a girl and her purpose

The other day, in moment of lamenting to my husband that I had no purpose in life, he looked at me and asked the foreboding question we all wince in pain when asked; “Laura, if you could choose to be or do anything, what would it be?” Ummmm… Pain… agony… I had to stop. Think. Ponder and twitch my lip into a thinking pose while glancing up toward the ceiling.

I had no answer.

And to the non-answer, came his reply, “You have raised two beautiful girls. You are the owner of a small business. You have traveled far and wide. You love adventure and most important, I would not be where I am today if it wasn’t for you.” (yeah, he’s pretty awesome like that!)

With this little verbal interaction, I found myself thinking about what I had accomplished in my lifetime, searching deep inside to see if there was something missing. Is there still something out there that I need to accomplish before I get too old to get out of bed? – Which on some days, doesn’t seem too far off!

They say that when you face a tragedy in your life, you have flashbacks where memories of childhood and young adulthood suddenly burst before your eyes, taking you back in time.

Is it possible to have these flashbacks even if there isn’t catastrophe awaiting you around the corner?

And… is it safe to say that it is ok to have memory flashbacks, even if misfortune hath not besought thee?

Later that evening, I asked my own self the question, “Laura, when you were a little girl, what did you dream of becoming when you grew up?” You know, others can ask you that question, but it isn’t until you are in a quiet place – like the bathroom – that you really stop to seriously interrogate yourself and it really hits home! “What do I want to be when I grow up?” And even worse… here I am in my final year of the 40’s, and I still haven’t figured it out!

Why am I here?


What is my purpose?

In 2004, I accepted a job with a company that toured across America. It was a special live event tour that ministered and communicated hope to women from all over the world. It was an incredibly fun job and during the twelve or so years I traveled with them, I literally met thousands of women. Since I worked for the tour, it seemed to the attendees that I had a special gift of having everything all together and found myself in a place of motivating and doing my best to inspire women when I myself was wallowing in pity and extreme lack of self-acceptance. In spite of my tragic emotions, I put on a happy face and offered encouragement to all who crossed my path.

The thing that I noticed the most about these women is that most were finding themselves standing at an intersection in life and they all had similar things in common with each other. They were all 40-something or older. Some were facing divorce, while others; a second or third marriage. Some were becoming empty nesters with the changing of seasons as their baby headed off to college. Many were already empty nesters. A few had lost everything due to poor financial decisions and one lady, in which I will never forget, lost her son to prison after he was found guilty of murder. The thing they all had in common? They had no idea what to do with their life. They had given everything to their family, husband or job and now, they were finding themselves in a place where they were no longer needed to the extent the past had held them so captive.



While scrolling through social media the other day, I came across a Facebook Live posting by Brene’ Brown. I stopped to listen and even though I can’t remember everything she said, I do remember this quote; “There is power in owning our story. If we own our story, we get to write the ending.”

I began to think about this quote from Brene’, and the thought of purpose seemed to slap me upside the head – as we say in the south.

Our story is our purpose. It’s our story that inspires others and changes the way we look at life. It is the actuality of who we are and the roadmap for others who are following close behind.

Our story is our entire existence and it is our entire purpose. Not only do we need to own our purpose, we need to be able to write the ending by finding that purpose. By realizing our story, we find purpose. 

So, what is your purpose? What is mine?

I took a moment to look up purpose in the dictionary. Purpose is a reason for which something exists, or is done. It is an intended or desired result, a goal. It is determination and resoluteness, and finally, my favorite, it is a practical effect.

Forget about everything you thought you knew about purpose and think about this one thing… Purpose is my story. It is the story in which I am the author. Since I am the author, I get to write the ending. And… in the end, my purpose / story is the practical effect I have on others.

It is my determination to travel and see the world. It is my purpose to help those who are in need and lift up my family when they need me. It is my purpose to be the best co-worker or CEO the company has every experienced. It is my resoluteness of power to inspire others and be kind to everyone I meet.

When we can focus in on our day-to-day purpose and find joy in it, we can then find purpose for our future. What we build up in our lives today is building purpose for our tomorrow and that gives us the ability to write our story and have an unbelievable ending that causes others to then find their purpose and write their own ending.


Have you found your story? If so, write and tell me about it!

a girl and the end of an era

When I was thirteen years old, my mother married a man from Orlando. I hated him. He was not welcome in my life. My biological father had left us a few years prior to this union and since he was a painful memory, as far as I was concerned, no man could ever be a dad to me. Not only that, this man was also taking my mother away from me! How dare he.

As an extremely overly dramatic teen, I threatened to run away; so armed with peanut butter jar in one hand and a change of clothes in the other, I stormed into the bathroom. The fear of not knowing what to do next changed my mind and I took the peanut butter back to the kitchen with defeat. 

In the midst of all my issues, I began to see that this man was the real deal. He loved my mother with crazy love. In fact, he cherished her. And in loving her, he loved her children. In spite of my hatred for him, he decided to make me his daughter, and I began to love him and call him “Dad”. (Pictured below is my dad in the 90’s – center – and all of us siblings! He went to his place of peace in June 2010. And oh how I miss him!)

pappy & family

One of the amazing things about my step-father (turned Dad) is that he worked at Walt Disney World, back when there was just Walt Disney World – as in what they now call “the Magic Kingdom”. No Epcot, Animal Kingdom, Disney Tokyo or any of that… Just WDW. Disney World. As a buyer, he was tasked with the duty of buying the materials to build Epcot.


After a long day at work  he would come home with blueprints of the planned park and would ceremoniously roll them out on the kitchen table. All of us kids would eagerly gather around as he would point out all of the areas under construction, telling us what the buildings meant and how they were ideas of the future. Sometimes he would have samples of the building supplies that went into the building of the structures. I’ll never forget him bringing home plastic fish eyes. They were the eyes that would go into the animatronics for one of the shows. He had bought those eyes. I was so proud. 

The best project he worked on was Space Ship Earth. You know, the big ball in the front of the park? Well, each of those triangles are individually placed on the sphere and was at one time an element of imagination, measurement, purchasing and construction. My dad was the one who read those plans and blueprints, then worked with builders to create them. For some, this may be trivial, but to my family and I, it is a legacy. 

Another project he worked on was The Universe of Energy. This incredible, futuristic ride was an innovation in energy technology. It’s roof was covered with 80,000 photovoltaic solar cells that help power the ride. It featured a newly discovered Ellen Degeneres and Bill Nye the Science Guy and was a thirty-something minute long wonder ride that included dinosaurs and creative filming techniques only to be seen in a Disney park. 


I remember riding the ride before it opened to the public and the pride my dad had as he  explained what everything meant and how it was built. It truly was an amazing event… In the eighties. 

Time has marched on. It is now 2017 and The Universe of Energy still welcomes visitors with dreams of technological advance in the world of solar, hydro-electricity through tracing the history of our use of energy. 

Last month, I heard that The Universe of Energy would close its doors, developing a whole new ride experience, and although I had not been in the pavilion for over ten years, I was appalled! What? This is part of my childhood. It’s part of my legacy! My dad helped build that ride!

So, a week before it closed, I decided to visit The Universe of Energy one last time. To my surprise, there was no picket line. In fact, there was no line at all. It seemed no one was even interested in going on this ride. We walked right into the show where Ellen in all her fashionable eighties hair and style greeted us on a screen larger than a two-story building.

Somehow, I didn’t remember the acting being so bad and the fashion so dated. The storyline was flat. The futuristic technology had bloomed and was now the past, and the cinematography we once thought “before it’s time”, was no longer breath-taking. And you know the 30-something minute wonder ride I told you about? Well, it was 30-something minutes of boring! Outdated and obsolete. 

As I walked out of the building, I realized that it’s time had come. In fact, it was probably overdue. It is an era in my life, but it’s an era that severely needed updated. 

Life has a way of out-dating us, just as theme parks and amazing one-of-a-kind rides. We experience something and place the memory in a special vault, making it a legacy in our lives. Sometimes the memories are good, sometimes bad. We don’t visit it, we just keep it tucked away. Remembering it.

I recently had a conversation with a man who was innovating an incredible invention that could possible change so much of the way we do things in this era. He began to tell of a family owned company that was built by a fore-father and was stuck in the past of what the father and grandfather had invented. The company was suffering due to the lack of vision. They could only see what they had done in the past and were stuck on re-creating the grandfathers work instead of learning from the former and reinventing into something that was relevant for today.

This made me think about my own life and other women who I speak to-day in and day out. Am I holding onto something in my past that is keeping me from moving forward? Is it possible that I could let go of some things in my life and I could re-invent myself to be a better version of the past?

What is holding you back from being what you want to be? What memory or experience has created such a strong legacy, that you can’t move forward? We have such dreams of being “more than we are”, or “doing something bigger than me”, but where do you begin? How do you get there?

Take a moment to re-visit the memorial of an event, career, decision or even a friendship. Is the initial memory keeping you stuck in the past, unable to move forward? Maybe it’s time to, not tear down the memory, but evaluate and reinvent it into something better.

I am reminded of a lovely quote I read by Bryant McGill. “You have to make the decision to let go of the past if you want to move forward… If you look at today through the eyes of the past, you can never see what the present moment has to offer.” 


Note: On July 15, 2017 Walt Disney Parks confirmed that the Universe of Energy will close on August 13, 2017, and be replaced by a Guardians of the Galaxy attraction.