Inspiration, Reflection

Making Difficult Changes

Today we put an offer on a home that doesn’t feed into the school system the kids are in. I have mixed feelings. For months since school began this semester both girls pleaded with me to reinvent themselves somewhere where people didn’t know their back story. I have been tortured with this decision.

Their mom, Jen, built a beautiful city of amazing mom’s I truly connected with. I wish we could have become closer friends but that never happened. Partly because I was absent a lot or flying by the seat of my pants when I was here. Partly because everyone has an opinion of the choices I make and sadly they don’t think I’m making the right ones.

It’s hard to be under such a microscope. One is gifted, two have very special needs. Add local family drama and a whole slew of brand new modifications to their little worlds and you have one exhausted guardian.

I wish I could reassure those who say bring them to God, he’ll fix it. I’ve taught them the story of Jesus and will continue. To the ladies who forever wonder about their academic success, I’m paying attention. They’ve got A’s and B’s. To the people who question their state of mind, they see professionals. To the ones who fret about their loss; please know they’re so very loved. They want for nothing.

Sami rides horses. She and I do yoga. Laura plays piano and dances in addition to preparing for cross country. Brandon has 4 activities outside of school and many inside. Each child has 100% of my attention and focus on making them productive and happy adults.

I wish I could be the woman that others feel free to just be themselves around. I wish I could have kept what Jen created going. I’m not, and I know that my focus should be on building the village. I’m just so focused on keeping my family close, inclusion, tolerance, kindness and all the motivators and numerous activities that teach that.

When you hear about me moving them, before you judge me for my choices, put yourself in my shoes. There’s no way you could possibly know the daily struggles without knowing me. What you read on FB, or Twitter or see in a snap is a moment in the window of our complicated lives. We’re all just trying to get through the day.

If you’d like to remain friends ladies, please reach out. My life is overwhelmed with duty and I could really use some gal pals right about now! I’m always listening.

Inspiration

Random Act of Kindness

Have you ever sat down in tears, and thought, “I feel so blessed!”  Well, today that was me.  For a moment there were no words. No strife, no anger, no pain, no concern, and no worry.  There was only immense gratefulness.  A moment of humility unlike any other I’ve ever felt. I have always been a hopeful person, but I have never maintained a level of faith in another human being. From time to time they disappoint me. Some leave me devastated in their selfish wake. Today, when kindness brought me to the point of tears, I sat down and let them fall. All I felt was the love from the people who show me kindness.

It was then that I replayed the past year over in my head. A few incredible women popped out and as my tears fell, my heart warmed.  If I have ever lost faith in kindness, that would be all but proven lately that more people are kind than they are not.  For this girl, who has lived through the worst things imaginable; believing in the kindness of others has been my challenge.  I’ve remained transparent even in the wake of pain that followed; all with the belief that is what God has called me to do.  Believing in my own faith that if I did the right thing time and time again, despite that the outcome has not always matched in justice; things would work out in the end. Not that my choices have anything to do with other’s kindness, or that any of this is my doing; it’s just that it lend credibility to the astounding sense of overwhelming love I felt and why.

A woman named Kim Whiting organized several families to help us with Christmas this year.  Well, with grandma’s and aunts, and uncles, and extended family here in Dallas; I just didn’t know how I was going to be able to do Christmas.  The three new kids’ and both of mine in NOLA in college, meant for a difficult budget.  Jennifer, the mom of the three kids sick, and money running out due to in home 24/7 care so she doesn’t have to be at a senior facility and you have one stressed out Rebecca.  Kim came to the rescue and sent a lovely family to us bearing a ton of Christmas gifts for the kids.  They’re a lifesaver!  Sent from God above!  Thank you Kim for reaching out to your network to help us! You have a huge loving heart.

That’s when it reminded me of a wonderful woman named Lynn Ellis who organized food deliveries when I was so overwhelmed with new after school activities and couldn’t afford the dinners or time to cook my own.  It takes everything I have to put my pride aside and accept help. I usually the one who gives it. I was so humbled by Lynn’s generosity though and found her willingness to support Jennifer’s family and my efforts inspiring. She listed the family on a website that organized a community of wonderful moms who brought amazing dinners.  I cannot express in enough words how incredibly helpful she’s been to my family and how profoundly proud I am to know her.  Thank you Lynn for giving us such a precious gift of life; food. Your grace inspires me.

Kim Whitehead heard that we were in desperate need of school clothes and rallied together all the grade and middle school parents who donated an entire wardrobe for all three kids.  She’s a precious inspiration who continues to awe and shock me with how much she is able to accomplish. C.E.O.’s should take notice!  Her heart of gold helped me at a time when again I was overwhelmed with medical costs and strategic planning of my own.  I cannot thank you enough for adding me to your already extensive to do list, just to bless this family with your kindness. You are truly inspirational.

Shannon Quick and Gina McCoy who are amazing women, helped Jennifer clean and organize her home this past year. They packed, and served whenever called.  They love her with unconditional non judgement truthfulness and for that I am profoundly grateful. I love you ladies, and I treasure your help.

The Moms of Plano and the Moms of Murphy who continue to support Jen. Special Delivery where Dwight used to work who provide the insurance so she can continue treatment, The Karate Place where Dwight used to take the kids who continue to raise money each year. Those funds go directly to her medical and daily living expenses. Every dollar has been used to keep this family together.  We’re so thankful that you rallied around this family. Thank you for being so incredible selfless and kind.

To my girlfriends Gail Marks, Dawn Smith, Mary Jarcy, Leanna Cannon, Debbie Smith, my daughter Elizabeth and the girls from social media who are too many to list who support me through Facebook; I get so much from you. You listen to me rant and keep the grace I know you have.  Thank you for being there for me.

I wish I could thank each one of the GOFUNDME people who support Jen and her family this past year. We could NOT have done any of this had it not been for you. I wish I could thank the individuals to brought dinners, or gave gift cards or cash or helped or supported, or drove, or listened when it was all too overwhelming for me.  How can I possibly tell you that if it weren’t for you this past year, I don’t know what I would have done? Thank you everyone for the smaller donation to the biggest. Your kindness continues to raise this family up.

Now you know why it all just hit me and I couldn’t stand.  I felt God today. I feel him more lately than I have ever felt him.  I feel so humbled, so thankful, so incredibly inspired to be the best human being I can be because of these amazing women. I want to say that I am truly thankful for you. I am honored that you wanted to help, and I treasure you more than rubies and gold.  You are everything this world needs. I wish everyone knew how incredibly wonderful each and every one of you are; from the woman who brought me food, to the girl who cleaned the house, to the leaders who rallied a community to support us. You are everything a woman should be, and all that I hope one day a woman says about me.  Thank you, from the bottom of my warmest humbled heart for your selfless acts of kindness. I truly mean it when I say that I pray generously that God blesses you in the very same kind manner that you have blessed this family.  Thank you for being the light of God and shining that light where there was darkness and now there is hope and faith.  Merry Christmas!

Inspiration

Be the Light No Matter What!

Please, don’t prove them right.

The other day my friend came to me. A very concerned conversation had taken place, and that dialog included non-flattering comments about me. My friend warned me many times that I needed to guard myself because the things that I was saying were being twisted and turned; and not in my favor. When I left that conversation, I was reserved to continue (based on my extensive life experience) to act in the greatest behavior I know.

I have learned that through the deed of transparency, bridges are formed between adversaries, and trust is built among enemies. If one is completely honest there is nothing to hide. It is the greatest proclamation of unconditional love I can offer my fellow human, despite the injustice I see all around me. I believe to the depth of my being that kindness, and that vulnerability is what my God commands of me regardless if my actions are not perceived as they are intended.

The aforementioned declaration is a conversation I have had with the people who commented many times prior. I decreed at that time that the naysayers, the untrusting, the sarcastic, the weary, the forlorn, the judging, the prideful, and mostly the skeptic people were, in my estimation, always proven wrong. I believe to the core of everything I know, that people want to do good things. I believe it is in our nature to promote wealth, prosperity and freedom for all. I believe given any situation a person will choose the side of decency. I’ve been brutally and savagely beaten by others who have viciously commanded me to hate as much as they do. I refused. To me, I have to believe the acts of humans are ultimately intended for the betterment of themselves and others otherwise I am not sure I could exist in a world void of love for one another.

I have had moments in my life when my hope for mankind, and the hurt or pain that goes along with our life lessons was too much to bear. In those moments, I have almost taken the life that God gave so mercifully to me. I have been witness to the worst of behavior that any human could endure. I’ve been repeatedly beaten, verbally assaulted, tortured, raped, violated, and abandoned. If one human could hurt another I have experienced every angle of the violence, and therefore I understand completely the capability that humans have to act irresponsibly, and without empathy for another. I know it exists, but I have instructed my mind not to dwell on the minority and to embrace the majority of people who do not act that way, and who genuinely want to do great works.

This is the formula in which I address, accept, forgive, and move on. It’s the rules in which I live my life by. I don’t get upset unless I see a great injustice. I don’t get angry unless someone shows me the evil in them. I don’t accuse and I don’t condemn because I have undoubtedly inadvertently hurt people along my journey. I’m fair, and amiable. I am transparent.

I think the hardest thing for me, is that I will tell people, “Don’t prove them right.” (Speaking of them as the cynics) Then I am surprised when the people closest to me do exactly that. I asked my friend, “Why can’t I compartmentalize this and move on?” My friend responded, “You cannot put feelings in a box. It’s just how you feel.” It’s true.

I suppose I want to cry. I suppose I want to ask the commenter, “Why?” I suppose that I hurt more deeply than I could admit and that none of those things will happen. I understand people are just people and sometimes we all do dumb things, so I will forgive. I will move on, but my relationships will be forever altered. There will be an element of hesitation before I speak. There will be un-comfortableness where they sit, and if I need to be in that same space. There is an element of disinclination. I hate that with every fiber of my being because it blocks the love that I want to share. It blocks God’s light through me. It blocks my transparency and ultimately it proves the pessimist’s right. That’s the most heartbreaking thing of all.

The pundits have been made aware, and there has been no resolution other than a separation of space. I miss my friend. I miss what I thought we had. I miss having an environment of peace and tranquility. I can forgive, sure and I will. But I suppose that an affirmation of the act, and a subsequent understanding apology would go a long way to ease us all back to a common gracefulness. However, I do not really need it to forgive.

Before you sit and begin to converse today about the dislikes you have with one of the people very close to you, remember that they too have the deepest of needs to be accepted as well. They have every feeling you have. They believe in the fundamentals that you and I do and they want to be a better person. People are just people, some are more broken, some are sensible, and some not so much. We’re all different because God made us our own unique selves and through our triumphs and struggles we’ve formed our own personalities. We form what we believe because God has allowed us the freedom to embrace our own choices. You can choose today to lift another up, be a little more transparent and put your heart on the line for the sake of another as Jesus has done for you. Or you can simply ignore, you can bask in the glory that something you’ve done has hurt another and have peace with that. You can talk about your fellow man without regard or empathy. It’s your choice. You choose every single day how to affect those around you.

For me, today as much as it’s painful I choose transparency. My convictions tell me that despite I’ve been hurt by what was said, I am not broken by it. It’s a moment, a blimp, a dot in history that shall be long forgotten in a short while. To base my future relationships on such a notion would be childish and immature. That’s not who I choose to be. That’s not what I want for my actions to represent. I choose love. I choose to prove the skeptics wrong. That’s my choice.