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Tag Archives: Encouragement

30 Things, 4 Years Later: Day 29

30 Things to Accomplish in my 30s:
#29. Get back into the letter-writing habit again. You know — the snail-mail kind.

When I was younger, I liked to write letters.

Some of my friends can testify to that. I think my longest one was about 19 pages (front and back).

These letters were probably really, really boring.

Like, “On Wednesday, I had a peanut butter sandwich for lunch. Speaking of sandwiches, do you know anything about The Earl of Sandwich? Or The Sandwich Islands? Our car is way too small. When we go somewhere, I end up sandwiched between my brothers in the back seat and it’s just not very appealing. Speaking of peels, I had a banana with that sandwich I mentioned a minute ago. Apparently some people like having banana slices on their peanut butter sandwiches? Inconceivable! Peanut butter and banana? Say what? No, no. Bananas are better left on the side.

“Speaking of left sides, spiral bound notebooks are not cool at all, on account of the spiral being on the left side. Terribly inconvenient for us lefties. Who came up with that idea anyway? Know what else is terribly inconvenient? I was trying to do my penmanship lesson the other day, and because I’m left-handed, the letters got all smudged and I got an inky pinky in the process.

“I got a pack of new pens with pink ink the other day. I just love pink ink. It makes me as happy as any [*moody pre-adolescent*] girl could possibly be. I’ve been writing in my journal with pink ink every third day because I have some pens with purple ink and green ink too, and equality and civil rights and all that jazz. It just wouldn’t do to have the purple and green feel like I was a raging racist…..

A couple of weeks ago, I went to this meeting and they had this funny prayer thing at the end where everyone was supposed to hold hands with someone. This big African American guy grabbed my hand. I’m 11 and this guy is holding my hand. But, I’m not a racist so I just stood there and thought about how brave I am for letting this stranger hold my hand.”

You get the idea….. Blibber-blabber about everything and nothing. Probably none of it made a whole lot of sense. And I tried very hard to be an equal opportunity writer so my inks wouldn’t feel left out. (Just kidding!)

Nowadays, I don’t send a whole lot of letters. I pretty much flunked out on this one, except for the occasional “Hi, how are you?” note or a thank you note.

I really, really like this goal because a few days ago, I got this in the mail:
image

Receiving this note was so encouraging and it made me smile on the inside. I’m all about encouraging people and making people smile, and that is a good enough reason to get going on this goal.

 
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Posted by on May 19, 2016 in 30 Things

 

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Eyes of Grace

While talking to Miracle Child one day recently, I asked “can you say ‘mom’? I know you can do it! You’ve done it before. And Mom would be really impressed if you said it!”

Miracle Child is nonverbal and just makes happy noises or sad noises for the most part. I encouraged him to say “mom” for a few minutes and then he squeaked out a tiny little “aaaaawwwwm.”

I was overjoyed, not because he did it perfectly and not because he did it well. I was overjoyed because he responded to my prompting and did the best he could. I was overjoyed because I knew that if he had the capacity to do so, he would have been yelling “MOM!” at the top of his lungs.

I Samuel 16:7
But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.

As I thought about this incident, the Lord was saying to me that my joy at hearing Miracle Child simply trying reflects His joy when I “try.” Sometimes I completely fail at what I feel He’s telling me to do. But man looks at the results of our effort. God looks at our desire to please Him. Man looks at the outward appearance. God looks at the heart.

Put another way, if you’re truly seeking to honor God, there’s no such thing as failure. The result of your efforts may not be stellar, but a heart that desires to please the Father is always a win.

I call it looking through eyes of grace. Grace sees the heart and is pleased when you want to — even when the only thing you can muster is a tiny little “aaaaawwwwm.”

 
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Posted by on September 9, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

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Stories

I’m reading a book by Donald Miller called “A Million Miles in a Thousand Years.”

Donald Miller is my favorite author of all time.

Why? Because he writes like I think.

And, I like to think that I write like I think too, and since he writes like I think AND he’s such a successful author, there must be hope for little ol’ me with my little ol’ stories about this and that and whatever happens to pop into my head.

A Million Miles in a Thousand Years is a book about stories. It’s about lives and how to make your personal life a story that’s worth telling, worth reading, and worth experiencing. He’s writing from personal experience — he’s writing about editing his life so that it can be made into a movie. (Miller’s book, “Blue Like Jazz” was made into a movie which came out in 2012.)

There are many deep, thought-provoking statements in Miller’s books.

Take, for instance, the title of one of the chapters in A Million Miles in a Thousand Years: A Character is What He Does

In this chapter, Miller tells a story of trying to move his story along while writing the script for the movie. He stated that he thought that Don, the movie character, should get angry. The producers (or directors or whoever they were) asked how he was going to let the audience know that Don was angry. Real-life Don said “We’ll just tell them.”

His assistant’s response to this was, “A character is what he does.”

In other words, if a character doesn’t DO something, it’s not happening.

It’s true in the movie making business, but it’s also true in life. If you get out of bed every morning, eat a bowl of cocoa puffs, go to work, grab McDonald’s on the way home, crawl into bed, repeat…. day…. after…. day…. after… day — are you actually living? Are you actually telling a story? Are you actually YOU — the you you were intended to be? Are you anything more than just a conglomeration of cells that perform tasks? Does your conglomeration of cells have meaning?

What is the main character in your story doing? Is it meaningful? Is it helpful? Is it producing good things? Is there are purpose to your life? What kind of story are YOU telling with your life?

I want to tell you a true story. The story is this:

You are the person who decides what kind of story your life will be.

And, the sky is the limit. Don’t let the expectations of others altar who you are or the story of your life. Don’t let past experiences altar it. Don’t let fear, pain or habits keep you from writing a best-seller with your life.

Live boldly. Live vibrantly. Take a risk now and then. Do whatever it takes. Just don’t allow your story to become stagnant — because you were made for great things. You were made to write the best best-seller on the market.

 
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Posted by on December 5, 2012 in Current Events

 

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