Inspiration

2018 Graduation Message from Mo

Are you really ready for the real world? You are the leaders of tomorrow, so here is some sage advice: Life isn't fair, it doesn't care about your self-esteem, there are no participation trophies: there are winners and losers, you won't be a CEO until you succeed at all of the positions from the bottom to the top, working hard is expected, not something you will get a pat on the back for!

The Ministry of a Math Problem

Three nights ago, after the dinner dishes had been done, the kids and I sat down for a mid-week evening binge on Netflix. Just as we turned on the television, my daughter, Savanna, jumped off the couch announcing that she had forgotten to do her math homework.  We all shifted gears – little brother, Justin, and I found an quiet art project to do while Savanna sat at the kitchen table reading aloud her math problems. Savanna’s 8th grade class has been working through a unit on real-life finance with the goal of teaching them about financial decisions they will eventually face as consumers – making purchases, taking out loans, filling savings accounts.  She read and we listened.  Ty was saving for a patio set to enhance his apartment.  He needed $650.00 in order to purchase the set he desire...

Second Chance

George W. Bush said, “America is the land of the second chance and when the gates of the prison open, the path ahead should lead to a better life.”  When Lori Wharton met Ben, he had just been released from the prison of homelessness.  He was moving into his first apartment, after spending over a decade living on the streets of Oklahoma City. Lori is one of a small band of volunteers called The Welcome Party.  They provide basic necessities to new tenants, like Ben, who are transitioning to permanent, safe living spaces. Like a philanthropic militia, they arrive armed with baskets that are overflowing with essential household items from dishes to toiletries.  Working on behalf of the Mental Health Association of OK, in 2016 alone, this group provided a safe place to live for 2,859 tenants,...

When the Going Gets Tough

Richard once said to me, “I think you should look through the door before you close it.” That simple statement carried me through many tough decisions and encouraged me when I was temped to quit in the early days of my real estate career. There were long hours, too much time away from the family, highs and lows, but in the end, I stuck to my dreams and refused to give up. Having a big dream goes hand in hand with having the courage and strength to see it through. Being committed to your goals means taking stock of where you are, where you want to be, and then connecting the dots and plotting the course to get you from point A to point B. It means making plans, setting priorities and embracing a fierce discipline. It means giving up distractions and focusing on the bigger pictur...

Follow Your Dreams

“Every great dream begins with a dreamer.  Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.”  Harriet Tubman In my book, A Joy Filled Life, I have a chapter titled “Follow Your Dreams.” It is one of the “Seven Pillars” that I highlight when I travel around the country to speak. it is a concept I heartily believe in, one that I can attest can make or break your spirit when it comes to living a thriving and joyous life. Too many people lose sight of their dreams. Some people can’t even remember what their dream was in the first place. The lack of a dream leaves people discouraged, depressed and often resigned to living out their life feeling as if they have missed out on something better. I had a dream as a little gi...

Christmas Reflections

It was a strange place to seek for a King – In a stable, lowly and bare. But shepherds from Judean hills Found the little Lord Jesus there. ~Poem by Mrs. Roy L. Peifer This afternoon, as I was watching the twinkling, white Christmas lights transform our yard into a fairy land, I suddenly had a flashback. It was a snowy, cold Christmas during my junior high school years. The holiday spirit was in the air and sleighbells jingled on the horsedrawn sleigh, as our youth group traveled to sing Christmas carols for “shut ins.” It was my first experience as a caroler. As we stood in the snow, wrapped warmly with scarves, hats, mittens and boots, we sang the carols of old. My heart leapt when the door opened and smiling faces greeted us. Often, we were asked in for hot chocolate or wassail or popco...

But What of Texas

This is a subject that is so serious, so tragic, it’s difficult to sit down in front of a computer screen to “get started”. I will say that “Once upon a midnight dreary, while I wandered, weak and weary…..” doesn’t even come close to a beginning statement. You can’t have missed the news reports on TV and radio, newspaper front pages, the streaming on computers, the constant coverage on cable channel TV – and if you’re anything like me, the images are so stark and devastating to watch, the television at my house doesn’t stay on very long after days 1 through 4….. Full disclosure time: I am a native Texan, born in HOUSTON, my parents lived in a tiny post-WWII house on Tangley Street, a few steps from Rice University. I was a “student” at the Tiny Tot Kindergarten, attended Condit Elementary ...

Live to be 100!

I want to live to be 100 because I love this life and I am far from finished. With the passage of each year, new paths open up for me to serve as a channel of God’s love, and for making a difference in this world. While I understand that we can never know for certain what God has in store for us, I also know that so much of our health and wellbeing is within our hands. As I see it, sharpening my focus on being strong and healthy for the final leg of my journey is an act of love. It’s an act of love for my family who want me around and who don’t need to be burdened with any sort of worry or frustration as to whether I am taking care of myself as I should. It’s an act of love for my beloved circle of friends who count on me. It’s an act of love for the company that I have helped to shepherd ...

Gratitude’s Grace

My Dear Friends, I have recently been collecting my thoughts on gratitude – I must admit that given the devastating natural disasters we face year after year; the fact that so many of our precious, courageous service men and women will once again be away from the warmth of their families and homes; and the unsettled state of the world in general, my heart is indeed heavy.  And, as a result I think to myself, “Where exactly does gratitude fit into this current picture?”    It is then that my faith combined with my years of life experience nudges me, reminding me that gratitude’s grace is in the midst of it all – we just might have to dig a bit deeper – look a little closer — to reveal it. “Sometimes our light goes out, but it is blown again into flame by an encounter with another huma...

New Year / New Day

It was around my 50th New Year’s celebration that I actually got it. As I was entering my life’s second half, I realized that this annual exercise of making resolutions, possibly breaking resolutions, and doing it all over again the next year was a luxury that was not going to go on forever. I realized that I needed to get far more purposeful than I ever had before about what I wanted my life to be. I determined that every day that lie before me in the year ahead was going to be precious beyond measure.  Every single day. New Year’s Resolutions are good. Writing a letter to oneself on the first of the year, to be opened on December 31, congratulating oneself on achieving, becoming, doing and giving all that you planned is better. What’s best is knowing and believing at your very core that ...

Good Grief

I slept until noon or after. Me! The one who never sets an alarm, not even on Sundays. My resistance was way down! I had no immune system – I didn’t eat right, didn’t drink enough water; I took antidepressants and antianxiety drugs. I finally asked my doctor if we could just set up a standing appointment, and I would always be there. He laughed out loud but didn’t realize that I was truly serious. I didn’t clean house, I let dishes stack up for days at a time in the kitchen sink. I didn’t wash my hair, didn’t put on my makeup – well, I guess I have to confess that I didn’t do anything of any consequence. I sat and stared into space – pretty much all day, every day. Nothing motivated me. Friends called to check on me, asking, “How are you doing?” And my answer was always the same: “Oh...

A Heart of Gratitude

Gratitude affects our entire life – from the time we rise in the morning, to the evening hour when we close our eyes in sleep. I recently read (and believe) that in general, grateful people are more compassionate, merciful, generous and forgiving. And I am certain that we all believe these elements are sorely needed in today’s challenging world. Once we become accustomed to practicing gratitude in all circumstances, the benefit of compassion will take root in our lives, leading to being more merciful toward others, more forgiving and intrinsically trusting the blessings hidden within the challenges we meet. This is not the art of escaping reality – it is the art of trusting through gratitude. It happens to all of us – we find ourselves embroiled in a challenging situation that we hadn’t pl...

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