Life is Not About Waiting for the Storm to Pass…

Life is not about  waiting for the storm to pass ...it’s about learning to dance in the rain

I love learning about individuals who have overcome difficult obstacles.  What makes them inspirational to me is that they have been willing to endure tough moments, overcome doubts, and work at their skill set until everything has come together in a positive way.

Today’s story involves a young woman who has endured tough times and come out on top. I recognize that not everyone will succeed in just the same way.

For some of us, success may mending a relationship. For others, success may be an accomplishment in spite of a handicap.  For yet others, it may be nothing more than not giving up.

We all have difficulties and obstacles. My prayer is that, collectively, we will all endure the hard moments and wade through our difficulties and find that place in our hearts where love and peace and hope can eternally dwell. I hope you enjoy today’s story. For further enlightenment, go to YouTube.com and enjoy listening to Charice as well!

The Story of Charice Pempengco

Charice Pempengco’s dream of becoming a singer began halfway around the world in the Philippines. She found a following on the Internet after a stranger posted her jaw-dropping performances on YouTube.

Oprah’s producers were among the 13 million people who logged on to watch this 16-year-old sensation sing songs made famous by artists like Celine Dion and Beyoncé. Then, in May 2008, Charice flew 15 hours to showcase her talent on The Oprah Show. She stole the show with a soul-stirring rendition of Whitney Houston’s “I Have Nothing.”

Millions of viewers were moved by Charice’s powerful voice—including Gayle King. “That evening Gayle called me,” Oprah says. “She said she fell off her treadmill when she heard that girl.” Oprah says the performance blew her Manolos off!

Charice’s voice wasn’t the only thing that impressed Oprah. “One of the things I love most about Charice is that no matter what obstacles she’s faced in her life, she’s never given up on her dream of something better,” Oprah says.

In the small Filipino village where Charice lived as a child, there wasn’t much to sing about. When Charice was 3 years old, she says she remembers seeing her father fly into a fit of rage and take out his anger on her mother. She says she watched as he choked and attacked her.

Charice says the argument escalated, and her dad grabbed a shotgun and pointed it at her mom. “My dad was about to shoot my mom, and I couldn’t do anything,” she says.

Neighbors heard screams and broke down the door just in time. Fraternidad, a former neighbor, remembers it clearly. “The gun [was] pointed to the mother and then the children are crying,” she says.

Charice and her mother escaped with their lives. “We left my dad, and after that, I never saw him and I don’t want to see him,” she says. “I’m just singing now for my mom. I didn’t help her before. That’s why I want to help her now.”

When Charice was just 4 years old, her mom discovered her talent for the first time. “She thought the radio [was] playing,” Charice says. “She went to the living room, and she saw me singing and she was, like, ‘Oh, my gosh. She’s singing.'”

A few years later, Charice entered a singing contest. “Some people [were] saying that I’m not good enough and I’m not pretty,” she says. “I just wanted to prove that they’re wrong.”

When Charice first decided to enter competitions, her mother was working 16 hours a day, six days a week at a garment factory. Charice signed up for more than 80 contests to help support her family. “I really want[ed] to help Mom,” she says. “When I’m joining singing contests, and I won some $50, she was, like, ‘Okay, we’re going to have some food for one month, and we’re very happy.'”

After years of struggling financially—even being homeless—Charice has been able to use her contest winnings to help her mother pay for an apartment in a nice neighborhood. Charice now has her own room where she can draw, sing, play the guitar and continue to dream. “I think this is a big improvement because we’re more peaceful, and we’re happy,” she says.

In her bedroom, Charice has a notebook where she keeps drawings of the singers she idolizes, like Celine Dion. “I can say this is my dream notebook,” she says.

Charice can now say her dreams are beginning to come true, starting with an introduction to one of the most famous names in the music business. After hearing Charice sing, Oprah just couldn’t get the little girl with the big voice out of her head.

Instead of flying back to the Philippines after her appearance on The Oprah Show, producers pulled Charice off the plane and brought her back to Harpo Studios. Then, Oprah called legendary producer David Foster to see what the starmaker could do for Charice.

David invited Charice to join him in Las Vegas for a PBS special called “Hit Man: David Foster & Friends.” Backstage, Charice ran into some of show’s headliners, like Josh Groban and Michael Bublé. “I’m so glad I don’t have to follow you because that would suck for me very badly,” Michael said to Charice. “Because no matter how good I am, I know that you’d kick my butt.”

Charice then took the stage and sang three songs, including Whitney Houston’s “I Will Always Love You” to a crowd of 10,000. Her soul-stirring performance brought the audience to its feet. “A star is born tonight,” David said.

Charice’s summer of dreams didn’t end there—after her performance, she received a surprise call from world-famous singer Andrea Bocelli. Within weeks, Charice was on her way to Italy to meet Andrea and sing a special duet with the renowned tenor. “That’s really a dream come true for me,” she says. “I really love Andrea Bocelli because he’s my idol. When I was younger, I’m always drawing some things like me singing with Celine and me singing with Mr. Andrea Bocelli.”

More than 8,000 people gathered in the Tuscan countryside near Andrea’s hometown for the exclusive concert. Together, they sang “The Prayer,” a song that holds special meaning for Charice. “I think that God is always listening to all my prayers, and I have so many dreams in my life,” she says. “That’s why I’m always praying that someday I’m going to achieve all my dreams.”

“The first song that I learned was ‘My Heart Will Go On,'” Charice says. “Of course I want to sing with [Celine Dion] soon, I wish, someday.”

After her performance, Charice learns she has a fan who’s been waiting to speak with her via satellite. She’s a working mom with a 7-year-old who also loves to sing. She also happens to be one of Charice’s idols—Celine Dion!

Celine says watching Charice sing left her speechless. “I can tell you that we have lots of things in common. I was very shy too. And I also had a mother—still have a mother—who is my strength,” Celine says. “You have more talent than most people. You can sing. You can speak and sing with your heart. You can play guitar. You can draw. And you can have dreams.”

Because Charice shares so much of her talent with others, Celine wants to give Charice something in return. “I’m going to be singing at Madison Square Garden, and I would love to ask you to come and sing a duet with me,” she says. “Maybe we can sing ‘Because You Loved Me,’ and maybe we can dedicate this song to your mother.”

Now it’s Charice who’s left speechless! “Thank you, idol,” she says.

Today’s inspiring story shared from the following website: http://www.oprah.com/oprahshow/teen-singing-sensation_1

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Life with God…Is a Path to Peace

Life with God is not immunity from difficulties, but peace in difficulties   C.S. LewisI know that it might sound crazy but life can be PEACEFUL in spite of challenges and problems.

Life will never be free of challenges…at least for very long!

Challenge and growth is the thing that life is meant to be made of!

It has been my experience, that as I have made a continual place for God in my life, He has blessed me peace and strength no matter what the storms are that sweep through my life.

I hope that continual peace will be a part of your life!

I hope you enjoy today’s story!

Finding Peace Underwater by Brooke Obie

Have you ever been away on a trip only to be consumed by the worries you thought you’d left behind?

On a press trip to stunning Cap Cana, Dominican Republic, I found myself on the balcony of a suite at AlSol Tiara overlooking the ocean–and completely unable to stop thinking about family troubles back at home. My uncle had been the victim of a violent crime and was recovering in the hospital. My grandmother, who’s been in hospice for months, seemed to worsen with the news of my uncle’s hospitalization.

I’d tried to pray, let it go and enjoy the beauty that surrounded me on all sides on this magical island I’d never visited before. But whoever said, “you can’t pray and worry,” hasn’t met me; I’d gotten the contradictory act down to an art as our press group visited Blue Marlin restaurant where I dined on anxiety and the best seafood risotto I’d ever tasted. Worry followed me up on stage as our group sang “Lean on Me” together at Al Sol’s karaoke night. It trailed behind me as we hiked through Cap Cana’s natural theme park Scape Park and it waded in the spring water next to me when I took a dip in the park’s magical cenote.

I knew there was nothing I could do to heal my uncle or my grandmother any faster, and as I watched the sun set over the waves from my room each night, I could feel the enjoyment of my trip away from the city rolling out to sea. I tried to clear my mind with meditation, my favorite form of prayer, to ease my worry.

In the warm night air, listening to the calming sounds of the ocean, I sat still, closed my eyes and tried to concentrate on the sound of my breath. Breath is God’s first gift to humans, the evidence of life. If I could only focus on my breathing, on that precious gift from God, I’d have no space in my head to be overcome with worry. I fidgeted the whole time, unable to sit still. After about 2 minutes of trying, I got up from the balcony, left the roaring waves behind and called to check on my grandmother again.

On the last day of my trip, our press group went out to sea for a boat cruise. Our tour guides had found a spot in the middle of the ocean, far away from shore that happened to only be about 6 feet deep. We stopped there to do some snorkeling. I put on my gear and dived into the water. Instantly, my ears filled up with water, blocking out all sound. The only thing that echoed in my ears was the bubbling of my own breath. I watched the bubbles form in front of me and became far more fascinated by them than the tiny coral ecosystems we were swimming over. I stared in awe at the bubbles, my ears were filled with the sound of my breathing.

Finally, underwater, my mind was clear, my worry evaporated, and I was filled with the kind of gratitude that brings peace. In those unexpected moments of meditation, all I could do was surrender. All was well and all would be well. I still had breath in my body and so did my uncle and grandmother. That miraculous gift was enough.

Story shared from the following website” https://www.guideposts.org/better-living/travel/finding-peace-underwater

 

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Our Task is to Become Our Best Selves…

Our task is to become our best selves. One of God’s Greatest Gifts to us is the joy of trying again, for no Failure ever need be Final Thomas S. Monson

I have always believed in self improvement. However, since my near-death experience, I have had a deeper and greater appreciation for the gift of being able to improve myself.

You see, the me I witnessed during my near-death experience was not the me I thought I knew as a mortal. Yet, in all reality, both were, in fact, me.

Who would you believe in? The self that God showed you or the one that had been clouded by mortality and failure?

I choose to believe in the me that God showed me.

I still have failures and days that seem like they were written by a sinister author intent on creating a scenario filled with the most difficult of events. Yet, the wonderful thing is that those days end and I am blessed with a fresh new day every morning!

I have found that as long as I keep on trying and keep hanging in there that eventually everything gets better – including me.

I hope you are hanging in there too!

Please enjoy today’s story!:

The Elephant Rope

As a man was passing the elephants, he suddenly stopped, confused by the fact that these huge creatures were being held by only a small rope tied to their front leg. No chains, no cages. It was obvious that the elephants could, at anytime, break away from their bonds but for some reason, they did not.

He saw a trainer nearby and asked why these animals just stood there and made no attempt to get away. “Well,” trainer said, “when they are very young and much smaller we use the same size rope to tie them and, at that age, it’s enough to hold them. As they grow up, they are conditioned to believe they cannot break away. They believe the rope can still hold them, so they never try to break free.”

The man was amazed. These animals could at any time break free from their bonds but because they believed they couldn’t, they were stuck right where they were.

Like the elephants, how many of us go through life hanging onto a belief that we cannot do something, simply because we failed at it once before?

Failure is part of learning; we should never give up the struggle in life.

Story shared from the following website: http://www.livin3.com/5-motivational-and-inspiring-short-stories#5%20Motivational%20and%20Inspiring%20Short%20Stories%20About%20Life,%20Stories%20that%20Will%20Make%20You%20Smile.

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God Touches and Moves Each of Us…

God ouches and moves,  warns and desires all equally,  and He wants one quite as much  as another. The inequality lies  in the way in which His touch,  His warnings, and  His gifts are received   Johannes TaulerI think today’s post is for me. When I found today’s story, it spoke directly to my heart.

I know that God has giant dreams for me. I’m just as sure he has the same kind of dreams for you.

It has been my experience that God does not deal in the business of minimal growth and “just get by” projects. In all of His majesty, God always seeks to transform us from a shack to a castle.

What does God have in mind for you? As you read today’s story, listen to your heart. I suspect it will have important information to share with you…

Fulfilling God-Sized Dreams

By Susan Vanselow

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Overcoming Adversity…Building a Meaningful Life

Unless today is well lived, tomorrow is not important   Alan SakowitzWere you sent to this world to break a chain? Were you born into a dysfunctional family and yet, you recognize the dysfunction and you know that it needs to come to an end?

Is your gift to see other’s hearts?

Each day we are blessed with is a day that we can make a difference. Whether we share a smile, a simple compliment, or we literally save the world – making a difference in a positive way is a priceless gift we have the opportunity to give the world every day!

We often do not know the full impact of our actions, words or choices.

May we each choose to make a positive difference in the world!

I hope you enjoy today’s story!:

A Special Teacher

Years ago a John Hopkin’s professor gave a group of graduate students this assignment: Go to the slums. Take 200 boys, between the ages of 12 and 16, and investigate their background and environment. Then predict their chances for the future. The students, after consulting social statistics, talking to the boys, and compiling much data, concluded that 90 percent of the boys would spend some time in jail.

Twenty-five years later another group of graduate students was given the job of testing the prediction. They went back to the same area. Some of the boys – by then men – were still there, a few had died, some had moved away, but they got in touch with 180 of the original 200. They found that only four of the group had ever been sent to jail.

Why was it that these men, who had lived in a breeding place of crime, had such a surprisingly good record? The researchers were continually told: “Well, there was a teacher…” They pressed further, and found that in 75 percent of the cases it was the same woman.

The researchers went to this teacher, now living in a home for retired teachers. How had she exerted this remarkable influence over that group of children? Could she give them any reason why these boys should have remembered her? “No,” she said, “no I really couldn’t.” And then, thinking back over the years, she said amusingly, more to herself than to her questioners: “I loved those boys…”

– Author – Bits & Pieces

Story shared from the following website: http://www.motivationalwellbeing.com/motivational-stories-9.html

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