Small Christmas Miracles

It is just amazing to see the Lord work small miracles in my life every day. When you take a moment to look for these miracles, you will see that they are happening around you all the time.

It is the Holiday Season, and with the Holiday Season comes stress, busier schedules, more work, less rest and more nonsense trips to and fro. Today, I was scheduled to work in Grass Valley all day as I am almost every Saturday. I was also scheduled to drive to Sacramento Airport late tonight. I was going to pick up my boy David around midnight as he is coming home for Christmas before he stationed over seas. I haven’t seen him since his graduation ceremony in South Carolina. I was looking forward to watching my first born, my only son, my soldier come down off that airport escalator and rushing to give him big hugs and kisses. My soldier, home for Christmas.

While sitting at work, I receive a phone call at high noon, it’s my young man, my soldier on the other end with an excitement in his voice, “Hi Mom! Well, we landed and we’re on the tarmac, we will be getting to the dock shortly.”

I reply with a chipper lilt in my voice, “Oh son, that’s great! Was it a good flight?”

“Sure, it was ok” he says.

“So, what town are you in? Where is your layover?” I ask.

“You didn’t listen to your voicemails yet today have you?” he says tauntingly. “I called you this morning but you didn’t answer.”

Sheepishly I reply… “Yes, son, I know… I was in the shower when I missed your call and then headed to work, I’ve been to busy to check them. Why? What’s up? What town are you in?”

“Mom! I caught an earlier flight and I’m in Sacramento!” He says with a punch that makes me whirl my body around and start pacing. It hits me that my soldier just arrived to an airport with no family, no friends, no body waiting to celebrate his arrival, no one to smother him with hugs and kisses, no one to ask him repeated questions that make his head spin with appreciation that he is home with loved ones. What was I to do? I couldn’t even pull off a big greeting for my soldier, I think to myself as to shame my motherhood.

Well, you can imagine my distraught reaction as at the time, I am sitting in Grass Valley at work, with no ability to leave until six pm tonight! I say, “Oh what?! Oh my god! Son! I’m at work! I can’t come get you right now! Oh boy, What am I going to do?”

He hushes me as to silence my worry and says to me – “Mom, don’t worry… There is a lady sitting next to me on the plane who is also in the service. She is traveling with her 2 year old… but she is heading to Auburn and said she could give me a ride up! Is that ok?”

Of course, at first I’m thinking to myself…. Who in the world would offer a ride from Sac Airport for FREE? She’s gotta be a nut right? I mean, Stranger Danger! What?

So, I ask to speak with this mystery woman, he hands the phone over and a light cheerful voice comes from the other line… it’s soft, motherly, angelic. Quickly my spirit calms and I almost hear a whisper in my head saying, “It’s ok, I’ve sent an angel, do not fear her”

Feeling as though we have an immediate connection and thinking she is probably right around my own age. the calming voice says, “hello?”

As I quickly gather my thoughts as to what to say to her, I become speechless and awkwardly stammer out, “Hi! Your offering to drive my son home? I don’t know what to say! I wasn’t expecting him till tonight at midnight and I am still at work in Grass Valley and….. ”

She comes back quaintly “Oh yea! It’s really not a problem, I do have my two-year old with me, if he doesn’t mind, but really! It’s not a problem at all.”

My eyes grow as I listen to her speak as though I had heard your voice a thousand times. I profusely thank her for her offer and remind her that he is coming all the way up to Auburn and again questioning her to try and hear a glimmer of doubt as it is quite a drive from the Sacramento Airport. I wanted to provide a way out if she wanted one.

She again replies softly with cool ease, “Really, it’s not a bother. I can’t imagine how your feeling with everything you are going through right now, it’s really ok.”

I ponder the words, as I thank her from the bottom of my heart. “How I am feeling with everything I’m going through right now?” I wonder, how would she know what I have been going through? My son doesn’t even know what I have been going through. What an odd thing to say to someone you’ve only just met.

Fact is, I AM going through a lot right now. My body has been in a decaying place for over three years. Shortly after the divorce it came to my attention I was suffering from Adrenal Shutdown. My body couldn’t continue working through the stress I was putting it through and began to break down. As I have made some effort in the year before to relieve my stress load, it seems it has only tripled. I feel this past year may have been too much for me again. Suffering five inner ear infections, a chronic case of sinusitis and chronic pain and fatigue in the past 12 months, my health has been fading quickly. And so, with the thought of driving to Sacramento at midnight after a full day’s work after being in bed sick for the last 48 hours was a tremendous task to take on. The fact was, I had been feeling completely overwhelmed at the thought of it.

So who are we to make plans for ourselves. Setting a pace that not even we can keep up with. Setting ideals that we strive to maintain and find ourselves failing when all we want to do is achieve. Who are we to say that we have it all figured out.

Honestly, I think I would rather give it up and let God. It seems every time he works something out for me, it is so much more grand than I could have ever imagined for myself. I don’t think like he does, but I like the way he thinks! It is only in our moments of complete and utter failure that we might catch a glimpse of the constant and consistent work he is doing in our lives. Only because this is the only time we search our spirit for hope, for reason, for purpose. It is so very important to witness that these good works are happening everyday, all around us. We just need to stop and take a moment to recognize them. As the world would say, “stop and smell the roses… ”

I heard a voice distinctly say, “Don’t worry, I sent an angel” and peace rushed through me and doubt was thrown from my mind.

I see small Christmas miracles everyday.

PS. After talking with my son, he told me before he left the car upon his arrival in Auburn, the woman handed him $200 in cash and a $50 Gift Card for Target saying the reason was because he was the most wonderful young man she had ever met. She felt that he had a wonderful and sincere heart and that he was a very good person and thanked him for his service. He called me and said I have one thing to say mom, “God sent me an Angel today”

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Wishes are for Wells | Faith vs. Hope

It’s been said that Hope is what keeps man alive. It is the very bottom of our beings that allows us to take that next step when striving to make our dreams come true. Hope can make or break your inner being. It can solidify the very reason you got out of bed this morning, or dash the very thought of ever stepping outside again. Everyone needs hope, but the one thing they need more is faith.

I have found myself in the past few years trying to determine whether I was living by Faith or by Hope. Sometimes it is very hard to tell the difference. Especially if you do not have a true understanding of where your faith lies. The most extreme days of depression can easily be categorized as those times you lost hope by those who do not live by faith. And they will tell you! “Don’t lose Hope!” What does that really mean?

The term “Hope” is defined as an emotion or a feeling of expectation and desire for a certain thing to happen. If you break that down, you find the word “expectation”. Having an expectation simply means you have already defined to yourself what would be good, or what would cause good things to happen. We all have daily expectations in our lives. We expect that our alarm will wake us up on time, we expect our loved ones will kiss us goodbye on our way to work, we expect the car’s engine will start when we turn the key… But do we base our daily mood on these expectations? I certainly should hope not, otherwise we would all be basket cases! Depending on our expectations of what we have defined as our realities. Although, this statement brings great definitive when we see that the state of our minds quickly change when the car doesn’t start!

You also see the word “desire”; a strong feeling of wanting to have something or wishing for something to happen. Wishes are for wells. Huge holes that fall in the ground. A space of darkness and emptiness. When a child asks for a candy bar and the parent says no, usually the first wine is “But I WANT it!” My answer to that was always done by singing the line… “You can’t always get what you want” But, Yes, through Faith… you find sometimes, you get what you need.

In the scriptures of the bible, you will see time and time again where we are told as believers to live by Faith and Faith alone. Does this mean there is no Hope? Or does it redefine the standard of living we have? Does it separate the State of Emotion from the State of LIVING. Do we not as believers drink of the Living Waters? Do they not quench our thirst when we are in dire need of spiritual hydration? So who are we to pick and choose when we drink? So, do we pray each time we turn the key? (Well, in some cases I find myself doing this) But no, typically we don’t. So what does it mean to live by Faith and Faith alone?

The definition of Faith is; to demonstrate complete trust or confidence in someone or something. Notice there is no expectation. No desire. Just TRUST and CONFIDENCE. There is no pre-defined situation or something that could disappoint once the solution has arrived. The closure is up to the “Someone or Something” and no one has a tendency to demonstrate negative trust or confidence. So, simply stated it would be impossible to be negative about a situation, a decision, or a matter when you are simply TRUSTING and CONFIDENT that it will work out.

God said in ALL things he will make Good. He didn’t say that he would work things out to meet your expectations. If I had a dime for every time things worked out the way I wanted them to I would be extremely poor! As a matter of fact, I can’t think of one thing that worked out in a positive way that I had complete control over. Like most people in this world I have a tendency to over analyze, over think, over do and blow out of proportion most of my decisions. It is Human Nature that we find ourselves being self destructive.

So, with all of that being said. Today has been a tough day. I woke up with bills over my head I cannot pay. Situations that won’t lend a break are weighing heavily on my mind. And I just can’t seem to find joy in my every day tasks because I am trying to find a way to find Hope in my situation. As I am talking with a friend, I hear him say… “Keep the Faith, things will work out” It dawned on me! I have been trying to find Hope in a Hopeless Situation! I have been trying to build an expectation for my reality! I have been trying to define “HOW” it’s going to work out! God says, “Be still and Know Me” A true believer who walks with God cannot see past his own nose because he is too busy looking at the Father. The Beginning, The End. We have no need for Hope because there is nothing to hope for! He is the way, the truth and the light. And only through Him do we see the path to righteousness. Amen? He will work out the things in my life the way they are to be worked out. He knows of my striving, he knows of my heartache. He would never let me fall or be broken for the sake of my enemies or for anything of this world because I am His and He is Mine.

So the next time, you find yourself encouraging a friend. Be sure to encourage their FAITH and not their HOPE. Faith will last and make them strong. Hope will simply blind them, depress them and detour their thoughts of our Heavenly Father and all the wonderful things that He has in store for them! Thank you to my very good friend and brother in Christ, Curtis Hildebrand, for helping me understand why I was struggling. You are treasured in the Kingdom of Heaven and offer great encouragement to the saints around you. May you be blessed.

Social Media Content for Customer Service

As a Social Media and Media Content Producer, I found this to be very interesting! I want all my clients to read this information! they all have a tendency to ask the same questions… What is FaceBook doing for me? Well… It’s the visibility, the interaction, and the constant catering you can provide to your customers, followers and referring crowd that in the end provides profitable business. We are all looking for residual income from our hard labors… but building a foundation that provides satisfaction, education, and security is what truly brings them coming back for more! That is real customer appreciation and loyalty.

cONTENT

I recently read an article from McKinsey Quarterly about the role of social media in customer service. The article dove into the operational aspects of implementing a social media strategy. It also compared the use of traditional call centers vs. social media platforms for customer service. One point the article made compared the cost of the two channels: “handling an inbound telephone call typically costs a company $6 to $8; an interaction using social media, less than $1.”

The article also made another point to help illustrate the endless possibilities for customer service: social media platforms make it “easier to guide customers to relevant web pages or video content.” While this functionality has often been used for content marketing, organizations should tap-into this low-cost opportunity as a customer service effort, sending customers towards the answers and information they need. (Hopefully, before they ask.)

This is really a lesson in proactive customer service. If you…

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Black Friday | Business Greed

The Portrait of America

Sitting in my car on my way to work this morning I listened as the DJ’s discussed the intensity of anger that some of the employees who have to work on Thanksgiving. They are working because store’s have decided to not only open for Black Friday at Midnight… they now will be open with steals and deals on Thanksgiving causing folks to miss out on the turkey holiday family feast we like to call an American tradition. The discussion became so heated as they pointed out their views on the topic, they argued on whether or not the act of Shopping on Thanksgiving and Black Friday has become “America’s Tradition”. I was disgusted!

What in the world! The only day where we celebrate humanity, family and the things in this world that aren’t about money has been transformed into a National Day of moronic shopping sprees and the last chance to afford some item of stature to give to someone so you can show them you care!! Ridiculous! Thanksgiving is supposed to the day we celebrate what we are thankful for… not celebrate our greed by running down isles, knocking people over and trampling souls for the last “Giggle Me Elmo” on the shelf.

Come On America! Wake up! We complain about corporate identities taking from the ‘mom and pops’; we cringe at the soul-less politicians pumping up the media with lies and scrutiny… yet all the while beg from the hand that strikes us. Make up your minds! America’s people cry that they are broke and can’t afford the constant rising of costs to live in this country… yet they spend their monies on needless things. Instead of buying a new TV, go grocery shopping. Instead of Decorating a Tree with a ton of crap, pay the power bill. Help the economy out by supporting yourselves and your families where it really counts.

Just because Christmas is coming doesn’t mean it is time to spend your hard earned cash on a bunch of things just to remind your family members and friends that you love them. Remind them by spending time with them. Treating them fairly. Showing by example how to save a buck or two. Teach your kids who are tomorrow’s future how to support a household. Caring for them so they know what it is really like to care for someone else. Show them what the Holidays should really be about in America. Family, Gratefulness, Peace, Hope, Dreams and Faith that the world around us can be beautiful place.

 

Super Heroes are Business Owners

Bus Journeys

Vocals are still raw from Friday’s band practice session that lasted till the wee hours of the morning… as I am talking to my ex-husband, he says take more vitamins! “k buddy… not sick just hoarse” I reply.

Getting run down is easy to do when you work 7-16 hour days. As a businesswoman, a mother and singer in a band, there isn’t much room for casual time. Not that I am complaining… I love my hectic schedule. But every few days you got to stop and take a breath.

Running the Rat Race

In today’s world, who isn’t running the rat race? Between juggling the next marathon of getting kids to school who missed the bus, remembering the power bill that is pending shut down, the lyrics to a new song the band wants to play, and rushing to a third missed chiropractic appointment… it all turns to a…

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Death and Life, to a lost friend.

Had a friend commit suicide last night… what to think is my question.

I have never condoned such an act. I think suicide is the worst way to go simply for what folks are left with. The questions, the anger… this cannot be what you want people to remember of your life.

I too have been at the end of my rope, and whether out of fear or strength, I passed on the idea of committing suicide. I won’t say I haven’t thought of it, haven’t we all? But where does one truly have to be to actually call the death switch on their own existence. I imagine it has to be a pretty sore place.

For my friend, I would never have guessed in a million years he would pull this stunt. He came off as a proud, confident and almost invincible human being. He leaves behind a large beautiful family and many friends. I wish I would have had a chance to tell him before he left.

Find solace in yourself. There are more answers than you could ever come to realize. And there is always more than one way to pull a trigger. Though we face difficult times, let us now feel alone or withered. God still stands by our side. Keep your face to the wind and your dreams alive. One day, we will rise.

Coming up from within

A movement has started, and not in the world… but in me.

As I watch, my son is growing right out of the nest. He gained his first job yesterday and has joined the Marines. With only a semester to go he will graduate early and be on his way into the Great Wide Open.

I find myself feeling younger these days as I chase my dreams and still can’t believe I mother such a fine young man. My daughter is no less to speak of. With golden hair and a smile that shines from her deepest spirit, she lightens my step and gives me hope for the future. Her smarts inspire me and I never know when she will surprise me.

I am finding that I am truly at a new area in my walk. Learning that not everything has something to do with anything… but that maybe it just is. As I am. In the past, the cloud that has hung over my head from my rearing has been despondent and a constant reminder of my anguish. I have tried so many times to move past the ugliness I was subjected to. I have now found that I have embraced it with all the energies of a great God who has shown me, that they just were. But through time and experiences we learn what we are made of and what we are for.

I am now implementing so many practical sides of myself in my works. Enjoying what I do and why I do them. The purpose of life isn’t necessarily to get somewhere, its to be happy where you are. I can honestly say, I am surely getting there.