The rest… already winners

My friend Kevin Allen gets a donut and a drink at the local QT convenience store every morning, and has done so for years. Sometimes he writes about his encounters there, and they never fail to entertain, amuse, or inspire. Now, with his permission, I am excited to begin sharing his “QT Chronicles” here at my blog.


QT Chronicles, by Kevin Allen
March 14, 2018

I go to the same CircleK every morning, when I’m not at QT. Today the lines were longer than normal and I accidentally chose the correct, faster-moving line. I hope it doesn’t throw off the Universe.

I watched the other line as a guy started doing his “Lotto business” for the week. (It’s Wednesday.) There were only two people behind him but I assure you, he is still there now (an hour later) organizing for the big win he will have tonight. My turn at the front of my line I looked over and called the two people waiting to come and get in front of me, even though there were a half-dozen people behind me. To my surprise…NOT A GRUMBLE. Everyone agreed with my actions.

The guy that jumped at the opportunity first checked out before me and paid for my donut and health-food drink. I thanked him and paid for the guy behind me. I watched as he paid for the guy behind him. It went at least four generations before I had cleared the store doors. Easy enough with everybody holding no more than a donut and coffee and some just coffee. Nobody but the guy who bought my stuff paid any more than normal, and yet, everybody felt like they had done a huge “good turn” for the day in buying someone else’s treats. The clerk had fun too.

When I left, the store was full of smiles, except for one guy who was oblivious to it all, as he organized himself to win a hundred million dollars tonight.

The rest of us are already winners.

QT ChroniclesMarch 14, 2018I go to the same CircleK every morning, when I'm not at QT. Today the lines were longer…

Posted by Kevin K. Allen on Wednesday, March 14, 2018


Letting God Finish our Masterpieces


I could see in her eyes that it wasn’t good news. After hours and hours of hard labor with my fourth child, my midwife told me I hadn’t begun dilating. In fact, my cervix wasn’t even fully effaced. Seriously?

I was ready to cry.

With each of my other pregnancies I felt like I had some control. To get my contractions to increase in frequency and intensity, I paced. All over the house. And it worked!

I have proof:

  • Baby #1 – I arrived at the hospital dilated to a 7.
  • Baby #2 – I arrived at the hospital dilated to a 6.
  • Baby #3 – I arrived at the hospital dilated to a 5.

And the nurses were awesome. They let me wait to be admitted while I continued pacing and progressed to a 7 or so.

So here I was broadsided with this news about Baby #4.

Death by Castor Oil

Now to be completely truthful, I may or may not have tried to tempt Fate. I was worried that my husband would miss Baby’s debut if we didn’t have her that weekend. So I took castor oil.

Let me give you a hint. DON’T. EVER. TAKE. CASTOR. OIL. No questions asked. Just don’t do it.

So after the unspeakable effects of the castor oil, it seemed to affect my labor like Pitocin. What do I mean? Well, basically my contractions were super hard without progress.

What Now?

So my midwife delivered the news. I was devastated. See…in the past I simply walked off my pain. But now? Suddenly I needed major labor support. I felt so ridiculous! Like something was wrong with me. Here I hadn’t even begun dilating and we had used up just about every one of my midwife’s tricks!

Well…I gave myself a generous 30 seconds to decide my next step. I was really at a loss. But I felt that all I could really do was to surrender.

I had assumed I could control the situation…that I could hurry things along. But in reality there was nothing I could do. Except choose how I would respond.

If I was going to labor for another 5-10 hours, the only thing that made sense was to get some rest. So I chose to let go. We stuck a movie in (I have no memory whatsoever of what it was), and I laid down on the couch.

Understand – laying down was always the most painful way for me to labor. But it felt like the right thing to do.

Time to Give Up?

Let me back up for just a sec. During my pregnancy my midwife told me that when I started to feel like I was done…just ready to give up and go home…it would most likely mean that I was in transition. Interesting concept.

Okay. So hold that thought.

Back to the Story

I laid on that dang couch trying to sleep for about 45 minutes. It took a lot of self control to just stay there and breathe through those contractions. It was pretty miserable, but I already knew that pushing through and trying to make it happen wasn’t working. I didn’t believe for a second that I could progress just laying around, but what choice did I have?

I finally got up to run to the restroom, but as I stood up….OUCH!! I thought I was going to die. I had a horrible contraction, and I was DONE. I was exhausted, emotional, and I wanted to go home and forget the whole thing.


This was kind of a deja vu moment. Didn’t my midwife say something about this?….Hmmm. Ah yes. She suggested these feelings meant transition. But there was no way…I wasn’t even fully effaced.

Still, I asked her to check me. She reluctantly did so, and then I watched the panic set in. I WAS DILATED TO 9 CENTIMETERS! The baby came about 15 minutes later. Yup. It’s true.

Letting Go

Isn’t it fascinating? How much time do we spend trying to control things? We want things to happen on our timeline. We want answers now! We want the pain gone NOW! And yet, it wasn’t until I finally let go of my timing and left it in God’s hands that I progressed. And it was much faster than ever before. By a LOT. God did more for my progression in those 45 minutes than I could have possibly done on my own.

Painting Your Masterpiece

Ya know? We all have things we are creating. We have these beautiful dreams we are painting on the canvas of life. And I, for one, am one of those people who just can’t walk away from these masterpieces. I guess I’ve always believed that the painting will never get finished if I’m not there for every last stroke.

Apparently it was time for these beliefs of mine to be challenged.

My baby’s delivery was a defining moment for me. It inspired a lot of questions.

Is it possible that we don’t really make things happen? Could it be that we are only part of the equation? Could we possibly be fighting against a Higher Power when we try to do it all on our own? And in our own way?

Be Still and Know That I am God

Are you good for me to just share my interpretation of all this?

Here goes…We don’t have to do it all. We don’t have to make things happen. We don’t have to be everything to everyone. And we don’t have to run faster than we have strength.

When we put forth our best efforts, we can slow down a bit. Take a step back. Then we can rest assured that Life will take care of the rest. We can let go and trust God.

Consider the peace that will come when we stop and remember that sometimes, in the stillness, the finishing touches are performed by the Master Painter, Himself. And in the end, with nothing more that we can do, our Masterpiece is beautifully and perfectly complete.

Author Stephanie Francom is a Mindset Mastery Certified Mentor and Genius Bootcamp Facilitator. Join Stephanie for our next Genius Bootcamp – Click here to learn more.


For more on this topic, read Hidden Treasures: Heaven’s Astonishing Help with Your Money Matters (free!)

Related: Your ability to Create (video)
Related: How to Surrender, and why you’d want to


More Tender Mercies and Miracles

Photo credit: Vanessa Kay, Vanessa Kay Photography

You may remember my previous article about Vanessa, and Tender Mercies. Even when we don’t get exactly what we want, noticing the little blessings can help us qualify for more. As I said before, she has suffered a run of unfortunate events, but notice her attitude. She notices, documents, and calls attention to all of the things going WELL. I’m convinced that this is why she can say: “Somehow I make it through every month.” (Click here to check out her amazing photography site…)

Why does she write? In her words:

“I was challenged recently to regularly write and record the many blessings I have received, and the things I am learning from the current set of challenging circumstances I am now living through. And maybe even to write a book. Well, that was a little overwhelming, but I have had promptings to the same effect…because honestly, there have been so many tender mercies and small blessings that even now, trying to remember them all is a huge challenge. If I can write a little something every day…and look for the things I have to be grateful for….I have a feeling miracles will take place. I feel like living in gratitude, in spite of challenges, is the key to making it through these difficult times.”

Vanessa, I agree. Thank you for sharing.

Here are some tender mercies she recognized at Christmastime:

“I still have a LOT Of work to do implementing these principles … because for every big blessing comes a pretty big (sometimes bigger) setback. In the last month I’ve had both of my cars’ transmissions die and the state board of equalization place a levy on my account for some past due taxes. My husband’s condition [Lyme disease, mycoplasma pneumonia, h. pylori, epstein-barr, multiple parasites, etc.] seems to be getting worse, but there’s a silver lining to that – his appointments with the disability appointed doctors went ‘well’ – as in they saw him at his worst and I am hopeful that he may have a chance of being approved for social security disability.

“It’s funny though… although I’m completely carless at the moment – and I have no idea how I’ll have any gifts at all for my kids this year, I am feeling the Christmas spirit stronger than ever before. I’m really loving the #lighttheworld campaign, and my kids and I have been watching the videos every night at scriptures and taking on the challenges. We have been blessed to be the recipients of so much – it feels really good to be on the other end of things for a change:

“While lately I’ve often been focused on working ’round the clock to get orders out for clients, and add more shoots to my schedule, today I dropped all of that. A friend of mine knows a single mom, a victim of domestic violence, who recently lost her home and everything in it in the recent California wildfires. My friend has been trying to help by paying for her hotel and a gift card for some clothes, but was feeling overburdened as the only supportive person her friend has. She started a GoFundMe account for this friend but had no response.

“I have another struggling friend who happens to be moving back East this weekend, and just found out 3 days ago that the person who was going to take over her apartment and all of her furnishings backed out. She needed to get rid of all of her furnishings/ kitchenware/ bedding/ etc. right away. My mom had come down to help me for a couple of days since I have no transportation right now, and between her, a friend’s truck, and our local missionaries, I was able to move all of this furniture and household supplies to storage for the single mom of 4 who lost everything in the fires, thereby helping 3 families – my friend who needed to get rid of her stuff, my friend who felt overburdened, and the woman who lost everything.

“Another tender mercy: At a recent ward activity they had a tree with ornaments for the local orphanage/foster group home for kids who don’t have any families that have a little wish list. I didn’t even really consider looking, because most the kid’s have wish lists that would take at least about $100 or so to fill and I don’t even have that much of a budget for my 4 kids put together for Christmas this year. But something told me to look anyways, and the first ornament I saw was for a child who wanted a tablet, art supplies and a gift card to Barnes and Noble. Something told me to pick it up. I just so happen to have a tablet that I’ve been trying to sell on Craigslist for the last 4 months now, and have had no takers. And my daughter had an excess of art supplies she’s been given over the last 2 years, because that’s all she asks for for her birthday and Christmas. Some were brand new, never used. And my son has been given Barnes and Noble gifts cards for every gift giving occasion for the last few years and he had 3 saved up. All the kids were able to contribute something of their own to help this girl, and I bought an art set at Michael’s for 60% off and it only cost me $12. So we will be able to do what so many have done for us and make Christmas happen for someone less fortunate, and that feels like quite a blessing.”

“…behold I say unto you, that by small and simple things are great things brought to pass; and small means in many instances doth confound the wise. And the Lord God doth work by means to bring about his great and eternal purposes . . . (Alma 37:6-7).

This has been another installment in a series of articles about Tender Mercies. Stay tuned for more coming soon…

What about you?

Maybe you’re not a millionaire. Maybe you haven’t yet realized that big vision for your life. Maybe your relationships aren’t what you want them to be. Maybe you’re still waiting for that breakthrough that never seems to come. Maybe you struggle with your health, or maybe you’re caring for someone else who is. But even so…

Have you seen God’s hand in your life today? Have you noticed Him sustaining you from day to day?

“And in nothing doth man offend God, or against none is his wrath kindled, save those who confess not his hand in ALL things, and obey not his commandments,” (D&C 59:21, emphasis added).

Submit your stories here!


Vision Boards

Over the years, I’ve gone from being excited about vision boards, to absolutely hating vision boards (as I explained in this podcast), and back to thinking vision boards are pretty great. As you can tell, my experience has been a love/hate relationship with vision boards.

But regardless of how a person feels about them, the principle behind them does indeed work. At least it can, if used properly.

I had some things happen this week that I had been wanting to happen for a very long time. I’m in a phase right now where I’m kinda back to being excited about my vision board, and my husband commented:

“Look at that. [It happened] while you were just focusing on life, the day after putting up your new vision board.”

I responded that I thought the success happened more directly because of the intent decisions I made a couple days ago, which decisions were the reason I wanted to update the board.

See, that’s how I look at them now. For me, they are not necessarily “THE catalyst”, because many goals have been achieved without them. But they ARE a great way to get clear and stay focused, once that quality decision to achieve a certain goal has been made.

The fact is, once I “staked my claim” (as I explain in the Mindset Mastery program), one of my next thoughts was, “You really ought to update your vision board.” And with that newly decided state of mind, I finally wanted to.

Anyway, my friend Jennifer Dayley has become something of an expert on Vision Boards, and actually built a company with her husband around helping others experience their power.

Friends, meet Jennifer:

Here’s some information she wrote about Vision Boards, which I’ve been given permission to share with you:

Vision Boards

Vision Boards. They’re becoming incredibly popular, but they’ve been around for decades. If you haven’t heard of them, they’re a tool that helps you focus on your goals, dreams, & desires, utilizing BOTH sides of your brain (intellectual & creative), as well as your body’s senses, so that they come to fruition much quicker & easier than they would without one.

I’ve known about Vision Boards for several years now, & in 2015 my husband, Kirk, started getting interested in them as well. Early 2016 he asked me where he could buy one. I told him to check the internet, but there was nothing other than posterboard kits & cork boards.

He really wanted a nice, attractive, good quality one that would look great hung up in the house. He told me “he wanted his Vision Board to match the quality of his vision!” We searched the entire internet and found… NOTHING.

A few days later, he walked in with big eyes & said, “Um, Jenn… I think the Lord just gave me a design for making Vision Boards, and we will be able to make them available to others as a business.” I thought, “Oh, cool.” And that was about it. A beautiful “home-decor-worthy” frame, a grid, 9 squares, invisible quick-change pockets, & a write-on, dry erase, clear view surface. WOW!

When he was out in the garage building this first vision board prototype, the board slipped and took his hand into a table saw. Without getting too graphic, we thought he’d lost half his hand. Luckily that was not the case, but he was told recovery would be long, & that 2 of his fingernails would probably be permanently gone.

Due to prayer and our knowledge of holistic medicine, his healing was miraculous. He also has his 2 fingernails back, & there is very little sign of any damage at all. Just enough to remind him of the lesson he learned through this experience.


Vision Boards are for focusing… And when he endured the worst pain he’s ever felt in his life, the ONLY thing that helped him get through it was to focus. He prayed & prayed for help to get through the agony, and FOCUS was Heavenly Father’s answer to him. Focus on light. Focus on healing. And above all… Focus on gratitude.

Never once did he get angry at having this accident. He was grateful the entire time. Grateful that it wasn’t worse. Grateful that he was taught a lesson. Grateful for miracles.

Over the next few months he developed a series of Vision Boards that are now Patent Pending, and we created The Vision Board Co.™ – a division of our main company, Positive Innergy Inc™. We have various sizes & styles available, and we’ve now made them available to children, moms, dads, and business professionals across the U.S.!

Here are a few examples of some of the things our little family has been able to manifest using our Vision Boards:

  • An incredibly nice 1-owner Denali at 1/5 of the brand new retail price
  • 2 trips to Kenya, Africa for humanitarian work within 4 months for our 18 yr old daughter (when the plan was 5 years!)
  • $100 for our 12 year old son (2 months earlier than he planned!)
  • Pottery classes in the exact price range & dates/time frame desired, when we hadn’t been able to find ANY pottery classes in our area, ever.
  • A “Purple” brand mattress, pillows, & bed frame (something we’d been wanting for over a year)
  • Kirk leaving his 15 hour/night job with UPS, that he’d been working at for 14 years

I think back to Jr. High when I made that first poster board collage. All the magazine cut-outs of cool things I wanted in my life, pasted on the poster board in various positions. I was so excited! And then it went into my art folder, never to be looked at again.

Vision Boards are POWERFUL.

They don’t do the work for you, but they sure do help & remind your mind & body to do what they need to do, so that your goals, dreams, & desires to manifest. When you do it right, what you need will come TO you, so you can take action & make it happen.

While going into our full class details about how to use & amplify the results of your Vision Board is way too much for this article, I’d like to share just a few effective things you can do now!

  1. Get yourself a nice Vision Board, that matches the quality of your vision.
  2. If you do use poster board, at least organize it into nice sections. Don’t overlap pictures everywhere like a collage.
  3. Put it up in your house where you can see it every day & even be able to share it with others. Don’t put it behind your closet door!
  4. Look at it & focus on it every single day. Morning & night, if possible!
  5. Imagine & feel each of your goals / wants, as if theyre already yours.
  6. Be grateful for what you already have in your life!
  7. Believe, and exercise faith.
  8. A great religious leader named Thomas S. Monson said, “Don’t limit yourself and don’t let others convince you that you are limited in what you can do. Believe in yourself and then live so as to reach your possibilities. You can achieve what you believe you can. Trust and believe and have faith.”

You can create what you believe is possible!

Kirk & Jennifer Dayley