When You’re Not Looking

cat-393294_1280You know how it is. Something you’ve wanted for so long suddenly drops into your life when you’re not looking.

That’s how it was when I met my husband. I wasn’t looking. Though I was still very young, I’d pretty much given up on ever finding that perfect someone. But there he was. Three months later, we were married. Forty-one years later, we’re still married.

But I wasn’t looking. We strive for success. Work hard for recognition and promotions, only to lose out to someone else. It’s discouraging, sometimes even heartbreaking, to watch others around you celebrate their accomplishments, their big sales numbers, and you wonder if it will ever happen for you. Then one day, when you’re not looking for it…there it is.

But some of life’s successes are temporary–trophies to display on one’s mantle–and later to pack away in the attic or toss in the trash. If you never won a trophy, made top rep, or got to sit at the head of the corporate table, you can get pretty discouraged. That’s the trouble with contests–there’s only one winner. All the others are basically…losers. My second-grade teacher had an idea about that. She’d made sure every child in our class won something, everyday of the school year. Each week, the class held an election. By the end of the year, each one of us had served as class president.

award-148961_1280I remember that feeling of pride, standing at the front, holding a blue ribbon for my perfect spelling paper. And the day they voted for me to be class president–I smiled for hours.

The truth is, it doesn’t take that much to make another person feel special. I’ll never forget that wonderful teacher. She inspired me. l wish she’d been in my life a little longer. Are you a parent, a teacher, a coach? Do you seek to inspire those entrusted to your care? I encourage you to do so!

manta-91745_1280In a few months, I’m headed to Cuenca, Ecuador for a few days. I’ll be speaking to a group of women, and whatever else we can find to do. I hope to carry a message that will inspire and encourage those to whom I am sent. A message like the one I received from that beloved teacher. Everyone can be a winner.

Abuse is a worldwide problem, especially for women. In some countries, though, women have more difficult lives. Many of the situations are universal. Since being asked to speak to these women, I’ve been researching the problems that are relevant to them. I can’t solve those problems, but perhaps I can encourage some to think differently. About themselves, about their life.

What does that have to do with NOT LOOKING? I wasn’t looking for this opportunity. It kind of dropped into my lap. Totally unexpected. But I’ve accepted the challenge and now I’m determined to do my best.

If you’re reading this and you know what it’s like to endure the pain of abuse, then please pray for me that I will know how to minister to and encourage these dear ladies. That’s my heart’s cry. For more information about our upcoming trip to Ecuador, please check out our Facebook page and https://www.gofundme.com/OwenstoEcuador2016.

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