As I near the publishing birthday of my first FROG books in a series, I celebrate with this excerpt from The Frog Blog: Learning on a Lily Pad (available on Kindle and Amazon).  I dedicate it to my soul friend, Elizabeth who courageously practices to live this message every day!

frog hi-res

I’m reading Pastor Joel Osteen’s book, “You Can, You Will.” Pastor Osteen wrote about fixing our minds on a positive default setting. He used the example of a 2007 beauty pageant contestant who slipped and fell as she walked across stage on her way to the evening gown competition.

She was embarrassed, and the audience was unforgiving with their laughs and humiliating comments. Despite this fall, the contestant advanced to the top five for the next competition. Each contestant was to draw a random question out of a hat and answer it. She was asked, “If you could relive any moment of your life over again, what event would you choose?” Instead of verbally stumbling from her most recent fall just minutes before, she responded with her (presumed) practiced answer: she’d go back to Africa to work at the orphanage to see children’s beautiful smiles and feel their hugs.

This story stuck with me because it revealed an area I need practice. I challenge myself to embrace life’s updrafts and maneuver the down winds. Both are necessary for flight. When I read stories from the Bible, victory over violence is featured. David and Goliath’s writer could have supplied graphic detail about an intense search for the perfect sized stones to load David’s sling shot. Instead of concentrating on his projected sweat and blood, the story highlights the win over Goliath.

Noah’s Ark may have showcased the smelly animals and reminded us that the oversized boat had no sanitary waste conditions. Instead the story assures us that God is faithful to His people even after our world floods. Jesus’ birth isn’t a documentary about Mary’s labor pains and delivery process. We read about what death by crucifixion entails, but the Bible is slightly (and graciously) vague about Jesus’ cross. Biblical authors wrote victory into their climax. Those stories weren’t sterile, yet authors didn’t buy the tagline “if it bleeds, it leads.” They chose to maximize the triumph.

I’m accepting Pastor Osteen’s invitation to write and practice the highlights of my experiences. Some of my highlights came from my downfalls. None of our lives are wrinkle free, but we may have less worry lines when we give our focus a facelift. That inner beauty could reduce the fine, or not so fine lines.

Training myself to take in more light, so I can decrease the dark circles around my eyes, Christina

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