Tag Archive | book

50 Acts of Kindness – 41-50


Here’s the final list from my Kindness Inspires Kindness birthday celebration. I hope you have all enjoyed the journey!

#41 Babies & Kids – I went to the day care center by my work and I read “The Night You Were Born” to the preschoolers there and donated it so they could read it to the kids when they have a birthday in the future. They were such a delight! I loved every minute and got a little misty when they all sang and wanted to give me birthday presents. They did make me a birthday card – aren’t they sweet? One little girl was having a birthday that week as well so I gave her my birthday boa. She was thrilled! I can’t show the kids for privacy reasons but here a couple of me.

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#42 Babies & Kids – We all know that teen-aged girls can be the hardest on themselves. So I wrote 200 notes of affirmation and love and had them put on the cars of the girls at the high school I attended. Actually, it’s the all-girl school that every girl in my family has attended. My sister is a teacher there and she said they were all talking about it the next day so I guess they appreciated a little love in their day.

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#43 Sick & Needy – I donated a pile of items to Goodwill. I like to do that several times a year.

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#44 – Created an angel painting with a special message included. Love when the angels come out to play! (NOTE – picture not delivered yet so putting these angel wings as a placeholder so as not to spoil the surprise!)

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#45 Just Because – I gave a copy of my book, MIGHTY INSPIRATION, Love Letters from God to someone. I love when I can spread the inspiration this way.

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#46 Sick & Needy – I gave blood. It’s been a few years and now I remember why. They said I’m a “slow” bleeder and I got just enough, just in time to meet the requirement. Whew!

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#47, #48, #49 – These three go together – These are my sweet “Giving Crew” – I bought them breakfast, lunch, and supper, respectively as they spent the day with me running around town and doing acts of kindness. They are precious and supportive and just the loveliest people! They helped make my birthday wish come true. Can’t thank them enough and couldn’t think of a better group to spend my birthday day with!

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#50 – Babies & Kids – I saved my favorite one for last. My daughter and I went to University Hospital, which is where I was born. I had a gift for a baby girl born 50 years after I was born. Hmmm I’ve learned it’s harder to give a gift to a stranger than I thought, but I was patient and God worked it out. Anyway, I met the loveliest couple. They had identical twins and about halfway through the pregnancy found out they had a very rare condition where all the amniotic fluid transfers from one baby to another. So one baby was really swimming in it and the other had almost none. The doctors gave the 2nd baby almost no chance to live and the mom almost no chance of taking the babies safely to term. There was nothing medically that could be done and there was no way to correct the situation. Those are dire words to say to a young couple waiting for their sweet babies. So the parents and family did the only thing they could …. they prayed. And within a short 2 week period the fluid had evened out (impossible huh?) and the babies were born at about week 36 or 37 weeks – that’s awesome for twins! Both are miracle babies. One (Truette Lynn) was in the NICU so I didn’t get to see her but I got to see Larkyn Ellen. And the parents graciously told me to go ahead and hold her. Yes, it was a present for me in return. And oh yeah, I cried.  I will forever pray for those birthday twins, Larkyn and Truette.

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There you have it – the BEST BIRTHDAY EVER, in pictures!!! Thanks for being witness to my journey of kindness and thanks to all who blessed me for my 50th Birthday. Dreams really do come true!!

Be blessed!

Book Recommendations


Yesterday a dear friend recommended a book to me called “Lean In” by Sheryl Sandberg. I’m going to read it but also realized I haven’t updated my “Books to Read” list in a very long time. So … I’m taking recommendations. What book has changed your life? What book to you read again and again? What’s the top 3 books you would recommend to a friend? What books do you like to give as gifts?

Now’s your chance to influence me. :-)

Read on and be blessed!Image

Pass it on!


Today I received a really lovely note from someone who had attended my speaking engagement on Gratitude. Of course I was pleased that she had enjoyed my speech. Her words were flattering. But that wasn’t the important thing about her message. What really caught my heart was how she had “passed it on”. My speaking had inspired her to in turn speak at her church and give her own testimony. She talked about Regrets and Resolutions and had the courage to share her own story. She passed along several of my insights that had touched her. What a gift she gave – not only to those she spoke to, but to me as well.

This is exactly in line with one of the chapters in my book, MIGHTY INSPIRATION, Love Letters from God. It talks about how one action, word, or inspiration spirals and twists and move across the face of the earth because it builds and grows as it gets passed along. We almost never see the far-reaching results of the positive things we create. But they live and move well beyond our initial creation.  This is one way in which we can change the world. Nothing happens if we receive it and hold what we have. It edifies us, yes. But it stops there. It lingers temporarily and then dies with the next thing that catches our attention and focus. Now, the real change comes when we receive and then give. When we pass it on – no matter what it is – it grows. It takes on more and more energy and spreads in multiple directions. It divides and multiplies – it does not diminish, when we pass it on.

I was thrilled to hear from her. I was delighted to see this principle in action. And I know, in the energy of spirit that more and more people are passing it on even now.

What are you passing on these days? Whatever it is, may it be a positive change in our world … and may you be blessed!

I’m changing the world


One of the topics in my book MIGHTY INSPIRATION, Love Letters from God, is the concept of changing the world. Do you believe that you can change the world? I do. Every action and word we use creates a ripple effect. We don’t just put  ideas and energy out into the world – we move them along as well. We expand them when we focus on them or talk about them.

It is my firm desire to change this world. I believe that I have a purpose. It’s not to gather the most possessions or attain the highest of titles. It’s way, way more important than that. I believe my purpose is to help others see their own light and empower them to embrace it. No I’m not perfect at it but I do deliberately work on it. I have a spiritual practice that involves gratitude as well as intercession prayers. Science is even backing up the idea that prayer and faith can change things. This is not new news to the believer but it is important confirmation that is starting to build.

I also work to use my talent for words to inspire – not just on my blog or in my social networking platforms, but also in my work. Planting seeds of positivity seems to be producing many fruitful changes. I enjoy seeing the faces of people when my words seem to strike a cord in their hearts. I enjoy it more when they share the words or even suggest some more. I see a bit of encouragement growing in the work place and I hope that my small efforts are a part of the cause.

And next I want to move from words of inspiration to actions of change. I have long been a “sponsor” for children outside of my country. And yes, I can help them with my modest financial donations. That enables others to use my gift by putting it into action. Lately, that hasn’t seemed like enough.

Next year I’m turning 50. Yep, it’s just a number but in my head it’s a number that represents the middle of my life. I’ve graduated from the daily needs of my children – they are adults and creating their own lives now. And I’m not at the end of my life where I reflect on the journey complete. I’m in the middle. I’m in a position of flexibility that I want to put to use. So I’m exploring where to go and what to do to make my mark on lives I don’t ordinarily have the opportunity to affect. I can go into the world, not once, but over and over. I can combine my love of travel and appreciation for different cultures to spur me into action – I can see the world and change the world and we shall all be the better for it.

I’m wrestling with new questions – Where do I go? What gifts do I give? What talents do I share? Who do I take by my side? The answers to these questions may not stir the world, but they will change the lives of some human beings I don’t yet know. I want to dream big. I want to reach as far as my hands can go. I want to change the world and leave it better for my journey. I want to let strangers know the love of God because they met a woman – this woman.

I’m open to suggestions and inspirations – help me answer my questions … and be blessed!

The things I could do …


It’s true … the days are getting longer.  As we get closer and closer to summer the light is lasting longer. It’s wonderful to go to work and come home from work in the sunshine. I’m not a fan of the coming heat, but the light is a welcome companion.

And yet, even now there’s so much I want to do, need to do, must do that the days still seem short. I know we cannot extend the number of hours in a day. And frankly, I wouldn’t want to because I’d fill those up too.  But now as I see so many of my friends leaving work to retire, my mind day dreams about what I could do without work taking up most of my waking hours.

I was talking to a friend about this yesterday. She’s retiring in June and we chatted about her next steps. She’ll continue to be a chair person for some of the volunteer activities at the big tennis tournament that comes to town each year. She’s thinking about working with dogs and training them to be both adoptable as well as training them to be healing pets. What wonderful aspirations.

I know I’m just a tad bit too young to be ready for this step but I know I’m creating my list of what I’d do. I want to learn photography, volunteer in a variety of places that require workday help, pick up some artsy classes – painting or stained glass making or pottery. There’s so many possibilities. I know I want to continue with my writing. By then I hope to have my 2nd book finished and maybe working on a 3rd.

All the books I’ve wanted to read would become my daily friends. The places I want to go all over the world with people to meet, and cultures to experience would take much of my money but leave me with an investment in connections and discovery.

Yikes I better stop day dreaming for today or I’ll find myself taking a leap I’m not quite ready for if I keep this up. What are you day dreaming up if time was abounding and plenty? Be blessed!

 

Inspired Action


I have noticed that my years seem to flow in themes. I started to see this about 3-4 years ago. Since gaining awareness, I also know that these are not themes which I pick, but rather what appears to be the “lesson of the year.” Sometimes the theme reveals itself quite quickly, and other times I see it only in retrospect. They are also wildly variant – from a year of learning (both formal and informal), to spiritual listening, to accepting my personal value, to surrender, etc. This year is shaping up to be the year of inspired action.

Just saying those words, inspired action, makes me both excited and a little nervous. I’m not going to lie, it takes courage to take action when it’s purpose driven. It means I can’t “go with the flow of my emotions” like I desire. It means having a bit of a plan, taking risks, showing my intentions to people. But, in spite of my desire to hesitate, I know that this is the course I’m on.

So what does inspired action look like? Here’s a few examples I’ve come across already:

> Speaking out in support of what’s right in the workplace as it pertains to the gay community at work. Nope, it’s not about religion, but about what’s right from an employee relations and human relations point of view.

> Sharing my spiritual experience and gifting my book to some very influential people in my life.

> Deliberately planting positive messages in the workplace as a way of leaving a legacy.

> Delving into the dark crevices of my heart and soul, really looking at some of the pain points in order to move to forgiveness and emotional healing.

> Purging my home of things I’ve held dear for so long because they no longer serve me.

These are just a few, and they aren’t all easy. But I know that in the end I will gain personal power from the process. This year of inspired action will set me up for what comes next year.

Do you recognize the themes in your life? Awaken your awareness and be blessed!

Speaking in Love Languages


We have an exercise we use at work called “The Valuing Exercise”. It’s simple, but quite effective. It is a good tool for managers when they want to recognize and reward employees in ways that the person will feel valued. It consists of a  pretty comprehensive list of potential ways people tend to want recognition. The employee indicates their top 3 and bottom 3 preferences. The range of options vary from monetary rewards to public recognition to exposure of the work to leadership and everything in between. People new to managing others are sometimes surprised by responses because, as always with humans, people get in the habit of giving praise or recognition in the way they want to receive it. When they find out their “tried and true” methods are on the bottom 3 preferences for some people, it throws them off. And, if they continue to do so, it can backfire and be demotivating for their people.

One of the reasons I like the exercise is that it is a business tool that teaches managers how to relate to people in work-related forms of their “love language”. That phrase comes from the book the Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman. It’s a great book – actually one of the best relationship books I have ever read. There are now additional versions of the book for many types of relationships like kids, teens, and at work, etc.

As a certified Myers-Briggs facilitator, I appreciate that this concept allows for the expression of various personality types. I must admit, if I had known about and read this book when I was married it would have made a difference in that relationship. If the relationship had been salvageable, it would have made all the difference. I say that because I now recognize the signs that indicate we were decidedly NOT speaking each others love languages, even when we were trying to be loving. I’ve tried to learn and practice with my children, my family, and my friends. I have seen a difference and a strengthening in relationships in my own life because I decided to become fluent in other people’s love languages, and not just in my own. I’m not always perfect, but I am in a different world because of it.

Do you know your love languages? Do you know the love languages of the important people in your life? Do you practice the art of using them? I highly encourage you to put this book on the tippy top of your reading list if you haven’t already.

Love each other, and be blessed!