Wednesday, April 15, 2009

HDG: It’s All In The Tone

Before we get started on the giveaway, you blog peeps should know that two of my siblings read the blog every single day. And they both happen to be celebrating their birthdays TODAY! My sister Laura and my brother Steve [aka Hoody] were born four years apart [how Mom managed that is beyond me], and they have both been great cheerleaders for me in my life. 
I love you both beyond measure and hope you have an abundantly blessed day!!!!
***** ***** *****

hump day
“The greater part of our happiness depends on our dispositions and not on our circumstances.”                       
                                                              ~Martha Washington

I find as my friends’ kids get older, their moms all start to lament about the same thing… the tone. It’s such a challenge to teach a child that, while it’s important to say you’re sorry, it’s even more important to sound like you mean it.

A curt and begrudging “I’m sorry” while stomping up the stairs and huffing dramatically just doesn’t have the same effect as sitting across from someone, looking them in the eye, and sincerely speaking from your heart. The same is true when faced with an undesirable situation… we can either handle what’s in front of us by huffing and puffing while we go through the motions, or we can take a deep breath and move forward in faith. Move forward with a grateful heart, because we move forward with trust.

When I realized that outside was no longer an easily accessible place for me, as you all know, I felt like huffing and puffing. I fought the urge and, rather than throw a tantrum, I just kept moving forward. But for the first week or so, I really didn’t have the right tone. I don’t feel bad about that… we all need to take our moments in order to adjust to new realities.

But at some point the thought occurred to me that to God, in the role as Father, I must have looked like a spoiled brat. You know, the kind that does what they’re told but only begrudgingly… making sure He realized that, while I was fulfilling my role, I really wasn’t happy about it. The sun was shining outside, people were walking around in short sleeves and sandals, and I couldn’t bring myself to open up the curtains. I could accept never going outside or opening windows if I just didn’t have it shoved in my face everyday that it was out there. That it existed. That it was all still going on without me.

And that’s not who I want to be.

I want to accept His gifts with a grateful spirit. And while being homebound doesn’t appear to be a gift, I know I will receive gifts and blessings in my situation. I always do. So when this weird weather decides to be spring-like again [I know what April showers bring, but I don’t know what comes after April snows…] my patio will be decorated. My chairs will stay empty but they will be sitting there representing the inviting home beyond the patio door. My hasta will bloom and the wrens will still take up residence, and I’ll enjoy them from my perch inside my walls.

And I will enjoy it… just because I can’t feel the sunshine doesn’t mean I can’t appreciate it’s warmth.

To win today's canvas, leave me a comment before midnight CST... I'll announce the winner tomorrow!


  1. In my house with my kids we call a bad tone, a mean voice. I didn't really know how to describe it and this is how it came out. I too often don't listen to my own advice and too often have a mean voice toward God and stomp my way through my circumstances. I love how you really portray this through your blog. You are such a breath of fresh air in an often bad toned world.

    Recent blog post: THE TICK INCIDENT

  2. What a great quote!

    Recent blog post: Garage

  3. You are just so lovely.

    Recent blog post: I was featured!

  4. Gitz,
    I love your attitude. Instead of letting circumstances get you down, you march along with life. WAY TO GO. Very pleased to see this post :)

  5. I just love reading your blog. You have such a way with words. Between you, Angie @ Bring the Rain and Amy Beth @ Ministry So Fabulous... I always read just the right thing to get me through the day. I am blessed to have found such wonderful Godly woman as examples for how to get through the bad. Thanks for always saying it like it is!

  6. working on my tone

    Pr 15:15
    For the despondent, every day brings trouble; for the happy heart, life is a continual feast.

    Happy birthday Steve and Laura!!

    Recent blog post: Sunday Setlist - March 29th, 2009

  7. Hey Gitzen girl...I have become a regular reader of your blog in the past month or so. I love the canvases and I enjoy keeping up with your life.

    Be Blessed today!!


    Recent blog post: Life and Death....Do we really get it?

  8. WOW! This canvas would be perfect hanging in my entryway. Just a subtle reminder to the teenagers that live here. Thank you for a timely, thought-provoking post.

    P.S. Happy BirthdayS to your siblings!.

  9. Love the sentiment on this canvas. So true.

    Have a wonderful Wednesday :)

    Recent blog post: Wellness Wednesday: Drink more water

  10. man, i just love you! this words resonate with me. i found myself nodding along.

    happy birthday to laura and steve!!!! hope it's a fabulous day for both of you.

    Recent blog post: Finding Shelter

  11. Happy birthday to your brother and sister!

    I hope that today finds you well. Your post and canvas are as beautiful as always. If you want to hear some "tone" you should hear my three year old apologize! :) We'll get there I'm sure.

    Recent blog post: Resurrection Day

  12. Hey Miss Sara!! So I love the canvas for today. Funny you should have said all that you did TODAY...Miss Kylee and I had a long talk just yesterday about her "tone" with her younger siblings. I told her that we should feel blessed to have each day and each other. You know she is coming up on the big 1-0 (acting like 15) soon and little bro and sis are just so 'annoying' to her...I reminded her of the battles her and lil' sis had to go through last summer and why some of the little petty things just don't matter!! She agreed....I'm having her read your post for today!! She listenes to Sara!! of our neighbors with three little boys was injured in a wrestling accident a few months ago...he is in Colorado at Craig Rehibilation Center. He and his wife Jenny are so inspriational and have truely put each day in God's hands. I just shared the phrase on todays canvas with them last week....It fitting! Nick is so determined to meet every new day with a strong will and renewed faith!

    Hugs to you always my friend!!!
    Michelle :-P

  13. This is so true. Our attitude not only affects us but also how others perceive us.

    Birthday Blessings to Laura and Steve.

    Recent blog post: Wordless Wednesday

  14. I just talked about using a nice tone with my wanna-be little teenager yesterday!

    Love the quote. So true!

  15. I need that canvas... need to see that EVERY day... Thanks, Girl! Theda

  16. Great canvas! And a wonderful reminder... I saw a plaque yesterday in the store yesterday that said "Never underestimate the power of a hissy-fit" -- /sigh\ that reminds me of ME all too often. It's all in the attitude -- the disposition!

  17. What a wonderful attitude to take. I am absolutely loving my canvas and used it for my Wordless Wednesday. Check it out.

    Love from WI
    KATE ;)

    Recent blog post: Wordless Wednesday (almost)

  18. What a great reminder! It would be a DAILY reminder if this was in my hallway ;)!!! :-D

    Recent blog post: Breakfast in 'bed'

  19. Another lovely sentiment and canvas!

  20. Okay, I love what you said and what that canvas says! I've had that dialogue with my kids a hundred times already. We're learning and working on it! :) I must say, too, that Martha Washington was one seriously impressive woman. We read her autobiography this year in homeschool and I was amazed and impressed. We have such great leaders and hero's in our history. She is one I wouldn't mind immulating myself.

    You are a hero. You're attitude and example are equally impressive in a different way. Thank you for being so honest and forthright and for choosing differently and living your life with such purpose!

  21. I think this is very timely indeed. "White knuckling." You put a smile on your face through gritted teeth and say, "yeah, everything is fine." But internally, you are doing battle, and it shows!!

    Great canvas!

    Happy Birthday to Steve and Laura!

    Recent blog post: Red River second crest.

  22. Hey Gitzy - Thanks for the birthday wishes and, even more, thanks for the cookies! I brought them into the office today, and everyone thinks YOU ROCK!!

    Love you sis, Hoody

  23. We are already working on the tone of my 17 month old. Little girls really know how to be sassy! :) I LOVE the quote! Have a blessed day!

  24. Another great quote and beautiful canvas. I love that you carry this theme so often in your posts. You remind me to Choose Joy and be grateful. Thank you!

  25. Okay, I've only "known" you for a little bit now, but every time I come here, you amaze me. Your heart enables you to take simple life situations and turn them into great life lessons...and then you so gracefully share them with all of us.

    I was laughing at the beginnig of this post: we are teaching our 3 year old that now. Yesterday even: dont just say "i'm sorry" but say it gently.

    At the end of the post, I was a bit more serious, you challenged my heart. Thank you.

  26. I know that at times I use an unkind tone as well. Some days I get so frustrated with my children and think, "How can they sound so rude??" Maybe they have learned from me.... :(

    Recent blog post: Easter

  27. Checking my attitude! Thanks for this post!

  28. Happy Birthday to Laura & Steve....What a beautiful post and a nice gentle reminder of the way it should be...Glad to have you back! :)

  29. love this quote!

    beautiful as always

  30. I REALLY need to read this today -- I have been in this huffy mood all week and maybe longer, I love that quote. Thanks for this post!

  31. Happy Birthday to your siblings!!!

    Beautiful reminder, and thanks for being an encouragement. You have no idea how much it means. You remind me so much of my friend from college who was diagnosed with MS. I can see that she struggles, but she has such a selfless heart and wants to please the Lord with her attitude. It's so encouraging to all who have the privelege to know you both, even if it is just through the computer in one case!

  32. what a great quote... and a beautiful canvas!

  33. BEAUTIFUL canvas! I'm going to think about that quote all day.

    Happy Birthday to your siblings!!! :)

  34. The comment on the canvas is so true. Thanks for sharing. Will we be hearing more from you now?

    Recent blog post: Junk in the Trunk

  35. What a good reminder on a lovely canvas. Your blog is such an encouragement as always (even with broken computers :)) Thank You!

    Recent blog post: Don’t mess with California either

  36. I loved your analogy of the kid throwing a fit; as my wonderful two year old is having a fit. Perfect timing! :D

    Recent blog post: Our Easter Celebration

  37. Michelle - I'm Sara's sister-in-law,Patience (her brother Steve's wife). What a small world. We are college friends of Nick & Jenny's. The Smith's are fabulous and we check in on him daily, too. You are right, they do have an amazing attitude! Since you are neighbors, the next time Jenny is home please give her a big hug from the Frankl's!
    Patience Frankl

  38. Having been a paraplegic for 41 years I know all too well the temper tantrums that go along with wanting to "go out and play," and not being able to. Funny, God has never seemed too impressed with them though!

  39. What a wonderful Post.
    We have been learning this lesson at our home over the past few months. I recently learned that because of my reaction to news that my husband was going to be laid off, A friend sought God and the saving grace of Jesus because he learned by my example. What a blessing it is to know that God used me as a tool for his kingdom building. Have a blessed day!

    Recent blog post: The Simple Woman's Time Journal - April 14, 2009

  40. Happy Birthday, Laura and "Hoody"...hope you BOTH have a fabulous day!!

    Oh, I deal with "tone" issues ALLLLLLLLL of the time being a teacher. Yikes! Don't even think I'll get into that one today!

    However, sweeet Sara...I put some pics up of Jorgen if you'd like to hop over to my blog and take a peek!! I thought of you right away and gave him TONS of extra squeezes and kisses this past weekend...with you in mind!!

    Love ya

    Recent blog post: Full of Words Wednesday!!

  41. I love your positive attitude. You are a true inspiration.

  42. Mary @ Giving Up On PerfectApril 15, 2009 at 12:58 PM

    Sara, thank you for sharing your heart so fully and so often with us. I know that I'm a better person for it and a more faithful follower for it - and I have a feeling I'm not the only one!

    Recent blog post: One is silver, and the other is gold.

  43. Oh My!!! It is a small world!! Two of our three kiddos are together in school....My Kate and their Gavin (their youngest) and My Kylee and their Nolan (their middle boy) They are really great people and I am very motivated by their faith. Sara is BFF's with my first cousin Susie Faga-Sigwarth. I fell in love with your sis the first time I ever met her! She is an amazing person! Last summer when she started her blog we found out that both of our girls had heart problems and they both needed to have heart surgery to fix it....Sara's blog provided me with renewed faith and strength with our situation....Not to mention her nice messages she left for the girls on their carepage. Kylee (10) fell in love with her blog as well and for the first time in her young life I think she really realized what it was like to lean on God.....and how much we trusted in the Lord to give us the strength to through the rough patchs and look forward to a bright future! If I see Jenny I will pass along a hug from you!! Thanks for contacting me Patience!! Take care....
    Warmest Regards....
    Michelle Tessman :)

  44. We could all stand to learn something from you! Thank you for being so transparent and even with your circumstances you so look at the bright side (things you can do). I am so grateful for your gift. This is such a great canvas thanks for the opportunity.

    Heather in IN

  45. This would match the colors in my room perfectly. And what a great message to wake up to each day! Thanks for another great giveaway! :-D

  46. Happy Birthday to your siblings! What a beautiful canvass. And yes, I understand the tone.....sometimes it is coming out of my mouth! I have a certain situation I need to talk to my adult son about and I'm going to try not to get the tone! So thanks!

    Recent blog post: The end of the symphony....

  47. Thank you for the gentle reminder. You are an amazing inspiration. I

  48. I've been trying to post a comment all day. ALL DAY I tell you! My internet has been messing up, but I wasn't going to miss an opportunity to try and win one of your fancy canvases! Its beautiful, as is all your others. Hope you've had a wonderful Wednesday!

    P.S. Happy Birthday to your siblings!

  49. "...All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of thing shall be well" -- St. Julian of Norwich, anchoress.

    Recent blog post: Blue Norther

  50. Great quote...just what I needed!

    Recent blog post: If Your Heart Needs a Smile....Stop by Here

  51. Love your blog... you are an inspiration to many... keep writing and painting..

    thanks for the giveaway... all of your art is so beautiful... thanks

    Recent blog post: Oh, Brother....

  52. Hi Sara!

    Oh, I LOVE this quote....just love it! Do you have a book of famous quotes or do you search for them? You have found so many perfect ones...this is one of them!

    Oh, tone. Hmmmm.....I had a not so great "mommy moment" this morning with Trey. He's 12 and my tone could have been much better! But we do talk about tone and impressions and how we treat others. I always stress to be kind regardless of the take the high road.

    I do agree with your statement that it is okay to feel what you feel, good or bad, but you do have to eventually pull up your bootstraps and hopefully choose joy. I get down about our situation with Trey and get overcome with worry (working on that, yes indeed-y) but ultimately try and choose joy and to live in the moment. Actually, Trey really helps me with that. He is such a happy guy and he has taught me more than anyone I know. I follow his lead and am so proud of his attitude and what he's about. I pray he can hold onto that because I think that will take him far!

    Hope you and Mr. Riley are having a great day! Happy Birthday to Hoody and Laura! Take good care and I look forward to reading your blog tomorrow.

    :)Lynn ( lol

    Recent blog post: The Guy In 19B...

  53. Robin All Things Heart and HomeApril 15, 2009 at 6:26 PM this. You amaze me with your inner peace and wisdom. And always your words bring me back to what's true.
    I love Hoody's comment ~ Happy Birthday Hoody and Laura!!!
    Love to you Sweetie~

    Recent blog post: TED - Ideas worth spreading

  54. Sara, I love the variety of quotes that you find! Martha Washington, that is so cool! The impact of this post again is in perfect timing for my mom and I will send it to her. Thanks so very much for leading by example and letting your faith show steady and often!

  55. First Happy Birthday to your siblings.
    Second...What a fab post. As always. I have been needing to have this conversation with my son.
    Third...beautiful canvas :)

  56. I'll take the sunshine from your heart over the one in the sky any day.

    You are exactly right, it's how we say something that counts a lot more than the words we use.

    Kids learn what body language, and facial expressions, mean very quickly.

    I think of the old western movies where when the bad guy insults the good guy. The good guy says, "Smile when you say that!"

    I think it is the same with dogs. You look for the tail wagging, not the the "Woof!"

    Recent blog post: Temptation

  57. oops forgot to leave my name for the above comment... I wouldn't want to win as a guest!!!!!

  58. What a beautiful post! The quote you chose for the canvas holds so much truth.

  59. What a lovely canvas! Thanks for the opportunity.

  60. :) Oh Gitz, I just love you.....

    I'm so glad my own canvas is on the way and if I win this one I'd be thrilled, too. I could cover my home with your beautiful canvases of heart and spirit.

    Recent blog post: Never Eat Crow - A Critter Tale

  61. Happy Birthday to your brother and sister! I love, love the canvas!


  62. so what does a friend like me do when i read this post? the whole time im trying to figure out ways to get you outside and under the sun without harming you.

    im thinking...skylights and heat lamps at first...ya know...get you acclamated. then when mother nature isnt looking...whip you on out for a quick sit on your patio. throw you quickly back in the condo and promptly call your doc.

    i know. not very well thought out or practical.


    Recent blog post: pimp my post & happy birthday kass!

  63. Skylights was my dream solution, just to feel like I'm outside, but the fact that I'm on the ground floor of a 3 story building kinda puts the kibosh on that one! :-P