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We are more than we have become!

Live Better with Dr. Willie Jolley

My wife loves theater – particularly the play, The Lion King. She can see that play over and over and over again, each time getting the same thrill. And she also enjoys watching the movie with our grandkids.  And to be honest, I enjoy the experience each time as well…because every time I see the play or watch the movie, I get a new perspective about life.

Be More
On my most recent viewing, I was re-inspired by one specific statement. Mufasa, the father, appears as an apparition to his son, Simba, who by this time is a grown, but playful, adult. Mufasa appears and says, “Simba, you are more than you have become!”  

As I listened to that line, I realized that statement could apply to all of us!  We tend to get comfortable with life and don’t always get serious about the possibilities for our lives…

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Leaders Are Shining Lights by Angeline Lawrence

I remember a time in my life that I eschewed the spotlight. I could sit quietly in meetings and listen to the rhetoric spoken by coworkers.  I would write notes or protest by whispering to my neighbor. However, as I grew in my relationship with Jesus Christ, I realized that I could no longer sit quietly allowing issues to remain unresolved.

As a staff member in a municipal department, I was one of the few people that would ask the difficult questions. I could not just accept the norm, but I had to challenge the leadership when I knew we were going down the wrong path.  After many heated staff meetings, my coworkers would come to me and say, “I am glad you spoke up about that issue. I had the same concern.”

I learned how to harness the power of the Holy Spirit to make a difference in the lives of people around me. Yes, as Christians we should always pray, but there is a time when we must speak out. The key is being led by the Holy Spirit to speak with authority to shift the atmosphere of injustice.  Walking in the Spirit is our first priority as Christians. As we walk and are led by Christ others will see our integrity, fairness and passion for justice and will follow. Matthew 5:21 states, “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.”

This is a letter to my son, my first born.

Before I go on, I want to say to my daughter, should she be reading this one day, that this is nothing against her.  I love that little girl with every fiber of my being, and her being in my life has made me a better person.  I am more in love with her than she will ever, ever know.

But this isn’t about her.  This is about my boy.

To my son, I ask for your forgiveness.

Last night, you fell asleep on the couch – and for the first time in a long time – I stared at you as you slept.  I couldn’t take my eyes off of you.  You, my first born, have been my “practice kid” – the one I make the most mistakes with, the one that I am still learning with, and the one that is raising me as much as I am raising you.

Son, I am sorry if at times it seems as though I don’t know what I am doing.  For the most part, I don’t.

I am sorry if I get angry at you for little things.  I have to remember that you are only 5 and you are still developing.

I am sorry if I can’t be at some of your school’s functions.  Mommy has to work to provide for the family, but it breaks my heart that I cannot be there everytime you need me.

I am sorry I travel occasionally for my job.  Luckily you have an AMAZING father who doesn’t skip a beat.  But I know there are times when daddy just won’t do.  You miss your mommy’s hugs.  (I miss yours, too when I am gone).

I am sorry that sometimes I have to put your sister’s needs before yours.  She is younger & requires more attention.  But please do not misinterpret my tending to her as loving her more.  Not true.

I am sorry that I do not buy you whatever your heart desires.  I want to – I do.  But you have to learn what its like to earn your money & spend it wisely.

I am sorry I don’t let you eat things that are bad for you.  I, too, would enjoy eating nothing but donuts and sugar all day, every day…..but it’s unhealthy, and you deserve better.

I am sorry if I seem to get annoyed with the things that you do, or I let my day effect my attitude.  This, over anything else, is the thing that makes me not like myself.  It’s not your fault I had a bad day.  You make my day BETTER.

I am sorry for the mistakes I will make in the future.

I apologize, in advance, for crying everytime you “graduate” to another grade.  It’s just a reminder that you are getting older and eventually won’t need me as much.

I apologize, in advance, for yelling at you a little too loud should you take up sports.  I am very competitive, and I like to win.  I don’t expect you to have that same fierce spirit in you; but I do hope you understand that I like to yell at the refs.

I apologize, in advance, for following you when you go out with your friends.

I apologize, in advance, for calling you all of the time when you are not with me.

I apologize, in advance, for sobbing uncontrollably at your high school graduation.

I apologize, in advance, for buying an apartment close to your college.  (And YES – you WILL go to college.  It’s not a choice.  And I would be very happy if you went to Grand Valley State University please).

I apologize, in advance, for NOT sobbing uncontrollably at your college graduation.  That day I will be beaming with pride.  My boy.

I apologize, in advance, to your future spouse.  I would hate having a mother-in-law like I am going to be. 

Lastly, I apologize, in advance, for seeing you become a father but still thinking you are my baby.

“I will love you forever.  I will like you for always.  As long as I’m living, my baby you’ll be.”  Son, seeing you grow up is such a joy and a blessing.  I love you more than you will ever know.  Please forgive the mistakes I have made & understand I am still growing up, too.

The fact that it has taken me this long to write my first entry shows that I was probably overthinking this whole thing.   I think it was this month’s topic that kind of got me all up in arms.  When I got the topic I started thinking what in the world can I say about love.  I am not married, not dating, I don’t have any children or pets and I’m finding myself at a time in life when half of my friends are getting divorced and the other half are getting married.  Then the more thought about it (by thought I mean obsess) I kept finding myself in the same place… My current state of dealing with my last go ‘round in the love machine.

The last time I fell in love was Friday June 4, 2010 somewhere between the hours of 8pm and Midnight.  No, I am not joking and yes, I do know the date and timeframe (judge away). In fact, I remember that night as if it was yesterday.  I remember how those four hours seemed to go by in four minutes.   We attended a black-tie fundraiser and I’d been extremely nervous the entire week. After all, it was the first time we’d been out together around our mutual friends. But when I saw him that night all the nervousness disappeared and nothing and no one mattered.

Now for all the guys (and some of women) reading this I am so not one that falls easily for anyone. Nor was this a schoolgirl crush (mostly because I am literally way too old for such a thing).   I actually (for the first time in my adult life) could see us together for the long haul.  I don’t know if I actually wanted to marry him but I know that I didn’t want to be with anyone else.   I wasn’t and I am not one of those women that is just looking for a husband or someone to take care of them. I am very selective about the people in my world because like everyone in my life, I am a special person, my time is valuable and I only care to spend the moments I have in this life with people I love, trust and care about and they feel the same way about me. Heck, I don’t even have a link for people to add me as a friend on Facebook.  That is how selective I am about the people in my life and even the people who are my friends on Facebook don’t have access to my entire online life.

I’d been single (not dating) for a long time and I ‘d always been fine with it.  I have a wonderful family and carefully selected friends (not people I know, I mean friends) so life was grand. But somehow, it happened I fell in love and I fell hard. I fell in love with a man who by all accounts is/was one of the most wonderful people I’ve ever met. Even though the dynamic of our relationship has drastically changed since the night I fell in love I still think he is a wonderful person (for the most part) and I still love him.   There was something about him that just made me so comfortable…more comfortable than I’d ever been with anyone EVER.  Everything seemed so perfect even when it wasn’t…

We both love music, sports, share similar views on politics, quality of life didn’t hurt either.   Apparently, the only thing we didn’t share similar views on was each other and our relationship (sadly this isn’t a joke).   Now I won’t go into the details about how it all changed because it really doesn’t matter.  I will say we BOTH made some mistakes.  There were things that happened that I made a conscious decision to ignore and thinking back that may have not been the smartest thing but it is what it is and I can’t change it.  To be honest and to bring this whole thing full circle as much as I’ve gone through since we made the decision to limit our interaction with one another (he’ll say I made the decision), I wouldn’t change anything (except for us not being together).  Everything I did and said was out of the love I had/have for him.  I took a chance with giving my heart to someone whom I felt deserved it and yes, I am still trying to get it back (which is easier said than done).

There is nothing certain when it comes to love, this goes with family, friends and significant others.   Anytime we fall in love, we’re taking a chance, there is a chance it’ll work, and there is a chance it won’t.  Unfortunately, for me it didn’t work and it has been a difficult dealing with the drastic shift in our relationship but I learned so much about myself that sometimes (only sometimes) it made falling in love worth it.  After all, there is nothing greater than LOVE.

According to 1 Corinthians 13:13, there are three things that will last forever—faith, hope, and love—and the greatest of these is love.

I have faith that our bond is stronger than words and can overcome any obstacle.

I have hope the promises we made to one another, to always be strong when the other is weak will always stand.

 And, I have more love for you than words can say and gestures could ever show.

Until next time…

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We should be up and running by February 5, 2012.

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