Dreams Do Come True!

Do you have a dream? A burning desire within your heart? If you look deep enough, I’m sure you do. Allow me to share one of my dreams with you.

I love to travel. For many years now, I have had a strong desire to visit Argentina. Why? I don’t exactly know. The desire was kindled years ago when the first Argentine tall ship came into port in Baltimore. The crew was enamored because I was trying to speak their language and showed me a map of their country explaining how diverse it was and how I just had to come visit. The seed was planted.

Fast forward over a decade. I tried to make big vacation plans for the past two years and each time, the plans fell through for one reason or another. This year, I decided to plan to go to Argentina and Brazil, while I was there, of course. As the weeks and months of searching for that perfect tour went by, I was so bummed and ready to give up. “Not again, Lord. Can’t I go on a nice vacation?” I asked. Silence.

“Follow your dream,” my massage therapist encouraged.

And so I did. I kept pursuing, seeking, asking questions and of course, fervently praying. I always keep in mind if something is the Lord’s will for my life or not. And then, the exact itinerary I had wanted showed up and things fell into place! My travel agent was just as excited, if not more so. “Oh, Senora, I am so happy for you!” she bubbled everytime we spoke.

So tomorrow I fly to South America. Who knows what adventures await? What wondrous sights will I behold? As I pack my bags, I stopped to write this post to encourage all of you, my friends, to follow your dreams, whatever they may be and however impossible they may seem. If things aren’t working out in one direction, perhaps it is because the Lord has something so much better in mind for you in another direction.

Until next time, follow your dreams and keep looking up!

Making Time for What Really Matters

It’s a busy season, for sure. Kids are back in school. Holidays are on the way and the pace of work picks up to an end of year crescendo.

As I sit here listening to romantic french music and enjoying a candlelight dinner, it occurs to me that cooking a nice meal at home on a weeknight no less, matters. Going to my yoga class, when I really didn’t feel like it – matters. Taking time to talk to a friend in need today even though I was swamped at work – matters.

It’s called making time to nourish my spirit, my body and my relationships.

I have learned when things are the most hectic, that is when I need to listen to that gentle inner voice; the voice that whispers “Slow down, be kind to yourself. Relax”. For too many years as a single parent, I ignored that voice and pushed myself to exhaustion. I had to.

But not anymore. What about you friend? Are you pushing yourself to finish the next thing on your to-do list? Are you totally exhausted by the time friday comes around? If so, then I would say it’s time to reevaluate.

Make some time to reflect on what really matters to you: where and how do you feel most content, relaxed and at peace? These are good questions to ask ourselves from time to time. It’s so easy to get caught up in the rat race, as some put it. I hope this post has encouraged you to do as my son says “Smell the roses”.
Until next time, keep the faith, keep smiling and keep looking up!

How Exciting is Your Life?

Are you excited about life? Do you face each day with enthusiasm and expectation? Or are you one of the millions who glumly go about their day, waiting for quitting time, to go home, have a beer and crash in front of the boob tube?

Now I’m all for relaxing, don’t get me wrong, but there is more to life than our mundane routines. Today I want to challenge you to put more zest into your life. How to do that, you may ask?

Challenge yourself. Yep, add a challenge to your life: something that will stretch you, grow you, motivate you to be better, learn a new skill, meet new people – basically, get out of your comfort zone.

Been listening to Brendon Burchard’s book on CD, entitled “The Charge” and he talks about how challenge is one of the 5 forward drives. When we take on a challenge, we push ourselves forward in life. Challenges energize us.

Some things I have taken on recently include learning how to write, creating and publishing my first book, learning new skills at work, and most recently, taking argentine tango lessons. I also love cooking up new dishes and visiting new restaurants. My home always has an aroma of some sort of new herb, fish, or baked goody.

What about you? What new thing have you done lately? If it’s been a while, not to worry. There’s no time like the present. I would love to hear what you’ve been up to and what has put zest back into your life. Write me back and share. Until next time, keep looking up and moving forward!

What’s Holding You Back?

What is it in life that you would like to accomplish? Is there someplace you’ve dreamed of visiting for years but haven’t? Perhaps it’s a personal goal like losing 10 pounds or learning to be more assertive or creative.

I am a firm believer in goals. I have a list of things I want to do, places I want to go, changes I want to work on in the various areas of my life. There is always some area in which to grow, that’s for sure.

But sometimes, something holds us back from accomplishing the desires of our heart. It’s called fear: fear of change, fear of the unknown, fear of the outcome. It is natural to fear doing something different. As children of God, however, we have not been given a spirit of fear, but of power and love and a sound mind.

We must change the way we perceive things in life. Instead of focusing on the negative aspects try focusing on the positive ones. For example, if I want to lose weight, I can say “I’ll feel better about myself” instead of “I don’t have any will power”. Instead of “I don’t like to cook” I can say “I will enjoy learning how to eat healthy”. If I want to get in shape, I need to look at exercise as pleasurable rather than a chore. Instead of “I don’t have time to exercise” try “I’ll have more energy to accomplish what I need to do.”

What about visiting that spot you’ve dreamed of? Instead of saying “I don’t like to fly” how about “Imagine the new sights and places I will experience when I get there”. Changing the way we look at things motivates and energizes us to go for our dreams.

Friend, don’t let the nasty demon of fear hold you back any longer from living the abundant life. Life is wonderful, rich, and fulfulling if we choose to embrace it and go forward in faith, rather than fear. Remember, we will get what we expect, right?

Love to hear what new thing you are going to step out in faith for in your life. Write and let me know. Until next time, keep looking up!

Expect the Best

Ever make plans and then have them fall thru? Expect someone to show up and they’re a no-show? Bummer, huh? Well, it happened to me this past weekend but I took a different attitude and was amazed at how it all turned out.

I like to plan. I check out the fun things going on in the area and put them on my calendar in advance, so I will have something to look forward to. This weekend I was looking forward to seeing my current favorite band, NOMAD, at a local country dance joint. I had made plans with some friends a few weeks prior and we were all very excited when the weekend arrived.

It was fun getting all decked out in my texas wear, jeans, cowboy boots and glitz.
We arrived at the place in plenty of time to have dinner and sat down to look at the menu. Looking at a sheet of the upcoming events, I had a funny feeling.

“This says Amish Outlaws are playing tonight.” I felt something distressing in my spirit.
“I’ll ask the waitress,” my friend said. When the waitress came by my friend spoke up. “Who is the band tonight?”
“There is no band tonight,” the waitress replied. “There must have been a mixup. We have a DJ.”
I looked at my friend to see her reaction. She kept a happy face, bless her.
We decided to pray right then and there.
“Lord, you know how much we were looking forward to hearing this band. We trust that you will work this out for the best.” We decided that God must have something better in mind for us that evening and He certainly did.

After we ate, we went out to the dance floor to get a seat. An acquaintance of mine came over and invited us to join her group on the other side of the dance floor. It turned out there were several single men there who were excellent dancers.My friend and I danced the entire night. In fact, we were both worn out!

“I can’t wait to come back here,” my friend exclaimed, dewy with perspiration.
I smiled and was so glad.

The moral of the story is that even though something out of my control happened that could have put a damper on the entire evening, turning the situation over to the Lord and expecting Him to work it out for the best had amazing results. We refused to let disappointment ruin the evening and replaced it immediately with faith.

Has something like this ever happened to you? Drop me a note and share the experience. Expect the best and you might even get it! Until next time, keep looking up!