It is here, December has arrived and with it comes the season of giving. Lately I have been wondering why is giving just for one season? Let’s be real, we all give all year…whether we volunteer, support a cause, give a few extra dollars at the market or in a more meaningful way. We give because it feels great to give.
Why I don’t necessarily love Christmas shopping, I do love that feeling I get when I give a gift that brings the recipient joy. It is just the best feeling. This year I have really struggled with the holiday shopping because my sons really don’t need anything. I attempted boycotting Christmas and presents in lieu of a trip, with no such luck. My thought was the best gift we could all have would be time together. However, the boys opted for traditions, extended family and friends.
So, I am embracing the art of giving, it is a privilege to be able to give. Finding joy in little ways to make people and causes I care about happy. The result is always the same, you get so much more when you give. Wishing you all a happy season of giving this month and no boys……we are not getting a puppy!
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This week’s news certainly seems to be about football and country. While many are talking politics, there is another game involving the two, that is all about strength in the face of adversity. It is the Invictus Games that are happening this week in Canada.
Prince Harry is perhaps an unlikely nonprofit founder. In 2013, while he was on a trip to the United States visiting the Warrior Games, Harry saw how the power of sport helped to heal physically, physiologically and socially. In that moment, he decided to create the Invictus Games to be an international sporting event for wounded, injured and sick service personnel.
The word Invictus means unconquered and the purpose of these games is to harness the power of sport to inspire recovery. This week over 550 competitors will gather from over 17 countries to compete in eight days of fierce competition.
Prince Harry wanted to honor those that he has served with and all military service men and women around the world in hopes of creating a wider understanding and respect for those who serve their country. The motto of the games is based on a poem entitled “Invictus” which says, “I am the master of my fate. I am the captain of my soul.”
As Prince Harry said, “These games have shown the unconquerable character of service men, women and their families Invictus spirit. These games show the very best of the human spirit.” Here is to an amazing week of recognizing those who serve and cheering them on!
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“Labor not — for one day, just sit, breathe, and rejoice drinking what you please and enjoying what you may.” Terri Guillemets
I have to admit that this picture is what I dream of for Labor Day. The thought of simply sitting on a beach seems like the most glorious way to spend a coveted and cherished day off. Sadly, I won’t be at the beach this year, but a girl can dream.
Labor Day is always a little sad for me because it is the official end of summer and does anyone ever really want to see summer end? I don’t think so! This year, I can’t help thinking of everyone in the Houston area and wonder what their Labor Day looks like? I continue to be inspired and uplifted by all the incredibly hardworking people who are helping one another and showing the best of humanity. For each of them, I hope today is a day of rest and renewal.
Let’s face it, we are Americans, and as a result, we work really hard. With all that hard work, and we all need to take some time to play, have fun, relax and enjoy ourselves. So, regardless of where you are spending your day off…your back yard, a friend’s pool, a park, the lake or just firing up the grill for friends, I really hope you truly enjoy it.
Happy Labor Day!
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They say all good things must come to an end. My question is when do you know? This month I am saying goodbye to two separate non-profit boards that I have had the privilege of serving on for the past six years. I’m not sure where the time went, but it appears my time has come.
The beauty of serving is that like life, our service is constantly changing as we do. As a child, I saved pennies for others because my teacher would give us candy if we gave to those in need….my earliest memories of giving were more to myself. As a teen, I worked at the Boys and Girls Club each summer. In college, I read to under-served students with my sorority sisters, in South Tucson. As a young mother, I volunteered and raised funds to build a new children’s museum in our town. The service always seemed to fit the season of my life.
These past few years, my service has come in the form of leadership. Six years ago, when one of the organizations approached me about joining their board, I was surprised, it was unexpected and yet, I was thrilled because I love their work and mission in navigating young men out of poverty and into college. During the past six years, I have witnessed incredible change, growth and seen hundreds of young men head off to college. A privilege to witness and serve.
The second board I will be leaving is my alma mater, my all girls Catholic high school. True confession, they did try to kick me out more than a few times when I was in high school, so I do receive enormous joy in both the sweet irony and in giving back to the school that taught me actions not words.
Most of all, I will truly miss the incredible people who have made both of these experiences ones I will always treasure. The time has come and now a new season has arrived. What it will bring, I have no idea…but I know I will be ready for whatever is calling.
“Man becomes great exactly in the degree in which he works for the welfare of his fellow-men.”
I have to confess, that despite the sunshine, I had a little dark cloud cross my path the other day.
The weather was spectacular and my heart full of gratitude and anticipation for something I have been working on for quite sometime. Then an unexpected text, sent my mood in a totally different direction.
In my somewhat emotional state, I began looking for quotes of inspiration and landed on an article about Gandhi….a sign or just luck, who knows?
As I read about this amazing man and his message of service, I realized that somehow I was calming down.
It was reading this that brought me back to what matters:
“And when you see the good in people it becomes easier to motivate yourself to be of service to them.
By being of service to other people, by giving them value you not only make their lives better.
Over time you tend to get what you give.
And the people you help may feel more inclined to help other people.
And so you, together, create an upward spiral of positive change that grows and becomes stronger.”
Sometimes, life is funny the way it throws us curves. If we stay focused on our course, we can learn to roll with the curves and know that we always have the power to make others lives better….. and our own.
“Service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on earth.”
Service. It comes in so many forms that often times we are giving of ourselves and don’t even realize the impact we are having on another. This week we started talking about children going green at their schools. Every time they recycle, use less trash and conserve energy they are serving the greater good. Whether you are helping out at your child’s school, serving on a board, volunteering or running in a charity event…its all service.
One is not better than the other, they are all the best gift you can give….yourself.
“Everybody can be great…because anybody can serve. You don’t have to have a college degree to serve. You don’t have to make your subject and verb agree to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love. ”