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Friday, March 4, 2016

Admiration Inspiration

Jules here-

For Christmas, Betsy got us a dinner time conversation game in which we ask each other questions every night.  It was quite entertaining and the children loved them (though some of the questions were WAY over James & Lissie's heads).  One of the questions we asked was, "Name one trait you would like to have from each person at the table."  The question helped us appreciate specific qualities that we admire in each of us- the kids were beaming with pride as they heard what made them special and unique.
Dinner time conversation with kiddos

Everyone likes to feel appreciated, and no matter how selfless you are- being recognized can motivate and inspire you to continue along an arduous path.  Sometimes within our busy lives, we can forget to truly recognize the qualities and traits in family and friends that we admire.  Plus, when we recognize the attributes that we value in others- maybe we can emulate them in our own life. I have so many people in my life who I admire, and tonight I will recognize a few who have traits I wish I had....
Fun Mail!!
My Aunt Pug & Aunt Shirley-  Every holiday, every birthday, every anniversary- you are guaranteed to get a card in the mail from them.  Not only that- it will arrive on your special day.  They have a magical system for ensuring all of their nieces, nephews, cousins, friends- feel loved and celebrated.  I love that my children are guaranteed to get something in the mail- because my sisters aren't exactly going to remember to send them anything (nor do I make the effort to remember my nephews and nieces either... and we have an understanding to expect nothing.... it's quite brilliant really...)

Trait I admire: Thoughtfulness
How I will aspire: I have a goal of sending at least one heartfelt letter a month to family, friends, acquaintances, whomever.  These letters will remind the person that they are valued and celebrated!
Ah the car vacuum...

My former neighbor Don- O.k. - he might be a little obsessive with cleaning and organizing- but he keeps his home and car immaculate.  He makes sure his car is vacuumed, washed, and cleaned out every week.  Don & Lisa both make sure their home is always sparkling clean, and they divide the chores to make quick work of it.  Do I think I could be exactly like them? Heck no- but I could try to make more of an effort.

Trait I admire: Cleanliness.
How I will aspire: I know I can't do what Don does, but I will try to maintain my car organization. My excuses include: working out of my car, traveling often, and having three kids- but the rubble needs to be cleaned out at least once a week.
Intellectual Converts: I have several friends (Evangelos, Robinsons for example) who have converted to Catholicism through reading, exploration of the faith, and historical research.  I am amazed at their dedication to learn about my faith and their true understanding of the teachings.  I choose to read Hunger Games and Harry Potter and they choose to read St. Augustine's work or St. Thomas More. Hmmmm....

Trait I admire: Intellectual curiosity.
How I will aspire: I am trying to tackle a few non-fiction religious study books.  It's tortuous for my fiction-brain, but I do want to challenge my faith, my knowledge, and my apologetics.
Oh, Betsy just whipped up this little Christmas display... Hmph.

My little sis, Betsy: Betsy can pick out a painting, mirror, or wall hanging that I would scoff at in the store- and yet, she places it on her wall and her home looks like something from an HGTV show.  She has an "eye" for fashion, design, and style- I, conversely, do not. I have often quipped that I could not pick out a stylish purse if my life depending on it- I am not exaggerating.  I look at the $500 Coach purses and think how much I would not want a purse with letters all over it.... I prefer the $10 Payless ones....  But Betsy can even get items from Marshall's or Lowes and create a coordinated room that truly could be in a magazine. She truly can create beauty and peace in a home!

Trait I admire: The Artistic Eye.
Being able to see how elements of a room or outfit can mesh to create something beautiful would be amazing.  I love thrift shopping- imagine if I could "flip" an item or "upcycle" some old furniture! Awesome. 
How I will aspire: I am going to try to follow and trust Betsy's advice more.  I also will try to look at more magazines, Pinterest, etc. to try to develop my own sense of style.

O.k. there are dozens of more people I admire, and I plan on either writing them letters or doing another post about them (my parents, Ems, my bro, etc.) but I have been writing this post for days.  I have been falling asleep early and I can't write any more.... 

Easy Rule #18902- Take a moment to admire qualities in your friends and family. It will humble you and make you appreciate each friendship.

Easy Rule #8790- You can always aspire to be better! Or just write about your aspirations instead....

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