Everyday Heroes

Fourth of July

I’ve had the good fortune this week of crossing paths with several every day heroes, or angels, if you will. Average, run-of-the-mill people who are motivated by the desire to make a difference in the lives of others. And at a time when we celebrate commemorating the adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776, what better time to mention the people who’ve made an impact on my life.

The Special Olympics Unified Relay Across America came through my hometown, and my husband, being the Chief of Police, was honored to carry the torch with the County Sheriff. (My husband is the one on the right.) Special Olympics Torch RunAs this group of runners (below) made their way to the end of their run to pass the torch to the men in blue (wearing red ūüôā ) above, I felt like I was in the presence of dignitaries. These people, even one in a¬†wheel chair, made me¬†embarrassed that I can find a single thing to complain about in my life. To say they were happy is an understatment. Their enthusiasm for life was contagious. They are true heroes.

2015-06-26 18.35.17

 

And last, but certainly not least, is the Brighton police officer, Nick Struck, who comforted a small child by¬†holding her and¬†singing Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star , after she was involved in an automobile accident that killed her father. At a time when the media seems to be looking for and shining the media spotlight on the less than admirable police behavior across the country, it’s important to remember the hundreds of thousands who put their lives on the line every day for peace, order, and unity. And the ones, like Officer Struck, who take the time for that one small child who needed him more than anything at that moment. Nick is perhaps one of the most humble people I know.

Nick Struck

Enjoy this Fourth of July holiday with family and friends, loving and appreciating one another, and giving thanks. For each other as well as all those who serve.

Carpe Diem

T.G.I.F. – Gratitude Friday

4th-of-july-love-quotes-2

With such a big week, it’s difficult to narrow it down to three, as blessings flowed–and keep flowing–abundantly. However, keeping consistent with my Friday posts, my top three for the week:

3.) The amazing freedoms in our country, none that have come without a steep price by dedicated and loyal military men and women, that give us the freedom of choice in so many vital areas of this beautiful thing called life.

2.)¬† The outstretched arms of my precious granddaughter followed by the feel of her little arm curled around my neck. A grandparent’s delight.

1.)  Dancing with my son at his wedding for the Mother-Son dance, to the song Watercolor Ponies by Wayne Watson. Reduced this mama to tears of joy, pride, and love beyond anything I could have ever imagined since the day he was born.

photo (7)

Wishing everyone a beautiful, filled-with-love-food-fun-family-and-friends Fourth of July!

I’m back off to the wilderness of camp! ūüôā

Camp Nano-2

 

 

 

 

Let Freedom Ring

Declaration-of-independence-broadside-cropped

Declaration-of-independence-broadside-cropped (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

As we bring in the day that celebrates our amazing country’s adoption of the Declaration of Independence, claiming our independence from Great Britain, my mind reflects on so many freedoms I¬†am able to enjoy today.¬† Freedoms many other parts of the world don’t have the privilege to enjoy.

Freedom of speech.

Freedom of religion.

Freedom to choose a vocation.

Freedom to vote (especially for us women who didn’t always have that privilege).

Freedom of dress.

Freedom to receive an education–and to continue that education.

Freedom to have as many children as we choose.  And to marry whom we choose.

As we celebrate the independence and freedom of our country, let’s take a moment to appreciate and give thanks for all of our personal freedoms,¬†pray for those who don’t have them, and pray for the leaders of our great nation.

All is Grace.

United States flag

New Month, New Life

July 3rd Fireworks

July 3rd Fireworks (Photo credit: zappowbang)

July is just around the corner, a month that used to be a childhood favorite with 4th of July celebrations of parades lined with colorful floats and marching high school bands, the oohs and ahs while watching amazing firework displays explode and cascade into the brightest colors high in the ink sky, baseball games, watermelon, family fun…everything that is summer.¬†¬†¬† The past several years, however, ¬†have made me a bit apprehensive as it nears.

Experiences will do that.  Alter the way one sees things.  Kind of the same way an opinion forms around a name because of someone you once knew with that name.

Or the way I can get squeamish in a hospital because of something that is reminiscent of an unpleasant memory.

Too many painful  events began happening each July several years ago, and I realized the approach of the last couple found me holding my breath in fear.

Wishing an entire month quickly away.¬† Waiting…waiting…until the last day arrived and I could breathe a little bit¬†easier.¬† Walk a little bit lighter.

This year it occurred to me, whether it was a God moment or spiritual experience is up for interpretation.  Either one is God speaking to me through life experiences.  Using what He knows will get my undivided attention.

That deeply embedded fear is nothing but lack of faith in a God who can orchestrate all aspects from those too small to see to those that can seem larger than life itself.

Rather than wait for the bad to happen, allowing fear and anxiety to entwine its tentacles into every area of my life,  I can give thanks for what I have, placing my focus on good and God.

A Good God.  All powerful God.

If something happens that is unpleasant, I can know and be secure in the knowledge that God can, and will, take me through it if I allow Him.  I can be grateful for the opportunity to practice leaning on Him.  An opportunity to practice perseverance.

When good things happen, which He makes sure does for His children, free of self-involved fear, I can be fully present to be aware of and enjoy it, rather than miss it while in the throes of wishing the month away.

And what an amazing opportunity to get some good quality writing done.  When emotions are raw, whether joy or pain, is when the most poignant writing is created.  The most memorable stories.  Words that flow from a heart that is beating and feeling the pulse of life.

Pen and Paper       This July I will honor the memory, feel the pain, but also celebrate the life of a lost step-child, while hugging my other step-daughter and my sons a little bit closer.

I will likely remember the near-death accident involving my child, but I will celebrate the fact that he is still with me. Whole and healthy.  Because of a loving God who rescued him, knowing his mom had a whole lot of love to lavish on him.

Rather than feel pain at the sight of a dragonfly, a symbol so important to a lost loved one, I can look at it as a sign from a loving God that my loved one is still around me.  Free.

I will strive to help victims of crime, giving them empathy and compassion as only one who has experienced it can.  And I will celebrate the fact that I am a blessed survivor.  Because of a loving God who cares about me so much He saved me from what could have been.

Dragonfly

Dragonfly (Photo credit: Tom Soper Photography)

I will remember a lost family pet, loved as no other pet ever was, and be grateful we found such a wonderful shelter dog to rescue and love.

This July, rather than wait for it to close, the curtains down, I will truly live, love, and experience every moment, every day as a new story to be told and lived.

Grace to You.