Realizations & Reflections

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Reflections – Image is Subject to Copyright of its owners

Well, after my previous post, which as i had mentioned in a few places on my Facebook that i “accidentally” published it, that taught me a lot. God taught me through it that it was His Willing that my post was published “accidentally”, i was in actual going to delay it to some date later, edit it and etc. when i wasn’t busy, just like the 7-8 other posts that i have……LOL.

This made me realize that you must let Life go the way God want us to, there’s no use in delaying, rushing, or resisting at all. you must Participate in The Moment, and give it your best, that’s the best you can do, and that’s all you have and that i am Grateful, that i learnt and realize this….then at the speed of ***SWOOOSH*** came a thought which said “what if i had realized this later, i would’ve started working on what i have to” and then Strikingly Fast at the Speed of Light came in another thought **SWOOSH** from my heart that said “God drives our lives the way He wants to & He didn’t want me to realize this before”

Remember, Never EVA let regret even come near, Thank God my heart was on a total “Shooo off you moron” mode :D!

Surely a moment for me to wink on myself ;). LOL…..well, that’s pretty much the way life goes, **Confession Mode Activated** i’ve been into resisting and delaying a lot of stuff, not only like my blog posts, even related to what i do and what i aspire ‘n’ inspire to do. All it just takes is to open your eyes : ). When God wills and the time is right, things will happen and they surely will fall in place, why worry ? why rush ?. The same day was filled with more surprises, a kind Twitter friend and the Founder of Twylah, Kelly Kim, she RT’ed my post, i was like “Whoa :D! From where did she come to know about it 😀 ?” In a happy way though, i was about to kinda jump and dance.

Realizations – Image is Subject to Copyright of its owners

You can never expect how or which way life goes…OMG……ooh not to mention i had my solid “weird beard” cc. my post “Weekend Chewbies“, i had my mind screaming “Hoooray Hooray, you like a drunkard”, how worse can it get….LOL. The night about Gratefulness and then the end of the same day on the note of “Realizations” some secret lessons this day had to teach, well i also learn about “Patience”, i was gonna Publish this one too at the same day, i gave it a thought that, after my deadlines are over, i will Publish it, without thinking about or editing my words, at times i even drastically edited my posts thinking that they were too Frank or Outspoken, this right now, and Thank God for the blessing for a friend, they made me realize that this is who i am, editing my writing and what i write here which comes first from my heart, i just edit my authenticity somewhere, my message remains the same, but i intended to, you know, redraft my language thinking that some might find it to be appropriate, what i learnt, and also some one told me before, i should write for myself, i just have to write, it flows from my heart, and God wills, whatever flows from one’s heart is always liked and loved by everyone : ).

Those things and words from our heart that we edit, takes away a part of ourselves, leaving something unsaid, so never edit what comes from your heart : ).

Thank God for bringing these words to my heart “Never let the words & actions that come from your heart ever be edited”

And i am publishing this one after many days of writing the above parts, its not that what i write or something, its what God taught me, that matters. I learnt that its important that we keep God first and let things take their own course, that we have a strong will and intention to DO and God will open the doors on His own.

This year has been an Incredible Journey, with many many ups and downs, All my Gratitude to God for blessing me with growth, for showing me the right way, for guiding me, in each step of mine that i fell for giving me His hand and so much more.
Including, giving me an opportunity to to share of all of this with you, i Thank you all from all my heart, for taking out your precious time from your busy days to read my posts, to comment on them, to share them, to give your Amazing compliments and SO much more : ).

Wishing you all a Wonderful New Year ahead : ).

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A Hungry Child Can’t Wait: Ask 5 for 5

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Guest Blogger: Sarah Lenssen from #Ask5for5

Family photos by Mike Fiechtner Photography

Thank you Mohammed Faizan, writer at Monologues of A Day Dreamer and nearly 150 other bloggers from around the world for allowing me to share a story with you today, during Social Media Week.

A hungry child in East Africa can’t wait. Her hunger consumes her while we decide if we’ll respond and save her life. In Somalia, children are stumbling along for days, even weeks, on dangerous roads and with empty stomachs in search of food and water. Their crops failed for the third year in a row. All their animals died. They lost everything. Thousands are dying along the road before they find help in refugee camps.

At my house, when my three children are hungry, they wait minutes for food, maybe an hour if dinner is approaching. Children affected by the food crisis in Ethiopia, Kenya, and Somalia aren’t so lucky. Did you know that the worst drought in 60 years is ravaging whole countries right now, as you read this? Famine, a term not used lightly, has been declared in Somalia. This is the world’s first famine in 20 years.12.4 million people are in need of emergency assistance and over 29,000 children have died in the last three months alone. A child is dying every 5 minutes. It it estimated that 750,000 people could die before this famine is over. Take a moment and let that settle in.

The media plays a major role in disasters. They have the power to draw the attention of society to respond–or not. Unfortunately, this horrific disaster has become merely a footnote in most national media outlets. News of the U.S. national debt squabble and the latest celebrity’s baby bump dominate headlines. That is why I am thrilled that nearly 150 bloggers from all over the world are joining together today to use the power of social media to make their own headlines; to share the urgent need of the almost forgotten with their blog readers. Humans have the capacity to care deeply for those who are suffering, but in a situation like this when the numbers are too huge to grasp and the people so far away, we often feel like the little we can do will be a drop in the ocean, and don’t do anything at all.

When news of the famine first hit the news in late July, I selfishly avoided it. I didn’t want to read about it or hear about it because I knew I would feel overwhelmed and uncomfortable. I wanted to protect myself. I knew I would need to do something if I knew what was really happening. You see, this food crisis is personal. I have a 4-year-old son and a 1 yr-old daughter who were adopted from Ethiopia and born in regions now affected by the drought. If my children still lived in their home villages, they would be two of the 12.4 million. My children: extremely hungry and malnourished? Gulp. I think any one of us would do anything we could for our hungry child. But would you do something for another mother’s hungry child?

My friend and World Vision staffer, Jon Warren, was recently in Dadaab Refugee Camp in Kenya–the largest refugee camp in the world with over 400,000 people. He told me the story of Isnino Siyat, 22, a mother who walked for 10 days and nights with her husband, 1 yr-old-baby, Suleiman, and 4 yr.-old son Adan Hussein, fleeing the drought in Somalia. When she arrived at Dadaab, she built the family a shelter with borrowed materials while carrying her baby on her back. Even her dress is borrowed. As she sat in the shelter on her second night in camp she told Jon, “I left because of hunger. It is a very horrible drought which finished both our livestock and our farm.” The family lost their 5 cows and 10 goats one by one over 3 months, as grazing lands dried up. “We don’t have enough food now…our food is finished. I am really worried about the future of my children and myself if the situation continues.”

Will you help a child like Baby Suleiman? Ask5for5 is a dream built upon the belief that you will.

That something I knew I would need to do became a campaign called #Ask5for5 to raise awareness and funds for famine and drought victims. The concept is simple, give $5 and ask five of your friends to give $5, and then they each ask five of their friends to give $5 and so on–in nine generations of 5x5x5…we could raise $2.4 Million! In one month, over 750 people have donated over $25,000! I set up a fundraiser at See Your Impact and 100% of the funds will go to World Vision, an organization that has been fighting hunger in the Horn of Africa for decades and will continue long after this famine has ended. Donations can multiply up to 5 times in impact by government grants to
help provide emergency food, clean water, agricultural support,
healthcare, and other vital assistance to children and families suffering in the Horn.

I need you to help me save lives. It’s so so simple; here’s what you need to do:

  1. Donate $5 or more on this page (http://seeyourimpact.org/members/ask5for5)
  2. Send an email to your friends and ask them to join us.
  3. Share #Ask5for5 on Facebook and Twitter!

I’m looking for another 100 bloggers to share this post on their blogs throughout Social Media Week. Email me at ask5for5@gmail.com if you’re interested in participating this week.

A hungry child doesn’t wait. She doesn’t wait for us to finish the other things on our to-do list, or get to it next month when we might have a little more money to give. She doesn’t wait for us to decide if she’s important enough to deserve a response. She will only wait as long as her weakened little body will hold on…please respond now and help save her life. Ask 5 for 5.

Thank you on behalf of all of those who will be helped–you are saving lives and changing history.

P.S. Please don’t move on to the next website before you donate and email your friends right now. It only takes 5 minutes and just $5, and if you’re life is busy like mine, you probably won’t get back to it later. Let’s not be a generation that ignores hundreds of thousands of starving people, instead let’s leave a legacy of compassion. You have the opportunity to save a life today!

Pause for a Cause – The Art for Life Foundation

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Hmmm….where should i start from ;D! I met Anthony Knutson via Twitter as he began following me, expressing my plight on a rough day, Anthony rained down upon kind & wonderful words upon me which made me smile. Learning more about him, i came to know that Anthony ran a foundation by the name The Art for Life Foundation. Its message and its cause really touched me, i sent out a few Tweets for his foundation, but didn’t feel much, so i decided to write in a post about it, as i have been also supporting other causes on my page Causes I Support and Promote.

For over 13 years now, Art for Life has focused on creating programs that help kids who are undergoing physical, emotional or mental crisis to use art as a way of helping them work through and with their illness. They’ve been empowering kids from an early age through their teens to embrace art as a way of expressing how they feel during and what is a very scary and difficult time for them.

Self expression through Art has been a wonderful way to help these kids and has been a method used by Art For Life. Children’s Hospitals can be places of noticeable tension, where the struggles, fears and hopes of patients, families and staff make for a stressful experience at times of them. At a time like this, people realize that healing goes beyond curing the body, curing comes in emotionally also and that its very important. At various children’s hospital locations,

The Art For Life Foundation offers various arts programs to pick up where medicine stops to help guide patients through recovery. They also reach out to Children’s Hospices &
Juvenile Centers, Behavioral Health Centers, Children’s Houses and many more places
wherever these kids need any love & support.

Their programs provide inclusive, interactive, therapeutic art activities that help normalize the hospital experience for kids. All patients are encouraged to participate, regardless of physical limitations. The programs work either in a group environment or in one-on-one sessions with the objective to provide a nurturing and inspirational creative experience to every child. All the programs are not in children’s hospitals. They also work with a juvenile courthouse and with a childrens hospice/respite location, however all of their programs work with children using art as an effective tool – empowering them and often times their siblings and family members – to actively participate in their own healing process.

The Art for life Foundation runs a various number of amazing programs that makes these kids and teens smile, some of them are :-

Feeling Notes – The Foundations uses the soothing music of the harp to help the patients feels calm and relieved.

Art While you Wait – In this program the founder provides a variety of art & craft materials & projects to the patients and their siblings waiting for treatment in the Emergency Department – Located in 7 states across the US.

Vickie & Friends (Ceramic Painting) – Vickie Geistkemper, the program director and her friends have helped 1,750 children to paint Ceramics, they’ve got beautiful themes for these kids each month, for eg: bugs in June and Hearts in October. And also the family members of children are encouraged to take part so that the children feel the Love & Support from everyone around them.

Artfelt Memories – This program helps kids cope up with the death of a parent or sibling and parents cope with their loss of a spouse or child, they work with children, teenagers and their parent(s). It gives each family member an opportunity to create a ceramic memory piece in honor of their loved one. Giving them a way to create their own art as a way to capture their own unique memories of their loved one.

Painting Hearts! –  It as an arts program for children/young adult cardiac patients, their siblings and adult family members, as well as parents whose infant children are undergoing cardiac surgery and/or procedures. They’re given an opportunity to create their own unique ceramic heart with a question What makes your heart happy 😀 ?

And you know the best part, this is just beginning of some of the most wonderful programs that The Art for Life Foundation runs :D!!!

These various beautiful programs help kids to feel better, it takes their mind off the stress and tension that they face, these beautiful pieces of Art created by the kids themselves and by the volunteers become a symbol of healing of love, radiating happiness and joy in their lives and making that time an phase much more easier and comforting for them :D! It gives them an opportunity to help and create something out of their own hearts.

Anthony started this foundation 13 years ago with a dream of helping a few children, now it reaches over 18,000 kids per year. With its simple yet wonderful & profoundly amazing idea the foundation won prizes and achieved great recognition throughout the country. Which include – The Bertha Wright Award in 2004 –  Winner of The Blair L. Sadler International Healing Arts Competition and some more.

Anthony’s kindness, love, hard work and dedication towards his foundation has now made it a large foundation with an amazing reach, The Art For Life Foundation has 22 programs located across 8 states including Washington DC.

The foundation helps hundreds of kids to smile each day, it makes them feel happy about what they can create, it takes their mind of the pain and experience that they go through, not only that, but it gives them a positive insight about life that no matter what happens, everything in life is a learning experience, and that even when times are not so easy, we must always smile and release our creativity in different ways and forms, as it expresses our deep innermost emotions, the beauty, the love, the happiness and the innocence of these children can be seen in the wonderful pieces of Art that they create, not only providing them with healing emotionally, but also from their hearts and minds.

If you’re interested in knowing more about the foundation, then do please visit their website here : http://www.artforlife.org

You too can make a difference in the lives of these children, you too can add up to be a reason that they feel better and they smile, you too can shower upon them a small act of kindness by donation here : http://www.firstgiving.com/fundraiser/anthony-knutson/the-art-for-life-foundation .

Here’s on how more you can help : http://www.artforlife.org/how_you_can_help.html

Here’s a Testimony from some wonderful people including Larry King : http://www.artforlife.org/testimonials.html

Their Facebook Page here : https://www.facebook.com/pages/Art-for-Life-Foundation/97280494045

And you can find them on Twitter as : @ArtforLifeOrg 

Concluding this post with some wonderful messages from Anthony himself :

Anthony Knutson ~ Founder, The Art for Life Foundation.

“Sometimes healing can come from the love & support of a volunteer artist helping to add a special finishing touch ~ Anthony”

“Children just don’t do Art, but they live within it. They take a crayon and a piece of paper and create a world that is real and in that reality find a place to heal ~ Anthony”

” It is important to create. It is important to Play. Art is the Rainbow that appears after every storm, reaching out, inspiring, transforming and reflecting back the love & life of everyone it touches ~ Anthony”

This Foundation truly inspires me, each time when i think of a child creating Art that makes him/her smile, it warms my heart, i remember when as child i drew or painted and when i saw my work, i know the smile it brought me and how Love flowed from the heart in every single line that was created and each drop as it touched the paper.

I Thank you all for taking out time to read this post and I pray and hope from my heart that May God always & always Bless This Foundation and Anthony with Lots of Love, Happiness & Blessings.