The other day, someone asked me a question about receiving. The person felt that every time they wanted to receive something they would have to pay a comparable price. This person was afraid to ask for anything big because they felt that would mean they’d have to pay a big price.
As we chatted, I realized that I don’t look at receiving this way. I have a different viewpoint that has served me well throughout my life. There are a few verses I’d point you to. The first is Ecclesiastes 11. This chapter talks about casting your bread upon the waters and after many days it will return to you. It talks about sowing and reaping all day long and not worrying about the clouds or whether everything you sow is going to reap something. You never know what is going to grow – this or that, so just spend all your days sowing.
This chapter makes it clear that where we give is often not from whence we receive. You put good things out and in the right time, place and way it will come back to you.
In Luke 6:38, Jesus tells us to give and it will be given to us exponentially:
“Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.
Many times we think that if we want something, we have to sacrifice something of equal value. I don’t believe it works that way. If we go back to the Law of Sacrifice, we find a different view. For example, if you have a bean, you can eat that bean, or you can put it in the ground it. In the ground, if it receives enough water and sunshine it will grow a plant full of beans. A few of those beans can be planted and grow even more bean plants, also loaded down with beans.
Nature has a multiplier effect. Whatever you give nature, it pays back exponentially. Rarely is it a 1-to-1 return on investment.
Jesus made this promise to His followers which reflects this multiplier effect:
“And every one that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my name’s sake, shall receive an hundredfold, and shall inherit everlasting life.” (Matthew 19:29)
In this video I share my personal experience with the Law of Sacrifice and how helping other people achieve their dreams played into me receiving mine.
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Have you gone through something difficult? Have you ever wondered why things have to be so hard? Why is adversity a natural part of life?
I believe there is an eternal divinity deep within each of us that knows what lessons and life experiences we need to have in order to become our highest and best selves. I call this “the heart.” It’s the heart of who we are, not the emotional heart that sometimes leads us into foolish paths, but that eternal voice, the soul’s song.
Throughout my life I have endeavored to heed that inner guidance. It has led me to wonderful people, fantastic mentors, and rich experiences.
In 2011, God gave me a clear vision of a wonderful life that was possible for me. This vision guided my actions. I worked on becoming the woman capable of receiving that vision. In 2013, my heart led me to leave a codependent marriage and while I never regretted that decision, it set me on an incredibly bumpy road.
In the last 5 years I lost 2 homes, 2 husbands, a thriving business, and my mother. I even had to let my sons go live with my sister for a time so we all had somewhere to stay.
I’ll be honest, I became very cynical about following my heart. I felt like it let me down, that it betrayed me. I felt like the visions I’d had were nonsense and my inspiration couldn’t be trusted.
As I stand here now on the other side of those difficult years and the vision has become a tangible reality, I understand what Jesus meant when he said, “you don’t put new wine into old bottles.” Destruction (and what we perceive as loss) is part of the creative process. In fact, I believe the bigger the transformation, the bigger the chaos/destruction.
The only way God could give me the vision was to reset my life. I needed to be a whole new vessel, stripped of pride, carrying no baggage, and willing to let go of my way of doing things.
My heart knew the way all along. It knew that you can’t take a closet, a house, a business, a life or a world to a higher level of order without some dismantling and chaos along the way.
In the end, it was worth every heartache, every sleepless night, every anxiety attack, every “loss” to be here in this place. (By the way, I discovered nothing is ever really lost. It is just dismantled and scattered into different places, people and things so that it can be restructured and reorganized into a higher form and a higher level of order.
Anytime you feel you’ve lost something or someone, start looking for the things you valued about that thing or person scattered in the world around you.
Step into observant gratitude for each place those valued elements show up. In time you will see that you have everything you need.. nothing is lost. Once you fully grasp this and are completely content with your world as it is, the next higher creative order can start falling into place.
Anytime you set a big goal to take your life to a higher level in any area, be aware that some dismantling, chaos and destruction of the old must occur to get you to that higher place.
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Sometimes when you go for big dreams, they have to die first. Here’s my personal story of going for a dream, letting it die and resurrecting the dream.
A Decision for a Better Life
In August of 2011, life was good, my business was thriving, but I was not happy in my personal life. My marriage was completely disconnected and I had gained weight and was tired much of the time. On a ride home from a beach vacation, I made a decision that my life would change. The moment I made the decision, an inspired vision entered my mind of the life I would have instead. It came with such clarity that it propelled me into action.
Catching the Vision
I saw myself in a loving, connected relationship with a high energy man. We would travel together, share a love for nature, and work, teach and speak alongside each other. We would fix up my home and property, and create a place that was self-sustainable, a haven of hope, healing and refuge for those who needed it. While this vision came from somewhere outside of me (I believe from God) it was also something that pointed to the core desires of my heart.
I had always wanted to turn my home into a retreat house once the kids were grown and had lots of ideas for ways to fix it up. My family was well-aware of my ideas for home improvements, but I shared with no one the vision of the place of refuge our 7 acre property would be. I had both night dreams and daytime visions of this.
Taking Responsibility for My Own Life
Since my husband at the time enjoyed traveling, I thought he might be this person… that he might change his ways, that we might be able to reconnect, and that the life I envisioned might happen with him. I doubted it, but I certainly was not going to rule that out.
I knew I couldn’t control my husband, but I could control me. I didn’t have the energy to keep up with who and what I envisioned. I needed to get in shape, get healthier and work on myself. I thought perhaps if I did these things, my husband would follow suit.
Within a month or two I was going to the gym on a regular basis and eventually dropped at least 50 pounds over the course of the next few years. I paid for my husband to get some medical help with his weight, but that only lasted a few weeks before he lost interest. My vision was not his vision.
While I journaled much of what I envisioned, even more of it was in my mind… and none of the grand vision for the property got shared with anyone else.
When things did not work out in my first marriage, I fully anticipated entering the dating world and finding the “dream man” I had seen repeatedly in visions beginning with the first one in 2011. I had this feeling he was out there waiting for me and that we would find each other soon.
Man after man became a candidate. I met men with certain aspects of what I envisioned, but never all of them. None of them seemed interested in my property or what I anticipated doing with it. While I never shared all of my vision with them, there were a few I told about my desire to turn my home into a retreat house.
Settling for Less than the Vision
Every man I was with wanted me to move from my property. Finally, I gave up on my dream. I decided what I wanted most was a connected relationship with a good, honest, hard-working man. Everything else I could let go. My heart had been hammered during the dating process, and I just wanted some peace.
I had a personal knowing that I couldn’t fully be who I am here to be until I wasn’t a single ox hauling a cart, but worked in synergistic tandem with a partner. That’s not true for everyone, but it was true for me. I’m a headstrong woman, and I’ve paved my own way for decades. So this wasn’t neediness or dependence on my part. It was an inner knowing that would not go away.
The Death of the Dream
The problem was, in all my dating, I forgot my vision. I gave up on it and assumed it was only my silly imagination. I lowered my expectations. The exceptional life I had been shown got replaced in my expectations with a desire for a decent, peaceful life with someone who would be good to me and wouldn’t make me carry the load all by myself.
I remarried with this dimmed-down objective in mind. I didn’t worry if the man I married caught my vision or even cared about it. When he insisted we move away from my home and property, I reluctantly relinquished my vision and let it die. The vision was wrapped up in the property, and now the best I could envision was perhaps retiring to the beach with my second husband someday, since we both liked the beach.
After about 18 months of marriage, he had the courage to do what I should have known to do — get out. We were two people who did not have a shared vision or objective. I may have given up on my dream, but God had not. Sometimes I think my second husband was inspired to end the marriage — a radical idea — but I cannot deny the miracle of the timing.
I eventually thanked my second husband for ending our marriage. He was a blessing while he was in my life and he was an even greater blessing in letting me go. I was not supposed to travel that path anymore.
Resurrecting the Dream
Not even a month after my divorce was final, I met a man who loves traveling, shared my vision for doing writer retreats, is in a similar line of work as me and shares my faith.
The first day this man stepped on the property that I had given up on, he articulated the identical vision that I had in my head — without me ever telling him anything. I was so floored by his vision of the property as a place of healing, refuge and hope, I broke down and wept. I could not believe my ears.
In time, after dating for several months, this man asked me to marry him. My answer was an enthusiastic, “Yes, hell YES!” I could not begin to deny he was the man I had seen coming. I had contorted and tried to make every other man fit into the vision. There is no need to make this man fit. He IS the vision. He proves it constantly by his actions and continual investment in me and our goals.
Currently, we are working together toward our shared vision for the property. We are both headstrong people with different ideas about what that should look like. At first I was stuck in my ideas about how the house and property used to be (in better days), whereas he has ideas about what it can be. I got frustrated because things were run down and overgrown. He sees it as a blank canvas to create upon.
Together we are co-creating a new shared vision. While the overall objective is the same, the details (which I never really saw) are something we’re co-creating together. The great thing is he is talented with landscaping, natural habitat creation (his father was a forest ranger), and he loves to bargain hunt and find the best buys on everything from flooring to furniture.
As a woman who has spent her life in the driver’s seat, it’s a new (and sometimes challenging) experience co-creating with a companion. Fortunately our communication is exceptional, and we are willing to have the hard conversations (something that did not happen in my prior marriages). I have great hope that two strong people with a shared vision (which we both believe comes from God), a deep love and respect for each other, a desire to stay close to the Lord, and open communication can forge ahead and make big dreams a reality.
The great thing is we’re doing it… we’re in the thick of the weeds doing it… and the vision is there … unfolding as we go.
The song “I Knew I Loved You Before I Met You” by Savage Garden sums it up …
More than a little crazy
But I believe
I think I dreamed you into life
I knew I loved you before I met you
I have been waiting all my life
Let me be a resource to you as you work toward your heart-driven dreams! Click here for details.
Several years ago I set in motion a new trajectory for my life. I caught the vision of something wonderful and idealistic and I began working toward it — making major lifestyle adjustments and tough choices. In time, my life became anything but idealistic. It was hard and the further I went, the more that vision seemed like a pipe dream. I doubted the inspiration of it.
In late 2015, I thought things were looking up again. In a blog post from early 2016 that I was reading last night, I was happy and thought I’d found what I was looking for. I had a peaceful loving home. Sure, I would have admitted at the time that it wasn’t the magnificent thing I’d envisioned earlier. But it was good. Life was simple, easy, restful. It was a world better than what I’d had. I was grateful and I loved unconditionally.
Little did I know at the time that everything would fall apart a year later — even more than it already had before. As C.S. Lewis wrote, I “thought [I was] being made into a decent little cottage: but [God] is building a palace.”
As God has ripped out the old foundations this year, He’s taught me something important about Divine Love. Nothing is purely ideal. Nothing is strawberries and cream. The magnificent vision He gave me is unfolding in a way I could never begin to deny, and there are challenges along with it. Funny how I never daydreamed about those. We never do, unless we’re in worry mode.
Had I not been through this difficult 2017-road I would not be willing to embrace the challenges that accompany the blessings. I would have assumed that if it was “meant to be” it would be seamless and easy. It is fun; it’s exciting; it’s wonderful. Yes, it’s all of that; and it’s also one of the most challenging roads I’ve chosen to take in life.
There have been times I’ve asked myself, “Do I still want this vision?” God has told me I’m free to walk away from it and do something different. But what kind of coward would I be to turn down this fabulous adventure, simply because the climb has some rocks and boulders to navigate along the way? Just because it requires letting go of old baggage, old habits, old fears, and inaccurate beliefs?
The mediocre path is the easy one. The one with the breathtaking vistas and delightful encounters is the one that tests our mettle… in fact, the more exquisite the blessing, the more arduous the climb.
I’ve noticed that there are those on the planet who like others to stay within certain zones of behavior that they consider “normal.” Those outside the zone are considered oddballs. For example, some people believe there’s a “normal” amount of friendliness, happiness, braininess, creativity, romanticism, helpfulness, spontaneity, etc.
When someone they encounter is outside the “normal” parameters, say the person is “too happy” or “too creative” or “too friendly,” then they become suspicious, skeptical, perhaps even antagonistic.
Rather than take the time to get to know the person, they make snap judgments and look for reasons not to like the individual… After all, this person isn’t “normal,” so there must be something wrong with them. They’re “outliers” and “odd balls.”
I don’t know about you, but I adore the outliers and the odd balls. They add spice to life. I admire their audacity and their intense capacity to love, to create and to enjoy life in their own unique way.
They remind me that I need to embrace and express my own inner oddball. They give me the courage to be myself regardless of what others think. God bless the outliers!
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Have you ever stood on an ocean shore and felt the overwhelming majesty of its power? It’s a mix of awe, wonder and a little trepidation. Or have you looked up at a night sky on a secluded mountaintop and seen more stars than ever before? As the Milky Way stretches across the sky above you, you catch glimpses of eternity. You marvel at the immensity and magnitude of God’s creations and feel His power.
In the last three weeks I’ve enjoyed both of these awe-inspiring experiences. There’s something so exhilarating, but also humbling about both. As a small human standing on the shore or looking up at that star-filled sky, I feel something akin to fear, but not really fear. It’s probably the kind of feeling the Old Testament writers were trying to convey when they spoke of the “fear of the Lord.” It’s an honoring respect and reverence. It’s an understanding that in comparison to this majesty, I am one weak little human. And yet, He loves me and I am part of the wonder of it all.
For the first time in my life I look at a relationship I’m in like I’m standing before the ocean or looking up at that starry night. What I see is expansive, immense, filled with possibilities and froth with in-the-moment realities that are beyond anything I’d ever dreamed – and I dream a lot.
We do a lot of analyzing, examining each other and ourselves from every angle. We’ve both been hurt, and we want to make sure we’re doing the right thing. We’re going in with eyes wide. We’re both strong, opinionated individuals and sometimes we butt heads, but we always work it through to a place of understanding and mutual appreciation.
There are the times where I’m shocked at how many little things we have in common like our love for music, intimate dive restaurants, spontaneously exploring rabbit trails, and barbeque. Our relationship is both exhilarating and deep, and occasionally exhausting.
Then, there are those brief moments of time when we suspend disbelief, stop our analyzing, relax into it and allow ourselves to see our relationship for what it is – a complete miracle. It’s an ocean of power, an expansive Milky Way of eternal possibilities. Our eyes fill with grateful tears, and we feel the need to fall to our knees and thank God for the miracle of “us.”
Never in my life, have I felt that I can finally be who God created me to be with another person. I can finally fill the measure of my creation with this man. Our relationship is more than all the typical reasons two people unite themselves. It’s more than intimacy or someone being your best friend. Yes, those things are important, and they are a part of who we are. Yet, the reason I’m considering an eternity with this man is because for the very first time I CAN see eternity – an incredible, expansive eternity.
There’s this feeling of immense creativity and power that is possible when we are together. We don’t know what God has in store for us, but we sense and know that it is huge. It’s as expansive, far reaching and eternal as that night sky we stood beneath in the mountains of southern Utah. Perhaps that’s why we get lost in the weeds of analyzing little things about our relationship – because staring at the immensity of who we are together fills us with that “fear of the Lord” feeling, and our human comprehension can’t fathom it.
I keep wondering, “What if we stopped analyzing it and just relaxed into the possibilities and power of eternity?”
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One of my favorite things to do is to listen to people’s lives, experience, and thoughts and relish in the treasures I find there. Hundreds, probably more like a thousand people, have shared with me a glimpse into their lives.
When they do I say something like, “Do you see the pattern here? Do you see the message? The wisdom? The amazing story?”
It is so obvious to me most of the time. If I ask the right questions and they are open with their answers, 15 minutes can reveal a life message, a life’s work – a significant gem that they have right at their fingertips.
This morning as I was thinking about the man in my life, I pictured him going into a cave, which represented me and my life. He’s like a happy scavenger hunter. “Have you seen this? This is amazing! Have you seen this grace? This beauty? This is awesome! Have you seen this wisdom? Have you seen this strength? Do you have any concept of the depth of wonders you have here?”
Most of the time I chuckle, shake my head and admit I had no clue. I am amazed he sees me that way. Or I think “Yeah, I knew that old thing was in there, but no one else seemed to see or care about it. You really like that?” Or sometimes I know a talent is there, but I never dared show it to anyone else.
There’s something about this man that brings out aspects of me I never had the guts to reveal to anyone else. He makes me courageous. He makes me feel safe to be more vulnerable than I’ve ever been.
I picture him excitedly going from one shelf, bin or bucket to another, rummaging through this cave…. which I now realized is a treasure trove.
I wondered what made this possible. Then I remembered all those people whose treasures I’ve encountered and uncovered over the years. Perhaps in the karmic scheme of things, we want others to do for us what we’re doing for them. When we do, we unlock a door for it to happen in our own lives.
I also wonder how much of the wisdom, insight and understanding (aka treasures) are in this cave BECAUSE so many beautiful people have left pieces of themselves written upon my mind and heart. Their beauty lingers upon my soul.
I’ve spent a lifetime observing, aggregating, shuffling and organizing and creating new variations from everything I’ve gleaned from others and from life. Perhaps that is what he sees when he rummages through this treasure trove.
I would not be me without all of you who have left traces of your treasures upon my heart. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!
Only Us featuring Laura Dreyfuss and Ben Platt from Dear Evan Hansen
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A man has entered my life who starts each day asking God what He should do. He listens for the answer and cheerfully does whatever he feels directed. Amidst God’s assignments, he finds a way to make me laugh, spontaneously dance with me, dive into deep conversations and constantly remind me that I am valuable and loved.
On multiple occasions as we’ve walked through the woods, he’s taken my hand and led me to a clearing. Each time I feel like Eve with her Adam, who has found her help-meet on the adventures of life.
He’s not perfect and neither am I. We occasionally have misunderstandings because we’re two different people. He’s quick to seek clarification, quick to create understanding and quick to apologize and set things right. He’s easy to love and generous with his praise.
He’s everything I ever asked for and more. He’s a man with vision, a heart to serve God and to be in the right place. He loves deeply and empathetically. If someone is suffering or struggling, he wants to find a way to help.
He’s a dynamic personality, larger than life, crazy fun and romantically deep. His passion for life is contagious. While he’s a bit older than me, most of the time I’m wondering how I’ll ever keep up with him.
Life has thrown me some curve balls that have left me a bit skeptical and cautious. He’s patient and offers me time. He understands that this new heart God began growing in me after Mama’s passing is still finding its bearings.
I have never met anyone so receptive to the Spirit. I can pray about something and the next day this man will say or do something that addresses my concern or answers my prayer.
Above all else, our hearts are aligned to the same trajectory… we both long to teach, write, speak, lift, build and serve those who have struggled, felt trapped, or have been demeaned, belittled or made to feel they don’t matter or that they don’t have a voice. We both love God’s children and we long to give them hope that God lives, that He loves them, that they matter, that their voice matters and the world needs them. No matter how dark the night or long the road, Christ is there through it all.
Both of our roads have been long and difficult but through it all God has been there, believing in us, helping us. Through this whole surprising process I have learned even more that I AM that I AM is there. I believe HE is there for us more often than we think HE can or will be, but when we look for Him, He will show up for us.
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What do you do when your dream is at your door,
and you’re not sure you want it anymore?
I’ve had a big dream I co-created with God several years ago. It felt incredibly inspired and drove me forward to do a lot of things that were completely outside my comfort zone. Almost all the steps I’ve taken over the last 7 years have been about becoming the person who could achieve that dream. One of the things it entailed was developing my property into a retreat location.
Along the way, I had to let go of the main parcel of my property. In the process, I let the dream die along with it. I went through loss after loss after loss until I came to a place of simplicity… where I am no longer attached to things. As long as I have access to a piano a few days/week, a computer with internet connection, and food and comfortable shelter for my son and me, I’m good.
At this point of simplicity, God has decided to escalate materializing my dream in a way that is really quite miraculous. It’s moving so fast, I’ve had moments when I’ve wondered if I have any say in the matter. I asked God once, “Do I get a choice here?” The answer was, “You had the choice when you set this in motion. I’m just delivering what you asked. But, yes, you ALWAYS have a choice.”
I have felt so many mixed emotions – awe, wonder, and yes a little bit of confusion about God’s ironic timing, and trepidation. Why now when I honestly don’t care anymore? Just asking the question feels ungrateful, but it is a question I feel compelled to ask.
Finally, a friend sliced through it all and gave me some excellent advice. She asked me to decide if I still want the dream. I don’t have to accept it. I can choose another path. I still have choice.
When I stepped back and looked at the two paths set before me, I looked at them with new eyes. I let go of “having” to accept it just because I’d asked for it. I started asking myself what I really do want.
I’m not the same person I was when I crafted the dream. I’ve changed internally where I’m more concerned about who I’m becoming as a person, how I’m showing up and serving than about material possessions or land.
A new question for evaluating the situation came to mind, “Will this path help me become who I want to become? Will it help me serve in a way that God is calling me to serve?”
As I asked myself this question, the answer was an obvious YES. I could see that stepping forward into this God-orchestrated path means immense emotional and spiritual growth. My resistance to the path was more about me being afraid I wasn’t up for the path than that I didn’t want to be the person the path required.
I’m being handed a choice between stepping up, taking the road less traveled, the challenging path that leads to exquisite joy OR choosing the safe, easy path that lets me play it safe and live in the land of ordinary.
Safe path. Hmmm… ironically I’ve learned that the “safe” path is not safe at all. I think I’ll try the gutsy one instead…
The Way by Fastball
Lyrics to “The Way” by Fastball
They made up their minds
And they started packing
They left before the sun came up that day
An exit to eternal summer slacking
But where were they going without ever
Knowing the way?
They drank up the wine
And they got to talking
They now had more important things to say
And when the car broke down they started walking
Where were they going without ever
Knowing the way?
Anyone can see the road that they walk on
Is paved in gold
And it’s always summer
They’ll never get cold
They’ll never get hungry
They’ll never get old and grey
You can see their shadows wandering off somewhere
They won’t make it home
But they really don’t care
They wanted the highway
They’re happier there today, today
Their children woke up
And they couldn’t find them
They left before the sun came up that day
They just drove off and left it all behind ’em
But where were they going without ever
Knowing the way?
I’ve always considered myself an easy going, low maintenance person. I get along with most people and I’ve wanted to keep the peace. I do have my opinions on some things. While I’ll listen to other views and sometimes adjust mine, I can be insistent on things that are key values for me. Yes, I’m strong-willed and can be stubborn on things that really matter to me.
I’m in a relationship with a man with a strong personality, opinions and values of his own. About 90 percent of the time we’re having these great conversations where we build off what each other has to say to new understanding and epiphanies about emotional, spiritual, intellectual and business topics.
As we spend more time together, we run into the other 10 percent where we don’t immediately see eye to eye and we butt heads or something rubs us the wrong way about the other person’s personality, or way of processing emotions.
And then we stop and discuss that, really share how each of us is feeling, what’s coming up for us, what we feel is going on. It’s raw, vulnerable and totally honest.
We respect each other’s views and feelings, and eventually we come to this place of rich understanding and deeper place of connection and love. It’s not one person caving or compromising. It’s creating mutual understanding and win-win solutions.
It’s work, hard work, but it’s incredibly rewarding. It pays off with the deepest love and connection I’ve ever known.
I think back on my last marriage where there wasn’t a single argument. Maybe a difference of opinion, but not one that went into a conversation that worked through deep concerns.
I thought I was in a peaceful, loving relationship. He obviously had something that was festering beneath the surface unspoken. 18 months in, one Saturday morning he was done… without explanation, without a chance to work anything through, without an opportunity to clarify or create understanding or a deeper love. Maybe I wasn’t so “low-maintenance” and easy to get along with as I thought I was. I’ll never know.
I’d rather have the relationship that is alive and brings up the occasional issue or emotion that is worked through together, than constant “peace” that is merely an illusion.
I’m 51 years old and I feel like I’m finally learning to communicate. Not because I’ve figured it out, but because I’m with a man with incredible communication skills. And there is something about “us”… these two independent, head strong, amazing people… that makes mediocrity and “settling for good enough” impossible.
I’m finally with someone who feels like a partner in the adventure, a companion on the mission God is calling us on together. We’re both open to wherever God chooses to lead. I’ve never been with a man who is so quick to fall to his knees, and invite me to join him in seeking God’s input or express gratitude.
This level of collaboration with each other and with God takes two people who are willing to put Him first and willing to have the tough conversations to create 100% unity, trust and honesty.
I’m discovering that peace at any price is not peace. True peace comes when both parties are willing to pay the price to respectfully create understanding.
I’ve got a lot to learn, and I’m grateful to have an amazing man in my life to learn it with. It’s not anything I could ever learn as a single woman… which is what I had full intention of being for several more years. God had other plans
I just remembered that Monday would have been my two year wedding anniversary. I didn’t think of it or the man at all. I think that’s a good sign that my healing is substantially complete and I’m on to brighter days.
Most likely it happened because I’m dating a man who completely obliterates all other men from my memory.
While looking up music today, I ran across this beautiful rendition of this 80’s favorite, Billy Ocean’s, “Suddenly.”
Seems to fit this relationship that came out of nowhere when I least expected it.
Lyrics to Billy Ocean’s Suddenly
I used to think that love was just a fairy tale
Until that first hello until that first smile
But if I had to do it all again I wouldn’t change a thing
Cause this love is everlasting
Suddenly life has new meaning to me
There’s beauty up above and things we never take notice of
You wake up suddenly you’re in love
Girl you’re everything a man could want and more
One thousand words are not enough to say what I feel inside
Holding hands as we walk along the shore
Never felt like this before now you’re all I’m living for
Each day I pray this love affair would last forever
There’s beauty up above and things you never take notice of
You wake and suddenly you’re in love
Written by Maurice Ernest Gibb, Robin Hugh Gibb, Barry Alan Gibb
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I’ve owned this property that borders the Chickamauga Creek for 20 years this December. Today was the first day I’ve actually put my feet in the water. I’ve been a bit slow claiming blessings that God obviously wanted me to receive!
The embankment was high and overgrown, and my boyfriend cleared a trail for me.
Makes me wonder how many blessings have been right within my grasp that I haven’t received because I thought they would be too much work. It only took us half an hour to clear this path.
It helps to have a trail-blazing companion who cares about you and wants you to experience the richness of life.
What blessings are an arms-length away for you? Check out what it would take to receive and enjoy them. It might not be as difficult as you think.
Last night while standing in the moonlight I had this deja vu moment (for lack of a better word). It was like a moment when you realize something God has promised you and that you’ve envisioned for 7 years is coming true.
The entire day had confirmed to me that I’m not delusional, I’m not someone who envisions impossible things and makes crazy leaps of faith for nothing. I’ve doubted myself, doubted God (or at least that I heard Him right). I’ve settled for less. I’ve given up on my dream along the way, but it was all true. It was real all along.
God is so merciful and kind never to give up on the dream even though I did… even though I messed up royally along the way. God has been faithful to His promises. He is fulfilling His word to me in front of my eyes.
Featured Image Copyright: Syntheticmessiah / BigStockPhoto.com
The journey of the last few months has taught me a life-altering principle. When you simultaneously “lose” your angel mother, your marriage, your property, a drivable car, and temporarily can’t live in the same home with your children for several months, it has the ability to take you to a place where there is nothing but you and God.
Your relationship with Him is all that matters. When you lean into that, instead of fighting the emotions or the reality, when you sing His praises through it all, something extraordinary happens.
God opened my eyes to see that nothing is ever lost. Nothing is created or destroyed. It simply changes forms.
In the vey moment that those manifestations of God’s love and provision left my life, new ones came to take their place. God gave me a place to live, a car to drive. He raised up friends, poured out music and gifts, strengthened family relationships, and opened my eyes to see all the love and compensating blessings around me.
I began to see my mother everywhere. Her love enveloped me. God brought friends and loved ones to give me the support, the belonging, the acknowledgement, and the caring I once received from a spouse.
Honestly, it was more than I’d received from him. It came from hundreds of people and from many new close friends I could be open and vulnerable with.
About 3 months after it all happened, I received an overwhelming understanding that I have everything I’d ever need, no matter what happened. I saw clearly that I can always trust God to provide. Once I saw this, He began consolidating all that love, acknowledgement, belonging and provision into a group and then into one person. Then He began returning the years the locusts had eaten.
I see resurrection and restoration all around me in process and I trust it will continue to a full restoration. But if not, I am always provided for in this moment… everything I need is right here with me right now, if I continue to have eyes to see and receive.
Since my grandfather died in the 90’s I’ve had my grandmother’s china cabinet. I’ve moved it to from place to place and now it’s in my storage unit. I’ve told the story of Mamaw’s china cabinet many times over the years:
My grandfather didn’t like to spend any extra money on frills (or sometimes what a woman would consider basics). So my grandmother raised chickens and saved her egg money for that china cabinet and the entire dining room suite.
I let the table and chairs go years ago when they wore out from many, many dinners with 6 little ones. It’s not like I love the way the china cabinet looks. I’ve kept it purely for sentimental reasons.
A few days ago as I thought of how I would fit that china cabinet into my little two bedroom apartment on Saturday, a heaviness settled over me. The thought came, “It’s time to let that story go.”
I’m done with men who either don’t step up for me, don’t provide or invest in me. Yes, I’m a strong, independent woman. I can earn my own egg money. But the story of dysfunctional relationships is not one I want to carry into my future.
So I contacted my cousin and asked her if she, her sister or one of her girls might like to have Mamaw’s china cabinet. I still think the story is great. It shows Mamaw’s thrift, determination, ingenuity, and goal setting. It’s a wonderful story… it’s also a story about men and relationships that I personally need to let go.
Fortunately, my cousin has some space to store it and can keep it there until someone in the family decides they want it. What a great feeling!
This experience makes me ask myself, “What other stories am I hanging onto that I need to let go?”
Is there anything you need to let go of? Energy therapy has a been a big part of my journey with this. If you’re struggling to let things go — whether it be grief, loss, resentment, fear or old stories, consider an energy therapy session.
I had the opportunity to attend and speak at Tammy Ward’s Messenger Mastermind in Ogden, Utah today. I didn’t speak until three o’clock, and really enjoyed the presenters before me.
Here are a few notes I took.
Thoughts from Luanalei Turetzky
“Allow a thought to be benign until you use choice to activate its power. A thought holds no power until you believe it.”
“When we step into vulnerability and we partner with someone who steps into their vulnerability, an ultimate creation results.”
“Being the boss means you have the power to make your choices. But you do not have the power to pick the consequences. Being a creator means letting go of trying to control the consequences.”
“The things you’re holding onto and trying to control most are the things that are keeping you from the things you want most.”
“Excessivism is not abundance.” Luanalei Turetzky
Thoughts from Allie White
“Transformation does not happen without conversion.”
“When going thru fire, decide to be forged instead of consumed.” Allie White
How to Sell More Books
I spoke on various ways to sell more books including press releases, getting media and PR, Amazon Author Central, leveraging Goodreads, and collaborative methods for selling more books and positioning yourself as an expert.
New Headshot in the Works
Aubree Della (Tammy’s Daughter) was there doing headshots. I’ve been wanting a new one for upcoming books and for my web sites and social media. So I was able to get a session with her. The photos will be available in a couple weeks. It was a great deal.
I’ve seen some of Aubree’s work and she does a good job, so I’m hopeful I’ll have a few good ones to use. It’s been a couple years since I’ve had any professional photos done, so I’m overdue.
After getting back to Martina’s, I decided to make her kids some of my ginger crinkles. Most people rave about these cookies. They’re definitely one of my claims to fame. 🙂 If you want the recipe, I have a fun video of me making Ginger Crinkles as Julia Child here.
Beauty and the Beast
After making cookies, Martina, her kids and I watched the newer live action version of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast. I believe my favorite part of the movie was this song by Dan Stevens (The Beast) as Belle is returning to rescue her father.
I put the finishing touches on my flyers for the How to Sell More Books class I’ll be teaching at Tammy Ward’s Mastermind tomorrow. Then Martina dropped me off to make copies while she took her kids somewhere. Afterward we ran to Costco and back to her house.
This afternoon I had an in-person appointment with a book coaching client whom I’ve been working with by phone. Bonnie Chadburn is working through my Create A WOW book program. Bonnie’s writing a book to assist people who suffer from mental illness. So many people with mental illnesses succumb to suicide, and Bonnie’s goal is to stop that.
She and her husband are a delight. He sat in with the consult and it was wonderful getting to know both of them. Being the mother of a child with mental illness, Bonnie’s book is particularly intriguing to me. I’m grateful to play a small role in its development.
I had a couple leadership meetings for The Quickening today, did my Marnie’s Marketing Mondays class and worked on my presentation for Wednesday. I’ll be giving a 45 minute class at Tammy Ward’s Mastermind in Ogden Utah Wednesday afternoon.
Tammy has brought me into her masterminds via Zoom three times in the past. This is the first time I’ll be able to attend live. I’m looking forward to it. I’ll be teaching “How to Sell More Books”
Tonight after dinner, Martina and I watched the last two episodes of season 1 of Travelers on Netflix. I love time travel books, movies and series. This one has been really good. I’m glad to see it’s been picked up for a second season. It will just be a while until it’s released.
The cast of characters are very likeable and the plot-line is intriguing. There was a good cliff hanger at the end of the season, and I’m looking forward to see how it resolves.
I went to church with Martina and her kids today, then came back to their house and took a nap for about four hours. It was fantastic! I haven’t had a good long Sunday nap in quite a while. I used to take a 2-3 hour nap every Sunday. It was my sacred ritual that got me through the rest of the week. I’ve missed it.
After dinner, I made chocolate chip cookies with Martina’s two youngest girls. They were so excited to get to help make cookies. The older of the two found all the kitchen utensils and ingredients for me. She stirred everything in the bowl as I put it in, and rolled out the cookies with her baby sister.
Making cookies with little children has always been one of my favorite activities. One of my fondest memories is the way Joshua asked for cookies. He didn’t really ask. He’d announce with great enthusiasm, “We could make cookies!” How could I resist agreeing, “Yes, we could!” I don’t believe I ever told him No.