Archive for April, 2014

Don and Sandee in Haiti 2004It’s been 7 years now that I’ve been keeping journals of my prayer life and the things that God shares with me. I was browsing through one of my old journals from 2007-08 and stumbled upon some things that I’d written during a time of deep, dark depression. I was living in Haiti with my family and it was very difficult. For those of you who know me, these words will come as no surprise. For those of you who are reading for the first time, I encourage you to stick around because there is light at the end of this tunnel.

There’s no shame in being depressed. Oftentimes, God uses it to strengthen us. I will be featuring exerpts from my journal for the next several days so, stay tuned:

Blog #1 Feb. 17, 2008

“Terrible depression. Isolated myself in my bedroom all day. Watched movies. Hated everyone and everything.”


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This is something I believe in with all my heart, a salon whose goal is beauty from the inside out.  You’ll have to stop in and see what all the buzz is about 🙂
HERE IT IS: The Troy Tribune Article 4.23.2014
By Brittany Arlene Jackson
Ruby’s Beauty Salon on the square is a community landmark as unchanging and distinctive to Troy as the Courthouse or the Hayner Cultural Center. The salon’s rich history tells the story of the American Dream in small town Ohio and represents the steadfast entrepreneurship of hardworking women.
Ruby Kuckherman was one of the first female business owners in Troy back in the 1950’s. She took over Lilly’s Beauty Salon on the second floor of 1 North Market Street and renamed it Ruby’s. After 22 years on the second floor, Ruby expanded to what is now the present-day salon, buying the first floor shop that used to be Smitty’s Pool Room. According to long-time friend of Ruby’s and current salon associate Marie Welbaum, “Ruby’s story is a great one. She had polio when she was 13 years old and her family didn’t think she would ever be normal,” Welbaum said. Despite difficulties in her youth, Ruby was a determined woman. For many years she owned three other salons in Vandalia, Tipp City and Piqua all under the name “Ruby’s.” Now 97 years old, Ruby Kuckherman’s legacy lives on.
On New Year’s Eve 2013, Ruby’s Beauty Salon began renovations that were completed on April 1st. Not only has the salon been remodeled on the inside but a new vision has been cast that honors the dream begun by its founder. Beautician Tara Saettel approached Ruby’s daughter, Diana Wright, about a partnership that Saettel called “a total God thing.” Having had more than a decade of experience in the salon industry and background in community service through Troy nonprofit, Partners in Hope, Saettel had a vision for blending nonprofit community outreach and cosmetology. Today Saettel has started what she calls “The Beauty Revolution,” operating out of Ruby’s Beauty Salon.
“People feel more human when they receive a haircut. It has the potential to bring out their confidence and their kindness,” Saettel said. Offering everything from haircuts, color, manicures and facial waxing the full-service salon has a relaxing, buoyant atmosphere alive with the effervescent optimism of its clients and beauticians. Honoring Ruby’s love for Troy, The Beauty Revolution now hosts free, walk-in haircuts to the community on 5th Saturdays. Upcoming 2014 dates are May 31, August 30 and November 29 from 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM. Haircuts for men, women and children will be donated by beauty professionals like Payton Thokey who started working at Ruby’s around the same time as Tara Saettel.
“These events inspire others to contribute an act of beauty through a smile, a kind word or a helping hand,” Saettel said, “Together we can make the world a more beautiful place.” With an extension of its vision and hopes for the future, this Troy landmark continues to be a bold trendsetter in the community. Styles may change but the beauty at Ruby’s begins with its heart.

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As Spring approaches each year, I always wait in anticipation for the trees to bloom.  I especially wait for the Pear trees in our neighborhood to bloom because they are so pretty to look at lining the street as I pull into my driveway.  I love gardening and working outside; I come by it honestly as I watched my mom create beautiful, ornate gardens and lighted pathways in our backyard growing up.  She had the most amazing eye for beauty.  I miss her.  She passed away in June, 2005.  She never got to enjoy the beauty of the trees that Spring because she was ill.  My adorable husband took a picture of the trees in bloom and displayed it proudly in her hospital room to enjoy … but it wasn’t to be.  She fell critically ill in the Spring and was gone by Summer.  I just wanted to share some beauty with you.

IMG_0733[1]The beautiful trees that flower in the Spring …


and the beauty of my mom in this photo of us waaaaay back in 1997.  She was at her best then, truly enjoying life, feeling proud of her career and her accomplishements … she was beautiful to me, especially on the inside which mattered most and has left its valuable imprint on my life.Image

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Standing in front of a church doesn’t make me holy just as sticking plastic flowers in the front yard does not a garden make … If you compare the two, both are fake – (well, the flowers are at least,) BUT … so are our actions and attitudes sometimes.


Yesterday was Easter Sunday. A time when most families rally together to share a meal, put away petty differences, send the young in’s on an egg hunt and in some form, celebrate JESUS.

As I was watching the news this morning I was totally floored by all the shootings/killings that took place on what is normally celebrated as a “positive” holiday. If God is Love, then why are so many people walking around with hate, hurt, pain, lack of understanding, blame, resentment, unforgiveness and guilt???? These are not the character qualities that God put in us. I Corinthians 13:4-8

“Love endures long”

“Love is patient and kind”

“Love is never envious or boils over with jealousy”

“Love is not boastful or arrogant”

“Love is not rude, arrogant or full of pride”

“Love does not insist on its own way”

“Love is ready to believe the best in people”

“Love does not rejoice in injustice, but rejoices when right and truth prevail”

“Love bears up under anything & everything that comes at it”

“Love never fails”

Hmmmm, sure is a big list … thank God He is so forgiving and NEVER gives up on us!!!

THERE IS HOPE FOR US ALL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!



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For those of you who are inclined to “meltdowns”, i.e., the moment you want to throw a tantrum, explode or run away from the situation; I have learned a little tip:  SEE YOUR WAY THROUGH IT

For example, when you are going about your day just doing what you do and you find yourself all of a sudden in a situation where you want to:


tell someone what an idiot they are

pop somebody in the nose

throw, punch or slam something

scream at the top of your lungs something you know you’ll regret later    or …

something that will make you feel better momentarily, but will absolutely make you look like a fool in the long run

==>    YES, if this is you … then listen up:

When you find yourself in the heat of the moment, stop for just a second before you throw that tantrum and visualize yourself getting through it. Literally, see yourself at the end of the situation (when it’s over and everything is calm.)

It takes a lot less energy focusing on acting right then getting yourself all worked up and saying or doing something you will regret later.  Just ask my husband and my kids?!

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I Peter 3:4 “But let it be the inward adorning and beauty of the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible and unfading charm of a gentle and peaceful spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God.”  In other words, inspire me beautiful!


Inspiring to be beautiful

“The Hidden Person of the Heart” refers to who a person really is underneath his or her appearance.  When we are with others, we should always strive to know who they really are (in their hearts) rather than making snap judgements about them based on appearance only.  When we judge hastily, we often make shallow decisions such as: 1) approving of someone just because they “look the part” or 2) disapproving of someone just because of an outward action or appearance.

Let’s face it, we’re all a little quirky, have odd behaviors and can be quite flaky caught in the right (or wrong!) situation.  We’d all be better off if we tried it God’s way …

==> I Samuel 16:7 “…For the Lord sees not as man sees; for the man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.


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