My Fortune Cookie: Good news is on its way

good news is on the wayOne of our family traditions is to order Chinese Food for our New Year’s Celebration. Our children are thrilled to try new delights, and it also gives the cook a night off – a true win-win! This year as we were enjoying our delicious food, our children were very excited to open their fortune cookies. They always ponder over how best to distribute the cookies, so everyone gets the “right” fortune cookie. I think this year they did a great job as the fortune in the cookie my husband opened said that he had married well! The other fortunes were cute and appropriate for our tweens and teens around the table.

With all of the excitement and energy around the table, it took me a little longer to finish my meal and so I ended up opening my fortune cookie well after all the others had been opened and discussed. As I opened up my cookie I laughed with delight – “Good news is on its way.” My first thought went to a newly published book I had just completed – perhaps this was the source of good news. Then I thought about all the business development work I did at year’s end; perhaps this was the source of good news. As I was sitting there with all of these thoughts rushing through my head about what good news this could be, my big ah-ha emerged, what a beautiful fortune cookie.  For me, this fortune was not unique to me, but it is open to everyone!

Through my love and faith in my Heavenly Father, I know that He loves me so much that He sent His only Son to earth for each of us. Our Creator offered His Son so that everyone need not fear death. His Son was able to conquer death, so when we leave this world, we can go and dwell with Him. Our Creators hope is that we live with him or spend time with Him in prayer and meditation while on this earth. It is our chance to prepare ourselves for the time when we leave this earth to dwell with Him in the heavens. How cool that a simple fortune cookie could affirm and point to this amazing gift.

My ah-ha in this story is to stop limiting my line of sight to an earthly one. When I read that good news was coming, my mind went to physical goods. I believe I am not alone, and this is a challenge for all of us. When we can shift our line of sight to a heavenly one, many other things within us move as well. As we enter 2016, I wonder what your world might look like if you could shift your line of sight to more fully appreciate that indeed Good news is on its way for everyone!

Do you seek stories to bring you some good news? To remind you of the good in our world and within each of us? I encourage you to read my book Seeing the Extraordinary in the Ordinary today. Find stories that you can connect to all while sneaking those veggies for a purposeful and love filled life!

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A “has been” is a person whose back faces the future

As a young person, I remember the phrase “has been” being used more frequently than in today’s vernacular.  The phrase felt full of judgement and condemnation. It implied that once you were someone and now you were a “has been.” Like you had something wonderful, and you blew it – wasted it, let it go.

I wonder how many of us feel like “has-beens.” How many of us feel like deep inside of us there is something fantastic and grand but for a variety of reasons, we have not shared this greatness with the world. Whatever those reasons may be,  the greatest reason is our fear to be great! It is a fear deep within us that we are not good enough, smart enough or courageous enough to share.

One of my favorite poems by Marianne Williams titled our Deepest Fear:

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
It is our light, not our darkness
That most frightens us.

We ask ourselves
Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?
Actually, who are you not to be?
You are a child of God.

Your playing small
Does not serve the world.
There’s nothing enlightened about shrinking
So that other people won’t feel insecure around you.

We are all meant to shine,
As children do.
We were born to make manifest
The glory of God that is within us.

It’s not just in some of us;
It’s in everyone.

And as we let our own light shine,
We unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.
As we’re liberated from our own fear,
Our presence automatically liberates others.

The source is Return to Love by Marianne Williamson, Harper Collins, 1992.

It takes courage to dig deep inside yourself and discover, unlock, and pull out that gift that you have been given to share with the world. Think about those things that you love to do. Those things that you love to share and that you lose track of time doing. Imagine what our world would look like if you could find the courage to share that? What would you look like and how would you feel if you would just enable yourself to live in this place?

Don’t turn your back on who you are and your gifts. Take a deep breath, dig deep and begin to share them today!

If you want to read other encouraging stories, please try my book Seeing the Extraordinary in the Ordinary.

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Can I give back today and try again?

One of my favorite movies is Groundhog Day starring a young Bill Murray who gets caught in a time warp and repeats living the same day over and over again until he gets it right. I dare say if this happened to me, I might not have many different days. I am not so sure that I get each day right! Imagine what it would look like to live each day fully?

I ask this question as I have met and gotten to know many people who have faced significant challenges in their lives; life threatening, life changing, or incredible challenges that seem to be impossible to overcome. Be it a health crisis, trauma, or the loss of a loved one – this life event or life crisis has shaken them to the core and awaken in them the realization of how precious life is and how important it is to live each day fully.

My paternal grandfather was such a character. Pop-pop survived what should have been an un-survivable explosion during his military service. As such, he came to appreciate each day as a gift. Although he had a traumatic brain injury and lost his sense of smell, taste, and other functions, he lived. He gave thanks for each day. Every morning when he woke up, he would jump out of bed, raise both hands to the sky and say, “Thank You God for Another Day” in his loudest voice. While this sounds lovely, let me tell you that as a tween who spent a summer camping with her grandparents in a small RV, I found it incredibly irritating. However, not that many years later, my grandfather died unexpectedly. I was beyond sad the first time I awoke in my grandparent’s house to an eerie quiet. My grandfather’s voice of daily praise was no more.

Growing up as a preacher’s kid and getting to witness many experiences of individuals who faced insurmountable challenges was surprising and confusing for me. People lives change in an unexpected instant, and they suddenly find the muster and the strength to fight to live, survive, and continue to move on with their lives. Truly each one of these folks had to find within themselves strength and courage to face challenges that often as a young girl I thought were simply unfair and too much for anyone to handle. But through those challenges they stepped into and found a strength that was astounding. Each of them was able to find a source of belief, faith, courage, and peace that surpassed them. Not only did they awaken, but they gave witness to those around them, to power, a being, a creator who provides everything that we need when we call upon Him.

There are many days that I wish I had a magic wand, and I could wave it to help awaken those around me to the potential and beauty of the world around them. I see many who are so wrapped up in themselves and so stubbornly believe that they are in control. To them and anyone else, I gently offer that we as human beings depend on upon a Living God who is within us and around us and awaits our call for help. He has, and He will provide all you need. Call upon Him.

My hope is through sharing my stories I can be a catalyst for others. Helping them to awaken or be reminded of their giftedness. I am learning that my role is to point to the One who created us, who loves us and who awaits each of us. I humbly hope to point to and share stories of those who have awakened to living a life that is full of appreciation and beauty.

As we dive into 2016, I pray that you will live each day fully and awaken to all you can be! If you seek stories to act as a catalyst your life, try reading Seeing the Extraordinary in the Ordinary.

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