The Christmas Jar Project

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Christmas Jar created by Ryan R.All of our students have been over the past year dropping coins in our “Christmas Jar” and now is the time to complete the job and deliver it to a deserving family.  First I want to tell you that the jar was designed by one of our 6 year old students and his mom, Ryan R.   I was so impressed with the design and how he stepped right up and made the jar with out a lot of prompting from myself.

Today I called a friend of mine Cathy Holstrom at Food Link and asked her if she knew of any families that have fallen on to difficult times that may find this inspiring or give the a boost of morale.  Of course she had many stories to tell, but the one I have chosen is of a single dad with a 15 year old son.  After working for the same company for over 20 years he was laid off about a year ago and while looking for work in every conceivable place, has not been able to find even the smallest of jobs.   Like many men he would prefer to work and pay his own way and is not inclined to ask for help, but Food Link was able to help him at Thanksgiving and he will receive another meal at Christmas from them.  He has been doing some odd jobs and his neighbors have been assisting as much as possible. Continue reading “The Christmas Jar Project”

Appreciation: in difficult times

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Have you ever had a toothache, locked your keys in your car, or had some other painful experience that was inconvenient and painful in some manner? There is a story about dentist’s being sure to collect their money on the day of service provided because it is easy to forget just how painful that toothache was a week later when we get the bill.
The same is true when we are having a bad day. It is hard for us to remember how lucky we are or all the good things we have going for us. Someone said once “Behind each cloud we know that the sun or the moon is shining.” Our emotions create our own experience. If we are having a bad day, when things have not gone the way we would have liked for them to go, we look at it and respond differently than if our day had been going well and this is just a little non-important bump in the course of a great day.
Our goal then is not to live in “happy happy land” but to look at things realistically. We need to ask ourselves about the event what really happened, and what is the worst that can happen and what is the possible good results. One time many years ago I was let go at my job. It was the worst day of my life at that moment. What was so bad was thinking about how to tell my wife, how will we pay the bills, etc.? But when looking back on it now it led to me starting a business in 1978 that led to me being more financially secure than I ever would have been in that current situation.
The point is we need to ask ourselves better questions. When Lance Armstrong was told he had testicular cancer, it was not the best day of his life. But he asked good questions and ended up not only beating it but then becoming a 7 times champion in his sport along with all of the other work he has done. We can do the same. Ask good questions, look for the silver lining in our situation and express this to yourself and others. This is showing appreciation for the life we have.