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What Will Love Motivate You to Do?

16 May

Mike Bruno is the women’s volleyball coach at Point Park University. He’s also the father of seven-year old Cassie who was born blind and has autism. Born premature at just 25 weeks, Cassie weighed only 1 pound, 14 ounces. She’s been overcoming obstacles since she was born.

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Recently, her dad took on a challenge of his own. On May 5, Mike ran the Pittsburgh Marathon…while blindfolded.

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Mike’s goal was to raise awareness and funds for the Vision Research ROPARD Foundation. He enlisted the help of a friend to be his guide for the run and get this – they finished in 3:38:51. Impressive? Oh, yeah.

I don’t know about you, but running 26.2 miles would be challenging enough with eyes wide open! The mere idea of running a marathon blindfolded seems outrageous to me. But this father allowed his love for his daughter and his desire to understand her world to push him to the finish line.

What will love motivate you to do today? You might not have to go to the lengths this dad did, but there might be someone in your life who needs you to go one extra mile for them today.

Let your love for them motivate you to step out of your comfort zone, push aside your excuses, and be bold. Love big today.

Blessings,
♥Rachel

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Some Monday Cheer

8 Apr

Treatment #8 went very well on Friday. I had planned to ask Dr. D if he would re-do my CMP and CBC to check my kidney function again since it was abnormal when tested eight weeks ago, but then normal when tested five days later. The nervous side of me wanted to make sure the numbers truly were still fine. :) But I didn’t have to ask because he had already ordered they be re-done before I even saw him. (Smart guy that he is.) And I was thrilled to see they were all normal! 

The video, below, was all over the news this weekend. If you didn’t get a chance to see it, be sure to watch it here. You will be glad you did. I promise.

Jack Hoffman is a 7 year old cancer patient with a brain tumor. He is a huge Nebraska Cornhusker’s football fan. During Nebraska’s scrimmage on Saturday, Jack got to not only go on the field, but take the ball and run it 67 yards for a touchdown!

This first video is of the coach and quarterback going over the play with him.

This second video is where you might get a little choked up. I did.

Yes, friends. There is still good in this world. Even though we are surrounded by cynicism, pummeled with problems, and overwhelmed by ornery, cranky people (at times) – moments like this remind us that good people do still exist and things like this big-little act of making a dream come true are what truly matter.

Blessings,
♥Rachel

Love Inspired

28 Feb

I have two warm-your-heart-and-make-you-smile videos for you today. I found both of these to be so encouraging and inspiring – glimpses into the goodness of mankind.

{If you’re reading this in email,
you may need to click over to the blog to watch the videos.}

J.J. Watt’s Remarkable Friendship

Faith in Humanity Restored


We are not all famous football players, but all have influence. We do not all have an opportunity on a basketball court to bring joy to a young man’s life, but we all have a platform that we can use to love others. That platform is our life.

Every day, we come in contact with people who could use more of our smile and less of our scowl. Every week, we cross paths with people who could use more of our kindness and less of our grumpiness. Sometimes, these people are in our own homes – they are our very own families. They are also our work families, the people we encounter in stores or at church, and while attending events or participating in activities each and every week.

Is there a mom who sits alone at your child’s soccer game every Saturday? I wonder if she might need a friend, or at the very least – a hello from you. Look at the faces in the waiting room at your doctor’s office. Some of them are so filled with fear they can barely breath. Others are exhausted from the physical pain of their illnesses. Would your smile and a kind word make a difference to them? I’m certain it would.

Nothing we do or say in this lifetime
will matter as much
as the way we loved each other.
Reinhold Niebuhr

Let’s promise each other that we will keep our eyes open for opportunities to do good, be kind, and just plain ‘ole love on those around us. Some opportunities may be slightly inconvenient or might require sacrifice and time investment, but don’t shy away from them because of that. Those may be the people who need you most and those opportunities may be where you find your greatest blessings!

Have a blessed day!
♥Rachel

The Forgottens

14 Jan

When someone is diagnosed with cancer or serious illness, we tend to rush to their aid. We pray for them, call and send cards, and ask what we can do for them.

spreading-light

But what about the caregivers?

What about those selfless servants who give tirelessly of themselves to love and care for the patient? They tend to get overlooked and forgotten, but there is no doubt they need as much prayer, love and encouragement as the sick.

The trauma of watching someone you love struggle with a serious illness can be overwhelming, to the point where they may find it hard to think about their new reality or cope with everything they are feeling. Yet, they have no choice but to be “on” each day caring for the needs of the person they love. And then they collapse into bed at night, exhausted both emotionally and physically from the demands of being a caregiver.

As the patient, I know how crazy easy it is to fall into the it’s all about me trap because when you are diagnosed with cancer…it truly becomes all about you. Your doctor’s appointments, your blood tests, your symptoms, your pain level, your emotions, and your needs. I get it, and I am blessed beyond comprehension with a husband who makes it all about me and what I need.

But I can’t help but feel for the non-vocational nurses – the caregivers who sadly stand bravely by as someone they love suffers and sometimes even dies. Those are the ones we can’t. They put on a brave face because they don’t want the patient to see how scared they truly are. They say they are fine while inside their heart breaks to see someone they love struggle in such a difficult way. We rarely see their tears or even acknowledge their fears, but they are there.

If you know someone who is being cared for right now, why not take a minute today to send the caregiver a note? It could be just the encouragement they need. Being the patient is easy (relatively speaking). Being the one watching and helping and doing is hard. They want to “fix” things, but can’t. They want to ease the physical pain, but can’t. They want to cure their husband, wife, son, daughter or parent, but can’t.

Being the caregiver is one of the toughest jobs in the world. Just like the patient didn’t choose their illness, the caregiver didn’t choose this role either – but they do it with a willing heart overflowing with love. Thank God for them.

Blessings!
Rachel

Remembering Zig Ziglar

29 Nov

Hilary Hinton “Zig” Ziglar was an author and motivational speaker who inspired millions of people to grow, do and be more – and to do it all with integrity, compassion, and enthusiasm. He passed away yesterday at the age of 86 from pneumonia.

Mr. Ziglar was a Southern boy, growing up in Mississippi and graduating from one of our beloved SEC schools, the University of South Carolina. He also served our country during WWII.

His legacy is a large one. His words, the kind of words that could motivate people to take chances, try new things, and move beyond their present situation to achieve their dreams.

Success to Mr. Ziglar was not simply connected to status or measured by earnings. Instead, he taught that success is determined by how you live your life, what kind of impact you have on those around you, and what you do to improve the world we live in.

In honor of this man who left a positive mark on so many people, I want to share some of my favorite Zig Ziglar quotes:

Man may go to Heaven without Health, Wealth, Fame,
A Great Name, Learning, Big Earnings, Culture,
Beauty, Friends, 10,000 other things;
But he can never go to Heaven without Christ!

——————–

Remember that failure is an event, not a person.

——————–

You cannot tailor-make the situations in life
but you can tailor-make the attitudes
to fit those situations.

——————–

Expect the best. Prepare for the worst.
Capitalize on what comes.

——————–

A narrow mind and a fat head
invariably come on the same person.

——————–

Among the things you can give
and still keep are your word,
a smile, and a grateful heart.

——————–

If you go looking for a friend,
you’re going to find they’re scarce.
If you go out to be a friend,
you’ll find them everywhere.

——————–

If you treat your wife like a thoroughbred,
you’ll never end up with a nag.
{Good advice for all men, right ladies? :) }

——————–

You never know when a moment
and a few sincere words
can have an impact on a life.

——————–

Positive thinking will let you do everything
better than negative thinking will.

——————–

The foundation stones
for a balanced success are
honesty, character, integrity,
faith, love and loyalty.

Thanks, Mr. Ziglar, for so many wonderful life lessons.

Rachel

November is for Giving Thanks

1 Nov

This has nothing to do with anything other than last night being Halloween, but I just have to say – It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown is such a great classic! It really makes me smile. And it makes me feel old. :)

Day 2 of no Diet DP was a success. As I sit here typing this, I have not had any Diet DP since Monday morning. I was definitely dragging this morning, but I think my body is starting to adjust. The up+up side is that I’m downing a lot more water than I even drank before. I guess that’s what you would call a win+win situation. My wonderful husband has been drinking only water, too. And even more friends and family have joined this little adventure, committing to try it for at least a week. Yay!!

source: pinterest

Well, welcome to November, friends! Can you seriously believe it is already November? I would like to make a formal request to whomever manages the time clock that we sloooooow – it – down a bit. :)

November automatically puts me in the Thanksgiving and gratitude frame of mind, and it always makes me pay extra attention to all of the things for which I have to be grateful. For starters, I’m super, crazy, over-the-moon thankful for Daylight Savings Time, falling back an hour, and gaining an hour of sleep on Saturday night! Who’s with me on this one?? :)

But on a more serious note, witnessing the suffering of so many in the Northeast makes me sad and heavy-hearted. At the same time, I am also overwhelmed with gratitude that my sister in New Jersey and her family were spared the worst. She’s faced a lot of frustrations and inconveniences over the last few days, but I am so thankful her home is still standing and they are all safe. In addition, friends that were visiting up that way and those who live there are also safe and well. All of this makes me very happy . . . and grateful. I’m pretty sure I’ve said thank you to Jesus no less than 40 times in the past three days.

But my heart is heavy. As I look at the homes that are leaning sideways onto the sand, the charred remains of homes in Breezy Point, NY, and the entire towns that are still under water, I am reminded to be thankful each day for not just the comforts I have, but also the people in my life because there is no guarantee they will be there tomorrow.

What are you grateful for today? I would love to hear about the blessings you are experiencing today.

Here’s to a grateful Thursday. Hope yours is blessed in countless ways!
 Rachel

We’re Not Too Old For Temper Tantrums

18 Oct

I stopped to pick up lunch at a restaurant with one of those outdoor playgrounds. A little boy was inside with his grandmother and he wanted to go out and play. Problem was – the playground was wet from just being cleaned and was closed until it could dry up a bit. This did not satisfy Little Man.

source: thinkstockphotos.com

The manager of the restaurant was nearby and heard his begging to go outside and play. He came over and tried to explain to Little Man that the playground was wet and it would not be safe for him to play on it right now. The boy insisted he knew how to be careful and wouldn’t fall or get hurt, pleading with the manager and his grandmother to let him go play.

Much to his dismay, neither of them gave in.

As he walked out the door, his face spanned the range of emotions from disappointment to anger to full-blown crocodile tears. He stomped his foot, crossed his arms, stuck his bottom lip out, and sulked to the car as the tears began to fall. A few minutes later, as I walked to my car, he had worked himself up to a good, solid cry.

Oh, the disappointment! Toddlers don’t handle it well, and neither do us grown ups.

As John Maxwell defines it, disappointment is the gap between our expectations and reality. Disappointment is the result of us expecting one thing and something else happening instead.

This little guy expected to play on the playground. The reality of a wet playground prevented him from doing so. Thus resulting in a temper tantrum and disappointment.

Disappointments like that are fairly easy to get over when you’re a child. The disappointment lasts only until the next thing to catch your attention comes along. Grown up disappointments seem to stick around a little longer than that. Probably because we wear them like a blanket wrapped around our shoulders on a cold day, not wanting to let them go.

I’ll be the very first to admit – I do not handle disappointment well at all. At all.

When I want something and I don’t get it, I get upset. It doesn’t matter if someone tries to explain why I can’t have/do/be/go/see/own it, I still want it. Even if the reason I can’t have/do/be/go/see/own it is for my own good – I still get miffed. And many times, I throw my own little temper tantrums.

Pouting. Sulking. Getting angry. Lashing out. Punishing the disappoint-er. You might even stomp your foot if you’re really mad!

We’re not much different than the toddler, are we? Tantrums are not pleasant in children; they are even less pleasant in grown ups.

Imagine what God must think??

“I’ve given you all of this {spreading His arms open wide to show us the virtually unlimited blessings He’s already given to us} and it’s still not enough? Good thing I love you so much.”

Maybe God is not allowing you to have that job right now because a better one is on its way.

Maybe God allowed your relationship to end because He has someone much, much better in mind for you.

Maybe God is withholding something you want because it’s just not going to be good for you.

So, how do we deal with disappointment? You can still pout, sulk, and get mad if it makes us feel better – but I doubt it will truly make us feel better. Instead, may I suggest that we pause, thank God for everything we do have, and remember how very blessed we are.

Disappointments will always find their way to us – giving into to the disappointed feelings is our choice. We’re not too old for temper tantrums, but let’s be too wise to let them rule our day. God has better things in store!

Wishing you a terrific Thursday!!
 Rachel