Thursday 12 August 2010

Nice Matters

I have a little wooden picture frame that stands atop my dresser, up in the bedroom. Surrounded by precious photos of my children and grandchildren, it stands out . . . and one can tell of it's great import to me, it's in such good company! It doesn't look overly special . . . the frame is a simple pine one. It has two sections, divided by a piece of pine in the centre. In it I have placed two quotations from a woman I greatly admire, Ms 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 quotes. Above them, on a nearby wall, hangs a picture of the Saviour, painted by Simon Dewey. The Saviour appears to be gazing out in deep thought . . . a staff held in his arms. This picture helps to remind me that He is the good shepherd and 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 me to see others in a different light and with a kinder heart, because I know they are children of my Heavenly Father as well. I am at peace with myself, and with who I am. I feel special, because I know I'm special, as indeed are all of you. This special knowledge helps to garner my thoughts and my actions These words help to give my life a purpose and goals . . . a 'raison d'etre' . . . or reason for being.

When you help to make the people around you feel good, you really help to make yourself feel good. This is one of the most basic teachings in life after all. (It really is that easy.) Being kind to others is not only what the Saviour's example has taught me to do, but also pleases me. Kindness, in and of itself, is 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 and happiness. What goes around really does come around.

Often it is not the big things that truly matter to people . . . it is the small things that touch people's hearts, bringing joy to their inner soul . . . things like putting in an effort to make a card for someone's birthday or giving praise for a job well done . . . taking the time to speak to a friend or a stranger, or even more importantly . . . taking the time to really listen. Picking a bouquet of wild flowers and then giving it to someone . . . just because. Encouraging and edifying others in small and simple ways and often. 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 every day of my life.

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 to feel as if I am experiencing a little bit of heaven right here on earth.

There is an old saying . . . "Giving is it's own reward." Being genuine and kind to others, helping those that surround me to feel warm and accepted . . . this 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 DOES matter, and nice guys DON'T always finish last.

We had such a lovely day yesterday, even if it was a bit showery from time to time. I took lots of pictures but haven't had time to go through them as of yet! You can expect them real soon though. I had some rather good news as well yesterday. My youngest daughter is expecting her first child. Very exciting news, so not only am I expecting a new grandson the end of November, but another little blessing is now due the end of February! My cup truly runneth over . . .

And only one more sleep before Mitzie comes home with us! I can't wait!

Oh I do love the summer months and all of the fresh bounty we gather from out of our gardens . . . fresh new potatoes, corn . . . tomatoes and basil. This salad combines all of those in a most interesting and delicious way!

*Potato, tomato, corn and Basil Salad*
Serves 6
Printable Recipe

The delicious blend of flavours in this salad is outstanding, The tartness of the lemon dressing along with the peppery sweetness of the basil are so appealing to the taste buds and the colours are a veritable feast for the eyes!

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 thinlysliced
1 bunch of fresh basil, rinsed and dried
1/4 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 morning in The English Kitchen there is an old memory from a much beloved children's book, Mary Poppins. It's Gingerbread Stars!


  1. Beautiful words. Very thought provoking.Thanks for your words of inspiration Marie. Congrats to you and yours on daughters pregnancy. Lucie x

  2. Lovely thoughts for today, Marie! Being kind, being nice always matter. Even at strange time when someone is not being nice to me, I always try to be nice to them. Not easy, but nice always matters! ;o) Glad you had fun yesterday--can't wait to see the photos! LOVE the salad recipe today. And must go see about that cake...mmm... Happy Day, dear friend--LOVE YOU LOTS ((BIG HUGS))

  3. Congratulations on the new grand children. I'm having my 14th here in just about 3 weeks. Tomorrow is your big day. What a wonderful birthday it's going to be for you. Puppies are just like babies and I know you;ll be thrilled to have her in your home. Have a wonderful Thursday!

  4. Wonderful word this morning. Congratulations on your new grandchild. And of course, Happy Birthday tomorrow! Have a lovely day with Mitzi!

  5. I loved reading this today, Marie...such wonderful and very important thoughts to share.

    Being nice certainly does matter, and truly knowing who we are DOES make it easier to be that way, doesn't it? I love Shari Dew, too!

    Congratulations on your soon-to-be grandbaby! What wonderful news!

    Love the looks of that fresh summer salad--can't wait to try it!

    As always, my friend, I love visiting you, and am looking forward to getting back to my "regular routine" so I don't miss anything!

    Hope you're having a most wonderful day! Sending oh, so much love and happy thoughts your way...


  6. Love this post! Kindness really does wonders for others and ourselves. So true!

  7. so true, giving is definitely what makes us most happy!

    congrats on your daughter's pregnancy-very exciting! and i bet you just can't wait for your birthday tomorrow, hope its the best birthday ever!! xoxo

  8. My dear Marie I love always your post with loveling words about love and Faith, I know you have a beauty Faith, last night a friend called me (by telephone) and asked my if Im afraid and I answer" Not, Im not" because like you I think in me oh a child of God, with my mistake and others. She ashked because Hubby is little sick /with pressure blod) logical Im worry but I trust in God and hope Gerardo will be OK.
    Your words today confirm my feelings of yesterday.
    huggs my dear friend to you and Todd, gloria

  9. And congrats on your daughter's pregnancy!!! huggs!! gloria

  10. yes beautiful words and thoughts. I feel the same way. I know at theend of the day who I truly am and pray that I portray Christ at all times. Thank you for your sweet thoughts tonight. Good guys rock! tee hee. Congrats of the new grandbabies and Mitzie too! God is good.... what blessings to look forward to. Hugs,Mica

  11. I loved this post!!! What a beautiful way for me to start my day by coming here and being fed spiritually by a dear friend/sister across the pond. You are such a great teacher and example to me!
    Thank YOU!~♥
    May I use your words for VT?


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