Archive for February, 2010

With Degree in Hand, Harriet Died Happy

February 28, 2010

Harriet Richardson Ames turned one hundred years old on January 2, 2010.

Twenty days later, she realized a lifelong dream by being awarded a diploma for her bachelor’s degree in education.

She died the very next day, peacefully, with a feeling of accomplishment.

If Harriet were still here, I’m sure she would tell you this: “Don’t ever give up on your dreams!”

Here is Harriet’s story by Kathy McCormack of  the Associated Press:


CONCORD, N.H. – It was Harriet Richardson Ames’ dream to earn her bachelor’s degree in education. She finally reached that milestone, nearly three weeks after achieving another: her 100th birthday.

On Saturday, the day after receiving her diploma at her bedside, the retired schoolteacher died, pleased that she had accomplished her goal, her daughter said. Ames had been in hospice care.

“She had what I call a ‘bucket list,’ (more…)

Akiane—The Prodigy Who Paints Heaven

February 27, 2010

Akiane displays her self-portrait to Oprah

Akiane Kramarik (born July 9, 1994) was four years old when she began describing her visits to Heaven to her mother, who was an atheist at the time and had never discussed religion with her daughter.

At six, Akiane began painting her visions. It appears that this self-taught painting phenom has a direct pipeline to divine inspiration!


Knock, Knock, God Is Calling

February 26, 2010

If your calling has ever come calling for you, then you know how Richard Stearns of Bellevue, Washington felt when his destiny tapped him on the shoulder . . . again and again and again. Destiny is funny that way; it keeps knocking until you open the door.

Richard’s story is a perfect example of the old adage, Coincidences are just God’s way of remaining anonymous. His story was printed in the March 2010 issue of Guideposts.

Richard Stearns in Zambia

When the phone rang in my office that morning, I had no idea how it would change my life.

I assumed it was a business call. In some sense it was. The caller was Bill Bryce, an old friend from church. “Hi, Rich,” Bill said. There was something funny in his voice.

“Everything okay?” I asked.

“Oh, sure,” he replied. He paused. “It’s just that our president’s leaving World Vision.” Bill had moved away several years earlier to take a job raising money for World Vision, an international humanitarian organization. I was one of his first donors, but I still didn’t know a whole lot about the organization.

Bill paused again. And then our phone call turned very weird. “Actually, that’s why I’m calling,” Bill continued. “I’ve been praying, Rich. And, um, the thing is, God told me you’re going to be the next president of World Vision.”

For a moment I was speechless. My eyes darted (more…)

The Keys to a Miracle

February 25, 2010

I imagine there must be a rational explanation for this story by Cheryl Pietromonaco of Bellevue, Washington . . . but I can’t imagine what that would be. I love stories like this that defy the imagination. It was printed in the March 2010 issue of Guideposts.

One thing troubled me about my husband: He didn’t believe in God.

“Believe what you like,” he said, “but there isn’t someone up there making miracles happen.” I prayed hard for him to come around. That would definitely take a miracle.

One winter we took a vacation in the Montana mountains. His brother owned a cabin there and lent us his Jeep—“You’ll need the four-wheel drive,” he said. He handed us a large key ring, indicating the key for the Jeep and the one for the cabin.

We arrived late in the afternoon. I was awed by the isolation, the delicate, powdery snow frosting everything in sight and the utter silence. We dropped our bags, took off our coats and my husband tossed the keys onto the kitchen table. They landed with a metallic clank.

I needed a drink, but there was no running water. “Let’s grab a bucket; we’ll get some water from the creek,” my husband said. We left the door (more…)

It Shall Be Done, Sometime, Somewhere!

February 24, 2010

Teressa was beautiful and accomplished but there were many nights when she cried herself to sleep, wondering if she would ever find her soulmate. My friend Frank was also going through a difficult time; his wife had announced she wanted a divorce and he was still reeling from the shock.

A couple months after Frank’s separation, he received a Facebook friend request from the girlfriend who broke his heart at nineteen. It was Teressa. She had (more…)

The Chance of a Lifetime

February 23, 2010

When you honor your divine guidance and surrender to it, every moment becomes a gift.

The Master gives himself up to whatever the moment brings.
Lao Tzu

No matter what encounters and situations you are presented with, you are grateful for the opportunity to further define who you are and whom you choose to be.

Life has no other discipline to impose, if we would but realize it, than to (more…)

Dinner For One

February 22, 2010

Had to share this hilarious one-minute video. I laughed so hard I had tears in my eyes!

The name attached to this YouTube video is (more…)

The Courage, Grace and Loving Friendship of Carla Meyers

February 21, 2010

There is no magic formula for friendship. The bond that unites friends is as mysterious as it is certain.

If you press me to say why I loved him, I can say no more than because he was he, and I was I.
Michel de Montaigne

True friends imprint their essences on each other’s souls. Even as your tears and laughter recede into the swirling mists of memories lost, the heart holds dear every unspoken expression of love that passed between you.

When you meet your friend on the roadside or in the market place, let the spirit in you move your lips and direct your tongue.
Let the voice within your voice speak to the ear of his ear;
For his soul will keep the truth of your heart as the taste of the wine is remembered
When the colour is forgotten and the vessel is no more.

Kahlil Gibran

Cyn Bolsta, Carla Meyers and Sandy Bolsta enjoying one of their frequent outings

Carla Meyers, my mother’s very best friend, passed away on Thursday, February 18, 2010 after a five-year struggle with ovarian cancer. Carla, who had just turned fifty-seven the month before, leaves behind her loving and attentive  husband, Greg, and two gifted college-age children, Elissa and Andy.

Carla, my mom Sandy and my sister Cyn shared many wonderful memories together over the past twenty years. My mom feels grateful and blessed that she was able to stay with Carla and Greg for three weeks last month caring for them both as Carla’s condition worsened and Greg was recovering from hip surgery.

In a testament to Carla’s boundless courage and endless grace in accepting and facing the inevitable, Cyn wrote the following lovely tribute to Carla.

Being Carla’s friend over the years has been a joy and a privilage, but it’s the way she lived her life since her diagnosis that has re-taught me a lesson I should have learned a long time ago. I had just graduated (more…)

The Real-Life Rocky

February 20, 2010

Rocky Bleier, home from Vietnam, is introduced at a Pittsburgh game as a former Steeler

Before the end of his first season in the NFL, running back Rocky Bleier was drafted and shipped over to Vietnam, where he served with the 196th Light Infantry Brigade.

On August 20, 1969, while on patrol in Heip Duc, Bleier was shot in the left thigh when his platoon was ambushed in a rice paddy. Bleier’s day was about to get a whole lot worse. In the above ESPN video, Bleier recalls what happened four hours later: With his unit nearly surrounded and heavily outnumbered, he saw a grenade flying through the air.

It hits my commanding officer right on the back. He scrambles up to crouch away, and it bounces off and rolls to where now I am lying. And so I get up and jump to get out of the way, and as I do, it rolls right underneath me and I’m standing on top of it, and it blows up. Boom! through my right foot and my right knee and into my groin.

Bleier was later awarded the Purple Heart and the Bronze Star. In October 1969, home (more…)

Broken Body, Healed Spirit

February 19, 2010

Suffering can be a catalyst for growth and self-discovery that ultimately enriches your life.

The burden of suffering seems a tombstone hung about our necks, while in reality it is only the weight which is necessary to keep down the diver while he is hunting for pearls.
Johann Richter

A physical or emotional crisis can jolt you out of your comfort zone and, whether you like it or not, compel you to explore an inner world that initially seems like foreign territory.

A man may perform astonishing feats and comprehend a vast amount of knowledge, and yet have no understanding of himself. But suffering directs a man to look within. If it succeeds, then there, within him, is the beginning of his learning.
Soren Kierkegaard

Your body may be broken, (more…)

Curing Vs. Healing

February 18, 2010

There’s an important distinction between curing and healing: Curing relates to the repair of your physical body, healing relates to the growth of your soul.

Medicine is dealing with what’s wrong with you. Healing is dealing with what’s right with you.
Ingrid Dilley

Healing may or may not include the curing of your physical malady. Indeed, the deterioration of your body may be a necessary catalyst in the awakening of your spirit.

Healing is far more than a return to a former condition. True healing means drawing the circle of our being larger and becoming more inclusive, more capable of loving. In this sense, healing is not for the sick alone, but for all humankind. . . . In the end, healing must be a ceaseless process of relationship and rediscovery, moment by moment. The more we “know” about healing, the more we are simultaneously carried toward something unknowable. For this reason all healing is in essence spiritual.
Richard Moss

Countless research studies have demonstrated that our (more…)

GIve Me The Tightrope!

February 17, 2010

Destiny has been waiting patiently for you to gain clarity about your place in the world. You are under contract to contribute to the world in your own unique way. Until you align yourself with this purpose, you are destined to struggle. To fulfill your sacred contract, you must become what you can become.

The deepest personal defeat suffered by human beings is constituted by the difference between what one was capable of becoming and what one has in fact become.
Ashley Montagu

You are much more (more…)

What Does Saving the World Look Like?

February 16, 2010

A Northern college student involved in the civil rights struggle in the early ’60s recalled how the bubble burst on her youthful idealism. When she arrived in Alabama, she fully expected bigoted residents to listen to her well-reasoned argument about the evils of racism and enthusiastically thank her for enlightening them about their misguided ways; word would spread and racism in the deep south would cease to exist.

That’s what being young is all about. You have the courage and the daring to think that you can make a difference.
Ruby Dee

Forty years later, she marvels at her naivete and innocence. But who knows? Perhaps she (more…)

Wrestle your Fear to the Ground!

February 15, 2010

Never turn away in fear from a challenge that must be faced. Fear can only be conquered if it is seized and wrestled to the ground. Shrink away from it and fear becomes your master.

Look into your fears, dare them to do their worst and cut them down when they try. If you don’t, they’ll clone themselves, mushroom till they surround you, choke the road to the life you want. Every turn you fear is empty air, dressed to look like jagged hell.
Richard Bach

Fear is the moat full of alligators between you and (more…)

Astrologer Laurie Baum on Eight Years of Change Ahead

February 14, 2010

Laurie Baum

If you enjoy astrology, you will like this forecast written by my good friend Laurie Baum, MSW, a psychological astrologer and psychotherapist in practice in Encinitas, California.

Click here to read another post that includes Laurie’s comprehensive astrological forecast for 2010.

Click here to read another post that includes Laurie’s predictions for 2010 for each of the twelve zodiac signs.

Laurie writes a free astrological newsletter about how planetary alignments affect our lives on earth. Click here to e-mail Laurie to subscribe at no cost, or visit Laurie’s website and click on “Free Email Newsletter.”

Laurie is a former newspaper (more…)

Sports is “Oprah” For Guys

February 13, 2010

Rick Reilly

I love the way ESPN The Magazine columnist Rick Reilly described the real meaning of sports in the December 14, 2009 issue:

Sports is Oprah for guys. I knew a Boston dad and son who hadn’t spoken in five years. Some disagreement that just grew too big to see around. But when the Red Sox won it all in 2004, the son came home. They hugged and cried and laughed, and if you think it was about (more…)