Wednesday, May 29, 2013

The Mountain in Bora Bora

When we arrived in Bora Bora, I was fascinated with this mountain. It's just an incredible site to see and is actually the side crater of the volcano that lies beneath the water. Who would've thought lava could pile high enough to create this peak? Every time I go outside, I look at that mountain and  wondered "What's on the other side?" 

We took a jeep tour on that island--yes, where that mountain is. I wasn't too thrilled with this climb in an old vehicle that looked like it hadn't had a brake inspection in 20 years. I don't care for heights, especially when rocks are sliding under our tires and we are inches away from death over a cliff.

When we got to the other side of this mountain and stepped out of the jeep, the view took my breath away. My eyes couldn't take it all in and were in overload. Now I knew why I've been so mesmerized by this mountain and why I needed to get to the other side!

Your spiritual walk of faith can often look like an incredible mountain to you.You watch others have faith and walk through the storms in life and come out victorious on the other side. You wonder if or when you'll get to that point of being able to place your problems and issues into the hands of the Father. But it's so easy to get comfortable on your side of the mountain because of the fear of the steep climb and the falling rocks that may come down in front of you, not to mention the dramatic drop off the mountain just inches away. Because of fear of failure, you're simply stuck with admiring the mountain but never going to the other side.

Hebrews 11:1 says, "Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see." 2 Corinthians 5:7 says, "We live by faith, not by sight." 1 Corinthians 2:5 says, " that your faith might not rest on men's wisdom but on God's power."

So my question to the guide on our tour was: Has anyone ever climbed this mountain? The answer is no. It's too steep so the people just go around it by going on the other side. Interesting....

If you knew what's on the other side of your spiritual mountain, you'd go around it. There's no need to climb it when you can go around it. Move forward, in faith, and get to the other side so you can see what's ahead in your growing relationship with the Lord.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Manta Rays in Bora Bora

I have recently returned from the picturesque island of Bora Bora in French Polynesia with Rodan + Fields Dermatology. I had shared some of my experiences and how they relate to my spiritual walk with many of my business partners and thought I'd share them with you as well.
One adventure in Bora Bora included a swim with the underwater sealife. Now, I'm NOT the adventurous one of this group. I'd much rather stay ON the boat and not UNDER the boat.

After a short lesson about what we would possibly see while underwater, I had convinced myself there was no way I could do it. I'm not an expert swimmer, especially when there's a tremendous current  (the worst the natives claim in 4 years), but I could certainly spout off the instructions the guide gave. I listened well, could recite word-for-word the instructions on watching out how deep you can comfortably dive without a tank, but there was NOOOO way *I* was going to dip in THAT water.

So a couple of us ladies decided we would cheer everyone else on and stay in the boat. But something began to happen. I watched as others, who aren't expert swimmers either, jump into the glassy blue waters and immediately pop back up. I heard the laughter, the fun, the comments like "Look what's under here! Oh my goodness!" The smiles of amazement were making me even more curious.

All I could think of was: Do these people know manta rays can kill you?! Finally, the guide looked up at me from the water and yelled out, "You don't know what you're missing!" I was content to stay on the boat and watch everyone else swim with the underwater creatures while I played it safe.
Have you been guilt of doing that in your walk with Christ? You long for the peace and joy you see your Christian friends living and you wonder, "Why not me?"

So after watching everyone else talk about what they were seeing and experiencing, the positive peer pressure got to me and I couldn't stand the thought of someone else having fun and fear talking me out of an experience. The guide grabbed my hand and down I went. A manta ray came up, blinked at me and acted like a purring kitten wanting to be touched again and again.

Fear isn't pretty. It's Satan's primary method of attack because he knows when you step out of fear, you step into faith. Psalm 91:3-6 says, "Surely he will save you from the fowler's snare and from the deadly pestilence. He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart. You will not fear the terror of night, nor the arrow that flies by day, nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness, nor the plague that destroys at midday."  Psalm 89:8 says, "O LORD God Almighty, who is like you? You are mighty, O LORD, and your faithfulness surrounds you."

When I got back in the boat, I was so glad that I got out of the boat. Listening to what I was supposed to do by the guide was a good thing; but actually DOING it brought me a sense of fulfillment that watching others do from afar couldn't match.

I asked the guide why the manta rays seemed so tame, friendly and didn't scare me? "They had their barbs pulled out years ago when they were babies. They can't hurt you." As it turns out, I was afraid of something that didn't even have the ability to hurt me at all.

Worry of the unknown gives small things a big shadow. Stop watching everyone else have the "peace that passes all understanding" (Philippians 4:7) and start taking a dip into the water yourself. Chances are, not only will you learn things about yourself that you never knew but your faith in God will increase in ways you never imagined....all because you got out of the boat.

(Barbie will be sharing a few more highlights of her trip to Bora Bora with Rodan + Fields Dermatology in the coming days.)

Friday, May 3, 2013

Thoughts on Emails & Social Media

Being in the public eye for the last 18 years, I get my share of critiques. With the advent of the internet and social media, they come more often than they would should someone take the time to sit down and write a handwritten letter to express their disdain. I remember asking my predecessor, the late Woodie Assaf, if he received as many emails as I did when it came to critical viewers? He said, "If I did, I wouldn't care because I'd tell them where they could put it."

I received these emails just this week:

"Maybe I should get a job as a weatherman. It's the ONLY job I know of that a person can be 100% WRONG and still keep their jobs. You and others have said, "make your plans for there's no rain in the forecast". So, that's what I do, to ONLY be poured on. Today is only one example of the past weather reports. What bothers me the most, we get your forecast, make our plans, and when the weather is TOTALLY different from the forecast, then the reporting changes to fit the actual weather. Seems to me, a "WEATHER ROCK" would be a lot more accurate. If what you all report is coming from some other source, such as National Weather Service, maybe another source would be a thought. Please don't take this personal, because it's not meant to be."

"You look great tonight. There are about 50+ of us women watching  from all different walks of life.
You look very professional. But can we get you to cut you hair?" Anonymous

I had even posted one of these emails on my public Facebook page this week. While many were shocked that viewers take the time to email their critiques, one viewer sent me this suggestion:

"As with many jobs in dealing with the public and being such a public figure being in tv as you are I'm sure there are many trying times. I would greatly appreciate it if you would just ignore the comments from negative thoughts and negative persons comments to you and please don't share on Facebook. As one adult to another we have to look over these comments and move forward. Thank you and have a blessed day. PS-- whining gets nothing accomplished."

A few people have asked why I share some of my emails? My reasoning is simple: to expose how superficially critical we can sometimes be. It's amazing the freedom we feel when we can hide behind a computer keyboard, throw stones and hide. And let's face it, emails and social media have made us more susceptible to everyone else's opinion, barbs, jabs and yes, even the "constructive criticism" (is there really such a thing?)

I began to think how I would be taken if I were to walk into my local bank and tell the bank teller, "I don't like how you're doing your job. My first grader can count money faster than you. And honey child, that outfit you have on is a hot mess. I hope you don't mind that I'm giving you constructive criticism because you know I love you. I just want to help you do your job better since so many people come in here every day and look up to you." I believe I'd be sucker punched and then thrown OUT of the bank. So why do we think it's perfectly permissible to tell others what we think of them?

Psalm 19:14 says, "Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer."

Tapping out your thoughts on a keyboard is easy to do. Before you do, think about the implications of what you're about to share. Would it be considered acceptable in the Lord's sight? If not, hit the backspace key and try again.