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Hello … it’s me


10154168_10152111046213124_1206357627_nWow, it has been quite some time since I came out to create magic here on my blog. Life got busy, my focus waned but my passion for creating a positive difference in the world did not. So, as I continue to focus on my intentions for 2016 I am inspired by a friend and her intentions, to get back to it!

What’s up for me in 2016?  COMMUNITY! That is my “theme” for the year. This includes several aspects as I create the year I want ahead.

First … I am being deliberate in acknowledging and celebrating the community of friends and family I already enjoy. The best way I know to do this is by spending time, sharing what I appreciate about them, supporting them, cheering them on, etc. I just may go on a letter writing campaign to appreciate my friends – you know, the old fashioned way with pen and paper and stamps. We all know how much fun it is to receive a smile in the mail. Yes, as I sit here and envision it, the yummy-ness of this idea is growing on me.

Second … I am on the lookout for a meaningful and fun way to volunteer in my local community.  Having grown up in early childhood in an orphanage I was aware that I was the recipient of love from many hearts and hands. And my dear family that adopted me instilled the desire and practice to give back even deeper into my heart. It’s time for me to shift from sporadic and episodic giving to more consistent giving. So I’m on the hunt for what will be my next volunteer gig.

Third … I am consciously looking for ways to bring positive vibrations and energy into the world at large.  One way is to continue to grow my FB group called Gifts of Gratitude. I created it to counteract the negative info I see all around me. On this page, only posts of what we are grateful for are allowed. It’s a bright spot to focus on the good that is in our daily lives. I will also use this blog and any other vehicle that allows me to shine a light into the world that warms a heart and allows others to shine their bright light too.

I’d love to hear some of your intentions for a fabulous 2016! Be blessed!

 

What moves you?


Have you ever consciously noticed that there are some people and some things that seem to jump-start your heart, mind, imagination and spirit of excitement for life? I have, and today a couple of them have been part of my day. It’s what keeps me moving forward.

10154168_10152111046213124_1206357627_nFirst – KINDNESS: This is by far the fastest way for me to change my life and the world – whether it’s seeing it or participating in it … the power is so great it can create miracles any way it touches me. This past year for my 50th birthday I held my “Kindness Inspires Kindness Day” where my friends and I celebrated by doing 50 acts of kindness. It was spectacular and you can read about it in my serious of posts starting with:  50 – Acts of Kindness that is.  The feeling and boost I got from that day still lives in me. It was by far the best birthday ever – the giving was the best gift I could give myself. I was inspired by a friend, Miss Anita, who is now holding her second Kindness day. She’s a true inspiration and one of the most generous souls I know. She knows how to keep her spirit in peak shape by her constant flow of kindness. She’s one of my favorite heroes.

Second – MUSIC:  The universal language that has the power to shift a mood, shift an atmosphere, shift a heart or a dream. I’ve posted this one before but every single time I hear it my soul literally leaps and recommits to my life’s purpose of inspiring and helping others. I cannot help but to share it again.

Take your candle, go light your world … and be blessed! ~ Barbara Bernard Miller

 

 

Open Letter to Dr. Wayne Dyer


Dear Dr. Wayne Dyer,

Today in my mind’s eye, I have seen with crystal clarity the look in your eye – the recognition and the remembering. I know. And I share this with you so that you too may know.

You have heard the praises of many from every corner of the world. You have inspired noblemen and housewives. You have lit the path of poor, lonely, and mighty masters of this universe. You are a blessing and I am grateful for the path that led your words into my life. In reading and listening to your wisdom I have come to recognize that which I have created – both my misery and my victory. And I recognize that in the words of God and the wise sages of time, everything that needs to be known has been spoken before. In time before time we crafted these lives, these bodies, and this path. We devised a purpose that would bring ourselves and others closer to Divinity. And we are living that purpose today. You in your corner of the universe, and me in mine.

As I look into my future through the eyes of my desires, imagination, and creation I see myself standing next to you. We meet, friend to friend and soul to soul. In that moment in time we shall pass wisdom and knowledge back and forth from all that we know and all that we wish to learn. And once again, we shall know that our paths have crossed before. And I will look again into your eyes and see communion with God.

I know not when. I know not how. But I know … we shall speak again. Until then, be blessed my friend and mentor. Namaste.

 

 

 

In the Christmas Mood


I’m watching my favorite movie of all time tonight: It’s a Wonderful Life starring Jimmy Stewart. I watch it every Christmas, and usually once in the summer just because I love the story. Here’s a clip from the movie and pictures of other things that just keep me in the Christmas spirit.

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Hello again ….


Hello again!

It has been a while since I last posted. Changing jobs can create much upheaval  – packing, moving stuff, examining our things – making choices to keep or toss, learning new places and people and priorities. That transition certainly does change our focus. But alas, I am writing again before I move into a several week cycle of travel.

486538_557664290934612_1208784165_nI must admit the autumn air is bringing me to life. I have long known that my life cycle seems to begin in the fall of the year. The colors and smells bring me joy. The activities – football games that I can hear from the nearby high school, the smell of leaves and fireplaces delight my senses, and the crispness of the air brings me back to hearth and home. I love it. I am in my little bit of heaven this time of year. It’s the only time of year that I’m drawn to the color orange – it is the cloak of the autumn trees and it sprinkles itself in accessories throughout my home. A short-lived decor but one that brings me joy.

And I’ve been having much fun with my daughter as she makes her choices for her December 2014 wedding. Luckily I learned a bunch from going through the wedding process with my son and his new wife this past summer. The long lead-time for my daughter’s special date is making the process feel more relaxed and less hectic – for now! I feel blessed that both of my children have chosen wonderful life mates. They are all unique and yet all compatible in the right ways. I pray that their relationships continue to grow toward each other as the years move on.

What are the blessings in your life these days – I’d love to hear more from you.

Be blessed!

 

Ripples of kindness ….


DynPicWaterMark_ImageViewerSince posting about my 50th Birthday Kindness Inspires Kindness Day …. something has changed.  I feel like my joy set point has raised even higher. The surge of happiness I felt that day hasn’t diminished. It’s a natural high. It’s the purpose of my soul that doesn’t want to be buried any more. Such joy I feel when friends tell me they have been inspired to do an act of kindness where previously they would not have even seen the opportunity. These are the beginnings of the ripples of kindness. These are the first steps of multiplying, expanding, and exploding of the kindness.

I am overwhelmed by desire to do more. I am overcome by the feeling that change really is possible and each of us can create a splash and more and more ripples.

I am filled with joy.

TELL ME! … what ripples of kindness do you see in your life?

Be blessed!

50 Acts of Kindness – 41-50


Here’s the final list from my Kindness Inspires Kindness birthday celebration. I hope you have all enjoyed the journey!

#41 Babies & Kids – I went to the day care center by my work and I read “The Night You Were Born” to the preschoolers there and donated it so they could read it to the kids when they have a birthday in the future. They were such a delight! I loved every minute and got a little misty when they all sang and wanted to give me birthday presents. They did make me a birthday card – aren’t they sweet? One little girl was having a birthday that week as well so I gave her my birthday boa. She was thrilled! I can’t show the kids for privacy reasons but here a couple of me.

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#42 Babies & Kids – We all know that teen-aged girls can be the hardest on themselves. So I wrote 200 notes of affirmation and love and had them put on the cars of the girls at the high school I attended. Actually, it’s the all-girl school that every girl in my family has attended. My sister is a teacher there and she said they were all talking about it the next day so I guess they appreciated a little love in their day.

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#43 Sick & Needy – I donated a pile of items to Goodwill. I like to do that several times a year.

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#44 – Created an angel painting with a special message included. Love when the angels come out to play! (NOTE – picture not delivered yet so putting these angel wings as a placeholder so as not to spoil the surprise!)

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#45 Just Because – I gave a copy of my book, MIGHTY INSPIRATION, Love Letters from God to someone. I love when I can spread the inspiration this way.

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#46 Sick & Needy – I gave blood. It’s been a few years and now I remember why. They said I’m a “slow” bleeder and I got just enough, just in time to meet the requirement. Whew!

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#47, #48, #49 – These three go together – These are my sweet “Giving Crew” – I bought them breakfast, lunch, and supper, respectively as they spent the day with me running around town and doing acts of kindness. They are precious and supportive and just the loveliest people! They helped make my birthday wish come true. Can’t thank them enough and couldn’t think of a better group to spend my birthday day with!

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#50 – Babies & Kids – I saved my favorite one for last. My daughter and I went to University Hospital, which is where I was born. I had a gift for a baby girl born 50 years after I was born. Hmmm I’ve learned it’s harder to give a gift to a stranger than I thought, but I was patient and God worked it out. Anyway, I met the loveliest couple. They had identical twins and about halfway through the pregnancy found out they had a very rare condition where all the amniotic fluid transfers from one baby to another. So one baby was really swimming in it and the other had almost none. The doctors gave the 2nd baby almost no chance to live and the mom almost no chance of taking the babies safely to term. There was nothing medically that could be done and there was no way to correct the situation. Those are dire words to say to a young couple waiting for their sweet babies. So the parents and family did the only thing they could …. they prayed. And within a short 2 week period the fluid had evened out (impossible huh?) and the babies were born at about week 36 or 37 weeks – that’s awesome for twins! Both are miracle babies. One (Truette Lynn) was in the NICU so I didn’t get to see her but I got to see Larkyn Ellen. And the parents graciously told me to go ahead and hold her. Yes, it was a present for me in return. And oh yeah, I cried.  I will forever pray for those birthday twins, Larkyn and Truette.

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There you have it – the BEST BIRTHDAY EVER, in pictures!!! Thanks for being witness to my journey of kindness and thanks to all who blessed me for my 50th Birthday. Dreams really do come true!!

Be blessed!

50 Acts of Kindness – 31-40


Here’s the next batch of the 50 Acts of Kindness ….

#31 – Those Who Serve – Bought pizza’s for dinner and delivered them to the Colerain Township Fire Department. Gotta make sure our heroes are fed!

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#32 – Just Because – gave a gift card to the movies. My giving crew member, Pam said that when she entered the theater there were 2 older women who were having some difficulties with one of the people who work at the movies. She gave them the gift card and made their day.

AMC theatre - 2 older ladies

#33 – Sick & Needy – Donated school supplies to St. Joseph’s Orphanage. This is the orphanage I grew up in and I have tried to give back to whenever I can over the years. It was the first time my daughter had been there with me. Next time we’ll leave time for tour.

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#34 – Just Because – Placed 3 big bottles of laundry detergent in the laundromat for people to find and use.

Tide water and first aid kits

#35 – Just Because – Paid for a birthday order at the NCH (North College Hill) Bakery. This bakery has been a part of family events my whole life. They have some really good pastries – definitely a family tradition with the Miller clan!

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#36 – Sick & Needy – Gave a gift card to a family at the grocery store. This mom was reluctant at first. But once she opened the envelope she was relieved to find the gift card to help with her food purchase.  She only had some pork and beans in her cart until then. At least I could help with a meal or two.

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#37 – Those Who Serve – I left a gift card for my mail carrier. And the next day he left me a sweet thank you note.  Yep, this is how kindness inspires kindness!!

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#38- Just  Because – I gifted angels to my giving crew and others who have been angels in my life. some chose an ornament to represent the day and others chose a key chain so that they could have an angel with them wherever they go.

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#39 – Sick & Needy – bought a couple of uniform shirts for a student at the high school my son graduated from. I remember those days of uniforms and tuition. These will go to help a young family struggling to make ends meet.

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#40 – Just Because – One of my giving crew walked my dogs while I was out all day doing these 50 acts of kindness. It totally counts, because my dogs (not me) were the real recipients of this kindness. Here’s my dogs feeling happy. 🙂

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50 Acts of Kindness – 21-30


Here’s the next set of 50 Acts of Kindness ….

#21 – Babies & Kids – Donated 69 hand knitted baby hats to the Neo-natal ICU at Good Sam. Thanks to my dear friend Mar and her knitting crew, these sweet hats will be a soft and warm gift for many babies. This NICU unit is where my niece spent the first part of her life because she was born about 6 weeks too early. And here she is 11 years later as she dropped off the sweet little hats.

hand knitted baby hats Megan-Good Sam NICU

#22 – Those Who Serve – I wrote handwritten appreciation letters to wounded soldiers and dropped them off at the VA hospital. This is especially meaningful because many of the significant men in my life have served in the military. As a young girl, my Grandmother volunteered at the VA hospital every week. On my summers off she would take me along to volunteer as well. I am always touched by the service of our men and women.

letters for wounded soldiers

#23 – Sick & Needy – Donated puzzles to the Ronald McDonald house here in town. It’s my hope that the families will be able to spend a bit of time doing something simple, and fun together. A few moments of normalcy can be a gift as well.

Megan - Ronald McDonald House puzzles

#24 – Just Because – Gave a gift card for dinner to a young man that I saw volunteering. My family shared the joy of volunteering time since I was a very young girl. I felt like reinforcing the wonderful giving spirit this young man already had.

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#25 – Babies & Kids – We all took some stickers to hand out to little kids that we would meet throughout the day. This was a big hit. You know how kids think stickers are just the best!

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#26 – Those Who Serve – Gave flowers to the retired nuns at the Mercy Convent. Nuns have played a significant role in my life. They cared for me when I was little in the orphanage, and they were teachers at both my grade school and high school. I love the devotion and spiritual life they lead. And it was an extra treat to see Sr. Amadeus, my former high school principal who happened to be in the dining room. That was a cherry on top for me.

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#27 – Sick & Needy – Donated canned goods to Matthew 25 Ministries to distribute in the community. Here’s a couple of the young men who were volunteering that day and able to receive the donations.

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#28 – Just Because – Paid for 10 coffees at the Dunkin Donut by my house. This is of course the second home for my daughter who just lovesssssss coffee!

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#29 – Babies & Kids – Donated crayons and coloring books to Children’s Hospital and Shriners Hospital. My helping crew said at one of the places they were ripping out pages so each child could have just one. Now they had plenty more to let the kids color!

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#30 – Just Because – Gave a gift to a random woman who was helping her elderly mother in the parking lot of the dollar store. She was awe struck that a stranger would do such a thing. Well that just made me smile even more.

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50 Acts of Kindness – 11-20


Here’s some more of the 50 Acts of Kindness from my 50th birthday ….

#11 – Babies & Kids –  I stashed $5.00 in these mini-purses to be given to some little girls we found along the way. My friend Lisa saw these cuties while delivering the diaper bags to a McDonalds. They were excited to pick the cute little purses and find the treat inside.

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#12 Sick & Needy:  Gave a gift card to a needy person to help toward their prescriptions.

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#13 Those Who Serve:  I visited a veteran and spent some time talking to her about her service. Her name is Gerry and she is a quiet-spoken woman who has served in the Army. She was happy for the company, although she had issues with her eyes and the lights so that’s why she has her eyes shut. She was hoping to go home soon. I hope so too!

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#14 Just Because:  Babysat my niece so my sister and her husband could have a date night. Gotta support the parents out there! Although… she was such a help in preparing for the Kindness Inspires Kindness day that I think we both received a kindness from this. Here she is with my girl Maria who was also a big help in preparing for the day!

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#15 Babies & Kids – Donated books to preschool and the library. We had quite a few good books to share with little minds. I remember reading to my kids every day of their lives until they could read to me. How fun to share the joy of stories with other children.

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#16 Sick & Needy – donated blankets to the women’s shelter/homeless. This reminded me of a project I did with my daughter when she was in high school where we made “quillows”, which are quilts that fold up into themselves to become pillows. We donated those to the women’s shelter and I thought this would be a good reminder of that earlier project.

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#17 Those Who Serve – Gave some sweet treats to some teachers for the first day of school. Goodness knows they need a little boost as they head into the craziness of another school year.

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#18 Just Because – We taped money for the vending machines around emergency rooms and other random vending machines so those without enough change could still get a treat. I remember a time taking one of my kids to the ER and forgot my wallet in the rush. I figured this was a good way to do a small thing at a time of crisis.

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#19 For Those Who Serve:  Gave a gift card to a teacher to help out with the supplies she buys for her students. It’s so easy to forget how little teachers are paid and how much they give of their own money to help out their students.

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#20 Babies & Kids – Gave newborn diapers and some wipes to parents of newborns at Christ Hospital and Good Samaritan Hospital in Cincinnati – these are the 2 hospitals where my own children were born. This is Scott, a proud Daddy of a newborn girl who was thrilled by the gift. He promised to pay it forward. Isn’t that a cute “proud papa” smile? He was heading to get his wife and baby girl and take them home.

Scott - Dad of new baby Christ Hospital

 

Stay tuned tomorrow for the next set of Acts of Kindness. Be kind in your corner of the world and be blessed!

 

50 Acts of Kindness – 1-10


Well I’ve decided to post the acts of kindness in no particular order because some were big and some were small, and yet, they all had an impact. Enjoy the journey with me! I’m posting the category and the pictures below.

#1 – Sick & Needy:  Toiletries to the homeless. So many people shared their extra items from travels and trips around the globe. Bethany House in Cincinnati is an organization that many people in my family have volunteered for through the years so we donated bags and boxes full of goodies to them.

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#2 – Babies & Children: Bags of spare diapers were placed in restrooms near highways and at parks for those times when nature calls and supplies are low:

Diapers in restrooms

#3 – Those Who Serve: Yummy treats for the Police Dept. Weren’t able to get any pictures with the officers but here’s the 2 big trays of baked goods that we delivered:

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#4  Just Because – Food, treats and tennis balls delivered to the SPCA. This was a favorite stop as my friend volunteers there and was able to let us interact with one of the dogs. If anyone in Cincinnati is looking for a dog, this one named DARGO at the SPCA in Sharonville was a sweetheart. He really liked my daughter and was more than happy to sit pretty for a treat or to run and catch a ball. Please check out the SPCA for wonderful animals who come ready to pour love into your family.

SPCA - Barb with Dargo SPCA - Maria with Dargo

#5 Babies & Children – Donated beads for the American Heritage Girls kindergarten group who make bracelets to symbolize their projects and accomplishments. Sometimes the little things that aren’t covered in the budget make a difference. Here’s my niece accepting them on behalf of American Heritage Girls.

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#6 – Those Who Serve – Gave the waitress at breakfast a 50% tip. She was so cute and enthusiastic about our adventure of the day that I couldn’t resist bringing her into it as one of the acts of kindness.

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#7 Those Who Serve – Donated gift bags to the workers at the hospice center. We weren’t able to get a picture inside and I wouldn’t want to invade the privacy of any people going through these times but I have a picture of my friend Shelly out front of the building. The funny thing is, the gift sets were given to the workers there as part of the group that serve and they graciously turned and gave them to the families who are going through the hospice experience. Those who give never cease to honor that kindness within.

Shelly - front of Hospice

#8 Just Because – Donated miscellaneous items to a woman who voluntarily does bingo each week at one of the area nursing homes. It’s just a few things but every bit counts.

cat treats and ball for dogs

#9 Sick & Needy – Gave stained glass night light lamps to women at the nursing home who don’t receive many visitors – some just don’t have family and it’s sad to know that they are living day by day with no-one to visit. They lit up like kids at Christmas. Here’s just a few of the many. A special thanks to River of Goods & Margie Commerford for her generous donation of 3 cases of these lovely lamps.  There’s a little more light in the world of these ladies now!

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#10 Just Because – Gave water bottles to crews working on the highway and to childcare center. Don’t have pictures of this one.

Stay tuned tomorrow for 10 more of the 50 Acts of Kindness. Be kind in your area of the world and be blessed!!

50 – Acts of Kindness that is


KIK logo 8-13-13 It finally arrived – my 50th birthday, which means, August 13, 2013 was KINDNESS INSPIRES KINDNESS DAY!!! Woot woot! 1993-32007-18Nope, this story is really not about me at all – it’s just the day and the way I chose to celebrate a life sprinkled with the kindness of loved ones and strangers. I am dedicating that special day to 2 special couples – Mabel and Juel Bernard, my grandparents, and Jim and Jacque Miller, my parents. Because of how deeply they love, they chose to shower kindness into my life when I was a little ragamuffin girl in the orphanage, and still to this day. They changed my life. I cannot possibly repay them for the literal rescue they made of me, and so I choose to turn and pay it forward. They taught me how to love the unlovable, to give to those in need, and to never stop striving to be and do my best. I am forever in their debt. I love them with all my heart! Thank you Grandma, Grandpa, Mommy & Daddy!!

And, this day was also about the beautiful souls who continue to pour love and kindness into my life – my “Giving Crew”. I am overwhelmed by the generosity of hearts and hands who, when asked to help me with the Kindness day, generously said yes!  Love and hugs to all these loving souls – that includes those who were with me that day, those who contributed, and those who cheered me on. So many – too many to list them all but you know who you are! Thank you!!

For my readers, over the next several days I will be chronicling in pictures the 50 acts of kindness that we shared in the Cincinnati area. I started with 4 categories: 1) Babies/Children, 2) Sick/Elderly, 3) Those Who Serve, and 4) Just Because.  In as many acts as I could I included people and places that related to my life since it was, after all, a celebration of 50 years of blessings I’ve received. What a fabulous day – THE BEST BIRTHDAY EVER!! There really are not enough of the right words to describe the blessings I received during the day but I will attempt to at least share the stories and pictures.

Enjoy the journey with me in the next several days so you can see the whole story. KIK day cardsRemember to be a blessing, and be blessed in return! ~ Barbara Miller

Aunt Jean, you are loved!


Aunt Jean 9-2-38 to 6-10-13Yesterday my Aunt Jean passed away. I didn’t see it coming, frankly. She’s been sick many times and with prayers from so many, she always had the grace of God behind her healing and pulled through. But yesterday was her “Going Home” day and our prayers were answered differently.

It was a tough day yesterday. I heard of 5 deaths, ranging from an infant, to a young man in his 20’s, to a girl battling cancer, to an expert in his field, and finally, sadly, to my Aunt. My heart was so heavy with that news.

Aunt Jean was actually my aunt in my birth family. At the age of 19 she recognized me out at the mall. I was shocked but as I grew to know her, I guess I shouldn’t have been surprised. She always had her eye out for me and my siblings who were placed in an orphanage years ago. She had the memory of an elephant – she could remember details and tell stories like no other. Although she hadn’t seen me since I was 3, she said she knew my eyes and that was it. I must admit, I wasn’t always emotionally ready for the heaping and mixing of birth family and adopted (what I call my “real” family). And through the years I bobbed and weaved in and out of Aunt Jean’s hugs. It didn’t really matter. She was steadfast. She was patient. She was faithful. And when, in my 40’s I was finally ready to be whole, she was waiting for me without hesitation. She shared pictures, and stories … and love. I will never forget her generous heart and her happy laugh. She was an angel to me in many ways. We used to fantasize about what it would have been like if she had been my birth mother instead of my Aunt. Those were fun little fantasies and I knew, there was something special in her that allowed her reach out through the turmoil and the years to recognize me.

My heart is heavy from this loss. There were still words and stories unspoken. But I count myself blessed for having been given the chance to get to know her. I got to cry with her, laugh with her, break bread with her, and pray with her. What could be better. And now, I know she is singing and dancing with the love of her life, Uncle Norbert, as they praise at Heaven’s throne. I love you Aunt Jean. As a  fellow writer I wrote this simple little poem for you.

See you on the other side! Be BLESSED!

“The tears I shed are bittersweet,
And with hand to heart I pray.
That your joy in heaven be complete,
As we say good bye today.
The hole we feel as our lives go on,
Will only hurt a while.
I’ll keep my eyes on eternity’s gate,
Where I’ll once again see your smile.”
~ Barbara Bernard Miller

You can, You must, You will!


si_photoThis week on FB I saw a great little video of Maria Shriver describing what she received from her mother, Eunice Kennedy Shriver (yes, of the US Presidential Kennedys).  She was talking about the great work her mother did to bring children with disabilities into their home and how the work eventually led to the beginning of the Special Olympics. The picture on the right is Eunice cheering on “her kids” as they competed and played. I never knew the origins of the Special Olympics and I was impressed to hear of the story. Maria went on to talk about something her mother used to tell her all that time that has stuck with her and encouraged her.

“You can, you must, you will! Now go do it!”

                                                        ~ Eunice Kennedy Shriver

I was struck but the simplicity of the encouragement and even the enthusiasm of the “command”. That line was a gift to Maria that she never forgets. And now, it is a line that I shall not forget.

You see, I am in the middle of an awakening of a vision for work that I have been called to do in the world. The vision was given, without direction, about 15 years ago. The seed was planted and I knew it then, but had no idea yet what the vision really meant. Since then I’ve had confirmations and nudging  dreams which have kept the vision alive, but quiet in my mind. And now, last week I had another vision – one that has urging and purpose and a picture. One that I can now wrap my head around. It’s too early to tell the world about it, but it has already begun to urge me to action. In a flash, a prayer was answered. In a moment, a purpose was set, and consequently a passion has been lit in my heart. In the days since, my mind has played the doubting game as to my ability to bring my vision to life. But I will not listen to my doubting mind. I will follow my heart to create my vision. It is the passionate heart that has created all good and wonderful things in this world. And that is why Eunice’s words struck me.

Barb & Mom pic

As we go into this weekend of celebrating Mother’s Day here in the US, I think of my mother the way Maria thinks of hers – with love and a positive gratefulness. I am thankful for so many things about my Mom. I am thankful that she had an open heart for a little raggedy girl in the orphanage. I am thankful that she persevered through the emotional baggage that came hand-in-hand with adopting me and that she was strong enough to raise me with love and integrity of her upbringing. I am thankful that she has given me the gift of believing that I can be and do whatever I put my mind to.

I am also thankful that I have been blessed to be a mother. My kids, Tony & Maria, are the joy of my heart. They are embarking on their journeys of adulthood as they are both engaged. Soon they will broaden my joy with families of their own. I am mindful that my role as mother is changing from disciplinarian and teacher to one of friend, confidante, and encourager. I am blessed and thankful that they are healthy and happy and on their way.

As a side note, this year, I am thankful that I have forgiven and released my birth mother. For that reason alone I nod my head in her direction in spirit to acknowledge that the life lesson is learned and I am whole again.

And I acknowledge and appreciate Eunice Kennedy Shriver, for adding a little bit more inspiration into my heart. To prod me into the conviction that I can … I must … and I will!

If you are a mother – may you have a loving and blessed Mother’s Day on Sunday. For all others – remember your Mom! Appreciate the good. Release the rest. And be blessed!

I have nothing to say …


nothing-to-sayI was saddened yesterday by a casual exchange. I wasn’t sad for me, mind you, but for a “reality” that one of my friends was claiming for herself.

You see, I was chatting with an old friend – catching up and enjoying each other’s company. The subject turned to hobbies and I mentioned my blogging here. While I don’t get to write every day I do come back here as often as I can to read, write, and stir a little positive into the pot of life. Her response to this is what made me sad.

She said, “Oh I could never do that, I have nothing to say.”

Wow. Upon further conversation, I found she actually believed just that.  I’ve heard lot’s of responses – I don’t have time, I’m not a good writer, I don’t like sharing on the internet, etc. All understandable and reasonable. But for someone to live their life, this precious experience on earth, and to truly believe they have “nothing to say”, well it saddens me. I have no expectations that everyone should want to blog or write articles or books or become public speakers. Nor do I expect people to scream their truth upon the mountain top or into the world wide web. But there is something for her to say … to friends, family, loved ones. There is wisdom in her living that is best  utilized in its sharing.

The truth is – I would love to hear anything she has to say. She has deep faith, she has admirable accomplishments, she has experiences in business and in community volunteering. She has children she’s raised and ideas she’s brought to fruition. But what she doesn’t have is confidence. She lacks the understanding that SHE has importance and what SHE says is of interest. But I know that her big and small things have value in their telling. Stories are important – it’s how we communicate values, feelings, progress, ideas, and changes in relationships and so much more. She has SO MUCH to say but she doesn’t put value on it. There lies the root problem that has caused my sadness. This beautiful human being who is loved by many doesn’t see her value and therefore feels she has nothing to say that has value.

silenceOne of my basic tenets of belief, in life and in my experience in the field of Human Resources, is that everyone has a voice and should be encouraged to find it. I will continue to encourage my friend to find and value hers.

Do you know others who believe they have “nothing to say?” How do you encourage them to find their voice?  Hand them the pen, the microphone, the telephone, or simply lend them an ear …. and be blessed!