Monday, May 14, 2012

The Greatest Director of All

Today I'm going to touch on something that has been a weakness in my life, the fact that I often care too much about what other people are thinking or saying. This tendency is difficult when one is a writer, because criticism is rampant and even if the evaluations are just, it still stings. Learning to rise above all of that, and using the criticism to improve writing skills is crucial to being a successful author. It can be difficult, though, figuring out what to heed and what to ignore since some "helpful" opinions are less than that. ;)

Years ago, when my husband and I were first married, a woman in the community came up to me and said, "You are so lucky--your husband must really love you since he married you even though you're a diabetic." Ouch. I'm sure this person meant that comment as a compliment, but it wounded my pride all the same. It took a while for me to move past what that observation implied.

A couple of years went by and I was called to serve as the youngest Primary president our ward had ever experienced--to that point in time. Once again I faced an onslaught of criticism, and comments like: "She's too inexperienced!" "So and so would have been a better choice," & "What was our bishop thinking?" Feeling a bit worthless, I knelt down and poured my heart out to my Father in heaven. After that prayer, I climbed into bed, tossed and turned, and finally drifted off to sleep. I was blessed with the following dream, something that has helped me keep things in perspective ever since.

I was involved in several dramatic productions in high school and college. I'm certain that's why this particular dream began with me onstage. There I was, surrounded by the cast, ready to share my one and only line in the production. I uttered the small sentence, then ran down into the audience to see if everyone approved of how I had performed. "Did I enunciate clearly enough?" "Was I loud enough?" "Should I have said it a different way?" I asked these and other questions, hoping for positive feedback.

It took a while, but eventually I realized that the entire production had come to a halt because of my  interruption. Mortified by what I had done, I turned my back to the audience and hurried onto the stage so the play could continue. When it was over, I ran into the "green room," off stage and did my best to hide in the corner, still embarrassed over my blunder. Suddenly, it was announced that the Greatest Director of all was coming in to talk to us about our performance. Overwhelmed with humiliation, I tried to make myself as invisible as possible.

When the Greatest Director appeared in the doorway, a reverent hush fell over the room. We all knew who He was, and knelt in deference to our Savior. One by one, He talked to the entire cast, except for me. I continued to press myself into the corner, hoping He wouldn't notice me. He noticed. After He had spoken to everyone else, He approached my hiding place and gently pulled me from the corner. His eyes were filled with compassion and love as He helped me straighten in place. Then He looked directly into my heart and said, "I am the only one you need to please." He handed me another script and assured that I could handle the role I would now play. The dream ended and I woke up, filled with a strong sense of peaceful love.

I've reflected on that dream quite often in my life. It helped me survive my years as the youngest Primary president in our ward (even if we were dealing with 121 kids and new policy changes from SLC, like having to cancel the traditional Cub Scout Rodeo). It eased things for me when I served in other callings that stretched me in various ways . . . and when my first book was published and I faced a new round of interesting comments. ;) It comes to mind every time I've faced a difficult challenge. I often remind myself that even if I can't please those around me, if I've tried to do my best, keeping an eternal perspective in mind, then that's what matters most.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Book Review: Million Dollar Diva

Once again I take keyboard in hand (years ago one would say "pen" but times have changed) to review a book that has the potential to change your life for the better. I'll admit, most financial advice tomes are a bit dry and tend to leave you confused. Not this one. Written with the humorous touch of best-selling author, Tristi Pinkston, this wonderful book highlights the advice of two financial wizards, Brett Kitchen and Ethan Kap. Experts in their field, they not only know what they're talking about, but they explain how to get out of debt and get back on your feet financially in simple layman's terms. Their goal is to help people learn to save and survive during these tough economic times.

The entire title of the book is: "Million Dollar Diva, The Smart Woman's Guide to Getting Rich Safely." Only a hundred and seventy pages long, you can read it one sitting. I know this because when my copy first arrived, I sat down to thumb through it, and was still reading it an hour later. I couldn't put it down. Written in first person narrative by Tristi, she begins by sharing her own adventure of surviving a car accident with a semi-truck. She compares this near fatal disaster with how many of us are trying to cope with the outrageous interest rates and rising inflation costs of our current society.

Here's the best part, you can get this informative little book for free, if you click on this link (Click on me) and order it from the website. The only catch: you have to be willing to pay $5.95 for shipping and handling. This offer is only good until June 15th, so be sure to take advantage of it now. I can promise that you won't regret it.

If you would prefer buying the book outright from you can purchase it on this link: (Amazon link)

In Tristi's own words: "I didn't agree to write this book so I could spout out a bunch of feel-good platitudes, and then go on my merry or not-so-merry way. I agreed to write this book because I wanted this knowledge. I wanted to learn it, live it, and have a genuine experience with it . . . If you'll join me on you'll see regular updates from me. I will show you what I've done that week or that month to get out of debt . . . This isn't hype . . . this is real . . . it's working for me and it could work for you, too."

Enough said. Click on the website and order your copy. It will lead you on a journey of transformation that will not only help you improve your life financially, but it will open a door to a sense of peace that is not easily found in today's trouble world.