Holly and Heather's Helping Hands

Inspirational Heartfelt Hints

Month: March, 2014

Holly & Heather’s Helpful Hint: Sacrifices

We all give up something from time to time, whether we want to or have to.  That’s just part of life.  In an effort to do good in this world, sometimes it’s our time, sometimes our talent and sometimes our treasure that we give from.  This is a sacrificial time of year from a religious perspective. Many people are giving up something for the purpose of renewal and positive change in their lives.  If you are a parent, you sacrifice year round for your children.  We spend many a day watching the clock so we are not late picking them up or taking them somewhere. We give up going out on weekends and spend time watching their favorite show with them or helping them study for a test.  A positive perspective for looking at ways in which you sacrifice is knowing that you are doing good for someone else.  We thought we’d share ways we sacrifice, not just this time of year, but on a regular basis in the hopes of inspiring our readers to write about their experiences as well.

Our time:  We like to volunteer at our local churches.  Many houses of worship have so many charitable endeavors to choose from.  We have both taught religious education on a weekly basis (that is a big time commitment and a lot of work but very needed!)  We help out at the food pantry bagging groceries.  We also volunteer at the homeless shelter making food and setting up beds.  When the kids were younger we helped out with their boy and girl scout troops regularly and at school for the parent teacher organizations.  We also take time each year to clean out our closets and donate clothes.

Our talent: We are crafters at heart and love to crotchet blankets and scarves to donate to the needy.  As young kids our mom took us with our dancing school classes to nursing homes to perform for the residents, and with our own children we have brought them there to sing during the holidays and make cheery cards in the summertime.  We have also cooked and made various goodies for fundraisers.

Our Treasure:  Donations run the gamut from Heifer International to cancer fighting organizations, asthma research to veterans and animal shelters.  Please be sure to research your charity so you know your donation is going to a reputable organization and doing the most good.

We have done many of these things over time and we know that everyone makes sacrifices big and small each day.  We hope that you see yours as a way of giving and doing something positive for someone else and that you may be inspired by our choices as well to help spread goodness in this world!

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Holly & Heather’s Helpful Hint: When to Get in the Middle and When to Stay Out

Other people’s battles are tricky when you are caught in the middle. When do you help mend fences and when do you butt out?  It happens to us all – a friend may speak of another friend with whom they are having difficulties, maybe a family member is upset with another family member and you want to help work out the problem.  The difficulty with that is that it’s really not your problem.  So how involved do you get?  Sometimes people just want to vent.  They want to tell you whatever’s bothering them and they don’t want any advice or feedback.  They don’t want you to solve anything, they just need to get something off their chest and then they feel better.  On the other hand, doing nothing may not sit well with you.  Their issue may be indirectly affecting you; after all, you are close to both parties.  Getting in the middle requires seeing both points of view and having the patience to let others heal with time.  If that time never comes, you will have to accept that you cannot change others, only how you yourself deal with the situation.

How does all of this translate into making the world a kinder place?  It’s simple. When you help others to get along or resolve a situation, you are a peace maker.  That’s great in life!  And when the opposite happens and you have to mind your own business, that is ok too.  You can’t solve everyone’s problems.  That means your time is free to work on something positive in your own life.  The tricky part comes in discerning which route to take.

Holly & Heather’s Helpful Hint: The Uplifting Power of Music

Ever have the radio on and a song comes on that you love so much that you can’t contain yourself from jumping up and dancing or belting out the tune as loud as you can?  Perhaps a song triggers a flood of happy memories from the past, bringing you right back to a certain moment in time.  Music is powerful and shouldn’t be discounted in the quest for peace and happiness in our lives. It brings people together for weddings and backyard bbq’s and lots of fun times in life. We grew up in our mother’s dancing school, being exposed to every genre of music from classical to jazz, rock & roll, pop, broadway show tunes, hip-hop, country and polka’s.  It taught us an appreciation of and love for so many different artists.  Even dad loved to play his stereo as loud as possible just for relaxation and enjoyment.

No matter what is going on in life, maybe you’re sad, having a party or just cleaning the house – put on your favorite song.  It will instantly uplift your spirits and spread a little joy in your life.

Holly & Heather’s Helpful Hint: A Better You

This week, many people around the world entered into the spiritual journey of Lent which occurs forty days before Easter. During this time, there are many customs and traditions that take place. Probably the most well-known tradition is that of fasting or refraining from having something that you enjoy. When we think of fasting, we think of not eating a certain food item or meal – something we rarely do except for maybe when we are having our yearly blood work done after a check up at the doctor. But there are so many more personal things you could fast from besides food.

Whether you are religious or not, the notion of giving something up for a good reason can really make you a better, more balanced person. Yes, giving up junk food will have the effect of making you healthier but giving up gossiping, for example, will also make you healthier. The point is to think about something that you wish to change about yourself and use the season to jump-start that change. Hopefully, it will not be a temporary “better you” but a change within that will have lasting effect.

As we set the clocks ahead this weekend, we can feel the winds of change coming. It is palpable. Spring will soon be here – hard as it is to imagine – sun, rebirth and renewal are calling. Can you hear it?

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