Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Awareness or Attention Seeker

I get it, raising awareness for a cause.  And I commend the amazing job that the "Ice Bucket Challenge" has accomplished with the job of raising funds for research for ALS - Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis.  I think it's amazing, I do.  I have friends and family who have completed the challenge and have contributed to the organization.  I commend them for their commitment.

However, I am left wondering if they know exactly, where their money is going.  What, exactly, their money is being used for.  How it is being used.  Or were they caught up in the hype of the "craze" that has taken the world by storm?  Celebrities are doing it, Former Presidents are doing it, Newscasters are doing it... I mean, everyone is doing it!  

And yes, a lot of the videos are pretty darn humorous, I'll give you that much.  I would be lying to say I didn't have a few favorites.  

But....

I have Crohn's Disease.

How many of you know a thing about what ails me?
How many even care?
How many people have seen the ads on television for IBD - Irritable Bowel Disease?
How many think it is just about using the bathroom a lot?
How many think it is just about an upset stomach?
How many know that there is no cure for Crohn's Disease?
How many even care?

Yeah, what about me and the thousands of other sufferers.

No, I'm not devaluing the importance of supporting ALS, but I think you should have a valid reason for donating to a cause other than it is the "in thing to do."  If people were posting their video stating they were accepting the "Ice Bucket Challenge in Support of So & So" I may be a bit less of a negative nanny.  But that has not been the case, at least not in the majority of the videos I have seen.

So, here's my challenge to ALL of you: Support a Cause that is dear to your heart and by the word of our Father: "Be careful not to do your good works in public in order to attract attention. If you do, your Father in heaven will not reward you." ~ Matthew 6:1

If that cause is ALS, wonderful.  If it is the American Cancer Society, amazing!  If it is the Crohn's and Colitis Foundation of America, THANK YOU!

Whatever your choice is, do it with a glad heart!  

I would love for the CCFA.org to be inundated with donations because I really want a cure.  I am tired of being tired and in pain 90% of the time.  I don't want to have more surgery on my gut.  I don't want to, one day, have to have a ileostomy bag.  I don't want to suffer anymore.  But, until then, I'll keep my head up, stay strong and support my fellow "bellies."  


And you, well, I hope you support the cause that means the most to you.

Counting it all joy,
Angela

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

He's A Kindergartener

I watched him walk off to the entrance into his school this morning, my 5 year old kindergartener, and my heart hurt.  It was his second day at school and it was worse than the first. I guess it is something I will just have to get used to, as this is the new "normal."  


The past few days he has been wearing on my last nerve.  What is it about children that when they are home, they drive you nuts, but as soon as they are gone, you miss them?  Well, I miss him, but honestly, the quiet is kind of really... AWESOME.  ☺  Did I just admit that?!  Yeah, I totally did.

I am sitting at my computer desk actually typing without a child climbing all over my chair every 5 minutes asking for a hug and a kiss.  (Which I love hugs and kisses, don't get me wrong, but OMG!  He ONLY does that when I am on the dang computer!!)  The television is off so the house is, seriously, QUIET.  It's marvelous.  I'm in heaven.

I can do anything for the next 3 hours.  I'm kind of loving this.

So, yeah, I miss my son but I'll see him later and he'll tell me about his day and we'll have some quality time then because I'll have gotten what I wanted to do, done.  Yeah, this can work.  This mommy is HAPPY.

Counting it all joy,
Angela

Saturday, August 16, 2014

20 Years & Forever a Wallflower

I recently learned that my high school graduating class is having a 20-year reunion next Friday.  I only learn of these things because I am friends with a few people I graduated from high school with and they have been "talking" about it and were mentioning an event page and such.  I have no clue where this "event" page is, I have not been invited to anything.  No huge surprise there, I bet most of them don't even remember me attending Junior and Senior year with them.  The joys of entering high school in my final two years.  Oh, and did I mention I entered from a totally different state and I didn't fit in AT ALL?!  

Yeah, some things will never change.

Which leads me up to something that I AM super proud of: I finally (FINALLY!) published my poetry on Amazon!  Yay!  25 years of my writing in one super long but superbly priced e-book that I hope you all will check out!



I began writing when I was 9 but didn't really keep track of my poetry until I was 13 so the book covers my poetry from 1989-2014.  There are some years where it dwindles off and there are maybe 1 or 2 or, in some cases, none at all.  You can kind of see the season of my life through the entire book.  It is a look into my heart, a look into my soul.  
It was really difficult for me to publish this, even though it has always been my dream to have others read what I wrote.  You have to understand that I reveal most of who I am through my writing, especially through my poetry.  Every deep-seated emotion comes through my poetry.  It began when I was a teenager and continues as an adult, although the changes in my writing is evident, the challenges in my life are still prominent.  

I would go into who and why I chose now to publish but it's a little more personal than I care to divulge at the moment.  And I have learned that some things need to stay close to the heart and between who needs to know.

I do want to apologize for those that normally read my blog for being MIA for so long.  I was trying to enjoy the last few weeks of summer before school started down here in the South and then life happened and things got stressful, but that is for another blog post.  So expect to see more of me.  Until then, please check out my book and share it.  It started off the first week in the Top 10 of Amazon's Top 100 Women's Poetry.  Now it is in the Top 75.  Still good, but not as exciting as it was!

Counting it all joy,
Angela

Monday, June 16, 2014

Help Me Get to Haiti

I am ecstatic!  Why?  Because my church is doing a missions trip in March 2015 & by all intents and purposes, I am going!  But I need your help!  The cost to go is not as great as some places, but it is still high & I need to raise $1700.  

With that said, this is Phase 1 of my fundraising strategy:
 
Help me get to Haiti! ALL my prints (and most are NOT on Etsy yet as they charge me and take a percentage of my sales so you can view them at Angela's Heartwork on FB) are going towards my missions trip to Haiti! All the Scripture and Inspirational Quotes are going to be $5 each or 3 for $12 with $2.50 shipping. All Poetry prints will be $7 each or 3 for $18 with $2.50 shipping. Help me get to Haiti in March! Just browse my PHOTOS then message me or email me at angelasheartwork@yahoo.com with what print or prints you wish to order and the quantity and I will send you an invoice via Paypal. It's that easy. 

Some of my work includes:





Thank you for your support as I strive to check off one of my "bucket list" items and share the gospel with the children and people of Haiti.

More information on Phase 2 to come...  ;)

Counting it all joy,
Angela

Monday, May 26, 2014

How Can We Allow Ourselves To Forget?

I overheard a lady on Sunday, as I was hiking back from visiting a rather popular waterfall in the Smoky Mountains.  She was with her family, enjoying the long weekend.  She said, "This is such a great holiday!," with so much joy in her voice.  Now, maybe it was because I was dead tired from hiking 4 miles and still had another mile to go to be done with this torture, but her comment really irritated me.  If I wasn't still trying to catch my breath, I would've turned to her and said, "Really?  Such a great holiday where we remember all the hundreds of thousands of men and women that died for us to live in this country?"  I was tempted, but I let it slide.

Now, you may say I am a hypocrite as I was out hiking, too, and enjoying the weekend.  I DID have a great weekend camping with my family but I also took the time to explain to my 5 year old WHY we had Monday off, WHAT Memorial Day was and why it was SO IMPORTANT.  Maybe this lady did the same thing, I don't know.  Maybe that is why I felt it best to bite my tongue.  I don't know. 

The point is: We have a number of "Holidays" here in the United States.  But do we always teach our children what the REALLY mean and try to make them understand that, yes, it's awesome that we can spend quality time with our family and friends and do some wonderful things together but there are some people, some kids, that do not have that luxury.  Let us remember THEM, too.

There is a great deal of sacrifice that is WILLINGLY laid down for us every single day yet most of us take that for granted.  Memorial Day.  Veteran's Day.  Then there is D Day & Patriot Day - Better Known as September 11th.  Do we, as parents, talk to our children about these days?  How about MLK Day?  Or President's Day?  The list goes on and on.

My issue with her comment was this: Memorial Day is NOT a "great holiday."  I have friends and family that have lost loved ones to wars.  I have friends and family that have experienced the side effects of war.  I have friends and family that survived war but did not "survive" war.  No, Memorial Day is not a "great holiday."  It is a time to be thankful for these men and women AND for their families.  For sacrificing so much.  For willingly sacrificing so much.  Not everyone is cut out for the military.  These men and women are the ones who deserve the accolades.  The men and women and children who survive the military lifestyle, they, too, deserve the accolades.  It isn't easy.  But is a price that many pay for all of us.  

No, freedom is not free.  But ask many of them if they would do it all over again, and they would say in a heartbeat.  So thank a soldier, whether active or retired.  You will make them feel good, even if their tough exterior doesn't show it.  ☺



Counting it all joy,
Angela

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

When Will The Judging END?!

I am going to come clean here:  I do not read a whole lot of other blogs.

Here is why: the comments.  O.M.G.

If I could just read the blog and move on with my happy self, I'd be fine, but my erratic scroll-y finger goes nuts and just has to check out the comments.  (If you even read THIS blog, you'll notice that is so NOT a problem here, as no one, like, EV-AH, leaves a comment.  Thanks??)

Anyways, so, I get to the comments and then I get irate and agitated and annoyed and I am like, should I comment back?!  Should I move on?  Why am I still scrolling? Why can I not stop reading?!  It is like a horrible car wreck.  What is WRONG with people?!

Seriously, people, what is WRONG with you?!  Do you have nothing better to do with your time than to lambast some poor blogger and just word-vomit all over their nice blog with all your ranting and ravings about how much better you are at raising your child and how this article and this study shows that you are, evidently, doing things so perfectly better that your child is going to metaphorically kick all of our television-watching, vaccine-getting, dye-ingesting, tap water-drinking, non-organic eating, spray can sun screen-wearing, diaper-wearing, circumcised-boys, play gun-toting, candy-eating kids butts?!  Really?!  Really?

Because from the spot I am standing in, we are all the same.  We are all just trying to keep our kids alive and to make them as civilized and as good as possible future citizens of this world.  And it ain't easy.  And it sure isn't getting any easier when we have to weed through all the drama from overzealous people who think they and their children are better than everyone else.  (Or that they are doing a better job at raising their children than everyone else.)

So here is what I propose:  

Listen to ourselves.  What do we (typically) tell our children when they say something mean, not positive, etc.?  "If you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all."  Let's use that advice more often, shall we?  If it sounds condemning (even if it isn't meant that way) just don't say it or type it.  Simple, don't you think?

Remember that there is no such thing as a perfect mother.  Learned that from my Pastor on Sunday - yes, ON Mother's Day.  And it is the truth.  There is no need to be perfect (you will never BE perfect) so quit trying.  Who are you trying to impress anyways?  Because from where I am standing, the only one that matters in the end is GOD.  And me feeding my kids organic cereal is NOT earning me brownie points in heaven.  Me teaching my child to love one another, well, that there is a whole other story.

So, yeah, I would really like to read some more blogs and see some positiveness pouring forth from all the women out there.  Spread some love around, some sunshine, some joy!  How much happier would this world be then?!  Gosh, too many people are wearing their panties in a bunch - no wonder they are all so cranky!

Get out there ladies, and be a LIGHT in this world.  

Counting it all joy,
Angela


Thursday, March 20, 2014

Happy 5th Birthday, My Sweet Boy!

It's here again, another birthday for my sweet boy.  5 years.  It is hard to believe.  It keeps flying by and he keeps insisting he is going to marry me when he's bigger.  But he does promise to let Tom Hiddleston marry me, too.  (Yet another reason to ADORE my child!)



So, with that, I bring you, his annual 20 Questions. 

1.       What is your favorite color?  Orange
2.       What is your favorite toy?  My Cars
3.       What is your favorite fruit?  Melon and Cantaloupe
4.       What is your favorite tv show?  Turtle Man
5.       What is favorite thing to eat for lunch?  Turkey Sandwich
6.       What is your favorite outfit?  All of them!
7.       What is your favorite game? Chicky Boom
8.       What is your favorite snack? Pretzel Logs
9.       What is your favorite animal?  Baby turtles
10.   What is favorite song? NY2LA by Press Play
11.   What is favorite book?  The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein
12.   Who is your best friend?  All of them
13.   What is your favorite cereal?  Mommy's cereal
14.   What is your favorite thing to do outside? Play
15.   What is your favorite drink?  Water
16.   What is your favorite holiday? Birthday!
17.   What do you like to take to bed with you at night?  Nothing
18.   What is your favorite thing to eat for breakfast?  Waffles
19.   What do you want for dinner on your birthday?  Birthday cake
20.   What do you want to be when you grow up?  A train conductor

His answers are getting more in the range of "Duh, mom, don't you know?!"  Talking to him is like talking to a miniature man and that is both hilarious and frustrating.  He is no longer a baby but he is still a little boy.  He still insists on hugs and curling up in my lap.  (Thank goodness - I have to remind myself that this is a HUGE blessing, even when I am in the middle of typing & trying to get some work done.)  

He is stubborn - like me.
He adores animals - like me.
He is a climber - like me.
He has a heart for adventure - like me.
He is a trouble boy - like me.
I thought that when I learned I was having a boy and not a girl that maybe, just MAYBE God was granting me a reprieve.  HAHAHA!  Nope, he was just giving me a mini-me in boy form.  Such a funny sense of humor that God has!  ☺

He makes me laugh and he frustrates the crap out of me.  He makes me so mad sometimes but often it is to the point that I can't help but crack a smile.  Sometimes I think I am the absolute worst parent ever.  Then he hugs me for no reason and tells me he loves me.  

When I am upset and crying, and especially when I try to hide it from him, he knows.  And he always tries to comfort me.  His heart is amazingly sweet.  I don't know what I would do without him.  I really do love him to the moon and back.

He is 5 years old and even when he is 50, he will always be my little boy.  I pray that no matter what, he knows that I have tried my best.  I pray that he knows that I may not have always gotten it right but I through it all, I loved him with all that I had.  

Happy 5th birthday, baby.... 



Counting it all joy,
Angela