Your Ability Reveals Your Destiny

Have you ever wondered about your purpose on earth?

This morning I read a something that addressed the issue of finding your place. The following is an excerpt.

“Da Vinci only painted one Mona Lisa. Beethoven only composed one Fifth Symphony. And God only made one version of you. He custom-designed you for a one-of-a-kind assignment. When God gives you an assignment, He also gives you the skill-set. To discover your assignment – study your skill-set!”

“What have you consistently done well? What have you loved to do? Stand at the intersection of your desires and your successes, and you’ll find your uniqueness.”

The Word for You Today

I struggled for years, going down one path after the other, trying to figure out my “calling.” My “place.” I knew that in order to be truly happy, deep down in my soul, I needed to find purpose and a way to make a difference.

My role as a mother has always been important to me. It’s been a privilege and a blessing to have two incredible daughters. But, although I’ll always be a mom, I couldn’t live my life through my children and their accomplishments. I needed to find my own way.

I worked as a support counselor for women and teens who’d experienced sexual abuse. I have the ability to listen and help people work through pain. Although the job was very rewarding, after four years I experienced burnout. It wasn’t to be my long term “place.”

Because of my ability to multi-task, organize, and pay attention to details, I’ve been employed in an office environment for the past eleven years. It’s feels good when I’m able to bring order to chaos and help my co-workers perform more efficiently. But, I don’t love it. The work doesn’t satisfy the soul.

I have a college degree in the sciences, but never found the right place to use it. I enjoy painting, music, and drama, but don’t have the talent required to excel in any of those areas. I’ve had fun working with teens, but don’t possess the extroverted personality needed to be a strong leader with that age group.

There have been times when I felt my wheels were spinning while I was getting nowhere.

“God? What is it I’m supposed to do? There’s got to be more…”

Finally, the answer came.

I’ve always experienced success in writing classes, and enjoyed the process, but never took it seriously. That is - until small doors of opportunity opened for me to further explore my ability.

I stepped through those doors, and subsequently, more opened. I followed as God led me down a path into the world of writing.

Why did it take so long to get here? Was I not listening to God or my inner voice? Did I waste years? Or did I need more life experience to draw upon in order to write what was needed?

I may never win any prestigious awards or be on the New York best-seller list. I may never have any of my novels even published. But, I’ve found fulfillment. I’ve found something I love to do. There will always be room for growth and I will never become bored.

I’ve found my “place.”

You will, too.


So You Think English is Easy?

God has amazing creativity.

He, in His wisdom, didn’t make the human race to look like clones of each other. We don’t all have blonde hair and blue eyes. We’re not all size 4 or 16. We have different talents and interests.

We’ve also developed many different languages. How many can you speak? Are you fluent, or are you able to recognize a few, simple words?

Many people from other countries have immigrated to the Seattle area. Friends and acquaintances from other parts of the world have enriched my life. Some of the countries include: Japan, China, Viet Nam, Korea, Russia, Ethiopia, Mexico, and the Philippines.

It can be frustrating to have customers call or come into my place of employment and either speak very little English, or speak with such a strong accent, that it’s difficult to understand or help them.

I agree that immigrants should learn the language, but it’s not as easy as I think some Americans presume. I wish people could be more patient and understanding of those who are trying.

How well would I do if I moved to Japan or Viet Nam without knowing the language? To be honest, it would be pretty intimidating. Whenever I mentally put myself in that situation, I admire even more what my immigrant friends have managed to accomplish.

I received the following in my email today. It’s fun to read through, but no wonder people have a difficult time learning English. Take a look at what they have to deal with…

1) The bandage was wound around the wound.

2) The farm was used to produce produce.

3) The dump was so full that it had to refuse more refuse.

4) We must polish the Polish furniture.

5) He could lead if he would get the lead out.

6) The soldier decided to desert his dessert in the desert.

7) Since there is no time like the present, he thought it was time to present the present.

8) A bass was painted on the head of the bass drum.

9) When shot at, the dove dove into the bushes.

10) I did not object to the object.

11) The insurance was invalid for the invalid.

12) There was a row among the oarsmen about how to row.

13) They were too close to the door to close it.

14) The buck does funny things when the does are present.

15) A seamstress and a sewer fell down into a sewer line.

16) To help with planting, the farmer taught his sow to sow.

17) The wind was too strong to wind the sail.

18) Upon seeing the tear in the painting I shed a tear.

19) I had to subject the subject to a series of tests.

20) How can I intimate this to my most intimate friend?

Let's face it - English is a crazy language!


Calling God

We live in a techno-crazed world.

Take the BlackBerry, for example. Until recently, blackberries were either to be eaten fresh, or used in making delicious jams and pies. Now when you hear someone mentioning a BlackBerry, they could be talking about a gadget through which they have access to a mobile phone, email, a silent messaging system, and the Internet.

Look at the cell phone. You can’t go anywhere without seeing someone using it to communicate. Cell phones are everywhere - attached to ears while owners are driving, shopping, and attempting business transactions. Some conversations relay important information, while others occur for the purpose of alleviating boredom.

In movie theatres, prior to stage performances, and aboard airplanes, people have to be reminded to turn off their cell phones in order to not be disruptive. And how many times during a worship service has your pastor had to ignore a ringing cell phone in the middle of an important message?

I recently observed one person after another obsessed with using a mobile phone, and was struck by this question. How much time do we spend conversing with our Lord in comparison to the amount of time we spend talking on our cell phones? Think about it.

But, here’s the cool part. God doesn’t demand that we sit in a church in order to communicate with Him. He wants to be in conversation with us all day long.

Be joyful always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
(1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 NIV)

God wants us to pray continually. That means we can talk to Him in the car, while at work, or walking the aisles of the grocery store. So how can we use the excuse that we don’t have time for prayer? He desires to be a part of our lives and that means He yearns to listen to not only what’s going wrong in our day, but what’s going right. We can share the same kind of information with Him that we'd share with our spouse or friends.

If we can take the time to chat on our cell phones all day long, why can’t we find the time to communicate with God? After all, we can talk to Him without having to flip open a cell phone, rack up expensive bills, or deal with bad connections.

God is there.
Waiting, accessible, and more than willing to listen.


Change Your Thinking and Change the World

"The world we have created is a product of our thinking; it cannot be changed without changing our thinking."
Albert Einstein

Read the above quote again and let it sink in.

Wow! Did Albert know what he was talking about, or what?

Take the environment. We all know, or should know, that if we don’t take care of it, we’re going to lose what we have. But, it’s easy to think someone else can - and will - deal with it. Paper, plastic, glass, and other items get tossed into the kitchen garbage can instead of being taken out to the garage and thrown into a bin to be recycled.

A multitude of people live in poverty. Not only in other countries, but in the great United States, as well. We see the news reports. We watch children with swollen bellies on the television and listen to the pleas for help…and then we switch the channel to watch more exciting, interesting programming.

Young people are leaving school, not able to read. Women and children are being abused mentally, emotionally, and physically, but feel they have no way out. Not everyone who becomes ill has the means to acquire medical care.

There are always convenient excuses for us to not get involved.

We think:
They should pull themselves up and get a job.
Children should be taken care of by their own country.
Why should I care? I have enough to deal with in my own life.
What difference can I make? I’m only one person.
How can I trust an organization to not misuse the money I give?
I don’t have time to volunteer. My life is busy as it is.
I’ll be able to give when my bills are paid.
The world is going to #@%#, so what’s the use?
I’ll do it later, when I have more time.

You know the excuses you’ve used.
I know what mine have been.
And I know that I need to stop making them.

During a recent news report, a woman talked about the upcoming Martin Luther King Day and mentioned it was established as a day of community service in his honor. She pointed out how much could be accomplished if every person would be willing to volunteer two hours a week to help others. The world would experience great change.

So, what do you think?

Can we change the world?


Gail Sattler - Author and Friend

I met Gail several years ago when another writer introduced us via email, knowing we were both looking for a roommate for the American Christian Fiction Writer’s Conference in Nashville.

We exchanged a flurry of emails and found that we had much in common. For instance, we both volunteer with our church worship teams. Gail plays a mean bass!

When I arrived in Nashville for the conference, I checked into the hotel, wondering when I would meet Gail in person. As I walked across the lobby to the elevator, I heard an infectious laugh. The source? A woman with curly pink hair! Although this was a different look than the photo on her website, (the extra color added just for the conference) I knew it had to be Gail. Since then we’ve become good friends.

Her author bio reads:

“Gail Sattler lives in Vancouver, British Columbia (where you don’t have to shovel rain), with her husband of twenty-six years, three sons, two dogs, five lizards, one toad and a degue named Bess. Gail loves to read stories with a happy ending, which is why she writes them.”

A prolific writer of romantic comedy, thirty some books she’s written have been published with Barbour and Harlequin publishing companies in their inspirational lines. A few of her books have been on the CBA Bestseller (Christian Book Sellers Association) list over the years, and she was voted by the Heartsong Presents readership as Favorite Heartsong Author three years in a row.

Her most recent sale is a short non-fiction piece in Cup Of Comfort For Dogs, to be released in mid-2007.

Gail weaves messages of faith into her stories. Her characters are believable…likeable…and just as in real life, are not perfect.

To find out more, check out her website at or click on the link, “Gail Sattler, Romantic Comedy” on the side bar of this site.

Have fun reading!

Thought Provoking Novel by Angela Hunt

Have you ever read a book that left you thinking about it for days?

Weeks ago I finished the book, “Uncharted,” by Angela Hunt, and I’m still blown away.

Angela weaves the story of five college friends who are brought together again after twenty years when David, the sixth member of their group, suddenly dies.

In honor of their friend, the five agree to travel to the Marshall Islands, halfway between the Philippines and Hawaii, where David had hoped they’d join him in building a Christian school for the children living on a military base there.

Only the group never makes it to their destination. They become stranded on a deserted island where each is forced to face the truth about his/her life.

Publishers Weekly had this to say:

“…A blend of the movies Castaway and The Big Chill, with a touch of the television series Lost, creatively thrown together with the biblical story of the beggar Lazarus and C.S. Lewis’s The Great Divorce.”

The story is full of twists and turns with a big “ah ha” moment at the end. It took me on an entertaining ride that made me look at my own life.

It just doesn’t get any better than that.


Courage to Make Changes...and the Color of Paint

Change doesn’t come easy.
Sometimes we fight it, even when we desperately want it.

Each New Year's Eve, many people make a resolution to change something in their lives. Their resolutions may include losing weight, getting their finances in order, or spending less time at their jobs.

In November I wrote about the new addition / remodel that was being done on our house. For six months we lived in chaos and dust. At times it felt like it would never be finished. But the week before Christmas, with the exception of a few odds and ends, things were wrapped up and we were able to move into the new space.

I had a vision of what I wanted it to look and feel like. For months we purchased new furniture as we could and collected items to be incorporated into the decorating. Everything came together beautifully.

Except for the paint color…

Do you know how difficult it is to pick the right shade from a little square sample? Even when I’ve painted a small section, it never looks the same as when a large room is covered with the color.

The day I came home from work and saw the color I’d picked out for the walls, my mouth dropped. The color was far more yellow - and far brighter than I'd expected it to be. Not only was the family room/ kitchen painted that shade, I’d asked the painters to cover selected accent walls in the front room (which has high faulted ceilings) and formal dining area so the color scheme in those rooms would blend with the others.

The contractor and my husband asked me to live with it for a little while to see how I felt about it after we moved everything in. So I agreed…

Two weeks later…I was still struggling with the paint color. I tried to be content with it. I really did. But, it just wasn’t right.

My husband remained patient as I agonized over whether to change the color. After all, we’d already paid the painters to do it once. To redo it wouldn’t come cheap.

I could have repainted the walls myself and saved money, but what would take the professionals one day, would have taken me several weeks. There was also that high wall to contend with.

We’d already put everything in place and were finally able to relax and enjoy the space. To change the color would mean going back to living in chaos for a few days…and we were both so tired of living in a mess.

My husband supported my final decision and once again the painters were called in. I felt better when the painter told me he’d worked with professional interior decorators who’d changed their minds and asked him to repaint walls over several times.

Yesterday, I could barely stand to stay at my job, wondering what the outcome would be. At the end of the day I came home to walls painted with a warm, soft, shade of gold. It worked!

Making other changes in our lives can be far more difficult than changing the paint color in a home. But, if we’re willing to take the step, it can be so worth it.

Hoping to always have enough courage to make changes.

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