Charlie Wilson...that name probably doesn't ring a bell. But for those of you close to my age, you'll most likely know who he is. Or at least know his voice and some of his songs. He was the lead singer of The Gap Band, one of the best funk bands ever: You Dropped a Bomb on Me, Party Train, Outstanding...
His story really resonates with me. Maybe it's because he's a Wilson, or maybe it's because I have a repressed funky side (I think that's it!). He had it all, lost it all and was changed by the power of God. You see, he was at the top of everything, got hooked on drugs, became homeless and then received blessings from God to change his life. It's a common story, I guess. But because he had it all and God resurrected him, it's a story filled with heart. Now, my life hasn't exactly had all of those situations, but his story of a life changed is very inspiring.
This time of year isn't always the easiest for many people - they may have lost a loved one, have bad memories or have no one to share the spirit with during the holidays. That's why a kind word or hello, a smile or a hug along the way, even with total strangers, is such a special thing to share. We never really know another's life story, just like they don't know ours. We don't know each others' past, present, hurts, joys, hopes or spirit. I didn't know his life had so many ups and downs until just a few days ago.
It reminds of my friend Keith who died a month ago (and who I wrote a message about just a few weeks ago). He went through a lot of ups and downs, but came through it changed by God. I am very grateful God can do that....for anyone, no matter what. I continue to pray for blessings, healing and love for others, and for my continued growth with all of those too. God is with us, no matter if we feel that way all of the time or not.
Blessings everyone, and Merry Christmas. XO
I'm including a Gap Band jam to remind everyone what his life was like (and how darn good old funk music was), and then including two of his current songs, which are beautiful. He is a changed man, which is pretty cool to see.
I have to say it again...love is everywhere. You tell me:
Watching a student who was about to take an ornament I gave my students, step aside so the last student called could make her choice first.
On the hospital elevator, a wife and her injured husband saying, "I wish there was button to Florida," and as I get off at my floor wishing me a "Merry Christmas."
In Urgent Care to see if there's a serious problem with my swallowing. As I leave I ask how much she thinks the visit will cost, the nurse says, "Don't worry about it, we're going to act like you weren't even here." (how about that one?!)
Watching my 9-10 year old students so excited to watch their teacher open the gifts that they gave him. It's pure, untarnished joy.
Steve Kerr's heartfelt speech about Craig Sager...see below.
Having a speech therapist giving me a fluoroscopy (video x-ray). I ask if I can get a hard copy photo for my students and she says, "I'll put a copy on a flash drive for you." (if you're wondering, my throat and swallowing are okay).
Uplifting texts from so many friends.
Having a co-worker unselfishly cover for me at the holiday concert.
When a shorter woman gives me an odd look as I pass her in the grocery store, and then asks, "Can you read that bottle up there and see if it says Caramel?" I say, "Yes it does, I'll get one down for you."
This one needs a prologue - I played the Grinch at my school's holiday concert three years. I was given a Grinch stuffed animal that I now hide each morning the week before Christmas break for the kids to find. A student surprises me with two boxes she made for me - a mean Grinch and a nice Grinch who's heart is now three times bigger. (see photo below).
Another student example - watching several students working hard to finish their "boxes" yesterday so they can give them to siblings or relatives as gifts.
You tell me ....is love all around us? You bet it is! And that's just what I've experienced - how about you?
Blessings everyone. XO
Following Steve Kerr's video below is a pretty mellow tune, but listen to the words...it has a lot of heart.