Christmas Day is almost gone, mine was terrific. It’s my hope yours was too.

I’d been holding my breath for this, my second holiday day without any family. Narrowed down before my Mother died, to just Mother and me. She/We always wanted our entire family here to celebrate, they were unable to be with her, with us.

We did okay, through these times we became closer than I would ever have imagined possible. When she died she was to me Mother, Sister and Best-Friend. Nothing will ever be the same.

Now it is time for new traditions, new journeys.

This year I have gained new friends and managed to keep many great life long friends.  One called me today as we were leaving for the movies – I was so excited to see this film – when I told Stacey what we were seeing, “JOY” she buoyed me further with the reminder  my ‘outside’ the box thinking is why NBC’s Today Show began “Music on the Plaza”.  Forgotten that my pitch to have the legendary “Cathedrals” sing and outside, on the Plaza that early September morning marked a first for the show.  A smashing success, they were booked again for Christmas six hours later.


Stacey – Thank you for your 15 + Years of true friendship and encouragement to me.  Stacey and Virginia and and and.  I am a blessed girl.  Going to be telling about why I love each of them so in upcoming posts.  Today?  Today is about the “JOY” of new traditions.

Melissa Batey long-time friend (and former personal assistant from my Nashville years) is relocating to Conway.  We are rearranging my house to make room for her tomorrow, it was Christmas. We did exactly as we desired! She made a wreath for my front door we went to the movies and made a favorite meal of Pasta with Marinara.

BEST of this holiday, unbeknownst to anyone, received my very first invitation from a family from church to join them for a Holiday Dinner.  The Eppersons. This Family, Ruth Ann Epperson will always have a special place in my heart for thinking of me.

New friends, new traditions. I am happy and filled with JOY.

For many of my friends, and those who actually read my blog posts 🙂 — I want to encourage you that things will be better.  Different, but better.

For today, put some “JOY” in your life. “JOY” is a MUST. SEE. If you have ever had an idea (who hasn’t really?) and own your own voice, you will be encouraged, uplifted and motivated to own your dreams too.

THIS my wish and prayer for each of you this day.

***disclaimer PLEASE forgive any grammar or other mistakes.  I wanted this post to be as authentic as possible so I’m forgoing edits.  It was such a great day & don’t wish to be tied up in what is minutia for me.

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Rule #1 Pay Attention

The first time I really thought left brain vs. right brain was in an ECHO meeting in Nashville, Tn.  It was Rosanne Cash, our leader, asking who was left brained? We needed help with the VCR.  Yes, it was several years ago!  I think there was one person in the room that fit the bill, so we were able to watch the video!

Right brain left brain photo

Actually using my left brain came a few months later, and I’m not even certain I knew that’s what I was doing!  But I was determined.  I paid attention, VERY close attention to every single opportunity and pursued those like — as Bill Clinton once said to me — a dog to a bone, or, with a vengeance.  I categorized what I needed to do. I was excited, encouraged, it was a solid pitch/idea.

I usually rode my exercycle watching the Today Show & flipping between every other morning show during commercials.  It was one of those mornings, while watching  TODAY I found a ‘hole’ in their programming and I knew I could fill it with one of my artists.

I would suggest Music in the Plaza.

Music by who else, but legendary Gospel Quartet, the Cathedrals? Glen Payne and George Younce were musical icons.  But it would take a lot of convincing, as a very savvy artist said to me once,  “I can’t walk two steps alone at that event, but I can walk the mall all day.”  This is what I was up against.   No one in NYC knew the Cathedrals.

From that attention getting moment and Every. Single. Day. Following, I focused.  I paid attention.  I kept my mind clear of everything but how to make Music in the Plaza happen. I DID and THOUGHT of nothing else. (& for my right brain, always difficult.)

I can still recall exactly where I was when Dee Dee Thomas of the Today Show returned my call“We want your group to sing in the Plaza, what day can you come to NYC?”

Dee Dee Thomas and GVB's Guy Penrod

Dee Dee Thomas and GVB’s Guy Penrod

Dee Dee Thomas

Six hours following their initial performance Dee Dee called me and booked them for Christmas in the Plaza.  Yes, they were amazing.

Cathedrals on Today Christmas

Maybe I’d have achieved the same if I hadn’t paid attention, but I’m still never willing to take that chance.  My goal is my focus, and a clean house, everything else becomes secondary for a moment.

Now for the AUTHENTIC part of my Today Show quest.  I’ve never really told this story — maybe I wanted it to look easy?  SO when someone said Congratulations! to me, I would say “It was God.”  Well, as I’ve said in a previous post of course  it WAS God, He gave me the brains, the focus and the desire to achieve, to be my best.  I do not think the same thing would have happened if I’d sat on my sofa praying and doing nothing else.  Being a Christian requires work and so much more ALL THE TIME.  Even rest is something God exampled for us, but we play an active roll in our rest too.

As children we were taught a lovely prayer, “God is Great, God is Good”  it was easy to remember.  We are adults now and our prayers and our life should be AUTHENTIC.  This is why you will never find me sharing some things on social media — God knows I love Him — I do not need to press like within ten seconds to prove it.  Do you?

Paying Authentic attention is a start.










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