Saturday, November 27, 2021

Enjoy Christmas this year; put aside the virus

 This Christmas season and the Christmas season last year--2020, have been challenging, for sure!

 The virus has taken away many freedoms we have held dearly and maybe have taken for granted. But, 

 you and I don't have to stay hostage to this virus or any virus. We can still be happy and enjoy the 

 season. Sure, many of us are unable to be with family and friends and that hurts; that hurts a lot.

 But, when you think about the real meaning of Christmas and why so many of us celebrate it, we 

 can still be happy and positive and enjoy the happiness of the season. 


 Christians celebrate Christmas because that is when Christ was born. If Christ was never born, if 

 Christ never lived on this earth and was crucified, died and rose from the dead, there would be no 

 Christmas, there would be no laughter, hope or anything uplifting about the season we call Christmas.

 Many are suffering this time of the year from the flu or other viruses and that is certainly not fun but

 with Christ there is always hope and there is always love, peace and everything good thing you can think 

 of.

 So, no matter what you are going through is Christmas season-good or bad--I hope it is good--there is   always hope, love, and peace. Christ is the only one who can bring all of these blessings to you. 


 If you are struggling with finances, health or personal issues, turn to Christ, seek help from local

 resources and know that no matter how bleak things look in your life, there is one who loves you more 

 than anyone on this earth and that is Jesus Christ.

 So, I send my best prayers and wishes to you for a lovely and blessed Christmas.

 

 Copyright Toni Star 2021

Thursday, November 4, 2021

Thanksgiving at Grandma's by Toni Star

 Thanksgiving at Grandma’s by Toni Star

November, then and now, signals just one thing to me, Thanksgiving at Grandma’s.  Thanksgiving at her house was paradise!  The atmosphere of food, laughter and love was wonderful and unforgettable. 
Thanksgiving morning at our house was busy.  Mom would prepare a salad or pie; we kids would dress up in our good clothes and then go outside to play. We had to be careful not to get dirty.  Good clothes in our family didn’t come easy.  We weren’t poor but we were very frugal with money and food.  Meanwhile, Dad stayed busy in the garage checking out the old Chevy.  He’d check the oil, water and the battery and then give the tires a kick, for readiness. 

Often, I would go into the garage from time to time to see how he was doing.  Often, he found things for me to do-such as checking the oil and water and inspecting the car battery to see if was clean and water filled to the proper level. I always felt important helping Dad, especially on holidays, when there was much to do. 

Later, around 12 we all piled into the Chevy, eager for Thanksgiving dinner. We would arrive at Grandma’s, all dressed up, gifts in hand, with offerings of a waldorf salad and pie. As we walked through her door the aroma of turkey and onions would fill our senses with the joy of delicious food to come.  That first whiff of turkey and steamed vegetables was delicious!  We walked through the house into her kitchen and put our donations of food and small gifts, (often a bottle of Rum) onto the kitchen table, kiss Grandma and then go into the living room where we would sit and talk.  Later, Mom and I would return to the kitchen and help Grandma with the meal. 

It was my job to help Grandma prepare the dressing, with ingredients of butter, celery, bread, milk, and onion, then help with the progress of the turkey.  Mom would put her donations of food into the already crammed refrigerator and then prepare green beans or another salad for dinner. Inside the oven the turkey was roasting, and occasionally Grandma would let me use her large ladling spoon to baste the turkey.    Later, Grandma and I would finish preparing a pie—often apple or cherry.  I would round out the crust while she prepared the filling.  After that was done, we’d check on the vegetables and then I would set the table.   

I loved that job because she had beautiful crystal and China, with delicate pink and blue patterns on the dishes and matching pink crystal for glasses. She also had beautiful silverware that was kept in a special drawer in the living room.  I would carefully remove the dinnerware from the old ornate cabinet in the dining room and tenderly place each piece in the proper setting.  I loved how it all sparkled on the table.

The meal of Turkey, dressing, mashed potatoes; real green beans, cranberries and pie filled us up till we could eat no more.  We would all sit at the large table, enjoy her traditional Thanksgiving meal and talk about the latest “Uncle Millie” or “Jackie Gleason” shows.  We all loved those shows and each of us tried to “out do” each other, with our imitations of “Uncle Miltie” or “Jackie Gleason.” The adults would later have wine or brandy and we kids would go out and play in the small backyard.  Sometimes I would deliver food Grandma prepared for an old lady across the street.  The old lady lived alone and was often too ill to prepare food for herself.  I loved doing this for Grandma, and the old lady was always happy to receive it. I took pride running this errand because I helped Grandma prepare much of the meal.

Today, I continue Grandma's Thanksgiving tradition; however, due to a food allergy and needing to follow certain nutrition guidelines I have made some changes. Instead of preparing turkey, dressing and several pies, I prepare spaghetti with garlic bread and a cherry cobbler and cool whip. Family members live too far away and some have health conditions that prevent t hem from coming. But, there is still a wonderful Thanksgiving feeling in the air as my husband and I prepare the meal and give thanks for everything God has given us. Grandma is g one but her Thanksgiving memories and love continue on in a woman from the 50’s.

Something I am learning as I grow older, something I wish I could have learned a long time ago--never take anything for granted--the day, your husband or wife, good health and feeling safe. Give thanks each morning and evening for all that you have and always remember that everything comes from God. God Bless.

Postscript:
Even though we are all going  through Covid--almost for two years--we can have so much to be thankful about. What to be thankful about during Covid?
Be thankful for our loved ones, food, peace, things we are learning from Covid such as holding dear those we love, thankful for safety from bad weather, our neighborhoods that are safe but more than anything, our dear Lord. You see, He will never abandon us because He loves us so much!

Happy Thanksgiving and Merry Christmas!

Friday, October 1, 2021

10 Clever tricks to Trigger Positive Emotions by Larry Alton, June 28, 2019

The below post is so beautiful that I wanted to share it with you, my readers. I hope you like it and I think that you will...The post is about positive thinking and more than ever, throughout the world, we need to read such a post. Enjoy! Larry Alton wrote the post in June of 2019

By Larry Alton | June 28, 2019 | 30 


The “power of positive thinking” is a popular concept, and sometimes it can feel a little cliché. But the physical and mental benefits of positive thinking have been demonstrated by multiple scientific studies. A positive mindset can give you more confidence, improve your mood, and even reduce the likelihood of developing conditions such as hypertension, depression and other stress-related disorders.

All this sounds great, but what does the “power of positive thinking” really mean?

You can define positive thinking as positive imagery, positive self-talk or general optimism, but these are all still general, ambiguous concepts. If you want to be effective in thinking and being more positive, you’ll need concrete examples to help you through the process.

Related: 10 Clever Tricks to Trigger Positive Emotions

Here are seven:

1. Start the day with a positive affirmation.

How you start the morning sets the tone for the rest of the day. Have you ever woken up late, panicked, and then felt like nothing good happened the rest of the day? This is likely because you started out the day with a negative emotion and a pessimistic view that carried into every other event you experienced. Instead of letting this dominate you, start your day with positive affirmations. Talk to yourself in the mirror, even if you feel silly, with statements like, “Today will be a good day” or “I’m going to be awesome today.” You’ll be amazed how much your day improves.

2. Focus on the good things, however small.

Almost invariably, you’re going to encounter obstacles throughout the day—there’s no such thing as a perfect day. When you encounter such a challenge, focus on the benefits, no matter how slight or unimportant they seem. For example, if you get stuck in traffic, think about how you now have time to listen to the rest of your favorite podcast. If the store is out of the food you want to prepare, think about the thrill of trying something new.

3. Find humor in bad situations.

Allow yourself to experience humor in even the darkest or most trying situations. Remind yourself that this situation will probably make for a good story later and try to crack a joke about it. Say you’re laid off; imagine the most absurd way you could spend your last day, or the most ridiculous job you could pursue next—like kangaroo handler or bubblegum sculptor.

Related: 5 Ways to Stay Positive When You’re Having a Bad Day

4. Turn failures into lessons.

You aren’t perfect. You’re going to make mistakes and experience failure in multiple contexts, at multiple jobs and with multiple people. Instead of focusing on how you failed, think about what you’re going to do next time—turn your failure into a lesson. Conceptualize this in concrete rules. For example, you could come up with three new rules for managing projects as a result.

5. Transform negative self-talk into positive self-talk.

Negative self-talk can creep up easily and is often hard to notice. You might think I’m so bad at this or I shouldn’t have tried that. But these thoughts turn into internalized feelings and might cement your conceptions of yourself. When you catch yourself doing this, stop and replace those negative messages with positive ones. For example, I’m so bad at this becomes Once I get more practice, I’ll be way better at this. I shouldn’t have tried becomes That didn’t work out as planned—maybe next time.

6. Focus on the present.

I’m talking about the present—not today, not this hour, only this exact moment. You might be getting chewed out by your boss, but what in this exact moment is happening that’s so bad? Forget the comment he made five minutes ago. Forget what he might say five minutes from now. Focus on this one, individual moment. In most situations, you’ll find it’s not as bad as you imagine it to be. Most sources of negativity stem from a memory of a recent event or the exaggerated imagination of a potential future event. Stay in the present moment.

7. Find positive friends, mentors and co-workers.

When you surround yourself with positive people, you’ll hear positive outlooks, positive stories and positive affirmations. Their positive words will sink in and affect your own line of thinking, which then affects your words and similarly contributes to the group. Finding positive people to fill up your life can be difficult, but you need to eliminate the negativity in your life before it consumes you. Do what you can to improve the positivity of others, and let their positivity affect you the same way.

Almost anybody in any situation can apply these lessons to their own lives and increase their positive attitude. As you might imagine, positive thinking offers compounding returns, so the more often you practice it, the greater benefits you’ll realize.



Saturday, September 11, 2021

Words from my cousin Barbara Slater and my comments

 I just received a letter from my cousin Barbara Slater, who lives in Oregon. She and her husband are in their 80s and doing well; especially considering that they, like many other seniors, are struggling with the virus and her husband suffering from the beginning stages of Alzheimer's. She quotes from Psalm 90, "The worse things get, the closer we draw to God."

She also wrote, "I am amazed at the strength God has given me at my age. (83). My cousin is a testimony of how God provides as we grow older. I agree with her. My husband and I are in are middle 70s, we have several health concerns and of course, the virus has added to our woes. But, we are learning, day by day to  trust in Him in all matters and to take each day--one day at a time. 

My cousin also wrote on  the back of her card more inspirational words: "God will give you overcoming strength for overwhelming moments." I love these words and already they have come in handy--especially with current and upcoming health concerns. 

So, what is the take-away from this article? No matter what is going on in your life, stay close to God each day--every minute of the day--and He will guide you and protect you with all that you face each day!

Toni Star September 2021


Saturday, August 28, 2021

Wonderful Words from Holley Girth--preface from Toni Star


I hope you all will read the following words that come from Holley Girth 2021. I have read and reread them and they have been so helpful! Please take a few minutes and read them. I think that you will find her words not only helpful but also very healing. This Covid virus has been not only stressful but tiring but through out it all, God has been with us--each and everyone! No matter what comes today, tomorrow or five, twenty years from now--God will be with you and me! Hold on to your faith because it is your faith in God that will bring you through whatever you face--now and every day! Toni Star


 We, as humanity, have been through a lot in the past year or so. That can make it feel as if we’re failing, but really we’ve just all been fighting hard.

So remember this, you’re doing better than you know, you’re loved more than you can imagine, and you’re going to get through whatever is in front of you today.

There is nothing you will face this week that’s bigger than your God. No problem. No struggle. No opposition. He can’t be defeated and therefore you can’t be defeated either. Yes, there may be some battles. You may even be wounded. But you will not be overcome.

He’s in the hospital room when the test results come. He’s in the meeting when the announcement is made. He’s in your living room when the person you love slams the front door and walks into the night.

He’s there in the middle of it all, standing with You on the battlefield, promising You that the war isn’t over, the enemy will not win in the end.

It’s okay to let the tears stream down your face, to pound your fists against your pillow, to feel tired and sad and confused. In the middle of it all, hold tightly to what’s true and refuse to let anyone or anything take it from you.

You’re not weak, you’re a warrior fighting a hard battle.

Your story isn’t done, God is still doing a good work in your life.

And it’s not over, you’re an overcomer with hope and a future.

 



God, in this world we will face battles. We will have struggles. There will be blood, sweat, and tears. But whatever we may face, You promise that we can and will overcome it with You. Give us the strength to keep fighting, the courage never to give up, and the faith to stand firm no matter what happens. We entrust ourselves to You, the One who will deliver us. Amen.

In all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. Romans 8:37

Cheering You On, 

Holley


Saturday, July 31, 2021

The Coronavirus is still here: but so is God!

 Yes, by now we all know that the virus is still here.

 But, more important, God is still here and near.

 Take one day at a time and you will see.

 By the evil one; don't be deceived...

 God is with you everywhere you go!


  Never give up or give in.

  With God, there is power within..

  When you feel like giving up.

  All you have to do is look up...

 

  And, you will see the good Lord!


Monday, July 26, 2021

Never Give Up! by Toni Star

We are all going through trying times. We have the coronavirus, bad weather, some facing financial challenges and others facing layoffs and other financial concerns. All of these are reasons to possibly give up, be depressed or feel anxious and hopeless.

Sure, these are all struggles that cause all sorts of anxiety, fear and depression but there is no need to feel this way. Keep in mind; the "evil" is causing problems for many of us by putting doubt, fear, worry and other negative feelings in our hearts and minds but there is no need to feel put out or feel that there is no way out because there is.

The way out from fear, anxiety, hopelessness or any other type of anxiety is to pray and trust that God will bring you through because He will. There is nothing on this earth that can take you away from Him or make you feel hopeless and helpless. When that happens, immediately go to Christ because that is what He wants you to do. He wants to help get you out of the hopeless and helpless feelings. He overcame the world and has great power and because of this, we, too, have the power, hope and love that only comes from Him.

So, no matter what you face today or any day that is negative, anxiety-provoking or fearful, you can turn immediately to Him and He will pull you out of it. I just heard what a catholic priest said on TV about being overwhelmed and nervous. He said, when such a situation happens, "surrender your will over to Jesus and then say to Jesus, "Take care of this matter." I have tried this several times and it works!

How can I say this? What authority do I have in saying this? Simple. He has pulled me out of many anxieties, fears and depression. When you feel down and out, go somewhere quiet, tell Him what is on your mind, ask for His help and He will answer you. Why will He do this? Because He loves you so much that He died on the cross for you! No one else on this earth will do this. The only exception for someone saving your life would be like a fireman or policeman; they would protect and save your life because that is what they do--and they do it well!

In Faith,

Toni Star 

Enjoy Christmas this year; put aside the virus

 This Christmas season and the Christmas season last year--2020, have been challenging, for sure!  The virus has taken away many freedoms we...