Why I Needed to Have a Bad Day

A number of  years ago I was having a particularly horrible, edgy day. I was angry at everyone, and everything around me. Even things that weren’t all that bad felt intolerable. I don’t even know what originally set me off, but I was totally out of emotional control.

And then the final straw: doggie poop in the back yard.

That was it. We had already had a pow wow with our children the month before, and the deal was agreed: they needed to pitch in on his poop and start caring for him without being reminded, or we’d need to find him a better home. Don’t judge me.

With seven children between the ages of 3 and 17, surely one of them would care enough about keeping our basset hound to show some initiative.

But unfortunately, it had been about four weeks, and only once had one of the children cleaned up his poop independently.

He was already listed in one classified ad, and we had received two calls up to that point. But we also had a list describing the perfect home (it would need to be a step up), and we weren’t going to give him away unless we found a home that matched the list.

But on this day, I was especially upset about the poop and determined to place another ad to speed up the process. My 14 year-old son saw me typing furiously on the computer and asked, “What are you doing?”

“Placing another ad for Charlie.”

“What?!” He was devastated. He couldn’t believe I was actually going to go through with it, and was horrified to find out this wasn’t my first ad. Finding no sympathy from me, he stormed out of the house to cool off. Naturally, I felt horrible. Total mom failure.

But a few days later I found out how God used me, even though I was a mess, to accomplish his purposes:

On the day I placed that ad, my younger ten year old son was across the neighborhood coming home from the park on his bike. His pant leg had gotten caught in the bike chain while he was on a street that we rarely traverse. He was stuck, alone, and didn’t have the strength to pull it out. That’s when my 14 year-old wandered into that remote area of the neighborhood, just looking for some time away from his cranky mother. But in reality, he was being LED to rescue his brother, and didn’t even realize it.

Now, I don’t think God purposely ticks me off so he can set up a rescue; but he does know me, and he knows my weaknesses, and miraculously, and mercifully, he even uses my weaknesses to accomplish his purposes. Knowing this helps me feel like everything is going to turn out okay, if I just keep trying and trust that the Lord is in the details, even on the days when I’m at my worst.

Think about that: perhaps all is NOT lost when you feel like a failure; in fact, I’m certain that quite often, there is more good that comes out of those experiences than we realize.

So keep your chin up, and if you want to learn more about how you can get really great results in spite of yourself, find out how in the Mindset Mastery Program. You really don’t have to be perfect to enjoy wonderful results. Originally published November 6, 2009


And Along Came a Spider

Some time ago my eleven year-old daughter came home from orchestra practice simply devastated. She had been the first to arrive, and as the others filed in, nobody chose to sit by her. She sat at the edge of the room, the only student with an empty chair at her side.

She felt rejected and alone.

So the next day, as I dropped her off, I encouraged her to hold back and let some of the others sit down first, and then make her choice to sit by someone she’d like to get to know better. “Find someone who might be having a bad day, and BE the one to make a friend.”

I encouraged her to have a prayer in her heart, picturing herself with an abundance of friends, and reminded her that choosing to be positive and confident would help others want to be around her.

So she pulled herself together with an intention that things would be different this time. She agreed to pray in her heart and try to think more positively.

But what happened next surprised us both…

When I picked her up from school, she was excited to report that she ended up right between two girls that she was excited to get to know better.

How did it happen? Not the way we thought it would.

Contrary to my advice, she still showed up earlier than most; and out of habit decided to sit in her regular chair on the edge of the room. As a few of the other students filed in, the pattern threatened to repeat itself.

(That’s the power of subconscious thoughts right there…)

However, just then, she noticed a scary spider on her music stand. Creeped out, she took her folder and tried to push it off.

Instead of successfully getting it out of her space, it fell onto her leg. She jumped up and shook her pants, and wasn’t sure where it ended up. Assuming it was still at her chair, she decided that it would be better to move.

It took her out of her comfort zone and into another chair. One of the girls she’d like to know better came in and sat right next to her. Before long, a second girl took the empty chair at her other side.

Admittedly she said she thought the answer to her prayer would show up in the form of an idea, or an added measure of courage to do or say something uncomfortable.

But no, it showed up as a spider.

This micro-experience captures the essence of how God so often deals with us. When we ask for things to be better, he doesn’t just make things better. He creates conditions in our life that make us get out of our comfort zone and put us somewhere else – somewhere, where the blessing we’re asking for can finally be received.

Sometimes we get moved out of our comfort zone and still fail to receive the blessing. This can happen when our thoughts are not inclined to look for the hidden benefit in our adversity.

It would be like my daughter getting out of her regular chair and into another, and being so upset by it that she doesn’t even notice the potential friendships on either side of her. By her response to the hardship, she could have completely denied herself of the blessing that the change contained.

In that case, the girls that flanked her could have picked up on the downer-energy and might have been inclined to just ignore her.

I’m grateful that she was thoughtful enough to give credit to God for sending a spider, because it prepared the way for her to receive the very thing she was hoping for all along.

My dear reader… What’s your spider? What ugly thing has showed up in your life that’s opposite to what you’ve been praying for?

It’s there for a reason.

(To watch additional clips from this event, click here)

A Hardship is always a blessing in disguise. Pay attention to how it “moves” you.

I’d like to help you make sense (cents) out of your setbacks. Are you ready for a better future? Click here to learn more about the life-changing Mindset Mastery Program. Originally published September 22, 2009


The Swell in Front of You

Staying in forward motion, even when things look bleak, does more for lining up your success than you realize.

(Don’t forget: If you’re afraid you’ll fall, at least fall forward.)

I like to think of what happens when you’re standing in a still pool of water.  As long as you stand still, nothing happens.  If you take one step forward, it creates a ripple all around you, but even more than that I want you to think about the swell that grows in front of you.

One simple step creates a temporary surge of water right there in front of you.

If your finances feel flat, take a step in the right direction. DO something. MOVE. If the water seems low, lunge forward! Push ahead and watch the water rise. If you move, you can’t help but create a swell; after all, it’s physics! Move forward, and the resources right in front of you will surge. By law, nature responds to your action according to the law of cause and effect. Doors open, teachers appear, funds gather…

The problem is, if you’re like me, quite often you’re too busy looking at the ripples spreading out in all directions (wondering if and when they’ll ever return), to even notice the swell in front of you.

So take a step in the right direction (methinks you already know what it is) and then look for evidence of a swell in your immediate surroundings.

  • Be of service to someone without expectation of repayment, and it creates a swell in that relationship.
  • Read something empowering, and it creates a swell in your outlook on life.
  • Make that phone call, and you gather strength against your fear.
  • Write down that intention with determination, and your faith grows.
  • Invest in yourself, and you create a swell in your confidence that everything is going to work out.

And let me remind you that by the seven laws, what shows up in your life has everything to do with the way you FEEL about your challenges. Taking a step forward always helps you FEEL better, and that feeling can become a catalyst for inviting the unseen help we all depend on to conquer seemingly impossible things.

Every good choice creates a swell, and so it’s your job to just make sure that the swell doesn’t level out again.  The only way to keep it surging is to keep on moving.  If you stop, then (just like when you’re in water) the swell eventually dissipates, and you’re left looking at a flat, motionless environment once again.

It’s a temptation to stand there and wait for someone else to come along and create a swell… but the power is in YOU.

So get moving, do something!  Even if you’re weary, just take one more step.  As long as you keep moving, your momentum will build, and the swell will almost seem to lead the way. Originally published Nov 6, 2009

Let me help you keep your thinking on track during the rough spots. If you’ve already read all of my free ebooks, then take your understanding to the next level with my powerful life-changing trainings. You’ll find some deep discounts on several items through November – click here to check it out!