“Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.” ~ Harriet Tubman

Actions are Stronger than Words

My Boy!

I can remember when my oldest son was almost 2, a storm rolled in and we were out in the sun room enjoying the breeze when the thunder boomed. It was so loud and caught me off guard that I let out a yelp. My sweet little boy looked at me with fear in his eyes. It was in that moment that I realized how much my actions as a parent would shape this little person. My happiness would become his happiness, my sorrow could be witnessed in his eyes and my fears would be his fears.

Storms do not scare me, in fact it’s the opposite.  Some of my fondest memories of my grandmother are the both of us sitting on the front porch watching the rain. I am a storm watcher. Although storms can be destructive they are one of God’s mighty wonders. My yelp was a reaction to an unexpected occurrence. The thunder was loud and seemed to hover right over us. It simply caught me off guard.

My son didn’t cry but he watched for my reaction in anticipation of this obtrusive noise to occur again. Then it happened. BOOM! They were quite earth shattering booms, but this time I reacted with surprise and delight. I clapped and swung my little boy around with joy as if he in some way took part in the massive noise.

After that day he hardly flinches at the sound of thunder, like me he finds it a wonder. On occasion we will get one of those same unexpected booms and we both kind of jump and I again am remembered of this great duty I have as a parent and actions are often stronger than words.

Stop Fueling the Angry Fire

Have you ever seen a person that is riddled with a broken past who has yet to find forgiveness? His brow is furrowed, smiles come harder. His demeanor alludes that he is much to busy to be bothered, yet he isn’t really doing anything. You may have crossed paths with this man before. Maybe in the grocery check out line. His attitude stinks and he plans on bringing everyone down around him. Something deep down is making him not enjoy life.

If you think about it, it really takes a lot of work to be angry or to hold a grudge. Some people have spent years perfecting it, why would they let a strangers smile break that kind of track record? When people are angry they have to actively remind themselves of  what it was that hurt them in the first place. You’re not only beating that person up in your mind but you’re also beating yourself up.

I am not belittling these issues at all, very bad things do happen. But replaying that hurt only kindles a fire. Fueling that fire takes up way more energy than if we were to let go and move on. You have to throw on log after log to keep that fire going. It is a lot of work carrying these logs around with you through life. In the end you are almost proud because you kept it going so long, somehow thinking bitterness was the band-aid. But eventually  you focus on the bad so much the good slowly fades away.

God wants us to give it all to him and forgive those that trespassed against us. If you were to let that fire smolder it would eventually die off. Forgiveness doesn’t mean you will forget. However, your attitude can be changed. If you aren’t filling your heart up with that anger you can let goodness in.

Have you been fueling the angry fire lately?

Casting Stones = Glorious Success

I think there comes a time in everyone’s life when we question what we are going to do next. A stone is thrown and it casts a ripple across the water. That stone might be experiencing a different culture, meeting someone new or trying something out of your comfort zone. Whatever your stone is, the ripples left behind can change the course of your life forever. I say be open to those ripples. Where will they take you if you allow them to? Have a dream? Go after it! What are you afraid of? Failure?

There are hundreds of quotes on failure vs. success. Great ones. Inspiring ones. A lot of people failed before they succeeded. But they tried. They might have fallen on their butts but they tried and they got back up again. Maybe the original plan didn’t pan out but that failure will give you something to learn from or something new to go after.

I have two old books that were published posthumously as a tribute to Elbert Hubbard. I picture his personal moleskine filled with his thoughts and curiosities taken and turned into book form. The books alone are fabulous pieces of art but the words inside are thought provoking. All this to say, while there are many quotes out there about failure, this one by Elbert Hubbard stood out to me most.

A little more persistence, a little more effort, and what seemed hopeless failure may turn to glorious success. – Elbert Hubbard

GLORIOUS success. God knows the plans he has for us before we were even born. The thing is, He gave us the choice to pick which stones we are going to throw out there. We cant be afraid of the ripples that stone might cast. They were all intended for us but we have to trust in and lean on God. He already knows the way, we just have to follow. He has given us all a unique story to tell, it might involve failure, hurt, loss but He wants us all to be GLORIOUSly successful.

What stones are you afraid to cast out there?