|Keokuk, Ia, my first view of this little town on day one was overcast|
skies and the threat of another snow storm that never came, phew.
|Happy Birthday Semya, Nani Loves You|
|Stella on Easter, Momma loves you so much baby.|
I woke up this morning fully rested and feeling grateful for so many things, most of all for my friend and sister Renee and the car ride last night with Mckenzie. She could tell that I needed to get out apparently as she stood over me with her piggy purse over her shoulder looking down at me in my chair writing and said... Come on, let's go! "Where we headed?" I smiled and she just nodded and slyly replied... "out".
|The Mississippi River|
|When we let go of the feelings we think we have to hold inside to appear|
strong we gain true strength. This is repeat lesson for me apparently.
She replied.. "it must be hard trying to help all of us while you yourself are still trying to learn how to help yourself. I commend you, I don't know if I could do it." I felt such release being able to share all my feelings and doubts with her in that car ride. I felt cared for.
Mckenzie is a strong woman, hard headed with a heart as big as Iowa. I named this post The Slater Tribe as she is the Chief of her tribe in every way. A single mother of three who also takes care of her brother. She reminds me much of myself in my younger years when I was raising my own. She packs no punches, calls it like she see's it and makes things happen for her family even though she has so little to make it all happen with. The tribe has welcomed me into their home the same way I would have in my younger years... just one more potato in the pot... you are a guest for about five minutes than it is time to dig right in and make yourself at home, there are no guests here; only family.
|Kaden and Rialee have adopted me as their Auntie JoJo, they asked me|
if it was okay to call me Auntie and I was honored to say of course.
|Avory has the heart of an Angel, a natural nurturer and|
sweet soul she has been such a joy to get to know.
The road to learning how to love me has been one of many lessons. This new part of the journey involves me going back to helping others and in that not loosing myself as I did so much in the past. Mckenzie touched on the very thing sitting heavy on my heart when she said it must be hard trying to help others and still help me. As she said it I cried again and said out-loud while the tears began to fall again... "I am scared that I might not be good enough for all this". Just saying it I felt such a release. I needed to get that fear out, I had been holding it in thinking that I had to be this strong 'got it all together' person for everyone I am going to help and forgetting all the lessons I have learned on my journey about reaching out for help myself.
|Rialee has become the organic police here, haha|
|Eating organic and healthy is a great habit to have|
|I have a feeling that I will be forever changed from this part of the|
journey, learning how to balance loving me with loving everyone
else is a great lesson and one I am determined to learn.
The kids just woke up and came down stairs with their happy selves, gave me the now traditional "good morning Auntie JoJo" hug they have given me since day one. I am right at home here and blessed to have so much love around me. Today is going to be a great new day, I don't feel the burden of doubt in my heart and am ready for this next week with this awesome family who has made me one of their own without an reservations.
I love you all from a place of acceptance for my fears and doubts and the courage to face them knowing this year is going to change more than the lives of the homes I visit, this year is going to also forever change me. We are all learning as we go, that never stops and why should it? If we had all the answers we would have no reason to be here now would we, haha.