As the Mom of a college student three days away from heading back to college dining hall food and a teenage autistic son who is ALWAYS hungry, I have often found myself saying “time for lunch!” Of course, if I am being honest, lunch around here often consists of anything with buffalo wing sauce for my son (and I do mean ANYTHING), anything with cheese for my daughter and, if I remember to bother eating lunch at all, a blueberry Rx bar for me. The exception is when my husband is home. He can make something amazing in about two minutes with what looks like, to me, a fridge filled with nothing other than left over chicken, spinach, capers and, of course, cheese and wing sauce! Seriously, my husband has his PhD in biochemistry but I may still be most impressed by his abilities to create culinary masterpieces out of limited ingredients or his ability to get 8 loads of laundry done AND FOLDED on the weekend before they get wrinkled. Sorry, ladies, he is mine!
But, I haven’t often said “time for launch.” Well, you see, this is my VERY FIRST BLOG POST on my blog that I finally “launched” yesterday. But, I didn’t simply sit down, decide to start a blog and suddenly, BAM – I have a website and a blog. No, I started 8 months ago. I did tons of research and, apparently, took a more complicated route than I probably should have. Then, instead of actually starting the blog, I stared at a webpage that said “Let’s launch Collateral Blessings!” and kind of froze. Then, life got really crazy which often happens when you have a child with special needs or, well, any life. But, instead of letting myself off the hook and forgetting about it for a while, I left the page open – on every single one of my devices – my iPhone, my iPad, my laptop – yep, every single day for 8 months I saw that tab. I knew that if I clicked on it or if I accidentally swiped to it on my iOS devices, I would be greeted with that terrifying, “Let’s launch Collateral Blessings!” all over again! I was starting to see it in my dreams and, after a while, in my nightmares.
But then, two things happened which made me realize it is time for me to stop terrorizing myself with open tabs and unrealized dreams and start doing something about them. First, and by far most significant, my daughter, who has always been completely craft-challenged and craft-disinterested, despite my relentless begging through her entire childhood, came home from college for Christmas break and promptly locked herself in her bathroom. All she would tell my husband was that she was working on a Christmas present for me and that she needed the vent on so she wouldn’t pass out from the fumes. I clearly must have been distracted by other Christmas preparations because had he told me that she was “crafting” for hours on end with her bathroom vent on, I certainly would have become very suspicious. We are talking about the girl who would barely agree to even stick photos on card stock while I scrapbooked her baby book – and I was a Creative Memories Consultant for 6 years! Anyway, on Christmas morning, she gave me the fruit of her labor – a mod-podged storage book covered in photos of our family and me with my friends, named after my blog which contained a plaque that said “Don’t Quit Your Daydreams” and a quote on the inside that said:
When you stand and share your story in an empowering way, your story will heal you, and your story will heal somebody else. Iyanla Vanzant
As soon as I saw it, and stopped sobbing messy, happy tears and asking her repeatedly, “You did this? YOU? Really? But you hate crafts?” I knew I darn well better get this blog launched before she went back to college!
The second thing that happened is pretty cool as well. Ever since my husband and I have been purposefully working on our marriage and volunteering at our church on leading marriage classes, events and small groups, we have been particularly impressed by the sound research skills and writing ability of Shaunti Feldhahn. We came upon her books For Men Only and For Women Only several years ago and they made an incredible impact on our marriage. Last year I had the opportunity to participate in a study for research that Shaunti was doing for a new book she was working on. I was pretty excited when I had an opportunity to talk directly to Shaunti on the phone following the study. I tried to play it cool during that first phone conversation but I do remember telling my friend that I was concerned I would come across as such a big fan (i.e. stalker) of hers that she might seek a “no-contact” order against me by the end of the conversation. As far as I know, no legal proceedings ensued and I was able to be involved as part of the “launch team” for the book.
Before I talk about the book itself, though, I have to say that the story behind Shaunti’s decision to write this book on this topic, in light of the political and social climate of our Country today and the timing of the book are all incredible stories I wish I had time to share with you. In the same vein, the fact that I ended up as part of a study and on a launch team for a book that launches this week with a nationwide challenge that launches in a few days, written by an author whose best selling book has sold more than 2 million copies in 21 different languages, seems too serendipitous to believe. Shaunti, her staff, her launch team and I, in the case of her book and I, in the case of the timing of this blog (since my role as part of the launch team is to help promote the book and challenge through blogs and social media) prefer to view it as divine intervention.
The book is called The Kindness Challenge – Thirty Days to Improve Any Relationship and it is available anywhere books are sold. I bought my copy on Amazon. If you are interested in buying one for yourself, you can click here. The really cool thing about The Kindness Challenge is that it isn’t just a book. It is actually an entire movement toward kindness. I intend to post again in the next day or so all about the Kindness Challenge Book and the 30-day challenge which is set to launch on January 16th. Until then, if you are interested in learning how you can improve any relationship in 30 days, check this out: Join the Kindness Challenge or the Kindness challenge vimeo link. I’m super excited about the challenge and, like everything else Shaunti has written, the book is straightforward and easy to read and apply in real life.
So, I guess that’s it! Thanks for reading and, if you want to get more posts from me in the future, feel free to subscribe below. Also, I’d welcome any feedback you have as I start this journey into the beyond that is the blog-o-sphere!
3-2-1- Lift off!!!
Time for Launch! by Collateral Blessings is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.