In a dark world of lost and neglected children no words can better describe our role in changing the world than the lyrics by Brandon Heath in, “Give Me Your Eyes”. In Cambodia, there are over 600,000 homeless and neglected children and many enduring crimes that would incarcerate a sexual predator for the remainder of his life here in the U.S. In Cambodia, young children are sold to the highest bidder by families living in poverty for a future education, food, shelter or reasons that are incomprehensible to us. And these predators violate repeatedly. Victims are often never found or tragically found dead. In many cases, they are returned to the families emotionally shattered. Two missionaries felt a calling to be a voice and to provide healing for these children. Please take 3 minutes to view the video below, “Give Me Your Eyes”. What the world chooses not to see doesn’t exist. I’ve included Brandon Health’s lyrics below. The Global Renewal organization of missionaries needs your prayers. My prayer is that by reaching out to my readers, the words I’m inspired to write about Global Renewal’s mission will continue to help shine a light into the darkest corners of our world. These children need our eyes so they can begin to see a safer, brighter future.
In the words of Brandon Heath…
““Give Me Your Eyes”
Looked down from a broken sky
Traced out by the city lights
My world from a mile high
Best seat in the house tonight
Touched down on the cold black tar
Hold on for the sudden stop
Breathe in the familiar shock
All those people goin’ somewhere
Why have I never cared?
Give me Your eyes for just one second
Give me Your eyes so I can see
Everything that I keep missing
Give me Your love for humanity
Give me Your arms for the broken-hearted
The ones that are far beyond my reach
Give me Your heart for the ones forgotten
Give me Your eyes so I can see
Give Me Your Eyes for the Lost Children of Cambodia So THEY can SEE:
Life seems to constantly throw distractions and road blocks our way. For me, it seems the more I attempt to focus on my passion for writing, the more difficult it becomes to find time for it. This week, however, the stars were in alignment for me as I was finally able to interview a missionary in Cambodia. We had been trying to connect for quite some time. I’m looking forward to sharing the results of that interview with my readers in the near future. Writing has been my passion as far back as I can remember. But it takes more time than I claimed to have in the past and a thick skin to endure the rejection that comes along with it. Your phenomenal idea may be just that–yours alone. I’m jumping in with both feet these days. I’ll be attending a writer’s workshop over the weekend and have been inspired to dig out the stories from the depths of my files that were left alone years ago. Characters that were left without answers, incomplete endings and messy relationships will finally wind their way to the last page of a book. My archived stories may not be the interest of every reader, but they will be completed. I’m sure the distractions will appear like the one I just encountered while writing this blog. I finished it, hit post then received messages in bold red, “Cannot Post”. There was no obvious reason for my entry to not post. So, yes, frustrated, I started over. I will endure every bit of distraction that pops up. I may have to take a few detours along the way. But, I can tell you that my heart and soul are smiling today knowing that 100% of me will be FOCUSED on my passion. I hope you will stick around to read what I’ve kept on hold in the upcoming year. I hope that if you hold a passion in your heart and soul for something you are able to carve out a slice of time for it this week..if for no other reason than to help you get back to what you enjoy the most!
We can all recall where we were that day. You can probably still recall every sight, feeling and thought you experienced. You probably thought of a spouse, mother, father, brother, sister or friend that morning. For me, September 11th still seems like a snapshot ago. I was working for one of the major airlines that went down that day. I stayed in NYC the night prior. It was a gorgeous, sunny morning. We had a spectacular view of the city as we took off and headed west. We didn’t make it to our intended destination. Instead, we were directed to land in Little Rock, Arkansas, along with more than 75 other aircraft ranging from FedEx to Southwest, Delta to Northwest, American to United. There we sat on the tarmac, waiting in apprehensive silence. We were told to observe all passengers and determine if anything seemed “suspicious”. We had no idea what that meant or the magnitude of the horrifying tragedy in progress. Then, slowly, the news filtered in. Like everyone else, we were in shock. The news media arrived at the airport as we were taken into private employee areas and debriefed. We weren’t going home that day. Not a single airplane could be heard around or above us. I couldn’t get a cell call out for what seemed like hours at first. Finally, my phone lit up. The first was a call from my Dad who had awakened early on the west coast to witness the beginnings of 9/11. My parents knew I was in NYC so the time between breaking news and hearing my voice on the phone was terrifying. Every thirty minutes afterwards calls from family and friends filtered in. I felt sick to my stomach. None of us knew how to cope with such devastating news. The same feelings return every year on this date. The sights, sounds, emotions, and the memories of so many empty facial expressions.
Today We Remember. Today We Never Forget. Today we Vow to Never again allow our GREAT country to become complacent. Today, we are thankful for the men and women who perished trying to save others. Today we bow our heads and PRAY that we never experience another 9/11.
Technology has forever changed not only changed the platform of learning but how we will view the “old” way of communicating with others—The Handwritten Letter. Over the years, I’ve stored away letters from family members and friends that I felt were special, funny or significant to a place in time I knew would be interesting to read years later. Some are stored away so well that I probably won’t find them unless I go digging around in the depths of boxes stored in our attic. Faded with time, many won’t even be readable in the next few years. I’ve held onto the idea of publishing a collection of old letters that tell a story. Now that I’m spending more time on my hobby with hopes that you will all be downloading one of my books on your kindles one day, that project is underway and I’m hoping that some of you might be willing and interested in contributing. So, while you are spring cleaning and de-cluttering, please consider donating or sharing your antique letters with me. As I embark on this project, I’ll be open to any letter that you held onto for all of these years–maybe a correspondence with a friend or from our own parents to one another. I want to know the story–why have you kept it so long–was there an ending to that story or was it left without an ending? I’m already off to a great start thanks to my Mom who struggles with tossing out anything with family history attached to it. She’s held onto letters from her parents, grandparents, friends of grandparents and friends of her own from her young adult years. I can’t wait to see what you might have in store for me! I cannot accept anonymous letters but it will all be kept confidential and names can be changed to protect the innocent!
It’s not often that I listen to the television during the day, but this morning, I just happen to have it on while catching up on some work and a familiar topic immediately caught my attention. I was almost stunned at the timing of this report based on the most recent article I posted on life balance. Erica Hill, a reporter on the CBS Early Show decided to try living a healthier lifestyle by setting goals to sleep at least 8 hours per night, prepare healthier meals for her family, work out at least 30 minutes per day and consume at least 9 servings of vegetables per day. While she has the benefit of working with a trainer and nutritionist, even with help she is not finding it easy to balance young children, her career and achieving her new health goals. Here is a video clip from her segment this morning. I thought it was worth sharing.
Motherhood has been the most rewarding quest I’ve ever had the opportunity to experience. But the title of “MOM” also brought something into my life I had never truly understood—Balance—and I’m not referring to balancing in gymnastics (although it may feel this way at times). Family/Work balance was something I thought I understood as I prepared information for employees at the American Heart Association years ago during a summer long internship program. I look back on that now and realize I had absolutely no clue what I was talking about. I recall thinking to myself what’s so hard about this—you work, go home and prepare a healthy meal, work out and get a good night’s sleep, right? I laugh now at the naïve young lady who thought she had it all figured out while preaching to those working moms. I’m certain they must have walked away with some eye rolling and head shaking hoping that one day I would realize I didn’t get it. Time management, prioritizing and controlling my tendency to over-commit is what my life looks like now. Although technically I don’t work full time, I do when you consider that I teach part-time, instruct a fitness class two evenings a week, run a household and work extra hard to prepare as many meals at home as possible to keep it healthy. In between all of this, I’m spending more time on writing. This week, I talked with several other moms that are struggling with this whole life balance thing. Without coming out and saying it, I could tell they were frustrated with not devoting more time to themselves health-wise. I’ve been thinking of what to write about next on my blog and there it was right in front of me. I recently spoke to a mom’s group at my church about health and fitness. Although initially the discussion was focused on this topic, in the end, we were talking about taking care of ourselves—taking time out—nurturing ourselves emotionally and keeping our stress levels in check. One of the most frustrating parts of motherhood is not spending enough time to decompress. It’s part of a mom’s nature to nurture her family first by taking care of the house, laundry, errands, meal preparation, managing after school activities—where does the list end? So, I will say here what I have said in my wiser mom years, take care of yourself FIRST! By taking care of you first, everything else will gently fall into place.
For me, working out has always been my own form of stress relief and decompression. By the 30 minute time marker, I normally take the deepest breath during the day and I can physically feel my body more relaxed. This may sound strange but I’ve always turned to fitness as a relaxer—physically and emotionally—I need it. If I don’t get my workout in during the day, it’s immediately obvious that I don’t feel good and my happiness monitor on a scale of 1-10 (10 =happiest ) creeps to a number somewhere between 1-5. My husband has learned over the years when I haven’t had my workout fix and he is more than accommodating when I need to shut down and have my own time. Get your workouts in, set a goal to eat healthier, and take some time each day, even if it’s 15-30 minutes to take a bubble bath, read a good book or just sit outside and enjoy the fresh air in peace. Remember: If Mom goes down, the entire ship goes down! You are not being selfish—you are placing your family first by placing MOM at the top of the “To Do” list!
I don’t remember what year is was, but I remember buying Stephen King’s, “On Writing” in an airport one day. I was struggling to find my voice, and although I had not ever made it through a Stephen King novel before then (his stories scared me silly) , I LOVED this book. It motivated me. I realized that he was just another human being with great stories stored away waiting for the right time to come out–and once they did–he was sensational!
So what is it that keeps us, the ones with those stories locked in our minds, from achieving that same success? Why is it we allow our characters to be locked away without the freedom to finish their stories? Can you imagine how sad it would be for our favorite characters to be locked away and for those great stories to never be told? What separates great writers from writers who are yet to achieve greatness? Is that separation a distraction of a phone call? Or the hundreds of forwarded emails we actually take the time to read everyday? Or the facebook status updates, twitters, tweeters, and texts? It’s time for us to focus writers! To cut out the distractions (except for my blog of course) and to allow our characters to come alive on paper! So get writing!