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Have you ever heard people say that the family who sits down to eat a meal together around the table sticks together through thick and thin? Too often we are so busy being busy with work, running to soccer practice, or dance, or baseball, or football, or another meeting, or shopping, or playing on the computer, or talking on the phone, or texting, or combing our hair, putting on makeup, or whatever, that we don’t take the time to sit down at the dinner table and reconnect with each other. There are many who never sit down together and break bread due to overwhelming schedules of life. It’s a pretty sad shame too, since there are many benefits to eating together as a family if you can fit it in your schedule. Now I’m not talking about sitting around the television in the living room with a television tray full of food. I am talking about honest to goodness “Pass me the potatoes please, and how was your day”? conversation.
There are so many benefits that result from being able to eat together and look one another in the eye and actually hear each other breathe. There was a study done by John Sandberg and Sandra Hofferth entitled “How American Children Spend Their Time,” which was published in the Journal of Marriage and Family which found that having family time meals on a regular basis results in fewer behavioral problems. According to an article published in 2006 in “New Directions for Child and Adolescent Development”, family time dinners are even more important from a vocabulary standpoint than being read to. It was found that young children learn 1000 rare words at the dinner table in comparison to only about 145 words from parents who read books out loud to them. It only makes sense that there is more focus at the dinner table and obviously more comprehension. No television, no phones, no computers, no noisy noise for a few minutes…. Sounds too good to be true……..but something you might get used to… right?
Being able to sit down and eat together as a family gives you a sense of belonging, and reminds you that you don’t have to face this old world on your own. It’s important especially for young children to give them that sense of security as often as we can. So if you want to do something good for your family that will last and last, encourage everyone to try to sit down at the table at least for a few minutes, at least once or twice a week if you don’t already. It will make all the difference in the world. Children will remember those times for years to come, as they try to instill the same values, and quiet times in their own families that they were taught and can recall made a difference in their own lives and upbringing. Bind the family together and wrap them with the minutes of together moments forever. “So that’s what breathing sounds like?” Honest to goodness!
“I know that one day soon you will have children and a family of your own. I keep praying for that and I know GOD does have a great plan for your future. I hope I have instilled in you a sense of what matters most in life. When I am gone from this earth I hope you will reflect upon the life we have lived together. I hope I will have left something you can hold onto that will last and that you can in some way transfer on to your own children. I hope that you will be able to smile when you think about the times we had together. Never forget that I love you my sweet, sweet daughter. I know I have made some mistakes in my life. I hope most of all that I have made a difference in your life. I know you have made a difference in mine. I love you forever my baby girl!”
This is a part of a letter I wrote a few years ago before my daughter was married; and now she is going to have a baby girl of her own to raise and care for. GOD is good and he does answer our prayers in his perfect timing and in his perfect way! And now, she has a chance to make a difference in the life of her own daughter.
Six year old Tammy Lynn Haynes sits at the feet of her mom building a small tower of blocks, ” Mom, you know I can do near about everything there is to do.” she says.
At 19 years old she says, “Just ask me anything.”
At 41 years old she says, “If it is in my field of work, I know it like the back of my hand.”
At 52 years old, “There is so much knowledge in this great big world that even someone who studies hard can hardly grasp everything there is to know.”
At 71 years old, she says, “You know I have lived a long time and I have come to understand that what I know is small and what I don’t know is very large.”
At 92 years old: ” You know, I have figured out I don’t really know much at all, and I can remember even less than that.”
According to Wikipedia, a paraprosdokian is a figure of speech in which the latter part of a sentence or phrase is surprising or unexpected in a way that causes the reader or listener to reframe or reinterpret the first part. It is frequently used for humorous or dramatic effect, and sometimes provides an anticlimax.
Take a look at some of these and you can see what I mean….
– Change is inevitable except from a vending machine.
– A bus is a vehicle that runs twice as fast when you are after it as when you are in it.
– You are never too old to learn something stupid.
– Some cause happiness wherever they go. Others whenever they go.
– I used to be indecisive and now I’m not sure.
– Hospitality is making your guests feel like they’re at home even if you wish they were.
– The voices in my head may not be real; but, the have some good ideas!
– Whenever I fill out an application, in the part that says “if an emergency, notify:” I put DOCTOR.”
– Always borrow money from a pessimist. He won’t expect it back.
– You don’t need a parachute to skydive. You only need a parachute to skydive twice.
– I didn’t say it was your fault, I said I was blaming you.
– Why does someone believe you when you say there are 4 billion stars but check when you say the paint is wet?
– Dolphins are so smart that within a few weeks of captivity, they can train people to stand on the very edge of the pool and throw them fish.
– To be sure of hitting the target, shoot first and call whatever you hit the target.
“Once upon a time, there were four little girls, who had enough to eat and drink and wear, a good many comforts and pleasures, kind friends and parents…. and yet they were not contented…. these girls…. made many excellent resolutions; but they… were constantly saying, “If we only had this,” or “If we could only do that”….So they asked an old woman what spell they could use to make them happy, and she said,, “When you feel discontented, think over your blessings, and be grateful.”
“They decided to try her advice, and soon were surprised to see how well off they were. One discovered that money couldn’t keep shame and sorrow out of rich people’s houses, another that she was a great deal happier with her youth. health, and good spirits than a certain fretful, feeble old lady, who couldn’t enjoy her comforts; a third that, disagreeable as it was to help get dinner, it was harder still to have to go begging for it; and the fourth, that even carnelian rings were not so valuable as good behavior. So they agreed to stop complaining to enjoy the blessings already possessed.”
Written in the Book – Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
True happiness is indeed something that comes from within and does not relate to what we have or don’t have. It relates to what we make of the day and the time we are given. I have found in my own life that I am happier when I choose to make the lives of others happier. Everything we have on this earth is a gift from GOD. The very breath we breathe is a gift.
This past weekend I was able to see my little grand baby on an ultra sound monitor at only 16 weeks old. The little baby is 4 1/2 inches long now and weighs in at a whopping 5 ounces. Yet, as small as our baby is – I saw tiny legs, arms, fingers, and toes moving around and legs kicking like a wild one already. Yes GOD breathes the very breath of life into each of us and what a precious gift a new life is. I am thankful, and happy I have lived long enough after my widow maker heart attack to be able to see my little grand baby before even coming out of the womb.
When I was youngster growing up on the south side of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma we didn’t have much in the way of material things. My brother and I got school clothes once a year which consisted of 2 pairs of jeans, 2 shirts and 4 or 5 pairs of socks. That was supposed to last us the whole year. If we got holes in our jeans, Dad ironed on a patch or two to get us through until the next year. There were many days we went without lunch and breakfast simply because we didn’t have enough money to make it to the end of the week. I can remember being so hungry sometimes that I even thought about eating the crab grass in our front yard. Dad had an old Chevy that he paid $50 for that hardly ever ran. Not having much though didn’t seem to bother us. We were content with playing baseball, hide and seek, freeze tag, and enjoying time with our friends. Even if our stomachs were growling at us begging for food as we sat our desks in school, we were still happy for what we did have.
Sometimes when we start feeling down about ourselves, about what we don’t have, or how our life is going, it is best to start thinking about what we do have and in how many ways we have been blessed. It might be time to look for ways we can be a blessing to others who cross our path. That’s the path where true happiness can be found. It won’t be found covered up with things, but is waiting for you to find it where it’s been all along.
As a way of celebrating being a new grandpa this coming May I am giving away 8 of my ebooks for free for the next three days November 25th, 26th and 27th. Just click on the book link which takes you directly to Amazon and enjoy one or all of my books if you have not already picked up a copy. I hope they will help you in some meaningful way or make your children, or those you love laugh and smile. Of course any reviews would be appreciated.
They are available in the United States, Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, Spain, and the United Kingdom. Blessing to you! I have been greatly blessed and I want to bless others. I can’t tell you how happy I am!