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I’ve been playing Word Chums, an online game similar to Scrabble, to improve my memory. It’s fun. Once I got the hang of it, I decided to hone my skills…so I’d play higher levels against the computer. At first, I did poorly, but noticed that I got better and better, the harder the opponent. Eventually, my personal goal was to get a score of 200 points or higher per game, even if I lost to the computer. I enjoy it and it shores up my memory banks.

Then one day, I realized that even if I never play an actual person and only played against the computer, my score was public. Because I chose those harder levels I couldn’t beat to improve my game, I was showing as 50/50, meaning I had fifty percent wins, and fifty percent losses.

What?!? People can see my numbers? Heck, no. Immediately, I changed my approach, deciding only to play games that are of lower-level difficulty. Ones I knew I could win. After a couple of weeks, I’d raised my stats and now it shows that I’ve got 68% wins and 32% losses. That’s better. But what did I win?

The minute we become aware that there’s some kind of public record, we change our behavior. We don’t want strangers to think less of us. But nobody else has skin in the game. That’s true of life, too. You’re the only you on the planet. Life’s not a dress rehearsal. Play it your own way.

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Sometimes the tasks that God sets before us seem impossible.  The job is too big.  There are just too many things demanding your attention. The possibilities of failure surround you.

But He has given us all talents.  Sometimes the talents in a group overlap.  PrayPower?  Look at us and you’d think the world was all writers but even our talents are diverse.  Miss Ruth’s ability to tell it like it is while inspiring others to believe knows no equal. Lori’s talent in spinning a poem in tough times about tough topics astounds me.

The task may be great.  But believe in yourself. You have mighty talents and God will send you helpers.

Believe.

–SueBE

If ever there was a guy who seems to have it all, I’d nominate Hugh Jackman. He’s handsome, rich, famous and seems like a genuinely decent guy.

But let me just say this. He’s so multi-talented – it could be argued – he’s putting other people out of business. Think about it.

We need a dancer for this scene! Oh, wait. Hugh can do it.

We need a singer with the ability to tackle semi-operatic songs. Oh, wait…

This cat can do comedy, drama, stage, screen, song, dance.

I mean, even if he worked at the Amazon warehouse, I can imagine….

We’ve got to open all these boxes to get them ready for shipment. Anyone on staff with box-cutter fingernails? Say a mythical hero with epic sideburns? You there, with the Aussie accent! Let’s slash some boxes! By the way, do you always wear tap shoes to work?

Once, when Oprah’s TV show visited Australia, Hugh greeted her, flying in on a wire over the crowd to the stage. Something malfunctioned, though, and he landed abruptly, causing a gash to his face. After a moment, he shook it off like a sheepdog and the show went on.

What’s this guy’s secret sauce, anyway?!? This quote from Jackman says it all: “I believe actually the more you do something, the less frightening it becomes because you start to realize the outcome is not as important as you think.”

Tina Fey told the story of how her co-star from 30 Rock, Tracy Morgan, had mispronounced the Aussie star’s name as, “Jack Hughman,” and that tickled me. If we were to name a kind of prototype male of the human species, it would be a name like Jack Human. And it would be a guy like Hugh Jackman.

I think the reason he’s such a success is that he doesn’t dwell on failures.

I know you don’t expect to hear a story about a celebrity on a prayer blog, but my theory is, you take wisdom from any source that rings true. Here’s something that can’t be denied: Hugh can do it. You can, too!

Oh, son.  Angel I love. Light of my life!

Mom here. AKA, the Noodge. The Inquisitor. The Eye-roll Evoker!

Son, it’s about time that you and I have a heart-to-heart. Before you get all verklempt, no.  I’m not talking the Birds and the Bees. (Or, as we say in Joizey, da Boyds n da Beez.)

Nah, we’ve already done that.  Earned myself a good dozen eye-rolls with that lovely little convo. I’m talking about a serious sit-down about Big Stuff. Like, What You Want Out of Life. Every young bird has to leave the nest eventually, and once they do, they learn how to fly.

You’re going to have to support yourself someday, so here are your options:

□ Marry into Money. (Just joking. We mustn’t be so shallow! Unless you are and you do. In which case, buy me a little cottage with your wife’s bags of dough. XO♥)

□ Invent an App for Gullible People with Expendable Cash, like Stripper Name Roulette (using the name of your first pet and the street you grew up on.) Mine is Sheena Orchard.

□ Take aptitude tests online and figure out what you’d like to do for a living, with this one caveat: it should be something you love to do. Keep in mind that the old saw is true (no, that’s not me, shnookums. I’m the old bat! An old saw is a cliché.) If you love what you do for a living, you’ll never work a day in your life.

Remember to treat people the way you’d want them to treat you. This is called “the Golden Rule” and you’ll recognize when others do it by the way they shine and sparkle. Respect yourself as well. Always do the right thing.

Treat your body as the temple it is – you’ll be driving that vehicle for the rest of your life. So fuel it up properly and maintain it so it lasts a good long time. A healthy body and a positive attitude will take you far.

Now remember: no matter how old you get, you’ll always be my baby boy. And no matter where you go, I’ve always got your back. I believe in you. Believe in yourself.

Go out and conquer the world now, son. And don’t forget to call me every once in a while! If I don’t pick up, I’m probably at Bingo, so just leave a message. Remember always, you are blessed, beloved and believed in. Be about it now.

You’ve got this.

Love, Ma.

Have a Mary Little Christmas

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