2019 – Three Words to Live By

A year ago, I posted my three words to live by for 2018.

Frugality (updated to minimalism). Grace. Truth.

I will continue to live by those three words in 2019 and I will be adding to those words three new words. I wrote this post three weeks ago on November 26th, but after reading what I had written I posted the following on The Blogging Owl Facebook page:

“Sometimes you just have to remove your hands from the keyboard and allow what has been written to marinate for as long as it takes be become tender.”  – The Blogging Owl

While my three words to live by in 2019 are the same, this post is much different than the one I wrote on November 26th.

Wisdom (seek)

The world demands our immediate response because of the fast pace of technology. My three words to live by in 2018 – minimalismgracetruth – have taught me to slow down in mind, body, and spirit.

How often have I given an opinion or posted a comment here, elsewhere or in person that didn’t legitimately seek to understand but resulted in derision and divisiveness?

While owls are supposedly known for their wisdom (I don’t include myself here), I have chosen my first word to be – Wisdom.

To seek knowledge of what is true or right, coupled with just judgment as to action, discernment, or insight. (Dictionary.com)

“To be nobody but yourself in a world which is doing its best day and night to make you like everybody else means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight and never stop fighting.”  – e.e. cummings

In this owl’s opinion, if a person does not feed the brain, the person becomes greedy. If a person does not feed the heart, the person becomes needy. And in both cases, the person becomes self-serving in spirit.

Proverbs 2:6-11 GOD’S WORD Translation (GW)
6 The LORD gives wisdom.
From his mouth come knowledge and understanding.
7 He has reserved priceless wisdom for decent people.
He is a shield for those who walk in integrity
8 in order to guard those on the paths of justice
and to watch over the way of his godly ones.
9 Then you will understand what is right and just and fair—
every good course in life.
10 Wisdom will come into your heart.
Knowledge will be pleasant to your soul.
11 Foresight will protect you.
Understanding will guard you.

Honor (speak)

My second word to live by in 2019 is – Honor. Honor goes hand in hand with wisdom.

“To speak with honesty, fairness, or integrity in one’s beliefs and actions.” (Dictionary.com)

Bold convictions do not require me to be unkind, but rather with emotional intelligence to reach understanding. There is a difference between understanding and acceptance that must be said. We are all made by God and I accept that person. Period. My goal is to do my best to understand that person or circumstance.

The best place to be at in any given moment is when I am surrounded by people who support me and lift me higher in mind, body and spirit whether they are family, friends, church, community or where I am employed. Even so, in or out of that cocoon, they and the world will challenge my opinions and even my heart. I accept, and I understand that reality.

Proverbs 4:6-8 GOD’S WORD Translation (GW)
6 Do not abandon wisdom, and it will watch over you.
Love wisdom, and it will protect you.
7 The beginning of wisdom is to acquire wisdom.
Acquire understanding with all that you have.
8 Cherish wisdom.
It will raise you up.
It will bring you honor when you embrace it.

Joy (share)

For. The. Love. of. Scotch!

JOY! Is all around us if we just take the time to look for it, believe it, and feel it.

“To share happiness caused by living in the present, of finding delight in what is good.” (Dictionary.com)

“Self-confinement makes joy impossible. Feed my fears and my faith will starve. Feed my faith and my fear starves.” The Blogging Owl

Feeding my faith every day in mind, body and spirit helps me to find joy and share it even when it is purely the simple act of sharing a smile, opening a door for someone, or  just listening to someone who is struggling in mind, body and spirit.

The smallest act of kindness toward someone maybe the biggest part of that person’s day. Be the biggest part of someone’s day. – The Blogging Owl

“Walk as if you are kissing the Earth with your feet.” Thich Nhat Hanh

Looking forward to 2019

There was a reason for taking my hands away from the keyboard 3 weeks ago. God still had much to teach me with my words to live by in 2018 in minimalism, grace and truth. After attending two separate funeral visitations of people who left this earth too soon, I have been called to write something very special in 2019 and to share that joy will take those 3 words to live in 2018 and plenty of wisdom and honor.

Words to Live By 2019.jpg
“Your profession is not what brings home your weekly paycheck, your profession is what you’re put here on earth to do, with such passion and such intensity that it becomes spiritual in calling.”  Vincent van Gogh

Writing is my calling.

In the words of the poet, June Jordan,“As I am a poet, I express what I believe, and I fight against it whatever I oppose, in poetry.”

In minimalist fashion, may I write with grace, truth, wisdom and honor and with the understanding of sharing my joy with you.

Peace,

Sheri Head Shot
The Blogging Owl

Whether it is here at The Blogging Owl, on my poetry site TheOwlPoet.com, on my journal site, ThePrayerJournals.com and on a new blog, TheCorkedOwl.com, I hope you will follow, share, and comment on all of the Owl blogs.

 

(c) 2017-2018 All Rights Reserved – The Blogging Owl – SL Prielipp-Falzone

2018 – Three Words to Live By, an update

Last December as I usually do I reflect on the past year and prepare to become better, if possible, in mind, body and spirit: 2018 – Three Words to Live By. This year I decided to review my yearly plan much like businesses do to stay on track to meet the goals and objectives for the new year.

My approach for 2018 or mission statement is to live by three words: frugality, grace and truth.

Frugality

At this stage in the game of life I decided I had no time to waste, no money to waste, and in reality; no creative cells to waste. In whatever time God has for me to fulfill the purpose he has given me. Earlier this year I adopted a mantra, I only want what God wants for me.”

No time to waste

My husband, Vinny Sal and I decided to list our cottage in northern Michigan for sale on April 9th. We would take advantage of the seller’s market and decide where, when, and how to invest the proceeds. Invest in upgrades for our primary home, invest in a future retirement home, or bank it until later. We had no idea what development was coming our way only 3 days later.

“I only want what God wants for me.”

This mantra is what got me through yet another employer announcing their dissolution of the company in April of this year… 3 days after my birthday… On Friday, April 13th, the company made the news public.

My response was 180 degrees different when the same thing occurred in 2009. I was calm, cool and collected.  I knew that God was working on my behalf for a better opportunity than the one I just lost. That was my attitude. The evening of the company’s announcement, I updated my resume and immediately began my search.

Within days I had several interviews lined up. On April 25th, I was invited to interview for a position outside of the industry I was in which was my prayer at the time. I was “frugal” in my thinking… no climbing ladders… no compensation package that met certain personal requirements… no, it was simply, “God, place me where you want me.”

“God, place me where you want me.”

On May 29th, I started a new position earning less money but with advancement opportunities if I wanted to take advantage of them. Although earning less income for the time being, I am still able to continue having all my monthly obligations on auto-pay which I had setup in January.

While no company is above dissolving due to wide ranging economic factors or board of director’s view of “going in another direction,” I will joyfully serve where God has placed me for however long that may be.

No time to spend

I came across the blog, Frugalwoods and an article written by Mrs. Frugalwoods, 19 Reasons Why Frugality Is the Best Thing That’s Ever Happened to Me. 

Mrs. Frugalwoods spoke to my mind, body and spirit in her blog post of May 17, 2018. Since the beginning of the year, my attempt at frugality has taught me that Mrs. Frugalwoods was spot on in her blog post. Although I admit I am still working on her number 14 reason. I have Mrs. Frugalwoods 19 Reasons posted in my office and saved on my iPhone when I have that urge to splurge.

Grace

In my initial post on December 17th, 2018 – Three Words to Live By, I didn’t realize then how the quotes, my personal initiative, “The Watering Can – Helping All of God’s Creature’s Thrive” would become central to the first six months of 2018.

As I quoted then, and it bears repeating for many reasons:

God saved you through faith as an act of kindness. You had nothing to do with it. Being saved is a gift from God. It’s not the result of anything you’ve done, so no one can brag about it. God has made us what we are. He has created us in Christ Jesus to live lives filled with good works that he has prepared for us to do.” Ephesians 2:8-10

As Thomas Merton was quoted as saying, “Our job is to love others without stopping to inquire whether or not they are worthy.”

Grace in action is about serving those who need my gifts. Kindness in action is living the commandment,‘Love your neighbor as you love yourself.’’’ Matthew 22:39

I was happy to help a few of co-workers rewrite their resumes. I used to write resumes as a side-line gig after I lost my job in 2009. My small way of helping my co-workers potentially find their new career has blessed me as much as those who, like me have found employment quickly. I’m not suggesting my resume writing made the difference, but it is a confidence booster nonetheless when anyone can present their value and what they can offer to an organization without hesitation.

In March, our beloved Barkley blew out a disc in his back and required surgery. Frugality helped us being able to afford over $6,500 in medical costs so our fur-baby would not be paralyzed for life. He will never be a 100% in his walking or running abilities, but we are overjoyed that we still have our faithful companion. Sadly, many pet owners would have faced the tough decision of raising the money through other means or having to put their pet down because of the medical costs.

Truth

If there is one thing I am certain living my truth in mind, body and spirit has been the biggest blessing. I could not have reached this point in my life without faith through Christ because he gives me the confidence to live my truth each day.

A recent post on my Facebook page, The Prayer Journals, I posted: “Don’t worry about expressing your faith. Those who God wants to listen will hear. You may be someone’s angel.” There have been angels here on earth that I know God sent to help me to listen to him. And there are probably more angels that I didn’t even recognize helped me to feel God’s presence in my life.

Mind

Writing is my passion and I hope in some ways it is a gift. I have three blogs. The Blogging Owl, The Prayer Journals, and The Owl Poet. And I have convinced my husband, Vinny Sal to collaborate with me on another one which I think we will have fun doing together, The Corked Owl. We hope to be posting soon on wine, spirits, food and fun.

Reading, writing and poetry. It’s what keeps me sane… or going insane.

Body

I continue to struggle with my health and weight. Early this year, I went through a battery of tests and MRIs. There was a serious prognosis of MS, Multiple Sclerosis, gratefully, that would not be the case. Autoimmune diseases are tricky and mine, Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis can present itself in different and devastating ways. But I stay positive in prayer and with practice.

Spirit

Six months into 2018, Vinny Sal and I have not found our faith community with regards to finding a church we are eager to attend each week. I’ll be honest. We’ve been lazy. This is the most critical part of my 2018 mission plan and I am failing. God has been good… and patient… and I pray He directs us to where he wants us to attend and to serve.

My spiritual journey continues in my prayer journal in writing my spiritual memoir.

Spirit of Faith

In the remaining year

I succeeded and failed in the first half of 2018. Looking forward to living more successfully in these three words: Frugality, Grace and Truth.

Cheers!

New web photo - Sheri

The Blogging Owl

 

(c) 2017-2018 All Rights Reserved

Review: A Higher Loyalty by James Comey

A Higher Loyalty

I couldn’t wait to read the book written by the ex – FBI director, James Comey. His book, A Higher Loyalty, Truth, Lies, and Leadership published by Flat Iron Books is not a literary masterpiece. Perhaps I assumed a seasoned lawyer would have a better flair for writing, but Mr. Comey’s writing style is more like a writing assignment for a college creative writing class. And he often repeats phrases like “fully armored black suburban.” I can only imagine his memos he wrote on his interactions with President Trump were written in this same way as though he were writing in a journal.

A Higher Loyalty

If the reader can get past his writing style, the book is worth the time and effort because the reader will undoubtedly learn interesting facts as I did on government protocol and certainly about the atmosphere inside the White House and the justice department. And if the reader only read or watched recent television interviews with Mr. Comey from his book tour, the reader would believe this book is all about President Trump. Mr. Comey lays out his case as though preparing for a trial on how he came to make decisions throughout his life and those in which may have ultimately led to his being fired as Director of the FBI.

James Comey – The bullied and the bully

Mr. Comey talks about his childhood and what led him to becoming a lawyer. I found myself weaving in and out of feeling sorry for him and being irritated at the same time about his portrayal of being bullied. But if the reader just sticks with him as he plods along they will soon find insightful nuggets into Mr. Comey’s personality, and as in the book’s title, his perspective on loyalty, truth, lies and leadership.

“I was never going to surrender to a group again simply because it was easy. And I was going to make sure my life had some meaning, because I’d already seen how fleeting life could be.” P.39

Leadership

Throughout the book Mr. Comey shares with the reader the people in his life who he saw as the leaders he would try to emulate and what he believes a leader should be. Other readers may come away from reading this book and surmise that Mr. Comey believes he is an example of a good leader. Again, I too felt this push-pull of my sympathies being played. He takes the reader through an exhausting ride both literally and figuratively on his way to becoming the FBI Director. Time and time again the reader will hear Mr. Comey remind those around him in Washington that the FBI must remain totally independent entity from the White House.

Truth and Lies

My hope, as I read A Higher Loyalty, is that the average American like myself would read Mr. Comey’s book. In laying out his case, particularly when it comes to the Trump and Clinton campaigns for the presidency, Mr. Comey provides non-classified details of the Clinton email and private server debacle and what would later would become known as the Russian investigation. It is fascinating to read the ex-FBI Director’s account of a no-win situation for the him and the justice department.

I am neither a Republican or Democrat. I am an Independent but no matter what side of the aisle you sit, I found reading about the demeanor of politicians and the names everyone will recognize an eye-opener. I was not surprised by some of the revelations and it may not have been necessary to detail people’s personal apparel and appearances or even that President Trump looked orange with white circles under eyes or even whether his hair is real, but take it for what Mr. Comey now admits as simply “an author trying to make the narrative interesting” as he has stated in interviews.

Mr. Comey’s description of his interactions with President Trump is the same behavior the American public has seen on television and in the President’s tweets on Twitter. By the end of the book, the reader will decide whether there was any justification in his firing as FBI director.

A Higher Loyalty

I found Mr. Comey to be honest, forthcoming about his own frailties and failings. (There are humorous parts in the book, but at times it feels like an inside joke and only he is on the inside.) He is a man committed to his values and I do believe him when he writes,

“The core of our nation is our commitment to a set of shared values that began with George Washington – to restraint and integrity and balance and transparency and truth. If that slides away from us, only a fool would be consoled by a tax cut or a different immigration policy. But I choose to remain optimistic.”

The second to last sentence may sound like a fired employee’s bitterness but after reading the book, the reader may believe differently. I still have many questions for Mr. Comey on truth, lies and leadership. I would love to have him and his wife, Patrice for dinner (although I would probably pee a little if he called to confirm). Perhaps I can even help recommend a few things for his next book and also persuade Patrice to write a book too.

Hoot Rating

Genre: Biographies & Memoirs, Nonfiction Politics & Social Sciences, Nonfiction
Politics & Social Sciences

On a scale of 1 to 5 Hoots, A Higher Loyalty, Truth, Lies, and Leadershipwritten by James Comey earns a 4 hoot rating based on content and effort.

4 hoot rating

Happy Reading!

New web photo - Sheri

The Blogging Owl

Any Book Recommendations?

Give me a hoot here at Hoot@TheBloggingOwl.com. I would love it if you would follow this blog and at The Blogging Owl on Facebook, as well as, on Twitter @TheBloggingOwl.

(c) 2017-2018 All Rights Reserved