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Crying Shame

For quite some time, I’ve thought about the conspiracy of love, the relationships we form with people that sometimes,often times,make sense only to us.
I have,over the years,gotten to know and to care deeply for people that have scars on their bodies, which can be seen and felt,just like my own scars but, the real wounds,the real scars are the ones carved on the soul,hidden from all but the most trusted few. 

Sometimes, though,those scars become chains,snares,gilded circles of barbed wire wrapped tightly because of a decision to hold on to the pain, to yield the  rope of unforgiveness, to create such a web that tangles everyone that even comes close.

There’s something tragic about seeing people afraid to step outside the confines,to dance with someone,to enjoy company;a cup of coffee, an long conversation because they have been unforgiven, and sometimes, it’s that they haven’t forgiven themselves but far,far more often,it’s because love hasn’t.

And it is a crying shame.

❤I wrote this on February 17 of 2015 and on February 17 of 2016, I added this.

“Little did I know that in one year these words would mean even more and the reality of my words would demand my response,”

Now, on February 17 of 2017, I realize just how much I’ve learned about love,about forgiveness,about relationships and just how beautiful choosing to live with an open,giving scarred and healed heart is. 
God has created in me a capacity to love and forgive-myself and others-far beyond what imagined and I am fulfilled with wonder.

Feel with both hands, Jeanna’

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Only A Few

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Feel with both hands, Jeanna’

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

Let It Go

A little girl
So much like me
Grabs my hands
Pulls me away
An invitation
Shining in her eyes
“Play with me!”
She says
“Let’s sing and dance”
And nothing else matters
Even one bit
I put the music on
The video,too
We stand and sign
“Let it go,Let it go!”
We twirl around
Run up and down
Our eyes twinkle
With shared delight
And all I can think
Is that the song is true
“The past is the past!”
Leave it there
Start anew
Take the chances
You’ve been waiting your whole life for
“Let it go,Let it go!”
Don’t let anyone else define
Who you are
Dim your sparkle
Crush your hopes
Imprison your spirit
Doubt your beauty
“Let it go,Let it go!”
Open your own door
Give yourself permission
Issue that invitation
Grab on tight
Hold hands
Sing and dance
Wear whatever you want
“It doesn’t matter what anyone else says!”
The little girl
That’s so much like me
Is watching
every move I make
“Let it go,Let it go!”
One might think
I’m teaching her
But,truth be told,
She’s the one
Teaching me the most
“Let it go,Let it go!”
And so I’ll follow the lead
Of the little girl
That’s so much like me.

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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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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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'