An old man walked up a shore littered with thousands of starfish, beached and dying after a storm. A young man was picking them up and flinging them back into the ocean. "Why do you bother?" the old man scofted. "You're not saving enough to make a difference." The young man picked up another starfish and sent it spinning back to the water. "Made a difference to that one," he said.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Between Me and You Part II

It is funny how life turns out, surprises me with little things that constantly make me smile and if I’m open puts me in the path of people I need to meet.  I encourage you to go back and read Between Me and You Part I as it will give you the history to this story.

For mother’s day this past year or heck maybe it was 2011, I can’t remember, my sister and I gave my mom the Between Me and You-Mom journal.  This journal is broken out into several sections and asks questions about:

·         When You Were a Kid

·         Your Youth

·         My Dad

·         What About Me

·         You, Now

·         Other Stuff

 The journal was a way for my mom to document our lives together and a keepsake I will always have long after she is gone and hopefully be able to pass down to my children someday.

This year for Christmas my mom gave the jfilled in ournals back to my sister and me.  I couldn’t wait to read the journal but I knew I would have to be alone because I was guaranteed to cry.  During my Christmas vacation I snuggled up in one of my favorite chairs and started to read.  It was so AMAZING!  I learned things about my mom I never knew. I learned things about her and my father, her family and her dreams for the future.  I learned about sadness and joy that surround my birth that I had never heard about. My mom wrote,

“The day we brought you home was filled with people coming and going all day and evening long. I was there all day except for leaving to go out to the farm to see Grandma Braley.  Grandpa passed away that afternoon.  A friend from Tangelwood church wrote in a card that, “You were the rosebud and he was the rose that withered.” “

  I learned more about her dreams for me, regrets she had in her life and she gave me a ton a great advice through her favorite quotes.  She wrote:

“Instead of advice I will share some of my favorite quotes and Bible verses that can serve as advice.”  Click here to read my mom’s favorite quotes and verses.  I wrote a separate post because they were too good to keep to myself!

After reading the journal I texted my sister to see if she had read her journal.  Of course she hadn’t. She had stuck in her nightstand drawer and forgot about it.  Here is our conversation about the journal:

            Me: Have u read your journal from mom?

Cortney: No. why? Is it good? I figured I would cry so I haven’t yet!

Me: It’s good…and yes I cried!     

Cortney: I figured…I may start reading it tonight then.

            Jump head a few hours later

Cortney: Love that Nanna was awarded the “spirit stick!”

Me: I know…right!

Cortney: I just laughed out loud that mom and dad double-dated with Owen and Hope. These books are great! I need to get one to fill out for Jos while I can still remember stuff…haJ

Me: I know. U can order them off amazon.

My gift for this day was to my friend Winston, who created and publishes the Between Me and You Journals.  I love that I can call him my friend.  Two year ago we were strangers and now we meet for breakfast almost every month. On this day, I paid for his breakfast. It was a thank you for accepting that first request to meet with someone he didn’t know. Thanks Winston!
I believe that life is about taking chances. Life doesn’t happen by sitting back and watching it go by. It happens by YOU being active, introducing yourself to strangers, taking up a new hobby, traveling to a place and daring to give of yourself more than you think is possible.  What chances are you going to take?                                                                                                 

A Mother's Advice

As I wrote in my previous post, when my mom was asked in the Between Me and You Journal, "If you felt the need to offer some advice to me, what would it be?"

Instead of advice, my mom wrote her favorite quotes and Bible verses and I wanted to share them with you.

Philippians 4:13 I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.

"If you want to increase the power of God in your life-see how many times a day you can give." - Joyce Meyer

" Lord- how do you want me to live this day? What is it you want me to do with this one day you have given me? What is the work you want me to accomplish today?"

"It is better to be kind than right."

"When God tugs at your heart, that's the moment to act."

Isaiah 41:10- So don't worry, because I am with you. Don't be afraid because I am your God. I will make you strong and will help you; I will support you with my right hand that saves you.

"The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy." -Martin Luther King Jr.

"Those who say it can't be done are usually interrupted by others doing it." -Joel A. Barker

"Its kind of fun to do the impossible." -Walt Disney

"You must be the change you wish to see in the world." -Gandhi

"If it weren't for running, I'd go crazy." -Martin-lead guitarist for Jethro Tull

"Hills are speed work in disguise." - Frank Shorter- 1972 Olympic Marathon Champion

"Pray hard. Work hard. And leave the rest to God." - Florence Griffith Joyner "Flo Jo"

1 Thessalonians 5:16-19 Be joyful always; pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus."

"Instead of thinking about all the reasons that I couldn't do it, I started thinking about all the reasons that I could do it.  I encouraged myself and allowed the word of God to empower me." - Victoria Osteen

Psalm 4:3 The Lord will hear when I call to Him.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

"The Dress"

You have heard the old saying, “Always a bridesmaid, never a bride.”  Well that was me from the time I graduated college until I was 25 years old.  I was in 7 or 8 weddings and had a closet full of bridesmaid dresses. My closet looked like a rainbow of gowns that I had sunk hundreds of dollars into that I would never wear again, except for one. 
That one dress came from the wedding of my college roommate and best friend.  Her wedding was the summer after we graduated from college and I was the maid of honor.  This was probably my favorite wedding because we had just graduated college and it was also a reunion of all my dear friends that I had recently parted ways with upon graduation.

The dress was made of satin and was an elegant champagne color with the bodice covered in clusters of pearls.   The dress was form fitting so it was a good thing I was still in shape and hadn’t gained those “real world” pounds after college.
This was the only bridesmaid dress I wore outside of the wedding. I wore it to fundraisers and gala’s. Any chance I had, I wore this dress.  Eventually the dress became a little snug but I always had hopes of wiggling back into it.  Sure I could adorn some Spanx and make it work, but let’s be honest, I like to be able to breath and sit comfortably when I go to black-tie functions.

Every time I would clean out my closet I would see that dress, look at it, smile and hang it back up. That dress hung in my closet for 14 years!
On March 22nd I saw a post on facebook from VeniVidi Vintage, Inc. that stated:              

“Thank you so much to those who have lent or donated prom dresses for my dolls at EC Central High!! It is much appreciated and they are going to look fab in them:) We will be fitting them soon for the fashion show prior to prom, so if any of you are looking to clean out your closets, please contact me by Sunday.” 
I have learned since I started this gift giving journey that when I get that little tug at my heart, I know what has to be done.  Sometimes gift giving is about the sacrifice of something you love so someone else can enjoy what you have enjoyed. I knew it was time to part ways with “the dress.” 

I immediately sent a message to Vendi and we arranged to meet the following day.  When I met the owner, Bessie, I almost cried handing over the dress. That dress was tied to so many good memories and cherished times with friends I haven’t seen in years.  She was so nice and even said she would give it back after they were done using it.  I told her no, this was something I had to do. I needed to part ways.  She promised to send pictures from the fashion show.
Sure enough, I got a picture in my inbox of a beautiful, high school girl wearing my dress.  The smile on her face made it all worth it.  I received the following email from Bessie:      

               “Seniors at East Chicago Central High School modeled prom fashions lent from local boutiques and Dunhill Tuxedos or donated from ladies all over the region for their teachers and peers as a preview for their upcoming prom.  Students had their hair and makeup done by a couple of parent volunteers or their peers and looked absolutely gorgeous.  They were nothing but smiles (and sometimes fierce poses!) down the runway and had an amazing time dancing along to the dj’s music.  Our models were so grateful and overwhelmed by the generosity of those that donated dresses for the show as they now had dresses to wear to prom that they may not have been able to afford and all said they felt so beautiful in them.  They young lady that wore your dress was so excited that it fit perfectly and received many compliments from her peers.”
Sometimes we have to ask ourselves why we are holding onto our possessions. They are just that, physical possessions.  I have learned there is always someone that could use what I have more than I can. It feels so good to just give it away.  The memories are in my mind and have been captured in photographs.
What have you been holding onto that is taking up space in your closet or home?  Is there someone you know that could benefit from your unused items?  If so….give it away!

To learn more about Veni Vidi Vintage, Inc. click on their name.