Beaded Blessings

In some ways, I am a creature of habit. I always check into the building with my nametag. I always wear my nametag on a lanyard. No matter what kinds I have tried, no matter how many I wear, I really enjoy the beaded ones. So, when my last lanyard began to irritate the back of my neck, I headed straight for the HMJDS Spirit Shop to buy another. No luck, since the wonderful volunteers who make those lovely lanyards for sale have been quite busy donating their time in other, more crucial ways. We extend to all of you our deepest gratitude for your committed devotion and hour upon endless hour spent at school in behalf of the HMJDS community.

But…in some ways, I am a creature of habit, and I needed a new lanyard! Lately, I have learned that there are some items which I can find for sale on the internet that are not immediately available to me in other ways. So I searched for “beaded lanyards” and found myself on ebay, where there were 660 options for shopping. I found a couple that I thought were nice, so I bought them for  about $10. Then, as I looked further, I found some beautiful, delicate, very well made lanyards with lovely lampwork. The materials were varied: natural stone (jaspar, hematite, agate and more), crystal, pearls of different colors, silver,  and gold toned metal. There were beautiful finishing touches; the lanyards were reported to be double strung. There were about 120 made by Jen. I found myself bidding on three or four, and then I realized that some of my friends at HMJDS might enjoy having one too. So I contacted Jennifer and asked if we could come to some kind of agreement.  I also indicated that I work at a school and thought my colleagues and parents would love her work. She responded that she would move all the items I was interested in to Buy It Now status, and that, if I had bid more than the minimum on any because of having been outbid, she would add identical items and sell them to me at minimum price. She further added that she would ship them free of charge to me if I bought more than 10.

I continued to shop and chose the ones I liked the very most, adding a variety of colors and materials in the interests of my friends.I was enthralled and did not easily stop shopping when I realized I had decided to purchase about 40 beautiful lanyards. I included one made with Beads for Life. Those beads are made of recycled paper made by women in Ugandan Africa.  The money from the beads Jen purchased go to support the Bead for Life Foundation.  I included an Autism Awareness lanyard and a Fight Breast Cancer lanyard that came with a Pink Ribbon Pin. Jen totaled the order, using the minimum bid price for each lanyard. She did, indeed, pay for the postage and even insured the package. 

The day after I placed the order, I opened my email and found this:

Dear gayrosenthal,

I just wanted to let you know what this large order has meant to me. My son has aspergers and he goes to a montessori school. They have been so wonderful with him there he has made so many improvemnts since he started there in the fall. When he was in public school he kept declining they just let him sit there and read his books to keep him quiet. Next years down payment is due in a few weeks and I was just praying a few days ago where I was going to get the extra money~ Then your order came!! I don’t know if you believe in God but your order was God’s answer to my prayer!!! I hope you don’t mind me sharing all of this I just felt so compelled to share this Because it has been a long journey with my son and seeing him make improvements over the last few months has made a world of difference. Thank you so much!! Jen 

As I sat with goosebumps at 7:00 in the morning, I responded by email:

Dear Jen, 

I am the psychologist at a private religious school, the Amos  and Celia Heilicher Minneapolis Jewish Day School, where we  have an inclusive community and a strong Resource Team. We  have five or six students at our school with Asperger’s and we  are proud of being able to meet their needs. We also welcome  children with other needs, as long as we have the resources. Of  course, most of our students have no immediate challenges.  However, we utilize a developmental approach that allows us to  teach the “whole child” wherever they are. Responding to family  needs is a strength of our school community. 

I do believe that our paths crossed for a reason. May I share  your story with the staff? 



Did Jen grant permission? Here is her response:

Dear gayrosenthal,

Yes, please I am always striving to help others sometimes when having a challenging child it can consume your life!! I had to fight for him in the public schools but they did not want to help him only put him in a corner and keep him quiet. He struggled there and so did I finally we are at peace I always accepted him for who he was and the public school would not I am so happy that at his new school they accept him and want him to achieve his best!!! All kids are so precious and a gift!!! I thank God every day for my children. Talk with you soon. Jen

Wonder of wonders! Miracle of miracles! Our paths crossed for a reason. I feel like I know Jen, and I hope she feels like she knows me. If she were here, I would welcome her to our community with a hug. I believe she is a woman of courage, a woman of valor, and I treasure our relationship, which I sincerely hope to continue.

Jen’s lanyards will be sold through the spirit shop as soon as we can arrange the display. 

I invite each of you to consider purchasing one to benefit both Jen’s son and our students.

May we all be blessed again and again by such wonderful happenstance occurrences in our lives.