I'm thinking about fear this weekend and did a little web surfing to some favorite "good attitude" experts that I've loved over the years: Wayne Dyer, Tony Robbins, Oprah, Louise Hay. And of course, I've read several religious articles and scriptures too. For me, an hour of reading and then writing in a journal about some of what I learned is the best way to teach myself.
I get such a kick out of this picture of Oprah while she was at Tony Robbins' workshop called Unleash the Power Within. (She's walking on hot coals, not a path of rose petals btw!) This is what he said:
Tony Robbins: "I was especially privileged to have Oprah at this event. For years I have described her as the ultimate example of someone who’s overcome the most extreme odds to create an extraordinary life of service & contribution. My team worked hard to preserve her privacy during the event so that she could have her OWN experience and be herself. I was thrilled that she stayed for the entire 12 hours, played full out and—in spite of significant fear—was one of the first to storm across the fire!I was equally proud of each and every person in the room. Like Oprah, and like myself, they were all in the midst of coming full circle of— to one degree or another — throwing off rough beginnings and taking steps towards designing the lives we all desire and deserve. The transformations in the room were breathtaking."
We were in Anaheim - Scott was attending the American Academy of Ophthalmology meetings which were scheduled from Friday to Monday. So I had lots of time to myself and took good advantage of it by reading, writing, and shopping (think Southern California malls lol).
But this was Sunday morning and I wanted to go to church. I found the address for the LDS ward in the area and took off in our rental car. (This was before GPS.) I got lost and knew I didn't want to wander around unfamiliar neighborhoods all alone. Then, in the distance I saw the outline of the Crystal Cathedral - a church that I knew about because we had toured it years before when visiting Anaheim. It was famous for its architecture (glass walls and ceiling) and for Robert Schuller's Hour of Power. (It has now, sadly, gone into bankruptcy).
I decided it would be fine for my Sunday excursion, better than going back to the hotel. I found the parking lot and followed some people going inside. The Sunday morning services had just started, so I quickly found a place to sit. I still remember when the choir started to sing - I had to look up and behind me to see them. They performed from the loft which was at the top and back of the auditorium. The acoustics were amazing and their lively music filled the air. Their hymn was just the beginning of the music-inspired joy that awaited me.
The reason I'm thinking about this now is that CeCe Winans is a wonderful gospel singer and family friend of Whitney Houston. They performed together on occasion - I love thier duet of Bridge Over Troubled Waters and their Count on Me song from Waiting to Exhale. And CeCe Winans perfomed at Whitney Houston's funeral. Her voice, as she sang Don't Cry for Me, was said by many to sound very much like Whitney singing.
Back to the cathedral. Dave Ramsey gave an amazing talk about finances and budgeting and tithing. He was funny and dynamic and convincing. As I listened I hurried to take notes about his seven 'baby steps.' (Again, little did I know how famous and influential he would become.) I think his Total Money Makeover offers some of the best financial advice around.
Next the spotlight moved to a smaller side stage RIGHT IN FRONT OF ME. On the stage was a quartet and a soloist ready to perform. When CeCe Winans started singing, I started crying. Her performance was one of the most beautiful and spiritually-touching events of my life. She sang Jesus You're Beautiful, a song that I'd never heard, but have now played about a million times in my car. Her voice, her presence, her dynamics, her gestures, the quartet accompanying her were all amazing.
After the service, I went to the bookstore next to the church and bought Dave Ramsey's book and CeCe's CD. I put the music in the car CD player and started driving. As I listened to the CD, I again caught my breath as she sang How Great Thou Art, one of my all-time favorite songs. I drove and drove just listening to the music.
I remember looking at the map and realizing I could stay on the same road and end up at the beach, which I did. I called Scott to confirm that I was headed in the correct direction. I drove through a most interesting neighborhood along the way - little Saigon. There was seriously a sign that said that, and sure enough the streets were filled with Vietnamese people shopping and visiting. And, I'm not kidding about this, for a stretch of probably five blocks, there were nail salons and nail supply stores on every corner.
Seeing the beach ahead, I could hardly distinguish between the ocean and the sky - both were a soft gray with white clouds and white foam. It was early November so there wasn't much going on except a few walkers and a beach volleyball game. And lots of seagulls...gray and white. I sat on the beach and reflected on the beauty around me and the blessings I had received from my Heavenly Father including the scene of beautiful waves crashing on the rocks in front of me and an afternoon that influenced my soul and is still with me today.
Watching bits of Whitney Houston's funeral today brought tears and so many memories. I loved Whitney Houston - I will always love her (had to say that). She was with me through the years of raising our family and growing up myself. I can sing every word of most of her albums, but some songs particularly take me back to times and places that were such a part of my past. As all moms, I spent so much time "waiting to exhale," and Whitney's music helped with the wait.
I think my kids certainly associate her music with memories of their growing up years.
I played Whitney CD's when I was happy, sad, discouraged, mad, everything. I listened to her while driving carpools and cooking dinner. Listened while waiting for Scott to come home - he often worked twelve-hour days and those last two hours were always the hardest. Probably my favorite Whitney song was...well it's a toss up. I loved her singing these words from Step by Step from The Preacher's Wife...
I'm taking it step by step, bit by bit,
stone by stone, brick by brick,
Step by step, day by day,
mile by mile, go your own way!
and Shoop Shoop from Waiting to Exhale....
Sometimes you'll laugh
Sometimes you'll cry
Life never tells us
The when's or why's
When you've got friends to wish you well
You'll find a point when
You will exhale (yeah, yeah)
And so many more: I Believe in You and Me, Nobody Loves Me Like You Do, I Will Always Love You, One Moment in Time, and on and on.
I like the photo above because it's her during her "comeback" a couple of years ago - so she's older and had come to a point where she had finally pulled herself together. I'm so sorry it didn't last for her. It's heartbreaking.
When Georgana asked me if I had a photo of the two of us, I had to look for quite awhile to find this one. It was weirdly hard to find a photo of us without other people, or Scott (or me) looking goofy, or without lots of stuff in the background such as open cupboards or crowds of people, It made me realize that we need to take more "couple photos." I bet this is the case for most everyone.
On the ADORNit blog, we're showing ideas for Valentine's projects using both ADORNit fabric and paper. I wrote the blog posts for the Happy Hearts blog party, and I also made the cute pincushions.
Pincushions = perfect Valentine gifts!
1. They’re easy to make.
2. Quick too! With our instructions, available in ADORNit’s Happy Hearts Pattern Book, you can make a pincushion in under an hour.
3. Post office friendly. They’re lightweight and square (usually) making wrapping and mailing a breeze.
4. You can never have too many pincushions!
Look closely at the photo above and notice the darling hearts and flowers. Debbie Raymond, designer and sewer of the pincushions enjoyed the process of finding designs and fussy cutting them to sew into tiny quilt blocks for the fronts of the pincushions. She added embroidery stitches, buttons and ribbon for a little extra dimension.
Debbie didn’t need to use time-consuming appliqué, but took advantage of the designs printed on the fabrics. The fact that there are so many heart-happy possibilities is part of the fun.
Make a pincushion today to keep for yourself or give away.
Fabric used: Happy Hearts by ADORNit.
Little Claire is as sweet as she is beautiful! She wakes up happy and smiles through carpools and shopping. We love her so much. Where did six months go?
* Instagrammer: noun. Someone who takes Instagram photos and share them with other Instagrammers. If I ever get an iPhone, I'll be a grammy Instagrammer lol.