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Mom, you have a gift…

I recently went to New York to watch my youngest daughter graduate from college. I could hardly believe that it had been 4 years since we dropped her off at a dorm and prayed that she would make it in one of the largest cities in the United States.

We came from a small town in California where most of the people I had grown up with now had children of their own and we watched our little children end up in the same class and become friends as well. I always taught my daughters to be confident and independent, and now I lived in the truth that my oldest had moved to Los Angeles (600 miles away from us) and my youngest decided she wanted to pursue the fashion industry on the East Coast.

As I quickly learned upon visiting her several times during those four years, she had really become a “New Yorker” in every sense of the word. She knew how to get around this huge city by bus, subway or just plain old walking. She learned how to order food from Seamless like a pro, and most of all she had no time for small talk with strangers.

New Yorkers always know when you are from out of town or especially from California because we are too smilely and nice! So as I tell you this story, you will understand why my daughter shakes her head every time I meet a stranger and get them to tell me their story. I am a talker and consider myself an encourager of people. I love to make them feel better by the time we finish a conversation, and it was no different on this day.

We had decided (my two girls and I) to get our hair styled at one of those “Dry Bars” blow out salons before her graduation. We walked in and waited for our assigned person who would be helping us that day. My guy was a sweet young man named Michael (and if you are reading this Michael “HI!”) and he proceeded to ask me some questions about why I was there and where I lived, etc., but as I always do, I asked a few of my own questions about him. He had just moved to New York a few short months ago and we started sharing stories of our past and it came as no surprise that we had a lot in common from our childhoods even though we are years apart in age.

This never surprises me as I believe God always puts me exactly where I should be at the perfect time. There are no coincidences in life; you either see the blessing or you don’t. We spent the next 50 minutes or so talking away and I made a new friend that I may never see again, but we both left with smiles on our faces and I left with amazing clean and styled hair.
We left the salon and my youngest says ” What in the world were you talking about with your stylist?” I replied “Life!” It was then that she said to me
“Mom, you have a gift. Every time we go somewhere you get people to tell you their whole life story. I live here and I never have that happen to me!”

Maybe someday she will grow into that person who stops long enough to really talk to someone who she may never see again, but can connect with for the moment. Maybe she never will but she will have other qualities (I actually see them in her now) of being there for someone she cares about and being a loyal friend. Either way, the next time you are out and about and you see someone who needs help with something, or you are waiting in the same waiting room, or maybe getting your hair done…take the time to connect if you have the opportunity! You may be surprised at what you find out about yourself and how these encounters will bless you and the other person as well, because after all, we are all here on this earth for each other aren’t we?

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Healing Hearts in Families

This week I spent a lot of time with some women who shared some really tough situations with family members. While their stories were somehow different; the pain was the same.

As I reflect back to my time with my own dysfunctional mother, I feel a sense of relief that I don’t have to deal with the anxieties that came along with her day to day antics that were always stressful. When you deal with a parent who doesn’t react to life in the same way as most parents do, you have to find ways to work around them, through them, and sometimes without them. Common sense and reasoning go out the window, but I found that my strong faith always girded me up to handle whatever came my way with my mother.

She was a difficult person for sure, with some mental instabilities, but my heart wanted to love her anyway. God showed me a way to keep myself safe from her insults, threats, and fearful reactions that as a child I was so scared of, to one of staying calm in the storm and sometimes walking away for a bit to protect my heart.

God is a protector of all families no matter what and He will guide any one of you through the storms of life especially when you are dealing with difficult decisions within a family member. Too many times we react in a negative way when a parent comes at us or try’s to “put us in our place” as my own mother did so many times because even though she wanted me to take care of her she didn’t want to lose her power over me as I became an adult. But instead of raging at her, God showed me how to distress the situation by remaining calm and steady. These were things that were never present in my Mom’s life, and they took her by surprise! By doing a NEW thing, I was able to defuse the very things she wanted to fight me on.

As she came to her final days on this earth, there were times she would say something so sweet to me it almost knocked me over! By showing her trust, love and kindness, she knew I had her best interest at heart even if it was hard for her to believe.

Ezekiel 36:26 says: “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh”

Sometimes their are moms (or dads) that are too dangerous for us to even contemplate helping like this, so in that case I say to write out a new format for your life and tell that “inner child” that you must say goodbye to that parent and protect you and your future.

But if there is a place for healing the hearts in a family; please do it! We are seeing too many families being torn apart in this modern age we are in; people giving up and throwing family out the door, but we must honor that family so we can continue to grow our own to create a new generation that is spirit filled and one that God smiles on and says “Well done my child!:

 

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Why I write

“When is your book going to be done?” “Are you still working on that book?”…. These are the questions I am asked on a daily basis.  Believe me, I want to answer that question myself all the time.  And then I went to my first Writer’s Conference this last week and so many things became clear to me.  A writer’s work is never really done, AND some of us are “speakers who write” instead of “writer’s who have to speak”. You see, I am such a story teller in person; I love sharing my faith journey on a stage. It has made me the most nervous and the most exhilarated and where I feel the most connected to what  God wants me to do, however, once I am done, women come up to me and want to continue the conversation and I just can’t do that with everyone and this is where the book will help.

At this Conference I learned that you need a platform and a following to start with so when and if you decide to go with a publisher, publicist, etc. they will see there is a purpose for your book. I also felt more at home with these strangers who many are now my friends and I think I found my “tribe”.  Unless you have a desire to speak your life and put it in book form, you really don’t know the feeling of writing, crying, rewrites, starting over, being your own worst critic and finally….showing your work to someone else. I had my 5 page excerpt from my unfinished non-fiction memoir to my mentor’s group and the kindness and help I received from them was so touching and helpful to me I cried. They supported me and during the next 4 days we worked on all our projects and met with many people in the industry and I soaked up this quick fire education like a sponge!

I know the journey God has for me, and it was confirmed this last week with the last day meeting with my published author and teacher who told me “You are a good writer, keep going!”.  So the reason for this blog? Well, for one, everyone wants to read what I have to talk about so once a week you will get to see my thoughts on paper (Finally!) until my book is finished.  And second, I need your help to get the word out that I am serious about my speaking and writing and you my people can spread the word so there is a platform for questions and discussions about the things I can prayfully encourage you! So leave a remark, a question, or something that’s on your mind and I will try to talk to you about it and maybe we can both understand how to maneuver through this crazy world

I love this quote I got from prior QVC host Lisa Robertson posted today:

“She was unstoppable not because she didn’t have any failures or doubts but because she continued on despite them.”

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