Dear Friend,

I'm not quite sure how it happened, but somehow it is already December 16th, and there are just a few short weeks left until Christmas. Am I the only one who feels like this holiday season just snuck up on me? I was just enjoying the fall season and now were in the thick of Christmas with all its decorations and holiday trimmings. 

Funny how that happens, isn't it? Life just keeps moving on, whether we are ready for it or not. 

A few months ago I attended the funeral of a  friend of ours from my former church. Mrs. Paine was an older woman, one who had graciously taken me under her wing from the moment I arrived there, a woman who taught Sunday School, headed up the Women's Organization and who volunteered her time during the week. 

She was a woman who always showed up, not to be front and center, but to be in the background, serving wherever she was needed. She was the one volunteer you could always count on, the one who would be there no matter what, never to take charge, but just to help any member as much as she could. 

She gave of her time--and her heart--without ever complaining that she was too busy, or too old, or, after was diagnosed with breast cancer, too sick. She gave to the end, always with a cheerful heart. 

And while I sat there and listened to her friends and family recount how willingly she served, I couldn't help but think that hers was a life we should all be striving for. Because while we were sad to have to say goodbye, her funeral was a celebration of a life that had made a difference. 

James Russell Miller once said, "Nothing else in all life is such a maker of joy and cheer as the privilege of doing good.  And Ralph Waldo Emerson has said, "a great man is always willing to be little." 

In a world that values celebrity and self-indulgence, my friend Barbara may not have been considered successful.  She was in the background most of her life, working to make life better for others.  But she was a success because she was so willing to give of herself in the service to others.  

May we all be that successful in life!

As we head into the busy and sometimes stressful holiday season, may I suggest that we all look for ways we can serve?  Look for small but meaningful ways to bless the people around you, quietly without the fanfare or recognition and without expecting anything in return.  

There is always something that can be done for someone else, and the feeling of giving freely out of love and kindness is better than any public recognition you could ever get. 

Live with passion my friends and have a wonderful weekend,

Maureen
;)

THIS WEEK ON THE BLOG

31 MEANINGFUL THINGS I DO DAILY FOR A BETTER LIFE

I recently received a question from a reader about how I seem to get so much done in a day and stay positive and motivated. Want to know the truth? I don't always wake up happy, but I learned a long time ago that my day goes much better when I try to start out the day on the right foot. So I've established my daily things to do list that makes my life better.   READ MORE

HOW TO EMBRACE THE CONCEPT OF MINIMALISM AND GET OUT OF DEBT

Minimalism.  We hear the word thrown around.  Maybe we've read a few articles or visited a website or two devoted to the subject matter.  We're in debt.  Maybe a lot of debt.  We understand something has to change.  So we go back to that website and re-read the words and something in them make sense, but we get stuck on "how" to internalize the concepts.  READ MORE

THE LAST MINUTE CHRISTMAS CLEANUP CHECKLIST

It's time for the last minute Christmas clean up.  The guests will arrive shortly, and you want your home to look beautiful when you open the door and say "Merry Christmas."  But you spent extra time on that new dessert you just had to make, and now you're short on time, and you realize your house needs a cleaning!​  READ MORE