Tag Archives: Brave

Believe in Miracles, Rejoice in Each Day & Have Fun!

Inspiration from the iGnite Archives: Originally published Feb 12, 2012

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Point to Ponder:
How are you choosing to live? Are you choosing to live a life filled with health, joy and purpose?

Anne Jarvis

by Anne Jarvis

When I was 17 and a junior in high school, my mother was diagnosed with breast cancer. Over the next ten years she had two radical mastectomies and eventually died of bone cancer that had spread throughout her body. She was only 59 years old. She was exceptionally brave, a strong believer, fiercely loved by her family and friends and was joyful, even until the end. When I think of my mom’s tremendous bravery and characteristics, I always think of three things:

  1. Believe In Miracles. When she became ill this was the little sign          that sat near her bed.
  2. This is the day that the Lord hath made. Rejoice and be glad in it. She would greet each day with these words.
  3. Have fun. These were her final words. When she passed away, I was an emotional and physical wreck. I lost twenty pounds in a month, was having regular panic attacks, had to quit work and was suffering from situational depression.

Over the next year I had to heal from this place of sadness and one thing I did everyday was walk outdoors and repeat—“God will see you through.” But my biggest ‘A-ha moment’ was when a therapist I was seeing said, “Anne, what are you going to do if you never feel any better than this?” It was at that moment I was given the choice of how I wanted to live my life. I decided I wanted to reclaim a place of health, joy and purpose. I wanted a rich and full life filled with highs and lows. I wanted to live each day as if it could be my last.

I recognize that while life is filled with tremendous blessings, it is also filled with painful moments of loss and great sadness. For me, I have come to my own personal crossroads that has caused me to make choices on how I will continue to live my life. For example, I value my family and friends, my faith, my health, my community, and the freedom to be my authentic self. I want to live each day knowing that I have made a difference not just to myself, but to others. I want people to think of me as someone that didn’t take herself too seriously and found humor in life. I want to keep learning, have a sense of wonder, remain grateful for the life I have been given while also looking towards the future. I want every day to count and have no regrets.

A life with no regrets or living each day like it could be your last is definitely easier said than done. I’ve found that I must face my fears, take risks, believe in myself, take a deep breath and put that foot on the floor each new day. Just this week I have found myself full of fear about having to make the decision to take the Brac breast cancer gene test. I don’t want to find out if I carry the predisposition for breast cancer, but the results might save mine and my daughters’ lives. And, if I claim to value health, then I must do the hard work. Life’s hardships build character and what doesn’t kill you only makes you stronger.

This is why I love iGnite — as women we are on life’s journey together, helping each other, encouraging each other to live full and happy lives. We are growing physically, mentally and spiritually. We are there for each other in joy and sorrow. So, from the wisdom of a woman who joyfully lived as she was dying, I encourage you to: Believe in Miracles, Rejoice in Each Day, Have Fun.

Action Item:
Choose to live a purpose-filled life while believing in miracles, rejoicing each day and having fun!

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How to Make a Day

Be THE REASON someone smiles todayPoint to Ponder:
When was the last time you paid a total stranger a random compliment or kind gesture?

by Neissa Brown Springmann

by Neissa Brown Springmann

Over the past two months I’ve had the sweet opportunity to go on two dates with Durant, my four year old son. Along with my husband’s influence and modeling, I am personally trying to teach him how to treat a lady and what women like.

For example, our first date was attending the Austin High Red Jacket spring performance. It was an easy sell, as he loves music and dancing but more than that, he loves young women. So combining the two was a win/win. Our date started at Thundercloud Subs where I let him open the door and pay for our meal. Then, before we sat down at our table I let him pull out my chair. Finally, while eating I informed him that it’s always nice to offer your date a bite of your meal or maybe share dessert. I have no idea if anything I said resonated with him, but it was fun!

Our most recent date was last night in Dripping Springs. A young woman whom I babysat during college got married (that’ll make you feel mature. I refuse to use the “o” word.), and since Russell was out of town I thought it would be a great opportunity for Durant to experience a wedding. In addition, one of the things we do a lot of in our house is dance, and I preach that women love men who will dance with them. (Can you tell I am married to a non-dancer- ugh!?!?!) All in all, between the beautiful young women, chocolate cake and Sprite I let him drink while I had a glass of wine, he had a great time. We even made it on the dance floor which made us both happy.

As I mentioned in the last two paragraphs, Durant loves women and gravitates towards young ones. He’s been like this since he was two years old, and one of the things we talk openly about is how every women wants to feel beautiful, and that a beautiful heart is much more important than a beautiful face or body. In addition, if he sees someone he thinks is beautiful, I always encourage him to tell her, which is what happened a few weeks ago at the restaurant, Hopdoddy. The long of the short is that while waiting at the bar for our to-go order, he noticed a young women he thought was beautiful. When he told me this I encouraged him to tell her, but he became timid and asked me if I would tell her, for him. I explained that if I told her for him it wouldn’t be the same, but it sure would make her happy if he told her how he felt. And so, he confidently climbed out of his chair, walked over to her, tapped her on the arm and told her she was beautiful. As you can imagine, I was one proud mama, but more than that, the young women beamed and gave him a giant hug. Meanwhile there was a random man sitting next to her who gave Durant an attaboy thumbs up and wink – ha! As you can imagine, Durant’s day was made because he got a hug from the beautiful girl, and my day was made because I was so proud of him for being brave and kind. As for the beautiful young lady, I don’t think she ever stopped smiling. In fact, before leaving she came over to us and gave Durant another hug and thanked him for making her day.

The intent of this journal is not to showcase my parenting style or my son, rather it’s to be reminded of how easy it is to make someone smile and even make their day. I realize that children have a gift of making people smile and can get away with saying a lot, but after Durant’s Hopdoddy experience I thought I’d give it a try and pay someone a random, yet sincere compliment. Brene Brown would call this being vulnerable and daring greatly. So, while in Whole Foods the other day I noticed a women’s gorgeous full eyebrows. I caught myself staring at her and finally said, “You have the most beautiful eyebrows”. She lit up and said, “WOW! Thank you! You have the most beautiful face!”. Totally taken aback by her comment, I lit up and said, “WOW!, Thank you! You are so kind!” I would’ve been completely happy with her accepting my compliment, but I found myself walking with an unexpected spring in my step and a smile on my face.

Action Item:
This week, make an effort to dare greatly and put a smile on someone’s face by perhaps paying an unexpected and sincere compliment or extending a kind gesture.

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How Big is Your Brave?

by Neissa Brown Springmann

by Neissa Brown Springmann

There’s no doubt that being 100% authentic, embracing all of who we are, accepting others for who they are and fearlessly pursuing our passions requires BIG BRAVERY.  With that, I encourage you to be amazing, be brave, listen to the words of the song and speak them over and over again.  I promise your heart will sing and you will shine!