All posts by Really, Leah?

i am many things - a Daughter + Sister + AuthorPreneur + Artist + Advocate. here at www.reallyleah.com, you will find out more about me and my projects. my hope is that this will become a community to share with those of similar interests.

An Exceptional Super Bowl Ad

Kudos to Microsoft for giving viewers one of the best Super Bowl commercials of 2019. You can also check out the video in the sidebar.

Two key thoughts:

  1. Physical differences should not deny anyone the opportunity to connect, grow, learn, and play, because when we connect, grow, learn, and play, “we all win.”
  2. No parent (caregiver) wants their child (no matter what age or level on the exceptional-needs spectrum) to feel like an outsider in this gift ( none of us earned it) of a world given to us all by God.

This reminds of the scripture, ‘On the contrary, it is much truer that the members of the body which seem to be weaker are necessary; and those members of the body which we deem less honorable, on these we bestow more abundant honor, and our less presentable members become much more presentable, ‘ 1 Corinthians 12:22-23, New American Standard Bible (NASB)
https://my.bible.com/bible/100/1CO.12.22-23

Now back to the advertisement. I have to say what a way to endorse a product? If anyone has used it, please let me know. I’d like to share more than the commercial. For now, Microsoft wins in my book.

Artwork Credit

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.  

Builders

“She considers a [new] field before she buys or accepts it [expanding prudently and not courting neglect of her present duties by assuming other duties]; with her savings [of time and strength] she plants fruitful vines in her vineyard.” Proverb 31:16 AMPC

Build anything without a firm foundation and whoops, the bottom eventually falls out.  And if that wasn’t bad enough, just imagine all of the things you have placed upon it crashing down and spilling over, because that is what happens. It all caves in and sometimes takes you with it.

Such is the case when we try to add something “else” to our busy lives without careful consideration of our current responsibilities. Our current responsibilities A.K.A. present realities or  “foundation” become weak and unsettled, and then, well, I won’t beat a dead horse. You get it.

And if you’re like me, you’ve been there done that more times than you care to admit. Laying brick upon layer of cemented block in all shapes and sizes and in the end reflecting on the mess constructed; daring to kick the whole thing down.

To rebuild.

How fortunate are we that the New Year is upon us when we can do just that? What an exceptional time to start again; to celebrate and build upon our triumphs, and forget the things that truly tanked. Each January 1 is our blessed universal do-over.

May, we use it well.

It’s a great time to let others know what we can and choose not to do for the upcoming months, too.  So if you are in dire need of approval, well, you don’t have to worry about feeling guilty about your decisions either, because this is also the time when everyone is making plans, setting goals, and starting afresh and anew. If Christmas is “the most wonderful time of the year.” New Year’s week has to be the most agreeable time of the year. Everyone, for the most part, is brimming with optimism.

As the scripture above posits, first, acknowledge your present duties and obligations, your talents, time, and strengths. Then, and only then, consider any opportunities in the new year as a means to build upon what already exists. Be honest about what your foundation can bear. Every good idea is not from God, so take your time with these decisions and do only what brings you peace. Finally, let this be your time to build the life you choose to live in for 2019 and then no one will be able to knock it down, and you won’t even dare to kick it out of place.

To your success in 2019,

L.A. Taylor

New Year’s Eve, 2018

FINAL NOTE:

If you’d like to share your personal testimonials of how you deal with new opportunities, please post a comment.  I’d really enjoy hearing your approach to staying on task and fulfilling your goals. Also note, that categories and tags on this site like “Peace of Mind” and “Ideas” and “The Network”  will yield references of tangible tools to help us build a happier and healthier life for all humankind.