God Never Blinks: 50 Lessons for Life's Little Detours

( 68 )

Overview

Already an internet phenomenon, these wise and insightful lessons by popular newspaper columnist and Pulitzer Prize finalist Regina Brett will make you see the possibilities in your life in a whole new way.

When Regina Brett turned 50, she wrote a column on the 50 lessons life had taught her. She reflected on all she had learned through becoming a single parent, looking for love in all the wrong places, working on her relationship with God, ...
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God Never Blinks: 50 Lessons for Life's Little Detours

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Overview

Already an internet phenomenon, these wise and insightful lessons by popular newspaper columnist and Pulitzer Prize finalist Regina Brett will make you see the possibilities in your life in a whole new way.

When Regina Brett turned 50, she wrote a column on the 50 lessons life had taught her. She reflected on all she had learned through becoming a single parent, looking for love in all the wrong places, working on her relationship with God, battling cancer and making peace with a difficult childhood. It became one of the most popular columns ever published in the newspaper, and since then the 50 lessons have been emailed to hundreds of thousands of people.
Brett now takes the 50 lessons and expounds on them in essays that are deeply personal. From "Don't take yourself too seriously-Nobody else does" to "Life isn't tied with a bow, but it's still a gift," these lessons will strike a chord with anyone who has ever gone through tough times--and haven't we all?
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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble

In 2006, Cleveland Plain Dealer columnist Regina Brett composed a list of 50 life lessons, one for each year of her life. Before long, this count-up of pithy reminders was proliferating on blogs, Twitter, Facebook, and every other imaginable internet site. In God Never Blinks, the two-time Pulitzer nominee takes each of these smidgens of wisdom and expounds on them for a full, rich chapter, describing what her own stormy life has taught her about getting through. A gift for a loved one at an impasse; now in paperback and NOOK Edition.

Library Journal
In this incredibly moving and inspiring essay collection, Cleveland Plain Dealer columnist Brett recounts 50 hard life lessons. Overcoming a troubled childhood, being a single parent, and surviving cancer lead her to maintain that while "life isn't tied with a bow, it's still a gift." She speaks convincingly of believing in miracles and forgiving everyone everything. While autobiographical inspiration can be self-serving and tedious, this example of the genre is hard to put down. [See Prepub Alert, LJ 12/09.]
Publishers Weekly - Library Journal
On turning 50, Cleveland Plain Dealer columnist Brett wrote her most popular piece ever, containing the cancer survivor and single mom's most important life lessons. Here she expands and expounds on that column, incorporating other essays penned over her 14 years as an opinion columnist, to make a rousing inspirational collection. Most of her pieces-dedicated to substantive but familiar ideas like "Overprepare, then go with the flow," "Stay put in the day you are in," and "God loves you because of who God is"-are short, sweet, and frequently resonant (if at times overly simple). Complimenting her own experience with anecdotes from friends and others, as well as poems, prayers, psalms and excerpts from treasured books, Brett employs a veteran writer's knack for keen observation and thorough self-knowledge, delivering hard-earned wisdom with deceptive ease.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
From the Publisher
"I intend to give my 82-year-old dad a copy of God Never Blinks. I will also buy one for a 16-year-old friend. This wise, compassionate and honest book is a blueprint for living a happy, fulfilling life. Its lessons are timeless—and timely."

—Thrity Umrigar, author of The Space Between Us

"Regina Brett is a gifted observer of the experiences that shape who we are, and her lessons unfold with buoyancy, humor and a courageous honesty. She has given us a beautifully written roadmap for life."

— Jeffrey Zaslow, coauthor of "The Last Lecture"

"Regina Brett's book, God Never Blinks, provides practical insights that can change the world."

—Deepak Chopra, author of The Ultimate Happiness Prescription

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780446556514
  • Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
  • Publication date: 4/20/2011
  • Pages: 241
  • Sales rank: 37,445
  • Product dimensions: 5.20 (w) x 7.90 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Regina Brett

Regina Brett has been a newspaper columnist for fourteen years, eight of them for Cleveland's Plain Dealer, where she was a finalist in 2008 and 2009 for the Pulitzer Prize in Commentary. She also hosts a call-in talk show once a week on WCPN, the Cleveland NPR affiliate, and speaks regularly to companies and not-for-profit organizations.

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Table of Contents

Introduction 1

The Fifty Lessons 5

Lesson 1 Life isn't fair, but it's still good 7

Lesson 2 When in doubt, just take the next right step 10

Lesson 3 Life is too short to waste time hating anyone 15

Lesson 4 Don't take yourself so seriously. No one else does 19

Lesson 5 Pay off your credit cards every month 24

Lesson 6 You don't have to win every argument. Agree to disagree 28

Lesson 7 Cry with someone. It's more healing than crying alone 33

Lesson 8 It's okay to get angry with God. He can take it 37

Lesson 9 The most important sex organ is the brain 42

Lesson 10 God never gives us more than we were designed to carry 47

Lesson 11 Make peace with your past so it doesn't screw up the present 51

Lesson 12 It's okay to let your children see you cry 56

Lesson 13 Don't compare your life to others'. You have no idea what their journey is all about 60

Lesson 14 If a relationship has to be kept secret, you shouldn't be in it 65

Lesson 15 Everything can change in the blink of an eye. But don't worry; God never blinks 70

Lesson 16 Life is too short for long pity parties. Get busy living, or get busy dying 74

Lesson 17 You can get through anything life hands you if you stay put in the day you are in and don't jump ahead 78

Lesson 18 A writer is someone who writes. If you want to be a writer, write 82

Lesson 19 It's never too late to have a happy childhood. But the second one is up to you and no one else 87

Lesson 20 When it comes to going after what you love in life, don't take no for an answer 92

Lesson 21 Burn the candles, use the nice sheets, wear the fancy lingerie. Don't save anything for a special occasion. Today is special enough 97

Lesson 22 Overprepare, then go with the flow 102

Lesson 23 Be eccentric now. Don't wait for old age to wear purple 106

Lesson 24 Start saving 10 percent for retirement as soon as you get your first paycheck 111

Lesson 25 No one else is in charge of your happiness. You are the CEO of your joy 115

Lesson 26 Frame every so-called disaster with these words: "In five years, will this matter?" 119

Lesson 27 Always choose life 124

Lesson 28 Forgive everyone everything 128

Lesson 29 What other people think of you is none of your business 133

Lesson 30 The passage of time heals almost everything. Give time time 138

Lesson 31 No matter how good or how bad a situation is, it will change 143

Lesson 32 Your job won't take care of you when you are sick, but your friends will. Stay in touch with them 148

Lesson 33 Believe in miracles 152

Lesson 34 God loves you because of who God is, not because of anything you did or didn't do 155

Lesson 35 Whatever doesn't kill you really does make you stronger 160

Lesson 36 Growing old beats the alternative. Dying young looks good only in movies 165

Lesson 37 Your children get only one childhood. Make it memorable 170

Lesson 38 Read the Psalms. No matter what your faith, they cover every human emotion 175

Lesson 39 Get outside every day. Miracles are waiting for you to discover 179

Lesson 40 If we all threw our problems in a pile and got a look at everyone else's, we'd fight to get back our own 183

Lesson 41 Don't audit life. Show up and make the most of now 188

Lesson 42 Get rid of anything that isn't useful, beautiful, or joyful 191

Lesson 43 All that truly matters in the end is that you loved 194

Lesson 44 Envy is a waste of time. You already have everything you truly need 198

Lesson 45 The best is yet to come 202

Lesson 46 No matter how you feel, get up, dress up, and show up for life 210

Lesson 47 Breathe. It calms the mind 214

Lesson 48 If you don't ask, you don't get 218

Lesson 49 Yield 223

Lesson 50 Life isn't tied with a bow, but it's still a gift 229

Author's Note 235

Acknowledgments 237

About the Author 241

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First Chapter

God Never Blinks

50 Lessons for Life's Little Detours
By Brett, Regina

Grand Central Publishing

Copyright © 2010 Brett, Regina
All right reserved.

ISBN: 9780446556521

LESSON 1

Life Isn’t Fair, but It’s Still Good.

The hat always came back, more faded yet stronger than ever.

Frank started it.

I had undergone my first chemotherapy and couldn’t imagine being bald. Then I saw a guy wearing a baseball cap bearing these words: LIFE IS GOOD.

Life didn’t feel good and it was about to feel worse, so I asked the guy where he got the hat. Two days later, Frank drove across town and stopped by my house and gave me one. Frank is a magical kind of guy. A house painter by trade, he lives by two simple words: Get to.

They remind him to be grateful for everything. Instead of saying, “I have to go to work today,” Frank tells himself, “I get to go to work.” Instead of saying, “I have to get groceries,” he gets to. Instead of saying, “I have to take the kids to baseball practice,” he gets to. It works for everything.

The hat on anyone but Frank might not have carried the same power. It was navy blue with an oval patch that announced its message in white letters.

And life was good. Even though my hair fell out, my body grew weak, my eyebrows fell off. Instead of wearing a wig, I wore that hat as my answer to cancer, as my billboard to the world. People love to stare at a bald woman. They got a message back when they gawked.

Gradually, I got well, my hair grew back, and I put the hat away until a friend got cancer and asked about that hat I used to wear. She wanted one. At first I didn’t want to part with mine. It was like my binky, my security blanket. But I had to pass it on. If I didn’t, the luck might run out. She made a promise to get well and pass the hat on to another woman. Instead, she gave it back to me to pass on to another survivor.

We call it the Chemo Hat.

I don’t know how many women have worn it these past 11 years. I’ve lost count. So many friends have been diagnosed with breast cancer. Arlene. Joy. Cheryl. Kaye. Sheila. Joan. Sandy. Woman after woman passed it on.

When the hat came back to me, it always looked more tired and worn, but each woman had a new sparkle in her eyes. Everyone who wore the lucky Chemo Hat is still alive and thriving.

Last year I gave it to my friend and coworker Patrick. He was diagnosed with colon cancer at age 37. Patrick got the hat, even though I wasn’t sure it could tackle any kind of cancer. He told his mom about the hat, how he was now a link in this chain of survival. She found Life is good, Inc., the company that made the hat and makes other products with the motto. She called the company and told them the story of the hat and ordered a whole box of caps.

She sent them to Patrick’s closest friends and relatives. They took pictures of themselves wearing the hats. All over his refrigerator he put up photos of college friends and their kids and dogs and lawn ornaments wearing the LIFE IS GOOD hat.

Meanwhile, the folks at Life is good, Inc., were moved by Patrick’s mom. They held a staff meeting and challenged their employees, “in the spirit of the traveling lucky Chemo Hat,” to pass their hats on to someone needing a lift. They sent Patrick a photo of all 175 of them each wearing a hat.

Patrick finished chemo and is fine. He was so lucky; he never lost his hair, it just thinned out. He never wore the hat, but it touched him. He kept it on a table at the bottom of the stairs where he could see that message every day.

It got him through the really bad days when he wanted to quit chemo and give up. Anyone with cancer has known those days. Even folks who have never had cancer have known them.

Turns out it wasn’t the hat but the message on it that kept us all going, that keeps us all going.

Life is good.

Pass it on.



Continues...

Excerpted from God Never Blinks by Brett, Regina Copyright © 2010 by Brett, Regina. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 68 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(39)

4 Star

(13)

3 Star

(9)

2 Star

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(5)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 69 Customer Reviews
  • Posted May 16, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Life can change in the blink of an eye, but that's okay....

    If you have ever seen the incredibly popular e-mail that has circulated over the years, claiming that Regina Brett was a 90-something woman who wrote in to the Cleveland Plain Dealer, you will get the same lovely surprise that I did. The short, sweet and smart advice that was on that list is here in the book...written by the 50-something Regina Brett.

    I have to admit that I was a bit shocked that a woman in her fifties could have come up with what sounds like the wisdom of a person who has lived a much longer life. It's no wonder that people attributed the clever statements to an elderly woman. Instead, the author has lived a very full life and has decided to pass on some bits of:

    Common sense (Don't take yourself so seriously. No one else does),
    Faith (God never gives us more than we are designed to carry),
    Relationship advice (You don't have to win every argument. Agree to disagree),
    Healing (The passage of time heals almost everything. Give time time),
    Worry (If we all threw our problems in a pile and got a look at everyone else's, we'd fight to get our own back)

    and so much more...

    I enjoyed the list of thought provoking statements completely on their own, but with Regina's quick accompanying stories there is even a greater impact.

    This is an easy read, great to break into a chapter or two per day or to reflect on certain ones at appropriate times. It certainly is going to go to my daughter and her to friends as they face graduation and can use these lovely tidbits to get them started on the right path. It's much like having Mom or Grandmother to chat with at any time and give a reliable piece of well-earned advice. Excellent.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 7, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Troubled Childhood?

    Everything I learned I learned in my childhood. The problem is most of it was a troubled one that I carried into my adulthood. This book is a good start to help you recognize your problems, especially when you are somebody like me that needs to make peace with the pass. I am glad that I read it.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted April 15, 2010

    Terrific Book!

    Regina Brett is an amazing writer. Each of her "Life Lessons" is written as if she is sitting at the breakfast table talking one on one with you about your particular issues over a cup of coffee. It is as if your best friend dropped by for a quick chat and instead helped you get your life in order. Her message is always thought provoking, sprinkled with humour, tears and the kind of clarity that renews your spirit in friends, family and life.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted December 31, 2011

    AMAZING

    I read this book when I was 38 and LOVED it! I passed it on to friends and decided I wanted to read it again so I bought a new copy! Then at 39 I was diagnoised with breast cancer and I've read it a dozen times. No matter where you are in your life you should read this book!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 31, 2010

    Meaning in my life

    I started reading God Never Blinks and I couldn't put it down. It seems to me that almost each chapter fits my shoe. We all know what Ms. Brett tells us, but I needed to be rimindered. Excellent book.

    Armonia Eddy

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 16, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    The simplicity of life is in its complexity, or is it the other way?

    Regina Brett was totally unknown to me before this book. Not surprising, since this is her first book and I don't live in Cleveland either. But, now having read this book, I can now think of her with only with highest regard, not necessarily as a great Author but more as a fellow human who has managed to unravel at least some of the mysteries of life. This is not an authentic work of research, nor a logically developed set of principles, but just a bunch of beautiful thoughts with enough potential to change our lives. I felt more touched than intellectually aroused by this work. Would recommend this to those entering into life past the teens as well as those who are right in the midst of its wild ride.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 20, 2014

    #ImGoingToHell

    God would be pretty well off with a weeping angel

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 17, 2013

    It is an accessible book for readers of different ages and stage

    It is an accessible book for readers of different ages and stages in their lives. I bought this on my Nook but will buy
    a paperback as well because the chapters are full of wisdom that you need to read time and time again. I will
    keep it by my bedside for those nights when I need to be reminded of what's really important in life and to 
    remember how far I've traveled. 

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted April 26, 2013

    Highly recommended

    One of my New Favorite Books..!
    am going to use it as our book selection for our book club

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 19, 2013

    Not Impressed

    Disappointing.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted March 8, 2013

    Feel good read

    Heard about book from a tv show.unbelievable read..its a feel good read because it makes you not feel bad about life experiences.you can learn something from everyday life..can pick up at a drs apt waiting for children and read a chapter...i bought 3 copies for friends

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 8, 2013

    Truely a gem!

    I've incorporated this into my daily Bibly study. Funny, insightful, with life applications for everyone. I've recommended it to all my friends.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted March 8, 2013

    Well-written

    The book consists of short stories (or lessons) that a woman has learned throughout her life. I love reading about God and how He always comes through in every circumstance in our lives good or bad. I enjoyed the book, reading each chapter as sort of a devotional every day. Even though I didn't "learn" anything new about God and how He subtly works in our lives to woo us closer to Him, it was a refreshing read for me as I recalled past circumstances in my own life where He was there all along.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 1, 2013

    Fantastic!

    I could not put this book down! The author writes with such raw
    courage, honesty, humor, and simplicity. It is timeless, a treasure.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 29, 2013

    Highly Recommend

    Nice little inspirational book. Short, well-written chapters leave you feeling positive.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 19, 2013

    Great

    Loved it its a great read makes u think alot

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  • Posted May 20, 2012

    Love this book

    As a cancer nurse I kept seeing patients reading this book. I finally picked it up and was absolutely delighted. The lessons/chapters are just a few pages each. You can read 1 or 20, depending on how much time you have. But I'll warn you...it's hard to put down.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted September 19, 2011

    Wonderful Gift Book!

    Terrific, common sense book. I've given this book to friends as a gift, and they have all enjoyed it. Great gift idea for a 50th birthday present!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted July 3, 2011

    Good inspiration to our life

    Good book. Author shared her life difficulties in her book. In her life, she had a lot of bad time such as life struggle, cancer, relationship problem etc. Actually, we had been her situation and we know some of her lesson already like pay off credit card or life too short to waste etc. However, sometimes we do not do what we suppose to do. We know so much but we just don't do it. This book give me a "kick" on my back and refresh my mind that I have to take my life more seriously. My most favorable chapter is Lesson 2: when in doubt, just take tbe next right step. Yes, it seems too hard to walk the whole journey but it is more easy to walk one step at a time. I love it.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 24, 2010

    50 Reasons To Buy This Book

    I don't think my words can do this book justice. All I can say is that it will open your eyes to so many things. I'd also like to suggest that you buy "When God Stopped Keeping Score," it's an intimate look at the power of forgiveness and yet, it's about so much more. I loved every minute of it. Given the chance, it too will change your life.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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