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!

The Reason for the Season: Spread the pure Joy!

The Christmas season is filled with times of joyful gathering…family, friends, colleagues, co-workers, acquaintances from many different backgrounds. The main question is…why do you join others in celebration at this time of year? Is it simply feasting and partying, dressing in fancy attire, for camaraderie, perhaps time to catch up on happenin’s throughout the year? What makes it different from any other gathering? There is only one reason for this season which should remain at the top of the list, the star of the Christmas tree, the most wondrous gift of them all…

 *****
May we never be so focused on getting gifts & PRESENTS 
that we forget to receive…
 *****
*****
…the gift of HIS PRESENCE!
 *****

 

Spread the pure joy!


There is magic in Christmas
A time for joy, a time of peace
Sharing, caring, preparing
As cascading snowflakes increase
*****
A star tops the Christmas tree
Presents of love beneath
All in the joy of giving
Encircling like a wreath
*****
People come, people go
All in the name of good cheer
Wishing Merry Christmas
And the happiest New Year
*****
Coziness of a fireplace
A warm hug, tender kiss
Christmas Eve closes in prayer
No one dares not miss
*****
While saying Merry Christmas
With wishes for a Happy New Year 
How many celebrate birth
The real reason behind all the cheer?
*****
Wining, dining, feeling fine
Feasting on the best
When asked why YOU celebrate
What do you attest?
*****
Hope in Christmastime
The message of the season
Birth of our Savior
Truly the blessed reason
*****

 

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To all Fathers…

Today Sunday, June 19, 2016 is Father’s Day…a day of honor and celebration for our dads and fathers. Not all fathers are dads nor are all dads fathers. Each holds a special place in a child’s, teen’s or adult’s heart. Regardless of the roledad, father or bothnot any one of us could be here without having been fathered. With fatherhood comes a tremendous responsibility encompassing tasks of sharing, caring and preparing for life’s journey.

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May this Father’s Day be filled with wondrous blessings that continue through each day of the year! To each of you…A Father’s Day Salute!

 A father’s day is every day
Not just one day of the year
Holding a wee little hand
(day time and nighttime)
Wiping away a tear

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It’s faith, hope, love
All rolled into one
Encouragement, patience
(never giving up)
‘Til a task is done

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It’s being thankful
Gratitude of heart
Knowing what you need
(when you need it)
Right from the start

  
It’s together time
The thrill of hearty laughter
 Seeing what you’re going through
(even if it doesn’t show)
The morning of the day after

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It’s helping with decisions
Staying taut through outs or ins
Teaching life’s not easy
(taking the right road)
Supporting losses and wins

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It’s hurting and being hurt
Holding discipline’s place
Leaving behind a legacy

(not of material ‘things’)
Rewards of saving grace
*

It’s compassion and comfort
When a hug is all that’s needed
Priceless moments in time

(Teddy Bear hugs)
Quickly and tenderly heeded

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It’s shaping, molding
Each life that has begun
Making an investment
(often without return)
‘Til the full course is run

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It’s when having to leave
Looking back with pride
Releasing all the tears
(happiness and heartache)
Bottled up inside

©Sharla Lee Shults

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♥Happy Valentine’s Day♥

This Valentine greeting’s from me to you
Wishing your day filled with love through and through
 

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The day does not have to be glamorous
Nor it be altogether clamorous

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Rather a day filled with love, without feud
With time for solitude as interlude

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Jovial smiles within lots of laughter
During the morning, noon and thereafter

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Time to exclaim joy, relinquish the tears
 Remembering Valentine’s former years

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May you be blessed each and every way
As you truly enjoy Valentine’s Day

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Gone, yet ne’er forgotten!

Blue-Christmas-Tree

Amid all the festiveness of the holiday season come times of remembrance… Christmas past, family and friends gone but not forgotten. There is an overwhelming sense of sadness that at the same time brings on smiles of the heart. The joy, the laughter, the silliness within the seriousness of the time. With Christmas, there is always music, special music. Some of the melodies have been passed down from generation to generation while new ones hit the scene with the changing times.

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Loving memories of those who have passed on are rekindled everyday in music that lives on and on and on…

Gone, yet ne’er forgotten
Music that calms & heals
Soothing the very soul
With each heart it steals
  Yesterday, today, tomorrow
Music starts the morning
Your songs live within us
Keeping our hearts yearning
  With the Christmas season
You’re missed more ’n’ more
With melodies of the holidays
Drifting in and out the door

 Gone, yet ne’er forgotten
Music to relive the days
Happiness within sorrow
Til the last memory fades

©2013
Sharla Lee Shults

  

To all who have loved ones in Heaven this Christmas, may you find joyful peace with family and friends.

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World Kindness Day

Have you ever thought about the difference in thankfulness versus gratefulness? During hot, dry spells, you are thankful for the slightest hints of rain or during the winter, you are thankful for the day falling snow finally wanes. On the other hand, you are indeed grateful for the presence of nature, the nurture that Mother Nature brings to the earth in the forms of nourishment, care, shelter, guidance, inspiration. Being aware of your surroundings interjects feelings of thoughtfulness which in turn makes you truly thankful thereby expressing gratitude for all blessings received. Inner spirit is at peace, heart and soul.

Turning Thoughtfulness

Being thankful, giving thanks
Go together hand-in-hand
One without the other
Makes for a lonely stand

Be thankful for many blessings
Each new day may impart
Specially those unexpected
Which arrive heart-to-heart

Give thanks in return
For those blessings received
Since unspoken words
Can’t be quickly perceived

Be thankful for troubled times
Reaching out to those concerned
For without painful mistakes
Lessons cannot be learned

Give thanks for the little things
From strangers and loved ones alike
Whose genuine thoughtfulness
Presents a delightful heartstrike

Be thankful for each morning
With which a fresh start begins
Giving thanks for daily blessings
Until the day finally ends

Turn thoughtfulness into gratitude
A work of heart, a practice of soul
Find pleasure giving to others
A notion that never grows cold

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© 2015 catnipoflife
Sharla Lee Shults

In everyone’s life, at some time, our inner fire goes out. It is then burst into flame by an encounter with another human being. We should all be thankful for those people who rekindle the inner spirit.

—Albert Schweitzer (Alsatian theologian, organist, philosopher 1875–1965)

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November 13th is World Kindness Day!

A global 24-hour celebration dedicated to
paying-it-forward and focusing on the good.

Feelings of thoughtfulness naturally bring on acts of kindness, which make for a better day any time of the year. Even though November 13th is set aside as a day of celebration, let it only be the beginning of random acts of kindness to last all year!

Need some ideas?
Opportunities for random acts of kindness are everywhere. We just have to take the time and allow ourselves to do something memorable for others. November 13th, World Kindness Day, is a good day to remind us of that. The good news, is that kindness doesn’t always require spending. A nice letter, a compliment, or even your time can make someone smile.
Shari’s Berries created a Random Acts of Kindness Generator to inspire you on World Kindness Day. Just choose a category, and the generator will provide a simple act you can do for someone else. Luckily, there are over fifty different kindness ideas which you can perform all year long!
http://www.berries.com/blog/53-random-acts-kindness-generator
Random acts of kindness come from the heart, one beat at a time! 
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Both Sides of Life: City vs. Country

Crédits photo : Johnia! (Flickr)

Crédits photo : Johnia! (Flickr)

Are you a city slicker born and reared in the country? A country boy or girl living it up in the city? Country born, country stayed or city born, city to this day? Much is to be learned from both sides of life. The sleepy country side isn’t for everyone nor is the flipside, hectic city life. One may seem pale in comparison to the other so venture forth seeking the brightness of each. If you live in the country, take time to visit the city. If you live in the city, get out into the country for rural goodness.

Life in the City

Welcome to the city!
May I show you around?

A concrete jungle
It has long been called
A mighty fortress
Towering, stone-walled

Glaring, surely blaring
Sights amid sounds
All around the city
Hold you spellbound

Daytime, nighttime glamour
Makes you feel like new
Singing, dancing, engaging
Nothing you can’t do!

Hustling, bustling city squares
Crisscrossing asphalt streets
Coffee shops by the dozens
Invite strangers to meet

Spectacles, smells, odd routines
Invite strangers to stroll
Events in a city park
Offer a grassy knoll

A haven for many
Sin city to a few
Life in the city
Never bids adieu!

Welcome to the city!
Ready to wheel around?

Hail a taxi
In a heated rush
Paint the city
With your own life’s brush!

catniplogosm1

©2015 catnipoflife
Sharla Lee Shults

Quote for the Moment: A city is a place where there is no need to wait for next week to get the answer to a question, to taste the food of any country, to find new voices to listen to and familiar ones to listen to again.

            —Margaret Mead (American cultural anthropologist, 1901–1978)

Have you ever felt like walking directly into a picture? The image being so clear, so persuasive you actually felt the scene? It could be you’ve imagined a setting from books or magazines you read or heard described. What drew you in could be the pleasantry of the landscape, the land, the horses or the people. The image became so implanted in your mind nothing could stop you from searching for such a place. You drove, drove, drove until you found it! Maybe after reading that will be the guidance you need to seek your own spot in the countryside.

Countryside Manner

At dawn beads of morning dew
Dance across spiders’ webs
Reflecting the rising sun
As pale light strokes the sky

An oratorio of frogs
Birds, mammals, creepy-crawlies
Generate the essence of song
Bringing on a tender sigh

Wide expanses of green-on-green
Adorn the rolling country hillside
With wildflowers, gems of beauty
Joining the horizon’s edge of blue

Just up the road two horses
Grazing alongside a field of buttercups
Look upward toward earth’s edge
In the forefront of the panoramic view

A wooden farmhouse in the background
Stands naked within the scene
Surrounded only by fields of green
Serene, natural beauty

An old country farmer
Plowing his corn field nearby
Reflects on life’s duty
With a swift wipe of his brow

Chickens scatter noisily
As eggs are carefully gathered
The plumpest of the plump hens
Tries to escape supper somehow

Such is the countryside manner
Where thoughts lost in daydreams
Leave imagination unbound
On wings completely free

Holding hands, shoulder-to-shoulder
Sittin’ upon the grass
Bears glory in the countryside
Now that’s the place for me!

catniplogosm1

©2015 catnipoflife
Sharla Lee Shults

Quote for the Moment: When I go out into the countryside and see the sun and the green and everything flowering, I say to myself —Yes indeed, all that belongs to me!

            —Henri Rousseau (French Post-Impressionist painter, 1844–1910)

So, what is your side of life…city or country?

cityvs.country

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True Riches

Wherever you are, whatever you are doing today, pause in reflection on whom or what you are truly grateful. You may find the naming easy coming rather naturally or you may find it takes some thought, time and effort. Remember, regardless of whether easy or hard, the goal is giving thanks and being grateful for all you have. There is a lot to be thankful for…all you have to do is sprinkle a little catnip into your life embracing the cherishable moments being careful not to let the little things go unobserved. These are the true riches in life!

True Riches

Consider that which you’re truly grateful
What would be at the top of your list—
Friends, family, loved ones, favorite pet
Something you simply cannot resist?

Material—here today, gone tomorrow
Proposes value not set in stone
But when it comes to everlasting life
It is priceless—it and it alone

Life’s filled with cherishable bounties
Each to be considered on its own
Not to be thought of haphazardly
Instead measured from birth until grown

As a tiny infant you learn dutifully
Survival outside your mother’s womb
With loving care, nourishment of adoration
You grow up going forth in full costume

From childhood to young adult
Life flows as a river of dreams—
First crush, first date, first kiss
Without worry or so it seems

Once into the world of adulthood
Life takes on a whole new meaning
Gratefulness is the bounty of life
Which is only the beginning

As the days turn into months
The months forge ahead into years
Passing by all too quickly
Memory slowly disappears

The tick-ticking hands of time
Move in only one direction
The only way to step back
Is merely in life’s reflection

Live each day for its moments
Not simply day by day
True riches of life excel
In all you do and say

catniplogosm1©2015 catnipoflife
Sharla Lee Shults

Could it be that the mystic gratefulness in the depth of every human heart sings with “a still, small voice,” and is easily drowned out by the noise we endure and the noise we make?

           —Bro. David Steindl-Rast O.S.B. (Catholic Benedictine monk, b. 1926)

1 Comment »

Eskimo Kisses

Teeny tiny little kisses between family, loved ones, too, have been tradition since exposed in film in 1922. These express fondness in lieu of passionate emotional kisses. Children especially enjoy Eskimo kisses since a tickling sensation nose-to-nose warms the heart inciting smiles, giggles, happiness. Such kisses are not limited to human factors alone. What about the velvety touch nose-to-nose with a kitten or the wet, sloppy kiss nose-to-nose with a puppy? By chance you may find some odd couples in nature… a horse rubbing noses with a goat, a baby fox with a doe, a dog nuzzling a rabbit.

Eskimo Kisses

Gentle little kisses
A brush of the nose
Soft, tender caresses
Everybody knows

Language without words
Bids hello or adieu
Sweet, childlike kisses
Emanate “I love you”

Sensuous simplicity
Merely a breath apart
Wisps like butterfly wings
Tickling right to the heart

From eye to eye
To nose to nose
Joyful feelings
Smiles do expose

Both giver, receiver
Sigh with a grin
Nuzzles on a cold day
Glow from within

Sweet, tender kisses
Forever lifelong
Whisper sweet nothings
As part of life’s song

From the tiniest baby
To your most beloved pet
Little Eskimo kisses
You don’t easily forget

catniplogosm1©2015 catnipoflife
Sharla Lee Shults

A kiss is a lovely trick designed by nature to stop speech when words become superfluous.

            —Ingrid Bergman (Swedish actress, 1915–1982)

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For the funny bone…

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Diamond in the Rough

Raw, rare beauty…that’s the diamond in the rough! It exists within the yard clutter of overgrown grass, scrubby shrubs, deciduous trees being housed in the most conspicuous, often non-conspicuous places. Eruptive, wildly beautiful engagements mix with snapshots of ethereal beauty as Mother Nature balances auras of delight with intensity. From the opening gates of dawn until the final curtain of daylight, nature channels its power of enchantment bringing you to your knees or lifting your spirits skyward. At the closing of day through the midnight hour, from dusk ’til dawn, nocturnal creatures add to your world of imagination with fascination.

Diamond In The Rough.jpg

 Awaken to the raw power of nature
When crashing waves, lightning cavort
Embark on a journey of pure imagery
Where the mind’s eye is the transport

Blend the defiant power of nature
With wonderment amid fascination
Draw on the earth’s primordial spirit
Charisma amongst imagination

Succumb to nature’s wilder places
Mysticism within self-awareness
Become lost in nature’s miracles
Of healing, transforming consciousness

Perceive rapid-flowing rivers
Cascading through rocky terrain
Imagine deafening sounds
Waterfalls, hammering rain

Evoke visions of pure impulses
Those of unbridled natural power
Peaceful before quite overwhelming
Surpassing any meditative hour

Observe nature untouched, unpolished
Like finding a diamond in the rough
Leave with a better understanding
Of yourself interestingly enough

Proclaim the exhilaration
A freedom deep within your soul
It’s observing life at its best
Totally under mind’s control

©2015 CatnipofLife
Sharla Lee Shults

The soul is placed in the body like a rough diamond, and must be polished, or the luster of it will never appear.
—Daniel Defoe (Journalist, 1660–1731)

Diamond-in-the-rough

3 Comments »

Blessings at Easter

Happy_Easter

Easter brings blessings to all who believe
Joy in celebration this special day
Hope in all the tomorrows to come
Wisdom in following the right way…

 Comfort in the fulfilled promise
Fellowship in the spirit of love
Truth in divine faithful guidance
All by the hands from Heaven above

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While enjoying Easter with family
Take a seat at Mother Nature’s table
With her intoxicating, bold “buffets”
Bountiful, readily available

Arrange a bowl of fresh cut flowers
To bring cheery greetings in early morn
Soak up pure inspirational goodness
While enjoying what sunbeams adorn

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“He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds, you have been healed.” — 1 Peter 2:24

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