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Making Dreams Come True

Opening the email, the first sentence read, “Would you like to bless some people?”  My immediate thought was, “Of course.  Who doesn’t like to bless people?”  Jennifer and Chad were going to be married in two months, November 11, 2011.  Their lives had changed dramatically within one week.  They lived in Bastrop, Texas, where fires burned businesses and residents for over a week.  Their home and the venue they were to be married in were burned to the ground.  The Oaks Events Center staff met with Jennifer and Chad two days after receiving that email. Jennifer’s face beamed.  She smiled from ear to ear when she walked into the bridal suite.  Her eyes met with the ornate gold hook that her wedding dress would hang on and a tear rolled down her cheek.  It was a look I will never forget; surprise, joy, and peace.  As an Event Manager, the most important rule is; if the bride is happy, everyone else is happy.  Chad had a sense of relief as he watched his bride to be have a moment of joy in the midst of loss.

There was a huge sense of community in the two months preparing for Jennifer and Chad’s wedding.  From linens, to Tiki torches, to a sunset wedding ceremony on the front lawn, cake, catering, an evening of laughing and dancing, and bubble blowing as a farewell to the bride and groom; the day was spectacular.  The Bastrop community, friends and family of the bride and groom, and The Oaks Events Center all pulled together to make Jennifer and Chad’s dream come true on their wedding day.

Stacy loves to share with groups of people; to Inspire you to dream big, to Empower you to become better in spirit, mind, and body; and to challenge you to Share what you have learned with others. Some of the topics she is passionate about are: health and fitness, relationships, leadership, communication and conflict resolution within any environment. She has been on staff at her home church, Shoreline Church, in Austin Texas since 2002. She is the Event Manager at Shoreline Church and The Oaks Events Center.  To learn more about Stacy, please visit her website www.stacymcvane.com.

Memories=Love ....Valentine's Day Ideas

Valentine's Day is around the corner and  there's still time to plan and make the day spectacular for those you love most. Longtime Love

  1. Pull out those photos that are piled up in your desk or displayed on your frig. Put  them in chronological order in a small photo album. Write a sentence or two about the occasion pictured and you have just documented your relationship.
  2. Do the unexpected and plan a date doing something he loves and you generally avoid. Whether it is a weekend camping, a hockey game or an afternoon of ESPN, he will know you care when you give up your own interests for his.
  3. Create a  coupon book he can redeem with coupons that include things he loves like:
  • an hour long massage from you
  • breakfast in bed
  • take his car or truck to be washed and detailed
  • sitting with him and watching the movies he loves and you don't (for me that would be war movies)

Children

  1. Develop a traditional Valentine Breakfast and prepare it each year. I've made individual Strawberry Shortcakes for my family for over twenty years. It's a treat reserved only for Valentine's Day.
  2. Hide some treats in your home, give your children clues and have a scavenger hunt in your own home. Follow this link for great  clues that are already written    http://www.pepperspollywogs.com/blog/index.php/a-valentine-scavenger-hunt/
  3. Teach your kids about loving others. Make or buy Valentine cards and deliver them to residents of  nursing home in your area.

Lonely Loved One

  1. Frame a photo of the two of you together. Attach a note that includes I remember when....... and you made me feel....
  2. Set aside a little time to spend with Lonely Loved One.  Someone who feels alone would probably love joining you as you grocery shop or sitting in the car with you while you wait for your child in dance class.

No matter what you do to celebrate Valentine's Day or whom you celebrate with, keep this thought in mind:

Love does not dominate: it cultivates.

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

True Guilt vs. False Guilt

Picture this courtroom scene:  The jury comes into the courtroom and take their seats.

Judge to Woman"Will the defendant please rise?"  (A frail looking woman stands up with her head bowed; her shoulders slumped.)

Judge to Foreman:  "Mr. Foreman, has the jury reached a verdict?"

Foreman:  "We have, your Honor.  The charges brought against the defendant are:

  • Count #1 - Her past sinful life
  • Count #2 - Not making others happy
  • Count #3 - Not meeting people's expectations of her
  • Count #4 - Being a Working Mom
  • Count #5 - The cause of her divorce
  • Count #6 - Saying "no" to volunteer work at her church.

On each of these charges, we find the defendant GUILTY as charged!

Judge to Woman:  I now sentence you to life in prison where you will serve out the remaining years of your life in misery.  (And with that, the frail woman was lead bound and shackled out of the courtroom to begin her life sentence.)

Obviously, those charges are not ones you would find in a court of law, but they are charges, plus countless more, that women have had levied against them.  As a result, they live a life of misery in their own self-made prison.

"I personally have been there, done that," as the saying does.  Guilt comes with excruciating pain that penetrates deep inside the human spirit.  My feelings of guilt resulted in a loss of self-respect, insecurity, and a sense of unworthiness.

While in my self-made prison, I read a book entitled:  "Happiness is a Choice"  by Drs. Frank Minirth and Paul Meier.  Their explanation of True Guilt vs. False Guilt caught my eye.

TRUE GUILT is the uncomfortable inner awareness that one has violated a moral law of God.  It is produced partially by the conviction of God's Holy Spirit, and partially by our own conscience.  True guilt is valuable.  God uses it to influence us to change our minds about behavior that is wrong, so we can be in closer fellowship with Him.

FALSE GUILT is feeling guilty for something that in reality does not violate any of the laws of God.  Another way of saying that is feelings that come as a result of the judgments and opinions of others, or from a judgment that we have wrongfully imposed upon ourselves.  False guilt send messages to our inward being that shouts:  "You've failed!"   "You'll never amount to anything."  "You blew it."  "It's all your fault!"

And so it was, I did a whole lot of soul searching and made a list of all the things that were plaguing me with guilt.  I asked forgiveness of those things God was gently showing me were indeed, True Guilt---things that were hindering my relationship with Him.  I took the remainder of that list, threw it in the garbage can, and let it take a ride on the garbage truck.  I then walked out of my prison cell a free woman.

           My case of "False Guilt" had been taken all the way to the Supreme Court of the Universe, Almighty God, and He dismissed the charges against me.

Do you need to come out of your self-made prison?  It will free you to become the Created Woman God designed you to be----minus the heavy load of guilt!