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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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

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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

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Truth…Believe in God and He Will Show You Truth!

the thing about truth is that it exists beyond belief. It is true even if nobody believes it. Dieter F. UchtdorfWhat do you believe is true? What do you believe about yourself? Do you know it is true that God exists? Do you know that He loves you perfectly even though your imagination cannot grasp what that really means? Do you seek for truth in all areas where it is to be found? Do you understand all of the many truths that God is waiting to share with you?

My understanding of truth continues to grow and expand. I have found that God is willing to show me truth…a continuous step at a time. Often, I find that truth (or an understanding of it) has been right in front of my eyes ready to be discovered.  It is usually some bias or personal quirk that I have had that has prevented me from recognizing and receiving it sooner. I keep working at understanding all truth. I is my hope that there will come a day when the flood gates open wide and I will receive truth in waves rather than in steps!

In the meantime, I will keep diligently seeking to understand truth in all its forms and then to use it in my life. I hope you will do the same!

Today’s story is a video. If you are having doubts about yourself or what you can do, take a moment to watch today’s video – I think it will teach you a lot about self-imposed limitations!

Video shared from the following website: http://www.godvine.com/The-Truth-About-This-Man-Makes-Him-The-Most-Unlikely-Farmer-On-Earth-And-Most-Inspirational-Whoa–5588.html

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When You Reach Up…Receiving the Lord’s Blessings in Your Life

When you reach up for the Lord’s Power in your Life with the same intensity that a drowning person has when grasping and gasping for air, Power from Jesus Christ will be yours Russell M. NelsonI am a very blessed person. I get to wake up almost every day next to my best friend. I could never prove it scientifically, but my best friend (my husband) and I were brought together by God.

Statisticians probably find God and His micromanagement of this world a statistical nightmare. Just think…how many times has something happened in your life that you knew just seemed orchestrated by God because probability said it shouldn’t have happened.

I has been my experience that there are various levels of God’s assistance. The worst level being provided to those who rebel against and don’t believe in God and the best level being afforded to those who earnestly seek His guidance, strength and assistance.

What level are you? If you want to have the best of God’s Power in your life, it is always available to you. It is always available to each of us if we are willing to pay the price of knowing Him and serving Him!

I love today’s story! It brought such a smile to my face! I hope you enjoy it!

An Explanation of God

Written by Danny Dutton, age 8, from Chula Vista, California

“Explain God”.

“One of God’s main jobs is making people. He makes them to replace the ones that die so there will be enough people to take care of things on earth. He doesn’t make grown-ups, just babies. I think because they are smaller and easier to make. That way He doesn’t have to take up His valuable time teaching them to talk and walk. He can just leave that to mothers and fathers.

“God’s second most important job is listening to prayers. An awful lot of this goes on, since some people, like preachers and things, pray at times besides bedtime. God doesn’t have time to listen to the radio or TV because of this. Because He hears everything, there must be a terrible lot of noise in His ears, unless He has thought of a way to turn it off. “God sees everything and hears everything and is everywhere which keeps Him pretty busy. So you shouldn’t go wasting His time by going over your mom and dad’s head asking for something they said you couldn’t have.

“Atheists are people who don’t believe in God. I don’t think there are any in Chula Vista. At least there aren’t any who come to our church.

“Jesus is God’s Son. He used to do all the hard work like walking on water and performing miracles and trying to teach the people who didn’t want to learn about God. They finally got tired of Him preaching to them and they crucified Him. But He was good and kind, like His Father and He told His Father that they didn’t know what they were doing and to forgive them and God said O.K.

“His Dad (God) appreciated everything that He had done and all His hard work on earth so He told Him He didn’t have to go out on the road anymore. He could stay in heaven. So He did. And now He helps His Dad out by listening to prayers and seeing things which are important for God to take care of and which ones He can take care of Himself without having to bother God. Like a secretary, only more important.

“You can pray anytime you want and they are sure to help you because they got it worked out so one of them is on duty all the time.

“You should always go to Church on Sunday because it makes God happy, and if there’s anybody you want to make happy, it’s God. Don’t skip church to do something you think will be more fun like going to the beach. This is wrong. And besides the sun doesn’t come out at the beach until noon anyway.

“If you don’t believe in God, besides being an atheist, you will be very lonely, because your parents can’t go everywhere with you, like to camp, but God can. It is good to know He’s around you when you’re scared in the dark or when you can’t swim and you get thrown into real deep water by big kids.

“But you shouldn’t just always think of what God can do for you. I figure God put me here and He can take me back anytime He pleases.

And that’s why I believe in God.

Letter shared from the following website: http://www.rogerknapp.com/inspire/god8old.htm

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