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Heartwarming Small-Town Romances and Thrilling Mysteries

This past week, I attended a conference called Smart Women Smart Money. The objective of the conference is to educate women, especially those who are single parents, about how to manage money and improve their situations. This year’s break-out sessions included starting and managing a small business. I was interested in those, but the biggest reason I wanted to attend was to hear the keynote speaker, the Chewbacca Mom.

Candace Payne bought a Chewbacca mask and shared her hearty laughter with the mask on FaceBook. The video went super-viral, setting a new record for most views (over 25 million within 2 days). She became famous overnight, literally. She springboarded off that unexpected event to become an inspirational speaker and author. And let me tell you, she was definitely inspirational.

She was a stay-at-home mom with two children. While they weren’t in the poor house, she and her husband watched their money closely to make sure it stretched far enough. Then came the day she shared a video on FaceBook so her friends could see what she’d bought herself for her birthday. Life was never the same after that.

Her speech was moving, funny, and inspirational and I’d love to share a few points she made that affected me most:

Greatness is found in the mundane.
Don’t despise small beginnings.
Don’t undervalue who you are.
The only reason to look at your neighbor is to see if they need something, and not to compare.
Fight for joy in your life.
There are two enemies to joy: comparison and shame.
Nothing great is done without a team.
Quit should-ing yourself. Do it.

As she was talking, I thought about how I’ve always considered my life as ordinary and of no interest to anyone. The more she spoke, the more I realized that that’s not true. I’ve experienced and learned a lot of things along the way that the world is waiting on me to share. So I’ve made a resolution with myself to start another nonfiction book about some things that have been on my mind for years. It’s time take them out of my head and put them on paper.

If you’re feeling down or unsure of yourself, I recommend Candace Payne’s book called Laugh It Up! I’ve not read all of it, but she’s got some really good advice. It’s a fun and inspirational read. It’s about an ordinary person who spent four minutes recording her joy and contagious laughter and that changed her life. We never know what small deed we may do that will cause a ripple effect and change us and those around us. Find the joy in small things.

If you missed the video, here’s the link:

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