The American dream is to own your own home.  We have owned two homes in our 20 years of marriage but have never lived in one longer than two years.  We have rented many homes or have lived in homes provided by our jobs, such as in ministry in a church or at a children’s home.  It has been a dream of mine to one day own a home that we love and to own it in a place where we love to live.  Is this too big of a dream?  I wonder some times if it is.

We have been blessed to have lived in the homes where we have not had to pay for room or board, but it is not ours. I would like to have a house that is not huge.  I would like it to have three rooms and two to two and a half bathrooms.  I want an enclosed two care garage with extra storage.  A living room and a spacious kitchen would be ideal.  We would ideally like to have some acreage so we can build a small office separate from our home so we can sepHail Baseball Sizearate work from home life.  Is that a pipe dream?  Are we even capable of doing that?

My husband would love to have a private pond or some body of water near where he can fish.  I would assume that the fishing would need to be good, otherwise what would be the point? He would like to own a four wheeler or a razor to tinker around on the property.  I would enjoy driving wither of those.

I don’t want a house that has major cleaning to do.  Would be extra cool if we were able to have the funds to hire someone who would clean it that would truly be in need.  We desire to help those who really need help.  I only hope that I would not be so picky that I could not enjoy the benefits of their labor.

I would like for the living room to be a good size that would be able to host folks if we wanted to have a party.  A kitchen big enough to serve as well.  The bedrooms do not have to be so large.  We will just be using them to sleep in. We never wanted to have the bedrooms so big or so full of stuff that our kid would only want to stay in there at all times and not be out with the family.

One thing that I want to make sure of is that our roof is leak proof and well insulated for when the north Texas storms hit.  Last time that occurred we called on roof repair in Denton to come fix our roof. I want to keep our family safe and dry.  A basement would not hurt either.

We need a place to keep our vehicles from damage from all the hail storms that hit this area.  We have been fortunate to not have any damage done to our vehicles or major roof damage.  Our church had to get a new roof and it was shocking to me just how much we, the church, had to pay for the roof.  Thank goodness for insurance.

We are anxiously counting down the days until our next cruise as a family.  We just got back from a family cruise celebrating our daughter’s graduation. We went to Cozumel, Grand Cayman and Jamaica.  God made an incredible world and we were honored to have been able to visit the Caribbean to see that part of the world.

We boarded the ship on a Sunday and it took a full day to get our sea legs.  We went to the doctor several weeks prior to leaving to get a prescription for patches to wear to battle sea sickness.  I am thankful that we didn’t have to see what it would be like to go on board without the patches.  I get vertigo rather easily due to my multiple sclerosis.

The first excursion was in Cozumel.  It was the “Dolphin Encounter & Sea Lion show at Chanjanaab”. It was three and a half hours.  Our daughter always wanted to swim with the dolphins and this was just the think she wanted to experience.  She received a go pro for graduation and bought a harness to be able to strap it to her body so she could film her experience.  So cool.  ThereChrysler 300 Limo Inside were about 10 people there so the group was small enough to really enjoy it and get right in there.

On day four, we were in the Grand Cayman’s and participated in the “Deluxe stingray city sandbar”.  You waded out in shallow water and there were stingrays all swimming around your feet.  We lured them in by feeding them.  It was a quick two and a half hours  My parents were really excited about this excursion.  It was a little creepy but exciting none the less.

Day five we went to Jamaica.  We really wanted to do the zip lines but my dad was really afraid of heights, but he sucked it up and did it any way.  The zip lines were longer than any that I have been on before but it still went by way to fast.  We switched from zip line to zip line.  The scenery was absolutely beautiful.  Flying over the canopy of green trees was absolutely amazing.  I want to go and do that again. That was the quickest four and a half hours ever.

On the ship,  it was full of activities as well.  There was food every where you turned. My daughter and I had to eat gluten free food so we had a special meal prepared for us each night at supper.  I am sure I gained ten pounds while we were there.

One excursion that I would like to do next time is the ATV excursion.  The sad but funny part of that was we weren’t able to do that one because my dad was too old. What is funny about that is you would never know he is 80 because he doesn’t look nor does he act like it.  I bet that if we requested it on shore, they would have never questioned him and we could have done it, but we did all of our planning before we went on the cruise.

When we arrived on shore we were greeted by a limo service in Frisco TX, that took us all the way back home.  It was a great vacation.

We all know that it can be difficult to live in a large family.  From the crazy Aunts and Uncles to your brothers and sisters that can annoy and delight you.  I’ve found that having a larger family is a blessing the older I get and know that they are here for me when I need them.  Recently we went thru a pretty hard time in our work career.  After leaving a very bad job situation we needed to find a new career and fast. We were broke and not sure what to do and reached out to family.  After many conversations, prayers and lots of trying to open doors and find solutions, we were blessed to figure out a way to get capital to start a new business and we were off on a new adventure.  This new adventure was going to be hard and we had no idea what were getting ourselves into, but we knew that we didn’t want to stay where we were.

Destined to becomeLooking back on all of the decisions and struggles we had over the last year or so has been an eye opening experience about ourselves and our goals and dreams.  We set out to do one thing, and now are in a totally different position.  We’ve met some amazing people along the way, but the thing that has stuck out most for us is the support of our family.  Family has your back no matter what, and we’ve been blessed with amazing family.  When we were in need and were struggling we reached out and found help.  Many people aren’t able to find that kind of help, and it’s been a blessing to watch our growth and the investment our family has made to this point.  Now, we have 2 businesses with both doing well and our lives have taken on a whole new set of joys.  Who knows where this will take us in another year and how our lives will change.

Along the way we’ve met and made some incredible friendships.  One of those was with a Denton Orthodontist that took care of our daughter’s braces.  After moving around so much we needed someone to finish out her braces and make everything the way it needed to be.  We were fortunate enough to find a great Orthodontist and she has had her braces removed and her teeth look amazing.  Their whole staff is amazing and it’s been a blessing to meet them.  We also met others along the journey including an amazing Insurance Agency and Agent, and others that have helped us not only grow our Business, but grow as individuals and a family.  What a blessing it is to find great people that are a blessing in so many different ways!

So the next time you need to bridge the gap between where you are and where you want to be, what about asking your family.  My family has been amazing and done things for us that I would’ve never dreamed!  They’ve helped us financially, emotionally, and supported us every step of the way.  Family is awesome and I couldn’t be more blessed with such an amazing family.  Today we set out on a new journey that only is happening because of our amazing family.  If they wouldn’t have stepped in over a year ago to help, we would still be struggling and trying to figure out how to pay the bills and find freedom from a workplace that was toxic.  Thanks for family, and thanks for bridging the gap!

Since this website is, after all, called Family Bridge, I figured I should take some time and address on of the most important communities that surround us: family. I was recently helping a friend of mine who is engaged look for DFW wedding venues. She explained to me how stressed she was about all the details, planning, and getting everything done before the big day. When I asked if her family was being helpful at all, I thought she was going to begin crying. She could barely get out the words about how supportive her family was in every decision she made and was constantly encouraging her to make it her day and not worry about what others think. I was in awe. For many families, a wedding can make or break them. Unfortunately, it tends to be the latter more often than not. This is the group of people you are raised around, spent your childhood with or have an intimate bond with. I believe there are all different types of families and that the family bond manifests itself in many diverse ways. For me, my family consists of the four people I am closest to and would do anything for; my mom, dad, sister and brother. I completely understand that not everyone has this. Some people only have one parent, or no siblings, or maybe even no parents. But for many people, blood ties can be the strongest. It breaks my heart when I see families in dispute, especially if the cause is trite or petty. That is a relationship that I hope lasts as long as we are all living.

Another form of family community that I have also experienced, can be one or two (maybe more) close friends. I have one friend in particular who adopts our last name when she is over at our house and even goes so far as to call my mother, “Mom”. She lets herself in our front door and helps herself to our food and is completely comfortable engaging with any of my family members.This may sound like she is being rude, but I promise it just means we are family. Family involves trust, loyalty, and love. All of these ingredients together constitutes family, and without even one of them, the true essence of family cannot exist. In the case of my friend and my family itself, I trust, respect, love and would do anything for any of them.

The last type of family that comes to mind is a bond between a certain group of people like a team or a church. These bonds can come from a common interest bringing people who wouldn’t ordinarily be friends or family, and uniting them with a common goal. For me, being on a team meant becoming a family. If we could not work together effectively, we would not achieve our ultimate goal of winning. We spent nearly four months with each other almost everyday. We did not always like each other all the time, but when the season ended and we came out on the other side, we had a bond that was deeper than friendship. We were a family. You do not spend that much time with the same people and not get to know them so intimately and thoroughly. Friendship can be forged through time and hard work.

I would venture to say that almost everyone has a family, regardless of the category it falls under. Treasure these relationships. Harbor them and preserve them. I love knowing that whatever happens, I have people around me who genuinely care about me and will catch me if I fall. Living in this type of community where everyone cares about each other is utterly blissful. How we treat each other plays a huge factor in family.Do not take any relationship for granted and know that if you want any relationship, friendship, companionship, even acquaintanceship to work, you have to take the effort to show people you care. After all, the saying goes: “People don’t care how much you know, until they know how much you care”. And this applies very realistically to family and to community.

Let’s take a trip around the world! One thing that I would do if I had an unlimited supply of time and money is travel. People and cultures fascinate me and I find myself wanting to know everything I possibly can about different regions of the world. It fascinates me how similar humans are to each other physically, yet so drastically different culturally. In recent times, traveling to different countries is so simple. One can easily purchase a plane ticket, go online or call to book a hotel and then just rent a car to transport oneself around once in the foreign country. Many people do not even think about how people one hundred years ago would have traveled. Mostly they didn’t. People usually did not travel around for vacation due to the extensive time it took and also the danger. If you lived in the United States and wanted to travel to France for a vacation, you would have to take a boat or ship and if you lived a really long time ago, that journey was not safe. The voyage across the Atlantic was usually just not worth the risk. Today we are extremely luck that we do not have to deal with diseased ships laden with sickness and rats! Our transportation situation allows our world to be more intimately connected than ever before. Instead of taking weeks or months to cross the ocean on a ship, we could jump on a plane and travel from America to Paris in around nine hours! How incredible! Although money can be an issue sometimes, we are so lucky that we can travel around with relative ease. We have an opportunity before us to increase our awareness of the world around us, to be people of incredible knowledge and experience. The opportunities before us are infinite.

Personally, I would love to travel and meet new people and experience different cultures and traditions. I desire to have an open mind to the world around me and leave behind blindness and bias to where I am from. One place in particular I would like to visit is Paris, France. This is a place that is the epitome of intense, concentrated culture and atmosphere. It is a city full of museums and food and drink and anything that you could ever want to experience in France, can just about be found in Paris.

Before we begin to think globally, we should also expand our community awareness to include the country we currently reside in. Local community comes first and then national community. It is necessary to begin engagement in this order to reach full potential of civic engagement. If we are aware globally and have no care whatsoever for anyone on a local level, it will be very difficult to make a difference while blind to what is happening around you. As far as national community awareness goes, you should remain knowledgable about what is happening in your country. This means VOTE if you have that opportunity. This is the clearest, easiest way to become involved in your national community! You have the opportunity to share what you believe and take control of how your country is run! This power has been given to you. I suggest you use it. Don’t take anything for granted. Get involved locally and get involved nationally.

Welcome to my new website, Family Bridge! This is your one-stop look at life in an interconnected global society. My aim is to bridge the gap across different countries and ethnic groups to uncover the truth that we really are all family, living in one world. It has occurred to me recently that with the development of technology, our world is growing smaller and smaller. We can no longer afford to live in our own little bubble that consists of school, work, and home. With worldwide news and our access to the internet, it becomes harder, and harder if not impossible to ignore global incidents and affairs. It’s almost to the point that no matter where you live, you’re access to television, internet and radio is frequent if not unlimited. This “global family” as I like to call it has become something of a passion of mine since I started some college courses on global affairs. I would love to share some unique insights and thoughts I have about how we as individuals can remain engaged in our surroundings, beginning with our own local communities and eventually branching out to our global community. I have been made aware recently of how our little cellular devices can be very destructive. Think about it. How long has it been since you checked your cell phone? Thirty seconds? One minute? Are you on it right now? Once you notice how frequently people spend their time on their phone, you will not be able to forget. Step one in engaging in your local community is looking up every once in a while. Engage in meaningful conversations with others, get involved in groups in the community that have interests similar to yours, and get away from screens every so often. I don’t know about you, but my family had a strict no phones at the dinner table policy. This “forced” us into conversation and helped us become genuinely curious, concerned and invested in each other’s lives. I went to a friend’s house a few months back for dinner and my experience there reaffirmed for me why the phones should be used in greater moderation. I was sitting at a table with five other people, and I am completely serious when I say that it was so silent you could here a pin drop on the floor. It was uncomfortable and disheartening to se people on Facebook and Instagram rather than conversing with each other. Overcoming this habit of hiding behind our devices is the first step in reinforcing our local identity as a connected community.

I don’t want you to misunderstand me when I say that phone use needs to decrease. I do NOT think that phones are evil. I think that they are a tool. The user is the one who decides whether the phone is destructive or constructive. One one hand, mobile devices (as well as computers and televisions) can permanently damage relationships and also people’s social skills and ability to converse with others. On the other hand, the internet connects us with people all around the world. We have access to global news, people in other countries, loved ones across the seas, and current events. The pendulum can swing both ways. The questions really is, what are you doing to increase the strength of the relationships in your local community? Are you hurting or helping?