How brokenness can make you more effective

I read the story below several years ago and really struggled with it…

A young woman sang a solo in front of a large audience. Her vocal technique was splendid, her intonation excellent, her range significant.

Coincidentally, the man who had written the piece of music she sang was sitting in the audience. When the young woman finished, the person sitting beside the composer leaned over and said, “Well, what do you think of her?”

Softly the composer responded, “She will be really great when something happens to break her heart.” ~ C. Swindoll

“Really?”  

My heart pushed back  ~ “Why does something have to break your heart before you become really great?”  

Part of my brain argued with the thought and then shut down.

…A few years later, I walked through the most significant struggle in my life…

Brokenness Creates Humility, Thankfulness Sustains It

Yesterday I gave a presentation and shared a painful story from our lives and some of the lessons we learned, hoping to make a difference for even one person.  

Two specific lessons I shared were:

  • Brokenness can serve as a catalyst to humble us and make us whole again.  
  • Thankfulness is the key to continuing that evolution.    

Tonight I realized that September 11th is just around the corner.  That date, always makes me think of where we were on the day our nation will never forget…  My husband was at work in Houston.  I was on a business trip in Phoenix. I turned on the television in my hotel room as the plane hit the second tower and wondered if I had tuned into a movie instead of the news.  When the Pentagon was hit, I realized everything was real and wondered if this was the start of WW III.  

Hope & Help for Difficult Career Transitions

I’ve been thinking about the people who struggle with job searches.

  • Some recent graduates hide in the comfort of their homes and conduct their entire career search online.
  • Some are so paralyzed in fear that it is not uncommon for parents and spouses to look for outside direction and support to help their loved ones become active participants in their own job searches.
  • Even accomplished adults that are faced with unwanted career transitions can become webbed in the midst of change and struggle to engage.

If you fit any of those descriptions – this post is for you. And if you know anyone that fits those descriptions this post is for them.

THANK THEM for a freedom we should never take for granted…

“I have read that…  If you have never experienced the danger of battle, the loneliness of imprisonment, the agony of torture, or the pangs of starvation, you are ahead of 500 million other people in the world.  If you can attend worship services at church without the fear of harassment, arrest, torture, or death, you are more blessed then three billion people in the world.”  Kay Warren

That quote helps to express why I’ve said for years that if you cut me I bleed red, white and blue.  Today as I live in a foreign land with significantly less freedoms than the one I call home, that quote is even more true.

I simply love America!  ~No I’m not proud of every part of our history, but oh how I believe in our vision:  We hold these truths to be self-evident that all men were created equal, they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness!

I’m an American because my ancestors heard that vision from across the ocean, because they could imagine it, because they could feel it, because it felt like the very best possible gift they could give it to their children and grandchildren, because they took a giant leap of faith and left everything to move to the land of the free.

Rapt AWE! The spark that ingites the fire and engages others

October was a tough month.

  • I came down with a bad cold/flu and was sick for two weeks.  During which time I spent way too much time watching news about the brokenness of the government in the country I love and call home.
  • I also spent too much time thinking about the fact that I’ve been in this new land six months and wondering “now what?”
  • (Note to self and to the world – it is never a good idea to do a lot of reflection when you are sick, tired, and run-down!)

As soon as I felt well enough to get out of the house I said yes to everyone I had been saying no to while I was sick.  And although I was thrilled to see them, I tried to do too much too soon.

iStock_000019482062XSmallThe good news is that October ended better than it started.

  • A book that we read for book club fueled deep reflection, a passionate debate and further dialog.
  • As soon as the posts on fear went live on Monday I felt lighter.
  • I spent this week doing a variety of things that challenged and fueled my heart, my soul, and my mind.

And I came home today feeling so thankful.  As always, I turned on the music that would reflect my heart and speak to me.  And then sat down to write.  As I looked through interviews I’ve done and thoughts I’ve been noting, I stumbled across this quote from Einstein.

He who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead; his eyes are closed.