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Feel with both hands, Jeanna’

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Maybe

Maybe she could do more
And do with less
Maybe she could be satisfied
With what she had
After all, it would be enough
For almost anyone
Maybe she could tame
The urge inside her
To go and see
Hunt and explore
Maybe
Instead of looking
Outside the windows
And wondering
What the rest of the world
Looked like
She could just imagine
What it would be like
Maybe she could patch
The worn out soles
Mend the holes
Patch up the places
That had worn thin
And maybe,just maybe
She could find a way
To do everything
Just the way
She needed.

Feel with both hands, Jeanna’

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Read Between The Lines

She drew an imaginary line
Dividing who she was
And who she’s becoming
She used to be satisfied
Crumbs instead of feasts
A peck on the cheek
Pat on the back
A few kind words
Once in awhile
A little bit of loving
Was just enough

Then bit by bit
And day by day
She began to see
It wasn’t  too much
It was just more
Than she had ever expected before
Though it seemed like
It was perfectly clear
Maybe you should have
Read between the lines
Listened to her heart

She wants something
To hold on to
When you’re not there
A hand written letter
Handcrafted card
A token from
Where ever you were
To show she came to mind

A glass of wine on the patio
A cup of coffee
For no reason at all
A slow dance
A little romance
She wants to be known

She wants to pull on
Memories
Layer on love
Wrap herself in the warmth
Of a lasting relationship

She wants to look
And see
That there is love
Engraved
In more than
Just her heart
She wants more

She wants pieces of you
To have and to hold

Feel with both hands, Jeanna’

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AVA C.A.R.E Cast Your Stone Choose to be love Create A Ripple Effect deaf girl Deaf Massage Therapist Heart to heart kindred spirits Make Love massage Massage with Soul writers with soul Writing

A Real Miracle

It’s no secret-not any more-that I’m hearing impaired.
People usually figure it out pretty quickly on their own but I’ve changed my approach to my deafness,and instead of hiding it and hoping no-one discovers,
I’ve finally begin to just tell people before they assume the worst; that I’m either ignoring them,being rude,or just plain dumb.

Over the years I’ve gotten
used to the questions, like “Where are you from? I’m trying to place your accent ” and “How can you love music and dancing so much?”  and “Can you hear ANYTHING??”
I’m used to it and I don’t mind explaining to others and enlightening them about my deafness now.
If someone asks me, I’m always willing to answer questions,but there’s a few things that just rub me wrong.

Please don’t look at me with pity and exclaim, “I’m so sorry ” when I tell you that I can’t hear and,please, for goodness sakes, don’t begin to define me by my hearing loss.

My hearing loss isn’t something to be pitied,it’s actually one of my greatest gifts.

You see,my hearing loss brings out the truth in people rather quickly.
There’s so much that one can learn about others and about yourself when you can’t hear as well as most people can.

I notice everything,even subtle mannerisms,and shifts in energy  because I rely on using total communication-using the limited hearing I do have,reading lips and body
language, while looking deeply into the eyes of whoever I’m engaged in conversation with. I get to sit close to people, I get to hold eye contact and I really focus on who I’m with.

I’m not just “hearing impaired”, I’m a woman that wants to understand and be understood; it’s that pure and simple,and that complicated and overwhelming.

I’m much more than what I’m not, and when people say “I’m so sorry” upon hearing that I’m deaf, I gently tell them “don’t be sorry for me,be sorry for those that hear but don’t listen.”

A few weeks ago,a new client came in for a massage and read my AVA article that was on the table. After talking a few minutes,he asked me if he could pray for my hearing to be restored.
I took his hands in both of mine and said,”You can pray for me,but please listen to this story first,then pray as you see fit.”

My Aunt Dorothy was a feisty woman who had been blind since she was a toddler.
One night she went to a tent revival and the preacher man,upon realizing there was a blind woman in the crowd,came down and begin to pray loudly over her,laying his hands on her eyes, and asking God to restore her vision.
She let him pray and then,she said something that has stayed in my mind all these years.
“You pray for my eyes to see,when what I need prayer for is my heart. I can be bitter and mean,hurtful and unforgiving, and that’s what really needs prayer. I don’t need to see things,I need to be a better woman,I need to be kind,to be patient,to be more loving.  When I die,the first thing I’ll see is the face of my Saviour, Jesus Christ.
I don’t need to see this world, I need to LOVE these people in this world.”
Then with a loud laugh,she added “But if you can make these glass eyes see,that would REALLY be a miracle!”

“Really be a miracle.”

Please, pause and ponder this for a moment. What would really be a miracle?

Sometimes we see a disability and that’s all we see, we don’t look deep enough to realize what else is there. We see a wheelchair,
instead of a person; we notice the crutches,and don’t look at the beautiful blue eyes; we see the elderly man take cautious steps, without realizing that long ago,he fought for our freedom.  We see the child with Downs Syndrome, and overlook the child’s pure joy of life. We see deaf people signing,and only think about what they don’t hear instead of marveling at the beautiful language and culture they share. We see the white cane, and act as if the person is invisible.

Like the preacher man,the strangers at Taco Cabana-who approached me and best friend years ago to ask if they could pray for my hearing- and my client, so many people pray for what they perceive needs a miracle. It’s human nature to want to “fix things” and to change things to what we think is “normal” or “better”.

We look,but we don’t see and we hear,but we don’t listen. We assume too much,and know far too little. 

The real miracle, I believe, would be for us to really look beyond the surface,behind the disabilities,the disfigurement,
the differences and see the abilities,the beauty,the uniqueness of each person.

We need to pray that our hearts will overflow with compassion, that we can see the goodness in the world,and hear the sound of love.

We need a real miracle and it’s within each of us to make it happen.

My client,after hearing the story of Aunt Dorothy, prayed for a “real miracle” for us both to have the heart to forgive and to love. He understood right away that my deafness wasn’t what a problem to be fixed,but a unique part of who I am.

So, I give this story over to you and urge you to listen with your eyes,to hear with your heart,to touch with kindness,to see with clarity and to create a ripple effect of miracles right now.

It would really,after all,be a REAL miracle.

Feel with both hands, Jeanna’

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Little Things

When I need
Just a little
Extra confidence
I search for
Things
That make me feel
Love
Protected
Secure
Wanted
Things that remind me
Of who I am
And was
And will become
Pieces of my soul
In each little thing
I put on a ring
That was worn
by my mother
A set of bracelets
Given by my daughter
A turquoise heart
From Mexico
Cowboy boots
That unknowing friends
Bought for me

It’s just little things
But they mean everything
On the days
I need a little extra
Something

It’s a tangible memory
I can see and I can feel
The presence
The love from them
That gives me
Everything I need
When I’m all by myself

Feel with both hands, Jeanna’

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AVA C.A.R.E Cast Your Stone Choose to be love Create A Ripple Effect deaf girl Deaf Massage Therapist Heart to heart kindred spirits writers with soul

Cast Your Stone

There’s a story in scripture that even those that don’t believe in Jesus know.
The book of John tells that a crowd gathered around a woman who had been accused of adultery and demanded that she be stoned,according to a set of rules and regulations.
Jesus, however,said these powerful,profound words-“Whichever one of you is without sin,cast your stone.”

Of course,no one did because no one is without sin but I can just imagine the people walking away, thinking to themselves,perhaps huddling in small groups and whispering,”Sure, I sin, but my sins aren’t as bad as hers .” or justifying it by “well, it’s different in my case; I’m nothing like that woman!”

I know,because I’ve been there on both sides.
I’ve had well meaning “Christian” people accuse me of having an inappropriate relationship with another man and I’ve been quick to pass the same exact judgment on another woman.

I’ve felt the sting of being on the receiving end of verbal stones that were etched with words of shame, anger, bitterness,hatred, judgment,condemnation,and jealously.
Those stones lead me to build up a big wall,shielding my heart from others. It was my way of protecting myself but it also, unintentionally,created a barrier that isolated me and kept me from forming close,intimate relationships.
I hid behind my stone wall, barely even letting  those closest to me inside. I even pushed God out of my life because,after all,wasn’t it all His people, the Christian- God believing,church going people that had placed me in the situation?

For years, I worn this invisible “scarlet letter,” and I also pulled on a mask,pretending not to care, ignoring the loneliness,and trying hard to convince myself that it really didn’t matter.

It did,though,and I was only fooling myself. I wasn’t fooling God and He saw right through me and He gently began to soften my heart and to teach me  something else.

“Cast your stone,” He said, but rather than the hurling stones at someone like they did in the past, with strict rules and regulations, engraved with condemnation and judgement, I want you to cast stones as if upon water and create a ripple effect.
I heard His voice,whispering softly yet persuasively, filling me with words of life to mark on the stones.

Love. Joy. Tenderness. Kindness. Encouragement. Peace.Mercy.Honor.Clarity.Abundance.Compassion. Hope. Grace. Strength.Patience. Understanding.Courage. Acceptance.Generosity. Forgiveness.Faith.Beloved.
Desired. Cherished.

All these beautiful, affirming words that could be used as stepping stones….laid out one by one by one to create a pathway-a mosaics of inspirational truths- showing others what God’s love is really all about.

So yesterday,my husband and I bought a huge bag of black polished river stones and a few white Sharpie markers and began to write the words we had been given along with the name of our new website, http://www.castyourstone.com.

Instead of hurling stones with force,we will place the stones gently into the hands of people and let the ripple effect take place. We may leave stones where they can be found,and we might place a stone in unexpected places,but I know this much for certain.

It may seem random to us and it may not make sense at the time,but God has a plan and purpose for each and every thing that happens in our lives.

I know that everything I have experienced has taught me to be slow to judge,and quick to forgive. I can see how some relationships that others would think the worst of have actually been pivotal, life-changing ones.
I know that I’m the woman I am now because of all the relationships-the good and the not so good-that have shaped and taught me.

Sometimes the very things that break us,also brings us to where we are supposed to be.

Love works that way-God works that way-and it’s absolutely amazing to recognize how things fall into place. I don’t regret a single thing because I’ve learned so much about my capacity to love and God’s incredible attention to detail.using all things to work together for good.

I have received the beautiful stones of mercy and grace,of love and clarity  and,in turn, I’ve chosen to give back the same stones. I’ve offered forgiveness and found my own freedom, I’ve let go of anger and received peace, Instead of holding grudges,I hold hands and I feel the love of God  overflowing from every part of my life.

It really is true that we should never judge anyone because they sin differently than we do.
Rather than.pointing fingers.we should offer a hand….we should cast a stone.
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This creates a ripple effect. A simple stone,a single word,an assuring touch can be the very beginning and it can go on and on,expanding and overflowing, making a tremendous impact and changing the world.

Whosoever is with sin -that’s each and every one of us- mcast your stone and create a ripple effect of love. <a href="http://castyourstone.com&quot;
Feel with both hands, Jeanna'

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Don’t SQUANDER!

Every so often I’m reminded of what this life is all about….and I just feel the need to whisper “Please,don’t squander one bit of this marvelous life you’ve been given.”

Please, take this life and use it until every single drop overflows and splashes out, drenching others with your love, your passion, and your unique spirit.

Please don’t diminish who you are, or settle, or doubt the extraordinary purpose of your life.

You see, I’ve learned something during this last year, when I’ve had to come to terms with the way I had lived my own life.  There were some dark days that I really had to struggle to make sense of, and I had to figure things out almost entirely by myself.

Those “dark days”, as I call them now, are the days that lead me back to my Creator and forward to the life of intention, passion, and love that I had always wanted to live.
I took the words that had been spoken to me and held them up against the words I read in scripture and, slowly but surely, I began to see myself through the eyes of love – God’s love – and that changed my outlook and my life.

I claimed a verse about being “Set Apart” and held that one close to my heart, along with another one about “Promises Kept”.
And then I just decided to let go and let God.  That’s been something that I always thought was a bit of “cop out”. Ooh, yeah, “let go and let God”?
It really is easier said than done…..but that is exactly what I did.

I stopped trying to fit in some preconceived mold of what a “good, Christian woman” was and started finding out who I really was and what I believed.
I discovered that I wasn’t “too much” after all and that all those things that others said was “too much” was actually “just right” to God. I’ve always had “too much” passion, “too much” energy, and I felt “too strongly”. I was told that I “loved too much”, that I “gave too generously”, “acted too sensual ” and the list went on. I had never felt quite good enough but just couldn’t put my finger on why I felt that way.
I had started to diminish my light, to pull on a mask and to hide behind a wall in an attempt to try not to feel so strongly about anything but, as I read and reflected, the words began to fill my very being with grace, strength and courage – more than enough of everything to make me realize just exactly what the real truth is.

“Fearfully and wonderfully made”, written plain as day. That meant everything about me – from my hearing impairment, my strong will and passionate soul, my brown eyes and everything that was “too much” was actually all intentionally planned.

This taught me that God created me and loved me enough – just me – and I didn’t and shouldn’t have to depend on anyone else for validation or love or acceptance.
He who created me also wanted me and loved me just the way I am, and that was it.

The more I studied and understood, the more free I felt; the weight and the burden of everything lifted off my shoulders and went squarely onto the shoulders of my Creator.

Then I came upon this verse in 2 Corinthians 6, where it said ” Please, don’t squander one bit of the marvelous life that has been given to you” and I just whispered quietly,”Never again, God, never again”

Never again will I withhold forgiveness when I can give it. Never again will I decline an invitation because I doubt my beauty. Never again will I build up a wall to imprison myself. Never again will I pass up a chance to be kind and considerate. Never again will I squash myself down to fit into someone else’ comfort zone. Never again will I settle for less than what I really want. Never again will I regret anything I’ve done.
Never again will I waste any of my marvelous life.

http://www.bodyandsoulinspiration.com

Feel with both hands, Jeanna’

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Choose To Be Love

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When I saw this beautiful quote on a Facebook page that  I often look at, I had to capture it and save it,knowing full well that I had not always chosen to be love.

Too many times, I’ve seen families torn apart and friendships ruined because of choices that were anything but love.  People have chosen to build  walls,to hold life-long grudges, to constantly hold on to the past as if it were a treasured heirloom.

I’ve done it,too,although I’ve tried to sweep it under the rug and to make it seem like it was something different,the hard truth is that I’ve let friendships fall apart and I’ve built up walls that held out people that wanted to love me.

 Maybe the intention was to protect ourselves from further hurt,but the truth is those choices actually cause more pain.
The anguish of loneliness,
the bitterness of unforgiveness,the stench of regrets wreck havoc on the soul and breaks down the body.

“Choose to be love.”

I let those words soak into me. I sat outside on my patio,pondering those words over and over, and I wrote poetry.
My own words started to mock me,to call me out,to push me from my comfort zone of keeping my words to myself and just a few close friends.
I knew the power of words-I claimed words of courage,of inspiration,of hope,and love. I printed and framed quotes and sent cards with favorite quotes tucked in but I was also cautious-selecting those that I shared my poetry with,giving only glimpses to others,relying heavily on a few kindred spirits that I felt “got me”.

So,I started to do some real soul searching-digging deep into what it means to “choose to be love.”

It hit me clearly,upside the head,the other day, that to chose  love means taking action with my words.
It means that I can’t just write beautiful words,I must also LIVE those words. It’s not enough to speak them,to read and frame them, to write them and keep them tucked away in my journals.
If I really consider my words to be a God-given gift then I absolutely must do more
with my words and my life.

“Choose to be love.”

For me, I choose to make  a decision  to step forward and to forgive,to let go of the past and to start over,to open my arms wide,even while tears ran  down my face,and my heart was broken.
I choose to look for the glimpses of light in the darkness,to see the  significance in a lightening bug on rainy night, to wait out the storm until the dawn broke through with clarity,and to take chances.

“Choose to be love.”

As I write this,tucked in my covers,leaning against the pillows on my bed, my heart speaks quietly,reassuring me that the timing is good and that it’s time to begin living the words that I claim to be beautiful, to be true,to be inspirational,and to be love.

I will make the choice each day,each moment to respond with love. I will take my words and create things with them, and I will be first-to forgive,to embrace,to nurture,to come around, to give gifts, to open the door,and to tear down the walls.

I will choose to be love and maybe, just maybe,my choices will come back to me a hundred fold, and others will live the words that they receive and they,too,will choose to be love.

Feel with both hands, Jeanna’

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I Want To Talk To You

One evening, I decided to walk outside to pull the weeds along my front flowerbed.
My family was about to watch a movie and the timing seemed perfect to sneak out alone.
I made it to the end of the pathway when my daughter came walking up to me with a sparkle in her eyes and the biggest smile.
“Mom. I have to tell you what Riven just said” 
As I had shut the front door and walked out,my two year old granddaughter,ran behind saying,
“Hey,hey,hey I want to talk to you!”

Since I’m hard of hearing, Riven’s call fell on deaf ears- however, my daughter made sure that I knew what Riven said.

“I want to talk to you.” 

What a loaded sentence. It can fill us with anticipation or with dread, depending on who makes the statement and what the circumstances are.

Sometimes it’s hard to say those words, to be the first to express a desire but other times,it’s a confirmation that we are,indeed,wanted.

My daddy could always be found outside in our backyard,sitting on this long swing he had hung,under the shade trees.
Wherever I wanted to talk to him, I knew where to find him and, more importantly, I knew that he would always listen.

Sometimes, though, Daddy would tap my shoulder and sternly say, ” I want to talk to you” and I knew to go out to that swing and to wait for him to come.
I learned some very important lessons while sitting on that swing, listening to my daddy talk to me.

“I want to talk to you.”

I crouched down in the grass, wiping the dirt from my hands and asked Riven, “So, you want to talk to me?”

Pure delight filled her eyes, the  biggest smile lit up her face as she grabbed my hand and exclaimed,”YEA!!”

We walked hand in hand to my own porch swing and sat down to “talk”, but mostly we just laughed and snuggled. It wasn’t the words that mattered,it was about the time we spent together.

“I want to talk to you” 

When my friend sent me that text, I knew that we would soon be sharing a meal, leaning forward,catching up on each other’s lives.
It was an invitation, a request to share thoughts,ideas,and feelings.  There’s something so special about friendships that grow because they make the time and effort to spend quality time together-to talk and to listen.

“I want to talk to you.”

A year ago, those words were said and I stood for months on the ragged edge between hope and despair,faith and doubt,lost and found.

That’s when I began to realize that I had to make a choice -to tear down-the walls I had built and to forgive and heal the wounds or to give up and move on from the past.

“I want to talk to you.”

That’s how I’ve always seen God -like a wonderful dad that pats the seat on the swing and beckons me to sit down and pour out my heart to Him.
I don’t have to plan ahead,to get all dressed up or attend a special service at a certain time or to fight the feelings of shame or judgment.
I never second guess my place,or doubt that He’ll listen.
I just know that, no matter what I have to say, He’ll listen because all my life, even when it fell on deaf ears,He was saying,

“I want to talk to you.”  http://rockwallbodyandsoulmassage.comI

Feel with both hands, Jeanna’

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Holding Ava

Several months ago, I found out about something that would change my life. It was something I had only imagined.and suddenly, it wasn’t only a hope,wishful thinking,or a fantasy -it was becoming a reality!
I waited for months,just as if I was expecting a baby, filled with anticipation, dreaming and planning, for the day that I would finally hold Ava.

The day came, just an ordinary day.when an email arrived “Are you ready for Ava?”

My eyes filled with tears.my hands shook and I whispered, “Finally” before bursting into a dance of pure joy and exclaiming, “YES! YES! YES!”

AVA is an acronym meaning “audio – visual accessibility” and it’s an incredible new app that allows for deaf and hearing impaired like me to finally participate and understand group conversations, by linking smart phones in a network that enables spoken words to become readable text.

So, unless you’re deaf or hearing impaired,or know someone who is,then you may not even know about Ava or understand my excitement.

Well, why don’t you just step into my cowboy boots and walk a mile or two in them

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