sitting in the Chicago airport …

found this cool bank of chairs/cubbies with plugs — so I’m plugged in and breathing deep and reflecting. Grabbed the newspaper as I boarded in Spokane and finally got to read an in depth article about Monday’s tragic incident at Virginia Tech — so many emotions and thoughts. I’m going to ramble a bit, so bear with me. First, I love my country. I mean really, truly love it, not just because I was born here, but because I believe (on many levels) it is a choice and guided nation (and I don’t mean that in a superficial or prideful way) Three times yesterday (at the jr. high, the grocery store and the church) a flag flying at half-mast drew me out of my mental "go-go" checklist mode and reminded that somewhere, not so far away people (fellow citizens) are suffering and mourning and feeling so confused and violated  — America fights for and protects the freedom of it’s citizens and this means that there will be people who will abuse that freedom and make horrible choices, choices that ultimately destroy the freedom of others. It has always been this way, Monday is a brutal reminder of everything we believe in and yet if can focus on what we gain, instead of what we lost this is another chance to pull together, to remember and refocus — I don’t know if I’m making in any sense. I’ve been thinking about causes lately — and there are so many worthy causes, hungry people to feed, diseases to cure, habitats to preserve. I think though that we can lose sight of the most important cause there is — the people we live with and love and are accountable for. Whenever I’m exhausted and overwhelmed and feel like giving up I think about women (YOU) and the power and influence we have (for good) in this world. I could up and join the peace corp (would actually love to do that someday) but honestly, my greatest chance to influence and change for good this world we live in — is in my head and my home. I think a LOT about how and why Big Picture Scrapbooking came to be. It was part vision — but part accident and I think a big part fate. If I can do something to help rid the world of small-mindedness and insecurity and  selfish tendancies in women and encourage them to think and feel more positive about life and their perspective, gifts, talents  — then they will on their own pursue with more enthusiasm their potential to grow and change, one relationship, one family and one community at a time. Again, please forgive the rambling nature of this mental dump — but I just believe that if we can support and sustain each other in our opportunities to nurture and teach — then there will be fewer tragedies, fewer "how could this happen" events that leave us searching for answers we already have.

Anyway — gotta go get on another plane. I’m not going to go back and re-read this, so please forgive me if I have said anything offensive (certainly none intended) just needed to express ideas and motivations inside of me.

Please comment and add your insights!!
My heart and prayers go to all who are in the true wake of this tragedy.

God bless us all.


  1. I was so sad when I heard about it on Monday but yesterday I spent an hour reading the profiles… and I just cried.
    these people were sons and daughters, husbands and wives, brothers and sisters, friends, cousins, aunts and uncles… and the list goes on and on of what these people meant to somebody.
    It’s just so sad. So tragic. And I don’t even know how to help or know what to do?
    It’s a good reminder once again to me that life is fragile and they we can not take it for granted. I want to do better about saying “Thank you” and “I love you”… We lost my father in law very unexpectedly and I always wonder if he knew that I loved him. I should have told him more… I don’t want to live with those kind of regrets… I’m want to do better about letting those in my life know that they’re important to me…

  2. Have been reading for awhile, Stacy, and this is the first time I’ve commented.
    You are so correct – it is one day, one relationship at a time where I believe we can make the most difference.
    Perhaps if we more often focused on our immediate surroundings, our most tender relationships, the energy and goodwill created in our most intimate lives would radiate out into the world at large.
    Welcome to Ohio, by the way. Spring is beginning to settle in and I hope you get a chance to enjoy Cleveland.
    Looking forward to meeting you in Buffalo.

  3. The only way we can make a difference is to start where we are, right now, one person at a time.

  4. I am glad that I wandered this way and was able to read this post. Even when terrible things like this happen, I still have faith. Mr. Rogers told Katie Couric after 9/11 look at all the helpers that come after a tragedy, they far, far outnumber the one who made it.
    On a happier, note.. I love the altogether too happy story in the corner. I like happy people. :)

  5. This truly was a tragedy! He was a confused, disturbed and angry young man who had no respect for human life. It is so hard for me to understand how he thought this was the answer. He ruined so many innocent peoples lives and not to mention his own families lives. Truly a horrible tragedy all the way around. For all the people that were affected by this tragedy, I hope you know that you have the my thoughts and prayers as those of millions of people around the world.
    As for these words Stacy,”potential to grow and change, one relationship, one family and one community at a time.” these are the perfect words!! For all the woman and men out there that think they are no one and have no impact on the world around them, read those words again! You can’t change the world all at once, but you can make a difference in it, one relationship, one family, one community at a time. If we could all stay committed and teach our children this, then we could pull together as families, communities and a nation to live in a more positive environment. An environment that teaches the young that violence and hatred is not the answer to all the troubles we will face in life. It will empower all of us to make a difference in our lives and the lives of others. So Thank You for those beautiful words of encouragement!!

  6. insightful words … and so true. The story just breaks my heart and drives home to me what I feel is so important to do when I am at work (I am a middle school librarian)… connect with kids, give them a smile, ask how they are doing, remember what they like to read, hand out chocolate for no reason at all but “just because” – little things but I feel that some days I really make a difference by doing that.

  7. Stacy…well said. You remind all us that we do make a difference in the lives of the people we see and talk to every day and just taking the time to smile, encourage is so important. It’s a reminder to us all that tragedy can strike anywhere at any time and that it’s up to us to live every day like it’s our last…with purpose, love and respect. Thanks.

  8. Thank you, Stacy. It has been a hard week at school. I teach fifteen, sixteen, seventeen year olds in tenth and eleventh grades. They believe they are invincible, and then comes a tragedy like this. They are vulnerable, confused, and it’s difficult to make sense of the situation. But, like you and the others have said, we are on this earth to help each other, to love each other, and to make a difference one person, one family, one community at a time. My juniors just finished Tuesdays with Morrie, the first time I had ever taught it. I am amazed at the conversations this book has sparked. These teenagers are suddenly so aware of their connections with others, even strangers. I myself am still processing my own emotions about the Virginia Tech tragedy, even more so as I think about my own 18-year-old son about to go to college in August. All we can do is have faith in the goodness of human beings to overcome the evils we are hearing about.

  9. Stacy:
    I have been taking your Library of Memories class and am so inspired by you and what you are doing. I do believe your vision is fate. We are all blessed you have embraced God’s plan for you and are living it. You truly effect moms, dads and families in a postive, thoughtful way.
    I too believe from the bottom of my heart the words you wrote…grow and change, one relationship, one family and one community at a time. I believe this is God’s plan for all of us and is the only way to conquer the bad in the world. We all need to embrace your vision. You are the champion for so many of us and all I can say is Thank You!!

  10. You truly speak the words in my heart, Stacy! Thank you for writing them down and sharing them with us.
    I like this story(paraphrased), on a similar theme: When asked how one could change the world, Mother Teresa replied, “Go home and love your family.” May we all try a little harder and be a little more forgiving each day.
    And on a happier note: see you in Edmonton in just 1 week!!!!! I regret to inform you that you may wish to bring your parka – it’s snowing here again! Off to do a few more pages in my Glimpses album! Travel safely!!

  11. Thank you so much for this post and encouragement. I have felt a little guilty about needing to put on blinders of a sort lately and turn off the news—the loss of brave young soldiers in Iraqi and now these innocents in Virginia—it is all too much. So easy to feel helpless.
    But then I see the faces of my two little boys looking up to me and know I have to start there. LOVE the Mother Teresa quote in an above comment. Love your book and all your inspiration.
    Thank you!
    PS My husband and I were Peace Corps volunteers before we had kids and would love to do it again when they are grown!

  12. Stacy, I admire you very much and I think that you’ve contributed an enormous amount of good to the lives of the women you influence. You have a voice that people listen to, you’re someone that people consider a mentor, and even an idol.
    I really hesitate to do this, but I have to say it aloud and give voice to feelings that I know other share with me.
    This remark:
    “I can do something to help rid the world of small-mindedness”
    is profound. But to live by it honestly, you yourself have to be willing to open your mind a little more – specifically, by respecting that not everyone believes in God or religion in the same way you do, if at all, and to make that respect felt by not calling those people “dummies” as you did recently in Alabama.

  13. Hi Stacy,
    I think we all part responsible of all sufferings and sadness in this world really. If we would count how many are dying at this present time we would be overwhelmed. Many infants die of diarrhoea in Africa and nobody puts that on the headline! Realizing that we first are all human beings, we are partially responsible of what this world became and willing to share a bit of our daily happiness and smile, is certainly a start. At the same time we are responsible of our own sadness and suffering and the suffering in this world, we also have the power to improve our daily lives and make the world a better place to live. So doing our bit, sharing a smile and giving a hand to the person who live next to you is a way to improve!
    Thank you for your thoughtfull words

  14. it’s been really hard here. Especially today. I was over come with emotion for my school. I graduated from TECH in 99, you met me in Alabama, I was the one that drove you around :)… and if you are around me long enough, you’ll know how important Virginia Tech is to me, my family (it’s where my hubby and I met)…I’ve been in a fog since Monday…and really in shock. Today as I left my house, decked out in Maroon and Orange to support my school, I had no idea what I would face. I knew people had gone out and bought tee shirts to wear and support Virginia Tech…but when I pulled up to my son’s preschool and I saw all these teachers and parents and students wearing Tech colors, a wave of sadness over came me. I don’t know how someone could be that angry that he took the lives of 32 others and himself, not to mention the 17 that he tried to kill that are sitting in the hospital now…I don’t know how he could be so angry. It breaks my heart that people are hurting that much in our world. And you are right, we have to reach out, we have to connect, we have to encourage, love, because otherwise why are we hear? What is our purpose? I’m not sure where or what went wrong in that young mans life…but if you could see Virginia today. This day that we remember those that died…you wouldn’t think that there is anyone not loving, reaching out, encouraging, etc…EVERYONE is banning together to SUPPORT THE HOKIES.
    I have pictures, a scrapbook page I did and some thoughts on Blacksburg and my memories of it, if you are interested in reading it.
    Thank you for this post.

  15. Thank you for your insight, Stacy…I remember when the Gulf War was going on, and I was a new mother, watching the images the news showed of suffering children, crying mothers holding their babies, and my heart just broke. I cried (lots of post-partum blue stuff) and cried. And ultimately, I came to this peaceful place where I realized I can only influence my own little portion of the world. I cannot save the children of the entire world. I must start in my own home, with my family, extended family and friends. Then I can reach out a little in the community, but I need to prioritize and take care of my own first. Hard to think I can’t help EVERYONE, but sometimes I do want to…

  16. kellicrowe says:

    “searching for answers we already know the answer to” absolutely

  17. Very sad situation. So many people with heart aches. Overwhelming, painful heart aches.
    Your post made me think of something Gordon B. Hinkley said along the lines of each of us being accountable for the things in our own sphere of influence. Not everyone has a company that helps change ladies lives by teaching them to think forward, not everyone runs a church, but we all have a sphere of influence AND we all can make a difference in that circle. However big or small it may be. Wonderful thoughts – encouraging despite the sadness.

  18. Wow – hi! I am a LOM 2008 member and am reading all of your past blogs – so I don’t know if you even read this now. Your words were really beautiful. I attended a Me to We presentation last night – making me re-evaluate what my “issue” and “gifts” are in this world. There are so many different charities and “causes” to fight for today but your message about home and influencing the people we love is SOOO important. This too was touched on last night. Until hearing your insights from LOM and again here on your blog, I had never really considered scrapbooking as creating this kind of environment so to speak. It is helping us to really get a handle on what we value in our lives as well as examine how we treat those around us and choose to do with our time. Thank you again for your insight and encouragement – for me – a reminder to be as Christ-like as possible. We have been blessed to be a blessing and that shines through all you do.

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