True and Inspirational Stories

Real People - Real Success

Enjoy our original, inspirational stories about real people realizing their dreams. These accounts of lifelong dreams coming true will inspire you and hopefully encourage you to pursue your own aspirations.

Inspirational stories can lift your spirits, help you make decisions and point you in the right direction mentally.

We enjoy reading these inspiring stories because they encourage us to keep pressing on toward our own dreams. Also, it makes our hearts glad to see other people who have experienced their dreams coming true. Much of life can appear dark, hard, unfair yet when we look at the beauty in someone else's life we are reminded that not all of life is depressing. Most of this life is beautiful and filled with loving people.

inspirational couple

Inspiration For The Retirement Years

After 36 years of teaching at Texas A&M and a very successful career in his preferred field of interest, my daughter’s grandfather, Papa, alongside his lovely wife, retired and moved their residence out of state. When looking for someone to inspire my retirement dreams, I did not have to look far. This couple have been and continue to be a source of inspiration for those who know them.

Making The Big Move

Partly due to health reasons and partially to follow a dream, they decided to move to Albuquerque, New Mexico. After so many years of living in the same community and with deep roots, they dared displace themselves. Making such an enormous change upon retirement and leaving their deep friendships and community involvement must have been challenging. Yet since they felt drawn there and as they began to discover the beauty and rich cultural background offered, they began to reap more than just physical benefits.

Leaving It All Behind

Leaving so many connections behind and the familiarities of a well-established home could lead to feelings of disillusionment. They chose to brave those challenges by pursuing their passions, interests and new friendships. Through efforts to establish church membership, community involvement, continued professional interests and travel, they created what appears to be the life of their dreams. Joining breakfast groups and working the voting polls, they support their political beliefs through various means., Taking tours like the Smithsonian Tour of the Spoleto Festival and singing with the University Chorus are just a few of their retirement activities. Becoming involved with organizations like the Albuquerque Museum Foundation, they are always in the know about available, interesting exhibits. Working with programs like University Showcase, at a local radio station, keeps Papa informed and connected as well as utilizes his talents and expertise.

The Lifestyle

In addition to these activities, they are health conscious and incorporate both a healthy diet and exercise into their lifestyle. They have maintained strong family connections through emails, letters, birthday and holiday celebrations, and phone calls. Even though they live out of state, they are visited often by friends and family. Because of their awareness of their city and state, we have experienced some wonderful sighting-seeing when we visited. Whether it was hiking on Sandia or visiting the ancient home of the cliff dwellers, they were never lacking for recreational ideas.

Their Secret

Certainly one of their secrets to a winning retirement was being financially prepared. Another key to their success has been their continued interest in learning. Whether they were at home or abroad with a local tour group, they found educational opportunities like attending lectures while traveling. When I think about this couple in retirement, I am truly inspired to lead a fuller more rewarding lifestyle both now and in the future and I imagine my retirement to be very much like theirs.

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Free Affirmations To Incorporate Into Your Daily Practice of Self-Improvement

Original Inspirational Stories

“How I became an Artist”

by Janice “Celeste” Hunt

Many people have a casual attitude toward art and I was no exception. I was born in 1948 and raised in the 50’s on a poor ranch in Texas. I hardly knew what a city was; much less anything about art or being an artist. In the 60’s, my parents divorced and we moved to a tiny Texas town which boasted of one grocery store, a gas station and a High School with a class of ten students total.

Art was never even a passing thought as I continued my walk in life; getting married, having children, working, getting divorced twice and all that goes with the struggle to survive more obstacles than I will take time to discuss during this writing. Dreams did not find a place in my thoughts very often in those days and if I did allow a dream to flicker across my mind; I would not dwell on it for very long.

In the year of 1989, I was finally beginning to realize that life might have something more to offer. The man of my dreams, my third husband Ray, had asked me to retire six months earlier and I somehow began watching an oil painting show on TV, The Joy of Painting with Bob Ross. I was fascinated. It was not very long before I really wanted to try and paint along with this man on TV.

Ray was excited I was interested in painting and he encouraged me to the highest degree. He began video taping art programs. One weekend, he took me shopping for paints, brushes, canvas and any items I would need to paint. Our apartment was very small and we set everything up on the dining room table so I could paint with the video. My first finished painting was a landscape. Everyone praised my work and encouraged me to continue. Painting became my absolute passion in life. I would paint from early in the morning until my husband would get home from work. A dream was birthed in the depth of my soul.

A few months later we started looking to buy a four bedroom house. We had prayed and ask God to lead, direct and guide us to just the right home to purchase. The one we found and really loved had brand new lush, thick carpet in all the rooms except one small bedroom in the back corner. This room had old, stained carpet and needed repairs. I knew God had chosen this room to become my very own and when the renovations were complete, it was the perfect “Art Studio.” We began buying art “how-to” books, videos and all the supplies I would possibly need. I painted constantly; almost day and night. I would often finish two paintings per day!

About a year later we began attending a little church in our neighborhood. We became friends with the young Pastor and his family. When they found out that I was an artist, they asked me to teach their sons how to paint. They had two adorable little boys that were home schooled and it was not long before I began teaching the boys to paint once per week in my studio. I believed that God had given me the “gift” of painting so I did not charge any money for the art lessons and we provided all the supplies needed except the canvas for the lessons. I used a verse from the Bible that says, “ Freely I have received, and freely I give” (Matt. 10:8, NIV). The next five and one-half years were filled with students from ages 6 to 70 coming in and out of my Studio twice per week and learning how to paint. At one time, I had 18 students per week.

This was a great time of learning and growing for me as an Artist. There was an unending wealth of artistic knowledge to absorb. I was like a sponge and wanted to learn more. After I stopped teaching Art, my interest moved from painting landscapes toward painting people. This was very foreign to me because I had never learned how to draw very much. Ray figured out there were lots of different ways to place a picture onto canvas without drawing so we bought a projector. This method worked very well for several years and was later replaced by enlarging items on the computer. I would trace the picture onto a canvas using graphite paper. During these years, I sold paintings, accepted commissions for specific works and did plein aire paintings in public occasionally (“plein air” painters work outside at a particular location capturing the light effects that occur in nature.)

The majority of my paintings were given to family members and just about anyone that wanted them. Many times, I would get very frustrated with a painting and throw it out to the curb for trash pick up. Ray would retrieve some of them and hide them in the attic. Many times, after months had gone by, he would bring a painting down and I would wonder why I had thrown it away! A neighbor invited me into her home one day and sheepishly admitted she had taken some of my paintings from our trash and placed them all over her walls.

My husband, Ray, had also developed a great interest in learning to paint. We took a spring vacation near a beautiful, large lake in Texas and decided we would paint together for a week. After the first day of painting, I became very ill and thought it was a stomach virus or something I had eaten. In fact, I had been having stomach problems for a few weeks prior. When we arrived back home, we decided to clean the Studio really well and bought a powerful air refresher device for the room because my husband had noticed that almost every time I painted, I became very ill at my stomach. After some research, we realized I had developed a strong allergy to oil paints and turpentine! We got rid of any and all oil based products in the Studio and started over using a water based acrylic paint It was quite expensive.

Learning to paint with acrylics presented a huge challenge as they dry quickly in a matter of seconds and are near impossible to blend in comparison to oil paints, which take several days to dry completely and blending is no problem at all. Lots of new videos were studied and I continued to paint every day; determined to learn the new medium. One week-end, I decided to paint a 24x36 inch canvas and chose a landscape composition with an old Chapel high up in the mountains. I was painting as fast as I possibly could before the acrylic dried and Ray laughingly said I was painting with both hands! When that experience was complete, I knew I could paint anything I wanted with acrylics. The Old Master painters from the 16th through 18th centuries are fascinating and I learned as much as possible about their lives. My favorites are John William Waterhouse, Renoir, Dante Gabriel Rosetti, Sir Frank Dicksee, Pierre Auguste Cot and far too many others to name.

Thus began my love affair with these exceptional, talented, brilliant and extraordinary master artists who simply referred to themselves as “painters”. I began re-creating my own rendition of their beautiful compositions to hang on the walls of our home. The largest size canvases I have painted are two 36x48 inch. We found a fabulous, wholesale company and bought the most exquisite and superb frames we could afford.

A few years later, we moved into a beautiful new home closer to our family. We renovated an extra bedroom into a Studio to comfortably accommodate our easels, chairs, storage cabinet, tables and all our art supplies. Eventually, we joined a local Art Association that met once per month and we enjoyed making new friendships with other artists. We exhibited in art shows, banks and various other places during our tenor with the group. November of 2005, I became President of my own Art Association, which was formed with the help of some very close and dear artist friends. We were a diverse group of lively, creative and energetic artists that met once per month in a local Chamber of Commerce. Our meetings were fun, boisterous and informative. We always encouraged one another to keep painting no matter what! We exhibited paintings in different businesses on a continual basis and our artwork remains displayed at the city Library to this day.The Association was disbanded in December 2008. Many life long friendships were developed during this time in my life and I will forever be grateful for this special experience.

Over these years of painting, there are many lessons I have and am continuing to learn about the importance of reaching toward one’s dreams knowing the Master Creator, God, has shared some of His very own abilities to create beautiful works of art within my existence on this earth. Each time I complete an outstanding and exceptional painting, I feel like I have just awakened a place deep within my soul to discover a river of abundant, overflowing life filled with delight.

printed by permission from Janice “Celeste” Hunt of Celeste Arts

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