Monday, June 29, 2009

Blissful Inspiration

I wanted to take some time to introduce you to a blog that I think you'll love. I've never met Tabitha personally or even spoken to her on the phone - but our hearts are in the same place.

It is A FiveOh4 Uplifting Blog!

She has no idea just how much she has blissfully inspired me! I've been giving out "Joy Packs" now for over a year now, but haven't thought to put photos up, keep track of them or even really mention it. Who knows why that is. I'll probably start posting a few photos each time I do it so that maybe, just maybe, YOU will be inspired to do something for someone else.

Tabitha and her family send out goody bags to children and adults who are battling cancer or are in the hospital. They make note cards to include in each bag. They will send bags in honor of people! She doesn't let a physical handicap stop her! It is truly inspiring! Tabitha says,

"The first three years of my life were spent living in Children's Hospital
due to birth abnormalities. I was born without a right arm and at 9 months old my right leg had to be amputated. My left arm is half the length of a normal length arm, but none of this has ever STOPPED me."

She isn't kidding. She spends time doing things to brighten the days of children in hospitals and that inspires me!

Tabitha - I wanted to publicly say thank you for all that you do! You are an inspiration to me as well as to so many other people. We may never know this side of heaven just how many hearts you've touched with your compassion and your vision!

I will also be sending you the following items via our friends at Oriental Trading (Love them!)

24 - Neon Monkey Bracelets (Cause Monkeys are my Favorite!!)
72 - Groovy 60's tattoos
72 - Mini Activity Pads
50 - Mini Rainbow Spring Assortment

What inspires you? Do you respond to that inspiration? You'd be surprised how a simple response would make a difference to someone else!

"Abundance and love are not limited. Support others in their pursuit of them and your life will be blessed as well." Lark Neville

Photo from:

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

The Good, The Bad and the Crazy

I love twitter. I love that I have met so many wonderful people there. The other day 2 of my favorite tweeple were tweeting back and forth and it caught my attention. After being asked how things were - @coffeesister replied saying " @HappyLotus has actually been a really rough coupla days yet w/great things in the midst, hope your busyness was a goodness but YAY for calm"

I knew exactly what she was talking about - except for me it has been a rough couple of weeks. Normally we handle problems and move on but sometimes, every once in a while, a problem creeps up and you have to stay with it longer than you desire. The question then becomes, how do you keep focused on the good things going on around you while you concentrate on the bad and the crazy

I won't bore you with all the bad that has been in my life since the first of May, but so that you get the picture, I have to share a little bit of what has happened. Late April I issued a challenge to my twitter friends to do an act of joy a day so that they may see that "there's no joy like spreading joy" and I would join in myself. I'm personally (not including the things I do through Spreading Joy Corporation - but as an individual) trying to reach 1,000 acts of joy and set a goal of 3 acts of joy a day! I'm a giver, love to give and therefore that shouldn't be a problem - right? W-R-O-N-G! Another twitter friend @dr_uw commented "I like your page, very encouraging to risk exposure and share."

I remembered that comment when my phone rang at 7:15 at work on that first Friday morning in May. My husband who had been only working 32 hours a week for months had been given the news the day before that they were only going to be able to work every other week. Not totally laid off, but not making 40 hours a week either. My daughter, Megan, had been dealing with vomiting for most of April and we were taking her to test after test after test. My son, Todd, was graduating in a few weeks and would be heading off to college at the end of the summer and then there is the normal, usual stuff that just goes on. In May the washer broke. That same week, while I was at the laundry mat my husband had a flat tire on the way home and that very night my son's car had a flat tire. (Great a washer and 2 tires) The next week my breaks were going out on the car and when my husband went to change them he noticed that 2 of the lug nut BOLTS were off - yep....gone. He went to take the tire off and what do you know - the OTHER TWO broke off. I could not believe it. I just knew we'd have to pay a tow truck to take my vehicle a mile down the road to get fixed. This is all in the middle of dealing with Doctors and Nurses phone calls and trying to keep Spreading Joy Corporation going. I'm not telling you all of this for your pity - I will take your prayers - but I want to share how in the world we made it through the month of May without totally losing our sanity.

I did not make my personal goal of 3 acts of joy a day in the month of May, but I did continue to do something everyday - just as I have done since April of 2008. While I was focusing on Megan and trying to help her and dealing with the crazy things that were going on around me I knew that no matter what, things would be ok because of the support we had.

The support during this trying time has been unbelievable! So many people are praying for Megan and while it is so hard watching her be so sick sometimes, knowing that she is being prayed for around the world has provided me with great peace. The tweets, the emails, the phone calls, the card and especially the prayers. I love giving and doing, but sometimes you have to let people support you, that is all there is to it. If someone wants to know how you are - tell them. You don't have to be whiney about it, but say that its hard if you need to. Say that you are concerned. Don't carry the burden alone. Take the help that is offered.

I had to remember - this too shall pass. This is only a small piece of the journey. You will not be on this road forever. Things will look up. Things will get better - count on it! Don't dwell on this state that things are in...look to the future as it is a bright one!

I have made sure that I remain a source of motivation for others as well as giving others. I know you'll probably tire of me say "There's no joy like spreading joy" but it is true! When you give, do or encourage others YOU will get so much more back. The joy you receive when you are focusing on others is truly unspeakable. Your heart is warmed, your soul is thankful and the joy that is there because of the difference you've made is unwavering. You can have joy through the journey! You can have joy through the trials.

Take it one day at a time. If you have to, take it one hour at a time! Don't hurry through your day. Don't try to tackle everything all at once. Focus on what is important and let the rest wait. Don't worry about tomorrow. Stay in the now..the right here and make it work.

Don't remain so focused on the "crazy" that you miss the blessings that happen in between. While all this was going on in May - good things were going on too. My son was getting ready to graduate, Spreading Joy received a $10,000 matching grant and little did I know that a $500.00 grant to Wal-Mart was being approved. New friendships were being formed and thank goodness School was almost over! Great things were happening and I was noticing it. I could have easily missed it - had I been focused on the "crazy".

Remember, we are all going to go through the good days, the bad days and most certainly the crazy days. Keep your chin up. Things will be good again. I promise!

"The question isn't who is going to let me; it's who is going to stop me. "~ Ayn Rand

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

To the Class of 2009

To the Class of 2009 -

Your journey is just beginning, and the roads may be long. The days may seem uncertain, but you are ready.

You've been taught to do your best, give your best and be the best.

Keep looking forward while remembering the wonderful times you had. Look forward to the new opportunities that lay ahead of you. Look forward to new friendships, new challenges while keeping your heart tied to the memories that your heart will cherish for a life time.

Remember, you are still young and while you may know what you want to do, also know that things change. Your journey may change a time or two and when it does, I hope you'll seize the opportunity to learn from those changes. I hope you'll have the courage to walk the path least traveled. I hope you'll have the desire to make a difference along the way.

You are our future. Yes - YOU Class of 2009! We need you to be strong yet sensitive to the needs of those around you. We need you to be wise yet willing to still learn and be taught. We need you to be fierce yet still be approachable by the common individual. We need you to be dreamers of wonderful, magnificent dreams and realize that even if those dreams do not come true, that the journey is still worth it!

You are hope, you are love, you are magnificent and courageous! You are wonderful!

Todd - as a part of this graduating class, I must tell you that I'm proud of you. I'm proud of the wonderful young man you have grown up to be. I'm proud of the choices you've made and hope that you'll continue to give great consideration to the choices you'll make.

I'm proud that you love your little sister and would do what ever you needed to protect her. I'm proud that I can trust you to do what is right.

Thank you for how you give to others. Thank you for your love and care. Thank you for having the courage to explore the unknown.

I love you son!
Forever and Always

Photos: Todd Class of 2009 and Todd 4 1/2 yrs. old.

Monday, June 8, 2009

For Megan

The pain in her stomach
Is reflected on her face
Lord, What she needs now more than ever
Is a double portion of your grace

Her laughter and her smile
Have faded away
Now that her blue skies
Are an awful dark grey

Her future is bright
There’s so much love that she gives
But the pain over throws her
Making it hard to fully live

The search continues
For answers each day
Hopefully relief
Will soon be on the way

Then the love will shine
So strong and so bright
I know she’ll be glad
That she fought a good fight

The difference she’ll make
Because she has been there
Will be told for eternity
With luster and flair

A Princess in my eyes
My pride and my joy
Will help those who are hurting
With diseases that destroy

Keep fighting my Princess
Stay strong and devoted
You’ll do great works
You’ll often be quoted!

You’ll make a huge difference
Just you wait – you’ll see
I know this for a fact,
Because you’ve made a difference in me!

I love you Princess. I'm fighting for you!

Photo: by Megan of Megan & Marie

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

The Difference of A Few

Late April, I decided I would make public my acts of joy during May. I normally do that in the "Tell Me Your Story" portion of the main Spreading Joy Corporation website and over at the facebook group page. Normally it isn't a problem. I set a goal to do 2 acts of joy a day because I'm trying to reach my 1,000th act of joy as soon as possible and issued a challenge to everyone on Twitter to do an act of joy for someone everyday. I wanted to blog our results with the hopes that someone will come across this blog and realize they can make a difference with what they have - right where they are.

Several people stepped up to the challenge and I want to say thank you for sharing with me as well as making a difference.

So, how did we do? Well over 100 acts of joy were emailed, blogged or twittered about. Here are a few!
  • Encouraged sick friend
  • Helped someone get medicine that they needed
  • Left encouraging comments on blog (and believe me, this is encouraging)
  • Purchased Eco friendly grocery bags in an effort to become greener
  • Encouraged people via Twitter (free and so easy to do)
  • Sent care packages to our soldiers and wished they could send more
  • Fed the homeless in their area
  • Provided an entire month of giving without spending ideas
  • Free Bibles and Rice were given through the Free Click Campaigns
  • Cards were sent for encouragement (yes, handwritten cards)
  • Helped a hurting neighbor
  • Gave large tip to waitress who obviously needed help
  • Emailed discouraged friend
  • Helped Spreading Joy Corporation via Good Search
  • Money donated to Missionaries
  • Participated in Spring Forward Campaign

The bottom line, is a handful of people looked for ways to make a difference during one month and many things were accomplished. What if 200 people decided to step up to the challenge and made an effort to do ONE act of kindness a day - just one. Well, I can tell you from experience, those 200 people will be the happiest people on earth (even through trials) and by the end of the month there would be OVER 6,000 acts of joy performed which means over 6,000 people had their hearts warmed.

That alone is enough for me to keep going, keep spreading the word about doing acts of joy daily and to encourage as many people as I can along the way to make a difference with what they have, right where they are.

Thank you again to those of you who participated, who tweeted, who emailed etc. YOU have been an encouragement to me....and trust me, the Month of May was a challenge for me. (which I will post about at a later date) I didn't not reach my personal goal of 2 acts of joy a day, but there is always June!

Scott Adams said "Remember there's no such thing as a small act of kindness. Every act creates a ripple with no logical end." Well done on the ripple effect that you've created this past month - well done!


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