Book Review: The Traveler’s Gift

David Ponder (the main character) is down on his luck. At 46 he’s broke, unemployed with no purpose for the future other than how to survive. He has a wife and a daughter to support, and his daughter is in need of an operation he can’t afford. A car accident turns him into a traveler where he unexpectedly meets some of the world’s greatest teachers including Anne Frank, Colonel Chamberlain, King Solomon, Gabriel the Archangel, Christopher Columbus, Harry Truman and Abraham Lincoln. This is what he learns.

Seven decisions that impact personal success:
#1: Take responsibility for every single part of your life
#2: Seek wisdom
#3: Be a person of action who makes decisions
#4: Have a committed heart
#5: Choose to be happy
#6: Greet the day with a forgiving spirit
#7: Persist without exception and focus on results

The author Andy Andrews is a gifted storyteller. He speaks of a ‘hedge of thorns’ that protect each of us (which I believe is Christ) until we have fulfilled our life purpose and teaches that “the ultimate outcome of anyone’s life is a matter of personal choice.” You’ll experience how David uses the wisdom of the ages to transform his broken life into a beaming beacon of hope.

Great read for anyone who’s stuck, questioning your purpose in life, want to make a big difference and live outside your comfort zone or simply for someone who knows they’re destined to do more.

Outstanding book with direct actions to take!

-The Traveler’s Gift
Author Andy Andrews


I Am Who I Am…

Too often, life becomes one big pile of mush. We lose ourselves to what others want for us or we spend our life trying to live up to another’s expectations. All this does is leave us empty and bruised.

This is an exercise for every woman. I call it the “I Am Who I Am” exercise.

All you need is a piece of paper. Don’t edit your thoughts. Simply write down what comes out first. Don’t think, do.

“I am who I am. You cannot change me.

I am __________________, ______________________, ____________, __________ and ________________.

I love to __________________ and ____________________.

I despise _______________ and ______________.

It is my mission to _______________ _______ _________________.

I will never rest until I ______________________.”

That’s it. I am. You are. Enough.

Be true. To you.

The Power of Pain

Pain is powerful. If you’re going through something, it’s because you have work to do. There’s something to learn whether it be patience, empathy, humbleness or self-control. Or perhaps it’s to help someone else fulfill their destiny.

When you’re in pain, the first thing you want to do is escape. Or isolate. Those are the two worst things you can do. Let yourself feel. Acknowledge it exists. Pledge to learn the lesson, because lessons unlearned come back to bite us in the butt again and again.

When John Walsh lost his beloved to 6-year old son Adam to a murderer’s hands, he could’ve easily said, ‘it is finished. I no longer wish to exist.’ Or, he could’ve numbed the pain with drugs or alcohol or women or had himself committed. Instead, he took his rage and his guttural humanness and transformed it into the televison show “America’s Most Wanted”. He became consumed on a one-man mission hunting for criminals who inflict pain on others.

He honored his son’s memory by getting better and he processed his own pain by helping others with theirs. He reached out. He let his life become one of service.

Does his pain still exist? Yes. I’m sure there’s not a day goes by without him thinking of little Adam. Did John get better? Yes, because the world got better by John using his soul-sucking pain for good.

John’s story is dramatic. Hopefully, none of us will ever lose a child to a horrific crime.

But every pain hurts. And pain creates change. (If you’ll let it.)

As a young Mom, I worked as a marketing person earning $36,000 a year. I had a 9’ x 9’ cubicle, 2 weeks vacation and a life filled with absolute chaos. My babies were 2, 4 and 7 and I was a maintanence Mom…the Mom who gives the baths, feeds the meals, tucks you into bed but never really captures the moments because she’s too busy running on the rat race treadmill of life.

I was miserable, my babies were getting shortchanged but I convinced myself that I had to work because we had two incomes with two income expenses. I was paying ten grand a year to day-care, running myself ragged and missing some of the most memorable times of my kids’ lives. And I stayed in the race for 7 years until the one day when I couldn’t take it anymore and I made the life-changing decision. In an instant.

I gave my boss his pink slip. (I quit.)

I went home to be with my babies and started my own business out of a bedroom in our basement.

I tripled my income and decreased my work hours by 75%.
But most importantly, I got to be a Mom. Their Mom. Candice’s Mom. Kelsey’s Mom. Travis’ Mom. The Mom who makes macaroni and cheese and sits at relentless soccer practices.

The one who could finally breathe in spite of kids bickering, too much laundry and a thousand replays of the Wizard of Oz.

My pain made me change. My misery created movement. Positive movement. Change that has impacted the entire course of my life and my family’s lives.

Sit with your pain. Know that it won’t last forever. Use it for good.

Life has a lesson you’re supposed to learn.

What’s Your Main Mission?

You know.  Your life purpose.  Sounds big and huge and ominous doesn’t it?

It is.  It’s the reason you were sent to the planet.  You know, the why of your life.

Some people make it look so easy.  Like Oprah.  Or Tim Tebow.   They know exactly what they’re to do and they go do it.   Every single day of their life is spent pursuing their mission.  And then there are others, like my friends’ Dad who runs the century-old family farm.  Day in, day out he has a mission.  And he’s totally committed to it.

Continue reading “What’s Your Main Mission?”

The Purpose of a Four-Legged Friend

One reason a dog can be such a comfort when you’re feeling blue is that he doesn’t try to find out why.

Being a veterinarian, I had been called to examine a ten-year-old Irish Wolfhound named Belker. The dog’s owners, Ron, his wife Lisa, and their little boy Shane, were all very attached to Belker, and they were hoping for a miracle.

I examined Belker and found he was dying of cancer. I told the family we couldn’t do anything for Belker, and offered to perform the euthanasia procedure for the old dog in their home.

As we made arrangements, Ron and Lisa told me they thought it would be good for six-year-old Shane to observe the procedure. They felt as though Shane might learn something from the experience.

The next day, I felt the familiar catch in my throat as Belker ‘s family surrounded him. Shane seemed so calm, petting the old dog for the last time, that I wondered if he understood what was going on. Within a few minutes, Belker slipped peacefully away.

The little boy seemed to accept Belker’s transition without any difficulty or confusion. We sat together for a while after Belker’s Death, wondering aloud about the sad fact that animal lives are shorter than human lives.

Shane, who had been listening quietly, piped up, ”I know why.”

Startled, we all turned to him. What came out of his mouth next stunned me. I’d never heard a more comforting explanation. It has changed the way I try and live.

He said, ”People are born so that they can learn how to live a good life — like loving everybody all the time and being nice, right?” The six-year-old continued, ”Well, dogs already know how to do that, so they don’t have to stay as long.”

Live simply.

Love generously.

Care deeply.

Speak kindly.

Remember, if a dog was the teacher you would learn things like:

When loved ones come home, always run to greet them.

Never pass up the opportunity to go for a joyride.

Allow the experience of fresh air and the wind in your face to be pure Ecstasy.

Take naps.

Stretch before rising.

Run, romp, and play daily.

Thrive on attention and let people touch you.
Avoid biting when a simple growl will do.

On warm days, stop to lie on your back on the grass.

On hot days, drink lots of water and lie under a shady tree.

When you’re happy, dance around and wag your entire body.

Delight in the simple joy of a long walk.

Be loyal.

Never pretend to be something you’re not.

If what you want lies buried, dig until you find it.

When someone is having a bad day, be silent, sit close by, and nuzzle them gently.

There comes a time in life, when you walk away from all the drama and people who create it. You surround yourself with people who make you laugh, forget the bad, and focus on the good. So, love the people who treat you right. Think good thoughts for the ones who don’t. Life is too short to be anything but happy. Falling down is part of life, getting back up is living.

(This story’s author is unknown. If you know who Ron, Lisa, Shane or the Veterinarian are, please let me know. Thanks!)