Sunday, October 17, 2010

When Bad Things Happen...

What's new pussycat?

It's not only a greeting, but it was a worldwide hit song in 1975.

By the sexy Tom Jones.

Who is now 70 years old.

There was a profile of Jones on CBS Sunday Morning today. He was back in his small home town in Wales, visiting his birthplace (in a rented house where his grandmother lived), his old church (where he sang a beautiful impromptu, acapella version of  "The Old Rugged Cross,"--beautiful), and the home where, for two years, he stayed in seclusion in one room recovering from teburculosis contracted when he was 12.

That was the "ah-ha" moment in the piece. Because Jones said had it not been for having TB, he most likely would have been a coal miner--like his father and most of his friends.

He made a statement that rang so strong with me. "It was the best bad thing to ever happen to me."


When something bad happens to us, we tend to think it is just terrible. But instead, perhaps we should look at it as a gift, because God pretty much always has good things in store for us on other side.

So... the bad thing becomes a catalyst for positive change. And then things that happen in your life that may never have happened had the bad thing not happened first.

Of course, our family understands that oh, so Nicole is continually blessed with opportunities to inspire and motivate people through her speaking engagements--she has a platform now that she didn't have before, and her story alone makes people sit up and listen.

Take a moment and think back to the best bad thing that ever happened to you...and feel free to share it in the comments section of this blog (if you don't already "follow" me, please take a moment to do so!).

This little exercise may help us all to see things differently, and to be a little more thankful that God's plan for us is perfect, even when that plan includes "bad" things.

Blessings to all who read this!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Out of the darkness

They're out! The 33 miners who have been trapped for 70 days a half mile below the Earth's surface in Chile finally saw the light of day yesterday. It was awesome seeing each miner break the surface, coming up in a tiny capsule.

I have clastrophobic tendancies. I used to get panicky in tanning beds, back when I used to lay in tanning beds. Sometimes I'd have to get out of the room altogether, feeling like I couldn't breathe. It didn't happen every time, just every now and then. But it was enough for me to stay away from a career as a miner.

As a child, I heard that you could dig your way to China. I was told that China was exactly opposite the United States on the globe (no, I didn't check that out for myself!). The idea was that if you dug a hole deep enough, you'd come out in the land of ricshaws and little coolie hats. I was up for the challenge, digging the hole in my own backyard.

Until I realized how hard it was for an eight-year-old to dig into the hard Mississippi soil. Mission aborted.

It's a good thing the Chilean authorities didn't give up so easily. I was so impressed watching Chile's president, who had a "gut feeling" the miners were still alive, thus directing a full-scale recovery operation. He's my kind of guy!

I think people give up too easily all too often. It's easier to give up. If you don't try, you can't fail. But you'll never move forward either...

Nicole recently took a big leap ahead, challenging herself and her "new" body to something most able-bodied people wouldn't attempt. She flew to Sedona, Arizona for 12 days to take a 100-hour certification course called "Yoga Meets Dance." The days were long--9:30am to 6:30pm in class, and a couple of hours of reading/studying at night. Many of the classes were held outdoors, on the beautiful red rocks of Sedona. So Nic had to hike. And she had to climb. And she did!

Before going to Sedona, Nicole didn't know she could hike or climb rocks. She didn't know she could touch her toes or do many of the amazing things she did with her body. Remember, she has 8" titanium rods that go from the base of her neck down her back, and more rods that go down her lower back.

She passed her certification exam, and is now ready to teach classes!

Just as the miners were released from the darkness of the mine, Nicole continues to be released from the injuries that could have defined her. All are free from being confined. The world is watching the 33 miners to see what they'll do next, and I believe the world is hoping that they will do something positive with their experiences. We want to learn from it, and become better people because of it.

Nicole could have easily resigned herself to life in a wheelchair. We've been told there are people with lesser injuries who are still in wheelchairs. As a matter of fact, we were told that was her fate. But Nicole, like the miners, had hope. And hope fuels action. And now Nicole can teach anyone how to use their bodies in a healthy way, including people with special needs. Including people in wheelchairs.

We may not be stuck in a mine, or stuck in a broken body, but we all have something in our lives that we allow to hold us back. Today is a good day to reflect on what we want to do, and how we've allowed either external or internal roadblocks to hold us back. How are we going to get past those roadblocks? I'm inspired by the miners, and by my own brave daughter.

It's time to get up and move ahead!

Blessings to all who read this!

Saturday, October 9, 2010

I'm back!!!

Wow. It's been over a month since I last posted a blog entry. That's unusual for me, but for some reason, I just haven't been able to stop long enough to write.

It's been a busy month, with lots of exciting things happening in our life. As I write this, Nicole is finishing up a "Yoga Meets Dance" workshop in Sedona, Arizona. It's a 100-hour certification course, so she'll be able to teach when she gets back. It's the next step in having a totally independent life again. The surprising thing to her is how flexible she is. With titanium rods in her neck and back, Nicole probably felt that she would be more rigid. But she's been able to keep up with everyone else in the class, including touching her toes! (The rods are flexible...who knew?) And the change of scenery has been just what she needed. And what a dramatic change of scenery!!!
I love these photos...and I'm so impressed, because they were taken with Nicole's iPhone. Look how blue that sky is! Twelve days of that would be good medicine for anyone!

My iPhone wannabe, the HTC Hero, still gives me fits. The phone and I are just not a good match. BUT, I did discover a cool app on the's called "Retro Camera." I had alot of fun taking photos of little things around my home. The app gives everything a vintage, grainy look. And I love the boarder.
I've been spending more time with Joe (yes, I have another child!) lately, and I've enjoyed it so very much. At 21, he has matured so much and has become such an impressive young man. He and I both signed up to be distributors for C-PRIME, a fashion technology company that sells bands (designed by Fossil) that help with balance, flexibility, strength and endurance. Everyone in our family has had great results, so we have decided to step out and sell them ourselves! It's been amazing...I have a team of over 65 people! I figure if it's good enough for Harry Connick, Jr., Tim Tebow, Evanka Trump and a laundry list of other celebrities and athletes, it's good enough for me!
This is my blue band...

Joe wearing a scarlet band and a grey band...
And Nicole wearing her signature purple band! (That's her yoga teacher, Beth)

Joe and I took a road trip to Dallas last week for a C-PRIME corporate meeting, where we learned more about the company and met the key players. We were both impressed and we're really excited about the possibilities C-PRIME can have in people's lives. Check out my website to learn more about it.

This weekend, he's gone to Atlanta with Emily (his precious girlfriend) and her family. My parents have gone to Nashville, and my dad will be taking a class (woodcarving!) up that way. So, it's while our family are all over the country, Larry and I are holding things down here at home.

I'm also doing my Scentsy thang...lovin' that, too! Don't know what Scensy is? Then check out this website!
It's alot of fun, and I love the products. I'll be doing an open house tomorrow (Sunday) afternoon to celebrate 10-10-10! What a fun, cool date that is! If you didn't get one of my social media invites (email/facebook/twitter), then consider this your invitation to come experience Scentsy tomorrow afternoon!
I've been getting ready for it all day today...the fun part is sniffing the over 80 yummy scents!

The monkey is one of the "Scentsy Buddies" for children. Each one has a zipper in the back that holds a scent pack. This one has a French Lavender pack and it smells sooooo good!!!

The bad news is that I scheduled the open house at the same time as the St. Philip Goat Roast, which we've gone to for the past two years. I'll miss that this year, but look forward to opening my home to friends and neighbors.

So that's it for our exciting life...busy, full, happy, and blessed. We're moving forward, not looking back as much, but when we do, we are still amazed at the miracle we've witnessed. And as we move forward, we don't dismiss that miracle, but we don't dwell on it as much. We are living life in the here and now, and for the first time in a long time, we are able to look ahead with hope, ready for the next adventure!

Blessings to all who (still) read this!