Friday, July 4, 2014

North Platte Canteen Inspiration

You may have seen the video that I posted this morning in recognition of Independence Day.  It tells the story of a group of women who took it upon themselves to look after the service men and women during the war when the train stopped at North Platte.  By the end of the war, they had served 6,000,000 service people and every train that ever stopped there.  This is made even more impressive by the fact that they were working on slim supplies during the days of food rationing.  They decided to document about how much food they actually made and distributed during one month - the totals were:
40,161 cookies
30,679 hard boiled eggs

6,547 doughnuts
6,939 cup, loaf, and birthday cakes
2,845 pounds of sandwich meat
12 dozen different items in similar proportions
That's for ONE month!!

You need to read the article (link provided under the picture) as it is incredible what was accomplished by this group of people. the connection.  As I read this and watched the video. I became so inspired.  These women were so UN-self-centered.  These men and women were complete strangers, but they took it upon themselves to make their 10-15 min. stop a memorable one.  For those 10-15 min., the war didn't exist.  In the beginning, North Platte was just expected to be another boring stop.  Its reputation quickly spread and became the one bright spot that they looked forward to, as quoted, "Love chases away fear".  Today our world is still filled with fearful events and happenings.  Sickness, bullying, divorce, mother nature, war, ........  We are leading busy lives and often forget others' fears and sadness, unless it directly affects us.  My friend, yep, I'll help out.  My sister, yep, there for her.  The old lady who lives by herself at the end of town...well, I'm kinda' busy going to ballgames, and vacations, and I have a hair appointment, and I don't really know her...and...     ...and in the meantime everyone has forgotten old Gertie, whose days are filled with sadness and loneliness.  Everyone is too busy and her heart grows weaker. 

This is where Sister Hugs hopes to make a difference.  We can't know about Gertie unless someone tells us.  When we are informed, we may not be able to take away all of the sadness, but for 10 or 15 minutes, when she receives her love bomb, she will know that someone does care - that she is on someone's mind.  Often we get nominations for people that make the news, that others are doing fundraisers for, that are getting a lot of attention. The little guy who has the entire town flooding their home with gifts won't even know that Sister Hugs also sent a gift.  However, the quiet one who receives nothing with cherish his Love bomb and the cards and sentiments.   Those are the  nominations that I REALLY want - the silent ones going through a hard time.  The ones who are not getting the daily calls and visits.  The ones that most people don't give a second though to.  Those are the ones that need our Love - if only for a few minutes.  Because "Love chases away fear" and they need a little help with theirs. 

Message me if you know of someone who needs a little love from a stranger.  (I prefer "friends who haven't yet met)  We have sent out approx. 500 Love Bombs since our start on July 5, 2012.  two years and what a ride!!  I am looking forward to all that year 3 has in store for all of us!  Only God knows for sure what that means! 

Happy 4th of July - be safe, be kind, be well, be happy. 

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Twisted ideas

It's better to give than to receive.
It is beautiful to give.  It is also a gift to receive as you allow the gift of giving to happen.  

Time is more valuable than things.

We are all so busy, but much of this busyness is self-created and self-inflicted.  Consider what is truly valuable and worthy of your time.  Then create time for those things.  Wounds are created when we are "too busy" for loved ones.  I'm not sure the scars ever truly go away.  

It's the thought that counts.

Ever notice that when someone has 10 reasons why they aren't available, or when they try to convince you of their importance elsewhere, you realize how very UN-important you are to them... 

Materialistic things don't matter.
This may seem contradictory, but I think of our love bombs.  They are filled with things.  However, while the things are nice, we all realize it is what they represent to the recipient.  Somebody was thinking of me, someone cared enough to send this to me.  Have things in your home that make you happy?  I certainly hope so. It is an emotion connected to it or a memory.  It pleases our senses.  Things do matter, but we remember they are only things.

Diamonds are a girl's best friend.
I couldn't resist this - nothing like a loyal pup.  

Just a few thoughts to ponder...we all seem to love things like vacations, summer, cabins with a fireplace and hot cocoa, the beach, etc.  What do all of these have in common?? Family time, friend time,relaxed time, stress-free time.  Maybe we need to work to create lives that closely follow these traits. Easy?  Not so much.  Possible? I think so. As I mentioned the other day - follow your heart and your passion.  The happiness will follow.  

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Happy hearts

"Success and happiness comes from following your heart. "~p 

"What career should I have?" "What should I do with my life?" 

While on a college visit with Tim a few years ago, this question was addressed and stuck with me ever since. " Find what you truly love doing and you'll be successful."  When I was hired by Sugar and Spice Daycare and Preschool back in 1983, I remember being outside with the kids and telling the assistant manager, "I can't believe I get paid to work here!" I loved that job, the people, and the kids.  Another friend of mine works at a pet store.  She loves animals and recently mentioned that she loves going to work every day.  Following her passion makes everyday a joy. 

Why do I bring this up?? I think our lives need to be filled with purpose, passion, and happiness.  This doesn't have to come from our jobs.  It might come from hobbies, family, friends, outreach.  I love my job, but there is a lot of stress that goes with it.  There are high demands and a lot of variables given to me.  Sister Hugs has become a source of purpose, passion, and happiness.  It doesn't provide that for everyone, but for many it does.  It is an outreach and ministry that makes a difference.  For me, that fills a need.  

Quality time with family and friends is another source of purpose, passion and happiness.  In our busy world, sometimes this often gets placed on the "tomorrow" list.  I am guilty of this, not by conscience choice, but by lack of planning.

Hobbies- almost everyone I know will state that they used to craft, or sew, or scrapbook, or read, or sing, or bake,..... And they just don't have time anymore.  I used to clean, ...��. We still have the same 24 hours in a day.  It's a shame to let our enjoyments slip away.  Creativity is a release, rewarding, and a gift.  Do not shove it under the bed. 

Finally, we are not guaranteed tomorrow. We have now.  Examine your priorities, your goals, and your passions.  Don't let others dictate your direction.  Open that bakery if that's your dream.  Life is not about the largest paycheck or doomed failures based on others experiences.  If funds are holding you back, do not throw your dreams away, save and explore ways to compensate.  

Learn from them, plan, but follow your heart.  

Monday, June 9, 2014

Nana's Place

I can never tell if it's a good thing or a bad thing when my mind is whirling with ideas.  I know it's bad for sleeping!!! I'm excited that others seem interested in the winery outing and our Intentional Kindness Day.  Both should be good for the heart, in different ways.

The newest thing on my heart stems from an old desire ~ Nana's Place.  We have seen a huge need for a location for many, many purposes.  We've received many offers to help fix a broken soul of a place, to man a hammer, shuffle a flower, whatever needs done.  First, however, we need some bricks and mortar.  To do this without taking away money from our grassroots, we need a separate fundraiser for Nana's Place.  One idea that I've seen and love is that of a "chair-ity fund raiser". Groups, families, individuals agree to create a one-of-a-kind chair to be donated and auctioned off.  I think we have an amazing auctioneer who might agree to help us on that end, and I know we gave outstanding, creative, talent.  Would you consider designing and donating a special, one-of-a-kind chair, stool, bench, etc to be auctioned?? The obvious ideas to me are the painted wooden chairs.  Then I saw chairs created from other items...the more I looked, the more unique ideas I found.  A chair made from horseshoes? 

Who's game to help Nana's a Place become a reality for our youth, ourselves, and anyone needing a place of peace, joy, and comfort?

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Intentional Kindness Day

July 5 is Sister  Hugs 2nd Anniversary; we turn 2!!! What an amazing 2 years it has been. Just like last year, we are celebrating with another Intentional Acts of Kindness Day. I am going downtown Lincoln again to distribute bags to anyone who would like one.  I would love to have you join me.  I know that Mary, Scott, and Shelly are returning for this.  Jill and her son are planning to be there.  I am bringing son #4 with me.  You are welcome to join us, or to plan your own day filled with purposeful kind acts. Last year we had many who did their own deeds - Becky and her family filled the campsite with wood for the next campers, Marilyn and Bob surprised others on their trip to GA, Denise and her crew donated toys to the PCM...many ways to leave others with a smile.  Last year we gave bags filled with blessings for the homeless.  This year I am altering the bags to include socks instead of shirts and some of these other items.  I am bringing a wagon, and also want to get some flowers to hand out.  Other ideas?? 

 1)  of the hardest things about being homeless and on the streets is not being acknowledged.  As someone in need, it is worse when people simply ignore you and pretend you don’t exist rather than simply being blatantly rejected. He told me he’d rather someone make eye contact and reject his request for money or food than to simply pretend he doesn’t exist.

2) When I asked him what were the most helpful things someone could GIVE him he told me: 1) A night in a hotel. It gives a person a chance to shower, shave, sleep in a bed, and feel like a human. 2) Water and socks. Water made sense to me but socks? When I asked him to explain he told me how a lot of his time is spent walking. If he doesn’t have socks or they are worn down too thin, he would get blisters quickly. Not good for a person dependent on walking with no first aid kit

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Let it go...

Let it go...we don't have to control everything.
You're a tool...
Be organized...have your ducks in a row.
Have a plan...what's next?  how do you want this? where should this go? what time? what if?...
Voices in my head....(no straight jacket yet, though!)
Balance. Breathe. 

So much bigger than me...feeling pretty inept. 

We received a note from a gentleman today thanking us for a love bomb he received.  This gentleman was told he had only 6 months if he discontinued treatment.  He chose the 6 months.  1 year later, God has chosen a different option.  He said that he knows lymphoma will still be the cause of death, but the timing is in God's hands.  His letter was filled with such peace.  I have so much to learn from this one page note.  He sent a "small token" (his words) of gratitude for his gift...he has no idea how large it truly was, not only the check, but the letter.  Each of us does not know God's timing.  I am not alone in the desire to control and worry over everything.  While I still believe we are all His tools and have to act, turning over control and worry would result in more peace.  I will try.

This also reminds me of the power of a letter.  Not a form letter, but words on paper.  Cards, notes.  Stamps.  (You're welcome mrs. Postmaster!). I love to get real mail; I imagine others do, too.  I will try.

Understanding.  What's important to me may not be that important to you.  I get it, because to be honest, I'm not always that into your topics either.  People think I'm reserved - not really, I just don't want to watch your eyes glaze over when I talk.  If you're interested, please ask me.  I promise, I'm more than happy to share.  I get that my passions may not be yours, though.  I will understand your excuses.  Or, I will try.

I will try.  That's really all I can do.  I have areas of strengths and areas of weaknesses.  Lots of those, really.  But I have a pretty big heart so hopefully that helps with some of those shortcomings.  And, I will try.  

Friday, May 30, 2014

Fund raiser

About a year ago, I threw out the idea of a retreat. Speaker, activities, idea, end of thought.

Fast forward a year and we are discussing a couple of sisters going through a rough time, time after time.  Suggested that they needed a break.  Just as Nana's place is an idea to provide a little R&R at grandma's House, when I need a stress reliever, I grab my sister or my daughter and run away for a weekend.  That was what we felt some of these sisters needed, except why not add some additional pampering? Why not have a mini retreat / slumber party? Why not see if we can help fund it to make it a royal treat for some deserving sisters?? Well, because our current funds support our Love Bombs.  BUT what if we held a different SH fundraiser with the intent of funding or off-setting a retreat?  And making it available to others who want to come and are willing to pay?? (I hate getting left out!) what if we used our general operation philosophy to do this fund raiser?? (What in the world is she talking about?!)

You are so very talented.  What if we pooled our talents - an item from me, an item from you, and you, and you, and set up at the craft fair with all proceeds from this going to a SH retreat for nominated recipients who need pampering and a little R&R?  Others would be welcome, we could do optional sessions and whatever else sounded like fun!  I'm working on a couple of pieces already - the craft show is in October.  Who's willing to donate one or two items for a great cause?? Who wants to be "on the road again?"�� with me??