Integrating Gratefulness

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Does this simple prayer sound familiar to any of our readers? It is one of several easy to remember prayers that my brothers, sister and I said around the family dinner table. If you are interested in integrating more “gratefulness” into your family life or having a conversation with your grandchildren about being appreciative, here is a good article.http://bit.ly/11kgIPd.

 

We are living in an age of consumerism so teaching children to be grateful for all they’ve got is an especially important concept. The most meaningful prayers for children are those that they can relate to. The exercise of going around the table asking children what they are thankful for is a good practice. Warning: be prepared for some very endearing responses!

As we age, we see loved ones passing. We become acutely aware that taking time to be grateful for our lives and all it’s blessings is important. If you can instill this concept in children, they will live with greater purpose and meaning. Gratefulness is defined not by religion but by an individuals value of life. Have the conversation, it is never too early or too late!

prayer 3This blog is brought to you by Sue Batton Leonard, author of the award-winning book Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected. For more information on the publication, please visit this link. http://amzn.to/141aW6S. The audio book enables families to read together as a family. It humorously and warm-heartedly gets across the concept of thanksgiving.

 

Keeping the Child Inside Me

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 “The soul is healed by being with children.” ~ Fyodor Dostoevsky 1821 – 1881

If you are a mom with an adult child you will understand what I am talking about. Frequently I see an image, a word, another child’s actions, a book or a song that reminds me of when my son was little. It fills me up! There is no telling what will set off my flashbacks, but I am grateful that the memories keep coming back.

fairy talesThe other day, I saw this image and thought of all the books my son and I read together during his growing up years. He devoured books of any kind as quickly as the food I put on his plate. To him, it was all good, every kind of food and all books. Greek mythology and Indian lore were some of his favorites.

“Read me a VERY tale tonight, Mom, please!” he used to say. That was an instance where I never bothered to correct him. A VERY tale, I thought worked quite well to describe what was inside the book cover of “a children’s story about magical and imaginary beings and lands.”

Just sayin’……..kids, “they be so very dear!”

hold onto whatever keeps you warm inside

If you love kids and books, check out this TED talk about the entertaining world of books brought to you by Greystroke Creative.

http://www.greystrokecreative.com/greystroke-theatre.html.

This blog is brought you by Sue Batton Leonard. For more information on her memoir, an anthology of stories, please visit this link. http://amzn.to/1vDFUMt. Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected is available in the award-winning audio book, paperback and e-book.

 

Aired at the Farm, Refreshingly

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 “Feed your faith and starve your doubts.”Kenneth E. Hagin Sr.

A few weeks ago my sister-in-law, Grace, and I visited the Prigel Family Creamery http://www.prigelfamilycreamery.com/ in Glen Arm, Maryland to pick up some of their award-winning “Best of Baltimore” ice cream. The farm is located in horse country, near My Lady’s Manor, Maryland in Baltimore County, north of the city. It’s in the area of the state where the notable “steeple chases” take place every April. For those of you who are unfamiliar with that term, think fox and hound hunts. http://www.marylandsteeplechasing.com/main/mlm/datetime.htm

As we drove up to the farm, I was surprised by what I saw. A business that unabashedly shares their belief on a sign etched in stone right on the foundation of the building. You can’t miss it.

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“How refreshing is that?” I thought. So many businesses and individuals in this day and age would rather not display signs of the American values and principles that our country was founded upon – a sad state of affairs, I think, if I can be honest.

As everyone knows farming is one of the most difficult occupations there is. Hard work, unforeseeable challenges and the unrelenting task of finding ways to be a sustainable business is all part of the job. It also takes faith to be a farmer because they are constantly at the mercy of unpredictable weather!

Today during this week of gratefulness, I’d like to dedicate this blog on All Things Fulfilling to farmers and ranchers everywhere who keep us fed with fresh produce and other “fruits” of their labor and production – meat, eggs, grains, cheese, poultry, maple syrup and so much more. When we sit down to the Thanksgiving table on Thursday, let us remember where the food we eat comes from and those who produce it.

Here are a few more photos from my quick stop at Prigel’s, along the trail of my East Coast book tour, which I am so very grateful for.

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This blog is brought to you by Sue Batton Leonard. For information on her memoir, Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected, which has won three awards, please visit this site.http://amzn.to/1vDFUMt.

 


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Film Friday: Sleep Walk with Me

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“The greatest enemy of the spiritual life is the human tendency to sleepwalk through life.” ~Thich Nhat Hanh

sleepwalk-with-me-blu-ray-cover-99From the producers of This American Life comes a film that has been critically acclaimed by some of the top film festivals in the country. Released in 2012, Sleep Walk with Me, a film from Mike Birbiglia, is about a stand-up comic whose anxiety causes a sleepwalking habit that becomes both a problem and a source of hilarity.

The film is a Sundance Film Festival top favorite among the audiences. And also a “Winner” in the SXSW (South by Southwest) Film Festival a few years back.

To watch the trailer and to read more about this film, please visit this website http://watch.sleepwalkmovie.com/

To learn more about the radio show This American Life, which is broadcast in more than 500 stations around the country, and has a following of 2.1 million listeners,please follow this link http://www.thisamericanlife.org/listen/stations. You can find information on how to tune listen in from your area on the website. Archived broadcasts of this American Life radio show are also available to download through podcasts or  on an phone app. http://www.thisamericanlife.org/listen/mobile.

What are you doing this weekend? How are you living this American life? Going through the days sleepwalking or fully engaged in all the good things life has to offer? See you back here on All Things Fulfilling on Monday. Until then, check out these sites:

http://personalexcellence.co/blog/sleepwalking/

http://yourhappyplaceblog.com/2014/03/25/are-you-sleepwalking-through-life/

http://bit.ly/1uJBTGy

This blog is brought to you by the award-winning author, Sue Batton Leonard. For more information on her memoir Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected, please visit this link http://amzn.to/141aW6S.

Mr. Twains Angels

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I have been on the verge of being an angel all my life, but it’s never happened yet. ~ Mark Twain’s Autobiography

twain_bedDid you know Mark Twain slept in his bed backwards? According to an article in Yankee Magazine by Amie Seavey, she says it’s so. It is an unexpected and little known fact of the fabled author’s life.http://www.yankeemagazine.com/article/new-england-101/mark-twain-bed

He slept with his pillows at the foot of the bed so he could see the guardian angels that decorated his headboard. The carved angels on the dark walnut bed he and his wife purchased in Venice for $200 ($4600 in todays market), spanned across the headboard and atop each post. He said he liked to sleep in the bed backwards to “see what he had paid for.” The bed was, according to Mr. Twain”the most comfortable bedstead that ever was and enough space in it for a family.”

Clement’s bed, which was left to his daughter Clara was given to the Mark Twain Memorial and Library in 1940. The Hartford, Connecticut museum http://www.marktwainhouse.org has the bed as a showpiece for Twain enthusiasts.

Sweet dreams, Mr. Twain. We will always remember the important contributions you made to this world with your fulfilling words about life.
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This blog is brought to you by the award-winning author Sue Batton Leonard. For more information on the award-winning audio book, paperback or e-book Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected, please visit this link.http://amzn.to/141aW6S.

Old Fashioned as Mother’s Love

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Rejecting things because they are old-fashioned would rule out the sun and the moon — and a mother’s love.” ~ Unknown

Lately, I have been reflecting on how people have different values. For instance, faith means something different to each one of us, and we all come to our faith (or not) through our own life circumstances. Here are some images that reflect an era when family, faith and community was at the forefront of American life.

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vintage poster work

 

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girl scout vintage

 

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reading together

Wake up America

Things have indeed changed since my childhood and life has gotten more complex – perhaps by our own choices or maybe because our American values in this day and age are different. It is disheartening that the U.S.A. has fallen through the ranks as no longer being one of the happiest places in the world to live. Interested in what countries occupy the top spaces? Here is an article from USA Today for you to read. http://usat.ly/1CWtnUH.

Could it be that that returning to old fashioned values of strong family, community and spiritual relationships might help us find whatever is lacking?

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I would love to hear our reader’s opinions. Do you think life is less fulfilling than it used to be? Would you like to see our country return to our good old fashioned values and become more harmonious with our country’s founding principles? If so, what are you looking for in your life? Post your comment on this site.

This blog is brought to you by Sue Batton Leonard, the award-winning author of Gift of a Lifetime:Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected. For more information on the memoir, an anthology of stories, available in audio book, paperback and e-book,  please visit this link. http://amzn.to/141aW6S.

 

Table it for Later

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Life be not so short but that there is always time for courtesy. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Table Manners

Who remembers hearing this litany of table manners? If you are a baby boomer like me (1946- 1964), you will most likely relate. I won’t deny having said the same stuff about table manners to my son when he was growing up! And even as I said it I thought “Wow, I have become my mother?”

I have vivid memories of my mom teaching my twin sister and me how to set a “proper table” with her best china and sterling silver, linen napkins and special serving dishes. Did your mother do the same thing?

If you are from Generation X, Y, Z or the latest “Silent”  era, your parents may have decided to table teaching you this list of  table”to-do’s and don’ts”– completely forgetting later to bring it up.

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Hank Ketchum, one of  America’s most beloved cartoonists was a master at capturing how funny life is. No matter what generation we  come from, the generation of the past thinks the newest generation has gotten things wrong. It’s not until we look back in history, do we realize  good things come out of the past.

This blog brought to you by the EVVY award-winning author Sue Batton Leonard.  For information on her memoir, a story about life during the baby boomer decades, please visit this link. http://amzn.to/1te9k2F. If you listen to the audio book version of Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected you will hear the voice of my 2nd mother – who was in some ways quite different than my birth mother.