I am Offended and Hurt

Thank you Kelly Balarie for today’s message…..

She put me down, right there in front of “all them.” Sure, it was subtle, but it was real and … worst of all, it wasn’t the first time. In fact, every time I encourage others around that one particular subject, she circles right back and shoots it down. You can’t get one thing past her.

Hmph! Well, if she’s going to put me down like that? Well…I’ll show her. I don’t have to put up with this.

I thought about leaving the gathering. But I didn’t. I just sat there, internally fuming, while externally smiling.

Later, when I got home, I wondered why I even bother speaking up, encouraging others or taking the risk to be open and honest. Women always hurt me. Like that one time I shared the vulnerable details of my heart, only to get word it was being passed through the meat grinder of women’s chattering mouths. Or the other time when I shared my hurt and it was misinterpreted and stomped upon by those around me. Or worst yet, when I shared about God and felt all the crawling judgement of others walking up and down my body.

The more I think about all this, the more the problem bothers me. And worst yet, I fear: what if the real problem is – me? Perhaps it’s not their issue, but my fatal-flaw issue. One I was born with. What then?

I must not be good. I must be unlikable. I’ll always have this problem.

When I look deep within myself, I see faults:

I sometimes seek to impress others.
I hate feeling like people aren’t approving of me.
I never want to be seen as one doing wrong.
I have a hard time when people disagree.
I feel like less of a person when I’m not adding value.
I feel worthier when God is using me for important things.

Yet, when I look a level deeper I see something else. Yes, I am flawed, but not fatally – thanks to Jesus. I say things wrong, but I am always wanted. I make mistakes, but I am always loved. I do need to say, “I’m sorry,” but I am always forgiven.

I am not the sum of what I do, but the product of how I’m loved by Jesus.

The same goes for you. Love pours out of you, because Love came for you and conquered all. He taught. He led. He bled. He died. He was buried. He rose to heaven. For you.

With this, we no longer have to create perfect love that demands perfect responses from others. Instead, we can rest in Him who is perfect love. We can trust His love to compel us. We can breathe deep and gain perseverance and endurance from the endlessly beautiful gift he extends to us. The gift called, “sweet relief.”

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day! 

 

May is Pay It Forward Month

May is Pay It Forward Month!  It is a month long campaign to encourage good deeds. #makeadifference

I love being part of company whose focus is on giving back every day. From Girls on the Run and Girl Talk to World Vision.  Thirty-One Gives supports organizations who share our mission to empower girls, women and families. Gives has been honored to donate $100 million in products and cash to nonprofit organizations like these since 2012.

Since our Consultants, Customers and Home Office staff are so generous through their work with Thirty-One Gives, it’s no surprise many have made giving back a family value.

Here are some tips for getting your own family into the giving spirit.

Pick out dog and cat toys to donate to an animal shelter

If you have very young children, it can be a challenge to find ways for them to become involved with community service.  Give your littlest ones a chance to give back by letting them choose a few dog and cat toys to donate to your local animal shelter. Bring your children along to shop, then drop off the donation – they might even get to see the animals enjoy their new toys!

Help with a local beach, park or trail cleanup

Picking up trash at a park, beach or trail is an easy way to give kids something active and concrete to accomplish. When they’ve finished, they’ll be able to actually see the difference they’ve made!  This can be especially motivating for older children who might need a little encouragement to put down the tech and perform some service – plus, it’s a great way to enjoy nature and get some fresh air together!

Make handmade cards for residents at a nursing home or patients in a hospital

Kids can get creative and brighten someone’s day by making handmade cards to deliver to a nursing home or hospital.  Deliver them together and, maybe even stay and visit with the patients or residents. Doing this can show your child the power of small gestures, and how easy it can be to make someone’s day a little better.

Go through their own toys

If you’re on a decluttering kick, involve your children, too! Have them comb through their toys and books to find ones they’d like pass on to other kids who need them. To make the process easier, give them a container they can easily fill, like a Mini Storage Bin or Deluxe Utility Tote. That way, they won’t stop at just one or two items!

Pack care baskets for a local hospital or shelter

Get a group of families together to pack care baskets for patients at a hospital or people staying at a homeless or women’s shelter. Make sure you coordinate with the organization you’re donating to first – you want to be sure to fill your baskets with things the recipients really need.

Thirty-One Gives sponsors the making of Hope Kits for women fleeing violence, abuse, poverty or disaster around the world. So far, our Consultants have assembled 32,000 Hope Kits containing toiletries and other essentials which are distributed through the World Vision charity.

 

Here are some more random acts of kindness…

  • Leave pennies head face up: Most people feel lucky finding a penny with the head face up. For one dollar you can make 100 people feel awesome.
  • Compliment someone:  It seems so basic yet for some reason we seldom do it. Make someone’s day by giving them a compliment.
  • Give up a preferred seat to someone in need: Whether it is on a bus, or just waiting for your take out food, this simple gesture could make their day.
  • Write a positive review for a restaurant you like: Share with the world your favorite places instead of complaining about the ones you hate.
  • Leave someone a huge tip: Give a tip to the guy who pumps your gas when you pay cash or leave a 31% tip for meal instead of the standard 15 – 20%.
  • Offer to take a photo for tourists: Tourist season is ramping up at the Jersey Shore, why not offer to take a picture for a group of tourists so everyone can be in the picture.  

What random acts of kindness will you do this month to “pay it forward”? Share it with us so you can be part of the Give on social media, and be sure to us #givebackwithme!

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Shining the Light On Mental Health

Thank you Thirty One for making a difference in the lives of others!  This blog is a repost from Thirty One

Mental and behavioral health are not always talked about openly, but millions of children in the U.S.need someone to start speaking up: In the U.S., half of all mental illnesses begin by the age of 14.  While an estimated 1.2 million children and youth are affected by mental illness, fewer than 20 percent will receive the proper treatment.

May is Mental Health Awareness Month, and Thirty-One is proud to recognize the research being done with our support at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in the U.S.. Thirty-One Gifts Consultants are spreading the word about ways you can help destigmatize mental health issues and help fund groundbreaking research benefiting youth across the U.S.

 

We’re are proud to partner with America’s largest children’s hospital, Nationwide Children’s Hospital.

At Nationwide Children’s Hospital, Dr. Nancy Cunningham says funding from Thirty-One Gives is supporting two research projects. One has a focus of enhancing girls’ eHealth literacy, helping them to improve how they find and evaluate health information. The second uses neuroimaging to identify girls who could be at risk for anxiety, depression, drug use and behavioral challenges.

Thirty-One Consultants are making a difference, Cunningham says.  The Thirty-One network of Consultants, Customers and leadership who champion these issues is “remarkable,” Cunningham says.

“Together we can discover new knowledge and strategies to support girls and young women, and together spread the word through our unique relationships and areas of influence,” she says.

Learn more: Read Sarah’s story to hear from one of the many young people helped by this type of research at Nationwide Children’s Hospital.

Raising funds, raising awareness…  You can do so much to support the Gives mission in May!
  • Through the Gives Round Up! initiative, Customers in the U.S. have the option to support the important mental health research being done by our partners by rounding up their purchase (after tax and shipping) to the nearest dollar, or any amount. This May, funds raised in the U.S. will go to Nationwide Children’s Hospital.
  • You also can host a party to share more about Mental Health Awareness Month. The cause is represented by the color green, so incorporate it into your party! Serve green food or drinks. Enter every Customer who wears green into a drawing. Then discuss Thirty-One Gives’ partnerships during the party and share how they are making a difference in your community.
  • Another way to spread the word and reduce the stigma of mental health issues is as close as your smartphone or laptop. Use the #StartTheConvo and #31Gives hashtags on social media to discuss mental and behavioral health issues, and to invite others to join the conversation.

You can also make a difference by purchasing an Awareness Angel from me for $5.  The proceeds will be donated to Gives this month and support Nationwide Children’s Hospital.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Are You Searching for Your Purpose?

I may be showing my age but how many of you remember the movie “The Color Purple”???  It was on Broadway not too long ago too.  I was reading a blog recently and I got to thinking about a scene in the movie….

It’s the scene in which Miss Celie finally musters the courage to leave Mister. He’d just finished saying some pretty nasty things to her (paraphrasing): “You’re poor. You’re black. You’re ugly. Nobody wants you.”

 

To which Miss Celie replied, “I’m poor. I’m black. I might even be ugly. But I’m here!”

Maybe someone has these words to you.  Maybe you have thought them of yourself.  Those inner gremlins like to beat us up when we are at our weakest moment.  I may not be black BUT I have thought many times I was ugly and no one would ever want me.  Over the years, I have stomped on those inner gremlins but I must admit, they do rear their ugly head sometimes.

We are all here for a reason.  There are people who were here this time last year who aren’t here now. They’ve moved on. In some instances, they’ve passed on. Whatever their purpose, it is now done. But you’re here. And one of your most important jobs in life is to know why.

I don’t know about you but I struggle with this…. In my “social work life”, it was easy for me to say what  my purpose was.  My job and my life were intertwined.  I could see the difference I was making.  Does your job define who you are?  Does it help you to explain your purpose in life?  As I moved from the non-profit world to my own business, defining my purpose was a little bit more difficult.

Can you state your purpose in a single, simple sentence? If you can’t, then let me ask you this ONE question:

How is someone’s life better when they cross your path?

This answer is something which comes from the heart.  You should be able to “spill it out” in under 15 seconds. What would your answer be?

My purpose is to bring a smile to those who are struggling reminding them they are special.  I love to see the smile on someone’s face when they receive happy mail or an unexpected gift or even a handcrafted angel.  A simple compliment can make a difference in someone’s day.

Your purpose is about how you uniquely serve the world and make it better in some way. It uses your unique gifts, strengths and experiences. It is something you do well. And it comes naturally to you.

At work, it answers the question, how is this company better because I work here? In your family, it answers, how is this family better because I’m in it?  

If you don’t know your purpose, I challenge you to take just a few minutes to get quiet and answer the question.  Once you have the answer, write it down. Don’t forget it. Make it your mantra.

A fulfilling life is a life lived with purpose.

Share your purpose with us so we can CELEBRATE you.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

The Night Before Christmas

It is Christmas Eve day….. the hustle and bustle is reaching immeasurable heights as last minute shoppers make the final dash to the malls for the perfect gift.  Some are nursing hangovers from the holiday office parties.  Others are home preparing for family and friends to arrive – dinner cooking (is it fish? or turkey? or ham?).  Kids are eagerly counting down until Santa will arrive bringing gifts for one and all.  While still others are grabbing a quick dinner as they head to church to celebrate the real reason for the season…

Tonight will be dinner with my step-mom and half sister.  A chance to share special memories of holidays with dad. Christmas Day will be spent with mom and Sal, dinner out embracing the special moments.  Just another indication the times are changing.

As I sit looking at our Christmas tree, memories of Christmas Eve’s past flash before me.

The years of trying to get Belinda to go to bed so Edythe, Elsie and I could put presents under the tree. It was really hard carrying things past HER room to get the living room. It always made for a lot of laughs. Waiting patiently for mom to get off work so we could open presents. The early morning calls to wake everyone up. The funny thing was – Belinda wasn’t a morning person so we always had to WAKE her up. Really, on Christmas morning???? Opening presents was a process which took forever because Belinda wanted to play with each thing before moving on to the next gift. We learned games were opened last or at least towards the end or else nothing else would get opened. Great memories of days gone by…

Cherish the moments with family.  Let the struggles of the year go for you never know what tomorrow will bring or if we will even be here tomorrow. There are tears of joy, tears of sorrow for those who are no longer with us and tears of anticipation for what God has in store for our family over the next year.

Merry Christmas to my friends, family, Thirty One customers and hostess and all of my blog fans. You have blessed this year for me in so many ways…