Category: Stories

SELF-LOVE is the way to find the universe because the universe is within you

sunset on the beach. two chairs facing the beach.

The Stray: The Movie

I was watching a movie called “The Stray” on Netflix this evening. The movie is a true story. It’s about a stray dog that found the Davis Family. The Davis Family is a family of five, three kids and two parents. They had some struggles during their time in California. The boy had trouble with bullies. The parent’s marriage was on the edge. The dad worked day and night. This stray dog, named Pluto, came into their lives one random day. 

He was there to protect them in many ways. He helped the little boy with his bullying. The youngest of the family got lost in town, Pluto found her. Which led to them moving to Colorado, where they lead a different life. 

The father no longer worked day and night, but the family still struggled. The boy was angry with his dad for not being there for him in California. 

The father, boy, two friends, and Pluto went on a camping trip where they got struck by lightning. Pluto took the brunt of the power from the strike. The dad had trouble moving his limbs and blood from his ears and the boys were just knocked out for a short time. Pluto didn’t make it.

Pluto was a lifesaver.

The universe knows best. 

I am a strong believer the universe knows what’s best. As I watched the movie, I thought the dog came into their lives for a reason. I realized in the end, it was to protect the family from losing a father. Without Pluto taking the majority of the force, the father would not have survived and the boys would have been stuck in the wilderness alone. 

Back in 1991, cell phones were not prevalent or possibly non-existent. I couldn’t imagine what would have happened to the boys. 

The universe knew something was going to happen that night. The family debated whether Pluto should go or stay home. He went. And for a good reason that no one knew about. 

This happens to us all.

When we trust in the universe, it gives us what we need, in the moment, to grow and be our better selves. I can show you many examples in my life where the universe made things happen. If you told me about your life, I could tell you exactly where the universe was and why it was there. 

Seriously…

I am not kidding…

Things happen for a reason

Nina came into my life and changed it completely. I wouldn’t have quit my job at Educarte if it wasn’t for her. She came into my life and all I wanted to do was make sure she had the best. That meant being home more often to play with her and love on her. 

Not only do I support her, but she also supports me. She reminds me to love myself. Nina shows me the times I need space or the times I need exercise. Nina is an eye-opener for me. I know that I am capable of many things.

Nina showing up on my doorstep. The electricity bill was outrageous so I had to move. Quitting my job to move to Costa Rica. Starting this blog. 

All of it happened for a reason. 

This blog started off as a no big deal, share my adventures with my family type deal. I never thought weidergabe would be what it is today. It’s not a huge success and it’s not making me any money, but it does have readers from all over the world. Weidergabe has inspired people to live their best life. To follow their dreams and to make a difference in the world. 

I never would have imagined two years ago weidergabe being where it is today. I have visions and ideas to take this blog someplace amazing. 

GO after your dreams!

The universe has your back. It knows what you need to listen to your heart. Find yourself and dig deep within to be present to what the universe wants for you.

No dreams are too big. No dreams are too small. It is possible even if you have no money or you have no idea what you’re doing. Find a way and make it happen. 

Let the big things come into your life even if they seem scary. Embrace the little things and remember they are there for you from the universe. 

SELF-LOVE is the way to find the universe because the universe is within you.

The Revolving Boyfriend

I was having a conversation with a friend the other day. She lives in Peru and is having a hard time because everyone is in love and she is “alone”. She has a fear that she will never find that one person. I understand her fear because it is something that has come across my mind many times. 

She and I are both in our 30s. Most people we know are married and have a family already. Everywhere you look there are people, movies, and commercials telling you that you need to fulfill certain things to be considered successful in life. 

Over the last few years, I have come to terms with not getting married or finding that perfect person that I would spend my life with. It wasn’t easy to do because of so many people saying “you need kids, you need to be married, and you need a family of your own.” 

I mean there are coaches that help you find the love of your life that make millions of dollars finding people that special someone. For me, I want to help people find themselves and be whatever they are supposed to be. I think the world would be a better place if we focused on finding self-love instead of finding someone to love us. 

The Revolving Boyfriends

As I was figuring out myself, I coined the term “the revolving boyfriends”. It is when your life’s purpose is to better society and making a difference one boyfriend at a time. As women, we are life. We grow and create new life within our bodies to have babies. Why can’t we change the world by creating a different kind of life within our womb? 

Men don’t have a womb to create life, as women can. We create life then inspire the change through the men. So, if I am stuck with one man my entire life how can I make an impact on society like I am supposed to? your probably thinking of having guy friends, which is possible. But… sometimes you don’t get the intimacy you need by being “just friends”. So this brings me to… Well, revolving boyfriends!

A revolving boyfriend could be in my life (or yours) for a short time or a long time. It depends on what you and the man need to learn from the relationship. If you learn quickly then it may be a short relationship. It could be longer if there is deeper work to be done. 

It doesn’t mean you are less worthy

Just because you have revolving boyfriends doesn’t mean that you less of a woman. It doesn’t mean you are not special or worthy of love. It means you have a higher power that will change the world and make a difference in the lives of every man (or woman) you date. It doesn’t mean that you aren’t good enough or stable enough for that one love. It means you are worth more than just ONE LOVE! You have so much love you can spread it out and make a bigger impact on the world.

It doesn’t mean you are meant to fix them. We aren’t here to fix men (or women), we are here to grow more aware and conscious within ourselves. We are here to experience life in a new way. A way that isn’t told to us by society or commercials.

The world may say that you need that perfect man to be whole. I promise you there are more ways to feel whole than having the perfect man, marriage, or baby. Personally, I know this is true because I feel whole with or without a man. I live my best life and I live it with integrity, faith, and love. You can feel whole within yourself by being your real self. Feeling whole can come from volunteering or learning to love unconditionally. It can come from loving yourself so much that you follow your dreams even if they aren’t what society tells you is correct.

To change the world, we need to change the way we see the world.

The world is broken. It is full of greed, hate, fear, and anger. That is why we have so many wars and devastation. If you want to see the world be full of faith, love, and integrity, then we need to change the way we live it. 

This starts with seeing marriage, babies, and ourselves differently. That is why I am creating content that focuses on self-love and testing the boundaries with the way I live. 

We will all suffer if we chase after things that are not meant for us. I am not meant for getting married or having a child. I am meant for something BIGGER and more GRAND

It is okay if no one understands this except you. There are others out there like me and my friend that meant for the life of revolving boyfriends and manifesting a new way of living. 

Don’t be afraid… EMBRACE IT!

My Recent Move

I am in my happy place! The other day I briefly wrote about having to move because of the electricity situation with my landlord. It was a very quick and fast move. It was all done within 3-4 days. 

Sunday, I saw the apartment. Monday, my landlord asked me to pay him $180 more for electricity. Tuesday, I met the new landlord and paid part of the deposit. Thursday, I moved in. 

I was worried about money because I basically paid rent twice this month. I was nervous because moving can be costly as well. This place isn’t fully furnished liked my last 2 places. I realize I can do without some of those things. I can “toast” my bread in a pan instead of a toaster. I can borrow a blender from my neighbor for a while instead of buying my own for smoothies. It will all work out just fine. And it has so far. 

Have Faith

When you take a risk, faith is all you need. If it is the right decision the universe will give you what you need. Have faith that the universe is on your side. There are so many beautiful things that can come from change. Sometimes change brings sadness or pain which is okay too. There is something to learn from it all so have faith.

I have lived by faith for as long as I can remember. It has never failed me. Even in my darkest times, I had the faith and perseverance to overcome the situations. I am a better, stronger, and more loving person because of the faith I have. It gives me hope. I always believed there was something better awaiting me at the end of the tunnel. I always knew that life is worth living to the fullest. 

Some people have faith in God. Some people have faith in the universe. It really doesn’t matter who you have faith in, just have faith that there is something higher than you looking out for you. 

Thoughts

Thoughts are powerful. I had been thinking about moving for the last few weeks before this all took place. I thought that I needed to be closer to the beach so I could take pictures for the blog or I could go whenever I wanted, not having to worry about a ride. I thought I could find a place that was cool and tranquil. My last place was good for where I had been the last 6 months, however, times have changed.

Those thoughts I had constantly put the energy out into the universe. I was able to manifest my thoughts into reality. That’s how things happen. You manifest what you think. I had faith that I would find the perfect apartment when the time was right. I knew I would be where I needed to be when I needed to be there. Faith and manifesting allowed the universe to see the potential I had. 

I am in a different place now because I quit at Educarte. I took control of my time and my life. All of this change lead me to the right place to live. 

My Apartment

My apartment is in the town of Brasilito, but not too close to the center. I have peace and space. I upgraded to a two-bedroom apartment with outdoor space in the back for Nina. There is a hotel next door that allows me to use the pool if eat at the restaurant. The beach is a 2-minute walk from my front door. I have many windows for airflow and trees to block the sun so it stays cool. My kitchen is the perfect size for me. The living room has plenty of seating if I have friends come to visit. Nina has plenty of space to run in the front as well as at the beach. (We have gone to the beach every day since we moved.) 

My new apartment. There’s work to be done with the organization.

The Community

When I lived here before, I knew everyone in town and everyone knew me. I felt a sense of community because I had so many contacts and locals who I could talk to and visit. When I moved to Huacas I lost all of that because I didn’t come to Brasilito often and the community isn’t as tight in Huacas. 

I can now build the sense of community I had before. And this time it is better because my Spanish is so much better. There is so much opportunity here for me emotionally, physically, and spiritually. 

Keep Faith and Manifest Your Thoughts

All things are possible. I am living proof. Have faith in something higher. Keep your thoughts pure so you can manifest them in your favor. Don’t give up. There is always something better. Always something that will surprise you. Life is what you make it. So make it a good life!

When life gets you down, what do you do?

Give up, feel pitty? 

NO WAY! I keep fighting and I keep trying even if I get knocked down.

The last few months have been tough. I know you guys don’t know everything, but switching jobs has been tough. I haven’t been making the money I need to make to survive. I am making it happen because of some support from friends and family. 

I know my worth and won’t settle for less when it comes to which company I work for to teach English. I love teaching with Open English because I always have classes when I work. The problem is they don’t pay much. I also work for VIPKid, but it has been slow to gain students. I have been looking for other companies like VIPKid, but haven’t found the perfect one. 

Am I letting this stop me from living my best life? 

HELL NO!! I am doing everything I can to make it work. I am unstoppable. I’m not letting this stop me. I am fighting and I am so pumped for what happens in the future. I know my life is getting better because the struggle is real.

I have been interviewing with as many companies to find the perfect one. I also scored a job with an amazing girl here in Costa Rica. I’m helping her with her blog and learning along the way. I took over managing a facebook group which has been an amazing experience. Even though I am not making money I am gaining so much self-confidence and experience that it is well worth it! 

The Universe knows all!

In the last few weeks, I have been thinking about moving. I live farther from the beach so I don’t take as many photos of the sunsets for the blog. I don’t have as many beautiful places in my house to showcase for my blog. I miss the beach. I miss the town of Brasilito. I knew everyone and everyone knew me. At my place now, I don’t know anyone. It’s not a community. Even though I am an introvert, I can learn so much from being around people. I miss the connection I had in my old town.

Yesterday, it all started. I went to a swap meet for the facebook group I now run. I ran into a lady who lives in Brasilito. Her apartment complex has some openings. It would be 2 minutes from the beach, a hotel with a pool I can use 100 meters away, and it has plenty of space for Nina to run. I went to check out her place and fell in love. The only problem is she doesn’t allow pets.

Today, my landlord tells me I owe him $180 for electricity. I already pay him $60 so it’s so much more. I can’t afford that. And IT IS OUTRAGEOUS!! In my old apartment, I never paid over $100 for electricity and the room was smaller. I am feeling like it is all happening because it’s meant to be for me to move. 

The only thing standing in the way is the apartment I want may not let me live there because of Nina. I am going to talk to her tomorrow, hopefully, I can convince her to let us move in. If it doesn’t happen, I know the universe has a plan.

“Love is everything”

As I sit here typing, I am watching soul surfer. It is the story of Bethany Hamilton. The girl who lost her arm to a shark attack while surfing. She beat all odds to get back out there to surf. She hit some big waves, and she overcame them all. 

In the movie, she said love and compassion were what helped her through. While she was in Thailand helping the people recover after the massive tsunami, she realized that it’s not about surfing, it’s about love. She allowed herself to love herself again even though she wasn’t “whole”.

She inspired so many people with her attempt to get back out on the waves. She lost and she got beat down, but she tried. It is all about love and trying. In the movie, Bethany stated that she would never change what happened to her because she has more love now than she ever could with two arms. 

The more you overcome your difficulties, the more love you have for yourself. You see how strong you are and you see what you are capable of accomplishing. 

Change isn’t easy, but it’s worth it.

I am scared about moving houses. I also know that moving houses is the best thing for me and my career. In the last month, I have conquered so many fears. I am staying calm and looking forward to the future. I have realized that even though I am an empath and an introvert, I can have the relationships I desire to have. 

Change is hard, and it is what can bring you a life-changing event. So, what are you afraid to do because you think you’re not good enough or capable enough? I can tell you from experience that none of that is true. You are GOOD ENOUGH and CAPABLE ENOUGH to have whatever you want in life. You have to work for it. You have to feel uncomfortable and do what no one else would do. 

I promise a short time of being uncomfortable will change your entire future. Feeling uncomfortable is temporary if you learn, grow, fight, and never give up. 

Go after your dreams. Make a statement. Live your best life. Be free!

Dogs are Family

A girl with a puppy on her lap.

I have had dogs in the past. My family and I always had a dog growing up. We had different dogs at different times. 

During my elementary years, the ones I remember the most were the black lab that ran like crazy. And a small, black mixed dog that pooped in the house all the time. 

During high school years, we had wired-haired fox terriers. They were not my favorite dogs. 

In college, I was a dog walker/sitter. I had some great dogs that I liked and some dogs that I wanted to never watch again. 

I love dogs. They are so much more fun than cats. They all have had a personality that varied from dog to dog. I couldn’t be around the dogs for more than a few days. I got annoyed with them for one reason or another.

I never felt a deep connection to dogs. 

I am not sure what the problem was. Even last year when I fostered the dog for a few weeks, I was ready to give him back after a week or so. The energy or something just felt off to me. My house felt strange and the dog seemed super needy. 

I felt the dogs weren’t mine. I didn’t feel connected to them, none of them. Even as a child. I was hesitant when I got Nina because I didn’t want to take her in and get tired of her like I did the other dogs I’ve had in my life.

When I got Nina…

The night I got Nina, I also had her brother. They were both incredibly different. Nina’s brother was full of fleas and was whining and crying the whole night. He was scratching and so uncomfortable. Nina didn’t have as many fleas, but she did have dehydration, a skin problem, and worms. Nina just snuggled up to Jonathan and slept the entire night. 

I just knew that Nina was the one. I wasn’t sure if I would get tired of her, however, I knew between the two puppies Nina was the one for me. 

She has been the light of my life. I can’t imagine my life without her. Nina makes me laugh and is so well behaved. I took the time to train her right. With her still being a puppy, she has some things to learn. However, she is like me in a lot of ways. 

We have the same energy. 

I feel connected to Nina because we have the same energy. She is full of life and knows when I need something. If I need space she calms down and just sits with me. If I need to get moving, she gets excited and we play fetch outside. 

She loves everyone and greets everyone with a smile. On the other hand, she does notice people’s energy and barks at people who she feels aren’t a good person. Seriously, there is a vet down the street that she barks at every single time she sees him. He is the only vet she does that too. She absolutely hates going to the vet, but she never barks at the vet. This one (who we have never used) she won’t even go near them. 

This is the same for me. I can feel people’s energies and don’t want to go around certain people because of how they “feel” to me. I don’t like the vet Nina doesn’t like because of his energy, so I understand why Nina doesn’t want to go near him either. 

A girl with a puppy on her lap.

I couldn’t imagine my life without her

She has made my life better in so many ways. I have learned to love myself and listen to my self more than I did before. She has helped me think positive and motivate me to get my work done. Part of the reason I left my steady teaching job was so I could be home with her. Nina is much better when I am here with her. Even if she is in her crate while I am working, I can let her out and give her attention more than I could before.

I want to be able to take her to this amazing dog training lady about an hour away. I am working towards getting a higher paid job so that I can afford to take her. She would love the place. There is a gym that could hone in on her monkey-like skills. 

Nina is like a child in the sense that she pushes me to be a better me. I am happy she is in my life. I want her to explore the world and see what she is capable of. She is family.

The little girl downstairs calls me “la mama de Nina” which translates to Nina’s mommy. I am Nina’s mom and she is my puppy daughter.

How has your puppy or animal changed your life? What have you learned from being a puppy mom?

My New Job Choice

WOW! So it just hit me today how amazing it is to work online. It is such a blessing to work from home for so many reasons. For me, it is magnificent. I live my best life. As I have written in the past, I am an introvert and an empath. These two things make it difficult for me to be around people all the time. I take in the energies and emotions of other people. If I am around angry people with no time to recharge, I become exhausted and emotionally chaotic.

Teaching online gives me emotional space from people.

Since it is through the computer, I don’t take in the energies and emotions like I would if I was physically near them. I have been teaching online for a month now and I notice a huge difference.

During the day, I am not near people. Seriously! I am home with Nina for most of the day. I work 2-hour shifts throughout the day which is amazing. It is such a noticeable difference for me when I can choose who and when I am around people. If I am needing space, I stay home. If I want to go out and talk to people I do. 

When I work, the computer creates a barrier that allows me to keep the emotional and energetic distance from the students. I can tell when they are tired, sick or not wanting to be in class. I, however, have the distance I need to not take that energy on. It is a wonderous thing!! Especially for an Empath like me. 

Teaching online gives me flexibility.

Since I can create my own schedule, I am able to give my self the choice to interact with people or not. Being an introvert is difficult when you work at a school (or any place with people). There were times where I didn’t want to go to work because I didn’t want to talk to people. I just wanted to do my job and leave. 

With teaching online, I can do that just. I don’t have people coming into my classroom to talk to me about the weekend or other random conversation. I teach my students and I leave the classroom. I don’t have to deal with the administration or a principal or other co-workers. When I need to deal with admin, it’s via email. Which makes it super simple. 

If it’s the time of the month where I am feeling I need some socialization, I call up a friend or go someplace to talk with people. If I am not feeling social, I stay home with Nina and write or create content for the blog among other things. 

Working From Home is a lifesaver.

Being able to work from home is truly a lifesaver. I am able to live the way that is best for me. I am work when I want and where I want. If I want to travel to the US for an event, I can work part of the time I am there. I could work from Thailand if I wanted too. As long as there’s internet, I can work. 

There is stress involved because I am not guaranteed a salary.  So each month, I may not be able to pay all my bills. Budgeting and having savings for emergencies is a must. Some of the hours are really early in the morning like 3 or 4 am. Since I am teaching children in China the difference makes me work early. I do work for another company that is with the Spanish countries. This one is afternoons and evenings. The pay is low compared to teaching Chinese students. 

Either way, the stress is doable because I am mentally and spiritually in a better place. 

I LOVE MY LIFE!

For all the reasons listed above, working online is the best job ever! I am grateful and blessed to have this opportunity. I am looking forward to what the future brings. Changes bring good things when you do them for the right reasons. 

I encourage you to live your best life by making choices that work for you in every way: mentally, spiritually, physically, and emotionally. Let me know what choices you have made so you can live your best life. Big or small. Tough or easy. Let me know. 

Teaching English to Refugees in the Middle East

In a post last week, I wrote about wanting to give back to society and volunteering more often. At the time of writing that I had forgotten a volunteer opportunity, I was enrolled in. I had enrolled and accepted the position there a few months back. I was waiting for the training information. 

Paper Airplanes

Today I received the training information for a place called “Paper Airplanes”. It is a non-profit foundation that bridges the gap in language and work skills to people living in war-torn areas. They are mainly focused in the middle east areas like Syria.

They were founded in 2014 by Bailey Ulbricht. She started using skype to help a few refugees learn English. They desperately want to complete their college degrees and in order to do this, they needed to know English. Paper Airplanes has since grown into a bigger non-profit with 25 staff members and many volunteers.

They have five different programs: English, Turkish, Youth, Citizen Journalism, and Woman in Tech. 

English Program 

The English Program (the one I am volunteering for) matched tutors like me to students in need of learning English. They have semesters that you can volunteer for, each lasts about 3 months. They provide a training course for you to take before you are assigned a student. Once assigned a student you work with them for about 2 hours a week. 

Turkish Program

This program provides refugees from Syria the opportunity to learn the Turkish Language. This is much needed because many Syrian refugees go to Turkey without knowing the language. The program helps them gain access to jobs and other resources they need to live in Turkey. 

Youth Exchange

I think this program is amazing. It is a program that allows High-school aged youth in the United States tutor youth in conflict areas. This allows them to create an understanding of what is happening in other areas of the world. They get to understand different cultures and backgrounds. It truly is a great opportunity for our youth.

Woman in Tech

This program helps women understand and develop the skill of coding computers. It is such a vital skill for a woman to learn in this day in age. At the end of the course, it gives women the opportunity to work remotely using the new coding skill they learned.

Citizen Journalism

The people in the areas of conflict can greatly impact society by sharing their stories. This program offers them the tools to be able to publish their own stories. It is a great way to get the word of what’s happening in those areas. As we all know the news isn’t always the most accurate. 

They do AMAZING work

They do some amazing things giving the refugees an opportunity to succeed. I am thrilled to be apart of the English Program. I am learning a lot about the conflict in the Middle East. 

I love non-profits that provide support to others by giving them a skill. All the refugees now have a better opportunity to grow themselves. There are so many NGOs or non-profits that do more harm than good. If you want to know more about how NGOs and non-profits hinder the growth out of poverty check out the documentary: Poverty, Inc.

We all have Fears

Everyone has fears, small or big. They affect many areas of our lives whether we are aware of it or not. They stop us from having the things we want or they give us more than we could ever need. Having more than we could imagine can cause greed or egotistical issues. Fear can keep us from happiness. Fear can be paralyzing or a propeller forward.  Fear can help us find what makes us happy if we work through it.

Where do Fears start?

They start in the past. Our fears are from childhood situations that we don’t want to happen or have shaped our thinking. When something happens in our past we then have thoughts about it. We create a story that we carry with us forever. It creates what happens to us in the future. It gives us what we love and what we hate. 

How do we conquer our fears?

I was recently watching a TV series called “Scorpion”. They had this episode where they were exposed to seed dust that caused them to live their worst fears. They were hallucinating theirs from the past. The most intelligent psychiatrist had a solution to get this to become conscious again.  

“So let’s be logical. All fear has a genesis in history. If we go back and undo that moment then their darkest fears will cease to exist.”

This can be true. I know it has worked for me in the past and even now. If I work through the past and re-tell the story differently, my fears go away. We can all do this. We can all change the story from our past. It is what will help you get past some of your fears. 

Does this work for all fears?

Not all fears are based on the past. So no, it doesn’t work for all fears. The fear of heights for me isn’t based on an issue from the past. The way I get through this type of fear is to just do it. I went skydiving even though heights scares the hell out of me. 

If you have fear of water, germs, or heights you can just work through them by doing them. Go swimming in the ocean, shake someone’s hands, or go skydiving. Of course, be careful and make sure that you are safe. You don’t want to go swimming in the ocean if it is unsafe. 

These fears can be overcome little by little. I have come to conquer my fears over the years. Like surfing, I told myself I would never go surfing because of my fear of ocean waves drowning me. I have gone surfing twice. Once on my own without a trainer. 

Fears can help up grow

When we are fearful, we can learn what stops us. We can work through the fear and become freer. Being free from our fears can help us live the life we want. We can learn what our life’s purpose is when we conquer our fears. 

Don’t let fears stop you. Overcome them and live your best life. Find the part in your past that is shaping the way you think and live. See where you could be freer. It is possible to LIVE YOU BEST LIFE! 

What are your fears? What is stopping you from doing what you really want? What can you do about it? Live life as superwoman (or superman) and find your purpose.

Living a Bigger Life

I want bigger things with my life. I want to help the world in more ways than one. I have the heart of gold and I care about people with a passion and love that doesn’t fade. I have always been one to volunteer and help the people in need or be there for people. It all started when I was a child and has continued throughout my life.

One Thanksgiving when I was younger

I remember when I was about 5 years old. It was Thanksgiving day. My family and I were at my grandmother’s house eating and enjoying time with each other. It was a regular Thanksgiving for us. Nothing special, nothing different, only spending time with each other. 

I remember looking out the back door window. I could see the local ball field from the house. I saw a lonely man sitting on a bench. Feeling the way I feel about people, I asked my dad if we could take him food. My dad agreed and we took the man some food. We have no idea who he was or what his story was. I do know that we changed his life that day. We took time to go and make sure he had food. We made sure he wasn’t alone on that Thanksgiving Day. 

Christmas in Bridgeport

When I lived in Bridgeport, WV, I attended a church that made and handed out cards to the shut-ins (people who could not attend church for one reason or another). We would get anywhere from 5-10 stacks of cards to drive to different houses where people lived. This was the highlight of the year for my dad and me. We enjoyed going from house to house talking to people about their lives. 

There was one house I will never forget. My dad and I went to an Asian ladies house. She had a huge stack of cards from others at the church. We were with her for a few hours from what I remember. The lady was hard to understand with her broken English, but we could understand most of what she said. We handed her the cards. She was so moved by joy and love that she cried and cried. The lady, my dad, and I read the cards with her. She didn’t have family and she didn’t have many visitors so us being there was a huge deal for her. 

It touched my heart. I like bringing joy, hope, and faith to the lives of people. 

It didn’t just stop there. When I was in the choir (no, I can’t sing), we would go to the local manor (a living place for elderly that needed support.) I had made some elderly friends that day that inspired me. So for the next week, I spent my time handmaking cards for each resident that lived in the manor. 

Literally! I cut, glued, blow painted, and drew on over 100 cards to hand out to the residence. I asked my dad to buy me mini candy canes and taped them to the cards. My dad and I went from apartment to apartment until every person had a card and candy cane. Some people weren’t there so we left them at the door. 

Some people didn’t believe I had made all the cards. Others were delighted and happy. It was an amazing feeling that I cherish. 

It hasn’t stopped there.

I could go on about all the ways I have volunteered and given my time to help people in amazing ways. It is an enriching and inspiring way to give back to society. Since I’ve been in Costa Rica, I have given back even more in different ways. Giving back is what makes life worth living. It’s not about the money, it’s about making the lives of other people better and more loving. 

One reason I want to make this website making money is so that I can work less and give back more. I would love to do a 3-month volunteer program here in Costa Rica supporting the locals in low-income areas. Having a full-time job doing that becomes difficult. It’s not even about Costa Rica. If there is a natural disaster somewhere or a place that really needs support, I would love to get on a plane or drive there to support on the ground. 

Living a bigger life is what’s important to me. I don’t want a fancy car or a mansion for a house. I want to make a difference in the world by showing people how to love themselves and supporting people who are struggling by brightening their lives. 

I do the best I can with the amount of time and money I have now. I feel the more residual income I have the more I can volunteer and change the lives of people. My life is important, but the lives of others are just as important. If I can provide love, inspiration, and hope to others, then my life is fulfilled. I don’t want to live a little life. I AM LIVING A BIGGER LIFE!! My life wasn’t made for living small. It was meant for changing the world, one inspirational act at a time.

Why this song?

The song is an inspiration. I first heard this song at the end of the movie “The Red Sea Diving Resort.” It was about a man who was helping Ethiopian Refugees go from Sudan to Isreal. One of his main sayings was “leave no man behind!” He did what he could to help thousands of people find a safe place. The movie inspired me and the song is in another language, but it is touching. 

How do you give back to society?

Letters to Loved Ones

My favorite picture from when I was younger. Those are my Memom’s hands.

When you miss someone in your life because the time was cut short due to death or other circumstances. Writing a letter to someone from your past is a great way to move forward and build closure. It is also a way to get the thoughts out of your head and into the universe. Writing is a great way to give self-love.

Memories

Memories from the past can always be with us. We may not remember them every minute of every day, but they are there, in our mind. We have memories of childhood, adolescence, and adulthood. Some amazing memories, some sad and painful, they are always part of us. 

We all have those moments in our lives that we have close to us. That special moment with a grandma or grandpa, sister or brother. Moments that we can never get back because of a death or loss of some kind. 

Memories whether good or bad can give us a sense of hope or perseverance. 

My grandmother who was the backbone of our family when I was younger passed away unexpectantly when I was nine years old. I know that she is always here with me. She is cheering me on from the afterlife. I have a sense of hope and perseverance knowing that she will always protect me in some way or another.

I was reminded that our family and friends are always with us in spirit no matter what happens. They are with us, in memories and spirit. I have so many memories from the past that I hold near and dear to my heart. Those memories will never be forgotten. 

I wrote a letter to my Memom.

Today, I saw the new live-action LION KING. It brought back so many memories for me. When the original Lion King came out a long, long time ago, I saw it with my Memom. It was my first time seeing a movie in the theater. I went to see it alone because it wouldn’t be the same seeing it with someone else. 

Seeing the movie was a sad and rewarding experience. I was able to remember my Memom and the first time we spent in the movie theater seeing The Lion King. So, I decided to write her a letter. I missed having her present for so many events in my life.

Dear Memom,

I know you have been watching from where ever you are. You have seen me grow and change in so many ways. You have seen me teach my self through high school. You have seen me nanny some amazing children over the years. 

I know that I am not perfect and I have made some mistakes. You have seen me learn from a broken marriage to leaving a life I was fighting to survive in. I battled and won depression. I found myself and you saw me do it all. 

I don’t know what life would be like if you were here. I would hope that you would be proud and excited about the work I have done to become the woman I am today. I would have loved for you to have seen me walk down the aisle or been there to comfort me during the divorce. 

Even though I couldn’t experience your physical presence, I know you were there spiritually. You always are with me because I tattooed a fairy sitting on the moon for you. I never wanted to forget the times we had.

Remember when we handed out food to the homeless man in the park on Thanksgiving? Remember when you used to buy Jodi and I scratch-off lottery tickets? Remember the last New Years we spent making a fort out of the boxes from daddy’s move to WV? Remember making steak and salad every Sunday? 

We had so many good times. I loved reading Grover Sleeps Over and Barney before bed. I remember my toes used to be so cold, but since the bed was so comfortable it didn’t matter. I still have my Grover and white bear. You remember the time when I tore my blanket and cried until you fixed it and returned it to me? Or the times you made my Halloween costumes? Like the tube of toothpaste with lampshade cap that hurt my head? 

These are the memories I will carry with me forever. Thank you for always being there for me when I was little. You mean (meant) the world to the entire family. My mom and sister loved you as much as I did. I know they miss you every day. Daddy and I miss you the most. We talk about you all the time. Every anniversary, we reminisce about the times we spent with you. 

I love you. I miss you. And you are in my thoughts. I learned how to give without taking from you. You taught my daddy so many things that he taught me over the years. Life is good, Memom. 

Love you forever,

Ashley

P.s. One last thing I remember… Do you remember when we stopped at Checkers? You know the time we had no gas but magically the gas tank filled up to ⅓ left? That is a time I never forgot. We had a great day that day. We had a moment together that was magical. I have taken that with me because things like that happen to me all the time. Is that you watching over me making sure I am making the most of my life? Protecting me in some way from the afterlife? 

If it is… thank you. 

This is my Memom, Daddy, and Pepop at my parent’s wedding.