Ripple Effect

The enthusiasm and vim with which I entered the shopping mall last Saturday had slowly diminished as I walked out of the fitting room for the third time without finding the white dress I had envisioned.  It was now or never, I had to get the dress for an all white event I was attending.

As I exited one store and stepped on the escalator to go to another,  I checked the time on my phone and was shocked to see that I had been rummaging through isles of dresses for almost three hours. I was tired, my stomach rumbling, as I had left directly from work and hadn’t eaten.  I made a mental note that this would be my last stop, as I entered this store.

I made my way to the women’s section and was greeted by a very bubbly employee, who later introduced herself as Maddy. She enquired of my needs in a very professional manner, and proceeded to help me find this elusive white dress.  We went through a batch, finding two that I really liked, then threw in a few others just in case those didn’t fit. I realized Maddy was a special employee when she took the dresses off my arm and said “I’ll take these for you”. She took them to the rest room, told me she would be outside if I needed anything. She went back and forth changing sizes, undoing zippers and stayed with me until I found a dress that I liked and fitted well. I thanked her and told her I was very impressed with the service she offered. I asked to speak with her manger, as I firmly believe that great service should be recognized. Unfortunately, her manager had left early, so she gave me a customer comment card to complete instead.

I walked out that store, with a smile on my face, not just because I had gotten the dress, but because I realized that in a world where people are giving the least and expecting the most in return, all’s not lost, there are still some who dare to be different, some who dare to care.

I went to work on Monday and shared my experience with my co-workers and vowed to be the difference I look for in this world. Later that morning when a customer said to me  “you are so nice, your kindness gives me chills,” I smiled and said thank you, because I knew how it felt to be on the recipient of kindness.

My charge to you today, is to give a smile, lend a helping hand, hug someone, encourage someone and start a ripple effect!

“Doing good holds the power to transform us on the inside, and then ripple out in ever-expanding circles that positively impact the world at large.” – Shari Arison

Be Inspired!

Ann

#inspiration

 

 

Fuel Your Passion

Have you ever questioned your existence on this earth, or even entertained the thought that you have no skills, brilliance or whatever it takes to make an impact in this world? If you answered yes, you are not alone; I have been there, and I have great news for you!

Everyone was born fully equipped with an innate talent, which when pursued will take you into your designed purpose or destiny. In other words, all you need to be great, is within you. This talent, however, will not develop on its own; it must be nurtured and honed unto maturity. Your talent will then become the vehicle which propels you into your God-given purpose.

Some discover their talent from a very a tender age, some in their teens, some in early adulthood, and others in late adulthood. While discovering your talent is important, it is even more important to pursue your talent.  A talent unpursued or undeveloped is a talent buried. Buried talent/s can lead to a life of frustration, unhappiness and unfulfillment.

You may have neglected your talent or calling in pursuit of something more lucrative, or simply chosen a path which was more accessible. The reason may even be totally irrelevant today. However, if you still get excited when you think about that dream; if you feel energized and motivated when you see yourself doing that thing (whatever it is), that means the passion is still there. Don’t give up on your purpose/your dream! Remember, it takes far less effort to hone your talent, than to learn other skills, because what you were born with, becomes natural to you. Take that leap of faith, fuel that fire inside and watch it burn.

Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.” Jeremiah 1:5

Be inspired!

Ann

 

 

 

Little Deeds of Kindness

It’s Saturday afternoon, and I’m rushing home from work to bake 4 dozen cupcakes. I intend to be finished within reasonable time, so as not to infringe too much on my night’s sleep, hence the rush.  I was almost home when I stopped at the store to get some coconut frosting and a few other ingredients.  I quickly grabbed the items and was heading for the cashier, when I remembered that I needed a pack of ‘thank you’ cards. I walked over to the card isle, my eyes darting from row to row, trying to find the thank you caption.

I had found the cards and was trying to decide which one to choose, when an elderly woman approached me with two cards, asking my opinion on which is more suitable for a new born baby boy. I looked at them both and told her neither, since from the wording,  I could tell they were for older kids. I returned my cards to the shelve and began to help her find an appropriate card. I comb through the the entire contents on two rows without success. I told her she may have to check elsewhere; then I said “hold on a second let me check on the other isle”. I hurried around and bingo! There they were….. cards for new borns. I grabbed two for boys, brought them to her, and her entire face lit up as she thanked me repeatedly and said goodbye.

I went back to the ‘thank you’ cards section, choose a pack and went to join the shortest line. The same woman I had helped was ahead of me, and she had handed the cashier a handful of coins, which he counted and told her it was short. She searched frantically in her purse and came up with nothing. It was at that point I tapped her lightly on her shoulder and told her, its ok, I will take care  of it. I told the cashier to return the coins to her and put her purchase on my bill. Her eyes welled up with tears as she said “thank you so much my dear, you have saved me twice, you’re my angel”.

I walked out of the store 24 mins later than I had anticipated, but my heart was rejoicing, as what I had experienced was priceless. Now this may be the norm for you, but for me it’s worth celebrating, and here’s the reason. I have always been a very helpful person, who will even go out of my way to help others, however on closer self-examination, I found that whenever helping others is inconvenient, I’m not so willing at all. The ‘old me’ would have told her I’m not sure where the cards are, and that I’m really rushing right now. So now you can appreciate why it was a wow moment for me.

If we want our lives to reflect Christ, we have to be willing to make the necessary adjustments until we measure up to His standard. He was never too busy to help the needy!

Be Inspired!

Ann

 

Elevate Your Thoughts

What do you think about the most? When you’re alone with some down time, where’s that ‘go to’ place for your thoughts? If you answered those questions honestly, then you can pretty much figure out the course of your life. It is true, that your life will go in the direction of your most dominant thoughts.

Since our thoughts shape the course of our lives, it behooves us to think positively. So starting now, if you want to change the way things are going in your life, lift your thoughts to a higher level and you’ll be surprised at the difference it makes.

Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable; if anything is excellent or praiseworthy, think on these things. Phil 4:8

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Be Inspired!

Ann

An Attitude of Gratitude

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I could think of a gazillion things to gripe and complain about, but I won’t.  Want to know why? I did that for a while, and it got me no where, made me unhappy and very uncool to be around. So instead, as I stepped outdoors, I spun around and acknowledge the beauty of this perfect spring weather.  I proceeded to my car and the rustling of the leaves above, drew my attention to one of the tiny marvels of God’s creation…. a squirrel.

So today I’m grateful for this beautiful weather, and the lovely creatures around (most of them :-)). I challenge you to write five things that you are grateful for each day. You may find it a bit difficult at the start, but as you continue to practice this, you will find that you don’t have to think so hard to come up with your list; and most importantly, your attitude will gradually shift from being a complainer, an ungrateful person, a negative person to a positive, cheerful and grateful individual.

What are you waiting for? Go on, start the challenge and experience the change it brings!

P.S. Always remember that “feeling gratitude and not expressing it, is like wrapping a present and not giving it” – William A Ward

Be Inspired!

Ann

My Orchid Story

It’s a beautiful spring morning, my day off from work, and I’m in my Orchid garden tending my plants. As I looked at the orchid on the right, I reminisced on the condition in which I received it some months ago. Most of the leaves were yellowing and drooping, the roots were rotting from being over watered, and the pot was way too small for the size plant. It was given to me by a friend who asked me to save it. I purposed in my heart to do my best to save this plant, not just for the plant’s sake, but also to preserve my “orchid expert” reputation.

I cut all the dried leaves away, removed it from the tiny pot and cut away all the damaged roots. I got a larger pot, filled with fresh potting mix, and replanted it.  The pic on the left was taken the day it was replanted. Fast forward nine months of nurturing and that’s the fabulous result.

My reason for sharing this story, is because I see so much of me in this plant. I was at a point where I felt stagnated…. there was no growth or development in any area of my life. I was frustrated and dejected, and all my efforts ended in futility. My inability to help myself, pushed me to connect with God on another level. My turning point came when I handed Him the reins of my life in total surrender; and oh what a difference it makes!

You may be facing various struggles in your life today, and feeling out of sorts (like the old orchid plant),  be encouraged, you’re not alone, and the Master Gardener is waiting to prune, fertilize and repot, if necessary. However, He’s waiting for you to make the first step to Him, and when you do, don’t forget remove the mask of self-assurance that you put on for the world to believe that everything is “A ok”. He sees right through it and He requires your honesty.

Today if you are seeing yourself as the old orchid plant, with dried and drooping leaves; just know that He’s seeing the beautiful blooms you have in you waiting to burst forth. That is why I believe, it’s not an accident that when I searched my gallery I could not find a picture of the orchid, before I repotted it. At first I was disappointed, as I thought the visual of how far gone the plant was, would add credibility to my story. Then it came to me, God does not dwell on our past, He focuses on our future.

 

Be inspired!

Ann

 

Ditch The Mask

In a world where we take one hundred selfies, with the good side always facing the camera, before finding one suitable enough to post; where all our flaws and imperfections are neatly tucked away before we dare to face the world; Unmasked seeks to undo the mask, and showcase us in our true sense.

For it is in embracing our flaws and brokenness, that we develop the courage to grow, experience healing, and become the best version of ourselves.

Ann