Choices

Avalanche + A Happy Wife = A Happy Life

The formula for a Happy life is as follows: Avalanche + Happy Wife = a Happy Life.  I was pleasantly surprised some time ago when my wife sheepishly presented me with the news that I was about to be a father.  My response was somewhat in disbelief.  As I gently waved her off with my hand I asked her to "Stop playing."  Her response was overly convincing when I saw the pregnancy test strip glowing with a solid Plus Sign indicating that this was not a game.   Yes!!! It was true and welcomed news to our eyes and ears.   My wife was going to have our baby. So this game changing event was underway.  We quickly formulated a strategies after the first trimester and our plan of action was very simple.  We would turn the spare room in our house into a nursery for our welcomed little guest.

Being the good husband and dad that I am, I assumed the lead and offered to have this room painted. Well, I heard it once said that if you give a woman something she will increase it and make it into something even better.  For me this was easy to grasp. For example, when I asked for her hand in marriage and gave her a ring, she gave me purpose and a future.  When I've brought groceries to my wife she's created a meal fit for a king.  When I've shared my ideas, dreams, and vision she's shared encouragement, insight and directions.   So, when I suggested to have the room painted I ended up with a whole new house.  This is how it went down.  (My story and I'll stick to it)

Together, we agreed to have the room painted and my wife mentioned that it would make good sense to have the entire inside painted if we ever decided to sell.  Happy wife happy Life.  Then we looked at carpet for the room and the rest of the house.  Well, it was too late I was already experiencing the effects of the Snow Ball.  The trim, the fixtures, the tile floor, the appliances, the furniture, the counter top and backsplash. "Avalanche"  I never saw it coming.  Recently, I shared this story with a friend who told me that my wife is nesting and preparing the nest.  Another, told me this is called marriage. And for me this is the choice of a Happy Life.....

In my experience if your give a woman something, it is natural for her to increase it.  So, choose to give her things she can work with and not a hard time. (Smile)

The Selfless Choice of Two Women

Who would have ever thought that two women who at first glance have nothing in common would ever have become friends?  One woman is tall the other woman is short.  One is a nurse and the other a Banker.  One from the city and the other the country.

I recently was blessed with the opportunity to share a vacation with my loving daughter Lanaya and her mother, my ex wife Latanya and my wife Anneliese. Yes!  You read that correctly I went on vacation to Florida with my wife and my ex wife.

What these women did share was a set of vows that said I do.  Yes I married both of them. ( at different times of course!)  Their vows were not so much to me but more so to honor their relationship with God.

These women both when outside of traditional thinking and the way society has set a standard of how to treat one another.  Their main focus was not on themselves but to be humble and to bring joy in the lives of both me and my daughter.  Giving me the opportunity to bless my daughter with a trip to Disney World.

Unfortunately my daughter and I live hours apart.  I don't get to spend that much time with her.  So when we were blessed with the opportunity to spend vacation in Florida not only did my wife Anneliese say yes that we bring my daughter, but also suggested to bring my ex wife to enjoy the experience as well.  Disney World was amazing!  The entire trip was a total success!

This unique situation has created an everlasting bond between a blended family.  The choice that these women made to look past personal feelings and anything else to be a blessing to both me and my daughter was beyond words.

Pleasantly Surprised

 

SURPRISE!!! 

Well, this might come to a shock to those who claim to know me.  The one pet-peeve that I have is SURPRISES.  Yes, you guessed it I do not enjoy walking blind into a situation with a bunch of my family, friends, and strangers who are looking to catch me off guard in order to bring a smile on my face.  The surprises that I choose to welcome are the ones that I have to ask myself "How in the world did God pull that off?"

This weekend was one of those precious moments where God truly surprised me.  About 8 years ago I was entrusted with a Copy of "Good and Evil" by Michael Pearl from No Greater Joy, 1000 Pearl Road, Pleasantville, TN 37033, http://nogreaterjoy.org/magazine/   I was at a low point in my life, and because of this God was able to use this ministry and others to help me grow.  I asked them for the book and promised to pay for it once I got out of prison.

Several months ago it was pressed upon my heart to reach out to No Greater Joy and fulfil my obligation as a good steward and repay them for their act of kindness towards me.  This was done and at the time I felt good doing it.

The other day I was clearing off some of the so-called junk-mail that had piled up on my desk.  From time to time I glance through some of this stuff with the intentions of moving them from my desk to the circler file.  This weekend was no different.  I Picked up the No Greater Joy Magazine and the two things that caught my eyes were the title and the little girl with her gleaming smile on the cover of the MAR-APR 2015 edition.  Please check out this Magazine at the site listed above and you will see just what I’m referencing.  So, I picked up the magazine to take a look inside.  As I thumbed through I quickly discovered what it was that made me want the book 8 years ago.  There was an array of colorful messages.

Then I was hit with the unexpected:  In the middle of the magazine on the page titled “From Our Mailbox” on page 28, was a an article that shared the words from the letter I had written to them recently as well as a little bit about my story.  The first thing that I spotted on this page was a picture of me.  I was looking at me in this publication and had to stop and process what all this was about.  God had pulled it off…. I was pleasantly surprised.

By choosing to do the right things for the right reasons, look to be pleasantly surprised.

Celebrating 2014

   

In a number of days, 2014 will come to an end.  What an incredibly blessed year it has been!  At the beginning of the year on January 9th my book titled Choices became a reality and was published to the public.  I am grateful to all of those people who have been a part of my life that believed in me to help me make this happen.  Throughout the year I have been given the opportunity to share my message on Choices by giving presentations, participating in forums and interacting with many individuals from all walks of life.  Each and every experience has been a rewarding one for me, to say the least.  Additionally I have met many people along the way and cherish the friendships that have formed as a result.

I am sharing some photos from my experiences this year and I want to thank everyone who has been a part of this Great Year of Choices with me!  I look forward to continuing making Great Choices in 2015!

 

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What's in Your Rearview Mirror?

   

What’s in your rearview mirror? This saying certainly may very well come down to the popular cliché that Capital One uses “What’s in your wallet?” It is certainly one of the most feared sights that any driver will see who has made a bad choice to speed. Let’s take this common scenario: You’re on your way to a meeting, to work or to pick up the children from daycare and you're running late. You’re not paying attention and the only thing on your mind is getting to your destination on time. The speed limit is 55 or is it 45? Anyway, it has been that way on this portion of the highway for as long as you can remember or at least the last time you consciously took note. You merge onto a 2 lane highway and it’s clear with only a few tractor trailers that seem to be standing still as your roll right past them.

Then it happens… You spot something in the cut. It’s a police car tucked off to the side of the road. You look down at your speedometer and you hit your brakes so fast that you really don’t know how fast you were going. Your next move (like all of us) is to look up into you rearview mirror. “The good old rearview mirror."  And here comes the flashing lights, at a speed which seems to be twice yours.

You slow down and prepare yourself for the obvious. There is no question, or shadow of a doubt that you will now be late. Your mind begins to race. You will be pulled over. The officer will sit in the police car behind you for what will seem like ages. The officer will walk up to your vehicle with all kinds of questions which will take more time. And depending on how your attitude is and how cooperative you choose to be, the questioning can last forever. You will be required to provide your pertinent data (Driver’s License, Vehicle registration, and proof of Insurance) certainly the officer will understand.

Well to your surprise and favor, the police vehicle zooms past you and races down the highway and out of sight.

Right, wrong or indifferent there always are consequences to our choices. What I’m beginning to understand more and more about my choices is that I have the choice to view the rearview mirror of life prior ever making a choice. Now please don’t misunderstand me, life can come at us very fast at times. What I notice is that in some cases I want to do right once I get caught with my hand in the cookie jar so to speak, instead of being pro-active and making my next choice my best choice with self-talk and or slowing down to think things through.

What’s in my rearview mirror is all of life’s lessons and experiences that I’ve pick up along the way, the failures of others and the wisdom that comes along with those lessons.   And lastly, doing what is right for all the right reasons.

What’s in your rearview mirror?  Will you choose to look in it every now and then before making choices?

 

She Gave it Her All

MiMi

Good better best may you never rest until the good gets better and the better best.

As a young boy these words played over and over again in my mind, and verbally repeated to me time and time again by my mother who was better known to all as “Mimi.”  She gave it her all as a single mother left to fend for herself and her five children.  She never lost sight of faith that one day her son would become a man.

What is all?  Is it the conclusion of the whole matter?  Maybe it’s as much as possible?  Or could it be every member or individual component of or the whole amount?  Doesn’t all mean all?

Let's look at these letters as an Acronym - A.L.L. and what they mean to you and I.

A = Allegiance

L = Laughter

L = Love

These 3 words will tell it all….

I’d like to share a story with you that took place while at a difficult period of my life, while I was battling with a vicious Drug and Alcohol Addiction that landed me in and out of prisons for 25 plus years.  (Half of my life)

I had burned every bridge imaginable; family, friend, and foe.  No one including my own shadow trusted me.  I was at a low point in my life. Fleeting thoughts of killing myself raced through my mind.  Needless to say I needed help and help real fast.  When I ended up on the doorstep of the one women who seen something in me beyond all my mess, I was welcomed by her warm embrace, told to come in and go clean up.  You see going 4,5 or even 6 days without washing one’s body and staying up all day and all night tends to have a story of its own.

Later my mother fed me and directed me to go upstairs to her room and get into her bed and get some needed rest.  She gave it her all.

After passing out from exhaustion for who knows how many hours I woke up rested and wondering what to do next.  Well, I received my answer.  As I opened my eyes and gained focus from a deep sleep, I noticed the sun had poked its warm rays through the bedroom window and landed on my mother’s table next to her bed.  Something colorful and sparkling caught my attention.  It was my mother’s wedding rings.

To make a long story short, I grabbed the rings, placed them in my pocket and raced down the step towards the door on my way to my next high. On my way out I heard the sweet voice of my mother who was working in the kitchen none the less preparing a meal fit for a king,  With one thing on my mind……To get high.  In no time flat I walked out of the Pawn Shop with about $70.00 and within an hour I was broke, “Again” busted and disgusted with nowhere to go.  I had seemly burned the only life line to my existence.

Well, this story would have it that I landed back at my mother’s house a week or so later.  I was welcomed in with joy (her Allegiance), greeted with a smile (her Laughter), and a hug and a kiss (her Love).  It felt good to be loved.  On our way to the kitchen, my mother presented me with one simple question "Ronnie, have you seen my rings?"  Huh!

While dropping my head I found myself speechless.  Mimi placed her hand softly on my chin and gently lifted my head (as if to make me proud) with her eyes glued to mine and said with a smile:  “Well, son I guess you needed them more them me."

She had given it her all. Her many years of Allegiance, Laughter and Love towards me were summed up in that statement.

It has taken me many years of living a selfish life style for me to understand what All really meant and for the Good to Get Better and the Better Best.

Today, I give it my All (helping others in making their next CHOICE their best CHOICE.)  Now will you give it yours?

Deer in Your Headlights

I wonder how concerned a deer is when spotted in your head lights.  On my way home from work the other night I spotted a number of deer crossing the road.  I often see a deer dart out from the thickets or even at times I see one mosey across the highway.  I know, its deer season and I'm certain these beautiful animals have nothing better to do then to come out amongst us. This got me thinking. Just like the deer who spots the headlights from vehicle and is frozen, at times when I'm caught unexpected with a situation or something I tend to do the same. It seems to come down to positioning. The headlights in and of themselves are a great invention and for the deer who’s caught in them unexpectedly, freezes. But the driver who's at a different position is able to take the unexpected situation and steer clear of an accident.

When speaking last week at an Assembly of 400 students at the Harrisburg High School my microphone went dead. This was the first time something like that has happened to me. My first thought and initial instinct was to freeze (panic) but then I took a different position knowing that I had to deliver. I took advantage of the situation and allowed my natural voice to captivate my audience. Afterwards someone came up and told me what I had done was brilliant. They thought that it was all planned and that I had sat the microphone down on purpose to better engage with my audience.

Next time you're caught unexpected or off guard, make the choice to roll with it by taking a different position with your thoughts.

 

Stop...Enjoy the Moment

Ah! Its 8:00 AM on a Saturday morning.  I turned over and extend my body.  As I stretch, sounds of pleasure are released from my mouth as my hands and arms move into the touchdown position.  I'm well rested from a great night's sleep.  This is the start of a great day.  I'm light years ahead of my honey do list and my mind is free and clear from anything that would pertain to work. It's a very cold and brisk morning.  I'm snuggled under my quilt as I finish up my morning devotions.  I reach over and grab my computer that is strategically located on my nightstand.  Now it's time to check my emails.  Amongst the assortment of emails in my inbox l click on to a BLArticle (blog + article, if you never experienced one, you need to check them out http://jolles.com/blarticle/ - I look forward to them!)

Ok, I'm snuggled in, computer screen up and I begin to read the BLArticle.  Only now I have one major problem. I took off my glasses and sat them on my night stand.  No problem, I reach back over to the nightstand to get my glasses then I settle back in and focus on the screen.  However, this time I noticed immediately that my glasses are smudged from when I grabbed them off the nightstand.  "Are you serious?"  By this time I'm getting aggravated and frustrated and ready to turn over and call it quits.

So my choices are simple: 1) Un- snuggle, clean off my glasses and continue to read.  Or 2) Do nothing and deal with the smudged glasses and read.

I choose neither.  I simply close my eyes and began to meditate.  I instantly became aware of self and began to relax and appreciated the life I have.  I began to realize that life is not all about doing doing doing.  I was able to enjoy the moment.

No matter where I find myself at any particular time, it is my choice to stop time and enjoy the moment.  When’s the last time you've stopped TIME to enjoyed the moment?

Is Your Phone Too Heavy?

When's the last time someone out of the blue has taken time out to contact you just to say hello?  I made an astute observation today when one of my friends from high school decided to give me a call. The first thing I thought was maybe there was something wrong. I once heard it said that "no news is good news.”  So I braced myself for the worse.  Whatever I was about to hear I was now ready to receive.  However, nothing was said to alarm me.  The next thing I thought was maybe this person was in need. Certainly he would be someone that I would want to be in the position to help if he needed it!!!  But this was not the case either. My mind began to race with numerous other minor possibilities. But nothing that I came up with was remotely close to the truth.  

The fact of the matter was, my friend had called me just to say hello. He genuinely wanted to know how I was doing and took time out of his schedule and his day to reach out to me just to say hello. Wow!  What a true friend! After spending no more than 10 minutes on the phone with small chit chat, our conversation ended.  But the feeling of being accepted and loved was overwhelmingly powerful and has lasted far longer than his actions. His choice to say hello meant so much to me, more than a passing thought.  Yes! It’s now a lasting memory.

 

When's the last time you've made the choice to stop and connect with someone? Have you made excuses or said, “I’ll call tomorrow or the next day or when I have more free time?” Maybe you could make a call too. It’s as simple as picking up the phone and dialing a number to talk and fellowship with a friend or family member. What a novel thought.

 

The phone was not too heavy for my friend to say hello to me.  Now it’s my turn to pick up the phone and pass it on. Who will you call?

 

When is it over?

My wife and I just so happen to be watching the Baltimore Orioles versus Detroit Tigers. Yes, it’s the playoffs. The score is 2 - 1 Baltimore.  It's the bottom of the ninth inning and the Tigers are at bat.  The tying run is on base. Countless eyes are on the game and we're at the edge of our seats glued to the big screen.  "The pitch" and the ball is smacked deep into right field.  The Tiger Stadium explodes in an uproar as the batter makes his way towards second.  If you're a Tigers fan at this point you would say it's not over until the fat lady sings. Well, it sure seemed like she was about to holler. One out and the winning run is at bat. You don't have to love baseball to appreciate the build-up of countless hours of dedication from a multitude of players and people to make this moment possible.  

"The pitch".  A solid hit and the game ends with a double play by Baltimore. Baltimore sweeps the series 3 - 0.

 

This got me thinking about my life long struggle with my addiction that plagued me for over 25 years and the many people who put their time and efforts into helping me win that victory.  It became clear to me once I decided to make the right choices that I was on the winning team. It started with one simple good choice which led to another good choice and then another and then another.  Making right choices for the right reasons, this is how I became a world champion…..YES! It was over by making my next choice my best choice over and over again.

With A Deep Breath Followed By A Sigh

Someone made the mistake of pushing the envelope too far in Marvin’s direction concerning disrespect. Marvin was not having it. He called me aside and as we spoke, I knew right from the get-go something was terribly wrong. There was an absolute change in his demeanor, having the look of death on his face. His eyes were fire red, voice low and not clear at all, which was very different from the upbeat person I knew and was with on a daily basis. It was as if he was somewhat winded, however, he was very calm and in control. The first thing he told me was he might have to kill someone today…okay; there was no doubt that what he said was 100% factual. He only needed to know was I able to assist him. There was no question in my mind I was all in, ready to defend my family, even if it meant to the death. How could I not be in on this? Marvin was my brother He sat me down and went over his plan. He wanted me to carry the loaded .38 that we brought back from Kansas. We would be heading out to an apartment in East Germantown; Marvin wanted to drive. I was totally fine with the decision because my hands were already full. I got ready by physically preparing myself, which involved slamming down a beer, putting on my green army jacket, and placing the cold steel pistol into my right jacket pocket. I felt just like Robert Deniro in the movie The Taxi Driver. Was I ready…Damn straight! Was I nervous…Damn straight!! But this was Marvin we were talking about, so I had to pull myself together it is a wonder I did not shoot myself because I never took my finger off the trigger. All Marvin wanted me to do was hand him the gun at the appropriate time and he would handle his business from there. As we parked the car down the street from the apartment building, my mind started to flow with all kinds of questions like, ‘If Marvin got hurt, what would I do? What if someone else got hurt? What if something happened to me? What if the cops come? ’I knew this was not the time for me to ask a lot of questions, no way! This was not a game and Marvin made that very clear to me before we left the car. He paused for a few seconds and then he sat back and braced his arms and hands on the steering wheel…maybe it was to check in and make peace with the Creator, but whatever the case, it was game on.

Choice, Choices Choices…. (Excerpt from Choices pages. 80 and 81)

Shut Up!

Shut Up! These words are extremely harsh to hear from anyone, under any circumstance. There seems to be a certain kind or energy associated with these words. When they roll off of someone’s lips, every fiber of my being cringes if they’re directed towards me. And Like it or not, these word command authority. There is no guessing game as to what is being conveyed. And 9 times out of 10 I get it. With that said and knowing the severity of these words, I’m very careful as to who, what, when, where, and how I use that statement, if at all. There is however, a proper time and place for me to hear them. Let me explain: One of the tools that I use in my arsenal of things to grab out of my Coping Mechanism toolbox, is self-talk (Self-talk is basically your inner voice, the voice in your mind which says things that you don’t necessarily say out loud. Often self-talk happens without you even realizing it and can be a subtle running commentary going on in the background of your mind. But what you say in your mind can determine a lot of how you feel about who you are.......http://au.reachout.com/what-is-self-talk). So, when I hear those unwanted voices that tempt me to go back to any of my old ways and or to do something that I know that I should not be doing, I use self-talk. e.g. Voice: Man you worked hard all week, it would be great to reward yourself with and ice cold beer. Choice: Shut up! I have no desire and almost 8 years clean. I'll enjoy an ice cold root beer. I often share these thoughts with my wife who appreciates my honesty.

Recently, my wife Annie and I were at the local supermarket. On our way to the check-out line, after filling our small cart with some healthy fruits and vegetables we ran across a strategically placed Cup Cake display (Yummy!) Out of nowhere, I heard my wife burst out in her not so sweet voice "Shut Up!” Yes my wife has invented a new Coping Mechanism, it is called Our-Talk. I guess she told those Cup Cakes! And if they didn't understand what was being said we did.

Next time you are tempted to do or say something you should not, will you tell the voice to Shut Up?

The Choice of A Simple Life

Who would have ever suspected that a guy from the city of brotherly love (Philadelphia), who spent 25 plus years with a vicious drug and alcohol addiction, who went in and out of prisons, would find himself on an Amish farm in Loysville, PA with his wife and his friends? Let me paint the picture: We pulled up to this 15 plus acre farm with it's beautiful well-kept green grass rolling hills and it's huge barn filled with animals ranging from miniature ponies, a horse, a pony and 9 multi-colored baby Labs. Off to the far right of the barn was a gorgeous house. A well-built home with a combination vinyl siding and stone work. There was a neatly arranged garden with an array of plants and flowers that added to the majestic landscape. At the edge of the property sat a gigantic factory called Shermans Valley Recycling on an additional 5 acres. Which just so happened to be the livelihood of it’s Amish owner.

I thought to myself that it must take an army to run the business, farm and home. Well to my surprise, after a tour of the barn, a first class Amish buggy ride where l got to drive (Yes! That’s right you read it correctly. A bald headed black man, flying down the highway of life with his Amish friend holding onto his straw hat and his wife in the back holding on for dear life) and a well prepared meal fit for a king, I learned just how it all happens. With the exception of some factory help, I found out that Sam and his extremely pleasant wife Catherine and their 4 lovely children run the whole deal. This was amazing. How could this be? How could this small family manage all of this?

It simply comes down to choices. Where most of us choose to fill our 24 hours with needless things that entertain us or things that occupy countless hours of our time, this Amish family focuses their time on other things. I found out very quickly that a simple life doesn't mean there's not work involved and that it involves a lot of teamwork and respect for one another.

Is it Worth Fixing?

Do you have the guts to take on a fixer upper? With all the reality shows on today, one of my favorite is Fixer Upper. It's amazing how they can go into a neighborhood find a house for a very low price, say 10 or even 20 thousand, and invest time and resources into that property to turn it around and resell it sometimes at an astronomical profit. For me that takes guts. Who would pour their time, money, and resources into a dilapidated rundown property? To me the answer is easy. It's that special someone who is a visionary. The person who sees something in something that is of minimal value and is willing to take a chance to bring the best out of what is presented.

For everyone who is a mentor, your special project is your mentee. And for the mentor sometimes it takes a great imagination to see something that the mentee might not even see in him or herself.

I recently had the opportunity to share a great deal of information with someone who was eager to learn about themselves. They sat there in front of me like a sponge soaking up every word that came out of my mouth. Yet I could see at times that I was sharing so much that it was overwhelming. It was like Niagara Falls flowing as they were trying to catch everything I said with their tea cup. But at the end of the day they were able to take some of the information I gave them and applied in their lives so much so that they chose to take my advice to get help and go into a rehab.

28 day later I got to see some of the work that I was able to share with this person. Were they a masterpiece? No, like most of us they are still under construction.

All I can say is at the end of the day someone chose to believe in me so that I could receive. Someone had the guts to pour into this fixer upper so that I can today help others and for that I am grateful.

The Choice to Believe in Someone

When I finally decided to let my old self die and succumb to something bigger than my selfishness, I decided I wanted to research seminars, speaking and helping others. My life to this point in time had been about sole survival, so to realize there were other people out there for more than just supplying my next ‘fix’, it meant I had finally become a better man. The book I checked out was How to Run Seminars and Workshops by Rob Jolles and has, to this day, had a major impact on my life. Rob’s words in that book were like the drugs I was used to on the streets – I couldn't get enough of them and wanted more and more! Every time I read, I got a high and needed my daily fix of Rob Jolles. When I finished that book, I was elated with thoughts of what my life could be like if I could do something similar to what Rob was doing …so I decided to write him a letter to tell him how his words impacted me. That was the beginning of a life-long friendship that is still in its infancy stage! Rob has been by my side, mentoring and encouraging me. In fact, my book would not have been written if it were not for Rob Jolles telling me that ‘Thinking about writing is not writing, researching and outlining about writing is not writing ….writing is writing’ Not that this man is looking for anything....However, my mom always said to give credit where credit is due. Thanks for making the choice to believe in me, my friend!

A Day at the Ballpark

Well, my wife and I will be soon celebrating our first year anniversary. (September 21st for anyone who gives gifts). We certainly are taking advantage of our extended honeymoon. And today was no exception. My lovely wife Annie decided to treat me to one of America's greatest pass times....You guessed it, baseball. After a few photos for Facebook (including selfies / usies) we did the traditional and got our fair share of snacks….hot dogs, pretzels candy and soda. We found our seats and waited to hear those famous words. "Play Ball"

The game was exciting, however my team lost and I felt a little disappointed. That was until I saw this dad and his son who were so into each other. The dad's focus was to spend this day with his boy. And the boy's focus was on everything that his dad provided. There was no win or lose with either one of them, their choice was the quality time that they shared with each other. Which got me to thinking that I too had made the right choice to spend quality time that I shared with my wife.

What Drives Your Choices?

Just in from Lisa... In late winter my husband and I received news that I may never be able to have children. This was in part due to my weight. I talked with my physician and my husband we all decided the best thing for me would be to undergo weight loss surgery. On June 24, 2014 I did just that. I checked in at Penn State Hershey Hospital and had Bariatric Sleeve Surgery. My recovery is going to be long and, has so far been painful. I don’t spend a day where at some point I’m not in pain, not nauseous or just plain tired from the lack of food. However, I couldn’t be happier! Despite all that I am going through I have many things going for me. One, I have a support system in place that will not fail me. They will not allow me to fail! Two, I have a Lord and Savior that has been guiding my path since birth. He helped me to make this choice and to start this journey. And Three, I can see my future children. This one makes me smile, and feel warm from the top of my head to the soles of my feet. They are why I started this; they are the reason for this choice. I want to make sure that I give them the greatest start in life that I can. In order to do that I need to be at my best, and I wasn’t. I don’t know what will happen in the future, I don’t know what I will look like. But I do know that I will feel wonderful! I will be healthy! I will be a mom!

One Good Deed Leads To Another Being Returned

Yesterday was all but amazing (we'll reserve that word amazing for the Creator).  Yes! Food, Family/Friends and Fireworks. The day was Fantastic!  It was the 4th of July and we couldn't have asked for a better day. The Sun was out, clear skies in the middle of July the temperatures were not 90 plus and humid like I remember most 4th's, no instead it was a cool low 70's. What a great day to spend at the beach for those who went.  For my wife Annie and myself, we chose to stay at home this year. So we went to a local supermarket (remember no crowds everyone's at the beach) to get some hot dogs and a few other items to set our day in place.  After paying for our things we grabbed our bags and continued on our way.  On my way out I noticed a small bag (something that you would receive if you purchased greeting cards from a Hallmark store) unattended in a cart.

CHOICES: What do I do? In my past the choice would have been simple, finders keepers.  Today the choice was even easier.  I picked up the bag and took it back into the store to the service desk.  Oh! There was a 3rd choice, to mind my business and do nothing......

This story only begins here.  Later on, after firing up the grill and eating more than our fair share of food, we found ourselves at the store again.   Only this time I did not find something, I lost something unaware.  After leaving the store and getting in our car, it was time to get back home to catch the fireworks (on TV this year.) Well to my surprise a young man came running out of the store making a fuss.  I noticed that he had his arm raised high in the air like the Statue of Liberty.  Only there was no flaming torch in his hand.  No! He was holding my black wallet......

I can't begin to tell you all the WHAT IF'S that raced through my mind.  But I will share this:  I chose to do something right and the consequences of my actions were someone else chose to do something right back to me.

Does The Weather Determine Your Choices?

Without question this weekend weather forecast of 40% chance of rain could have ended in a bad choice. All week long I anticipated the opportunity to spend time with my daughter, family, and friends at a picnic that was being held outside of Philadelphia in Collegeville PA this weekend. Saturday morning we woke up to rain. The choice was to go or not to go. The choice came down to my attitude.......  

It was my choice on how I perceived the whole situation and at the end of the day I did not let the weather or any outside influences stop me from feeling great inside with the expectation of spending time with friends and family. Yes! I was blown away with the sun that shined in the sky later on that day in Philadelphia as well as the Son that shined in my heart when I saw my daughter, friends, and family.... The choice came down to having a positive attitude despite outside forces.

Is Faith A Choice?

Lisa's thoughts... I was watching Cosmos tonight, something my husband I do every Sunday together. For me this show proves that God exists’. In order for our world to have evolved the way it has as quickly as it has, something more had to be guiding it, helping its development. There is more to us than just a random joining of particles, there are too many things that had to line up just right for that to be true. My husband watches the show and it proves to him that God doesn’t exist even more than before. For him everything has a rule, a law that was followed that allowed us to be what we are. I don’t deny science, I love science. It leads us to wonderful discoveries, and has saved many lives. If faith is a choice then I chose faith. Why? It brings me peace, it brings me hope that this world is not doomed to be “Just a speck of dust in a sunbeam” (as quoted by Carl Sagan) But rather this world is becoming something much more, something better.