dahlia in my garden: Rio Fuego in Coleus leaves

Friday, August 5, 2011

Follow the ‘ Winks’ along your Life’s Path

Lately, I have been thinking about a book which I always keep on my bookshelf and very often give a copy of to friends as a gift. This terrific little book is, When God Winks: How the Power of Coincidence Guides Your Life,” by SQuire Rushnell. Once you read this book you will find yourself constantly looking at the daily events in your life for the ‘winks’ you would normally ignore.

What are ‘God Winks'? They are little messages to you in your life, appearing in the form of coincidences - which seem almost too perfect! Rushnell describes it this way: “I believe every time a coincidence happens, or a prayer is answered, or something makes you want to shout, ‘Wow! What are the coincidences of that happening’? you’ve received a God Wink. It’s a signpost along your path to your destiny – a reassuring message, no matter what your belief in a higher power, that you are never alone."

The book guides you in examining the past events in your life, helping you to identify the links between coincidences and how they changed your future, sometimes with a very sharp turn which turned out to be exactly the way you were supposed to go when you look back and see the bigger picture. It shares stories of God Winks which have happened to people including Barbra Streisand, Charles Schulz, Oprah Winfrey, Kevin Costner, Mark Twain, and Presidents John Adams and Thomas Jefferson. I especially loved reading the personal accounts of winks

However, it isn’t hard, if you stop and think about it, to find a few God Winks in your own life. I’ll share two with you, one which happened to me and one to my sister-in-law, who I wrote about in my blog post “Embrace the Good Days... and the bad ones, too”

MY GARDEN ‘God Wink’

My garden is very special to me. Nurturing plants gives me a feeling of satisfaction and seeing them bloom and thrive feeds my soul in a way I cannot even explain. Last summer, I began to get more interested in small cactus and succulents, but as I collected them they became haphazardly scattered about my garden in pots. I came up with the idea of using sand to cover up an unused area which was unattractively covered with tree stumps and crabgrass. I thought spreading decorative sand to cover the bed area entirely would create a unified theme, and be much more pleasing to the eye.

I’d already used up my carefully budgeted garden allotment and we had no extra money to spend even for sand. Since we live in an apartment, it made no sense to sink more money into a landscape that did not belong to us. After discussing it with my husband and mother, we decided to wait and make it a project for the following year. My mother left. Not three minutes later she called me on the phone, and in an excited voice told me what she had just seen. The day care center at the end of our block had just finished creating a new playground and in the middle of the street was a pile of their leftover sand with a sign on top saying, “Free Sand, You Haul.”

My husband dashed down the street with a wheelbarrow, and in about five short trips retrieved enough sand to create the cactus garden that I’d decided I wanted only fifteen minutes earlier. How perfect was that? And it certainly couldn’t have happened faster! I had so much pleasure collecting plants and designing the layout. That God Wink really added to my enjoyment and fulfillment that summer, and it continues to brighten my life this year as well.

One part of my cactus & succulent garden last year, when I first set it up.


My sister-in-law, Barbara, has Lupus, Raynaud’s Syndrome, and Antiphospholipid Antibody Syndrome. Last Fall her kidneys began to fail and she was having trouble finding a specialist in the Denver area who had treated patients with her combination of problems. She had seen several nephrologists; each would try a medication and when that didn’t work they would refer her to another doctor. The final name she was given was a Dr. Joshua Thurman, but she hadn’t made an appointment with him yet afraid it would be the same fruitless search for treatment.  

In desperation to hopefully save what kidney function she had left, we flew her out here to see a renowned kidney specialist at Stanford, Dr. Glenn Chertow. At the end of her appointment, the doctor asked for the name of the nephrologist he would be coordinating her care with when she was back in Colorado. When she told him she had a recommendation for a Dr. Thurman but had not yet seen him, Dr. Chertow laughed. He said Dr. Thurman was an excellent doctor and also a close personal friend - he was even on his cell phone speed dial! He proved it by picking up his cell and calling the other doctor right then. What a God Wink, to know that your two specialists will definitely work well together because they already know each other and are good friends!

 WAS THAT A ‘God Wink’ ?

I think you’ll find this book a great read and that you will also want to read the other books Rushnell wrote on this theme, including When God Winks on Love (so many touching stories!), When God Winks on New Beginnings: Signposts of Encouragement for Fresh Starts and Second Chances,’ and When God Winks at You.’
I’ve enjoyed his works and shared them with so many people. I’ll never look at life the same way again, because in the words of Rushnell:
“From now on, whever a coincidence pops up at a particularly auspicious moment in your life, I hope you will come to say, ‘I-e-e-e wonder. Was that a God Wink?’ Chances are good that is was.”

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