Tag Archives: food

Simple Pleasures!

This amazing gift we’ve been given, that most of us call life, is such a wonderful and beautiful thing. We really do fail to appreciate life in it’s simplicity, because somewhere along the way we have become convinced that it just has to be complicated.

I’ve been hanging around this human experience for a little over a half a century and what I have discovered and what I am rediscovering almost everyday is that simple pleasures are such a blessing, if we will just allow ourselves the time and permission to enjoy and be blessed by them.

Here are just a few of the simple pleasures that I am grateful for. These simple pleasure make each day meaningful and help to keep me focused on what really matters. These simple pleasures take me away from my ego and get me in touch with my soul.

1. Going Outside! I love the outdoors. Nature has become one of my best friends. I love to feel the warmth of the sun on my face, the cool from the breeze as it blows through the trees and the sounds of life all around me.

2. Time To Enjoy A Beverage! One of my favorite things is sitting in a comfortable chair and “sipping” on a cup of mocha flavored coffee as I think about the day in front of me and look forward to living it.

3. A Journal To Record, Plan & Dream! Not sure what I would do without paper and pen. I try everyday to write down my Scripture focus for the day, a list of at least three things I am thankful for, my tasks list of things I hope to get accomplished and any thoughts or ideas that are influencing me at the time.

4. My Favorite Pen! I love writing instruments. I love to sketch and draw with pencils, write with different kinds of pens and color with markers, paints and such. I like a pen that allows my thoughts and ideas to freely flow. Sometimes I am totally amazed at what comes out of the pen onto the paper and think: “Was that really me.”

5. Conversations With Friends! Having someone to talk to is a vital part of life, living and growing. It’s also important to have people we listen to, because as we listen, we learn and as we learn, we grow. One of the great blessings of this human experience is that we get to do it with such interesting and amazing people. So many times, we miss this magic…

6. Enjoying The Taste Of Good Food! I love to eat, but even more than eating, I love to cook. When I cook, I like to cook to taste, which means I am trying to create something that I am pretty sure I’m going to enjoy. So many people, grab their food, scarf it down and move on to whatever is next. The tragedy in this rush to feed our face is that we miss the opportunity to savor the flavor of life. I like it all, so the main thing for me is just making sure I slow down and enjoy it.

7. Exercise! This has become a dirty word for a lot of us, but it doesn’t have to be and it shouldn’t be. A few things that make a big difference for me is just keeping it simple. And by the way, we need to exercise physically, mentally and spiritually. Physical exercise for me consists of stretches, walking, some time on an elliptical and a little work with weights. Mental exercise is made up of being open to learning something new and there is education all around us. I enjoy reading, listening to podcasts and even researching the web. Spiritual exercise does not have to be complicated and I like to keep mine going all throughout the day. I try to stay in a spirit of prayer. I read and meditate on scripture. And I look for opportunities to serve and minister for others. When it comes to exercise, remember this: A little is better than none at all.

8. Something To Read! I love to read and we have access to all sorts of material to choose from. Sometimes, I like to have an old fashion book with pages in my hand. At other times, I enjoy reading from the convenience of my smart device. And one of my favorite ways is to listen as the book is read and read along. I love to read history, leadership, biographies, blogs, motivation, how to books and Scripture.

9. Sitting In Solitude! The older I get, the more I really do seem to enjoy and need this one. There are times when I like to sit in a comfortable chair and do absolutely nothing, but enjoy the stillness and silence of the moment.

10. Meaningful Purpose! Getting up everyday energized with something meaningful to do and going to bed bed every night tired because you’ve done it, is a big part of what this human experience is all about to me. I love helping others and I get to do that everyday in a variety of ways. I love my routine and it drives me to try and make this amazing gift called life better for everyone.

So, there you go – that’s a few of my simple pleasures and if you see me with a smile on my face, then you probably know why. I pray that something you’ve read here today, might help you to find and wear a smile on your face too…

When Empty Living Is Not A Bad Thing!

When I am driving down the road and I hear that little bell go off to remind me that my gas tank is on empty, I know that I have to do something about it, and so I head to the gas station to put gas in, so that I can get rid of the “E”.   When I have not had a chance to eat, my stomach will begin to growl and remind me that it is empty, and I will look for something to eat, so that I might fill that void.

We have been taught that when something is empty, we need to fill it. We walk into a room that has nothing in it and almost immediately our mind goes to the place of filling it with this and that.  I think all of this focus on filling, causes us to miss the value of emptiness.  Lao Tzu in the Tao Te Ching gives us the idea that “The usefulness of what is, depends on what is not.”  In everything, there is an emptiness, a missing something, but that missing something is something, not nothing and this is the challenge of our thinking.

Our lives are full of work and living, but that is not what really makes our lives meaningful.  It is often the spaces of our life that we perceive as empty that actually give us meaning and purpose.  Since all of life around us seems to work by filling the empty void with whatever, we spend most of our energy trying to fill things back up and miss the joy of the emptiness.

We try to fill our lives up with work, activities, events, hobbies and almost anything we can think of and the result is still a gnawing emptiness, a void that we just can’t seem to fill, at least in a way that brings us satisfaction.  This hole, void, emptiness is not a bad thing. In fact it has a purpose and it’s purpose is to help us to discover who we are and what we are about.  It’s purpose it to teach us that rather than spending all of our effort and energy on trying, that we should invest ourselves instead on simply allowing.  When we learn to allow what will be to be, we begin to enjoy the flow of life.

When you allow yourself to breathe. The breath comes in and it goes out, quiet naturally, until you decide to start messing with it. This is the best way to live life.  Rather than trying to force and make things happen, just allow yourself in your living to breathe.

Most people cannot stand silence. Why? Because it is emptiness.  Emptiness that we feel needs to be filled.  As soon as we get in our cars, we power up the radio.  As soon as we walk in the door of our home, we turn on our televisions.  When we have a moment to sit and do nothing, we are on our smart phones trying to fill the void.  And the result of all of this, is that we miss the power and blessing that the emptiness is there to bring.

At some point today, take a few moments to practice silence.  I try to spend at least 10 minustes everyday in silent meditation.  I try during this time, to go into that empty space and enjoy what my Creator has given me.  I have discovered that it is from this place that some of my most amazing and beneficial thoughts begin, grow and flow.

It is in this place that I meet the essence of who I am and as I learn to allow that essence to flow, the real me begins to reveal itself to the rest of the world.  Philippians 2:5-9 teaches us that this is what Jesus did when it says: “Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7 but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. 8 Being found in appearance as a man He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. 9 For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name.”

Let go of everything – who you are, what you do, where you go, how you think, when you’ve got to be finished and learn to exist in the empty space of this moment.  Appreciate this moment and the space of what it is allowing you and let it to do what it desires. You will be glad you did, because you will live blessed.