Understanding your limits

A beautiful fall sunset on Lake Erie.

As the sun sets on this day I have come to some very important conclusions and one is that a conventional #NaBloPoMo this will not be. You see I realized that one of the problems I have experienced as a blogger is wondering what my platform would be, and what exactly will draw people to this site regularly.

Offering up a recap of my day is not the answer. My friends and family might, and that’s a big Might be interested in my day but has anything truly newsworthy taken place that complete strangers will be drawn into – I don’t think so. You see I have no cute stories about the adventures of my children or pets. It’s just me and the hubby and boy those are definitely not stories I want to share with the world.

This is day five and I missed a day already because I didn’t capture some great shot, and I really couldn’t think of anything to share yesterday. Today I’m sharing a photo that brings me joy and letting you know that it will be my intent to show up in the space at least once a week as I attempt to redefine the purpose of this journey in the blogosphere.

Until we meet again I encourage you to #ChooseJoy in all you do!

What happens when you choose joy

Today I was beyond exhausted and prayed I would make it through the day. Thankfully I did, but I didn’t have the time to find a new shot that represented joy, so I’m sharing the shot that led me on the #IChooseJoy journey.

This beauty right here brought so much joy to my heart and soul. It was a though God heard my cry and said “All is well, enjoy the beauty I created for you.” The “you” was not collective at that moment it was personal and just for me.

I hope you find joy in this image and choose joy in your life. I would love to hear what brings you joy, please share in the comments.

Day 9 of 30 Days of Gratitude – Yay Browns!

Yes I believe! This is where I live!
Yes I believe! This is where I live!

I am grateful this week for the Cleveland Browns! I have been a lifelong fan and not since the 90’s have I been this geeked about my team! I have been disappointed but never to the point of giving up! Today without taking the field my Cleveland Browns are now in 1st place in the NFC North.

Gearing up for Portraits of Hope 2014

Day 6 in My 30 Days of Gratitude

I am grateful to have family and friends that join me annually in presenting this great event.

In one short month Cleveland’s Portraits of Hope 2014 will take place at the Salvation Army of Greater Cleveland’s Harbor Light facility. This is the third year we have joined forces with this wonderful organization to be a part of the international Help-Portrait movement.

Ladies on a mission
Grateful to these ladies for restoring my faith in the Help-Portrait Cleveland project. Seat (l-r) Stephanie Briggs and Angela Townsend. Standing (l-r) Bele’ Wondwossen, Keshia Johnson and Angela Tucker.

Photographers, graphic designers, make-up artists and other volunteers have given of their time, equipment and love to bring smiles to the faces of mothers and children in transition.

The bright smiles of youth were captured by Photographer Stephanie Briggs.
The bright smiles of youth were captured by Photographer Stephanie Briggs.

The mission of Help-Portrait is for photographers, make-up artists and others to skills and tools to give back to the community. Please join our efforts. If you are interested please leave your contact information in the comments section.

Volunteers Yalinda and Sharyn assess the day's activities.
Volunteers Yalinda and Sharyn assess the day’s activities.

The photos interspersed in this post are from previous events.

From Where I Stand – Day 5 of my 30 Days of Gratitude

Euclid Creek
From where I stand life is really good!

On this the fifth day of my Gratitude Challenge I am grateful to live in the northeast section of these United States. Many are beginning to set into a fall-winter malaise due to plummeting temps and a lack of sunlight.

I relish wrapping up in wool, layering and cuddling by the fire. This you see is my favorite time of the year and I love it. Nature begins to slow down, unwind and get ready for her annual hibernation.

From Where I Stand

The air is crisp

The sun is bright

Burnt orange, gold and green

Are the colors surrounding me

Damp air and muted sounds

Abound as I cherish the last

of nature’s most beautiful season.

Fall colors
A reason to smile – the golden hue of fall.

When you throw caution to the wind!

Sitting at my computer screen last May I came across an email that would lead to the adventure of a lifetime.

The email announced the opening of early registration for the Limelight Sessions, a retreat “all about encouraging you along your own path of self-discovery,” read the announcement from organizer Karen Walrond.

Karen Walrond, the creative guru behind the Limelight Retreats.
Karen Walrond, the creative guru behind the Limelight Retreats.

Excitement is an understatement for the feelings I experienced that day. Born under the zodiac sign Libra it is common for me to weigh the options before making a decision, and more times than not the decision is to forgo the activity. Conservative would be an accurate assessment in most instances. Not this time.

Over the last five years I have experienced the two most traumatizing events in my life – the loss of both my parents. Reconstructing my life after this has been challenging, and with the death of my Dad still very fresh I threw caution to the wind and registered for the Limelight Sessions.

Liming during the retreat
Liming during the retreat

I’m not twenty, or thirty-something a time when you are more apt to live life a little on the edge, but I am a woman who seeks to live every day to its fullest. So over the next six months I finalized my plans to fly to Houston for my birthday week in October.

This journey was also a unique experience for me because I didn’t know anyone attending and while I had followed Karen’s Chookooloonks blog for a number of years I didn’t really know her either. I placed my decision in God’s hand realizing that all things come through him and he has a plan for us all.

The plan he had in place for me was AWESOME! I met women from all various parts of the U.S. with diverse jobs and experiences. Over the course of two days twenty-five pea chicks gathered and shared leaving as fine Peacocks ready to strut our stuff.

Ladies sharing and getting to know one another.
Ladies sharing and getting to know one another.

This post and the previous entries this week are only the beginning of my renewed commitment to this space and the journey that is my future. I hope you’ll join me and share your thoughts in the comments below.

Until we meet again I wish you peace and blessings!