Candace's Favorite Things

Monday, August 15, 2011

MONDAY’S MOTIVATIONAL MINUTE..”If You Have 8x10 Dreams, Don't Hang With 5x7 Thinkers".

Ever noticed that there are some people who just seem to sort of “bring you down” so to speak? It’s often a subtle ‘wet blanket’ kind of thing. They often catch you off guard because, in general, many of these ‘dream snatchers’, are otherwise rather kind and caring individuals. It just doesn’t seem to add up? So, what gives? Well, there are some people who have what I like to call 8x10 dreams. I know I do. I want life to be special. I have dreams that are HUGE….and you know what? I have never thought that I should shoot for anything less. I have dreamed bigger dreams than I could ever have imagined would ever come true but ya know what, by training my brain (so much more than I’ve ever trained my body), I’ve learned that it’s a matter of learning how to dig deep UNTIL, PERIOD! UNTIL, with God’s blessing and all sufficient help…it comes to pass. Or, we shoot for the stars and land a little short. Say oh, the moon? It’s a far cry from not taking a shot at all! At this stage and age in my life, I realize that I have done more and had more 8x10 experiences than most will ever have in their entire lifetime. Not because there is ANYTING SPECIAL about me folks. OH..if you knew me well, you would know that the ONE THING I DO KNOW, IS JUST HOW TRUE THAT IS!!! I am nothing special. In fact, if you had seen me this morning… preparing to get myself up and moving to do my workout, you’d understand. It hurt too much to think about it too much. I literally sat up in the chair that I had landed in when my fractured sleep woke my at 3 AM., and announced out loud, to no one there (ah, don’t tell many people about that one ok…ha, ha..),”Ok, Candace”! “This is how we do it”. No dramatization for literary purposes I assure you…this is normal fare for me. A tear ran down my cheek. I looked up and said again, “this is how WE DO IT” and smiled…got up and got it done ….yet again! You see, I just choose to dream bigger dreams than maybe I probably should, but guess what? I’m not gonna stop! Life rocks, even though I have been given this gift of "light and momentary" suffering…and not like many suffer, not by a long shot. But I know pain. I know all day long, never stops kind of pain. And I've been told and  I realize that this pain may worsen and won’t ever go away. Pain that makes me cry sometimes and then I think, “What can I try to do , that will help me find peace in the reality of knowing , that in my heart of hearts, I beat it again TODAY”? You see, God has given me 8 x 10 expectations! He wants to give them to all of us. It’s up to us to pick them up and run with them. The way I’ve always figured it... we all have 24 hours in a day. It’s an even playing field, right? Well, not quite so fast. Some are in wheel chairs and some are without limbs and some cannot see. Some were told today that they don’t have many tomorrows and my heart breaks. I am crying right now thinking about it and they are so brave! I have a precious cousin. Her name is Sherri. I love you Cuz! Her Rheumatoid Arthritis is Soooo bad. She can hardly move...and I think I have pain? Yeah, I hurt, but Pa-Lease! She is one of my heros. Know why? Cause every time I’ve every spoken to her, She speaks to me with an 8x10 attitude of gracious love and thankfulness for what she has. So many of those folks still think 8x10 living is the only way to go and why not. Why shouldn’t they. But when I really think of “POSTER SIZED LIVING”, I think of my ultimate hero of all time. Have you ever heard of Joni Eareckson Tada? When I read about her younger years, I realized that we really had a lot in common and then came a  huge fork in the road (literally )that broke our commonalities. I pray that God would grant me the grace to be even an eight of the 8x10 woman she is. She was a very active young woman. She loved RIDING HORSES, (that was my first professional sport), hiking, (I was a pro marathon athlete), tennis, (I can’t play that game well to save my life but I’ve tried…), and swimming, (Growing up I was a bit of a fish, if all truth be told). Oh, we had similarities in our younger years to be sure, but here is where our stories literally fracture. On a hot summer day in July 1967, while on a beach on the Chesapeake Bay, this athletic young woman dove into shallow water and broke her neck. Her story sends chills through every fiber of my being. My story, my life, could have…. should have gone the same way; She fractured her neck between the forth and fifth vertebrae level and BECAME A QUADRIPLEGIC; Paralyzed from the shoulders down. I broke my neck with a Pillar fracture through my c-7 vertebrae. While I have metal plates and screws and cadaver bones holding it in place…I kick box, I still run at times and I rock climb…my body moves when I ask it to! MY GOD! What a miracle!
Know what she does now? Certainly she must have backed down to 5x7 expectations for her life, if not to a totally understandable, ‘pity party, wallet sized goals’, at best. Not even close, I implore you to read a book about her life and hear it all. The short list of her larger than life dreams that refuse to continue include; becoming an author, how great, right? Probably wrote a book or two. How about over FORTY! She’s recorded several musical albums, starred in a major autobiographical movie of her life and is actively involved as an advocate for disabled people. Oh and during her two years of rehab, she learned how to paint with a brush between her teeth and has become an artist whose work is highly sought after by collectors. That’s just a part of the story. All done, paralyzed at a young age from the neck down, and yet, every day as a “Motivational, life accomplishment Coach”.... (yeah that’s a big part of what I do)…I deal with so many people who have everything available to them. NO hits to really speak of. OH, we all have our struggles. Let me make it very clear that I know that all to well! But come on… REALLY? Comparatively speaking? And they squander their blessings away and begrudgingly settle for a life lived with 5x7 dreams, which in many cases, many of them are never realized. All because it just seems too unrealistic to shoot for the bigger picture. Know what I hear constantly when I suggest a bigger picture? “Oh please, can we be realistic? Those folks are different Candace; I’m just a regular Joe”! Well, I’ll say they’re different. Some can’t walk, see ,talk or oh…move? I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. There is no difference between ordinary people and extraordinary people, EXCEPT- extraordinary people are willing to do what other people are not! End of story. 5x7 people often feel the need to bring the bigger thinkers down. Otherwise they’d have to face the reality that when they look close enough…they really aren’t any different at all. It’s just easier to think that way, than to face the fact that for whatever reason, a choice has been made, a line drawn in the sand and in the end, a decision not to live to the fullest expression of what God intended. We were made to”Live life with the energy of our full potential”, to quote a dear friend of mine. Also, an 8x10’ thinker!

The ones who push on are just weak, weary soldiers willing to move the threshold of what is often considered ENOUGH!

Those who throw a wet blanket on it all are the “dream snatchers”! Since they are afraid to set their goals very high, they feel the need to bring down those around them who shoot for the bigger part. SO, in my life…I’ve decided to surround myself with like minded people. Life is tough…make no mistake about it, and it is more beautiful because if it!

SO, want to live an 8x10 life? Well, they’ll be no doubt then, you’ll have some goals and dreams that some will try to tell you are just a little too big. My advice? Go get some new friends! Life is what you make it.

I leave you with a quote from Joni herself.

“We will stand amazed to see the topside of the tapestry and how God beautifully embroidered each circumstance into a pattern for our good and His glory…This paralysis is my greatest mercy”!

Think on that and live with 8x10 dreams…Just like Joni!

Until tomorrow,

Please…POWER ON,


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