As we gather around the warmth of this Christmas season, my heart swells with gratitude and the echoes of a journey that brought me face to face with life's uncertainties. It was on December 22, 2021, that the winds of change whispered in my ear, delivering news that rocked the very foundation of my world—I had breast cancer.
In that moment, amidst the shock and the weight of uncertainty, a comforting voice reassured me, "It will be fine, God will see you through the storm." With those words, a newfound strength welled up within me, guiding me through the challenges that lay ahead.
As we stand on the cusp of a new year, I reflect on the journey from darkness to light. Today, I share with you the miracle of healing and the power of faith. I stand before you, not merely surviving, but thriving. Cancer-free, yet still taking each day as the precious gift it is.
This Christmas, I revel in the joy of being surrounded by the love of family and friends. I recall the strength drawn from the embrace of my loved ones when we faced the unknown together. And I am reminded that life's truest treasures lie not in the grand gestures, but in the shared moments of laughter, love, and togetherness.
Life's storms may arrive unannounced, but the true measure of our spirit lies in how we weather them. We may not always control our circumstances, but we have the power to shape our response. Each morning, as we unwrap the gift of a new day, let us make a conscious choice to make it the best day possible.
I stand before you, not just as a survivor but as a beacon of hope, a testament to the resilience that resides within us all. Let this season be a celebration of life's triumphs, big and small. Find joy in the world around you, and if you cannot find it, be the creator of joy.
As I take a break during this holiday season, I am reminded that the most precious gift is the quality time we share with those we hold dear. So, let us cherish these moments, for in them, we find the true essence of life—love, connection, and the boundless beauty of the human spirit.
Blessings to each of you, my dear friends and family. May the light of this season shine brightly in your hearts, illuminating the path of joy, peace, and love.
God bless and keep you,
In the intricate tapestry of our communities, there exists a powerful and transformative concept that can shape our collective destiny—the choice between being part of the problem or part of the solution. This fundamental decision holds the key to unlocking a more harmonious and compassionate environment, fostering a sense of responsibility and empowerment among us. In this exploration, we delve into the significance of choice, understanding how it influences our actions, relationships, and the overall well-being of the community.
In the intricate dance of community life, the choice between being part of the problem or part of the solution is a powerful force that shapes our shared reality. By embracing this mindset, we unlock the potential for a more harmonious and compassionate environment. The ripple effect of positive choices, fueled by responsibility, compassion, and collaboration, transforms not only individuals but the entire community. As we navigate the complex web of relationships and challenges, let us remember that the power to make a difference lies within each of us—the choice is yours: problem or solution?
Building Foundations for the Future: The Power of Partnership and Two Rules
In the journey of nurturing the leaders of tomorrow, the collaboration between home, school, and community stands as a cornerstone for success. Establishing a strong foundation requires a unified approach that fosters learning about the values of self, understanding others, and cultivating the empathy essential for building resilience. The simplicity and consistency of the "Two Rules" serve as a guiding principle in this collaborative effort, laying the groundwork for a brighter future.
Partnership: A Triad of Support:
Home, school, and community are integral components of a child's growth. The synergy created by these three pillars forms a robust support system that complements and reinforces the values imparted in each sphere.
When these entities join forces, they create an environment where a child receives consistent guidance, reinforcing positive behaviors and values across various aspects of their life.
The Power of Two Rules: Simplicity with Impact:
Two Rules serve as a straightforward yet powerful approach to instill essential values in children: respect for self and respect for others.
By focusing on these fundamental principles, children learn the core elements of empathy, understanding the impact of their actions on themselves and those around them.
Value of Self:
An emphasis of the importance of self-respect is a priority. Encouraging children to understand and appreciate their own worth lays the foundation for a healthy self-esteem, fostering confidence and a positive self-image.
When children value themselves, they are better equipped to face challenges and setbacks with resilience, viewing them as opportunities for growth.
Centering on respecting others, promoting empathy and consideration for the feelings and perspectives of peers, teachers, and the broader community helps all of us understand we share spaces together and everyone is in need.
Learning to understand and appreciate diversity creates an inclusive environment, preparing children for a future where collaboration and mutual understanding are essential. We move away from victim and villain to value and validation.
Building Resilience Through Empathy:
The combination of self-value and understanding others cultivates empathy, a crucial component of resilience. Children equipped with empathy are better prepared to navigate the complexities of life with grace and compassion.
Resilience becomes a shared endeavor, with home, school, and community collectively supporting children as they face challenges, fostering a mindset of perseverance.
In a child's development, the collaboration between home, school, and community is paramount. By embracing the simplicity and consistency of the Two Rules—respect for self and respect for others—we lay a strong foundation for a future generation equipped with resilience, empathy, and a deep understanding of their own value. As we join hands in this endeavor, we sow the seeds for a society that thrives on unity, compassion, and the shared commitment to nurture the potential within each child.
”Education is something we do with children, not to them.”~Brenda Yoho. It is when we recognize pointing fingers at each other only continues to divide and not provide the solutions needed. “The mirror shows a reflection, but it is up to the reflection to make the changes which are needed. Society is a reflection of what we have allowed it to be.” ~Brenda Yoho
Trust is essential for every aspect of life. People look for leaders they can trust and believe in—be the leader they seek.
As the world listens and watches, my message of feeling good and safe is what we continue to seek.
The media outlets are full of images of the horrific events and the loss of life, as Israel is at war.
Innocent children have lost their lives in the most horrific ways. This fact alone is enough for me to pause everything and begin to pray. My heart, mind, and body cannot comprehend the evil of causing harm like this to another, especially children.
Today, and each day, I will pray without ceasing. Let us all unite in our prayers, in our hope for a better world, and in our determination to spread love and peace, for it is in our collective strength that we can make a difference.
We can overcome evil. Feeling good and feeling safe is not what evil seeks.
As I pause, join me in doing the same thing. I want you to think about how our conversations start. Usually conversations are about past, present and future. However, the majority of the time we have conversations focused on the past. We have a need to give meaning to something. This happened, so it means—-? We find ourselves talking about the same things over and over. What went wrong? Why it did not work out? What we could change? The continued conversations about the same thing has us boxed in with barriers we seem to not be able to remove.
As we have these conversations over and over again, our energy and time is spent on the past leaving our present and future out. Nothing is moving forward when we are not able to have conversations to breakthrough to reach a future. When we begin to speak about future possibilities as more realities with actionable goals, we build a bridge to our desired outcome.
I listen intently to conversations held and I am hearing repeated many of the same things being discussed to resolve issues facing us today. As Israel is at war, they have made some bold statements and are using AI to help them in their ability to fight against the evil which entered an attack on them. We need to build the bridge to the desired future by committed actions. Leaving barriers in place will continue to cause problems in having the future desired. Identifying problems are easy, it is in finding the solution for sustainability which is difficult.
Everyone should feel good and feel safe where they live, work and go to school. We can be the solution for this if we have the courage to believe, take the action steps and encourage others to seek guidance to achieve this together. I believe in home, school and community in working together to see the changes we need.
The journey of life is an intricate tapestry, woven with moments of joy, sorrow, love, and challenges. Amongst these diverse threads, some experiences are harder to discuss than others, but they are equally essential to address. Suicide, a subject that often remains shrouded in silence, is one of those difficult topics that we must confront. In this blog post, we delve into the realm of emotions, questions, and real stories surrounding suicide. Let us reflect on our own lives and the impact of this profound struggle, both personally and within our circles.
The Weight of Darkness: Have We Ever Thought of Suicide?
It is a question that demands honesty and vulnerability. Despite the stigma surrounding suicide, it is crucial to recognize that fleeting thoughts of despair can affect anyone. The pressure of modern life, mental health challenges, and overwhelming circumstances can sometimes lead to thoughts that seem insurmountable. Acknowledging these feelings does not make us weak; instead, it allows us to address them with compassion and understanding.
If you have ever experienced such thoughts, know that you are not alone. Countless individuals have faced similar struggles, and there is no shame in seeking support. Reach out to friends, family, or professional resources – sharing the burden can lighten the load and provide a pathway towards healing.
My answer to the question is, yes. You cannot experience all of the losses, challenges, heartache and suffering at one time to not question life or living.
The Pain of Loss: Remembering Loved Ones
Regrettably, many of us have encountered the heartbreak of losing someone we care about to suicide. The profound impact of such a loss can leave a void that feels impossible to fill. It is in these moments of grief that we realize the pressing need for open conversations about mental health and the importance of support networks.
Remembering those we have lost to suicide, we must pledge to shatter the silence surrounding mental health struggles. By speaking up, we can create a world that nurtures empathy, understanding, and resources for those who need it the most.
When asked if I have experienced the loss of someone to suicide, my response is a solemn "yes." The memories rush back, each one etched in my mind like a haunting tapestry of pain. I was just a young child when I learned that my best friend's father had taken his own life. The devastating scene played out before my innocent eyes, as he arrived at the house, beckoning everyone to the window or door. In a horrifying moment, he pulled out a gun and ended his life in front of his ex-wife and children, leaving a trail of heartbreak in his wake.
Years later, as a freshman in high school, I found myself grappling with the tragedy of another life lost to suicide. An upperclassman in my journalism class, who I had spoken to on several occasions, had succumbed to the unbearable weight of his struggles. Our teacher, also his neighbor, discovered him hanging from a tree, his life cut short by the cruelty of bullying and relentless taunting. As my teacher recounted the heart-wrenching story, I couldn't help but notice the faces of some students in the room who had played a part in this boy's suffering. It was a stark reminder of the impact our actions and words can have on others, and I wondered if those responsible would ever realize the consequences of their cruelty.
The pain didn't stop there. Tragedy struck my family when my mother received the devastating news that her own brother had taken his life. His despair had reached an unbearable point after a heated dispute over his children, culminating in a dramatic and fatal decision. The anguish and turmoil he must have experienced before reaching this point remain unfathomable.
I believe all of these incidents contribute to my passion in helping others in feeling good and in feeling safe #TwoRules. Our nephew committed suicide as a young adult, I have lost only one student to suicide I am aware of, but know of many they tell me I have saved from the decision to try.
These heart-wrenching stories serve as stark reminders of the urgency in addressing the deeper issues of mental health, bullying, and the importance of nurturing a compassionate and supportive environment for everyone. The echoes of pain from the past resonate with the current plight of many young souls facing similar struggles today. It is a collective responsibility to create a world where love, empathy, and understanding triumph over darkness, offering a glimmer of hope to those who feel lost and alone. May the memories of those we've lost spur us into action to prevent such tragedies from claiming more precious lives.
The Struggle and The Support System
Life's challenges can sometimes feel overwhelming, and during such times, a strong support system is like a lighthouse, guiding us through the storm. A support system can comprise family, friends, mental health professionals, or even support groups. These pillars of strength offer comfort, a listening ear, and a shoulder to lean on.
However, we must also recognize that even the most robust support systems have their limits. Mental health issues can be complex and multifaceted, requiring specialized care and attention. At times, seeking professional help becomes necessary to navigate the depths of our emotions.
Breaking the Silence: Sparking Conversations on Mental Health
As we reflect on the struggles faced by ourselves and others, let us pledge to break the silence surrounding mental health. Conversations about mental well-being should be normalized, just like discussions about physical health. When we share our stories, we open doors for compassion and understanding, paving the way for healing and recovery.
If you know someone who might be struggling, reach out with empathy and care. Let them know they are not alone and that there is no shame in seeking help. Together, we can build a world that nurtures mental health and supports those in need.
Lighting the Way Towards Healing
Reflecting on our own life journey and the impact of suicide, we realize that compassion and support are vital tools to battle the darkness of despair. By breaking the silence and fostering understanding, we can create an environment where mental health is prioritized, and no one feels alone in their struggles.
Let us be the beacon of hope for those who need it, reminding them that there is strength in seeking help and that healing is possible. Together, we can navigate the depths of emotions, spark meaningful conversations, and build a world where love and support triumph over despair.
#theconversationmatters #TwoRules #Bethesolutiondaily #theenvisionspeakersseries #thequestionguy #youmatter #mentalhealth
Just want to say, this is how I felt on Friday and still today!
I try my best to remain focused on helping others each day, but I must confess that this past week has been quite challenging for me. Nevertheless, I am grateful for the incredible circle of medical professionals who have been by my side since the unfortunate incident in 2010 when a semi-truck crashed into me, leaving me with significant injuries. Their unwavering support has been instrumental in my journey towards recovery.
Over the years, I've faced additional hurdles, such as a breast cancer diagnosis and even being struck by lightning (though thankfully, it was an indirect hit). But through it all, I have persevered and continue to do so. Recently, my medical team discovered some issues with my liver functions, leading to a series of tests and ultimately the decision to undergo a liver biopsy.
The day of the biopsy arrived, and I had a conversation with the doctor who thoroughly explained the procedure to me. As a precautionary measure, they started an IV just in case it was needed. The doctor would inject a local numbing medication into the area, and then the biopsy needle would be inserted into my abdomen to obtain the necessary sample. I braced myself for the procedure, mentally prepared to endure some pressure and the sound of a loud clicking as the samples were taken. I was awake for the entire procedure.
Though I did experience some pain, I remained as still as possible during the procedure. The last thing I wanted was to make a wrong move that could lead to any complications. Now, I am anxiously awaiting the results, and I am immensely grateful for the skilled hands that took care of me throughout the entire process. Many people prayed for me, and I firmly believe that divine guidance played a role in our journey.
I share my story with you today because I want you to understand that when you encounter others in your daily life, you might not be aware of the struggles they are facing. So, the next time you find yourself waiting in line, why not engage in conversation with those around you? A simple "Hi, how are you today?" could brighten someone's day and make them feel seen and valued. If you come across well-behaved children, take a moment to praise their parents for doing a great job. Kindness and empathy can go a long way in making the world a better place for all of us.
This is the time to begin! One day at a time with a focus to achieve. I can, I will and I am going to make some changes this week to improve many things! You can too!
Do you have those times when you just need a reminder that everything will be okay? I have needed the weekend to rest and remind myself. Let’s face the week with courage and strength.