Looking for that four-leaf clover?

I suspect we all have dreams of the person we want to become, the life we look forward to, the goals we yearn to accomplish, the ambitions we hope to achieve, the experiences we long to have, and undoubtedly we can also envision the assets we wish to acquire over the course of our lifetime. And I suspect many of us have wished for that yellow brick road that would get us to our pot of gold as fast as possible.

As I was walking around our farm the other day, I noticed a huge patch of clover. I fondly recalled the many hours I spent as a young child sitting in the midst of a clover patch looking for one with four leafs.

Wikipedia explains that the four-leaf clover is an uncommon variation of the common, three-leaved clover. According to tradition, such leaves bring good luck to their finders, especially if found accidentally. In addition, each leaf is believed to represent something: the first is for faith, the second is for hope, the third is for love, and the fourth is for luck.

Someone had told me that finding a four-leaf clover brought the promise of good fortune. Granted, at six years old, I’m not sure I had a real sense of what good fortune would mean, other than an endless stockpile of my favorite candy. But I knew it sounded like a good thing and was worth my search effort.

With the odds one in 10,000, I never found my four-leaf clover, however.

Even though I gave up long ago the idea of finding the coveted four-leaf clover, I have often longed for some kind of faster track to reaching my dreams. Since most of my dreams cost money, there have been times when I purchased a lottery ticket, rationalizing somebody had to win so why couldn’t it be me.

Other times I go about my dreams the old-fashioned way – setting goals and implementing plans that hopefully – eventually – will help me accomplish them.

It is still tempting to wish for that easier and faster route. And the long, dusty, dirt road we often must endure can become discouraging. It wasn’t too long ago when I had an epiphany that calmed my anxiousness.

I concluded that living the life of our dreams never reaches a final destination; that our lifetime is always ahead of us. I reasoned it didn’t matter if I had not yet become the person I’ve always wanted to be because we’re always in the state of “becoming.” We never reach the point where we can say there’s nothing more to learn or experience or achieve. So there wasn’t an ultimate “pot of gold” to obtain that would indicate my journey was over. This was a relief!














What inspires you?

Wearing flip-flops inspires me!

I admitted long ago that I was a flip-flop-oholic. For me this has meant, besides owning a few dozen pairs of these foot-loving treasures, taking life a bit slower and easier as well as taking most matters less seriously.

But recently a friend shared a new term that I believe better describes my approach to life. So now I say I’m a flip-floptimist! This me is more adaptable and flexible, more carefree and relaxed, more lighthearted. This me spends less time fretting and stressing and more time being content and happy.

While I would agree that I’ve not always lived by my flip-flop philosophy, it has been my life-long goal and these days I’m much more successful at implementing it.

Living in your flip-flops is about being in the moment as well as taking the scenic route (and a few detours) as you travel your life journey. And sometimes it’s about reinventing yourself into a new you. As Sandy Gingris writes in her book, How to Live in Flip-flops, “Think Cinderella absolutely transformed by her shoes…”

Sandy points out that one definition of flip-flop is a verb meaning “to suddenly reverse direction or point of view.” By the way, a change of direction is sometimes necessary and quite appropriate when reinventing your self. Flip-flopping can be a good thing!

A few tidbits of Sandy’s flip-flop wisdom that I especially appreciate include:

“When we open up our feet to the sun, our lives seem to open up also – to the stars and the moon, to the sky, to the possibilities of the horizon.”

“We are never as far away from our flip-flop selves as we might feel. If we just give ourselves a moment, we can open up to the flip-flop self within.”

“Life shouldn’t be the story of how we lose ourselves.”

Indeed, living in your flip-flops is about finding yourself – your true self, otherwise known as your flip-flop self. It’s about taking those precious needed moments for self-discovery and fulfillment.

Since I want all sisters, daughters and mammas to benefit from the power of the flip-flop, I’ve included the essay, “When your glass slipper is a flip-flop” in my upcoming book, The Queen of Damn Good Advice. I don’t want any of us to ever forget to have fun and enjoy what we’re doing. And ladies, flip-flops can help you with this endeavor.













Books & more that inspire!


Books & more that inspire!


I’m always looking for books, quotes, videos – ANYTHING – that inspires me! Two of the books noted below – The Gentle Art of Blessing and The Last Lecture – are two of my favorite inspiration books and the other – One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You – was recently recommended by a friend. I’ve ordered it TODAY and can’t wait to read it because I have a feeling it is exactly what I need to read and read soon! (I’ve included the book summaries published on Amazon and the book titles are links to their Amazon page.)

Who among us isn’t looking or longing for inspiration right where we are? The many details of our day-to-day life can become consumed and overwhelmed with trying to get by, get past, get done with whatever needs to be accomplished. But sometimes we need to take a little break – a time-out. It’s usually during these moments when I wish I could run away and escape, such as going to the beach – my favorite place to take a time-out. Since that isn’t always possible being that the ocean is about a thousand miles from my house, taking moments to look for and find inspiration in books, quotes and videos suffices. Of course, a trip to Starbucks can help, too!


One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are by Ann Voskamp

Just like you, Ann Voskamp hungers to live her one life well. Forget the bucket lists that have us escaping our everyday lives for exotic experiences. ‘How,’ Ann wondered, ‘do we find joy in the midst of deadlines, debt, drama, and daily duties? What does the Christ-life really look like when your days are gritty, long–and sometimes even dark? How is God even here?’ In One Thousand Gifts, Ann invites you to embrace everyday blessings and embark on the transformative spiritual discipline of chronicling God’s gifts. It’s only in this expressing of gratitude for the life we already have, we discover the life we’ve always wanted…a life we can take, give thanks for, and break for others. We come to feel and know the impossible right down in our bones: we are wildly loved–by God. Let Ann’s beautiful, heart-aching stories of the everyday give you a way of seeing that opens your eyes to ordinary amazing grace, a way of being present to God that makes you deeply happy, and a way of living that is finally fully alive. Come live the best dare of all!


The Gentle Art of Blessing: A Simple Practice That Will Transform You and Your World by Pierre Pradervand 

How can a blessing change the world? According to Pierre Pradervand, making the conscious choice to bless every person or being around you can truly make a world of difference in yourself and in others around you. In The Gentle Art of Blessing, Pradervand shows that the practice of blessing has the power to create more than just a renewed perspective. It unleashes tangible benefits throughout your entire life — through your daily interactions, your life-long relationships, and in the way your approach your place in the world.

Pradervand describes blessing as genuinely wishing the best for another person through seeing their individual worth and honoring them for it. By looking at several different perspectives — providing spiritual inspiration from Hinduism, Taoism, the Koran, the Bible, and other important spiritual sources — The Gentle Art of Blessing explores the potential in shifting one’s attitude from confrontation and negativity to acceptance and enthusiasm. A powerfully simple way of perceiving and shaping our surroundings, blessings can reflect the unconditional love and acceptance that is necessary for world — and inner — peace.


The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch

A lot of professors give talks titled “The Last Lecture.” Professors are asked to consider their demise and to ruminate on what matters most to them. And while they speak, audiences can’t help but mull the same question: What wisdom would we impart to the world if we knew it was our last chance? If we had to vanish tomorrow, what would we want as our legacy?

When Randy Pausch, a computer science professor at Carnegie Mellon, was asked to give such a lecture, he didn’t have to imagine it as his last, since he had recently been diagnosed with terminal cancer. But the lecture he gave–“Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams”–wasn’t about dying. It was about the importance of overcoming obstacles, of enabling the dreams of others, of seizing every moment (because “time is all you have…and you may find one day that you have less than you think”). It was a summation of everything Randy had come to believe. It was about living.

In this book, Randy Pausch has combined the humor, inspiration and intelligence that made his lecture such a phenomenon and given it an indelible form. It is a book that will be shared for generations to come.

 May something or someone provide the inspiration YOU need today! 

What inspires you?

What inspires you?

Welcome to my “What inspires you?” blog! I would like to devote this blog to the people or places that inspire us. And if you’re like me, I’m sure there are many other ways you get inspiration, too – such as from songs, books, movies, your pets, and so on.

You’re invited to share about YOUR “special someone, somewhere or something” in the comment box below and tell me why you were inspired! Don’t feel you have to write several paragraphs to participate. Even a one-line explanation is most welcomed!

 Let’s celebrate our inspirations together!

Many folks know that my mamma has been a huge inspiration in my life. So she must be the first person I honor in this blog. What inspires me most about my mamma? Her strength, stamina and ability to turn “bad” into “good” to name three!

But her life is also testament to how “a different outlook can change the course of one’s life.” Putting into practice this “mamma lesson” has rescued my own life more than a few times.

My mamma didn’t finish high school. She married and began a family too young, if you consider fifteen too young. She was a stay-at-mom with four children. But her marriage wasn’t destined for eternal bliss. Marital problems eventually led to a divorce and her departure from the only state she had ever lived.

She went on a westbound journey with her youngest child (me) with little money, few clothes, with no idea how she would support us or where we were going. She left everything behind her.

But I later understood that her leaving everything behind included leaving behind old perspectives and old ways of doing things. She had to! She could no longer be dependent on someone else. She began a working career at age forty-two and did whatever she had to do to obtain the skills she needed to be successful – which many times included taking classes at night after working all day. I saw her work her way out of poverty one day at a time and happy every step of the way. She loved learning and gaining new knowledge, skills and abilities.

She believed with all her heart that anything was possible. She had an invincible faith in a divine power. She was confident that our needs would be met – maybe not always the day we wanted, but eventually. She was patient, resolute, and determined.

Her story is not a rags-to-riches one, but I never felt without. My mamma made me feel and believe we had all we needed and wanted.

She has inspired me to also believe that anything is possible if I embrace that perspective and have the faith, patience and determination required to achieve my own dreams.

There are probably many people who have inspired me in some way, but I don’t think there is anyone who has inspired me more than my mamma!