North Jefferson News, Gardendale, AL


February 20, 2013

Danielle Cater: Sow into the lives of those you love

COMMENTARY — Life can change in a heartbeat. At any moment you can go from sleeping through a regular day, to a horrible nightmare taking you by surprise. There are no certainties in life and it’s a good idea to alway try to be prepared for anything that may come your way.

No one could have been prepared this past weekend when a 35-year-old friend of mine was killed in an automobile accident. She apparently dropped her children off at her dad’s house and was headed to work when the unthinkable happened.

It seems like such a loss when a young person is taken out of this world before it seems to be their time. But through this tragedy, we need to be sure to look around at the ones we love and make certain that they know how we truly feel about them.

In just the past couple of months our community has dealt with suicide, death, murder and a number of other personal tragedies. Remember that it rains on the just and the unjust. Tragedy is no respecter of persons, so it’s smart to try to live each day as if it could be your last.

There is an acronym that is making a splash right now: YOLO. This stands for “you only live once.” This is a true statement and can be used for good or bad, depending on the circumstances. You could take it as a threat to your good time and do something crazy stupid since it is true that you only live once. But it is much wiser to take this saying as an eye opener or something to help you remember to seize the day. Life really does pass like sands through the hourglass and if we aren’t careful, we may wake up one day to see that our life has passed us by.

Even worse than seeing that your own life has passed you by, is the realization that the lives of those around you may pass you by also. If you don’t sow into the lives of your friends, spouses, children and other loved ones, you may find that they have lived their lives and you were an afterthought.

Go out of your way to make an impact in the lives of those around you. It’s so important to do more than just exist in this life. If you are just living for the weekend, then there are five good days each week that you are allowing to slip by. Take them, don’t lose them. Each day is a gift, and it is up to us to open them and get the most out of them. Some days, the best thing you can do is just sit on the couch at the house and enjoy the solitude. But most days, there are things that not only need to be done, but things that you would enjoy doing, if you would realize what a blessing was set before you.

It may be a Wednesday evening, but get out and go to church and sow into the lives of your church family. If it’s a Friday night, enjoy the fact that you get to sleep late tomorrow and take the family to a late movie and get ice cream afterward. Whatever you decide to do with the gift of your life, make sure that you aren’t selfish with it. Tell others how much you love them and what they mean to you.

You never know when you won’t have the opportunity to speak to them again, and the only way to have a clear conscience about the way you lived your life with them is to live your life in a good way before them. Be free with your love. Be open with your feelings. And don’t be afraid to go out of your ways to make someone else’s day. One day it will be your last and you want to leave with no regrets for your past.

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  • Danielle Cater: Be strong in moments of weakness

    A sad scene took place on Sunday at a church in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. The founding pastor of Calvary Chapel stepped down from his position of head pastor due to “moral failing which disqualifies him from continuing his leadership role at the church.” This church is home to over 20,000 members who worship together in 10 locations across Florida.

    April 15, 2014

  • Danielle Cater: Old dogs can learn new tricks

    You’re never too old to learn something new. I’m of the opinion that you can, indeed, teach an old dog new tricks.
    So as an old dog, I’ve been trying to pick up a new trick.

    April 7, 2014

  • Commentary: Bad vacation attitudes won't last forever

    In these photos, everyone else in the family is smiling as if this were their favorite vacation of all times, but I am huffing with my arms crossed and a literal frown on my face.

    March 26, 2014

  • Danielle Cater: I’ll never live down running out of gas

    Have you ever had one of those days where you are functioning on four hours of sleep, and yet you still have to get up at 5:45 a.m. to get the family to church by 7 a.m. on the other side of town? After church you run home to get ready for your 6-year-old’s birthday party and then head straight back to church to help with the services until after 9 p.m.? That just might be a good description of our Sunday afternoon. Whoever said “easy like Sunday morning” obviously didn’t have kids and probably didn’t go to church.

    March 20, 2014

  • Danielle Cater: Most people aren’t politically correct

    I probably work in the wrong profession to hate political correctness, but I do. I can’t stand it when I feel as if I need to walk on eggshells all the time to keep from hurting people’s feelings. I don’t try to be excessively offensive, but people are so easily offended these days, it’s almost impossible not to tick someone off by everything that you say or do.

    March 14, 2014

  • Danielle Cater: Lessons, fun times make retreats enjoyable

    I did something recently that is apparently out of the ordinary for most people. I went to a marriage conference while I was not in the midst of marital problems.

    March 6, 2014

  • Letter to the editor: Thanks to Gardendale citizens for hospitality

    We, along with many other travelers, spent the next two days and nights in your splendid center. We are of the opinion that we couldn’t have been stranded in a better place.

    February 28, 2014

  • Danielle Cater: Be sure to give your kids what they need

    Once the snow melted this week, life went back to normal and we all found ourselves busy with our regular day-to-day activities, and trying to catch up on everything we had put on the back burner during the snow days.
    Our household had a busy weekend, and among the events of the weekend, we celebrated our second birthday in three weeks. That’s right, our perfectly-blended family has given us two daughters who celebrate birthdays within three weeks of each other.

    February 18, 2014

  • Danielle Cater: Find excitement in the boring days

    Many people got to take a vacation day this past Monday for MLK Day. What this day stands for is a great cause and an issue that should be addressed, but for many people, it was just another holiday.
    Our office is like most other offices, so we were open to the public Monday. But since schools and daycares were closed, I got the privilege of staying home with the four best daughters in the world. We started off the day with the attitude of fun.

    January 22, 2014

  • Danielle Cater: One year down, rest of my life to go

    Dec. 29, 2013 has come and gone, and for many people it held no lasting significance. But for me, it marked the first anniversary of marriage to my amazing husband.

    January 9, 2014