America: We Can Choose Better

American Flag (Kevin Morris)

I’ve been thinking a lot about the current personal, national and now global discourse about our nation. About our future. About our families. About us as unique individuals. Sadly, the “discussion” phase buckled under the weight of disrespect, mistrust, hatred, violence and eventual anarchy. Tidal wave after tidal wave of blame. I suppose it’s nothing new to the human race. But it’s ugly and messy and us not at our best. We can choose better.

People are fighting for what they say they believe in for the whole. But in so much of the activity, it is not. It is for themselves. When our soldiers fight for our nation, they check their political party and personal beliefs at the door. Why? Not because these things aren’t worthy. Because they believe in something much greater than their own personal preferences and opinions. They are fighting together to secure and strengthen something that transcends the individual struggles. And importantly, they know that unity matters. There is power in unity. The same goes with families. Healthy families choose to go higher. They choose the greater good. When we step outside of our personal protective walls, we can see a world much bigger than ourselves. Humanity seems to trip on “self” a lot.

Unfortunately, we have come to a place in history where we can’t even agree on the definition of “greater good”. Therein lies the rub. A nation divided against itself. Sounds cannibalistic. And because of our collective intolerance, pride and catering to self-interest, we’re about to lose much more than an eye. I would like to see a nation fighting together, not AGAINST itself, fighting FOR its common good. But then again, we can’t seem to agree on what “common” means anymore either.

Sounds dismal. And it is, if you believe that’s the end. But it’s not. We still have the freedom to dream, create, build, speak, worship and to “become”. To become smarter, braver, kinder, more reasonable, giving, thoughtful, compassionate, prayerful, wiser, loving and discerning than we were before. But it’s a choice. It’s always a choice. Who do you want to become?

(c) By April McCallum, Destiny’s Women™ – “Championing the Life, Freedom & Destiny of Women”

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Sparkle a Little Brighter

 

Sparkle Brighter

There’s an old expression about human existence that says “in the end, no one gets out alive.” While that’s true, we all have whatever amount of time that we do have here, to live. In other words, to “be alive” while we are still living. To choose to be present. To make a decision to bring life to our moments (thoughts, attitudes, circumstances, expectations and relationships) or at least, allow life to infuse them. Life, in part, means energy, possibility and hope.

It is no secret that life ebbs and flows. Some seasons of our journey are simply more of a challenge. But that doesn’t mean we don’t have control over our attitude or mindset in the midst of those seasons. There may be times when you feel darkness creeping in, but that doesn’t mean you can’t turn up the wattage. Sometimes, we just need to plant a flag in it and say, “No more!”

When you feel darkness or discouragement closing in, take time to breathe in memories of goodness and joy, and the little things that have encouraged or lifted your spirit in the past. Let yourself reminisce about the things that once made your heart smile. Look for beauty in creation. Take inventory of the innumerable blessings (whether they’re things, people, discoveries or insights) that you have to be grateful for.

Hope is faith holding out its hand in the dark. -George Iles

Once you choose hope, anything’s possible. -Christopher Reeve

Love is the light that brightens every heart’s darkness. -Bryant McGill

When the world says, “Give up,” hope whispers, “Try it one more time.” -Author Unknown

All of us have memory vaults filled with positive and beautiful gifts, some more than others, but no one is exempt. Sometimes we just need to lift the vault handle and be reminded. Hope believes. Love frees.

So here’s a friendly reminder: when the light dims, sparkle a little brighter.

Join me on Twitter @DestinysWomen

(c) By April McCallum, Destiny’s Women™ – “Championing the Life, Freedom & Destiny of Women”

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Making Your Moments Count: Living Outside Yourself

Me, Me, Me… It’s all about ME!  Do you know people who talk, act and live with that philosophy?  One word: Boring.  We often hear the phrase: Get a Life — but these people already have a life.  They simply aren’t motivated to do much with it.  At least, not beyond themselves.  A simple scroll through the TV channels, social media pages, advertisements and airwaves will validate that!

A myriad of messages clamor for our attention, vying for our investments and begging us for just one more look at what they have to offer.  And what do they have to offer?  Or should I say, what do they want to sell us?  They tell us they want us to be happier, more comfortable, more sophisticated, more beautiful–richer, sexier, powerful, and more desirable.  All of this, as if to say, they have our “best interest in mind”.

But do they have our best interest in mind?  Will we really feel like a new woman if we use a particular brand of makeup, wear designer clothes, or style our hair in a particular way?  Will we be more satisfied if we live in bigger houses, drive fancier cars, or get invited into an elite social circle? Will the latest romance novel, vacation getaway, event, promotion, award or relationship really satisfy us beyond the moments we spend on them?  Or, do the “satisfaction brokers” really have their own best interest in mind–in large part, to make money? 

MAKING YOUR MOMENTS COUNT

But even with the bombardment of external messages we receive, we still have a choice. We can choose to flit from one self-indulgent, self-medicated, self-serving moment at a time, day in and day out–allowing meaningless “stuff” to fill the moments in our lives; Or, we can choose to invest in our moments by breathing life into the things that really matter and that make the world a better place.

“We can choose to simply live in the moments or choose to make our moments live” –April McCallum

When we choose to make our moments live, we choose to not only be present in the moments of our lives, in essence, but to make conscious choices to make those moments matter.  When we make our moments live, they take on an organic nature allowing them to impact other moments.

By contrast, if we live ingrown lives only to satisfy ourselves, that’s all we’ll get—moments of self-gratification. Woo-hoo, put on your party hats! …Or, not.  Because those moments, like little monsters with insatiable appetites, are always demanding more, and more is never enough.  They bring about an unsettled striving, a perpetual movement from one thing to the next, and the cycle repeats itself.

I like beautiful things, creature comforts, experiencing exciting new places and putting on a party hat as much as the next girl, but there needs to be more than just that.

LIVING ON PURPOSE

I love the term “Living on Purpose” especially when we’re talking about intentionally living beyond ourselves in some way.  “Intentionally” is an action word, a process–in this case, something in positive motion. It’s about being motivated and fulfilled by purposing to make a difference in other people’s lives, by giving rather than just taking.

Because life begets life, our choices and actions pave the way for regeneration.

It’s about women (and people in general) who want their life to count, and the moments in their lives to count. They look for ways to leave a valuable imprint that will act as an inspiration and challenge for others who aren’t quite there yet.

And there’s even a surprise ending.  By living outside ourselves and making our moments count, we always receive a reward–our investment gives back!  Do you want more joy, peace, love or fulfillment in your life?  Simply start making your moments count by living outside yourself.  Invest in the things that really matter.  

“The things that you do for yourself, die with you, but the things that you do for others, live on”

Are you living your life simply for the moments, or are you making your moments count?   

(c) By April McCallum, Destiny’s Women™ – “Championing the Life, Freedom & Destiny of Women”

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