As we head in to the New Year, I would like to dell out some encouragement to help our readers welcome a strong and hopeful 2014.
Blind Architect, Chris Cowney, gave this incredible TED talk on designing cities with the blind in mind, and how this not only benefits the blind but also offers major advantages for the cities themselves.
My favorite take-aways from this talk are:

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If you do nothing else to add some inspiration to your day, watch this video.  Dr. Bill is a blind optometrist who spends his days helping blind children.  He had me both laughing and crying as he shared his story, and I think his spirit and message of rising above life’s challenges is one that we all resonate with as humans.

My grandpa Bob passed away a little over three years ago, and yet I still remember vivid details about him.  Like the way he would gently say “Easy now” to anyone acting a little too rough.  Actually, that was his response for a lot of situations – when his wife shouted bossy commands, when my siblings and I fought, when someone cut him off in traffic.  I can sometimes hear his soft words as if he’s still right next to me telling me to just take it easy.  And although I have so many other fond memories of my grandpa; I think that “easy now” is my favorite because it’s something that reminds me to calm down and be kind to myself and others just as he was. Continue reading

In conjunction with my last post, I wanted to share a brief snippet from one of my new favorite books, “One Thousand Gifts”.  While this author is not visually impaired and the content of the book has nothing to do with RP, I think you will find it inspirational nonetheless.  Using some of the best writing I’ve read in a long time, Ann Voskamp speaks truth about noticing and giving thanks for ordinary aspects of life– even the aspects that are difficult and painful.  This book has challenged and deepened my faith as a Christian.  I found myself smiling to myself at many parts, laughing and even flat-out weeping in the middle of one chapter.

It’s one of those books that really stays with you and helps you glimpse life anew. Interestingly enough, I noticed that she uses quite a bit of vision metaphors and in ways I hadn’t seen used before.

Even if you don’t have time to read the book (or listen to it– it has won awards for the audiobook version!), I think the clip alone will inspire you to slow down and be thankful today!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GhOUaszMGvQ&feature=youtube_gdata_player

(note: During the month of October, you may notice me posting more often than Jenelle.  This is because she lives in this amazing tourist town with one of the best Oktoberfests outside of Germany (hence, she hosts friends and family in her home most of the month!)  She’ll be picking up my slack, however, in December when my pastor/musician husband will probably be working crazy hours!)