Question Wednesday 2: What Have You Said YES To Lately?


Well, it is round two of question Wednesday and I am so excited to ask everyone out there the next one.

We all tend to say yes to work but how often do we say yes to anything else? Today I was reading through blog posts and I came across this article: Shonda Rhimes’ message at TED2016: Say ‘yes’ to what scares you, even if it’s saying ‘no’ to work.

After a quick search on YouTube, I found the video an attendee captured. You may want to check it out once the actual video is available but just know it is there if you want to take a sneak peek.

Shonda talks about how she thought her “hum” was her work. She thought she needed that “hum” to keep going. It is through her quest to say yes to everything that led to her real “hum” in life, JOY and LOVE.

It is about saying yes to things even when they are more difficult for us to say yes to. Some of us are great at work and terrible at family life. Some of us are great at staying connected with friends but not with family. Some of us are great at saying yes to helping others but not saying yes to helping ourselves. You could fill in your current situation.

We many think we are okay but once we lose our “hum” we know. Two key takeaway quotes from Shonda:  “The real hum is joy,”…”The real hum is love.” and “Work doesn’t work without play.”

The Truth About You

So why does this matter to you? Take a step back and look at what you say yes to in your life. You need a little work and play. You need a little challenge and relaxation. You need a little family time and a little friend time. What will one NO cost you? What could one YES gain you?

Why do we say no to a video our son is trying to show us? Why do we say yes to taking on that extra project at work always? Why do we say no to going out for coffee with a friend? Is it really time? Or is it something else? Is it just easier to do what you are used to? Is it easier to stick to the routine you have built around your life?

I challenge you to say YES to something this week you have not said YES to in a while and then post about it.

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What Breaks Your Heart May Also Lead You Home.


Someone asked me recently what breaks your heart? The saying may not be new to many but when asked it is difficult to pinpoint a response. Seeing people homeless breaks my heart. Seeing people struggle breaks my heart. Seeing family owned businesses close after years and years in a community breaks my heart. Hearing people’s stories of trial breaks my heart. Watching others struggle at work, at home, in school, with purpose breaks my heart. How could one ever answer this question with a simple response?

Then it came to me. Seeing hurting people breaks my heart. Whether they are hurting from job loss, or loss of family, loss of a business, loss of a home or loss of purpose. When I open my eyes and ears to the stories of others experiencing loss it breaks my heart. I want to help them. Rather it is by providing a shoulder to cry on or a meal for their family or an ear to listen I want to be there.

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Open Your Eyes, Truly See Others and Show Up


Dedicated to the kind security guard, I met who taught me how to open my eyes, truly see others and just show up.

While attending an event, I grabbed the agenda booklet and sat down to listen to the speakers. There was no one there I knew so I took a seat. As I pulled my coat off I turned and put the booklet down on the chair to my right and turned to the left to pull my arm out. Then I turned back to grab the booklet and it wasn’t there. I looked on the ground. I looked behind the chair. I looked on my lap. I looked to the lady one seat over with a questioning in my eyes hoping she knew. She just shook her head like I haven’t a clue and turned back to face forward.

I eventually gave up and got back up to obtain another booklet. What would one do without the agenda for the night and description of each speaker? How would we function without the story of how the night would go predestined in front of us? Well, I just couldn’t have that so I fetched another.

Then a conversation was born.

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Suffering, Pain, Grief, Sorrow; The Words Of What It Is Like to Lose Someone

Adapted image by Joseph Barrientos--Unsplash

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How To Help Others In Light of Pain And Struggle


Where does the light meet the darkness? As I look out my window I see the rainbow of colors that meet the darkness. It is not one straight line in the sand. It does not appear to stop abruptly, it melds one into the other. The hazy clouds of darkness blend into the blue and orange hues below.

This is often how loss and love meet. This is often how pain and pleasure meet. This is often how sadness and joy meet. This is often how doubt and faith meet.

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What Does Epiphany Mean To You?


As I gazed upon my calendar right there imprinted on this date was the word epiphany. A quick definition found on Google:A sudden revelation or insight. But why was this word on my calendar? As I read through a deeper explanation found here, some things began to unravel in my mind. Going back replaying moment by moment I thought why does this word warrant a note like a holiday or special event? Then curiosity got me and I was swiftly going from the story online, to Mathew 2:1-12 and then to confirmation that Magi indeed meant wise men. All roads led to Jesus.

Who knew, well I am sure some of you did, that The Twelve Days of Christmas are not before but after Christmas day? Who knew in some traditions they take all their Christmas trees and wreaths down and have a bonfire on the twelfth day?

But the tradition was beloved in old England.
”Twelfth Night was the burning of the greens; you took the Christmas wreaths
down and burned them,” said the Rev. Bill King, rector of Trinity Episcopal Church in Clanton. ”In the old English tradition you’d have a bonfire on Twelfth Night.”

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It Is Time To Take Action On Your Purpose.


It is easy to feel warm and fuzzy when everything around you is sunshine and flowers but stepping into the unknown is frightening and we often build it up with dark shadows and what we think are unattainable dreams.

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Find Your Perfect Fit


You walk into a store ignited with bright lights and rows of beauty and there they are, the perfect shoes. You run over in excitement hoping they have them in your size. You look frantically but come up empty handed. You try the rows on either side just praying someone misplaced them, but no. Then you wander around trying on others aimlessly and in the end settle for second best and end up either returning them later or watching the dust settle on the box in your closet.

While I was online one day a simple ad popped up with a picture of boots that said “Find your shoes”. Simple and to the point and then it hit me we are all just searching for finding the right fit. A perfect fit for your purpose in life, a perfect fit for your job, a perfect fit for your significant other and you could fill this in with what you are seeking.

When we miss out on what we are searching for we often believe our “perfect fit” is gone forever. We spend hours, days, months, years’ looking for a replacement to what we thought was our “perfect fit”.

You don’t have to try on all the other shoes; just walk up to the counter and ask to order your size. Jot down the brand name and research online for another similar place that sells the same shoe. Look around and realize that none of the options in this store fit what you are looking for. Now leave and be patient for another day when the “perfect fit” will show up.

Maybe those shoes you would have pushed for and never gave up on would mean even more when you had to search and search for them. Have your ever searched for a specific toy your child really wanted from Santa? When you find it you nearly jump up and down. That is what happens when we put all the extra effort into searching. Sometimes it is a pain and sometimes we don’t want to be patient but in the end the reward and joy you get from seeing finally what you have been looking for is indescribable.

Perfect Fit Lesson:

  1. Order your size
    1. Don’t give up when you don’t see what you are looking for right away, ask and you never know what the future may hold
  2. Look for your shoes somewhere else
    1. Just because what you want is not where you are doesn’t mean it isn’t somewhere else very near
  3. None of the shoes are right for you
    1. Be patient and wait

Know that there is no perfect fit just the right time and place.

What “perfect fit” are you searching for? Do you need to change stores or just be patient?

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What Makes You Happy?

Box Robot

You see the box sitting there in front of your door and are thankful it didn’t rain. Remember the good ole days when you signed for every piece of mail larger than your mailbox or the nice little note that told you to come pick it up? I digress. Yes I know I could just check the little box that says I have to sign for my package but knowing me I wouldn’t be there to actually get it.

When you see this box with excitement what is in your package? What gets your blood pumping and your heart pounding? This week in my small group we were listing to the Happy Series by Andy Stanley and one of the first questions was “What makes you happy?” and the answer “no thing”. This is true but it sure does make you happy for a moment.

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Napkin Thoughts That Inspire You.


Do you ever wish you could write while closing your eyes?

Well in this day and age you could by speaking into some contraption I’m sure but then you would lose the silence of it all. If you are like me all your good thoughts come while driving a car. Not that I am saying you should close your eyes while driving. I suggest turning down the radio. Rolling down the window. Listening to your breathing and the sounds all around you. Maybe you prefer listening to the silence. Just the sound of your mind jumping from one topic to another can inspire ideas. Yes I know that is not a sound but you can almost hear your mind shift can’t you?

What do you do with all these random thoughts? Well if you are in your car and find no paper inside do what I did. Jot them down on a napkin. It is funny how just when you know you need a break something appears to give you one. The all famous rest area sign that reminds you of the many times your family has stopped here.

Now close your eyes and roll the window down. Breathe deep and listen to the sounds of nature and cars. Now roll the window up and close your eyes again as all other noises disappear but the one you focus on. The sound of a semi-truck running across from you. You focus on the sound because it relaxes your mind. It is then you wish you could write while closing your eyes. For some the sound of a semi-truck may not be soothing so focus on your sound. For me my dad was a truck driver and the smell of diesel and running trucks gets me every time.

We all need a break. A breath. A time to think. Often we don’t give this to ourselves. If I have one thing I have learned the older I get it is that your mind can really fill up fast. With kids and work and responsibility you have a lot going on up there. If people are not afforded a time to breath they will never get a chance to jot down their napkin thoughts. They won’t take a moment to breathe in the diesel smell or listen to the truck running. They won’t get to relax and remember. They won’t get to think.

Here are some great ways to give your mind a break and allow the thoughts to form into a bigger story. Sometimes what you get out of this time is much more than what you would spending hours diligently working.

  1. Read the bible.
    • Much clarity comes through reflection.
  2. Turn off the radio while driving.
    • This works best on longer trips because it usually takes a little while for your mind to grasp having all this silence.
  3. Go outside and take a break.
    • You don’t have to be a smoker to sit at the picnic table in the sun while at work.
  4. Consider a silent retreat.
    • Yes I know scary for people who love being around people but if I am considering it then I am sure you will be safe.
  5. Sit on a beach, close your eyes and just listen.
    • Try to find one that is not over populated.
  6. Go for a walk alone.
  7. Hit baseballs or golf balls or whatever other balls you like to hit.
    • This can be both relaxing and freeing for letting frustrations out.
  8. Stare at the stars.
  9. Sit alone at a bonfire.
  10. Listen to relaxing music.

And if your life still has no room for any of this, stop at a rest area on your way home, close your eyes and open your mind.

What things do you do to give your mind a break and spur napkin thoughts and inspiration? Share your answer below or on social media.