I can hear those famous childhood words echo in my head from the Underdog cartoon: “NEVER FEAR! UNDER DOG IS HERE!!
And, so I chuckle each time I start thinking about being “THE Under-Dog” who was accepted to participate in the Instigator Experience.
It all happened after I made a comment to a Srinivas Rao, after hearing him be interviewed about his book ‘The Art of Being Unmistakable”. He had put it on Kindle (for lack of resources) and it was ‘discovered accidentally’ by Glenn Beck. He woke up the next morning to find his book #1 on Kindle – all because Glenn had mentioned it. (I should be so blessed for my book, also on Kindle/Amazon!)
Glenn’s TV show interview of him was a spectacular interview. Intriguing, different, compelling – something totally ‘different’, yet riveting. It was so compelling it got my ‘gut’ going – enough to drop him, a comment on his blog/website to say ‘great interview’.
We shared a few emails back and forth and then last week, I got an invitation to apply to be one of 60 people chosen to be a part of the “Instigator Experience” he was putting on in April, in Los Angeles. I had to write a couple blurbs of why I should be there, it would be reviewed by a panel, yadda, yadda, and they would get back to me.
I figured – what did I have to lose? All’s they could say is “no”! And what to my wandering email eyes should appear ? But a week later, an email confirming I was accepted! (But LAX?! SERIOUSLY?!)
Now my “gut” is REALLY going!! What have I gotten myself into? As the days go on, and as I see who Srinivas Rao interviews on his BlogFM program, (people like the cartoonist who creates Dilbert, or someone from Cosmos) and hear words like hedge funds or futures, writers and designers and other entrepreneurs who will be at the Experience, I think – what do I have to offer?
It’s then that a still small voice says: “You have ME to offer,. and the gifts I have given you to share.” OOPS……Sorry Big Guy!
I know there are going to be many, many people I will be around who do not think like I do, act like I do, believe like I do, dress like I do, nor can come CLOSE to comprehending of living like I do. But I was reminded in my quiet time last week: “Know no theology. Know ME. Know relationship.”
So in April, I will go, knowing no theology, but knowing that I will return with many new friendships and relationships, many new ideas, and I have a hunch that 59 other people will go home the same way . . . . because they met ME and because, of He who is IN me!
This photo is one of my favorites of Denali. If you look real close, you can even see two eagles (you know me and my love for eagles!) soaring majestically. Bill took this when he worked in Talkeetna last year.
I find myself going back to this photo and one of Government Peak that is now packed with fresh snow (it’s minus 11 as I write!).I can’t help but be filled with awe. The mountains often make me think of Mt. Spokane, where we moved into a home in 1990. It was a surreal occurrence that brought us to the home that would look out to the mountain.
Bill was thinking of looking into a dam (no, not damn!) job in the area, so, when he was asleep (he worked night shift at the time) I called over to Spokane Educational Service District just to see if occupational therapists were in need in the area. Well, I ended up with an interview the next day – which meant Bill had to take the night off as it was a good 6-8 hour drive from where we lived.
Long story short, I got a dream job, serving 26 rural school districts from Republic to Coulee City, Pullman to Newport and all places in between! My “office” was my car, and I LOVED it! But what I loved more was my morning quiet time when I would sit with a cuppa and look out over Mt. Spokane.
The woman who sold the house to us, learning I had battled cancer, told me as we sat on the concrete steps looking up at Mt. Spokane, that she had nursed her husband until his death with cancer, often looking up to that mountain. She shared with me that the view of the mountain became her strength as her husband’s health waned and it got harder and harder, because she remembered the words she learned as a girl: “I lift my eyes to the hills, from whence cometh My help. My help cometh from the Lord, who made the Heavens and Earth.” Psalms 121:1-2
“And you know what?” she said to me. “It’s true. I did gain strength, and I still am! I’ve learned as an old lady in her seventies that you can always lift your eyes to the hills and find strength, no matter what you are going through. In moments of weakness, lift your eyes to the hills you can see! In times of need or poverty, lift your eyes to those hills! But remember, too, you need to train your eyes by constantly getting the long view. As you train your eyes more and more, the distant peaks become familiar even if you can’t ‘see’ them. A parched and thirsty land looks to the Hills for it’s rivers, its streams of LIFE. So you look to those hills, young lady… you look at that mountain when you move in, because from THOSE Hills, and all the other hills and mountains, will come your strength. Look often. Look long.”
I have never forgotten Reka’s words to me. They have sustained me and served me well many a times over the years….through many of times of need, of strength, of help.
In 1976 when we were married, our “life verse” became “Go up to the mountains and say to the peoples: HERE is our God.”from Isaiah 40:9 We have always lived near big “hills” aka: mountains – Mt. Rainier, Mt. St. Helens (in the Red Zone when it blew!), Mt. Spokane, and now we are surrounded by mountains, literally. here in our haven in Alaska.
Our house sits at the base of the Talkeetna Range where Government Peak watches stately over us, the Alaska Range surrounds areas to the east when I go into town. The Chugiak Range is just to our south, and more…..everywhere I go, I am blessed to “look unto the Hills”. The majesty, the power, the strength we have drawn from those mountains and hills ……and I KNOW from whence comes my Help.
So don’t forget to look the hills (or mountains!)…..look often……look long.
It was a day one could only dream of…….especially a mother. Jamie had long hoped and prayed for snow and God was not to disappoint her as it softly started to come down throughout the day, making it even more magical. I can only say that I am blessed to have a son-in-law who respects, honors and loves my daughter, as she does him and his family. We are excited to see what lays before them as they start their life together, and thank everyone who made this special day even more special!
The waiting is over. The days will pass more quickly than I could imagine. And soon, Saturday will be here.
Planning for a ‘fairy tale’ takes a lot of work – and, to be honest, I’ve been a just a very small part of the tremendous effort and work that has taken place! Jeff and Jamie have taken to see to all the details, all the ins and outs; the tasting and testing; looking and booking; planning for the bridesmaid who didn’t know she would have TWIN BOYS when Jamie and Jeff were engaged and asked her to be in the wedding, to who and where everyone would stay and for how long. We are so proud of them!
Jeff is amazing. With his Green Bay Packer gusto, he has worked amazingly hard – not just at his job that took him away for a lot of the summer (we love our construction men in Alaska – NO where is “close”!!) and now that the construction season is winding down, he has been helping with all the last minute details with the graciousness of a true gentleman. I love how he respects and honors our daughter . I admire how important family is to him. I admire how hard he works in his profession. I am glad it does not go unnoticed by just me, either!
Jamie called this morning on her way to work asking if I had ever heard of any thing to do for ‘S-L-E–E-P’……we laughed and said – it’s called “after the wedding (and NOT the honeymoon!!) I love to hear her laugh, even though she is exhausted. It fills me with joy and the knowledge that everything will be as it is to be.Excitement is in the air. Her matron of honor arrived just after midnight last night, and the rest of the crew and babies later in the week. I know she is harried, but she is Jamie – she ALWAYS gets things done! What Jamie does is ALWAYS classy and PERFECT and Saturday her “fairy tale” that we have all been waiting for will come true!
Well done Jamie and Jeff – we can’t wait for Saturday!!
Care Tuk is a nationally known speaker, educator, and retreat/workshop leader. She has been a school, hospital, and home health occupational therapist for more than 30 years. She has been named as a Top Business Woman in America and recognized for her work with youth, disability outreach and awareness, and the American Cancer Society.