Providence Moves, Too

Following are notes from my presentation at the ListenU Speakers Series on June 7, 2018. A podcast of the presentation will be released in the future.

Providence Moves, Too

During a time when my husband and I suffered more than a decade of financial desperation, I became obsessed with trying to figure out how two people doing the same things can get very different results. Everything that worked for others, seemed to bomb for us, and we just couldn’t get in front of it.

It took us seven years and more than 100 seminars before the lights finally went on, but once they did, we tripled our income in less than 3 months.

Now, I could literally speak on this topic for hundreds of hours and never run out of things to say, so tonight, it’s my opportunity and challenge to give you some really useful information in less than one hour.

The good news is that if we can’t cover it all tonight, I’ll point you to my blog, where you can continue your study for free. Remind me to do that.

The Plan:

To share some stories that I hope will inspire and intrigue you, and then we’ll talk about the common thread that runs through each of them, so you can know how to intentionally initiate a success story of your own, as quickly as this week.

The Temple Tax

…They that received tribute money came to Peter, and said, Does not your master pay tribute? He said, Yes. And …. Jesus said … lest we should offend them, go you to the sea, and cast an hook, and take up the fish that first comes up; and when you have opened his mouth, you shall find a piece of money: that take, and give to them for me and you. (Matthew 17:24-27)

I think part of the message in the fish story is that money can come from unexpected places, so we don’t need to fear when we can’t see the money where we think it should be. Here are some modern-day examples:

Monopoly Money (Tina Bonelli)

When you sent out the podcast entitled “Belief Breakthrough,” I swear you put my name on it, personally. I have listened to it four times now. Belief in financial improvement, and a couple of other areas in my life, is a challenge for me. …

Once I listened to the podcast, every time I started stressing, even the tiniest bit, about any of the things I tend to worry about, I stated, “I choose to believe that all is being gathered so that _______.” Financial, health, personal things, relationships… I applied it to everything.

I divorced …after 30 years of marriage, and no full-time employment during most of those years, as I was a stay-at-home mother by choice. I had SOME residual income from my business, although I’d had a mass exodus from my team that reduced it significantly. I have no spousal support, and it took me 2 ½ years to find employment.

At age 60, I make $15 an hour… I have ZERO savings, retirement, own no property, and have a huge IRS debt… As of Saturday, I had about $100 to last me until my next check, 9 days later. … [Then] on Sunday, I got an email that I was overdrawn by $18. A yearly emergency road service renewal had been taken out…

I called, immediately and they said they were going to reverse it, but it would take until that next check to get it back.

I admit that for most of the day I was pretty grouchy about it…although later in the afternoon, I did finally start repeating the “I choose to believe” statements. When I knelt in prayer that night, I wept, but expressed gratitude for as much as I could possibly think of.

… At Christmas, a kind person had left me a surprise gift at my door: a Monopoly game. … I had set it up on end against my bookcase so that I could vacuum. … I noticed that the lid was … slightly exposing the contents inside. …

My daughter’s family … arrived for a birthday party, and my … grandson saw [the] box and asked if we could play …

My daughter happened to glance down at it. She remarked, “Wow. They are really making Monopoly money look so realistic these days.” [She] went over to the box and said, “Uh…Mom? This is real money.”

I stopped and gasped. … It was a lot of money. I immediately started sobbing… 20s, 10s, 5s…. I started counting… but I couldn’t focus for the tears. I handed it all to her. She counted: $300!!!!!!!!

Blessing in Disguise (car accident) $3000

It was December when I calculated that upcoming bills out-weighed upcoming income for the month by $3000 — without any consideration of Christmas expenses. … I knew money could come from anywhere … decided to not worry about it, but to expect a miracle. Can you guess where it came from?

[Shortly after] … my husband called … and explained he had just been hit … by a pickup truck that had spun out and lost control at the freeway exit. … He was ok, but was worried that the car might be totaled (which it was)…  By Wednesday, we had money for [our] bills, a … down payment for a new truck … and a little money for Christmas two days later.

After Husband’s Stroke (Diana Johnson)

Back in 2006, I gave my sister my share of profits from the sale of our parents’ home (about $10,000, because she was in dire need). We were in need as well; but I felt her need was greater.

Ten years later, my husband suffered a massive stroke, and could no longer work. Miraculously, it happened when his … bus run was cancelled due to [the college] students leaving for Christmas. Otherwise, his stroke would have occurred while driving a busload of students!

And when our need was the greatest (after [his] stroke), the amount I gave my sister was returned to me, multiplied, in a miraculous, unexpected way:

I received a certified letter in the mail, which at first I ignored, thinking it was just another notice from the IRS. When I finally picked up the letter from the post office, I was informed that a previously unknown retirement was waiting for me… [at a University] where I had taught for 15 years. I had worked part-time, and had been told that part time and adjunct instructors receive no retirement. Yet, here was a certified letter informing me of a lump sum which had been held for me for years, and growing without my knowledge.

That unexpected retirement was close to $24,000, equivalent to one year’s salary that my husband made at a part-time job just before his stroke. And this has lasted us much longer than a year, due to other financial miracles: donations, an unexpected deposit from Social Security to our credit union account with a letter … informing us that they had not credited my husband properly for his military service!

While my husband was still in intensive care, I ordered some home medical equipment, and didn’t know how I would pay for it. [But then] I … received a call from … my retirement account, informing me that they had discovered another $5,000 plus that was owed me. This was exactly the extra amount I needed.

$80 in Tips (Jane on Forum)

I tried my first experiment on May 19th. I’m a waitress … and weeknights can be … slow. Typically, … I only bring home somewhere between $30-$45 for the night. … I wrote down how grateful I was to be going home from work on the night of the 19th with more than $80 in my pocket. I wrote about how that made me feel, and how well my night went.

The night went by, and my section of tables was unusually busy, but the tips still seemed a bit low. And as the night drew to an end, my vague mental calculations told me that I was about $20 short of my goal. Wouldn’t you know it … when I opened up the booklet containing my last tip of the night, … it was $20!! …$20 on a $52 dinner ticket. At the end of the night, after having to tip out the bartender and busser, I went home with $85 in my pocket.

* Kayli’s bookmark and one of her physicians

* Santa doorstep $100

* Trevan job loss severance

* Trevan 1700 bonus instead of 700

* PTG restaurant – then over $40K that month

As one of my students pointed out:

It can be tested (Carol Colvin)

I knew that my thoughts, positive or negative, had an effect on what happened to me, but I thought the universe was much more whimsical in its workings. [Learning how it works] … has made my trust in the principles of right thinking much more solid. This is scientific. It can be tested.

To achieve a big goal, two things need to happen:

  1. Resources and other people, and
  2. You knowing what to do and when

Two things need to happen, but it only takes doing ONE thing to initiate them both:

See it, feel it. (Lemon exercise)

Lots of people see it and feel it. So why doesn’t it always work?

IF you don’t fear, things WILL work out

If I can get you to stop being afraid, then I know everything is going to be okay. THAT is my work. It’s not about teaching you how to achieve goals or get money, it’s about teaching you why you can be at peace. Because when you’re at peace, you will achieve those goals, and receive the money you need. Ironically, we don’t DARE not fear. As though fear provides some kind of comfort. We must have the COURAGE to NOT FEAR.

“But what if it doesn’t work? What if I have to feel disappointed?”

Fear not. Dare to believe.

Rare Faith (Boyd K. Packer)

There are two kinds of faith. One of them functions ordinarily in the life of every soul. It is the kind of faith born by experience; it gives us certainty that a new day will dawn, that spring will come, that growth will take place. It is the kind of faith that relates us with confidence to that which is scheduled to happen. …

There is another kind of faith, rare indeed. This is the kind of faith that causes things to happen. It is the kind of faith that is worthy and prepared and unyielding, and it calls forth things that otherwise would not be. It is the kind of faith that moves people. It is the kind of faith that sometimes moves things. …

It comes by gradual growth. It is a marvelous, even a transcendent, power, a power as real and as invisible as electricity. Directed and channeled, it has great effect.

It’s Scalable! (Stephanie Lee)

I owed a $300 bill and I had no idea where I was going to get the money from. …I worked to promote my art courses … but as the time got closer and no sales were coming in, I felt the anxiety building in me. Every time I would feel that flutter of worry in my chest, I would take a deep breath and imagine getting up out of my office chair after paying the bill … and feeling REALLY good – giddy even – about having paid it on time.

The night before it was due, I prayed gratitude for all the past times God has provided exactly what we needed, exactly when we needed it. I imagined that being something that He would continue to do, and that even if I couldn’t pay this bill on time, He would provide a way for that to be okay, too.

The next morning, I woke up, showered, and was actively practicing the visualization of having paid the bill and feeling really good about it. I checked my PayPal account and saw that overnight I had made $325 in sales. Enough to pay the bill, cover the PayPal fees, and have a little extra.

That was for $300 – now get this. She continues:

After a long [and difficult] year … we filed our taxes to discover that the usual <$1500 we usually owe – IF we owe anything at all – had jumped to an early calculation of $15,000. How is she going to solve this one??

I experienced my first panic attack while sitting in my husband’s truck a few days after that news came. We had been wandering in a sort of deer-in-headlights stupor with the new reality and had not even an inkling for how to pay even half of that on time.

Because I was fresh out of your Genius Bootcamp, I knew that my mind was going to be my most valuable tool in this situation. …I adopted the mantra “Just keep your mind right,” which meant to keep my thoughts aligned with the laws.

A couple of months earlier, I had chatted with my friend, Erica – our dentist’s wife – and she sheepishly asked if I would be willing to allow them to commission a painting for their office reception area.

We parted ways and she said she’d get back with me. … [But] because it was only for one painting … I didn’t even think of it as a possible solution to the tax bill.

… About three weeks before the tax bill was due, Erica called and said, “Can we meet you at the gallery to talk to you about the painting?”

I rushed to the gallery and we all stood there looking at my pieces and chatting about my process. … [I submitted a proposal with the prices for each, from which she could choose a painting for their office].

A few days later, I received an email with a list of … over 20 paintings [they wanted] … at my proposal price [totaling] $15,000…

[Long story short, with a snafu in their funding they could only give me $13,000, but offered to do some expensive dental work we needed in exchange for the difference, which was a better deal for us, AND the $15,000 tax bill (once the math was fully completed) turned out to be less than $10,000.]

Providence Moves, Too (William Hutchison Murray)

Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness. Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation), there is one elementary truth, … that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too.

All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one’s favour all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamt would have come his way. I have learned a deep respect for one of Goethe’s (“ger-ta’s”) couplets:

Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it!

Learn more at:

JackrabbitFactor.com or RareFaith.org

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Too much Information?

Do you ever feel overloaded with too many options, too much information, too many people telling you what to do to succeed?

You’re not alone. Here’s an email I received, and my reply on the matter.

Linda said:

I don’t know if you will actually answer this, but I am getting frustrated because I am getting INUNDATED with various “I have the secret YOU need to be successful in life” emails / offers / programs / gimmes!

I certainly can’t do them all simultaneously, and while they may all be worthwhile, it seems to me there is a lot of redundancy. I am STILL trying to work my way through your materials, and I don’t know that I need to get something ELSE while I still have not finished what I HAVE!

…I feel like I am spinning my wheels with a “Lo here” and a “Lo there” … like the poor guy trying to catch the rabbit in the same way the fox / wolf / whatever did! Any words of wisdom you could share would be appreciated. Thanks! Linda

My response to Linda (with a few more little notes):

Breathe, Linda, breathe. 🙂

There’s a lot of noise out there, and you can trust that the RIGHT next step will be there when you’re ready for IT. Just because it’s good, it doesn’t mean you have to jump on it immediately. It will be there again when you’re ready for it, if it really is the right thing for you to do.

I don’t open all my soliciting emails. I only open them if I’m currently seeking an answer to a burning question, and only if the email that shows up seems like it might have the answer to THAT question.

I get information overload if I look at all of them. Sometimes I have to prioritize and say, “I just don’t have the mental bandwidth to wrap my brain around ANYthing else right now” – and then I go forward – at peace taking things at my own pace, knowing that I do not have to run faster than I have mental, emotional, or physical strength.

When the student is ready, the teacher appears. If too many teachers appear, get clarity on your overall objective. Once that is back in focus, the right ones will be obvious – you’ll know it in your gut – and the wrong ones in that moment will no longer have a magnetic pull on you.

Don’t be overwhelmed by too much good information. Stay focused on your goal, and the information you really need will naturally show up when you’re ready for it.

If you’re ready to learn more about the Rare Kind of Faith that causes things to happen, join me in the Mindset Fundamentals Ecourse. For just the cost of dinner and a movie, you can discover (at your own pace) how and why your world will change when you choose your thoughts more carefully. Click here to learn more.

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God multiplies things

Diana with her husband

Here is another installment in my Tender Mercies article series. Today’s story comes from Diana Johnson, who writes:

Leslie, I’m so grateful I met you about 7-8 months before my husband’s stroke. Reading your books increased my faith and helped put me in the frame of mind to experience so many miracles. With all my heart, I KNOW that God multiplies what we have when we share! He has already shown this to me.

Back in 2006, I gave my sister my share of profits from the sale of our parents’ home (about $10,000, because she was in dire need). We were in need as well; but I felt her need was greater. That, plus a loan of about $3,000, which I eventually forgave.

Ten years later, my husband suffered a massive stroke, and could no longer work. Miraculously, it happened when his Wal-Mart bus run was cancelled due to BYUI students leaving for Christmas. Otherwise, his stroke would have occurred while driving a busload of students!

And when our need was the greatest (after my husband’s stroke), the amount I gave my sister was returned to me, multiplied, in a miraculous, unexpected way:

I received a certified letter in the mail, which at first I ignored, thinking it was just another notice from the IRS. When I finally picked up the letter from the post office, I was informed that a previously unknown retirement was waiting for me from BYUI, where I had taught for 15 years. I had worked part-time, but was told that part time and adjunct instructors receive no retirement. Yet, here was a certified letter informing me of a lump sum which had been held for me for years, and growing without my knowledge. 

That unexpected retirement was close to $24,000, equivalent to one year’s salary that my husband made at a part-time job just before his stroke. And this has lasted us much longer than a year, due to other financial miracles: donations, an unexpected deposit from Social Security to our credit union account with a letter (which showed up later) informing us that they had not credited my husband properly for his military service!

While my husband was still in intensive care, I also received a call from DMBA (my retirement account), informing me that they had discovered another $5,000 plus that was owed me. This was exactly the extra amount I needed to pay for home medical equipment I had ordered, and didn’t know how I would pay for it! 

And then, when my husband suffered a relapse, putting him back in intensive care, my son tried to give us a thousand dollars to help pay the hospital bill.  They were expecting a new baby, so I told him to keep it until they had enough saved for their baby.  But two days later, I received a hospital bill discounted over $1000 (beyond the Medicare discounts)!!… 

…I have learned that when we live in LOVE, FAITH, and GENEROSITY, the Lord can return the same for us, in every time of need!

You can read more about Diana’s miracles here.

_____________

What about you?

So, 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, sustaining you from day to day?

I want to hear about it. Submit your stories here!

#RareFaithTenderMercies
#ModernMiracles

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How to Survive the Downs

Jacob Lund/Shutterstock

Life is like a roller coaster. When things go downhill, throw your hands in the air and smile!

Have you ever met someone whose life seems to be falling apart and they’re happy anyway? Have you ever thought, “Wait a minute, you’re supposed to be miserable and depressed!”

It’s true. There are some who are simply in denial, and who hope that the problems will go away if they just ignore them. However, there are others who feel happy even when things are going down because they know a secret.

These people can feel happy during a downturn because they know the ride never goes downhill forever. By law, it always turns upward again at the bottom – just like a roller coaster. They smile now because they’re focused on the longer term; and they’re already thinking about the joy and heights that life will take them to next.

Now, while we’re on this “roller coaster theme,” imagine you’ve saved for years to take your family to an exciting theme park on the other side of the country. You’ve pictured the laughter, the fun, the memories you plan to create: the joy of being together, the food, the free time; it’s all so very wonderful!

Now it’s finally time to take that trip. You enjoy a relaxing plane ride, settle in at the hotel, spend the night, and in the morning you have a full day to take in all of the theme park attractions. After entering the gate, you notice that just inside the entrance there are two roller coaster rides to choose from. The first one is called “Straight-Shot to Success” and goes like this:

“Straight Shot to Success”

You get on, and it pulls the line of cars all the way to the top of a twenty-story tower where ….

… it lets you off so you can climb down the stairs to do it again.

Look at the enthusiasm in this picture, just before unloading to climb down and repeat the experience all over again! (Wouldn’t it make for a pretty boring roller coaster ride? Yes. But isn’t that what we think we want out of life? A steady, predictable, safe and easy climb to success?) The thing is, if that’s what we got out of life, I think we’d feel pretty dissatisfied with the whole experience. Without the lows, the highs mean nothing.

So, let’s take a look at the second roller coaster ride called “Joy in the Journey,” which instead goes something like this:

“Joy in the Journey”

You get on, and it pulls you to the top of a big hill and then turns you loose into a series of ups and downs, loops and turns. Everyone is terrified and laughing, all at the same time.

Even when the people plummet at break-neck speeds straight toward the ground, they have a smile on their face.

Now, is that twisted, or what? Are they in denial?

No. They are genuinely enjoying themselves, because they know that the terror is temporary, that the danger is an illusion, and that it will come to an end. They know that they are in a controlled, safe environment that is simply giving them the appearance of danger. Deep down, they know everything is going to be okay in the long run.

Which rollercoaster ride do you think would have the longest waiting line? “Straight-Shot to Success,” or “Joy in the Journey?”

I choose the latter. Here’s what helps me endure the scary parts:

Believe it or not, like a roller coaster ride, Life itself is a safe environment, even with all its dangers.

Contrary to appearances, it truly is a safe place to be. From God’s vantage point, the things we fear are nothing to Him, including death itself.

Do you realize that the life you live is precisely the life you would have chosen all along? THIS is the life that brings you the greatest joy: the life with all the ups and aggravating downs. So be grateful for your downs, and as you allow your heart to swell with gratitude, you’re putting yourself into the right mindset to receive next the best “ups” that God has to offer.

The ups and downs we experience help us feel.

The change from up to down (or down to up) is precisely what makes it possible for us to recognize the difference from one emotion to the other. Like I said before, without the downs, the ups would be meaningless. The lows help us feel and appreciate the highs.

Bob Proctor says, “Most people tiptoe through life, trying to make it safely to death.” Do you see the irony in that? Instead, we should have courage and press on toward our dreams with full, fearless intention.

Fear not!

As Mark Twain said, “I am an old man and have known a great many troubles, but most of them never happened.”

You have a choice of what to think about. So think on the expected highs that put a smile on your face, instead of worrying about the imagined train wreck at the bottom of the hill that hasn’t even happened yet.

It is only when your heart is at peace that it is truly prepared to receive inspired solutions to your problems.

So, if you’re headed in a downward direction, be at peace. The tracks are bent and will surely guide your roller coaster car up to the top again in time. It’s going to be thrilling! And in fact, according to the Law of Rhythm, you’re already on your way. Originally published Mar 12, 2008

Join me in the life-changing Mindset Mastery Program and I’ll help you find joy and success even in the downs.

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