We had just arrived at a dinner party with new friends to me and old friends to my sweetheart.  I was a little anxious because my sweetheart is a widow and his friends had been friends with his wife.  She was a lovely person and I know I would have loved her – because she loved the man who has stolen my heart.

As we walked in, I was greeted with smiles, warm hugs and a group of political junkies waiting to talk about the crazy happenings in our world.  I felt at home immediately.  I was among like-minded peeps and it felt great!  My fears disappeared and I felt as if I belonged in this new group to me.

The hostess had planned the perfect evening.  She’s in the event planning business so you can imagine how  wonderful everything was.  The smell of different foods created the right atmosphere for stomach growling.  The home was warm and friendly.  The sliding glass door was wide open to allow more entertaining around the fire pit outside and the summer kitchen was ready for conversing over drinks.  And the hostess’ dog was quietly moving from person to person hoping he would not be found out by his “mom” and a nibble or two would be his.

I wandered into the kitchen area and there it was.  The coolest “salad bar” I had ever seen.  The hostess had learned lessons from many years of event planning at hotels and she had stolen some of their ideas.  Instead of bowls, she had placed brown wrapping paper over the table and put the salad “fixings” on it.  She printed the name of the salad ingredients underneath each one and supplied black tongs for easy pick up.  We each had a bowl and she explained we could all make our own salad and choose what we wanted.  I LOVED THE IDEA!  I LOVED THE FACT THE PAPER COULD BE THROWN AWAY AND NO MESS TO CLEAN UP!  I LOVED THE CREATIVITY!

I was actually giddy with the creativity.  I’m that kind of gal.  Show me a creative idea and I’ll steal it and I promised the hostess, I would be stealing her idea.

And then she said, “That’s okay.  I stole the idea too.  Take it.  It’s yours.”

As I dropped a few sunflower seeds in my bowl with the butter lettuce, I smiled.  Why?  Because I love creativity.  I love thinking outside the box.  I love it because … when I was a young wife and mother, I became a Christian.  I wanted so much to understand who God was and how I could please Him.  I jumped in to my faith and I read everything I could.  I read the Bible front to back over and over again.  I searched for something that would tie me to the One who made me.  I was trying so hard to know Him.  I wanted to soak in His presence.  And all that activity, reading, researching and studying had me frustrated.  I didn’t feel I had grown much into His likeness.  I felt hollow and I felt I had fallen short of what God wanted me to do with my life.

The one day I heard it.  After an event at church where I had volunteered to lead a special event, an older, wiser woman I respected and felt was “closer to God than anyone I knew” said to me, “You are so creative.  You have God’s first character trait.”

What?  God’s first character trait?

She said, “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.”  That’s the very first thing we learned about God.  He is creative.  You have His #1 trait, Billie.  Not everyone has that gift.”

Creativity had never been anything I thought much about.  I thought everyone was that way.  I didn’t think it was as important as preaching or teaching.  How could creativity be as important as that?

And oh my — I knew right then how very important thinking out of the box had created beauty and set the stage for a good life, a beautiful atmosphere and joyful communion with others.

I realized how setting a creative table made others feel happy because you knew they had taken TIME to make you happy.  How a warm room with like-minded people welcoming you to their circle was more important than someone preaching at me.  I learned sitting around a camp fire listening to the wood snap and how watching people’s faces lit by the light made my heart melt.  I learned sharing food in a creative way and stealing stolen ideas for my next party made me giddy and light-hearted and would make others feel all that too.  I learned that not all are called to be on the big stage of man.. and all are called to be on the big stage of LIFE.

We are all gifted with something and whatever makes us giddy is probably that “something.”  Do you know what your “giddy” is?  Do you live with your “giddy” on?  If not, maybe it’s time you “giddy” things up.

When we live with our “giddy on,” we live a life that’s less mess and more fun!  And probably cheaper too!  Cheaper because life shouldn’t be expensive.  Life should be simple and focused on helping others get their “giddy” on.

No matter how important all those people look on the big stage of life…you can bring as much joy to those in your inner circle by just sharing your home, your ideas (stolen if need be), your friends and your heart.

As the holidays approach us – maybe you should open your doors wide.  Invite others in.  Think out of the box.  Have fun.  Be like God – create a world where people want to walk with you, converse with you, eat and drink with you and learn from you.  And you do have something to share — even if it’s stolen from others.  That’s okay.  Keep it going and share away!

Oh my friends, don’t think too much.  Just create LOVE in your atmosphere and they will come.  And a salad bar on brown paper might just be the perfect stolen idea to make LOVE happen and help someone feel included.  We all need to feel included, don’t we?

Thank you Cheryl for opening your home, your creativity and your heart.  It did not go unnoticed!  I’m “giddy” and thankful for a new friendship.

Peace, Love, Out,

Billie

 

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Billie Tucker has worked in the CEO world for more than 30 years and was the Chief Operating Officer of Vistage Florida, a think tank for CEOs. She started her own consulting practice, CEO Service Bureau, in 2001 and earned a reputation for her keen understanding of the motivations, challenges and goals of people and became a life-long student and teacher of leadership principles. She craved anything leadership related and enjoyed being around the world of entrepreneurial CEOs. She watched as they made decisions; pondered how they would make payroll when cash flow was tight; and appreciated how they created career opportunities for hundreds of thousands of people. Because of her experiences, she has emerged as a key resource for the media and others who want to understand important insights about executives, management teams and board dynamics. In 2008, Billie became discouraged as she watched some of her clients struggle with the political economic impacts on their businesses. The same CEOs who mortgaged their home and charged up their credit cards to make ends meet to build a business and keep others working, now watched as their government bailed out the big banks who had mismanaged their resources. She cringed as most of her clients laid off employees for the first time and she vowed she would help them… somehow…someway. That somehow…someway showed up in the Tea Party Movement in America. She formed one of the largest tea party group’s in America (more than 9,000 members strong) and helped bring attention to America’s debt problem, out of control spending, over taxation and regulation strangulation on companies. With her background in working with leaders and her influence in the political and leadership world, Billie has continued her dream to help CEOs navigate these troubling waters that permeate the world of capitalism in America. She has been an active participant in the media as a guest on CNN, Fox News, Fox Business, Bott Family Network Radio and co-hosts a political/financial radio show in the Northeast Florida market entitled, Smart Money. She was the first speaker at the House of Representatives Tea Party Caucus inaugural event and was invited by Heritage Foundation to speak at their prestigious annual Heritage Resource Bank, and on their National Security Panel live broadcasts. She spoke at the Congressional Republican House Retreat in Pennsylvania in 2012. She was also the co-host and co-producer of the CNN Tea Party Express Debate in the 2012 Presidential Election. She is a firm believer that America needs more entrepreneurs and more opportunities for people to use their God-given talents and passions to better themselves, their communities and America. Her favorite quote has become her mission to help CEOs succeed: “Vision without execution is hallucination.” – Thomas Edison

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