Finding Nuggets of Gratitude When Non-Inclusion Happens


October 31, 2018, I learned MY FAITH HAD BECOME SIGHT! It was a HUGE DAY of victory in a 7-month successful advocacy campaign involving the third largest community college in the state of Texas! It was an unrelenting advocacy journey for equality on behalf of persons with disabilities and Senior Adults who qualify for the Fort Worth Trinity Metro/Tarrant County College EasyRide Free Ride Program and use Paratransit transportation the be included.

Now for the backstory…

March 27, 2018, I saw an online Fort Worth Business Press article announcing #FreeRides for ALL Tarrant County College (TCC) students. http://www.fortworthbusiness.com/news/tarrant-county-college-to-provide-trinity-metro-bus-rides-for/article_adceec88-3201-11e8-9ffa-cfc562fa5590.html These rides were made possible as a result of an issued federal grant. It detailed the agreement that Fort Worth Trinity Metro Public Transit and Tarrant County College had negotiated a contractural partnership called the EasyRide Program, which facilitated the initiative designed to eliminate the transportation barrier to education.

May 15, 2018 was set as the launch date.

Whoa! This news sent me reeling with great joy! My heart danced as a #TCC student who used the Trinity Metro paratransit transportation system. Being a savvy social media user, I immediately tweeted out my excitement of the news! A sobering thought suddenly hit me, which caused me to place a call to the paratransit division of Trinity Metro to confirm that their riders were included in this incredible “Breaking News” for ALL students.

Ecstatic elation quickly turned to disappointment to hear that paratransit riders were not included, which also meant me who is both a Senior Adult and a person with disAbilities. The disparaging news dealt me a crushing blow on a couple of levels. Persons with disabilities and Senior Adults who qualified and were relegated to this form of transportation WERE NOT included! After further research, another disheartening piece of discovery unearthed itself that the paratransit entity was not even brought to the table. As the sitting Chair of the Fort Worth Mayors Committee On Persons With Disabilities who leads in bringing education, awareness and equality in housing, employment, community involvement and transportation to the community, how could a nugget of gratitude be found in non-inclusion that looked liked blatant discrimination?

After sleeping on it for a night…

March 28, 2018, came and it was a NEW DAY! I consulted with various levels of management personnel to get other sets of eyes on what I deemed an unbelievable and egregious non-inclusion. Once my suspicions were confirmed, the nugget of #advocacy pushed all despair aside and #hope arose. Hope not only for me, but on behalf of ALL THOSE for whom advocacy could effect inclusion.

In recognizing time was of the essence with the

May 15, 2018 #EasyRideProgram launch date approaching with thunderous anticipation bellowing on the TCC campus, amongst Trinity Metro personnel and riders and over the news ways, I decided to proceed with this nugget as a Fort Worth Citizen rather than as the committee Chair so as not to be waylaid with red tape ByLaws constraints. While it was ONE VOICE being heard, it was with the support of a small village to whom I looked to for guidance in proceeding on this journey to equality ALL STUDENTS.

It took an unrelenting, unshakable determination, true grit and not being moved by or afraid of faces that portrayed no hope, the many many emails and streams of email dialogue and discussion, phone calls, meetings, not being intimidated by upper management and high level officials, not being dissuaded by the seeming impossibleness to impact change, attentiveness to detail, not growing weary in the nugget of advocacy and maintaining a firm grip on hope.

April 26, 2018, the true nugget of gratitude-find was in a phone call received from a high ranking TCC official after hearing of my advocacy in the grave oversight. My heart was encouraged when I heard this person owning responsibility for the omission with an earnest apology. In humble admission that the mechanics of the program had been thoroughly researched but the human element had been missed. There was a genuine commitment to step up and right the wrong. While I was moved by the humbleness and unequivocally acknowledged and accepted the sincerity of the heart, my looming concern was would it be in time for the forecasted

May 15, 2018 launch date. The EasyRide Program agreement in fact was amended to include the qualified riders of the paratransit arm of Trinity Metro by said date.

However, it took another 5 months of the aforementioned grit to continue with the nugget of advocacy for a system of mechanics to be devised to implement the paratransit element. Through department, division, staff and personnel changes in creating a comparable operation, at times it seemed hopeless in the arduously tiring pursuit. But giving up or quitting was not an option!

This nugget of advocacy persevered in the midst of personal health challenges and an unfortunate severe water accident injury coincided with the

May 15, 2018 EasyRide Program following my daughter’s

May 13, 2018 Mother’s Day law school graduation from the University of Hawaii which this physical difficulty compounded the already disAbling impairments that had a…

November 16, 2004, onset of a stroke resulting in a brain injury, amongst other medical issues including the rare medical condition of ‘Foreign Accent Syndrome’. In bringing this to the forefront which makes the nugget find of advocacy so prevalent is that medical science gave me a triple life sentence at that time to be bedridden, housebound and wheelchair bound.

October 31, 2018, I received an apologetic phone call from a staff member of the TCC Customer Relations Department for the long backlog of overdue phone calls regarding the EasyRide Program for Trinity Metro paratransit riders. That call was not made to me as the one who had advocated for inclusion but as a TCC student who had requested #FreeRide tickets back in…

June 2018… In going through the verification process with the staff representative on

October 31, 2018… My heart began to burst as my mind was attempting to wrap my head around the fact that this could be the end of my 7-month nugget of advocacy. I turned the tables and began asking questions to ascertain the validity of operation of the program. Through tears and trembling voice, I mustered up the courage to make it known that I was the ONE VOICE who had advocated for the program to which I received a sincere, “Thank you very much for doing this!” Check out bullet point number 5 of https://www.tccd.edu/services/campus-resources/public-transportation/bus-program/ and see that the Tarrant County College/Trinity Metro EasyRide Program truly is for ALL #TarrantCountyCollege STUDENTS!

March 28, 2019, Standing as an able-bodied advocate, pardoned by the Great Physician from the medical science triple life sentence, I close offering hope to your passions and dreams. Sometimes it make take a deep excavation to exhume your nugget from the rockily riddled obstacles to find gratitude.

#NEVERGIVEUP #DONOTQUIT #differentlyAbled #disAbled #disability #differentlyAbled #differentlyCapable #education

Finding Nuggets of Gratitude When Family Dynamics Are Adversely Impacted


How does one find a nugget of gratitude when life presents you with a family-altering event beyond divorce that actually impacts the dynamics of family as you knew it? How does one make preparations to walk and lead with head held high in a humbled heart state? Can the attitude of thankfulness and gratefulness be found? Is it really possible to live and love out loud with hope?

Well, please allow me to take you on a personal scenic outlook overview at a cliff that stood very high and hidden. Perhaps it shall reveal that those very real down deep questions and the nugget-finds of gratitude can be found. And let me say first, that the answers do not nor cannot lie in a one-person excavation of the precious gratitude jewel because often the actual nugget can be too massive to unearth alone. Remember that I am all about #givingyouhope. 

While there are numerous folk over the last 34 years who have been people of faith influences to me, please take a few extended moments to follow along of a few #standout vessels whose lives and words each incited the reverberating walk out the God-kind of agape love-out-loud and live-out-loud faith echoes in the chambers of my being. Here goes my account of live-out-loud and love-out-loud inspirational cliff-dwellers of encouragement with picks, shovels, jack hammers and all the necessary tools to assist me in finding my nugget of gratitude that led to this very 31st day of December 2016…

  • My two awesome kiddos, Leslee and Aaron, of whom I am very proud and before whom I committed to the Lord and to self to guide in a godly manner a model live-out-loud faith and a love-out-loud love that rises #above ANY circumstance in life. 
  • An associate pastor and his wife who actually came to my life before marriage and the birth of my kiddos. This couple now residing in Tennessee whose live-out-loud God-the-healer Jehovah-Rapha kind of faith was prayed over me in 1980 when first we met, as my body was lying very high-temperature weakened on the floor of a Contemporary Christian Choir touring bus that pulled up into their church parking lot. That incident turned out to be a divine setup for our lives to be forever entwined with an unconditional love-out-loud bond as I was adopted into their unbreakable commitment to God and family.
  • A senior pastor formerly of Trophy Club, TX who chose to Deuteronomy 28:13 rise above the circumstance and 1Peter 5:6 humble himself and place a love-out-loud phone call to me regarding a mutual friend of his family and mine. He spoke these thought and life-impacting words to me through uncontrollable live-out-loud tears, “Rainey, I need the Lord to teach me how to love as He loves…a new and deeper kind of love.”
  • A dear precious friend in Tennessee came to me in a love-out-loud manner in 1996, gently cupping her hands over mine, looking into my eyes with the compassion of Jesus and softly and tenderly exhorted me in a still quiet voice as that likened unto my live-out-loud Lord, “Rainey, always be gracious. Whatever you do, always be gracious.”
  • A local senior pastor and his wife who accepted our family with a love-out-loud embrace in 2001 with an unconditional unspoken love commitment to our family from then through and beyond present and spoke words of live-out-loud faith-filled words of life and Jehovah-Rapha healer to my son over me in 2004. All of this was yet another Divine plan for me to regularly glean from that dynamic marital duo as they became senior pastors in 2007 to my redefined family and a live-out-loud model to do what love-out-loud love requires with grace and truth.
  • An incredible newlywed lay couple couple in a Louisiana church we met 1998 with whom lives we became intertwined, who later accepted the calling of pastors. The wife and I shared an intentional live-out-loud intimate admonishing one another impenetrable bond of love and faith. In 2008 while in the midst of an excruciatingly emotional and physically painful stage 4 breast cancer live-out-loud faith, she painlessly expounded with words that rendered captivatingly enlightening wisdom to my many years of quandary in the 1982 obedient response and commitment to the Lord to a love-out-loud daily denial to self on a long journey which presented many twists and turns. 
  • 46-year glorious friendship of two incredible women whose respective life journeys compelled them to stand firm in a commitment to live-out-loud in faith for healing through breast cancer and a vegetative stroke coupled with a stand strong love-out-loud above ALL adversities, whose lives resound as loud testimonies to me. 
  • A remarkably coachable and teachable woman of God on Maui, HI, whose unbridled outspoken character began being tamed as yet another setting of live-out-live to teach to me to love-out-loud to a people I did not understand, yet for whom I was to be the vessel to bring increases to the Kingdom. 

So while there are many others to whom I have great gratitude, may I ask of you to #STOP in the midst of your own challenged circumstances to live-out-loud and love-out-loud? Then #DROP to your knees in humility before the Lord and the whomever/s He would or has placed in your life to help you #ROLL the care of the seeming madness onto the Lord by an unrelenting determination to dig deep in search of your nugget of gratitude. I think you just may find that amazing jewel of gratitude was found while in your drawn focus to THE bright shining #LiveOutLoud #LoveOutLoud Light of the world. Wishing you a blessed and prosperous 2017 of many exciting nugget finds of gratitude. 

Finding Nuggets of Gratitude When Life Happens and All Words Matters


“Yea!! It’s official!!! I will be the new Academic Counselor with Uplift Education at Summit International Preparatory!!!! God is so good!! This is a huge blessing!!! Leslee loves the kids!!!” Reminiscing as those words were the joyous caption on this picture 3 years ago.

Now 3 years later, this same gal will begin her second year in law school to arm herself with knowledge and wisdom to effectively advocate for scholars, students and humankind. 


This spectacular stair step showed up to be a sequenced stage of a savvy, sassy, sensational, selfless, shaker-up individual who savors no silence in springing forward to speak out in support of ALL students/scholars in seeking schooling that surpasses the slanted surmise of society

Whew! It took a little time and energy for this wordsmith to write, research, write, research, write, research and deliberately write and research some more for the accurate wording in the above paragraph. After dismissing the exclamatory thought, “Has Miss Rainey  lost her mind?!”

What did it take for you to read and comprehend that paragraph?

I would venture to say it stimulated heightened thought processes to actuate the reading slow-down rate to take your time to read, reread, read, reread and carefully read and reread again to understand. 

Why? 

The realization that if you read too fast without giving proper singled attention to each individual “s” word, the whole of the words could become confused, mispronounced, run together, misunderstood or attract missed understanding and thus respectfully frustrated declarations be made that, “Miss Rainey, this that you wrote makes no sense at all!” Argh!

The truth is that the beginning “s” in ALL the words matters…a deserving consideration of embrace to understand the whole. Yep! It did take a little extra time, which many of us including me are short on, for comprehension. Feels like mental gymnastics. To capture the depth of understanding in the essence of what was written, you had to ‘slow your roll’ to read. In so doing, you perhaps had to research to get understanding before proceeding with wisdom. This is in alignment with Proverbs 4:7 (NKJV), “Wisdom is the principal thing; Therefore get wisdom. And in all your getting, get understanding.” Now insert a P-A-U-S-E break… and take a moment to read that scripture passage in different translations and Bible versions… then B-R-E-A-T-H-E in deeply and out slowly… and M-E-D-I-T-A-T-E intentionally. 

Whoa! This has unsuspectedly turned the direction of my simple-intended memory-sharing post into a lesson, which should come as no surprise when called to be a teacher. So WORDSMITH + TEACHER = PASSION of the word-riddled Miss Rainey. 

Let it be known that the Leslee is my daughter of whom I am very proud. Her passion began at an extremely young age. It is continually fueled by past and current events of social injustice physical and/or word-inflicted abuse and assaults hurled at the underserved, the voiceless, the stifled voice, the silenced and quenched voice of victims and the victimized. The nugget of gratitude found here is this discovery of one willing to choregraph world-changing words when life happens. Composing a rhythmic pattern of words that matter is a powerful  demonstration of a courageous stand in advocacy to make a positive difference globally, in our nation of America as well as internationally…all underscored by love to silence the hate. 

Miss Rainey signing off for now and #givingyouhope until next blogpost. 

Finding Nuggets of Gratitude When Life Happens in Stealing Hope


As I look at the #givingyouhope passionate mission in life that burns within, I believe its inception was set ablaze at age 4 1/2. That was when my daddy decided it was time for me to learn how to cook fried chicken. He carefully placed me on a chair in front of the stove with a cast iron skillet of piping hot popping grease, telling me to pick up and put the floured salt and pepper-spiced pieces in. My daddy additionally instructed and reminded me over and over again that no matter how much the hot grease popped, I was not to climb off the chair. Whoa! That stern drilling has translated into a valuable life lesson. It was made very clear that the option to jump down off the chair was a moot point. I had to truly believe in and tenaciously cling onto the hope that my daddy would not let me get hurt. That assignment to stay no matter the fieriness, positioned me to withstand the heated path on which my feet would journey. I could never give up nor quit before attaining the end. My life has been riddled with many hot fiery trials popping up since that pivotally defining point and time, intensifying along the way. With many reechoing moments of intended hope-stealing sweltering tests, I continually stand against the temptation to give into the gravity-pull of inertia to jump down and off.  


As I look in the Bible at Shadrach, Meschach and Abednego, who stood confident in the 7x’s hotter heat of the flaming fire, they chose to obey the word of God, to not place any other God before them. They did not cry ‘uncle’ or beg to be released. They clung onto hope. In their stand against the circumstances, they did not bow, bend OR burn! All eyes were strategically focused upon them, as shock, amazement and astonishment consumed the onlookers! Astoundment burned through the crowd when their eyes were opened to behold a fourth person standing in the flames with those 3 men, who refused to hail the people’s king. Those 3 guys remained steadfast in their faith and walked out with clothes not singed and not even the hint of smoke! Their staunch stance to not allow hope be stolen has time and time and time again given me hope to “…having done all to stand, stand therefore…” 

Folks, no matter how adverse the seemingly unbearable hotter than hot circumstance appears, I give you hope from the authority of the Word as well as from personal experience…God has got YOU! Hail to THE KING who not only gives YOU hope but who IS hope! Strength to remain tightly gripped to hope is found in the joy of knowing that He is the we the people‘s King, quietly walking along side His people through the fire. Let your nugget of gratitude be found in your impenetrably unwavering determination to not allow hope to be snatched away

Finding Nuggets of Gratitude When Life Happens in Fibromyalgia Flares


    
Did you know that a fibromyalgia flare can mimic a symptomatic severe case of the flu with total body pain void of fever, leaving an uncertainty loomed whether the real thing or not? Now, couple that with a few days of unrelenting bouts of lower spine/back pain impeding walking or everyday movement, where getting out of the bed unless absolutely necessary found its way to the bottom of the options for today list. A skirmish in life, indeed, was and is happening! 
Okay so, this early morning I mulled over names of folk, including my son, to call upon to bring me a huge pot of soup. The thought hit me that I have enough fixin’s in my pantry, fridge and freezer to brew up that big savory homemade concoction myself. Sooo, let us see what happens when fresh cabbage, spinach and onions, assorted cans of vegetables, a chicken drumstick/thigh quarter, leftover homemade turkey broth, Worcestershire sauce, instant whole wheat brown rice, seasoned to taste with thyme, cumin, sea salt, basil, oregano, and garlic powder are co-mingled with a totally blessed sufficiency of grace to get-up-and-go is employed at whatever snail-paced forward motion to get’er done. By my faith, I saw the end product before it was actually done. 

Voilà! After persistent and consistent effort with committed determination for a longer-than-normal time preparation and cooking time, SUCCESS!

    
Over a gallon of tasty-morsel fusions of scrumptiously delectable composites to satisfy the dulcet cravings was found as the nugget of gratitude for this weakened yet Christ-strengthened gal. I do realize that the prior sentence may have sounded like a mishmash of a compromised choice of choreographed words. However, the following needs no interpretation… 

Did the same person ‘who moved my cheese’, move my whole wheat crackers?

Week 12 – Finding Nuggets of Gratitude When Life Happens


  
WOW!😱 I think you would agree… What a horridly horrific image!!!!!😣 

I first saw it a few weeks ago on a blog post of a precious friend. Its impact hit me hard! As I read and reread and periodically revisited the horror in that picture, I tearfully grappled with the realization that this was her life, my friend’s life. The fact that this now had a face, made it even tougher.😢 

Please let me hear your comment/s on the first two questions of the four following questions: 1) How did that image impact you?; 2) What does that image say to you?; 3) Are you a victim or perpetrator or both?; 4) Do you know someone who is either or both? Comments on the last two questions of the four may stay between you, this blog and God. 

Here are two other sadly thought-provoking bonus questions: 5) Does that picture have a face to you? 6) Has it now become personal to you?

Before your thoughts run rampantly amuck in pondering, “What possible nugget of gratitude could come out of this life happening?! Miss Rainey has surely lost her mind and gone off the deep end!” Follow me with my seemingly bizarrely twisted chain of thought. This is going to be a nugget of gratitude that we together are going to find as we get the dialogue going. I look forward to you interacting with others and with me on this journey.

So this time I am soliciting your help

Repost on this blogpost your WordPress blog site and/or share on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Instagram or other social network site/s of choice. Use hashtag “lifehappeningsurvey” when you share and/or comment. Please ask others to do the same.  
Survey family, friends, followers, co-workers, business partners, clergy, teachers, bosses, church members, children, grandchildren, relatives, law enforcement persons, health care providers, siblings and anyone else by asking one or all of the 4 above questions. Accumulate their responses. Then come back and report your findings on this blog or you may do so on my personal social network sites, using #lifehappeningsurvey. Together we shall reveal the nugget of gratitude!

Whoa! What an incentive for you to check back next week to see what nugget find of gratitude we have unearthed! Together, you and I shall lead others to freedom with joy! And hopefully in addition, you will then follow my blog, invite others to view and do the same. You see, I am all about giving hope to others.😉 A blessed day to you because I know #Iamblessed and enjoy #givingyouhope! #lifehappeningsurvey

Week 9 – Finding Nuggets of Gratitude When Life Happens


Reposting this blog so all my readings and followers can access the entire nugget-find. Do not miss the LAUGH OUT LOUD final GPS laughter destination at the end!

Miss Rainey Giving You Hope

LOL is used so often. Why not purpose in our hearts to really LAUGH OUT LOUD today!” Even better yet, why not commit to tastefully create a LAUGH OUT LOUD MOMENT/s for someone who is going through a ‘life happening’ event/s and find out nugget of gratitude together for life and health.

Here are our GPS coordinates…

Let us get in the car and drive ourselves and others straight forward to the ‘Y’ in the road up ahead… Steer away fromNegativity Avenue to the left. Veer right onto Positive Energy Drive. Go a few smiles. Turn left onto Stress-Reduction Lane. Go a few more smiles. Make a screeching hard right onto LAUGH OUT LOUD Circle! Proceed a few more smiles. See people laughing out loud everywhere. Make a screeching hard stop for laughter! We have arrived at our nugget-find of gratitude new circle of friends…

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