Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Don't Let the Grinch Steal Christmas!!!

James Dillet Freeman asks the question, "What if we walked down the streets and there were no decorations or lights or we never heard, 'Merry Christmas!'?" It would be a gray, barren time of year without the joy and color of Christmas. The short days and the cold winds would not only chill our bodies but our spirits would take a dive too.

As I was reading the grandkids a Christmas story recently, I was reminded of how truly incredible it is to read about the star that led the Wise Men and the shepherds to the stable to witness the miracle of a virgin birth and how the angels joyously sang. If I did not have this annual story in my life, it would be much more difficult for me to believe in the miracles of life. Christmas just makes the heart full of light.

Here's wishing you the joy, warmth, and brightness of the Christmas season.

Love and Light,

Visit Frank & Patty's Video Christmas Card! Love and Peace.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Christmas Letter

Dear Friends and Family,

My, this year went fast. We enjoyed family, friends, and travel the entire year. We called 2010 our win-win year, and it definitely lived up to its name.

Our kids are doing well. They are all employed so that is a good thing. Teresa and Jess are in Kimball where Jess is a freshmen in high school while her mom holds down two jobs. Tori is almost a naturalpathic doctor....she hopes to be finished with her coursework by the end of the year. Her husband Caleb and all three children are living the dream in the house that Caleb built in the woods by Eureka Springs. Mandy and Dustin are gainfully employed in the KC area as CNAs. Chad is a senior at Pitt State and will graduate this spring with a BS in math. He will start student teaching and coaching after the first of the year in Gerard.

We enjoyed our travels this year to Las Vegas, the Grand Tetons, and Dallas. We plan to visit New York and see the Broadway show WICKED and also see the Rockettes at Radio City before Christmas. We've also enjoyed numerous trips to NE and AR to see family. A week ago we saw the Mannheim Steamroller perform in Topeka. What a great way to start the holiday season!

This year has not been without its challenges, though. Frank lost his dear friend Mike, who played football with him in college. At least we had a little time to say goodbye through our many visits with him and his family before he passed away on November 7.

This coming year 2011, our theme will be to enjoy a little bit of heaven. As we celebrate the birth of our Lord, we plan to shine His light wherever we can, to enjoy life to the fullest, and appreciate every day for what it brings.

Love and Light,
Patty and Frank

Visit our Video Christmas Card! Peace and love.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Effectual Prayer

"The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much" (James 5:16). We know that when we ask God to give us our daily bread that He is more than willing to give us all that we need.

Our real need is greater awareness of Divinity in ourselves and others. In other words, instead of telling God how big our mountains are, we need to tell our mountains how big our God is. I've heard this put many ways, but one of my favorites is that instead of "surviving the storm, we dance in the rain."

It is really all about perception. For instance when my daughter had her motorcycle accident, of course I prayed for her healing, but an added benefit which occurred is my increased awareness of the preciousness of life. Even though she still has some discomfort from the accident, she is very thankful for the empathy she developed for other people who have injuries or illness. When I saw all that she was willing to do to regain use of her legs, I began to affirm my own life by wanting to take care of my health. Both Frank and I woke up to the idea that we could exercise and eat right to take care of ourselves more and have a better quality of life.

After awhile, we lost focus but then lately regained it again as we watched a dear friend struggle with cancer. The best way to handle life's challenges in my opinion is to "stop thinking about the difficulty, whatever it is, and think about God instead" as Emmet Fox suggests.

He calls the sense of separation from God a major tragedy of the human experience. Through illness and injury, sometimes we realize that this could happen to any one of us, and we realize that it is essential to stay aware and close to our Creator and have a mindset that allows faith and trust in keep us from worry. We can use our positive imagination to visualize a wonderful outcome to any circumstance we encounter.

If we believe that that we are blessed and that all things work together for good, we can not help but feel relief that a Higher Power has it all under control. God bless.

Light and Love,

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Give Us This Day Our Daily Bread

Emmet Fox, one of my favorite authors, analyzes the Lord's Prayer in his book POWER THROUGH CONSTRUCTIVE THINKING. He says, "Because we are the children of a loving Father, we are entitled to expect that God will provide us fully with everything we need." As children of God, we know it is His Will that we lead happy, healthy lives. So our food, clothing, shelter, transportation, books, music, and whatever else we require is petitioned when we say, "Give us this day our daily bread." Even abstract things like peace and freedom are covered in this request. According to Emmet Fox, all we need to do to gain what we need is to claim it and recognize that God is the sole Provider of all good things. As the Author and Giver of Life, God is the only one who can give us our best life yet. "For we are what He has made us." (Ephesians 2:10)

Another thing that brings us what we need is our gratitude and hope. We need to thank God in advance for His provisions. We also must never lose hope because hopelessness breeds weakness and that does not lead to fulfillment of our needs and desires. Studies have shown that discouragement can make us sick and age us, whereas the scripture says that a merry heart doeth good like medicine. So if we want health, longevity, youth, and strength, we must be hopeful and happy. If we are in pain, we need to be thankful that we are greater than the pain. My daughter Tori is my role model in this area. After a severe motorcycle accident over six years ago, she stays strong and optimistic. When the doctors told her that she would not have any more children, she gave birth to two beautiful babies. Her secret is to have a joyous spirit and a kind heart. This has kept her soul strong and her mind brilliant. She has not kept this joy to herself either but instead has spread it to everyone she knows.

Christian Larsen says, "The glad heart is the sunshine of all life, a benediction to everyone, a perpetual blessing to everything in creation." An attitude of gratitude makes our prayers stronger and our expectations higher.

Yes, give us this day our daily bread, Lord, and give us enough to share with others.

Love and Light,

Friday, September 24, 2010

Do What You Love!

It's funny how much joy a smile can bring.

The other day I was subbing in an elementary art class where the second graders had to draw four facial expressions. I told them to draw facial expressions showing four different feelings that people express in their faces. One little girl piped up and said she'd draw my facial expression for her happy face.

Until then I didn't realize that I had such a huge smile on my face. At that moment I knew I was enjoying my day at work.

"Find a way to get paid for doing what you love, then every paycheck is a bonus," said the wise Oprah Winfrey. I agree with that. I love teaching. I did it for many years full-time, and now I'm subbing.

I am delighted to be with young people every day and the fact that I get paid for it sweetens the pot. For your best life yet, do what you love and hopefully the money will follow.

Love and Light,

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Grandparents Day

It's a wonderful day! I've been celebrating it for 15 years now. My first celebration of Grandparents Day was September 1995 when my daughter Teresa gave me a Mark Twain book called THE PRINCE AND THE PAUPER and wrote a poem for me from her six-month-old daughter Jessica Marie. The poem humbles me to this day. I hung it up in our guest room, and it is very special to me. I want to share it with you.


So Patient
who always takes the time to play with me, to get down in a baby's world to play a
baby's game

So Understanding
with a loving touch and a kind word through my mistakes and messes

So Inspiring
always knowing what's important and always seeing the good in everything

So Proud
always talking about me, always showing me off, always capturing memories

So Kind
always thinking of me and always giving to me

So Important
You're a big part of my life.
Grandmas are such an important part of the family, but I got really lucky to get
the best of the best.

Love always,

This is my anchor to love. Since then, three other grandchildren have been born so I am truly blessed.

This is how Grandparents Day began:

"In 1970, a West Virginia housewife, Marian Lucille Herndon McQuade, initiated a campaign to set aside a special day just for Grandparents. Through concerted efforts on the part of civic, business, church, and political leaders, this campaign expanded statewide. Senator Jennings Randolph (D-WV) was especially instrumental in the project. The first Grandparents Day was proclaimed in 1973 in West Virginia by Governor Arch Moore. Also in 1973, Senator Randolph introduced a Grandparents Day resolution in the United States Senate. The resolution languished in committee.
Mrs. McQuade and her team turned to the media to garner support. They also began contacting governors, senators, congressmen in every state. And they sent letters to churches, businesses, and numerous national organizations interested in senior citizens. In 1978, five years after its West Virginia inception, the United States Congress passed legislation proclaiming the first Sunday after Labor Day as National Grandparents Day. The proclamation was signed by President Jimmy Carter. (September was chosen for the holiday, to signify the 'autumn years' of life.)
Today this event, begun by only a few, is observed by millions throughout the United States." (http://www.grandparents-day.com)

Gene Perret says, "What a bargain grandchildren are! I give them my loose change, and they give me a million dollars' worth of pleasure." My husband and I agree with that!

I hope all of you have the best day ever!

Love and Light,

Friday, August 27, 2010


Thomas Aquinas, a philosopher and theologian who lived from 1225 to 1274, said, "To one who has faith, no explanation is necessary. To one without faith, no explanation is possible."

So which category do I belong? I always thought I had a lot of faith, but recently I have wondered. I am just now learning how to handle a new challenge. Do I have enough faith? Do I trust God enough to take this to my Source and leave it there?

Do I have faith to believe that this will be my best life yet? I know that I need to give my best, regardless of what is given to me in return. Do I have enough love in me to keep giving just for the sake of giving?

Second, do I trust and think the best possible thoughts for everyone? Do I refuse to dwell in negativity, no matter what? (Unfortunately, this has not been the case for me lately).

Third, can I rise above pettiness? Can I clothe myself in my spiritual rainment so that I reside in the spiritual world of love rather than the physical world of material success?

Fourth, will I view this as an opportunity to draw closer to God? Will I recapture the feelings of love, joy, peace, and strength that I know in my oneness with God? Will I renew my faith and trust God?

Fifth, will I remain in the light, looking up and rising to the occasion? Will I be open to learning new things? Will I have enough humility and serenity to accept things as they are?

Sixth, will I be able to accept a difference in opinion and establish a connection with everyone I meet? Will I recognize that every person is a unique creation of God and be tolerant and understanding of all?

Seventh, can I refuse to put limitations on myself or others? Do I have the faith to tell my mountains how big my God is? Will I pray without ceasing and receive God's provisions that have already been given to me?

Lastly, am I willing to surrender all to the Will of God? Can I let go of knowing how it will all work out and just trust God to do amazing things with my life? Will I receive my good with gratitude?

The answer to these questions is a resounding yes, only because of my GPS (God's Powerful Spirit). With God on my side, I expect only good. My Source cannot fail so I receive strength and power from this ever-present Help. Thank You, Lord. I have faith.

Love and Light,

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Live for Today

"Sha-la-la-la-la-la, live for today," sang the Grassroots in 1969. What good advice! Here's some more from that famous song, "When I think of all the worries people seem to find and how they're in a hurry to complicate their mind by chasing after money and dreams that can't come true, I'm glad that we are different, we've better things to do. May others plan their future, I'm busy lovin' you."

Yes, I choose to love the present moment and live in it. I don't want to miss a thing. We have been visiting a friend who is terminal, and I am relieved that we get to spend some time with him now before it is too late.

We live one precious moment at a time. Like the Grassroots sang, "We were never meant to worry the way that people do, and I don't need to worry as long as I'm with you. We'll take it nice and easy and use my simple plan. You'll be my lovin' woman; I'll be your lovin' man. Sha-la-la-la-la-la, live for today." Love for today too.

Light and Love,

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Accept and Be Glad!

"The present moment is as it is. Don't sit in judgment of it. That will only cause pain and unhappiness. Don't resist it. Just allow it to be," writes Eckhart Tolle in THE POWER OF NOW. I remember reading the analogy about the river which does not stop when it meets an obstacle. It does not fight the obstacle; it simply goes around, over, or through it. If we could only remember to do that, we would be so much happier and serene. One of my favorite sayings is Carl Jung's "What you resist, persists." If we want freedom from outside circumstances, we need to not only accept whatever happens, but to actually work with it and make friends with it. If we do this, serenity is ours.

My serenity is directly related to my faith in God and His goodness. My belief that God does not bring illness, sorrow, or catastrophe into our lives but rather health, joy, and wholeness keeps me from any discouragement. "It gives your Father great happiness to give you the Kingdom." (Luke 12:32) The kingdom within brings me great joy.

In this very moment I am choosing to be glad. It doesn't the change the fact that a couple of days ago I was disappointed about something. It doesn't change the fact that a friend of mine is having health issues. However, my inner joy and outer smile is dispelling darkness by giving me strength.

I know that it is sunshine that makes the flowers grow and turns the acorn into an oak. I have read this analogy of life to nature many times, and the visual it provides gives me such hope. I want to be a smiling sunbeam that makes things better. I want to count so many blessings in my life that I can't see anything else.

I want to remember that even when clouds cover the sun, it is still there. I will keep singing and rejoicing, come what may. So this very moment, I am in acceptance mode, and even more than that I am choosing joy.

Love and Light,

Saturday, July 31, 2010

It's All Inside

"Seek ye first the kingdom of God." (Matthew 6:33) "The kingdom of God is within you." (Luke 17:21) As long as we keep looking for the kingdom of God outside ourselves, we will never find it. Once we know that "it's all inside" as a commercial once boasted, we can take control of our lives and have the attributes we choose.

One of the attributes our granddaughter's dog has chosen is courage. He's a little, bitty pomeranian mix, but he barks ferociously at dogs many times his size. My hubby says it is a defense mechanism to protect himself from them. Whatever it is, I think he is pretty courageous. Either that or he is just plain stupid....one or the other. I prefer to think that he is courageous, just like the lion in the Wizard of Oz, which brings me back to my point. Although the lion found his way to the mighty Oz to ask for courage, he had it inside all along.

I remember a Tolstoy story about this very subject that I would like to share with you:

"A beggar had been sitting by the side of the road for over thirty years. One day a stranger walked by. 'Spare some change?' mumbled the beggar, mechanically holding out his old baseball cap. 'I have nothing to give you,' said the stranger. Then he asked: 'What's that you are sitting on?' 'Nothing,' replied the beggar. 'Just an old box. I have been sitting on it for as long as I can remember.' 'Ever looked inside?' asked the stranger. 'No,' said the beggar. 'What's the point? There's nothing there.' 'Have a look inside,' insisted the stranger. The beggar managed to pry open the lid. With astonishment, disbelief, and elation, he saw that the box was filled with gold."

That's the way it is with us. We have everything we need inside. Instead of begging God for what we think we need, wouldn't it be cool if we would just claim what He's already given us?

Love and light,

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Going Through Challenges

This week was one of those challenging weeks we all have once in a while. At times it was difficult to maintain my serenity even though I know that no matter what is going on around me, I can choose to stay peaceful inside.

I had to release my fears and calm my thoughts as I remembered that everything that happens is a positive lesson teaching me forgiveness, compassion, tolerance, acceptance, and patience. When I stay centered, I can help others who are going through challenges too. We are all connected so we hurt when others hurt.

Lots of my friends have been hurting lately. There is nothing I can do to help except listen with empathy and then leave it to God. I thank God for the presence of the Holy Spirit who comforts me and those around me. I am so grateful for that. "The Lord is my Shepherd." (Psalms 23:1) Thank God for strength to meet my challenges! I am never alone. I hold my friends in thoughts of love and strength too. I know that God will enfold them with everlasting love.

Light and Love,

Saturday, July 10, 2010

I Believe in Miracles!

I went with my mom to her beauty shop Friday and saw a sign that said, "We Don't Believe in Miracles. We Rely on Them."

What is a miracle? To me it's the little things that prove God's favor in my life such as a smile from a grandchild or gratitude from my kids. I just hosted Camp Nana and kept all four grandkids for three glorious weeks of swimming, amusement parks, zoos, and just plain fun times.

It's also the big things like the magnificent Grand Tetons that we visited just recently on our vacation. These beautiful mountains were formed by a collision of the tectonic plates along the west coast which bowed up a huge block of sedimentary rock deposited by ancient seas. The Teton fault lifted the range and erosion sculpted the landscape. As ice sheets filled the valley, alpine glaciers sculpted the jagged and beautiful Tetons.

Miracles are the beholding of the Divine in everything and everyone. It is seeing light where we once saw darkness. It is seeing healing in our loved ones. It is seeing a kindly world of gentleness. It is experiencing forgiveness and extending forgiveness.

Enjoy your miracles! Whether you see the sun breaking through the clouds or see a loved one who was near death healed, there are so many blessed miracles in our lives that it is amazing.

Love and Light,

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

It's My Life

Remember the Bon Jovi song, "It's My Life"? In it he says, "It's my life; it's now or never 'cause I ain't gonna live forever. I just wanna live while I'm alive."

Yes, don't we all? Regardless of the economy and the oil spill, we just want to stay in control. Like Tom Petty, we want to say, "Well, I won't back down. No, I won't back down. You can stand me up at the gates of hell, but I won't back down." That's called perseverance. We need that to live our best life yet.

If we don't put any limits on ourselves, we can turn around any situation. It's all about attitude. Joel Osteen says, "It's time to stretch." It's time to believe that we are blessed and will continue to be blessed.

It's our time. It's our life. We have the wisdom, strength, and talent to live the good life. If we put our faith in God and believe in Infinite Wisdom, our lives will change for the better.

Yes, it's my life, but I need all the help I can get. I'm ready to be directed by a Higher Power that is Absolute Good. I'm ready for Divine Wisdom and Great Light and Love. I'm ready for joy and peace. I want a life that is richer and fairer than anything I could ever imagine.

So while I know it's MY life, I'm ready to place it in the keeping of the Supreme. Only then will I absolutely know that everything is going to be all right. "Come unto Me....and I will give you rest." (Matthew 11:28) I need that peace. It's My Life, but I gladly turn all my affairs over to You, Lord.

Love and Light,

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Your Sweet Spot

A few years ago my friend Holly gave me a calendar with excerpts from Max Lucado's CuRe for tHe CoMMon LIfE. Lucado said, "God gave you a 'sweet spot,' a zone, a region in which you were made to dwell. He tailored the curves of your life to fit an empty space in His jigsaw puzzle. And life makes sweet sense when you find your sweet spot."

Yes, it does. When you find your sweet spot emotionally, spiritually, mentally, and physically, it feels awesome! I found my sweet spot!! Emotionally I know that every day I have a choice about the way I feel, and I choose joy and love. Spiritually, I go to God who knows all things and leave all my problems in the wisdom that can see through everything and give the perfect answer. Mentally, I appreciate the brain that God gave me, and I open my mind to that light knowing that my thoughts will be divinely created. Physically, I love where I am. I have an awesome family, live in a great college town, have wonderful friends, and a great opportunity to teach kids during the school year. What more could there be?

I found my place of blessing and have a serene sense of peace. I hope you have found yours too. When you find it, you can claim the promise of my favorite verse with me: "All things work together for good for those who love God." (Romans 8:28)

Love and Light,

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Turn It Around!

Summertime! It's full of new opportunities. Just ask my granddaughter Jessica who is taking Driver's Ed. Each day this fifteen-year-old gets a chance to drive. She has confidence because I've been letting her drive since she received her learning permit around Christmas time. She's logged over 30 hours so far. She is preparing for new things. She doesn't think to herself, "I can't do this. I don't have those skills. This is not in my comfort zone." No, instead she thinks, "I know how to do this. I'm equipped." She is very confident but not always 100% secure. She is very cautious when she backs out of the garage, for which I'm very grateful. She hasn't wanted to drive in the Kansas City traffic until recently, but now she feels empowered and ready to do anything. She'll take the risk, and I guess since she only has a learner's permit and drives my car, I'll have no choice but to take it with her....lol! The point is that she is open to try something new, and I support her all the way in this.

Someone else who was willing to try something new is Steve Jobs. I have been reading about the new iPhone, and the technical difficulties that Steve Jobs is having with it. I know full well that he will work them out. He's had setbacks in the past, but none of them has kept him from making Apple one of the most successful companies in the world.

He started at the age of 20 to make computers in his parents' garage. Within 10 years, his company was worth two billion dollars. However, his own board of directors fired him from his company. He didn't become a victim though. Instead he became a victor by building up two more successful companies and selling them for billions. Then Apple brought him back and he turned that company into a huge success story.

My husband loves Apple and has it now for his personal PC. He recently purchased the iPad and sings its praises all the time. Where would Apple be today if Steve Jobs had become discouraged, gave up, or just settled when he had a setback? When something didn't work out, he tried another way until it did. He kept believing, and my husband, who is a big Apple fan, is glad he did.

That's the kind of faith I want to have. I know that life is not always fair, but I also know that God is fair. Nothing can keep me from my divine destiny except my own self. If I have the right attitude, nothing can stop me. Isaiah 60:1 says, "Arise, shine; for your light has come."

Joel Osteen paraphrases scripture when he says, "[God] lifts the fallen. He gives hope to the hopeless. His mercy is bigger than any mistake we could ever make." He also says, "God has a plan....don't worry....what you think is a setback is really a setup for a greater comeback.....when you face an adversity, that setback, that disappointment, you don't know where it's taking you. You've heard the saying, 'When you're down to nothing, God is up to something.'.....when it looks like your darkest hour, God will turn it around, restore you, and bring you out to your brightest hour!"

Oh, yes, I needed to know that today. Thanks, Lord!

Love and Light,

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Divine Destiny

Who are you? Isn't that the philosophical question we've asked ourselves since college? How do we realize our potential? How do we create what we want from ourselves? So often we fail to have the same vision of ourselves that God has for us. All too often we limit ourselves by negative thoughts and self-doubt. Sometimes our self-esteem is low, and our insecurity keeps us from fulfilling our divine destiny. Yet Joel Osteen says that "the world will not be as bright as it could be if you don't release the full glow of your gifts and reflect God's glory."

Sometimes we fall short because we compare ourselves to someone else. That is not a good idea because it is not only being unloving to ourselves, but it sets the other person up as our enemy, especially if we judge ourselves or the other person. It's great to have role models and see everyone's uniqueness in where they are, but we must also appreciate ourselves. The bible says in Galatians 6:4-5, "Don't compare yourself with others. Each of you must take responsibility for doing the creative best you can with your own life."

In 2005-2006 I lost 66.7 lbs. I felt so good. Unfortunately I have been gaining the weight back. I'm not sure what is causing it (except overeating and under exercising....lol), but one of the things I think I haven't realized until recently is that losing weight can be as worthy as any other goal. It is inspirational and helpful to others when we take care of ourselves properly. It gives other people hope too.

Joel Osteen says, "You are not a want-to-be.....You are fully loaded and equipped." I know that I have everything I need to fulfill my purpose. I have what it takes. You do too. We just need to stretch and have faith. If we do what we can, God will do the rest. We can leave the safe zone for the faith zone. It's my divine destiny! "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me," according to Philippians 4:13. "The LORD will withhold no good thing from those who do what is right,"says Isaiah 60:19.

Today I have new confidence and boldness. You and I may have a different goals, but together let's pursue them. It's not the time to retire. Let's re-fire and divinely live our destiny! I'm excited! Are you?

Light and love,

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Inspiration from Two Beautiful Young Women

"We all go through times that are more difficult than others," writes Joel Osteen.

Speaking of difficult times, I know a young lady who has faced adversity and come out a winner. This girl woke up one morning to flashing blue and red lights flooding through her window, only to find that the police had shot and killed her next door neighbor who happened to be a good friend of hers. It's a long story, but it seems that her neighbor had borrowed his sister's truck without permission and when the police investigated, he came to the door with a gun and was shot and killed. Prior to this, the young lady's mom had lost her job and things unraveled at school too with bullying and other teenage drama. Everything seemed to be going against her. With so much going on around her, she felt intense pain. The only way to relieve it seemed to be cutting. She was depressed and hurt with nowhere to turn. After her grandparents learned of her dilemma, they drove 600 miles to pick her up. They found their granddaughter withdrawn and angry. After taking her to their home, they enrolled her in school and obtained counseling for her. The girl turned her life completely around. She not only quit cutting, but she excelled in music, drama, and art at her new school. She wrote poetry and drew sketches that were published by the school library. She performed "Walk Like an Egyptian" with a girls' ensemble. The choreography and singing brought down the house at her school's spring show. The girl's name is Jessica Parkos Alvarez. She came from a small town in Nebraska to a large university town in Kansas where she made friends with wonderful people who adored and admired her. How do I know so much about this young lady? Maybe because I am her grandma, her "Nana" who is very proud of her accomplishments. Jessica has hit her stride and everything is falling into place. Because she is in such a good space right now, she has given me permission to share her story.

The other lady who has shown strength in the face of adversity is my facebook friend, Becky Clark, who was born with albinism. This rare condition affects only one in every 17,000 people. Becky was born without the melanin pigment that gives color to eyes, skin, and hair. Usually serious vision problems and skin that is extremely sensitive to the sun are traits of albinism.  There are less-educated people in certain countries who persecute those with albinism because they believe they are cursed.

Becky Clark suffered some persecution herself because she has very pale skin and white hair. There have been times at school when she has faced challenges of bullying and teasing. Yet, Becky has met these challenges with the help and care of someone who took the time to understand with compassion what it is like to have albinism because she has it herself, even though she is a beautiful model.  The person who helped Becky wishes to remain anonymous but will always remain a wonderful part of Becky's heart.

As I am writing this, Becky is writing and inspiring other teenagers. My Jessica just completed 8th grade successfully and happily and is ready to enjoy a summer of driver's ed, art, and having fun. These young ladies are not cursed but instead are blessed with creativity, wisdom, and good ideas. They don't have to sweat the small stuff, or even the big stuff for that matter because they go with the flow. They have flowed right through insults, frustrations, and challenges of all kinds.

I've been reading Joel Osteen's book IT'S YOUR TIME, and he tells many stories like these of people who have overcome obstacles that seemed insurmountable and came out victors. When they got knocked down, they got up with new hope in their hearts, knowing that life was going to get easier if they could just flow with the universe.

These ladies  have strong belief in themselves. They are winners full of creativity and inspiration that will make our world a better place. Because of that, I am thankful and honored to know them and be a part of their lives.

Love and light,

Friday, May 14, 2010

Finding Strength in Adversity

Do you ever feel like you are facing one challenge after another? I felt like that this week.

First, I had a family situation to handle and then a job challenge appeared. I was thinking, "What next?" Then God reminded me that my perception was slightly askew. Instead of obsessing on what went wrong, I needed to remember what is going right.

We always have the choice to enter green meadows to rest beside quiet streams or to walk in gloomy darkness. We can proceed with quiet confidence or throw in the towel of despair. God will give us "a supernatural strength, a peace that passes all understanding, joy rising up in our spirit" according to Joel Osteen. If we remember who we are and trust our Creator, things will be arranged in our favor. If we know in our heart that all our needs will be met, we will gain the right perspective and see God's goodness in our lives. Then we can break through any barrier put in our path.

When I was feeling overwhelmed and confused, I remembered that God is my protector and my guide. Not only was I renewed at that time, but my family member seemed to find her way as well. Now I have the faith to believe my job challenge will be resolved and that I will come out of it stronger than ever. That is the kind of God I know and love. Instead of telling God how big my problems are, I tell my problems how big my God is. That fixes everything. May you have a blessed week and gain strength and renewal through any adversity that comes your way.

Light and love,

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Happy Mother's Day!

It's Mother's Day! What an outstanding day!

When I had children, my dreams came true. Now I pray for successful lives for my kids. As I do this, I visualize their freedom, health, peace, abundance, harmony, strength, light, and understanding. I see them under the direction of the wisdom of the Most High God, achieving good and wonderful things and lacking nothing.

I know that God remembers them and guides them into victorious lives. I trust in the infinite goodness of God. I truly believe that any adversity that comes into their lives will be transformed and that the greatest measure of good will come to pass.

What causes this kind of faith? It is my ability to leave everything to God. It is my ability to stop worrying and start experiencing the peace that comes from my connection with God. It comes from the belief that God is good and gives me a richer and fuller life than I could ever imagine. It comes from the belief that this will also come to pass for my own children and for their children as well. I claim God's promise found in Isaiah 49:15-16 for my children when He said, "I will not forget you. I have engraved you in the palm of My hand."

God bless you this Mother's Day! You are either a mother or have had a mother so that makes this a special day for everyone. Happy Mother's Day!

Love and Light,

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Transcending with Trust

Today is my birthday! It's time to contemplate my life so far. I took time to think about the writers who have influenced my way of thinking the most.

I taught English for over twenty years and was always attracted to the transcendentalists, Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau. In fact, one year I had my juniors read Thoreau's entire book of WALDEN. (Previously, we had just read excerpts). What was really interesting to me was the tolerance in these men for all religions, knowing that one God is the basis for them all. They also had complete respect for nature and the equality of men and women. Both wanted women to vote and slavery to end and stated that immoral laws were void to them.

One of my favorite things about the transcendentalists is their name. I like to think about transcending whatever happens in our lives. The only way for me to transcend circumstances that seem overwhelming is to remember my Spiritual Self and leave everything to God. To realize with certainty that all things really do work together for our good. It's a matter of trust.

Today I'm inspired by people like Pastor Robert Schuller of the Hour of Power who encourages us to turn our scars into stars, and Joel Osteen who says to turn our mess into our message. We can learn so much from men and women of God. They teach us to live our best lives yet.

"Happy are those whose strength is in You" ~ Psalm 84:5. This year I plan to draw on my spiritual strength to transcend any circumstances that would hold me back. I plan to soar like an eagle to new heights and draw nearer to God, trusting in my divine potential to bring me peace, wholeness, freedom, and light to live my best life yet. Care to join me?

Love and Light,

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Love Is on the Way!

Do you need encouragement? Let me give you some. You will be healthy, debt-free, and loved by family and friends.

How can you have all that? You can have it by faith and by speaking victory over your circumstances. Phillipians 1:6 says, "He that began a good thing in you will bring it to completion."

Love is on the way! Light is coming! We need to live with expectancy and enthusiasm. The word enthusiasm come from two Greek words, "en Theos" meaning "God within". When we unite our minds with the wisdom and power of the Spirit, we will accomplish all these things. Christian D. Larson says, "Every situation will be met, and everything taken care of, when we leave it to God.....our highest aspirations will be realized. We will have no fear."

What a wonderful opportunity we have today! "My cup overflows with blessings," according to Psalm 23:5. Over a hundred years ago, F. B. Meyer put it this way:
"Whatever the blessing is in our cup, it is sure to run over. With Him the calf is always the fatted calf; the robe is always the best robe; the joy is unspeakable; the peace passeth understanding...there is no grudging in God's benevolence. He does not measure out His goodness as an apothecary counts his drops and measures his drams, slowly and exactly, drop by drop. God's way is always characterized by multitudinous and overflowing bounty."

Yes, indeed, love is on the way! Are you ready to live your best life yet?

Love and Light,

Friday, April 16, 2010

All Things Work Together for Good

I have exciting news! My mom had tests taken after her bout with cancer, and she has recovered. Praise God! We had a party for her last weekend before she had her test results back, and she looked great. We were expecting good news, and that's what we received. What a relief!

What Mom went through will make her a stronger person. "All things work together for good," according to Romans 8:28, and I do believe that.

I know it didn't seem like things were working for her good when she went through chemo. She lost her hair, her eyebrows, and had to have surgery. She was uncomfortable, and it seemed that the treatments would never end. She became weak and many times wondered if the treatments weren't worse than the disease.

All of this was a preparation. These challenges helped her to grow. She began to question what was really important in her life and started prioritizing. She didn't spend time in self-pity or defeat. Outside it looked like her body was deteriorating, but her spirit became stronger than ever. She never stopped believing. She gave it her all.

Even though it seemed like she was walking through the valley of death, she didn't get stuck there. It was temporary. It passed. Psalm 84:6 says that passing through the valley of weeping, you will find pools of blessing.

This served as another reminder to expect good things. When something happens, I have choices. I can either say, "This really isn't fair. It makes me furious." Or I can say, "I really don't know why this happened, but I know God is in control so it will not steal my peace and joy." I might as well give God control of everything. He has it anyway, so why resist it?

If we trust in the goodness of God, we know that things will work out for the best. I remember when my daughter had her motorcycle accident. She was staying so strong for everyone else. I wondered if she needed to just let her family and many friends take care of her. For Mom I wondered the same thing. I thought, "Just let us be there for you in your time of need."

As much as I wanted to take the burdens from my loved ones when they were hurting, I couldn't do it, but God had placed in them the strength and faith they needed to get through their adversity and come out stronger than ever.

Thanks for letting me share my story with you. I sincerely hope that you experience your best life ever by knowing that whatever challenges you go through, God will restore you and turn things around for your benefit. He will give you beauty for ashes and joy for mourning. That's what He's done for me. God bless!

Love and Light,

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Bounce Back!

This weekend we enjoyed a party celebrating Mom's recovery from cancer. Her hair, eyebrows, and eyelashes have grown back. Mom has bounced back!

Mom's health and attitude reminded me of something I read today about palm trees. During a hurricane, other trees will be blown over and uprooted, but the palm tree can bend all the way over until its top reaches the ground and still not break. If the storm lasts for hours, they will still bounce right back. Why? It's because they are resilient. Biologists have pointed out that when the palm tree weathers such a storm, their root system is actually strengthened by the stress. This gives them new opportunities for growth.

My Mom is like that. She has come back stronger than ever. She has bounced back. Life almost knocked the wind out of her sails, but she is an overcomer. Life is good! The cancer was not welcome in her body, but she did not let it steal her joy.

She's still standing. It reminds me of the Elton John song, "I'm Still Standing". The lyrics go like this: "Don't you know I'm still standing better than I ever did, looking like a true survivor, feeling like a little kid. I'm still standing after all this time, picking up the pieces of my life......Once I never could hope to win....I'm still standing, yeah, yeah, yeah....I'm still standing, yeah, yeah, yeah...."

I'm trying to learn something from this for my own life. Like that old cliche', "When life hands you lemons, make lemonade," I want to be able to make something delicious out of something sour. Like the palm tree, I may get battered and beat, but once the wind stops, I'll bounce right back again. I like what I read in Joel Osteen's book when it stated, "I'm too blessed to be stressed." Let's make this our motto. Let's appreciate the little things, as well as the big things.

Light and love,

Friday, April 2, 2010

The Comeback Kid

Jesus was buried and rose again on the third day according to I Corinthians 15:4. He is the original comeback kid. He literally rose above His circumstances.

At some point, we all face major challenges too. Thankfully, they will not be as drastic as what our Lord faced, but nonetheless, we have all faced or will face stuff: a layoff at work, a broken relationship, sickness, or the injury or death of a loved one. What keeps us from falling into despair when something like that happens? For me, it is my faith. It is my expectation that I will be able to rise above whatever happens.

Joel Osteen says, "When you plant a seed in the ground, you don't say, 'I'm burying this seed.' You say, 'I'm planting this seed.' The difference is that when you plant a seed, you expect it to rise again and come back to life. The time for planting comes when challenges arise....When you go through disappointments and you're in tough times, you may feel like you've been buried, but the fact is, you've simply been planted. That means you're coming back...better, increased, stronger."

When you plant a seed in the ground, if it had feelings, it would probably be dark, lonely, and uncomfortable under the soil, but guess what? It doesn't stay under there forever. It is planted and soon it will burst through the soil into the light. It rises out of the dark and becomes a beautiful plant.

We too can become more beautiful than ever before when we face adversity. No matter what we come against in life, we need to remember that we are not buried, but we are planted. The same Power that raised Jesus from the dead can raise us too. Our best life yet is coming. We won't live defeated. It's time to make a comeback.

Two thousand years later we are still in awe of Jesus, who was a man with skin like we have. We still look to His example to help us live our best lives yet. Nothing could keep Him down. Now we know that nothing can keep us down either. We don't have to tell Him about our problems. Instead we can tell our problems about Him.

This is a time of year we always celebrate resurrection. The same power that raised Christ from the dead is available to us. We have eternal life. We don't have to wait until we die to enjoy it. Are you letting your life raise you up? Do you have comeback power to overcome any challenge set in your way?

Let's join the original Comeback Kid this Easter and let God's blessings bloom in our lives. Happy Easter!

Light and love,

Friday, March 26, 2010

If I Could Turn Back Time

Have you ever listened to Cher's popular song "If I Could Turn Back Time"? The song says,"I don't know why I did the things I did. I don't know why I said the things I said." Do you ever feel that way?

Joel 2:25 says, "I will restore to you the years the swarming locust has eaten, the hopper, the destroyer, and the cutter, my great army, which I sent among you." Could that mean that He will restore the years that we feel we have lost?

Joel Osteen says in his new book IT'S YOUR TIME that God controls time and can therefore turn back the clock and bring restoration to our relationships. I think like every parent, I have suffered from guilt about child-rearing. For many years I was a single mom with two teenage daughters to raise by myself with no child support. I worked full time as an English teacher and sponsored the annual staff, directed drama, coached the speech team, etc. Sometimes I look back and think, "If only I had spent more time with them, they wouldn't have rebelled so much as teenagers" or "if only we had had more money, I could have paid for them to go to college." All those things haunted me for years, but now I can see that my girls' rebellion made them become free-thinkers and independent women. Our lack of funds helped them to realize that hard work is required if we want reach our goals in life. Both attended college and one of them received a bachelor's degree.

Let's remember that God can restore the years we feel we have lost. I spend plenty of time with my daughters now. Now I have the time I lacked when my daughters were young to dote on my four grandchildren. And guess what? I'm no longer single. I married the most wonderful man on the planet. My life has been restored and blessed abundantly.

If I could turn back time.....I wouldn't. All the things that I did or said were the best I could do for what I knew at the time. "He restores my soul" (Psalms 23:3), and for that I am most grateful.

Light and love,

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Speaking Faith-Filled Words

"Our words can bless our future or they can curse it," writes Joel Osteen. We give life to our faith when we use our words in a positive way. When we are grateful for our lives and complaint-free, we bring blessing in abundance to them.

When we look for the best in everyone and speak it, they become the best. With our children, we can speak blessing into their lives even when they are not living their best lives. If they are not behaving the way we would like them to behave, we can put a positive spin on it to our friends. When they ask about them, we can say, "She's blessed. She makes good decisions. She is kind and respectful. She just doesn't know it yet!" Joel Osteen suggests this practice in his new book, IT'S YOUR TIME.

We can also use our words to speak healing into our lives. Yesterday my back was hurting me, but I decided not to give it attention. I thanked God for my perfect health. I knew that if I didn't feel perfectly healthy at that moment, it was not a permanent thing. This morning I woke up feeling great. I took the time to thank God for healing me before I even got out of bed this morning. Once we realize the correlation between what we say and how we feel, we will make sure our words are full of faith. Let's remember to be victors, not victims. Joel 3:10 says, "Let the weak say, 'I am strong.'" We need to claim our victory even when we don't feel it.

Zechariah 10:1 says, "Ask the Lord for rain in springtime." It's the first day of spring and outside my window, I see snow, not rain! The idea of this verse, though, is to ask for what we need. We simply take things for granted sometimes, and do not even think about them. Yet, if we use the words to express our desires, we are voicing faith and releasing God's power. The snow may not disappear, but it will soak into the ground and bring forth flowers in as beautiful a way as rain would.

I'm grateful for today, and I am going to proclaim good things for my loved ones, myself, and you. God bless!

Love and light,

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Favor Has Been Released in Your Future

"Far away there in the sunshine are my highest aspirations. I may not reach them but I can look up and see their beauty, believe in them, and try to follow them," wrote Louisa May Alcott.

When I think about my future, I believe that every day the right people will come into my path, the right circumstances will unfold, and the right breaks will come my way. This has been a regular occurrence in my life, building my faith and expectation in such a way that I am extremely optimistic about my life and the lives of my loved ones.

Psalms 37:4 says, "Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart." Joel Osteen says, "When you stay in faith, you will walk into God's blessings. Understand that He's already released into your future everything you need to fulfill your destiny. My prayer for you is that you will receive everything God has in store."

I also pray that for my grandchildren. Yesterday my oldest granddaughter turned fifteen and I pray that God will release favor into her future and give her health, wisdom, strength, and supernatural opportunity. I ask it in the name of Jesus.

God bless her, and God bless you.

Love and Light,

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Choosing Faith over Fear

"Nothing before, nothing behind; the steps of faith fall on the seeming void and find the rock beneath," wrote the American poet, John Greenleaf Whittier. God is our solid Rock and the Source that gives us sure footing to meet every situation we encounter. God gives us the wisdom and power to do all things in the most successful manner. "All things work together for them that love God." (Romans 8:28) To find the security of the Rock beneath our steps gives us faith in a brighter world. Surely the greatest good will come to us and everything will work out perfectly if we have that kind of faith. Our lives will rise to meet our expectations.

Joel Osteen points out that faith tells us to believe in the positive, to believe that God will supply all our needs, and to believe that our best days are yet to come. Fear, on the other hand, causes us to think negatively about our finances, our health, and our state of being. He tells us that we can choose faith over fear and trust God with gratitude in our hearts to resolve any situation that could cause us anxiety. Even when things look a little dark and cloudy, we know that the Sun is still shining.

When one door closes, another opens. "According to your faith will it be done to you." (Matthew 9:29)

Let's stay positive so that the people around us will catch our optimism and be in a better mood and feel good about life. If we keep our spirits high, we will give everyone around us a healthy dose of hope.

Let's be careful not to watch too much bad news. Joel says, "I like to watch the news. I like to know what's going on. But I'm careful to recognize when I have the information I need and when it's just redundant doom and gloom that I don't need to hear again and again......Turn off negative talk. Fill your mind with thoughts of victory!"

Our God is all-powerful. There is no need to worry. We can choose faith over fear this very minute.

Light and Love,

Friday, February 26, 2010

Thriving, Not Just Surviving

How do we thrive in times like these? Some of us feel lucky just to survive. Joel Osteen says, "I encourage you to believe you are blessed--not that you will be blessed---but that you are already blessed." I think that's key to thriving in any economy, any situation, any circumstance, any relationship, and any health challenge in which we find ourselves. Gratitude for what we already have puts us in the state of mind for more of God's favor.

What if we don't feel blessed though? Joel says, "This is what faith is all about. You must believe before you see it. You need to act like you're blessed, talk like you're blessed, think like you're blessed, dress like you're blessed, walk like you're blessed, treat people like you're blessed." That's what is called putting the cart before the horse. This reversal in thinking helps us see our higher, blessed self instead of dwelling on our lower, complaining self.

There is a "hope theory" that has been been studied by researchers and psychologists, which found that people who focus on solutions often reach their goals while feeling good in the process. That blessed feeling is something we can bring with us everywhere we go and spread around. That way when we come into a place, we bring the blessing into it. Wherever we go, we bring it! God's favor and blessing arrive when we do. How awesome is that!

Joel says, "Wherever you go, just like cream, you rise to the top. Hold up your head....in confidence, knowing that wherever you go, you're taking along something very special." We're too blessed to be stressed. We bloom and smile, instead of complain. We don't just survive; we thrive.

Light and Love,

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Praying Bold Prayers

"Ask Me and I will give you the nations as your inheritance." (Psalm 2:8) What a promise! God is not limited in what He can do for us. All we need is faith to activate God's power in our lives.

God has so many blessings in store for us if we will only ask. If we trust everything to the Holy Spirit, nothing is impossible. "We can see, with absolute clearness, that the best, the most desirable and the most perfect must come to pass when Higher Power takes charge; when Divine Wisdom is the guiding light; and when the Great Love rules the way," writes Christian D. Larson. Whatever circumstances, conditions, or obstacles face us can be easily handled by God's strength if we give them to Him.

We might also call a friend to pray with us. My friend Holly will always pray with me, even if it is over the phone. This always soothes and comforts me. I pray for her too. We affirm good for each other, knowing the Holy Spirit solves all our dilemmas and pressures. We come boldly to the throne of God, praying with "the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind" (Philippians 2:2) for God's loving presence to shine light on our lives and give us strength and guidance in all our affairs.

May you pray bold prayers as well so God can show you His unlimited favor.

Light and love,

Thursday, February 11, 2010

You Are Your Father's Child

"I know who your Father is......there is no obstacle you can't overcome....There's no challenge that is too much for you....There's no financial difficulty, no lack that will hold you back," says Joel Osteen.

I'm so grateful that I am the daughter of the Most High. "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me," Paul tells the Phillipians in Chapter 4, verse 3. Sometimes I try to handle everything by myself, and that doesn't work so well. Recently I was planning a party to celebrate Mom's progress with her treatments. My husband had coupons for free rooms at a hotel, but not enough for the whole family. I really started to stress about it, but it all worked out in the end. I just needed to leave it to God and quit trying to control the situation.

God knows the way, and He is my GPS. His Light clears the way and leads me to peace of mind. When the disciples had anxiety, Jesus stood among them and said, "Peace be with you." (John 20:26) If I remember that I am a child of God and take a deep relaxing breath, my thoughts settle and my anxiety dissolves. That is when solutions appear and harmony reigns. I place everything in the spirit of the Supreme and the blessing of love and peace come into my heart. I am empowered by my Father. I rest in His love.

Light and Love,

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

New Seasons of Increase

"When we draw nearer to the Most High, the possibilities of living, knowing, and attaining become remarkable," wrote Christian D. Larson in LEAVE IT TO GOD. If we would just leave it to God and believe, we would enter a new season of increase.

God will bring us out of this economy better off than we ever were. Psalm 102:13 says that there is a set time for favor. Joel Osteen says, "God has seasons in which supernatural doors will open, seasons in which you will accomplish things you never thought possible, seasons in which you'll see great things begin to happen."

We can declare that 2010 is the year of God's favor. Jesus said, "The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised" in Luke 4:18. This is our season of increase, and in this season, we will bring along our brothers and sisters.

Good things are in store for all of us. We need to believe that, and it will happen for us. "So I tell you, whatever you ask, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours" (Mark 11:24).

Light and love,

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Seizing Your God-Given Opportunities

"When you trust and act on your intuition, you increase your self-esteem, build trust in yourself, and experience a profound sense of security that no relationship or amount of money will ever give you," says Cheryl Richardson. I often call my intuition my GPS, God's Powerful Spirit, because it is through this that I learn of the steps I need to take to seize my God-given opportunities.

I read a story in Joel's new book about Marie Callender. She used to work in a small restaurant by Los Angeles---waiting tables, cooking, and cleaning. Her boss told her to come to work earlier and make desserts because the customers kept asking for desserts. Instead of throwing in the towel, she came early and made the best desserts she could. Well, they caught on. Soon she was able to open her own business and eventually had 110 restaurants of her own and an entire line of frozen pies and entrees sold in supermarkets!

We used to frequent one of her restaurants when we lived near Denver and once bought one of her pies to take to Thanksgiving dinner at Mom's. They are delicious! Think of what would have happened if she had told her boss "no" and walked out of the restaurant in frustration. Because she listened to her GPS, she was able to use her job as a training ground for making the most delicious pies imaginable. Then she launched out on her own, with the help of her son, and changed her entire destiny. I want to have faith like that!

When I look at the world situation today, with the economy in such bad shape, and listen to the news of the horrific earthquake in Haiti, I have to fight off negativity, but Joel says, "This is a new day.....I know God has moments of favor coming my way!" Like David said in Psalms 31:15, "God, my times are in Your hands."
Jeremiah 29:11 says, "For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."

Well, I don't doubt for one minute that God has plans for all of us. He will help the people of Haiti rise from the rubble, and He will give us all hope and comfort. God isn't the cause of natural disasters; He is the Comforter in natural disasters. You can see this in the survivors' reactions when they are pulled from the rubble. Most of them are praising and thanking God. God bless them!

Today may we listen to our GPS and open our minds to divine possibilities.

Love and Light,

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

It's Your Time

That's the title of Joel Osteen's new book and also the title of its second chapter. Last week I wrote about the chapter, "You're Closer Than You Think", which really helped me realize that God's guidance is giving me such a boost to run the race that is set before me. Like in Paul said in Hebrews 12:1, let us run with patience.

Last week I was very close to a resolution in a job situation, which turned out perfectly a couple of days later. Remember that verse in Zechariah 9:12, which says we should be prisoners of hope. This week I read in Acts 2:26, "I have pitched my tent in the land of hope." Yes, I've moved out of the land of discouragement, and I hope you have too because it's your time.

You will receive double for your trouble. Isaiah 61:7 says, "For your shame you shall have double and for confusion, they shall rejoice in their portion. Therefore, in their land they shall possess the double. Ever lasting joy shall be unto them."

Joel says that when an unfair situation happens, we should not pitch our tents in self-pity. Instead we need to go to the land of gratitude because now we will come out of the situation with twice the joy, twice the peace, and twice the victory. We are victors, not victims. God will bring justice into our lives. As prisoners of hope, it's our time. God's busy arranging things in our favor.

Light and love,

Monday, January 4, 2010

You're Closer Than You Think!

"In the midst of winter, I finally learned that there was in me an invincible summer," wrote Albert Camus. We have been blanketed in snow and the weather outside is frigid, yet inside our home it is warm and the fireplace is blazing. Inside my heart is summer even though outside the temperature is zero. How is this possible?

Well, today I went to Walmart and bought Joel Osteen's new book IT'S YOUR TIME. I just read the first chapter, "You're Closer Than You Think!" It reminded me of how easy it is to be challenged by something that we feel is bigger than us. Joel writes about hiking in the Colorado mountains on a trail that was so steep that he felt like giving up when he met a man descending the trail who told him, "You're closer than you think." That mountain may have been big, but that man gave Joel the encouragement to keep moving on, and sure enough he reached the summit about fifteen minutes later.

How many times in my life have I wanted to give up when just a little bit later things turned around for me? I can't count the number of times that has happened to me. Does it ever happen to you?

What we really need in times like these is hope. I remember as a teenager when a boyfriend was caught in a blizzard. I prayed so hard for that person. The parents had been calling our house because I was with him earlier. He had brought me home safely, but then on the way to his home, he was caught in a storm.

I read the bible and came across Psalms 30:5 which says weeping may endure for the night, but joy comes in the morning. I took hope from that. Sure enough, in the morning we called our neighbors to look for my boyfriend, and they found him. He was very cold but alive. I remembered the psalm and rejoiced.

I came across that same verse when I was reading Joel's new book today, and I remembered how dear that verse was to me. He also quoted Zechariah 9:12, which says we should be prisoners of hope. What an interesting concept! A prisoner of hope. Yes, I would like to be a prisoner of hope and always realize that God is arranging things for my good.

I want to keep my attitude hopeful and realize that I am closer to victory than I think. Not too long ago an incident happened at work that I did not think was fair, but God was in complete control. It isn't resolved yet, but guess what? I am a prisoner of hope instead of worry so I have faith that the outcome will be perfect. Just because it is night doesn't mean that the sun will not rise in the morning. Just because it is winter doesn't mean that summer will not return.

As a prisoner of hope, tomorrow I will rise expecting God to give me another amazing day because that's the kind of God He is. How about you? Will you believe that tomorrow will be better than today? Will you claim the victory? You are closer than you think!

Light and love,