“Things didn’t work out the way they’d hoped. The apartment where we were supposed to stay fell through. Jobs were hard to come by, and the money ran out. We had to live in our van and eat peanut butter and jelly sandwich for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Everyone except me. Even though Mom fed me constantly, I couldn’t keep anything down and kept losing weight. She couldn’t figure out what was wrong.
“We didn’t have health assurance. Or money to take you to the doctor.” Mom told me later. “Baby, all I could do was lean on my faith.”
She sat on the floor of our van, held me in her arms and prayed words from Isaiah over and over. She asked God to heal me, and he came through. By the time my parents could afford a doctor, the disease had gone away. I was still on the small side but I was as healthy as could be.
Gabby Douglas went on to win a gold in the Olympics. She was the first to win one for African Americans in the individual all- around event. Gabrielle means “God’s able- bodied one.”
No matter what the human scene is telling us, you are always more than able through God. But you need to believe it now. And again, and again and again. You are able for whatever you need to face in front of you!
Gabrielle Douglas (born December 31, 1995, in Virginia Beach, VA) began formal gymnastics training at 6-years-old and won a state championship by the time she was 8. She moved away from her hometown and family in 2010 to pursue training with world-renowned Olympic coach Liang Chow and was selected to compete with the U.S. Olympic women’s gymnastics team at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, England. There, Douglas became the first African American to win gold in the individual all-around event. She also won a team gold medal with teammates Aly Raisman, Kyla Ross, McKayla Maroney and Jordyn Wieber, the first gold medal for the American women’s gymnastics team since 1996.
Money increases happiness, according to Harvard University. But only when it is lifting people out of extreme poverty. It essentially comes down to Mazlow’s basic needs. If money can help you attain shelter, food and clothing — which eventually lifts you into the middle class – then it does bring you happiness.
But little after that. Once those basic needs are taken care of, we must go to higher needs for happiness. Caring for people. Caring for ourselves. Doing the right thing. Living a simpler life. According to Stephen G. Post, Director of Compassionate Care at Stony Brook University in New York, happiness was on a higher level during the Great Depression than it was at the turn of this century. He attributes much of this to a simpler lifestyle.
“You could call that a miracle. But I am too much of a realist for that. We rely on God. God sustains our farm and our souls. That’s all the reality we need.
-popular Mennonite Phrase
What is your reality?
Is it a complaint?
A temporary headache?
A cloudy day?
A business that is faltering?
Recommit yourself to the only reality there is. God is your highest, most supreme power, your Deliverer from all. He is your eternal rest and reality in all things.
The Mennonites are a group of Christian Anabaptists named after Menno Simons (1496–1561). His teachings were a relatively minor influence on the group, though. They are of the historic peace churches. Mennonites are committed to nonviolence, nonviolent resistance/reconciliation, and pacifism. There are about 1.5 million Mennonites worldwide as of 2006. There are many different types of mennonite communities in the world. There are those that dress in old-fashioned ways, and others which are hard to tell apart from other people leading a modern lifestyle. Most Mennonites are in the United States and Democratic Republic of Congo, but Mennonites can also be found in tight-knit communities in at least 51 countries on six continents or scattered amongst the populace of those countries.
Mennonites have an international distinction among Christian denominations in disaster relief. They also place a strong theological emphasis on voluntary service. Mennonite Disaster Service,based in North America, provides both immediate and long-term responses to hurricanes, floods, and other disasters. Mennonite Central Committee provides disaster relief around the world alongside their long-term international development programs. Other programs offer a variety of relief efforts and services throughout the world. In the last few decades some Mennonite groups have also become more actively involved with peace and social justice issues, helping to found Christian Peacemaker Teams and Mennonite Conciliation Service.
Money can’t buy happiness. Sometimes we forget this. Remember, it was the Beatles who brought this up through their songs. They had powerful messages which made us think. So the next time you are enjoying one of their songs, remember, too, their life advice. Money can’t buy happiness.
Strong relationships do. Working at something you love can bring it. Spending time with those you respect does. Adhering to your values does. Relationships, sincere work, people and values bring you happiness. Focus on those four areas, and not only will you have happiness, but the money will come. You’ll be doing what you love to do, and that will surely be compensated.
“A happy woman is one who has no cares at all; a cheerful woman is one who has cares but doesn’t let them get her down.”
– Beverly Sills
We all go through troubles. That doesn’t mean it wrecks our day. It doesn’t color every moment! Be cheery and filled with good wishes for all, including yourself.
The sun still shines, even when covered by a cloud. It’s still there. So is your happiness. So is your joy. Sometimes it seems covered a bit, and then, we rediscover it in a more resplendent, beautiful way.
Beverly Sills was a singer and opera star. She was born Belle Miriam Silverman on May 25, 1929, in Brooklyn, New York. A gifted soprano, Sills was one of America’s most famous opera performers. At the age of three, she won a radio contest and soon began singing on the radio regularly as Bubbles Silverman. Sills studied opera with a voice coach as a child, and made her operatic debut in 1947 at the Philadelphia Civic Opera. After years of trying, Beverly Sills achieved her dream of singing with the New York City Opera in 1955. She played the role of Rosalinde in Die Fledermaus, earning strong reviews. After taking some time away from the stage to handle family matters, she returned stronger than ever in the 1966 New York City Opera production of Handel’s Julius Caesar.
During her long career, Beverly Sills received many honors, including the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1980. She has written books about her life, including 1987’s Beverly: An Autobiography. She was married to journalist Peter B. Greenough from 1956 until his death in 2006. The couple had two children together. In her retirement, Beverly Sills continued a life of charitable work, notably as a longtime chairwoman of the board of trustees of the March of Dimes.