Wednesday, September 05, 2018

Start your Day with a Prayer (Day 5 of Thirty-Day Challenge for a More Meaningful Life)

The power of prayer is undeniable.

In the busy world we live in, a meaningful life is as elusive as ever. Imagining a life which has vitality, substance and contentment is getting harder because of the overwhelming materialism that surround us. Sometimes, a gentle reminder to start your day with a prayer is all that you need to start a meaningful day.

I lost count of the times that God made a difference in our life because of prayers.

Day 5. Start your Day with a Prayer 

When I was teaching in Indonesia, I used to start my day reading a Bible with my husband who was here in the United States. Prayer continuously plays a vital role in our relationship but life could be overwhelming sometimes that we only get to do it before going to sleep or before eating dinner.

A prayer before starting that day is a humble way of asking God to show me which way He wants me to go. It is also a beautiful reminder that I am as fallible as ever and only God can complete me. If and when I fall on this day, I know that the prayer I uttered for the day is enough to strengthen my resolve to stand and live the day as a child of God.

“Our prayers may be awkward. Our attempts may be feeble. But since the power of prayers is in the one who hears it and not in the one who says it, our prayers do make a difference.”

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Tuesday, September 04, 2018

The Most Beautiful Place in the United States

The thought that we spent the day at the most beautiful place in United States still beguiled me. The accolade was not something I just invented but it’s actually granted and undeniably deserved by Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. With over 100,000 votes from the public, the award was given by ABC’s Good Morning America.

I was wonderstruck to see the panoramic scenic view of the entrancing beauty of this place. I think, pictures describe a thousand words so I would let the pictures speak for this majestic beauty right here in Michigan!

The second stop at the scenic views of the Sleeping Bear Dunes park. 

Beautiful view with special people in my life. 

Most of the land on the islands is now owned by the National Park Service and is open to the public. 

Sunny beaches and sky-high dunes. 

Sam's adventurous nature brought us to the most beautiful place in the United States. 

The hills, dunes, valleys, shoreline, small lakes, and streams which you'll see throughout the area were formed by the powerful earth-moving forces of ice, wind, and water over time. 

Trail leads to a lookout at the top of Pyramid Point. 

Lake Michigan’s water can be a bit chilly in June, but is a welcome relief during the hot parts of July and August. 

The trip was also a great bonding experience. 

The pyramid point trail is about 2.7 miles long with a spur to a lookout point high over Lake Michigan. 

Miles and miles of clear water and white sand. 

Lake Michigan seems so near but it actually requires about two hours of going back up the hill. 

With beautiful Sam. :) 

Overlooking the two islands. 

Sam and Zack brought us to the two most beautiful places we've ever been in Michigan- Sleeping Bear Dunes and Pictured Rocks. 

The steep hill scared me at first. The water seems near but it'll take you two hours to climb up and 2,000 dollars if you need to be rescued. 

That's as far as I could go. The height scared me. 

The colors of the lake indicate the water level. 

The water seems so near but it's actually higher and it would take you two hours to hike. 

Picturesque sceneries as far as your eyes could see. 

The man in blue shirt actually went down the steep hill 20 years ago.

Be One with Nature (Day 4 of Thirty- Day Challenge for a More Meaningful Life)

Being one with nature is beneficial both on your body and mind.

A day in a life could just come and go and doing this challenge is starting to have a huge impact on my perspectives in life. Just on the fourth day and I am already realizing that there are effectual ways to break the monotony of life.

Day 4. Be One with Nature
Today, I challenged myself to be one with nature. Thankfully, we are currently on vacation so it is a lot easier to put in reality. Our day started early with a visit to the Sleeping Bear Dunes Scenic Drive. It has about 12 stop over that allowed us to bask on different views. Being one with nature allowed me to smell the trees and reminded me of my mortality.

One of the stop-over at the Scenic Drive.

We went hiking, stopped to save a turtle along the road, savoured the beauty of Lake Michigan, and walked in the cleanest water I have ever seen. I also experienced just laying down on the sand while enjoying the amazing view of Lake Michigan at Sleeping Bear Dunes Pyramid Point. I was sore all over from hiking and endless walking but it was so much fun.

A plethora of studies show that being in nature allows us to release anger, anxiety and stress. It also offers the most positive boost to provide healing for both body and mind.

Hans Christian Andersen said it perfectly, “Just living is not enough…one must have sunshine, freedom, and a little flower.”

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Five Things to Do in Leland, Michigan

Leland is a charming village that will beguile you with its beauty located on a shard of land between Lake Michigan and Lake Leelanau, on beautiful Leelanau Peninsula.

Our visit was like being transported in a scenic old town straight from the romantic Hollywood movie. In fact, I almost felt being in a setting described by incurable romance fanatic authors the like of Sparks and Steele.

The small town offers variety of activities such as hiking, biking, skiing and fishing. Our visit was so relaxing and filled with experiences that allowed us to be immersed with the calm and distinctive beauty of nature.

Here are the activities that would surely make your stay memorable in this historic town.

Leland is a charming village that will beguile you with its beauty. Splurge on special shopping, swimming and dining on this small town full of activities!

1. Stay Overnight in Falling Waters Lodge
The lodge is right at the historic enclave of 19th-century Lake Michigan shanties which offers the comforts of modern living while continuously preserving its historic feel. It is family-owned and operated and the place allows you to connect to the long tradition of Great Lakes maritime culture.

You may enjoy the sound of the falling water right at the comfort of your room or at the deck while enjoying a relaxing view. There are people fishing and you even get to enjoy watching fish trying to jump on the dam!

2. Shop
Just a walking distance from Falling Waters Lodge, boutiques, bookstores, and antique shops are all around. Shopping is a treat especially if you have a lot of cash because most items are not cheap. Check out the prices of some specialty items and beautifully crafted art.

This lampshade costs $359. Shades are made from the art of Michael Macone. 

Books are expensive but they do offer some good deals. 

I love this shop! 

This costs $1,000. Small but so expensive! 

So many choices of coffee, candies, and preserved fruits. 

This shop has all kinds of candies. 

More choices of chocolates and candies here and they also have the best coffee. 

Variety of jams. 

3. Go on a Hike
The historic town nestled at Lake Michigan will not fail to give you beautiful parks and trails. There’s a beautiful 40-acre natural area with hiking trails that are open to the public. Visit this official site for a complete list of Leelanau county trails. 

4. Explore Sleeping Bear Dunes Scenic Drive
The Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore is nearby so don’t miss this Good Morning America’s Most Beautiful Place. The views are magnificent and beyond descriptions.

5. Indulge in Restaurants
Delicious cuisines are also available in different restaurants. One of the famous places is Bluebird which is known for the finest whitefish, walleye, and perch in Northern Michigan. They also have steaks, prime ribs, and other seafood entrees.

Monday, September 03, 2018

Seize the Day (Day 3 of Thirty-Day Challenge for a More Meaningful Life)

It’s the third day of my thirty-day challenge for a more meaningful life. This day couldn’t be more perfect for what’s on my list- carpe diem.

The expression carpe diem was first uttered by Horace and rooted back from the oldest philosophical motto of Western history. The message resonates different meaning from various perspectives but mostly it signifies a day free from worries and simply savoring the beauty of the day.

At first glance, the tree looks like cherry, but, it isn't.

I feel so blessed to have this perfect opportunity to put this list in reality. Worrying does not change a thing and the pace of life is accelerating whatever we do. So, off we went on our travel for a short vacation. No rush, no worries. We even took the time to check on some cool trees and views along the way. The usual stress that travels bring was noticeably absent. And just like that, we were in a paradise.

Wearing matching shirts made the day more special.

The mere sight and sound of the rushing falling water was heaven. The sound was loud but it gives you this very peaceful and calm feeling.

This is probably the most peaceful town I have ever been.

The beautiful Falling Waters Lodge.

Truly, we could learn from Marcus Aurelius, “When you arise in the morning think of what a privilege it is to be alive, to think, to enjoy, to love…”

Day 1: Write a letter for someone who hurt you the most.
Day 2: Show a random act of kindness.


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