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

No widget added yet.

The Relationship Between Men and Women…

Woman was made from the rib of a man. Not from his head to top him nor his foot to be stepped on by him, but from his side to be equal to him, under his arm to be protected by him, and near his heart to be Loved by him Matthew HenryI believe in marriage. I believe in making a lifetime commitment. I also believe that my love and my relationship with my husband can continue for all eternity. I believe that your heart communicates this knowledge to you as well.

There seems to be a lot of effort in today’s world to make men out of women and vice versa. I can’t help but wonder why?

As a witness of the reality of God, I can tell you that in heaven we are not and were not unisex beings. We were male and female just like we are on earth.

Men are not superior. Women are not superior. Men and women are complimentary equals. We each have specific strengths and weaknesses. Every single one of us – regardless of gender is a unique individual.

I love my husband and my sons but I don’t want to be their clone. There have been times, admittedly, that I have wanted their arm strength so that I could have a chance of beating them in arm wrestling but that’s the only “manly” quality I think I have ever wished for.

I love that I an a nurturer. I love that I am a woman. I feel honored that I have been blessed to be a co-creator with God in bringing four wonderful human beings into this world. I love and honor those inherent gifts that my husband has as a man. I am grateful that our relationship is one of give and take – all of it while we walk side by side.

I am grateful to unequivocally know as a result of my near death experience, the divine role that gender is a part of in God’s plan for this world. I am also thankful to know that both men and women should be honored for lives well lived!

I hope you enjoy today’s story!

Faithfulness in Sickness and in Health: One Couple’s Story

by Dr. Ray Pritchard

Her family had come to America from Sweden. She had a typical Scandinavian look… Long blond hair; blue eyes; long slender legs; soft, blemish-free skin. She was gorgeous – she was beautiful. In fact, a professional international photographer in her hometown thought she was so pretty that he used a photograph of her to advertise his business.

But that was not her real beauty.

She was raised by some wonderful Christian parents and had become a Christian at an early age. Integrity, honesty and sweetness were just a few of her characteristics. In fact, at her engagement party, her sister, who knew her better than anyone, said that she had never heard her tell a lie.

All of her friends said the same thing about her: She was the sweetest girl they knew. She would never speak a harsh word about anyone. Everyone loved to be around her.

One week after they graduated from college, they were married. They loved each other’s company. They would walk together, exercise together, go on bike rides together, chaperone youth trips together – go to movies, watch TV, eat pizza, travel – all the things any normal couple would love to do together. They were so much in love.

She taught school for a year and then became a bookkeeper for a surgical supply company. One day, while she was working, for no apparent reason, she lost her balance and fell on the floor. She was later able to get up and went to see a doctor that night. He set her up to see a Neurologist.

The following day, it happened again. For no apparent reason, she lost her balance and fell. This time, though, she couldn’t get up. She had lost all feeling in her legs. They wouldn’t move. Her husband, had to come to the office and pick her up in his arms and carry her to the hospital. After six days in the hospital, the doctor gave this beautiful, active young lady the dreadful news. She had Multiple Sclerosis and she would continue to deteriorate.

This young couple, who had now been married only 18 months – who loved to go everywhere together and do everything together – would now face some new challenges. All their future plans would change, everyday life would change.

They would change.

For the next 30 years, this young lady did deteriorate. She had to take steroids (not the kind athletes use, but anti-inflammatory steroids). Her bones became brittle, breaking easily. Her face became puffy and bloated and she could not even put on make-up. Her body was a mess. She went from a walker, to an electric scooter, to a wheelchair. She could no longer feed herself, write her name, or control her own bodily functions. She now had to have someone stay with her 24 hours a day.

If that couple had not had the kind of committed love that’s based first on a personal relationship and a commitment to Jesus Christ and second, on a love that’s based on a commitment to each other, the marriage never would have lasted. In fact, a large percentage of the marriages where a spouse has MS, the other spouse leaves them. The other spouse won’t stay committed to the constant care and the continual physical, psychological and mental changes that continue to occur.

Please hear me carefully – those two people are not heroes. They are not super-saints or super-Christians. They will be the first to tell you that they are not super Christians. Those two people are normal, ordinary people, empowered by the Love of God and a love for each other, to do what the world considers beyond normal and extraordinary.

I know this for a fact – because that woman, that beautiful young lady who will never walk again, who can’t even feed herself, is Lynda Langerfeld – my wife. She’s not a hero. I’m not a hero. We’re children of God, doing what the children of God are supposed to do. Doing what His children are called to do. Doing what God expects of every man and every woman who make a vow before God on their wedding day.

Quite often, Hollywood will portray a “hero” sacrificing his life for his “heroine” in a film. In the world’s eyes, he’s a hero. In God’s eyes, he’s an ordinary man making an extraordinary sacrifice that every Christian who’s committed to his spouse ought to make. Sacrificial, Committed Love is the rule, not the exception. We’re not super-saints, we’re not heroes when we’re being faithful and committed to our mates. We’re doing what God has called every husband and wife to do since the beginning of time.

Story is shared from the following website: http://www.crosswalk.com/family/marriage/faithfulness-in-sickness-and-in-health-one-couples-story-11529898.html

No widget added yet.

The Holy Ghost…the Gift We Receive

We will never be prompted by the Holy Ghost to do something we cannot do Richard G. Scott

The story I share today reminds me a little of my near-death experience. The details do not match but the feelings of beauty and awe do.

My near-death experience helped me to understand how great the gifts are that God gives to us. It also taught me how much we tend to underestimate and neglect the gifts that we are given.

One tremendous gift that is available to us, as we live lives with a connection to our Creator, is the gift of the Holy Ghost. We may not have that gift continuously but it can speak to us nonetheless.

Those moments when we sense that heaven’s angels may be speaking to us; those reminders that seem to “pop” into our heads, ideas that suddenly come to us, or feelings that inspire us are usually just that! Angels in the form of deceased family members, friends or those yet to be born often assist us. Though we probably don’t remember it, we most likely did the same for them!

We each have been given at least one if not more wonderful assignments to accomplish while we are having this mortal experience! I hope that you are listening to your heart and that you are endeavoring to fulfill the personal tasks you, uniquely, have been commissioned with! As we each work to manifest the life that we were created to fulfill, we contribute to the overall success of God’s work on this earth!

True happiness comes as a result of our connection to and relationships with God. I know that most of us don’t remember how well we know Him or how familiar we are with Him. However, I also know that our hearts consistently speak to us of Him as we keep them open and receptive. If the windows of heaven could be opened for just a few minutes, those brief glimpses of heaven would change our world and our understanding of it’s purpose! This world is not an accident and neither are we!

It is my prayer that you will know of the love that God has for each of His children – ESPECIALLY you! I hope you enjoy today’s story!

The Dream

 I always used to ask God to show me how to live faith ….. It’s already a few years since I had a very significant dream, which is vividly imprinted in my mind and in my heart forevermore. No doubt it was an answer to my prayers and it made me feel so deeply cared for and loved! The dream:

“I climb up a rather high mountain together with many other people. We walk in silence on a narrow path, in a row. I understand that we are pilgrims, when I see a church far away high up on the mountain, beautifully “set” on the horizon. I am full of expectance. I love the mountains and I enjoy the view and the peaceful climbing. When we reach the church and when everybody is inside, I immediately notice a Priest who shuts all the doors in what seems to me a definitive manner. He blocks the doors nailing pieces of wood on them. Instantly I feel claustrophobic and ask the Priest to please open the doors again. I don’t like to be closed in, I feel uneasy, I want to go outside again, but there is no reply from the Priest. I look around and there I see a staircase. I run up the stairs and indeed I find a little door which opens to a balcony and I step out: What I see in that moment is so immensely moving! I see a beautiful green valley stretched before my eyes (it does not seem the same valley we have come from). At the end of this valley there is a golden city. Everything is so extremely brilliant and beautiful that my heart fills with a longing so strong that I can hardly bear it. I’m overwhelmed and stand there in utter awe for quite a while. Then I do not resist anymore. I cry out, I want to go there, I feel within my heart that the Place is like Paradise. It’s as if from the shining town a voice called me, “come, come, here is beauty, here is love, here is peace “. ….. Then I hurry downstairs shouting “How can I reach the place I’ve seen from the balcony? There is a golden city! Please open the doors …” Nobody answers and I feel deeply frustrated for being closed in. Then I find myself standing right in front of the Altar with a little golden Tabernacle. The Tabernacle is beautifully decorated. While gazing at the Tabernacle I suddenly become silent and I feel at peace. In that moment I hear a beautiful voice saying “You know the way, I am the way, there is no other way to reach the place you’ve seen ….. come through the Tabernacle, this is the only way”. The Voice vibrated softly in my heart. My reaction to the “invitation” was strange. I thought “the Tabernacle is too small to get through, I’ll never manage ……..”.

The dream ended and I woke up just in that moment when I was doubting to make it “through” the Tabernacle.

I remembered vividly everything and finally, my heart strongly pounding, I understood.

JESUS had told me that HE WAS THE WAY! HE IS THE WAY to perfect joy “perfecta laetitia”! And I remembered the words He said to His disciples during the Last Supper “Do this in memory of Me…..”. The Holy Eucharisty! …. The Tabernacle!

Since I had this wonderful dream I approach the Holy Eucharisty in much deeper awareness that JESUS TRULY IS THE WAY.

WRITTEN BY MARGHERITA RUEGER

Story shared from the following website: http://godslittleacre.net/inspirationalstories/the_dream.html

No widget added yet.

Knowing God is There…

A man can no more diminish God’s glory by refusing to worship Him than a lunatic can put out the sun by scribbling the word “darkness” on the walls of his cell C.S. LewisI love C.S. Lewis. I plan on interviewing him when I cross over to heaven once again. I suspect that when I interview him, I will find his mind to be fascinating and his stories about his life riveting.

I honor the explorations of his mind and respect that he refused to be a fence sitter. Once he knew that God existed, he endeavored to help others find Him as well.

I have seen God and I know that He exists but, of course, I am a rarity.

I hope that you can feel your Creator with you each day as you navigate your life. I hope you can feel and see Him lending you strength, giving you blessings, and increasing your understanding!

I was going to share a different story today but after a couple of “glitches” that brought me back to today’s story, I am taking the hint from above and sharing it! I hope you will enjoy

God’s Hands

Wishing to encourage her young son’s progress on the piano, a mother took her boy to a Paderewski concert. After they were seated, the mother spotted a friend in the audience and walked down the aisle to greet her. Seizing the opportunity to explore the wonders of the concert hall, the little boy rose and eventually explored his way through a door marked “NO ADMITTANCE.”

When the house lights dimmed and the concert was about to begin, the mother returned to her seat and discovered that the child was missing.

Suddenly, the curtains parted and spotlights focused on the impressive Steinway on stage. In horror, the mother saw her little boy was sitting at the keyboard, innocently picking out “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star.” At that moment, the great piano master made his entrance, quickly moved to the piano, and whispered in the boy’s ear, “Don’t quit. Keep playing.”

Then, leaning over, Paderewski reached down with his left hand and began filling in a bass part. Soon his right arm reached around to the other side of the child and he added a running obligato. Together, the old master and the young novice transformed a frightening situation into a wonderfully creative experience. The audience was so mesmerized they couldn’t recall what else the great master played. Only the classic “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star.”

That’s the way it is with God. What we can accomplish on our own is hardly noteworthy. We try our best, but the results aren’t exactly graceful flowing music. But with the hand of the Master, our life’s work truly can be beautiful. Next time you set out to accomplish great feats, listen carefully. You can hear the voice of the Master, whispering in your ear, “Don’t quit. Keep playing.”

Feel His loving arms around you. Know that His strong hands are there helping you turn your feeble attempts into true masterpieces.

Remember, God doesn’t call the equipped, He equips the called. And He’ll always be there to love and guide you on to great things. Life is more accurately measured by the lives you touch than the things you acquire.

Story shared from the following website: http://inspire21.com/stories/christianstories/godshands

No widget added yet.

I Can Do All Things Through Christ…

I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me    Philippians 4:13My youngest son became a part of our family as a result of incredible divine intervention. My experience in finding him and his sister is a powerful testimony to me of God’s awareness of each of His children and His willingness to do whatever it takes to assist us.

I know that many would suggest that God can do much more. I know that He does all that He can for us without removing our ability to choose and/or remove growth experiences that are designed for our eternal growth.

God can do much more for us when we ask for and reach for His assistance. I know that that was the apostle Paul’s personal experience and it has been mine, as well.

If life seems a unrelenting battle, I hope that you will reach out to the Lord for assistance. I know that when you give your all and then allow Him to give you His all, it is an amazing, synergistic formula for dealing with the challenges that are a natural and pre-designed part of life. I hope you have a wonderful weekend and that you enjoy today’s story!

Abandoned As a Child
 
In 2000, Oprah Show guest Kelly told viewers how she survived abandonment, a plane crash and leukemia—all before she turned 12. As a baby, Kelly was left on the side of the road in Vietnam by her parents. She had a short stay in a local orphanage, and then, in 1975, she was part of Operation Baby Life—a program that evacuated thousands of babies from Vietnam. Kelly was placed on a plane destined for the United States, but her journey did not go smoothly. The plane she was on crashed, killing 150 passengers. “I really don’t know why I was chosen to be one of those survivors. I feel incredibly lucky, and I feel like I’ve gotten a lot of second chances,” Kelly says. 

Kelly was eventually adopted by a couple in Seattle, but the obstacles did not stop there. At age 11, she was diagnosed with leukemia. With fight and determination, Kelly overcame her disease and went on to become a healthy and successful adult. “These obstacles that had happened in my life gave me strength and fueled my motivation to live and to succeed and to go on,” Kelly says.

Story shared from the following website: http://www.oprah.com/oprahshow/14-stories-of-overcoming-the-odds

No widget added yet.