Ribbons In The Sky

It was a lovely Sunday afternoon. An afternoon that just begged for two people to take a much overdue ride.  I must admit that I had always loved taking long rides in the country. Especially on a day when the sky was blue, and the grass that never really froze was still a somewhat shade of green. Sometimes we take a different route, and sometimes we take the same path leading us to some of our favorite places.

Today we chose our all-time favorite that seems to go on and on. Our journey took us on several curvy roads with open fields, dotted with chestnut brown horses roaming, nibbling on patches of winter grass, each wearing a blanket guaranteeing warmth.  It’s funny, the anticipation of the sloping pasture with the white fence always tickles my heart and has me peering through the glass window far before the actual approach.

My husband always slows down so I can take in all my eyes can see.  Everything seemed to be in place. A horse here and a horse there, swishing, munching, some walking, and one looking right at me. At least it seemed that way.

Then something unusual caught my eye. I actually had to take a second look. Up in the soft blue sky was a long pale white rectangular cloud with one end folded as if it was mitered.  It reminded me of a ribbon. Off to the side was another smaller similar one with straight sides with a curvy bottom.  As we continued our ride, I noticed more of them, all basically the same shapes but with different tops and bottoms.  They reminded me of floating ribbons in the sky.

After we got back home, I could not get those clouds out of my head and heart.  All I could think of was different kinds of pretty ribbons and how we use them.

This is where my story starts.

Ribbons come in many colors and materials. Some are made of silk, nylon, cotton, and jute, among other natural materials. Some are made of plastic, and some are made of metal.  I have seen children make paper ribbons to adorn their homemade gifts.

When I was a little girl, I use to love Christmas morning; still do.  I remember rushing down the stairs in our old farmhouse, turning and staring in awe at the small tree with a few presents hiding underneath. Each gift had a little red, blue, or gold ribbon with a bow attached neatly on top.  I remember my mom reminding us to be careful when removing the bow, for it surely would mysteriously reappear the following year on a different gift.

Ribbons, whether store-bought or lovingly cut from fabrics, have adorned babies head with thick or sparse hair, ponytails, pigtails, loving tied by mothers and fathers. Each colorful ribbon tied into a bow color-coordinated to match their little girl’s outfits.

Tiny ribbons of every color representing the many disabilities, illnesses,  and causes, often cut by volunteers and worn by those who desperately want to find a cure, have always touched my heart.

Some ribbons hold the medals our scouts and military men and women have earned for their many feats. Their hard work and dedication helped to form the person they are.

And we cannot forget the beautiful soft ribbons that are lovingly tied around a collection of greeting cards for letters written to our loved ones. Those ribbons hold memories, love, laughter, comfort, and maybe even a few tears for those who untie each bundle.

It always amazes me how something as small as a piece of ribbon or as big as clouds in the sky can take us down memory lane.  Beautiful ribbons of many colors connect our hearts to those we love. And for that, I am very grateful.

A GOD MOMENT

Sunday, October 27th, deep gray, almost black sky, rain pelting against the windows, and me wishing I could stay snug under the cozy blankets until the storm passed. In the distance, church bells were ringing, beckoning me, reminding me of the time, as I slowly pushed back the covers, yawning, making my way to the coffee pot. As I got ready for church, I thought about how nice it would be to linger over my coffee. But then I felt a little nudge tugging at my heart. And as the wind blew through the trees, I knew that I needed to go to church.

As we drove to church, the rain kept doing what it does best, making puddles that seem to be growing with every block.  I thought to myself, I could be sitting with my feet up, finishing my book.  But then, there it was again; the nudge.  My husband parked the car in front of the church but on the opposite side of the street. As I got out of the car, put up my umbrella, I noticed the most significant, widest puddle, growing more extensive right where I needed to walk. I looked at Rick and thought, really?

  Once again, the nudge, pushing, then leading me across the street, up the three steps, opening the door, walking through the door, putting down my umbrella, opening the entrance to the Sanctuary, hanging up my dripping raincoat, walking down the aisle with the red rug, then sliding into the pew. As I sat there, I glanced back at our beautiful stained glass windows. They looked different on this gray day.  Once more, the nudge.

Then, the Youth Group walked from the Gallery into the Sanctuary and stood in a line behind the last row of dark brown pews, waiting. As they stood there, a video started on the screen in front of the organ. As I watched, my husband and I began to laugh. Picture this; a hillbilly band playing the music to I Walk the Line, on scrub boards, old guitars, and heaven knows what else.  What a way to get our attention!

This wonderful group of teens did the whole service. From the greeting, the singing, the prayers, the Children’s Message, to the Morning Message and Blessing.

They did a great job with each part of the service. Then it was time for the Morning Message. It was titled: A God Moment. Their message to each of us was how God touched their hearts at a particular moment.

This past summer, many of the teens participated in a Misson Trip to West Virginia. There, they helped to build two ramps for families needing them. I was touched by how God, in His wisdom and His perfect timing, not only affected the hearts of several teens but taught them a lesson of gratitude. In their voices, I heard a deep appreciation for the opportunity to lend a hand to those in need.

Then, two sisters shared their experience with their guests, visitors from Germany. I was impressed by how the girls took turns explaining their experience with the German teens sharing their home.  They, along with their brother, were excited to welcome their new friends.  The only obstacle standing in their way was the language. The girls did not speak German, and the German teens spoke little English. The girls continued saying, it took a late-night trip to the grocery store, some funny incidents, giggles, and a cashier to bring it all together.  As the gal behind the register scanned the purchases, she asked if they were related, one of the sisters, explained the story of the German teens.  The teens left the story learning that they had more in common than they realized. From that moment on, they began enjoying each other’s company and quickly became friends.

As the service continued, these precious teens led us in prayer, songs, and the blessing at the end. It was a beautiful service.

Our Youth Group is lead by a wonderful, loving woman named Marge Baltz.  I glanced at Marge throughout the service and saw her smile as they went through each part of the service. As the teens spoke about their mission trip, it was evident that their leader was very proud of them.

We at St. John’s our blessed to have Marge leading our youth.

And now for my God Moment.  As I listened to the teens, read the scripture, lead us in song, watched the children come forward to learn, and listened to the morning message of helping others. Along with becoming friends with our German guests, reciting the Lord’s prayer, and the blessing closing our service, I realized that God used these teens in a variety of ways to make a meaningful difference. A difference, the West Virginia families will never forget. Our German guests, especially the teens, will remember, at first awkward feelings, leading to lasting memories of new adventures and fun. Of course, last but not least, all the giggles along the way.

Through Marge and her parent helpers, these teens have learned a valuable lesson that helping others is what fills us with the love of God. It is what we are supposed to be doing.  A lesson well learned by our youth.

It may have been gray when I entered the church; however, the teens became rays of sunshine, reminding me of God’s love for all.

Thank you, Marge, and the Youth Group for filling my heart with hope.

A Sprinkle Here, A Sprinkle There

Did you ever have a day when everything seemed to go wrong? A day you didn’t know which way to turn?

Then as the day wore on, something good happened. Maybe it was just something small that warmed your heart. Maybe someone smiled or said an encouraging word. Perhaps that little something that warmed your heart, the smile, or the hopeful word was the beginning of turning your day around.

I have always believed the people we meet on our daily paths, were put there for a reason. Think how warm your heart feels when things start to turn around, no matter how small the turn is.  Wouldn’t it be nice to think of that warm feeling as a sprinkle from God? I can almost imagine the angels standing on the clouds with their little shakers filled with God’s love ready for the word to start sprinkling. Close your eyes and picture the little sprinkles like the sprinkles on a Christmas cookie, gently floating down, touching your heart with sweetness and love.

We all have days when things do not always go the way we would like them too. Sometimes our days are filled with grayness, anxiety, fear, illnesses, the passing of a loved one, our insecurities, hurtful words, and our imperfections. Those days, when we struggle to make sense of what is happening, look for a sprinkle of sweetness from God.  His sweet love will carry you through until another sprinkle touches your heart.

I think that sprinkles not only come from those on our path but through music. Think about a time when a song played while you were driving, and it was exactly what you needed to hear. I also believe that God sends birds, butterflies, beautifully painted rainbows, and the breeze that floats through the trees, to sprinkle love to each one of us.

A sprinkle here, a sprinkle there can begin to heal hearts. And when our hearts heal, our attitudes can change, leading to peace.  A sprinkle here, a sprinkle there, can make a difference in a life.   Perhaps you will be on someone’s path who needs a kind word, a smile, or a hug. What will you do?

 

Stained-Glass Windows

I have always been intrigued by stain glass. Notably, the story each pane of glass told. I am sure the men and women who carefully place each piece of glass in its proper place are touched by each window they complete. Especially those that work on stained- glass for church windows. The windows that welcome each man, woman, and child into a place of love and acceptance. This is where my story begins. A story that changes each week, from the time I walk through the front door.

My story began nineteen years ago when I was looking to move into the quaint, small, charming town of Nazareth. After visiting a few churches, I walked through the doors of St. John’s UCC. As I walked down the center aisle, looking for a pew, I was taken back by the sun streaming through the large stained-glass window behind me. The colorful, vibrant colors washing over the walls made me feel like I was part of a beautiful rainbow. However, that was just the beginning. As I smiled at those who welcomed me and shook hands, something beautiful caught my eye. It was the stained-glass window behind the altar, above the golden cross and just beneath the tall white ceiling.

Each piece of stained glass was arranged to depict Jesus teaching the Beatitudes. His image was so beautifully created and touched my heart. I found myself staring into his eyes, those loving eyes. The mesmerizing faces of the listeners hanging on to each word of his lesson were captured so perfectly. I found myself looking up as if to heaven throughout the service.

Then one Sunday, sitting in my pew with my eyes on Jesus, and sensing the sun streaming through the beautiful stained-glass window near the backside of the church, I felt a peaceful feeling that started in my heart and radiated to every inch of my being. It was a calmness I’ve never felt before. I felt safe and loved as if the whole church was filled with angels.

That beautiful scene still touches my heart each Sunday as I lift my heart in prayer, listen to the message, and enjoy the soul touching music. It has brought me peace when loved ones passed and reassured me that he waits for each one of us with open arms. Each week, as my walk with him, gets stronger, that window keeps reminding me that I am his and he is mine.

When I think back to the folks who created the window, I wonder what they felt as they put each piece together. When it was finished, did the image that touched my heart, touch their hearts? Did it make a difference in their lives? Did it fill them with peace? Most importantly, did they feel loved?

The next time you see a beautiful stained-glass window, take a good look at it. Look at the beauty of each piece and let it speak to your heart. If just might make a difference.

 

MORE THURSDAY THOUGHTS

It was a beautiful Thursday. The air was fresh, but the sun was nice and warm.  Thursday is one of my favorite days of the week!  It’s the day I get to host, The Turn the Page Book Club. We meet at Moravian Hall Square at one o’clock in the afternoon. It is a beautiful facility filled with warmth and beauty. The ladies that attend are sweet, loving, kind, and love to read. Time flies when we start discussing the story. Of course, we get off-topic from time to time, but isn’t that what makes it interesting?  Soon the clock reminds us it’s time to leave, and I must say I feel a little tinge of sadness when we head our separate ways.

                        WHAT’S THAT THING CALLED?

As I walked home from the book club, I heard the machine that vacuums up the leaves. What is that thing called? I watched it for a few moments and thought, wouldn’t it be wonderful if someone invented a machine that would take all our cares away? Hmm? 

The wheels started to turn and occupied my mind for at least another half a block. What would it look like? Would it have lights flashing? What color would it be? Maybe it could be designed to not only calm us but have different size buttons to create a whole new person. Perhaps it could make me a little taller? Oh boy, I would be the first one in line for that! Or, maybe it could change someone’s personality? We all know someone who could use that. It could perhaps clone us to look like a movie star. Maybe I could look like Sandra Bullock?

It is amazing how our imagination can take over. I found myself chuckling as I continued my journey home.

This story has two parts. One about friendship, sharing, and caring. A story that brings a small group of women together to share a common love; reading, discussing, and laughing. Women filled with a desire to learn new things about a character, others, and themselves. The hearts of these women speak volumes of their authentic characters. I am so happy to know them and call them my friends.

The second part of this story is about an idea that went rogue. It is funny how our imagination often takes us on a journey that tickles our funny bone and makes absolutely no sense.  Or maybe it does. Maybe our soul needs a little less stress and a little more laughing. Maybe we need to lighten up. And perhaps we need to enjoy our lives, silliness and all.

Dear readers,

 Life is way too short to be worried about what people might or might not think of you. Life is meant to be lived. Read the book, enjoy your friends, laugh often, love what you do, sing every day, dance, embrace your imperfections, and take care of yourself, but don’t be afraid to eat cake and ice cream from time to time. Above all about love, the person you are. Because you are important and beautiful in your own way.  Be strong, brave, and courageous. Hang on to your beliefs and be the best you can. Remember, none of us are perfect.  Love is always the answer.  And I love you!

Cynthia

 

A TUESDAY RAINBOW

 

It rained again today. It was also damp. Damp to the point that it chilled me to the bone. I must admit, I didn’t do much except the normal everyday things. However, I did write, and I did pray.

As the day went on, I thought about senior citizens who are alone and wondered if a visitor visiting on rainy, damp days would help them pass the time. I thought about those who suffered from depression and wondered if a friendly voice would help them smile. I thought about those who were mourning the passing of a loved one, and wondered if they needed someone to put their arms around them, hugging the pain away. I said a little prayer for those struggling and hoped for a better day for each one of them.

Then something beautiful happened. It took me by surprise. It caught my eye, gleaming outside my patio door.  Right in front of me, looking so colorful and bright, was the most beautiful rainbow I had ever seen. A double rainbow that made two appearances.  One as brilliant as the other. The sky around it seemed to be changing from grays to shades of blues, back to dark gray, a little green, and pinks galore.

God knows exactly what we need, and when we need it. This might sound a little silly, but I believe that some of my prayers were answered today.

A rainbow is a message from above. A beautiful message filled with love from Someone who created everything our eyes see and, our heart feels. Sometimes, when things get a little harsh, He nods His head and sets things in motion as a reminder that He is always with us. That vibrant rainbow was precisely what I needed on this Autumn evening. Its brilliant colors filled my soul with hope for a better tomorrow.

 

AND THE ANGELS WHISPERED

I must admit that tonight’s story has been stirring for a while. Although it continues to nudge me, I have no idea why and how I am to write it. So, bear with me as I try to figure out the path this story will take.

In my journey over the years, I have met several men, women, and children who feel that they were not worthy of being loved. For some unknown reason, they feel as if they cannot live up to anyone’s expectations, no matter how hard they try. Sometimes they even give up. Now I do not know how this feeling generated in their hearts; however, I want them to understand that they are important and are not alone.

Sometimes, some think their imperfections contribute to their feeling of unworthiness. On the contrary, our imperfections help to create our uniqueness as individuals. It helps us be who we were created to be.

When we help others, we are helping ourselves. When we touch someone’s heart with a kind deed, visiting, or just brightening their day, love scatters and lands on two hearts. You deserve love and are worthy of being loved just because of your beautiful self. I like to think you will find your worthiness on the path of life when you believe in yourself and take a chance.

My interpretation of a whisper…

Did you ever take a walk on a breezy day when the wind whispered through the trees? The sound of the wind, whirling up, down and around the branches, reminds me of a host of angels assuring, encouraging whispering words of faith, hope, grace, mercy, forgiveness, compassion, strength, and love.     

I remember one day a while ago, as I was walking down a country road, I found myself surrounded by two wheat fields on either side of the way. As I think back, the sound of the wheat being pushed from side to side reminded me of a thousand angels whispering, sharing, or praying. I remember the sound was soothing to my soul.

I believe that God created whispers to remind us that He is always in control. I think He sends His Messengers to show us how much we are loved and always will be. I believe that He wants us to trust in Him and to never give up hope.    

Remember, to love yourself, and believe that you are worthy. Because you are.  Listen to the whispers on a windy day, whether it is the wheat swaying or branches dancing. I think the sound of the wind will stir up a little something in your soul.

You are important to me, and I love you.

Cynthia

 

THE HARVEST LETTER

I love writing Skyler’s Letters. What started out as a comfort to me now has evolved into bringing peace and comfort to many who have suffered the loss of a child, regardless of their age. The Harvest Message was originally written and published in October 2017­­­.

Skyler was born on July 1, 2016. It was a warm summer’s day with a deep blue sky and not a cloud in sight. The birds were singing as if they knew something wonderful was about to happen.  That something wonderful was Skyler.  He was a beautiful little boy who touched our hearts the moment our eyes met his. Little did we know that our little fellow would leave us twenty-nine days later.  Little did we know just how much we would grow to love a precious little baby who warmed our hearts and filled us with happiness beyond words. Little did we know that our sweet Skyler would leave us twenty-nine days later.  Little did we know how much we would miss his smile, his coo, and his deep blue eyes.  Skyler died on July 29, 2016.  Our hearts will never be the same.

This is the twentieth letter in the Skyler series. I hope that my words will bring peace, hope, and love to all who read them.

THE HARVEST LETTER

Dear Skyler,

It is has been fifteen months since you took your journey to heaven, and my dear, I miss you more with each passing day.  Skyler, how are you?  I am doing well and enjoying our beautiful Autumn weather.  Autumn, the time of year when the weather turns a little cooler, and the leaves turn pretty shades of red, orange, and yellow. As the leaves fall, they cover everything. I love to walk through the leaves and breathe the fresh, crisp air.

The farmers are busy this time of year. They are harvesting all the crops they planted in the spring. Harvest means to gather everything that was planted.  Skyler, another name for Autumn, is fall. October is a big month for orange pumpkins, cornstalks, scarecrows, and beautiful flowers called mums.  It is also a time when children get dressed up in cute costumes and go Trick or Treating for candy. You would love that! Last year your brother was dressed as a turtle. I think you would look sweet dressed like a little puppy.

Have you been to the Loving Bridge lately?  Tell me about the animals you meet.  Do all the birds come to heaven? I love cardinals. They are my favorite.  Have you been to the Story Hill lately?  Well, my dear, always, remember how much I love you.  Sending hugs and kisses your way.

Always,

Gigi

Dear Gigi,

I am doing well in heaven. Each day I go to the Loving Bridge and bring new animals to heaven. Sometimes I go back and forth many times a day. Yesterday, I brought a black and white cat and a little puppy named Skippy over the Bridge. It is amazing how loving Skippy was to his new friend, Ella.  Gigi, I need to ask you a question. Why do some people treat their pets like they don’t matter?  They do matter! Every breathing animal, bird, or sea life matters. Jesus loves them all, and so do I.

Yesterday afternoon, I brought a horse named Sammy over. He was a beautiful black horse.  His owner on earth was not nice to him. As soon as he crossed and put his hoof on the green grass, he was happy. Sammy changed right in front of my eyes. He was healed. He could run again, and he was not afraid of anything. Sammy knew he would always be safe. He knew he was loved.

Gigi, Jesus cries when people and animals are being abused on earth. I do not understand why people are mean.  People are meant to be loved, and so is every living thing on earth. Gigi, there are many, many birds in heaven. Every bird that God created crosses the Loving Bridge when they die.

Two days ago, Gabriel blew his horn, and we all went to the Story Hill to hear a lesson from Jesus.  Do you remember when I told you that Jesus wanted us to experience everything that you experience on earth? Well, as my angel and I were walking, I noticed that the heavenly trees that always had green leaves looked different.  Each tree turned red, orange, and yellow. Just like the trees on earth.  It was neat.

Jesus was waiting for us at the Story Hill.  There were orange pumpkins everywhere!  After we all sat down, Jesus raised his hand to quiet us down. The air got a little cooler, just like on earth. It felt like fall.

Jesus told us a story about love, helping others, and being kind. He told us that we are all created in his Father’s image. Gigi, God, is pure love. Just like Jesus.  He told us that when we meet new people, we need to accept them no matter what.   He reminded us to always forgive those who hurt us and help others. Did you know when we do those things we are really doing his work?  Jesus told us that we should all be his hands and feet.  He loves us so much. Jesus taught us to treat others the way we want to be treated.  It makes Him happy when we show kindness, respect, and love to all.  Will you tell everyone, Gigi?  Also, when you do something wrong, just tell him you are sorry and really mean it. He will forgive you.  That is how Jesus works.  And please tell everyone to take care of their pets and all animals. They just want to be loved.

 I sit on my favorite cloud every day and look down at the earth. I see the farmers working hard in their fields, bringing in all their crops.  Earth is beautiful from heaven!

I waved to you, Gigi. Were you looking? I love you very much. Please tell my Pop-pop that I miss him. Tell him not to work so hard.  I was with you and Preston when you ate Chinese food. I heard my brother laughing. I saw how much you love him.  I am around Mommy when she is taking care of my new brother Carson.  Please tell them to look up and wave, and I will wave back.  I love my earthly family, but I am happy in heaven.

Gabriel just blew his horn again! I can’t wait to hear a new story!  Love you, Gigi!

Skyler

 

 

 

 

 

 

FOR THE LOVE OF CHILDREN

I love children; always have. Even as a child, I enjoyed it when a baby cousin accompanied an aunt or uncle visiting our home. I always thought babies had their own uniqueness; soft skin, sparkling eyes, and a sweet, fresh smell all their own. Unless they needed a diaper change!

My love for children continued as I grew up. I loved my two sisters and brother. Still, do; in fact, I cannot imagine my life without them. I love everything about them. No matter how old they get!

I was very blessed to be the mother of four beautiful children. Who will never know or understand the happiness they brought me; along with the many gray hairs, and breathless moments as fear set in; when they were late coming home or drove their cars way too fast?

The love I felt the first time I laid my eyes on them has built throughout the years, and I marvel at the men and women they have become today.

 My love for my grandchildren is like a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow. I cherish every moment I spend with them. Each one of them is unique and wonderful, all wrapped up in one. What a blessing they are to me.

My two sweet, cuddly great-grandsons fill me up with so much love,  I often bubble over like water from the fountain of youth. And, no, I am not old; just a young great grandmother.

About the story………..

 This is a story about children and a dream that took forty -two years to come true. A story about compassion, love, and hope. A story about change, frustration, being overwhelmed, and sometimes feeling just plain bone tired. Above all, a story I would not have changed for all the tea in China.

The dream that would not let me be………

As a little girl, I loved playing school. Played it every chance I got. Mom always knew where to find me; in a spare room over the kitchen that held boxes, and odds and ends.  I remember having a little brown desk where I sat looking over my class of imaginary students.

The dream that festered in my heart stayed with me, all through my school years until my graduation. But as life happens, my dream took a side road. I fell in love, got married, and as the old story goes, my dream went to the back burner, simmering but never boiling until; the angel who lit the flame. 

One day as I was working in our produce business, a  customer ready to check out, struck up a conversation. It went like this, ” I noticed you like talking with the children who shop here. Have you ever thought of working with children?” I looked at her, stunned and speechless. She continued,” You have a lovely way with children. I think you would be a great teacher.” I could not believe my ears. I remember smiling and answered, ” Yes, I love children, and I always wanted to be a teacher.”  She replied, ” Well, it’s never too late!”

 This sweet lady picked up her bag of apples, smiled, and walked out the door.  As I watched her get into her car, the wheels started turning, and my dream started a slow boil.  That night at dinner, I explained to my husband about the customer who lit the flame. And to my surprise, this dear sweet man encouraged me to give some thought about going to college and making it happen.

Sleep was out of the question for me that night. Thoughts and more thoughts invaded my brain. I thought about my children, who really weren’t little anymore. Two were on their own, and two were in high school. I thought about our produce business and who would work in my place.

I thought about the naysayers and bullies that filled my head growing up. In fact, after all those years, I could still hear one voice of the ” I am better than you,”  saying, “You will never be anything but a farm girl, who doesn’t have the brains to go to college or to do anything.”  It was elementary, junior high, and high school all over again.

My Helper…..

The next morning, the sun was shining, and the birds were singing in harmony. As I drank my coffee, I decided I needed help with my decision on whether I should follow the dream that swirled around my brain or not. My heart was willing, but my thoughts were full of you will never succeed.  At that moment, I bowed my head and gave it all to God.

And help He did………

My day at the market started out like any other day. At nine o’clock, the first customer came in, and to my surprise, it was the gal from the day before. She formally introduced herself and started the conversation about working with children again. We talked about school, being a teacher, and the workload.

Then, right there and then, she offered me a job working part-time with the Intermediate Unit 20. She encouraged me to consider going to the community college and talking with an advisor. This sweet woman named, Carol, looked me in the eye and told me to go for it.

A long story short……….

Well, I took Carol’s advice, and with my husband’s blessing, interviewed and got the job with the IU20. I also went to our community college, talked to an advisor, took a reading and math test, did well, and enrolled.

To the nay-sayers…..

This part is for all the nay-sayers who planted seeds of self-doubt in my head; I not only went to community college, and  East Stroudsburg University, I graduated with honors. Yes, the work was hard, but my drive was stronger. I knew I was on the right path. My dream was within reach. Not bad for a little farm girl.

The best part………..

I graduated with a degree in Special Education. Although I loved all children, those with special needs have always filled my heart. The challenges they faced daily, their individual needs, the sometimes-slow progress they experienced filled me with a drive to give one hundred percent of whatever they needed, to help them succeed.

My students needed encouragement and to learn to believe in themselves. I can honestly say, I enjoyed each day, even when behavior issues took up most of my day. It was a privilege to work with those beautiful youngsters who now are either in high school, college, or working. All my students learned in a different way than regular education students, but none the least, they learned. Some of my students have gone on to college and with adaptations, did well.  I am so proud of each one of them.

Messages from my heart…..

Two and one-half years after I started my teaching career, and two weeks before Christmas, my husband passed away from a massive heart attack. Through his love and encouragement, I was able to fulfill my dream. I retired five years ago from a job that brought me great joy. Along with my aide years and time as a teacher, I was able to contribute 23 years of helping those students who needed someone who genuinely loved them and was always their cheerleader.

Dream two……..

After retiring, my dream of writing swirled to the top of my heart. It is my goal to make a difference with my written words. Through my stories, I hope to make my readers laugh, cry, and want more. Above all, I hope to open hearts to the dreams that are hiding deep within.

Don’t be afraid; dreams can come true! I am living proof.

 

 

 

 

 

 

A SWEET HEAVENLY SKY

This morning, I got up before the crack of dawn, poured a cup of piping hot coffee, then turned on the news. I watched for a few minutes and realized that I didn’t want to start my day with the sadness that was being reported. So, I turned on Christmas movie, put my feet up, and indulged myself in sweetness.

As the early morning light started to brighten the sky,  beautiful colors caught my eye and focused my thoughts on the revealing of a brand-new day. It never ceases to amaze me how the many shades of pink, orange, gray, and purple intermingled with white and blue encourage me to breathe profoundly, creating a feeling of instant calm.

Even the shapes added to the peace that was building in my soul. Shapes sometimes resembling angel wings, a door to heaven, a path, and a winking eye always reminds me of a promise. It might sound silly, but I believe the beauty I witnessed is a way to reassure us that a new day is a start of possibilities, new possibilities. A new day to shake off what has been weighing us down, scratching at our heart, and quieting the negative inner voice.

As I sit here writing this story, I am basking in the vastness of hope, hope that is encouraging me to keep doing what I love.

However, as the sky begins to darken, I can feel my soul dipping a notch down the gauge of feelings, inching its way towards worry.

I will not let worry, stop me today. I choose to carry the morning sky with me; all day.  Now the sun is shining and warms my face as I sit in my favorite chair soaking in every ray of hope.  Reminding me of the promise. A promise I want to store in my heart like the squirrels scurrying to hide nuts, and berries for winter.

How do you see the sky? Do you see it as hope for a new day, or do you see it as just another sky?  I want you to know that life is full of doubts, fears, sadness, worry, and tears, but it’s how we handle what life throws at us that makes the difference.

When your inner voice of doubt starts pulling you down, think of the most beautiful sky you have ever seen, take a mental picture, and then store it for a rainy day.

Those brilliant colors and shapes will carry you through until the next promise makes its appearance high in the sky, bringing peace to your heart and love to your soul.