GAPs

It is up to us to be a prisoner of our past, by remaining in it; or to be a champion of our future by building it. If your life path was to travel from one of these formations to the next one and so on to the end, how would you do it?
You could climb down and walk to the next peak and scale up and repeat over and over again.
Or, you could become a bridge builder.
Neither way is wrong or right. Just different choices. We could for sake of argument take opposing viewpoints on the better, faster way to walk this path. We could discuss how those that follow us would make better speed with the bridge. Or how scaling up each peak would define us, and make us stronger.
But at the end of the day, the analogy is that each of us has our own path of divine destiny to walk.
Rainer Maria Rilke said, “The purpose of life is to be defeated by greater and greater things.” I love this. This is the synopsis my most recent experience of the past year.
For many years I knew that in my journey in life, I was having one foot on the gas, and one foot on the brake in accomplishing my goals. The pattern began when I was four years old and I walked in on my mom having sex with a man that was not my father. What I took from this experience is that it wasn’t safe to be seen.
So I spent years of my life trying to be invisible, and it worked. Thus one foot on the brake, and one foot on the gas. Every time my foot on the gas caused me to be close to my goals, I slammed on the brakes and hid.
I worked on this and in the past few years thought that I was no longer being invisible. I had widened my circle of comfort and felt that I had my foot off the brakes. Instead of hiding in crowds I am very social. I speak on stages to hundreds without fear. But the chameleon quality of this life pattern came to my attention this past week.
I had been trying very hard to get my website completed, and I realized that I was again driving with one foot on the brake. In the past 6 months I have been the hold up. I am expanding my comfort zone and that invisible foot was being slammed on the brakes. I was being defeated by a “greater” thing.
Many teach that we came into this life to have a certain experience. Mine seems to be dealing with this pattern of foot on the brakes, when I am pushing hard on the gas to accomplish a goal. Now I recognize it has chameleon like qualities. I know that when I feel like I am not progressing towards my goals, I have to go looking for that sneaky lizard.
This life pattern is my GAP – Gods Area of Preparation. This is where I learn about new ways that my life pattern has shifted, and I learn new ways to build bridges to close that gap. Can you see GAPs in your life pattern? Do you see where you need to learn to build bridges to close off the gap to get to your destination?

12705675_1308032319211864_1686126551982992911_n

Martin Luther King Jr.

There are so many good quotes for Martin Luther King Jr. His most famous speech, “I have a dream” is full of lessons for us all. I thought about Martin Luther King Jr. a lot the past few days. What would he give a speech to us about today, if he were still alive?

The world is so full of injustice that it is like chains weighing us down. It is like that scene in Sleeping Beauty, where you are chopping down the vines that cover the castle and they regrow faster than you can chop them down. Wage inequality just gets worse every year. Men and women still are not paid the same wage for the same job. We see how terrorism is changing the face of racism, making us afraid of others based on not only their skin color, but their culture and religion. The war against drugs is never ending as drugs continue claim the lives of our young people every day. Lack of access to healthcare continues to be a major problem. I could go on to spit out depressing facts and figures as well as continue the list of things wrong in our world. But I won’t.

One of my favorite MLK quotes is “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, “What are you doing for others?” I think that this quote would be a big part of his speech for us today. “What are you doing for others?” Because at the end of the day, it isn’t some governments policy, law, or program that is going to change our world. It is each of us individually standing up and stating, “I am going to change me”. And as each of us, “changes me”, we will inspire others to do the same for themselves. And individual by individual, the world will change.

What will make this transformation possible is love, forgiveness and lifting each other up. It is the realization that now is the time to do what is right. To teach our children critical thinking, because that is what is needed to lead us forward. To understand all holy scriptures fundamental teaching is that only light can drive out the darkness. All of these thoughts come from other MLK quotes.

If we all started out today, and every day going forward with these kinds of thoughts creating actions of change, the world would change overnight. This reminded me of the Berlin Wall falling down. It seemed to happen overnight, but it was actually the work of many over time. It was small actions that lead to the wall falling down.

The goal should be not to just think about these things one day a year, but rather to think about them daily. Because action goes where our attention is focused. And action is the only way to implement real lasting change upon ourselves.

A last quote “We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope.” We can be disappointed that even though some progress has been made, it hasn’t happened yet,. Just don’t lose hope that if we all keep walking together hand in hand, that it will happen.

If you want to soar in life, you must first love yourself

If you want to soar in life, you must first love yourself.

“You have to love yourself because no amount of love from others is sufficient to fill the yearning that your soul requires from you.” Dodinsky

So many of us have put the cart before the horse when it comes to love. We spend all of our time “earning” the love of others by being who they want us to be. By doing everything in our power to make their life perfect. We expend our body and soul and at the end of the day, nothing turns out the way we wanted it to and we are left feeling “not good enough”.

When we live our life this way, we exclude loving ourselves, because that would take away from the time and effort we are spending to get others to love us. We think that the only way to be worthy of self love is to prove that others love us first. It is like trying to fit the square peg in the round hole, we can push it, twist it, and pound the peg until it shatters, but it will never fit. It won’t fill that yearning from our soul, that begs us to put “love us” first.

We have the power to choose where we are going. We have the power to stop trying to get attention from those who hurt us. We have the power to stop hating our body, our personality, and the pieces of us that don’t fit in the square hole.

We can start with loving ourselves, saying “I love my thighs just as they are”, “I love my imperfect smile”, “I love that I snort when I laugh”, “I love me”.

“I have an everyday religion that works for me. Love yourself first, and everything else falls into line. You really have to love yourself to get anything done in this world.” Lucille Ball

A real miracle

A real miracle. My youngest son was in an accident that he survived by a miracle. It took the fire department hours to get him out of the vehicle and he had traumatic injuries. He too was driving too fast. The police, Fire Department and Paramedics all came to visit him and told him none of them thought he would make it and to make sure his second chance at life was well spent. He is in Nursing School to give back.

Here is her FB post about the accident and the miracle she witnessed. I cut a little out since it was so long. You can go to the link at the bottom to see all of it.

“Three seconds. That’s how long we had from the moment we drifted off the road until the truck hit the pilar at 85mph. In three seconds Hunter had to handle a situation that would either kill us immediately or save our lives…, And when we were both lying in our beds in the ER he found a way to come protect my heart and give me a hug.

I’m overwhelmed at how little damage was done to Hunter and I in a wreck that should have chopped our bodies in half. I’m in awe of the presence of God in this entire situation. Every part of this experience we went through points directly to Him. The way God helped Hunter to respond exactly the way he did behind the wheel, spinning the truck exactly where it should have to be able to smash into the pillar directly in the middle of me and Hunter so we were both untouched…, that doesn’t just happen. God doesn’t throw protection around like that for no reason. He does it because he’s not finished with us.

…, Looking to the drivers seat all I saw was his head through the windshield, a face full of blood, and a body that wasn’t moving. I looked straight out the truck and there was a man..bright with a big white beard. No other cars in sight…just this man. He was my guardian angel. He saw me and immediately told me that an ambulance was coming…, I don’t know if it was a hallucination or me unconsciously dreaming or a glimpse of heaven…but all I knew in that moment was that Hunter was safe with me…, I asked this man when the ambulance was coming. He told me in just a second. He walked away, I blinked and a flashlight was in my face. The paramedics were there helping me and Hunter.

Here is the miracle part: no broken bones, concussions that lasted not even 24 hours, no internal damage, and just a few stitches in my knee and hunters face…, All of our belongings in perfect condition,… and the only thing left behind at the crash scene is Hunters bible open, with a page marked with scripture telling us to not be afraid; Jesus is with us.

I am amazed. Absolutely taken away by the presence of God. So blessed for him sending me an angel…, So thankful for all the thoughts and prayers that were sent our way. The power of prayer is real, and it healed me and Hunter.

But tonight I’m praying for all of you…, I want everyone to to know the love and the power of God. He has a purpose…and it’s so clear that NOTHING…not even a car accident like this one will cause his plans for you to change…, And the plans he has for YOU and your life aren’t going anywhere…, Embrace the struggles and the joys of this life! Without a doubt it’s a miracle we’re alive, but more than that it’s simply Gods plan for us. We’re so grateful for this wreck and all it will do in our lives. We are blessed to be okay. And so in love with the amazing God we serve.”

Thankful Service

LemonadeMakers's photo.

1,000 people attend funeral for Billy Aldridge, a US Marine Corp veteran with no family.

Billy died at the age of 80 in an Indianapolis nursing home last month and the company handling his arrangements posted his story on Facebook. They asked the public to help give this man a dignified funeral service.

I think they did a good job!

Shine On

LemonadeMakers's photo.

Shine with all you have. When someone tries to blow you out, just take their oxygen and burn brighter.” ― Katelyn S. Irons

It is really the best revenge over who or whatever caused the storm – to still shine bright as a diamond. Use that storm to simply wash off the dust and grime that had dulled your shine and sparkle even brighter.

Be a shooting star lighting up the night sky with your brilliance.

As you shoot across the sky, find the rainbow and swallow the colors. Explode across the darkness like fireworks with all of the colors sparkling inside of you, releasing into showers of brilliance falling back to earth.

The Greatest Gift

 

LemonadeMakers's photo.

“If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change the way you think about it.” ~Mary Engelbreit

It is really all about the words and the meanings that we assign to them. That is because words tell the story, and the story is what is perceived to be the truth. When in fact the truth is always just your perspective, “your” side of the story. The only way to have the “whole truth”, is to be able to tell the story from all points of view. The marriage of those points of view is probably the closest that we can ever come to the “whole truth”.

Perspective is from Latin perspectus “clearly perceived,” and is a way of regarding situations, facts, etc… and judging their relative importance.

I read a story of a mom that lost her daughter to sudden infant death syndrome and she was working with her third therapist in seven months.

She wanted to know what was wrong with her, that even though she was wearing a mask to the outside world that she was moving on in her life, she felt that she must be doing the “grief” wrong because inside she was hurting so much.

The therapist used words that transformed how she was viewing her grief. She said you are just very sad, and the depth of your sadness is simply a measure of how much you loved your daughter. This viewpoint of “how deeply she loved her daughter” allowed her to express the overwhelming grief, instead of bottling it all up because “seven months” had passed.

Stories allow us the space to heal the pain, and once we have healed the pain, perspective helps us to stop being a victim. Life isn’t always fair, and no one should lose a child, no matter their age. But it happens.

Every day if we look for it we can see evidence of injustice happening all around us. It is easy to get lost in the emotions created when it happens to us or someone we love. We see evidence of it in the news when the world erupts in moral outrage over things like the Paris bombing, or the kidnapping of the school girls in Nigeria, that still over one year later haven’t been found.

We have large and small things that happen to us, our friends and family that have an impact on our life. But hidden in the heartache and challenges are golden nuggets that are the gift of the trials and tribulations that we experience. It is all about perspective.

It is about not only what you look at with the experience, but also where you are looking from, a point of view. Every experience has something to offer us. When my nephew was murdered, and my sisters nonprofit that she started failed, that could have been the end of it.

But I didn’t want that to be the end of my nephews story. So I created LemonadeMakers to help the small community nonprofits be more successful. So that others like my sister can make a difference in this world. I believe with all of my heart that this is what my life has been leading me to. To this moment, to create this business to help all of the nonprofits that I can reach. Out of the pain of injustice, loss, and deep mourning came something good.

The smallest change in perspective can change a life. See life with new eyes and look for the gift. Pull out the telescope or binoculars and peer deep inside yourself. Dig deep and find the gold of the experience. Change the story, and realize just how blessed you are.

Asha Tyson said, “Don’t think that you’ve lost time. It took each and every situation you have encountered to bring you to the now. And now is the right time.” Now is the right time to let go of what can’t be changed, and live the life that the divine has put before us, with happiness, gratitude and grace.