Sunday, August 28, 2016

Sunday's Blessings

As I type, the windows are open and I hear the crickets chirping in the distance and an airplane flying over my house.  It has been a quiet, peaceful Sunday.

This morning I attended church.  My soul needed to be restored for the week.  This morning's sermon was "Perfect Assurance for Imperfect People".  The pastor spoke about our failures and how they can create massive unrest in our souls.  He looked at God's perfect assurance for his imperfect people. When we understand God's perfect assurance, our failures become opportunities for greater faith because grace always means we can stop paying off our past with our future.  I needed to hear those words.

As I am preparing for my presentation this week, I am feeling like a failure.  I am still going over the powerpoint and new materials and I feel that I am not comprehending fast enough.  Of course, I always think everybody else is perfect and they have everything prepared and ready.  I know those are lies.  No one is perfect.  Fear and failure are such robbers of our lives and that is how anxiety begins.

Jesus said, "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest".

I will claim those words this evening as I finish packing and preparing for my trip to Minneapolis.

As I take time to sit out on the patio and look out on the wetlands, I will count my blessings in knowing that God has already gone before me and He is in control of my week.

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Hot Air Balloon

The morning sunlight crept through my window to awaken me.  As my eyes gradually opened, I realized I had slept through the entire night.  I felt refreshed and ready to hit the ground.  Today is the day to practice on my presentation for next week in Minneapolis and to pack all the items that will be needed.

In the kitchen, I could smell the coffee aroma and knew it was time for my caffeine fix.  As I looked out into the wetland area and saw the cattails gently moving from the wind, I was thankful for another gorgeous day.

After my quiet time, I put on my tennis shoes and headed to the front door to get my steps in for the day.   As I opened the door, I could feel the crisp, cool air and knew that I would probably need a jacket.

The sun was still coming up over the horizon and the clouds were wispy.  The grass was wet with morning dew.  Cottontails were hopping from here to there.  The Swainson hawks were squawking in the background.  They should be migrating any day now to Argentina.  The swallows were flying all around.

I had only gone a few feet when I looked straight ahead and what do I see in the distance, but a hot air balloon.  I knew it was going to be a beautiful day with a hot air balloon in the sky.  Weather conditions must be close to ideal for hot air balloons to fly.

I don't have the desire to go up in a balloon, but I have always been fascinated with them.  The hot air balloon was the first successful human-carrying flight technology back in 1783.  The balloon consists of a bag that is capable of containing heated air(normally an open flame) with a wicked basket attached to the bag.

Now days, hot air balloons are used mainly for recreation. There are all different shapes and colors of balloons, such as sponge-bob, rockets, castles, animals, etc.  Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta, the largest balloon convention in the world, is every October in Albuquerque, New Mexico.  It is a nine-day event and has over 500 balloons each year.

As I walked my eyes followed the path of the balloon and soon it had drifted out of sight.  By the time I got home, I had walked 5,500 steps.  I knew that the brisk walk would give me the energy that I needed to accomplish all that needed to be done.

Another day of stepping out and shining through!

Friday, August 26, 2016

40 Years Later

Today my husband, Kenny, and six of his high school friends left on a 3 day rafting trip down the Green River near Vernal, Utah.  About forty years ago, these guys started canoeing together when they were juniors in high school in Spring, Texas(a suburb outside of Houston).

They were known as the "Texas River Runners" and their favorite river to canoe down was the Pecos River.  These trips consisted of them sleeping on hard rocky grounds, eating pork n'beans out of the can and drinking beer.

I have always been impressed with these guy's friendship.  They all came from strong families.  None of them were from divorced homes.   The majority of their fathers had worked for oil companies. With their fathers being in the oil industry, they had moved around a lot in their younger years.

The strong bond that these guys developed during their high school years is what has kept their relationship together.

When they graduated from high school, they all left for college.  Their freshmen year in college, five of them went to the same college.  After their first year, they began to scatter in different directions. Some attended other colleges and one of them decided to join the Police Academy in Houston.

For many years, they were not able to get together due to getting married, having families and establishing themselves in their careers.

About 10 years ago, my husband decided that the guys needed to get back together and take a rafting trip.  Kenny called everyone and they all said "when do we leave".  He wanted an outfitter that would take just their group.  After making many calls, he finally found an outfitter in Idaho that would take them down the Salmon River.

The trip on the Salmon River was a little different than their first trip down the Pecos River.  The outfitters took care of everything.  They brought the tents and set them up.  They cooked all the meals which included gourmet cooking and various wines.

Since that trip, they have gotten together every two years and have had different experiences with each rafting trip.

As I type, I just imagine them sitting around the bonfire talking about life 40 years ago, as well as life now; fishing during the day; rafting the rapids and sleeping under the stars.

A wonderful treasure to have such great friends!

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Be Anxious for Nothing

People have always been searching for the "fountain of youth".  Trying to find ways to look 10, 20, 30 years younger.  Women are always looking for ways to enhance their eyes, their lips and how to contour their face to look thinner.

As much as we try to take care of our outer appearance, we sometimes forget to take care of our own emotional needs.  One of my emotions is being anxious over situations, events that I am responsible for.  With my personality, I want everything "perfect". 

I can remember the first time that I was overly anxious.  That was the day that I had to stand in front of my Spanish classroom and recite by memory a story in Spanish.  As I type, I can feel the sweat in my hands, my stomach doing somersaults and my breathing becoming heavy.  I got in front of the classroom and I forgot everything.  Tears began to gradually fall on my cheeks.  It was an embarrassing moment.  It is amazing that I even get in front of people and do cosmetic presentations. 

When I begin to worry about a presentation or event that will happen within a few days, I have to stop and pray. Praying gives me peace and calmness.   It seems impossible to not be anxious, to not worry about our families; to not worry about our jobs; to not worry about our health and to not worry about anything. My faith is what gets me through these times. 

One of my favorite verses is:  Philippians 4:6-7 - "Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."

I am learning that when this anxiety hits, I have to take time to plan out everything so that hopefully there are not any obstacles that will hinder me from doing a thorough job in whatever I am needing to do. 

As I am preparing for the upcoming presentations, I am learning how to trust.  I have heard that all great actresses have stage fright before they go on stage.  My husband tells me that I am a frustrated actress.  Anxiety comes with the territory.  To me this also shows that I care about how I teach and that I want each person to walk away with knowledge and confidence of the cosmetic products.

Taking care of my outer appearance is important, but taking care of my emotions is important as well.  As I prepare my presentations for the next several months, I will make sure that I pray about the presentation.  I will go through my to do list and check it off.  Then trust that my preparations have set the ground work for me to complete my task.

Today is a new day and a new beginning!  I will overcome or as they say in the theater "break a leg"!

Monday, August 22, 2016


The word encouragement is such a powerful word.  How often do we encourage someone?  Every day I meet people who just need an encouraging word or an encouraging smile.

There is a verse that states "encourage one another and build each other up."  For the past two weeks, I have watched the Olympics and it brought a smile to my face to see how the various teams encouraged each other.  Their encouragement was helping each other to swim that extra lap, to run that extra distance or to have that extra jump or somersault.

We all get to the point, that sometimes we don't know if we can do it.  Can we finish a course in school; can I learn that extra material that is needed for work, etc....?

A word of encouragement offered at the right moment can make a difference for a person between finishing a project or giving up.

Take the time to look around and offer some hope to someone.

You will never know what those kind words, or a smile or an extra tip can do to motivate an individual to be the best that they can be.

Today is your day to pass it on!

Friday, August 19, 2016

The Terminal

I am beginning to feel as if I should live at the Denver International Airport.  I am back at the airport and I am now flying to Houston to visit family and go to a wedding. 

Being at the airport today reminded me of the 2004 movie, "The Terminal" with Tom Hanks.  Tom Hanks is an eastern immigrant that finds himself stranded at the JFK airport.  The U.S. Immigration Department will not allow him to enter into the United States because the country that he is flying from has been overthrown and the U.S. does not recognize the new regime. There is no air service allowed in or out of his country.  So he has no where to go.  Tom Hanks takes up residence within the terminal.  Throughout his time in the terminal, he makes friends, has a love interest and a rival.  Of course, he changes all their lives for the best.  The war ends in his country & he is able to go back to his home.  It ends with him knowing that he will be able to fly back to his country.

I did make it to Houston and I also had a happy ending!  Seeing the end of the day with this sunset reminded me of the blue water that surrounds the Hawaiian islands; with the cotton candy clouds and soft yellow hue on the horizon.

May your day end as beautiful as my did!  Enjoy your weekend!

Come Sunday, I will be back at "the terminal"!

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Accept Each Day

Yesterday afternoon as I landed in Denver, I had 30 minutes to get off the plane, to get my luggage and to get to the shuttle that would take me to Loveland.  I got off the plane and put my walking into high gear.  I got to the luggage area and I waited and I waited and I waited.  By the time I heard the bell ring and the red light come on that the luggage was coming down the carousel I  knew that it was too late and I wouldn't be able to make the 1:30 shuttle.

My body was tired from the past two days of traveling and I was ready to get home.  I grabbed my luggage and went outside to wait for the next shuttle.  I sat down on the bench with three other people.  You could tell that everybody was exhausted and it had been a long morning.

As I sat there, I closed my eyes to relax.  As my eyes relaxed, I could feel the gentle warm breeze blowing my hair across my face, as well as gently feeling the wind move my blouse.  With my eyes closed, the noise around me seemed to come alive.  There were people moving around.  I could hear the buses engines roaring; brakes clinking to stop and the voices of people speaking on their phones.

As my mind began to relax and I was able to breathe gently, the morning devotion came to mind. These were the words that I had read "accept each day just as it comes to you.  Do not waste your time and energy wishing for a different set of circumstances.  Instead, trust God's strength to yield His design and purposes.  Remember that nothing can separate you from His loving Presence."

I thought how true were those words.  That bench was exactly where I needed to be!  To be still and to feel and to hear my surroundings.  By the time that 2:30 shuttle showed up, I was more relaxed and ready to conquer the rest of the afternoon.