Monday, April 20, 2009

10 years of healing, a time to be grateful.

April 20, 1999 - In a place where the halls were filled with laughter of teens, classrooms were filled with conversations with friends and the library was quiet with developing minds. A time where seniors were excited about graduation and their future. We all remember the tragic day when all the common sounds of a high school environment turned to the sounds of war with gun shots and screams.
Ten years later, a school...a community...a nation continues to heal, forgive, and move forward. Moving forward doesn't mean to forget, but to use the memories to create a better future. Many survivors continue to tell the story, not to make money and not to focus on the loss but to share the perspective of the survivors. This is not to disrespect those who lost their lives ten years ago or the families who may continue to grieve.

We will never forget the ones we have lost and how they impacted our lives. But we often allow ourselves to die with them. What I want to offer to all those who are struggling to move forward. Maybe you have lost someone or maybe you are a survivor of a situation that should have taken your life. I offer this to you...healing is a process and in that process you must use the hurt and pain to help someone else. That may seem impossible, but it is necessary. The more we give, the more we heal.

And in that healing, we're able to see the goodness in life and be grateful for every moment. So if you want to heal, serve others and you will find a place of gratitude. You will look at your life with an attempt to properly describe your joy and you will's....just good!

Nancy Reynolds

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Crisis Friend

Anyone else have a crisis friend?  That person you call on in nearly any emergency?  Car breaks down and you need a ride - call your crisis friend.  Signed up for a project and in way over your head - crisis friend to the rescue.  Well, I do have a friend like that and believe it or not, her name is Lisa.  Which is good because I am really bad at names and that has always made it easy to remember (just kidding Lisa, I would remember your name no matter what).  Recently, I was trying to be someone elses crisis friend and realized once again that I had gotten myself in WAY over my head.  I called Lisa and she dropped everything and came to the rescue.  I have really never properly thanked her for that ( I could take Nancy's advice and really hand write it, but then it might be six more months before she gets her thank you) so I am going to write it here for everyone to see - hopefully Lisa will too.  

Dear Lisa,  

I joke a lot about you being my "crisis friend."  Actually though, it is no joke.  You have always been the person I call no matter how deep I bury myself in any situation.  Your talents to do nearly anything and your willingness to help others is a combination that just makes it best to call on you.  

Last fall was no exception, but it was way above and beyond what could be expected of anyone, even the closest of friends.  When my friend Kim found out 2 days before her daughter's wedding reception (that she was putting on herself) that her husband had cancer, I was sure I was going to be the hero and take over everything.  Well, I am not as skilled at heroism as you and there is no way I could have done it myself.  Naturally, I called you.  You already had a full schedule, still you set your things aside and took time (after working at your own job all day) to go shop with me and get things to make boutoneers and corsages, I really didn't know the first thing about making a corsage, but of course you do and you sat and made everyone of them while I cut ribbon and wire and tried to appear like I was helping as much as possible - they turned out beautifully.  The next day you went back to work at your own job and I tried to get things set up at the church for the reception.  Just when I was about to go into a complete panic you arrive and put everything in order.  The reception was beautiful and no one would have ever known that  there was ever a moment of doubt.  I am not sure how many days it took you to recover from that weekend, especially since you had to get up and go back to work the next morning.  I am sure though, that I could never have done any of it without you.  You have been my hero for a very long time and that was just one example why.  Thank you for being a great friend to me all these years, thank you for always knowing just what to do to get me through any situation and thank you for still answering the phone when I call.  I love you Lisa and I am truly grateful.  



Thank one of your friends, send us the note and we will post it here.

Show Your Gratitude

In all my readings and Internet searches, I came across a great website that provides inspirational books and DVDs that are great for self-motivation. One of the books that caught my eye is called Every Monday Matters - 52 ways to make a difference. To my surprise, I received the book for a gift this past Christmas. The book demonstrates a way to make a difference every Monday of the year. Of course, I couldn't read a new one every Monday. I began to read them all in the course of a few days. I would like to share the Monday message that depicts the reason why this blog was started.
Monday 29 - make today matter...Write a note of Gratitude
1. Select the person - a family member, friend, co-worker, or someone you haven't spoken to in a long time - whom you want to thank for what he or she brings to your life.
2. Choose a postcard, letter, or card.
3. Take a few minutes to write a warm, sincere message that clearly communicates your love and appreciation for that person.
4. Decide if you want to add any special touches like unique paper, scents, photographs, drawings on the envelope, or a specialty stamp. Send it Today.

How many e-mails or text messages have you sent in the past week? How many handwritten notes of appreciation? More to the point, when was the last time you handwrote anything to anyone? Handwrite a note of gratitude to somebody today...just because. They will appreciate the rarity of it.

- Excerpts from Every Monday Matters: 52 ways to make a difference by Matthew Emerzian and Kelly Bozza

Watch the DVD on
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It's amazing that Lisa and I understood this concept long before this book reached my hands. It is gratifying to receive a note from someone who truly appreciates you and the role you play in their life. But what's more gratifying and humbling is to write a note to someone who you love and appreciate. It's actually liberating and provides a sense of gratefulness for those in your life. It may even bring forgiveness to a broken relationship. Try it and share your story on this blog.

Absolutely Wonderful Idea!

"You can't help but be changed a little"

Not too long ago my friend Suzanne told me about a thank you note that her son and his wife recieved from a lady that they go to church with.  She didn't share any of the details of the note or of the deed that motivated the note.  She did however express how much the note had touched her.  I said, gratitude changes you, even if it is someone else's expression, doesn't it?  She said, "When you know her story you can't help but be changed a little"  Such a simple and profound statement.  When we are grateful, truly grateful and even when we can get a real glimpse of someone else's gratitude we can't help but be changed a little.  Life truly is good for EVERYONE who chooses to have a grateful heart  and when we choose to express it, it not only changes us but others can not help but be changed.  So what are you grateful for?  

If you have a story to share email it to us and we will share it here.  In the meantime we will do our best to fill this blog with our own expressions of gratitude and gratitude stories and thoughts that we find along the way.  

Thank you for taking this journey with us.  We are grateful.