RSS

Category Archives: God

Find a Gem in This Tale

Dear Friend,

 

Today, as I was working on my book doing last reviews, I was reminded of one story. It brought tears to my eyes when I first heard it. It associated with my personal experience and reminded me the secret of winning the game. The beauty of not giving up. It is a quite known tale about two frogs; I will re-tell it to you.

One sunny day, by accident two frogs got into a bucket of milk. They tried to jump out of it, but they couldn’t. They had no solid ground and sides of the pail were too high. One frog said, “Oh no! This is it. We won’t be able to get out of here.” The other one exclaimed “Let’s keep swimming! Maybe someone will see us and will help us. Somehow we will get out of here.”

They began paddling and tried to jump out. With no avail. After some time, the first frog said, “Swimming is of no use. We won’t get out of here no matter how much we try!”

“Don’t give up,” the other one responded. “Just hold on. Let’s continue making every effort. There must be a way!”

But it seemed like nothing they did seem to help. After several hours of paddling, the first frog said, “This is nonsense. There’s no point of doing this, we’re going to drown anyway. I can’t go on any longer.” And then he stopped paddling and drowned in the milk.

But the other frog kept on paddling. He kicked and swam in circles. He got so tired. All he wanted was to rest, at least a little bit. But when the frog stopped paddling to relax for a few seconds, he sank to the bottom of the bucket. His nostrils got filled with milk, he could not breathe. The frog was so scared and exhausted. It seemed that there was no hope. But then, he pulled all his strength that he had left, used his legs to push off the bottom and kicked with all his might to come to the surface. And then he kicked and kicked and kicked. The little frog was so tired. He had no strength and saw no chance to be rescued. No matter how much he tried to get himself out, nothing was working. Yet, he knew he could not stop and continued kicking, and paddling and swimming in circles, believing that somehow he will get out of that bucket.

And then, something happened. The frog started feeling something solid under his feet. Instead of sinking, he could stand.

Through all kicking and paddling and turning of the frog, the milk had been turned into butter. The little frog jumped out of the bucket.

 

Your journey might come to a point when you feel hopelessness.

You might feel that your efforts make no difference.

You might have sleepless nights, thinking that what you want is nearly impossible.

You may feel tired.

You may face obstacles that prevent you from achieving your goal.

But overcome those obstacles and just keep going. No one can break you down and stop you unless you allow it. Look for the solution until you find it. You will not find it only if you believe that there is no solution and will give up on it. Believe, there is always a way. You only need to find it.

When you face difficult times, remember that you have a source of strength. Seek for the strength in the Lord, for only He is an inexhaustible source of strength.

Always know that the pen is in your hands and what kind of story will be written in your life book depends on you, not on other people or some circumstances.

Do not give up. Never give up.

Inga

 

Advertisements
 

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Amazing Testimony. The Lord Knows Your Every Need.

Dear Friend,

It’s been a while since I wrote something on this blog. Life has been very busy with work and my project of preparing my book to be published, and other things.

But I never forgot about you. And now, when I wrote one of my latest testimonies to share it with others, I rush to share it with you as well. It is an amazing testimony about how the Lord takes care of our needs. I hope this will strengthen your faith and the Lord will speak to you.

Just recently, my friend made a birthday gift to me,  a vacation to Jamaica. 🙂  So, my mom, Anzhelika, I went on our vacation. On the way to our destination, my manual wheelchair broke. Just as I began saying in my mind “Lord, why…? How am I going to move around in that gigantic resort in my broken wheelchair?” A thought came to me, “Go online and search for wheelchair rentals in Jamaica.” While we were traveling, I found a company in Jamaica that rents electric wheelchairs and began communication regarding the rental.

There was exactly the type of wheelchair that fits my needs, and in addition to the electric wheelchair for my daily use, the representative emailed me the picture of a beach wheelchair as well. I was so happy to learn they had it! When we were making reservations at the resort, we asked the manager if they had a beach wheelchair, and we were told that there was wheelchair access to the beach, but the hotel did not have a beach wheelchair. So, seeing that there was a way for me to obtain the chair to get on a beach sand was thrilling. But as I looked more carefully at the picture, I saw that due to my physical limitations it would be extremely challenging for me to get into it. Plus, the cost for both wheelchairs for a week would have been over $800.

To be honest, it was hurtful to know that I would not be able to get to the beach. For many years now I no longer say in my mind “God, I wish I had my legs…” but this time it was painful that I would not be able to go on that white sand beach and see the Caribbean turquoise sea. But then, I ‘swallowed’ the pain and decided that I would focus on all other things I would be able to enjoy. The resort was fantastic, and there were other fun things to do. I did not say anything to anybody nor did I pray. I just knew the Lord knew it all.

And, what do you think?:)

Upon our arrival, on the next day, we went down to the pool area and spent few hours enjoying our time. On our way back, I looked where Lifeguard station was and I could not believe my own eyes – there it was – a beach wheelchair! Anzhelika and I came to the lifeguard and I asked if that beach wheelchair was available to use. The lifeguard enthusiastically responded, “Yes, it is! We don’t know much about it as it’s new, we’ve never seen this kind of a wheelchair. Hotel bought it and it just got here yesterday. Just let us know when you want to use it and we’ll bring you to the beach!”

The hotel, which never had a beach wheelchair, purchased it and delivered it on the day I arrived.

As I am writing this story to share with you, my eyes are full of tears of joy. The Lord knows everything. He knows your every need. He knows the deepest pain of your heart. He knows your every thought. And, He comes right on time and is never late.

Be well, and until the next time.

Inga

 

 

Tags: , , , , ,

Make Your Life a Masterpiece

Now, as my major event is over (one of my duties at work is organize annual fundraiser), I am happy to be able to focus again on editing and improving my book “Unstoppable”. As I was editing my last chapter of the book, which summarizes many experiences and lessons about choices, I was inspired to share a part of it with you. 🙂 I hope you will enjoy it. Please leave me your feedback, it is truly very valuable to me.

 

…I don’t understand many things. But what I do know that it’s not what happens to us and not really what people do to us what determines the quality of our lives, but how we respond to it and what we choose to do about it. Sure, we don’t have a choice of what happens to us or what other people’s choices are, but we always have a choice what we are going to do afterward. We always have a choice to complain, blame and spend our lives in misery and regret. But we also have a choice to get up and shake off the dust, accept the responsibility and relentlessly move on creating the life we desire. And that will make us either a victim who blames someone else for the unhappiness, or it will make us the unbreakable fighter, who gets to fulfill our intention in spite of all because we never stopped and never gave up.

I do know that we can achieve anything we set our minds to, if we truly desire it, do whatever it takes to achieve it and have unshakable faith that we are going to succeed. I do know that all things are possible with God if we believe. I don’t understand how it works out that way, but I’ve experienced this countless times and now I do know that all things work together for good to those who love God and are chosen according to His purpose, just as it’s written in the Bible. This has taught me a great lesson not to be stressed or terrified when things don’t go my way; all works together for good – even problems.

I also know that our own daily choices and decisions create subsequent events and ultimately direct our destiny one or another way. Sometimes, our one choice – ONE Single Decision – can literally direct our life journey one or another direction. Painful ad even devastating mistakes have taught me to be very careful with decisions I make. Also, our daily, weekly, monthly choices compounded deliver their results as well.  They may seem quite insignificant, and even they may not even appear like choices. But they are. And, those little choices repeated on a continuous basis over time soon will deliver its fruit.  Every time we decide to do something or not is a choice. We stand at those crossroads many times in life. They might not even feel like crossroads; yet, they are.  And the choice of which path we take literally directs our destiny.

 

You may make numerous mistakes yet and will fall down, but it’s not your mistakes what show who you are. It’ s whether you choose to get up each and every time and learn from your mistakes that show who you are. It’s what you choose to do with all that happens in your life that will make your life worth living or miserable.

Don’t waste your precious time for things that don’t matter. This way you will only create the life that doesn’t really matter. Use the given time to design a purposeful and fulfilling life. Make your life count.

Lay a firm foundation for yourself that you will always make a choice that will align with your purpose. You will always make a choice to overcome and do the best you can under any circumstances. Make a non-negotiable decision that you will never give up, no matter what it takes for you to take another step.

 

Remember, it’s all about the choices you make. We all have choices, and we are going to have what we choose.

 

I have learned that our destiny will greatly depend on whether we choose life according to the Lord’s will or life according to our own ways. What I do know is that living in a righteous way before the Lord God and trusting Him wholeheartedly at all times is going to bring a much more secure, fulfilling and purposeful life. And after all, we will have a joyous life that will last the eternity for our soul’s existence does not end the journey here on the earth. By bringing you my experience, I want to inspire you to choose wisely. Our Father God has His will for us and yet He has given us a freedom of a choice.

15 “See, I have set before you today life and good, death and evil, 16 in that I command you today to love the Lord your God, to walk in His ways, and to keep His commandments, His statutes, and His judgments, that you may live and multiply; and the Lord your God will bless you in the land which you go to possess. 17 But if your heart turns away so that you do not hear, and are drawn away, and worship other gods and serve them, 18 I announce to you today that you shall surely perish; you shall not prolong your days in the land which you cross over the Jordan to go in and possess. 19 I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live;20 that you may love the Lord your God, that you may obey His voice, and that you may cling to Him, for He is your life and the length of your days; (Deuteronomy 30:15-20)

 

So, I invite you to take a deep breath with me. Let’s you and I choose life. Let’s continue on creating the lives that the Lord has called us to live.

Life is not a rehearsal. You get to do it only once.

Life is like an art.  Your decisions shape and consistent daily actions create this unique piece of art.

Make your life a masterpiece!

Inga

IngaMIV_1

 

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Incredible Testimony of the Power of Prayer and God’s Mercy and Grace

I want to tell you one of the most incredible experiences I’ve had in my life. It is not some exciting achievement or celebration, but it is the most sacred and special experience, which touched me at the core of my being. It has taught me great lessons and has shown me again God’s mercy, grace and the power of the prayer.

First, I want to say my most sincere thank you to my fellow followers of Christ from San Francisco “Hand of Help” and “Russian Gospel Temple” churches, Sacramento “God will provide”, Santa Rosa Calvary Chapel “The Rock”, Modesto church as well as my friends and co-workers at Disability Services & Legal Center. While my Dad was on a verge of death and I was flying back to Europe to see him for the last time, you together carried me through this most difficult time for me.

While this was such a horrible unexpected turn in my life, those several weeks were incredible at the same time. It still brings me to awe when I think of it. I want to share this with you so it may serve you, strengthen you and your faith.

 

In November of 2015, I received news from my family in Lithuania that due to serious heart issues my Dad was driven to the hospital by the emergency. My father has had numerous issues with his heart, and I thought this was one of those cases when after some treatments he would return home. This time, however, my Dad did not return home. His condition appeared to be more serious than we could imagine. After some time, when Mom told me he was already able to speak, I called my father on his cell phone. During our conversation father told me the truth – Doctors told him that his heart was beyond any chances of improvement. He could die anytime, and the only way for him to extend the time of his life was the heart transplant surgery. I asked him what the predictions were of how long he would have to wait for the new heart.

“I don’t know Inga…”, my father helplessly sighed. “Doctors don’t know exactly. They say maybe two months, maybe ten months, maybe two years… it’s unpredictable”

Right that moment I knew exactly what I was going to do. After our conversation, I immediately got down on my knees before the Lord my God and prayed asking Him to give my father a new heart soon to extend the days of his life. I could not see myself losing my father; besides, he was not saved for the life after death, and I pleaded with my Lord to give him more time to have another chance to accept Jesus Christ as his Lord. I felt strange to make that kind of request because it meant someone else had to die. But I knew Heavenly Father is righteous and just God, and He does not make mistakes determining who and when needs to go. I trusted the Lord. Fully realizing that only the Lord God has the power to extend the days of his life, I surrendered my request to Him.

Next week I received a phone call from my Mom.

“Daughter”, I heard Mom’s trembling voice. “Our Dad is already with the new heart. It was very unexpected. The donor’s heart came in quite unexpected in the middle of the night and they did the operation on the emergency basis.”

“What? Already?!”

I could not believe this. Even though I prayed for it, it was hard to realize this was really true – after the prayer my Dad received a new heart in less than a week!

We all praised the Lord for the miracle, which brought many in astonishment, including my father. Being excited about this beautiful miracle and a gift of a new life, my Dad and my Mom and brother made every effort toward Dad’s recovery.

 

However, bewilderment came upon their hearts watching how first significant improvement started going backward: Dad’s other organs were failing and he would refuse to eat. When he was driven back to the ICU, medical specialists started doing again all kinds of tests to understand what was going on. Not long after, I received my Mom’s phone call. Barely holding tears, she told me the news – Dad was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, stage 4. He would not be able to go through another surgery and besides, cancer was at a stage that was beyond chances to win the battle. Later it turned out that cancer was there already for a while; only it did not manifest itself drastically. However, when Doctors gave my Dad medications to reduce the immune system in order for the body to not reject the new heart, it created perfect conditions for cancer to spread its tentacles. And now, the question was just a matter of days.

Fatal news just paralyzed me. I did not know what think and what to do. I couldn’t see myself continuing my life without seeing my father before he passes on, but I did not have any extra money to travel across the globe to my homeland, and I did not see how this could possibly happen. For a moment, it felt I again appeared in a hopeless spot. Yet, throughout the years the Lord my God has taken me out of the most desperate situations numerous times and opened up opportunities where there were none. He has turned the impossible into possible time and time again. So, the very first thing I did was I went on my knees before my Lord.  I prayed in tears to my Heavenly Father that I wanted to see my Dad, and asked Him to arrange circumstances somehow in such a way that I would see him  before he leaves this life. I beseeched the Lord not to take Dad’s life until he knows Jesus, which was my prayer for many years and so He keeps him alive until I see him. I fully surrendered myself and the whole situation to the living God.

 

Lord’s answer showed up right on the next day – after finding out what was going on in my life, my sister in faith Viktoria called me and asked me if I would not consider going home to be with my Dad. I responded that without any doubts I would go right on the next day if I could, but I did not have financial resources to travel to Europe from California and I did not see how this could be possible. Viktoria firmly encouraged me and even urged me to go. She added “Don’t worry about finances. We all within the church will collect it and will ask friends in Sacramento church to help you with this. Go ahead and look for the airline ticket and get ready for the trip” And, she started reaching out to brothers and sisters in Christ raising funds. My other girlfriends posted my need on Facebook with my PayPal account, asking people to support me during this time to help me obtain the ticket to go home. After I told my Mom that I was going to fly back to Vilnius, she urged me to come as soon as possible.  Dad was getting weaker with every day.

I started looking for the airline ticket to get on the flight as soon as possible. What a surprise it was when I started looking for the ticket – normally the roundtrip tickets at this time are $1,500 – 1,800 and above, and I found the roundtrip airline tickets for $1,169! After Doleris.com made the discount, my total ticket price $1,145! Since there were only few available seats left for the date I needed to go and funds were still in the process of being raised, my friend Svetlana offered her credit card to purchase the ticket for such a low price.

To my astonishment, in two days enough funds were raised to pay for the ticket.  Furthermore, my friends Svetlana ad Viktoria took further initiative and continued reaching out to raise more funds. Thus, in few more days more funds were raised and I was able to give substantial amount of money to my Mom and brother to help them with the funeral costs when the time comes. Upon my return, I received even more financial blessing from my fellow Christians from the local church I go to and few other churches in San Francisco and Modesto.

I was just in tears watching how my friends and even people whom I personally did not know showered me with love, care and so much needed financial support.

They carried me through this difficult time and through them my request was fulfilled –

despite how impossible it seemed for me to go back to EU, after the prayer trip arrangements started happening immediately on the next day, and four days later I was on the airplane flying back to Lithuania to see my father.

During 23-hour trip, I had a lot of time to think, and I was observing and analyzing the latest events. After the prayer, it seemed like circumstances took life upon themselves and started changing in my favor. Observing how after the prayer my situation turned around just in the matter of several days, it taught me again the lesson – fight your battles first of all on your knees. Because it’s the Heavenly Father who has the power over all circumstances and people’s hearts. The living God can get you out of the most hopeless situations, and He can open any doors you need no matter how impossible it may seem at first.

I will never forget how shocked and pleasantly surprised my father was when I showed up at the doorstep in the hospital. He had no idea I was coming, as I wanted to make him a surprise. After I told him how I was able to come, my Dad was deeply touched by the kindness of people and asked me to thank each person who made it possible for me to purchase the airline ticket and come visit him. Therefore, using this opportunity I want to thank again each and every one of you who did not pass by my need, but responded and helped me to see my father say goodbye.

 

And now, I want to share with you what struck me the most. I have experienced so much mercy and grace of God in my own life and I heard many stories about it, but this one touched me at the core of my being.

When I arrived and on the next day saw my Dad, along with my joy of being able to re-connect with him I was deeply emotionally struck. My father was always my rock and it was unbearable for me to watch him now so helpless and in pain. When I returned home from the hospital, I immediately went on my knees before the Lord my God feeling broken and confused. I prayed in tears asking Him to explain to me – if my Dad already had cancer and he was going to die from it, then why all this heart transplant surgery was needed, why the Lord answered my prayer and did such an incredible miracle by giving him the new heart in less than a week…what’s the point of all of this. While I was praying, a thought/feeling came to me “Remember your prayer” .

Those words were like the lightning that brightens up the dark sky – that moment I understood everything: for many years, my prayer for my father was asking God to give salvation to my father and not to allow him to die until/unless he knows Jesus Christ and has the eternal life with the Lord. Knowing my father, if he got to know earlier he had cancer, I know he would be angry and bitter and there is no way he would have listened about the Lord. So, the Lord did not allow my father to learn about cancer no matter how many tests were done few years ago and now before the surgery. And now, when my Dad started having serious issues with his heart, the Lord God gave him a new heart sooner than he could have ever expected, even though chances to receive a donor’s heart soon were so minimal. Thus, the living God extended my Dad’s life to give him another chance to receive salvation for his soul, and this way it was a personal experience of God’s love to him. Receiving a new heart in less than a week after the prayer was an astonishing miracle to my father as well as to everyone else, and, this time, my Dad was not laughing about God or the power of the prayer; in fact, he agreed that it’s a divine miracle.

 

When I learned the news about cancer and few churches in the Bay area started praying about my Dad’s salvation, at the same time my brother in Vilnius started seeking arrangements for someone from the church visit my Dad to talk with him and pray for him, hoping that Dad would accept Christ and prepare his soul for the eternal life. All circumstances were arranged in his favor, and a brother in Christ, who does the ministry of Evangelism sharing the Gospel with people, agreed to come see my father on the next day. While my brother was arranging this meeting, he had one concern – there was no privacy because there was another patient in the same room where Dad was and besides, doctors were constantly coming in and out. He could not imagine how this would work out, but he also could not even foresee what a surprise was ahead! Brother said he could not believe this himself – on the day when the Minister was available to visit my father, the other patient was taken out to the operation room for many hours and doctors ‘somehow’ also stopped coming in like they normally did, and my Dad had full privacy for as long as they had the conversation! And, after few hours of discussion and finding answers to questions, my Dad asked if they could pray for him because he wanted to accept Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior.  My brother and Mom shared that after that prayer my Dad became so much more at peace.

When I arrived, I found him already saved and at peace. On the second day of my visit, after my prayer the night before, I told my father that the true reason why the Lord God gave him a new heart was different than we thought – all of it was done to extend the days of his life so he would have more time to accept Jesus Christ.  Dad looked at me with this deep look and calmly said

“Yes… I know. You are absolutely correct.”

Dad added that he was wondering at times if he was dreaming or this was all true that everything suddenly turned around to good. I confirmed with him that everything was real because that’s how much God loved him.  We started praying together again. I surrendered him to the Lord’s care and asked Jesus to let my Dad know that he’s going to be well and give him peace about what’s ahead. When at the end of the prayer I opened my eyes, I saw my Dad looking up and around as if he had seen and observing something, and then he looked at me. His eyes were full of light! I’ve never seen this brightness in the eyes of my father.  He looked at me so deeply and said,

“All will be well. All will be well. And, I will not worry about you anymore either.”

He said it as if he had a firm awareness that he was going to be well and that he did not have to worry about me because I was being taken care of. I reassured him there was absolutely nothing to worry about for the Lord God watches over me and protects me. He peacefully sighed. And, that moment I understood that this was my last conversation with my Dad.

And so it was …

On the third day of my visit, he was no longer able to speak and have a conversation. My father passed away three days after I left Lithuania.

He crossed the bridge into the eternal life just a few weeks after he received salvation for his soul.

 

I cannot even describe you how much better and at peace I feel that I got to see him. Lord is never late. I arrived on time, while he was fully present and able to hold the conversation. We had the opportunity to talk, and hug each other and pray together…  While it’s heartbreaking to not have my father here physically, I thank my Heavenly Father in tears for He heard my prayer and fulfilled my request.

My Dad’s last sentence that I heard was “I am glad it’s all coming to the end, and that it’s such a good ending”

How can a dying person say this?

He was talking about his soul because he knew he was going to a good place to be with the Lord.

 

Having gone through this experience, I want to encourage you to pray for your loved ones. I know it can be discouraging to continue praying for them, especially if they laugh at it or reject you for your faith. I sure did feel discouraged a times, because we want to receive the answer to the prayer soon and see the difference quickly. However, this taught me how important it is to continue praying for people regardless whether we see the answer quickly or not, because the Lord God is faithful to His word, and He will save the person according to our prayers. My father used to laugh and be sarcastic about prayers and reading the Bible, and at times his salvation seemed to me like a hopeless idea. Yet, I put my trust in my Lord that He could do the impossible and my hope was in Him. And, my Lord answered to prayers which He heard countless times – He did not allow my father to die before he knew Jesus and had the eternal life with the Lord.

Doctors were absolutely shocked how come they did not see he had cancer. They all stated that this was the first and the only case in many years of their practice when they did so many tests prior the heart transplant surgery and did not notice such a serious thing like cancer. They firmly stated that if they had seen the least sign of it, there is no way they would have performed heart transplant surgery. Yet, they did not see cancer which was at stage 4! Why? Because it was the will of the living God to give my Dad a new heart to extend the days of his life and give him one more chance to receive eternal life with the Lord.

You know, when he and I prayed, my Dad’s request to God was not about his health or anything else; he said the only thing he wanted to ask God was about other people so that others would have this kind of chance as well, just as he did.

 

With that, I want to say  – may his prayer be fulfilled. And that is my wish for you and for people you love and care about. I want to encourage you to pray for your loved ones. May the discouragement will not be stronger than your commitment to fight for your loved ones, so they also find the most precious jewel of this life and spend the eternity with the Lord. None of us are guaranteed to have tomorrow. Pray for your loved ones until you receive the answer.  Base your faith not on the experience how and when you see your prayers answered, but lay your foundation on the Word of God. Faithful is the Lord and He fulfills His promises. We only need to put our unshakable faith in Him.

 

I hope this was a blessing to you.

Trust your God, and… Be strong. Be determined and persistent. Be unstoppable.

Your Inga

 

 

 

Tags: , , , , , ,

My Interview on the Radio Show “Magnificent Mind” with Steven Campbell

Happy New Year to you! I hope and wish that this year has started well for you.

As the new year just stepped in into my life, today I had a pleasure to be the guest speaker on the Radio show with Steven Campbell on KOWS 107.3 FM (Sonoma County, California)

A lot of times I get asked “What helped you overcome your tragedy?”, “Where do you get the strength and tenacity?”In this interview I answer those questions and share some practical tools, which will empower you to break through difficult times.

Here is the link to the audio of the interview.

Enjoy it, I hope you will find something that you can apply in your life.

Make 2016 to be your outstanding year!

Be strong. Be Determined and Persistent. Be Unstoppable.

Till next time 🙂

Inga

 

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

How is this Possible?! :-) Testimony.

Have you ever had the experience when it seemed to you like some invisible hand moved events and circumstances in your favor like in a chess game? Throughout the years I have experienced this numerous times. It astonished me every single time. This time though, I ended my day being simply astounded. To be honest, when I was thinking about this incredible experience, I had a feeling that this happened for me to share with others, so they’d know that their Heavenly Father has it all under control and He takes care of them. Somehow, when I opened my email to send this testimony, I knew by name who I needed to send this to. After sending it to them, many responded to me thanking me for sharing, saying “Perfect timing! This is exactly what I needed to hear!” It’s been several days I have on my heart to share this with you as well. Maybe you are going through the time when you need to hear exactly This.

Just recently, in San Francisco Bay Area we had this harsh rain storm. Rainy storms here in Northern California are very much different than what I had ever experienced when I was living in Europe – they are much stronger. I still went to work, because I had scheduled a meeting that day, which I did not want to cancel. After hearing Weather news in the morning about the storm getting much stronger that afternoon, I decided to leave the office earlier to get home safe before it gets worse. I move around using electric wheelchair AKA my Beemer (BMW:) (I am the fastest pedestrian in the city 🙂 ), and it’s not good for the chair to get wet for the battery and a joystick that controls the chair. Besides, it’s quite dangerous for me to be out in the strong wind when with my one hand I have to hold the joystick that controls the chair and hold my umbrella at the same time. Since my left hand is paralyzed, often I need to be creative to be able to do things. In this case, I figured out a way to be out in the rain without getting soaking wet, but during the storm the smartest choice for me is to stay home. And so here I am speeding home as fast as I can, the rain starts pouring hard, the wind gets rapidly stronger, and as I am just 5 min away from home…suddenly my wheelchair STOPS DEAD. I look at the joystick…it’s flashing. The wheelchair is dead. I am sitting outside, the rain is pouring down so strong that you can see bubbles on the street, and it’s windy cold. I am trying to call my technician – he does not answer the phone and his voice box is full. I am trying to call another number – no answer as well.

“OK. Now what?”

My first thought – Thank God the wheelchair stopped right next to Trader Joe’s entrance doors (!!) and its roof was above me! So I was protected from getting immediately soaking wet. Then, I am sitting there, thinking “God… what am I going to do now..?! Who’s going to come out to help me in this rain..? What should I do?” My wheelchair never stopped like this while I am outside. A series of thoughts came through my mind in a flash – how can I get out of this situation, wonder why Lord allowed this to happen…this is too strange, who can possibly help me, what is the best way to get home and so on.

​After a moment, I look at the entrance doors to see who I could ask for help, and suddenly I see staff’s head popping out and I hear:

“Inga! Hi! I read the article about you, great story!!”

I could not believe this – that was the store’s staff, whom I see all the time when I shop at Trader Joe’s.

“Bob!!! Wow, it’s you! Can you help me??”, caught by another, but this time a pleasant surprise, I asked him for help.

He immediately came out and after explaining to him what happened, I asked him if he could wheel me to help me get home, which was only 5 min away.

“Sure! No problem Inga!” , Bob enthusiastically responded.

Other staff came out as well, loaned him the rain jacket, we released the power to make my Beemer as a manual chair, and Bob wheeled me home. On the way home, I find out that he was on his day off and he just happened to be at the store and by accident saw me. He reassured me that he was happy to help, and didn’t mind this weather – he was a fisherman and this kind of weather was not a problem for him at all, since he has seen much worse in the ocean.

🙂

As I was on my way, my technician calls me back, and after hearing that my wheelchair just shut down dead in the middle of the storm, says “I will be right there Inga”. M​y technician came to my place right when I myself got there ​(normally it is nearly impossible to have a wheelchair tech man come right away) ​to take a look at the chair what have happened. Apparently, the problem was with the joystick – it got too wet. It happened (!!) he had an extra one in his car and after he changed it, my Beemer was up and running like before. Also, he told me that I caught him at the perfect time – he happened to be in my area (!!) and so that’s the reason he was able to come so fast. Actually, he was just about to leave up North to see his client right before I called, and if I had called later, he would not have been able to come out and help.

So, after having my wheelchair breaking down in the middle of the storm, very quickly I was back home safe and my Beemer was fixed right away. And yes, my cat Musette was also happy to have her Momma back home and giving her treats earlier than she usually gets them. 🙂

Now, tell me how could this be…. my electric wheelchair stops damaged  right in front of Trader Joe’s entrance (what would it be like if it stopped on a busy street that I just crossed a minute ago..?!), the staff who knows me quite well happens to be there on his day off and he by accident saw me right that moment when I was looking who I could ask to help me, technician was in my area right before he drove away to another county and he came to me right away to check the wheelchair AND he had an extra the same kind of joystick, which immediately fixed my wheelchair.

​..?!?!

God’s Angels are watching over me. 🙂

​It’s incredible. Who can take care of us better than our God Father? He has it all in His power. My family is across the globe, but I do feel like I am taken care of; I have my  heavenly Father who is wherever I am and who protects me, cares for me and blesses me abundantly. I have experienced literally countless testimonies of God’s care for many years now.

Sharing this testimony, I want to encourage you – your life is in the hands of your Heavenly Father. Your circumstances, situations, problems, difficulties, anything that concerns or worries you, your sleepless nights, your every single tear and absolutely EVERYTHING is known to your God Father. He is going to take care of it. Just trust Him.

29 Are not two sparrows sold for a copper coin? And not one of them falls to the ground apart from your Father’s will. 30 But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. 31 Do not fear therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.​ (Matthew 10:29-31)

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:6-7)

 

If you know someone who needs to read this, would you please pass this along? Sometimes simple thing like this kind of message can make a big difference for another person.

Blessings to you…. And as always, be strong. Be determined and persistent. Be unstoppable.

And always keep in mind that with God all things are possible.

Inga​

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

How to be Thankful when you Don’t Feel Like it?

How are you doing this Holiday season? I hope my message reaches you doing well. When I was recently invited to be a Guest speaker for the Thanksgiving season, it was interesting for me to find out that the reason I was chosen to come speak for this occasion was the same reason why I was invited last year by another group to come speak for their Thanksgiving celebration – they  wanted to know how I can be positive and thankful on a daily basis while dealing with pretty severe challenges having no legs and one arm. This inspired me to write a message about it on a blog.

During Thanksgiving we take a moment to think about what we’re most grateful for. It is a tradition on a Thanksgiving Day for a family to get together around a table, sharing what they are thankful for and having delicious food. On that day it feels like the atmosphere changes in the air, because on that day people make an effort to remember what they are thankful for, counting their blessings instead of problems. And then what happens? Another tradition is right at the end of that day – a famous Black Friday! On the very next day, and even that same night a thanksgiving mood and feeling of gratitude is often overshadowed by constant question on where to get the best deals, worries, stress, anxiety, full schedules and concern trying to find Christmas gifts and getting ready for Holidays.  Our focus is shifted into many other directions. Very soon we go back to our normal routine, and appreciation and gratitude of Thanksgiving Day is left behind. When we dive in back to our routine, facing problems and challenges coming our way, it is not always easy to feel a sincere gratitude, is it? Often times various events, people or situations that show up in our lives overshadows our joy and understanding how really blessed we are. It’s hard to feel gratitude when we have roaring storms around us.

 What can steal our gratitude? Usually it will be either some events that negatively impacted our life, bad circumstances or other people  that affect us in some negative ways. I sometimes hear people say to me “Well yeah, I am thankful for my life and what I have, but…” and then follows the complaint. Watching that person continue the thought, it looks like this thing that he complains about over-weighs all that he said he was grateful for. Can you relate to that at times? Before the car accident I definitely could. In fact, I did not even look into my life from a perspective of “What am I grateful for?” I never really thought of things that I was thankful for. I considered that my vibrant health, my physical looks, what I had and what I could do was supposed to be like it was.  It was just normal to me and it didn’t even occur to me that I could lose it all in one moment. Having all I wanted, I still would find various things that I was not happy about and constantly was sad about something. Now, even though I am missing nearly half of my body, I am very grateful for so many things that it overshadows my pain and  the loss I had in my life. I very rarely have “bad mood”.

How can this be?

First of all, my inner joy, hope, peace, endurance and inner strength comes from Christ. I receive it in a prayer and through faith. The Lord is my Rock and He is my main source of inner qualities that are so important to have. I always know that all things work together for good in my life. I feel thankful even for difficult situations, because I know they are going to work for my benefit in some ways. And I always smile when I see that it was truly for my benefit. I spoke about it last year when I was invited as a Guest speaker for Thanksgiving Celebration at Melhizedek Church in Sacramento, CA.  You are welcome to listen to the audio of it here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=McDj7vHYBxc

There was a time in my life when I realized that in addition to that incredible inner joy that can be received from Jesus Christ in a prayer, the peace of God that surpasses all understanding and His blessing on a daily basis, my experience in life greatly depends on how well I manage myself.

In addition to what I receive from God and my faith, I do work on myself. I believe one of the greatest favors a person can do for himself is learn to manage his own inner state. It is much easier to handle difficulties when we know how to choose our response in a way that will empower us to make the right decision what we are going to do next. Gratitude becomes a normal daily inner state when we know how to get it and how to manage our own feelings. We can have a positive attitude at all times when we know what creates it and how we can maintain it regardless of what’s going on around.

My biggest and probably one of the most significant eye openings was when I realized that my experience about one or another event depends on how I choose to look at it.  In one of my blogs earlier, I shared about how our perspective about events determine our response and decision what we are going to do next. (https://ingalizdenyte.me/2014/04/20/self-management-how-perspective-affects-our-inner-state-and-decisions/An event is a plain fact, and your own choice of perspective will give the color, feelings and emotions to that event. I know, a lot of times it is hard to consciously choose perspective, especially when it comes to dealing with people who hurt you. Our life experience can be very bitter only because of other people’s attitude toward you, their words and actions that hurt you. There is a way to deal with it. But today I want to take an overall look about managing yourself, so you do feel grateful even if the storms of life a roaring around.

What is gratitude, thankfulness, appreciation or joy? All these are feelings, right? Sadness or worry are feelings as well. What does create either of those feelings? You. How? By thinking in a certain way. It is not the event and it is not people who make you feel in a particular way, but your interpretation and your focus. It is you who creates your own feelings. Your feelings follow your thoughts, or in other words your feelings depend on your thoughts. You feel excitement when you think of things that excite you and you feel upset when you think of what’s bad and hurtful, right?  You won’t be able get  into a depression if you focus on things that make you excited or on new opportunities or when you  feel gratitude about where you are in life. Same way, you may lose your inner peace that you received in a prayer if you start focusing on things that worry or frustrates you. You may lose your inner joy if you constantly think about that, which irritates and angers you. You give the direction to how you feel by choosing what you think about.

Your daily experience will be much different when you fully understand that your feelings are created by your own thoughts, and you are in full control of your own thoughts.

Yes, you can choose how you feel by choosing what you think. You can put yourself into anger by thinking about things that make you angry and make yourself feel uplifted by choosing to think what’s good in your life. I am sure you experienced numerous times this: when you wake up first thing in the morning, you feel peaceful and good. But then, when you are fully awake and remember some negative situation, your joy disappears. Then you start analyzing it and slowly but surely you start feeling irritated and not feeling too happy. It’s what many people call a “bad mood”. And you remain in a bad mood as long as you keep in mind your bad situation. Then, let’s say you have some unexpected pleasant surprise. What happens then? You immediately get excited and joyous, right? Pleasant surprise creates positive feelings and you feel great because this surprise took your focus away from the bad situation and shifted it to a pleasant one. Here is the trick: you will feel great as long as you will be focused on the pleasant surprise and beautiful experience it has created for you. But as soon as you go back into analyzing and thinking about that bad situation that you were thinking about in the morning, you will go back into your “bad mood”. Learn to control where your mind goes. It may not be easy at first. But just try deliberately choose what you think about. When you see that your mind wanders around and leans toward that which saddens, frustrates or makes you feel in any negative way – stop it and redirect it toward that which will be pleasant, lovely, hopeful, empowering or exciting. It will get easier with practice, just as everything else. Discipline is like a muscle.

Of course there are times when we might not see any light and not even hope to see the light. It’s hard to be positive when we are in difficult circumstances and have difficult problems or if we are in pain. But we still can be in charge of how we feel. You know what helped me to hold on in my most difficult times? Focus on the beautiful that I had and gratitude for it all. Trust me, it was really difficult, because at times it seemed like my life was filled only with the continuous loss, immense pain and dark despair. A lot of times it felt simply unendurable.  I was left with nothing to hold on to and there was no hope for a change. There was nothing that could make me feel better. Physical pain could be numbed by medicine, but emotional pain not. Still, there were times when after surgeries even morphine would not affect my pain and I was left to  suffer with no way to ease the pain. When I was barely holding myself from literally crying out loud from pain and despair, that’s exactly what I did to hold myself together – I searched for things I was thankful for. In my mind I was thanking God for saving my life, for my family, for friends who did not leave me, for the love and care that I was surrounded with. I thanked the Lord for I had my right hand and I could move my body. I thanked my God for those little opportunities even though they didn’t seem very promising. But I thanked anyway. Gratitude for what I already had and hope is what helped me to endure the times when I didn’t see the end of despair and agony. My endurance came from hope that this shall pass and God will deliver me out of this despair and it will get better. And I never let it go. Interestingly, the more I focused on what I was grateful for, the better I felt. The more I focused on what I was able to do, the more I could do. The more I focused on what I liked about a person, the better relationship I had with that person. The more I thought of how thankful I was for the opportunity, circumstances were changing into my favor. I don’t know the mystery of gratitude, but what I do know is that gratitude is very powerful.

The more you focus on what you are grateful for, the more uplifted you will feel. In fact, I found that gratitude is a very powerful tool to change how you feel. You might say “How can I feel grateful if I am  surrounded by so many problems and circumstances that just have no positive solution?”  In reality, you have so much to be grateful for. But you will not notice that if you are going to be focused on what’s not good in your life. It may seem to you that you have only bad things happening in your life right now and there is no way you can find something to be grateful for. But you relax…take a deep breath and think for a moment… Let’s go through simple things. You have what to eat and nurture your body. Maybe you didn’t like the dinner that much today, but you are not one of the starving ones, who wish to have at least a bite to kill the hunger. Instead of walking in the streets and pushing a shopping cart with all your belongings looking for a safe corner or a homeless shelter, you have a home where is warm and your soft bed with many pillows..   You are healthy. You have all parts of your body and you function well. How would you feel if you lost it? If you do have some physical challenges, do you know how many people are in much worse position than you are? You are not doing that bad after all, right? You have family that loves you and cares about you. You have friends that love and care about you… What your life would be like if you lost those who love you and you were absolutely lonely in this world?  So many times you could have gotten in a horrible car crash, but you survived and in fact you were not even injured. You wouldn’t want to appear in my position, would you? Look. You truly have what you can be grateful for.

The question is what you focus on.

 I want to share with you a very interesting experience that made a major shift in my life. I remember  or very well this special moment that was like a turning point in my life. I think it was about  7 or 8 years ago. At the time I recently moved to the United States. I lived in a beautiful land of sunshine California, but I felt very unhappy. Everything in my life seemed dreary, cold and dark. I did not feel happy nor was I even pleased with my life. I was on the bus going home from work. I did not want to go home. I did not want to see anyone and I did not want to do anything. I just felt empty and depressed. As I was driving and looking through the window, black thoughts were bombarding my mind. I did not see even one reason why I could feel happy or at least at ease. I caught myself feeling this way and asked myself “How did I get to this..? How in the world I got myself to the point that I feel so unhappy..?!” Suddenly, I felt this quiet gentle voice within me “Rise above it. Rise above all your problems and what you are not happy about. Inga, look at how much good you have in your life! But you don’t see it because you are focused on what doesn’t go the way you want it to go and you are constantly thinking about what you are not happy about. Rise above all you are not happy about.  Rise above your dissatisfaction and look how much good you have in your life.”  In my mind I envisioned myself going up and leaving behind all that made me unhappy. I left behind my dissatisfaction, my daily routine, household and job duties, concerns, problems, worries.   As I left it all below, here above it felt so good and bright. I felt at ease!  I looked at the horizon and I saw Success, Happiness, Joy and Victories of my goals to be achieved yet. I was so longing for the sheer joy and easiness… I was so longing for the excitement of moving forward and achieving the goals that were getting me closer to my ultimate vision.  The victory was ahead of me waiting for me to reach it, but… I stopped moving toward it. Just a while ago I had so many goals that I wanted to achieve. I was striving for excellence every time I did something. I had such a beautiful vision for the life I wanted to create! But I lost my vision because I switched my focus on that, which was right in front of me  – facts of today’s reality. I focused on the parts of my life that made me irritated, unhappy and annoyed. I was constantly thinking about that, which made me unhappy instead of what I have achieved and what made my life fulfilling and beautiful. I focused on what was not working for me instead of seeking how I could implement the vision of the life I wanted to have. I knew I needed to switch my focus back to my vision. I needed to rise above all that made me so unhappy, leave it all behind and move toward implementing my dream. I had to walk in faith – I had to see my dream to be achieved. I had to choose to think about what I wanted my life to be like and how I could realize that, instead of what I was unhappy about. I will not implement my vision and I will not be happy if I am going to dwell on what was not working for me. I needed to shift my focus.

This was the day when my depressed inner state turned around. It seemed like someone opened my eyes and I saw what I didn’t see before – my life truly was amazing and I had so much beautiful in  my life!  All of a sudden I saw how much good I had in my life. I came to the U.S. knowing only one person and now I had so many wonderful people in my life. When I decided to move to California, I had nothing except my suitcase, few friends and my dream, and now I do live in this absolutely gorgeous spot of the world! I move around independently, work, travel and enjoy my life just as I did prior the accident. When I decided to establish myself in California, I said to my family and friends that my next goal is almost as impossible as a flight to the moon, but I am going to try it anyway. And I landed! I literally live the dream that seemed nearly impossible! My life is just a miracle… I have so much more to accomplish and I have the opportunity to do that!  That moment I felt that all those details that made me unhappy could not even compare to all what made my life so beautiful. I could not believe I did not see it before! And I did not see it only because I was focused on what was wrong in my life. I was constantly thinking about what I did not like and what I was unhappy about. Since that day I stopped doing that.

I made the decision to put my effort into turning away from my constant thinking about things that I was unhappy about. I had too many good things happening in my life to waste my time and my emotions on the negative. I decided to focus on how much beautiful I have, what I have achieved so far and what I was going to accomplish yet. If there were situations that I was not happy about, instead of sitting complaining or being drown in dissatisfaction about it, I was seeking for the ways how I could improve my circumstances, so I don’t have to feel this way anymore. And I did not even bother myself thinking about some things that were irritable. That was a new beginning for me. In my mind I kept my vision of the life I wanted to create, consistently worked on my goals, and by achieving one goal after another I improved my life conditions and my circumstances. Today I live my vision. Of course life had and still has its own moments and unexpected “surprises”, but I always remember what that quiet voice gently told me.

Today I want to pass that message to you.  Rise above it…. Don’t look what’s in front of you. Rise above it and look ahead. See how much good you have in your life and how truly blessed you are. Think more about that, than about your  problems and difficulties. The only reason to pay attention at your problems is to evaluate situation and find a way to resolve it. So when you look at your difficulty, focus on its solution. When you are not happy about some person, think more about what you like about him/her? When you face the unknown, fight your fear with faith and take action. Focus on that which empowers you. And know that all things work together for good to those, who love God and are called according to His purpose. Just realizing this  will create attitude of gratitude in you, because you will know that even difficulties are for your benefit.

Thanksgiving is not something you feel once a year… it is an attitude you carry within you all year long. It is very easy not to even notice the blessings that we receive every day, when we are focused on what makes us feel sad or frustrated. Make it a habit for yourself every single morning to start your day and every night to end your day with reflection of what you are grateful for.   Very soon you will notice how your list of what you feel grateful for starts expanding. 🙂

Meanwhile, enjoy this beautiful Holiday Season. Enjoy your time seeing your family and loved ones!

Make your Holidays extraordinary!

Inga

 

 

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,