Mess to Message


Every day I expect God to use me in some way to be a blessing to someone else.

Today, He gave me a grand opportunity and I took full advantage of it.  I went to the post office and noticed an elderly couple in the car.  The woman got out.  I thought she was heading inside so I slowed down a bit to hold the door for her.  She didn’t come in.  Instead, she started talking on her cell phone. 

After conducting my business inside the post ffice, I was heading for my car when I noticed the couple still there.  The woman was still on the phone.  Instinct told me to ask them if they were OK.  The man said his car wouldn’t start.  I asked him if he needed a jump.  He said he didn’t know.  I told him I would give him a jump and them asked him to pop the hood so I see where his battery was.

OK–here’s the funny part.  I couldn’t find his battery.  I couldn’t find my own and I didn’t have any jumping cables.

The not-so-funny part was the number of people who walked and drove past us without stopping to offer assistance. 

Luckily, one man did come over to help out.

After the car started, the couple thanked me for helping them out. I thought to myself, “No thanks needed.  I just got what I had asked for.”

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Earlier this week I read a post from PR Guru Shannon Cherry which read:   I need to stop beating myself up cuz I’m not like this person or that person. I need to embrace and respect me!  I don’t know what prompted the post but it generated tons of responses from people offering words of encouragement.

Shannon’s words struck a chord with me because during my moments of weakness I have also  compared my life to others and questioned the would’ve, should’ve, could’ve….

This week has been a serious challenge to my entrepreneurial spirit.  With hubby out of town all week I have been the single, primary caregiver of my three-year-old grandson.  I’ve been feeling like my life has been rearranged for me without my permission.  I’ve had to put clients on the back burner while committing myself full-time to my grandson’s needs and wants.  Challenging is putting it lightly! 

I couldn’t help thinking about some of my friends who seem to be moving along in their lives just fine without the added pressures of live-in grandchildren, weekend husbands, health issues and so on and so forth.  But here’s what I’ve learned:

Where you are in life right now is where you’re supposed to be.  God has a specific plan and purpose for your life.  It may not seem rosy in comparison to others but it’s your unique life.

Comparing yourself to others serves no purpose because you have no idea of the trials and tribulaitons of another.  Most people put up a front and disguise what’s really going on in their worlds. 

The challenges you’re faced with in life are designed to make you stronger and wiser.  If you learn nothing from your challenges, you are doomed.

Children and grandchildren are a blessing from God.  Some who have none wish they could fill your shoes.

Play the hand you’re dealt to the best of your ability and stay in the game to win.

Have you ever noticed how there’s always one person in your circle who will try to rain on your parade?  Sometimes it’s unintentional—they really mean no harm.

I think that was the case the other day when a friend of mine read my blog about graduating from the Cardiac Heart Failure Program at Duke University.  Not long after reading the post, she sent me an email suggesting that, perhaps, I should’ve thought more carefully about exposing my “medical issues” because it could hurt my “professional business.”

I never really thought of it like that. I was just happy about completing a program that was rigorous and restrictive.  But her email got me to thinking if, in fact, people are less likely do do business with someone they know has health issues.  Does your knowing I have a heart condition affect whether or not you will deal with me?  Do you think that affects my ability to give you 100 percent effort on whatever task you’ve hired me for? 

What if I had aids or terminal cancer or was just exceptionally obese? 

I know my friend meant no harm in her comment but she raises a point.  I’m sure there are people who use excuses not to deal with others in business.  But as my good friend and fellow Boomer Diva Nation member, Leslie Flowers, told me:  

For those who may be less likely to do business with you as a result of health issues … it’s their loss and … there is an ABUNDANCE of clients who look deeper than that! Follow your heart, my friend, follow your heart!

Today I graduated.  There was no cap and gown—no pomp and circumstance–just sheer joy and renewed hope.  Today I became a graduate of the Cardiac Heart Failure Program at Duke University Medical Center.

When I signed up back in September, I saw this as my last hope.  I was taking medication but didn’t feel I was getting any better.  When my doctor suggested the program, I knew it was something I just had to do.

For the past three months, I went to the facility for cardiotherapy and nutrition assistance, faithfully, twice a week–24 sessions in all.  

I’ll never forget how hard it was to walk a few short feet from my car to the gym without being out of breath for the first couple of weeks and how often I cried because I was so embarrassed to be the youngest patient there.

But as time went on, here’s what I learned:

Stay out of the pity pool:  It’s too easy to jump into but hard to get out of.  And some well meaning folks will keep you there if you let them.

The mind is powerful:  In order to achieve it, you must first believe it.  Getting healthy required a strong, positive attitude and a determined spirit and will.

You reap what you sow:  Bad habits of any kind will eventually catch up to you.

Be a testimony:  Use your trials and tribulations to be a testimony for someone else   so that they may be encouraged. 

Never, ever give up!

As a final requirment for graduation, I had to take a test and I’m happy to report I did a little over two miles in 39 minutes and had NO shortness of breath! 

Yes, I will live the rest of my life with congestive heart failure but how I choose to live will be totally up to me.

I want to share a recent experience I had here with a fellow business owner on one of my online social networking sites because it raises a point about making connections and our reputations as business people.

I was interested in someone’s services so I contacted them. The first time I got a voice mail. I tried to briefly explain what I needed and asked that they call me back at their earliest convenience so I could get the ball rolling. I never heard from them so I called back–at which time I did get the person–who said they were in a meeting but as soon as they wrapped up they would call me and discuss my project. NEVER HEARD FROM THEM.

Because of the importance of the project, I had to move forward—so with the assistance of another member of the same site, I contacted someone else. The first time I got voice mail, but unlike the previous person, they responded almost immediately and, of course, I was immediately impressed. I gave them the project and am happy to say that, as of this writing, the first phase is completed.

I really wanted to give my business to the first person I contacted but their lack of follow-up gave me the impression they weren’t really interested in my business. Now, that may not have been the case–but they could’ve at least given me the courtesy of a phone call or even an email to say “I’d love to help you but I’m really busy…” or whatever. To date, they still haven’t called.

In the end, it worked out–which makes me believe this is the way it was intended to be. But I think it’s important for everyone here to realize that your word is your reputation. How you conduct yourself with others will have a lasting effect.

Ask yourself: Are you a person of your word or just FULL OF WORDS?

For the past several weeks, my brain has been on overload and my body is drained.  I have been dealing with a number of personal and professional issues that are catching up to my well-being.

As much as I don’t want to admit it, I am feeling OVERWHELMED!  Twitter and Facebook don’t excite me like they used to.  If I don’t make another connection, I won’t lose any sleep over it.  But the problem is I AM LOSING SLEEP.  My mind is restless—filled with issues that demand my attention—that no one else can do or is willing to do.

I went searching for some answers and read a number of articles that told me to take  a deep breath and exhale —or to walk it out to relieve my anxiety.  While that may sound like sound advice to some, it provides no consolation when its late at night and the idea of walking in darkness is cause for even more anxiety.

Have you ever been to a point like this in your own life?  How do you handle it?  How do you turn this type of mess into a message?

 

Without God’s Love for you and me, the days of the week would have been MOURNDAY, TEARSDAY, WASTEDAY, THIRSTDAY, FIGHTDAY, SHATTERDAY, & SADDAY.

So we need to give God the Glory who made the days a Blessing to US! Have a strong conviction that it shall be well with you from this day forward. 

I do believe that no matter how many obstacles we come across, we will succeed if we have the faith of a mustard seed.

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