Branching-Out

Sunny Side Up

Posted by Sharon Krause on Nov 8, 2021 6:00:00 AM

   Grab your coat and get your hat

   Leave your worry on the doorstep

   Just direct your feet

   To the sunny side of the street

These are a few of the lyrics from an uplifting song, “On the Sunny Side of the Street,” that was written in 1930 by Dorothy Fields and Jimmy McHugh. The song encourages listeners to look at the bright side of life. The melody is peppy, and many famous singers of the time made the song popular.

Lately I have been thinking about the challenge of being optimistic and positive. Needless to say, there is an abundance of controversy, anxiety, and stress in our world. It is easy to find something or someone to complain about each day. It is so easy to blurt out a casual criticism of something. Smiles and encouragement can be at a premium. Where is that sunny side?

How difficult would it be to intentionally avoid negative comments and thoughts for just one full day? Such an effort could certainly affect not only us but also the people with whom we interact. Starting with morning prayer, we might ask the Holy Spirit to inspire us with simple, holy joy in the Lord. I take some dietary supplements and certain prescription meds in the morning. At the same time, I could keep in mind:

   A cheerful heart is a good medicine,

     but a downcast spirit dries up the bones. (Proverbs 17:22)

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Topics: attitude of gratitude, optimism, Gratitude to God, Sharon Krause, counting our blessings

Collections

Posted by Sharon Krause on Jun 11, 2021 6:00:00 AM

A few years ago in my parish, a visiting priest began a homily by asking us how many things, beyond necessities, we had accumulated. There was silence as we thought about the extra clothes and accessories in our closets, drawers, and cabinets. Over the years, it is very easy to collect articles we don’t really need or need to keep. I am very guilty! Many of the objects were attractive or good at the time I acquired them, but they can certainly pile up over time.

How about books? As I scan the reading materials in my four bookcases, I see books I have said I may read some day, books that I have read once, reference books and prayer books and booklets I have kept with my most pious intentions proclaimed.

I probably should mention all the figurines that proudly collect little dust coatings as they smile atop my flat-topped wooden furniture pieces. Those decorative accessories complement the pictures on the walls and give me “aha” moments when I shop at yard sales.

Now, I am not saying that all collections are bad or sinful or should be disbanded. After having spent more at-home time over the past 15 months, however, I do notice that collections can easily grow and that material things can gain somewhat of a grip on space and attention. Some repurposing might be wise. Is it time to think about priorities and actual needs? Could others with fewer clothes and less income somehow benefit from my downsizing?

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Topics: RENEW International, Sharon Krause, counting our blessings

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