Sunday, 3 August 2008

Nice Matters

I have a little wooden picture frame that stands on a shelf unit down here in our kitchen. Surrounded by precious photos of my children and grandchildren, it stands out and one can tell that it is of great import to me, it’s in such good company. It doesn’t look overly special, it’s just made of pine. It has two sections in it, divided by another piece of pine in the centre. In it are two small quotations from a woman that I greatly admire, Sheri Dew.

“Our spirits long for us to remember the truth about who we are, because the way we see ourselves - or our sense of identity - affects everything we do.”

“Am I the woman I think I am, the woman I want to be? More importantly, am I the woman the Saviour needs me to be?”

Those are the words.

Above them on the wall nearby, hangs a picture of the Saviour. He appears to be gazing out in deep thought, a staff held in his arm. It reminds me that He is the good shepherd, and that we are his sheep. These little things are the guiding principles by which I live my life. If people see me as being calm, and serene . . . it’s because I am. Knowing who I really am . . . a child of God with a divine inheritance . . . helps to guide my actions and my feelings. Knowing that I am not alone, and that we are all children of God, helps me to see other’s in a different light and with a kinder heart. I am at peace with myself and who I am. I feel special, because I know I’m special, as indeed are all of you. It helps to garner my thoughts and my actions. These words help to give my life a purpose and goals . . . a reason for being.

When you help to make the people around you feel good, you really help make yourself feel good. This is one of the most basic teachings in life after all. (It is really that easy.) Being kind to others is not only what the Saviour has taught me to do, but also pleases me. Kindness is, in and of itself, it’s own reward. When I make the effort to go the extra mile for others, and help to meet their needs, I reap what I sow in return, little seeds of kindness, happiness. What goes around really does come around.

Often, it is not the big things in life that truly matter to people, it is the small things that touch people’s hearts, bringing joy to their inner being . . . putting in an effort to make a card for someone’s birthday, giving praise for a job well done, taking the time to speak to a friend or a stranger, and even more importantly taking the time to listen . . . really listen, picking a bouquet of wild flowers and then giving it to someone . . . just because, encouraging and edifying others . . . To me, these gestures are characteristics of my daily walk in life. and a huge part of who I am and who I strive to be, on an ongoing basis.

I am not perfect. I make mistakes. But at the end of the day, I know who I am, and who I should be. Being kind and good helps make me feel as if I am experiencing a little bit of heaven here on earth.

There is an old saying that says “Giving is it’s own reward.” Being genuine and kind to others, and helping those that surround me to feel warm and accepted helps me to feel a sense of inner comfort and pleasure, heaven’s reward in earthly measures. Words can never truly describe the feeling, because it is meant to be felt and experienced, and it comes to us in small and meaningful ways.

Nice Matters . . . and probably more than anything else. Be nice to someone today.

If you are thinking you have read these words before, you would be right. It is an entry from my muses that I wrote in August of last year. Once again, I am moving some of my better pieces over here, as well as some of the recipes. I hope you don't mind!

Oh, I do love summer and all the bounty we receive at this time of year from out of our gardens, beautiful earthy new potatoes, fresh sweet cherry tomatoes, spicy green basil . . .

*Potato, Tomato, Corn and Basil Salad*
Serves 6

The delicious blend of flavours in this salad is outstanding. The tartness of the lemon dressing and peppery sweetness of the basil are so appealing to the taste buds and the colours, a feast for the eyes. It’s an all round winner!

1 pound of red or white salad potatoes, cleaned
2 cups of corn kernels, fresh, frozen or tinned (fresh is better)
2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
1 small red onion, peeled and thinly sliced
1 bunch of fresh basil, rinsed and dried
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
The juice of two lemons
1 tsp Sea salt
Freshly grated black pepper to taste

Bring a large pot of salted water to the boil and add the potatoes. Cook them until they are just fork tender, about 15 minutes. Remove them from the water with a slotted spoon and drain them well. Add the corn (if you are using fresh) and cook it for 5 minutes, in the same water. Drain that well also, when done.

Cut the potatoes into halves or quarters if large and place them into a large salad bowl. Add the corn, tomatoes, and onion. Toss gently to combine. Tear the basil leaves or julienne them, and add them to the mix, along with the olive oil and lemon juice, again tossing gently to combine.

Season with the salt and pepper and serve.

This entry is being entered into an event called Beat the Heat which is being hosted by A Southern Grace. The deadline for entries is August 8th, so you still have a few days to get your posts and recipes in if you are interested in joining in on the fun. Hop on over and check it out!


  1. Just wanted you to know that I needed these words,,, Thank you ~

  2. Very true. That's cool you're entering the contest!

  3. i loved both you post and your recipe today. i work around people everyday and see literally a couple hundred people in one day (i work in a restaurant)and sometimes..... sometimes i get very tired and it's hard to keep a smile on your face. but i will remember your words and try harder.

  4. Lovely post. Salad looks fabulous!! Much love - Raquel XO

  5. Marie, really lovely post, I like so, all it's true!!! a big hug, xxxGloria

  6. Your new blog is gorgeous.Wonderfull salad.

  7. Your new blog is gorgeous.Wonderfull salad.

  8. Your new blog is gorgeous.Wonderfull salad.

  9. Your doing some lovely salads Marie! I love the post too!

  10. this really is a delicious salad--thanks again for sending it my way. terrific post all around, marie. :)

  11. Thanks for my Sunday moment of cheer. Yummy salad, too. I want to make a roasted tomato potato salad some time this week.

  12. This was a perfect post today. I've printed off one of the beginning quotes - am I the woman the Saviour wants me to be - to put on my bathroom mirror. I need a daily reminder! Blessings, marlene

  13. MMMmmmm, that salad looks healthy and tasty... I'm getting into healthier eating these days... doctor's orders. Borderline high cholesterol and borderline diabetic... it's official. Good thing I started going to the gym last month. I loved your entry. So true... doing things to help others feel good, wanted, special, accepted, important. Nice matters a great deal. I find myself trying to be especially nice to folks who aren't nice, like they need an extra dose!


Your comments mean the world to me, and while I may not be able to address each one individually, each one is important to me and each one counts. Thanks so much!