Kind, thoughtful and compassionate! She even gets an extra “r” in her name because she deserves it. We met when our youngest children were in kindergarten – many years ago – even though neither her nor I have actually gotten older (wink, wink). We never hung out or ran in the same circle but every time I saw her, at all the countless school activities, we would greet each other and even hug. I was drawn to her for some reason, not just because she is beautiful on the outside, but my soul felt we shared something. The Lord knew what He was doing way back then. But doesn’t He always know??? Fast forward through time and land several years ago. I can’t quite remember how it happened, due to the fact that we’ve always had a connection, but she invited me on a beach trip. Just her and I. Girl time. I had been very sick with an undiagnosed autoimmune disorder, so I wasn’t feeling my fun and silly self. This lent itself to us spending hours talking. For whatever reason we both opened up about our past and our present lives – the ups and downs. This is when I discovered why I was always captivated by her. We had both experienced and lived through some real nightmares. I won’t divulge those here. I will leave them where they are – in the past. For today, here is the good . . . I am BLESSED to call her my friend and am honored to know her. She is one of the most humble and truly genuine people I know. She isn’t afraid to fight for what she believes in and fight for others is what she does. She is co-founder of the Homeless Period Project. Go look it up! You’ll be inspired. Much Peace and Love Y’all!
“Always find time for the things that make you feel happy to be alive.”
You know now that I’m in my 40’s I am finding it more difficult to even remember what makes me happy to be alive. Does it have to be something grand and magnificent? I don’t think so. But maybe that’s because I am not a grand and magnificent kinda girl. I LOVE the little things. One of my sayings in life is “It’s all about the little things!” That’s the kinda girl I am. Some people don’t know how to take me. I am all kinds of deep thinker and talker; all kinds of feeling things very deeply. But I am also – it’s 6 p.m. on a Monday night cooking spaghetti while kitchen dancing with LL . . . Cool J that is for those of you who don’t know. Good gracious, bless it, LL is so awesome! Okay, squirrel, come back – back to the silly me. That’s the fun side. I am 10 o’clock at night teeth brushing, loud singing, putting on a concert Superstar Jane! I LOVE most kinds of music. Music can make you feel things deeply too. It has the power to take you to another time and place or another moment in your life.
Having all these snow days and other school holidays has really tested my mind to figure out just what things do make me happy to be alive. There really hasn’t been a chance to do much of anything else since we aren’t getting out of the house.
So, for today here is the good . . . I am going to do more of the things that make me happy to be alive. I love music! I love dancing (it’s ok that I only have ‘80’s moves)! I love to sing to the top of my lungs even if it’s terrible! I love writing! I love painting! I love yoga! Oh and I love dress up parties! What do you love? What things make you feel happy to be alive? I challenge you to begin doing at least one and you may only think of one. That’s great! Go out, do it and be happy to be alive! Much Peace and Love Y’all! P.S. If you see somebody completely rocking out in a little, white minivan it’s probably me. Just smile and wave – I’ll do it back. Or you might as well join in . . .
For those of you who may be new to our blog or may just have missed the meaning behind our “Positive Purposeful Post”(s) here is the explanation – The founding belief of this company is to bring you inspiring positivity one breath at a time. All of our products are a reflection of this very idea. For example, our LFTG (Look For The Good) jars are filled with inspirational sayings/quotes. Each saying/quote has a crack ‘n peel backing so if you want to you can stick it on something for a positive reminder or simply throw it back in for a random draw another day. Head on over to our SHOP and purchase your very own today or bless someone else with one! (They come in two different sizes) So, having said that, periodically I will be doing my own random draw out of my personal LFTG jar and will be posting it on here with a story that emulates that message. These will be named “Positive Purposeful Post”. Time for another one below –
“In the words of one great prayer: ‘Bless me into usefulness.’” Sogyal Rinpoche
This is one of my FAVORITES! First, don’t we all want to be blessed? Second, don’t we all want to be useful? Well, I know I want both of these things. If you have been one of my blog readers for any amount of time, especially reading the “Positive Purposeful Post”(s) then you know somehow each and every saying/quote impacts me in some amazing way. That is why I love pulling from my very own LFTG (Look for the good . . . ) jar for daily inspiration! Of course, this quote makes me think of what I am currently doing for work in my own life.
I am a substitute for a special education school. One of my daughters also attends there. I am a substitute these days because full-time wasn’t the best match for our life right now. However, I LOVE substituting! You get the chance to be in multiple classrooms and teach many different students. Since we are the adults and the teachers you would think the kids are benefiting from us, right? I do hope that is the case. On the other hand, I am not exaggerating at all when I tell you I am the one who is benefiting from these students EVERY TIME I WORK WITH THEM! I was recently asked to do a long-term sub position for a new student coming in to our school. I figured I could at least be useful in some way even though there were a lot of unknowns. Turns out I am being blessed by learning numerous things myself.
So, for today, here are many of the goods . . . I am having to learn sign language which has always intrigued me. I love to watch people sign. I am learning to let go of fear and show these students, who may have unpredictable behaviors, that I love them and am here for them. I do not want a child/adult (because some are adults already including my daughter) to ever think they aren’t loved by someone. We had one of our wheelchair bound, non-verbal, blind students communicate to us this past week that he did not want to be on a beanbag for leisure time. You may be wondering how does someone with these limitations communicate? If you could only witness it your mind would be blown. It is all about slowing down and watching, literally watching closely for some sign of communication. He somehow moved himself off the beanbag and we figured he wanted back in his wheelchair. He just received his new chair the day before and it is so comfy that he would rather be in it. He smiled when he was lifted back up. These are the extremely small yet oh so powerful ways of communication. I almost cried because these students are so dear to me. I always try to place myself in the shoes/socks/leg braces/wheelchairs (you get what I’m saying) of all people with special needs. It will change your perspective on life and you really will be blessed into usefulness. I encourage you to look for ways to help others and trust me, you in turn will be more than blessed. Much Peace and Love Y’all!
“Don’t let your dreams be just dreams.”
It has been a minute since I have written a blog post. My summers are not easy and I’m rarely alone to even think. We took Kloie back to school this past weekend, Grayson is asleep at this very moment, and ALL THREE DOGS are in their beds and quiet (miracles do happen).
Does anyone else wonder if you can still have dreams no matter how old you are? Sometimes I wonder about that and other times I say “Yes! Why not?” As some of you know, if you keep up with my blog, I am 41 years old and just last month had one of my life dreams come true. I am now a real author! (See the link on my Home Page to order a book or send me a message and I can get one to you – NO MATTER WHERE YOU ARE IN THIS WORLD). I always dreamed of writing my own book. Now that is a reality and the second book is already in the works. My Summer with Jimmy & Nan Dee is a short memoir which makes for an easy read. However, The Preacher’s Daughter will be quite different. (wink, wink)
What about dreams for younger people? Of course, when we are young don’t we all have some grand idea of what we want our life to look like? To go to college or not? To get a job now or later? What kind of job? Do I want to get married? Have children? Where do I want to live? We can plan all we want but I will tell you from experience – we are NOT in total control. God is. That is not to say just sit back and do nothing! You do have to help yourself (and others I might just throw in there).
So, for today here is the good . . . Dream. Dream BIG. Dream small. It doesn’t matter but do dream and make it happen. It may not be easy but it will be worth it.
This message is for everyone. However, I am dedicating today’s post to my youngest daughter, Kloie. You are smart enough. You are strong enough. Don’t let ANYONE hold you back from doing what you are supposed to be doing and being who you are supposed to be. Much Peace and Love, KloBo! Much Peace and Love Y’all!
It’s official! I am now a real author! My very first book, My Summer with Jimmy & Nan Dee, has now been published!!!
We all have dreams – don’t we? Or maybe we once did but forgot about them or simply think “it’s too late”. Well, I employ you DON’T GIVE UP! I have had many difficulties in my life. I have wanted to quit. But the Lord isn’t done with me so He somehow keeps me going. I keep getting back up. And look at me now! One of my actual life dreams has come true! I wanted to be a writer – so I did it. I wanted to write a whole freakin’ book! AND I DID IT! You can make one of your dreams come true too!
So, about My Summer with Jimmy & Nan Dee – it is a quick read that may make you laugh and cry. It will encourage you to take your own journey at your own speed. You don’t have to be anyone but you!
I will be having a book signing event in a few weeks after school gets back in session. I would much rather see you in person though. I love meeting new people and catching up with old friends. I am also available to meet you locally to skip shipping costs. However, if you don’t want to wait a few weeks my book is also available on Amazon.com as well. I can’t believe it! I’m on Amazon! That link will also be on the homepage here on our website shortly. So, for today here is the good . . . all the above! Much Peace and Love Y’all!
I must begin by apologizing for the long absence in my blogging. My last post was the day after Valentine’s Day. I decided to go back into the school district but only for subbing. I was rehired on Valentine’s Day. Then, Kloie came home for a visit and we are always super busy when she is here – catching up and getting things she needs to take back to school. As soon as she went back, school was out here for President’s Day and my time was spent with Grayson. I love spending time with my girls so writing is not at the top of my list. The next day I had my orientation and I immediately began subbing for a little over two straight weeks. That would bring us to last Friday.
Why did I go back in to the school district you may ask especially after the toll it took on me when I was full-time? Well, the first reason is – we need the extra money to do some updates to our house. I want out of this house so bad! Not because it’s terrible but because we NEED a one story, open floor plan, handicap accessible home. With Grayson being in a wheelchair, getting older/bigger our needs have changed. We are getting new windows (BORING!), cabinets, countertops and my Kev is going to build me some bookshelves.
The second, but proved to be the most important, reason is – after jumping right back into the classroom I quickly remembered how much I love the kids! I have been at Grayson’s school these last couple of weeks and the disabilities these students have are wide in range. For today, here is the good . . . I have been blessed to learn so much from the children/adults (because some are over 18) at her school. And most of them are non-verbal! Some people think that because Grayson is non-verbal that I am just “used to it” and it’s “easy” for me to communicate with other people like her. That couldn’t be further from the truth. They are all different. We all are. No two of us are alike. I just simply view each and every student as a human being and keep my mind open to what I can learn from them. Just because someone doesn’t communicate verbally the way we do doesn’t mean they aren’t “in there”. The numerous students I have been fortunate to work with have each taught me something – no matter how small, it was something! It is possible, they are able. Ahh, if only I could travel around and inspire others to do the same. But for now, it is through my blog. I encourage you to look for the good . . . in others and in yourself. Much Peace and Love Y’all!
Well today is the first day of school for both my girls and I feel like a thawed out blackberry – the fruit not the phone. Hopefully you can picture what a blackberry looks like. It is dark and bumpy, lumpy. This would represent my sadness and not feeling like my life is “smooth” sailing right now. Who am I kidding? I haven’t felt smooth sailing, easy street in – well – ever! The thawed out part you may be wondering? I feel like I have been a little piece of frozen fruit sitting in the freezer. I can see out of the Ziploc bag but can’t really move unless someone squishes the bag around and makes me move. I have been on frozen mode for a few weeks now just trying to survive and “get things done”. Grayson has been home all summer bored out of her mind and because she is non-verbal and non-mobile it is hard to know what she wants to do or what I can do to make her happy. I have been shopping and planning to send Kloie off to school and spending what precious time I can with her. And then there is this – Look for the good . . . ! Not an easy task to work much less get a brand new business rolling when I can’t seem to properly function. It isn’t easy to write when your brain is frozen.
So I rolled Grayson out of the pimped out minivan this morning at school and said “Happy First Day of Senior Plus One!” If you are keeping up with the blog you will know what I mean. She gets to go to school until she is 21. Then I get back in, close the door, and text my KloBo. I told her I NEED a pic of her first day of her Junior year. Again, previous blogpost about her being THREE HOURS AWAY at Governor’s School. So I’m not with her to take my own pic. Lots of sad faces here people!
But for now as promised here is the good . . . instead of being sad Grayson won’t ever graduate like “normal” I am happy she has such a great school that keeps her engaged and she is allowed to still go there. Instead of being sad that my KloBo is three hours away from me at age 16 I am super proud of her intelligence, maturity, and unique free spirit. And now that I am thawed out I am able to get back to writing about and sharing our story and to hopefully help others Look for the good . . .
P.S. I want to send out a HUGE THANK YOU to those who have hosted LFTG parties for me! You have been part of the Almighty, Ziploc Squishing Movement to keep me going. Also, THANK YOU to those who are hosting coming up LFTG parties. Keep in mind if you want to host one I have a special gift for you! Just message me.
So Tuesday was the celebratory last day of school for my girls and of course that afternoon we had to go to Starbucks – a place we love to visit to treat ourselves. However, this celebration is costing me more than $16.63. It is costing me emotional stability. I have cried for some part of everyday for at least a week now. That morning, May 31st, 2016, as my girls and I were finishing breakfast, with tears in my eyes I said, “My gosh! Can’t y’all just go to school forever? I mean seriously! I am going to have to tell Miss Rebecca (Grayson’s teacher) that you, Grayson, are just going to keep on going to school. There is no last day. And Kloie you can’t stop either today.” Kloie responds with the 16-year-old unenthused “Why?” “Because Grayson is SUPPOSED TO BE a Senior and graduating but she isn’t and never will. She should be leaving and she isn’t and you should be staying but you’re going. I am having a really hard time looking for the good . . . right now. Okay, let’s be honest I am not really looking because I know if I looked I could find it. So, KloBo (my nickname for Kloie), I need your help.” In her true, wise beyond her years words this is what she said “Okay so first of all you should be thankful Grayson made it this far. A lot of her friends haven’t. You should also be glad that I am going to Governor’s School, getting out of my old school and away from all those mean people, and yeah you should be happy because I’m happy.” Well, what could I say except “You’re right. Thank you!”
It is true. A lot of Grayson’s friends have passed away and yes I am thankful I still have her. Writing this isn’t to make their parents feel bad because I want them to be thankful they had their children for as long as they did. I have no idea what that is like. You see Grayson does go to a public school but it is different because all students are severely handicap to where they could not be the “best they could be” if they attended a typical school. Where she attends is for ages 3 to 21. So will Grayson eventually “graduate”? Well, not really. All she will get is a certificate of completion. They don’t learn like their typical peers so they don’t get a diploma. I can’t help but think – especially this week – Grayson is eighteen and considered a Senior. She should be graduating, working, dating, going to college in the Fall but she won’t. She NEVER will. She will actually live with us forever. Yes, she will be considered a Senior for three more years until she turns 21 but then what??? As far as my KloBo is concerned – she just finished her Sophomore year in high school so I have two more years with her right? Wrong! She was accepted to the Governor’s School. She will be living there, three hours away from us at only 16 years old! I’m not ready but she has been ready. We are going to let her fly. I cannot imagine our home without her in it! So dynamics in my household will change drastically come August but for today here is the good . . . 1. I still have Grayson. 2. I am so proud of Kloie, she is super smart, and very happy about her future. 3. My wiener dog, Reesy, still loves me unconditionally and oh yeah 4. My husband is dealing with my craziness pretty well – thankful for that!
*In the pic below I’m wearing my “BE HAPPY” t-shirt not just because it’s really soft and cute but because I’m hoping the very letters imprinted on the shirt will somehow soak into my body. I’m all for tattooing :~}