to write (hence this posting). Since catnipoflife focuses on life outsite the confines of four walls and a door (maybe a window), I ventured onto the porch with steaming coffee in hand, sat down in the rocking chair and watched as the wonders of nature begin to awaken my senses. Then, I saw the butterflies. I had bookmarked the site I found yesterday so I immediately opened it and read it again.

Have you heard of the Butterfly Effect? There IS inspiration here, my friends. Just click the words and you will be directed to Inspiring Yourself at Work. Claire, hope the rest of your day yesterday did not follow the path of the ‘butterfly effect’.

Where will you get your inspiration today?

7 Comments »

catnipoflife receives the Sunshine Blog Award

ImageIt is indeed an honor to receive this award from Claire Cappetta, who is in the process of completing her first novel, Ride to LibertyA truly compelling story is about to be shared! In her own words, “Claire is a creative writer and has recently retired from the financial world to concentrate on the dream of publishing a first novel, which follows a woman’s journey through relationships, domestic abuse and empowerment. Although a difficult topic to cover the story is heartwarming.” Be sure to visit Claire’s blog for her 10 nominations for this award. All are inspiring and who knows which one might tug at your heartstrings:>)

Now, it is I who get to GIVE the award by paying it forward again to bloggers who inspire me and bring Sunshine into my  blogging life:

Peggy

Carole 

Miss Kate

Wendell

Dena

Laura

Robin

Stuart

Sandra

Jen

May your week be blessed and filled with inspiration!

5 Comments »

Inspiration: Meeting the Challenge 2

Butterflies_DaisiesRoadsides are dotted with clusters of brightly colored daisies engulfed in rain-aided green grasses. The smiling face of each flower brightens the view of fields and ditches along nature’s highway. Butterflies flit and flutter from flower to flower beckoning “come dance with me.”  ~catnipoflife

Where do you seek/find inspiration? Perhaps you need only to simply stop, look and listen within your ordinary surroundings for its discovery may take little or no effort at all. Within our daily midst, sights, sounds and smells are waiting to be awakened, explored, enjoyed and shared.

Butterflies&Daisies1That which is seen with the naked eye is often interpreted differently from individual to individual. With each vision comes thoughts and emotions that may strike an emotional chord of harmony or cast shadows of discord. Through these visions comes the ability to put what is seen only once into words that can last for a lifetime. Of course, thoughts might instead shift to that of a camera with the old adage ‘a picture is better than a thousand words’ immediately coming to mind. But, oh-h-h, how many times has that miraculous once-in-a-lifetime Kodak moment been missed? How many times has it been said or heard, “If I only had my camera. . .” More times that can be counted for sure! Yet, the vision is still there, stored in the scrapbook of the mind. Each time a page is turned in the mind’s diary that vision reappears. The recourse: write about it!

Nature is overflowing in its natural awe-inspiring, breath-taking wonders, none of which more mystical, nor mysterious, than the butterfly. What is it about this delicate insect that unites the heart with the soul? Some might say it is its symetrical beauty, others feel it has sensory powers of healing, while many purely delight in its wispy nature. Its beauty is consuming, none of which more captivating than when feeding on sugary nectar. (View Beautiful Butterflies from around the world.)

One of the butterfly’s favorite sources of nectar is the flower, especially the daisy. Butterflies and daisies go hand-in-hand within the natural wonders of nature. Watching the butterfly feed is a wonder in itself as it perches atop the flower dipping deep with a strawlike tongue into the rich nectar, opening its wings wide, bringing them in again, all the while savoring each drop. Ah-h-h, but this sweet fluid is not the only treat these little insects enjoy. Did you know they also love fruit? Of course, that is totally understandable since the fruits of nature are filled with sweet, natural juices.

Book Connection – EchoesEchoes

Inside Echoes, Chapter Three reflects poetry surrounding the beauty of nature. The verses in this chapter reflect Echoes of Life. The poem Butterflies ‘n’ Daisies projects imagery in answer to the question Do you see what I see? Through its reading, you should be inspired as its words guide you toward meeting the challenge of your daily inspiraton!

Butterflies n’ Daisies

Come dance with me!

Mystical, magical butterfly
Holder of dreams, keeper of secrets
Touches so many lives
Bringing comfort without regrets

A simple message received
Or a challenge to be met
Inspires acceptance of life’s struggles
How to let go and accept

Fields of daisies, made of sunshine
Colors of splendor, a butterfly’s lair
Offer a place to linger and find solitude
Resting as though in thoughtful prayer

Butterflies and daisies, of rare beauty
Breath-taking in full summer sun
Reflect the colors of the soul
Instilling love and compassion as one

Kneel down in quiet repose
As though if part of someone’s plan
Let the daisies hug your knees
And the butterfly kiss your hand

Echoes©2004
Sharla Lee Shults

“The butterfly counts not months, but moments, and has time enough.”
~Rabindranath Tagore

14 Comments »

New Post at Awakenings

Visit Awakenings and Share your thoughts: What events of late have you encountered that made you react with the question, “What’s happened to common sense?” Post comments for all to see and enjoy, perhaps even begging “YIPES, that really happened?”

1 Comment »

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