Saturday, April 12, 2014

An Unexpected Three-Week Vacation....

21 days since I last wrote a blog entry, 21 days since I poured out thoughts and things onto a glowing white screen, 21 days since I was celebrating 3-21-14; World Down Syndrome Day. It's been an unexpected three-week vacation; two weeks of  either being sick or taking care of my sick munchkins and one week spent playing catch up and preparing to leave on the first leg of my 2014 tour. It's been a crazy ride so far this year; four months in already... I seriously cannot believe it, but what is more baffling is how many changes have transpired already this year. I had the time to think in week two as I lay in bed coughing, stuffy headed and sick to my stomach. Over the course of a three day hot date with my pillow, my waking moments; (they were in deed only moments) were spent thinking about everything that is happening, the doors that are opening up for me and as I blew my nose I smiled for mere seconds because that's all that I had the energy for. On the eve of my first stop for 2014, I am tired... kind of exhausted, yet full of life and energy. I have depleted myself this week mentally with late nights working and getting very little rest but the excitement and gratitude for everything happening is overflowing making me happy-tired instead of grumpy-tired.

I am reminded that July will mark four years since I sat down and began typing my story, I have decided that that on that anniversary will be a day of rest. I will spend it somewhere I can relax... exhale a bit and be proud in the moment. This year is going to be a good one... it's year four; I will soon GROW EXPONENTIALLY, everything is falling into place. I am quickly reminded of the story of the Bamboo plant that I have heard SO many times in seminars, in books that I have read and have always kept that story in the front of my mind; it keeps me going even when I want to quit. I will now share that story with you in case you don't know it.

Unlike most other plants, Chinese bamboo is quite unique. After bamboo is planted, watered, and nurtured for the whole first growing season, it does not outwardly develop even an inch. Then, on the second growing season, the farmer must continue to irrigate, fertilize and care for the bamboo tree and yet still; nothing happens – it fails to sprout just the same as year one.


As the seasons go in and out, the farmer has to continue caring for the bamboo for four consecutive years. What could really be discouraging is that the farmer has nothing substantial to demonstrate his labor in caring and growing this stubborn tree. Four lonely years of hard work and care and nothing to show for it.

And then in the fifth year... the bamboo plant grows more than 80 feet in just one growing season! 


It's quite an amazing story would you agree? Four long years of caring and hard work only to gain nothing. That's how we can get in life so many times... bogged down, discouraged and depleted trying to yield something; to have just one indication that our time is well served, so we hang on. In light of that determination, we keep going. Finally... the season of growth comes rapidly, so fast that it nearly knocks us down but it was worth the wait and the exhaustion.

As I prepare for my speaking event on Sunday, I have no idea how many people are coming. It may be 40 it may be 2, but I hope it's at least 1; at least one person whose life may be changed for the better. If not, I will do as I have done many times in the years of staying positive; I will speak life to myself... I will listen and implement what I hope to share with others. Trust me if I have 5 people show up I may just do a happy dance, because as impromtu as this was thrown together to piggyback it onto  book signing, 5 people will be awesome. If one of those five gets something out of what I said that will make their life better somehow than my mission was accomplished and my time was well spent.

Although some of you may think I am a "big deal", I am not; I am no different than anyone else who has not given up on their dreams. Even if you feel that I am different from you, I want you to know that You have every ability to follow what I have done to get here.

The thing that I am most thankful for is that I have God living in my heart now, that he knows where I am going and that I choose to trust in it. I still mess up, He knows I mess up and it bothers me now more than ever when I do, for I hate to disappoint anyone, including myself. I am glad I value myself enough now to care; for many years I did not.

I apologize for being sick, I apologize for that unexpected three-week vacation, but I think it is exactly what I needed to carry on. I will be back on schedule next week, bringing you hope on Mondays and something to think about on Fridays. I encourage you to stop in and get inspired. Take care and I hope to see some of you in South Carolina.

If you would like to know where I will be, you can go to Shelleygiard.com and click on the "events" tab. 

Have an awesome weekend, stay strong, stay positive, be real and be happy.

xoxo

Shells


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