I heard a story over the weekend, shared by Jody Moore, that was absolutely beautiful. I want to share it in my post today:

“I went to see Oprah last month, and she talked about the power of intention – meaning, whatever you’re focused on, you’re going to create.

She talked about being a young girl. She had a pretty rough childhood, and she was raised in a lot of poverty, and abuse, and a lot of what we would say are terrible situations.

She talks about remembering being a young girl, going to a woman’s house who had some money, and she saw that woman’s house, and the woman had a bunch of nice cars in her driveway, and she thought, ‘That’s cool. I want that one day. I want to have some nice cars.’

Then she started looking around the yard, and she noticed six beautiful, tall trees, and Oprah was like, ‘Wait a second. Forget about those cars. I want those trees. I want to have six tall, beautiful trees, one day, outside my house.’ This is when she was a young girl.

Oprah then showed us a picture of the view from her kitchen window, and looking out the window, you could see six gorgeous, tall trees. She said, ‘There they are. There are my trees that I envisioned when I was a little girl. I told myself I wanted those. I didn’t know how or when I was going to make it happen, but I set my intention to want them.’

Then she showed us another picture… You can see the house … and on either side are these huge forests full of trees. She said that she started counting the trees one day, and then decided that there were too many to count, so she hired a tree counter. And that tree counter came back, and there were over 3,000 trees. She said, ‘I set my intention to have six trees, but God had a bigger plan for me.'”

I loved this. I love how much Oprah puts out into the world, and how much she has gotten in return.

“I’ve come to believe that each of us has a personal calling that’s as unique as a fingerprint – and that the best way to succeed is to discover what you love and then find a way to offer it to others.”

What does that look like for me? “Discover what you love and then find a way to offer it to others”. That feels so good to me. But what does it look like for me?

  • I love being a mom, I love raising these precious children. Maybe offering these children to the world looks like me teaching them correctly and preparing them to serve and to love and to contribute. And it is up to them how much and in what way they contribute to the world. But, for my part – for my offering – I can prepare them and give them the opportunities.
  • I love writing. And I journal. And I blog. But those are, really, just for me. I don’t share what I write much. How can I offer my writing to others? I’m not sure what that looks like for me. But I likely won’t know until I try a few things. Remember this goal?
  • I love the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Offering that to the world was second nature, as a missionary in Africa, almost 2 decades ago. I didn’t have a job, no family issues to worry about, no husband or children, and I took a break from formal education to serve as a missionary. It is what I did, every day, all day – offering the Gospel of Jesus Christ to others. But what does that look like for me now? Over the weekend – it was Easter weekend – I took the opportunity to share with a few friends my feelings about our Savior. I think that is part of it. I teach my children, every day, from the scriptures, Gospel principles. I still reach out to those I taught in Africa when I was 21. I reach out to those struggling around me, right here – not always to share the Gospel, per se, but to LIVE the Gospel. Right? To offer comfort and to be a peaceful presence in their lives.

Jody Moore says she likes to think of value as a flow – when you put goodness out, you get goodness in return. 

“Value is a flow. It flows into our lives, and it flows out of our lives. When we cling tightly to things, when we buy up all the groceries, and buy up all the toilet paper, and hold on to things, just in case. When we hold on to things, we stop the flow of value.

You have to let stuff go, or you plug up the hole. When we tighten up, and restrict, and hold on to things, we don’t make room for things to come in. So, send all your goodness out into the world, whatever way that is that you do that – at home with your family, or at work, or a business, or at a volunteer thing that you’re doing. Put value out. Let things go when you no longer need them, and trust that you will always have exactly what you need.”

I think that has to do with my writing. I think that has to do with material things that I possess. I think it also has to do with our emotions.

Today the children and I are bringing a card and balloons to a family who’s son died. That is something we can offer. But a card and balloons aren’t much, considering their loss. I pray that the Lord will take our intention, our offering, and make 3,000 trees out of what few we have to offer on our own.

During homeschool today:

ME – Did you know that the Lord isn’t fair?

JONO – The world isn’t fair either.

ME – Right. The world would say, “Give me $5”, and then it would give us back only $2. The Lord would say, “Give me $5”, and then He would give us back $20. Right? Which one would you rather have??

LIAM – Well, we usually don’t really have a choice.

ME – Right. You’re right. Life happens. It’s 50/50. 50% of life is the world taking from us. Taking taking taking. And 50% of life is the Lord giving to us. 50/50. And we all have both. But if we only focus on the 3,000 trees the Lord has given us rather than what the world has taken from us, we will always have so much to be grateful for.


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