Sunday, January 31, 2016

The Homless Dilemma

Life can be unpredictable in many ways.  This week I have been praying that God would lead me to do the right thing.  I listened carefully all week long, but I did not hear a voice tell me what to do, no shooting star with a message appeared, but my gut kept leading me back to Matthew 25:40 “The King will reply, 'Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.'

I had found myself in a dilemma, a situation in which a difficult choice had to be made between two or more alternatives.  The dilemma: My son knows a young lady who has no family support, was recently laid off, lost her vehicle, and was evicted with a toddler.  The choice, do nothing, let her find her own way, try to help her maneuver through the homeless system or open our home to her till she can find her way.  

The Big Man and I several years ago opened our home to a young man, who was in a similar situation.  That young man turned out to be an awesome man.  He lived with us for several years and we have grown to call him our son.  So, do we open our home again for this young mother? The answer is yes. 

I can't imagine not having someone, anyone to fall back on when life gets messy.  I can't imagine how scary it must be to not know where you are going to sleep, how you are going to find a job or pay a babysitter. 

Our community has resources to assist when families find themselves in a messy life situation.  I tried several times last week to help this young mother access those resources, let me tell, accessing help is not as easy as it sounds. 

Here are some rules I learned this week:
To access government housing assistance be prepared to wait on a list for housing, it could be 12 to 24 months.

To access rapid housing, a grant program designed to keep people out of homeless shelters you must have a photo ID, an eviction noticed or be homeless (aka meaning you are already living on the street) and meet with the representative on their schedule (not when you have a ride, on your lunch break or after work).
To rent an apartment and some houses you must have references and a decent credit score.
To access food stamps you must have an address and utility bills.
To store what little furniture you have, after selling things to pay the rent and utilities, you must have cash and a vehicle to move your belongings.
I also learned the system sucks!  I have multiple college degrees and I was overwhelmed and frustrated trying to assist this young lady get help.  The system certainly isn't about giving hope, it is much more about taking hope from the homeless.

My family is blessed, the Lord works in mysterious ways, I never dreamed as a single mother of three to some day have a family of five, a man to love me unconditionally, the career of my dreams and the ability to make a difference in my community.

So for now, we have added a sweet young lady and her precious child to our clan. My promise to her is to help her become an independent strong young woman that will someday pay forward the blessings she receives.
I challenge you to look at the homeless in your community, not to judge them, but with open hearts.
Peace Be With You
Connie







Saturday, January 09, 2016

One Little Word - Ceate The Life of My Dreams in 2016

Hi Readers,
I have been MIA for a several weeks I had surgery and have been a little slower than expected getting back on my feet.  I hope everyone had a great holiday.

As the new year begins it is time to assess what we accomplished in 2015 and set new goals for 2016. 2015 was an exciting year for my family. We completed our first year with two new businesses  Bed and Biscuit Boarding and Connie's Family Practice.  We have worked hard and been blessed beyond our wildest imagination.
I love to think of the new year as a blank slate. Sine 2012 I have been choosing One Little Word to help me focus my busy life.
In 2012 my word was Balance
In 2013 my word was Time
In 2014 my word was Balance
In 2014 my word was Shalom

As we finish up the first week of 2016, I have been thinking about what I want 2016 to look like. I want 2016 to be the year I create the life of my dreams.   

My One Little Word for 2016
Create
 
Life isn't about finding yourself
Life is about
Creating
Yourself.
Creating the life of my dreams will include:
Spending more time with my Family
Learning to eat healthy
Incorporating Exercise and/or Yoga in to my daily routine
Building my Family Practice
Crafting more
Reading more
Living more in the image of Christ
Blogging about all the I create
 
I am so excited about 2016 - What is your focus in 2016?
~ Connie ~

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Bad Labs calls for Healthy Diet

Life has been busy - I recently had my annual labs drawn and the results opened my eyes to how poorly I have been eating over the last six months.  Yes, I am a vegetarian but an unhealthy vegetarian.  According to my labs I am anemic and pre-diabetic.

Now the pre-diabetic stuff is the extra 10 pounds I have gained in six months and the 10 pounds I need to loose before the extra 10.

So I started looking at healthy recipes that I could make quickly.  I found this awesome recipe for
Turnip and Butternut Squash Soup.  I love turnips and butternut squash so I had to try it - but, I made my veggie style.

Turnip and Butternut Squash Soup
2c Turnips, cubed
2c Butternut squash, cubed
1 medium onion, diced
2 tbs olive oil
2 tbs butter
1 quart Vegetable broth or chicken broth
1 tbs honey
Salt and pepper to taste
Heat veggies with butter and olive oil over medium heat until browned and a little soft. About ten minutes. Add vegetable chicken broth and honey. Let simmer for about 20 mins until veggies are tender. Serve hot. Season to taste.
What is your favorite healthy soup?
Connie 

Friday, October 02, 2015

Focusing on fall - Mums

Friday is football in the south. Tonight we drove to Jackson,MO. to watch our grand some play football. There is an awesome vegetable stand that sells gorgeous fall Mums.

The Big Man stopped today so I could just look, well just looking got me 6 mums for the front yard. 

Fall mums are a tradition. We had several that would come up every year. Last year. I had my grandson weed my flower bed and mums looked like weeds. 

Thanks to the Big Man we will be replacing the "weeds" with Fall Mums.
Do you grow Mums?
Connie 

Thursday, October 01, 2015

Staring Fall with Focus - Simple Living

I have decided at the last minute to join a 31 Day-Writing Challenge. My focus for the 31-days of October is simple living. Every day of October you should check back to see how I am learning to live simple and focus on the moment. 

To help me remember and learn to enjoy the simple life, I will be reading Simply Tuesday with Bloom (in)courage book club.  

Ya'll know how I try and try to stay organized with my busy life, always looking for ways to stay find more time, to slow down.  I love my iPhone and my planner.  But, I often do not have them with me, especially when I am seeing patients.
So the Big Man bought me an Apple Watch. Today is day one with the watch, so I am undecided if the watch will be an organizational tool or a toy.  
Staring Fall with focus.
Connie 

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Finding Time For Me, In a Busy Season

This post has several links to great books - I am not a paid spokesman for any product. I simply want to share my thoughts on these great books and websites with you.

Yesterday was the first day of fall, a new season.  A season is defined by changes in the weather, ecology, and environment.  We often refer to times in our lives as seasons.  I have been in a extremely busy season for almost a year.  I have opened my own family practice as a new nurse practitioner, built and opened a boarding kennel with my husband, moved my 87 year old father in with me and tried to be a good Christian, wife, mother, and mom to my four-legged family.  I have not been very good to myself. I have quit running, quit practicing yoga, added fast food to my vegetarian diet, fallen behind on scrapbooking, missed Sunday morning church and rushed my time with God, I seem to be doing all the talking and very little listening. .In all the hustle and bustle, I feel like I am alone. In my business,  my family has become my sole support system, I have lost my sense of being in a community.

In a busy season we often overlook taking care of ourselves. Several months ago I picked Jessica Tuner's book The Fringe Hours.  I read when I can not sleep.  As I was reading, I realized I miss being creative. I tell my patients that they have to have balance in their lives, but I have lost my balance.
This week I started reading Simply Tuesday: Small-Moment Living in a Fast-Moving World, by Emily Freeman.  Yesterday, I stumbled upon an online book club, Bloom (in)courage. I am supper excited to find that the book club is reading Simply Tuesday.  So, I have made a decision. I am going to join Bloom (in)courage book club and spend some online time with a community of like-minded women.
Why an online book club?
I can read and post comments on my own schedule.
People I interact with come from a wider variety of places and backgrounds.
I will be involved with people who want to read the same genre

Have you ever participated in an online book club?
Want to join me? Go to Bloom Book club (in)courage and sign up today.

Happy fall, ya'll
Connie

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Finding Time For Me

I have been MIA for several weeks - life has been busy.  I was on call for 17 days. Being on call  means seeing 30+ patients a day, hospital rounds, and answering after hours call.  I found myself
working 16 hour days.  In my spare time I was trying to grade papers, keep my classroom discussions going, run the kennel, make sure Pops was taken care of and relying on the Big Man to take care of the house and our rescue dogs.  In the end - I was tired, miserable, and grumpy.

About 13 days into this crazy schedule the Big Man showed up in my office and announced we were going on a mini vacation - aka, I am taking you somewhere so you can sleep and not be disturbed.  Pick a place ??? Just in time a drug rep showed up in my office and suggested we go to Branson Missouri.  So, we made reservations, and decided we would travel without an schedule.

This mini vacation, also meant, I had to find someone to stay with my Dad, keep my dogs, and cancel borders.  What are a few more task...but on Thursday of last week, it all cam together,  we set off on our mini vacation. Branson Missouri bound - of course I slept most of the drive.
We had dinner the first night at the Dixie Stampede

We played Put-Put Golf
We rode the Branson Scenic Railway
I slept
We visited the Top of the Rock
I slept
It wasn't until Saturday morning when we started home that I begin to feel like I would be healthy again. 
Healthy means  - I wasn't going to fall asleep every time my bottom hit a chair, cry at the silliest things, or eat every piece of junk food I could find. 

I tell my patients everyday that stress is bad for you, stress can lead to chronic disease, stress can kill you...but, I wasn't listening.  So, today is a new day.  I spent Sunday at home, distressing.  I spent most of the day cleaning my studio, playing with dogs, a little cooking and a little scrapbooking (watch later this week for the scrapbook stuff0.

Our mini vacations is just what I needed to hit the reset button.
I am back - focusing on controlling my stress and finding ways to be healthy.
What do you do to be healthy?
~ Connie ~