Saturday, February 8, 2014

Meeting a new friend!

Good Morning! I hope you are all staying motivated, feeling happy, and committed to improving your well-being and health!
Yesterday was an awesome day. As you know, I took a vacation day because I was already downstate for a work conference earlier this week and wanted to stick around a few extra days. It’s been great to see my sister and her family, although I was on the road most of the day yesterday, but she had to work yesterday anyway.
I headed to the Monroe area to the Salvation Army Thrift store to meet up with a beautiful young woman, Nikki Shaver that I met when I was downstate on Christmas break. At that time she was working at the Salvation Army thrift store in Taylor, MI. I had never been in that store before and it really was a fluke (well, for me it was God’s providence) that I even went there in the first place. I didn’t even know the store existed, but there was an accident on the freeway so I had to take a detour to get to my destination. It was during this unplanned detour that I found the store, and then at the check-out a casual conversation with the check-out girl, Nikki, led to a new friendship and a new member of our Facebook group. I shared a bit of my story with her as she was bagging my items, wrote my name down on a piece of paper and told her to Google me, and the rest is history!
 I didn’t even know her name a few weeks ago, and now she is a Facebook friend and a fellow companion on this journey. I was so thrilled yesterday to visit her store and meet her for an extended conversation. She is delightful and I look forward to sharing her journey. She said that I am her inspiration…when actually, it’s the other way around…she, and all of you….inspire me to be a better person, to try harder, to stay motivated. So, today, I thank Nikki, and I thank all of you!!!
By the way…her Monroe store is great….very clean and organized….AND… I came home with some awesome items.  I scored four more 100% cashmere sweaters and several new blazer jackets for $1.00 each! You can’t beat that! I can’t even dry clean these items for $1.00!  For those of you that are losing weight quickly and outgrowing sizes, don’t’ be afraid to check out a thrift store. You may be pleasantly surprised to find out that they have wonderful, very high quality, name brand items, many still with tags on them. You need to spend a few hours there if you going, especially if you go to a Salvation Army store (which by the way I have found to be the best).  I went down 14 pant sizes when during the course of this journey and there is no way that I could afford to purchase new clothing each month to keep up with my shrinking body. Now I’ve been pretty much stable for the past year, but I’m addicted to clothes and shoes! (better than sugar?????)
From there, I went to the IHM motherhouse to visit my nun friend, Sr. Therese Michael. I know I write about her every time I come downstate but I just absolutely love visiting with her and the other wonderful sisters who have impacted my life over the years. Therese Michael was my algebra teacher 37 years ago and we’ve been close friends ever since. Life-long friendships are a real gift. Although she is confined to a wheelchair and has slowed down mentally and physically, she is still quite alert and a true delight. My only regret? There is never enough time and a six our visit just flies by! When I left, she just kept thanking me for coming. I couldn’t convince her that SHE is the one who inspires me…who blesses me…and I get WAY MORE out of our visits than she possibly could.
Both of my encounters yesterday…with Nikki and Sr. Therese Michael, are perfect examples of how I feel about all you and all those people from around the world who contact me regularly via email. You are always saying such kind things to me, thanking me, telling me that I give you hope and strength, etc…. when in reality… I get more from you, from reading each email, from hearing your story, from seeing your before-after pictures, from sharing your struggles and your triumphs, than you could possibly ever get from me.  We are a team. We have been brought together by divine providence to be companions on this journey; to support each other; to motivate and inspire each other; and to share the ups and downs involved in changing one’s life.  SO...THANK YOU!!!!!
One final thought….I would never have met Nikki had I not had a quick conversation at the check-out. Several of our new group members found us because of a blurb I had on one of my EBay listings. We never know how what we say and how we treat someone, even unknowingly, may affect his/her life. So…ALWAYS…and in ALL WAYS….be kind, be compassionate, and be willing to share your story….whatever that story entails….because not only is God helping you to CHANGE YOUR LIFE, but He is using you to CHANGE SOMEONE ELSE’S LIFE as well!
Make it a wonderful day today!