Faith, Love and Respect for ALL

Posts tagged ‘inspiration’

Faith

Sunday morning I was listening to my favorite radio station, K-Love, and was blessed to hear the entire K-Love Fan Awards Worship Service. The message given by Alex Kendrick was powerful and left me with a level of serenity and confidence, which I have not felt in quite sometime.

I was touched on a deep spiritual level as Mr. Kendrick spoke about Matthew 14:13 – 33. During the course of his sermon, everything I was seeking  guidance for, ceased to be a mystery. Alex stated the answer several times throughout his wonderful devotion:

Faith Believes. Doubt Does Not.

Faith Prays. Doubt Does Not.

Faith Acts. Doubt Does Not.

I was so inspired by his message of Faith versus Doubt, I created an image to spread this extraordinarily Powerful Message.  Always remember, God provides ALL through Faith; we simply need to Believe, Pray and Act with an open heart.

Thank You Alex Kendrick and K-Love for helping me emerge from the mists and once again see my path clearly through the shining light of Faith.

Faith Believes. Doubt Does Not. Faith Prays Doubt Does Not. Faith Acts. Doubt Does Not. - Alex Kendrick

The background image is property of Lindsey Schultz, who graciously granted permission for use to Jest_Tu_Positive.

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Autism Proud – Journey With Us – by Jest Tu Positive by Dorothy Stronglove is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

Why Help a Stranger

Every time there is a devastating event in our country, there seems to be two extremes among people. You have those who jump right in and give 110% to help; and then you have those who cannot fathom helping strangers. Thankfully, most of America seems to be somewhere in between these two extremes, which allows us to come together and help people in need nationwide, when they need it the most.

The most recent natural disaster in the United States left thousands homeless in Oklahoma.   Normally I would not get involved beyond praying, because we live paycheck to paycheck, and there never seems to be enough money for things around here. Then I realized something: waiting to have enough money/time to help those in need, is just like waiting to have enough money to have children; if you wait until you have enough you will never do it, because there never seems to be enough these days. You do what you can, and you have pride that you did something from the heart, simply to help someone in need.

Mary Carroll, who is an amazing inspiration, just returned from a supply run to Oklahoma where she met and helped many extraordinary people, puts it perfectly:

I’m really touched and thankful for all the messages of encouragement I’ve received the past few days. But truthfully, I am not anything but an AMERICAN that believes that in time of need we have to take care of each other. We have a badass military that will go all over the world to ensure our safety, but when disaster happens here, it’s the responsibility of every one of us to look after our AMERICAN brothers and sisters. Not everyone can get up and go, with no notice, to assist physically, but everybody can do SOMETHING. From donating a couple cases of water or food, throwing in $20 for gas, sending a mom some diapers, and DONATING BLOOD. It may seem like just a small contribution, but if everybody did the smallest thing, collectively we can make something really big happen for some people that lost absolutely everything.

The people affected by the storms and tornadoes in Oklahoma have lost their homes, and many of the day-to-day essentials, which most of us tend to take for granted. They may have lost all their material possessions, but they are survivors and have an abundance of faith. Even as they sit amongst the rubble of their communities, they are filled with an appreciation for the simple things in life and a willingness to help their neighbors; which matches nothing most of us have ever witnessed. Mary reported one day: The hospitality and graciousness of these OK people is second to none.”

If you think you cannot make a difference, please know that you can, and it does not have to be a grand gesture. You can pray, share resources such as donation sites, donate $1 or $5, collect items needed, etc… It is not about the quantity of help, but the quality of love behind it. In the words of one resident from Oklahoma City: “How much can you thank somebody? The generosity is unbelievable and it just brings you to tears to know so many people care. We are just thankful we are alive.”

This is why we choose to help strangers, because it is simply the right thing to do; and it reminds us that every little bit of positive, loving energy we put out into the world helps perpetuate the change we want to see in the world.

Oklahoma Relief Run

If you would like to help, please visit Oklahoma Relief Run on FaceBook, or you can make monetary donations on their site at GoGetFunding.

 

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Autism Proud – Journey With Us – by Jest Tu Positive by Dorothy Stronglove is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

Graduation 2013

On May 17, 2013 my husband will graduate college with an Associates of Applied Science degree and an Associates of Art degree, both in Criminal Justice. He started his College journey a month before his 18th birthday, and he will be 31years old when he graduates. It has been a long road for him, laden with countless obstacles and many scenic routes. He has been discouraged, felt like a failure, and assumed he could not do it; however, he yearned to finish college and obtain a degree. Eventually he found his courage, began to feel successful, and determined that he could do it; and now he is graduating with not one, but two degrees.

The last few semesters have not been easy; honestly, they were more difficult than we ever imagined. Being a father of 2 young children (one with Special Needs), working 40+ hours a week to support our family, and going to school proved to be quite the challenge. However if there is one thing I know about my husband, it is that he ALWAYS rises to a challenge and finds a way to CONQUER it.

On Friday evening I will watch him graduate; while taking lots of pictures to show our girls what an AMAZING man their daddy is. I am so very PROUD of him and all that he has accomplished. He is showing our girls that when you have a dream, you should pursue it until you have achieved your goal. He is teaching our girls that it doesn’t matter how long it takes you to fulfill your dreams; what matters is that you do it with integrity, and in a manner of which you can be proud. He is proving to our girls that ANYTHING is POSSIBLE, with determination and hard-work; which is truly one the GREATEST gifts a parent can give a child.

CONGRATULATIONS to my Husband, who overcame his doubts and fears, and is obtaining his degrees in 2013.  This is a GREAT year for you, and a major building block in the foundation of our life. You are an AMAZING inspiration, and a source of tremendous PRIDE to many! Our girls are truly BLESSED to have such a wonderful, hard-working father who embraces dreams and turns them into reality. Our family will achieve many EXTRAORDINARY things in life, because you will always be there to help us make our dreams come true. Thank You for all that you are, and all that you do! I LOVE YOU!

Graduation 2013

 

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Autism Proud – Journey With Us – by Jest Tu Positive by Dorothy Stronglove is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

Extraordinary Children of God

In November my friend lost her 2 year old son, when he was called home to Heaven. If you were not following us at that time, the post Sadness was published on November 28th, the day of Henry’s passing. In the almost six months that have passed since that day of immense loss, I have prayed for the Dobrovits family, and held a special place in my heart for them. I have witnessed the tremendous effect that Henry’s life continues to have on the world. I have sat in awe at the amazing grace and faith in which Carla and her family do everything in life.

Yesterday, my friend made a wonderful, joyous announcement. Their family has been called to adopt 3 siblings and provide them a Forever Home. These 3 children, will no longer reside in a orphanage; once the adoption is finalized, they will come home to live in a home filled with infinite, unconditional love. They will no longer be alone, because now they have a mother, father and seven siblings (6 here on earth and 1 angel in Heaven) to help them as they find their path in this world. 

Carla's Children

Please help bring Susan (10 years old), Edmond (3 years old), and Lucy (11months old with special needs) home to the Dobrovits family.

Carla and her family are an inspiration like none I have ever witnessed. In November, you all prayed for them as they mourned sweet Henry’s departure from the earth, when he joined our Father in Heaven. Now I ask that you please join me in praying for them, as they begin a new journey, to bring their newest 3 family members home. 

There are Angels among us, and Carla’s family is living proof of that, because the Dobrovits family are all extraordinary children of God.  Please share their story, so we can surround them in prayer and help them reach their fundraising goal, to bring their children home as soon as possible. You can follow their journey at Carla’s blog page: http://www.bringinghenryhome.blogspot.com/2013/04/the-next-chapter.html

 

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Autism Proud – Journey With Us – by Jest Tu Positive by Dorothy Stronglove is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

V is for Valid

V is for VALID

V is for VALID

Valid is defined as: “1. sound; just; well-founded: a valid reason. 2. producing the desired result; effective: a valid antidote for gloom…” – Dictionary.com

Nowadays in our society, there seems to be this need for everyone to be right, and better than the next person. If you are single, it is about having the more prominent job and valuable stuff. If you are married, it is about having the more exceptional relationship and bigger house. If you have children, it is about being more effective parents and having children who surpass the rest in every way. There appears to be this constant need for validation, that most feel can only be achieved by proving that they are far superior to others.  This mindset, and its subsequent behaviors, is something that honestly baffles me. Our approach to life, and all its scenic journeys, is valid for Us, if it works for Our family. The validity of our choices is not dependent on the beliefs or actions of others. This bible verse states it perfectly: “Each of you must examine your own actions. Then you can be proud of your own accomplishments without comparing yourself to others. Assume your own responsibility.” – Galatians 6:4-5 (God’s Word ® Translation)

Each of us is unique, as is our journey in life. Some of us may walk similar paths, but just as no two people are exactly alike, no two journeys will ever be perfect mirrors either. We are diverse in our beliefs, feelings, and experiences; which causes us to have varying approaches to almost everything in life. When we compare ourselves to others, we do ourselves, and the person we are praising or criticizing, a great disservice. We can never truly know what motivates people to take the different paths they choose. Judging them and their choices as wrong, simply because it is different than ours, only fuels the spread of negativity, misinformation and prejudice. This is one of the reasons, I dislike the terms right and wrong, because those concepts are extremely subjective. Different choices are not right or wrong, they are simply different; however they are valid for the person making the choice at that time. We can choose countless approaches to life, traveling a labyrinth of diverse paths, and still end up in the same spot as many other people. Our paths are not better or worse than others, they are simply unique to us and the decisions which were best for Our family at that time. What is true to our beliefs and how we wish to see our children progress in this world, will not always match what our family, friends or society desire; however, that is the beauty of our world, we don’t have to agree with others, we simply have to know that our choices are true to the values and dreams Our family strives for. In the words of Arthur Schopenhauer: “The difficulty is to try and teach the multitude that something can be true and untrue at the same time.”

Valid “Our Way” is defined as: “Making decisions based on Our beliefs and vision for Our family, whether it be trivial or significant choices, as long as they work for Our family, they are the true path for us.”

 

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Autism Proud – Journey With Us – by Jest Tu Positive by Dorothy Stronglove is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

U is for Unique

U is for UNIQUE

U is for UNIQUE

Unique is defined as: “1. being the only one of a particular type; single; sole; 2. without equal or like; unparalleled…” – Dictionary.com

We are all unique, even identical twins differ on the inside, and this amazing gift should be a source of pride, not shame. Being unique is a blessing that should be treasured and explored. We should rejoice in our differences and embrace diversity in others. If we were all the same, the world would be quite boring; we would never grow, experience new things or find exciting adventures. Some where along the way, our society has started to frown upon people being different, and the new push to simply blend in, kind of baffles me. Instead of discouraging extraordinary people from shining, we should be celebrating their distinctive abilities and appreciating the new perspectives they provide in the world.

As a parent, I want my children to take pride in all that they are and all that they do. I want them to simply be themselves and truly know how amazing and special they are. Regardless of what abilities our children were born with, they all have a God-given potential that we should be careful not to limit. Our children can and will achieve their dreams, in their own way and own time, so we must be careful to ensure those dreams include celebrating their individuality.

When I read the following passage, I cried because it sums up perfectly my wish for all children:
“Each second we live is a new and unique moment of the universe, a moment that will never be again. And what do we teach our children? We teach them that two and two make four, and that Paris is the capital of France. When will we also teach them what they are?
We should say to each of them: Do you know what you are? You are a Marvel. You are Unique. In all the years that have passed, there has never been another child like you. Your legs, your arms, your clever fingers, the way you move. You may become a Shakespeare, a Michelangelo, a Beethoven. You have the capacity for anything.
If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away.”  – Henry David Thoreau

Unique “Our Way” is defined as: “Everything we are, and the endless possibilities we have in the universe, as long as we follow our own path and proudly explore our originality in all that we do.”

 

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Autism Proud – Journey With Us – by Jest Tu Positive by Dorothy Stronglove is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

2 posts in 1

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas. I intended to post a Christmas greeting, but was too busy playing with the kids to get on the computer. I did say a Christmas prayer for everyone though and hoped that everyone was counting endless blessings to celebrate Jesus’s birthday.

We did Christmas differently this year, to give Beth a bit of a break. We celebrated Christmas Eve on Sunday, with our family, who we typically would have seen on Monday. Then Monday we stayed home and kept it a low-key day as her body tried to regulate back to its normal state. Tuesday we had a wonderful Christmas morning at home playing with some of the girls’ gifts. They even ate breakfast in their new wagon, Big Red. In the afternoon we headed to my folks for a small family dinner and the girls had the extra treat of spending the night, while Henry and I enjoyed an impromptu date night. We went to the movies at our favorite theater, which serves food and adult beverages, to see The Hobbit, and it was AWESOME! We came home to a quiet house and had a real night’s sleep to prepare for the coming days. All in all, the holiday celebrations went well and were quite enjoyable, even though we greatly missed family that could not join us due to illness and scheduling conflicts. As long as everyone is healthy and Beth is up to it, we will be doing Christmas all over again on New Year’s Day with my in-laws, who were trapped in bed with bad sinus infections this holiday season.

 Christmas

So now that Christmas is over it is time for the next big event in our life. Beth is having surgery tomorrow to remove her tonsils and adenoids. She has had what we call the “mystery cough” at night, for almost a year now, which not only wakes her up, but keeps Anne from sleeping as well. After trying every possible treatment, we finally saw an ENT right after Thanksgiving.  The doctor is Au-Some and was actually able to look in her mouth, without her melting down or vomiting all over. God bless the man, he even crawled around on the floor with her, to conduct the full exam. We decided to wait until winter break to have the surgery, so she would not miss school. Unfortunately this plan backfired and she had a horrible virus which caused her to miss the last 2 weeks of school. Thankfully her teacher is AMAZING and sent us get well pictures with all her friends. At the moment Anne is at my parents’ house, and will be vacationing in the Land of Spoiled for a few days while we focus on Beth. We are to arrive at the hospital at 6am for a 7:30am surgery. If all goes well, and we have the best case scenario, she will be home recovering by the afternoon with lots of cuddles from mommy and daddy. If things do not go as we hope, then she will be admitted to keep her hydrated and manage her pain. We are preparing for the worst, but praying for the best. Fortunately she has quite a high pain tolerance, so as long as we can get her to drink fluids, then I think we can handle recovery at home. Henry is a nervous wreck, and there really is no comforting him until all is said and done. I am strangely comfortable with it, and I know I owe that to Al-Anon and my program. I have turned it over to God, and I am confident that everything will unfold as it is meant to, and I know she is going to do great, and will be so much better for having the surgery. I am also very excited at the prospect of being able to remove at least 3-4 medicines/supplements from her regiment, after she recovers from her surgery.

If you are inclined to pray, I would ask that you please keep Beth in your prayers during the coming days. We are praying for a successful surgery, followed by a quick and manageable recovery at home, because she has spent far too much time in the hospital already this year. I may not be around for a while, but I welcome the feeling of your prayers holding us tight in loving hugs tomorrow and in the days to follow.

bless you

 

 

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Autism Proud – Journey With Us – by Jest Tu Positive by Dorothy Stronglove is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

Angel

Something AMAZING happened to me tonight, I met an Angel in the parking lot at Walmart.

We have had a rough few weeks, with Beth being sick and life in general not going as planned. As hard as I have been trying to work my program, I find myself still struggling lately, and I  had a horrible case of the blahs today. Although I had finished my Christmas shopping early, I had not stocked up on the household essentials and had to go shopping to get much needed supplies for the girls. So off I went with my sad self, short on patience and cranky because I had to go out in the madness that is holiday shopping 3 days before Christmas. Traffic was horrible, but I put in my ‘Mercy Me’ cd and let the music take me over, soon I was feeling better. Perhaps it was just being out of the house without any sick, whiny children. I love my children but after 2 weeks of being in quarantine with Beth, I am kind of losing my mind.  Plus Anne has hit the terrible two’s just a wee bit early, and sometimes I feel like I am living with two teenagers instead of two kids under age 4.

I finally arrived at my first destination, Fashion bug, which is having a going-out-of-business sale. My wonderful mother-in-law, who knows me all to well, told me I was getting money for Christmas, but I HAD to use it to buy myself clothes, and that I could get more bang for my buck since everything was at least 60% off. Well I spent 1.5hours shopping for me and actually spent all the money on ME, which is not easy considering there is ALWAYS something I can buy for the kids or a bill to pay. Normally I would feel guilty but I was actually happy and excited about my purchase, and had to call momma right away to thank her for making me take care of myself.

Feeling MUCH better at this point, I headed over to Walmart to do the important shopping. I was also there for over an hour, but it was not that enjoyable. Somehow the holiday season manages to bring the worst out in people when they are shopping. I just kept being as polite as could be, and smiling at crabby people, just so I could get through the trip without losing my happy feeling. I finished shopping and my cart was overflowing with diapers, wipes, kid supplies and house supplies. I made my way out to the parking lot, and loaded everything in the van. All the while looking over my shoulder, because I am VERY cautious in parking lots, especially at night, because I am afraid of the dark. Then I went to return my cart to the corral, and that is when it happened…

When I turned around there was a woman standing next to me, I still am not quite sure where she came from, but there she was.

She said: “Excuse me miss, this is for you, Merry Christmas.”
Without evening looking at what she had, I said: “Oh, no thank you.”
She replied: Oh no, please take this. It is from my heart and for you for Christmas.”
I took the little envelope from her hand and said: “Thank you so much.”
She smiled at me and said: “Your welcome, Merry Christmas and God Bless.”

She walked past me, and I quickly went back to the van, got in and locked the doors. I honestly did not know what to think about what just happened, and feared it may be some kind of scam. I sat for a moment listening to the music, which was one of my favorite songs, Beautiful by Mercy Me, then I looked at/in the envelope and there it was:ImageThe woman, who had disappeared as quickly as she had appeared, had given me a $25 gift card for Walmart. The outside said: “For Someone Special” and the inside, as shown above, said: “You Are Loved.” I looked for her in the parking lot, but she was gone; so I just sat there all tingly (the good, did that really happen, chills), crying and saying Thank You to the night sky.

I have NEVER had anything like this ever happen to me, and hours later, still cannot believe that it really happened. On a day when I really needed something to snap me out my funk, God sent me an Angel to remind me of all the miracles and blessings in the world. I am grateful for the financial help, but I am even more thankful for the spiritual help. A simple act of kindness and generosity from a stranger, has given me the BEST Christmas gift of all, for the lady with the red hair and leather jacket reminded me what life is really about, and how it truly is better to give than receive.  Thank You beautiful Angel! I received the message loud and clear, there is still so much good in the world, that I cannot be deterred by the struggles.  I will be eternally grateful for your loving kindness and promise to pay it forward, as best I can.  May we all grow this holiday season through Hope, Love and Faith.  God Bless!

 

 

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Autism Proud – Journey With Us – by Jest Tu Positive by Dorothy Stronglove is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

Happy Father’s Day

Many times it appears that the “Dads” of the world do not receive the proper recognition they deserve for all that they do for their families. To celebrate all the wonderful and amazing “Dads” in the world, a poem of thanks for all the MEN who shape a child’s life. Father, Step-Father, Guardian, Grandfather, God-Father, Uncle, Brother, Cousin, Friend, etc… As we go through life we may hold many titles, but the children who we have touched do not care what we are called; they only know that they are loved by us, and they are our sunshine! Happy Father’s Day to all the Angels in the world who love and guide us!!!

Unfortunately, I am not very good at poetry; however, I did find a poem that encompasses the sentiment, which I feel Father’s Day is all about. I could not possibly say it any better, so I am sharing a poem by Helen Steiner Rice, which I found at: http://www.fathersdaycelebration.com/fathers-day-poems.html#fathers-are-wonderful

Fathers are Wonderful People
by Helen Steiner Rice

Fathers are wonderful people
Too little understood,
And we do not sing their praises
As often as we should…

For, somehow, Father seems to be
The man who pays the bills,
While Mother binds up little hurts
And nurses all our ills…

And Father struggles daily
To live up to “HIS IMAGE”
As protector and provider
And “hero or the scrimmage”…

And perhaps that is the reason
We sometimes get the notion,
That Fathers are not subject
To the thing we call emotion,

But if you look inside Dad’s heart,
Where no one else can see
You’ll find he’s sentimental
And as “soft” as he can be…

But he’s so busy every day
In the grueling race of life,
He leaves the sentimental stuff
To his partner and his wife…

But Fathers are just WONDERFUL
In a million different ways,
And they merit loving compliments
And accolade of praise,

For the only reason Dad aspires
To fortune and success
Is to make the family proud of him
And to bring them happiness…

And like OUR HEAVENLY FATHER,
He’s a guardian and a guide,
Someone that we can count on
To be ALWAYS ON OUR SIDE.

 

Believe in Yourself

As parents we tend to lose ourselves in our quest to do what is best for our family. When we have a child with Special Needs, we put everything we have into helping our children achieve their God-given potential. As beautiful and loving as our intentions are for our children, we forget to care for  ourselves.

Our Autistic daughter is ill, she is prone to respiratory infections, and has Croup again. As a result, our other daughter is spending a few days with Grandma and Grandpa until sister is healthy again. Although it kills me, and makes me feel like a failure, I must admit that I cannot meet both of their needs, while Beth is sick. She needs my undivided love and attention, and Anne deserves to be loved and played with too. So I must accept what is and follow the guidance of my Higher Power, no matter how many tears I may shed, because I am only human. It is better to admit my shortcomings and be realistic about my abilities, than to try to do it all and have my children suffer due to my preconceived notions and pride. As sad as I am that Anne needed to go away for a few days, I am equally thankful that we have a support system that allows us to meet both girls needs so well.

On a day when I am exhausted, and yearning for inspiration to help me work my program I wanted to share this touching poem with you. I believe God lead me to Al-Anon, not only to help me overcome my “sickness” from the “isms” I have faced in my life, but also to help me face life in the Special Needs Community. For there is nothing better than my program to help me face each day with a positive, faith that He will see us through. The tools I learn in Al-Anon to love myself and love others for who they are, will be passed down to my children so they too will love themselves, and be proud of the Au-Some individuals they are, while accepting others for who they are as well. The thoughts and feelings the author put into this poem are amazing, and they are all sentiments we try to live by, One Day at a Time.

Believe in Yourself

Don’t undermine your worth by comparing yourself to others.

You are unique and important part of the Higher Power’s creation.

Your special role in life cannot be filled by anyone else.

Don’t set your goals by what other people deem important.

Aim for your own star.

Don’t take for granted the things closest to your heart.

Cling to them as you would your life, for without them life is meaningless.

Don’t let life slip through your fingers by living in the past or future.

By living your life one day at a time, you will truly live all the days of your life.

Don’t be afraid to admit that you are less than perfect and don’t be afraid to encounter risks.

Don’t shut love out of your life.

The quickest way to receive love is to give it and the fastest way to lose it is to hold it too tightly.

Don’t dismiss your dreams.

To be without dreams is to be without hope,to be without hope is to be without purpose.

Don’t run through life too fast.

Life is not a race, but a miraculous journey to be savored every step of the way.

With Love, Anonymous

 

 

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Autism Proud – Journey With Us – by Jest Tu Positive by Dorothy Stronglove is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

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