Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Yesterday I meet the most beautiful ten-year-old girl and her mother at the Lehi Costco. This little girl just radiated goodness and confidence. If I'd ever had a daughter, I'd have wanted one just like her!

They were looking at the book while I talked with other people. When we finally had a chance to visit, the mother told me her daughter was excited about the page in the book where a child has the idea of getting a new bike, and then becomes aware of ideas, opportunities, and resources to achieve it. She told me that her daughter had experienced that very thing! I learned that her daughter had set a goal this past summer to get a new mountain bike.

The little girl told me she worked hard all summer doing jobs she probably wouldn't have considered had she not been motivated by her goal. Towards the end of the summer a neighbor even showed up with an amazing opportunity. He volunteered to go to the bike shop and negotiate with the owners on her behalf. He had purchased MANY mountain bikes over the past few years from this store. The little girl was just beaming as she and her mother relayed how amazing it was to have the neighbor show up and go to bat for them!

Last week a thief broke into their garage. Many valuable items were taken. I asked the little girl if her bike was stolen. She smiled and said, "No! Thank goodness! But the thief had to step right over my bike to get to the car."

The mom told me she grew up with her parents teaching her these principles about thoughts. She used to dive competitively in high school and her father emphasized over and over how reviewing the dive, and how she would enter the water, was a vital part of her training. I was further impressed when the mom told me that last week she had given little journals to each of the ten-year-old girls in her church group. She encouraged the girls to write down five things they were grateful for each day.

I just love it when I meet like minded people who are doing their best to get the most out of life. It is so refreshing! :)

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Inmates and Gratitude

Yesterday I heard an awesome story about gratitude. I met a couple at a book signing and we had the best discussion about the rewards of having a grateful heart.

The husband of this couple used to work in the jail systems of Salt Lake County. He met with inmates regularly. One day he gave the inmates a challenge. He told them that during the next week they were to only say prayers of gratitude. He pointed out that if they had been praying, their prayers were most likely focused on things like; "please let the judge go easy on me....", etc. He told the inmates to expect the challenge to be difficult at first, and their prayers would probably be very short; but they should keep at it and they would discuss their experiences the following week.

One man had been in jail multiple times for DUI's and other drug charges. He was the first to report his results. Weeks before, he had added his name to a list hoping to be entered into a drug program for inmates similar to the AA program. Weeks went by without having his name called to attend the class. He had given up on ever having that opportunity. Towards the end of the gratitude challenge, a Warden stepped into the room where inmates were gathered and called his name to invite him to the class. He was amazed because there were still many names in front of his on the list. He couldn't explain what made the Warden flip through the pages on the clipboard and call his name.

I heard a handful of other stories about the inmates from this couple that were just as remarkable. It appears hearts were changed during that exercise and blessings followed.

Before this couple left, they told me they had recently lost their jobs. They are in their 50's and concerned about what is next for them. I was surprised to hear their news because their demeanor was peaceful and we had just had this great conversation about gratitude. I'm so impressed with them, and how they are choosing to face this trial.

As they continue to focus on the abundance in their life while they face this hardship, I'm sure doors will open for them. I hope to run into them again one day to discover (as my mother-in-law would say) what good will come from this.

What good will come into our lives as we tune into gratitude? Count your blessings....your mood will change! :) What a great time of year to do this! Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Shrapnel, Life-Support, and the Transcending Power of Love

I spent today in Orem promoting my children's book. I met the most fascinating man who told me about experiences he had in Iraq while working for a contracted security company. He told me about a miracle that happened with a co-worker.

This coworker was on a video conference with his wife, when a mortar exploded outside the brick wall where this man was sitting. The wife experienced the horror of witnessing the explosion and seeing shrapnel come through the back of her husband's head and out his forehead. Medics rushed in to assist him. He was still alive, but brain dead. This man's wife and mother were flown by the contractor over to Iraq to decide if they would turn off his live support.

He had been brain dead for a few days. When his family arrived, the wife sat next to him, took his hand, and started speaking to him. Immediately, the monitors picked up brain activity.

I had been talking in Costco with this man about how amazing our sub-conscious mind is. He told me this story to illustrate that even when brain dead, the mind appears to maintain some intelligence. The brain activity they witnessed caused them to abandon any thought of turning off life support. Today he is alive and mobile. He has control of all his faculties. He has some memory issues, and it is obvious he is slower cognitively than he used to be, but he is a loving, functioning father and husband.

The security contractor that employed him paid off all of his bills, and paid down his mortgage so that he could support his family on his disability insurance. I'm not going to identify the security company. It is one familiar to many. They received a lot of bad press. I'm not naming them because I don't personally know the man who survived the shrapnel and feel I shouldn't identify him by stating the company he worked for.

Hearing this story left me in awe of the goodness of God, whose power enabled that injured man to miraculously respond to his wife, and the miracle of the goodness of people and corporations who do the right thing and the right time.

Life is full of miracles. We just need to look for them. :)