Sunday, September 28, 2014


I was raised to give more that I get. I was taught to put others first. I think or rather I pray at some point we were all led in the direction of putting others before ourselves. I know that isn't always the case in this day in age. Somehow, somewhere selfishness creeps into all of us. The want to put ourself first and to take before releasing or reaching toward others has become the norm in our lifestyle. Look out for number one... Take care of your own or no one else will. I think we all have that in us, selfishness to the point of disregard of others. What I've come to embrace, and even more so now after the week I had last week, was that even though we all have that tendency, it shouldn't define us.  It shouldn't be allowed to glorify us as a society or as a person. We can hold tight to what we are taught and be example of our upbringing any time we want, and it feels so amazing to do so. We can rise above any hurt or 'lack of' to give back and show grace and mercy more that we show pride and self-centered actions. In doing that, in giving first I have learned the heartfelt lesson that it provides so much more, more than any prideful boast or lofty accolade could do.
It fills your heart with a fullness that could never be found by solely caring for yourself only.
I had the honor of taking a Vision/Mission trip with my company to the Dominican Republic this past week. The vision was for us to see first hand the Child Survival Programs through Compassion International that we {Mary&Martha Consultants} sponsor. The mission was to open our hearts and eyes to the children and mothers at risk within some of the most rural and dangerous towns in the DR. Not only were are hearts opened, they were broken by what we saw. We wept for those who could not care for themselves, and reached out to the littlest of the little to share some form of compassion for what they've endured. But along the way we all realized it wasn't our sorrow they wanted or asked for, it was our smiles and love. Compassion in this amazing culture isn't pity, it's celebration. It's joyful pride in their community, their family. It is found in what they have and how far they have come, together... Not alone. They rejoice with one another and for one another, lifting each person up so that the community as a whole moves forward. We shared who we were together and found we weren't all that different from one another. We love our families. We adore a God who blesses us beyond measure. Ultimately I realized that we all want to connect, to share ourselves so that we are forever bonded in the compassion of God's love.
They taught me that...
Give and you will receive. Bless and you will be blessed. Show compassion and a deeper compassion  will grown within yourself that you never knew existed. Share and you will be shown love ten times over. I may be home now, but a part of my heart remains there amongst the mothers and babies because it belongs there. Just as a part of them now resides here with me, we have a bond.
True compassion doesn't stop. It does not need to be seen or even heard to have it grow. All that is needed is the love shared through our God to remain together, to keep compassion going.
{If anyone would like more information on how to partner with my Mary&Martha sisters to help fund a Child Survival Program, I'd be beyond happy to connect with you. Comment below.
I will get in touch.}

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Time Together

I have always been of the mentality that memories need to be of grand stature to be actually memorable. Maybe it comes from my large Italian family mentality? Let's face it even if only half of us get together it's a big 'to do'. Seriously though, I think that subtlety lost it's way with me early on and I didn't find it again until I had a family of my own. It's funny to me how God leads us to and from our own making to gain and grow, yet change and shift into a whole person along the way. For me that path really formed when I met my husband. Completely the yin to my yang, he slows me down when I speed up and gives the quiet to my chattering noise. Then when we had our boys that lesson came full circle as we continually watch each of them take on snippets of each of our own personas... One quiet and reserve, one endless moving and knowing no strangers.
The lessons we have learned from each other has not only challenged us but also brought us closer as a family, or a team as I like to call us. Because let's be honest, if we all had our way the 4 of us would go in opposite directions each day, we are vastly different that way. If we didn't work together to make our family life meaningful it just wouldn't magically happen. From quiet dinners to fun nights out... it all leaves an imprint on our family's heart. It's that give and take that allows that difference to mesh us tighter together as a team and a family.
We didn't go on any big vacas this summer or even make a bucket list like summers past.... We barely even left the metroplex!! But, looking back I know we made memories that will further our family bond, a bond that strengthens our team! And that's what matters. Life together needs to be celebrated in both big and small ways. Times that are full of movement and times where you just take a step back and chill, all of those moments can bring forth savored memories. 
I know God placed us 4 together for a reason. This summer has really brought that home for me. Each of us is a reminder to one another. We are that gentle nudge to go out and do more and the subtle pull back when we've over extended ourselves. That is our team all wrapped into one. Meaningful times don't have to be grandiose to be remembered. Little moments won't be forgotten as long as in those moments you are truly present with those God gave you. I need those reminders more than anything.... It's those reminders that fill my soul. And I thank the Lord I have 3 reminders that live this crazy, yet sometimes boring life with me!!