Friday Focus – Prudence Crandall

What if you ran a female boarding school in Connecticut in the early 1830s and a young black woman applied for admission? Would you admit her? Prudence Crandall took a risk and did. Controversy erupted as the town protested her decision. Other students withdrew and Prudence faced closing the doors completely. Instead, she decided to limit admission solely to young black women and vowed to work “for the remaining part of my life to benefit

Hope

What if I go out on a limb … and fall? Or try to steal second base … and get out? Or send out a book proposal … and get rejected? Was taking the risk worth it? Should I have stayed safe and not exposed myself to the pain? And what about all the other times I get hurt in life? Life is hard, but God is good. And that’s my source of hope in

Courageous Risk-Taking

“Progress always involves risk; you can’t steal second base and keep your foot on first.” ~Frederick Wilcox “Why not go out on a limb? Isn’t that where the fruit is?” ~Frank Scully Or as Peter learned, you have to step out of the boat in order to walk on water. What do these three situations have in common? A reward. Desire. And a calculated risk. Not some dare-devil insanity like tight-rope walking across the Niagara

Friday Focus – Lance Armstrong

This week we’ve been talking about enthusiasm and celebrating life. So, as I was looking for an example, I realized that those who appreciate the gift of life the most are those who almost lost it. Take Lance Armstrong, for example. A cyclist on the International stage, he developed a few physical symptoms that sent him to the doctor. In 1996, he was diagnosed with stage 3 testicular cancer that had metastasized to his brain

A Celebration or a Chore?

“Your life is either a celebration or a chore. The choice is yours.” ~Unknown What’s on your plate today? Job responsibilities. Carpools and cooking. Errands, housework, and laundry. Phone calls to return and bills to pay. A word count goal to reach. Maybe even an appointment with a dusty treadmill? At first glance, my list looks daunting. It all needs to get done. Somehow. And it will involve a lot of effort. Sound like fun?

Enthusiasm

“Flaming enthusiasm, backed by horse sense and persistence, is the quality that most frequently makes for success.” ~Dale Carnegie What is enthusiasm? Great or intense feeling for a subject or cause. Ardent eagerness. Zeal. Did you know that the word enthusiasm comes from another word meaning “full of Spirit” or “full of God?” Chew on that thought for awhile. There are moments when I’m on fire. Energy and excitement burst from every pore and I

Friday Focus – Mother Teresa

For the past couple of weeks, we’ve been taking a closer look at a few of the attitudes that make for a successful journey. (Or at least a happier one.) Attitudes like contentment, gratitude, and humility. When you think of those qualities, who comes to mind? One person on my list was Mother Teresa. Who was she? She was an Albanian Catholic nun who, at the age of 40, founded the Missionaries of Charity in

Humility

“If we were humble, nothing would change us – neither praise nor discouragement.” ~Mother Teresa What is humility? The dictionary provides a helpful definition. Humility is – being humble. So what is that? A quality of meekness or modesty. An attitude of showing deferential respect. Of being unpretentious. Lacking pride (or an excessively high opinion of oneself). When I started to think about the attitude of humility, I pictured the members of a college football

Gratitude

“It is impossible to be grateful and unhappy at the same time.” ~Unknown “If you see no reason for giving thanks, the fault lies within yourself.” ~Tecumseh Do I have any reason to be thankful? Hmm. What about the fact that I woke up in a warm bed and had a cupboard full of food? Have light at the flip of a switch, running (disease-free) water and indoor plumbing? Own more-than-enough changes of clothing, a

Friday Focus – Patrick Henry Hughes

What if you were born without eyes or the ability to straighten your legs and walk? How would you describe your disabilities? Well, if you were Patrick Hughes, you’d say, “Not disabilities at all. More … ability.” He began playing the piano by ear before his first birthday and was taking requests by his 2nd. To see the rest of his journey, click here. (Caution: tissues may be necessary) Did you hear what his dad