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Put the FUN Back In Life and Relationships Couples Retreat

IMAGINE a FUN filled, life-changing alternative to counseling!  

Healthy Hearts Couples Retreat

Do you toss and turn unable to sleep, stressing over a child, finances, spouse or how to balance life?

Do you feel consumed with an issue and it is affecting your health and happiness? 

Do you want to move forward, but feel stuck?

FINALLY,  a two-day Couples Retreat to Put the FUN back in Life and Relationships!

It’s time to move forward in a positive healthy way!  EXPERIENCE lasting change in your Relationships, Life and Future!  

Come PaRty with us at the Point – Thanksgiving Point, at the Home2 Suites by Hilton!

Limited space – SECURE your spot today PayPal

YES! CREATE a Marriage that THRIVES not just survives. Heal strained parent-child relationships. Heal deep rooted pain.

RECEIVE TOOLS that…

  • *Create POSITIVE change within yourself.
  • *RESOLVE Conflict and INTENSIFY Happiness. 
  • *REKINDLE your deep Connection, Love and Passion i every area of your life..
  • *Manage family conflict to CREATE Balance and Harmony.
  • *Super-charge your life! 

RESERVE your spot today – PayPal

MEET THE HOST: As seen on TV – Becky and Scott Mackintosh are NOT councilors or therapists, just REAL parents getting down to the nitty-gritty parenting pains and challenges of creating relationships that thrive.  Married 31 years and 7 children. (five were teenagers at the same time)

Dr. Paul Jenkins – Live On Purpose. has two decades of experience as a psychologist, three decades as a husband and father. He is a Speaker who speaks from his heart with down-to-earth logic, wit and humor. He is the author of Pathological Positivity.

Chris Miles is the Cash Flow Expert and the leading authority on how to quickly create cash flow and lasting wealth. Create new habits that will make money a positive experience – And begin instilling those habits in your children!

Karen C Eddington, Speaker, Author and Comedian Mom. Karen will warm your heart and make you laugh ’til you cry. ~You Matter Laughter Heals.

Teddy Hodges is motivational speaker, trainer and enthusiastic advocate for youth. Teddy uses wit and humor to talk about problems facing kids today– bullying, suicide and addiction. He teaches  how to stop and prevent bullying, suicide awareness and prevention and how to recognize and help youth struggling with addictions.

See you there! 

Click HERE to download Healthy Hearts Couples Retreat flyer

Reserve your spot today PayPal

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5 Sure Ways to Be HaPpY

5 Sure Ways to Be HaPpY

By Becky Mackintosh

The tears surfaced and rolled down my cheeks as I observed poverty far greater than I thought humanly possible. As I walked the very streets that Mother Theresa walked in Kolkata, India, I noticed something peculiar as I looked beyond the trash, makeshift shanties and barefoot children. I saw smiles and heard laughter!

How could this be possible?  Didn’t they know what they were missing, lacking and deprived of?   Though their circumstantial challenges seemed great, they were happy – focused on what they DO have, not what they don’t.  Right before my eyes, I was witnessing what choosing to be happy looked like.

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Holocaust survivor Viktor E. Frankl, and author of Man’s Search for Meaning said, “Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms—to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.” 

Game Changer…

I went to India to inspire, teach and change the world, but instead it was ME that was inspired, taught and changed.  Forever.  

I realized that if  I desired to live a JOY filled life it was up to me – it was a choice – my choice.

“When you change the way you look at things the things you look at change.” ~Wayne W. Dyer

I have never been a materialistic person, well at least I thought I wasn’t.  Money didn’t grow on trees at my house, but I never felt I lacked any of the essentials.  There were days I stood in my closet staring at a long rack of clothes uttering “I don’t have a thing to wear.” Pathetic.  And there were days I opened the refrigerator, you know the big ice box that keeps food from spoiling for days and sometimes weeks on end, and while staring at shelves filled with food I mumble, “We don’t have a thing to eat – let’s go out.” Embarrassing. 

Right then and there on the streets of Kolkata, I  made a conscious decision to be HaPpY.

Yes, it’s no secret that life’s a rollercoaster with many twists, turns and looped de loops.  I’ve yet to meet anyone who is challenge and trial free. And I would never pray to have less trials or to have my challenges removed – I feel that’s all part of the journey.  If  Viktor Frankl is correct and the only thing I am really in control of is my ability to choose my ATTITUDE, then gosh darn it, I’m choosing to enJOY the journey every step of the way.

I’ve discovered in my almost 52 years of life there are 5 sure ways to ensure HaPpY-ness.

1. Be Grateful.  Appreciate the little things.  Keep a gratitude journal at the side of your bed.  And at the end of each day write ONE thing that you are grateful for and FIVE reasons why.  This exercises creates a mind shift, training our brain to scan for happiness.  Being grateful adds beauty to life.

2.  Be Others Focused.  When you look for opportunities to serve expecting nothing in return, a beautiful thing happens; you forget about your worries and woes, endorphins are released, thus creating a shift in your mood. Being others focused brings joy to life.

3.  Be Creative – being creative adds pleasure to life – it puts the FUN back in life and relationships. I love the dad who cut his jeans into short shorts to show his daughter that short shorts aren’t that cute – he demonstrated creative parenting.  I love him not just because he is my husband (smiley face), but because he is creative and looks for opportunities to lighten up tough or difficult situations.  That doesn’t mean to not take life serious, it just means to DO something each day that makes you and others smile.

“Smiling stimulates our brain’s reward mechanisms in a way that even chocolate, a well-regarded pleasure-inducer, cannot match.”

4.  Be YOU

 Family Fun 3

Everyone is an unrepeatable miracle.  Share your gifts and talents to lift and serve others.  Being you adds VALUE to life.

5.  Be Forgiving.  Forgive yourself and forgive others.  This is not always easy and it does not mean you are condoning whoever hurt you, it means you are CHOOSING to move forward, and a better person for it.

“To forgive is to set a prisoner free and discover that the prisoner was you.”  ~Louis B. Smedes

As I incorporated these five actions into my daily life, a paradigm shift happened just as it did when I was in India. I began scanning the world looking for good and actually seeing the positive in people, places and things. Automatically.

Life’s Short Lesson:  If you CHOOSE to be HaPpY – You will be.

 

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Needless Worry. Restless Nights.

Jeffery C. Olsen  Sunset

By Becky Mackintosh

I’m a mom.  I’m a worrier.

Thus…

Restless Nights. 

Lately I have had a hard time sleeping, I stay up late, get up early and toss and turn in-between. After another restless night, I logged onto Facebook with the intent to share what was on my mind.  As I wiped the tears from my face, I let my feelings spew onto my Facebook wall…

“It is with great sadness that I write this. It’s been almost a year since my son and I did a video of what it was like growing up living in FEAR of telling your parents or telling anyone you are gay. FEAR of being rejected and contemplating suicide as the best and only answer so no one would know. Ever!

I have received hundreds of emails from gay young men from around the world who stumble upon our video and for the first time feel HOPE—hope that perhaps their parents would or could be as loving. 

AGAIN last night I received another long email from a young man pouring his heart out – his worries – his fears – his lack of feeling any self-worth and battling daily depression – fighting the hurtful things that are said in church and in his home, drilling the confusion and pain even deeper.

This young man is only 18 and feels taking his life would be best—he said his father made it CLEAR to him and his brothers a couple of years ago, when his cousin “came out”, that IF any of his sons were gay they would no longer be his son!  

He said, “I cried myself to sleep that night!

This young man has chosen not to serve a mission, he is feeling the heat from his leaders and especially his mother. He is so fearful of telling them the REAL reason behind not wanting to serve a mission – so fearful that he just wants to end his life – feeling THAT would be the better option rather than have his parents know they have a gay son who is dying inside and has been battling depression most his life because of his inner battle.

His story mirrors too many young men I hear from—seriously, this has to STOP! CHILDREN deserve to feel loved especially from their parents. It broke my heart to know my husband and I had created a home where our own son lived in FEAR of telling us—fear of rejection. 

It took our son over 20 years before he told me, his own mother, THAT is what breaks my heart, NOT that he is gay.  (out story – our journey) 

One of the greatest desires of every child and human being is to feel LOVED, ACCEPTED and VALUED for who they are NOT “Tow the line OR be BOOTED out of the HOME” – THAT does NOT feel like love to anyone. God does not force us to keep His commandments—He lovingly guides us with LOVE unfeigned. Parents DO THE SAME!! 

I promise a GAY son (or daughter) is far BETTER than having a DEAD son (or daughter)! Any day.”

I really didn’t expect many people to read such a long Facebook post – It felt good  to get it off my chest.  I resumed responding to this young man’s plea,  praying he could not only feel my love, but  feel his Heavenly Father’s love.

The unexpected happened…

The response to my Facebook post was astounding; over 90 shares.  This young man’s story had not only tugged at my heart, but was touching the heart of others including his own.  He told me that he had read every Facebook comment and was deeply touched by the love he felt from total strangers. It gave him HOPE to know people REALLY do care.

The yearning to feel his parents love and acceptance continues,  it’s a dream he unfortunately doesn’t anticipate happening for many years to come.  I pray he is wrong.

I continue to have restless nights worrying about “my boys”, the young men who reach out to me in desperation, who live in fear of rejection and  contemplating  suicide.

What can we do to help?

It’s simple,  love your children, your spouse, your co-workers, your peers, your neighbor your friends. Open your heart and mind to see people as people.  Everyone I meet desires to feel loved, safe, respected accepted and valued for who they are.  Create the space that feels safe to talk about feelings without feeling judged and rejected.   If they can feel your love, they can feel their Father in Heaven’s love.

This young man could be your son, your co-worker, your peer, your neighbor, your friend. Let people know YOU care.

Photo by Jeffery C. Olsen

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The Uninvited Guest: Depression

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Is mental illness sabotaging your life?  Get your life back!

The Uninvited Guest: Depression. By Becky Mackintosh

My heart sank as I read a recent blog post by a friend and mentor Dino Watt, entitled “There is hope in the darkness!“.  With heartfelt love, Dino paid tribute to a beautiful and talented friend Kaila, who sadly lost her fight with mental illness.

The ugly disease and uninvited guest who calls himself “Depression”, crept in, unpacked and staked it’s claim as a permanent resident until the vibrant, young, talented, smart and beautiful girl could take it no more.

Mental Illness does not discriminate between sex, nationality, or religion.  It does not care if you have a family, a job or a college degree.

Dino describes Kaila’s plight; “She struggled with a brain that was both brilliant and confused. Full of inspirational light and depressing darkness.”

No one is to judge.  No one is to blame.

Unfortunately the tragic ending to Kaila’s story is not unique. I didn’t personally know Kaila, only from what Dino shared, he revealed that her family knew of her tough battle, her family loved her, her family sought support and help for her, but ultimately the bottom-line is “As it is with everything in life, the ultimate choice for our actions is with us, no matter how much others want to help.” ~Dino Watt

No one is to judge. No one is to blame.

Myself having struggled with uninvited bought’s of depression since the spring of 2011, I emphasize with and have compassion for those who live with this challenge on a daily basis.  Until recently I was not ready to introduce my obnoxious guest to my family or friends for fear of seeming weak, therefore I kept him as hidden as possible.  I’d tell myself to just “snap out of it”,  but as time went on I began to worry that my guest was really intending to make me his new permanent resident.

Then one morning I said,  “Enough IS Enough! I want my life back!”

I blogged about depression for the first time, six months ago, entitled, “The Big Dark Elephant In The Room:  Dealing with Depression and Mental Illness“.  I decided it was time to be REAL in hope to help others who also fight the fight.  I opened up a little bit about my battle, NOT wanting to be too vulnerable, but enough to let the cat out of the bag. I’m a positive outgoing person who looks for the good in every experience and situation, therefore to talk about depression and how it personally effects me is out of my comfort zone, but a much needed stretch.

In my blog post I also shared, with permission, a story of a friend who also battles this fight, knowing her story would be a light to others.  I also, introduced a product, a natural remedy called EMPower Plus Q96, that I had researched, personally tried and experienced relief.  But for unexplained reasons I had not continued using the product.  Months later the darkness got so bad that I knew I had to do something ASAP.

I called a friend and ordered Q96 in hope it would clear my mind,  lift the darkness and let light in.

In deep gratitude.  

To my pleasant surprise within 24 hours of placing my order – it was delivered to my door and in my hands.  Within a week I undoubtely noticed a difference in my thoughts, clarity, focus and the much sought after light.

Now, eight weeks on the product I’m very pleased to report, I feel like myself once again – healthy and happy, therefore I share and urge others who battle mental illness to not let this uninvited visitor make himself a permanent resident in your life.  Seek help if you haven’t already done so, open up to someone for support, do your research, speak to your physician and most of all – pray for guidance.  You don’t have to live in darkness. There is hope. There is light.

My heart goes out to those mourning the loss of beautiful Kaila.  I plead with those that battle depression and other forms of mental illness; Do not let this be your ending – BE the conquer. WIN the fight!

With love and gratitude,

Becky Mack:)
Speaker, Author, Mom, Life Coach

 

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What Your Teenager is REALLY Saying When They Say I HATE You!

by Becky Mackintosh

angry teenager

Do you have an unruly teenager that says the “H” word?  Do you want to know what your teenager is REALLY saying when they say I HATE you?

Besides the obvious, “My emotions have come to a head and I don’t know a better way to express myself!” What you really want to know is what is BEHIND all that built up emotion. Right?

If you are a parent, you know that raising kids, especially getting through those teenage years is a journey, perhaps a roller-coaster better describes it!  I’m not a therapist or a counselor just a REAL parent talking about the nitty-gritty PAINS of parenting, the stuff that keeps parents awake at night!

Growing up I couldn’t wait to be a mother!  I love kids!  In fact, I wanted TEN kids – I thought how hard could raising TEN children be? I was certain all I had to do was “love” them and be the “cool” mom and have great communication with my children and they would grow up without a hitch.  That was my plan!

My husband Scott and I were mostly on the same page in how to raise our children, at least we had the same end goal, which was to raise our children into responsible, independent and productive adults.

We had our first five children in six and a half years – now that alone accounted for some craziness in our home – especially when I blinked and realized all FIVE were TEENAGERS at the same time!!  Double yikes!  ….and three were GIRLS! Triple yikes!  Yes, I wanted TEN kids, but when number seven was born it felt like ten and our family felt complete, so we named him Skye, cause sky’s the limit.  And that youngest son just turned 18!  Another YIKES!  They grow up too fast.

It didn’t take long after becoming a mother before REALITY set in and I realized every child was born with their own unique and distinct personality, and I discovered what worked for one child did NOT work for the next.

It’s no secret that children come into our homes without a “How to properly raise me instruction guide.” – it’s a learn as you go process.  And just when you think you have it figured out they hit puberty and you are back to square one!

What was suppose to be a straight line from A to Z turned out to be all loop-de-looped and squiggly.

As rough as it may sound, there is a lot of JOY in raising kids, yes even TEENAGERS!  In fact, my husband Scott says,

“If you are not having fun then you are doing something wrong!”

But when you are in the midst of a trial it is rough! There is a reason I color my hair and have bags under my eyes and calluses on my knees from the many long pleading prayers with God over a child – especially during those teen years.  Don’t get me wrong – the TEEN years were and are some of my favorite years!

NOW back to the question of the day….

What your teenager is REALLY saying when they say I HATE you?

If you are a parent, you too have had episodes of getting upset, during which you lose all logical and reasoning brain cells and say something you wish we had NOT said.

One thing about kids is that they don’t hide their feeling.  You know when they are happy – you know when they are sad, mad etc…  They don’t leave it up to you to guess their mood – they show it!  They whine, they suddenly strike out at a sibling, they scream I HATE you!  Their feelings and moods can change in an instant.  Their emotions come to a head and they don’t know any better way than to shout out what they are feeling.

Do you remember the first time your teenager said “I HATE you”?   Perhaps you were like me, livid, you couldn’t believe what you had just heard – you their parent, their provider, their nurturer was being told “I HATE you!”   I wanted to give them something to really hate me about.  But as a parent and an adult, I restrained my initial thought to lash out, and I replied as calmly as I could muster, “I’m sorry you feel that way, but you are not exactly at the top of my like list right now.”

Sometimes the hardest parenting task is keeping your own emotions in check.

The top 3 parenting tips to dealing with an unruly teenager:

#1 Keep your cool – Don’t get too worked up when your teenager says they hate you.  If means you are doing your job!  You are being their parent which trumps being their friend.  Don’t get me wrong, you want to be their friend too, but being their parent comes FIRST and far most.   Wait until things have calmed down then talk about it.  It doesn’t do any good to try to resolve a conflict when emotions are running high.

#2 Get to the root of the problem – What is behind the built up emotion?  Every situation is different.  Sometimes what’s behind the anger is obvious, other times you are completely BAFFLED and clueless.  LISTEN and LOOK for the hidden clues – the non-verbal clues – their body language.  The words “I hate you” may be the outlet from having a bad day and you just got the brunt of it OR it may be masking something more serious. 

Asking questions, once they have cooled down, is a good way to find out what’s bothering them. Getting to the root of what is making them feel so angry and frustrated is key to resolving conflict – this is not always easy and sometimes it’s like peeling an onion.

#3  Love UNCONDITIONALLY with no BUT’s. Look for the good and sincerely tell them how much you appreciate them and love them.  Rather than only praising your child’s accomplishments, encourage and praise effort.  Teenagers need to know they are appreciated and needed.

As I have traveled the world speaking and coaching as far away as India.  I’ve yet to meet anyone, especially a teenager that does NOT want to “fit in” to feel loved, safe, trusted, respected, appreciated and valued for who they are.  Most important at the end of the day is that your teenager knows you LOVE them, both in words and in action.  It could be as simple as a hug accompanied by “I love you”.

What your teenager is REALLY saying when they say I HATE you….   

“You’re doing your job as a parent and I don’t like it.  But keep loving me – I need to know I’m valued and needed.”

 

Life’s Short Lesson:  See past, through and beyond the “I HATE you.”

Put the FUN back in parenting.

 


 

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The Secret to a HaPpY Marriage!

The SECRET to a HaPpY Marriage!

by Becky Mackintosh

Again and again I  have been asked What’s the SECRET to a happy marriage?   I paused – contemplating the REAL answer.

Then wrote this ….

Growing up in the 60’s, 70’s and even into the 80’s I knew only a handful of people who were divorced. Today unfortunately, that number is much higher and some are my dearest friends and amongst the most wonderful people I know who have been through some really tough stuff. It wasn’t the ending they imagined, but the right ending to a new beginning.

Experience and life has shown me that no marriage or person is perfect, that’s part of the learning and growing process. But to go through life’s challenges with someone you love by your side makes life sweeter.

SooooOooo… you are married or thinking about getting married and want to know….

What’s the SECRET to a HaPpY marriage?

Here’s what I have seen and experienced to be the REAL secret behind a happy marriage…

Marriage is a two-way partnership of Respect, Love, Integrity, Loyalty, Honesty, Forgiveness, Compassion, Empathy, Trust, Communication and Commitment!

When any of those virtues are tarnished, the relationships suffer – some beyond repair.

Marriage is not for wimps or the selfish.  Marriage is NOT 50 – 50.  Marriage is 100 – 100.” 

I married a man that had all the qualities on my “must have” list and I was confident that we would be able to work through any challenges that came our way.  And guess what? I was RIGHT! It hasn’t been smooth sailing, but so far we are 100% in getting through the challenges that life brings, including raising 7 children.  And that is something to celebrate!

September 22nd, is our 31st wedding anniversary.   I am grateful to have a man that loves me, adores me and gives 100% to not only our marriage, but to everything that he does.  He’s not perfect, I’m not perfect, but we are perfect at being committed to each other – perfect at getting through the tough stuff, and perfect at trying to DO better and BE better everyday.

Thank you Scott Mackintosh for thinking that girl you bumped into on the dance floor of  Frisco Bay 31 years ago was worth pursuing!   I’m that lucky girl – I’m married to not only the BEST.DAD.EVER, but I’m married to the BEST.HUSBAND.EVER.

The SECRET to a HaPpY Marriage is Respect, Love, Integrity, Loyalty, Honesty, Forgiveness, Compassion, Empathy, Trust, Communication and Commitment!

WAIT!  There’s one more thing…

Make each other smile and laugh – 

EVERYDAY!

Scott Mackintosh Becky Mackintosh

HaPpY 31st Anniversary Scotty Mack:)

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Making Things Happen!

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MAKING THINGS HAPPEN!

By Becky Mackintosh

I am grateful for the trials, challenges and triumphs that make up who I am.  I am grateful for my family, friends and acquaintances that support, encourage and teach me to be better and do better.  I am grateful for goals met and goals yet to fulfill.  I am grateful for….

Making Things Happen!

I’ve had the pleasure of working for and with Kevin Hall and Chad Hymas, members of the National Speakers Association (NSA), but to actually BECOME a MEMBER of the NSA and to ATTEND and SPEAK at the Perform 2014 NSA Convention in San Diego is a DREAM come true.

YES, that’s me and Scott on the stage in the Seaport Ballroom of the Manchester Grand Hyatt San Diego! BUT don’t be fooled. YES we attended, YES we are members, YES we stood on the stage, YES we spoke, BUT only to the staff who were setting up the room for an evening of comedy and entertainment by Jason Hewlett!  But that’s okay! I’m sure the room would have been packed had anyone known! (Big Smiley Face)

…….AND BY-THE-WAY WE WERE AMAZING!  We gave a heck-of-an-inspiring and motivational speech AND wish you could have been there!

It begins with a THOUGHT, a BELIEF and a DESIRE, then it takes ACTION – the “getting your hands dirty to get things done” in order to REACH your Goal!  AND that’s where we are NOW – taking ACTION!

How about YOU?  Where are you on your journey to achieving your goals? And how can Scott and I best serve you to take ACTION?

With an emphasis on strengthening relationships Scott and I speak, train and coach audiences to:

1. Put the FUN, PASSION and EXCITEMENT back into life!

2. Turn obstacles into incredible opportunities.

3. Harness the power of CHANGE and rise above to progress.

4. Learn to COMMUNICATE effectively: The KEY to connecting.

5. Tap into unseen personal POWER and inner POTENTIAL to become an influencial LEADER in your home and workplace.

Please don’t hesitate to let us know how we can best serve you!

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Click below to watch a short video recap of the convention!

Scott and Becky Mackintosh at Perform 2014 National Speakers Association Convention

 

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Relationships are KEY to Success in the Family and the Workplace

Lasting Relationships - Moral Values  LSL

 

There is something special and unique about every person and every culture, and along with this unique individuality are many commonalities. 

No matter where you live or what your religious beliefs are, if you are rich, poor, brown, black, white, pink or green – we all have the same basic needs.  People are wired to connect. We all want to feel loved, safe, trusted, respected and appreciated.  Whether you are a father, mother, CEO, manager, trainer, coach or employee, you have the same basic needs.

Exceptional leaders have mastered the secret to SUCCESS:   RELATIONSHIPS.

The key to business success is winning and keeping customers. And the key to winning and keeping customers is, and has always been, relationships.  Families play an essential role in the development of relationships; emotional, physical, and social.  Children whose families promote problem-solving, and social competence are better equipped for success in the workplace.

No one sets out to make enemies or to have their business fail. At least I hope not.  I think it’s safe to say people want lasting relationships.

Lasting relationships are built on strong moral values: Trust, Integrity and Respect.

  • Trust.  “A belief that someone or something is reliable, good, honest, effective, etc.”     It takes time to build a level of trust and it can be lost in an instant. Building and repairing trust is key to sustainable relationships.

  • Integrity.  “The quality of being honest and having strong moral principles; moral uprightness.”  When you are a person of integrity you increase trust, credibility and reputation, three of the major ingredients of lasting relationships. One to the highest compliments a person could have is to be known as a person of integrity.

  • Respect.  “A feeling of admiring someone or something that is good, valuable, important, etc.”  Respect is fundamental to a healthy relationship. Mutual respect is the cornerstone of every relationship and is essential for that relationship to thrive.  Respect is shown by gratitude, kindness, openness, consideration, and listening.

Life’s Short Lesson:  There’s no greater investment in life than in being a people builder.  Relationships are more important than any our accomplishments.  Don’t hesitate to ask others “How can I best serve you?”

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How A Father Went From Homophobic to Loving His Gay Son

How A Father Went From Homophobic to Loving His Gay Son

By Scott Mackintosh

In June of 2011, I attended an annual company sales meeting eager to learn how to better my sales skills. In a classroom setting my mind usually wonders, but this day I was all ears listening to a story; a true story of a sportscaster, named Charlie Jones. Charlie was assigned to announce the 1996 Olympic rowing, canoeing and kayaking events – an assignment that left him less than thrilled, because he thought, “Who watches the rowing, canoeing and kayaking events? Only the rowers, canoers and kayakers …and their families!”

Rowing Team

What he discovered, however, was that it ended up being one the most memorable interviews of his career. AND what I didn’t know is that two and a half years later, this story would significantly change my life.

Preparing for the broadcast, Charlie Jones interviewed the rowing team starting with the basic questions such as “What if it’s raining?” “What if the wind blows you off course?” “What if you break an oar?” The answer to every question was the same,

“That’s outside my boat.”

Finally Charlie asked the rowing team what they meant by their repeated answer “That’s outside my boat?” They explained that they focused only on what they could control, and that was what was going on INSIDE their boat. They refused to waste energy focusing on things OUTSIDE their control.

When the sales meeting concluded it was obvious by the chatter in the room that everyone was impacted by the story. I seriously thought; “Great story, but it doesn’t really apply to me.” I dismissed it and that was that.

Seven months later my entire family was home for the Christmas holidays. I have seven children; three sons, four daughters, and four are married. I was happy to have them all home for the holidays. My son Sean is number three in the family and the middle son – his three week holiday dedicated to the family, was quickly coming to an end and he would soon be heading back to college in Hawaii.

On the night before he was to leave, precisely at 11:11pm, my wife and I received a personal message via Facebook from my son Sean. I opened it and began to read. He cut to the chase pretty quickly after telling me and my wife how much he loved us, and then he dropped a bomb, he told us that there was no sense in beating around the bush and might as well come right out and let us know that he is gay.

I went FREAKAZOID!

I blurted out some things that in retrospect I am very glad that he was not around to hear. (The damage may have taken many years to repair) I didn’t care about his feelings; he obviously didn’t care about mine! He most certainly didn’t care about anyone in our family and obviously the ONLY person that he cared about was himself! In my uneducated way of thinking on this topic, selfishness had to be the single cause and I was sure that this sort of thing was brought on from delving into pornography or other ill meant materials. Why else would he “choose” such a vial and disgusting way of life? (I’m now embarrassed of my ignorant thinking)

I messaged him right back and told him to come home immediately so we could talk. He was out visiting friends and saying his goodbyes for another year. I was furious and again told him to get home NOW! He said he would gladly talk to me, but that it would still be a little while before he’d be home.

I anxiously paced the floor waiting his return. By midnight he was not home and I angrily went to bed.

I woke up at 4:00 am as my wife crawled into bed next to me. She had been talking to my son for the past few hours. She briefed me a bit on their conversation and then I got up to go see him. She begged me as I left the room to be kind and considerate. I assured her that I would.

I knocked on my son’s door and he opened it to find my outstretched arms offering a heartfelt hug. I spoke only for a moment and made a slight joke about something to ease the tension and then said, “We can talk another time, it’s late.” I went back to bed and tossed and turned for a while trying to figure out what I was going to do to “fix my son”.

Hours later, I was at work and he was on a flight for Hawaii. Every-so- often over the next year, I would send him an email suggesting that he give God equal time and to study “good things” instead of filling his head with the gay articles that he was reading. I had it all figured out that he should get rid of these silly notions that he had conjured up in his head and get married and raise a family. We weren’t getting any closer in our relationship and I was spending my time on deaf ears. They seemed deaf anyway because every scenario that I could come up with, he would answer with a comment like; “Dad, don’t you think that I know about that? Don’t you think that I have read and studied about this? I have known that I was like this for nearly my entire life and you think that these emails that you keep sending me are going to fix me?”

I had not taken into consideration that this was NEW to me, but that he had been dealing with it for MANY years.

The following Christmas we didn’t get around to talking about “it.”  I didn’t want to bring it up and maybe if I didn’t it would go away.

Two years from receiving this shocking news, Sean was home once again for Christmas. I’m a big outdoorsman and an avid hunter so like any good father would do, I took Sean and my younger son Skye coyote hunting across the state line. (No hate mail please, we didn’t shoot anything, they out smarted us)  On our four-hour drive back home we talked about hunting, school and life in general, but I could tell that he wanted to talk about “it”. Finally Sean said “Dad I thought we were going to talk – really talk.” I don’t remember who started what, but all of a sudden we were delving into everything we had both held in for the past two years.

I wanted so badly to fix the situation. That’s what I did as a father. I fixed everything, that was my job, and this was just another “fix-it” project. At one point in our conversation, I asked; “Why would you choose this lifestyle?” I was met with a look of shock. He said, “Are you serious? Why on earth would I CHOOSE to be associated with one of the most misunderstood and hated groups on the planet?” His answer resonated deeper than anything said in our prior two years of sending messages back and forth. This made sense! Although I had read many articles stating that same-gender attraction is NOT chosen but is something they are born with, I couldn’t get it through my thick skull until that moment. FINALLY we were actually able to have a really good conversation where we really talked and listened.

That is when it hit me….

A light came on in my head and the story of Charlie Jones that I had heard several years prior came flooding back and NOW it made perfect sense to me. It applied to this situation. It was a game changer.

For the next few days, I began to take an inventory of what was actually IN my boat. I had focused my energy on fixing my son only to discover that I had done a great job of raising a wonderful young man and the things that he was going through were outside my boat. Nothing that I could say to him would “fix” him and would most likely do father-son-relationship damage. Therefore, I took my fears and worry out of my boat and placed them in my son’s boat.

Next, I pondered on my ability to judge. I was his father and felt that I had that right. My mind reflected back on my Christian upbringing that taught Jesus Christ is the judge. I realized that I needed to STOP judging him – it wasn’t my job to judge, Christ had taken that role upon himself, so I took that out of my boat and placed it in my Savior’s boat.

As I focused on what was in my boat, I realized that I had only ONE item left and that was my ability to ACT instead of REACT.  I then split it into two categories: to act harshly or to act with love, and because I had placed “judgment” into Christ’s boat, I realized that the ONLY thing left in my boat was to ACT with LOVE! I thought to myself, “I CAN do that!”

I have a wonderful son whom I love dearly and our relationship has drastically changed for the better. It is now stronger than ever, because I no longer focus on what’s outside my boat, instead I focus on what’s INSIDE my boat…. LOVE! 

To read my wife’s post recounting her journey and love for our son, along with a video of Sean telling his own story. Click here

 

 

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It’s My Birthday And I’ll Cry If I Want To!

“It’s my birthday and I’ll cry if I want to …cry if I want to …cry if I want to”.  Okay I know the real lyrics are “It’s my PARTY and I’ll cry if I want to …”  If you have no idea what I am talking about – that’s proof I AM old!  Truthfully, if I cry it’s tears of JOY,  GRATITUDE and APPRECIATION for life’s experiences.

Birthday At 51 years “young” I don’t feel much older than I did in high school, it’s only when I pass a mirror that I am reminded of my age. I decided to make a list of all the things I have been fortunate to experience throughout the past half-a-century as a reminder how precious life truly is ….

  1. Born on ranch in Montana to the best family ever!
  2. Rode horses everyday…. okay not everyday, but a lot
  3. Met my future husband at age 8
  4. My mother saw that I was kept busy so I didn’t have time to get into trouble; Dance, Piano, Guitar, Voice Lessons, Gymnastics and played in the Band – alto saxophone
  5. Grew up with 6 living grandparents
  6. Kept busy in High School: Senior Class President, Vice-President of Ski Club, Gymnastics team-Captain, Seminary Council, Choir Secretary – these roles landed me a Leadership Scholarship to BYU!
  7. Skier – favorite resort: Alta
  8. Loved the College life – BYU and BYU-Hawaii
  9. Learned to Surf and Snorkel. (hate snorkeling – claustrophobic)
  10. Married my secret High School crush – Scott Mackintosh
  11. Mother of 7 AMAZING kids
  12. Natural childbirth
  13. One C-Section
  14. Milked goats for 12 years
  15. Community Service “Door Knocker” Award
  16. 4H Horsemanship Leader – 17 years
  17. England and Scotland – Twice
  18. I’m a Cruise-a-holic – 8 Cruises
  19. Para-Sailing- Twice (hated it – scared to death of heights)
  20. India – Twice (loved, loved, loved my experience in India and the priceless friendships made)
  21. Dubai
  22. Rode a Camel and an Elephant
  23. Held a python and hand fed a shark
  24. Camping with my family – love roasting marshmellows around a camp fire
  25. Worked for two AMAZING Speaker/Authors: Kevin Hall and Chad Hymas which led to meeting….
  26. Inspiring people: Immaculée Ilibagiza, Emmanuel Kelly, Rolanda Watts, Sean Stevenson, Dave Winfield, Mark Sandborn, Bridget Cook, Rebecca Musser, Lisa Nichols, Allison Byrd, Thurl Bailey, Mark Eaton, Jason Hewlett and the master of words Arthur Watkins.  ….and so many others through the National Speakers Association.
  27. Gone Viral – Met Rachael Ray and Regis Philbin
  28. Wrote a book “My Husband Wears The Short Shorts In THIS Family!”
  29. Met and conversed with the LDS Prophet Thomas S. Monson for 20 minutes – a highlight of my life!
  30. and the BESTEST of all  ….I am a GRANDMA!

 

I am truly indebted to God, my Heavenly Father, who has deeply blessed me, carried me through dark times when I wanted to give up, wiped away my tears when my heart was breaking, allowed me to experience and grow through trials and challenges and has not let a day go by that he didn’t tell me or show me how much he loves me.  I see it in my children’s faces, in my husband’s hug, in the flowers, the birds and the many wonderful friends that contribute to who I am. I am a child of God, a wife, mother and friend ….what more could a person ask for?  I can’t think of a dang thing, except for perhaps a big piece of  strawberry short cake.  HaPpY Birthday to me!

 

 

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