aspire to inspiration

20130917-175033.jpgyou are the inspiration someone in your world needs…

and you may ever know what it is…

your flare, joy, hope, strength and maybe even your weakness…

will speak deep within their heart…

and make all the difference to their world!

aspire to inspire.

it never rains forever

20130916-232537.jpgwhere i live in Southland, New Zealand, it rains a lot. i’ve heard people say that the rain and resulting green grass are part of the reason that farming is so successful here.

even with the benefits it brings, the farmers don’t want it to rain everyday.

thankfully, it doesn’t.

be encourage that the rain comes for specific, beneficial reasons…

but it won’t always rain…

the sun will shine again!

and even if it’s raining on the outside, keep the sun shining in your heart.


don’t wait for inspiration…inspire

Fireworks 2005 (4)1-001

life can send us on a search for inspiration… instead of waiting for someone, something, or someway to become inspired…


the result of spreading a little inspiration is pretty amazing!

and it’s contagious…


boundaries or opportunities…which are you building?


One imprisons you

one opens your world of possibilities up in unbelievable ways

how listening will help you achieve better solutions


most people do not listen with the intent of hearing, they listen with an intent to answer. -unknown

have you ever had one if those conversations that didn’t actually require you to be involved? where you know the person is not hearing what your saying much less listening? where you throw in, “and she was dancing naked with all of her clothes on while a crowd of penguins gathered” and the other person says, “yeah, yeah but i was making my point that….”?

i have.

i have met people who can carry on an entire conversation without letting me say a word and not realize that i have been silent the whole time.

sadly, i’ve been that person, too.

there have been times as a shy teenager that i was quite happy for someone else to carry the conversation.

however, i remember feeling like i walked away without that person getting to know me at all.

i’ve exited conversations without leaving the room as well without the person noticing for quite some time.

actually, my husband gets this from me a lot. shocked? don’t be.

he and i have an agreement of sorts. he is passionate about oysters; how to grow them, how to build infrastructure they need, and many technical details that are beyond my comprehension or interest. my husband likes to talk through “how to…”(whatever it is) as a way to organise his thoughts. he just needs a warm body nearby to hear the sounds so that he feels like he’s talking to someone. he does not need or want input (yet). so, he has agreed during those times, i can “tune-out”, if i will indulge his need to be the only participant in the conversation. when he is ready for input, he lets me know he needs me to listen.

however, feeling surplus to requirement in conversations is extremely frustrating.

i want to be heard!

i want to be listened to!

i, also, want to contribute.

don’t you?

there is skill involved in listening. i believe it also requires a genuine heart and an attitude of respect.

listening is not waiting for your turn to talk, interrupting because you have something more important to say or correcting the other person.

listening is genuine interest.

listening makes you trustworthy to the other person. it means you are willing to learn about who they are and what is important to them- whether or not it’s important to you. you gather the contents of their heart and place value on those contents.

this leaves the person with a sense of acceptance and belonging which is encouraging.

pride will prevent listening. often, people who feel insecure will take on an attitude of pride that insists on proving they are more of an expert on a subject than the person they are talking to.

someone who is unteachable will demonstrate their belief that they “already know” all they need to on a subject projecting their knowledge through dominating the conversation.

this approach causes us to miss the heart of the matter which is relationship. we miss vital treasures. the contents within a person’s heart can bring such richness to our lives. all it requires is the investment -the art of listening.

this point was emphasised to me this past weekend. my ex-husband was sharing some struggles he was having with my son and he wanted me to talk to him. i decided that instead of being judgemental about the teenage symptoms, i would actively listen to his heart. i learned a lot.

he had desires and lack of desire that he wanted someone to hear and understand.

he wanted respect (i’m learning how vital the need for respect is in the heart of all men).

he wanted to be heard as a teen approaching adulthood. he didn’t want one-way conversation or lectures on life. he wanted his voice to matter.

he also had pain in there that he desperately did not want dismissed as trivial, teenage over reaction.

when i listened, i related and remembered times when i had experienced similar desires. i understood better what was making him tick. i was honest with myself that when i did not experience being listened to, frustration resulted followed by the temptation for poor behavior and attitudes.

listening to the contents of his heart helped me to not judge him but come to an understanding that could lead to a resolution that might actually work.

i am thankful for that opportunity. i realised that i have a young man emerging. i could see that although the symptoms were frustrating, frightening and difficult on my heart, there were answers that could bring a positive response.

in fact, i spoke sternly to him on a couple of matters after i had listened. when he replied, his defensiveness dropped and instead if a disrespectful answer, he replied,”yes, ma’am.” i have to say it stunned me for a moment. then i beamed with pride. do you know why? because i have taught my son to show me respect and i saw that the training is in there…it is in his heart. i didn’t demand it, he offered it.

listening is an art.

my husband always tells that a problem always points you in the direction of the solution. if you will pay attention to the problem and discover what is causing it…finding the solution becomes easier.

listening is the genuine paying attention when it comes to relationships that makes success much more accessible.

are you a good listener?

i would love to hear about some of the treasures you have gathered when you took time to listen to someone’s heart. will you leave me a comment? i could do a little heart-content gathering if you did!

thanks for stopping by,

4 lessons i learned in difficulty

20130813-221726.jpgwhen we think of life development and personal development, we hope the lessons aren’t too painful or don’t last too long.

we were freedom camping at the end of last year as our summer vacation (remember December is summer in NZ). one of my favorite things to do in NZ is to collect river stones. as the week days passed, i had gathered quite a collection of stones. my husband wanted to know what i planned to do with them all. he also had no faith that I could get them home. i had no idea what i’d do with them (at the time) but…excuse me, i would get them home!

my husband thinks this is an unusual pastime and often laughs. i once filled my backpack with stones and then climbed uphill for a couple of kilometres to get back home with them. it was worth it to me. besides, think of the great work out I received. you see, i killed two birds with one stone…so to speak 😎.

when we returned home from our vacation, we came face to face with a business dilemma. we thought this issue would last a short while but it turned into a 5 month test of faith (remember i said in my last post faith = what i believe).

for 5 months following our vacation, those river stones served as a visual reminder to my heart of times in my NZ journey that looked hopeless but weren’t.

when wondering through the wilderness, Israel set stone markers up along the way to remind them of the miraculous help they received from God in hard times. i followed their example.

lesson 1: don’t forget that when there seems to be no way out of difficulties, that God has always provided.

it’s nice to quote to my readers that we grow in hard times but unless i actually face a few hards times -growth doesn’t occur.

so, i set up 10 little piles of stones to remind me that each step of the way, i had seen provision before and i would again. i braced my heart and told myself, “you can do this, D!” after all, it was just a small gap to bridge.

so i thought.

first month went by. uncomfortable but bearable. i felt strong and probably a bit cocky.

second month…i didn’t exactly expect the gap to be this wide.

each day, i would walk past those stones and tell my heart, “you’ve been through tough times before. there has always been a way.” i believed this to my core. yet, i was beginning to feel really uncomfortable.

third month…not only was the gap widening but other difficulties were surfacing. difficulties that were challenging my heart to grow.

lesson 2: when hard times keep coming, there are lessons still to be learned. i read this quote the other day:

20130813-232600.jpgi began to notice that my heart was seeing things differently, it was more sensitive. i realized that i was gaining a deeper understanding for what people in similar situations might feel. something i had probably over looked too easily or maybe even dismissed. i was gaining new insight and understanding. my heart was softening (& i hadn’t expected that it would contain any level of hardness).

lesson 3: to be beneficial to others, the heart must see clearly. if the heart is too “inward” focused, it misses opportunities to share its gift with others.

fourth month…everything felt at risk. circumstances were bleak. no real solutions were presenting themselves and loss appeared inevitable. uncomfortable no longer described my situation.

lesson 4: i was learning the difference between what i wanted and what i needed. there is a difference, you know. a funny thing happens when you are used to getting what you want and then don’t…you either act like an adult and distinguish the difference or you act like a spoiled brat. i learned the importance of the difference. whew! good thing because lessons you don’t learn the first time get repeated.

fifth month…i would have laughed at what kept coming but by this time it was either sink or swim.

lesson 5: there is a need to learn how to receive graciously so that the gift that others have to share with me is not refused. we need one another. i love doing things for others. i enjoying giving but i don’t always know how to receive. i received such amazing support during this time -reminding me that others have special gifts that they need the opportunity to share and express. that is difficult on the pride but then again pride isn’t necessarily a good thing…is it?

there were times the past few months that could have been devastating. there were times that could have brought great fear. there were times that could have produced hopelessness.

yet, they didn’t. Difficult? Yes! Hard to breath or think at times? Yes, yes.

we made it through. Again.

a bit weary but stronger and wiser. Again.

faith tested- giving a deeper understanding of what we believe and why.

lessons learned- producing growth, and hopefully a more tender heart.

time to reach out and give, help, share and live in a deeper, richer way than before.

sometimes…if there is no pain, there is no gain. the muscles need to be strained for strength to be produced.

the soul and spirit need the same…producing a more beautiful heart and a richer life.

…the process is not fun but is beneficial!

life is a journey of faith.

why faith is important to me


What is faith?

For me, it is a belief that I place my confidence in strongly enough to motivate me to put that belief into action.

I believe in marriage. I believe that I must be loyal and faithful to my husband. I believe that in my marriage I must give 100% of myself. I believe my husband will always put me first, think about me before himself and make my life happy and full. I place my full confidence in my marriage and I work at it with everything within me.


Except…1 out of those three beliefs has brought me pain in the past because it’s not actually a truth. True! I do believe in marriage (wholeheartedly). I believe that I have responsibility in my marriage to be loyal, not quit, be faithful, and give everything I have to give (I am confident of this as truth). However, I have believed that my husband would always put me first, never disappointment me and make me laugh daily so that I would be the happiest I could dream of being. Guess what? Not true. It’s a misplaced belief. It’s probably more like fantasy. Yet, that belief has motivated many of my negative actions that I am ashamed to say…have not been very admirable.

This happens to all of us. When we believe with our whole heart…we act. Sometimes good, sometimes bad. Mistakenly, we believe that faith in something is good. It is when we believe truth. However, when we believe something that is not true, that is when we get into trouble. We all do it.

The problem with this is that once we put our faith into something and it doesn’t “work” (the way we imagined it), we have a tendency to give up and think that “faith” doesn’t work. We tell ourselves that we no longer believe…and we quit. That, my friend, is not faith.

throw some back/insight from a woman's heart

Faith is a conviction and deep assurance and confidence. We all have faith. We do. The things, people and deities we believe in may vary but some are similar.

  • I have faith that when I hit the light switch, I am going to get electricity. I don’t even have to give it much thought anymore. I am a believer.
  • I believe that when I put the key into my ignition, my car will start. I jump into it and turn the key before I realize it most of the time. I trust that my car will take me from my home to wherever I am heading.
  • I believe that gossip creates a separation between me and the person I begin to talk about.
  • I believe that one day, I or people I love will move from this life to the next. It’s sad but it will happen. My granddaughter and I talked about death this weekend. She is 5 years old. It is not something she wants to believe yet. It is frightening to her heart. Nonetheless, death is a truth that cannot be changed.
  • I believe in gravity.
  • I believe in spiritual laws like sowing and reaping. My actions, words and thoughts will produce a result, every time! Period. Therefore, I believe my best chance for good results is to apply wisdom. I rely on the truths I find in the proverbs and the Bible. I also believe that I can learn from the wisdom that others might share with me…my parents have given me wisdom, my friends have shared wisdom, and I have mentors who have spoken wisdom that I can practice.
  • I also believe that there is a God. I haven’t always acted like I did. I haven’t always allowed my motivation to cause me to practice this belief…but I do know in the depths of my heart…that He is. Over the years, I have discovered that some of the things I believed about God are actually not true. Some of those motivations moved me to do some embarrassing actions. Some of those beliefs caused me to act like a spoiled little brat much like a child who has expectations of a parent that are unrealistic and then when he/she does not get their way they throw a tantrum.

I have had to examine, test, and try my faith (beliefs) weighing them for truth and work with what was inaccurate. Believe me there have been many. God has also tried my faith. Interesting. I have a totally new concept of what this means now. He is not trying me to see if I am faithful…He is trying what I call faith to see if it holds water….if it is true or not…if my belief works or is a figment of my imagination.


how you make people feel/insight from a woman's heart

Because otherwise, I walk around with such a strong conviction that my actions and motivations are so right when all the while…I am believing something that is not actually based on truth and doesn’t work. So, my “faith” gets tried. When it doesn’t work…I want to quit. When what I should be doing is finding out where I am missing it as far as what I believe.

An example: if I put the key in my car and it doesn’t start, do I just get out of the car and say, “forget it, that thing doesn’t work. I can’t depend on it. This is just garbage. Why did I put my trust in this thing to take me to town?” No, I don’t. I actually begin to think, “What’s wrong? What have I done that might have caused my car not to start?” I then look to see if I can find an answer: did I put enough gas in it (or did I believe that I could go 5 more kms/miles)? Did I leave my lights on and run the battery down (did I believe that I didn’t have to do all the checks before exiting the car)? Did I misuse it causing a problem that I now need to fix (was I ignoring the safety rules and wreck the car)? Usually, unless the car is so old that it has completely stopped, there is something that I need to change so that I can get it going properly again. More times than not, I have practiced a wrong belief-I am notorious for believing I can get one more mile when the fuel gauge tells me it needs gas!

Faith is the same.

This is where I believe, just like the natural laws, spiritual laws are in place. They work every time. Without fail. (I know, pretty bold…but true). God would not be so meticulous about natural laws and not be meticulous about spiritual ones (the laws responsible for a healthy soul and spirit). Therefore, if I attempt to act outside of the spiritual laws IT IS NOT GOING TO WORK FOR ME. So, my bratty little soul will then throw a tantrum and say, “This faith stuff does not work. I didn’t get my way. I don’t believe this rubbish anymore.”

Let’s take strife for example. Here are a few bits of wisdom about strife:

  1. Have nothing to do with foolish, ignorant controversies; you know that they breed quarrels. And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but kind to everyone,…(quote from Paul to Timothy)
  2. Hatred stirs up strife, but love covers all offenses. (quote from Proverbs)
  3. A dishonest man spreads strife, and a whisperer separates close friends. (quote from Proverbs)
  4. If you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast … For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice. (quote from James).

learn/insight from a woman's heart

Whether you believe in spiritual laws or not; whether you believe in God or not, can you think of any times in your life that those quotes have been true?

I can.

I have believed (not consciously, but in actions), that I could get by with strife in my life. I have. I know I believed that because I have talked behind my bosses back (I was a whisperer). Come on. You have, too. I have also paid the consequences for it. I felt the pain when I was not trusted like I wanted to be by my boss(es). I have acted on jealous motivations and believe me…there was disorder and vile practices (I do not…I repeat, I do NOT like my jealous self)…I did not like the things I did because I was jealous about something. It was a misplaced belief that needed to be tried so that I could fix it. That is how faith gets tested and tired. Guess what, I no longer believe that acting out of jealousy is an acceptable behaviour for my life. I did not like what I “reaped” when I did. I have been through that test and I have a sure, secure, strong, stable belief that jealousy is not good, does not produce well and I want to stay far, far, far away from it. No one will convince me otherwise, I have had my faith in jealousy tested. The test proved to me that it did not bring the results to my life that make me happy, safe, peaceful and healthy. My faith in jealousy had to change.

The conclusion is not that faith did not work. The conclusion is what I believed did not work. If I wanted differing results…I needed to change what I believed in.

I have learned to believe that I do not have to get involved in every controversy…it leads to quarrels.

Sometimes, I offer advice. Sometimes, I join a conversation where I do not agree and I share my wisdom. I have learned; however, that, just like me, everyone on earth has the RIGHT to work their journey out to the best of their ability and gain wisdom as they go. Therefore, I can respect a person’s position, not judging them as right or wrong, and not feel like I have to be the authority in their life to make sure a change happens. Maybe, just maybe, I need to try my position in the conversation and see if it holds truth or not. I might be totally right (for my life…I don’t have to take their position as right for me) but I don’t have to cause a quarrel thus putting my relationship with that person at risk. I have found this to be wisdom. If I am quarrelling, something is wrong.


So, all that being said, I have had a very faith-trying 5 months. I would like to share my experience. Hopefully, you might find some of the things I learned inspiring. Join me by reading the next post if you are interested in hearing my “faith” story.

For today, I will leave you with the first thing I learned in these trying months:

“Not everything that I believe is truth for my life. I don’t know everything. I had a few beliefs that were not true.”

BTW, I thought I had learned this lesson…but…I learned I still have a lot to learn (you are so right, Maya Angelo).

The fun part, amongst the difficult parts I have gone through, is that I have had so much wisdom coming at me that does work and I am having a great time seeing the changes as valuable.

Let me ask you a question, do you have some things that you believe and practice that are not bringing you the kind of results you have dreamed of for your life? Here’s some Wisdom: Have an objective look (test/try them) before you reach the point of needing to have those beliefs tried for you…it’s much easier if you do the testing.

I hope you have a great week…it’s Monday for me…for those of you still living your Sunday…Monday is looking pretty good. Whew!

I hope to have you stop by again soon,


don’t stop reaching or stretching

i have had a big week, how about you? some good news, some not so much. i suppose that is how life goes. sometimes it can feel like a roller coaster.

getting on a roller coaster at an amusement park can stretch you…push you…cause you to dig deep.

should i? shouldn’t i?

eventually…you go for it…heart pounding.

are you the type of person who reaches for the sky, goes with the turns & ups and downs, squealing with delight?

at the end of the ride, emerging with a shout, “that was awesome!” proud that you set fear aside and lived through the thrill – braver than when you got on?

you did it!

you stretched beyond your limit of fear!

do it with life as well…

reach for the sky…

go with it…turns and all…

squeal in delight…

emerge…happier, braver, accomplished!

you did it…again!

yes, you did!

do something surprising everyday. stretch your limits…