“The Year of Less”

Hello, Fellow Readers!!
WOW!  My apologies in being negligent to this blog about books!  I could say 2019 was a wild year personally and also very busy with the development of Empowered Women Create and my work in Cambodia, BUT I Never stopped reading!!  I love books so much I am trying to slow down my purchases by limiting myself to used books and less of those!  LOL!  My focus is to read what I have!

So I am going to be posting about some really great books.  Be sure to comment below and SHARE about the great books YOU are reading!! 

“The Year of Less – How I Stopped Shopping, Gave Away My Belongings,
and Discovered Life is Worth More than Anything You Can Buy in the Store”
By Cait Flanders 2018

  Cait has an inspiring story of how she has overcome many difficulties in her life, including:  drinking, compulsive eating, compulsive shopping, and TV.

She decided to do a shopping ban on new clothes, shoes, accessories, books, magazines, and household items.  She allowed herself to buy consumables such as food, toiletries, and gas, and to replace anything broken or worn if would trash or donate the item.  She only ate out on occasion.  She got rid of everything she did not use.

“When you want less, you consume less, and you need less money.”  Cait

Cait began to realize that she had enough and that she was enough.

“When you feel like bingeing, it’s usually because some part of you or your life feels like it’s lacking — and nothing you can drink, eat,                                        or buy can fix it.”  Cait

Cait will take you on her journey and give you practical steps on how you can do it                                                       too or a modified version of it.

This book was an encouragement to me as Kevin and I are downsizing.  I am going through all the “stuff” accumulated in 43 years of marriage.  I love to give and would like to be able to give more, so her practical advice concerning purchases etc. was inspiring.  This book also encourages contentment and gratefulness for what you have.

I hope you are all doing well and navigating these crazy times!  Let’s take the positive and enjoy and use the extra time we have for creative projects etc. and of course, READING!!


On Fire – “#7 – Are You Ready?”


Are You Ready?

We have journeyed together through “On Fire.”  This is the last chapter. Be sure to go to my website to submit your comments to be added into the drawing for a FREE COPY of “ON FIRE - The 7 Choices to Ignite a Radically Inspired Life”  by John O’Leary.

When John is finally released from the hospital after 5 months, he recalls that it was his father whose words saved his life. 

“Before Jack Buck appeared.  Before the therapists stretched me.  Before Nurse Roy walked in.  Before the staff worked to save me.  Before Mom appeared and asked that extraordinary, inspired question.  Before anyone had a chance to do anything, the first person to visit me in the emergency room was Dad.  Dad hadn’t been told the extent of my injuries.  He hadn’t been warned about what he was about to step into….Nothing could have prepared him for it.  His baby boy was going to die.  Fear flooded him.  What could he say?  Why was this happening?  Then Dad saw past the wounds, pushed past the fear, beheld his son, and immediately stepped in with love.  He cut through his fear, the shock, and sadness, came directly to me leaned over, and smiled.  he told me he was proud of me. and told me that he loved me.  I LOVE YOU.  Three simple words that changed my world, and they can change yours.”

“Whether you choose to be seized by love or fear will affect everything that happens in your life.  Fall in love, stay in love, and it will decide everything.  Fall into fear, stay in fear, and it will decide everything.”

Fear shut the door on a possible relationship with the “one.”  Even though he had learned to write, drive a car, shoot baskets, throw a baseball, he had no idea if anyone would want him.  But it all changed with the “one.” When she wanted to love him like a sister, he slammed the door shut.  After a year or so he still had feelings for her. He discovered that he had had very selfish motives.  He let go of his fear of not being lovable, and opened the door of his heart to love her even if it wasn’t exactly as he had planned.

The 7th choice to ignite a radically inspired life:


Love is truly the key.  When John focused on simply loving her and enjoying the moment with no strings attached. No expectations. No hidden agenda.  It was more than enough.  She fell for him.  They married and now have 4 children and live in St. Louis, MO.

The number one thing holding us back from living a radically inspired life is fear.  Fear keeps you from being accountable.  Fear keeps you from embracing your story.  Fear keeps you from going “All in”.  Fear keeps you locked in victim mentality.  Fear keeps you from growing and stretching.  Fear keeps you focused on yourself.  Fear keeps you stuck right where you are.  BUT THERE IS ANOTHER WAY -  Choose LOVE!  It’s a choice and it’s up to us.

I have LOVED sharing this book with you.  I hope you have been inspired to LIVE A RADICALLY INSPIRED LIFE!

Don’t forget to enter the drawing for a FREE COPY OF “ON FIRE”  by entering your comments on my blog on my website.  I will draw a winner on Saturday morning, December 3, 9 AM.






“On Fire – #5 Can You Say Yes?”

On Fire#5  Can You Say Yes?  

Comfort is popular, but courage changes lives

This chapter has one of the most powerful stories in it about John’s favorite nurse, Big Roy.  Big Roy was always tender and careful until the day that he gets John up to help him learn to walk.  It hurts and John is furious at him.  He cannot bend his legs.  He cannot put weight on his feet.  He has no muscles.  He does not believe he can walk again.

 Big Roy replies, ” Boy, you are going to walk again.  You might as well get used to it.  Come on.  I’ll walk with you.”  

And Big Roy does and says the same thing day after day after day until one day, John did believe that he might walk again.  This conversation changed his life. John is able to tell Big Roy this at a reunion dinner 24 years later. Big Roy was so blessed to know that he mattered.  He did his job.  He loved his work.  He loved his patients but never really understood that he mattered.  He changed John’s life!  He would never forget him!  

This chapter also includes a story of a visit from Glenn Cunningham, who held the world record for the fastest mile at one point and a silver medal winner of the 1936 Olympics.  

Glenn and John had something in common.  They were both burned as young boys.  Glenn and his older brother were starting a fire in a schoolhouse stove and accidentally used gas rather than kerosene.  That can ignited.  His brother died 9 days later.  Glenn was burned all over.  His legs were burned so badly that the doctors wanted to amputate, but his mom begged and promised he would change the bandages daily.  He learned to walk by learning to stand in the yard next to a fence, with many, many falls he proceeded to walking a few steps holding onto the fence to walking around the whole fence to jogging to running to striding, then races and the Olympics.  

Glen told John to picture himself doing whatever he desired to do and not to give up.  “Never give up.  Never quit.”
This conversation changed John’s life as well.

 So come on, let’s love our work and the people in it.  We matter as well!  Who’s life are we changing?


  • Don’t forget to make a comment about John’s story “On Fire” on my blog on my website.  2 more weeks for “On Fire” book review!  I will enter your name into the drawing for a FREE “On Fire” book!!

“On Fire” – #1 Do You Want to Die?

The specifics of the fire rush through John’s mind as he lays in agonizing pain as the doctors and nurses rush around him in the emergency room.  He does not recognize his body.  He feels desperately alone and then he hears his mom’s voice.  She will make things better!  She can fix this!

She pulls back the curtain and smiles at John.  He begins to cry and asks her if he is going to die.  He so wants to hear her say that she will take care of everything.  But she says the most surprising thing that makes all the difference.  She takes his hand gently and looks into his eyes and asks, “John, do you want to die?  It’s your choice, not mine.”  WHAT?!!!  Is that what you say to a scared little boy in the ER?!  John replied, “I do not want to die.  I want to live.”  His mother responds, “Then, John, you need to fight like you’ve never fought before.  You need to take the hand of God, and you need to walk this journey with Him.  Race forward with everything you have.  Daddy and I will be with you every step of the way.  But John, you listen to me:  you need to fight for it.”  YOU need to fight for it.

This was a moment in time that changed everything that followed.  That day, when John was teetering on the edge of death, his mom courageously walked to the edge of the cliff with him.  She pointed away from the cliff and to the mountain.  It was huge and looked impossible to climb but she said that he could do it.

John should not have survived the fire.  He was burned on 100% of his body and 87% were 3rd degree burns - deep through the skin, muscle, and even to the bone in some places.  His scalp was the only place skin could be possibly removed for the donor skin.  His lungs were damaged from smoke.  This little boy expected to die is now abundantly alive, happily married with 4 children enjoying amazing lives.

John’s question to us is -“Do you want to die?”

“Your first choice you must make to ignite a radically inspired life is to own your life.”

Leave entitlement behind and realize that it is up to YOU to make the changes in your life!

Choose to own it!  Choose life!!

Choosing Life with you!



Pin It on Pinterest