Everything for a Reason

{Photo 314/365}  Everything happens for a reason.  I got this card today…I opened it in my office.  When I finished reading the words, I looked out the window and below the window on the table was my FROG.  So, I merged the two…this message and Fully Rely On God.  I love His sweet reminders…today was the final day of the November Ultimate Journey.  The card was so appropriate, thank you Susan.  I smiled.

Overcoming the Nevers

{Photo 286/365}  My alarm went off at 3:30 this morning; my flight departed at 6:30 — Charleston, SC bound to attend my publisher’s annual Author’s Marketing Summit.  My plan today was to get some rest once I arrived.  Massage.  Pedicure.  Shopping on King Street.  Then, a quick bite to eat before I headed to bed, early.  While I was eating alone at the hotel restaurant, I got a text message from Brooke, the Senior Editor, Publicity Manager — she was insistent about seeing me.  My text response was, “I’m a crusty mess been up since 3:30am got a massage {my hair is greasy} and I haven’t eaten yet today…”  This didn’t prevent her from stopping by.  After I gave her a BIG hug, since I hadn’t seen her in one year, she smiled and graciously pulled my book out of her bag and handed it to me.  I had NO idea I was going to get this today – truly.  In fact, the publication date was estimated to be the 15th — I was thinking I would see it next week on my door step.  But no, here it is…I’m holding it in my hands…this project, my heart, my soul has poured into.  I was speechless, still am.  Excited.  Emotional.  Happy.  Nervous.  Here I sit now, in my hotel room, just me and the book.  Reflecting.  Praying.  Joy in my heart.  Grateful for the journey.  Looking forward to what lies ahead.  {now I can start filling the “pre-orders” –> download the introduction, watch the trailer video, order the book here}


{Photo 224/365}  WOW – is all I can say as I sit here reflecting this morning about the past week.  I got my line edit back from my publisher last Thursday — since then, I read the book I wrote all the way through for the first time.  I can’t believe I’m at this stage.  Last night I finished the table of contents and the acknowledgement section <– I didn’t realize how emotional I would get writing that.  Looking back at this journey, I am SO very grateful to those who have touched my life along the way.  I took this picture while I was sipping my coffee, connecting with God, through the dirty hotel room window with my cell phone so the quality is not stellar, BUT I wanted to capture it.  I love each opportunity I get to watch a sunrise – this was B E A U T I F U L – coming up over the mountains. With each sunrise we start anew!  His mercies are N E W every morning.  blessed.

Does it put a smile on His face?

images-3I learn so much from my boys.  Being a mother has taught me so much about life and even more about myself.  Here’s a little glimpse into some things that I’m learning:  How to be more patient, I’m not the only one that can do it, I need to be patient as others are learning.  Understanding the feelings that surround unconditional love – nothing that my boys do will keep me from loving them.  Forgiveness is for everyone, even me.  Give, Give, Give, but don’t lose yourself in the process.  Selfishness is something that we are born with, that’s what I think anyway ~ the journey of our life experiences allows us to start seeing the needs of others.

A couple of months ago, I overheard my boys talking.  Zane said to Zach, “Zach, would that put a smile on His face?”  I can’t remember now exactly what they were doing or talking about, but I tuned in and thought to myself, this is interesting, WHO is Zane talking about?  Then I heard Zach respond, “Probably not.”  I couldn’t help to ask, “Zane, would it put a smile on who’s face?”  He said, “God’s face, mom.”  I took a step back and thought, ok – you’re 7 – I’ve never said that before, where did you learn that?  I asked them.  They said at the same time “school”.  YES!!  They are learning at school – YIPEE!!

This is the first year that our boys have gone to a private Christian school – each day they start their day with a short chapel service.  They sing songs – put on the full armor of God – receive a biblical lesson through other classmates or a teacher – pray and then start their day.  I LOVE it!!  I frequently go to chapel with them on Thursday mornings and each time I leave there I feel overwhelmed with God’s blessings.

Does it put a smile on God’s face?  I love that question.  After I overheard my boys talking about it – I decided, hey, that is for ME!  That question is one I need to ask myself frequently in EVERY area of my life.  So, that’s what I’ve started doing.  I know it sounds silly and very elementary, but I’m doing it!!

By asking myself this question, I’m seeing things differently.  I’m thinking before I speak.  My thoughts are more pure.  The actions that I take have meaning – my desire is to put a smile on God’s face!!

I was amazed by the response I got from a friend the other day when I actually spoke this to her through a text message, I know it sounds strange, speaking through a text, but let me share with you what happened.  I received a text from a friend basically inviting me into gossip.  Her text went something like this……..i ran in2 “jane” she said that “jan” had become a stuck up snot, blah, blah, blah………….My response was this………..what ive heard or any thoughts that I have regarding “jan” would not put a smile on God’s face so I will refrain from that conversation :-) ……..then I changed the subject in the remainder of my text.  The next day when we actually spoke on the phone, she told me that she respected my response and it made her actually think about what she was thinking or saying.

I’m NOT telling this story to pat myself on the back, or put myself on a pedestal ~ BELIEVE ME I know that I screw up all the time and have a lot to work on in my life.  I simply wanted to share the concept.  Who in this life are we aiming to please?  Are we putting a smile on God’s face?  Consider asking the question………