Special

Have you ever been with someone who has special needs?

I am not talking about the need to chat or someone who needs a hug but rather someone who has special needs such as a missing body part or mental challenge?

I have had the honor of being in the presence of such people and I am continually surprised at how they bless my day. When I pay attention I am constantly amazed at how they see the world.

The optimism and sunshine that I witness is unmatched. It also makes me wonder just how much better the world would be if we all had more of this spirit within us.

Do I wake up happy to embrace a new day? Am I filled with awe at the possibilities in front of me?

My prayer is that I can also be special and embrace the wonders around me.

Look for the beauty of the moment and enjoy the blessings of each day.

Game Day

Can you hear the roar of cheering crowds this time of year?

Football has indeed returned.  Whether it’s the Friday night lights illuminating the sky in small towns across the United States or major stadiums rocking with action in major cities on Sunday….football is back.

For me, football is filled with tradition.  There are school songs to be sung and special meals to be made.  Who can attend a football game without a hotdog and a cold beverage?  Then there is the special attire.  Depending on the weather this could range from snow boots to sandals and the favorite jersey for my team.  The preparation can take a good amount of time and thought.

The excitement builds on and off the field.

For the teams, there’s the pre-game meal and rituals, warm up and then…the grand entrance.  When I think about all of the people involved in creating the hype of the game the numbers area staggering.  The band is playing, the crowds are singing and the food vendors are keeping the grills cooking.  It is an American pastime. 

There are so many things to celebrate both on and off the field.  The spirit of competition and pride is heartwarming.  Many life lessons can be applied to game day.  Teamwork, perseverance, hard work and dedication to name a few.

So as you watch your favorite team hit the gridiron, think about all of the hours of hard work put in by the teams, the support staff, families and more.  Go team go!

Unexpected Blessings

I took a walk early this morning and while I was drinking in the sky drenched in a shower of peach, orange and blue I noticed an ornament…..a hot air balloon. This was an unexpected blessing to my walk.
Have you ever considered all of the unexpected blessings in your day? They come in the most unusual packages. It could be the warmth of a smile or a green light on your way to a destination. Do we notice the blessings of our days?
The air was crisp this morning and the grass blanketed with a fresh coat of dew. We had storms overnight and the fireworks provided by mother nature were nothing short of breathtaking. They included thunder, lightening and unfortunately LARGE hail. It looked like it was raining golf balls….only mother nature could produce such a spectacle.  Could there be other unexpected blessings in this?
I will hold on to the vision of the hot air balloon as the theme for my Friday. It was light, airy and whimisical. What could be better for the day? What will your theme be?  I am grateful for unexpected blessings!

Milestones

I passed another milestone last week. Yes, the birthday fairy paid me a visit and I have welcomed another fantastic year of opportunity.
In the week since my cake extravaganza I have experienced a wide variety of feelings. From the peaks of possibility to the valley of…what is next in my life? There are times when I feel like I haven’t tapped my full potential and then there are other days when I feel completely empty….can you relate?
With all of these feelings it is important to maintain perspective. I think we all tend to tough self-critics. If we step back and honestly look at other people we will soon realize we are all in similar boats with oars waiting to be used. Where would you guide your boat? There is no such thing as a wrong direction…..all of our experiences create our maginificent journeys.
I am grateful for my adventures and all of the people I have encountered. These people have made the journey sweet and memorable.
Now when I think in these terms, I am eager to see what the next chapter will bring.  I am also grateful for the blessings from God.  God is so patient with all of us.  God is love and it is offered to all of us.  Our job is to embrace the love and help radiate it to others.
Where is your adventure taking you? Have you passed a milestone? Who are you grateful for in your path?
Take a moment and share some joy with those sharing your journey…there will never be another moment exactly like this one.

Dreams

Recently I had the opportunity to support a family member in pursuit of a dream. It is an honor to support others.
I wish we spent more time focused on how to support other people – family included. There is much celebration about being the leader however there is very little celebration for the supporting roles. They are also important an vital to success.

I compare it to being on an athletic team. You won’t find a successful quarterback on a football team without an outstanding offensive line.
The same rule applies to a person with a dream. It is critical to have a support group around you. Other people can bring different viewpoints, energy as well as support. These synergies create something wonderful.
You also learn by being in a support role. Watching another person pursue a dream, a passion in their life provides many lessons. You start thinking about, how can I add value? How can I compliment efforts here?
When the focus is on someone else – amazing things happen.
I am grateful for my recent journey and my renewed faith in the power of having a dream. Is there someone you can support? Is there a dream calling your name?

The possibilities are endless……

Who do you need to Pray for?

How do we deal with challenges and hurts?  Have you ever prayed for someone who has “wronged” you?  I tried this recently and the immediate sensation was that of relief…..what a welcome change to the contempt I was feeling…warning, this didn’t last long.  Unfortunately, another negative encounter took place and my old friend anger was back….so I was back at it – praying for this person.  I have learned that this sense of relief and serenity is going to take patience and time.  I have decided to continue praying and am looking forward to the growth and final outcome. 

We are all human and bound to find conflict from time to time.  I will continue to pray and give it up.  I am grateful for the God’s grace and have complete faith that God will take care of all things…..myself included.

Wishing you Grace and Gratitude…..Have a great day!

There’s No Place Like Home.

Recently I have travelled to see my parents and returned to the home that I spent most of my childhood in. It was a welcome change to enter familiar surroundings. All the sites, sounds and smells I remember with a couple of upgrades of course. The first thing I noticed was that my room was clean. That was not the case when I lived there during high school. But the walls told stories of many athletic events, dances and late night conversations.
It was a delightful visit and I thoroughly enjoyed the conversations, activities and laughs we shared.
While I have a family of my own there is something comfortable about going to my parents home. I regress to some of my old habits and ways. For a fleeting moment I allow myself to be the child and then the thought is interrupted by the needs of one of my own kids. I am a mom, a daughter, a friend…a character.
I am grateful for the new memories we created and the opportunity to spend time with my parents.
Time – it is the one element we all have the same amount of. No matter what your height, weight or economic status may be – we all have the same amount of time. My challenge is gain a greater consciousness about how I am spending it. Am I making it count? Am I adding value to the lives of those around me?
These are great questions to ask……they help me find my center. Mom and dad – thank you for a fabulous visit. I will see you again soon.
With Laughter and Love, April