In February 2018, we gathered around after a family dinner and my nephew announced he planned to jump out of a plane.

On. Purpose.

You see, he wanted to celebrate his upcoming milestone birthday in a BIG way.

To my entire family’s shock and awe, his mother said, “I want to go too.”

His mom (my sister) serves as Martha Stewart of the family and she seemed eager to say yes to a new adventure that was completely out of her comfort zone.

You see, she had an upcoming milestone birthday as well.

Before I thought too long, I piped up. “Well, if YOU’RE going (referencing my older sister) then I’m going for sure.”

You see, I also had an upcoming milestone birthday.

Into Thin Air

Eight weeks later the three of us drove an hour away and…







…from a realllllllly small plane 14,000 feet up. We each had an instructor/tandem jumper and a photographer to video the momentous occasion.

What a terrifying, amazing, exhilarating, and unbelievable event. I am still so thrilled I said yes!

That decision gave me great resolve to spend the next year saying yes to new opportunities, even the scary ones.

Encouragement on Aisle 2

Soon after my springtime resolve, I raised my hand to say yes to a special business conference I had followed for a few years.

I took a deep breath and finally decided to commit.

As soon as I signed up and paid the deposit, I panicked.

There I stood trying to be brave but my nerves were triggered by the thought of going all by myself.

Not too long after I began fighting my frightened inner child, I went to the store for household supplies and a few groceries. As I strolled down the aisle, packages of tissues caught my eye.

They literally halted me in my tracks.

Who would imagine that fiber gift wrap would or could offer such life-encouragement.

“Find Your Fearless”

“Believe in Yourself”

“Summon Your Strength”

“Seize this Moment”

Declarations for Life

My courage, strength, and abundant life come from Christ. He is my Life Source. God’s Word, the Holy Bible, is a living guidebook and prayer provides intimate communication. Wise counsel from others contributes to solid footing in this earthly, up and down world.

I also believe we can pay attention to people, places, and messages around us to discover a surprise of life inspiration.

The tissue packages were simple communications prompting courage and action. I bought and took several with me in my carry-on as a visual reminder to be brave and strong at the large event where I knew no one and felt out of my element and security.

The tissue incident of 2018 helped me realize that little things we use in daily life can have a bigger impact than their practical, necessary use.

This also motivated me to not only pay more attention to the little things in life but also to make little things (to the best of my ability) an encouragement for others. Like handing someone a packet of encouraging tissues in a difficult, teary life-moment.

My year of saying yes continues to develop beautiful memories, share adventures, laugh uproariously, grow fellowship and community, and deepen my faith walk with God.

That small plane provided the jumpstart of a fun, full, memorable year and the tissues come in handy on a regular basis with myself and others.

(What brave step have you taken this year? Who or what inspires you to summon your courage and seize positive moments in your life? I’d love to hear your about your steps and moments!)