ACCEPTING YOURSELF TO ACCEPT OTHERS (2020 Post)

I have given this post a lot of thought. It seems we are struggling to accept others and this struggle has brought a lot of discord among all people. Politics have taken the place of parenting as we are persuaded to think this way or another. As children, our source of influence was simpler. We had parents who wanted us to behave in a certain way, respect or even disrespect according to how they felt, and our faith had a lot more to do with how they believed than a personal relationship with a Higher Power. Today, I look at the pros and cons of thinking on our own and finding ways of accepting ourselves in order for a better assessment of how we feel about others.

Let us begin with the quote from Lucille Ball:

Love Yourself First And Everything Else Falls İnto Line. You Really Have To Love Yourself To Get Anything Done İn This World.

How can we expect to love others with their imperfections if we do not accept our imperfections? How can we accept love from others when we are incapable of accepting self love?

I looked at this perception of love and I know this is the key to a more peaceful transition. This quote from John Spence is reflective of my thoughts:

Maybe if we get alone with ourselves, accept the good qualities we possess, as well as the imperfections which may be inherent or here’s a thought…We can work on ourselves first to improve our ability to co-exist with others if we obtain a peaceful environment about ourselves. I have assembled some questions to begin the contemplation of whether we truly love ourselves as a person:

Here are some thought provoking questions:

1- If I met someone exactly like myself, would I like them or would I find fault?

2-Could I carry on a conversation with me and find it interesting, boring, or antagonizing?

3-When I am alone, am I content or do I try to find alternate ways to avoid myself by eliminating alone time?

4-When looking in a mirror, do I look at myself realistically or do I imagine a different person staring back at me such as a younger, leaner, athletic, or a more contented person?

5-Do I value my thoughts and write down my thoughts or do I depend only on others written words?

6-Do I share my thoughts or creative ideas on how to do something with others or offer to teach things I know how to do well?

7- Do I always find myself in contradiction to surroundings, events, news, books, movies, etc.?

8-Can I compliment myself when I exhibit good qualities or do I shy away from personal achievement or recognition?

9-Do I see my life as a success, even with occasional set backs or do I feel like a failure?

10-Can I express love for myself to do the following instructions as expressed by Dr. Steve Maraboli?

This self evaluation is necessary for us to be fair in how we accept others. It would be impossible to accept others if we cannot accept ourselves. We, as well as others, will never be perfect. Imperfection is a part of love, self and expressing love to and for others. In life, the average looking girl can be happier than a homecoming queen sometimes. The reasoning is the bar was never pushed so high for the average girl but so high for the homecoming queen that maintaining happiness is not sustainable as time and wrinkles come. Live in reality, love the uniqueness of each individual by initially accepting yourself.

(C) Copyright 2012 -2022 Arline Miller of Sipping Cups of Inspiration with all rights reserved and to be used with permission. Third party material is sourced to original location if known for credit references.

THE TIME IN BETWEEN. FROM THE CROSS TO THE RESURRECTION

As a blogger and writer, there are times in between events and I occupy myself. Always at this time, this post comes to my mind about the time in between the Crucifixion and the Resurrection. It seems worthy of reposting this year. Happy Easter to all of us who celebrate this holy holiday and may each of us have a beautiful reason to know why we celebrate it.

This is a repost from 2014 but I found it to be appropriate as we move into Good Friday. TODAY THE WORDS are THE TIME IN BETWEEN. We have obligations, appointments, meetings, scheduled events, etc. which have specific times set aside throughout our days, weeks, and months. We write them down and plan to be on time and sometimes we schedule several places to be on the same day to make the most of our time. While doing this, we have some unavoidable down time or some time in between. We find ourselves with a half hour, an hour or sometimes two with nothing to do. What do we do with our time in between two events? Some of us bring our iPads, books, puzzles, etc. and fill our time either wisely or just idling with very little productivity. This made me have a deeper thought about this Easter holiday. When the events occurred on Good Friday and with the promise from Jesus to His followers He would rise on the third day; how did they fill the time in between? Did they sit around and mourn Jesus’s death as we do today when one of our loved ones die? The tomb was sealed so they could only visit the outside. Did they stay watchful or did they have the confidence to wait the days out? How did the conversation go between all of the disciples? Did they fear their safety knowing others had seen the Lord’s strength during his torturous death? Did they reminisce about His miracles Jesus had performed? How did they fill the time in between?

Easter cross
All of us may know what happened on Easter Sunday with all of the celebration and miraculous resurrection; but my mind has been directed to the time in between and here is what I feel. Our lives are actually time in between. We are born into this world and then we die. All of our life is this time between birth and death and what we do is important to prepare for our resurrection into Eternity. How do we fill our time in between or in other words, what do we do with our lives? Do we fill our time with productivity and good works or do we idly fill our time with nonsense and useless activities? Do we learn, earn, live, and love? Do we reach out to help others find their way? We are taught about Good Friday and Easter, but I think we need to spend some of our time understanding how important the time in between was. Life is here for us and while we show reverence and love for Jesus’s sacrifice for us; let us use our time in between wisely. Happy Easter to all and a Happy In Between Time to fill with goodness.


For positive affirmation with “the power of positive thinking” I am including a short article for you to read: The Power of Positive Thinking

“Your attitude, not your aptitude, will determine your altitude.”

Did you know that some of the world’s most successful people – including professional athletes, actors, business-people, artists, and spiritual leaders, attribute their success to one thing, above all else?

Its called “the power of positive thinking,” and more and more regular people are harnessing this incredible force to achieve happiness, personal success and abundance in their lives.

If you want to successfully change your attitude, it is important to know that, just like a magnet, your thoughts, expectations, and beliefs attract everyone and everything that enters into your life, both positive and negative.

How To Be Happy
Does anger, worry, fear, anxiety, and/or depression lead your emotional state and thought patterns?

If so, then experiences validating these thoughts are exactly what you will attract into your life. Good thing for you, there is a very effective solution.

What is the secret to making the power of positive thinking work for me?

Meditation. In order to manifest positive experiences into your life, you must change your thoughts, which must be done from the root: the subconscious layers of your mind.

Once meditation melts all of the layers of worry, anxiety, depression, and fear clogging up your thought processes, your new-found mind-mastery, with crystal clear thinking, and positive mental attitude allows you easy manifestation of anything you want, whether it be love, good health, wealth, more friends, or success.

Easter hope
Scripture Excerpt from The Bible:

John 20:16-18 Jesus said to her, “Mary.” She turned toward him and cried out in Aramaic, “Rabboni!” (which means Teacher). Jesus said, “Do not hold on to me, for I have not yet returned to the Father. Go instead to my brothers and tell them, ‘I am returning to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’ ” Mary Magdalene went to the disciples with the news: “I have seen the Lord!” And she told them that he had said these things to her.
positive thoughts

(c) copyright 2012-2022 Arline Lott Miller. The material here copyrighted, with all rights and privileges reserved. Third party material/photos are sourced when known to original location for credit reference.

GUEST BLOGGER/BRUCE FLETCHER

Bruce Fletcher from lifetimeofhappy.com is our guest blogger. This article is his writing submission and very interesting and informative.

I am happy to post a wonderful article from Bruce Fletcher, blogger/writer. You may check out his website for more of his work on lifetimeofhappy.com and let’s welcome him to Sipping Cups of Inspiration. He has all rights and privileges attached to this article and links. It is exciting for me to acknowledge others’ talents and information so if you enjoy this article as I am sure you will, please comment and allow Bruce to feel our support.

Here is WORKING AND RELAXING AT HOME by BRUCE FLETCHER:

Working and Relaxing at Home

Separating your work from your hobbies can be a tricky task, especially if you’re working from home. It can be difficult to be productive, and it can also feel hard to properly relax when your work is right next to you. Updating your home so that it can be used as both a place of relaxation and a workplace is one of the best things you can do to maximize your well-being and productivity. Here are a few tips courtesy of Sipping Cups of Inspiration.

Keep Your Work and Hobbies Separate

One challenge of working from home is that you’re always one step away from being distracted by the things you love in your home. Making sure you keep your workspace free from distractions can help you work more efficiently and then be in the moment to enjoy your hobbies more.

Create a Space Dedicated to Your Hobby

Whether your hobby is working out, arts and crafts, or playing online games, creating a room dedicated to doing something you love is a great way to relax and disconnect from your work. A hobby room is a great way to release the stress of work and can provide a creative outlet that makes you feel more energized. 

Upgrade Your Home Office

Making changes to your home office can ensure that you work more efficiently and will make working more enjoyable. There are many things you can do to renovate your home office:

  • Decorate the walls of your office. Whether you repaint the walls for a cleaner feel or add sculptures and paintings, decorations can greatly improve your work efficiency and enjoyment.
  • Make your office ergonomic. Investing in a comfortable chair and desk will ensure that you can work longer hours without feeling physically uncomfortable.
  • Organize your space. Having a decluttered and organized office space will greatly enhance your productivity during work time.

Declutter Around the House

A clean house can be a gateway to reduced stress levels, allowing you to relax more fully at home. Try going around the house and packing up belongings that you don’t use often, or consider donating what you don’t need. Additionally, consider removing the digital clutter from your life by erasing files and apps on your phone and computer. Doing this can contribute both to reduced stress and higher productivity during the workday.

Prioritize Your Own Wellness

Making sure that you find time to wind down is crucial for your well-being and work-life balance. When you aren’t working, try to prioritize your wellness with mindfulness-based practices such as meditation and yoga. Regularly engaging in mindfulness practices can help you to relax and reduce work-related stress.

Creating a dedicated wellness space in your home can help you to practice mindfulness regularly and reduce stress levels. 

Finding the Right Balance

Making sure that you have a proper balance between working and relaxing is crucial for your own well-being and the success of your company. Working from home also means that you must spend more time on planning workplace management and public relations to ensure that you still have an efficiently run company with a strong online presence.

Image from PEXEL

Note from Arline Miller, blogger and author of Sipping Cups of Inspiration: Thanks, Bruce Fletcher of lifetimeofhappy.com for this enlightening article reminding us of how to Work and Relax at home. As for someone who has worked from home for many years, this resonates with me. I welcome you back in the future, and extend this offer to any of you who have content you would like to submit for prior publishing review. We wish you the best Until We Read Again…..Arline Miller.

(C) Copyright 2012-2022 Arline Miller of Sipping Cups of Inspiration and Reinvention Queen with all personal rights and privileges reserved. Third party material including photos is sourced to original location/author, if known, for credit references.

DID CUPID’S ARROW HIT ITS MARK?

While Cupid is getting its quiver filled with romance arrows, it made me pause and wonder what kind of accuracy does Cupid have? Have you ever thought how many arrows made their mark in the lovers’ hearts? Do the lovers know how they were targeted to be together? While many are wondering if Cupid even knows their location and how long is it going to take for him to load his bow of love and for him to take aim in their direction. Today, this blogger who feels she was shot by Cupid’s arrow not in February but on a hot August day back in 1999.

Wikipedia describes Cupid in the following way:

Cupid is winged, allegedly because lovers are flighty and likely to change their minds, and boyish because love is irrational. His symbols are the arrow and torch, “because love wounds and inflames the heart.” These attributes and their interpretation were established by late antiquity, as summarized by Isidore of Seville (d. 636 AD) in his Etymologiae.[16] Cupid is also sometimes depicted blindfolded and described as blind, not so much in the sense of sightless—since the sight of the beloved can be a spur to love—as blinkered and arbitrary. As described by Shakespeare in A Midsummer Night’s Dream (1590s):[17]Cupid sculpture by Bertel Thorvaldsen

Love looks not with the eyes, but with the mind
And therefore is winged Cupid painted blind.
Nor hath love’s mind of any judgement taste;
Wings and no eyes figure unheedy haste.
And therefore is love said to be a child
Because in choice he is so oft beguiled
.[18]

Photo from Wikipedia

I thought I would share a personal story of my own when Cupid (disguised as a dear friend of mine) brought me right in the path of love’s arrows. My friend who I will call Cupid worked with the man who was destined to be my love for the rest of my life. She, knowing I had experienced the let down of love and romance, kept saying to me on the phone that every time Greg said something, she thought of me.

Over a span of almost 3 months, she tried every trick in the book and kept shooting arrows but I dodged them. I kept throwing the arrows back with every possible objection but she wouldn’t give up. Finally, in an effort to get her off my back, I agreed to meeting him on a visit to see her. I thought, I go, I meet, and then I could say I wasn’t interested or even better, he wouldn’t be interested in me. So the next Tuesday, I had to go through the town they worked in and arranged a lunch date with her with plans of quickly meeting him. Oh yeah, I thought I was so smart and cunning. Her plan was destined to fail. In all fairness, Greg was thinking the same thing. He was ready to get her to stop talking about this Arline. I find it so ironic that she was working us both and we both had the same mindset…..Don’t need romance…..Don’t want the hassle of another relationship…..And we were ready to shut up “cupid”.

The actual story of how it worked out is hilarious and I will save it for another day because there are many facets of that fated day with both Greg and I not getting a look at each other, thinking that the other was not interested, and that this was going to be easier to resolve than we thought. All miscommunication until we met. I couldn’t imagine all the lovers that have been hit by Cupid’s arrow, but I will tell you that once Greg walked out the door of his office and we took one look at each other, that lil Cupid shot those arrows into our hearts…we have been in love with each other since that time. Cupid sat in a corner watching us as we talked as if we had known each other all of our lives.

22 years later, we are together, as husband and wife of soon to be 21 years, and if ever two people were meant to be together, we are. We blended our families and what matters most, is we have a marriage of God’s inclusion. We may kid about how we met, but we know God played a part in sending love via our friend. Nuff said!

Here are Cupid’s “happy wedded victims of love” in April 2001.
Here we are in 2021, still snared by the arrows of love.

For the entire article 7 Ways Your Love Can Last Forever go to this link:

https://goodmenproject.com/featured-content/what-is-really-important-in-a-marriage-or-relationship-bbab/

1. Honor Your Differences

Respect is the cornerstones of our relationship. We may not always see things the same way, but we respect the ability to have different thoughts and ideas. We never put each other down to others or to each other. There is no faster way to erode a relationship.

2. Keep an Open Door Policy

Allowing your partner to share how they view and experience an event, and how they are feeling without judgment creates an environment of trust. As important as it is to share, it is just as important to listen and to really hear what the other is saying. This creates a healthy dialogue and a strong foundation.

Shared laughter can bond an  experience and create great memories.
Let us continue on!

3. Don’t Lose Yourself in the Relationship

You are your own person with your own feelings and thoughts. You had your own friends before you met. If you give them all up for your spouse or romantic partner, you are snuffing out part of who you are and you may feel resentment later. My husband goes bowling with his friends weekly. It’s his time to be away from “us” and hang out with his buddies. I enjoy time with my friends too and then we then look forward to being together as a couple even more.

4. Remember Who You Fell in Love With

Don’t try to change your partner to a version of them you think they should be. It is a lose/lose proposition. Not only is it not really possible, it causes resentment. Remember the reasons you fell in love in the first place. Honor that person. If someone has to bend over backward to make you happy, or you have to do it for them, your relationship has lost its authenticity.

5. Tickle Your Funny Bones

Laughter is a stress reducer and an energy infuser. Shared laughter can bond an experience and create great memories. My husband and I always look for little ways to make each other laugh. Humor in a relationship makes being together more enjoyable. When you are not together, thinking about a time when you were laughing and having fun will make you smile and feel closer to your partner.

6. Put Love on the Calendar

Date nights are important to keep a relationship fresh. It keeps a couple from stagnating with the same boring routine. You don’t have to spend a lot of money to have a special night together. It can be as simple as dinner and a movie at home, or going out, and can be elaborate as well if it fits your budget. What matters is scheduling it so you both have something to look forward to. We like to record our favorite shows during the week and watch them together. One night a week we plan dinner out. Phones and computers are put away! Keep the date on the calendar, get a sitter if you have kids, and bring on the romance and fun that is part of dating, no matter how long you have been together.

7. A Little Appreciation Goes a Long Way!

Expressing gratitude to each other every day will keep you close. We share with each other at mealtime, telling each other something about our day that was special that we are grateful for. And we always try to notice the efforts the other made for us, even if it’s just doing the dishes, taking out the trash or washing the car. Showing appreciation for the little things that seem routine makes us look for ways to help each other out even more. Gratitude has a way of opening up your heart. Many of the things that may have annoyed us in the past aren’t even noticed anymore. That’s something to be grateful for!

Note from me, Arline Miller: Love can be instantly projected but true love lasts when the initial fantasy becomes reality and the heart accepts the truth of love is acceptance, growth, being a constant in life, and even more, a forgiving heart. May Cupid find your heart’s forever love but may God sustain your love is my Valentines Wish for You!

(C) Copyright 2012-2022 Arline Miller of Sipping Cups of Inspiration and Reinvention Queen with all rights and privileges reserved. Third party material is sourced, if known, to original location and author for credit references.

BROKEN ORNAMENTS ARE LIKE LIFE III

2021 Holiday Message from Arline Miller, blogger for Sipping Cups of Inspiration: As we were hanging our interior wreath which has some of the vintage ornaments we display in a high position to keep safe, I straightened some of the ornaments and noticed the Raggedy Ann and Andy was broken. I guess it happened after we took it down. My heart wouldn’t allow me to take it down so I turned it to a position the broken part was not visible. It happens and makes this post more relevant in life as well. Have a Merry Christmas and let us pray for a Happy New Year keeping all of us safe and sharing peace in this world.

Here is our vintage wreath and you can see Raggedy Ann & Andy in their sled.

Since we are blessed with nine grandchildren and one of them still in toddler stage, I bypassed putting up our traditional tree and went with an interesting Cardinal Tree with hand painted birdhouses by the grandchildren with a Granddaddy and Nana two hole birdhouse as the topper. No breakable ornaments to worry about. We had one of the grands here with us yesterday (in the photo) who thought the birds looked real and the tree was awesome. It reminded me of this post I wrote in 2016 about the similarity between broken ornaments and broken lives. Maybe it needs repeating. May your holidays be filled with many moment of love and may all of your ornaments and lives stay in one piece.  

48366872_10215779059942901_6694501937284382720_n
Jonas Miller finding his birdhouse ornament on our Christmas tree 2018

    Here is the original blog message: BROKEN ORNAMENTS ARE LIKE BROKEN LIVES  

TODAY THE WORDS are BROKEN ORNAMENTS.  On this morning, my mind went to a place of remembrance of how it feels to lose something or as you will see “someone”. A lot of times in my writing, in order to put feelings in simpler terms, I use what I can replacement memories. If it is something we can relate to everyday or normal events, it is somehow easier to get a point across to others or at least it can make common sense. Most of us have our Christmas trees, or if not, we have occasions which have ornaments or displays which have a value to them and to us when we show them to the world. As a Christian, we have the decorated Christmas tree to celebrate Christmas season. For most of us, we start early collecting the ornaments, and even though the monetary worth is usually low; the emotional worth can be priceless. We unwrap them very carefully and hang them and a lot of Wow, Ooh, and Aah’s are heard as the ornaments are hung. Some have their “spots” to be hung; some even are hung in order. We add new ones each year but it is the older ones we cherish more and are so protective. My thoughts bring me to a sad thought of opening a box of ornaments, however carefully wrapped and cared for, finding one broken or even more than one and it is devastating. It doesn’t matter how many other wonderful, shiny ornaments we have; it is the loss of this one which takes our heart and crushes it. Even though the tree will still be beautiful, we know one of the best ornaments is no longer going to hang around and allow us to look at it and recall the years it has been around.  This photo occurred a few days ago and it was so ironic that it would be this ornament that I had bought when my daughter’s cat became intrigued by the ornaments on the tree and decided to knock them off and push them down the stairs. After all of these years, about 20 that I have had that funny ornament, it came apart while hanging it and broke.

Yep, it happened. It is ironic that after 20 years, it finally broke without a cat around.

I see the same thing in life and now for the thought given to my heart…..Life is like the Christmas tree. We start life with a tree with some ornaments and we begin to add ornaments such as family and friends. Our tree begins with few and usually ends up with many lovely additions or “ornaments”. We, as loving people, take care of our “ornaments” by taking care of our siblings, starting our own families, and making sure our parents (the oldest ornaments and highly cherished) are cared for by wrapping them with love and care. Once in a while, one of the newer ornaments fall suddenly, without warning and are broken beyond repair and it is a tragedy. Some of the ornaments age and have to be cared for and repaired. They become fragile and we handle them carefully. When they finally break, and we can no longer have them on our tree; we feel their absence; we gaze at the tree and remember the missing ornaments while enjoying the new ornaments such as grandchildren, nieces and nephews, and new friends. It is impossible to tell when an ornament is going to break; all we can do is carefully wrap and enjoy each breathtaking moment we can share with them while we have them to enjoy. Live life; love life; and live life to the fullest by cherishing each wonderful moment and when you have a chance to say I Love You; Say It!

FEATURED BIBLE VERSE:

John 14:1-4 “Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also. And you know the way to where I am going.”

(c) Copyright 2012-2021 Arline Lott Miller. The material here copyrighted, use only by permission. Third party material is sourced to original location if known for reference credit.

Gifting of Ourselves Is The Best Gift

So many times in our lives, we fail to acknowledge the gifts we have been bestowed in life. We see ourselves smaller than we are and even though humbleness is a beautiful asset to have, we may be missing the point. If God has bestowed a gift in our life as the ability to write, sing, paint, build, organize, etc., are we not cheating God out of a praise moment. Below I have added my FB post this morning. We will dive deeper after you’ve had a chance to read it.

I used one of my husband’s photos to show how we can possess a talent and not recognize it until later in life. Thanks Greg Miller for having the “eye”.

As a young person, and maybe my gift was having “guts” to try new things without worrying about the consequence of failure. I am not saying this to boast as I am a normal person but God blessed me with a curiosity that allows me to question, seek, search, and try something new. Because of this curiosity, I expanded a small town girl’s life by doing a lot of interesting and learning new things. If I had to sum my inner self up, I would say gutsy. If I didn’t know how to do something and the opportunity came along, I would step up and say I will try it. As I moved forward in life, it became easier to jump at an opportunity. I will list a Live by Arline’s Do’s and Dont’s so you can get an idea of how I think. Am I saying you should do what I did? Not hardly, as I am not famous or wealthy, so my ideas are not to Get Rich or Famous but I have lived an interesting life and at age 72, I feel strong and smile a lot, know that I have a close relationship with God and family and my friends are family to me too. What I do suggest is to try new things, not self sabotaging, but new. Step out of that comfort zone. Grab a paint brush, cook new dishes, change your hair style, do special things for people without expecting anything in return, write down your thoughts, volunteer and give your time for good causes, start a workout routine, congratulate others for a great accomplishment, and support those trying to do something great. You will be surprised at how little aches and pains diminish, smiles come more often, and tears come less frequently. You may really be surprised at a new talent being born. Be sure to encourage and support young people who are trying to fit in and give them the benefit of your attempts at things, both successful and not so successful tries, as they need to see you as being “REAL”. Here is my track record:

Arline Miller, author and blogger, cook and baker, wife, mother, and Nana loving life
  • I aimed high as a student and as a matter of fact probably overstudied but I found time to work and made honor graduate.
  • I had a curiosity to read, watch, learn, and loved to watch people’s actions and mannerisms. Later, when I decided to write a book this experience gave my characters a realistic persona.
  • I developed strong work ethics of organization, creativity, attitude, and a desire to figure out how to do each job easier, smarter, and more efficiently. Later, as I became a business professional, I was and still am a problem solver.
  • I was a sponge in everything. I love to cook and bake and I can assure you I soak up ideas from professionals but I am not shy about doing it Arline’s way. I add and subtract from a recipe and now I develop my own. Do I ever fail? Why yes, but not as often as before and getting better as I grow.
  • I understand the philosophy of never being a “I know it all. I know better than others. I am the best.” Instead, I practice “I can learn anything. Others can teach me new ways. I am striving to be the best I can be while gaining from others.”

Life is definitely for the living and as I say, Don’t let everyday living get in the way of living life to the fullest. Give of yourself and you will get back. Don’t be shy, as the world will give you the tools to expand on the Gifts from God. You have some waiting to come from within and see what life has in store for you. Encourage don’t Discourage anyone or even yourself from giving it a shot!!

(C)Copyright 2012-2021 Arline Miller of Sipping Cups of Inspiration with all rights and privileges reserved. Third Party Material will be sourced if known for credit references.

WHEN IS GOOD…GOOD ENOUGH?

Today, instead of reinventing food, I thought of how many times in life do we try to reinvent ourselves. I wondered when is good…good enough? As a young lady, I dared to go into industries that were heavily populated with men. I excelled, not due to a lot of support from my male counterparts, but sheer determination. I watched them, I learned from them, I had to go toe to toe with them, I held my own, I succeeded. I said all of that to summarize, did that make me equal or superior? Not really, as I have learned a valuable lesson. We are not in competition with males or females; we are in competition with ourselves.

What do I mean, you ask? Allow me to dig deeper and I think it will become clearer. If I am a runner and I am timing myself. I am competing with the last timed run. If I am a swimmer, I am competing against my best time. It doesn’t matter how fast another swimmer or runner is at this moment, I can only measure if I am swimming or running faster than my last or best time. I am only as good as I can improve my individual efforts. Does that make sense now?

I admired Maya Angelou for her frankness and eloquence.

I love to cook but I also admire several fine chefs but I don’t measure my dishes by their shows. I measure it by my results, my successes, and yes, my failures. I may feel I surpassed their dishes or I may feel like they outdid me by a mile or a squash’s length. This brings me to a thought process to get us to a point When Good Is Good Enough:

  • My Good is Good Enough!
  • I have competed with my own personal achievements and sometimes I win and sometimes I have to rethink my strategy.
  • I am a realist with an optimistic outlook. If I don’t succeed the first time, second or even third time but I try harder each time, I move closer to the finish line and I know eventually I will succeed.
  • I look at life as I see it without so many expectations. Example: I am not a good singer but I love to sing but I realize that I am a limited talent (LOL) and sing when I am not in a public forum but the car is my stadium and I have put on many great performances (my rating, not anyone else’s).
  • I love humor about my limitations and/or lack of talent in areas I have never been a super techie. This however, has not kept me from working with computer techs/programmers. I get what I want programmed and can solve problems and have good visuals. I have a great time telling those tech savvy folks to put it in my language and I will give them my perspective. See My Good is Good Enough. Their Good is Good Enough. Together Our Good is Good Enough.
  • Knowing each person has excellent talents in certain fields is a big chunk of wisdom. Knowing each person has limitations and weak areas is universal wisdom and knowledge. Example: A Rocket Scientist has abilities and knowledge as well as strategic training but probably only a few has been successful in simple feats of life as cooking or changing a light bulb. Give me two remotes to work between them and I show you how irritating that is to me. However, knowing that I have to sometimes do this task, I have learned how to do it. So, by focusing on things I am not comfortable with, My Good is Good Enough.
  • Accepting all of me, good and bad, weak and strong, intensive and scattered thought patterns, organized and out of order thoughts, and kind and even blunt speech are facets of me. My Good is Good Enough.
  • Deciding when and where I can develop even better ideas, practices, habits, and actions is healthy when it comes from within and not because I am measuring myself against someone else. Being All I Can Be But Choosing to Be More is Good and Good is Good Enough.
I am pretty colorful in personality. As a writer, I am happy. In the kitchen, I am happy. On my blog, I am happy. But the happiest I am, is when I am surrounded by my family. I love life, but above all, I love Our God who created me as He decided His Good is Good Enough…Arline Miller

I hope you see that God creates us the way we are for a reason. It may be that we are given handicaps, education opportunities or not, wealth or poverty, calm and soothing personality or a high spirited one, spiritual excellence or a work in progress, and on and on. Each one of us should realize if we do not feel we have to compete or challenge another one’s worth, we are rich within ourselves. Our Good is Good Enough. Thanks for allowing me to share my thoughts with you. Your own comments of personal growth are welcomed.

(C) Copyright 2012-2021 Arline Miller of Sipping Cups of Inspiration with all rights and privileges reserved. Third Party Material if known is sourced to original location and author for credit reference.

WHILE YOU ARE STANDING THERE DREAMING…..

Update: I wrote this blog message right after I had my book signing for my second book and now I am in the home stretch for the third and final book in the Reflections of Love series. It is titled Riddle Me This, Love or Bliss and it gives the reader all of the pieces of the puzzle and I am very happy with this soon to be published books. The reason for me reposting this blog message is to remind people who have a book in their mind, a song in their heart, a photo no one forgets, or a cake to bake…..Go for it. If tomorrow you woke up and found out you have run out of time to make your dreams a reality, you would have regrets……So no waiting! I am off to write more on the final book and I will give my loyal readers, you may want to go back and read the first two books and when all of the action goes down you will know why.

This is a preview of the 3rd book cover but it is a WIP and will fit the series motif when finished.

WHILE YOU STAND THERE DREAMING, someone else may be living your dream. I recently had my book signing/launch and a thought came to me while I was signing my second book. When I was a very young adult, I made the statement “One day I will write a book.” I thought about it as I became busy with a family and work but kept doing nothing but dreaming about writing a book. Time seemed to not be my friend and my dream was put on the back burner. Remember I was young and full of energy but still I let life run faster than me and my book did not get started until my daughter was in college and I was divorced. Somehow, my dream tried to make me pay attention and I started writing. Now, you may ask, “That was a lot of years ago” and especially, if you know my first book was published in 2015 and I have been remarried for almost 15 years. Again, life ran faster than me.

Finally, one day I was looking through my files on my computer and there it was A Mistress, A Wife staring me in the face. My dream was attempting to WAKE ME UP. I looked at it and decided I had wasted a lot of good years by not completing my dream book. I also decided to FINISH this book and I put into action that I would write on the weekends. At that time, in a period of 6 years, I had only written about 15K words. I wrote with determination and within 1 year of writing only on the weekends, I completed my first novel over 80K words and self published it. Publishing it was never in my dream but once written, I found a new dream and researched and found out what it takes to publish as an Indie writer. It encouraged me and I was not standing just dreaming; I was now living my dream.

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Once I had the taste of good reviews and comments to write another book, I wrote on the weekends but with a lot more serious dedication and book 2 Tell Me Lies; Love Me Still has not only been written but published with the book launch which I referred at the beginning already completed and book sales happening.

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I say all of this not to boast as I apparently haven’t dreamed of being a best seller yet and still have a lot to learn but I am willing to MOVE and not just stand there dreaming. Have you dreamed of a certain goal in life? Have you put off doing something you are talented but scared of rejection? I have read of the most successful authors submitting query letters of almost 200 to get about 185 rejections. So it is not enough to dream; you have to start the living process. It might not be  easy and you may get rejected over and over again, but the significance of the number of rejections this author received is she is now a well known and successful writer. In some past posts, I have added articles on going after your goal but today I will summarize it in a nutshell.

  • Do you have a dream?
  • Do you intend on making your dream come true?
  • Have you made any plans or goals concerning how to accomplish your dream?
  • Do you want to continue dreaming or living your dream?

If you have answered a positive reply to any of these questions, it means you have a dream and you don’t want to be satisfied with standing there only dreaming. It is time to MOVE as I had to do. My thoughts are going in laying out the third book so I am living my dream. I wish you the very best in living your dream and looking forward to hearing from you at the top.

(C) Copyright 2012-2019 Arline Miller with all rights and privileges reserved. Any third party material is sourced to original location for reference credit.

BRING ON THE GREENS FOR ST. PATRICK’S DAY

For the celebration of St. Patrick’s Day, I decided to pull up a favorite blog post since I love greens. This is a repeat of a message from a few years ago but I think you will enjoy it.
TODAY THE WORDS are COOKING GREENS. You are reading the words of a person who loves to eat greens. I cooked greens yesterday and any time I eat them, I am brought back to a special memory.Mustard greens, turnip greens, collards, cabbage, kale are all good to me and this brings me back to my Step Mom, Martha. My Dad had a massive stroke which paralyzed him on his right side. He was able to sit in his lift chair by a lift which he was lifted from his bed and pushed to the chair and lowered into a sitting position or more like a reclining position for the day. I lived a distance away and would travel to spend some time on the weekend with Daddy and Martha during the day and at night at my Mother’s house in the same town. I tell you this to get to the cooking greens theme of the message. How many of you have prepared greens to cook?

It is quite a job to “look over” the greens and then go through several washes to remove any sand, dirt, or any debris in them. There are several methods, but I can assure you, each method is still time consuming. There is usually meat to season them; although more and more people are using other seasonings for health reasons. Martha, barring all others, could cook greens better than any other person I have ever known. Her greens were so delicious I could eat them cold; that’s right, cold. She always fried pork chops and other great side dishes with the greens. This had to be a full day of preparation and do remember she was taking care of my Dad at the same time.

Now for the deeper thought…...She waited for me to smile at the first bite and it seemed to give her as much joy as it did me eating it or even more if that was possible. It was tiring for her but she made me feel so special when she cooked me greens. When my visit was through and they were telling me to be careful on my trip home and gave me my container of greens to go with me; I love them, cherished my time with them and I was so thankful for Martha’s sacrifice and love. She loved Daddy and she loved her family and that always included us. Great restaurants are so enjoyable; Martha’s greens were true love! God wants us to “cook greens” for others. I am using a metaphor as God wants us to do whatever we can to help others; make others feel special; be charitable; be loving and kind. Today and every day, may we borrow a little spirit from Martha who is in heaven with Daddy, and “cook up some greens” for someone we love or a stranger we don’t know but needs our help. (DEDICATED TO MARTHA THOMAS LOTT, our STEPMOTHER)
I have attempted to add health benefits when applicable and here is an excerpt from an article I found on the health benefits of greens (turnip greens, mustard greens and collards) If you go to the link, there are instructions on how to prepare. Enjoy some good eating:http://www.livestrong.com/article/85263-stay-eating-collard-mustard-/

How to Stay Healthy Eating Collard, Mustard & Turnip GreensLast Updated: Jul 10, 2015 | By Daryn EllerHow to Stay Healthy Eating Collard, Mustard & Turnip GreensTurnip greens growing in a field. Photo Credit Tom Brakefield/Stockbyte/Getty Images
Collard, mustard and turnip greens are vegetable royalty in the South—and for good reason. All three are in the cruciferous family of vegetables that the American Institute for Cancer Research reports might help defend against cancer. The three greens are also rich in beta-carotene, vitamin C, folate and iron. Collards, which taste like a cross between cabbage and kale, are especially high in calcium. Mustard and turnip greens have a sharper bite than collards and provide a nice dose of vitamin K, a nutrient important for bone health and blood clotting.
Paula Deen, the guru of Southern Cooking to many of us, knows how to put the hurt on a good pot of greens so I thought I would include a recipe from her on Food Network:

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Collard Greens Recipe by Paula Deen
You can go to the link and get the House Seasoning ingredients and enjoy some GREEN today.

(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.


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.

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