Friday, July 8, 2011

Patience? What’s that?

Patience happens to be something I find I have very little of… I try to be patient, but Oh! The anticipation! Regardless of the anticipated outcome: good or bad, I want it here. And I want it now.

…I admit that I’m a bit of a hypocrite when it comes to patience. I’m consistently telling my son to be patient: don’t interrupt; no, we are not there yet; wait until you are older; among the many other quips we, as parents, find ourselves repeating over and over to our children. I even ask my fiancĂ© to be patient: I’ll be ready in 5 minutes; I’ll just quickly run in and out. However, he admits to being even less patient than I.  

We all find ourselves with patience tried at one time or another. But can you imagine being patient in a time a loved one has beaten you or your children? Or being patient with a woman that continues to return to her abuser, time after time?

As the saying goes, time heals all wounds, but who has the patience?

Those at Children’s Inn have the patience of saints. The women, the children, the counselors, the volunteers: they all, while patience may be tried, take the time to heal the wounds, waiting, with patience. Anticipatory, likely; but patient still.

In the beginning of 2010, I had the opportunity to help initiate a makeover effort for Children’s Inn. The plan: grand, the timeline: immediate, and the effort: valiant of all involved. However, the execution? Delayed, and delayed, and delayed again.

Towards the end of 2010, my fear was that this effort would be abandoned, and that was something I could not bear. I had made a commitment to Children’s Inn and vowed to see it through. So, after months of work had gone into the effort, the effort was revised. The plan: less grandeur, more basic with functionality; the timeline: immediate still; the effort: unbelievable. And the execution? Completed!

Through Furniture Outlets USA, South Dakota Furniture Mart, and their fantastic and caring vendors, an overflowing amount of participation and assistance poured in. And finally, in May of 2011, the install took place.

Three common areas, a large family room, a small family room, and a teen area at Children’s Inn received fresh paint, all new furniture, area rugs, TVs, and wall art. The visible difference was drastic and beautiful; from industrial to cozy, stark to warm. The response was heartfelt and humbling, to know that those seeking safety will also find a comfort of home they may have never known before.

There is now an electric fireplace crackling in the large family room in front of the large scale sectional. And over-stuffed, comfortable rocking chairs towards the back of the room to comfort small children.

It is not uncommon to find someone curled up on the chair in the small family room quietly reading a book. Or find older children playing video games on the new flat screen TVs in the teen area.

And to witness this transformation for Children’s Inn? Definitely worth the wait.

Patience, while fleeting, is a wonderful thing. Because you can’t deny, some things are just worth waiting for. Some things are worth never giving up on. And the best things are often the most difficult to obtain, requiring hard work, and, of course, plenty of patience.

Click on the photos to the right to view some before and after makeover pictures of Children’s Inn.

To learn more about Children’s Inn and how you can help stop the violence visit

Friday, February 4, 2011

Get Your Red On!

I’ve always loved the color red. It’s so vibrant, so alive. Wanna make a statement? Red makes it loud and clear. I’ve got a red leather purse, red shoes, a few red shirts, and a little red-dress pin. And I’m wearing many of these things today for National Wear Red for Women Day. What a fantastic cause!

A woman’s heart bears many things. We bear the pain of our loved ones: the worry, the fear, the sorrow, the broken hearts, the disappointments, the aches, and the tenderness. And we revel in their joy.

I remember reading an email about being a mother, and it reasoned that the experience of having a child gives a woman the ability to live with her heart entirely on the outside of her body. I love that analogy… I’ve found no better explanation to describe how much a mother cares for and loves her children.

But it isn’t just the mothers’ hearts that need protecting. It’s the hearts of all women.

So, I ask you to join me today. Get your Red on.

**for more information regarding heart disease, please reference these websites: