Today I have to confess I am a bit proud. Not of anything I’ve done or said, just because I’m proud of our guest poster today in an almost maternal way. I’ve known and loved Claire Bailey since she was just a dorky pre-teen with braces. To see her evolve into such an amazing 20-year-old woman who is beautiful inside and out is just a privilege. I’m totally saying this to embarrass her completely -but I do also mean every word. Claire speaks of taking advantage of every beautiful moment, to seize the day that God has given us in whatever way he shows us. ~Heidi
I slammed on the breaks and had the decency of mind to throw on a blinker before impulsively whipping into Nightbird Books.
“What’s with this 45 degree angle of a parking lot. That’s stupid.” I thought as I grabbed my bag and headed in for a quick look around.
After a short conversation with the clerk girl with the vocal tone of a yoga instructor, I found a window spot next to a giant (and occupied) Birdcage. With no music, all I hear is the rainbow-y birds chirping and cars, muted by the sunshine bathed windows. I glanced at the birds to witness what I can only describe as non-consensual and giggled in a fit of immaturity.
Located across the street from U.S. Pizza on Dickson you’ll see Nightingbird’s vine entwined patio sporting several picnic tables and wooden seating. Inside there’s a café complete with an espresso machine, but the books really steal the show. From photo essays to children’s books to humor to craft tutorials, everything is clearly labeled. There’s only one or two copies of each book, alleviating the typical book-store clutter.
As I watch the cars meander down Dickson and people strolling down the sidewalk, I’m hit with the here and now. So much beauty and goodness is packed into the part of life I am experiencing this very second. I have driven past this delightful bookstore countless times, but to discover the wonder of what’s right beneath my nose was applicable on so many levels.
Believe it or not, worship is an act of being present. You cannot worship your Creator by re-living last week or worrying about next year.
And He wants you right now.
Understand that you are in this moment by intention, not accident. So slow down and encounter the love of God, right here.
Two hours later, I lazily walk out into the sunshine and blink a couple times before going on my way, blessed with a fresh perspective and a new favorite place.
Hi Readers! From time to time I have the privilege to spotlight worthy non-profits and fund raisers for good causes. I feel that part of my job as a blogger is to bring awareness ways that you can help others. What is fun about today is that my guest poster is also my COUSIN- Andy Nelson.
The thing about Andy that I’ve always loved is that he’s involved. He cares. From the time I was in high school I remember getting envelopes from him in the mail about different fundraisers and about his involvement with the Boys & Girls Club. He lives out his life in a way that is inspirational but real. We didn’t grow up close like some cousins as we lived across the country from each other and reunions were few and far between- but I only have the best memories of him being caring and kind to me. Regardless of what people say about Facebook, I’m thankful for it because it allowed me to actually get to know my cousin in a way I never would have. :) Hear him out, donate or get yourself involved somehow helping someone else! – Heidi
Help me! I’m locked up and need your donations to get out!
Okay, so I’m not really in jail, but as a part of the annual fundraiser for the local chapter of the Muscular Dystrophy Association, I am getting “locked up” and need to raise $2400 in bail to get out. And I need your help!
But first, you’re probably wondering who I am. The name’s Andy, and I am Heidi’s cousin. I live in Arizona with my lovely wife and two adorable kids. My princess is a precocious six-year-old and my little buddy-boy is a very headstrong two. They truly are the light of my wife’s and my life. Absolutely wonderful children, and we’re very lucky to have them.
Like so many of us, I do my best to pay the bills, make a little extra to get the kids into college, and make sure we can go do things we want to do when we want. But something else I always try to do is find ways to help others. I spent 6 years as a Big Brother in my local chapter of Big Brothers Big Sisters to a young man named Dustin. He started as a troubled and troublesome 12-year-old but now is a well-balanced young man married to the love of his life.
And now I am working to raise money to help children afflicted with muscular dystrophy get to camp this summer. MDA camps provide opportunities for kids with muscular dystrophy to just be a kid and have fun. For 51 weeks of the year, these children struggle with day-to-day life, dealing with the limitations provided by their muscular dystrophy. The summer camp provides them a place to have fun with no barriers. They arrange all sorts of activities specially designed for people with limited mobility or who use wheelchairs. It is an important thing for these children, giving them a special time when they can have fun and be a kid.
Now, like you, I’ve been aware of the MDA for years. Ever since I saw my first Jerry Lewis telethon. I’ve donated in the past even, but I never spent much time thinking about muscular dystrophy. So with that, I thought I would dig into it a bit and provide you with some interesting facts. That way, we can all better understand this disease.
So here we go:
Did you know that…
- *Muscular Dystrophy literally means “faulty nutrition of the muscles.” It is characterized by the progressive wasting and weakening of healthy muscle tissue and is replaced by useless fat and hard fibrous tissue.
- *The disease is hereditary.
- *There are more than 30 varieties of muscular dystrophy. Some, like Duchenne, only affect boys, but there are varieties that can affect both boys and girls.
- *The disease’s most common forms, Duchenne and Becker muscular dystrophy, alone affect approximately 1 in 3,500 to 5,000 boys. That is between 400 and 600 boys born in the US each year!
- *The frustrating thing about the disease is that the nerves work fine but the muscles stop working. This means the brain can tell the body what it wants to do, but the body won’t listen.
- *It’s very important for those with the disease to be physically active – as much as they can be – because being sedentary and inactive can make the muscles deteriorate faster.
- *There is no known cure for muscular dystrophy, even though significant headway has been made in recent years and therapy can help.
- *The MDA started offering their summer camps in 1955? That’s right – they’ve been doing this great program for 58 years!!!
- *Jerry Lewis started his telethons unofficially in 1952. In 1966, the first official Jerry Lewis MDA Labor Day Telethon aired and raised an astounding $1,002,114! As of 2007, they had raised $1.46 billion!!!
It’s a frustrating disease, and one that will hopefully have a cure sometime in the near future. In the meantime, though, let’s at least try to help get these kids to camp. Let’s give these kids a chance to relax and have fun – to just be kids for a while!
If you can help me post bail, I’d appreciate it. Just go to my website – http://www2.mda.org/goto/andynelson – and donate what you can. I need $2400 to get out of the slammer! And if you can’t, I totally understand. At least I got you thinking about the disease so you can find your own way to help out down the line. Who knows – maybe you’ll offer yourself up to be put in the slammer next year? Every little bit helps, right?