The last day in Arizona I had the opportunity to speak at
The Shine Project event.
The Shine Project is a for profit business that employs inner city kids
where they learn important business and life skills, are able to sustain themselves,
and have guidance throughout their college experience.
The students create beautiful jewelry to sell.
They are involved in running everything from customer service, shipping,
jewelry design, t shirt design, new product design, sales, and events.
Over 40 scholarships have been given since 2011, and 100%
of donations given directly to the students.
The Shine Project currently employees 11 inner city students.
At the event, some of the students shared with us their stories of
heartache and also success in their journey.
I was so grateful that Claire and Jane could come and listen to them.
They were inspiring, confident, and hopeful.
After the evening was over and the girls and I were driving home,
Jane began to cry.
My girls still have a hard time listening to me speak.
Even though the accident was long ago,
they still feel the pain and remember the heartache.
I tried to be as conscious of their presence there that evening
as I relayed our story to the crowd and felt heartbroken with Jane's tears.
Then she said:
"I think Dad is amazing. He is so strong and brave.
I know your story mom, but dad doesn't really
share his side of the story, and I think he is so amazing."
Then Claire chimed in and told me she wants to marry someone just like him.
My heart melted and after I put them to bed I called (and woke up)
Mr. Nielson who was at the ranch and told him about our evening, my speaking,
and Clane. In between my own tears, I also expressed my love for him
(and also how I was the odd ball at the event with all the AZ girls.
Think: tights. The photo below is awesome and my girls and I had
a good laugh).
Life is ever changing and ever moving.
I would have never thought when my life was so deeply in despair and heartache,
that I would be where I am today.
So, here I am telling you to HANG IN THERE!
You can do this--whatever it is you are going through.
Even if you can't control your situation, you can control your thoughts,
your actions, your smiles, your laughter, and how you deal with you trials.
Special thanks so LuLaRoe for sponsoring the evening and my cute dress!!!
I wish I had a few better photographs of the evening,
but I was lucky to get the ones I have.
Clane isn't really very good at documenting events...yet.