Encouragement · Hope · Relationship

Hero-to-Hero

In 2018, we expanded our ‘Blessings umbrella’ to include Firefighters.

I had no idea how much our Firefighters go through emotionally and physically. Even sacrificially.

All I really knew is that they like to fish.

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Heroes&Hooks/Catching Courage Bass Fishing Tournament 2019

So, we created a fishing event called “Catching Courage,” including both Burn Survivors and Firefighters at the same event.

Part of our mission at Ryan Shines Burn Foundation is to get both groups together at one place for bonding, healing, and serious fun!

We are creating a safe place where our Survivors and Firefighters can be together, fish together, and reconnect after the fire.

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Catching Courage 2018 – Survivors & Firefighters

That’s why our mission is so rare.

I wish you could see both groups enjoying each other and asking each other real life-questions.

We didn’t know what to expect.

I thought the kids might be shy but they talked with each other on the same level: Hero-to-Hero!

This year, we continue honoring both groups in a Saltwater Fishing Tournament (“Catching Courage”).

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It will involve multi-state Firefighters and it will be hosted by our ‘First Mates,’ our youth Burn Survivors.

Our hope is that every youth Burn Survivor and Firefighter leaves for home with a full heart; encouraged and more courageous as they learn to tell their story and catch everyday courage from each other.

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Catching Courage 2018  Islamorada, FL

dawn

PS- Next time, I’d like for us to talk about ‘the sacrifices our Firefighters make.’

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)

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)

Family · Relationship

I found it in the Dark

I’m thinking about the big Blessing that happened to me.hand dark

I’m still not sure if I found it or it found me.

But I’ve got to tell you what was weird about it.

I found it in the Dark, not in the Light.

I couldn’t see my hand in front of my face.

Do you remember the story of the policeman who was going out the door to work the night shift and dropped his keys in the grass?

His wife came out to help him look.

He was walking up and down the curb.

His wife asked him, “Is that where you lost them?”

He said, “No, but the light’s much better here.”

I think that’s true for all of us.

We assume our Blessing is dancing in front of us in the light because that would make it easier to find.

But don’t forget, it took me 14 years to find it, and when I found it I knew immediately that the Blessing wasn’t for me to keep.

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I was Blessed to be a Blessing to others.

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Dawn          

 

 

 

 

I’ll tell you how the Blessing grew next time…

 

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           

Encouragement · Grief · Hope · wounded healer

Becoming a Blessings-girl

We finished talking about “Hope’s” answers to my deepest questions.

I hope you have learned as much as the boys and I have.  

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Colton & Trenton studying in the shadow of the Taj Mahal

Today our focus is about living in Blessings instead of crumbling under a Curse.

I usually think that it’s one or the other.

If you feel cursed, we tend to believe that it is the only reality within us.

Original Love

Like if you are angry, anger is the only reality in your life.

But you are MORE than your anger!  

I am MORE than my grief.

Getting through my own loss took more than a decade.

But I’ve changed. (It’s never too late).

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I am a Blessings–Girl now.

Dawn                  

To be continued…

 

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