Adventure with Engagement AWE · Family · Relationship

Celebrating Thanksgiving

As I look back over the past year, I am thankful for the joy that has unexpectedly found me in growing RyanShines (our pediatric burn survivors and firefighters foundation).

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Catching Courage Salt 2019

It was like a bounty of unlooked-for treasures.

I like to call it “A Year of Heroes with a Thousand Faces!”

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Montgomery Fire Dptmt & Ryan Shines

What’s made the year different for me is that I have found a way through the sizable barrier separating me and firefighters.

I mean, who understands firefighters except firefighters?

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Some favorite firefighters at RSA tower stair climb

But that was not what I was trying to do.

I was working hard to build “trust” between us so that RyanShines could make a positive difference in their lives.

This was my hope, and I’m seeing it grow at little and large fire stations. 

 

I am thankful for their generous open-heartedness, and their willingness to live in a world of death and life to rescue others.

I am thankful that every day and night they risk their lives for strangers. 

Bottom line…I am Thankful.

I am thankful for our pediatric burn survivors.

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Brantson, Cory and James   Catching Courage Salt ’19

I am thankful for the bond that we have forged.

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Lovely, Kaleigh and me

I am inspired by their raw courage, the way they carry themselves, and the way they let us carry them.

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Finally, I am thankful for you, dear readers, for the ways that you encourage us and keep us warm in your prayers.

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Lovely @catchingcourage salt ’19

Thank you for keeping us focused on our mission that  “no pediatric burn survivor be left behind and no firefighter be forgotten.”

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Catching Courage Salt ’19 kids

with love and gratitude,

dawn

 

Family · healing-over-pain · Hope · Relationship

The Gift of Family

A 12-year-old middle school boy, Fernando Castro, was killed as a fire ripped through his family’s home.

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Nano

To everyone who knew him, he was affectionately known as “Nano.” 

 

The night of the fire, Nano and his young siblings – three-year-old half-sister Esmeralda (“Esme”) and five-year-old half-brother Luis (Junior)– were home with a babysitter and her boyfriend, when a fire sparked inside their home.

The children’s mother, Juana Vasquez, was away driving her daughter back to college after the Thanksgiving holiday weekend.

The babysitter told the police that one of the children moved a ‘space heater’ into their bedroom.Screen Shot 2019-10-24 at 2.27.02 PM.png

 

She thought that was how the fire started.

 The fast-moving flames engulfed everyone inside.

The thick, black smoke hindered the Firefighters, but they worked through it and found Nano’s body inside the burned-out home.

Esme and Junior survived but suffered critical injuries that left them both hospitalized, with Esme suffering from burns over 40 percent of her body, while Junior has burns on over 70 percent of his body.

They were burned so badly that they had to be placed in medically induced comas.

Doctors have told the family that each child would need more than 80 operations between now and the age of 18 to fully recover from their severe injuries. 

Nano’s mourning mother, Juana, remembered how he would always turn to give her a big “thumbs up” every morning before getting on the school bus.

She clings to this image of her boy who seems to be saying here, with his thumbs up, “I’m OK, Mom, everything’s OK.”

I remember meeting Esme and Junior along with their aunts, at the Phoenix World Burn Conference, who are taking care of them now.

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JR, Esme, aunts and me

Let me tell you what’s really amazing that has come out of this tragedy.

It is the power of love in a larger family.

These 2 aunts are bringing deep emotional and physical healing to their niece and nephew. (I remember the nights after Ryan died when I had my two sisters, Dianne and Darby, and my parents surrounding us with their love).

Now, I look at this photograph and see that the same thing has happened for this little family.

They are encircled by a love that will never let them go.

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There’s a message for all of us in this.

In an age where we are losing a sense of the ‘nuclear family,’ it’s sad, isn’t it, that it often takes a tragedy to shatter the walls we’ve put between us and open our eyes to the best gift God has given us.

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The Gift of Family.

dawn

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 · Family · Hope

What happens on Elm street, stays on Elm street

The kids at school call me “Freddy Krueger.”

And they ask me about my “Nightmare on Elm Street.”

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As I talked with Louie I remembered some of the awful Freddy Krueger theme song.

“One, two, Freddy’s coming for you

Three, four, better lock the door

Five, six, grab your crucifix

Seven, eight, gonna stay up late

Nine, ten, never sleep again.”

“Everybody’s got scars,” Louie said with tears. “I still got a heart!”

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Louie

He told me how great it was being with Terry.

“Watching him use humor the way he does really helped me out!

Now I’m always crackin’ jokes with the kids around me, and they are so shocked and can’t believe I can do this!” 

“Sometimes I tell them ‘I got attacked by a shark with laser beams.’

I make ’em laugh! I say, ‘Hey guys! I’m medium-rare and you’re raw!”

 

Louie is my friend and he’s in my Hero Hall-of-Fame. 

I see courage every time I see him. 

Dawn

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 · Friendship · Relationship

Com-PAN-ioning

“The word is ‘’pan.’’

It means ‘’bread’’ in most every language.

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Trenton & Colton w/ Singapore friends

It suggests that ‘’breaking bread” together is at the heart of our companioning with God, family, and friends.

This is the center of our journey together that we’ve talked so much about.

There is an episode in the Book of Revelation where Jesus says, “I am knocking at your door. If you will answer and let me come in, we will eat together” (Rev. 3:20).  

What if Jesus is saying that eating together is a key to building relationships?

That he would choose food that we are homesick for?  A table is heavy with good grub. Think back for a moment over all the great meals you’ve shared. 

Did you ever feel that the one sitting across from you is the richest choice on the menu?

bread companioning.jpgIt suggests that ‘’breaking bread” together is at the heart of our companioning with God, family, and friends.

This is a part of our journey together that we’ve talked so much about.

There is an episode in the Book of Revelation where Jesus says, “I am knocking at your door. If you will answer and let me come in, we will eat together” (Rev. 3:20).  

Jesus might be saying that eating together is key to building relationships. Think back for a moment over all the great meals you’ve shared. 

Did you ever feel that the one sitting across from you was the richest choice on the menu?Screen Shot 2019-02-20 at 3.39.44 PM.png

dawn

Exclusive Instagram content @dawnraymondhirn. Loved for you to join me there.

Hope · Relationship · sisterhood

Engaging all God’s children

I believe that God’s intention for us on earth is to grow spiritually, mentally, physically and emotionally in our Relationships.Screen Shot 2019-02-20 at 2.44.36 PM.png

Even God is a Relationship: Father, Son, Holy Spirit. God is a Trinity.

A Threesome. 

Through our connections beyond ourselves, we learn trust, understanding, and love.

I (we) have an instinctive need to commune with women, moms, and soulish peers who explore deep, emotional connections with their fellow human beings.

Don’t you think that this comes with age and all of our life experiences?

Like small earthquakes, our plates shift from one priority to the next.

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For me, I have shifted out from under materialism into shared ‘horizontal’ relationships–no one above, no one below, everybody on the same level.

So while I clearly see the importance of our ‘stuff,’ what we need most is to engage, ‘’all God’s children’’ wherever we are, whoever they are. 

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Hirns in India

dawn

For inspiration, join my Instagram @dawnraymondhirn

Encouragement · Friendship · Perfecting Dysfunction · Relationship · Travel

If it is to be, it is up to me

The theme of my life used to be, “If you want a job done right, do it yourself.”images-2

And if I’m honest, and I am, it’s still mostly the theme of my life. 

You get what I’m saying, right?

When I think about all my years of mothering, I realize that most of it was on me.

In other words, partner or no partner, life is a ‘’Do it yourself.’’

So, what in the heck am I doing pushing all of us to make this “important’’ move from “I” to “We”?

Is it even workable in a mother’s life?

Most of us want a partner who’s really a partner.

That means moving from “I” to “We”.

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Which necessitates moving from “I” to “We”.

But I hesitate to say that because it might turn into one more thing on our ‘to-do’ list.

Then I remember we are traveling together on this Adventure, and the way I look at it, there’s no mountain we can’t climb.

Look. download

Here’s what I know for sure.

Not even Jesus could “do it himself.”

He had to find 12 friends.

dawn

 

These are my thoughts today. Is there anything–dreams, thoughts, adventures–that we share today?

Daily IG @dawnraymondhirn

 

Family · Hope · Relationship

One more kiss

After Ryan died, I was desperate for one more look at him, one more hug, one more word, one more kiss, but that was not to be.

The only thing that I could do was to be more intentional, more emotionally available, in loving our other children.img_6210.jpg

(Wait! I forgot our move from “I” to “We”.

Do you see it 2 sentences above? I was desperate…The only thing I could do…”

I need help, too, in making the life transition from “I” to “We”.

So, here’s how it goes; ‘’WE  were desperate …” “All WE could do is be more intentional.”)

It’s ‘’WE, WE, WE, all the way home!’’

When the thoughts of my heart turn to our other three boys, I realize that Ron and I (copilots of our Family Adventure) will have around eighteen years with them.

Imagine only having eighteen years out of ninety with our kids at home.

We’re getting one-fourth of our lifetime at home them.

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Ryan’s Montessori graduation

Think about that when you can’t stand having your children around.

I figured out a way to make up for all the love I lost with Ryan.

I’m constantly giving my boys one more look, one more hug, one more word, and one more kiss.

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Cape Town, S. Africa

dawn

These are my thoughts today. Join on my daily Instagram @dawnraymondhirn