A Perfect “Lousy” Gift!


Imagine this:

YOU GET an unexpected gift.

** What do you do? What do you say?

** Do you value it? Do you think little of it because it cost YOU nothing?

**What if you like it? What if you don’t like it?

**What if you don’t want it? What if you treasure it?

**What if you aren’t ready for it? What if you are ready for it and you know it is something others have been praying for?

**Does the gift, any gift, make you feel loved (it is your love language)? What if gifts don’t mean much to you?

But, nonetheless, YOU HAVE BEEN GIVEN A GIFT. How do you react, and what do you say and do?

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YOU GIVE an expected or unexpected gift.

**You stretch out your hands and place your gift in the receiver’s hands and they don’t even say, “Thank you.”

** You give a gift and the person thanks you and tell you how much they appreciate it!

**You give someone a gift and the person walks away from it as if it is nothing.

**You give someone a gift and you see it is not cared for. It is misused, broken, or never used or appreciated.

**You give a gift and the light in the person’s eyes makes your sacrifice of time, money, and resources worth it and more!

**You give a gift and learn it is given away to someone else.

But, nonetheless, YOU HAVE GIVEN A GIFT.  Do you give a gift with expectations, or do you give expecting nothing, not even expecting a “Thank you” in return?

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I have been told I am a great giver. I don’t know about great, but that is what I have been told. All I do is reflect on the person or family and think about what is important to them– hopes, dreams, challenges, needs, what they have said, and what has made their eyes sparkle. I can’t say I give the correct gift 100% of the time because it is a process of learning the gift recipient and I am sure someone could rise and say I got it wrong. But, the feedback is that I get it right, many times.

Through it all, I’ve also learned NOT to give a gift ( a tangible, wrapped gift).

Once, it was on my heart to extend a token of appreciation to a group. It was a big group! And, I was broke! People didn’t know my financial state and I didn’t care to explain it or use it as excuse not to extend something to them. I was determined to find something to let them know I was thinking about them.

I do believe gifts should cost us something, but I do not believe it is necessary or wise to go into deep debt every time we give a gift. My situation at the time was that I was stretched to the limit! Beyond limit! So I searched for options and found something that was cute and useful– a little box that could hold trinkets or personal items for one’s desk or home! Perfect!

I was delighted as I passed out the little boxes and said, “It is just a little something….”  For some of us, giving a gift feels like dishing out love! And this proved the perfect balance for me—take care of my personal obligations (bills and food) and express appreciation for others! Perfect balance! Perfect gift!

Or, so I thought, until…

I overheard someone belittle what I had given. And the boastful and proud pronouncement of their distaste with my selection and effort caught me off guard. My feelings hurt briefly until I realized I had given my best. And then I thought…

WHO DOES THAT?

WHO HAS THAT KIND OF HEART?  

WHO WOULD DARE SAY ANYTHING BAD ABOUT A GIFT—AN EXTENSION OF SOMEONE’S TIME, MONEY, RESOURCES, AND THOUGHTS FOR ANOTHER?

The answer came to me.

We all do.

God gives us gifts each day. And we forget to say, “Thank you!”

We give gifts to each other and sometimes they aren’t seen as gifts, or seen as gifts and are not appreciated or liked or wanted.

The truth is: A gift is someone stopping for a moment or moments in the course of their life to extend something to YOU! No matter whether you like it or not! Think of kindness; it is a most beautiful gift! Don’t we all hope for more of that?!

How we receive gifts, and how we give gifts tells people about us– our thoughtfulness, thankfulness, expectations, and more!  And how we give gifts and receive gifts affects our RELATIONSHIPS!

How did you feel about the relationship with someone when they did not say thank you for a gift you sacrificed your time, money, or resources to give them? There are many more examples of how gifts affect relationships. I’m sure you can name a few!

BUT LET US FOCUS ON WHAT WE CAN DO?

IF YOU WANT TO GIVE A GOOD GIFT: Take note of what people say in everyday conversation, or ASK your loved ones and friends what they want and what makes them feel loved and appreciated. That is how you give a good gift to them.

IF YOU ARE SURROUNDED BY PEOPLE WHO HAVEN’T FIGURED OUT WHAT A GOOD GIFT IS TO YOU: When they ask what you want, or when there is a convenient time, TELL the people in your life what you want and what makes you feel love and appreciated. That helps them give a good gift to you. (We have to remember finances when we communicate wants!)

Let’s cease the hope of good mind readers in our life and simply communicate with spoken words!

Gifts are NOT guaranteed.  It is wise to be thankful for them! We HOPE our gifts are received with thankful hearts, but ask God about that. Soon many will celebrate the greatest gift to mankind, and many still reject him—the Savior of the world, born as a child, Jesus Christ.

With the year winding down, I have written this as a gift from me to you!

The gift I want and hope for you is a little more, of a little “big” thing, called love! ~Nisti K

Love is eternal poster

Don’t Be Duped!


Signing in quickly to share a forewarning!  The super dupers are at it again!

I can’t let this one go! So,… a blogging I go!  This time, I thought I would teach others how to quickly spot something wrong in their email inbox.  If  you are interested in learning a few red flags, follow me! I’ll be quick!

Here is what happened and how I spotted a scam. Here goes!

I am in rush today.  An errand done out of love stripped a few extra hours from my tight schedule.  I quickly sign on my email account to do what I can with the remaining time before a meeting, and in preparation for a meeting.

I scan through my message list quickly, select the messages for my meeting, and then see a sender’s name that makes me stop and take note. In the FROM list of my email it shows “Delta AirLines”.

Hmmnn… notice the spelling?

The SUBJECT of this Delta AirLines message shows a paperclip which means there is something attached to the email–file, picture, or something.  Then it reads: “Download your ticket #NR9715.”

I am ready for a vacation, but wait! I didn’t buy a ticket recently! SLOW DOWN! Check out this message. Hurrying will only lead to a mistake or accidental click on a wrong button!

Here is the carefully clicked message: (Please note: some would tell you to delete it if you knew you hadn’t purchased a ticket. I clicked because I am writing to you about the scam. I also italicized the message for clarity from my own written words.)

 TICKET NUMBER / EH793044111
 SEAT / 35E/ZONE 3
DATE / TIME 23 JANUARY, 2014, 09:45 AM
ARRIVING / Modesto
 FORM OF PAYMENT / XXXXXX
TOTAL PRICE / 203.69 USD
REF / LE.6825 ST / OK
 BAG / 7PC

Please find your ticket attached.
You can print your ticket.

Thank you for using our airline company services.
Delta Air Lines.

And that was the end of the message. The attached file ended with “.zip” which means any  unzipping might take down my computer! No thanks!

Everything was clearly off–a zip file, ticket price for the destination, and number of bags. It seemed more an attempt to GET my information, rather than an unauthorized use of my information.  I went straight to Delta’s website and typed “Scam” in the search box. A page came up: To Protect Your Data 

Sure enough, after reading the first paragraph from Delta’s website I see it is another clear-cut scam (easier to handle than someone who has gotten my personal information and misused it!).

Now, I’m out of time, but I hope this helps you to see a super duper’s attempt to get you!  Be careful!

What are the Odds of 11-12-13? A “Guest” post by Nisti K Delgroothe


The  other day, my friend informed me that 11/12/2013 was a few days away. Honestly, I hadn’t thought about the date until then, but when she told me I wanted to do something memorable. I instantly said, ‘Hey! Wouldn’t it be cool if I finished my memoir?’ We agreed it would!  But, being a realist I accepted the truth and told my friend that finishing it was an improbability. Now that I think about it, we discussed this all while finishing the photo for the memoir’s cover! Backwards?!

Anyway, this morning I woke up, checked the time and noticed the date. I then began to wonder: What are the odds? I began a quick Google search, but didn’t quickly find the answer and decided it might be more fun to play with the odds than to record them. So, here I go with the flow: 11-12-13…14!

14? Yes!

I have no idea what the odds are of 11-12-13 occurring on our calendar, but I do know it is a rare occasion in the 21st century. These mathematical occurrences don’t happen often and are spaced many years apart. So, here are a few fun ideas on how you can enjoy a rare day!

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14 things you can do on 11-12-13

  • Spend 14 minutes giving God thanks for specific things or people in your life and reading Scripture.
  • Send 14 friends or family you haven’t talked to in awhile an email or text to let them know you love and appreciate them.
  • Spend 14 minutes indulging in a book you just haven’t had the chance to read. This can be family read out loud time!
  • Allow yourself 14 little treats–or 1/4 cup.
  • If you have kids, tell them THEY are going to be able to make a family decision. Announce that you’ll all have 14 uninterrupted minutes of family fun time. NO CELL PHONES, COMPUTERS, OR TEXTING ALLOWED! Give them 14 minutes to decide, then GO with it!
  • Take a 14 minute walk.
  • Spend 14 minutes indulging in a hobby you haven’t had a chance to enjoy!
  • Exercise for 14 minutes.
  • Do 14 NON selfish gestures for others. Keep count! Open a door, let someone get in line in front of you,…
  • Set a timer for 14 minutes and do some Fall Cleaning!
  • Set a timer for 14 minutes and clean out that drawer or closet you’ve been wanting to get too.
  • Call an older person and check on them. I don’t dare say 14 minutes.
  • Sing your favorite, most uplifting songs for 14 minutes straight!
  • Donate $14 to disaster relief in the Phillipines, or a hunger relief program that serves the US and/or overseas.
  • Spend 14 minutes writing a fun list of 14 things you’d like to do today! (Okay, that’s 15 items! I know! Couldn’t resist!)

Ooops! My timer just went off. Yep, you guessed it! It was for set for 14 minutes! I kinda went over…but before I go, please note that many of these items can be a family event or something you enjoy with friends! If you go over the time limit, stay in the moment, you are probably enjoying yourself! Whatever you choose to do, have fun with 11-12-13!   If you’ve liked this post and some of the tips, check out my Nisti K News page on Facebook. If you like it, please “LIKE” it! My goal was to help 14 people have a little more love in their day! Hope I succeeded! If I did, please let me know!~Nisti K

http://www.facebook.com/NistiKNews!

By the way, although I can’t finish the memoir by midnight tonight, this post has been listed as an official Nisti K Delgroothe Mission–#11-12-13-14. That’s a good mission for today!


 

 

The WDIW2B Zone

Posting until a cure is found….

[Please note: this story provides graphic detail]

She stood in the mirror and examined herself, then pushed her palms under her curls to make sure her hair fell neatly above the baby blue paper blouse. She was ready for the day and had thought through what might follow. Her mind was clear—prepared for battle or victory—or so she thought. Her eyes darted around the room. It wasn’t what she would have pictured or preferred for this event, but it was what was to be. She stood confidently and breathed deeply—inhaling and exhaling in rhythm—as she slowed her mind and body in preparation.

Knock. Knock.
“Come in,” she said in a commanding tone.

“Hello. So…are you ready?” he said.

“It depends. How was your day?”

“Today has been a great day!” he said while looking her squarely in the eyes and positioning himself in the…

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How Auntie Dealt with a Shutdown~a true story.


Auntie pulled into the driveway, excited to have time with her nephew’s family.

‘So, where are we going?’ she asked her nephew, happy to spend time with them.

‘Not sure. The kids can’t decide on a movie.’

Auntie cocked her head to the right, slightly forward, and looked over her glasses before saying, ‘Do you mind… if I… take care of this?’

‘Nope! Go ahead!’ her nephew quickly said with a smile.

Due to the family size, they were taking two cars and Auntie asked the little one—a tween—in the parent’s car to get in her car.

‘I want to stay in here,’ the tween said.

‘Please get in Auntie’s car. There is something we need to take care of before we go. Thank you, ’ she said before the child even moved. And her parents didn’t say a word. One wonders if they were secretly looking forward to the entertainment value of what the kids were about to encounter. It is believed the parents laughed.

Auntie got into her car. All the children were now in the car with her.

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‘Soooo, I understand there is a problem,’ Auntie announced. ‘We can’t agree on a movie?’

Auntie let the children express their desires and frustrations.

‘I wanted to see A. We never get to do anything I want, ’ one whined.
‘Well, I was asleep,’ another said.
‘I want to see B,’ answered another rear passenger.
One child was silent.

Then they started to challenge what one another said. Auntie didn’t say anything and listened carefully. They bickered a bit. She gave it a minute or two before chiding in. ‘Well, let me explain it this way. I came over to have fun and enjoy the company of your family. Your parents are excited to go out to a movie too. And because you all can’t decide we are sitting in the driveway INSTEAD of on our way to the movies. I’ll give a minute to decide. Begin.’ Auntie began to look at the car’s clock. They noticed. The car was silent for a few seconds before the blaming and the ‘I …’ started. One minute lapsed. No answer, just more of the same.

‘Time’s up,’ Auntie said while wearing a smile.

Then Auntie turned and addressed the group, looking at each youngster. ‘ We are sitting in this car instead of going to the movies because YOU keep saying you want to see A, YOU keep reiterating that you were asleep and that you were left out of the original decision making, and now at first YOU wanted to see B but now you say that you too were asleep, and… YOU haven’t said anything at all.’

Auntie’s words were sweet like honey, but it appeared that truth stung like a little bee. And then she continued.

‘Let me help you understand something: today is a great example of what will happen the rest of your life. Someone will give YOU the chance to make a decision and an ENTIRE GROUP will depend on YOU making a decision. It might be your classmates, your family, or a job you have in your future. Sometimes you’ll feel very strongly about your choice, sometimes you will not. And I am not saying you can’t stand your ground when you feel strongly, but others will depend on YOU to COME TOGETHER with other people and MAKE a decision for the GROUP. You might have to give a little. And if it isn’t a big deal to you, you might have to just decide it is about the end result—in our case that would be movie fun. Silence won’t be an option. PEOPLE WILL DEPEND ON YOU.’

Auntie nodded her head as she said, ‘And, you WILL disagree with others. And, you may or may not have a strong feeling one way or the other. But a decision will be necessary. You WILL HAVE TO LEARN to find a COMMON GROUND, a common thing you all can agree upon. And right now, you haven’t been able to decide and we are ALL sitting in cars instead of on our way to the movies. Question. Is it fair that ALL OF US are missing out on the movies because you are fussing with one another and can’t come together on a decision?’

The silent child softly said, ‘Noooo’. Some thought about the question and then began to shake their head in agreement to the spoken No.

Auntie went on speaking, ‘Okay. So that is something you will have to learn. Now, I came to have fun with everyone, your parents want to have fun, and I thought you all wanted to have fun and enjoy our time together. But now because you can’t decide I WILL DECIDE on a movie. And, here are the rules to that: No grumbling. No complaining. We go and have a great time together as a family as we planned. But…,’ Auntie paused, ‘if you don’t like the rules… there is a still another decision you can make. You… can… stay… home.’ Auntie let the words linger for fairness of time to make a choice. Then she smiled and asked, ‘So, who is in?’

Not a child got out of the car. No one cried or complained. The busy parents had rare alone time in their car on the way to the movies, and the family and Auntie had a great time together! And… the whole crew still loves Auntie time.

Do you know of any group that needs honey talk, truth, and tough love? You know! People who’ve shutdown something because they don’t know how to find common ground? Auntie is available to visit them, but let them know in advance: Auntie moves things forward, and is pretty good at calling out nonsense. Auntie doesn’t play that!

After Indianapolis’ Trayvon Martin Rally for Justice–‘I’d rally in the rain’ could be heard.


In locations around the USA, people held vigils or rallied with calls for justice in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin, a 17 year old African American Florida teenager.

Even after Indianapolis organizers ended the rally due to heavy rain, people endured the rains to display their commitment to seeing justice served.

A woman is overheard saying, ‘A man disregards the police, shoots and kills a child he followed, and goes free claiming self defense. Where is the justice in that?’

A sign suggests mothers want “Gun Sense.”

A man states the Stand Your Ground Statute, the Florida statute used to defend George Zimmerman, needs to be eliminated.

And a teenager around Trayvon Martin’s age says, ‘….if George Zimmerman isn’t held accountable for Trayvon Martin’s death, nothing will be right after that’.

It continued to rain, and protesters continued to stand. Some late arriving protesters questioned, ‘Why did it end [the rally]? I just saw other people who were trying to make their way here.’

‘I’d rally in the rain,’ said the woman standing under the tree for shelter.

‘Me too,’ said another.

It is reported by police that several hundred protesters attended the rally. There were no incidents, just calls for justice.

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The Matter of Doubt–State of Florida vs. Zimmerman in Trayvon Martin’s death.


Last night I sat, unable to think about sleep, wondering what God will do in this matter, grieving over a young life senslessly ended by a grown man’s dreadful choice, and remembering my mother’s words to me long ago in my younger days,’Baby, sometimes life is not  fair’.

And today, life seems so unfair because of doubt. Doubt.

I remember when my hands were tied as a juror because of doubt. Everything pointed toward the guy’s guilt, but there was one thread of evidence left empty.  One thread that would have tied it all together. My eyes scanned our juror’s governing document –a description of our role and responsibility–and it was ironclad. I did not doubt my obligation or what was left for me to do in this case. Doubt.  After the trial, the  jury foreman and I knew it was our duty to talk to the Prosecutor. If only she would have provided the security tape they had referred to, the tape they had seen, the tape they kept from all of us as evidence! If only we would have seen it too,…no doubt…no doubt…because we were on the edge of decision. There would have been no doubt.

‘Why didn’t you provide the security video?’ we asked the Prosecutor.

She shrugged.  We fumed. And as we walked to our cars in the wee hours of the morning, having been there all day and night, it seemed the most unjust act had just been witnessed–her shrug. Time wasted, money wasted, and our sense of justice and duty was greeted with a careless shrug. The guy walked. Doubt.

Doubt, a critical part of our justice system that is the bridge between being held accountable for one’s own behavior and walking away from a situation in which your bad, malicious, ill-timed, or unfortunate decision created a loss of some kind–the consequence.

Doubt.

George Zimmerman was active in his comunity’s crimewatch program. I do that.

George Zimmerman judged activity as being suspicious. I have done that.

George Zimmerman chose to pass character and behavior judgment on another human being unknown to him. Have any of us done that?  Excerpts from his call… (click here for the 911 call)

‘This guy looks like he’s up to no good or on drugs or something,’ Zimmerman says.

(It was dark and raining, according to reports.)

‘These a*******  always get away’

A*******???

Doubt.

George Zimmerman chose to wear a gun.

George Zimmerman chose to call the police.

George Zimmerman chose to follow a ‘kid’ who was running in the rain on a dark night. An unknown kid, a neighbor, that he had already judged at least twice.

‘Are you following him?’

‘Yeah,’ Zimmerman admits.

‘We don’t need you to do that,’ the male police dispatcher said.

Doubt?

Was that George Zimmerman’s last opportunity to make the choice to return to his car? Was  it  Trayvon Martin’s last chance to continue his run to his home which was located near the shooting?

Doubt?

And there were two unaccounted minutes, known only to George Zimmerrman and God.

Doubt!

A teenaged child made decisions. A grown man made decisions. The child, Trayvon Martin, now rests in a grave. May his parents and loved ones be comforted and may he rest in peace.

Doubt.

Doubt is created when the heart and mind of an individual is unable to TOTALLY trust what is before them. Personal experiences and knowledge–true or false– filter information. Fear , suspicion, trust and mistrust are factors. (Read any definition of doubt.) In a court of law, reasonable doubt is created when moral certainty is lacking. Certainty and doubt–individual and personal conclusions which can waver and vary– are a part of our justice system. A big part.

Note to the wise: Remind yourself of choices and consequences. Teach your children about  choices and consequences. Have a discussion about the significance of doubt–in life and in our court system. 

In court, doubt doesn’t always result in freedom. Sometimes innocence is doubted. Google “Innocent man freed” and see if you agree. Where was doubt for them? Misplaced.

It is with the heart and mind that we doubt; it is with heart and mind that we judge; and it is with heart and mind that we interact with one another. And, it is my hope and prayer that those who read these words, and those grieve for justice in the death of this child will with heart and mind realize that true justice reigns in hands much greater than our own–the hands of a Sovereign and Mighty God.

I believe in God through faith, and further believe without doubt that God and Christ Jesus know our hearts, where we must grow and how and what we must turn from to be more just toward one another. THIS is OUR accountability–our own hearts and minds. We start the course of more just treatment toward one another by remembering our OWN accountability and then, perhaps, we will see the EXACT POINT at which we should stand to seek  and demand justice for another.

In that, I believe without doubt.

The skies on 7/13/13.
The skies on 7/13/13.

Yesterday, long before the verdict, the rays of the sun drew my attention. Today, the image reminds me to keep my eyes to the heavens when things don’t seem fair or just. God’s glory is there, and just as he changes the details of the day to day skies, He is at work in our life and world, bringing truth, justice, and love. The sun’s rays returned me to the Scripture about the heavens (Psalm 19:1), and the subsequent verses of  Psalm 19  reminded me that justice begins in me.

~my place to toss thoughts, share stories, and comment on the news.