Do you ever think about how many times per day you say that you are too busy? Too busy to talk on the phone to an old friend, too busy to go to the gym, too busy to hear how your child’s day was at school, or too busy to volunteer? If you find yourself saying this too often, we can miss out on the blessings and miracles of life. I personally used to be guilty of over-committing and never saying no. When I realized that I was not being as productive, I started to plan out my days and I am happy to say that I enjoy on a daily basis the blessings of seeing the sunrise. To have the ability to admire the blue skies each and every morning is a blessing. If that morning it is raining and I do not see the sunrise, I enjoy the raindrops.
I enjoy the blessing of being able to speak to people daily and listen to their stories and concerns. Sometimes a person just needs a listening ear for support. We cannot fix everyone’s problems, but it is amazing how some problems can be corrected by listening to a person and then that person comes up with a solution just from sharing with someone willing to listen.
My favorite thing in life to do is to enjoy the blessing of quiet moments with God. In the stillness and quiet of my home when no one is around except the wind blowing the windchime, I can recharge my batteries for the day. So the next time that you think you are too busy, stop and think about what can you rearrange and spend less time on. Can you schedule things on a calendar and not give yourself more than you can do in a day. There is a feeling of accomplishment when you can check something off your to-do list when you only give yourself what you can do in a day.
Today schools across America celebrate Read Across America in honor of Dr. Seuss’ 115th Birthday. It is a day where children all over the country celebrate their love of reading and learning. Rosie Moore, Mrs. Michigan International had the opportunity to visit with 4 classes and share 2 of her favorite stories, A Day in a Puppy’s Life and The Magic Snowflake
Sunset Park students in Ms. Johnson’s K5, Mrs. Pagan’s 2nd grade, Mrs. Hooker’s Class, and Mrs. Carnavoli’s K5 class enjoyed their stories and had the opportunity to ask questions about who the illustrators were for the books, is there a job for someone to read the books first before they are published, how did Mrs.Michigan get to be a reigning queen, and many more fun-filled questions.
Sunset Park’s Principal Jay Gangwisch and Vice Principal Mr. Andrew Connell were very involved in making sure that their students all had a great time with their guest readers today.
Mayor Gary Bruhn of Windermere was also a guest reader at Sunset Park Elementary today!
But of course, the day would not have been complete and possible without the coordination of Mrs. Robin Krause.
From the words of Dr. Seuss himself:
“Today you are you! That is truer than true! There is no one alive who is you-er than you!
Don’t cry because it’s over. Smile because it happened.
Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.”
This is going to be a long blog, not my typical type, but I wanted to share this with you, my readers because sometimes we hold on to things and realize years later, we did not need to.
There are times when people cross our paths and deliberately hurt us in such a way that you never want to remember that moment. Six years ago I worked for a large employer that I thought was going to be the place I would retire from in my old age; until I encountered a woman who was my boss, we will call her Madame G. She was a very self-centered person that had no shame in telling a person what she thought about them. She made it known that she did not like people or children and often joked that she was lucky she liked her own children but refused to acknowledge that she even had grandkids. Her grandkids were not allowed to call her grandma, she had a special name for them to call her, it was Gma. She raved about her ability to be the best in the industry. Wow! There was no room for questions and answers, the response as a new manager there that I received was read your policy and procedure book ( this book of many was over 300 plus pages long). This type of job was new to me as far as state laws were concerned and some training would have been appreciated, but the management portion of my job was not new to me.
I had a team of about 15 nurses and social workers. The team was great, they were willing to work hard and help each other. My team was very multicultural consistent of Spanish, Haitian, Trinidad, African American, and White, but I loved the diversity because no other team had that. My management style is that of a transformational leader which is someone who seeks to motivate and inspire others by influencing versus directing others. My boss was a transactional leader which is someone that focuses on supervision, organization, and performance. They promote compliance by rewards and punishments. She was feared by many on her team. I realized this on day one of being with her, but with a little boy that had medical needs, I knew I could not afford to leave this high paying job with benefits. As the months went by this leader brought me to tears daily at my desk ( I worked from home primarily and in the field with my staff).
On one instance, two months after starting work there, I was to meet her at the office so that the management could go out to lunch after that for the Christmas season. Madame G started to ask me why I was not caught up on all the reports that the other managers who had been there longer than 5 years had completed. I advised her that I had questions on the reports as there were many due at all different times of the months, her response to me was, “is there something wrong with your learning ability?” I felt bullied at that very moment thinking, did my boss just call me stupid? I held back my tears and anger long enough to reply no, I just had a question, but I will figure it out. We left for our lunch with the other teammates. At lunch she presented us with a gift that she felt fit our individual personalities. My gift was a black velvet Journal called Bright Ideas. I thought it was a nice gift since I love to write. I thanked her and said this will come in handy when I am out and I think of a good idea to write for a new book or blog. Her response to that was, “I don’t read books, I read the policy and procedure every night and that way I memorize it, anything else there is no point in reading. ” I found this to be strange but moved on.
The following month I had to go out to do visits with one of my staff, during that time, I went to a nursing home and met some of her patients. While there I picked up a bacteria from a patient. I was deathly ill, to the point that I could not even sit at my desk to work. I went to the local Centra Care and they thought I had a passing cold, and gave me medicine to take and instead of getting better, I developed fever, chills, pain, weakness, and became dehydrated. My husband in fear took me there again, they tested me for the flu but found out instead I had picked up a rare bacteria. They asked where I had been and as I explained that I was at the nursing home, they realized it was a nursing home borne bacteria. I was quarantined contagious, my then toddler son had to be sent to my mother’s house and anything I ate with or drank from had to be disposable. My husband emailed Madam G because I could not sit up at the desk long enough to write it. The Dr. had excused me from work for an entire week, due to being contagious for a week or the alternative would have been a hospitalization. I said I would comply and rest. Madame G wrote back stating that I needed to go to work since I worked from home and that my work was going to be backed up as no one was going to do it for me. I had to go back to Centra Care to get a note so that I could fax it to Madame G excusing me from working at home as well. Eventually, I did get better and was definitely careful to visit nonsick patients when I did field visits with my staff in order to protect my fragile medical child that could not afford to get sick. This posed problems with Madame G because she said that was why she did not like kids because they were always sick. Whenever I took PTO to take him to appointments, I received a lecture about it. I took PTO when my sister in law passed away and even that was questioned. Wow!
As the months went by, things did not get any better, until one day, we received an email from the general manager stating that Madame G was on medical leave because she had to go out of town due to her son being severely ill. I wanted to do the happy dance because I thought yes peace on earth for a while, but I did ask God for forgiveness and prayed for her son. Work life was going great while she was gone. I learned a lot, did my job and sought help from others. It was nice to be praised for good work by her covering manager. I even got to plan the department Company lunch for Christmas, from what I heard, the staff stated they never had a nicer party than that. I was glad that it brought people from all across Central Florida together.
Months later she came back with a fury, I had reached out to her when she came back to say I hope her son was okay and that I would pray for his continued recovery, I felt it was okay to say because on many occasions she said she was a Christian. Things continued to worsen to the point that HR got involved for her yelling at me and then retaliating because I complained to HR. When I went in for my evaluation one day she proceeded to talk about the gun that she carried everywhere she went and how she was not afraid to use it. She spoke about how she scared off men so that they would not think they were taking advantage of her. I feared for my life being in a board room with no one around and her telling stories of having a gun with her everywhere she went. After 18 long months, I could not stand it anymore and left. My staff still to this day write to say hello and tell me that they miss me but understood why I left and Madame G left shortly after I did ( No one knows the details if she was asked to leave or if she left on her own).
As Mrs. Michigan International, I get the opportunity to attend many events to help promote the charity The Gift of Life that supports babies born prematurely and their parents. Recently, I was asked to be at a high profile event where many celebrities would be present and be the keynote speaker at the event. I thought what an honor for the charity. My good friend and singer attended the event with me, she was a great supporter to me that day ( I will share why in a minute). When I received the program book I nearly passed out, under the volunteer section, in black and white it listed the name of the volunteers, and there it was Madame G’s name. I could not believe it, I called my friend and she said can it be someone else, I said sadly no, this person has a name so unique it cannot be mistaken for another Jane Doe. I thought maybe she won’t show up, maybe she just helped out and that was the extent of her help. I lost sleep over it the night before. My friend prayed for me and bless her heart I think she worried over it with me.
I arrived at the location and as soon as I got there I saw Madame G from afar and thought please help me to stay away from her God. Well, as I walked to the check-in table the Coordinator of the event, came up to me with open arms and a warm greeting and announced to everyone, this is Rosie Moore, Mrs. Michigan International, our celebrity. She looked over at Madame G and said, come and take her to the restroom to get ready with her sash and crown. My friend had arrived but was preparing to sing so I was not able to get her to come with me. I wanted to just die at that moment. As she came up to me, she gave me a hug and said welcome. She proceeded to have me place my bags in their designated spot and walked me to the restroom to get my sash and crown on. We walked around the entire building as she did not know it was right across from where we had been standing until someone pointed that out to her. She made small talk about the humid weather and early rise of the day. She asked if I needed help getting ready, I said the fastest no on the planet.
The day went by as I posed for pictures with the celebrity guests and in one of those instances, I had to pose in a picture with her as well in a group picture. I tried to remove myself from the picture but it was insisted that I remain because all the volunteers wanted the picture with me in it. Soon it was time for my speech, I was not nervous to speak because of the people that attended the event but more so that someone that hated me so much and bullied me for a year and a half was going to be sitting in the audience. She had been assigned to make sure I had everything I needed that day. I tried to be self-sufficient, but honestly was being treated as the second main celebrity of the day.
I presented my speech with confidence. The prayers that my friend said just before speaking worked because not an ounce of nervousness or hesitation came about. I did not think of Madame G or anyone else. I spoke about what The Gift of Life is and why we do what we do. I was recognized with an award for being a speaker. I was touched at this generosity.
The event has long passed a few months ago and these thoughts were still in my head. I thought about poetic justice and the flip side is the person that treated me so wrong was humbled by having to serve me that day ( in the sense of seeing to anything I needed). But as I really thought about the lesson in all of this, it was a lesson for me, it taught me also to be humble and give all my worries and anxieties to God. When my friend prayed my nerves were calmed down. I lost sleep the night before over something that was not my problem to worry about. I learned that I should pray for those that are indifferent towards me.
I have seen this person at another event that I attended, again I was given a VIP seat at the event and she was there in another section with the volunteers. I happened to see her in the hallway of this event and pointed her out to my husband and my friend that also attended this event. I greeted her and said, hello we meet again after she saw that it was me that said the words, she continued to walk the other way away from me. I know in my heart that I will forgive this woman because that is what God asks us to do. She may harbor ill feelings or dislike towards me, but that is something that she will deal with on her own. As for me, I choose to be free of someone hurting me and holding on to those feelings for years.
I still often wonder about my purpose in God’s ministry. Most recently, I discovered one of my purposes. I will share a good story that is worth telling. A story where the lives of people come together, sometimes in difficult circumstances and individuals ask themselves, “Why am I going through this?” People sometimes try to make sense of tough circumstances and endure them as part of life. Others gain strength through difficult times, as they place their faith in God. The latter somehow are left with a sense of peace, knowing that everything will work itself out in God’s time.
We all desire for miracles to sweep us out of our current situation, or some kind of relief valve to reduce our stress. But most of us can recount times in our past where hardships turned into a blessing. This is a short story providing us with a little hope, that God does hear our prayers, He does see our hardship, and yes, He does want us to participate in His work of blessing others.
Franky and Alyssa had been planning their wedding since they first got together, and the couple constantly had to push the date back because they just didn’t have the financial means to plan a wedding. They had decided to get married at the courthouse, hoping they could have a traditional wedding ceremony and reception at a later date. But like most young couples, their desires were put on the back burner in order to take care of the business of family. Now being twenty-three and having two kids, one of them being a preemie, had been extremely challenging, especially since the babies were only one year apart. Yari (two years old) and Ezequiel (a one-year-old preemie) are what you would call miracle babies, especially since Alyssa was bound to face any pregnancy as a major challenge, due to her petite size.
The bride shared with us her story in her own words.
“We found out we were expecting Ezequiel when Yari was just six months old. I had a good first trimester, but once I hit the twentieth-week in my pregnancy, everything went downhill. On my husband birthday, I was having heavy contractions and was placed on bed rest for the remainder of my pregnancy. At thirty-three weeks, while I was just sitting down, my water broke. Franky rushed me to the hospital. Because it was so early in the pregnancy, the doctors didn’t want to deliver the baby until at least thirty- four weeks. But Ezequiel was born at thirty-three weeks via C-section.
Every hospital visit from our twentieth through thirty- third week, Franky and I would talk about our dream wedding. I would tell him how I wanted to be able to dance with my dad. I loved to dance and wanted my wedding to be full of dancing. I wanted my parents to be able to relax and not worry about anything. We would talk about how we just wanted everyone to have fun. I would tell him that I wanted a dessert bar (not an alcohol bar) full of strawberry- frosted and glazed donuts from Dunkin’ Donuts, chocolate chip cookies, candy, and just things we love to have along with a strawberry milk fountain rather than a punch fountain.
But upon Ezequiel’s third week in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU), we decided to hold off on any wedding plans. But we wouldn’t stop talking about all the romance we wanted in the room with lots of candles and flowers. Ezequiel has taught me to my keep faith in God because He is taking care of everything. Ezequiel is now a twenty-one-pound one-year-old baby, who has been through so many milestones. Like other preemies, Ezequiel gets weekly therapy to help him catch up. I never imagined a blessing was just around the corner, much sooner than I had ever imagined.
I’m very thankful to God that my dream wedding will be taking place all because I met Rosie with 27 Miracles. Everything has been a true blessing, and I am so excited.”
27 Miracles has worked with various charitable events, either hosting or contributing their resources in the past, especially during the busy holiday season. We have had the opportunity to participate in events that raise funds with well-known charities: Brides Against Breast Cancer; Toys for Tots; Boys and Girls Club, and Wish Upon a Wedding. But we never imagined something of this nature to occur and the manner in which it occurred.
27 Miracles has established relationships with people all over the wedding industry as the years have gone by, and some of those relationships have been very beneficial to the overall mission and purpose of 27 Miracles. A caterer had contacted us prior to the start of the holiday and wanted to donate his services to a deserving bride. He offered his services to cater a wedding for seventy-five to one hundred people, centerpieces, linen, bouquets/floral for bride, and bridal party. The caterer’s philosophy of business was centered on generosity and service to all his clients. The caterer has given his services away to those in need on a regular basis, as a way of giving back to the community, and to be a blessing. He has always credited God with his business’s success and vitality. So, the time came for him to donate his service to a special couple, worthy of the donation, who would be getting married in December or January.
I had been contacted by Alyssa earlier in the year; she had postponed her wedding several times due to financial needs pressing her, from medical and other living costs, mostly associated with taking care of her family. So, when I was contacted by the caterer, who was seeking to bless a couple with his catering services, I was excited. I had established a special relationship with this bride, who also had a premature baby at home.
I said to the caterer, “I do happen to know a couple. They are a young couple. They have a daughter and most recently had a preemie baby boy who was in the NICU like Kaleb, my own son. For a while, she tried to plan her wedding with us but was not able to come up with the funds to do it.”
The caterer was happy to help out this couple, as a Christmas blessing. I immediately contacted the bride.
I offered the bride this special package and said now she should have sufficient finances to cover the rest of the vendors, including my services. Alyssa spoke with Francisco, the groom, and even with two jobs, the couple still was not able to make it work financially. Due to the medical bills that they had, Francisco became stressed with finances and was taken to the Emergency Room with heart palpitations secondary to stress (He is much too young to experience this).
I didn’t want the bride to lose this opportunity to get the majority of her wedding covered and knew if she didn’t take advantage, she could lose this onetime chance, so I decided it was best to give away my services also. I felt in my heart that this couple was the most deserving of this Christmas blessing, and I wanted to make this happen for them. I knew that we were hurting and in need of financial payment, but as I prayed, I felt in my heart that I was to donate my service to this bride.
However, I said to myself, “I need the income, how can I?”
What came to my mind was that the caterer donating his service is donating not only time but the actual product that he has to purchase, as well as hiring additional staff to help him do the event. I thought to myself, “All I have is the knowledge and the service to help put this together.” But, that was just the beginning. In order to have a fully functional wedding from start to finish, we were still short in other services. I thought, “What about the photo, video, DJ, and cake? When I prayed, the right team of vendors that would make this happen for this couple came to mind. As I contacted the main vendors for the photo, video, DJ, and cake, they, without many questions replied, “Yes, we will help.” They responded just as what was laid in my heart with their hearts. We asked a few other vendors if they could donate their services to this couple, some were not able to help, and that was okay because people have to do what is best for their business. But the ones that originally came to my mind were generous and willing to be a part of this Christmas blessing.
One of the things that God laid on my heart was that it is easy to make a donation when the blessings of riches and business are with us, but when we are struggling, it is not that easy, and that is the true sacrifice. I understood that to mean that it is not about me or anyone else, but about blessing someone with the talents that we have.
The Bible says, “It is more blessed to give than to receive,” and that is true. We know the rewards may not be financial, but the joy to have this couple walk down the aisle and fulfill their lifelong dream will be the reward in itself for now. On December 2, 2011, we had a team of earthly angels make this day the best that it could be for Alyssa and Francisco.
In Hebrews 13:2, it states, “Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it.” This team of vendors gave away a Christmas blessing for Alyssa and Francisco, despite some of the opposition that some went through in the last two weeks dealing with personal and family illness, accidents, hospital stays and broken promises, but they all said regardless of our circumstance, we will be there. God has a plan, and we are here fulfilling it for His glory.
The bride and groom had no idea what 27 Miracles had in store for them on their wedding day. Some of the additional blessings at the wedding included; the beautiful Venue, professional uplighting, Chiavari chairs, fuchsia aisle runner, crystal trees, a wishing tree, butterfly-decorated cake, strawberry cake pops, limo ride to the honeymoon destination, a two-night stay at a luxury hotel in downtown Disney, tickets for two days to Disney park of choice, harpist, vocalists, and so much more that made for a complete wedding experience.
The bride and groom were surprised every step of the way throughout the ceremony and reception, never aware of what surprise awaited them around the corner. 27 Miracles today is very thankful to have had the privilege of working with several vendors, who each generously contributed their time, finances, and services.
The ghost that I did not share earlier was the caterer who said he never agreed to a hundred people at the last minute: the week of the wedding. I said, “That is what you offered us and we have it in writing.”
He said that he never said that and that if I did not like that, I can cancel the event or pay the difference.
During this time, I had lost my day job and had many medical bills from my premature baby. So, how could I pay for the additional guests and vendors who donated their time and service and the children? The caterer was only covering fifty people and wanted the payment that week, immediately, for the additional guests. I knew that the client did not have the funds, neither did the family. I spoke with the mother of the bride and she said that she could help with four hundred dollars, but it still left a seven hundred dollar balance.
I was unemployed, and the only income I had was my unemployment check and weddings. I thought, “What to do now, Lord?” So I took my unemployment check and the few dollars that we had saved and paid the man. And so I thought, Okay, he can take the remaining five hundred dollars owed from a coordination commission job that we worked together. It should have been 10 percent according to the agreement. Well, when it came time to collect, I said, “Can you take my commission and just put it toward this wedding? His reply was, “Sure, I can put the fifty toward that. It is 10 percent of my profit, and on this event I only made five hundred, so fifty is your commission.” Wow! I said, “Lord, what am I to do?” I believed that the Lord would provide, and I used my unemployment check and sacrificed our needs. I know, not smart—but we did survive.
Shortly after the money was paid, I thought with Christmas coming, a toddler that was sick, how would we do this and keep the power on and get groceries and a gift for our son? The Lord provided. We humbly sought the help of Nathaniel’s Hope for a gift to give the baby. A friend purchased another gift, a story book, and a stuffed toy that went with the story and my little toddler knew no difference that year. Right after Alyssa’s wedding, we landed several weddings that helped us recuperate. We had to continue to use our God given talents to help others and glorify the Lord.
The vendors involved were:
27 Miracles staff—Rosie Moore, and Marcus Moore, who donated their services (wedding coordination), wedding gown preservation, children’s meals, vendor meals, additional centerpieces, and Angela Nuran Shoes (www.27miraclesbyrosie.com) (http://www.angelanuran.com/).
Cornelia/Keepsake Floral, who donated floral preservation of the bride’s bouquet (www.keepsakeflo- ral.com)
Lena Graham/Lean G for the bride’s hair and makeup (http://lenagraham.com/)
Candi Ekstrom/All About Your Wedding Day for the bridesmaids’ and bride’s mother’s hair and makeup (http://www.allaboutyourweddingday.com/ default.asp).
Susan Esposito/Casa di Bella for the bride’s gown, veil, and tiara (http: //www.casadibellacelebration. com/)
Kim/Kim’s Tailor and Alterations—donated the wedding gown alterations to the bride.
Jon Zimmerman/Absolutely Fitting—donated the tuxedos worn by the groom, groomsman, and the groom’s father (http://absolutelyfitting.com/)
Joel Rodriguez/Bjoely Catering—donated catering services, food, linen, and floral for fifty people (http:// www.bjoely.com/)
Priscilla Lucas/Party Flavors—donated the wedding cake (www.orlandocustomcakes.com).
Ronnie/Ronnie’s Candy Kitchen—donated the straw- berry cake pops (www.rwchocolatefountains.com).
Diane Jensen/The Wedding Party—donated her service, wedding arch, cake and sweetheart table décor, wedding chocolate favors and other details to enhance the wedding (http://www.thewedding- party.us/).
Suzanne Nichols/Suzanne Nichols Design—donated crystal trees and wishing tree (http://www.suzan- nenichols.com/)
Marcus Moore/27 Miracles—officiating services (www.27miraclesbyrosie.com).
Christopher Gaitan/Vocalist—donated his time to sing.
Brittney Morris/Vocalist—donated her time to sing.
Christine MacPhail/Harpist—donated her time to play (www.orlanodharpist.com).
Andres Roque and Assistant Kri /Miami Pro DJ— DJ services donated for ceremony and reception
Louise Alimahomed/Royal Plaza Hotel/donated an executive suite for 2 night stay in downtown Disney (http://www.royalplaza.com/).
Rose Robinson/The Invitation Lounge–donated Wedding Invitations (www.theinvitationlounge. com).
Marisol Ferrera/Nannuk Media and Invitations—donated menus, place cards, table numbers, and wedding programs (http://www.invitationsbynan- nuk.com).
Darrin Shifrel/Orlando Wedding and Party Rental- also donated the Chiavari chairs and tables (http:// www.orlandoweddingandpartyrentals.com/).
Christmas is a very hard time when people are going through a divorce. I often ask myself why do children have to endure a divorce, especially during the holidays. Most recently as I was on line waiting to see Santa with my little one, a little boy about 8 yrs old brought a letter for Santa to read. In the letter, he asked Santa to bring his parents back together. Santa peered through his glasses at both parents and shared the boy’s wish with them. The look that was on the mother’s face was that of hope, the father had the look of “I am only doing this because it is the last year that I will be here with you.” It was sad to see these looks, but the saddest was the disappointed look on that boy’s face. Santa Claus responded that this was a very tall order and he only specialized in gifts that he could warep. The little boy took his picture and walked away.
I could not help but wonder what will happen to this little boy’s faith in Santa Claus, but most importantly, in his parents. and when that never happened he seemed to have lost his hope and his belief in Santa. In situations like this, your first desire is to helo that little boy. This Chrsitams let’s be sensitive to all we encounter especially if they have been through a divorce.
Follow Rosie Moore
Every year author Rosie Moore writes encouraging messages daily for the 25 day countdown to Christmas. This year she was preoccupied with the new ventures in life and she almost let the year go by without writing, but as she pondered on the thought, she wanted to bring you her readers, Christmas ghosts and Miracles. Stay tuned December 14th for these impactful ghosts and the miracles that came out of them.