Tragedy turned to Triumph

So Shines a Good deed in a weary world

 

You work hard to make ends meet.

You have little children that depend solely on you.

You can’t do much for them, but you decide to go and enjoy an inexpensive but fun meal at a local burger place.  You load the kids up in the double stroller and you walk there, singing and enjoying the time together.

You order your meal, get the kids situated and simply enjoy this time together….right?

Amazing how quickly circumstances can steal the joy of a fun meal right out from underneath you.

This is a true story.  The mom came out after her meal to find that her stroller had been stolen.

It wasn’t a BMW type stroller that was valued at $500.00 but it WAS hers and it was in excellent condition.

There isn’t extra funding to simply go right out and purchase another one.  There isn’t even a car for “quick” transportation to go and pick one up; because that is the reason she was on foot to begin with.

Can you imagine her shock when she, with two young children in tow.  One probably on her hip, the other, holding her hand and her stroller is gone?

Can you imagine the tears of frustration stinging her cheek? Can you imagine the disbelief running through her heart?

 

That’s where YOU come in.  YES…you. 

Every day, ordinary Spreading Joy Heroes! 

I find out about this, I take a few days and tell everyone I know and with the help of social media, and a few friendly phone calls – funds for a new stroller have been raised!

See what you did? Well, if that wasn’t blessing enough, there was extra given.  After speaking with the kind young mom, I found out that the kids birthdays were approaching.  PERFECT – I thought.

The extra can help to get them extra gifts for their birthday.

Tragedy turned into Triumph…

As you see, Spreading Joy is not just book bags filled with school supplies and Christmas Gifts to forgotten kids, but it’s much more than that.

It’s caring….every day! 

It’s spreading joy to others every day.  It’s taking the little that a LOT of us have, and doing something great with it.

Thank you for being a HUGE part of what we do!

Some give because they realize how great they are blessed.

Others give because they’ve “been there, done that” and KNOW how huge $10 gift is.

Others give because they want to show God’s love to those around them.

Regardless of the reason – THANK YOU!!  Thank you for being a huge part of Spreading Joy and impacting this young mom’s heart forever!  I’m sure her heart smiles each time she thinks about how people she didn’t even know came to her aid.

YOU are amazing at Spreading Joy!

Thank you for your financial gift and partnering with us to impact the hearts of others! Thank you for Spreading Joy across America with us! Thank you for your monthly support!

Have fun Spreading Joy!

Favorite Twitter Helps

My Favorite Twitter Helps….for you

Anyone that truly knows me, knows I love twitter.  I love the reach it has given me, I love the friends that I’ve made (yes, I said friends and yes…I do love them) and I love the encouragement that I receive there daily.  I love it.

I am on all the other Social Networks and you can use those buttons over on the sidebar to hit me up there, but if you really want to interact with me online, it will be better via twitter.   If you Tweet me, I’ll always reply….at some point.

So, what does a Non-Techy gal use to get the most from Twitter?  I’m glad you asked. :) I’ll share with you my favorite Twitter Helps.  These are in random order with the exception of the first one!

By the way, when you are experimenting with various Twitter helps, may I suggest that you try them for a few weeks and not just for a few days.  Tweet out questions about what you are using if you are just not getting the hang of it.  There are many people that will help you by answering your questions.

By Far the best thing for Twitter

  • TweetDeck – This is a Twitter must! You can have your @’s your dm’s and several columns all on ONE screen.  No flipping back and forth! When you are starting out, this is an easy way to categorize people into groups that appeal to you.  You can shorten links right from this page, send pictures, videos.  You can RT and edit tweets to add in your thoughts and comments.

It is available from a normal browser or you can download. I also have it on Google Chrome.

You need to check out the various things TweetDeck can do.   The real time update is amazing (no refreshing screens) when I’m participating in various Twitter chats or my absolute favorite… the Online LIVE Worship Service on Twitter… #Tworship.  (Click the link to see how to participate with us each week night.) I love the automation feature – I can schedule the songs and Invite people to JOYn us. You can setup your lists as well as your favorite twitter chats to be individual columns and move them around as you see fit. The larger your twitter account gets, you’ll appreciate this easy way to keep up with your friends.

HootSuite – this is just like tweetdeck, with the exception you can link up your other Twitter accounts and when you post, you can have it go to all of your Social Media accounts at once, including Facebook and Linkedin.  If you are using the free version, you can’t add in Google+ but the free version is sufficient enough to cover your other accounts.

Tweetdeck USE to have this feature until Twitter bought them out and removed that.

  • SocialOomph – Many features that I love like scheduling, replying and you can tie your blog here.  I don’t, but you can.  It is very user friendly.
  • Buffer – free version allows you to send out 10 posts a day.

 

Apps – there are so many apps for Twitter that do many different things.  Try various “free” versions, and if you like it – see if the paid version is even better.  - What apps do you use for Twitter?

Everything that I’ve mentioned so far is FREE for you to download and try.

 

Many have asked me how I’ve grown my Twitter account.  I’ll tell you.
Every day, I spend about 15 minutes following the people that I am on lists with.  If you listed me on a list, I would assume that the others you listed were in some way “like” me, so it made sense to follow them too.  (I have several lists and you can easily start with them as I feel like I follow the nicest, most amazing people in the whole world!)
People would follow back.  I did this for 2 years!  Saturday mornings, when I had more time, I’d spend a little more time and grew my account up to 19,000 followers.   I never would have imagined that I could be spreading joy to a thousand people, much less 19k.  Doing this manually isn’t awful and can be done quiet efficiently as you can see.  Being able to follow like people easily is actually available through several products.
A wonderful friend of mine that just loves super squishy hugs, gave me an awesome gift.
 
 

Tweet Adder.  Many people are skeptical of purchasing this but I have to tell you, it is worth the one time fee of $55.00 for One Profile. You can have up to 5 Profiles for $74.00, 10 Profiles for $110.00 and Unlimited Profiles for $188.00. (Many businesses use the multiple profiles.) This has been the best gift ever.

 

Tweet Adder will let you follow those that follow a certain person, or by lists, or hashtags or even key words in their profile.  If  you wanted to follow all of the coffee lovers in the world, you can do so. If you want to follow everyone in your city, you can do that too.  If people decided not to follow me back, I simply use my tweetadder to unfollow in 4 days.  Easy Peasy.
I can spend my time chatting, instead of spending my time following the lists I was added to & unfollowing those that don’t want to follow back.
Tweetadder does so much more than this! I want my followers to see certain articles so, I use the RSS Feed to Tweet their articles.  I just copied & pasted their RSS URL and now their new blog posts will tweet automatically.
Use the link I provided and check them out. While it looks like it takes you back to a regular tweetadder site – TRUST me, it IS tracking my affiliate number and credit will be given back.  If you just go to tweetadder on your own, no credit will be given…sooo, click below KNOWING you are helping Spreading Joy

 

http://www.tweetadder.com/idevaffiliate/idevaffiliate.php?id=12447If you decide to purchase this, Spreading Joy is an affiliate and they will give us back 50% of whichever package you purchase.  You’ll be easily making a difference by doing so.  You may also like being an affiliate for them because once you get 2 others to sign up, you’ll have gotten tweetadder for free.  Only being able to give back to others when people give to us….I know that every little bit makes a HUGE difference!

 

Using Tweet Adder, I can focus on doing what I do best – and that is Spreading Joy and encouraging those that need it.

 

If you don’t want to purchase tweetadder and wonder who isn’t following you back, you can go to www.friendorfollow.com and see who isn’t following back for free.

May I caution you though?

 

If you simply “grow” your account using Tweet Adder but never interact with those that you follow, you’ll miss out on some amazing friendships, wonderful laughs and some good times.  Think about it.  People like Oprah and others “stars” that only follow 20 people are missing out on some pretty cool friendships from all over the world.  I noticed that early on and wrote an article about it a few years back.  Even though it is a few years old, it still holds true today.   Click here to Read about the friendships I made early on.

 

Lastly, here are some other Twitter Apps You may Enjoy!  All Free!
  • Seesmic - Much Like TweetDeck
  • Twello – yellow pages of Twitter
  • Twitter Counter – lets you see your growth at a glance & some cool buttons
  • Nutshell Mail – Cool way to track groups, lists & is delivered to your inbox on your schedule
  • TweetReach – To see the impact of your tweet OR if you use the web, see who has RT’d you and say thank you
  • paper.liThis is an amazing app that collects “links” through the day and puts in a News Paper Format.  I have 3 of them and I subscribe to them all so that I can go back and read at my leisure each night.  The Spreading Joy Daily, The Praying Peeps Daily and the Praying Peeps2 Daily.  The SJ daily collects links from those I follow and usually has about 200 articles or ore.  The PP daily collects links from ONLY those on my 2 lists.  Awesome stuff!!

This is just a drop in the bucket compared to the things that you can find on Google or Goodsearch.  Remember, when you Goodsearch – good search for spreading joy and they will make a donation to us!

To save you some time, here are a few links to a few pages that have hundreds of Twitter helps.

Ministry and Social Media working together? You betcha! and it works well.  The gals over at @StickyJesus will help you – stickyJesus.com  exists to equip you, the Christ follower, to confidently live out your faith in the digital world. We’re here to infuse biblical perspective and daily inspiration into your online time. We’ll help you grow your technical know-how so you can share the sticky love of Jesus Christ with others. We’re teaching, listening, and collaborating with a fired-up community of digital scribes about culture, social media, and the kind of relationship building that will outlive cyberspace. Are you in?

Here is the best introduction to twitter that I’ve seen in a while!Intro to Twitter  Thanks @partyaficionado

Over 275 items here - http://www.squidoo.com/twitterapps

99 items here - http://www.smashingmagazine.com/2009/03/17/99-essential-twitter-tools-and-applications/

Here are some CUTE & FREE Twitter “Follow Me”  Icon Buttons

Also – Do you know Twitter has limits? Yes, they do.  Check them out here.

I do have an extra account on twitter, just incase anything were to happen – feel free to follow over there too.  @jailedJOY  I don’t use it much – but sometimes it’s necessary and sometimes, I just “play” there.

One last thing and probably the most important of all!!!

HAVE FUN…plain and simple.  

What do you think? 

What are your favorite Twitter Apps?  

Talk to me….I want to know!

 

 
 

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The Peaceful Little Things

Photo taken by Princess Meg

Taken from - "Things That Make Megan's Day"

The little peaceful things!

I love little thing.  I truly do.  Stick around long enough and you’ll probably tire of hearing me say such, but it’s the truth.  I have no idea who said it, but I saw this quote and instantly fell in love with it.

 It’s the little things that make life BIG!

 

I’ve not been feeling well for a few days, so I’ve been forced to enjoy some of the more peaceful little things in life.  I’m feeling better and but wanted to reflect on some of these little things that I’ve enjoyed these past few days.

Pandora – Love this internet radio.  Anything I want. My favorite is the “Oldies but Goodies” but so many amazing songs, right at my fingertips.  I love music! Praise and Worship, Sappy Love Songs, the Pop Singers from 80, 90 ‘s – such a wide variety of music makes me smile. Ohh… How about the One Hit wonders? We all have our favorite one of those, right?

Sleep – I normally do not take naps because they leave me feeling worse than when I went to sleep. Not true these past few days.  Here is how it looked for me. Do a few things, sleep a few hours. Get up, repeat. Been there? Oh, I’m sure you have been.   I know many people who are power nappers and swear by them.  Please, share how you fall asleep quickly enough to sleep and awaken feeling rested after only 20 minutes! 

Iced Tea – Refreshing, simple – Unsweetened, nothing added to it, iced tea.  Normally coffee is my beverage of choice, but these past few days tea has been my constant companion. The colder, the better.  When the heat is on, you should try it. 

Audio Books – Are these not the best? Other than the fact that I would love to be the voice of an audio book one day when I grow up, I love listening to them.  I love that I can find free ones as well as cheap ones.  I down load a free audio book each month at Christian Audio.  You check out like normal and put in the code and its free!  Where do you find free audio books? What is your favorite?  Have you downloaded older books?

Hand held games – It’s true. I have my very own Game Boy SP, royal blue. I received it for an anniversary present several years ago! I normally carry it in my purse, but will have to charge it before returning it.  I currently hold the 1st and 3rd place highest score in Kirby’s Pinball.  The kids lost many of my games over the years, so I’m always on the look out for some of the older game boy games. Love them. 

Sleeping on the Couch – I don’t know if it’s the fact that there is a “back” to the couch or what it is, but I love sleeping on the couch. Maybe I could take naps on the couch and enjoy this simple pleasure a little more often?

Extra Warm Blankets – I Had an issue with getting and staying warm, so piled on the blankets. I love snuggly, warm, extra soft blankets. I’d pull them up close to my chin and just drift off.

Soup – The winter time is wonderful for soup and sandwich meals, at least around my house! Once I could finally keep something down, extra hot egg drop soup was the meal of the day.  The warmth from the inside out is amazing.  Soup, simple, easy and delicious! 

Boy, looking back at this list, I need to make sure I add some peaceful little things to my day more often.  Not only are they peaceful, but fun, comforting and they bring great joy to me! It truly is the little things that make life big! These are just a few of the peaceful little things I enjoy. 

What are the little things that are big in your life? 

What peaceful little things DO you add to your day?

What peaceful little things do you NEED to add to your day?

Gastroparesis – Update

I realize that the “Spreading Joy Corporation” blog may not be the “best” place for these types of update – but if just one other person can relate to what Megan is going through and it helps them to find joy in their journey, then it is worth it to me. Besides, if we can’t talk about every step of our journey with friends, family, twitter friends and such – then who can we talk to them about? If you are here, you are at the very least a friend.
Here is the latest on Megan and where she stands.
The Doctors office did finally call and Megan did show some digestion on her scan this past Wednesday! Now, its not a lot, but it is a start.
He is going to continue her medication, deep relaxation and pain management techniques. The relaxation and pain mgmt is due to the fact she has been removed from ALL pain medications as they tend to relax her stomach and we need it to contract. Also – the insurance has denied the zophran – which helps to ease the nausea caused by the extremely strong antibiotic that she takes 3 times a day. They will not even approve 1 a day – only 24 for the month and she needs 3 a day. We are in “official” appeal mode but that could take a month.
She has also got to learn to “relax” (in a good way, not medicated) her stomach before eating so that it can do what it needs to do.
She has been eating a few ounces of pudding and yogurt and while it “hurts” her to eat it, she is keeping it down. She is now up to mashed potato type food for the next few days and then we can ease her into more of a solid after that continues to do well. Being the typical teenager that she is and the fact that she loves to eat, she really wants pizza. If she continues to keep down 2-3 ounces of mashed potato type soft solids, then we will get her a very small slice of pizza that she will take an hour to eat.
Jeff over at Bear 2 Care 2009 has issued his readers a challenge to stay away from pizza for 5 days to encourage Megan – to let her know that she is being thought of and prayed for and a time will come when she can have pizza again. It’s a goal to shoot for!
Her next appointment is Aug 26th and I am concerned that the pain of eating that has been there for 2 years is still there and wonder if/when it will ever go away…and if this wasn’t one of the “causes” to begin with. Also she will be starting school around that same time. Right now she lays down and completely relaxes 35 minutes prior to eating and will not be able to do that when school starts. We need wisdom and direction as to what to do for her for that.
Thank you for your prayers, tweets and emails of encouragement. You keep us going! My princess has such a long way to go, but I know she will be one amazing lady on the other side of this! She already is!
Photo: Megan playing w/statue at last Dr. Visit