Tag Archives for " friendship "

Karla’s Korner: Childhood Friends….An Unbreakable Bond

Childhood Friends

Childhood Friends

Childhood Friends….An Unbreakable Bond

Famed British author Alexander McCall Smith wrote “You can go through life and make new friends every year – every month practically – but there was never any substitute for those friendships of childhood that survive into adult years. Those are the ones in which we are bound to one another with hoops of steel.”Continue reading

Karla’s Korner: The Importance of Reaching Out

The Importance of Reaching Out


The Importance of Reaching Out…..

With the news of Robin Williams taking his life this past week I have found myself filled with questions and in discussion with friends and family about this tragic loss. There are many views on suicide and whether or not it is a selfish choice made by someone who believed it’s the only way out of the darkness or the result of feeling that death is the only way to lighten the burden of those we love, the truth of the matter is it’s devastatingly tragic. My heart aches for those left behind trying to find answers to the questions brought about by the sudden life changing tragedy.
As I climbed on the exercise bike at the gym on Saturday I searched for a movie to watch while I pedaled through the 13 miles ahead of me. As I opened up my Amazon video choices a Robin Williams concert was at the top of the suggestions. A child of the 70’s and 80’s I remember watching Williams as he played Mork and admired his ability to fall in and out of a character quickly. As I began to pedal, Williams appeared on the screen larger than life and full of energy. There he was the funny man, making everyone laugh and forget about their own troubles for a while when we now know he was battling his own debilitating illness; depression was tearing away at his soul while he soothed ours with laughter. How difficult was it, I wonder, for him to put on his happy face and literally pretend to be happy and filled with joy? He became skilled at hiding behind the mask of deception making the world believe all was well. Allowing a sneak peak at his personal struggles throughout the years I believe we (the general public) ignored the tough stuff because quite frankly the tough stuff isn’t much fun. It’s easier to laugh and hide than face the struggles and cry. We tend to believe that sharing our struggles makes us weak; I disagree.

Plato once said “Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle”. Thinking about this and battles I face in my own life I am grateful for those who extend a helping hand, share a smile or a word of encouragement. I believe that my Creator created us to live in community; in fellowship with one another. In fact, I believe that we are our brother’s keeper; whether we want to be or not. Filling our lives with purpose and meaningful work will not only help us through our own difficult times but ease the struggles of those around us.

After discussing the importance of dedicating ourselves to helping others with a close friend this week, he sent me the following quote: “Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around”. Those few words strung together shared between friends have the power to change a life. For the one reaching out to help it allows them to lose themselves in service to another and to the receiver of the kind act it restores hope and establishes a sense of importance and relevance. During one of my tough days earlier this year as I battled my food addiction that same friend sent me a note of encouragement willing me not to give up or give in to the addiction; “you’re relevant, worth the effort. Keep it going. You can do this.” Those few words gave me the courage to keep fighting that day and not give in to the destruction that is my addiction. Last week I was able to do the same thing for a relative stranger in the gym. Passing on the kindness shared with me to her pushed her to keep going and opened up the doors to a new friendship.

I encourage you to reach out to others with small acts of kindness knowing that everyone you meet is facing some sort of battle. It may be that one small thing you do will help turn their lives around or bring them a bit of joy in a less than joyful time in their lives. As we turn our focus from ourselves and begin to dedicate our time and talents to helping others we will find that our own healing takes place. In closing I share with you the words of Mother Teresa “Let no one ever come to you without leaving better and happier. Be the living expression of God’s kindness: kindness in your face, kindness in your eyes, kindness in your smile.” Being kind is not difficult; it’s necessary.




I am proud to introduce a new column to Madame Deals! I think we all need a touch point a place we can go to be inspired. Karla is my children’s teacher, a good friend, and a person with a heart of gold. I hope that her words will inspire you to do more. We are only as good as the people we surround ourselves with. It is important to listen with your heart and proceed with your eyes open. Enjoy!

Read more Karla’s Korner , also please visit Karla’s Lifetime Moms page and read her articles.

Check out Karla’s 24 Day Advocare Challenge updates!

Karla’s Korner: Marriage and Friendship


Marriage and Friendship

I am a simple girl. My husband appreciates that I am not a big shopper. I shop when necessary but I do not make shopping a hobby or something to do just to pass time and spend money. I have never been a fan of clothes shopping and my modest relatively plain Jane wardrobe is evidence of that. In the past 25 years of life with my husband we have always enjoyed the simple things in life. When we were dating we spent most of our time enjoying good food, playing pool in his basement, hanging out with friends; simple things. We were married for three years before we ever went to the movies. While the simple way of life is our preference, we have had the occasion to dress up and be a bit more “fancy”. We honeymooned in Jamaica, have attended conferences, reunions, weddings and parties that have required us to get all dolled up and sparkly every once in a while. However, for the most part simple is better; more fitting for our lifestyle.Continue reading

Karla’s Korner: A Lesson in Friendship



A Lesson in Friendship

Last week I shared that my mother-in-law passed away and the feelings I had surrounding that time of sadness. On Thursday my family travelled to North Carolina to say our final good-byes to her and to spend time in grief and celebration of her life with family and friends. I have been fortunate not to have had to experience many funerals but each time I do I struggle with the finality of it all and find myself filled with “what if’s” or “I wish I had’s”. We moved my mother-in-law moved into an assisted living facility two years ago; the decision to move her there was one filled with anxiety and dread. We all knew she needed assistance; something that none of us could provide the way she needed it. My sister-in-laws searched and found the perfect place for her. It was quaint, neat, clean and filled with a loving caring staff who dedicated their time and energy to creating a positive home like environment for the residents. On our first visit to see her new place Grandma proudly showed us around and introduced us to everyone we saw. She was so excited to show us her table in the dining room; she told us that she sat in the same chair with the same ladies for every single meal. She walked us through the hallways pointing out the t.v. area, library, sunroom and the scales that she weighed herself every time she passed. On one of our trips through the halls that day she introduced us to her neighbor from across the hall. “Mrs. K” was a tiny little gray haired woman well into her 80’s with a smile that lit up the room. Grandma told us that “Mrs. K” was her best friend. “Mrs. K” agreed that they were buddies and had become pretty inseparable. Each time we visited Grandma “Mrs. K” would wave and occasionally stop by to say hello or make sure Grandma was still coming to lunch. They had become best friends.

This week while standing in the receiving line at Grandma’s visitation at the funeral home “Mrs. K” appeared pushing her walker with her daughter by her side to steady each step. As she greeted each family member she shared with us how special Grandma was to her and how she wouldn’t have missed coming to say good-bye for anything in the world. She was determined to walk (not ride in a wheel chair) the entire family line and hug each of us and pay her respects to her best friend. By the time she got to me I was in tears. This woman who had only known Grandma for a short time was truly her best friend. She shared with me that they had tea parties and would share their snacks and cookies with one another almost every afternoon. She truly loved Grandma with her whole heart and wanted us to know.

As I watched this frail little lady continue down the line and stop at the casket she reached over and touched Grandma on the cheek and quietly turned and walked away. Her farewell was simple but said more than words ever could. She had lost her best friend.

Throughout my life I have been blessed by friends who have touched my heart. I have friends from as early as first grade through high school and into my adult life. Some friends I lost contact with for many years and have only recently reconnected with them. What I have found is that the 25 plus years of disconnect seemed to fade away when we found each other again; our hearts never forgot. Ironically my newer friends have found a similar spot in my heart even though our time together so far has been shorter.

Friendships, I believe are a necessary element of life. The philosopher Aristotle said, “In poverty and other misfortunes of life, true friends are a sure refuge. They keep the young out of mischief; they comfort and aid the old in their weakness, and they incite those in the prime of life to noble deeds.” Friendships are vital for well being, but they take time to develop and can’t be artificially created. No wonder they are at risk of being neglected.” A number of studies have highlighted the importance of friends and good relationships to health. Some have proven that socially engaged adult’s age more successfully stating that women over age 60, those who are socially engaged and visit with friends and family throughout the week are happier as they age. Friends can help you achieve your weight and fitness goals.

Encouragement and just sharing goes a long way to boosting your willpower. Friends make life more manageable in the tough times and a little sweeter in the good times. Being social boosts your immune system. Being socially engaged leads to more positive emotions, which in turn may actually boost your body’s immune system and reduce the physical signs of stress.

Fill your life with great friends that will help carry you through the tough times and celebrate with you in the good times. Whether you have one true friend or a whole bunch, know that life is meant to be lived in community surrounded by those who love us enough to stay by our side until the end just like “Mrs. K”.



I think we all need a touch point a place we can go to be inspired. Karla is my children’s teacher, a good friend, and a person with a heart of gold. I hope that her words will inspire you to do more. We are only as good as the people we surround ourselves with. It is important to listen with your heart and proceed with your eyes open. Enjoy!

Check out all of Karla’s Korner articles for more thought for the week here. Also, please visit Karla’s Lifetime Moms page and read her articles.

Topic: Friendship

November 19, 2012

Karla’s Korner – Memories: The Diary of our Lives

I am proud to introduce a new column to Madame Deals! I think we all need a touch point a place we can go to be inspired. Karla is my children’s teacher, a good friend, and a person with a heart of gold. I hope that her words will inspire you to do more. We are only as good as the people we surround ourselves with. It is important to listen with your heart and proceed with your eyes open. Enjoy!

Memories: The Diary of our Lives…

My friend Connie and I have known each other for more than five years. When I moved into town our children were in the fifth grade. Now, in their second year of college, we are both amazed and grateful that they are where they are doing what they want and need to be doing to pursue the next step in their lives. Confiding in one another and sharing in both joys and sadness, we cling to the fact that we are making memories. Connie has been one of my biggest supporters always lending an ear (or a shoulder) when I’ve needed to vent, cry or celebrate some of the most momentous times in my life. Connie always celebrates that no matter what we are going through, we are making memories. I love her and the positive hopeful impact she makes on my life and in my heart every day.

Sitting down to reflect on memories and the emotions that I have stored away in my “memory bank” I am overwhelmed. Filled with a vast array of memories from my life I realize that while some of those memories are not so pleasant, they too have helped mold me into the person that I am today. I believe that it takes both good and not so good memories (events) to help us figure out who and what we want to be. And, I believe that because of the memories we continue to make, our “makeup” and who we are can and often will change throughout the course of time.

Some of my earliest memories as a child were those centered around family gatherings. Growing up on a farm, our life never really allowed us to take big family vacations. We did, however, find many reasons to gather together as a family and celebrate certain holidays and birthdays. One of my favorite memories was the big family reunion held every year on July 4th at my great grandmother’s home. My great grandmother Mae was a tiny little woman who worked hard all of her life. She gave birth to twelve children and stood no more than 5 feet tall. With her long sleeved high collared dress, black lace up boots and pure white hair stacked in a neat bun on her head, she took pride in knowing all of our names and sharing a little time with each of us. I often wondered how such a tiny little woman could have birthed that many children and spent so much time taking care of her big house and farm long after her husband had passed away. Not strikingly beautiful by today’s standards, I always thought that she was one of the most beautiful people I had ever known. Her beauty radiated from within; something that I often envy. Other childhood memories include homemade ice cream, watching fireworks from my grandparent’s yard, the huge weeping willow tree in the yard of my childhood home and riding my bicycle down the hill without the chain and no brakes and my momma yelling after me.

As life plodded on and the teen years came the memories are not so warm and fuzzy. Growing up for me was difficult at times and often hurt. While there were plenty of good memories during those years, I believe that the difficult ones were more important in my development as an adult. The teen years brought about the realization that hearts get broken (a lot), friends are not always who or what they seem, and no matter how much you think you know EVERYTHING, you don’t. It’s those memories that taught me what I required (yes, required) in a life partner, how to choose my friends and that no matter how old I get I will never ever know everything; and that’s okay.

At the end of the day, our memories are what we have stored away in our hearts and minds that not only allow us to reflect on our life events but make us who we are. Pay attention to the memories you are making with those you love. Taking time to document with photographs, journal writing and story-telling will keep the memories alive and allow you to learn and grow into the person you are supposed to be. In the words of famed author Oscar Wilde, “Memory is the diary that we all carry about with us.” Live life, make memories, store them in your life diary and know that who you are is a result of the memories you make; so take those memories, the good and the bad and be the best you that you can be.



Check out all of Karla’s Korner articles here.

Also, please visit Karla’s Lifetime Moms page and read her articles.

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