The Ultimate Gift

Life is how you live it…not how you spend it

One of the highlights of the Christmas season for me is indulging in Christmas movies! There’s something so comforting and peaceful about curling up with my family beside a lit Christmas tree or near the roaring fire of the wood stove, and allowing myself to be whisked away into a good story. This year didn’t leave much time for Christmas specials. Lucky for me, I had picked one up at Wal-Mart on one of my far-too-many excursions. This one was called The Ultimate Gift. You’d never guess it, but I’m a sucker for stories of miracles, love, and inspiration 😉

The Ultimate Gift has become my new all-time favorite Christmas movie. It is a heartwarming drama based on the novel The Ultimate Gift by Jim Stovall. It is an inspirational story about a young man of privilege who, like many of us, takes his life for granted. He is rich, carefree, and careless. Living off a trust fund and having never worked a day in his life, Jason Stevens is spoiled and unmotivated with little regard for anyone or anything. When his Grandfather passes away, Jason inherits a series of gifts that promise to lead him to the ‘ultimate gift’.

Life shouldn’t be spent avoiding problems but welcoming them as challenges that will strengthen us so that we can be victorious in the future

Each gift is a task and is specifically designed to challenge Jason to grow as a man. It is through these tasks that Jason learns the Gift of Problems, the Gift of Work, the Gift of the Value of Money, the Gift of Friends,  the Gift of Family, the Gift of Laughter, the Gift of Giving, the Gift of Gratitude, the Gift of Dreams, the Gift of Love, and the Gift of a Day.

Any process worth going through will get tougher before it gets easier. That’s what makes learning a gift…even if pain is your teacher

Emily

For me the true gift in this story is the Gift of Emily. Emily is a young girl Jason meets on his quest for the ultimate gift. Emily is a spitfire of attitude with a heart of gold. Emily suffers from a rare form of leukemia and her only wish is for her Mother’s happiness. She quickly made her way into Jason’s heart … and mine as well.

I’m not sure if it was Emily’s story, or the heartache I felt for the families, the children, and the survivors of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, or perhaps more likely it was both…I’ve decided to write my second book, Letters From Heaven with love from your Child. My hope is that this book will in some small way provide even an ounce of healing to the hearts of parents who’ve suffered the tragedy of losing of a child, as Letters From Heaven Love Mom xo has for ‘children’ – both young and old – who are forced to live without the loving guidance of their Mother.

Come up with a dream and then act on it

Treat yourself to a gift that is sure to nourish your soul this season and find the time to accompany Jason on his quest for The Ultimate Gift ….Don’t forget the tissue!

Merry Christmas, Happy Hanuka, Joyeux Noel, Season’s Greetings,  Happy Holidays!

Thank you for sharing in my love of writing this year 🙂

Embrace your Awesomeness!

The Morning God Wept

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On December 14th, 2012 at 9:30 am, a heavily armed man dressed in black infiltrated Sandy Hook Elementary School and without a word opened fire.Teachers locked their doors. Children were ordered to hide in corners, closets, and cupboards. A quick-thinking library clerk locked and barricaded 18 children in a storage room giving them crayons and paper to occupy their minds. A kindergarten teacher covered the windows and locked the doors to her classroom, and an effort to keep her students calm, she read them a story. The principal, the school psychologist and four teachers lost their lives trying to protect those of their young students.

Despite their best efforts, twenty 6 and 7 year old children lost their lives. The 400 that survived, aged 5-10 years old, are scarred with the memory of a nightmare and left brokenhearted  to mourn their siblings, cousins, and friends.

Although the shooting lasted only a few minutes, it’s effect will last a lifetime.

Children were led hand in hand, eyes closed, as they made their way through the aftermath of terror.

Frantic parents met the children at a nearby Firehall. The pain of looking for their child or children in the middle of such a tragedy would surely have been unimaginable. As would have been the grief of the parents who were forced to identify their children from photographs taken at the scene.

Obama echoed the voice of every parent when he said “we will hug our children a little tighter”. Unfortunately for some, this simple act could not be carried out that night.

On December 14th 2012, flags flew at half-staff and candlelight vigils were held nationwide. Newtown’s St. Rose of Lima Roman Catholic Church was filled to capacity with mourners and people trying to make sense of a gross injustice, people searching to grab hold of an ounce of hope in the midst of complete devastation.

On December 14th 2012, the nation wept as 20 little angels were sent back home into the arms God.

RIP Sandy Hook Elementary Victims, children and school staff

May God heal the hearts of the little one’s who survived and hold in his heart the families of those who did not.

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Unfortunately, I could not locate pictures of Madeleine Hsu, Allison Wyatt, Benjamin Wheeler, and Arielle Richman. May they rest in peace.

THECOLORMAGE

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“To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that is all.” ― Oscar Wilde

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