Tag Archives: count your blessings

Finding the Blessings

Inspiration from the iGnite Blog Article Archives

iGnite_JournalAug7_2016

Point to Ponder:
What disappointing time in your life can you now look back on and see the blessings in it? Or, are you going though a difficult time in your life and having trouble finding the blessings?

Jill Watts

by Jill Watts

After moving to a new high school in The Woodlands, Texas my freshman year, I decided to join the track team. I tried out for all sprints and quickly my coaches and I realized that this was my thing. I ran varsity as a freshman and continued the rest of my high school career, anchoring all three relays in every meet: the 100m, 200m and mile relay, and ran the open 100m and 200m dash. I continued successfully winning district championships and placing in Regionals and was on my way to pursuing a track career in college.

Then… I broke my legs.

It was the night of the Homecoming dance my senior year, and 6 friends and I were headed to the dance from dinner. Suddenly, the guy who was driving ran through a stop sign and smashed into a telephone pole on my side of the car.I never lost consciousness, and I remember it all very well in detail. I looked down and saw that my right leg was completely broken — a compound fracture where I broke my tibia in half and the bone was sticking out of my leg. My left ankle was shattered, my right hand (which I had used to brace myself and protect my face from hitting the dash) was broken, and I had knocked out a tooth where my face hit the dashboard. I was the only one in the car that was hurt.

I remember lying there on the table in the hospital after it happened and asking the doctors “when can I run again?” but they continued to say “we don’t know.” They reassured me that I would be fine, but said they weren’t sure if I would be able to run again. Needless to say, due to my injuries I could not run my senior year in high school and my chances for running in college were ruined.

The accident changed everything for me, but I stayed positive and never gave up. The hope of being able to run and snow ski again helped me push through months of physical therapy and 3 surgeries over a year and a half as I transitioned into college. After hard work and determination, I was walking again, my leg was healing correctly after being reconstructed and the bone straightened, and I was feeling more sturdy and less timid with putting strain on my legs.

Eventually I was back to normal and doing all the activities I loved again — skiing, dancing, hiking, and exercising. I started running again about two and a half years after my third surgery, and I continued to run at the track for fun, but never again competitively.

I learned some tough life lessons, and that accident helped make me the person I am today. It has given me the positive and hopeful outlook that I have on life. It made me realize that life can change in a moment, and you have to make the best of what you have now and count your blessings. You also can not sit around and wait for life to be perfect, you must make a choice to live the life you want, despite some hard work and perseverance. You can never let anything get you too far down and you must always have faith.

Sometimes in life we are thrown a curve ball, (well, many times) and we can’t just sit around and wait for things to get better. You have to change your attitude, make choices, and figure it out. In most cases it turns out to be a blessing!

I still love the sport of track and am so thrilled that my oldest daughter is following in my footsteps. Track excites me and it is an incredible way to stay fit!


Action Item:
Life can change in a moments time, and you have to make the best of what you have now and count your blessings. Make the choice to live the life you want, work hard, persevere and remain faithful!


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The Next Best Thing

Inspiration from the iGnite Archives

April24_2016

Point to Ponder:
Do you struggle with contentment, have trouble appreciating your life and/or find yourself always looking for the next best thing?

iGnite Neissa

by Neissa Brown Springmann

In an effort to fill my life with as much motivation and positive thinking as possible, I subscribe to inspirational and spiritual email services, read nurturing books, surround myself with “light-giving” people, spend time outside and try to exercise several times a week. One of the email newsletters I receive is called Simple Truths, and several times a week they send quotes, short videos and exerts from their books. Just this week I scrolled through one of the newsletters titled “Attitude is Everything.” Honestly, because this message has been drilled into my brain since as far back as I can remember, I initially disregarded it, as I knew it wasn’t going to be new information. This was “old hat” and the reality is that I was looking for cutting-edge wisdom — the latest and greatest that would knock my socks off.

Never-the-less, I reluctantly played the encouraging video and as I suspected there was nothing new. I had read and listened to these words hundreds of times, however because it was ageless wisdom and my life is always evolving, it actually blew my socks off, again! The words were relevant and a necessary way of thinking and living. I immediately became re-inspired and humbled, and it dawned on me that my way of thinking is what led Eve down the path of destruction. I was looking for the next best thing, the shiny and juicy red apple that would give me an advantage in life, but the truth is the old and simple stuff was plenty good. It was enough. In addition, good and bad habits are formed upon repetition and because the substance of the following inspiration by Simple Truth is vital to keeping a positive state of mind, I will continue to read, share, and try my best to live it. Here is what they suggest:

Wait to Worry
Only 8% of what we worry about comes true.
“Anxiety does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow, but only empties today of its strength.” ~ Charles Spurgeon

Keep an Attitude of Gratitude
Count your blessings and jot them down.
“Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it.” ~ William Arthur Ward

Your Health is Your Wealth
If you lose your health you lost everything. Take time to exercise, catch up on your sleep and eat right.
“One of the main qualities it takes to be successful is energy….it may be the only thing.” ~ Katharine Hepburn

Joy Boomerangs
Do something for someone else….the good you do boomerangs back to you!
“If you want to lift yourself up, lift up someone else.” ~ Booker T. Washington

Learn to Say “No”
We have limits to our time, energy and interests.
“If we always say ‘yes,’ we run a greater danger of severing relationships than if we refuse right away.” ~ Vicki Hitzges

Understand the Power of Discipline
If you discipline yourself today, you’ll enjoy your life tomorrow.
“Hold yourself responsible for a higher standard than anybody else expects of you.” ~ Henry Ward Beecher

Surround Yourself with Positive People
Find people who will challenge you, believe in your and inspire you to improve.
“To love and be loved is to feel the sun from both sides.” ~ David Viscott

All in all, I do think it is important to be open to learning and exploring new things. Knowledge is power and a key component of growth, however I also believe that most humans struggle with contentment (THAT’S ME!) which keeps us chasing the next best thing and in a perpetual state of wanting and needing more. Therefore, as we continue to seek new information, opportunities, and adventure, remember to not over-think it and keep it simple. We don’t have to reinvent the wheel and most often our most sacred treasures are right under our noses, like the bee pollinating the flower in the picture. While the bee is only a tiny little insect, they are the most efficient pollinators whose impact is incredible! Without them, many of the flowers we love would not exist, we would not be able to enjoy the deliciousness of honey as well as a long list of fruits, vegetables, nuts and grains. However, because of that simple little critter, life is a whole lot sweeter, just as so many other “little things” in our life.

Action Item:
Practice contentment by taking a moment to stop, breathe and focus on your life: the tumultuous times you have overcome and the wisdom you thankfully gained from them; the struggles and inconveniences that you are currently enduring and the growth opportunities you are receiving from them; and the relationships, blessings and “little things” that you might often look past. In this busy, accomplishment-oriented and task-driven world we live in, take the time to focus on the “small things” and give thanks for the big impact they have had and currently have on your life.

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YOU ARE Nature’s Greatest Miracle

Inspiration from the iGnite Archives

April17_2016 Point to Ponder:
Do you live like you are nature’s greatest miracle?

iGnite Neissa

by Neissa Brown Springmann

During the weekend I needed a motivational jolt so I grabbed one of my favorite books by Og Mandino called The Greatest Salesman in the World. I immediately thumbed through the back of the book and began skimming through the ten inspirational and empowering scrolls. When used correctly, each scroll is to be read three times a day for thirty days before moving on to the next one. Also, when reading a scroll for the third time each day, it is to be read out loud. The basis of Og Mandino’s method is to create positive mental and emotional programming which breaks down fear and hesitation and builds self-confidence. This then becomes part of the transformational psyche.

While all of the scrolls are powerful, the scroll that I was drawn to was IV, “I am Nature’s Greatest Miracle”, which also reminds me of another one of my favorite book’s of his called The Great Miracle in the World. Before I go on, just stop and think about the mind-blowing fact that “you-are-nature’s-greatest-miracle”. WOW! Regardless of your current mood or state of mind, believing that you are significant and you are nature’s greatest miracle is not only encouraging but it’s life-changing. But wait, it get’s even better. The scrolls continues with wisdom like, “I am not on this earth by chance. I am here for a purpose and that purpose is to grow into a mountain, not to shrink to a grain of sand. Henceforth I will apply all my efforts to become the highest mountain of all and I will strain my potential until it cries for mercy. I have been given eyes to see and a mind to think and now I know a great secret of life for I perceive, at last, that all my problems, discouragements, and heartaches are, in truth, great opportunities in disguise. And nature knows not defeat. Eventually, she emerges victorious and so will I, and with each victory the next struggle becomes less difficult.”

The words of this scroll not only set my mind at ease, but it also sent my heart racing with excitement, as it is a reminder that we are all made for greatness, and despite our past, our mishaps, mistakes or struggles, our potential is unlimited. Furthermore, with nature as our guide, we can and will bounce back from adversity and stand taller and more wise, as this becomes our gift to one another and to the world.

Finally, as you begin your week I encourage you to live like YOU ARE nature’s greatest miracle and believe all of the council provided by Og Mandino and “Never demean yourself again! Never settle for the crumbs of life! Never hide your talents, from this day hence! Count your blessings! Proclaim your rarity! Go another mile!”

Action Item:
Believe in and live like YOU ARE nature’s greatest miracle. Remember that you were not put on Earth by chance and you are here for a purpose. Never demean yourself again! Never settle for the crumbs of life! Never hide your talents, from this day hence! Count your blessings! Proclaim your rarity! Go another mile!

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