Be all you can be?

Because I believe so strongly that God has placed special gifts in each one, and in such a variety, I also believe we will keep discovering those gifts for the rest of our lives. My strongest encouragement to everyone is to follow your heart and discover your gifts.

No one ever told me that. I bought what I call the world's model....constantly climb the ladder of success....be somebody special as defined by that success, lots of money, fancy car, big house, lots of toys.....get out of that demeaning work dead end loser job and.....(think about the Army's old ads..... be all you can be....join the Army! What ever happened to the Peter Principle?

Back in December I gave you some of my story. I thought I had actually made it and would be one of those guys to hit a million dollars in manufacturing sales before I was 30 years old. I was starting to collect all the stuff that went with that, more toys, drinking my lunch, playing more business golf, spending less and less time at home, spending more and more time scratching my frustrated actor's ego, trying to seduce my leading ladies, partying more while trying to seduce any ladies......what's wrong with this picture? This is success?

My Dad had 4 siblings who called him "Big Shot" because he had a dream. He pursued his dream and didn't carry a tool chest like his father. He wanted to be somebody. He became a draftsmen. He was the best I ever saw on the drawing board. It was his gift. But he was pushed by the system that drafting was demeaning, a dead end job.....what you need to do is be an engineer......somehow he did that.......but he was not a very good engineer. Then he heard how the real money was in sales! Next step was to be a sales engineer.... but of course the real money once again was to have your own company and do your sales engineering thing for yourself.

Problem was he was not a business man or an entrepreneur or a salesman and over designed everything because he wasn't sure of himself as an engineer.....he was a draftsman.....an incredible, gifted draftsman who was still making those awesome drawings when he was 80.....long after the business went down the tubes.......nobody ever told him it was ok to be a draftsman.

Nobody ever told me either.... that like maybe, just maybe it was ok not to be what your parents tell you to be, or the system tells you to be, or your pastor tells you to be or anybody else tells you to be. I grew up buying the big shot thing. Man..... I was so over my head, so many times.... totally clueless....I just did not have the gifts!

Maybe, I will get into some of those stories to really illustrate what I am saying......but for today.....let me tell you how at 57 years of age I discovered I had this incredible gift to create plain ordinary food that everybody loved......that was after owning a restaurant for 5 years and paying a chef to create food that was so/so. I cried when the revelation of that gift hit me eating my dinner in the restaurant that night. Today, with our B&B, I can't believe the things people write about my cooking. Just read some of the them on our web-site. I cry every time I look at them.

As the years have gone by I have discovered lots of things......like I could stand on a ladder all day and paint my house (no ear phones to block out the boredom), absolutely no boredom, just me and the Lord painting the house. Up and down the ladder, move it to the next spot.....all day long, no boredom. I could have done that for a living.

Shoveling.....I could shovel anything all day....same thing.....I would buy stones, top soil, mulch, manure (those last things 10 yards at a time) shovel it off the drive, into a wheel burrow.... then move it around the property..... all day long. I could have done that for a living.

Gardens.......I have a gift to see the flow of a garden....I love to make what I see happen. I love to shape it with stones, fill it in with mulch.....then Ellen comes a long and messes up my beautiful brown gardens with plants and flowers and other terrible things like that, that she has a gift for. :)

C'mon now? Are we getting it? I spend 4 to 5 hours every week cutting the lawn at the B&B and our Lake Cottage because I love it!~ It is in my heart. I love it. Let me repeat. There is no such thing as a demeaning job...... no one....no one....that means not any one.... has the right to tell you what kind of job God has put in your heart.

Let me close with this story..... I saw an ad on television. There is this guy with a big smile on his face and he is twirling out this pizza dough and it's getting bigger and bigger. I am sitting there mesmerized by this guy's gift. Do you have any idea what it is to spin pizza dough with one hand like that? And people are stunned when they watch me flip eggs in a pan! That is nothing to what this guy could do. Then I am suddenly interrupted by this voice telling me (it was actually a rhetorical question)

"Do you want to end up like this?........... Be all you can be! Join the Army. Fortunately I only saw it one other time.....maybe some other folks told them it was the worst ad they ever saw too.


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