Today’s blog post is coming from today’s emotions. I’m filled with an overwhelming sense of dismay, a whole lot of frustration, some sadness, gladness, and a bit of gratitude. Sounds crazy, I know. Yes, even I have days like this. This blog is about smiling, happiness, random acts of kindness and so much more, but ultimately this website is about truth and occasionally that means I’m frowning or even having a day of roller coaster emotions. An important aspect of truth is being open and I do my best to be open with my readers. On days like this I remind myself..never give up..simply let go…
How about a blast from the past..”Mama said.”
I just recently heard this quote from Pastor Rick Warren, “God doesn’t waste a hurt.” It was made in reference to what S.H.A.P.E.’s us and our purpose. Our experiences are part of this equation and I agree with him, that often it is the painful experiences that are the most important. You only need to look around this website, and read my backstory, it becomes obvious that I took my painful experiences and transformed them into Unlimited Smileage.
If you are curious about the other letters in his acronym, here they are.
- S is for your spiritual gifts.
- H is for heart, the things you love to do.
- A is for your abilities, what are you good at.
- P is for your personality, what kind of person are you.
- E is for experiences, all your life experiences–good and bad.
I find so many times my heart knows the answers and I can speak them, I can even write them down. Then my mind kicks in and so does the doubt. That’s when I ask myself, “Why are you doing this?” There are times when I feel like I give my heart and soul, everything I have to this mission and for every person I help there are two more waiting. This is not the glamorous life that it may appear to be.
I have some wonderful suppliers who make sure I have clothing on my back, a bike under my behind, a helmet on my head, bags to carry my things in, and pictures for this site, for that I’m ever grateful and humbled to know they found this a worthy cause. This site wouldn’t exist without some wonderful donations of services from those with more tech knowledge than I can ever hope to have.
The newest to add to this list of suppliers is Eddie Bauer, they have sent me clothing for my presentations so I’m not showing up in riding clothes. I felt as though this was the company that best aligned with my values and could provide the more professional, yet still casual and comfortable look I need when sharing with a group or business. A huge thank you and a big smile go to them for believing in me and what I do.
Are you wondering how I pay for all this if my sponsors don’t pay me, how do I what I do? It is through people like you. The donations that come in to the site go to taking care of the needs of others. There is nothing more rewarding than seeing the smile on a child’s face when he gets a new pair of shoes, or a the tears of joy from the Mom who’s refrigerator you just filled or even the assurance you get from paying the bill for a woman who couldn’t otherwise pay for a much needed PAP. The list goes on. I’m never sure what the needs for the week may be. It is difficult to predict what the email requests will be. Some weeks I’m not sure where I will be, making it nearly impossible to know what my heart may see.
When I set out on this journey I gave up my apartment and sold most everything I owned, including my car. As a minimalist, I didn’t own much but I knew I would need a small amount of cash to keep myself going and to eat. I promised myself that I would not use donations for my own needs so I’m constantly on the search for freelance work as a writer. Those jobs have seen me through some tough times since I started this journey in 2011. Just like everything else in life, Unlimited Smileage is evolving, ever changing and so is the one woman show. When the going gets tough I never give up, I just let go….
What can you do? How can you be part of this evolution–the one thing I want more than anything, words of encouragement…yep..I want you to read this blog and leave me a comment that says you appreciate what I’m doing..maybe you have feedback..maybe you disagree with something I’ve said..all comments are welcome and fill me with the joy of knowing I have made a difference in someone’s day.. Yes, I know some of you are saying but I tell you on Facebook or in some other way..and for that I’m grateful but having it here as a permanent part of the smile movement would make my day..