Heart of a Lion


This maybe one of the most personal posts I’ve ever written but this week, someone said something to me and I felt so ashamed and unworthy of her comments that I almost wanted to cry, but they were the most sincere heartfelt comments I’ve heard anyone tell me in a while…

Wednesday, I went to a Toys for Tots benefit being held at a local restaurant. There weren’t a lot of people there, but from the minute I walked in, I could feel the Christmas spirit and the love that filled the place… Coincidentally, the restaurant’s name is The Place, but that’s another story…

I’d been there a few minutes and at first I felt completely out of place, sitting off by myself by the dance floor like I always do, looking for the right opportunity to take a few pictures… A couple US Marines were there helping with the benefit and they posed for a couple pictures, when a waitress friend of mine walked over and wanted to have her picture taken with me. Well, next thing I knew, I was the man of the hour, for the next couple hours….

Anyway, while I was handing the camera to somebody to take our picture, I noticed a woman standing off to the side and I motioned for her to jump in the picture with us… My waitress friend and the other woman knelt down, and I noticed the woman I asked to join us had put her hand over my heart… I didn’t think much of it at the time until we started talking.

After we took the picture, the waitress went to check on a few other customers and the my new friend and I started talking… She said she could feel my spirit and that she knew I was going to soar with eagles one day and that I had the heart of a lion. She said she could feel it while we were taking the picture. Now understand, I’d barely known the woman five minutes, and to have her say I had the heart of a lion? Come on… I’m just an ordinary guy, trying my best to fit into society.

IMG_7738She said that my heartbeat was so strong and that I had touched her heart that night. I told her thanks, but that I wasn’t anything special… I told her I just do the best I can with what life gives me and try to make a difference in the world. She said I could do anything I set my mind to and while we were talking, she kind of brushed my face and touched my forehead and my heart and mentioned that I have a good mind and a good heart and to never give up.

Later that night, when I got ready to leave I told her goodbye and asked if she wanted to dance with me before I left. She asked me how, and I kind of pulled her in close and showed her that even a guy in a wheelchair knows how to slow dance… Well, she and I kind of stole the spotlight for a few minutes, and except for the time I spend with my best friend Rebecca, they were the most precious moments I’ve had in a while.

While we were dancing, we talked again about how I had the heart of a lion and would soar with eagles, but all I could think about was how unworthy I am of being someone with the heart of a lion. Lions to me are some of the most dangerous predators in the world and I’m just a lost lamb looking for my place in the world. To even be considered as someone with that kind of influence is totally inspiring to me… The woman said I had really touched her heart and again she placed her hand over mine to feel my heartbeat and said it was beating strong and loud (I was probably nervous getting all the attention. I’d glanced around and every eye in the place was looking at us…). When I turned my eyes back to meet her’s she kind of grabbed my hands and placed them over her heart to let me feel how I’d touched her that night. Right then, I almost started crying because except for a couple people, I’ve never been told what a difference I had made in someone’s life.

IMG_4622To be honest, for a while now, I’ve been wondering where I fit into society and whether I mattered to someone. My best friend Rebecca has told me on several occasions how much I’ve impacted her and has even let me share some of my personal story with her about my disability… But I can honestly say that after those precious moments the other night, there is not a doubt in my mind that I belong in the world… It would just be nice to hear it from someone other than friends, coworkers or someone I just met.

This Christmas, if you have a spouse, mother, father, sister, brother, child or grandparent who has a disability or is suffering from a disease or has cancer, I hope that you would let them know how much they mean to your life and let them know how they’ve made a difference in your life. Those few words of encouragement would mean so much to them and let them know that they do matter to someone. You have no idea how much you will change their perspective on life and perhaps save them from making a life or death decision that neither of you can ever take back.

Sugar’s Lessons for Life


With the release of my fifth book Sugar’s Night, the third in the Sugar Series, I guess some would say I’m an author. I guess I’ve never considered myself an author as much as I’ve considered myself a writer. The funny part is I never had any intention to become either. I’ve always liked to write, but never to the point that I felt an uncontrollable urge to get these characters out of my head into the pages of a book. But in the winter of 2011, after I underwent the amputation of my left leg, it was like they were set free. Now, I’m not claiming that the anesthesia went to my brain and when I awoke I was a literary genius. It’s more that with the loss of my leg, it freed the rest of me. It freed me to leave that part of my past behind and look forward to a new future. With that future came a lot of souls vying for release. I suddenly become obsessed, and I do mean obsessed just ask my family, with getting them out of my head and onto the pages. I needed to tell their story and, to be honest, after that I really didn’t have a clue what I’d do with them, but I needed to write them down. 

The first soul who found her way onto the page was Sugar DuBois. She’s a ballroom dance instructor from the Twin Ports of Lake Superior and her story started in 2011. To say writing Sugar’s Dance was cathartic would be very accurate, and I felt very satisfied SugarsNightwhen I hit publish on her story in fall of 2011, at least for a few days. Then I started to feel like maybe her story wasn’t done, so I wrote the next part of her journey, Sugar’s Song, and when I hit publish on that I knew there was one more to be written. She hadn’t found her light yet, and I knew her story wasn’t told until she did. So, I sat down to write Sugar’s Night. Sugar’s Night was filled with a lot of turmoil for me; partly because my life was very much in turmoil as I tried to write it and partly because it was the last book of the series. I needed to tell her story, and I needed to do her justice and make everyone feel satisfied with her final dance. I couldn’t do it. What I had imagined the book to be is a far cry from what it actually is. When I finished the book I set it aside and really pondered if I would even publish it as it stood. I was very much in a no faith stage. No faith in myself, no faith in the reader and no faith in Sugar. I sent the book out to a couple of trusted readers and held my breath, for days, while I waited to hear what I knew they would say, they hated it. When the e-mails started coming in it was very much the opposite and although they gave me some great tips and ways to make the story stronger, as a whole they all agreed it was perfect. Perfect except for one thing, the ending. Oh boy, the ending, the grand finale, the clincher at the end of the series! And they didn’t like it? Well, no, that wasn’t actually the case at all. They loved it, they just didn’t like that it ended. So, I pondered and prayed and found the solution that I think will make all the readers happy in the long run.

So as I ponder the “Noah didn’t see the rain either” moments with Sugar’s Night I understand deeply that she’s taught me a lot about being a writer, but I’m still not that good of an author. I guess mostly because if I have to choose between promoting my books and writing, the souls that want out always win and I continue to be the writer. Maybe someday I will be a better author than a writer, but I hope not, because when and if that happens then it’s time to hang up my pen because for me it’s always about writing first and publishing second. Sugar has also taught me a lot about myself, my life, my dreams and my fears and I will always be thankful for that. 

Here are the top ten things Sugar has taught me: 

  1. Don’t live in the past. It’s a dark place filled with things you can’t change that only bog you down.
  2. Don’t blame yourself for things you can’t control. There is never anything good at the end of that road.
  3. Take time to tell the people you love how much they mean to you. Never assume there will be a tomorrow.
  4. Forget about what you THINK you should be doing and do what you KNOW you should be doing, personally and professionally.
  5. Build a support system of friends and family who will always be there whether you are laughing or crying.
  6. Never assume that because you are handicapped you can’t live your dreams. They are YOUR dreams and therefore YOU know how to achieve them. Don’t let the words “I can’t” become your motto.
  7. A good legman is worth his weight in gold. :)
  8. Always, always, always have faith in yourself. You are who you are for a reason, embrace it.
  9. Have hope, all day every day.
  10. Love often, forgive easily, cry together, and keep your heart open to all the new opportunities that await you.

Blessings this holiday season from me, Sugar and her gang. And now these three remain; faith, hope and love, but the greatest of these is…..to be continued.

Legato_28June2012_BRFMHAbout Katie Mettner

Katie Mettner grew up in Eau Claire, Wisconsin, and moved to the Northwoods where she now resides with her husband and three children. As a young adult Katie enjoyed ballroom dancing and like Sugar she didn’t let her physical limitations hold her back from what she loved. Katie writes The Sugar Series, Sugar’s Dance and Sugar’s Song, a Christian romance series. Her stories are a reflection of her love for family intricately woven with life experience. When the gales of November blow early you can find her at the computer with a cup of joe, listening to Michael Bublé and working on Sugar’s next adventure. 

Amazon E-book $2.99 and paperback $12 

Barnes and Noble E-book $2.99

Fallacies


~Fallacies~
Heather Fields

Paper or plastic?
Whatever will get the job done.
Chicken or beef?
Will turkey suffice?
Boy or girl?
Does it really matter?
Man or woman?
Will my gender make a difference?
Blonde or brunette?
Trust me. I’m not the stereotype.
Short or tall?
I’m not what you think.
Large or small?
I am capable regardless.
Single or married?
Is my purpose contingent upon this?paper plastic
College education or high school drop-out?
Will this be the deciding factor?
Apartment or house?
Will where I live determine my success?
Sheltered or homeless?
I still don’t understand.
Ride or walk?
You think this is the question to ask?
Car or truck?
Are you serious?
Bus or train?
Is cheap the route I should go?
Rich or poor?
I have enough.
Right or wrong?
Nobody knows for sure.
Life or death?
It’s up to me to choose.
For yourself or for something bigger?
For He who determines all.
For He who has, does, and will.
I have a story.
It is not to be compared.
I am meant to stand out, not fit in.
Although my life has proven to be significant, its purposes are still prevailing.
You cannot mock me for any attempt at doing so is counterfeit.
My talent is your treasure although you may be blind to its merit.
I cannot be defined.
I am deemed worthy by the blood of Jesus Christ.
Fear will not overtake me.
I have battled and have internal wounds as evidence.
My tears are no laughing matter.
I will seize the opportunities that are presented to me.
Tomorrow is not promised and today is a gift.
Don’t underestimate me.
Who I am is yet to be discovered.

We constantly limit ourselves. We believe the fallacies, the lies that have stared us in the face since the beginning. The world begs us to choose, relentlessly in pursuit of our attention. The world is dissolving into a melting pot full of stale candy dying to be devoured yet we cringe at the toothache we can only imagine will surface once eaten. We fail to allow ourselves the chance to dream and the opportunity to show who we are because we’re afraid of what others might think.

you are enoughThe decisions we face and the choices we make can either lead us to our destiny or lead us down a narrow hall leaving us to pick up the pieces. We need to be confident in who we are, not because someone came along and told us we were enough, but because we really are. We are more than we can fathom. Our essence is not only a light to the nations but it’s a shadow of the blessings it leaves behind. We may never see or understand the magnitude of our existence but we can trust its influence on the world. With every step, every breath, and every heartbeat, the challenges of today will be the victories of tomorrow. With courage and determination, we will conquer our afflictions. They will not win because we have the ability to go beyond what the surface shows. We can and will claim what is ours. We will not be defeated. So forget all the fallacies you’ve heard. Stop comparing yourself to the people around you. You are capable. You are set apart. Your journey may not be easy, but everything you’ll need will be there when the time comes. What are you waiting for? Your destiny awaits…

Hope Will Persevere


Last week on any given news channel or social media page you saw the image of a young couple caught on camera as the woman gave her husband a piggyback ride. This couple turned out to be Jesse and Kelly Cottle, and Jesse is a double above-knee amputee Marine who was getting a ride back to his legs from his wife Kelly. The image we saw was of a couple in love, and I think for many people it was a sign of hope. Hope for the world and hope for the human race. 

Katie_S_8040_1editedAs an amputee myself I saw so much more. I sat down to write a blog post about it and when I asked Sarah Ledford for permission to use the photo, she sent me three. The last one was a photo many haven’t seen, but for me it finished their story. It said, “We will stand tall against whatever the world throws at us. We will persevere.” Ability Dynamics was kind enough to host my blog post because they too believe in hope. Hope for a better foot for amputees so their amputation doesn’t limit their life. I can assure you Jesse Cottle certainly hasn’t let his amputations limit him. People like Jesse and Kelly Cottle show us all how to live life without limitations. Let me hear a HOORAH! 

Read the full blog post here.

Editor’s Note: The previous post was submitted from my dear friend, Katie Mettner, who is one of the most remarkable, amazing, sexy and inspiring women I have ever known. Katie, thank you and the Cottles for giving all of us a little hope. You really inspire me!!!

New Book Alert: The Prince of Pigeons


Hi guys, I just wanted to let you know about my dear friend Rebecca Scarberry’s new book, The Prince of Pigeons. I’d really appreciate my readers picking up a copy of this book, Dove in the air with wings wide openreading it and leaving a short review. I know how hard Rebecca has worked getting her books published and I know she would appreciate all the readers and feedback she can get.

Anyway, in The Prince of Pigeons, a great love story, set in England, Evelyn and Tammy meet two handsome Englishmen at a ceremony to present Henry with an award in Oregon, and a brief romance ensues, cut short when the men return to Britain. However, an offer from a developer to buy the women’s farms gives the two women the chance to travel, and Henry the chance to race in England.

You can buy The Prince of Pigeons on Amazon UK and Amazon US.

Becky on Oregon beachAbout Rebecca Scarberry

I was born and raised in southern California and now living on a non-working farm in the Boston Mountains of Arkansas. I retired at the age of 45, when I moved to Rogue River, Ore. I have been writing fiction since the age of 37. I have been an avid reader of fiction and non-fiction since I was 12, but it wasn’t until the age of 37 that I got serious about writing fiction. This is when my husband and I wrote a screenplay. I am also an artist (scrimshaw). Check out Rebecca’s blog and follow her on Twitter.

Three Simple Words


I know I’ve been away from the blog a lot recently, but I’ve been working a lot and been doing a lot of thinking about my grandfather, my friends and family but really about life in general. One of the things I’ve been really thinking a lot about is how truly blessed I am to live in a country where I am free to live my dreams and not worry about what other people think of me. For the longest time growing up, in elementary school especially, I was stared at a lot, and that really made me sad thinking other kids saw me as a monster or somebody not worthy of their friendship.

Some days I would get home from school, go into my room after getting a snack mom made me, do my homework and wonder if I’d ever have any friends at all. Now, granted, the teachers and a few kids were nice to me, and I’ll never forget how much my teachers and friends back then meant to me, but there were some kids who walked around with their nose in the air like they were God’s gift to society. Nothing made me more frustrated than seeing somebody walk down the hall and not give two hoots about me, no matter how nice I tried to be to them.

IMG_2477Later on as I got older, I started coming out of my shell more and started telling people about my disability and my testimony, but I still couldn’t help feeling like the last kid picked for a game of basketball, only about ten times smaller than he or she was. Only until recently, in the last four or five years, have I started to notice that it’s not what’s outside, but what is on the inside of a person that really counts. I love talking to people now and have even started getting back in church, thanks to a beautiful, amazing friend who invited me for Easter Sunday. She and I met at a restaurant she works at, and everytime I see her, she always comes over and says “Give me some loving” and just totally makes me forget about my disability. I wish the world had more people like my best friend Rebecca because she has the most amazing heart of anyone I’ve ever met. The fact that she has the prettiest, most mezmerizing blue eyes doesn’t hurt matters either ;-)

Anyway, got off in left field there for a minute… back to the title of this post, “Three Simple Words.” You’re probably asking yourself what this means. Well, sit down in your favorite recliner, grab a glass of lemonade and I’ll tell you.

All my life I’ve struggled to fit into society, no matter if I was going to school, at a local restaurant or one of my favorite bookstores, and some days I wish I could just crawl into a deep dark hole and go to sleep forever. But whenever I hear someone say “I love you, Jason” or “I’m proud of you, Jason” that means more to me than all the money in the world. You see, that’s all I think anybody wants or could ask for, especially if you have a disability, is to have somebody to be proud of you and to love you unconditionally.

My best friend Rebecca is one of those people, who looks beyond my disability and will help anybody she can. I remember a couple months ago, the lift in my van broke down and I had to call my dad to come help me… I started to feel really lonely and a little sad because bad things always seem to happen to me, but something inside told me to text Rebecca. A few minutes later she texted back and said, “You are an amazing person. You are not a quitter.” Those few words gave me more courage and strength than anything I could possibly imagine, and every IMG_4622time she sees me she always tells me she loves me. When I hear those words, I realize that yes I do matter to someone and I will always have someone I can depend on when I have a problem or just feel like giving up because of my disability. Rebecca has truly blessed my life in ways that she will never understand, and I just hope she understands how much I admire and respect her.

In a way, Rebecca has made so many of my dreams come true and has made some of my biggest fears disappear, just by her amazing friendship and the way she supports me whenever I see her. I’d have never dreamed I’d be back in church or feel as confident as I do about conquering my disability every day. Now every day when I wake up, even if I feel like I got run over by a Mack truck, I just think of Rebecca’s beautiful blue eyes, imagine her sweet voice saying “I love you” and I know everything will be okay.

As a final thought, next time you see a friend or a loved one, tell them the magic words and see if their face doesn’t light up like a Christmas tree. And if you think you don’t matter, just wait until you’re at your favorite restaurant and your favorite waitress steals a French fry or two, then you’ll know!!! ;-)

Rebecca, I love you!!!

Upgrade Your Affirmations


When I first started applying the law of attraction to my life in January, one of the first affirmations I said had to do with work. And guess what?

It worked. Read that totally awesome post here.

But I wanted more. Previously I had asked the universe for “steady work,” but now, I was going for an upgrade.

This was my revised work-related affirmation, said in late February:

“I make X dollars per week.”

Better, huh?

Now, I didn’t sit down and do the math to try to figure out a reasonable financial goal. I just came up with a number that sounded great while still being in the realm of possibility (i.e. faith), and went with it.

DSCF0761And whaddya know: This one worked, too. The same thing happened.

I have reached my weekly earnings goal every week since.

I finally did do the math just the other day, and this is what I came up with: On average, my income more than doubled to meet the new quota and–here’s the funny thing–I came within $50 of that new goal–the one I set arbitrarily, not based on anything more than instinct.

Lesson? Time to upgrade again.

Blessings and love,

Mollie Player

About Mollie Player

Mollie Player is a freelance writer and author of storiesandtruth.com, where she shares true stories of the power of positive thinking and the law of attraction, like this one. To receive true, uplifting law of attraction stories in your inbox every Friday at 8 a.m., subscribe for free at storiesandtruth.com. Follow Mollie on Twitter and check out her website.