My Life’s Purpose

“The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.” – Mark Twain

What is your life’s purpose? Have you ever thought about it? Most people slog along day-to-day doing what has to be done, but they have no vision; no understanding of what God has called them to do. Some people would say they are “stuck in a rut.” I love what world-renowned, motivational speaker Zig Ziglar said, “A rut is merely a grave with both ends kicked out.” Have you ever asked yourself, “Why am I here?” This is a question that has plagued humankind for centuries.

The Apostle Paul was very clear in his purpose when he said to the elders at the church of Ephesus, “I consider my life worth nothing to me; my only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the good news of God’s grace.” Ephesians 2:10 tells us there is a purpose for each life God created, including yours: “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.” Please stop and let that sink in. YOU were CREATED in CHRIST JESUS for GOOD WORKS, which GOD PREPARED BEFOREHAND. You have been preordained to do good work. You have a purpose that you were specially created for by God Himself. Own this verse, personalize it and say it out loud everyday: I am God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God Himself prepared beforehand so that I (Your full name- _________________ _______________) would walk in them.

As Christians, we know that we are here to glorify God. M. Craig Barnes in his book Sacred Thirst says, “Biblical faith has always made praising God its central goal, not because God is an egotist who needs lots of affirmation, but because the Bible is concerned that we enjoy the freedom that comes only from realizing it’s not about me. If it is always about God, then we are relieved from the burden of pretending to be gods and can instead return to our created responsibility of receiving the grace that only God can give us.”

According to Marriage & Family Therapist Pastor Larry McElvain in the Foreword of my book, certain things are characteristic of the faith mindset:

  1. It comes from a core belief, not about yourself; but about God.
  2. Your purpose must be tied to God’s purpose.
  3. It has an inclusive characteristic. Life distractions become another environment to live out your mindset.
  4. Success is not a product, but a process.
  5. Life circumstances do not determine success but are the environment of success.

With this in mind, I remind myself daily to keep my priorities in the right order. In order of priority, the purpose of MY life is…

1. To love and glorify God

2. To be a wife to my husband

3. To a mother to my children

4. To inspire people to SHINE

Knowing your life purpose and keeping it as your compass helps you maintain focus. Each day we must constantly make decisions. Knowing your life purpose makes it easier to make the right decisions. For example, when I was offered to be featured on a reality television show it sounded like great fun and very profitable. Taking it to prayer and asking God if it would fit within the life purposes He gave me, the answer was clear that although I could glorify God in the television show, the relationship and responsibilities to my husband and children would suffer. I turned the offer down.

Let your light SHINE
Matthew 5:16 states, “Let your light SHINE before men in such a way that they may see your good work, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.” If you have accepted Jesus Christ into your heart, then you should know that we are here to glorify God. Each of us is a member of the body with different gifts and assignments. You can do something that someone else cannot. You owe it to the people you influence, to the relationships God has given you, to be the best you that you can be. True success is living out God’s purpose for your life.

“The graveyard is the richest place on earth because it is here that you will find all the hopes and dreams that were never fulfilled, the books that were never written, the songs that were never sung, the inventions that were never shared, the cures that were never discovered, all because someone was too afraid to take that first step, keep with the problem, or determined to carry out their dream.” Les Brown

Rihanna Diss and Justin Bieber Spit

Rihanna’s young fan does an awesome job of replicating Rihanna’s dress for a Hollywood style prom night. Does Rihanna send kudos’ and love? No, she tweets about the dress and calls the young girl names such as “Prom Bat”. Is this any different than Just Bieber spitting on fans from his hotel balcony? I say it is worse because Rihanna targeted and humiliated someone who was paying her the highest form of flattery. Rihanna was being the worst kind of bully. What do you think? Please leave me a comment.


Development? Beyond winning: Chess and checkers teach valuable lessons


So your kids aren’t quite in “Lord of the Flies” territory yet, but they could use some social-skills lessons. Tantrums in public, refusing to greet a friend, or meltdowns over sharing are fairly typical behaviors for toddlers and preschoolers. But as children get older, they must learn the basic social niceties to get along with others. Games are among the most effective methods of teaching almost any skill, including social skills. They’re simple, nonthreatening and downright fun.

Body Language

Games that involve reading body language can boost social skills. Holly Rauser, an etiquette coach in northern California, says, “We tend to like and trust people whom we feel are similar to us. Our brains tune in to body language that mirrors our own and consider the other person a friend. Have children practice mirroring each other’s body language, as if the child is an actual mirror. They will do their best to stand the same, put their hands in the same position, move in the same way.”

Games like charades teach kids how to read body language, especially when the prompts are to act out emotionally charged events: “Act out how you would feel if you lost a favorite toy,” for example, or “Act out how you feel when someone scares you.” Games that rely on strategy, such as chess or checkers, also teach kids to watch body language. Watch your opponent closely, and he just might give away the secret to winning!

Conversation Building

Most kids today spend more time plugged into electronics than talking to actual people. Dave Wingler, a teacher and app developer currently living in Japan, says, “I’ve been a teacher in K-12 for the last 15 years and seen a trend in classrooms shifting to technology integration. An inadvertent consequence of this is that it limits the amount of time that students get to interact with one another on an interpersonal basis.This is an impediment toward social development.”

Technology has many benefits, but kids need time to interact with family and friends too. Games that require talking, following directions, and asking questions help children learn the social skills of conversation. A few to try: old classics like “I Spy,” “I’m Going to Grandma’s,” or “Red Light, Green Light.” Some card games have questions designed to spark conversation. Try these to get the conversation rolling at dinner.


Sharing is the biggie for most kids when it comes to learning social skills. Even adults don’t like to share, so it should come as no surprise when preschoolers balk at sharing or hoard their toys.

Games are a nonthreatening way to nudge kids to more peaceful negotiations. Susan Hendler, founder of Sociable Kidz, a social-skills group for kids in Mamaroneck, N.Y., says, “We use role-playing, board games, table tennis and expressive art projects.” During role plays, kids use puppets or act out challenging scenarios, such as what to do when another child wants your toy or how to ask for a turn. Board games automatically reinforce social skills because most board games require players to take turns. Try table tennis or pick-up games of soccer, baseball or volleyball.


If your kids are like most of their peers, they could probably use a refresher course on manners. Of course, they probably don’t need to know what to do with four different forks and spoons, but they should be able to make eye contact, offer a friendly greeting and make polite conversation.

Try playing Simon Says and offering prompts that build manners: “Simon Says, take a dish to the sink,” or “Simon Says, say thank you.” Christina Steinorth, a psychotherapist in Santa Barbara, Calif., and the author of “Cue Cards for Life,” says, “Have dinner as a family and, during dinner, turn off all electronic devices and television. At dinner, role-model and practice making eye contact, and make small talk with your children. Talk about current events, discuss what went on during your day, maybe even plan the dinner menu for tomorrow night. Also, while sitting at the table, teach your children how to hold a fork and a knife and put a napkin on their lap. By simply sitting down for dinner together without distractions, you can teach your children a variety of social skills.”

Casual Couture: Are people taking casual attire too far?

OAKLAND, Calif. Writer Angela Hill— When the world finally collapses, it may be under a massive pile of ripped jeans from Abercrombie & Fitch.

When archeologists from space sift through our ashes on this cold dead rock, they will not find remains of the days of yore: the French cuffs, the sterling-silver tie bars, the sleek pencil skirts and silk blouses of the mid 20th century. No, those were replaced long ago with mutilated denim and logo T-shirts adopted for any occasion, devolving further into the rumpled, faded, polka-dot pajama bottoms tucked into black socks on a 42-year-old man at the Nob Hill in Alameda, Calif.

“I guess it is kinda bad, huh,” he said last week, hanging his head in mock shame and chuckling at his public display of apathy — not daring to reveal his identity for fear of his wife’s mortification. “Well, isn’t the world supposed to end this year? Then who cares, right? I might as well be comfortable when it happens.”

Casual every day

Somewhere along the line, especially here in the highly informal, tech-friendly Bay Area, Casual Fridays have become Casual Every Day with spiffy outfits relegated to the likes of attorneys, wait staff and TV news anchors. Fashion forward sometimes goes fashion sideways, careening over the embankment of good taste and down the slippery slope to sloppy.

“It looks likes people just don’t care anymore. People are very sloppy,” said Armando Osorio, 35, of Berkeley, Calif., who likened current style to the “before” looks on a makeover show. He says he dresses down — but neatly — for his job at a lumber company. But when he steps out on the weekends, it’s J. Crew for casual and a suit or sport coat for special events. “Yeah, it takes a little effort to look nice. And that’s the problem,” he said. “We have become way, way, way too lazy.”

Clothes by profession

To be sure, clothing choice depends on the occasion or line of work. You’d look loony wearing a suit to a beach party or repairing a car. And casual wear isn’t inherently bad. It’s less stuffy, there’s room for more creativity and individuality than in decades past, and it’s hands-down much more comfortable at the office.

But those still nursing a small flame at the shrine of style say it’s disappointing to see more and more holey jeans at the symphony and chic restaurants.

“I find it sad to see people in jeans at the theater,” said Michael Pagan, general manager for Harry Denton’s Starlight Room atop the Sir Francis Drake hotel in San Francisco, a place where it was once expected for guests to dress up for a night out. But now?

“Someone in a suit certainly wouldn’t be out of place here, but you’d be surprised at what people wear,” Pagan said. “Tourists you can understand. They’ve been on a long flight, so they come in wearing shorts and stuff. But even people out for the night — club girls dress up in the Kim Kardashian kind of little dresses, but at the same time you’ll get the soccer mom type, almost to the point of wearing sweats, carrying backpacks, bad hair. The trend has gone way down for style.”

Pagan equated today’s fashions with texting. “These days, you have people who will always think ‘laugh out loud’ is spelled ‘lol,’ ” he said. “Extrapolate that out to the way people present themselves — abbreviated style, doing what’s fast and easy — and look what you get. Usually the only people in tuxedos and gowns here are us (the staff).”

Courtroom dress

One venue where common-sense fashion should surely rule the day is in a court of law. But on some doors at Wiley Manuel courthouse in Oakland, Calif., there are signs reading: “NO shorts; NO tank tops or tube tops; NO pajama pants/sweats; NO exposed stomachs.”

If Perry Mason were alive — and real — this would probably kill him.

“Defendants don’t care anymore. For some, it’s no different than going to McDonald’s,” said Superior Court Judge Larry Goodman, who has presided over criminal cases for 29 years. He prefers a casual look himself, opting for golf shirts and khakis under his robes to put jurors at ease, he said. But there’s casual, and then there’s his pet peeve: people in saggy pants. “I told a guy the other day, ‘You’re already on probation and you come in my courtroom like that? I don’t need to see your underwear.’”

Etiquette and public speaking coach Holly Rauser of Morgan Hill says inappropriate dressing is a sign of a breakdown in respect, for oneself and others.

“The ‘Me’ Generation has become the Age of Rudeness,” she said. “We have overdone the self-esteem movement and forgotten to teach that other people have worth, too. We need to treat others with the respect that we ourselves demand.”

For more on this article: CLICK HERE

Cosmetics make me look more competent???


According to an article in the New York Times, makeup makes you look more competent. So Lady Gaga must be really competent? No, no, no. With everything in life, moderation is the key.

In the article  Up the Career Ladder, Lipstick In Hand by Catherine Saint Louis she discusses a study that showed women who wear makeup are perceived as more competent, trustworthy and my favorite – likable. I harp on this because we do business with people we like. Etiquette makes you more likable, and so does wearing makeup according to this article.

Moral of the story: Never show up looking like your drivers license picture. Cosmetics enhance your positive features and conceal your less than perfect features. You want people to notice your eyes, not your eye makeup as in the above photo. Even men can benefit from some neutral face powder applied with a brush to take down shininess and even complexion without being noticeable.

What do you think?

Goals are like a wood stove?

I live in the country and we heat our house with a wood stove. Sometimes the weather can get down into the low 20’s degrees Fahrenheit, which is pretty cold for California. Yes I know, but in California that is cold. On those mornings when it is below freezing I have to crawl out of my cozy warm bed and go outside in the freezing cold and collect wood. Usually takes me three trips out in the cold to get enough wood to fill the wood stove. Then I have to tear up paper, work with the kindling and coax the frozen wood to catch fire. It still takes another 15-20 minutes before heat is coming from the stove and much longer before the house begins to heat up.

Jackie and her hedgehog.

I do not like going out in the cold to get wood. So on the next freezing morning I am going to tell the wood stove in my most convincing voice, “If you would just put out some heat, when it is warmer, I will go outside and fetch your wood. You know I am good for it. I have given you wood all these years, why don’t you give me a little break and put out some heat?“ Pretty silly, huh?  But I see this scenario played out almost everyday. We want something, and we want it NOW, but we are not willing to put the work in that it takes to achieve it. We wait until conditions are more favorable or comfortable, like waiting for it to warm up outside before going out and retrieving the wood. Life does not work that way; we have to do the hard work, sometimes in unfavorable and uncomfortable conditions before we can receive the reward.  Just like with my wood stove, you have to put something IN, before you can get something OUT.

The Bonus

What is even more interesting is that I usually warm up just from all the work I put into carrying wood, loading the stove and coaxing the fire. Sometimes we receive our reward just by going through the process, the final reward is just a bonus! As Pastor Larry McElvain says, success is not always a product but a process.


Simply Smile!

Research confirms the social significance of the smile. Even in situations where there is a wrongdoer, there is a phenomenon called the “smile-leniency effect.”If the wrongdoer smiles, others perceive the offender as more trustworthy and likable. Statistically, judges actually give shorter sentences to people who smile. Simply smiling when you are with someone else will make them much more likely to like you and listen to your message.


People just feel warmer towards those who smile. If you had a choice, would you want to approach a person who is frowning or smiling? The effects of a smile are so powerful that even a smile on the telephone produces positive results. Added bonus, smiling also raises your confidence. Do we smile because we are happy? Or are we happy because we smile? Science says both are true.

Fake it until you make it! It works!!!!


By putting yourself in a “power pose” for two minutes you can actually decrease your stress hormone and elevate the power (testosterone) hormone in your body. By contrast, putting yourself in a “low power position” will actually decrease power (testosterone) hormone in your body and elevate your stress hormone (cortisol). In other words, by “faking it you really can make it!” This all goes back to self-fulfilling prophecy; take two minutes before a stressful situation and put yourself in a power pose and science says you will do better in that situation. Research conducted by Dana R. Carney, Amy J.C. Cuddy, and Andy J. Yap from Columbia University and Harvard University’s. For more information please watch:
Amy Cuddy: Your body language shapes who you are


The Soft Skills & Christians

As Christians we are ambassadors for Christ and must act in a way that is pleasing to Him and that does not distract from the most important message of all –> the saving grace of Jesus Christ. Etiquette refines our social skills, minimizing distractions that will get in the way of our message. Etiquette works to understand and respect other people for better relationships. “So then we pursue the things which make for peace and the building up of one another.” Romans 14:19


Research continually confirms what the Carnegie Institute of Technology first reported, that 15% of career success is due to technical skills and 85% is due to interpersonal skills i.e. “soft skills”. Translate this to success in the Christian life. While we may have the “technical skills” such as Biblical “head knowledge” we also need the very important interpersonal skills of etiquette to help build relationships for Christ.

MIT students attempt to boost their social IQs with etiquette classes.

In the Los Angeles Times Tina Susman reports that Charm School at MIT, “Now in its 20th year, the event is voluntary, but to its students and instructors, Charm School may be as beneficial to their future as an A in astrodynamics.”

Is etiquette really that important? Susman reports, “MIT isn’t the only science-focused institution to veer into the world of etiquette. Caltech offers Manners 101, ‘in preparation for the post-Caltech world of business receptions and dinner parties,’ according to the course description. The several-hour non-credit class, offered a few times each year, runs students through a multi-course meal with a business etiquette consultant. Finishing reading this awesome article at: “Add charm to the equation; So they can make it in business, MIT students attempt to boost their social IQs with etiquette classes.”

Tell me what you think!