Beautiful People

The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassions, gentleness, and a deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen. –Elizabeth Kubler-Ross

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Dispelling Shadows

Light gives of itself freely, filling all available space. It does not seek anything in return; it asks not whether you are friend or foe. It gives of itself and is not thereby diminished.  -Michael Strassfeld

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Risks Worth Taking

Life, hope, love, all risks worth taking…

To laugh is to risk appearing the fool
To weep is to risk appearing sentimental
To reach out for another is to risk involvement
To expose feelings is to risk exposing your true self
To place your ideas, your dreams before the crowd is to risk their loss
To love is to risk not being loved in return
To live is to risk dying
To hope is to risk despair
To try is to risk failure
But risks must be taken because the greatest hazard in life is to risk nothing
The person who risks nothing, does nothing, has nothing and is nothing
They may avoid suffering and sorrow, but they cannot learn, feel, change, grow, love, live
Chained by their certitudes, they are a slave, they have forfeited their freedom
Only a person who risks is free.” -Author Anonymous

Join me on Twitter @DestinysWomen

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

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Bridges in Our Lives

I am where I am because of the bridges that I crossed. Sojourner Truth was a bridge. Harriet Tubman was a bridge. Ida B. Wells was a bridge. Madam C. J. Walker was a bridge. Fannie Lou Hamer was a bridge.” –Oprah Winfrey

The same could be said by each of us about the people God has placed along the path throughout our life’s journey. Reflection makes us grateful.

Who were the “bridges” in your life?  What specifically made them a bridge for you? What words would you use to describe them? What words would they use to describe you? What are the lasting imprints they left on you? How will they be remembered in the archives of your story?

Some people stay in our lives forever, but most come and go through different seasons. Often the ones we remember most are the ones who gave us just the right encouragement or advice at just the right time. Maybe they didn’t use many words, but modeled for us what it meant to be brave, bold, creative, discover our voice, or follow our dreams. Or, maybe they were the ones who simply “showed up” when no one else did. Maybe they held our hearts, helped us heal, forgive, understand, or just listened.

Whatever our story, they were there. And, they were there for us. Because of them, we knew that somehow it was going to be okay. When we didn’t quite have enough of our own, they shared with us their courage, faith, love, and hope.

I’m so grateful for the people who were “bridges” in my life. I count them as blessings… like flowers in my internal garden that stand just a little taller and are just a little more fragrant than all the others. And in turn, they made me stand just a little bit taller and a little more fragrant. They lift our heads, our voices, our aspirations, our belief in God, and in ourselves, while quietly helping us not to settle, but believe there is “more to be had”.

It is important to reflect on the people who were bridges at significant and pivitol times in our life because it keeps us grateful. They are valuable and irreplaceable parts of our story. Likewise, it is important to be vigilant so that we don’t miss the opportunity to be a bridge in someone else’s life. Our blessings are meant for us at very specific times along our journey, but they are also meant to be shared and passed along to others on theirs.

Are you a bridge in someone else’s story today?

 
Join me on Twitter @DestinysWomen

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

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10 Quotes About Love


Love can be intoxicating and illuminating. It can make us dizzy, drive us wild, crazy, or make us sane. Love helps us remember and helps us forget. At times it helps us to feel more, while at other times, it helps us to not hurt quite as much. It helps us to step outside of our small worlds, risk rejection or failure, be our better selves, and to dream bigger and better dreams.

Whether you’re a lover, friend, parent, teacher or an advocate, love never {ever} fails. Here are ten quotes about love:

“Time is too slow for those who wait, too swift for those who fear, too long for those who grieve, too short for those who rejoice, but for those who love, time is eternity.”  –Henry Van Dyke

“It’s not how much we give but how much love we put into giving.” –Mother Teresa

“The love we give away is the only love we keep.” –Elbert Hubbard

“Where there is great love, there are always miracles.” –Willa Carter

“To love abundantly is to live abundantly, and to love forever to live forever.” –Henry Drummond

“Love has nothing to do with what you are expecting to get, only with what you are expecting to give– which is everything.” –Katherine Hepburn

“Love does not dominate, it cultivates.”  –Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

“Love is the master key that opens the gates of happiness.”  –Oliver Wendell Holmes

“Who so loves believes the impossible.” –Elizabeth Barrett Browning

“You’ve gotta dance like there’s nobody watching,
Love like you’ll never be hurt,
Sing like there’s nobody listening,
And live like it’s heaven on earth.” –Willliam W. Purkey

Love is a powerful potion that should be celebrated every day, not just on Valentine’s Day! Now go out and share some with someone you love.

Join me on Twitter @DestinysWomen

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

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What Does Love Look Like?

 

“What does love look like? It has the hands to help others.
It has the feet to hasten to the poor and needy. It has the eyes to see misery
and want. It has the ears to hear the sighs and sorrows of men. That is what
love looks like.” –Saint Augustine

 

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10 Quotes about The Power of One

You’ve probably heard the expression: “The Power of One”. A less eloquent way of conveying the same idea might be: “Don’t just sit there, do something.”  Many of us are hyper-focused on what’s right in front of our face. In our shortsightedness, we find it easy to fixate on problems rather than solutions. Naturally, the problems then become too big, and solutions seemingly unattainable.  

When it comes to the needs of humanity, our typical response is self-reflecting. We think we can’t make a big enough difference to matter. Imagine throwing pebbles at a water tower. When in reality, it’s simply a matter of adjusting our thinking and our approach to problems.

When we step outside of ourselves, we begin to see ourselves not as the solution, but as part of the solution. Something that is much bigger than “just us”. We are able to imagine positive change and real solutions. Picture a quilt. In and of itself, each part may seem insignificant, but once each individual piece is woven together, we are able to see the bigger picture. We can envision how a solution actually is possible.

I am only one, but I am one.  I cannot do everything, but I can do something.  And I will not let what I cannot do interfere with what I can do. -Edward Everett Hale

I wondered why somebody didn’t do something.  Then I realized… I am somebody. -Author Unknown

Each time we stand up for an ideal, or act to improve the lot of others, or strike out against injustice, we send forth a tiny ripple of hope, and crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring, those ripples build a current that can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance. -Robert F. Kennedy

The power of one man or one woman doing the right thing for the right reason, and at the right time, is the greatest influence in our society. -Jack Kemp

Do what you can, with what you have, where you are. -Theodore Roosevelt

If you can’t feed a hundred people, then feed just one. -Mother Teresa

Get friends involved. Get the community to take action. Everyone cannot do everything but each of you can do one thing. -Somaly Mam

Nobody made a greater mistake than he who did nothing because he could only do a little. -Edmund Burke

I don’t feel like I’ve done anything extraordinary but take my little light and shine it in darkness. -Leymah Gbowee

How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.  -Anne Frank

These 10 quotes about the power of one are friendly reminders that each of us can make a difference where we are. Waiting until we have all the answers or means is not only impractical, it’s unrealistic. We can only give what is in our hands and in our hearts today. That is our responsibility, that is our privilege.

It’s amazing how once you step out, like-minded people are drawn together. Doors begin to open. Opportunities present themselves. Ideas proliferate. Collaboration is a powerful and rewarding thing when its purpose is to create a better world for those who cannot do it for themselves.

It’s much more fulfilling (and fun) to be a part of positive change, than to sit it out on the sidelines. When you hold back on others, you hold back on yourself. Likewise, when you hold back on yourself, you hold back on others. As Leymah Gbowee suggests, just start by shining your little light… then see what begins to happen.

How are you making a positive impact with what you have, right where you are? Have you found in reaching out to make a difference for others, it made a difference in YOU?

Join me on Twitter @DestinysWomen

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

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Anne Geddes: Celebrating Motherhood

Anne Geddes, “photographer extraordinaire,” has not only captured our attention with her brilliant photography, but also our hearts and imaginations.  Her art draws and inspires us with the angelic faces of babies employing monochromatic to vibrant colors in both minimalistic yet extravagant settings. Her work is a tribute to life, pregnancy and the celebration of motherhood across the world.

Who else would have ever dreamed to capture images of babies tucked in pea pods, unfurling from exotic orchids, popping up from flower pots, sleeping peacefully atop bright orange pumpkins, or with peonies and cabbages crowning their tiny heads? That creative vision and precision of technique is what has, in part, set Anne Geddes apart in her field.

She is one of the world’s most respected and beloved photographers. The iconic images dreamed up by Anne Geddes were birthed from a “deeply held belief that each and every child must be protected, nurtured and loved.”

You can find the Timeless 2012 calendar and New Beginnings datebook 2012 among her recent projects, but her latest work, my Pregnancy™: A Woman’s Story, is her new quarterly magazine. In each issue nine women will tell their compelling stories of pregnancy, childbirth and the postnatal period accompanied by her distinct and remarkable work. 

“They are incredibly powerful stories, individual stories, also warm stories, sometimes very funny stories, and at times very sad stories… but always interesting… always compelling… and I just knew that if I found these stories so compelling, women around the world would feel the same.” -Anne Geddes

To learn more about Anne Geddes and her beautiful artwork, or most recent project, a tribute to pregnancy and motherhood, visit her website, blog or follow her on Twitter.

Happy Mother’s Day!

Twitter: @DestinysWomen

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

 

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Love is…

Love is patient, Love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.  It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.  Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.  It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always preserves.  Love never fails. –1 Cor. 13:4-8

“Time is too slow for those who wait, too swift for those who fear, too long for those who grieve, too short for those who rejoice, but for those who love… time is eternity.” -Henry Van Dyke

 Celebrate love wherever you are…

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Give an Unconditional Gift — Free a Heart

Sometimes, the most valuable and empowering gifts we can give a person don’t come from a store, but from our heart.

They are the gifts that money can’t buy. They might take an investment of time, energy or commitment but what we sow, we also reap.  So what do these unconditional gifts look like?  Giving hope or encouragement, taking the time to really listen and connect, showing thoughtfulness or caring, and sometimes, the purest form of all, the one that reflects the true nature and spirit of Christmas: Unconditional Love.

And, one of the greatest extensions of the gift of unconditional love is asking for, or extending, Forgiveness.

When we give one of these unconditional gifts, they aren’t meant for the person on the receiving end alone. They are meant to be shared with us. They give comfort and peace and they bring comfort and peace. Like a healing balm, they relieve and soothe places deep inside of us that couldn’t be touched in any other way outside of the divine.

One of the most common reasons people resist taking action, especially when it comes to giving the gift of forgiveness, is connected with a sense of entitlement or justice. They are unwilling to move until an apology is issued or when an offense is acknowledged or admitted. In their own estimation, the other person is unworthy and doesn’t deserve it.  Justice will come eventually, not always in our timeframe, but it will come.

Life is too short and too precious to put on hold.  What many people do not realize is that by holding on to an offense, negative thoughts or feelings–whether they are justified or not–our own hearts become hard and enslaved in the process.

“To forgive is to set a prisoner free and discover that the prisoner was you” -Lewis B. Smedes

Some say, “Live today like there’s no tomorrow.” I prefer to take it a step (or heartbeat) further and say, “Love today because you might not get another chance tomorrow.”  What is life lived apart from love, except going through the motion of living on the outside, but not being completely (peacefully, joyfully, gratefully) alive on the inside. 

Is there someone you need to connect with this holiday season?  Don’t stop to over-think, over-analyze or calculate things to death. Just open your heart, pick up the phone, (pen or computer) and give your gift

Remember to give it with no strings attached. Once you open your heart and let it fly away, there’s always a possibility that it will meet with disappointment, but we can’t control the outcome of another’s reaction.

What we can control, is our own internal response. And we will have to live with our own choices–the dullness or brightness, heaviness or freedom within our own hearts.  Give the gift that costs nothing, but is priceless.  Free someone today, and in the process… Free yourself.

“Forgiveness is the fragrance that the violet sheds on the heel that has crushed it” -Mark Twain

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

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