fostering a grateful spirit

"If you have good thoughts they will shine out of your face like sunbeams, and you will always look lovely." -Roald Dahl

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generous {day 340} (late)

I would like to just reiterate how grateful I am for the amazing people who donated to, volunteered at, and attended Hugs for Harlow. I am sore and exhausted, but can’t help feeling like my heart is so full. I can’t even begin to thank every person and company that it took to make the night possible. Ben of Dance Flow Control donated his whole afternoon and night and kept the party hopping all night, and even made sure to play some of Harlow’s favorites. Jim and his wife Ashley also donated their time and took amazing photographs of the evening. My sweet hubby and dad spent all evening and night grilling hundreds of burgers, hot dogs and chicken wings to keep the masses full and happy (even though it was HOT). My mom collected tons of auction and raffle prizes, brought bracelets to help raise money, and was a busy bee all night helping out wherever we needed. And none of this would have been possible without Harlow’s dance teacher Miss Mickey and friends Dora and Chris who dreamed this whole event up and worked really hard to get it all together. There were tons more volunteers, more generous donors, and sweet friends who love and pray for Harlow, Jamie and Ben. I am amazed by the generous spirits of so many. 

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amazed {day 274}

Today I am so grateful for the generosity of friends and strangers. The Elgin Youth Symphony Orchestra (where I used to work and my grandma currently works) did a “loose change” collection for Harlow at 2 of their concerts this weekend. They raised over $1600!! Absolutely incredible. At most there was a handful of people there who had ever met her, but they were so moved by her story that they gave…a lot! What incredible generosity by the EYSO and it’s patrons to Hugs For Harlow. I am thankful that there are people in my life that fight for the people I love and think outside the box to find ways to help. I am blessed.

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generous {day 186}

today I am full of gratitude that I am surrounded by so many amazingly generous people. Three years ago I dreamed up this idea where the theater I work for would do a fundraiser for Children’s Memorial. I suggested that, on a certain day, we donate 10% of the proceeds from a transaction to Children’s if the customer mentioned they were there for the fundraiser. I emailed the owner and asked him his thoughts, and he said “of course! but lets do 50% of the transaction!” so cool.
That first year was a little rough (I was still very new and we were still pretty slow), but last year we were able to donate a little over $500-more than 5 times what we had raised the year before. I also had some amazing prizes donated which we were able to raffle.
I am truly blessed to know so many generous people who encourage me to dream bigger!
This girl, one of my students when I taught, is the reason that I realized how important Children’s (now Lurie’s) is:

if you’d like to read more of her amazing story, check out my dance marathon page.

also great (though far less meaningful), today is my favorite day in February!

summer please come faster!

generosity {day 86}

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this past week has been rough. I’m not meaning to complain, just trying to be real. Although I am trying very hard to be grateful, I also never want to pretend that things aren’t ever hard. I think honesty is key in getting through anything. Pretty much the whole last week has been rough fibro-wise. I’ve had pretty significant pain every day. One of the most frustrating things about fibromyalgia, for me, is that  (at least so far) it is extremely unpredictable. The only pattern I’ve definitely established is that if I don’t get enough sleep, that next day is always rough. But other than that, I haven’t been able to find any consistent links to weather, diet, activity level…it can be very discouraging. Some days when fibro is bad, work is stressful, and the things I need to get done are not getting done, it takes some work to find things to be grateful for. That being said, I haven’t missed a day yet, please just be understanding if the thing I’m thankful for is puppy snuggles (again). Some days that’s just the best I’ve got.

Today, though, I am extremely thankful for my husband and his generous spirit. I have always been very emotional and empathetic, so often I will feel the need or desire to help someone, and will imagine having to convince the hubs that this particular cause is worthy of my time/possessions/money. However, even though I shouldn’t be surprised anymore, I am always pleasantly surprised by his willingness to share what we have (even when that’s not much). I am very grateful for a husband who loves my heart and encourages me to bless people, but who also challenges me to give more or differently than my normal comfort zone would have allowed.

What is your favorite way that your spouse/significant other encourages you to be a better person?