P.O. Box 1055 Doylestown, PA 18901 info@deservingdecor.org 215-550-5674

 

“Words – so innocent and powerless as they are, as standing in a dictionary, how potent for good and evil they become in the hands of one who knows how to combine them.”
― Nathaniel Hawthorne

The moment I came across Deserving Décor I knew I wanted to help. I thought about how I could contribute beyond a fundamental donation and came up with writing. My words would be used to help families in need by sharing their stories and bring awareness to their struggles. The articles would reach new volunteers and spread the word about the organization. Three years later, I’m happy to announce I am still writing for Deserving Decor.

I realize now more than ever words are powerful. They can transform a piece of paper into a mystifying world brimming with adventure. They can heal the soul or corrupt a nation. In short, words can be our most valuable tool. But, we must select our words carefully given we never really know the affect they will have on others.

I remember the story of former President, Jimmy Carter and his high school teacher, Julia Coleman. She once told the class “Study hard, one of you could become the President of the United States!” Those words encouraged Carter to do his best and in 1977, he was sworn in as the 39th President of the United States of America; quoting Julia Coleman in the opening of his inauguration speech.

A statement like Coleman’s is meant to inspire and offer support, but there is a dark side to our words when used out of anger or frustration; the comments we make in judgment or disapproval. No doubt we’ve all said things we regret, but followed-up with a sincere apology they are often forgotten. Unfortunately, there are times when you just can’t take back what was said. Do I need to bring up Paula Deen?

In a situation where a single word can butcher a career, imagine what an entire statement can do. In the case of Jimmy Carter it created a leader; presented in negative terms, it can crush the human spirit.

Words have an incredible power to affect how we see and feel about ourselves. We all know the pain of being on the receiving end of a cruel remark. Make no mistake, words can hurt. We just don’t always see the damage. There are no broken bones or black eyes to point out. The injuries are strictly internal. But it happens and verbal abuse is a thing. Words used for name-calling, blaming, belittling and shaming are forms of verbal abuse. It is often difficult to identify and easily overlooked. However, research demonstrates that the long-term effects of verbal and emotional abuse can be just as devastating as physical abuse. It can lead to anxiety, depression, or eating disorders and in extreme cases, suicide. Our words carry enormous weight and they must be used responsibly.

The more words I write the easier it is to recognize their impact. Our words are our power. How will you use yours?

For more information on verbal abuse Click here.

 

 

 

 

Jolene

Driving in my car the original version of the song “Jolene”, by Dolly Parton came on the radio. I remembered the song from my childhood and surprisingly, the words too. I sang along as best I could and kept the high notes strictly for Dolly. When the song was over I immediately downloaded it onto my phone, as I had forgotten what a goody but oldie that tune is. I played it once again, this time really focusing on the lyrics and the message. Dolly’s love comes across as genuine and sweet. Her words suggest nothing other than pure desperation and vulnerability for the man she adores. As I continued to listen, I completely changed my tune (pun intended). The song isn’t about about a woman in love it’s a song about a woman who doesn’t value herself enough.

“Jolene” is the tale of a woman begging another woman, the beautiful Jolene, not to steal her lover away. This of course is not an unfamiliar concept. It certainly makes for good music, but doesn’t go over quite as well in real life. Women have been fighting over men since the beginning of time; some battled so hard they actually made history. So I ask the question, is fighting for the love of a man worth it?

The short answer…HELL NO! But, I also think it depends on your own self worth. Let’s say Jolene decided to carry out the request and the woman got her man back. Would she really be happy? If the woman believes she doesn’t deserve better than him, perhaps she would be somewhat happy. If her belief is that she is worth more and deserves to receive the kind of love she gives, then that guy would be long gone.

The story of a love sick woman and the beautiful Jolene is just one expression of how self esteem can determine our level of happiness. Unfortunately we don’t always value ourselves the way we should. Just about every person has struggled with self esteem at some point in their lives. We often doubt our abilities, our physical appearance or our contribution to society. For most of us, recognizing our significance can be a constant effort. But it doesn’t have to be. Self esteem is like a muscle; the more you work it the bigger it grows. Here a few tips to help build your self- worth and find your inner Jolene!

13 Tips to help build your self worth
1. Say stop to your inner critic.
2. Take a 2 minute self-appreciation break.
3. Write down 3 things in the evening that you can appreciate about yourself.
4. Do the right thing.
5. Positive self-talk.
6. Don’t compare yourself to others.
7. Exercise.
8. Don’t strive for perfection.
9. Don’t beat yourself up when you make a mistake.
10. Focus on the things you can change.
11. Do things that you enjoy.
12. Celebrate the small stuff.
13. Find affirmations that work for you and recite them daily.

 

 

Deserving Decor: Getting into bed with a new partner!

Deserving Décor is happy to announce its new partnership with OHAAT (One House at a Time), a volunteer-driven, nonprofit organization that is working to end child bedlessness through a program called Beds for Kids.

Many social service agencies in Bucks County help low-income families obtain housing, but few provide the basic household necessities such as furniture or beds. As a result, children are forced to sleep on the floor, on sofas, or crowded into one bed with several family members.

Sleeping arrangements such as these often lead to poor sleep, which goes together with poor health and poor school performance. OHAAT’s Beds for Kids program delivers beds, bedding, and tools that encourage healthy bedtime habits, directly to the homes of children in need. With beds of their very own, children can get the quality and sufficient sleep they need to thrive.

As of January 14, 2017, OHAAT began delivering beds to child clients of Deserving Décor on a weekly basis. The new collaboration provides a faster turnaround guaranteeing all requests submitted by Deserving Décor before Wednesday morning will be delivered Saturday of the same week.

With the help of OHAAT, and your generous contributions, for $161.00 child clients will receive a new twin-size steel frame, a twin Tempurpedic mattress, new twin-size sheet set, new blanket, new pillow, books, stuffed animal and a toothbrush.

In addition, Good Stuff Thrift, another Deserving Décor partner continues to deliver furniture essentials to two Deserving Décor client families per week.  Good Stuff Thrift accepts dressers, nightstands, tables, and chairs, as donations – the furniture most needed by Deserving Décor clients. For a furniture pick-up please call the Fairless Hills store, at 215-428-2800.

With the new partnership well underway, I can guarantee that tonight I will sleep a little more soundly knowing there are fewer children sleeping on the floor.

 

Is Your Champagne Glass Half Full?

It’s officially 2017!  As we enter into the New Year I take notice of the common summation of 365 days deposited into one of two phrases; a “Good Year” or a “Bad Year”.  If you are practicing mindfulness, a New Year’s resolution of my own, you can recognize that summing up an entire year filled with individual moments spanning over 525,600 minutes seems unfeasible.

No doubt life has a way of throwing us wicked curve balls; some pack a punch so hard the blow lingers throughout the year, sometimes even longer. I know this because I’ve been there. Whether you’ve dealt with the loss of a loved one, a life-threatening clinical diagnoses or an unwanted outcome of a volatile presidential election, you’ve suffered just the same. But even in these situations, good things can be found.

Sure, you may not have encountered a particular windfall or a soul moving miracle to counteract the hardship you faced that year, but trust me the good moments were there – you just needed to acknowledge them. They can be as simple as having a roof over your head to a bout of uncontrollable laughter with friends, the sound of the ocean, or perhaps the unexpected perk you received from that rewards program you signed up for a few months ago. Whatever they may be it’s up to you to find them.

So before you categorize year 2016 remember to consider the moments passed; not by the handful but all 525,600 of them.

‘Tis The Season!

As I look under the Christmas tree, there is no denying the giving season is here! Presents wrapped in festive ribbons and colorful bows conceal the floor beneath them. Collectively they form a handsome display; one I never seem to grow tired of.

At this time of year we tend to offer a little more of ourselves and welcome the opportunity to bestow our generosity upon others. Some people prefer to offer their time, while others contribute financial donations to those less fortunate. In whatever manner we choose, December is clearly a time of giving.

But, it should also be a time for TAKING!

It should be a time to take in all that is currently good in your life; anything from your closest relationships, to your achievements, your health or your career. For me, it’s the little things. The moments when my family and I just hang out on a Sunday morning in our PJ’s, and drink hot chocolate by the Christmas tree. It’s the smile I get from a stranger when I’ve made her laugh out loud, the kindness I see in others, and the comedy that often ensues between my husband and me.

Of course there are the big things too, like my mother recovering from breast cancer, the safety of our community, and ability to provide a loving home for our children. These are all gifts that have been given to me. Graciously, I take them for what they are…moments of happiness!

My favorite part of Christmas has always been and will continue to be the act of giving, but I encourage you to take a second to recognize the gifts life has given you.

Cheers to a wonderful Holiday Season!