Love does not envy

I don’t really consider myself an envious or jealous person. That being said, there are times when I’m not always as happy as I should be when others achieve success. It’s not that I want their success, but rather I sometimes wonder why some people seem to have more than their share of success (in my opinion).

I know a person who seems insolated from failure. It doesn’t seem to matter what they do or don’t do. Every time I turn around I hear of another bit of good fortune that has come their way. To be honest, my first thought is not one of happiness for them. Obviously my feelings about this person are less than loving.

I need to examine my thoughts and motives when I’m not cheering someone else’s success. Do I desire what they’ve achieved? Generally, the answer is no. Do I resent their success? If there is a perceived unfairness regarding their success, I think the answer is sometimes yes. Am I discontent with my own success? Personally, the answer is no, but I do believe that discontentment with one’s own circumstances is the seed of envy.

When I truly love someone, I can’t help but be excited and downright giddy when they are successful. My sister and her husband have bought and sold real estate at opportune times and reaped the rewards. Their home is lovely and a wonderful place for our family gatherings. We haven’t had the same experience in our real estate dealings, but I am truly happy my sister and brother-in-law have had success.

I don’t expect to love an acquaintance as I love my sister, but I need to avoid envy and jealously, regardless. It’s difficult in a “What’s in it for me?” culture to shift our thinking, but it’s necessary if we are to exhibit love to our family, friends and colleagues.

(Next: Love does not boast)

*“Love is patient. Love is kind. It does not want what belongs to others. It does not brag. It is not proud.  It is not rude. It does not look out for its own interests. It does not easily become angry. It does not keep track of other people’s wrongs. Love is not happy with evil. But it is full of joy when the truth is spoken. It always protects. It always trusts. It always hopes. It never gives up.” (New International Reader’s Version-NIRV)

Love is Kind

In my previous post, I mentioned wanting to avoid the first *description of love (Love is Patient). However, I’m discovering that patience is necessary to live out the other qualities of love. When I lack patience, I’m unkind, and that is a painful reality.

IKindness quote_Site’m still working on the patience, but being kind was drilled into me by my mother. Whenever my siblings and I would argue she would quote Ephesians 4:32, “Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” (NIV) I’m sorry to say that I’ve not always followed my mother’s admonition. I was sometimes unkind to other children. I wasn’t always kind to co-workers. I’ve even been unkind to my husband and children, and I truly do love them.

Overall, however, I believe people with whom I interact regularly would say that I am a kind person. I simply find no reason, in general, to be purposefully unkind. I think most would agree that bullying and cutting remarks are extremely hurtful and completely unnecessary, but that’s the low hanging fruit, so to speak.

Our everyday actions and responses to stressful situations can sometimes cause us to choose to be unkind. Someone irritates me, so the logical reaction would be to irritate them in return; and eye for an eye. I have the ability to choose what seems to be counterintuitive. Someone irritates me, and I choose to take a deep breath, smile and move on.

In addition to reacting with kindness, I can be intentional with my kindness. I’m thinking about a friend, so I send them a note/email/text telling them how much I enjoy having them in my life. My husband loves chicken enchiladas, so I put forth a little more effort and make them for dinner.  I know my son and daughter-in-law are tired when they come home from work, so I do the dishes, and pick up the toys when I babysit.

I’ve heard it said that kindness means to withhold what harms, as well as give what heals. I like that! Wouldn’t the world be better with less harm and more healing?

(Next: Love does not envy)

*“Love is patient. Love is kind. It does not want what belongs to others. It does not brag. It is not proud.  It is not rude. It does not look out for its own interests. It does not easily become angry. It does not keep track of other people’s wrongs. Love is not happy with evil. But it is full of joy when the truth is spoken. It always protects. It always trusts. It always hopes. It never gives up.” (New International Reader’s Version-NIRV)


Love is patient

There’s video of me at about age 6 at a Christmas gathering at my grandparent’s home. I’m obviously very excited as my grandpa is passing out gifts to my siblings and cousins. I begin to bounce on the couch as the anticipation grows. For some reason, everyone else is receiving gifts, but not me. I know mine are under the tree (I saw my name on the tags!), but grandpa isn’t grabbing my gifts. I know this isn’t intentional, but it’s all I can do to wait patiently and not yell, “GRANDPA, I need a gift!” Instead of yelling, I bounce higher and higher and it’s quite apparent that patience is not my strong suit.

As I begin to memorize and live the definition of love as written in 1 Corinthians 13:4-7*, I find myself wanting to avoid the first description of love; Love is patient. Wouldn’t it be easier to just skip over the tough attribute and move on to something easier, like “love does not brag?”

The video clip of me as a youngster shows a lack of patience with circumstances, and to a certain extent, maturity assists with developing this type of patience. However, the type of patience required to love fully is different. If I say I love someone, I will not have a short fuse or lose my temper when dealing with them. For me personally, this type of patience does not come naturally or with maturity.

My husband is pretty close to perfect, and I should have no issue whatsoever being patient with him. Sometimes, however, he doesn’t do things on my timeframe (gasp!), and my first reaction is to bless him with frequent, friendly reminders (aka nagging). I need to show him I love him by patiently (and quietly) waiting for him to complete a task.

I love my mother, however, I’m not nearly as patient with her as I should be. She’s getting older and although she’s doing well for her age, there are times she frustrates me. Now more than ever, she needs me to show my love for her by being patient.

My kids are adults, and sometimes they act in a mature manner and sometimes not so much. I need to allow them to make mistakes and choose their own path. Surprisingly, some things I believe to be mistakes turn out to be just fine. They need me to be patient as they continue to grow into amazing adults.

I need to be willing to make allowances for the flaws and imperfections I see in others not just because this makes me more loving, but because I am keenly aware of my own faults and weaknesses and would appreciate the same tolerance.

As you age, are you becoming more patient with those you love, or finding irritated to be your default?

(Next: Love is Kind)

*“Love is patient. Love is kind. It does not want what belongs to others. It does not brag. It is not proud.  It is not rude. It does not look out for its own interests. It does not easily become angry. It does not keep track of other people’s wrongs. Love is not happy with evil. But it is full of joy when the truth is spoken. It always protects. It always trusts. It always hopes. It never gives up.” (New International Reader’s Version-NIRV)

I won a Mr. Coffee Cafe’ Latte machine!

I never win anything.  Well, that’s not entirely true. I did win back money I’d already played in Las Vegas one time. However, I don’t think you can consider it winning when you break even. The world seems to be … Continue reading 

5 things I learned on my Princess Cruise

Between the time we docked in San Pedro and our arrival back in Portland, we reflected on our cruise experience. We learned a lot about sailing with Princess Cruises, but five things stand out in my mind

1. The process of embarking and disembarking shouldn’t be a mystery.

We thought we needed to hurry to the ship, which turned out to be untrue. The embarkation process is similar to boarding an airplane. Those who sailed with the cruise line previously and had elite status boarded first. Had we known we had more time, we could have toured the USS Iowa that is docked in close proximity.
Disembarking may have been less of a mystery had we watched the infomercial, but seriously, who wants to spend the last day of their cruise watching television? We looked all over our cabin for information about disembarking, but couldn’t find anything. We looked on our bill, but could find no information there either. We decided to follow the crowd, which was a good move. A crew member asked us for our disembarkment location, which we didn’t have, but he was able to direct us to the proper location. Once there, we saw that people were in groups. Since we didn’t know which group to join we asked another crew member. She was quite surprised that our bill didn’t have the information, so she just put us in the group that was disembarking next. YEA!
It was a pretty simple process, and had we known how fast it was going to be, we would have called our transportation service, A-1 Express so they could be waiting outside the terminal. Our driver Eric arrived as quickly as possible and made his way to LAX to drop us off for our flight home. He was masterful at navigating the LA morning rush hour.

2. Photographers are everywhere.

We were glad we had been warned about the photographers taking pictures on the ship. These photographers seemed to be everywhere; when you boarded the ship, when you left the ship, while you were dining.  I’m not against having my picture taken, but they don’t ask you. They made it seem like this is what everyone does. We courteously walked around the “opportunity” or did not make eye contact. The crew was very nice about using our camera to take our photo when we asked.

3. The food is plentiful, but not extraordinary.

The food was good, but didn’t live up to the hype. It was fun to be adventurous and try new things without worrying about the price. I would definitely order the chilled soups, again! The desserts looked amazing, but we learned to avoid cakes. I love cake, but every time that was our dessert choice, it was stale. Pizza is good, but even the pizza at Alfredo’s (which everyone raves about) wasn’t overly special. Everything we ate in the dining rooms was good to great, but not superior to most restaurants.

4. Take the buffet home.

This isn’t something I learned during this cruise, but ALWAYS take advantage of “portable” food (especially if you’ve already paid for it, or it’s free!). During lunch at the buffet on our last full day, I noticed sandwiches wrapped in plastic. I grabbed a couple and took them back to our room and put in them in our refrigerator. We also grabbed some extra cookies and muffins. This little stash came in handy for our flight home the following day.

5. Cruising is a good vacation option.

Did we enjoy it? Yes. Did we love it? No. Do we want to take another one? Yes, but only if it is the best way to visit a specific destination, such as Alaska or the Caribbean. We’re already saving for our next cruise, but we figure we won’t set sail again for another five years or so.

If you’re considering a cruise, do your research. Compare the different cruise lines and cruises on sites such as Vacations To Go. Read message boards (  Consider taking a short cruise, like we did, so you can get your feet wet, so to speak, and see if cruising is for you without spending a lot of money.

Bon Voyage!

A peaceful, sometimes windy day at sea

Day four of our cruise was technically our final day. The following morning we would dock in San Pedro, disembark and head home. While we enjoyed our cruise, we were ready to get home. However, knowing our busy routine was waiting, we took full advantage of these last hours of relaxation.

After breakfast, we spent most of the day on our balcony reading. This may sound boring to some, but it was extremely enjoyable to us. We like to read, but it seems there’s always something more pressing that needs doing. Our cabin was located in the back of the ship, or the stern. Some people would rather be near the front, or bow of the ship, for the views. What we lacked in views was more than made up for by the lack of wind. The sun was warm and the location was perfect!


I  had to remind myself that we were sitting outside on a balcony on a cruise ship in January! The following day I’d have to say goodbye to sandals, capris and short sleeved shirts and return to shoes, socks and a winter coat.

We stopped reading long enough to grab some lunch at the buffet, and then took a walk around the ship. It was extremely windy, and I was glad I’d grabbed my jacket. The breeze was just a tad bit chilly for me, so I was glad when we returned to the cabin to resume reading on our balcony.Cruise_3_LR

We wanted to capture the sunset, so we didn’t make dinner reservations. Taking pictures of the sunset seemed more important than where we ate. If you don’t make reservations, you may still be able to be seated in one of the dining rooms, but we didn’t want to be bothered and decided to eat at the buffet again. The buffet is more laid back, no real dress code, but they don’t offer the appetizers, soups and salads that are on the dining room menus. By the way, all the dining rooms have the same menu every night with the exception of their specialty.

After dinner we packed for our return home. We’d missed the infomercial they air regarding disembarking, and wanted to be ready for the unknown.

Cruise_Sunset_atsea_LRWe put on our Princess Cruise robes and went back onto our balcony soaking up the last of our time at sea. I could have stood there listening to the ocean for hours, but we had a long day of travel ahead of us and it was time for bed. I tried to concentrate on the rocking of the boat as I fell asleep. So peaceful…

Watching football poolside in January; now that’s a cruise!

I slept very well at sea. I don’t know if it was the rocking of the ship or the enormous amount of food I was eating, but I didn’t have insomnia once. I woke up bright and early on the third day of our cruise and got around to go eat breakfast. We’d enjoyed watching our ship pull into San Diego the day before, so I wanted to do the same as we pulled into Ensenada, Mexico.

We made it to the buffet just as it was opening and took a window seat. We could tell we weren’t in the United States. The tug boats and barges didn’t look the least bit sea-worthy. The pier, however, was very pretty. There was some construction and landscaping under way, and we got the sense it was being done for the benefit of the cruise ship industry.

Tour buses were already circling the parking lot next to the pier. A Carnival cruise ship had docked some time before we arrived, and the locals were ready to welcome tourist dollars! We had been to Mexico previously, and felt no desire whatsoever to take a tour, or get off the ship at all for that matter.  Knowing we had nowhere to be at any specific time, we ate a very leisurely breakfast and watched everyone else scurry around.

Our plan for the day was pretty simple. We’d finish breakfast, read on our balcony and then make our way to the pool area to watch the Seattle Seahawks play the New Orleans Saints on a HUGE 30’X40’ jumbo screen. Living in the Pacific Northwest, we feel as though the Seahawks are our home team, even though we live in Oregon.

I’ve never watched a televised football game outdoors on a jumbo screen. It was quite the experience. There we were sitting on lounge chairs poolside in 70 degree weather, watching a NFL playoff game in January. The weather in Seattle (where the game was played) was quite different. Strong winds made the steady rain blow sideways. If we’d had an international call package, we’d have called friends and family to gloat, just a little, about our conditions for watching the game!

One of the nice things about watching a football game on a cruise ship is that you don’t have to worry about snacks! Hamburgers, hot dogs, pizza, popcorn, ice cream – you name it, it was available. I have to say it was by far the best way to watch a football game. The fact that the Seahawks won and advanced in the playoffs (and eventually won the Super Bowl!), made the day even better.

We ended the day at the buffet rather than one of the ship’s dining rooms, before returning to our cabin to watch the Colts fall to the Patriots in the other playoff game. We were kind of surprised to learn we could actually catch the game in our cabin. Television offerings are pretty limited, but it’s doubtful anyone takes a cruise to sit in their cabin and watch TV.

We waved goodbye to Ensenada from our balcony and listened to the “bark” of a seal perched on the jetty.  We stood outside for a while, wrapped in the warmth of our Princess Cruise Line robes just listening to the sounds of the ship and the ocean.  Ahhhh….

(Next: A day at sea, exploring the ship and reading on the balcony)