Saturday, March 27, 2010

Serving the Poor

In an sincere effort to help and serve many that are have unfortunate circumstances, I decided volunteer at our local warming center in Pontiac, MI. Over the past year, our communities and workforce has been hit with many obstacles, trials, and obstructions that have effected us all. There is no doubt that there is a need for help and support on all levels. Even at a young age, I have been involved to make our community a better place to live. Recognition and involvement with community throughout my life was rooted through my family up-bringining, faith, and friends.

My visit to the warming center was very interesting. To begin with, it was actually a unseasonal very warm night in March. The warming center is only open during the colder months of the year, November to end of April. When we entered the warming center, the poor stood outside waiting to come into the center. We were to prepare for the opening of the center at 7 pm with food, shelter, beds, bathroom facilites, personal hygiene, and clothes. The center director and management was very welcoming and instructed us of the "Rules" of the center prior to begining operations. I had volunteered to hand out bedding materials for them.

As entered the bedding materials room, I was amazed by the number of bags with peoples names on them. Prior to heading to the center, I was told that they average 40 to 45 people per night. Well, to my suprise there were 3 times the amount of bags in the room. First, I thought we need to sort the bags in alphabetical order to handle the personal items more effectively. This was quite a chore to accomplish. My brother-in-law, Jamie, and I sorted out the bags as best as we could down the narrow hallway and into adjacent rooms. At the end of sorting, my hands felt very sore and itchy. They became very red and had white spots on them like I had been allergic to something I touched.

The warming center is one of the only centers that allows individuals to enter without being tested for alochol or drugs of any kind. The center is very strict on this policy with behavior actions and rules as well. When I was handling the sleeping materials to each person, I noticed that most all had taken advantage of the rules of the center. This I thought would be the case due to the condition and environment that is at hand.

Well, our priest came to the center and I was very happy to see him. His brother had passed away a few weeks earlier and he came to spend time at the center. This lesson did not come and go lightly with me. I have a brother and he is my best friend. The overall expression of endless love and caring definitely did not go unnoticed.

The overall serving community and lessons learned certainly is heathy for our well-being. I encourage all to get involved in community to enrich our lives.

Friday, March 5, 2010


As many obstacles encountered and overcome throughout the years, I truly have been blessed by many people in my lifetime. I recently was asked a question during an interview with a major global utility company, "During your life, if you could have "one" do-over, what would that be?" I thought WOW, what a great question. What would that one do-over be? It made me think about my past crossroads at that given moment. Yes, I thought about the many obstacles I've encountered, just by chance that I could have another stab at it to change the outcome in a positive way. Thoughts of the "how 'bout the time when..." ran across my mind at light speed. Then I had the realization that my life is filled with hills and valleys, even forks in the road. I am sure each one of us can think of some ourselves. I have been so fortunate to have the support of my family, faith, friends, and fellow collegues to be able to make solid decisions to overcome any "obstacle". I would not change any of them and truly believe that God is on my side to provide the loving support to overcome any challenge.

Many times, especially in today's age, it is so easy to forget those many people that have blessed me and provided support throughout my life. Also, I feel it is sometimes hard to take time to give back and provide support to others in need. I recently came across a quotation from Albert Einstein and posted it to LinkedIn, "The value of a man should be seen in what he gives and not in what he is able to receive." Many times I have come to realize how much my own life is built on the labors of my fellowmen, and how earnestly I must exert "love" myself in order to give in return as much or even more than I have received.

In a couple weeks, I will be spending time with the poor. Providing blankets, pillows, dinner, and the necessary items for basic hygene at a local warming center. I will truly embrace the time with my fellowmen. At times, I wonder about the many roads that they have been on throughout their life. What hills, valleys, trials and tribulations that have been encountered. How their lives have persevered and overcome such challenges. What support network do they each have? Finaly, what would their answer be to the "one" do-over that would make a difference in their life.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Press on Regardless!

Whatzzzz' Up? Yea, come on bring it on... 2009 can't end soon enough! This years has had more ups and downs than the elevator at city hall. Seriously, come on ya'll...from the onset of the president getting sworn into office and being nominated for the Nobel Prize less than 2 weeks afterwards to today...this year has been nothing more than a roller coaster ride. Bring on 2010 and the fun!!

Since my last posting, we sincerely have had a few obstacles to overcome. I will not lie about being as scared as a long-tailed cat in a room full of rockin' chairs...but it has happened this year. We are looking toward the future in every positive way and we will persevere in everyway! No worries here! I have always said, if you are not overcoming obstacles than you are not being challenged.

Our daughters, Emma (8) and Abigail (6), have had Type I diabetes for 2 and 2 1/2 years. We have ordered the Medtronic insulin pumps for them and will be attending the certified training course next week. We are very excited to be able to provide the pump technology to our daughters!! This technology has been proven success in obtaining better HbA1C levels which we look forward to for them. We have talked with many diabetic users of the Medtronic pump over the course of a year+. They have nothing more than praise and happiness to share with us regarding pump technology. Yea, it will take a little getting use to and overcoming the fact that they have a pump strapped to their side at all times. Please do not get me wrong, there will be moments that may be challenging but we feel the positives outweigh the negatives in everyway...everyday! The excitement in our house is measureable and you can feel it! There is no obstacle that will get in our way..."Press on regardless".

Beth is doing much better now that she is out of the hospital. She spent 4 full days at the 4 star hospital, William Beaumont last week. Talk about challenging...I will tell you all that if you are not praying should consider starting sooner than later. Prayer is very powerful andthe best kind of medicine. Our family has been certainly been blessed over the years in more ways than I can truly understand. Beth had been admitted for low levels of potassium and magnesium. Scary low 2.2. The average range is between 3.5 and 5.0. Unknown to us, when you drop your potassium level below 3.5, your heart really is effected in everyway. The risk of heart attack is increased. Over a course of 4 days the doctors tried to get her potassium level in the acceptable range. Finally on the 4th day they were satisfied with the outcome of potassium supplements and she was discharged at a level of 3.6. Still not 100%, Beth was relieved to be out of the hospital and back on the road to recovery. After a few emotional words, Beth promised not to get into the situation again without notification.

We will persevere and press on regardless.

Monday, July 13, 2009

praying for Uncle Jamie & watching our nieces

As we pray for Uncle Jamie in the hospital today as he asked the doctors to make him a little lighter, we have had a house full with Lakin, Jessa, Avery, Tyler, Baylee as well as our three children Emma, Abigail and Ryan. It has been a good thing and has been quite entertaining to say the least. They all have enjoyed swimming, playing dolls, breaking Uncle Todd's things as much as possible, squirting water in places they shouldn't, smearing ice cream on shirts, cutting their Barbies hair, and watching a little Dora all in one day! As things got a little settled later this afternoon, I looke dout our front window as our dog, Ozzie, and neighbors dog, Spike or "Sheppie" (according to Ryan), decided to mark their territory on my front lawn. All in all quite entertaining day!!

We just sat for a nice summer dinner that included one of Beth's best meals..."Tuna casserole salad" with lemonade and choclate ice cream cones for dessert!!

Even though we have been pretty busy today, we certaining have not lost sight of thinking and praying for Jamie in the hospital. God bless!!

Friday, July 10, 2009

emma's words

here are a few links that i like.

i hope you enjoy them too! if you have other links that you would like to pass on, please do...