Stephen Covey’s “Four Quadrants” – November 22, 2015

Stephen Covey’s “Four Quadrants”


Are you running around in a frenzy much of the time?  If so, you can make your life more peaceful by usingStephen Covey’s “Four Quadrants.”



Quadrant 1:  Important and Urgent – Crisis; pressing issues; deadlines; meetings.

Quadrant 2:  Important, but Not Urgent – Preparation; planning; prevention; relationship building; personal development.

Quadrant 3:  Not Important, but Urgent – Interruptions; some mail; many popular activities.

Quadrant 4:  Not Important, Not Urgent – Trivia; some phone calls; excessive tv/games; time wasters.

You should spend most of your time in Quadrant 2. If you do this, you can take care of the things in your life that are important so that they do not become urgent.

Work to limit your time in Quadrants 1 and 4.


And check out the really good books at!  Get some for yourself or to give as gifts!  Watch the video here: 

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Does Your Child Have Chores?

~ Joyce Fields

I first published this post on October 13, 2011.

If your child does not have household chores, you are doing your child a huge disservice!

Today, my 18-month-old granddaughter, Medina, has her first chore—picking up her toys.  We walk around together, with me holding her toy bag.  She picks them up and deposits them into the toy bag.  You should see her looking around, trying to spot a toy!  Hilarious!!

No way am I going to pick up and put her toys away!  Pretty soon, she’ll be doing this by herself, holding her own toy bag and putting her toys in it.

I did the same thing with her father.  As he got older, he got more chores.

When he was five years old (in 1975), his job was to sweep the kitchen floor.  Then, I added taking out the trash in his room.  Eventually, he was responsible for taking out the trash for the entire house.

When he was 10 years old, I taught him how to do his own washing and ironing.

At 12+, he was responsible for doing the dishes and vacuuming.

I taught him how to cook because I did not want him to be at the mercy of an angry female who wouldn’t fix him something to eat!  (And, wow! He can cook!)

In summer, he mowed/watered the lawn (we had a corner house) and kept the shrubs manicured; in winter, he shoveled the snow.

You see, his father and I both worked from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.  As I explained to him, doing what needed to be done around the house was the way he paid for his room and board, and the electricity and water he used.

“What about school and homework?” you might ask.  He handled that extremely well and was a very good student.  Graduated from high school at 16 years old.  He entered Morehouse College at 17 years old.  (Didn’t graduate; it was more our dream than his.)

When he started working, he paid us $20 out of every $100—off the top.  We didn’t need the money, but he needed to pay it!

Today, I admire my own son.  He is a fine human being, and he is the best thing that ever happened to me!  I thank God continuously!

Because he turned out so well is the reason I wrote my 41-page book, “Mother’s Dozen:  An Easy Recipe for Raising GREAT Kids!”  I wanted other mothers (and fathers, too!) to read about my time-tested, old-fashioned approach and try it for themselves.  Here are some of the reasons why I admire my son:

  • He is always mannerable.  He is very polite and respectful, especially with his elders.  (When I try to tell him what to do [which is very rare], his response tickles me.  He says, “Ma, I’m big.”  He respectfully puts me in my place!)
  • He loves to learn and experiments with new approaches in order to learn more.
  • He is a responsible person and does not expect others to pay for his mistakes or wrong choices. He suffers negative consequences with dignity.
  • He consciously lives his life with rules, order, and organization; thereby, minimizing tension, stress, anger, conflict, and confusion.
  • He is independent and seldom borrows or asks for assistance.
  • He is exceedingly spiritual, with a powerful belief in God.  He regularly vocalizes his awareness of and thankfulness for his many blessings.  (And he has tons of ‘em!)
  • He enjoys giving and receiving hugs and kisses.
  • He usually takes care of “must’s” before “should’s,” “need’s” before “want’s,” and “business” before “pleasure.”
  • He demonstrates that he can effectively follow rules/instructions when appropriate.
  • He is patient, seldom loses his temper, and uses time wisely.
  • He has a truckload of family members and friends who love, admire, and respect him and often seek his opinion or point of view.

All of these qualities were developed from a foundation of having chores as a child!


And check out the really good books at!  Get some for yourself or to give as gifts!  Watch the video here: 

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GRANDMA’S HANDS – November 8, 2015

My cousin, Pat Eddings, sent me this great piece.  After (and maybe while) reading it, I bet you’ll look at your own hands differently—with more appreciation for them!

Grandma’s Hands

~ Author unknown

Grandma, some ninety plus years, sat feebly on the patio bench.  She didn’t move, just sat with her head down staring at her hands.

When I sat down beside her, she didn’t acknowledge my presence, and the longer I sat, I wondered if she was OK.

Finally, not really wanting to disturb her but wanting to check on her at the same time, I asked her if she was okay.  She raised her head and looked at me and smiled.  “Yes, I’m fine.  Thank you for asking,” she said in a clear, strong voice.

“I didn’t mean to disturb you, grandma, but you were just sitting here staring at your hands, and I wanted to make sure you were okay,” I explained to her.

“Have you ever looked at your hands?”she asked.  “I mean really looked at your hands?”

I slowly opened my hands and stared down at them.  I turned them over, palms up and then palms down.  I thought:  No, I guess I had never really looked at my hands, as I tried to figure out the point she was making.

Grandma smiled and related this story:

“Stop and think for a moment about the hands you have—how they have served you well throughout your years.  These hands, though wrinkled shriveled and weak, have been the tools I have used all my life to reach out and grab and embrace life.

They braced and caught my fall when, as a toddler, I crashed to the floor.

They put food in my mouth and clothes on my back.  As a child, my mother taught me to fold them in prayer.  They tied my shoes and pulled on my boots.  They held my husband and wiped my tears when he went off to war.

They have been dirty, scraped and raw, swollen and bent.  They were uneasy and clumsy when I tried to hold my newborn son.  Decorated with my wedding band, they showed the world that I was married and loved someone special.

They wrote my letters to him and trembled and shook when I buried my parents and my spouse.

They have held my children and grandchildren, consoled neighbors, and shook in fists of anger when I didn’t understand.

They have covered my face, combed my hair, and washed and cleansed the rest of my body.  They have been sticky and wet, bent and broken, dried and raw.  And, to this day, when not much of anything else of me works real well, these hands hold me up, lay me down, and again continue to fold in prayer.

These hands are the mark of where I’ve been and the ruggedness of life.

But more importantly it will be these hands that God will reach out and take when He leads me home.  And with my hands He will lift me to His side and there I will use these hands to touch the face of God.”

I will never look at my hands the same again.  But I remember God reached out and took my grandma’s hands and led her home.  When my hands are hurt or sore, or when I stroke the face of my children and husband, I think of grandma.  I know she has been stroked and caressed and held by the hands of God.

I, too, want to touch the face of God and feel His hands upon my face.

Did you look at your own hands after (or while) reading this piece?  I’m looking at my hands now, as they are perched over the keyboard!  What wonderful instruments they are!!


And check out the really good books at!  Get some for yourself or to give as gifts!  Watch the video here: 

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Marsha’s Heart Attack Symptoms

~ Joyce Fields

I first posted this piece in February 2011.  Because it contains information about heart attack symptoms that could help save someone’s life, I think it’s worth posting again, since new people read my blog every day.

I received word on Thursday (February 17) afternoon that my cousin, Marsha, had a heart attack and was hospitalized on Wednesday (February 16).  We’re about the same age.

We grew up together.  There are seven of them and seven of us.  Our mothers (both of them have passed on) adored each other.  We visited each other’s homes  very often (14 kids in one house!).

Marsha has always been fun, funny, and delightfully crazy!

I called her in the hospital, and she sounded good.  Like Marsha.  I commented on how good and strong she sounded.  She replied, “That’s what everybody keeps telling me, but I AIN’T SICK!!”  We both cracked up.  Like I said, she’s delightfully crazy.

Marsha wants women to know what happened, because the symptoms for women can be different than those for men.  And men can pass the word to the women they know and love.

She said it was shortly after she had eaten dinner on Tuesday that she started experiencing discomfort.  She thought it was indigestion or acid reflux.  She chewed on some antacid tablets.  She felt better on Wednesday—until she started moving around.  Then, the discomfort returned.

She never had any chest pain or shortness of breath.  She had pain in her back, in the upper shoulder area, up her neck and jaws—even her teeth were hurting.  She had pain going down both arms.  She vomited three times.

She called her clinic.  Her doctor wasn’t in, but she was told that someone else could see her and it was recommended that she speak with a nurse.  After describing her symptoms, the nurse told her to go straight to the hospital emergency room.  Much to her surprise, she was admitted.

After analyzing her blood (she said they took six vials!), they told her that she had had a heart attack.  Being as delightfully crazy as she is, Marsha exclaimed loudly, “What?!”  “When?!”

She’s cracking up the hospital staff.  Just like her entire family, they love her!!

They put a stint in her heart (95% blockage in one artery!), and she’s doing well.

Thank you, God!!


And check out the really good books at!  Get some for yourself or to give as gifts!  Watch the video here: 

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Beautiful Words To Live By

~ Author unknown

  1. Anger is a condition in which the tongue works faster than the mind.
  2. You can’t change the past, but you can ruin the present by worrying over the future.
  3. Love. . .and you shall be loved.
  4. God always gives His best to those who leave the choice with Him.
  5. All people smile in the same language.
  6. A hug is a great gift. . .one size fits all. It can be given for any occasion, and it’s easy to exchange.
  7. Everyone needs to be loved. . .especially when they do not deserve it.
  8. The real measure of a man’s wealth is what he has invested in eternity.
  9. Everything has beauty, but not everyone sees it.
  10. It’s important for parents to live the same things they teach.
  11. If you fill your heart with regrets of yesterday and the worries of tomorrow, you have no today to be thankful for.
  12. Happy memories never wear out. . .relive them as often as you want.
  13. Home is the place where we grumble the most, but are often treated the best.
  14. Man looks at outward appearance, but God looks within.
  15. The choice you make today will usually affect tomorrow.
  16. Take time to laugh, for it is the music of the soul.
  17. If anyone speaks badly of you, live so none will believe it.
  18. Patience is the ability to idle your motor when you feel like stripping your gears.
  19. Love is strengthened by working through conflicts together.
  20. The best thing parents can do for their children is to love each other.
  21. Harsh words break no bones, but they do break hearts.
  22. To get out of a difficulty, one usually must go through it.
  23. We take for granted the things that we should be giving thanks for.
  24. Love is the only thing that can be divided without being diminished.
  25. Happiness is enhanced by others, but does not depend upon others.
  26. You are richer today if you have laughed, given, or forgiven.
  27. For every minute you are angry with someone, you lose 60 seconds of happiness that you can never get back.
  28. Do what you can, for whom you can, with what you have, and where you are.
  29. Pray every day.
  30. The best gifts to give:
  • To your friend. . .loyalty
  • To your enemy. . .forgiveness
  • To your boss. . .service
  • To a child. . .a good example
  • To your parents. . .gratitude and devotion
  • To your mate. . .love and faithfulness


And check out the really good books at!  Get some for yourself or to give as gifts!  Watch the video here: 

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THE BIRD FEEDER – October 18, 2015

The Bird Feeder

~ Gina Wehmann

Last fall I hung outside my window a bird feeder. Now not knowing the first thing about wild birds, I assumed that as soon as I hung this bird feeder outside, a multitude of beautiful birds would be swooping to my new addition. Days, weeks and months went by; NO BIRDS.

I asked so many people what to do? What was I doing wrong? “Nothing” most of them replied. “Just wait.” So I waited and waited and waited trying everything possible, to attract these birds.

I cleaned off the deck, I changed the feed, I washed the feeders, I even made the cat go out the other door! But nothing seemed to work. So……I waited, “with patience and hope.”

Two (2) months later, on a Saturday afternoon, I FROZE! What to my eyes had appeared on the bird feeder but the most beautiful bird I have ever seen in my life! All of a sudden HUNDREDS UPON HUNDREDS OF BIRDS WERE APPEARING FROM EVERYWHERE!

What a beautiful lesson I learned from this little creature. “Patience and hope” and “things” will attract the beautiful things in life. I never realized how much patience I really do have and how much I do rely upon “hope” to sort out the questions in my heart.

So I keep hoping and waiting, waiting and hoping. I will try to use this “little lesson” with so many other things in my life. I guess “patience is a virtue” after all.


And check out the really good books at!  Get some for yourself or to give as gifts!  Watch the video here: 

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My cousin, Lizz Jones, sent me this wonderful piece.  It struck a cord in me, and I hope it does the same for you!

Are You Rushing Through Life?


The Situation

In Washington, DC, at a Metro station, on a cold January morning in 2007, this man with a violin played six Bach pieces for about 45 minutes.  During that time, approximately 2,000 people went through the station, most of them on their way to work.  After about three minutes, a middle-aged man noticed that there was a musician playing.  He slowed his pace and stopped for a few seconds, and then he hurried on to meet his schedule.

About 4 minutes later
The violinist received his first dollar.  A woman threw money in the hat and, without stopping, continued to walk.

At 6 minutes
A young man leaned against the wall to listen to him, then looked at his watch and started to walk again.

At 10 minutes
A 3-year-old boy stopped, but his mother tugged him along hurriedly.  The kid stopped to look at the violinist again, but the mother pushed hard and the child continued to walk, turning his head the whole time.  This action was repeated by several other children, but every parent—without exception—forced their children to move on quickly.

At 45 minutes
The musician played continuously.  Only six people stopped and listened for a short while. About 20 gave money, but continued to walk at their normal pace. The man collected a total of $32.

After 1 hour
He finished playing, and silence took over.  No one noticed, and no one applauded. There was no recognition at all.

No one knew this, but the violinist was Joshua Bell, one of the greatest musicians in the world.  He played one of the most intricate pieces ever written, with a violin worth 3.5 million dollars.  Two days before, Joshua Bell sold out a theater in Boston, where the seats averaged $100 each to sit and listen to him play the same music.


Joshua Bell, playing incognito in the DC Metro Station, was organized by the Washington Post as part of a social experiment about perception, taste and people’s priorities.

This experiment raised several questions:

  • In a common-place environment, at an inappropriate hour, do we perceive beauty?

If so, do we stop to appreciate it?

  • Do we recognize talent in an unexpected context?

One possible conclusion reached from this experiment could be this:

If we do not have a moment to stop and listen to one of the best musicians in the world, playing some of the finest music ever written, with one of the most beautiful instruments ever made. . .

How many other things are we missing as we rush through life?


And check out the really good books at!  Get some for yourself or to give as gifts!  Watch the video here: 

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