Encouragement · Faith · Hope

The First American Dream(1630)

“We shall be a City on a Hill; the eyes of the people of the world are on us. We must delight in each other, and make our neighbor’s condition our own. 

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“We must rejoice together, cry together, work and suffer together; always having the Promise of Independence in our sights.” —John Winthrop, “The First American Dream”

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We’re on the cusp of 2020 and members of that same holy dream.

We are citizens of the City on a Hill.

This original dream lifts us up beyond ourselves so that we stand on the shoulders of our first American heroes(our first families) and catch their Spirit of Freedom. 

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My nieces on Lake Martin!
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Trenton, Luke, Jake & Tyler-Lake Martin

Let’s celebrate the 4th and our Independence!

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dawn

Faith · Hope

Hearts and Minds working together

Once upon a time, in the days just after receiving God’s Original Blessing, it hit me that my Blessing wasn’t mostly for me to keep in a mid-sized Safety Deposit Box.

It wasn’t mine to hide or hoard.

Ryan
Ryan

So, I freed my mind to move around wherever it wants to explore.

It went directly to my heart. Pretty awesome combo, ‘hearts and minds’ working together side-by-side!

Everywhere they went I followed with no idea where we were going.

But at every turn, I kept seeing children.

Children that had been burned, but had survived.

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I suddenly KNEW my Blessing was for these courageous burn survivors and our uniformed heroes who ran into burning buildings to search and rescue.

My dream was beginning to multiply like rabbits. 

My next brainstorm was The Foundation.

We named it after our seven-year-old boy, Ryan, who was killed in our burning car.

Here was a deeper dimension to my Blessing: ”Ryan Shines Burn Foundation.”

And our mission is to advise and help pediatric burn survivors with scholarships for their education and for attending Burn Camp; and to nurture the hearts and minds of Firefighters across the country.

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photo by Janelle Anderson

Thank you for helping Ryan shine on and on…

dawn

Next week, I’ll share another lovely part of my Blessing.

BTW-(If this is something that you would like to support, please visit us at www.ryanshines.com or follow us on FB and IG @dawnraymondhirn)

Encouragement · Faith · Family · Relationship

Count your Blessings

I started counting my Blessings: being a mother, enjoying a long and loving marriage, our healthy sons, and a purposeful life.

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We’ve all experienced tragedies that we thought would follow us forever and stop the beating of our heart.

When Ryan was killed in the fire, my heart stopped and all I could see and hear was, “NOOOOO!”

There was no Blessing there on the frontage road in South Texas.

And it was emotionally exhausting to search for the Blessing.

It took me 14 years to get my ‘focus’ back.

But once I found it, it was like hitting a gusher.

I let it run down my face like oil and all the way down to my toes.  

A record-breaking gusher of Blessings!

One big “Yes” overpowering the “NO!

I want to tell you the secret of how I found my big “YES!”

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The Blessing that’s bigger than any Curse.

We’ll look together here next time.

Dawn           

Faith

Caught in the Crossfire

I believe that death is basically random and most of us are simply caught in the crossfire.

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Many of us are frozen in the right place but, at the wrong time.

They tell us that if we can just get to the right place we’ll be safe.

Ryan
Ryan

But you read about victims who are innocent bystanders. 

“She didn’t mean to get in the way. But she was just in the wrong place at the wrong time.” 

Here’s the thing, some think that God lies on his flat belly, taking potshots at us from a cloud. 

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We even say the death of those we love is the “Will of God.”

I’m saying, Corral your paranoia, God is Love. There’s no target on your back.”

Dawn    

 Feel free to drop into my daily Instagram posts @dawnraymondhirn

Faith · Hope · wounded healer · wounded Mother

The first heart to break

I believe that life is not selective and that all people, no matter who and where they are, are not singled out for disaster.hurricane

Think about Katrina in Louisiana or 9/11 in New York.

Are they SERIOUS when they call those disasters ‘‘acts of God’’?

When a disaster is so beyond explanation, ”It must be God-at-work.”

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Think about it, we look at the destructive power of Nature, and we see that it’s out of control.

So we blame it on god. Even the insurance guys peddle protection against “acts of God.”

Do you really believe God singled out New Orleans and Manhattan?

Let me ask you a personal question.

Be honest.

Do you believe that God did and does all that chaos and damage, not to mention the killing?

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Ryan’s roadside cross in Texas 

I said it last week and I’m saying it again.

God’s is the first heart to break.

God’s is the first tear to fall.

dawn

 

Encouragement · Faith · Hope

A love that overcomes punishment

To set the record straight, I don’t think that “punishment” is God’s M.O.

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God’s great Heart overflows with love.

That has been believed again and again through the centuries.

After the accident, it got so frickin’ hard for me to steer clear of fear of the Wrath of God.

Like I needed to carry around a lightning rod.

It’s easy to think that when we do something wrong God is eager to punish us.

Why would we think that?

Because we think God is like us, and we are a sad girlpunishing people!

Despite my battle scars, I have realized that God was not punishing Ron and me for something we’d done that caused Ryan’s death.

Original Love
Original Love

Underneath every tragic thing is “Original Love.”

Dawn    

To be continued…

Daily Instagram inspiration @dawnraymondhirn      

Faith · Family travel · Hope

My questions / Hopes’ answers

I’ve told you some of my deepest questions. Now I want to show you some of Hope’s answers:???

– I no longer believe that God is punishing Ron and me for Ryan’s death.

I no longer believe that God arranged our accident or any accident. God is LOVE.

–I believe that life is not selective. All people, whatever their color, creed, or cash are not singled out for disaster.

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Trenton and Colton in Jaipur, India

-I believe that death is basically random and we are simply caught in the crossfire.

These are my blessings, and sometimes my curse.

Dawn   

I want us to unpack each of these gifts in the next few weeks.  

Join me daily Instagram@ dawnraymondhirn