Sunday, January 14, 2018

Some Sunday Thoughts

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Have you ever read something or met someone that made a small-but-impactful difference in your life?

It could have been a chance interaction, or maybe you saw a feel-good news piece, and it made your day nicer in some way.

I was just sitting here a few minutes ago, thinking back to last year when I met an author who, in a simple and random way, positively impacted my life. Not only that, but our encounter and how we came to meet was really exceptional, to me.

Nearly a year ago, I was feeling pretty low about things. I think I was in the midst of the typical winter doldrums, and feeling a little glum and low energy. Don't get me wrong: my life is good, and I am always grateful for what I have, but I can still sometimes have a bad week. It was one of those bad weeks.

At that time, I had gotten into the habit of eating lunch at my desk, not taking a real break during the day. I might read the news headlines while scarfing down my lunch, then get right back to work.

I realized this pattern was maybe not the best for me, so I resolved to actually sitting down to lunch, taking the paper in with me, and really taking a break from the day. THAT day was the first day I did this. I got my tray, sat down, and pulled the paper out of its little plastic cocoon. I unfolded it to its full size.

I scanned the front page, didn't like what I saw, and randomly turned to somewhere else inside the paper, hoping for a light lifestyle piece or something else not too negative.

What I saw during that random turn of the page was a full-page color ad for a book whose author would be doing a signing at my local Barnes and Noble THAT NIGHT.

I looked at the title of the book: Hell Bent, Heaven Bound by Shawntá Pulliam, and had NO idea what it was about except for the ad telling me it's about a woman who went "from the drug house to the King's house", turned her life around, and became an entrepreneur who helps at-risk girls succeed in life.

I decided to clear my schedule and head down there after work for the book signing and see what it was all about.

Guys: I'm not a "clear my schedule" kind of gal. "Clear my schedule" means: not immediately going home after work, getting some exercise in, doing a few chores, and having some quality jimmy-jam time. It is NOT typical for me to hurry to a book signing of an author I've never heard of directly after work.

However, I am also fairly intuitive. If I'm really drawn to do something, I will do it without always knowing why. I'll trust in God and see what happens.

So ...

I finished work. I got in my car. I drove down to the Waterfront Barnes and Noble.

Did I mention I don't really like going to the Waterfront? Too many people, too much traffic. But I went down there, that day, anyway.

Traffic seemed to magically clear, the sun peeked out, and I made good time.

I walked into Barnes and Noble, and Ms. Pulliam and her sister were just setting up her author table. I was one of the first people there. I talked to her for a few minutes. She told me a little bit about herself, and I bought her book and asked her to sign it. Here's a pic of us at our meeting.

You can tell I really wasn't feeling well that day. I look pale and tired, to me. But I'm letting this picture stand, letting you see me that way, because before walking in that book store, I had felt SO exhausted, SO defeated, SO down about things, but that all changed. While that smile may look tired, I was very happy because Ms. Pulliam's energy and message really lit a fire under me!

I read that book so fast. It was easy to read because her voice and her story are so compelling. I just wanted to keep going!

Despite the fact that Ms. Pulliam and I come from completely different places in life, her message was SO inspirational! She talks about valuing ourselves, about staying in the good fight even when forces around us are conspiring, and about rising above! This is a situation where words have power. is it that I randomly opened a newspaper to an ad for a book written by a woman who lives several hours away from me, who just happened to be in my city, in my neighborhood, signing a book I probably would never have heard of, otherwise, because I don't typically shop in the faith-based book market?


I'll just leave that there and let you be the judge. But for me, it was a meaningful event, and I will always value what felt like a little nudge from above to get out of my comfort zone, meet a really cool person, and read her book. She and I have since connected on social media, and I find her daily posts a great addition to my day.

It is people like Shawntá Pulliam who inspire ME to be a positive influence in somebody's life, too. Reading this book was one small part in my own journey of finding my voice.

Comment below if you've read this book, have other good book suggestions, or if you want to share an example of how a chance interaction influenced you in a good way! And thanks for your support of positively b.e.e.!

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  1. What an awesome turn of events! Sometimes in the face of negativity, we find the most positive things in our lives. When you were feeling at your darkest, you decided NOT to sulk. Rather, you chose to go outside of your comfort zone and had an impactful experience. Thanks for sharing!

  2. It’s always great when a day becomes a lot better than you thought! Thanks for this post, definitely will remember those little things more often.

  3. I haven't read the book, but I do believe people are put in our path for a reason. At that time and moment you needed that experience and to meet her. What a great story! So glad you shared it! Sometimes those moments can change everything.

  4. I haven't read the book yet. I think I should read it ASAP. Looks like a great story.

  5. I think we get blessed in unexpected ways. We just need to keep our eyes and ears open. Glad you had a fulfilling and blessed time despite going through all the things you didn't want to do. :) God bless! :D


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