Finally Made It to the Harlem Globetrotters!

Ever since I was a little girl I loved watching the Harlem Globetrotters on TV.  So I was completely excited when I heard they were coming to a city near us!  My son is a huge basketball lover, like me, so this was the perfect excuse for a Mother/Son date!!

We brought along my best friend and her son and it was a blast.  I forgot how funny the Harlem Globetrotters are with all of their theatrics and joking around…what little boy wouldn’t love that?  Mine was laughing hysterically.  I was elated to see that they now have a WOMAN playing on the team…pretty cool I must say.  

Check her out she is amazing!

It’s funny that when you are a kid adults always look bigger than they are.  I thought the team would be HUGE but actually some of them were not much taller than me! LOL

It was a great day together and one that we will always remember.  I feel like my son is growing up way too fast so every special moment we make feels really important right now.

Here are some pics of our awesome date:

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If you are interested in taking your own family to see the Harlem Globetrotters don’t pay full price!  Use the coupon code listed below for 25% off:


Jennifer Ford Berry

This Is 40! {what I think of my 40th birthday}

 

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Yes it is true….this “girl” is turning 40!

I can’t change it so I have learned to embrace it.

Sitting here thinking about the last 40 years I feel extremely blessed….what a ride it has been so far! SO many awesome experiences, memories, people and things I have learned along the way.  I feel SO grateful!!  

What I am most grateful for in this moment is God.  I have lived many places and have known many people, some I no longer see and some I do.  But, the one that has been with me, walking by my side, from I first remember is God.  Honestly, I don’t know how I would have made it through all the trials or feel the way I do today without the One.  For this I am eternally grateful.  I am also SO grateful for the people in my life that love me through and through.  Those people made my birthday weekend UNFORGETTABLE! I will never forget about this weekend and hope to post more about it soon.  I am SO grateful for my husband, children, family and true friends!

A few have asked me how I feel about turning 40 and you know what?  Better than I thought I would!  Turns out something I dreaded isn’t so bad after all!  

So this is 40 for me:

-I have lived long enough to know that things can change in an instant so I live in the moment more often….live is precious and I don’t want to take one moment for granted.

-I no longer care what people think about me…this is so freeing!!!!

-I have learned to be a better friend, listener and care taker of myself.

-I have learned that relationships take a lot of love, patience and giving on both ends.  When it becomes a one way street it is time to move on.

-I have finally stopped wanting to be the person that eats healthy and starts her day with quiet time with God and myself because I have BECOME that person.

Jennifer Ford Berry

What If I Stopped Working So Hard and Just Learned To Be Still?

Be Still

I have to admit I have taken a small hiatus from blogging.  It was no longer fun to write about organizing…I organize all of the time, it comes easy to me I am tired of writing about how to organize this and organize that!  My soul longs to write about things that have a deeper meaning.  Deeper than storage containers and labels and proper placement…I want to talk about LIVING, LEARNING and LOVING!  

BUT, today I was thinking about the clutter in my own life…interesting.  I have always said ” Clutter comes in all shapes and sizes”.  

Lately I feel more alive than ever! I don’t know if it is paying closer attention to my spirit, turning 40 (yes I admit on April 19) or God at work but I feel it intensely every single day.  For this I am so grateful!  I am giving it time to grow, time to spend with it and you know what it feels REALLY good!  

In order to do this, I had to sloooowww down…which in all honesty is really not easy for me.  I have realized that if I am quiet and slow for too long I am afraid that I am not working enough, not striving enough, trying my hardest…but for what? ? To be more successful? To make more money? To make “my mark”?

But what if…..what if….I did nothing and let God take over?  

Would he help me “make my mark”?  

Would he take me on a new path?

A more authentic path? One that would enable me to REALLY allow me to do HIS work?

Isn’t that what we are all striving for? Really?  

What if, in order to ingite this powerful concept it meant I had to give up control?  Me the planner, the organizer, the boss, the girl that loved being in control….lol scary right!?  

Then what would happen?  

Doing so would force me to give up some clutter, ways I spend my time that may not really change things…I consider these clutter.  

What if I didn’t Tweet? Post on Facebook? Spend time promoting myself and my businesses as much?

That would be the demise of my career wouldn’t it?

I mean after all I am an entrepreneur with a marketing major!!! I work for MYSELF! If I don’t do it nobody else will!  Scary indeed….. LOL  Many of this “clutter”  is just an obligation that no longer gives me joy anyways.  So does this mean I am just being lazy or would this really be a better plan?

What if I was just still?  What if I stopped and listened more?  Would something better happen?

What do you think? (oh wise 10 readers) 🙂 What if I stopped working so hard and just learned to be still??

 

Jennifer Ford Berry

 

 

 

 

 

 

I Remembered…To Share My Testimony

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I am a little nervous about my post today but I feel it is time to write it.  It is about my faith and a lifetime of loving God.  

It’s funny, I have heard many of my friends or other people share their “testimony” and they usually pin point a moment in time when they remember giving their life to God.  I often sit there and listen completely amazed by their story and in awe of their path.  

I have often tried to remember the exact moment I gave my life to God…and I can’t.  I know this sounds crazy but I feel like I was just born this way.  

Does this mean I don’t have a testimony? 

Here is what I do remember:

I remember being in elementary school and asking my mom if I could go to Vacation Bible School at a church nearby.  I loved it!  I remember my mom taking us to church periodically.  I remember my mom taking us back and forth between a Catholic church and a Methodist church depending on what time we got out the door in the morning! When we questioned this she would calmly state ” God doesn’t care what church we go to, he is everywhere”…great advice I’d say!  

In middle school a friend asked me if I wanted to go to a Christian summer camp with her.  I did and ended up spending a week there for three years in a row.  I loved every minute of it!  I remember singing the song “Here I Am Lord” with tears in my eyes while I was there.  

Later in life, I remember choosing a Christian college in West Palm Beach.  Nobody recommended it, I was just drawn there.  I spent a year there before transferring to Florida Atlantic University in Boca.  It was an amazing experience that I will always treasure.  

When I moved to North Carolina I remember being blessed to meet a woman that would become my spiritual mentor.  She introduced me to the Author Marianne Williamson and her book “A Return to Love“.  To this day it is my favorite book of all time!  For 15 years, I have listened to Marianne’s CDs in my car and they have made a HUGE impact on my life. (thank you Marie)

While living in the south I loved the fact that southerners were so open and honest about their faith!  Now that I am back in New York it seems that the majority of the public is more private about what they believe.   I have prayed about this and God has brought people into my life that are more open about their faith, which further encourages me.  For this I am so grateful!

I guess all of these memories are part of my testimony.  

Does a testimony have to be one specific moment in time?

When I wrote my last book “Organize Now: think & live clutter-free” I wanted the subtitle to be “body, mind and spirit” but my editor informed me that this wouldn’t be good for marketing since the book is sold all over the world.  To my disappointment, we had to subtract many of the “spirit” portions of the book.  To this day that has bothered me.  Don’t get me wrong I am SO proud of that book, probably my favorite, but I think it could have changed even more lives had we left all of the original content.  

After 14 years of being a professional organizer,  I have had clients prove to me over and over that the clutter starts on the inside in our soul.  It is because of my experiences that I feel that many people are wanting to find their higher calling in life.  But that’s just me 🙂

For years I have wanted to share more of my faith in this blog but have held off, afraid that I might “offend” someone reading this. Now I realize that is just silly!  We are all here to love another and not to judge…God is the only judge that matters!

With that being said I always marvel at how anyone can be offended by someone’s beliefs.  I personally don’t care what you call your higher power, the important thing is that you have one. If you don’t, I pray that you find something to believe in that will help guide you through this crazy ride we call life.  Something you can contrive hope from, pull wisdom and guidance from and something you can hold onto for dear life!

Finally, I have come to realize that if I can use my small, tiny platform to get one person closer to God that is worth more than a thousand that I may or may not offend.  So there it is…my testimony!  

Beware…I will be sharing more and more about my faith, on this blog, from this day forward 🙂

God Bless!

Jennifer Ford Berry

Open Letter to Our Daughter! {we now have a teenager}

 

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Well, it’s official…I am old enough to have a TEENAGER!!! I simply can’t believe it.  I have thought about this day for 13 years since they placed my beautiful daughter in my arms in a hospital room in Gastonia, NC. I could hardly contain my excitement that first night holding her and realizing what my life would be now that I had a little girl to call my own!!!

 

We have done A LOT of celebrating this week for this special day. We included a friend birthday party, a family trip to the mall with dinner and surprise birthday party for her immediate family! Phew, I am exhausted! As a special gift for her I asked the women in her life to answer the following three questions:

What makes Randsley special?

What is one of your favorite memories with Randsley?

What advice can you give her for her teen years?

It was the most amazing gift and I was completely touched by the memories and advice for my daughter from Grandmas, Aunts, Cousins, Teachers and Friends…advice that she can re-read many times throughout her life.  Here is just my part:

Since the time your personality started showing I could tell that God gave you some very unique qualities. 

When you were really small I realized that you were born as “an old soul”.  This just means that you know things others might not know so young.  Your compassion for others, your generous heart, your love for your family and friends and your faith in God all make you very, very special.  I am so proud of your manners and the way you act at in public.  I am SO proud of how hard you work in school.

I have SO many favorite memories….

The day you were born and they placed you in my arms in my hospital room. I was finally awake enough to have it set in that I had a daughter and what that meant to me!  I just cried with joy!  Another favorite was the time you were in the Miss Teen Buffalo Pageant and they asked you “who is the most inspirational person if your life and why” and you said me!! I was SO touched and honored!  It was the nicest thing anyone ever said about me!  Oh and I loved the night we laid in a lawn chair together in the Keys watching the dolphins and talking about life-just you and I J

My advice for your teen years is this:

Never let another person define who you are or cause you to doubt how amazing and wonderful you are.  If friends or a boyfriend ever try to do this, you should immediately notice the huge warning sign that they do not really love you.  REAL friends always want the best for you even if something you have is better than what they have.  REAL friends will always encourage you and never try to bring you down.  

God puts people in our path for many reasons and for different seasons. Some of your friends at this time in your life will be in your life forever and some will not and that is OK! You are going to meet and spend time with A LOT of  different people in your life so enjoy them, learn from them and sometimes be ok with letting them go.

Try not to let arguments and disappointments get the best of you.  When you face the hard times during your teen years my best advice is to say your prayers, give it to God and ask that HIS WILL be done in your life.  If you ask God for his guidance, throughout your life, I can promise you that everything will turn out OK!

There may be times when you are not happy with what Daddy and I say over the next few years or the rules that we put in place.

But, please know that our main responsibility is to keep you safe, healthy and to guide you in the best way we know how.  You can talk with me about ANYTHING.  I will never judge you and I will always do my best to hear your opinions and no matter what I will love you UNCONDITIONALLY!

I hope you cherish this gift forever. You are beyond blessed to have all of these amazing ladies in your life who love you and support you.  My wish is that you will take their advice to heart.  I hope that in times of sadness or confusion you will pull this out, read it and be reminded of how important you are to all of us!

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I love you to Heaven and back! 

-Mom

 

Saying Goodbye to My Aunt and Uncle

 

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I am not one for funerals but I am one for celebrating people’s life and recognizing them for what they have meant to me and honoring them for this.

My Aunt Peggy passed away last May after almost a year’s worth of battle against lung cancer. 6 weeks later my Uncle Don passed away.  We said goodbye to both of them yesterday in a burial ceremony followed by a family brunch.  They did not want a big “to do” when they passed, so the family honored those wishes.  However, being someone that has spoken at many loved ones funerals I feel strongly that I need to honor my aunt and uncle, in my own words, before I can move on in this life.  Here goes:

Aunt Peggy, wow a woman who has made a profound impact on my life.  She never had children of her own but my cousin was her step-son.  She told me many times that I was “her own”.  That meant the world to me. To think that she loved me as much as she would have loved her very own flesh and blood!

From the time I was little, I remember my Aunt making an effort to make me feel special and loved. I remember being so excited when I was little each time she visited from Colorado.  My Aunt has been a HUGE influence in my life.    She ALWAYS made me feel like I was the smartest, prettiest, most amazing person…she had that way.  She was truly a one of a kind. SO giving and SO thoughtful.  Not a birthday or Christmas (until this last birthday) has gone by throughout my entire life when a special package/card wasn’t in my mailbox from 1600 miles away….pretty awesome!  She will live in our hearts forever and I know I can still talk to her when I need to.  I hope she will be listening from a place a thousand times better than this.

My Uncle Don was a man of few words but I know he loved me and my children. He chose to take care of my aunt while she was dying at home. That takes a very special person.  He was my Dad’s oldest brother, a Veteran and lover of John Deere tractors!  We were absolutely shocked to find out that he passed only 6 short weeks after my aunt.  I will never forget the day when a package arrived for my son…my uncle passing on his treasured John Deere tractor collectibles to him.  I hope he knew how special that made Bryceton feel.

Part of an email from my Uncle on the day that his wife went to Heaven (I am sharing this because I think it can have a profound impact on anyone who reads it):

 

“One final thought, be sure before you go to bed tonight, to give everyone you love or are close to, a hug and let them know you love them, because tomorrow may be too late”.
 
Thank you for that advice Uncle Don. Although we have lost many, we remain a tight, loving pack! I am so thankful for that and for you and Aunt Peg. I thank you for the love you have shown us and for bringing Peg into our family.
 
My hope is that you both know how much you were loved.
 
Forget goodbye…Until we meet again…I love you!
Jennifer