Thursday, August 27, 2009

A Little on “Trails”

My road to abundance took on a form of ‘trails’ the other day.
I got up fully intending to cross off my to do list any number of good items … man, I was going to have a big, busy, ‘get ‘er done’ day’! Then, after morning quiet time and reflection it came to me. Lowell’s day off, Jared – his time is with us is limited and me and Jake with home school – well, we’re flexible … so it became obvious, this really should be a day of family adventure. We finished some necessities, and other more pressing items became less urgent in the light of the priority of making memories with our sons.
We loaded up a picnic of sandwiches and snacks to last the day, plenty of water and took off to Grayson Highlands.
A first for each of us.
We heard there’d be wild ponies, other hikers, and sites to behold. But there was also waterfalls, blueberries and blackberries to eat on as went along. It was a rich day – one of those days we’ll recall with fondness and always there’ll be stories to tell! We didn’t get to do all we intended which means we’ll go back – hooray!
I will preface this by saying our family loves State Parks. From the time the big kids were little kiddos we’ve enjoyed the outdoor adventures of State Parks. We’ve been to many in quite a few states and have stayed in their cabins as well as done tent camping. Of course, there are the ‘day-trips’ like this day’s. We go with anticipation of exploring and hiking the paths and trails and deliberate ahead of time as to which we can do in our time-frame and also, for endurance sake. This day was no different – we stopped by the main office with our map and went inside to discuss with the Ranger at the desk what would be the best to tackle for our 4-6 hours. She told us 3 ‘must do’s – the meadows with the wild ponies, the waterfalls and the pinnacle with the 360 degree view. Cool! It was going to be a wonderful day! The weather was perfect and we were raring to go!
We did the meadow trails first and were not disappointed in the least. In addition to regular hikers, there were numerous people out picking wild huckleberries and blueberries. Ahhh, they were scrumptious and such a treat but as Lowell, said, very distracting! The ponies were so fantastic in their dignified preciousness. They were miniature, majestic beings! One little guy was insistent on being recognized as he nuzzled our hands and backpacks. His mother was friendly as well, coming up to us on her own accord to get her ears scratched.
For part of this time in ‘the meadows’ we were on the Appalachian Trail and therefore randomly came across some serious hikers. That was neat. Also, these trails are designed to be enjoyed on horses or mules so got to visit with these folks too.
On this day I learned lessons about communication, maps and trails and I will share a little more on that another time. Hopefully, what I learned will tie it into life lessons for not just me but some of you too.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Nickels and Dimes

Our financial wellness or even prosperity often times is based on how we deal with nickels and dimes.
Recently a close friend of mine told of a time she was working in a well-known bank and a lady came in to make a significant deposit of dimes … amounting to close to $4,000! It had been the dimes she had her son save throughout his years at home and it was time to ‘cash them in’! Whew! That’s a lot of cash!! and the thing is, this was her youngest son – she had already done the same with her 3 older children – two of them had saved close to $5,000 and the other was right at $4,000 as well. Amazing!! and all they did for 18 – 21 years was save the silver dimes!
Also, recently I was looking for something for my website – a way to do ‘captcha forms’ – and yeah, I knew I could buy into a program but I was trying to see if I could get it for free. On one of the forums I ended up at on Google.doc was an interesting post by someone who obviously was wealthy (a lawyer) and he was pushing the free version. His point: why would I pay for something if I can get it free?
From another wealthy person I recently heard the admonition to never buy from someone that ’searches you out’ to sell. Always be in the position of you doing the search for what you need. That makes sense to me. How many times have you engaged in ‘impulse buying’ and how much money have you wasted just because something struck your fancy? You get that new purchase back to your home and many times it sits on the shelf or stays in your closet because it wasn’t anything you were ever intending to buy.We all have this clutter, don’t we?
As well as these simple thoughts is the lesson I learned from some friends of ours recently. In their beginning as a family they made a conscious decision – they would pay cash for what they needed/wanted and have enough set aside for emergencies. The husband is newly retired. The wife has always been  one of those ’stay at home’ moms – whose boys are now grown. They live in a lovely house and have more than enough to just merely ‘get by’. They are looking forward to a pleasant retirement without financial worry. Besides being financially comfortable, they are 2 of the most generous people I have ever had the privilege to know. They give in big ways, too, not just $10 here or there. They never have bought on credit. They owe nothing. He bought a new BMW convertible to celebrate his retirement – paid cash. Sweet!
And I just gotta share this one. Another couple who I love to visit and I count as dear friends and mentors has been married 66 years! They are as cute as can be. He still drives and they go everywhere, do everything together. They are so in love. They are living in a city in their own home, have enough money to do all they need and are able to help others in benevolent ways when ever they have the opportunity. The first house they bought in another state is still theirs. Instead of selling it when they made their first move, they held on to it and rented it out. That was over 40 years ago and they had a vision then that has paid off clear to today. My friend said that they have never gone without a month’s rental income on that property. And, what they bought for $11,000 is worth $140,000 on today’s market. This money helps them live month to month, sure, but their primary purpose to have kept this stream of income wasn’t to survive, it was so they would always have ‘extra’ in order to help someone who needed it. The people they’ve helped out over the years … wow, now if you knew who they were … that’d be a story worth telling. But most of the time, they did this ‘helping of individuals’ in an anonymous manner through their church. True story.
Use wisdom in the small ways and you’ll be blessed in big ways. Spend frivolously and you’ll always be wanting … you’ll never be satisfied, never find peace.
That’s just the way it works.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Good Times

Don’tcha know that life is comes at us sometimes like a ‘zip file’ that just burst its seams and you wonder how the minutes can crowd one more activity in?
The last few months have been crazy for me and my family. The weeks have been filled with everything from the upheaval of dreams, to the establishment of new dreams, deaths, births, marriages, farewells and reunions. It has been a kaleidoscope of emotions. I wonder sometimes if my heart can hold one more emotion.
It’s not over yet and sometimes I question  how I will even keep my wits about me. However, no matter what the dilemma, or catastrophe, negative situation I do realize all of this can be outweighed by good times, great family and fantastic friends. Thankfully, husband Lowell, is super about just stopping and taking time out of the craziness to relax and ‘just be”… reminding me to take a moment to relax and relish life.
This was one of those days – in amongst the busyness of where we were and what we were doing our Lowell/Dad/Poppy says:  “Let’s grab the kids and go to the Zoo” and away we went. I want to share a couple of  those bright moments of … our spontaneous trip to The Zoo!
I thank God that my life has been abundantly blessed with spontaneity and fun courtesy of my Darling Husband.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Dreams, We All Have Them

We all have dreams. Ours has been in the making for a while now.  Husband, son and I are planning to move to Honduras this August. WELL, have you watched the news lately? Yep, there's a lot going on in Honduras right now. Has this done anything to change our minds? No, not really. If anything it has rather affirmed that we are absolutely correct in our belief that we are very much needed and we are looking forward to the work.
I am so proud of Hondurans at this moment that I could bust my buttons!! I am so proud of the missionaries and expats that stayed put (although I understand the mission groups getting out). My prayer is that each will stay strong in spite of the major misunderstanding and non-support of our supposedly free USA - come on people, get the whole story and show your support in this crucial matter affecting the free world as we know it!! What do we really stand for? Freedom? or the alternative?
Please watch this video for an excellent chronological story of the events over the past month ...
And PLEASE, not only pray for Honduras in this moment, but read, ask questions, listen and learn the whole story and then help others to understand as well. This is big, folks, this is really big. YOU can be a part of helping a nation to retain their freedom. Tell your friends. Write your Senators. Men like Senator Candy Mack and others will make a difference and let the truth be known.
And KNOW, I am looking forward to our dream coming true!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Your Role in Life

My Family
My Family

In order to live Abundantly we must have a vision of who we are. We not only know who we are, we know where we are going.
We have to discover our role and then fulfill it.
Some roles are
  • by birth – we are a child of someone, and maybe a sibling. Other roles are
  • by choice – like a husband or wife or a parent. Other roles
  • we slip into and they are of our making because of our strengths and abilities – like a teacher, or a scientist or a builder.
  • still one role I believe is the most important — the one of your highest calling and that is the role of just being YOU!
— By this I mean living up to your potential, opening the Divine gifts of what makes you uniquely you and using them in brilliant ways.
When we are being our best in whichever role then we are living a dream fulfilled! We dream the dream and then live it into reality!
Dreams are a good thing – they give us something to aspire to. Dreams keep us from staying stagnant. Dreams motivate us to do better, live better, be better. Usually we dream about how to improve ourselves or our situation. Because we are different all our dreams and desires are different but usually it’s a move towards an ideal world, a world filled with abundance. There is no worries in this dream world … I am the best in my field; I am the best wife/husband; I am the best parent.
For me and my roles:
I dream about having the perfect marriage … being the best wife I can be.
I envision being the greatest Mom and Mom-in-law in the world.
I want to be the wise and giving Grandmother …
and so, I read, I watch others, I learn as I go – sometimes I am wiser from my mistakes, always from my victories, and I keep going day by day.
I dream about working my dream job and loving every minute of it. It comes from self-educating, putting my best foot forward, being bold and courageous in trying out new ideas or pursuits when it is more comfortable to stay in my comfort area.  I know eventually, with this dream job will come freedom of time and resources to serve and give like I want.
I dream about being stress free. I actually have been learning about this and applying principles I have studied – see my book The Road to Stress-Free Living.
Dreams are nothing if they keep us in dream land and away from reality of fulfilling our roles. Acknowledgement of who we are and our pursuit of dreams is useless unless we actually take concrete actions to be our most excellent self and make those dream come true.
My goal is to encourage you to identify your passions. Identify what it is that stirs your heart and makes you smile. What makes your heart sing?  Learn what your strengths are – what you’re really good at.  So, you’re wife/husband, or parent? you’re an artist, doctor, farmer, or teacher? Well, to be the best at any of these, hang out with people you admire. Read developmental books. Determine what is mere fantasy and what is attainable. I want you to have faith in yourself. Stretch who you are and what you believe you are capable of. Each one of us has a purpose or purposes. As we move through life that purpose may change or get bigger but, I am convinced that until we fulfill our designated role(s) in life then we may just continue to struggle with happiness issues, stress, and fatigue.
I am a wife, first and foremost, and when I am good at this then other roles are easier. I am also a Mom, A Grammy, an Aunt, a Sister and a Friend. I am a student, a teacher, a healer, and most important of all I discovered long ago that one of my main roles in life was to be ‘An Encourager’. Yep, I named what I am – gave myself a title. :o )  It comes natural to me to help people see their best selves and then become the person they envision. I guess that’s because I absolutely, completely believe we all can be better – we can each become our most excellent self. I also believe we all desire this. So, are you a Creator, an Organizer, A Delegate-er, how about a Listener, a Director, a Do-er or a Healer? By discovering our strengths and talents, improving ourselves, accepting who we are in the scheme of Our Story then, I believe we all can be winners in life .
I Am Wife
I Am Wife
My hope is to help you find your place. I want you to find fulfillment in learning ways to make dreams come true. I trust that in searching for ways to make dreams come true you will find that your goals were being met along the way. You may discover you have abundance all around you. Sure, making dreams come true requires work on our part and it requires knowledge on what steps to take when to take them. Fulfilling dreams means some organization. We make plans. We write our goals down. We have to build up our strength and fortitude for the journey. Directional living is necessary – learn where you want to go, what you want to be and map out your plan. I promise you, the steps will light up before you!
Remember, if we search for joy along the way and anticipate the best each day then every life is filled with the bounty that makes the journey to the end delightful. We  have to make wise choices though and then make a conscious determination to enjoy each day. We must have the faith and confidence in our-self that we need. We decide that we can live a successful, purposeful life and then we find that we are, indeed, gaining ground every day.
Don’t Forget! … in those moments when you are down and doubting – I believe in You!!

Exciting Day!

We are all searching for the Abundant Life and I am in the middle of it - living and loving each and every day I am granted. This continual quest, even though ongoing, is also full of contentment and joy. Never settling for the benign, always striving to grow and develop and giving, delivering my utmost.
New Beginnings are exciting! This is my new beginning - a website/blog where I can share thoughts, ideas, sources, resources, books, products and personalities with you as I continue to Journey in Abundance!
Because I believe it is within our reach to consistently and constantly grow to be a better person. That is my goal: to always learn, grow, develop and transform to the best creation God intended me to be! I've had a lot of practice, and am still working on it; by no means am I near completion but as it is, and for what it's worth I would love for you to join me on this journey.  I promise we'll do some laughing, reflecting, considering, some serving - shucks, we may even shed a few tears, all the while traveling upward and onward. The goal will be the end of this life - finishing it with the joy of completeness ---  but with that said, know it will be the beginning of life eternal.
I'm glad you're here - come on, let's get started!