Baxter The Therapy Dog

Do you know about Baxter? He was a 19 year old therapy dog that laid in bed with terminally ill patients and comforted them. I just saw the wonderful video about Baxter the Therapy Dog. I think it will bless and inspire you! Watch it and share it with others.

Have a wonderful day!

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A New Friend, A Mime of Praise!

I have a new internet friend! It’s amazing where we can meet people with common circumstances in life if we are open. Tanya and I met through . We are both bloggers! Through that community we connected on Facebook.

Tanya wrote:

“Hi Dayna was reading your blog on your son David and was very encouraged. Thank you for sharing his strengths with us. Although my son has Aspergers’ Syndrome and other mental disabilities I too embrace all of his strengths. Andrew and I this passed Sunday created a Mime Praise. I have posted it here hoping that it will bring you laughter and joy. “

And now I want to share it with you with the hope that it will put a smile on your face as well!  Enjoy!

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Reach Out In Kindness: A Very Special Ministry!

Over the years, being a parent of a son with special needs, I’ve been limited in how involved I could be in ministering to others. We have often times been on the receiving end rather than the giving end. Don’t get me wrong! I’ve been very appreciative of the kindness of others. But  there have been many times that I’ve wondered and prayed about how I could reach out in kindness to others.
Well, about a year ago I discovered a wonderful way to reach out and touch another life right from my own home. I discovered the wonderful art of card sending! For the past year I’ve been so blessed as I’ve sent cards out to make someone’s day.

Here are a few personal benefits from sending a card:

1. Sending a card is a great way to get your mind off yourself and your own circumstances. The Bible says, “It is more blessed to give than to receive.”

2. It can pull you out of self-pity and depression.

3. Card sending can spark your creativity as you stretch your mind to think about just the right words to say.

4. As you send out cards you  experience personal growth in your life through reaching out in kindness.

5. It can increase your prayer life. Often times, as I’m creating and writing a card, I’m prompted to pray for the person I’m sending it to.

Kathy’s Story

Kathy, a very successful personal coach fell into a deep depression when her only child went off to college.  For months she couldn’t pull herself out. One day she received a phone call from an old friend who had been in a deep depression herself. The friend told her what had happened to her as she started to send out cards and how her depression had lifted.  Kathy’s friend was very concerned about her and made her promise to send a card out for 10 days straight to someone who needed to hear from her.  She begrudgingly agreed to it.
It was like a miracle! She said that by the 10th day she had completely come out of her depression! Her experience started her on the journey of sending a heartfelt card out daily.
If these are the wonderful benefits you as a card sender will receive just think of how blessed the recipient will be as you reach out in kindness!

I’ve had so many people call, email, or even send me a card back thanking me for the card. Many times they’ve told me stories of how they were having a bad day. They went to the mailbox, saw my card and read  it, and it totally turned their day around.

Send A Free Card!

Last year I discovered a very simple and inexpensive way to send out cards. I now use this system every day to send out heartfelt cards.  I would be so happy to let you use my system to send out a card for free.  I’m talking about a real, hold-in-your-hand card. Not an e-card. Just
click on Send A Free Card. Then click on the number 2 and you will be walked through sending a free card.

As caregivers, parents of a special needs child, or someone who is homebound it is easy to get depressed about our situation. One of the surest ways to pull yourself out of depression is by reaching out in kindness to others.
Who can you reach out to in kindness today? Make someone’s day. Send them a heartfelt card.

Blessings to you!



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Desiree Jennings and Dystonia: Why Fake It?

Is Desiree Jennings faking Dystonia?

I realize this post is a little out of the ordinary from my usual posts on this blog. Normally I try to keep all my posts to stories and inspirational thoughts to give hope and encouragement to caregivers, parents of special needs children, and anyone else in challenging circumstances.  But today it seemed necessary, given the recent news story about Desiree Jennings on 20/20, that I should write about it in my blog. You can read more about the news story at the

Having a son who suffers from Dystonia (you can see David’s story here), I am well aware of the suffering and struggles someone has with this heartbreaking and debilitating disorder. I’ve met many people in my yahoo support group with varying stages of Dystonia.  I can tell you it’s no cake-walk! Why on earth would anyone ever want to fake having this disorder, especially a vibrant, beautiful, athletic young woman who seems to “have everything going for her”?

I certainly don’t know all the ins and outs of her story but I do believe that it’s important not to jump to any ignorant conclusions about someone who is obviously suffering from something  horrendous. It’s obvious that something is going on with her. Some say it is possibly Psychogenic Dystonia which is still a very real condition. The DMRF (Dystonia Medical Research Foundation) has written some fast facts on Psychogenic Dystonia.

So, therefore, in the spirit of the purpose of this blog, I think people should consider giving Desiree Jennings a little “grace” before jumping to any conclusions. What do you think? You can view a small video of the recent new story and give your thoughts and comments below.

Have a blessed day!


aka. hopebuilder

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Cerebral Palsy Inspiration: A Sweet Angel

The other day I ran across the sweetest youtube video and wanted to share it with you. But before I could, I felt like I should get the approval of Mary, the mother of Shannon.  Not only did she give me the nod but she also sent me a short message for me to post along with the movie.  Those of us with a special need’s child will certainly relate.

“I am honored and humbled that God granted me the absolute privelege of being chosen to be the mother and caregiver of my beautiful daughter, Shannon. She is simply the best person I have ever known. I believe that our special children are angels who have been sent to the world to educate and enlighten those around us. They show us through their struggles and suffering how to be better human beings. Some rise to the occasion and others do not. It is difficult and it is suffering. While it took me many years to come to this–I am grateful for everything that Shannon is. May God give strength to all loved ones and caregivers of special children. It is a hard road, but a deeply meaningful one.”
by Mary E. Parsons, blessed mother of Shannon

Warning: Get the kleenex out!

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Things That Inspire

Do you often delete forwarded message in your inbox? I admit that I do. But once in a blue moon I go ahead and read one and usually am glad I did. That’s what happened the other day. My Uncle Jack, who doesn’t send emails very often, sent me a group message that looked like a forwarded message. I was just about to click the delete key but something made me stop and read his message. I’m so glad I did! In that little message was something so inspiring that I’ve been telling everyone!

Sometimes when things are tough it’s hard to get past just getting through the day! As caregivers with big responsibilities it’s sometimes easy to forget to stop and smell the roses. Well, I want you sit back and relax. Here is your chance right now to “stop and smell the roses.” Watch, listen and be inspired!

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The Power of Writing A Memoir

When I talk about writing  a memoir, I guess if you want to be technical, I probably mean a tribute.

But I like the word “memoir” better than “tribute”. In the case of my memoir about my mother

it just sounds more personal. The word “memoir” means memory so it would seem very fitting that you would write your memories about someone you loved and call it a memoir.

As I was writing the memoir about my mom, (you can read it here) I began to realize certain very powerful values in doing such an activity.  I’d like to share that with you and encourage you to write one in honor of a loved one you have lost.

1. Value #1 – First of all it is a very healing activity. Though it’s hard to get started because, to some degr

ee,  you may have pushed down your grief in order to do what you have to do to survive, it will gradually bring healing.  All those raw emotions will start to surface which helps you with the grieving process. It is not

healthy to hold back grief.  Not to let yourself express your grief can cause many physical and emotional problems. There are chemical reactions in your body that cause your immune system to lower which ma

kes you more susceptible to disease and fatigue. (To read a more technical explanation of this you can refer to an article written by Tom Gray titled Your Health and Grief.) But by allowing yourself to express the emotions th

at you feel by writing the memoir this will help your health both physically and emotionally.

Additionally, by allowing yourself to deal with your grief through writing you will become stronger and better able to help others when they go through the same grief pains. As I wrote about my mom, one minute I was bawling my eyes out. Next minute I was laughing my head off remembering some of the funny things m

y mom said and did.  As I neared the end of the memoir I realized an overwhelming peace had overcome me. The Lord had used this beautiful process of writing down the many memories of my dear mother to bring healing and peace to me.

Value #2 – Writing a memoir of your loved one is a very personal way of preserving their memory. If your loved one is terminally ill you may be able to record many wonderful stories and memories with their help. If their death was sudden you may need a little time and space like I did before you can write.  But try to start writing as soon as you can to preserve as many fond memories  while they are fresh. The things you can write about are numerous but for starters consider vacations you had as a family, traditions, funny stories of their childhood, their little idiosyncrasies that made them so unique and endearing to you and others, personal little anecdotes they had, sayings and phrases they used that were unique to them.  For example, my mom would

often exclaim, “Good Glory!”  I have never heard anyone else use that phrase.

Value #3 – A memoir can be a very special gift for you to share with your family first and then others whoselives they touched.  It’s a wonderful way to help them keep your loved ones memory alive.  Your memoir could even become a springboard for them to write their own special memories.

I hope you will see the powerful value of writing your own special memoir about your loved one.  I encourage you to do it. Let the healing activity help you and others keep their memory fresh and alive while presenting to others a very special gift!

Blessings to you!


aka. hopebuilder

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Goodnight And God Bless!

Several months ago I heard an interview by a woman who I could relate to on many levels.  Linda Burhans had recently been a caregiver to her mother whom she was very close to. Near the end of her mother’s life she began writing a book about her mother with the intent of inspiring and encouraging others caring for a loved one. That hit home for me in 2 ways in particular. First of all,  we are caregivers for our son, David, who has special needs. And second, I just wrote a memoir of my dear mother who passed away last year.  Linda’s desire is to bless other caregivers and encourage them.  Watch this interview and be blessed! Then check get a copy of her book. I’ve listed it in the resource area.

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What? Welcome To Holland?!

Now this really helps us put things in perspective. Read this beautiful story and be inspired!

Parenting a Special Needs Child

Welcome To Holland!

By Emily Perl Kingsley

I am often asked to describe the experience of raising a child with a disability to try to help people who have not shared that unique experience to understand it, to imagine how it would feel. It’s like this:

When you’re going to have a baby, it’s like planning a fabulous vacation trip to Italy. You buy a bunch of guidebooks and make your wonderful plans: the Coliseum, Michelangelo’s David, the gondolas in Venice. You may learn some handy phrases in Italian. It’s all very exciting.

After months of eager anticipation, the day finally arrives. You pack your bags and off you go. Several hours later, the plane lands. The stewardess comes in and says, “Welcome to Holland.”

“Holland?!?” you say. “What do you mean Holland? I signed up for Italy! I’m supposed to be in Italy. All my life I’ve dreamed of going to Italy.”

But there’s been a change in the flight plan. They’ve landed in Holland and there you must stay.

The important thing is that they haven’t taken you to a horrible, disgusting, filthy place, full of pestilence, famine and disease. It’s just a different place.

So you must go out and buy new guidebooks. And you must learn a whole new language. And you will meet a whole new group of people you would never have met.

It’s just a different place. It’s slower-paced than Italy, less flashy than Italy. But after you’ve been there for a while and you catch your breath, you look around and you begin to notice that Holland has windmills – and Holland has tulips. Holland even has Rembrandts.

But everyone you know is busy coming and going from Italy … and they’re all bragging about what a wonderful time they had there. And for the rest of your life, you will say, “Yes, that’s where I was supposed to go. That’s what I had planned.”

And the pain of that will never, ever, ever, ever go away, because the loss of that dream is a very, very significant loss.

But if you spend your life mourning the fact that you didn’t get to Italy, you many never be free to enjoy the very special, the very lovely things about Holland.

What a beautiful story!  Emily really helps us put things in proper perspective!



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A Heartwarming Movie- Touch A Life

I just watched this movie and was inspired to share it with you.  Watch it and think of other’s you can share it with.

Then, think of people in your life that you could send a note of appreciation to. It’s simple acts of kindness and thinking about others rather than ourselves that help us lift out of depression or self-pity.

Click on the video to see  how easily you can touch a life.

I’ve found a very simple way of doing this. Contact me and I will show you how.

Posted in Acts of Kindness, Inspiration | 9 Comments