Are You Living the Life You Were Created For…or an Ordinary Life?

I can’t believe that God put us on  this earth just to be ordinary   Lou Holtz

If you feel like you are no one special and that you have nothing to offer, You have quit listening to your heart. In fact, maybe you don’t know that your heart speaks to you?

When my oldest daughter was born (also my first child), my husband made me a drawing of her. On the drawing, he included a quote that contained the following phrase, “Cause God doesn’t make any junk”.

It was a cute quote then…now I realize that it is profound. I hope that you know your value and I hope that in your heart, you, in some way, can feel of your worth and importance.

You were not born to be someone ordinary. You were born to be extraordinary!

I hope you enjoy today’s story! Have an inspiring weekend!

It Is Not What’s Gone – But What’s Given

Not too long ago a little girl in my neighborhood was born without a hand. She was born just after my own second daughter Ella was born. Her parents were obviously shaken up. About a week later, I saw them at a neighborhood function and they came over to me and asked what my thoughts were, if I had any advice, for them and for their daughter. My advice? This is their daughter’s life and they were asking my advice? Talk about humbling. What do you say? I had nothing very smart to say.

I told myself I wouldn’t let that happen again. That it was important that I could share what I have learned.

I’ve learned that there are millions of people out there ignoring disabilities and accomplishing incredible feats. I learned that you can learn to do things differently, but do them just as well. I’ve learned that it’s not the disability that defines you, it’s how you deal with the challenges the disability presents you with. I’ve learned that we have an obligation to the abilities we do have, not the disability.

I was born without my right hand. I have never felt slighted. As a kid I was pretty coordinated and growing up I loved sports. I learned to play baseball like most kids, playing catch with my Dad in the front yard. The only difference was that we had to come up with a method to throw and catch with the same hand. What we came up with, is basically what I continued to do my whole life. I used to practice by pretending to be my favorite pitchers. I’d throw a ball against a brick wall on the side of our house, switching the glove off and on, moving closer to the wall- forcing myself to get that glove on faster and faster. I imagined myself becoming a successful athlete.

Growing up, sports were my way of gaining acceptance. I guess somewhere deep inside I was thinking if I was good enough on the field then maybe kids wouldn’t think of me as being so different. Honestly I hid behind sports. I wanted the attention that comes from being successful, but I was very reluctant to draw any attention to my disability You know it’s funny, there was an article in the L.A. Times recently about a high school pitcher who has been doing very well— despite missing one hand. He mentioned my name as an example but went on to say he didn’t want to be like me, he wanted to be like Randy Johnson. At first my feelings were hurt, but then I understood. That’s exactly the same way I felt growing up. I didn’t want to be defined by a disability. Focus on my pitching and not my hand.

I loved throwing a baseball. It is so important to find something in life you feel crazy about. Because you are so passionate you naturally practice, the hard work that it takes to do something well will come easily.

You know how it worked out. I got to play baseball at the University of Michigan, 2 United States teams The 1987 Pan American team and the 1988 United States Olympic team. Even though I played in the major leagues for almost 10 years the Olympics are still one of my favorite memories.

You know in my career I once won 18 games in a year, I also lost 18 games in one year. I was fortunate enough to go straight from the Olympic team to the major leagues. Never spending a day in the minors. I was also sent down to the minor leagues after 8 years in the big leagues. In 1996 I went 2-18 with a 7 run era . I couldn’t get anyone out. I was in the first year of a long term contract with a team near my home. It was supposed to be easy. That following year I was fired. Drove back to California, crying all the way. I spent that summer up in Michigan hurting and wondering if my career was over. Somewhere deep inside I wasn’t sure. So I called the Chicago White Sox for a try out.

They gave me a chance to pitch again. I would watch the major leagues on t.v. with the rest of those kids and it felt like a million miles away. That had been my life. I was away from my family who I know thought I was crazy. Then I got the call I was going to Chicago back to the show. That was the good news, bad news your facing the Yankees Sat. night. They were about 100 and 15 at the time. I went on to win that game against the Yankees that night. In fact I went 5-0 the rest of that Sept.

I would like to tell those parents back in my neighborhood how wonderful my own parents were, and are. They encouraged me to participate, but didn’t dwell on every move I made. I don’t ever remember a concession to the fact that I had one hand. Maybe even a little more was expected. I will always be thankful that they never allowed my hand to be used as an excuse.

I would like to tell that little girl, “Go out and find what it is that you love. It may not be the most obvious choice or the most logical but never let that stop you.” Baseball was hardly the most the most logical choice for someone with one hand, but I loved it, so that’s what I pursued. No matter where the road takes you don’t give up until you know in your heart you done everything you possibly could to make your dreams come true. You owe nothing to disability, ignore it. When you fail, get back up and try again. Leave no room for an excuse. Don’t listen to what you can’t do. 99% of the time I never think of missing a hand. I have never been envious of someone with two hands. Listen to that voice deep within you, it knows, when you’ve done your best.

Somehow when things are said and done there will be some accountability imagine someone coming up to you at the end of your life and saying “you’ve been given these talents what did you do with them.” There is a certain potential we owe it to ourselves to live up to. Work hard, don’t look back, celebrate the blessings in your life.

– Jim Abbott

Today’s inspirational story shared from the following website: http://www.aboutonehandtyping.com/storiesfolder/jimabbottnotgone.html

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Increase the Positive Energy in the World with Some Praise!

Encouragement is oxygen to the soul   George Henry Adams

It can be difficult to measure the positive benefits of praise. However, I know of one immediate benefit: a smile!

We only have to look as far as our own lives to understand how important praise and gratitude is.

How well do you feel and how happy are you when you are grumpy and angry?

How well do you feel and how happy are you when you feel grateful and blessed?

Now, here’s a recommendation for you that maybe you have never heard before – You need to give yourself encouragement! You are the most important person to give yourself encouragement and praise. When you do, you will be much better at giving others praise and encouragement!

Look for your blessings! Even in the most difficult of circumstances, they are there! Pat yourself on the back and tell yourself you have done a good job when you know you have! If you need to make changes, exercise mercy. Tell yourself that you didn’t do the job that you wanted to do but you are determined to do better and better!

We are beings full of energy. We have the choice of being beings filled with love and positive energy or being beings that are resentful, angry and full of negative energy. What do you choose?

I hope you will think about it as you read today’s inspiring article! I hope you enjoy!

5 Benefits of Thanksgiving & Praise

Do you want to strengthen your spiritual life? Do you want to get God’s perspective on the issues you face? If so, then you want to understand thanksgiving and praise in a much deeper way.

Thanksgiving and praise involves more than just speaking lovely words to God.

Thanksgiving and praise means honoring God with your words and allowing those words to agree with what His Word says about Him. It’s means promoting the Lord’s mercy and compassion to those around you by telling them about the great things He has done in your life. And when you do that, it builds you and others up as it blesses the Lord.

Psalm 8:1-2 says, “O Lord, our Lord, your majestic name fills the earth! Your glory is higher than the heavens. You have taught children and infants to tell of your strength, silencing your enemies and all who oppose you.”

Then in Matthew 21:16 Jesus quoted that psalm when He said, “Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings thou hast perfected praise” (KJV). Notice, He equated praise with strength.

From these scriptures, you can learn how thanksgiving and praise can affect your life.

1.Thanksgiving and Praise Brings God on the Scene

Psalm 22:3 says God inhabits the praises of His people. When you enter into thanksgiving and praise, you invite God’s glory, His presence, to fill your life and your situation. At times of high praise, the Shekinah glory of God will fill the whole place with His sweet presence.

2.Thanksgiving and Praise Puts Challenges in Perspective

As Psalm 8:1 reminds you: “O Lord, our Lord, your majestic name fills the earth! Your glory is higher than the heavens.” Thanksgiving and praise reminds you just how powerful your God is. He is the creator of all the world and the universe. Nothing is beneath His notice. If He is in your corner, how can you lose?!

3.Thanksgiving and Praise Focuses Your Mind on the Right Subject

When challenges arise, it’s easy to allow them to play on a loop inside your head. But thanksgiving and praise breaks that loop. It helps you to refocus your attention on the One who is greater than every challenge. Just read through King David’s psalms. Time and again he wrote of his troubles and of God’s glorious power. He was refocusing his attention on the One who had all the answers to his troubles.

4.Thanksgiving and Praise Strengthens Your Faith

Romans 4:20 says, Abraham “grew strong and was empowered by faith as he gave praise and glory to God” (AMPC). As you praise God and speak of His marvelous works, you are reminded of all that God has done, and your faith in God and His plan for you increases.

5.Thanksgiving and Praise Is a Weapon Against the Enemy’s Maneuvers

Psalm 9 says: “I will praise thee, O Lord, with my whole heart; I will show forth all thy marvellous works. I will be glad and rejoice in thee: I will sing praise to thy name, O thou most High. When mine enemies are turned back, they shall fall and perish at thy presence. For thou hast maintained my right and my cause; thou satest in the throne judging right” (verses 1-4, KJV). When you praise God, your enemies have to turn back. (Read 2 Chronicles 20 for an example of this.)

Look at these elements again. Consider how they can empower and affect your spiritual and physical life if you act on them. Thanksgiving and praise brings God on the scene, puts challenges in perspective, focuses your mind on God, strengthens your faith in Him and allows you to combat negative spiritual forces that come against you. It prepares you to handle the situations in your life with His perspective—remembering that He is in control and that you are prepared to handle whatever comes your way!

Today’s Inspirational article shared from the following website: http://www.kcm.org/real-help/spiritual-growth/learn/5-benefits-thanksgiving-praise

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Excellence – We Are What We Repeatedly Do

I think we all crave excellence. What I think most of us do not crave is the effort that excellence takes. Some may say that we are inherently lazy – I think mortality makes it easy to shrink from the pain of growth. Excellence comes from what we repeatedly do – so does failure.

Therefore, in order to become excellent, we must cultivate habits of excellence – do things right, grow our minds, enhance and refine our skill set, think positive thoughts, take responsibility for ourselves, etc.

Excellence is never the easy way but it is always the best way!

I hope you enjoy the writings I share today from Ralph Waldo Emerson!:

Thoughts About Living with Excellence

Skill to do comes of doing. Do the thing and you will be given the power.

Though we travel the world over to find the beautiful, we must carry it with us or find it not. What you are comes to you.

Don’t waste yourself in rejection, nor bark against the bad, but chant the beauty of the good. Set down nothing that will not help somebody.

Put your trust in ideas and not in circumstances. Thought is the blossom; language the bud; action the fruit behind it.

Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could; some blunders and absurdities no doubt crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day; you shall begin it well and serenely.

To finish the moment, to find the journey’s end in every step of the road, to live the greatest number of good hours, is wisdom.

Unless you do something beyond what you have already mastered, you will not grow. We aim above the mark to hit the mark.

Written by Ralph Waldo Emerson

Words from Ralph Waldo Emerson are shared from the following website: http://www.agiftofinspiration.com.au/stories/excellence/Thoughts%20on%20Living%20with%20Excellence.shtml

 

 

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Adversity – It Is Not What Happens to You…

It is not what happens to you but What happens Within you that counts

We all have adversity in our lives. Admittedly, some have greater loads of adversity to carry and to deal with in their lives but no one escapes the grasp of adversity.

Yet, it is adversity that makes us strong, that teach us lessons, and that can reveal the masterpiece that lies within each of us.

As you read today’s story, I hope you will remember the amazing potential that lies within you!:

The artist Michelangelo often stirred up the opposition of the contemporary artists of his day. Many of them envied his magnificent abilities. One example was the architect Bramante.

Pope Julius retained Michelangelo to build him a splendid tomb. Michelangelo gladly accepted the project and spent eight months in a marble pit personally cutting and selecting the most perfect stones. When he returned, he found the pope had second thoughts. Bramante had turned Pope Julius against the project. The Pope cancelled it.

Later the idea for another special project entered the Pope’s mind. Bramante saw the project as a time consuming trap for which there would be little public recognition. Bramante recommended Michelangelo for the job.

The great artist saw the trap. He knew what Bramante was up to. He wished to turn the project down but did not want to refuse the Pope’s request. So Michelangelo went to work. He spent many years doing the slow and tedious labor the project required. It was the Sistine Chapel.

The inspiration that flowed through Michelangelo can likewise flow through any human being. That is what the inspiration wants to do. It cannot be stopped. It is a living, powerful river that easily circumvents all obstacles.

Michelangelo collected his inner forces for a complete victory. Likewise, we must not fear to face the trickery of some people and expose it for what it is. This is not negative, but intelligent protection and spiritual perception.

In his many books on inner development author Vernon Howard refers to Michelangelo several times. He quotes him as saying, “The more the marble wastes, the more the statue grows.” And, “I released the statue from the stone.” He chiseled away all that was unnecessary, and David emerged.

By: Tom Russell

Story shared from the following website: http://www.inspirationalstories.com/7/715.html

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No One Saves Us but Ourselves…Choose Your Path in Life

Are you waiting for someone to save you? Do you think perhaps that your faith in Jesus Christ is all you need? While I believe the Lord is essential in building a meaningful life – no one saves us without our own help. We choose our path. We are responsible for the paths we walk.

There are many people who have chosen to change their lives or who, when handed difficult circumstances, have made those choices which enabled them to overcome their obstacles. The Lord is both an essential and critical component but we are the ones in the driver’s seat.

If you are waiting around to win the lottery or for your knight in shining armor to show up – you might want to start the new year with a reality check. Perhaps the time has come for you to take charge and build the life you have always dreamed of!

In that light, I want to share a story today about a man who has chosen to create a meaningful life despite obstacles and difficulties! I hope you enjoy!:

Albert Frantz is a world-class pianist  from Pennsylvania who started playing at the extraordinarily late age  of 17. His early piano teacher told his mother to throw her money in the  garbage rather than spend it on piano lessons for Albert.

He discovered  his love for classical music while in high school and his passion made  him accomplish seemingly impossible things. He was the first pianist in  nearly a decade to win a Fulbright scholarship to study in Vienna just a  few years after starting out. This led him to study at the official  conservatory of the city of Vienna in Austria, the home country of many  of his musical idols.

Even before he could finish his education, he  started suffering from scoliosis, first discovered in his adolescence,  that virtually incapacitated his piano playing for more than six years.  Desperately looking for a therapy that would promise any amount of  relief, he found relief through Bikram yoga.

No sooner did he recover  from his back pain when he broke his left wrist upon getting hit in the  face by a tram on a cold and icy Thanksgiving weekend. Breaking a wrist  is a nightmare for a pianist. For Albert, it turned out positively in  the end, as the injury led him to play pieces by Charles-Valentin Alkan,  a 19th-century French virtuoso and one of the only composers to write  music for the right hand alone. His music was considered unplayable for  over a century and is regarded as the most athletically challenging  music ever written for the piano. Albert took it as a challenge, which  led to his critically acclaimed debut CD dedicated to Alkan’s music. His  debut album was an official jury nomination for the prestigious German  Record Critics Award, designed to recognize the “most rigorous standards  for supreme achievement and quality” in the field of music recording.

Besides  turning his interest to the works of Alkan and Liszt, his back pain  also led him to pursue an IRONMAN triathlon. This is especially notable,  as there were two situations in which he almost drowned during his  childhood. Swimming in open water made Albert panic throughout his adult  life. After a change of perspective, Albert found himself training for  one of the most challenging sports competitions in the world. He  finished his first IRONMAN triathlon – 3.8 km swimming, 180 km cycling  and a 42.2 km marathon – on June 28, 2015.

Source: http://www.dreama.tv/2015/10/alb…

Shared from the following website: https://www.quora.com/What-are-some-inspirational-short-stories-that-can-change-a-persons-life

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