Make a Choice…Make it Happen

Dear Reader:

I just happened to catch one segment of GMA before leaving for Mt. Pleasant to keep Eloise Friday. Hilary Swank, the twice Oscar-winning actor, was talking to Robin about her three-year hiatus from acting. The years had been spent with her father during a grueling lung cancer diagnosis, treatments, and subsequent lung transplant. He survived and is doing well enough now for her to return to acting.

During the dialogue she was asked about her daily mantra she had mentioned earlier… which is “Make a choice, Make it happen.” As I was driving across the Don Holt bridge on the way to Mt. P …that mantra kept returning in my head. It is a good one.

Every single day we make lots of choices…some consciously, some not but still we make them and it is those choices that end up making or breaking our lives. It is up to us to ‘make it happen’ and for me, that is listening to God’s directives when I get lost.

One of the major obstacles that keeps popping up along my personal path is fear…fear of letting others down, fear of ridicule, fear of failure, fear of the unknown…you name it…there is a fear for it. I love Nelson Mandela’s quote: ‘May your choices reflect your hopes, not your fears.’

In one of the devotionals I glanced at Thursday…the discussion was centered around fear and I loved the metaphor the author gave.

“Dealing with Fear”

John Baker

…The tricky thing is that we can’t trust fear.

Think about how fear is like the darkness. When we go into a dark room, we can’t see a thing. Even though we might know the room well, once the lights are out, everything seems different. We imagine that things are jumping out to trip us as we shuffle around trying not to run into something and hurt ourselves. In reality, nothing has changed except our perception. The furniture is right where it was; the doors haven’t moved. It’s the same room it was with the light on. It’s just that the darkness distorts things.

Fear does the same thing. It distorts our perceptions, making us lose our sense of reality and focus on “what-ifs.” Most of the things we fear aren’t real at all; just figments of our imagination. When the truth comes in, it illuminates our minds, just like turning on the light in a dark room. Truth comes from God’s Word…His light!


Like most people, I have come to realize that I have wasted a lot of time spent fearing the worst and most of the time it never happens. But if you are like me…(I have always heard the term “Scottish worrier” – so maybe I can blame some of it on my genes) I play this mental game with myself…it is like if I put myself through this worrying zone ahead of time…then it will work out. But if I don’t get worried ahead of time I will get derailed by some terrible “trouble monster” I never saw coming.

If others are like me with this irrational thinking…it must be the superstitions stemming  from our ancient past that keeps popping up in our genes in this supposedly “civilized” society.

Though I am better since “Squeeze” came into my life…May 29, 2008. The night before my first breast cancer surgery…I found God and especially His Hand, squeezed it and have never stopped to date.

So until tomorrow…Feeling fearful, can’t sleep? Turn on the light and grabbed God’s Hand…He won’t let go.

“Today is my favorite day”  Winnie the Pooh

Saturday was an Eva Cate, Easter Egg helper extraordinaire, Day! Eva Cate came to help me put up signs around the garden giving directions for the hunt, washed and cleaned up the fairies and reconstructed the wheel barrow fairyland.

It was also the day to plant the magical Easter Rabbit lollipop seeds. Children must do kind deeds for those in need during Holy Week…being kind and helping other children, neighbors, friends, and family. If I get a good report from their parents…then they get to check and see if the Easter Rabbit made a lollipop grow where the magical seeds were planted. Eva Cate did the honors this year…planting seeds for everyone except Eloise. I don’t think she can quite handle a lollipop yet.

We went to Groucho’s to eat and it was delicious! First time I have been in the new one that opened in Summerville. I liked it.  I haven’t been to one since Mandy and John lived in West Ashley. What I was surprised to see was ‘The Chicken Man’s’ (Ernest Lee’s) paintings on the wall.

The biggest surprise following lunch was that Eva Cate decided she didn’t want to shop but she wanted to go back to my house and play in the Bradford Pear. When I told her how I read in a crabapple tree in North Carolina growing up…she wanted to take a book with her too.

I took her back home to Mt. Pleasant in time for their neighborhood Easter Egg Hunt. It was still a little chilly but the sun was out and it was a well-organized event. Jakie surprised me with his serious intensity on finding those eggs…and once found…it was all I could do to promise to guard the basket with my life while he played in the jump castle. That boy is a intense egg hunter!

Dividing the loot!

My how time is flying so quickly! I asked Eva Cate to hold my old doll Polly while I took a picture and then I showed her the first time she met Polly. It seems like a mere blink of time.

Some weeks I have to think twice (if I am on the interstate) which way am I am heading… south to Mt. Pleasant or north back to Summerville…a “Half n’Half” life which is fine as long as the ‘Green Vue’ doesn’t rebel. Now this gal is signing off…sweet dreams to everyone.

About Becky Dingle

I was born a Tarheel but ended up a Sandlapper. My grandparents were cotton farmers in Laurens, South Carolina and it was in my grandmother’s house that my love of storytelling began beside an old Franklin stove. When I graduated from Laurens High School, I attended Erskine College (Due West of what?) and would later get my Masters Degree in Education/Social Studies from Charleston Southern. I am presently an adjunct professor/clinical supervisor at CSU and have also taught at the College of Charleston. For 28 years I taught Social Studies through storytelling. My philosophy matched Rudyard Kipling’s quote: “If history were taught in the form of stories, it would never be forgotten.” Today I still spread this message through workshops and presentations throughout the state. The secret of success in teaching social studies is always in the story. I want to keep learning and being surprised by life…it is the greatest teacher. Like Kermit said, “When you’re green you grow, when you’re ripe you rot.”
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8 Responses to Make a Choice…Make it Happen

  1. bcparkison says:

    Seeds for goodness. Great idea.
    Don’t think I have ever heard of a cranberry tree.
    Our grands seem to grow much faster than their parents. lol


  2. A wonderful post that had been reflecting on whether my choices are controlled by fear,a don if so, how do I let fear go and let God.


  3. Jo Dufford says:

    “Make a Choice and Make it Happen” is such an interesting topic, and your blog today is so thought provoking. My first thought is that from the beginning, God’s gift of choice, as great as it is, has proven rather difficult for mankind. Mr. Mandela’s words are so powerful, positive and challenging. Your comments about fear are spot-on and reminds me of how afraid I was of the dark when I was a child. My fears seemed so real because I was not willing to open my eyes, take the cover off my head, see that the light was on and know I had nothing to fear. As I wrote that sentence, I thought, “Since God is The Light, then there is a message somewhere in there about all of our fears, and it is called “choices”. Your experience with hearing His voice is really powerful. Thank you for always touching my life in a special way.


    • Becky Dingle says:

      So good to hear from you Jo! As I read this comment it dawned on me how many of my childhood fears still remain inside me just waiting for a weak moment to reappear.


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