Monday, March 18, 2013

The Power of New Beginnings

Last week was great. As I headed back to South Carolina for my very first book signing, I was both excited and overwhelmed; in a good way. I looked forward to creating new beginnings in a place I once dreaded coming back to. It was a huge success. Although my initial plan was to start  the tour in my hometown and travel to the cities I lived in chronological order;  everything happens on purpose,  and "our plan" is not always the best plan.

As it works out, I will be close to my home town in April unexpectedly. I was invited and then interviewed to be 1 of only 20 makeup artists in the country to attend an exclusive training event in Provincetown Massachusetts and I am one of the chosen ones! I will now kill two birds with one stone while I am there. Since I wanted to stick to my schedule of starting the book tour in March, I decided to make the kid's Spring Break the week to kick off my tour and begin it in SC instead. Behind every moment that does not turn out as originally planned, there is profound purpose; I know this through experience... but somehow it still amazes me how things just fall into place so perfectly if you don't fight to have it your way.

As many of you already know, my book is dedicated to my sister Teresa who was killed in 1981 by a drunk driver in my hometown of Ware, Massachusetts. What I failed to remember was that she was buried in South Carolina when my parents made the decision that they would eventually move to SC after her passing. As we drove the kids around showing them where I went to school as a child, it dawned on me... what better way to start the day of the signing than to visit my sister's graveside. My whole family was together for the first time in 5 years, it was so appropriate. My children have never been, I had not been in over 22 years, my Mom, dad and younger brother had not been in a few years, and my brother Keith had not been since she died 32 years ago. It was so perfect and gave my morning the start it needed to carry on promoting this book in her memory.
The only one missing in this picture is my daughter Abrielle because she was fast asleep.

I could not think of a better way to have started start my tour. God had a firm grip on this one; you don't have to believe it, but I do. His hands are wrapped around me tighter than ever now that I am on the path he had intended for me. He lead me back to exactly where he wanted me to go; where he knew I needed to be, and by doing this I am traveling back in time day by day erasing all the negatives that engulfed my past. He is healing me with his guidance and loving me like nobody else can. My heart is so different than it was several years ago, and I am overwhelmed  and in complete awe of how everything is unfolding.

After getting the news on Friday of last week that I had been chosen to be part of a non profit christian ministry as an inspirational speaker, I was overjoyed, speechless and am so close to my "Happy Ending" that I can  touch it. The opportunity to reach hundreds.. perhaps thousands of people with inspiration and hope during troubled times is a dream come true for me. I knew the day I started typing my story I was on the right rack, I was SURE of it, and at that moment everything negative that had ever happened to me finally made sense and was worth every second.

It is amazing, yes, it is miraculous, but it is something that YOU can experience as well. The day I stopped worrying about how things were going to be, the day that I stopped trying to control the direction my life was taking and simply had 100% faith in the plan that unfolded before me with each decision I  made... my life changed, and so can yours if you believe it will. Mistakes are meant to occur, sinning is part of who we ALL are, but judging others for what they do that we don't agree with is wrong no matter how you look at it. Once you get that and begin to live by it, things will become more positive around you, I promise. Love like no other to live like no other... that is my catch phrase!

It's never too late to change, it's never too late to start over and embrace a new beginning so that your outcome may be different and better. Never stop growing, reflecting, and most of all never stop setting and reaching your goals with every arm stretch.

I want to thank each and every person for coming out to my events last week, it meant the world to me for you to share that very special day with me. I am forever changed once again and look forward to the remainder of my journey in life., I hope you will continue to follow it.


This is me with a former classmate who has become one of my huge fans and supporters

This is me with one of my favorite teachers Mr. Hyatt from elementary school who I speak of in my book and the secretary Miss Becky from that same school.
Their smiles greeted my every morning as a child when I really needed a happy face.

I was delirious from the week can you tell?
Taken at the after event

 Old friends are the best! I was so happy to see and celebrate with this gang!

As I was speaking

Although I was tired and windblown I smiled for a picture with a friend and fan