Start your DAY with the EXPECTATION that something MAGNIFICENT is going to happen…

How did you start your morning?

I started mine today grunting and groaning that I had a headache and didn’t want to go to work.

Jeff reminded me that getting out of bed is the hardest part of the day, and that if I would just jump up and get going my routine would kick in, and my attitude would improve.

Is it REALLY that easy?

That is the attitude that Jeff wakes up with each and every day, and he is one of the happiest people I know.

So his comment this morning got me thinking about attitudes.

The past few years I have discovered that there is REAL, tangible power in our attitudes.

We have the ability, through our attitudes to create each and every day, and make it into something magical…

OR-

We can use that same power of creation to create complete insanity in our lives.

 

 

So let me ask you once again…

How did you start your morning?

Were you pondering your “to do” list?

Feeling frustration with a work challenge?

Feeling overwhelmed with life?

What if Jeff is right…

AND if you can muster up the courage to just get out of bed,

The rest of the day will take care of itself?

What if he has stumbled upon a way to change the course of your day so that by every evening, you end the day with a smile?

I am willing to bet that we all have the ability to find the best in every day.

How can I be so sure of this?

Can you Remember the giddy excitement you felt as a child the morning of your birthday?
What about Christmas?

Or Easter?

Or when you lost a tooth?

You KNEW it was going to be a great day.

And because of your belief that it was going to be a great day…
You took notice of all of the wonderful things that happened throughout the day.

 

 

What if that very same philosophy could be incorporated into your morning…

How do you think that might change your outlook on life?

If you start your day with the expectation that something great is going to happen, you will start watching for and appreciating those amazing moments throughout the day.

It’s a gift that only you can give yourself.

 

We all know that the challenges we all MUST face in life will always be there ebbing and flowing throughout the years.

We also know that there is rarely a day without some type of stressor in it.

But by deciding to focus on the positive aspects of your day will change your outlook on life in general.

Image with me for just a moment that you have learned to live your life with the excited anticipation of a child on Christmas morning each and every day…

Now when you are cut off in traffic, instead of automatically jumping into anger, you might pause and think, “Maybe that guy is heading to a chemo therapy appointment and is probably just distracted.
Or the coworker who is not pulling her weight on a project may be struggling with depression or financial problems.

When you allow joy and excitement to be a part of your life each and every day, your perspective changes.

Instead of feeling PICKED ON all the time, you start to realize that everyone is fighting battles of their own, and probably didn’t even know they made you upset.

So for the rest of the day try this experiment:

When your blood pressure begins to rise with the insignificant problems in life,

Take a deep breath and feel grateful that you are doing whatever it is that you are doing and NOT heading to the emergency room with a chronically ill child

OR arranging for hospice for a loved one.

Focus on the blessings in your life as you take deep, cleansing breaths.

Gratitude is very relaxing!

And on those days when you find yourself struggling with a truly significant challenge,

(because let’s face it- life is difficult...)

Take a moment to simply remember that there are rainbows in every storm.

You might have to search but they are out there waiting for you to discover them.

As a gentle reminder… tomorrow is not guaranteed for anyone.

You have been given the gift of this day.

While your schedule may be predetermined by your responsibilities,

Your perspective is your own to choose.

Start your morning with the anticipation that something great will happen…

big or small…

and be watchful.

And as you lay your head on your pillow tonight, take a moment to recount those positive highlights.

 

Someday is NOT a Day on the Calendar…

“Someday is not on the calendar.”

whatever your doing right now and really let that thought sink deeply into your consciousness.

Someday Will NEVER EVER arrive.

It is an illusion. 

Granted…

It is probably the most powerful,

destructive,

live altering

Illusion that has ever been created.

But it is still an illusion nonetheless. 

 

Since 2006, 

“Someday is not on the calendar.”

 

has become my motto.

 

I will never forget the day that I lost my son.

I can still tell you exactly what the temperature was that day.         I remember exactly what I ate,

and can still to this day recall with perfect clarity every single thing I did that day.

That moment in time is forever frozen in my mind.

For any of you who have experienced that death of a loved one, or our perhaps your own near-death,

You will know exactly what I mean when I say that,

“Those kind of experiences will always offer you a  new perspective on what truly matters… and what is simply irrelevant or insignificant.”

The death of my child has served as an acute reminder of both life’s fragility and unpredictability as well as a powerful note to self” that:

While our dreams have no expiration date…

Our physical time on this earth does!

I no longer wait for       to pursue what really matters.

Near-death experiences can be extreme wake up calls…
And…
I don’t want to sleep through the alarm.

The TIME,

to make TIME, 

For the people,

causes

or work you truly care about is always .

 

 

Here are 7 of my favorite ways to live fully:

1) Discover Divinity.

The day that I realized that I actually was loved and supported by God, was the same day that I truly began to heal from the pain and abuse of my past.

I knew in that moment of clarity that I would never have to walk alone on my journey through this life because I was supported and loved by the God of ALL creation.

And that one realization changed EVERYTHING in my life. 

 

 

2) Decide what’s most important to you and take action NOW.


Don’t wait for next month,

next year

or

the next decade.

Even small steps can lead to big changes… make a move toward greatness.

Your life’s work is waiting to be discovered.

So stop putting off those things that your heart is pulling you to try.

Your future happiness and fulfillment is lying dormant  inside those yearnings from your heart.

 

 

3) Schedule time for your dreams.

Book a date.

Set a deadline (even a tentative one) to meet your goal or promise.

The universe loves commitment; it implies that you are serious about taking action and then the universe will conspire to support you.

My favorite story of this practice is the one Jim Carey tells about writing a check for 10,000,000.00 to himself.

The story goes that before Jim Carrey was famous, he walked up to the Hollywood Hills and wrote a check to himself for ten million dollars. On the memo line, he wrote, “For Services Rendered.” For years he carried that check in his wallet, pulling it out occasionally to keep his dream clearly visible in his mind.

Now he’s one of the highest-paid entertainers in the industry, getting well over twenty million dollars for just one film.

 

4) Notice synchronicity and act on opportunities.


Once you move toward what you love and “follow your bliss”, as Joseph Campbell said, “doors will open to you where you didn’t know they were going to be.”

Check out what’s behind those doors!

Then ALWAYS take the time to stop and Thank God for the synchronicity in your life because that is proof of His existence in your life.

 

He loves it when we give Him thanks, so do it often!

 

5) Show up.


Be there for the people, projects and passions that count. 

Action begets action;

and that requires “showing up” to do the work.

If you want to publish a book, you must show up at your desk and write.

If you want to be an entrepreneur, you must show up and run your business.

If you want to have more love you must show up and give more love.

Life is a direct reflection of your commitment to the people and things in it.

If you are lacking in any area of your life, then KNOW that your not showing up for that area in the ways you need to be.

Don’t make excuses, or try to assign blame, just be radically honest about YOUR shortcomings and then re-dedicate yourself to SHOWING UP more fully…starting RIGHT NOW!

 

6) Your future is created by what you do today, not tomorrow.


Since that life-changing year of 2006, I’ve changed so many things about myself, and my life.

I started my own business.

Become a published writer.

And have dedicated myself to creating unforgettable experiences with family and friends.

I have a deep and profound relationship with God.

And enjoy healthy, loving relationships in many areas of my life.

But before any of those dreams could become my reality…I had to CHOOSE to make them come alive through my own hard work and dedication to them.

So STOP waiting for your life to begin…Today is the BEST day to begin to fulfill your dreams!

 

7) Put your true desire(s) at the top of your To-Do list.


Your desires are yours for a reason!

And are very often (if not always) part of your purpose here.

PLUS: You need to remember, the journey (of life) should be as much fun as the destination.

So make sure that the things that are occupying most of your time…are the things that are speaking to your deepest desires in life.

Otherwise…

 

 

My crazy goals and wildest dreams have become a reality BECAUSE…
 I never for one instant allow myself to forget that:

“Someday is not on the calendar.”

Stress….What Stress?

This past Monday as I drove into work at 5:00 am, it was snowing, the roads were slick and covered in ice, and there was a thick fog for most of my 20 minute commute.

I was stressed.

I could begin to feel the panic setting in.

I turned to my nine year old and said,
Sarah, God promises that when two or more are gathered in His name, He will be there. I NEED to know that God is in this car with us right now, so will you please say a prayer for our safety?”

She prayed aloud for me and her brother to hear.

I instantly felt a calm settle over my body.

I KNEW that God was in fact riding to work with us and no matter what the outcome, I knew we were in Good Hands.

 

This incident got me to thinking about the person I was in the past.
I wasted YEARS on worry and fear.
I felt so alone.
I believed that I had to “DO IT ALL MYSELF.”

The woman I am today, a woman who has dedicated her heart to the Lord, is a completely different creature than the woman I was in the past.

I now have the knowledge that I DON’T have to do it alone because I am supported by the God of ALL CREATION.

I am his child. He loves me and will answer my call when it is uttered in faith.

Today, I want to share with you the powerful changes that will come into your life when you soften your heart and surrender it to a higher power.

The peace that I enjoy in my life every day can be yours too.

The peace that you wish to experience in your life begins with you.

Once you have surrendered your life, and committed yourself to the idea of living with faith, trust, and peace, you then need to make a conscious effort to see through the eyes of others.

Don’t underestimate the importance of that little piece of advice.

It is truly transformative to learn to see through the eyes of another person.

Instead of judging people, try to fully understand what they are going through and why they do certain things.

While it may seem that the main purpose of seeing through the eyes of others is to please everyone else, it really is to obtain peace within yourself.

This one simple shift in my perception has allowed me to more fully understand the loving nature of God.

It has freed me from trying to save the world single-handedly, and it has given me a sense of compassion that has changed every single thing about the way I live my life.

When God tells you to stop judging, He is doing that for your benefit. It really does make life more peaceful.

The next thing that you should do to increase the peace and harmony in your life is to remember to tell your loved ones how much they mean to you.

Share with them the ways that your life is better because of them.

They may not know how you feel, and your words of loving kindness toward them will have made their day.

By making sure that the people in your life know how you feel, you are also increasing the love that they feel towards you. When your house is filled with love, it becomes a sanctuary from the world where you can go each day and just unwind and relax.

Forgive those who may have hurt you.

Even if you don’t want to do it for them, then do it for yourself.

As the saying goes, “It’s not the snake bite that kills you. It’s the venom that’s left behind!”

The best way I have found to deal with someone who has offended me is to pray for them each and every day.

I pray for their needs to be met, and their hearts to be softened.

This one simple thing has allowed me to find forgiveness for some people that I honestly thought I would NEVER be able to forgive.

The next thing you need to do is…

Remember to treat yourself with the respect that you deserve too – because you are just as important as everyone else.

Stand up for yourself, and don’t depend on someone else to do it for you.

As soon as you get up in the morning, ask how you can create the perfect day for yourself.

Then follow up with whatever needs to be done to make that happen.

Life is full of distractions that may shift your attention to what you don’t want instead of what you do want.

It will be during the most difficult times that you must try to stay focused on your peaceful intentions.

 

You may have to force yourself to see and feel beyond what is going on outside of yourself in order to feel the serenity within.

This is exactly what I did when I was driving to work on Monday.

I stepped outside of my circumstances, and allowed myself to observe the calming power of prayer.

 

But the most powerful tool you can have in your Arsenal of PEACE is by far…

The ability to see everything through loving eyes.

(This is a great prayer to utter daily)

Learn to do this and your whole life will change for the better.

You are the only one who can break away from bad thoughts and see the bright side of every situation.

Remember, the key is to focus more about what you do want,

which is love and peace,

instead of what you don’t want,

which is unhappiness and fear.

It will not always be easy, and at times you may feel that you won’t be able to continue to be kind and serene.

However, if your intention is pure, you should eventually figure out how to obtain peace in every situation.

You really can make a difference in your life and in the lives of others simply by viewing everything from this higher perspective.

When you remember to love yourself and others unconditionally, you will be vibrating at a much higher level.

It is at this point that you will be able to create peace in your life and in the world around you.

This will also begin the ripple effect that could actually make the whole world a better place!

And how wonderful is that?

How I took a second hand desk and made it SPARKLE…

I found this desk at a second-hand store for $60.00. It was solid wood, and had really good “bones”.

We needed a desk in our room so I purchased it knowing that I could make it into something that would be a really great focal point in our bedroom.

Here are the before and after pictures of the desk project.

 

desk before

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is what it looked like when I found it.

 

desk base coated

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After I sanded it down, I added the same color to the desk as I would be base coating the Arch with so that they would compliment each other when I was finished with the room.

desk drawer detail'

 

 

 

 

 

I painted the inside arch of the drawer blue to mimic the sky detail in my Arches National park Mural.

side view of finished desk

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Next I used a combination of golden Oak, and Mahogany wood stain to add texture to the desk. I wanted the sides and inside to look like sandstone walls. I will make the wooden slats on the top and the writing surface look like pine.

 

 

desk writing surface finished

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here is a close up of the writing surface.

 

desk finished 1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here is the finished desk. It is now ready to go into our Arches National Park themed master bedroom.

bedroom with desk

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If your interested in Learning some fantastic Life Lessons…Become a Parent!

If I had to stop and really decide what one factor had influenced my life the most,

I would have to say that Hands Down…

It has been BECOMING A MOTHER!

Literally EVERYTHING about the world I lived in changed the day I became a mother.

Nature was now a wondrous experience that I deeply desired to share with my child.

wisdom

 

 

 

Unconditional love was now something that I was able to comprehend and experience.

(And once you feel love that deeply it changes the way you love everyone else in your life.)

me and tyler 1

 

 

 

The one thing I know for sure is that:

If you’re interested in learning some incredible life lessons…

BECOME A PARENT!

Being a parent is filled with daily chances to learn some of life’s most important lessons.

Here are my TOP 5 Parenting Lessons:

#1: Just Go For It

The first thing I learned was that I was never going to feel prepared to have a child.

I had been married for nearly seven years before I had my first child.

I eventually realized that if I wanted children, I would simply have to take a leap of faith that it would all work out somehow.

I really had no idea what having a baby encompassed…

The never-ending work,

The inconsolable crying,

Being sleep deprived …

And falling so deeply in love that I would do whatever it took for that baby.

As a mother I have learned that when faced with those decisions of the heart that life always brings to your doorstep…
It is better not to analyze the situation too carefully before just going for it!

 

#2: Behave the Way You Want Others to Behave

When I realized how carefully my children were watching my every move and often imitating me, I was motivated to become the best role model I could be.

This lesson really hit home when my son said a naughty word at school.

I had been his only parent since he was three, so I really had nobody to blame but myself.

I went home that day determined to do a better job at being a example to my children.

Since that day I have really internalized these truths:

When I treat my children with respect and then in turn teach them to treat me with respect,

I noticed that they treated their friends and teachers with respect.

I noticed that by showing compassion to them, they showed others compassion.

I saw my behavior reflected in their behavior.

And that has kept me strong.

I want them to be amazing adults, but in order for that to happen, I need to be one myself first!

Allow children’s constant surveillance to bring out your finest behavior!

#3: Enjoy What You Have When You Have It.

Image result for live in the moment

The days are sometimes long but the years go by fast.

Nowhere is this truer than raising children.

 

When my oldest was a baby, he had problems going to sleep.

I remember how rocking my crying baby until the wee hours of the night often seemed to stretch on forever.

Yet it seems in the blink of an eye that same baby was headed off to kindergarten.

He is now a 20 yr. old man. The time literally passed before my eyes!

Here is a fun video that illustrates this point in a very clever way.

https://youtu.be/UH1x5aRtjSQ

So this is one lesson that I really cannot stress enough:
Enjoy every stage because it will be gone before you know it.
There’s no going back, so delight in every moment!

 

#4: Seek Wise Guidance

 

wise council

 

 

 

 

 

 

Parenting is challenging in many ways.

However, there is a lot of help available.

There’s no need to reinvent the wheel or go it alone.

By reaching out to other parents I learned that almost everyone is struggling with similar issues.

By reading books, taking classes and attending seminars, I learned effective parenting skills.

My own mother was a valuable resource in parenting. Her help and assistance was literally my lifeline.

I have also found that other people are usually happy to share what they’ve learned when asked!

We all love to talk about our children.

Every mother understands the need to give their child the very best, so ask for help.
You will be amazed at how willing other mothers will be to help you when asked.

#5: Focus on Long Term Results.

Parenting can sometimes be tricky because what works in the short term may cause problems later on.

For example, bribing children with candy to leave you alone when you’re on the phone may work in the short term but it will also encourage more interruptions in the future.

 

 

Avoid short cuts that lead to undesirable long term results.

The relationships we develop with our children affect us for the rest of our lives.

There are loving parents who bent over backwards for their children only to have adult children who treat them poorly.

We teach our children how to treat us; let’s teach them to treat us well.

I always try to remember that I am not just raising my child, I am actually raising the adult who will be the parent of my grandchildren.
The time and energy put into parenting pays back for the rest of your life!

 

Those are the                  lessons I have learned so far.

But I think the one thing we can all agree on is this: Parenthood is not easy; the challenges we must rise above are many.

But its rewards are undoubtedly great, especially when we view parenthood as a spiritual experience.

Being a parent is unique in that it provides so many opportunities for spiritual growth.

Children… they can make you go insane with impatience.

They will push you to the brink of unimaginable physical exhaustion.

They can make your heart burst with love.

And they can bring you together with other people in ways never previously thought possible.

I want to end today with one of my very favorite quotes by Angela Schwindt.

FEAR is your friend…NO- really it is!

I write a lot about FEAR in my posts.

I am constantly encouraging you to overcome it.
Trust it.
Learn from it.
But I have never written a post that was dedicated entirely to the subject of FEAR.
I want to do that today because… Fear is not your enemy. Fear is your friend.

True peace came to me in my life when I finally understood that I was strong enough to handle anything life choose to throw at me.

Overcoming Fear became a whole lot easier when I discovered my Faith, and developed a relationship with my Savior.

In fact, one of the things I am the most grateful for in my life is the fact that at the age of 43, I can honestly say that I am ready to face life’s challenges head on because I have discovered so many beautiful truths about fear, and today I will share a few of them with you.

1st truth: Embrace Fear.

When you can learn to welcome it and push past it you can finally find your true destiny waiting for you on the other side.

Life will begin to OPEN up for you.

The things that once held you back will no longer have any power over you.

 

2nd truth: All growth springs forth from venturing out into the unknown.

Out there beyond those fateful frontiers of the limits you have placed on yourself lives your greatness.

The infinite possibilities available to you in life lie waiting for you in uncharted territory.

You simply have to choose to embark upon that voyage.

 

3rd Truth: To get everything you want in life, you must be willing to do something you have never done and be someone you have never been.

Where you are in your life right now is a result of the choices you have made in the past.

And you will continue getting what you have gotten unless you do something bold.

Something new.

Whether it be scuba diving,

Writing a book,

Running a marathon

Or asking a friend for a date…

I want you to go out there and do something that makes those butterflies in your stomach go wild.

This action does not need to directly relate to your life goals.

I have found that the action itself  is just kind of like a metaphor for my limitless potential.

Every inch I have decided to step out into the unknown has built a more rock solid, unbreakable spirit inside of me that cannot and will not be shattered.

 

4th Truth: Self confidence results from successfully having survived a risk.

 

Thus the form of the risk matters less than the actual level of courage it requires to face it.

The greater the required amount of courage, The greater the rewards on the other side.

As C.S. Lewis said, “Courage is not simply one of the virtues, but the form of every virtue at the testing point.”

5th Truth: Any worthy risk will induce fear.

fear

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It is only natural.
Expect it, so you don’t let it stop you.

Then embrace your only freedom:

The only true freedom we can ever experience as humans can be found inside the space that lies between any stimulus you might encounter in life…and your response to it.

By choosing to focus on the pleasure that is waiting for you on the other side of fear, you shut down the influence of the “possibility of pain”  that is standing right next to you before you take that leap of faith.

That single choice is the spark of courage.

 

6th Truth: It takes courage in the face of fear, to take a leap into something magnificent.

Each step through fear pushes your comfort zone out one inch further.

This constant process of mental, physical, spiritual and physical growth transforms success from uncertainty to inevitability.

As a result of the compound effect of those incremental steps over time, you will achieve a level of self confidence that will make you unstoppable in the face of any challenge that comes your way.

7th Truth: The only enemy you have is your choice to be paralyzed by fear.

Should you remain stagnant though, you will continue floating down a lazy river that leads to nowhere. And that is definitely once choice you are free to make in life.

 

Because…

If, on the other hand,

You DO choose to live your greatness,

You will most likely find yourself right smack dab in the middle of the raging rapids of life,

 

you will hit rocks.

You may get hurt…

Rest assured, as long as you aim for the stars, life will beat you down.

You will encounter failure.

I don’t say this to discourage you from trying…quite the opposite actually!

When you face your fears and overcome them, the unbreakable spirit that will emerge after being completely tested and forged in the fires of facing fear will guide you through every obstacle that life will throw at you, and propel you into your divine purpose.

8th Truth: Today, at this moment, you get to choose your destiny by taking that first step.

Follow your INTUITION and let it escort you,

Sometimes life is hard…

 BUT- 

It can still be filled with joy and happiness!

I love that line from the famous Harry Potter movies. There is such Wisdom in Dumbledore’s statement to Harry.

As you recall in the movie, Harry was doubting his abilities to defeat his enemies when his mentor spoke these words to him.

It is in our darkest moments that we need to remember that WE alone are the sole creator of the reality that we experience each and every day.

You may not always get what you think you want.

But trust me, when you grow older and look back on your life, you will see that you got what you needed.

You will look back and see how the pieces of your life seem to almost magically slip together in an awe-inspiring manner.

While we all strive to find happiness, we must also accept that there is a natural ebb and flow to it.

We will experience hard times.

Those trials allow us to experience more profound joy.

We cannot have one without the other!

So my advice to you today is this:

Sink deeply into bliss and use sorrow to enhance your appreciation of all joys.

To fully appreciate the happiness in our lives, we must teach ourselves to open up to it.

I always tell my kids that I can be having the BEST day, and still feel upset over some broken pipe that needs fixed at the school.

I want them to know that you can be happy no matter what outside situation you are dealing with.

Happiness is a choice that you must make OVER and OVER all day long!

We must learn to cherish the moments as we live them.

Happiness is all around us but we must train our brains to see what it is we seek.

It can be found in the cloud formations that you take the time to stop and appreciate.

It can be found in the hug from your beloved.

It can be found in your very own heart, just choose to SEE it, and it will appear everywhere.

You have total control over how you do this.

 

Should you ever find yourself in a state of ,
you can find comfort knowing that the mere state of desperation has the power to open you up to new solutions.
When you have exhausted all resources and feel you have nowhere else to go…
 will ALWAYS gift you with the opportunity to surrender to new ideas,
new emotions,
new actions,
and change out of nothing other than necessity.

Without desperation, the hand of change would seldom take ours to lead us somewhere new.

This glorious life you have been gifted is completely yours to design.

Life is full of choices but they all belong to you.

You must accept full responsibility for your life and understand that only when you are absolutely true to your heart’s desire, can you access your power source fully.

You came here to fulfill a purpose, if you do not know what that is yet, let your emotions guide you.

They are well in tune with your thoughts, even the ones buried deep within you that may never have been spoken out loud.

Follow your intuition and let it escort you, because it knows what your purpose is.

It is pushing you gently towards authenticity and bliss but you need to pay attention.

 

Accept responsibility for your thoughts and your mindsets – the good ones and the bad ones.

Accept responsibility for your emotions and listen carefully to what they tell you about your life as you live it.

Accept responsibility for your actions and do your best to align your thoughts,

Your emotions,

and your actions

From the HEAD DOWN and the HEART OUT.

Remember, it is never too late to adjust your sails and change direction.

 

When you come across fear…
And you will.
Pay attention to its message-

Then remember that when fear is paired with some type of positive action,

You can create confidence in the void that once held nothing but uncertainty and anxiety about what might be next.

Be brave.

Be Bold.

You have one life —

What are you going to do with it?

We Can’t Give a GIFT We are UN-willing to Accept Ourselves.

I was listening to the radio the other day as I drove down the highway with my sweet husband.

The lyrics to a song said, ” I want to learn to live with no regrets.”

That hit me in a very powerful way.

I turned to Jeff and said, “That is EXACTLY what I would wish for if I had one wish I could make.”

Then he said something pretty profound to me.

He said, “But Mel, the regrets are what have shaped you into the woman I fell in love with. They taught you what things you DIDN’T want in life and pushed you to find new and better ways to live. Your regrets are your greatest teacher, why would you want to get rid of such a great gift?”

You know what?

He was completely right.

If I had never felt regret and remorse over the choices I had made that had led me to the painful circumstances in my life, I would never have had the will power to change anything.

So today I want to talk about living our life from a place of love and acceptance

over who we were.

Who we are now,

And who we will eventually become.

As I sat and reflected on my life this morning I realized that I regret not so much the choices that I make, but the choices that I don’t have the courage to make.

I am not unhappy with the things that I’ve done, as much as I mourn for all the things I haven’t done.

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I no longer fret over the “mistakes” made, because now I see them more as magnificent life lessons.

Inside each and ever one of my mistakes lies the potential for either regret, or growth and development, and I alone decide which one will bear fruit in my life.

 

As a young woman, I wanted to be the center of attention.

But as I have gotten older I’ve learned to allow myself to become, more and more, the witness and the witnessed, the seer and the seen, the observer and the observed.

I enjoy sitting back and letting others have the spotlight.

I have found the spotlight can be exhausting, and there is rest in the shadows where I can sit quietly and just watch.

And I’ve learned to do this with a minimum of judgment.

(Although not with no judgment, for there was tremendous judgment in simply learning to observe without judgment.)

If I had to leave one sentiment with the world upon my death it would be this:

What matters is that we learn to love others,

to give,

share,

communicate

and interact with others in a way that allows them to experience this love.

You know when you have arrived at this place of love because your life itself is a testament to Christ.

You now know that you can do this even when argument or conflict arises and the setting doesn’t appear, on the surface, to be the most conducive to expressing love.

True love is a state of being.

We were all born with the light of Christ inside of us, although we may not always be conscious of it.

I’ve learned not to focus on the results, but rather on the process.

I have found that when I  focus on specific results,

such as the money as a result of a job,

OR a specific outcome from a project I have created,

The most I will ever attain is that on which my human, conscious, limited, educated mind can focus.

I lose the joy of creating when I worry about results.

When I worry about how many “views” my blog has gotten for example, I lose the joy of writing the post.

Yet when I am able to focus instead on the process, that part of creating something worthwhile…

that makes my hearts sing,

And the results – those which I’ve dreamed of and those I didn’t even know I could create – manifest most exquisitely as if out of thin air.

 

I’ve learned that we tend to make our choices either from fear or from love.

We can’t give a gift we are unwilling to accept ourselves.

We cannot stand in fear protecting ourselves and then hope that we can magically move from that fear based thinking into love and have the ability to offer the world the gift of our unique talents.

We cannot demand that our need for control be met by everyone and then simultaneously say that we support freedom and choices, and offer love.

Surrender is the greatest gift you can give yourself and the people you love.

It is the freedom that comes from letting go of the need for control and allowing yourself to exist in the elegant simplicity of being the seer and the seen, the witness and the witnessed, the observer and the observed.

 

 

You are VALUEABLE in every sense of the WORD!

Today I want to share a gift with you.

wisdom

 

 

 

 

 

That gift is the gift of:

Wisdom, when it is shared is a gift from the past that be used to improve the future.

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When used as a foundation, it can serve to improve the experiences of those who you are sharing it with.

 

We all have stories that make us smile, and others that we prefer to forget.

We have all experienced personal and professional ups and downs in our lives.
We all have those stories that if we could,  we would completely erase from our lives.

But rather than erase them, why not cherish them for the nuggets of wisdom that they contain.

Do not regret the past.

As hard as that may be, it is behind you and can no longer threaten or hurt you aside from the power that you, yourself give to it.

The past is behind you with nothing but knowledge in its wake.

And as we learned from the wise Rafiki:

You cannot change your past, so why not transform it into an educational tool to bless the lives of the people you interact with on a daily basis?

 

Do not be disappointed or discouraged about today.

 

Today is temporary and tomorrow is on its way.

Tough times are palatable and surmountable when you look at life this way.

Immediately following Victor’s suicide, I was broken and lost.

Life was exhausting.

Just getting out of bed some days hurt more than I could have ever imagined.

I would force myself to get up and get showered and then tell God, “Ok Lord, the rest is up to you because I can’t do this anymore.”

He miraculously got me through those dark days, by teaching me how to live my life one second at a time.

Then as I got stronger, I was able to face life minute by minute, then hour by hour, and eventually I began to see hope again.

Now nine years later, I have not only re-discovered my HOPE, I have learned how to REALLY live life again.

I am happy.

I can trust.

I can love.

I have healed!

 

I hope that you will not ever feel alone in any obstacle or experience you are facing.

You are NEVER alone, for many have struggled in similar ways and their stories abound.

I have met so many beautiful souls through my BLOG.

They have lived through similar experiences as I have.

They have generously shared their experiences with me. Together we have given each other Hope.  We have shared our life, and our wisdom and through that sharing we have gotten stronger together.

So seek out the stories of those who have traveled on a similar road as you have.

Look at it this way, success and failure all have the same byproduct:

WISDOM!

Wisdom is a gift gained from the past that serves as a foundation for our future,

AND…

If you are willing to share with others, you are assisting them on their journey through life as well.

Share your stores and pay forward your experiences and wisdom.

Hearing stories of perseverance gives people hope.

Such stories tell people that they are not alone in their experiences and that they will ultimately prevail.

You are valuable in every sense of the word.

What you have already accomplished is amazing and should not be kept to yourself.

Share your successes and failures with your circle of influence.

By sharing, you show the courage it took to survive.

Allow your past to create hope instead of hopelessness.

Be a survivor, not a victim, and in this was your past will become a beautiful light to the world instead of a shadow that you are running from.

I am going to share with you one of my favorite quotes of all time. This simple little quote has carried me through some of the roughest waters of my life.

It was my lifeboat, and so today I am going to share it with you and pray that it can become a life boat for another person who might need it today!

 

Draw that line in the sand today, and decide to be an inspiration!

Share the wisdom you have acquired through your experiences.

You never know who might need to hear the words you speak.

Have a great weekend. I will talk to you again on Monday.

Throw Back Thursday….This is a post from earlier this year.

                                           Discernment matters!

When was the last time you heard DISCERNMENT discussed?

It is not a popular topic today.

And that is something that I find very disturbing

because there has probably never been a culture more in need of it than we are today.

We are all overloaded with information…

But short on insight.

With one simple click, we can access online information that our ancestors could only dream of…

BUT

How do we KNOW what is TRUE?

Has all of this access to knowledge made us any smarter?

Everywhere you look you can see evidence of lack of discernment.

You can see it in the amount of people suffering from…

Overwhelming debt.

Unsolvable Problems.

The emotional turmoil of strained relationships.

Even the very concept of what is right and what is wrong is up for grabs!

I can’t help but notice as I look around our world, and as I listen to the news each day, that we increasingly resemble the disastrous era of the Judges in Israel.

JUDGES 21:25  “IN THOSE DAYS ISRAEL HAD NO KING; EVERYONE DID AS THEY SAW RIGHT IN HIS OWN EYES.”

Today in this age of instant information,

I believe that it is more important than ever to develop a discerning spirit,

So that we can know the truth and what the Lord directs us to do in every circumstance.

This is one of my favorite prayers to carry in my heart during the day.

I have found that it keeps me more focused on HIS will instead of MINE.

Without discernment it is far to easy to find yourself drifting off course and in deep trouble.

You probably won’t even realize that you were making the wrong decision and listening to the wrong influences until it is too late.

Discernment is the ability to look beneath the surface to see reality.
It involves:
Evaluating information or situations,
Recognizing differences,
Considering consequences,
If you can learn to do those things consistently, you will find yourself making better judgments in your life.

In our humanity, we are not capable of this type if insight and wisdom by ourselves. 

In order to possess this type of wisdom,

we need the filling of the Holy Spirit to guide and direct our decisions.

Spiritual discernment is a gift of God.

It is NOT something we can manufacture in ourselves.

It is a quality that the Lord can and will develop in us if we will choose to ground ourselves in prayer and daily scripture study.

The more time we spend communing with God and filling our minds with his thoughts, the more discerning we will become.

The ultimate goal for each of us should be to develop this kind of wisdom.

But in order to develop discernment, we must voraciously guard what we allow into our minds.

Worldly thinking will overpower Spiritual discernment

if we spend two or three hours in front of the television

and only ten minutes in the Bible.

The message that I am trying to share today is simply this:

We NEVER have to make any decision alone because of the Holy Spirit’s continuous presence within us.

We never have to make a decision where we are completely depending on our own understanding and limited resources.

He is ALWAYS there to guide us into all truth and to help us recall Christ’s words.

John 14:26  “But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name,

will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.”

John 16:13  “ But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes,

he will guide you into all the truth.

He will not speak on his own;

he will speak only what he hears,

and he will tell you what is yet to come.

We cannot just expect the Holy Spirit to assist us when we are deliberately living in such a way that makes him unwelcome in our lives.

We have a responsibility to study the scriptures and learn of his promises and commandments.

We have a responsibility to confess our sins before Him and ask for His forgiveness.

We have a responsibility to be an example of His life in all our words and actions.

And if we do these things than He is faithful and He will light the path that we should be walking on.

The time to develop discernment is NOW!!!

None of us can afford to wait until we are facing a critical decision.

Discernment is not some subject you can “cram” for and hope that you pass the test.

It is literally a way of living your life

minute by minute,

Day by day,

Year to year.

 is produced through practice.

HEBREWS 5:14
“BUT STRONG MEAT BELONGETH TO THEM THAT ARE OF FULL AGE, EVEN THOSE WHO BY REASON OF USE HAVE THEIR SENSES EXERCISED TO DISCERN BOTH GOOD AND EVIL.”

As our sense are trained to discern evil, it is not a matter of perfection, it is simply a matter of practice.

It is a life long process to be able to learn to distinguish the Lords guidance from the worlds.

We will all make some mistakes along the way.

But It is my hope and prayer that you will not see these mistakes as a reason to quit or lose faith,

but rather that you will see your mistakes as opportunities to learn the correct way to evaluate the outcomes in the future.

Begin today by spending some time in prayer and filling your mind with scripture.

Ask the Lord for guidance.

Then to the best of your ability, listen to the messages He is speaking.

Some of us “SEE” the messages.

Others of us “HEAR” them.

And if you are like me you will “FEEL” the message.

I promise you this…

If you are truly seeking to follow Him,

He will show you the way.