The Devil in the Details

You’ve heard the expression, “The devil is in the details.” The little things that make a difference in the outcome of something. The slightest, sometimes obscure and seemingly insignificant things that if done differently, would have–could have–altered an outcome. In which case, I prefer to say, “God is in the details.” There’s an assurance that even if we’ve done all we can, if somewhere along the way we inadvertently missed some particular point that could make all the difference, someone would be looking out for us.

Of course, life doesn’t always work out that way. But, we do have control over our thoughts. And as such, we can begin to view things in a different light. We can look for the one little ray of sunshine even in the storms. We can ask ourselves if there’s anything we’ve missed in the bigger picture. We can be more intentional in looking for ways we might add positivity or strength to another person’s world. We can look for God in the details, and if we invite him, we may just find him looking back at us.

Share

Victims of Bullying

It takes courage to stand alone for your beliefs in the face of intolerance and judgment.

It takes bravery to use your voice when presented with lies and betrayal.

It takes boldness to speak out when everyone else’s silence is deafening.

It takes faith to keep believing in humanity when humans tear us down.

It takes strength to get up and face your demons, your critics, your enemies.

It takes heart to forgive when those who hurt us don’t even know they need our forgiveness.

It takes tenacity, sometimes, to simply breathe in and breathe out.

It takes resilience to take one more step, look in the mirror, face your fears and live to fight just one more day.

Those who keep on keeping on in the midst of unwarranted aggression, torment, fear and bullying are warriors. They are the ones who are strong enough to refuse ultimate defeat. They refuse to allow the smallness, ugliness and false accusation of bullies to define them or keep them pinned down. But, remember–not everyone can hold on.

It takes just one to stand, speak, be bold, have faith, take heart, be strong and resilient with us–so that we no longer have to be alone.

Stand up. Speak up. Together, we are stronger, and just a little bit braver.

Join me on Twitter @DestinysWomen

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

Share

#TeachersAppreciationWeek

In reflection of Teachers Appreciation Week…

One mind at a time.
One imagination at a time.
One heart at a time.
One smile at a time….
One.
It only takes one teacher to inspire a student.
It only takes one student to inspire the world.

-April McCallum, @DestinysWomen

Share

One Life At A Time

Just One

People who want to make a difference in the world usually do it, in one way or another. And, I’ve noticed something about people who make a difference in the world:

They hold the unshakeable conviction that individuals are extremely important, that every life matters. They get excited over one smile. They are willing to feed one stomach, educate one mind, treat one wound. They aren’t determined to revolutionize the world all at once; they’re satisfied with small changes. Over time though, the small changes add up. Sometimes they even transform cities and nations, and yes, the world. -Beth Clark

Click to Read Related Posts:

10 Quotes about the Power of One

Sometimes It Takes Just One

Join me on Twitter @DestinysWomen

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

Share

Sometimes It Takes Just One

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

There are familiar expressions floating around about the power of many. For example, “It takes a village to raise a child”, or “many hands make light work”.  Whether you agree with the first statement or not, I think it’s safe to say, we are stronger when we work together to bring about positive change. The strength may come from a greater capacity to raise funds, solve parts of a problem that you just don’t have the expertise or experience to manage on your own, or it may just strengthen you because you need an emotional support system.

Got Village?

But there are times when there is no village. You haven’t found your “tribe” to go with you. Whether it’s to help the homeless, encourage single-mothers, support widows, feed the poor, or help realize a vision that will empower your community, or simply one life. People around you seem clueless, disinterested, or maybe, just too busy to get involved on a personal level.Whatever the situation, it can feel like you are standing alone. And many times, you are. It can feel like you are in some kind of warped reality. You may wonder why people don’t see what you see, or care, or feel like you do.

So, what do you do with that? What do you do when an opportunity to make a difference in a situation or someone’s life presents itself? Do you walk away with your head down because no one would go there with you? Do you get mad (at who, and why)? Do you back peddle in your mind convincing yourself that maybe it wasn’t such a good idea after all, wondering, “What was I thinking?!?”

Vision for Something Versus Nothing

My good friend Nora had a saying that stuck with me. She said, “If you see the need, you have the gift”. Not that it’s technically true all of the time, but it does make you stop and think. Why do I see this, when seemingly no one else around me does, or not right now anyways? Is it possible that it’s for a reason? And, does it even matter why? Think about it, are you really going to stop because no one would “go there” with you? Does that even make sense?

Maybe you can’t do everything, but you can do something. Maybe you can’t feed or clothe or help educate a community, but you can feed or clothe or help donate to help just one person. It may be something as simple as helping widows with chores, buying diapers or formula for a single mom, giving toward one child’s education, donating a used musical instrument to a child that couldn’t otherwise afford to follow their passion for music. It can be a million things or it can be just one. It may come in the form of money, but it may just be spending time with someone that’s lonely, mentoring, encouraging, teaching, or serving—things that money can’t buy, but that make all of the difference in someone’s life. And because every single individual life makes up a community, the community becomes stronger and better because of it!

Opportunities are Invitations

You may learn about a need in your community through everyday conversation, by reading a story in the newspaper, hearing it on the local news, or from seeing it with your own eyes. You want to get involved and make a difference. Maybe you talk to a friend or two, but they’re not really interested, or they don’t think it’s their “problem”. Maybe you share with a group you’re involved with hoping they’ll see the need like you do and get on board, but they don’t. They may have other pressing projects, or their priorities might not match yours.

Again, what do you do with that?  So, here’s what I want you to think about: if we take our focus off of the “that” (the issue or need) and re-focus on the “you” in the question, it changes how we view it. Imagine the need and imagine the question posed this way: What are YOU going to do with that? Instead of just seeing the issue or need as a problem, it transforms it into an opportunity. Opportunities are invitations. Personal invitations with your name written on them, because you are the one who saw and was moved by the need. This is an opportunity for YOU. Are you going to accept the invitation?

Power of One

Go there anyways. Go alone if you must.  But go with confidence, and a smile in your heart knowing that you saw a need and you did something to make a difference in another person’s life.

Join me on Twitter @DestinysWomen

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

Share

Making the Most of Our Moments

 

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

Share

Being The Change

“Being the Change” is more than just giving money, time or talents to an issue. We can see that change is needed. We can understand that change needs to happen for things to get better. We can advocate for change by raising flags, issues, and our voices in an attempt to convince others of the necessity and benefit of it. But none of that can ever be enough.

The foundation of a culture is based around thoughts and beliefs (be it a culture within a society, family, or workplace). Those thoughts and beliefs drive expectations, set boundary lines in place, inform supply and demand, allow adjustments to the definitions of  “normal”, “worthy”, or “beneficial” according to popular belief. But popular belief isn’t necessarily right, just, or life-producing. That’s why thoughts are so powerful. They inform our belief systems. Decisions are made based on what people believe to be true (or good, or right, or profitable) whether they are in fact, or not.

If we really want to “be the change” (the positive difference-making change) we need to stop and think for ourselves. And ask questions, the right questions. Is this really justice, and why? Is this really “good” or “right”? For who, and on what basis? If it’s profitable, at who’s expense, and at what cost?

Once we know the truth, we can see if the reality of the culture is in alignment or not. If not,  it’s ultimately about adopting new mindsets and re-wiring our hearts toward a saner culture. Our thoughts and beliefs then begin to manifest in tangible ways that align with what is truly just, and right, and good, regardless of popular belief. “Being the change” is less about the externals and more about the internals. There really is strength in the power of one. It becomes more personal. It’s transformation from the inside out.

Join me on Twitter @DestinysWomen

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

Share

Marian Wright Edelman: Making a Big Difference!

“We must not, in trying to think about how we can make a big difference, ignore the small daily difference we can make which, over time, add up to big differences that we often cannot foresee.” –Marian Wright Edelman

Marian Wright Edelman is the founder and president of the Children’s Defense Fund (CDF), and has been an advocate for disadvantaged Americans for her entire professional life. Under her leadership, CDF has become the nation’s strongest voice for children and families.

Though most noted for her roles as founder and president of the Children’s Defense Fund, she also served as a lawyer, educator, activist, reformer, children’s advocate, and administrator. Marian Wright Edelman was also the first African American woman admitted to the Mississippi state bar. Learn More.

As an advocate for justice and compassion, she speaks about being a black female lawyer in Mississippi in the height of the Civil Rights Movement and dedicating her life to improving the life of all American children. Watch Video.

Marian Edeleman also authored a number of books including, The Measure of Our Success: A Letter to My Children and Yours, Faces of Hope: Children of a Changing World, I’m Your Child God: Prayers for Our Children, I Can Make a Difference: A Treasury to Inspire Our Children, Lanterns: A Memoir of Mentors, and more.

She didn’t believe in entitlement, but in working hard for what you get, serving others, and the importance of gratitude. She believed that neither power or money were enough to make positive change, but that we must be passionate about our individual and collective goals in life. And, she believed that all children should know that they are loved and they are not alone. 

Marian Wright Edelman’s life message is underscored by her words on the power of one: “You really can change the world if you care enough.” I believe her.

Join me on Twitter @DestinysWomen

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

Share

THE MOSES QUILT by Kathi Macias

Can the pieces of a former slave’s story change the pattern of the future?

The Moses Quilt has been referred to as a “history lesson of love.” While challenging our modern-day prejudices, The Moses Quilt links creatively to the historical account of former slave Harriet Tubman who was often referred to as the second Moses. 

This contemporary novel bridges racial and generational divides. With a realistic and compassionate look into a twenty-first-century dilemma, multiple award-winning author Kathi Macias introduces readers to a confused and apprehensive young woman, Mazie Hartford. Facing major decisions about the love of her life and her future, she must also wrestle with a nagging question about her family’s past. She finds the answer to her questions in a most unexpected way—her great-grandmother’s Moses quilt. As her great-grandmother begins to explain how each patch represents a story of courage and freedom, Mazie must decide if she has the courage and freedom to overcome her own personal fears and prejudices.

“Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.” -Harriet Tubman

 WATCH BOOK TRAILER – CLICK HERE

Human rights advocates and modern-day abolitionists fighting against Human Trafficking (aka modern-day slavery) will be encouraged by Harriet Tubman’s courage, faith, and strength in the face of slavery, and her tenacious battle for women’s rights.

About the Author

Kathi Macias, Author of "The Moses Quilt"

Kathi Macias is a multi-award winning writer who has authored nearly 40 books and ghostwritten several others. A former newspaper columnist and string reporter, Kathi has taught creative and business writing in various venues and has been a guest on many radio and television programs. Kathi is a popular speaker at churches, women’s clubs and retreats, and writers’ conferences, and recently won the prestigious 2008 member of the year award from AWSA (Advanced Writers and Speakers Association) at the annual Golden Scrolls award banquet. Kathi “Easy Writer” Macias lives in Homeland, CA, with her husband, Al. 

Purchase The Moses Quilt

Join me on Twitter @DestinysWomen

Book Tour by ChristianSpeakersServices.com

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

Share

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”

Share
©Destiny's Women™ is a blog founded, written and published by April McCallum -- "Championing the Life, Freedom and Destiny of Women" Creative Commons License
This work by April McCallum is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.