Just when you think you aren’t making a difference…

State of anxiety

So… I’ve been in a state of anxiety ever since this summer when I conceived the idea of a group of people using their God-given gifts (Which sounds silly, but is accurate: they are gifts God gave us after all!) and talents to uplift the lives of others.

Then someone challenged me (Thanks Mindy!) to show up to that vision and make it happen!

I about did all the things that people do when they’re afraid: crap my pants, scream, cry, I think I actually threw up a little, and I did hide!

I know what I am doing is right!

But then I did it. I showed up to my vision in hope and faith that it would show up to me. I did it because my friend Mindy told me that it doesn’t matter if I end up looking like a fool while doing what I feel I was meant to do. She told me to trust my instincts and spiritual insights. I made that a daily declaration:

I fall in love with my ideas. I trust my instincts and spiritual insights. I follow my heart, no matter how scary or how foolish I may appear to others. I know what I am doing is right. I show up to my vision, and my vision shows up to me.

She was going through this herself: showing up to a vision that scared her, and that encouraged me as well. I found an image online that inspired me with this quote:

“She turned her can’ts into cans and her dreams into plans.” ~Kobi Yamada

Dreams into plans!

Time to be this “she”! Time to make can’ts: cans, and dreams: plans! So I bucked up and stuttered my way through inviting one of my best friends to join me on the journey. I totally messed it up. I texted her crazy stuff, didn’t make sense, it was awkward, and I was so embarrassed! It took me a week to “trick” her into seeing me one-on-one so I could explain myself in person. When we were one-on-one I was too nervous to come out with it and instead did some venting. Then while she was talking I rudely interrupted her to tell her what I’d come over for! I explained my vision and how I wanted her to join me, and she, amazingly, was pleased and excited to join me — and, might I add, hadn’t thought anything weird or awkward about the texts I’d sent! I knew some people would not feel drawn to my cause, but all the sudden here was this wonderful woman telling me how honored she was that I asked her first, how much she already believed in my vision, and how excited she was to be my right-hand hench-woman! Little does she know how much she is MY ROCK!

With that victory in hand, I invited my little sister to join us. I knew she was busy with PA school, but I needed her on my side. She was honored to join us — and does all she can in the midst of her busy schedule, which is really just hearing me talk about it and supporting me. And all that is all I need from my left-hand hench-woman!

I have since invited one other to join our team who declined, but that’s okay. I wanted him to know he was invited, and it’s okay that he doesn’t feel pulled to my cause, that his life is calling him currently elsewhere. I love him just as much as I ever did! And undaunted because I actually know he has a part to play with us in the future which he will love, and he will be amazing at!

Nancy’s DoGooders, a Team of Pure Awesomeness!

On August 31st, 2015, we did our first good deed together, Paige and me, and it was amazing! Paige and I, mostly Paige (I just gathered the information, helped with suggestions, and then cooked us dinner) made homemade pies for a bake sale to raise money for a baby’s heart surgery for a family I knew personally. And as we were doing it I knew my vision of doers of good needed something more! So I created the facebook page Nancy’s DoGooders, a Team of Pure Awesomeness that same day to encourage others to share their gifts and talents to uplift and brighten the lives of others.

That was when the panic started! I just told the world what I was doing. I just told them my vision! I just, what did I just do?! AH!

Should I just give up? Should I quit?

I immediately started scheduling doing good quotes for the page and came up with the idea of simple weekly missions. I went through my list of friends and invited people that had been generous to me. A couple people liked the page! And my aunt liked my page description! So with that courage in hand I went through my friends list again and invited a couple more people. I worried and fretted. I was so scared to just invite people openly to join. Not many likes. Should I just give up? Should I quit?

Never give up! Never surrender!

As I pondered on these things, the spirit brought to my recollection two of my favorite quotes:

“Never give up! Never surrender!” ~Commander Taggart, from Galaxy Quest

(Which just goes to prove that even a parody of science fiction can have lasting effects on our lives. Whatever your calling, follow it!)

“Never, never, never, never give up!” ~Winston Churchhill.

(From a man the world admires!)

and in cleaning out my closet, a task I was doing to hide from my calling, I found this one:

“When you cannot make up your mind between two evenly balanced courses of action, choose the BOLDER.” ~WJ Smith

Worth it for the one!

These three bulstered my own tenacious spirit, and I discovered that it doesn’t matter how many people like the page or the posts, or hates the group, or dislikes me. If Nancy’s DoGooders facebook page and missions helps just one person show up to their gifts and talents to help others, if all the many posts only brighten the life of one, and even if all the silly things I do makes only one person happy, that is enough. Just one is more than plenty! The worth of a soul, even just the one!, is GREAT in the sight of God. So once again I carried on through the mire. It doesn’t matter what it looks like, what I look like, what I think it might appear to others to be! It matters only that I’m heading in the direction that I feel God has called me to go in, and that makes my heart sing! And that’s scary!

Our next mission!

Yesterday, September 9, 2015, my friend Paige, my right-hand hench-woman, got in my car to go shopping with me, and one of the first things she said to me (after handing over the potato chips that she checked the ingredients list on to make sure I could enjoy them with her! <sigh> She’s so awesome!) was, “I have our next mission.” I will honestly share here what I felt: excitement, and dread. What if she suggested a mission I wasn’t interested in participating in? I think she was feeling the same, What if she isn’t interested in participating in my idea? But thank goodness she didn’t let that hold her back! Her project was amazing! It showed she understood exactly what my vision was about! It showed she knew me!

And so Nancy’s DoGooders next Special Ops Mission is to participate in the “Out of the Darkness Walk” event in Salt Lake City, UT on September 19, 2015 to help raise awareness about depression, suicide, and help those in need of hope. We made it a special ops mission on Nancy’s DoGooders page, and then posted about it with our personal donation pages on our facebook timelines.

Nancy's FB post about the Out of the Darkness Walk SLC 2015

What was I thinking?

I personally did this at 2am this morning. That’s when the panic attack hit me. I have been really sick for several months. I am on the up and up, but I don’t know that I will actually be able to participate in the actual walk. AH! I was so nervous what people might think about all my Nancy’s DoGooders stuff, and about that personal post. What was I thinking?

I didn’t want to get out of bed!

I didn’t want to get out of bed this morning. I certainly didn’t want to check facebook and see all the people who were ridiculing me and didn’t care — at least that was I was thinking! But I did want to check to see if our friend Alina had joined our team, so I braved the misty waters and noticed that not only had Alina joined our team, but that our little team had already received donations! Someone had donated on my personal page! WHAT?!?!

I am on the right track with the right people behind me! How blessed I am!

My dear dear friend Tammy Sauer had donated and left me this beautiful message:

“I LOVE you for doing this…Dad I miss you everyday!!! Lets help put a stop to suicide…” ~Tammy Sauer

I broke down in tears immediately! Now that was worth it! It was all worth it for Tammy and her dad! I immediately thanked her and asked her permission to share, and she immediately gave it! What an amazing woman! Then I thanked my Paige for thinking of this mission! Wow! Two great women!

That’s how I know what I am doing is right. That’s how I know I am on the right track with the right people behind me! How blessed I am!

Victories piling up behind me!

I look back over the past couple weeks, COUPLE WEEKS!, And see the victories piling up behind me, the lives changed, the hearts that sing! And I remembered that I shouldn’t judge! I don’t know whose heart resonates with my own! I openly invite every one to join my Nancy’s DoGooders! You know what happened?! People immediately did!

If it makes your heart sing, join us! Join Nancy’s DoGooders!

The world has need of helping hands! It needs your strength, your unique experiences, God-given gifts and talents, and your compassion. That’s what Nancy’s DoGooders is about! Using your own uniqueness and overflowing love and joy to fill the needs of others in ways no one else can, because they’re not you! We need you! We need what you can do! If it makes your heart sing, then join us! Join Nancy’s DoGooders on facebook. We are only just starting, and there is so much more good to follow, so many great things you will do!

We can’t wait to have you on our side!

Gah! THIS IS SO EXCITING!

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A Shoe. (Bless You!)

What is your call in life, and what does it have to do with shoes??

I can’t tell you the first (that is between you and God), but I can tell you the second: EVERYTHING! 😉

Then again, maybe I can help you with the first in some small way…

(Watch A Shoe. (Bless You!) on Youtube.)

I’m so nice! You should be nice too! Share this video with your friends and enemies! 😉

May God grant you your dream, all that you love, and some spectacular shoes!

The proper response

When someone compliments you the proper response contains three, possibly four, of the following components.

First, be nice to yourself. I hate it when I compliment someone and they disregard it. Accept the compliment. You’re worth it!

Second, don’t be arrogant. Even in jest, comments like “I know right?!” can actually hurt the other person’s feelings.

Third, sincerely thank the other person for letting you know that cool thing about you. After all, they didn’t have to say anything at all.

Last, only, ONLY, (Did I mention ONLY?) compliment the other person if you can do it genuinely. Don’t tell them, “You too!” when you don’t feel it. This hails back to #2, but if you aren’t genuine in your compliment the other person knows it and it devalues the compliment they gave you. Keep in mind that if someone compliments you it doesn’t warrant a compliment back. Just showing gratitude is enough of a gift back to them. That’s all I want when I compliment someone: a thank you or a smile. Oh yeah, add a smile. However, that said, if you give  genuine compliment back it can really make their day, and yours, when they smile broadly!

So I say, “You’re awesome!” Pick one of the responses below in response:

  • Thanks!
  • Thanks! I think you’re awesome too!
  • You’re so sweet! That makes me feel fantastic!
  • I trust your judgement. You’re right. Thanks!
  • Thanks for letting me know that. You always make me feel great about myself! Thanks!

The same goes for a criticism.

First, be nice to yourself. It’s hard to hear a criticism, but it’s how we grow and you can learn a lot from mean people, or even someone just trying to help you out. Don’t take a hit to your self-esteem. Recognize that we all suck: we all have areas to improve on. Just because someone (or lots of someones) point out to you a flaw doesn’t make you a failure. Just take it with a pinch of salt.

Second, don’t get defensive. Either 1) they’re just trying to help, or 2) they’re mean. Either way, realize that they can’t lower your worth. You’re already of infinite worth and they just made you better.

Third, sincerely thank the other person for letting you know how you can increase your awesomeness. Like I said before, either they’re trying to help or they’re mean. Either way it’s the same end thing.

Fourth, if you can do so sincerely, compliment them.

So Sally says, “You know, you could really work on your tact.” Your response could sound like:

  • Thank Sally for letting me know. I hadn’t realized. I will try to do better. 
  • (You could even ask for help in how to improve.) I really do want to improve. Do you have any tips or suggestions?
  • I really appreciate your willingness to share with me. I know it can be really hard to tell someone a criticism and I appreciate how much thought you put into it and that you had the courage to let me know. Thanks for being such a great friend.
  • That’s really good feedback. Thanks for sharing.

valve-alien-swarm-screenshot-massive-flamethrower-burn

My brother, Zeke, and I play a lot of games and we give each other a lot of feedback. At first we argued and even yelled (which is totally out of character for me, at least the character I’ve worked hard to develop) at each other, but as I matured we got much better at communicating.

The biggest final change was when my brother and I were going for an advanced (technically insane) achievement with only two players (most people get it with four); there was a lot of feedback going back and forth. At one point Zeke got really frustrated with me, when we died, again, and said, “You know it would be really nice if you stood off to one side or the other so I could kill the guys without you being in the way all the time.”

I was going to bite back when I realized three things: first, was he was trying to help me stay alive, second, he was right — it would be nice for both of us if I stood off to the side so, and third, I hadn’t realized I was standing directly and very closely behind him (so I could heal him and he could kill the guys) because I was trying to keep track of everything else going on. So I took a deep breath to change my frame of thought and said, “That’s really good feedback. Really good. I’ll do that next time. Let’s try again.” And the next time we made it through the corridor. Not only that, but then when I had feedback he took it without an argument and we could discuss, without anyone’s feelings involved, strategies. It took a couple more tries, but we got that achievement!

The key or secret in all of this is to be honest, genuine, loving, and always kind.

Also, keep in mind: no matter what anyone says at anytime, you are of infinite worth! And really, you ARE awesome! Trust me.

Be nice to yourself

It hurts my feelings when you disregard my compliments. It’s like you don’t have faith in my judgement. Well I got news for you honey, my judgement is as accurate as Bourne is deadly. You’re awesome. You’re beautiful. You add value to other people’s lives. You’re more wonderful than sunrise rays and dancing rainbows.

SunriseAndDancingRainbows

And I love you.

Love you more!

I like to let people know that I love them. I write them little notes, post on their facebook pages, spend time with them, help them out, draw pictures and post stuff on my blog, etc.

But lately I’ve been noticing that when I tell someone I love them, someone else pipes up and says, or writes, posts, etc., “I love you more!”

As a side note that doesn’t really have much to do with the point of this post, when I used to talk to my maternal grandfather (he passed away January 28th last year) we’d often play the game of love you, love you more, love you more plus one, and you know how it goes. I miss him. Love you Grandpa! (I can already hear him saying, “I love you more times infinity!” … and I’m totally fine with that.)

At first I was like, hey, where’s the love in that? But then I thought, it must be some major feat to love someone more than I do otherwise other people wouldn’t keep trying to beat me out, and I’m okay with that.

So, I LOVE YOU!

Love you more!

And commence the loving more… 😉

I don’t know that there is anything more fun to do than to create creations. I love creating things: fun things, silly things, pretty things, and perfect moments with the people I love. Which leads me to the stuffs I love to create the most which are the stuffs that cause the creations of laughs and loves from others. Laughter and love are the best rewards for the work I do, but money is nice too. 😉

In all seriousness, money is necessary to the way we live culturally, but a life full of money but empty of laughter and love is a life deprived of all that is good in this world.

So while I wish you wealth — and that you do good things with that blessing — this Christmas season, I wish you a life full of laughs and loves more.

~Fancy Nancy Pants

Snowflake Love

Snowflake Love

In honor of the snow last weekend I thought I’d send my love via a snowflake. I *snowflake heart* you guys!