Things are changing around here, and we haven't adjusted as quickly as we thought we would.
For example: I told you that we got a new companion for Flash - a sweet little mini donkey named Henderson (AKA "Henry").
Aww! What a nice change! What a welcome development! It would take some getting used to, but hey. How long can it take? I then proudly announced here on the blog that the two were getting along and had stopped biting one another after a couple of weeks together.
Well...that was a bit premature.
In hindsight, I probably should have said, "The bite wounds, which they continue to inflict upon one another, generally heal quickly."
Now, this is not to say they aren't happy to be companions. Flash seems very settled and content to have a buddy, after flying solo for so long. And Henry is thrilled to be in a place that has plenty of food, lots of land to roam, and all the affection a little donkey can stand.
But even good changes take some getting used to.
One month in, and they are still working it out. I'm happy to report that it still only gets ugly when the donkey-to-human ration is 2-1, and both of them want attention simultaneously. Also when there is food involved. Other than that, they are golden.
Observing these two react to change has reminded me of how I respond to it, too. I'm not always a happy little camper when there are shifts in reality. Changes, even good changes, cause me to want to hold on to the past and and succumb to "good old days syndrome."
It's wonderful to remember the past with fondness. How I loved those shoulder pads and stirrup pants I wore in 1985. I was so cute. But it's even better to look at the changes that are happening with excitement and anticipation for what is coming next. I'm super excited about the loose tops that are coming back into style because, the muffin top. Or, more importantly, I'm looking forward to a season of freedom to write and create in new ways, even though it means I have to let go of some of the things I loved in the past.
If you're dealing with change today, I'll leave you with a few thoughts I'm thinking.
1. Seasons of change mean that you'll get a chance to grow.
"Oh, yippee!" you say. Woo hoo.
I get that. I get it because some change is painful and hard and you wouldn't choose it for anything. But, here it is. Change is upon you. Maybe someone else's crummy choices have put you in a tight spot. Maybe your job is on the line. Or maybe that kid you raised so lovingly has decided he'd be better off without you in his life. Things are a real barrel of laughs.
But I say to you that somehow, some way, in some manner, you will grow and become more and better in the midst of it. You cannot fix some of the changes in your life, but you can set your sail toward maturity and faith. Change insures that you don't remain stuck in the same patterns forever. God is giving you compassion, empathy, endurance and patience – all while He is working behind the scenes to create something good.
YOU are changing, and that is a good thing.
2. Change brings new opportunities.
Way back when, I was super happy when my husband had a nice job with benefits, and I was able to be the stay-at-home mama I always dreamed of. But that job went away, and suddenly I needed to help bring in some income. Yikes. Suddenly that little hobby painting flower pots and birdhouses became very important, because it turned into an opportunity to start a business. Without the need to put food on the table as incentive to get out and beat the bushes, I would have continued to plunk along with a nice hobby. And a whole lot of painted flower pots. You can't have too many of those.
If there is change going on, don't miss the opportunities that come with it because you're too engrossed in the past. Open your eyes, stay hopeful, and try some new things.
You never know what will arrive in your life, now that there is room for it.
3. Change brings new people.
I'm convinced that the secret to success, besides the Lord of course, is people. It's in the friendships and relationships that are made along the way. Perhaps you will be the answer to someone else's prayer today. Perhaps someone will step into your world who will play a pivotal role in your life. Change means that your circles are widening, and that can be a very good thing. Look for an opportunity to connect with someone who may be experiencing the same kind of change that you are.
There is nothing like shared experiences to cement a friendship.
4. You might as well trust.
There aren't a whole lot of scriptures on dealing with change. I know this, because I've looked. But there are a host of verses on trust. It seems that the entire Christian life is based on trust – from trusting in Christ for salvation, to trusting for strength, to trusting that all of this is for something.
Listen. Trust that God will not let you down. Trust that He is with you. Trust that He cares about you. Trust that He will work everything out. What do you have to lose? Except fear and doubt.
Psalm 91:2 “I will say of the LORD, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust.”
When the earth is shifting under your feet, run to the Rock. He's got this.
I'll be honest. I've got some big changes going on right now and sometimes I'm just plain scared out of my head. But I found myself walking around the house yesterday, with my palms up, saying "I trust you, Jesus." Out loud. Over and over. And somehow, just saying those words calmed my soul and brought my attention to the One who is bigger than any amount of change I find myself in. "I trust you, Jesus. I trust you, Jesus." My heartbeats subsided and I felt peace. Amazing.
How about you?
Are you facing some changes that feel scary? Unsettling? I'm holding out my hand to you today and I will pray with you. I don't do a lot of preaching on this blog, but today I'm putting it out there because I think I'm supposed to. Drop me an email or leave a comment with your name. I'm going to pray over each name and ask for God to calm your heart and fill you with joy and anticipation for what's ahead.
He is with you and for you. And I'm praying for you today.
That face. So cute, so sweet, so innocent.
And this guy. So little, so happy to have a wonderful new home.
This was Henry's first dust bath in his new pasture. I think he is smiling!
These two have made progress. They have stopped biting at one another and there is not much kicking going on anymore. Just some laying ears back and head motioning - mostly by Flash, when he does not want to share attention. Or hay.
After one week, Flash and Henry are already inseparable, just not quite "friends." I did, however, see them both laying down in the barn, quite near one another, in a companionable afternoon nap. Their ears flopped lazily and their eyes were all sleepy in equine relaxation.
I smiled when I saw them, and felt really happy for Flash. He has a companion, who will soon be his friend. I can feel it.
They don't see eye to eye yet, but they seem to accept each other's presence. It's a great start.
Watching them, I've thought of the friendships I've had that were slow in coming. I had to get over my own insecurities and fears to make way for warmth and acceptance. Just like these two, I've had to feel my way into relationships. There may have been some biting and kicking along the way, but I won't go into that right now. It was kind of scary.
The best friends are the ones who stay with you, accept your flaws and just love you for who you are. Both Flash and Henry will have to overcome their past experiences and learn to lean on one another, especially when winter sets in. There is something in their eyes that tells me that their walls are crumbling, and that friendship is on its way.
Is it hard for you to make new friends? Is it easier to think of others as companions than true friends? I totally get that. I'm not a girl-friendy kind of girl. But I'm learning, and observing Flash and Henry warm up to each other inspires me to reach out to others in my life. Who knows, maybe the best friendships are right under our noses...just waiting to blossom!
I've been carrying around a horrid driver license photo for six years now. I have to pull it out every time I write a check, which is often, because I am one of the three people left on earth who still writes checks. (There is always a sigh from the person in line behind me, but that is neither here nor there.)
Strangely enough, I opted to renew my license online yesterday - so I can carry the same photo around for another six years. Call me sentimental.
I wrote about the driver license fiasco back in 2008, and I shall recount it here for our merriment.
Dec. 2008My husband dropped me off at a car rental office to pick up a car for the next couple of days. Normally, he would wait to make sure I got it before driving off, but he had several errands to run and I assured him that I had it under control. I stepped to the counter and went through the usual procedure."OK, just need to see your license and credit card," the man at the counter said. I whipped them out and checked my watch. I was to pick my son up at school in 15 minutes and had just enough time to get there, drop him off at home, run another errand and then leave for a hockey game. This was going well."Uh, ma'am, your license has expired and is no longer valid," Mr. Car Rental Guy said, and pushed it back toward me. "I can't rent the car to you without a valid license."
Oh, you gotta be kidding me. But no, it had expired last month and apparently I've been driving illegally for several weeks.By this time, Tom was long gone, and there was no way to call him to have him return with HIS license, because he lost his phone a week ago."There's a Department of Motor Vehicles office in the next block," the guy said helpfully. "You could go renew it and come back." I immediately envisioned the DMV office, a dimly lit room with orange plastic chairs and a hundred depressed people waiting for their number to be called. I've been there before and remember it well.I was stuck. I could see no other choice but to do as he suggested. So I walked THROUGH THE RAIN to the DMV, hoping it wouldn't take forever.Have I ever mentioned what drizzle does to my hair? Well, it gets frizzy AND flat at the same time. Did I also mention that I was wearing a stained hoodie sweatshirt? Under a blazer? I'm quite sure I was not wearing lipstick. And I knew, as I hurried along through the wind and rain, that I would be stepping behind a line and looking into a camera, operated by someone who couldn't care less about capturing the essence of who I am.
I got up to the DMV counter with no wait time. I guessed on only a few of the numbers in the vision screening and fudged just a teeny tiny bit on my weight. (I'm certain that those few pounds will be gone right after I start my exercise program, so really, I was just speaking in faith.) But before I could do a happy dance at my speedy progress, things came to a halt when the lady refused to take my debit card. "Checks or cash only, Hon," she drawled. Of course, Tom had my checkbook. Then, seeing my cold, stonefaced expression in response to this news, added, "You could go around the corner to the grocery store and buy yerself a soda, get cash back and come on back here." Like the Car Rental Guy, she was also quite helpful. I turned wordlessly for the door.I trudged to the store through the drizzle as she suggested, and returned with the appropriate cash. I was madly texting my son to tell him to take the bus. And despite her machine BREAKING DOWN in the middle of the whole thing, I managed to step behind the line and smile like a drowned rat for the photo I'll be carrying around for the next six years.I can hardly wait to see my moment of real life captured on my license when it comes in the mail.
On Tuesday, Tom and I made a ten hour round-trip trek to Peaceful Valley Donkey Rescue in San Angelo, TX to pick up our newest family member. His name is Henry - short for Henderson #10, which is how he was logged into the rescue system when he was received from the Henderson county sheriff's department.
He is ADORABLE.
Henry, (sometimes I call him Mr. Henderson) is only about 33 inches tall at the shoulder, which means he can just about fit underneath Flash's belly. He was chosen for us by David (Doc) Duncan, who works with the donkeys at PVDR, because of his gentle disposition and cooperative attitude. David took him to a "Mule Days" event last weekend and had him walk in the parade and be part of the "show donkeys" group that the public could pet and handle. Henry did great! For a rescue donkey with an unknown background, it is remarkable that he isn't spooked by anything or anybody. I knew he'd be perfect. I'd love for him to become a therapy donkey one day. (I can dream!)
It was a long day of driving, which ended with an overnight stay in one of our pens for Henry, separated from Flash. In the morning, they were introduced with a fence between them, which was a good way to size each other up and get those first sniffs in.
Now, the first couple of days have been a little bit rocky. but that's to be expected. Once Henry was let out of the pen, the posturing and equine bravado took over.... for Flash, that is. Henry could care less about having another donkey around, he's so chill. Flash is the one who will have to adjust! Ears back, pretending to charge, bucking, he's making sure Henry knows who's the boss of this place. None of it has been too serious, except the solid bite Henry gave Flash to tell him to back off. Flash and Henry just need to figure out their respective roles and they'll be best buds in no time.
Flash also needs reassurance that everything's going to be okay. Trust us, Flashy. You'll be friends in no time. And don't worry, you're still our favorite, no matter how cute and widdo he is.
Flash is going to be so happy to have a companion again. Already, I can tell there is a spring in his step and a spark in his eye. Everyone needs a friend, and donkeys are no exception. If he will just give the new guy some time to fit in, it will work out beautifully.
If you are interested in adopting a donkey, check out Peacful Valley Donkey Rescue. With satellite facilities in 21 states, you can find a perfect long-eared friend who needs a permanent home. Donkeys are wonderful companion pets who are entertaining, gentle and soulful. And maybe even a bit contemplative. You can decide for yourself, when you bring one home.
Have you ever brought home a new pet and found that your "old" pet had opinions about the new guy? How did you resolve it? Do your animals get along? How long does it take for animals to accept each other? I'd love to hear your story.
If church is defined as a "house of worship," then I can't think of a better house to worship God in than these mountains. I am awed by the grandeur of His handiwork, and made small by His greatness. I believe we meet God best when our hearts are stilled, and we are humbled by His majesty and power.
I had church at the Maroon Bells of Colorado today.
Nature preached a sermon that echoed off rugged cliffs and into the valley below. "Grace upon grace," murmured the bubbling streams that fed the still lake. "God with us," whispered the shhhh-ing of the aspen leaves as the winds picked up their voices and scattered them upon the earth.
God with us. Grace.
Despite the turmoil of this world, and the problems that seem unsolvable, God's presence is still with us. His grace is still at work to draw us near, to let us hear and know and see the Almighty One. I believe that, but sometimes I forget it.
I've had church in many places: I've worshipped while washing dishes. I've met God at my mailbox. My car is one of my favorite places to pray. Of course, gathering with other believers - anywhere - is church. I've had church in arenas with 10,000 people singing together. I've had church in the barn, where it smells like manure and hay and dust. I've experienced church in my living room, with an open Bible and a cup of coffee. Sometimes church comes when you can snatch a minute away from the busyness of regular life.
But the church I love best is in nature. It is here that I am face to face with the mystery - and mastery - of God Himself. Today, I sat in silence and watched the sunlight chase clouds over the mountain peaks and ignite the aspens with vivid color. There simply are no words that can capture the experience of it. I breathed in and closed my eyes and stilled my heart.
As I turned to leave, my eyes fell on a small piece of driftwood at the shore of the lake.
To my eyes, it looked exactly like a wing in flight. I tucked it in my pocket as a reminder of this moment in God's magnificent sanctuary. Maybe angels above are singing, I don't know. Maybe it's just my heart that fluttered at this perfect little find. Maybe there is a message in it for me somewhere. I'm not one to go looking for signs.
But this I know: Grace upon grace, God is with us still.
This, my friends, is church.
Where have you experienced church? I'd love to hear your worship experience.
I'm in Colorado for a few days this week, enjoying the beauty of the autumn aspens and sipping coffee in quaint shops. Well, actually I haven't done either thing yet, but I'M HERE in the mountains and we are getting ready to head out for a fun few days. This was me (photo above) heading to the airport.
Tom came up a several days early to take photographs and scout out the scenery, and Gray actually joined him over the weekend. They caught this beauty at Maroon Bells, near Aspen:
It looks grainy because I took a phone photo of the camera screen so I could show you. What a treat!
It's hard to get away sometimes. It is for us, anyway. When you are self-employed you don't get a two week paid vacation, and nobody can fill in for you while you're gone. It takes so much work to plan ahead, get ahead on work, arrange everything....we almost decided that it wasn't worth it. But it was on the calendar, and it's been two years since our last time away, so we forced ourselves to do it.
And now that we are here, we wonder: why is it so difficult to pull away, anyway? The instant I got on the plane to join Tom, I knew this would be good for our souls. I could feel myself breathe freely and let go of the stress of trying to get all organized. So I left a few things undone, oh, well. It will be there when we get back, and it will be all right.
I’m not sure why I thought of this the other day, but a small memory surfaced that gave me a little sense of longing. A feeling of sentimentality and wishing. The recollection wasn't much, really; just a fleeting remembrance of a sound I used to hear.
I thought of the record player we once had - the one that was in a Hi Fi cabinet. It was a little old fashioned for the late 1970's, but it had a good sound (we thought), and the decorative chest that housed it fit nicely in our living room. Perfect with the avacado green divan.
I loved listening to a stack of records as I went to sleep at night. My room was near the living room, so I could hear the music while I lay in bed. My parents had a fine collection of classical, as well as gospel music. Quartets, George Beverly Shea, The Mormon Tabernacle Choir. No pop singers, nope, not for us. Just music that was enriching - “edifying” - as my dad would say. The Grand Canyon Suite was my favorite symphony piece, especially the “On the Trail” movement. I blame that piece for igniting my love of donkeys as I pictured them clop-clopping down the trail, then balking with the violinist's “hee-haw, hee-haw, hee-haw.” With each movement I could just see the sunrise over the canyons, feel saddle sore on the trail, then run for cover as a storm passed, and finally, sleep under the brilliant stars. It was music for the imagination.
But that sound thing I remembered. The thing that’s made me feel a little bit tickly inside. It happened when the music came to an end, but the record kept going around and around. You could hear the sound of the needle on vinyl, the speakers amplifying the “shhhh” as it floated over the the wide shiny space in the center. I suppose that sound didn’t last more than fifteen seconds, before the needle would lift and return itself to its arm rest.
And I would wait. Shhhh.
Here it comes. A click as the next record, which had been suspended like an umbrella top, was released. With a quiet “plop” it settled on the turntable and got up to speed in anticipation of the magic needle lifting and moving to the exact location of the thin, shiny space at the outer rim of the record. Again, the “shhhh” of the needle. What record was this? I couldn’t remember. I would have to wait a moment to find out. Shhhhhh. Oh, yes. There it is. Mahalia Jackson. I'm going to sleep well now.
I would close my eyes. Most nights, I made it through the entire stack of records, until the final shiny space at the center of the last one. The needle didn't always lift and there would be that long, "shhhh" as the vinyl went around and around and around. I'd hear my dad's footsteps and the cabinet lid squeak open. Then a "vvvvt" as the needle was swiftly lifted with his index finger and pushed to the side. A click of the knob, and the lid closed tight. Slippers on carpet, lamps turned off.
The memory of that sound - the "shhhh" - made me remember the pause that came with it. The waiting for the next record. The wondering about the order they were put in. The anticipation of what was to come. Just a few seconds in all, but enough. Enough to appreciate the end of one record before starting another. Enough to wonder if the needle will get stuck? Oh, good, there it goes. Whew.
Sometimes I think we need those old-fashioned pauses again. We don't really live in a hi-fi world anymore. My IPod will play continuously on shuffle. Cable news is 24/7. Walmart is open all night. I can work throughout the weekend. Customer service is always available. I can call ahead for carry out. I can take care of emails on airplanes, and coffee shops and waiting rooms. Amazon delivers tomorrow. Everything is seamless, unbroken, uninterrupted. Everything moves at the speed of light. We juggle and hustle. There is no "shhhh" when a turntable goes around and around, as a needle waits to be lifted. No intermission in the noise and activity and bustle.
But you know what? I'm making a conscious effort to stop. To pause. To appreciate an event, or a song or a movement, before rushing to the next thing. I'm paying attention to the person in front of me, listening instead of scrolling through my texts. I'm tweeting and Facebooking less - because they eat up the pauses that are good for my soul.
Today, I encourage you to choose quiet.
Allow pauses to enter your day without rushing to fill them. Stop all the multitasking. Quit feeling guilty for watching clouds, and listening to tree branches sway, and laying with your babies on the floor. Because in the pauses there is appreciation, and anticipation, and wonder. There is rhythm, and peace, and contentment. There are clicks and pops and whispers of God that you can only hear in the shiny spaces on vinyl, while a needle waits to be lifted.
Say, I'd love to connect with you.
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I kept thinking about this little series on “Becoming” over the holiday weekend, and I had an uneasy feeling. (I also felt uneasy about the fact that I had internet issues and could not finish this post to publish it. I didn't have the wherewithal to use my phone to write a new post. Sorry about the wait. #firstworldprobs, right?)
Anyway, that first uneasy feeling came from the thought that I may have communicated an erroneous idea that becoming the person you want to be means achieving things. And while achievements may be a by-product of a mental shift, they are in no way the only measuring stick of personal success. I know of many great achievers who aren’t anything like the type of person I want to be. For example, just because you can run a marathon does not automatically mean that you are a kind and generous person. I’d rather be kind and generous than be a marathoner, even though I might admire the achievement.
It’s funny how easy it is to confuse “doing” with “being.” And I hope I didn’t leap straight to goal setting in a way that made it seem like that’s what it’s all about.
To clarify, I think that setting goals is an important means to an end: it helps you develop discipline and character in the process.
And it puts you in a position to make a difference in this world, because you are actively engaged in learning and growing. It gives you confidence to step out and try new things, just like these murals, below.
Just for fun: These photos are from one of my favorite child's room murals I did a few years ago. I love that it reminds me of how far I came from the first projects I tried. When I see this, I don't see "achievement," I see the years of discipline it took to learn how to paint. I see how small steps, taken time after time, made me feel confident enough to paint horses - something I'd never done before.
Even the chicken was fun to paint.
So when I talk about setting small personal goals, I think I'm already assuming a couple of things about you:
1. That you struggle, as I do, with at least one area of discipline.
Please note that your struggle does not make you less worthy, less desirable, less valuable or less important than those who are "natural" achievers. It makes you human, vulnerable and empathic.
2. That you are kind, loving and spiritually seeking.
Your goals are positive, life affirming and spiritual in the sense that they are based on good values.
Examples: a goal of being a better friend by extending an invitation to coffee once a month is based on a values of love and kindness. A goal of preparing for a promotion at work is based on the value of providing for your family.
My prayer in recent days has been, "God, help me to be the kind of person You want me to be. Help me be a reflection of Your love and grace in all things." I think that is a good starting place for all of us, especially as we think about setting goals. And yes, I think that walking 30 minutes, 3 days a week, is something that reflects His grace and goodness.
Ultimately, I believe that becoming that best version of yourself is by His power and for His glory. Our faith has never been about simply doing the right things - Jesus had a lot to say about those who looked perfect on the outside - but it's about being right on the inside.
Questions of the Day: Do you mistake achievement for character? When you set goals, do you think about the process of being the type of person who can reach them? We've been talking about setting small, achievable goals...how do they reflect the kind of character you want to develop in the process?
Many people say that you should set huge, outrageous goals. The kind of goals that scare you and make your palms sweat. They say that those are the kind of goals that inspire you to achieve greatness.
I'm sure there is something to that philosophy, but to be honest, outrageous goals don't work for me. Mostly, I find them to be soul-crushing, because I know - right from the start - that I have zero percent chance of achieving them.
What I need is success - and lots of it. Right from the get-go.
I've found that success breeds success - and I'm not saying it's magic, but I'll let you draw your own conclusions after you experience it.
Small goals - achievable goals - are the keys to getting me from intertia to forward movement.
Let me give you an example:
When I was a young mama, and thoroughly overwhelmed with taking care of babies and keeping up with the house and getting dinner on the table, I imploded. The house was a mess, babies were crying, there was no food in the fridge and Days of Our Lives consumed my thoughts. Would Beau and Hope finally get together?
I set a couple of small goals: make my bed every morning, and pick up the clutter for five minutes before bedtime.
Nothing fancy, but for me, these were huge. These goals took ten minutes a day, tops, to achieve, but wow, what a difference they made. I began to feel successful, and that success spilled over into other areas of my life. These two successes got the ball rolling in my parenting, my marriage, and my personal pursuits, and helped me see that there was more to life than Beau and Hope.
Small successes lead to big successes. I'm convinced of it. And after you get some small successes under your belt you can start thinking about those outrageous goals. But, one thing at a time, my friends. Baby steps.
So how can you find the right goal that will start you on a course toward being the kind of person you want to be? Here are three tips:
1. Start with the Simple.
The Obvious. The Thing that's weighing on your mind. Is it your health? Is it a lifestyle habit? Is it a personal wish? A professional achievement? Pick one thing as your target and focus on it. Don't make a bunch of New Year's type resolutions. Zeroing in on one thing is the way you'll start becoming that person you want to be.
2. Find an inspiration.
Seek out someone who has done what you're attempting to do. Research on the interweb. Talk to people. Is it possible to go from the couch to running a 5k in nine weeks? I've found people who have done just that, and it helps me believe that I can do it, too. Are there people who have finished their college degrees while working full-time and caring for children? Yes, there are! How did they do it?
I've found that people are generous with sharing their experiences, and eager to help newbies like you and me.
3. Make a plan.
I've heard it said that the difference between a goal and a wish is a plan. I might have just made that up, I don't know. But the point is, you need a specific action that you can do each day that will propel you to the finish line. Again, don't bite off more than you know you'll keep up with. Right now, the goal is SUCCESS.
Success will start generating its own energy and then you'll be busting at the seams for a bigger goal.
Let's stop here for today. On Monday, I'll share some more tips on how to become the person you want to be. I am still "becoming" that person, and I'm convinced that it doesn't matter how old you are, how many times you've failed in the past, or what you've had to overcome, change is possible.
Growth is achievable. Goals are attainable. We have gifts to offer the world - gifts of grace and beauty and generosity. But we can't affect the world around us when we are sitting around wishing. We've got to take the first step - today - to make a difference. I want you to do this with me.
Question of the Day: What small, achievable goal will you set?
I'll go first: I will sign up for a 5k and walk 30 minutes a day, three days each week. It sounds really pitiful, but that's where I am. This will be a challenge for me, but I know it is also very achievable. My inspiration is Chrystal Hurst, who has made an AMAZING journey toward fitness.
PS This series on Becoming the Person You Want to Be started here.
On Sunday, my son-in-law, Robert, crossed the finish line of the Hottest Half Marathon in Dallas.
It was horribly hot that morning, hence the name, "Hottest Half."
And yet, hundreds of runners braved the heat to run the race.
Young, old, thin, not-so-thin, every ethnicity, every background and lifestyle was represented.
Boy, it was hot, standing out there, watching them run, waiting for Robert to enter the homestretch. I wore the wrong shoes and my feet hurt. I was drenched in perspiration.
Wiping my brow, I watched a silver-haired lady, (she had to be in her seventies,) cross the finish line and make her way through the crowd to collect her medal. Tanned, fit and dripping with sweat, she was congratulated by her family with hugs and bottled water. She looked amazing.
And I admired her. I thought, "I want to be her."
I want to be that fit lady who runs half marathons.
The instant that thought entered my mind, another thought arrived right on its heels.
"Yeah, Rachel. But if you want to be that lady, you're going to have to BE that lady."
I suddenly realized that I wouldn't wake up one day and just run a half marathon. I wouldn't snap my fingers and be "that person" who collects a medal at the end of a run. I wouldn't wave a magic wand and find myself fit and accomplished.
To be her on race day, I'll have to be her on every other day,too.
That lady, just like Robert and all the other runners, gets up each day and decides to take steps toward her goals. She laces up tennis shoes and pull on shorts, applies sunscreen and grabs some water...and then she runs. Or walks. Or trains.
Just like the writers, who get up and tap out 500 words every day.
And the artists, who create something - a sketch, a doodle, a painting, a collage - every day.
And the lifelong learners, who read non-fiction books and attend classes and seminars and meet at coffee shops with discussion groups.
And people who learn to fly airplanes by saving their money and going to flight school and learning about things like "lift" and "attitude indicators."
And mountain climbers, who start on little hills and put dates on their calendar to attempt bigger hills.
If you want to be that person on graduation day, or race day, or book release day, or solo flight day, or summit day - you've got to BE that person who did the work it took to get there.
But first, you need a goal.
And I'll talk about finding, and setting the right goal in my next post, on Thursday. Join me?
Today's Question: Have you ever admired someone and thought, "I want to be that person?" Or, "I want to be like her?" What is keeping you from taking the first step toward making significant changes in your life?
The next post in this series is this: How to Set Goals so You Can Become the Person You Want to Be