My Big Why

Behind all this blogging and writing stuff there has to be a reason, right? Sure there is, and today, while I was doing my morning devotion and getting my daily dose of wisdom from the 31st Proverb, I happened upon it in verses 8 and 9.

Oh, this is not the first time I have seen these verses or claimed them as my “Big Why.” Admittedly, I knew why I was blogging and doing advocacy work long before this day ever arrived. I’ve known for at least a year now; I’ve written it out in my notes for the book and on important papers, but I never thought to share it here…until today.

So if you are wondering, why this nerdy, wordy girl writes this blog, and you haven’t taken the time to read the About page, then here is the skinny –

“Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves;

ensure justice for those being crushed.

Yes, speak up for the poor and helpless,

and see that they get justice.”

That’s Reallyleah.com in a nutshell. My advocacy work and book in progress, For Those Like Us Who Care centers on these words of wisdom which are a mandate for all humanity.

I hope you will join my crusade, if not, be bold and share how you are living out these verses in your own life; maybe we can work together.

Time to Shine Again

Hello, Ocala/Marion County, I’m pleased to announce that Shining Lights will rise again for the 2019 Spring semester of Small Groups at the Meadowbrook Church. Last Summer, when I first initiated this group, it was my primary goal to bond with people like me – siblings of “exceptional people.”

However, the focus quickly changed to include people who are caregivers, of any kind. The reasoning behind their showing up didn’t matter, although it varied. Some came to find out about local resources in the area; others wanted to meet other parents and find friendships for their special needs children; still, others simply needed to get out of the house. And soon bonds were made.

Personally, I’ve learned so much from having this open door policy to other types of caregivers, and I have seen fantastic growth in our members. We have an ahhhhmazing time: breaking bread (if you chose to bring a lunch), learning new things that add to our lives, and how to avoid “caregiving syndrome.”

So if you’re in the area and you are a caregiver of any kind or YOU’D LIKE TO BE A CAREGIVER, please join us. Our only rule is that you leave your cares at the door because this is not a counseling group.

Registration (click the link) is open to the community (and you don’t have to be a member of MBCOcala) to join the Shining Lights Small Group. Our first meeting will take place on 2/7/19 at 12:30 PM.

Rainy day valet?

Rainy days can be the best days. Those wet afternoons when you don’t have anywhere to be, and you comfortably ball up on the couch and finish that novel you’ve been toting around for the last three months or binge watch that show everyone has been talking about. On those occasions, nothing beats a rainy day.

But when you do want to go somewhere as important as Church, a community event, or as simple as the grocery store; the rain can be a real drag, a darn right deterrent.  Well multiply that emotion times ten, and we might come close to knowing how a caregiver of a person with mobility challenges feels.

It takes a lot of planning to go somewhere when it rains. First, the caregiver has to prepare how to get their special person into the car, especially if she doesn’t have covered parking. In that case, she must plan how to do so without everyone getting soaking wet.

Such was the case for my family when we went to church this past Sunday. It was drizzling only a little when we left home, but by the time we were nearing the sanctuary, the sky had really opened up wide, and it was raining horses and cows. As discussed prior to our drive to church, I would let everyone out under the portico, park the car, and meet them inside the church. When church service was over, the rain was still coming down heavily, so my mother took a turn walking quite a distance to her parked car while I stood to wait with my wheelchair bound sister.

Well, how much more pleasant this scenario could have been had their been parkers for handicapped church attendees? Imagine, young, vibrant sneaker wearing, umbrella-toting, valet drivers who give you a ticket once you pull under the portico, then help you out of the car, takeout the wheelchair and assist your special needs person getting in the chair and inside the church without being drenched. Imagine how many more people might attend the service that day.

If you attend a large church as I do or if you are sponsoring an event of any kind and it happens to start pouring, perhaps you will consider offering valet parking for your handicapped guests. It’s a thought, and since all actions begin with one, I hope and pray this one thought will reach the powers that be.

Thank you, Dr. King

It is my heartfelt hope that this interview of Dr. Martin Luther King will answer the question for many who wonder why the civil rights fight remains relevant to most Black people. And if after watching the videos posted here, you still don’t understand, I pray you are courageous enough to ask one of your Black friends or associates; one who is also familiar with the struggle, to educate you, honestly, on how it feels to be born Black and to live in America. It’s worth the conversation if you genuinely desire to live peacefully.

A Commemorative Challenge

While service is usually something we think of in “visible” ways, much of the work is done behind the scenes by hidden figures where no masses of people will ever witness. To me that’s the heart work, selfishly giving of oneself and being fulfilled, knowing that you are making a powerful difference in the world.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., had a unique calling of enormous scope but most of us are not called to that level of civil rights work. But we all should do something especially for people who have not had the privileges of White Americans. 

It doesn’t have to be broadcast on Twitter but through our everyday work (quietly and privately integrated into your personal calling) with the belief that what we sow today will be reaped by others for generations to come. I can’t tell you what that looks like for you, but you know what you can do. Then do it, not for one day but as often as you purpose in your heart.

Do something. For service not for show. I did (ordinary me). I will. I hope you will, too.

“Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?” Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., 1957.