I recently had the honor and privilege of visiting the United States Marine Corps base at Camp Lejeune, NC. My husband had been stationed there several years ago. He had many wonderful memories, but the last time he was there and the circumstances leading up to his departure had been heartbreaking and honestly devastating. The last time he was there, he went from preparing for his next deployment to being diagnosed with lymphoma cancer…
It was such a blessing to be a part of the Military Missions fundraiser event on the 4th of July at Saul Good. I was reminded this weekend of the true American spirit…. rally, support, encourage for a common purpose and greater good. Certain moments stand out and have stuck with me and I want to share the two most significant ones. One in particular is one I will never forget…
My husband doesn’t really enjoy accolades and he’ll tell you that he doesn’t handle compliments very well, to which I respond, “Get over it, because in this family you’re going to get both!” 🙂 This week my husband joined a group of 14 other combat veterans to participate in the Save a Warrior Project hosted here in Kentucky! For those of you who have not heard of this program, in a nutshell it is basically an awesome, tried & proven PTSD Detox program…
During challenging moments that discouragement and negativity whisper in my ear, “Why are you doing what you’re doing, it’s not making a difference or doing any good.” God brings this scripture to my mind….. “So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up.” (Galatians 6:9 NLT)
I realize this is a blog and not a Bible study, so no one get nervous 🙂 This scripture is so pertinent, regardless of your creed, race or religion, to anyone who has or continues to do what I’ve coined, “the right things for the right reasons.” Everyone has a cause (whether it be a person, family, organization, whatever) they try to uphold, support, encourage, and do the right thing in, for and by. Let me elaborate a moment…. Do you work with someone who is just angry, has a nasty attitude and you’d rather take a beating than have to deal with; yet you always strive to be kind to that person, patient with them and not allow their sour mood/attitude to rub off on you? Do you have a organization or entity (like Military Missions, the VA Hospital, MADD, local animal shelter, a humanitarian aide organization, the list goes on and on) that you volunteer your time and/or contribute monetarily to? Do you have a boss or supervisor that is super critical, never acknowledging anything good you do, yet you always do your job to the best of your ability, in excellence? Those are just a few of the many examples of what I mean by doing the right things for the right reasons. We live in a world that the societal norm is generally an attitude of selfish, self-serving, what do I get out of it mentality. It’s a rarity in media to see a feel good, story in which someone has done a selfless act to help someone without having anything to gain from their actions. The news reports and statistics we read (and many times real life around us) are full of death, destruction, mayhem, and catastrophe. Sometimes in those things we support and work hard doing the right things for the right reasons, we may not always see an immediate cause and effect, seeming that our efforts are not even making a dent in the problem. It’s not easy to persevere and continually do what’s right. It can be challenging to keep our promise, be nice or provide support on those days we are tired and feel beat up and run down by life.
So, I want to remind and assure you today, YOU ARE MAKING A DIFFERENCE!!!!!! What you’re doing, right where you are is changing / impacting / bettering a life. Here’s the cool thing, we don’t have to touch, help or make the difference in the lives of millions for it to count… we just have to make the difference in the life of ONE person. It’s great if we impact millions, but equally as great if we impact ONE. Kindness and positively effected change has a ripple effect, like a pebble in a pond. So even if you only impact ONE that one will impact someone, then that ONE will impact someone and it goes on. ONE person impacted Billy Graham and look at that ripple effect. On the battlefield, a Medic or Corpsman saves ONE life, but that life could’ve been your son, daughter, husband, wife or father. Tell me that ONE didn’t make a huge difference and was a big deal then.
I want to leave you with two quotes to ponder upon today….
#1) “Courage doesn’t always soar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying ‘I will try again tomorrow.’” -Mary Anne Radmacher
#2) “Stay the course, light a star, Change the world where’er you are.” -Richard Le Gallienne
originally posted at www.comfycouchcommand.com
You are uniquely, specifically designed and strategically placed for your life and world around you. Sound crazy? Well maybe it does sound crazy, but doesn’t make it any less true. Unique is defined by Merriam Webster as “Used to say something or someone is unlike anything or anyone else; very special or unusual; belonging to or connected with only one particular thing, place or person; being the only one.” No matter how you perceive your life and your role in this world, the truth of the matter is no one else can do what you do, like you do. Your personality, traits, drive, outlook, everything about you makes you uniquely who you are…. right down to your specific DNA make-up and fingerprints. What you’ve been called to accomplish, the lives you are supposed to touch, the divine appointments, as I like to call them, that you have can only be fulfilled by YOU!
I think about the warriors, soldiers, law enforcement, & emergency services personnel all over the country who day in and day out risk their lives to help, protect and defend. Not everyone can do what they do. On a daily basis they see the absolute worst of what humanity and the world has to offer. One must be called and specifically created to fulfill such an assignment, and they are. I couldn’t do their job, but that’s okay, because that’s not what I’ve been called/created to do.
I know someone reading this is thinking, anyone can do what I do or how is what I’m doing making a difference. Like it or not, everything each of us does has a ripple effect in the world and lives of people around us. If you haven’t figured it out yet, no one is truly an island to themselves and what you do really does affect other people. Whether you realize or acknowledge it or not, what you do does have an effect on someone and will make a positive or negative impact on someone or something. Let me share some examples of what I mean. In an extreme case, look at the person who’s had a few drinks while out for dinner with friends and then decides to drive home. They think they’re fine and their choice to drive home won’t have an effect on anyone else, but if they have an accident and crash their car into someone else, their one choice does affect others. Not only does it affect the person in the other vehicle they hit, but it affects those folks’ family members. How about the postal delivery employee who spends his lunch break each day visiting with a Vietnam veteran whose health issues limit his ability to leave his home or have much personal interaction with others. That friendship could provide the hope which fuels that veteran to get up and keep going everyday. Now you may think that what you do or your choices are not having that big of any impact or ripple effect, but I assure you you’re WRONG!! What you do positively or negatively affects someone. Your attitude, words and actions can build up or tear down those around you and will affect circumstances and situations.
The great world changers throughout history made a lasting impact on generations to come by stepping out and doing, at first glance, something that was sometimes seemingly small or even insignificant. Do you think Rosa Parks ever thought her choice to not give up her seat on the bus that day would be remembered by anyone today, much less be written in history books? NO! She was simply doing what she could do, where she was to make a difference. Do you think the Chesty Pullers or General Pattons ever consciously thought or attempted to change or impact military branches or war fighting protocol the way they have? Do you think they ever imagined things they said or did would be quoted or remembered by countless Marines or soldiers throughout generations, even thru today? NO! They were simply using their uniquely given abilities and skill sets to make a difference where they were.
The smallest deeds that are seemingly nothing can make the biggest difference in someone’s life. So whether you’re being a “Mom-Taxi” shuffling kids from school, to football/cheer leading practice or you’re working a donation drive for Military Missions or you’re filing paperwork on your job, you are uniquely qualified to make a difference in a way that only you can. No one else on this planet is YOU!! One thing I’ve learned in my almost 39 years is that if you make a positive difference in or help improve the life of one person, even in the smallest way, then you have something to be proud of. You can’t help everyone, but you can help make a difference to someone. It’s not about doing some huge, earth shattering feat/accomplishment, it’s about those daily moments/interactions that can make all the difference in someone’s life.
When my husband watches the news and sees all that’s going on with ISIS, he struggles with the feeling that all he did, his buddies that died, it was all in vain. To see what he fought for and liberate be taken back over is gut wrenching. But I constantly remind him that I have no doubt what he and his buddies did made all the difference in the world to the people that were living there at that time. We only have control over what we do. We cannot control other people. So, we make a difference where we can, how we can and leave the rest to God.
Have a great week, world changers!!!!
Originally posted at comfycouchcommand
STRENGTH – as defined by Merriam Webster: “the quality or state of being physically strong; the ability to resist being moved or broken by a force; the quality that allows someone to deal with problems in a determined or effective way.”
Strength is the foundational word that comes to mind whenever I think about our armed forces personnel and their families/loved ones. It takes not only physical strength to be a part of America’s military fighting force, but it takes mental toughness as well. Those same attributes are displayed by the families and loved ones of our military. Every battle/situation a person faces is first determined (won or lost) in their mind. Where your mind goes, the rest of you follows is a true statement. If you believe you can or if you believe you can’t, you’re right! So to complete bootcamp, fight in a war, adjust to life after leaving active military service, all take a mental toughness and fortitude to successfully accomplish.
I see amazing strength in the faces of those elderly veterans at the VA Hospital who are battling not only sickness, but their own time worn and weakened bodies. Yet they still manage to return a smile and even provide a word of encouragement as they leave from their Chemotherapy treatment. Equally as strong are those veteran’s spouses and family members who are always faithfully by their side. Whether pushing them in their wheel chair around to their various appointments, asking questions, navigating the workings of the VA or sitting quietly by their bedside as they sleep, those spouses and family members exude a quiet, unassuming strength.
Spouses, whether of an active or retired military member, are some of the strongest people you will ever meet. Spouses hold down the home front when their solider/warrior is away, making sure life back home goes on and all is taken care of. Spouses provide support and encouragement for their solider and are the anchor back home that gives them hope and security while doing his/her job of defending our country and the liberties and way of life we enjoy. Spouses fight back tears during those phone calls and Skype times to make sure their solider doesn’t worry about them, but instead is reassured and encouraged and made to feel loved. Then cries when no one is around.
Strength is seen in the parent who sends their son or daughter off to bootcamp and/or war. Though worried out of their mind for the safety of their child, that they love more than anything on this planet, they tell them how proud they are, encourage them, pray for them and send them care packages. They do whatever needs to be done to support them.
Strength is seen in the solider/warrior that returns from combat, scarred physical and/or mentally from the horror and trauma they witnessed and endured. They are lions living among lambs…. the training and way of life they learned in combat that kept them alive makes them feel like an outsider and an alien when they come back to civilian life. Day in and day out they try to fit in and conform and readjust to the world they return to. Although many times uncomfortable, fighting hopelessness and feeling like an outcast they still keep trying and fighting to survive.
I want to close out the topic of strength with this…. It is NOT weak to ask for help. True strength is knowing when you need help and then asking for it. No matter where you may see yourself in the examples I’ve written about above, find a support system for yourself. Reach out to a friend, family or someone you trust. Go online and find one of the many resources and organizations setup to provide support. Contact the VA, tell them what you need and take advantage of the programs they offer. Help is available. Don’t suffer needlessly. You’re there for others, when the time comes let someone be there for you.