One day an email landed in my box that inspired me. It told about a group of students who were asked to name what they thought were the Seven Wonders of the World. The wonders that received the most votes included Egypt’s Great Pyramids, Taj Mahal, Grand Canyon, Panama Canal, Empire State Building, St. Peter’s Basilica, and China’s Great Wall.
But apparently one student had trouble finishing her list, stating she could not make up her mind because there were so many to choose from. The teacher encouraged her to share her list aloud with the other students to see if they could help. She read, “I think the Seven Wonders of the World are to see, to hear, to touch, to taste, to feel, to laugh, and to love.”
This unexpected list was followed by a poignant reminder—“The most precious things in life cannot be built by hand or bought by man.”
This student listed “wonders” that I never thought much about until one day a few years ago when my husband and I took my friend, Shirley, for what turned out to be her final jeep ride.
Riding in the jeep was not a big deal to me, perhaps because it was “old hat” as some might say. But Shirley, then in the final stages of her battle with cancer, noticed details I never had and she relished every moment of her ride. I was captivated by her adoration and reverence for what she was seeing and by every breath of fresh country air she took in so gratefully. She passed on a few months later.
My jeep ride with her taught me lessons I will never forget. I discovered colors in the sunset I didn’t know were there. I learned that each of our cows has its own distinct bellow and some have really long eyelashes. I noticed that the deeper the hole you drive over, the harder your laugh will be. I found that looking out over big Texas pastures reminds you of the broad expanse of God’s love. I was informed that gazing at the horizon when the sun is setting fills you with a peaceful sense of the infinity of life.
How do we keep our sense of wonder?
How do we maintain our appreciation of all the everyday miracles that compose our day?
How do we never overlook the blessings that make up each life moment?
Even to ask such questions is a good beginning. Pausing to ask these questions also requires pausing to explore for the answers. Our sincere desire to cherish life is a prayer in and of itself—and one that will be answered.
As I learned in my jeep ride, the more acutely aware we are of what and who shares our days, the more meaningful and satisfying life will be. Savoring and mindfully using any of the wonders of sight, hearing, taste, touch, feeling, laughter, and love will guide you to even more of the wonders that God promises for her beloved children.
Start right now—this very moment—and keep yourself in a constant state of awe, admiration, and respect for every ordinary and extraordinary wonder in your day. You don’t want to miss anything. I sure hope I don’t.
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What matters most to us or what will we make time for—no matter what, in any event, in any case? What are we determined to do even if it is difficult? In other words, come hell, hay, or high water, what ranks at the top of our preferences, what takes precedence, what has our highest regard, what is our greatest concern, what will sway us into immediate action, what is so paramount that we can’t live without it? I suspect you get the idea.
This type of questioning can help us set priorities that are truly significant and important to us. With priorities that have our utmost concern, we will be motivated to action. We will set goals that we are impelled to accomplish, yes, come hell, hay, or high water. I suspect our time management skills would also greatly improve.
I think that a person striving to accomplish her goals and dreams or reach her destination, in spite of hell and high water, has clarity of intention, purpose, reason, motive and rationale. Consequently, this person will be able to stay focused on her direction and objective, and she will let nothing stop her from doing what she must—again, COME HELL, HAY, or HIGH WATER!
What keeps you focused on your goals?
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My soon-to-have-her-PhD-in-history daughter has always been an avid reader! As a toddler, she loved her plastic non-tearable books. But even when she started holding paper books, she gently turned the pages as she read the stories to all of her stuffed animal friends. Her love for story and the smell of paper continued to grow as she blossomed into a beautiful and intelligent woman. She still much prefers to hold her cherished books in her hands (rather than using her iPad) as she anxiously turns their pages to discover what happens next.
So when I’m looking for good book suggestions to read myself, I ask my daughter. And I’ve never been disappointed. Below are her Summer 2013 top 10 picks!
Inferno by Dan Brown
A Spear of Summer Grass by Deanna Raybourn
The Bookman’s Tale by Charlie Lovett
Life After Life by Kate Atkinson
The Movement of Stars by Amy Brill
The Interestings by Meg Wolitzer
Trains and Lovers by Alexander McCall Smith
The Engagements by J. Courtney Sullivan
Me Before You by Jojo Moyes
Revenge Wears Prade: The Devil Returns by Lauren Weisberger
What’s on your summer reading list?
I’ll be selling and signing my books
Open House Trunk Show!
Thursday, May 30, 5 PM – 8 PM
8756 Teel Parkway, Frisco, Texas 75034
Enjoy an amazing night of jewelry new to North Texas, upscale chic clothing, accessories and cocktails with girlfriends! Register to win an awesome “spring” accessories package and join the Confections Boutique “V.I.P. Sweets” Member Club for savings and specials!
And meet Cindy and Alex of “Big Rich Texas!”
Hope you can come and please help me spread the word about this fun girlfriend evening!
It’s Book Launch Party Time!!
Thursday, May 9th at 12 Noon
Introducing my new book ~ The Queen of Damn Good Advice
At my favorite North Texas boutique!
501 N. Union, Whitesboro, TX, 76273 ~ 903-564-5500
It’s also Customer Appreciation Day at Sunny Paige
Come for yummy food, fabulous apparel, shoes, accessories and home decor and MY BOOKS – both are great gifts for moms and graduating seniors, by the way!
So yes, The Gospel According to Mamma will be there! And ME, TOO!!!