13 Things That I Know to Be True

P1140145An updated version of one of my most commented on posts—this time with a few extras added in!

1. Everyone has a story There is no doubt about it in my mind.   You may not “think” that you have a story, but daggum it, you do.   You may think that you have a boring and mundane life but I can guarantee that if you and I sat down to talk I would be able to get “the story” out of you that makes you you.  It is a gift of sorts.  Out of the most insignificant and inconsequential things come stories and truths.  Give it time to develop.

2.  Most people just need someone to listen to themYep, that cashier, the librarian, the mail carrier and the random person in the mall—they all have things going on and sometimes they just need to tell someone about them.  It may not be your idea of what you were intending to do that day but if you stop and take the time chances are you will learn their story from number 1.

3. The past is the past.  Too often I think we dwell in the past and let it make excuses for our actions in the present.  I do not discount the importance of the past.  It does shape us to be the individuals that we are today but at some point it is up to each individual to take responsibility and stand in the present without blaming the past for our problems today.   Grow up!   Be who you are meant to be today—not the person who uses the past to make excuses .

4.  Smallness is not just a  stature thing.  The people in life that I have observed who are happy with their lot in life and content are most frequently the ones who have experienced the world outside of a small circle.  In other words, they have lived.  They have allowed their minds to embrace all kinds of ideas and thoughts and are not limited to always thinking that they have it all figured out.

5. Life is better lived big.  I truly believe that the limitations that we have are merely the limitations that we place on ourselves.   We can be bigger—we can live bigger and by bigger I mean a fuller and more complete life.   Sometimes it is difficult to push ourselves but in the end I do believe that it is what we were born to do—push ourselves to be the bigger and better version of ourselves.  Push the envelope.  Punch into the clouds.  Go the distance.  Be all that you can be.  (My apologies to the US Army on that one.)

6.  A little compassion can change a person.  How many people do you know that go through life just being sad and alone?   Opening a door for someone, leaving a spot open on a bench so someone can have a seat instead of taking up all the space, leaving a little extra tip—these all can turn the tide of someone’s day.  Just looking someone in the eyes and wishing them a nice day is a simple enough thing to do and can make that person feel like they are important.

7. Older folks are a gift.  They are a wealth of knowledge and experience that we should tap into.  How many times I have had a conversation with an octogenarian and later thought how wise they were and how much I learned from a short exchange.   Many cultures revere their elderly and they have high places of honor.  That should be the norm and not the exception.

8. A good belly laugh is good for whatever ails you.  Sometimes laughter is just what is needed.   Even in times of sadness and sorrow the body needs to experience laughter and not just a chuckle–that full rolling belly shaking laugh that brings tears to your eyes.  You know the kind I am talking about.  The kind that happens when best friends get together and relive old experiences that were most likely better left in the past!

9. There are songs for every occasion.  If you are feeling it there is absolutely a song for it.   It never ceases to amaze me how much music is a part of my life and of my memories.  The simple opening strains of the theme from The Summer Place bring back memories of a hospital gown with little chicks on it, waking up and wondering where my mom and dad were when I was in the hospital for pneumonia when I was very young.   The Hallelujah Chorus reminds me of being woken up on Saturday mornings in my childhood to do our chores.   There are so many memories associated with music and so much of my life is wrapped up in lyrics.   That, my friends, is a wonderful thing.

10. You can make a difference. I truly believe this.   If you want to make a difference you can.  It does not require riches or fame.   It does not require a huge blog audience (though that might help!).  It just requires YOU to take action on whatever is on your heart.  If it is to stop bullying in schools–formulate a plan with your local school.  If it is to clean up the environment—-start recycling and carrying green bags to the store.   If it is to help children who don’t have shoes to wear—buy a pair of TOMS.  If it is to improve the lives of animals who need some tender loving care–volunteer at your local animal shelter.  There is always a place that YOU can make a difference.

11.  There is absolutely no down side to generosity.  Recently fellow blogger, Katybeth, from Odd Loves Company  and I had a discussion. She is a very generous person and that shines through her in many ways—including the unexpected gift of cute little teacup and teapot candles that appeared in my mailbox.  We had a conversation about how it feels to be able to do something for someone, to donate or to actually do a  kindness for someone and why we do it.  She stated that she could find “no downside to generosity” and that quote has stuck with me.  I have to agree.  Finding new ways to improve someone else’s life can only be a positive thing, at least as far as I have experienced.

12. Life can change in an instant and often does. This one has been brought home to me in the past couple of weeks when good friends were in a freak car vs. deer accident.  One moment they were traveling along on a trip home from Thanksgiving and the next minute a deer changed their lives forever.  We are not promised a tomorrow and it makes it even more urgent to me to do the best I can do every single day.

13.  You can never say “I love you” too frequently. That’s a fact.  Tell your loved ones that you love them.  Every day.  Multiple times a day. Whenever you can.  No regrets.



  1. Excellent list! I HEARTily agree with you! ♥

  2. Great truths!

  3. I like #1, 4, 9, 10, 12. With #1, it sounds like you are good at mining the stories of folks. I like 9 because why is it I can read a blog or a comment and a song’s words and tune can instantly pop in my mind? #4 I hate provincialism. With #12, you are spot on. My mother instilled that in us, to not take things for granted. She knew as she lost her dad to a heart attack when he was only 40. Her circumstances and her mother’s changed instantly. And #10. I like my work. I think it’s important work, not just a job. A very good, wise list you have here.

    • Thank you so much!!! I thought I would add to it and republish it today and hit some new readers since the first time I posted. Number 12 is so true, isn’s it? I know we say it all the time but we just are not guaranteed anything in this life and having dear friends have their lives changed forever due to an accident has really emphasized that to me. Have a great day and thanks for stopping by!

  4. This is a great collection of advice. My favorites are 1, 5, 9, and 11. To generously singing our stories of living big! 🙂

  5. Wonderful list. I agree and several resonate for me. Listening, showing up in the world as ‘big’, and our ability to make a difference.
    Excellent post for this time of year when so many people are wrapped in the material side of the holidays!

    • Thanks so much for your kind comments and for taking the time to stop by. It is really important to remember these things for me and writing them down makes them more real for somer reason. None of them are anything new or revolutionary but I need to be reminded of them . Thanks again!

  6. Nice words of wisdom! I’ve been pondering #12 lately because I’ve seen/ heard about quite a few sudden disability and sudden death experiences with people I know.

  7. Beth Ann, this is a great list and I can see why it rated as one of your most popular posts. You offer the best suggestions here and I know you live by these, not just write them.

    Just to single out # 1 and 2. Randy often comments on how people open up to me and how often I make others cry. Not because I mean to, but because something is weighing heavy on their hearts and I listen with compassion. I am convinced that listening, focusing on the person with whom we are connecting, can make such a difference.

    P.S. You ought to “punch into the clouds” and submit your devotionals for publication. Yes, I can be a real pest sometimes.

  8. These are right on the money for me. Thank you!

  9. This is a fabulous list, starting with #1 which is the name of my blog ‘They say everyone has a story this is mine..
    Thank you for sharing.

  10. I need to copy and paste this list this list somewhere so that I can see it daily.

  11. Great list…regarding #4…I have an original quote and meme I made that says, “When you belittle, you are small”. 🙂

  12. The one thing I know to be true is; the world could use more people like you..

  13. Well said, Beth Ann. Well said! I think, having read your list, that you and I could have an amazing sit-down conversation. There’s so much wisdom in your list, things my own life has taught me, and I especially relate to the one about music. I don’t need my MP3 going 24/7 because a song of some sort generally is playing in my brain, ha!

    • Debbie—I would LOVE to have a sit down with you–maybe with a cup of tea???? I think we share a lot in common and it makes me smile to know that you agree with so much of what I listed today. Thanks for making me smile!

  14. Very important message today Beth Ann! I was just reading a Christmas letter from Kelvin’s 89 year old aunt where she talked about crocheting small child-sized afghans for the children’s hospital & I was thinking what a great thing to do. I love to crochet in the winter but Kelvin keeps giving me heck about having too many afghans around. I could get some really bright yarn & crochet afghans for children stuck in the hospital. Even if my life has to be more sedentary this is still something I could do!

    • That is an awesome idea!!! There are some really great ladies at my church who make prayer shawls and I have sent so many out I think I need to learn how to crochet so that I can help them out! I love your idea of doing child sized afghans!!! That would be the perfect thing for you to do!!!

  15. Our chorale group gave our Christmas music on Saturday and then today we went over to Crandall (where the people need much more help and are not able to get out for many of the activities we have here.] I looked at an old friend (Anita, Beth) and she was singing one long song as we were singing. I stopped on the way out and gave her a big hugh. They love the music even though some of them have a nap for a while. It made me feel better also.

  16. A wonderful list Beth Ann. Having just lost my 95 year old great aunt, number 7 sure rings true. She was a treasure indeed.

  17. A very special list Beth Ann! Good to read and reflect on, especially this time of year but all year of course,all our life. I am going to mark it to my favorites!! Thank you!

  18. Yes!

  19. Enjoyed your uplifting post! Encourages me to want to improve on all of these things.

  20. What an inspirational list Beth Ann! Thank you for sharing this.
    After # 3, I was reminded of one of Mary Oliver’s poems where she writes,

    What I want to say is
    that the past is the past,
    and the present is what your life is,
    and you are capable
    of choosing what that will be,
    darling citizen.

    So true! Wonderful post.

  21. Great post Beth Ann. So many good reminders for everyone during the hustle and bustle of the holiday season. #1 and #10 I truly believe too.

  22. wonderful.
    and very very wise words to live by for sure.

  23. Sorry to hear about your friends. These are all good points to live by.

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