WELCOME BACK DONNA CHILDRE, GUEST BLOGGER

When I blog, it comes from the heart and when I find others who share the same passionate heart, I want to share their writings when I can ask them ito b a guest blogger. As you will remember, Donna Childre is one of those talented writers who is inspired by her faith and I think a little inspiration may come from her home place named very appropriately Huffer Haven. She and her husband Greg Childre have a menagerie of animals. Together with an inspired and devoted heart, she leads the way in down to real life spiritual messages that are instructive and filled with devotional passages. Today, we welcome Donna back to Sipping Cups of Inspiration so sit down on a porch with a glass of ice tea and listen with your heart to her message below:

GREG AND DONNA CHILDRE
Donna Childre with one of her many kitties

“Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs. Sing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.” Colossians 3:16

We live in a world in which we are surrounded by constant distractions. The distractions can sometimes overwhelm me. That’s when I know that I must slow down and remember what’s really important. I’ve never quite thought about it in terms of practicing the presence of God but this morning that’s where my mindset is. Practicing………

It is so easy to get caught up in circumstances and lose sight of God’s plan. It’s also very easy to feel trapped and scrutinized……..until…….you remember to practice the presence of God. He doesn’t leave nor forsake. That’s when I know that I cannot succumb to feelings of judgment from others nor hostility toward those who disagree. Practicing God’s presence relieves me from trying to “fix” others as well as measuring myself against standards set by others.

It’s a 3 step plan in my mind. (Lola Dickens Atkinson, notice the number.) First, regularly spend time in God’s Word. Next, keep your eyes on Him and remember His plan is best! Finally, remember that God is a good Father and He will not leave nor forsake. He is faithful to keep His promises.

“I raise my hands, bow my head
I’m finding more and more truth in the words written in red
They tell me that there’s more to life than just what I can see
Oh I believe.” 🎶🎶🎶🎶🎶

In a world riddled with pain, fear, and overwhelming distractions, I pray that I stay focused on what God wants to do in my life. I trust Him in every circumstance.” ……….written by Donna Childre

When Donna looks at these photos, she sees her focus.

Donna followed up with the following thought for further clarification:

“For it is commendable if we bear up under pain and suffering and endure grief because we are conscious of God.” 1 Peter 2:19

🎶🎶🎶🎶 Take the name of Jesus with you. Child of Sorrow and of Woe. It will Joy and Comfort give you. Take it then wherever you go. Precious Name, oh how sweet. Hope of Earth and Joy of Heaven. 🎶🎶🎶🎶🎶

Yesterday, I wrote about practicing His Presence. I’ve worried a bit about possible misunderstanding of what I wrote. You see, we don’t have to practice His Presence. He’s always there. What we must practice is the AWARENESS of His Presence. It is up to each of us to recognize the source of our strength and power and the peace and comfort that comes with that recognition.

This morning, my Mama’s calendar says, “This is peace — to be able to sleep in the storm! In Christ, we are relaxed and at peace in the midst of the confusions, bewilderment, and perplexities of this life. The storm rages, but our hearts are at rest.” So, I’ll praise Him in the storm. 🎶🎶🎶🎶🎶🎶

God speaks to me in so many ways. Through His Word, the devotions of others, my Facebook friends and family, and usually through music, He speaks. He speaks and I find Him because I’m always looking and listening, practicing the awareness of His Presence.

In my mind, today I have a 3 point action plan. First, seek first His kingdom. 1 Corinthians 10:31 says to do all, everything for the glory of God. Whatever we do in word or deed, do it for Jesus. Second, look for God’s goodness. “Every good and perfect gift comes from above.” James 1:17 Finally, create places of rest and plan for periods of quiet. It’s in the quiet, away from distractions, that we hear best. Be still.

“Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering for He who promised is faithful.” Hebrews 10:22-23

Let us become more aware of His Presence. Practice!

****************************************************************

Note from Arline Miller, blogger of Sipping Cups of Inspiration: Choose your friends by their positivity to your life. Pray out negativity while exchanging positive encouragement and assertion to others. We will keep the door open and the light on for talented writers who will give us their insightful thoughts. Thank you Donna Childre and do come and visit with my blog’s readers.

(C) Copyright 2012-2019 Arline Miller of Sipping Cups of Inspiration with all rights and privileges reserved. Third party material is sourced to original location, if known, including photos, for credit references.

AND THE PEACH WILL LAY DOWN WITH THE BORER MOTH

When we are surrounded by talent, we have a responsibility to encourage and welcome the displays of such beautiful expressions about life and faith which are perfect blends. This morning I am blessed to share my newly discovered friend and writer who I will continue to encourage a possibility of him blogging for all to enjoy. Please sit and enjoy this delightful but thought provoking blog post by Dean Hill, writer and hopefully future blogger.

Please welcome Dean Hill as he returns to Sipping Cups of Inspiration with this harmonizing post:

Dean Hill (photo courtesy of Deano)

“The year was playing out to be the perfect growing season for the mature peach orchard in the temperate climate of middle Georgia’s peach belt. Moderate rain consistently showered upon the land then cleared to beautifully sunny blue skies to warm the rich soil. Accelerated deliveries could now be enjoyed of vital nutrients for the fruit-loaded trees.
One peach, a particularly gifted, luscious and perfectly shaped one just happened to hang in a spot easily accessible and hence a favorite target of a vigorous Peachtree borer moth. Oh how this sweet peach worried that she was being bitten and used for food for the moth and her children.
The peach cried out to God both night and day but the borer moth would not go away. She cried to the other peaches hanging around on the tree but no sympathy for her plight could not be found.
Finally, the day came that her saving grace seemed to be coming around. The kind-hearted farmer, ever so loving of the trees his grandfather had planted and grown. Checking each tree with the patience of a saint. He picked away some of the less fortunate fruits so as to not take away from the tree’s overall health. When the young strong man came near to her limb she called to him prescribing her preferred remedy. She’d heard of a spray that would make the moth’s go away. Elated she was that she was able to express her desires to someone who’d actually care and help.
The young man looked at the peach and smiled, you are a perfect fruit that will be so good in a pie. A pie, she exclaimed, I had hopes of being eaten in the hand of a prince. The master gardener went on to explain of his new found treatment to keep chemicals from being used. You see my sweet peach, this small moth will always come back to the same spot and she will not drain all of your juice. But the very best part is that the scar left where she feeds causes this trees natural defenses to engage. It will create in you the most sweet juice of all the fruit on the tree.
The poor sweet peach had immediately began to cry as soon as she realized her treatment would not be prescribed. The farmer reassured her that everything would be okay and with his soft smile he carassed her and was on his way.
Later that night, when the moth came to feed she found the crying peach but her tears were no longer of greed.
The sweet peach, having had time to remember how things are worked together for the good of the plan divine. She welcomed the moth and even asked about her family and children, making their time together a joyous meeting of one another’s needs.
Scars often sweeten the rest of our existence when we truly embrace God’s omnipotence.”

Photos courtesy of Dean Hill

Note from Arline Miller of Sipping Cups of Inspiration: Thanks Dean for this warm and inspirational post. To my readers of my blog: Please remember to comment on his blog post to ignite the fire in his blogger’s heart. We would love to see a future Deano blog soon.

(C) Copyright 2012-2019 Arline Miller of Sipping Cups of Inspiration with all rights and privileges reserved. Third party material, including photos are sourced to original location if known for credit reference.

[Blogging Mindset] Good Things Come to Those Who Hustle

Another great piece for Bloggers, Thanks to Cristian Mihai. Check his blog out for more informative blogs.

The Art of Blogging

The advice I am about to give you is going to be disappointing. It’s not going to be an easy six-step guide to gaining more followers, or how to have readers comment on your posts.

It’s not even going to be about blogging mistakes.

No. This post is going to be about the one requirement to having a popular blog.

Want to know what that is? Keep reading.

View original post 280 more words

GARDEN FENCES vs. BORDER WALLS

GARDEN FENCES vs. BORDER WALLS and how does these two relate? Today on the blog, I want to use a comparison and before anyone wants to say something negative, I wish we lived in a perfect society of harmony where everyone is equal, free to work and excel, and in a place that encourages unity and not division but as I say a lot…..It is what it is! Most of my readers know I like to take a look at something totally not linked and use common sense comparisons to a real life issue. This will be one of those times.

This photo is a Pinterest find. Aren’t they just the cutest?

On a social media post, I saw two of the cutest little bunnies sitting in a head of lettuce. This is when the focus of this blog came into play. Please follow me in thought as it is not a hate blog but one of possibly seeing a larger picture.

As a common ground of centralized thought, most of us have gardens, grown them in the past, visited someone who had a garden, or even engaged in a community garden so it is normally a familiar place to evaluate a widely known need. As cute as these bunny babies are and how they are naturally drawn to the luscious green gardens that have been tended with a lot of hard work and effort. They don’t realize that their actions which are natural to want to partake of the food they love will destroy what the gardeners have worked so hard to produce. In a way, you cannot blame the bunnies, it is natural to want what they crave. They don’t intentionally set out to destroy; they are looking to enjoy.

Here they come, ready or not

Let’s look at the gardener’s reaction. They did all of the work and purchased the seeds or plants. They tilled the land, fertilized if it needed more enrichment. They cut rows to organize and planted the crop to make it the best crop they could grow. They worked when it was hot; they worked when it rained; and they even protected it during any cold snap. Sometimes, they felt so tired they wondered if it was worth the effort. That is until they saw the first bulge in the ground along with the first green sprout. All of the time and effort has started to pay off and the gardener is excited and looking forward to seeing a bumper crop…..that is until along comes Thumper!

It doesn’t matter that it is natural for Thumper and his many friends to want to invade his garden and eat of his food without have applied any effort to this crop. It is just there for the taking since they can hop right over and begin to share in the “free bounty”. Why not? Thumper doesn’t weigh in all of the misery this hopping over causes. Thumper just sees all that is laying in wait for him and others who join in the invasion of the garden.

The gardener wakes up one morning and is witness to the damage this invasion has caused. Free loading rabbits have taken over the garden that was growing so beautifully and could provide many meals for his family. This makes him angry and it doesn’t matter that they don’t think of the devastation and what frustration and loss to the gardener’s future. This is how it works in a garden so the gardener has no choice but to enclose his garden in by means of a fence or a wall or as some people like to say, barrier. Something to stop or slow down the amount of bunnies and other critters seeking the good stuff, the easy to take stuff, and in all fairness what they deem necessary to make their existence better.

The gardener considers getting his gun out and picking those intruders off but it would be more humane since they are only acting out as non thinking individuals and builds the fence or puts up a barrier. The bunnies are confused; why can’t they get to the leafy stuff (I think green dollars come to mind for the comparison)? They try to dig; they try to jump; and a few even make it over the barrier. The gardener can deal with a few but if the garden is overrun, it would be impossible.

It is not meant as cruelty or deprivation; it is preservation.

Bloggers note: When we are discussing the barrier on our Southern border, simply look at the USA citizen as the gardener. We have sown our garden and we may be willing to share with our neighbors, even if they have moved here from other neighborhoods or countries to make the point, but those who “hop or jump over” and cause an overwhelming amount of burden to all of the surrounding gardens and want to take from the hard earned garden without participating in the initial efforts and expense of planting one should not be allowed and maybe we have to have those barriers in place so that they will be directed to the proper path of entering this country or as I like to say the garden of the USA.

(C) Copyright 2012-2019 Arline Miller of Sipping Cups of Inspiration with all rights and privileges reserved. Third party material is sourced to the original location, if known, for credit reference.

MIND EATING WINS OVER MOUTH EATING

WE SHOULD EAT WITH OUR MINDS and NOT OUR MOUTHS. I will throw out a personal opinion on why our minds and not our mouths should determine what and when we should eat. Let’s think about this theory. In our lifetime, we will go on several diets or eating plans. They will be varied and when we go on most of these, if not all; we lose weight, right? My thoughts are what causes the initial weight loss and what changes over time in which the loss begins to dwindle or even disappear? I think I have discovered what is the culprit…..Our minds. When our mind becomes disgusted when our eyes show the extra weight in the mirror, it can either decide to avoid thoughts of obesity or decide to do something about it.Let me share this: It is not the diet or eating plan; it is the mind who decides if we are full or because of emotions it decides to allow us to overeat. 

A personal note: Some time ago, my husband Greg and I decided (look at the action of the mind) to not play around with eating healthy but get serious. Since we “decided” and not allowed our mouths to do the talking; we have both lost weight, our emotions are calmer, our motivation is higher and the results are a better attitude as well as feeling better. I had expressed it is not only what we eat; quantity is a big factor. Large amounts of salads or fruit or going the protein maximum will not allow us to lose what we need to eat but add portion control to these great foods aids in the satisfaction of eating without starving. Greg has dropped about 10 pounds during this time and he is now “thinking” about what he eats and how much. Even though I had already decided my health was more important, it has helped me eliminate some items and add some healthier foods. I wanted to share with everyone as too many times, we are guilty of talking the health talk but fail to walk the health walk. Just saying our intentions but not involving some serious mind changing methods; it would only be another diet tried and failed. The real reason any diet fails is the mind is not engaged; only the mouth. Try to think about this post and see if you find yourself retracing your “diet” history. When you wanted to lose; I mean when you really wanted to lose; you lost. When you only played with dieting; you might have lost a few pounds and without thinking; you stuck a cookie or candy or even pizza. Instant sabotage, but I can guarantee you; you didn’t think before you stuffed your mouth with those diet killers. I am not preaching; I am reminiscing about my diet history. When I think about what I eat, I lose. When I impulsively eat; it doesn’t work and off another great, sensational, guaranteed to lose, return to my high school figure, lose all fat non fail plan one more time. Does this ring a bell with you or at least start you thinking? I hope so as we are thinking our food through!

The following is an excerpt from an article called Mindful Eating-Curbing Stress:

How to Put Mind Over Mouth

Jean Kristeller, Ph.D., president of the board of directors at the Center for Mindful Eating, shares tips on how to break the pattern of stress-induced munching.

By Carin GorrellSep 17, 2007

During a high-stress situation it’s natural to feel pulled toward something that distracts you and makes you feel better fast — and often that something is food, explains Jean Kristeller, Ph.D., a professor of psychology at Indiana State University and president of the board of directors at the Center for Mindful Eating. “Eating can become an automatic, unconscious response to tension and anxiety,” says Kristeller. “But learning to become more mindful in these moments can help you break that pattern of automatic reactivity.” Here’s how.

ACKNOWLEDGE THAT YOU’RE STRESSED. “We don’t always recognize when we’re on edge, and it’s hard to interrupt something if you don’t know you’re in the middle of it,” says Kristeller. Learn to recognize your stress signals, which might include headaches, rapid breathing, or munching when you’re not hungry.

ENJOY WHAT YOU’RE EATING. “If you’re just stuffing food down, you’re not enjoying its tastes, textures, and smells, which is how we derive comfort from food in the first place,” says Kristeller. The more you savor your food, the fewer bites you’ll need to get the comfort you seek.

LISTEN TO YOUR WISDOM FROM PAST EXPERIENCES. Maybe during your last stress-induced binge you devoured a half-dozen doughnuts — and the guilt you felt afterward only added to your stress. This time, take steps to maintain portion control: Pick up a single doughnut at the bakery instead of a dozen.

PAUSE. When you find yourself mindlessly diving into a bag of potato chips, stop and check in with yourself. “Think: Do I really want to eat this? Is it going to be helpful?” suggests Kristeller. Taking this moment to reflect can help interrupt the automatic urge to nosh.

DON’T IGNORE YOUR CRAVINGS. Denying that those cookies are calling your name will only strengthen your desire to have one, but acknowledging your craving creates choice: Do you want to have one cookie now, or wait until the urge is so overpowering that you inhale an entire sleeve of cookies? Recognizing that you have choices puts you in charge, not the craving.

EVALUATE YOUR HUNGER. “Often we don’t distinguish between physical hunger and emotionally driven cravings,” says Kristeller. Rate your physical hunger on a scale of 0 to 10, with 0 being not hungry at all and 10 being famished. If it’s a 0, 1, or 2, reconsider that pantry raid. If it’s a 9 or 10, eat something healthy first: “If you’re really, really hungry, you’re more vulnerable to overeating,” says Kristeller.

***************************End of excerpt from article.

  On a light, positive note I want to post a writing from this morning to all.  This morning I rose with gratitude in my heart, humility in my soul, and joy in my entire body. God grants us the opportunity to be diligent in our faith and today is a great day to serve Him with love, forgiveness, charity, and kindness.

“When we willingly love,We receive from above.

Life is a wonderful gift.We are given such a lift.

Beauty is joy bestowed.Immense love has flowed.

From the stem of a rose.To the child’s turned up nose.

When we willingly love, God smiles from above.”

(written by Arline Miller 02/17/2016)

(C) Copyright 2012-2019 Arline Miller of Sipping Cups of Inspiration with all rights and privileges reserved. Third Party Material is sourced to original location if known for credit reference.

WHAT’S SENSIBLE ABOUT NONSENSE?

Somehow, we have replaced common sense and logical thinking with absurd ideas which may sound as if the messenger is going to save the world. What disturbs me is even if I think in more conservative thoughts, I understand that not everyone is that traditional. I don’t expect everyone to think as I do or even people that I care a lot about disagree with me. This is not what I am referring to in this blog message. It is the current lean toward nonsensical thinking.

Ferrari Dea

Let me use this example: I am a middle class hard working lady of a young almost 70 years. My dream thought has always been to have a luxury vehicle so let’s go down to the show room and meet the “salesperson” of the century with a big wide grin. First of all, the salesperson greets me in a social gesture and doesn’t show an aggressive tone but more of an enthusiastic and passionate demeanor. We exchange niceties and of course I go to the luxury vehicle of my dreams (which by the way, I cannot afford). Now begins the sales pitch and I hear all about the features, the luxury feels, the convenience of the options, the beauty, the performance, and the status having this vehicle will bring to me. I begin to get pulled into the positive direction of all the reasons I should have the car of my dreams. I deserve it, I want it, and then……..Reality slaps me in the face. No matter how badly I want to possess this because I have been shown all of the reasons this is MY car and should be MY car, I finally hear the price. Oh no, that cannot be right and I ask “It costs that much?” Then I come back down from my euphoria to earth and start to think sensibly again, what about the insurance, the taxes, the gas cost, etc? Come on down, Arline this doesn’t make sense as this fulfillment would require removing any other pleasures or accommodations to have “MY DREAM CAR.” I begin to realize what makes sense and begin to see that not everything that glitters is NOT gold. I thank the salesperson for giving it a great effort, but maybe it would be wiser to have shown me something that makes sense for me to own and afford that guess what, another affordable nice car would accomplish the same thing. (I have explained some of the current mentality approaches that are being so nicely presented without one shred of consideration as to the cost and loss of other sensible concepts if these ideas were actually implemented.)

Have any of these been occupying your dreams?

I am not an economist or an expert in any field, but because someone has a strong presence and audience does not make what they are saying logical. I want to give an example of how in history we have seen similar individuals who with their promises led the way to many innocent people to die.

  • Free programs for monetary or services without fees from the government to low income people
  • No incentive to work by allowing limited monetary allowances to those individuals
  • Free healthcare or low cost plans without explanation of the control by the government for what quality or amount of care the individual receives. Government also controls the waiting time/decisions relating to a specific health issue.
  • Government controls business, industries, wages, benefits, and promotions and/or demotions. Individual efforts are not recognized but loyalty to government is mandated for promotions.
Did their free “goodies” appeal to normal good intentioned people? Do you know the results? Study history and let’s not repeat it.

Does all of this ring from a sensible bell going off in your head? Millions of otherwise sensible/intelligent people bought and unfortunately paid with this non-sensible temptation with their lives. If it doesn’t, odds are you are listening to the same salesperson as I heard at the dealership and odds are even more in favor, you are thinking without thinking of the consequences and may buy the unaffordable, non-sensible rhetoric. However, we all dream and we have all made non-sensible decisions. We can return to earth and begin to ask “Does 1=1 still = 2?” or do we think 1+1= as many as we think we deserve and need and desire? It doesn’t work ever to go against the basics.

Now for the deeper thought: I understand how we should make changes, good sensible changes.         I think changes, if carefully thought through and proven,  these are affordable and for the betterment of all affected by these same changes are wonderful. Let us use our innate senses and  intelligent minds to make those changes.                

(C) Copyright 2012-2019 Arline Miller with all rights and privileges reserved. Third party material, including photos, is sourced to original location if known for credit reference.

CUPID WENT INTO WITNESS PROTECTION

HAPPY VALENTINES DAY to all! I thought I would get your attention with the heading. Let’s have some fun in the midst of all of the hoopla of hearts flying, gifts given, love showed and shared with lovers all over the world, but why did Cupid have to go into hiding? I had forgotten the story behind Cupid, have you? Here is the caption on google to jog our memories of how Cupid developed

Psyche is a princess so beautiful that the goddess Venus becomes jealous. In revenge, she instructs her son Cupid to make her fall in love with a hideous monster; but instead he falls in love with her himself.

10 JULY, 2015 – 03:59 RILEY WINTERS

The ancient fairy tale of Cupid and Psyche, where love endures against all odds

The mythological tale of Cupid and Psyche is one of the few Greek and Roman myths that has not fully become assimilated into modern consciousness. Though adapted somewhat into the better known “Beauty and the Beast”—first written by French author Jeanne-Marie Leprince de Beaumont as “La Belle et la Bête”—the correlation to the earlier ancient text is relatively unrecognized.  Cupid is often still portrayed as a chubby baby cherub with a fondness for arrows, and Psyche is still predominately unknown outside the psychological community –”psyche” means “soul” in ancient Greek and was subsequently utilized in the literature of psychologists.  However, in the ancient world, Cupid and Psyche’s love was well documented and appreciated among the literary scholars.  Despite that its original Greek form is now lost, the length of the text remains within Lucius Apuleius’ The Golden Ass , a side anecdote that—in many ways—overshadows the remainder of the novel.

Once upon a time…

Cupid and Psyche’s narrative begins as most modern fairy tales do: with a kingdom, a daughter with an insurmountable burden over her head, a trial, and a subsequent moral.  It is as follows: a king and queen give birth to three daughters, but only the third possesses unearthly beauty.  Apuleius’ text claimed that her beauty was so astounding the “poverty of language is unable to express its due praise.”  Rumors spread of this girl, Psyche’s, astounding loveliness, eventually reaching the ears of the Roman goddess Venus.  Angry that so many mortals were comparing Psyche’s beauty to her own—and in many ways claiming that the mortal surpassed her—Venus calls upon her son Cupid to demand that he use one of his arrows of desire to ensure Psyche fall in love with a human monster.

Obedient as always to his mother, Cupid then descends to the earthly plane to do as she wishes.  Yet he was so astonished himself by the mortal princess’ beauty that he mistakenly shot himself.  From that moment, Cupid was irrevocably in love with the princess.  Around this time, it became evident to her parents that Psyche’s attractiveness had angered the gods, as no mortal man would take her hand in marriage.  Imploring the temple of Apollo, they learn that Psyche is destined for a much worse fate than celibacy: “The virgin is destined for the bride of no mortal lover.  Her future husband awaits her on the top of the mountain.  He is a monster whom neither gods nor men can resist.”  Psyche, conscious of the mistakes of her mortal kingdom for praising her so highly, is content to follow the oracle’s advice

From the top of the highest cliff, dressed in funerary garbs, Psyche is swept away by the west wind, Zephyr.  She is brought to a striking valley, in the center of which stands a palace so magnificent it could not have been built by any hands other than the gods’.  Surrounded by luscious trees with a crystalline fountain at its heart, Psyche soon comes to the conclusion that this golden hall is her new home, further reiterated by the voice of her new husband echoing through the halls.  This faceless stranger begins to visit her in the night, every night, to make love to her in the darkness.  But despite his nighttime tenderness, Psyche is haunted by the oracle’s claim that he was a monster.h

Psyche's Wedding (Pre-Raphaelite, 1895) photo by Edward Burne-Jones

Psyche’s Wedding (Pre-Raphaelite, 1895) photo by Edward Burne-Jones Wikimedia Commons )

Psyche’s Betrayal

When allowing her two sisters to visit, they are jealous of her beautiful home and insist that Psyche’s husband really is a monster and she owes it to herself to find out.  So Psyche is convinced to break her husband’s only request of allowing his face to remain a secret and look upon him in the night.  In doing so, she damns their relationship.

A single drop of oil falls from the candle Psyche lights to gaze at his face, waking him, and Cupid, in all his majestic beauty, flees their home, distressed by her betrayal.   Distraught, Psyche goes in search of her husband, traveling for many days, until she comes to the temple of Ceres, the motherly goddess of grain. 

The Trials

Ceres instructs Psyche to surrender herself to Venus and take whatever ill will the goddess throws at her.  Obeying Ceres’ advice, Psyche is thus given three seemingly impossible tasks to complete. First, the princess has to separate the grains of Venus’ temple’s storehouse into piles of barley, millet, beans, etc. Second, Psyche has to steal golden wool from a herd of sheep; third and finally, Psyche is ordered to travel into the underworld and request from Queen Proserpina a little of her beauty to pass along to the goddess of love. This task, however, demands a further challenge: that Psyche keeps the box in which the beauty is placed tightly closed, for fear of terrible repercussions.

Unknown to Psyche, throughout these trails, Cupid is constantly at her aid.  He instructs ants to help her sort the grains; and then the river god offers her instructions of how to steal the prize fleece from the shepherd. Finally, Psyche is given divine advice on how to surpass the dangers of Hades.

Her failure—foretold by Venus herself—comes when Psyche, greatly upset by the trials she had to overcome, opens the box and is overcome by the Stygian sleep, a sleep so strong she is considered the living dead.  By that point, Cupid has had enough of his separation from his wife, and he flies to her rescue, lifting her sleeping form to the heavens, and pleading with the great god Jupiter to talk sense into his mother.  Venus lifts her terrible curse from the girl, and once Psyche is awake, she is transformed into an immortal, and is properly wed to the young god of desire.  (for the full article and photos you can go to: https://www.ancient-origins.net/myths-legends-europe/ancient-fairy-tale-cupid-and-psyche-where-love-endures-against-all-odds-003393

Note from blogger: As always, I have a deeper thought about love and life. When we read a myth, may we retrieve some thoughts to use in our lives. Out of the confusion, the betrayals, the trials, we can notice one consistency of Cupid. As the story unfolded, Cupid was constantly at her aid and made the effort to make her life and chores easier. Isn’t that what true love is all about? Also, this story confirms that we do not choose who we fall in love but when Cupid’s arrow is shot in the heart, life as we know it is changed forever. I made a remark about Cupid going into hiding but hopefully he is out and about today shooting love arrows into the hearts of many.

(C) Copyright 2012-2019 Arline Miller of Sipping Cups of Inspiration with all rights and privileges reserved. Third party material, including photos, if known is sourced to original location for credit reference.

Chocoholics, It Is That Time!

Chocoholics, It Is That Time! Calling all chocolate lovers…..it’s your holiday for your indulgence. But why do we love chocolate? Join me on the blog with some excerpts to explain why we drool at the thought of this delight? #blog #chocolate #amwriting

Sipping Cups of Inspiration

Calling all Chocoholics (Chocolate Lovers who might need intervention)! Valentines Day is coming soon so excuses are not needed as it is the reason for the season but WHY? Let us consider the pros and cons of downing the chocolate, milk, white, dark, or mixed with nuts, fillings, or whatever form we can get it. Is there a link to Love? Is it a feel good reason we have to have it. Today, we enter the river of flowing chocolate and get our mouths drooling. Here is an enlightening article I found giving us the psychological reasons and we already know the real reason is “we can’t live without it.”

Why Do We Crave Chocolate So Much?

Why Do We Crave Chocolate So Much?

The psychology behind why we love chocolate

Posted Feb 11, 2014

Source:Why do we crave chocolate so much? I consulted a professor of psychology and neuroscience

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Chocoholics, It Is That Time!

Calling all Chocoholics (Chocolate Lovers who might need intervention)! Valentines Day is coming soon so excuses are not needed as it is the reason for the season but WHY? Let us consider the pros and cons of downing the chocolate, milk, white, dark, or mixed with nuts, fillings, or whatever form we can get it. Is there a link to Love? Is it a feel good reason we have to have it. Today, we enter the river of flowing chocolate and get our mouths drooling. Here is an enlightening article I found giving us the psychological reasons and we already know the real reason is “we can’t live without it.”

Why Do We Crave Chocolate So Much?

Why Do We Crave Chocolate So Much?

The psychology behind why we love chocolate

Posted Feb 11, 2014

Source:Why do we crave chocolate so much? I consulted a professor of psychology and neuroscience, Dr. Amy Jo Stavnezer, to help us understand why we desire chocolate so much (just in time for Valentine’s Day!).

Dr. Albers: On a biological level, why do we crave chocolate?

Professor Stavnezer: We crave chocolate because it is good! It tastes good. It smells good. It feels good when it melts on our tongue. And all of those ‘feelings’ are the result of our brain releasing chemicals in response to each chocolate experience. The experience of eating chocolate results in feel good neurotransmitters (mainly dopamine) being released in particular brain regions (frontal lobe, hippocampus and hypothalamus—definitions a bit later).

Dopamine is released when you experience anything that you enjoy—sexlaughing, or watching your favorite Olympian claim the gold. This reward circuit is partially hard-wired by genetics, but it learns, changes and responds to your specific preferences based on your life experiences. This malleability of the brain is what makes each of us unique. In fact, there are supposedly people in the world who do not like chocolate.

By simply using one neurotransmitter system to associate rewards with actions, an efficient and powerful brain network evolved so that a positive outcome would be repeated. The dopamine signal sent through the reward circuit brings about positive feelings and assessments of the situation in the frontal lobe (just behind your eyes), creates a memory of the experience including where, who, what and why and links that to the positive experiences via the hippocampus (about an inch inside of each ear), and when food is involved, the hypothalamus (a few inches above the roof of your mouth) gathers information about the caloric and nutrient content for future hunger and satiety signals.

It was originally thought that chocolate contained compounds that could activate this dopamine system directly (like cigarettes and cocaine do). Chocolate does contain theobromine that can increase heart rate and bring about feelings of arousal, caffeine which can make us feel awake and increase our ability to work and focus, and fat and sugar which are preferred food sources for humans because they are calorie dense. However, elegant experiments in which the components of chocolate were separated out indicated that just ingesting the chemicals in chocolate without the mouth-feel and taste does not decrease craving.

Photo courtesy of goodhousekeeping.com

Maybe this is why we eat chocolate?


I found an excerpt from an article on the history of how chocolate became the ruler of Valentines Day. It is from National Geographic and is titled Why We Want Chocolate for Valentines Day

THE PLATE

Why We Want Chocolate for Valentine’s Day

3 MINUTE READBY APRIL FULTON

So how did chocolate become the ultimate Valentine’s Day treat?

The origins of the historic combination are far from clear. Chocolate has been considered an aphrodisiac since the time of the Aztecs, and was once only available to the wealthy. Spanish conquistadors brought it back to Europe, and according to The Oxford Companion to Food, Italian chefs were shaving blocks over their risottos in the late 17th century. The French made pastilles in the 18th century, a favorite of the marquis de Sade. But it wasn’t until the cocoa butter extracted from the beans was processed into the rough form of a candy bar in England in 1847, according to Cadbury, and later rounded out with milk, that its appeal began to grow. Once candy became cheaper to produce, more people got to taste it. And once they tasted it, well, you know the rest.

Meanwhile, the origins of Valentine’s Day are even more complex. They can be traced to Roman times and Lupercalia, a Pagan festival that involved fertility and feasting in mid-February. The Romans “were drunk. They were naked,” Noel Lenski, a historian at the University of Colorado at Boulder, told NPR in 2011. Young women lined up for the men to hit them, Lenski says. They thought would make them fertile.

Not too romantic, was it? It gets crazier. The early Catholic Church martyred a rebel priest named Valentine and tried to take the nakedness out of the Lupercalia festival by declaring Feb. 14 as St. Valentine’s Day. Chaucer combined the essence of the pagan rituals with courtly ideas of love in one famous Valentine’s poem about bird sex: “And, Lord, the blisse and joye that they make! For ech of hem gan other in wynges take.” And then Shakespeare took the notion of romantic love even further in the sonnets.

Hopefully, this will get your Valentine craving for chocolate flowing and from this Sipping Cup of Inspiration blogger, Happy Valentines Day and now it is official, you have a natural reason for loving chocolate. My deeper thought is to LIVE LIFE, LOVE LIFE, AND LIVE LIFE TO THE FULLEST by digesting all that life has to offer as long as you add to other’s lives and not make their lives unhappy. Eat chocolate or don’t, but love always.

(C) Copyright 2012-2019 Arline Miller of Sipping Cups of Inspiration with all rights and privileges reserved. Third party material, if known, is sourced to original location for credit reference.