So What You Wrote A Book!

Hello You Beautiful Grateful Human Being,

Believe it or not there are many of my friends and associates who don’t know I have self-published a book .  Guess what (full disclosure) that’s my fault.  Simply because I haven’t been promoting it.  I could make a thousand and one excuses for why I haven’t promoted my book like a ‘BOSS” but I’m not going down that road. Instead I am doing the promotion now, beginning today. Here is a quick video that my granddaughter and I produced.

Thank you for viewing and please leave a comment.

Peace & Love,




What People Are Saying About My Book


What a wonderful text message to receive from someone who has read my book. Tell me what you think of this book review.

“I just finished reading your book today at 10:55am at work.  And boy oh boy what a myriad of emotions I feel myself going through.  BRAVO !  You are an exceptional person and you have an exceptional man standing in the for and background where ever you need him to be. I’m so very proud to know you and am feeling especially graced that you shared your monumental story with me.  I could say a lot more but I’m still processing all that you wrote and some that you didn’t.  Love you to the moon and back!!!❤❤❤” — T. Penn

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I hope you and your family are well and looking ahead to a fun and relaxing weekend or maybe even some solitude. I’m looking forward to completing my expense reports to get my taxes done and a manicure to celebrate!

Before I do any of that here are three refreshing lessons I’ve learned over the past several days. Learning through every experience is personal growth.

First off it was exciting co-facilitating two workshops titled: Put Some “Respeck” aka Respect On It, with my BFF La’Verne R. Webb, for the Jefferson College of Biomedical Sciences. The  objective was to strengthen the importance of showing respect to all human beings no matter appearance or ethnicity. We used Hip-hop/rap artist Birdman’s song Put Some Respeck On My Name as the impetus for the conversation.

The swirl of activity continued at the Urban Art Gallery in West Philly while promoting my book, Gratefully Disappointed. Meeting Spoken Word Artists, clothing designers, culinary artists and media moguls, in an environment that was supportive and encouraging. Darcel  Laurie, Moguls in Media, CEO reminded us to remain focused on doing the work necessary to make this world better and to rid ourselves of the naysayers in our lives – delete them from social media accounts and the contact list.

Then there was a celebration for the 30 year career of Kenneth J. Parker a SVP at Pepco Holdings. Connecting with community leaders and learning about the extensive contributions of this very humble human being who has had a major personal impact on a number of people in the room and throughout the global community.

In life there are always lessons, some painful, some thought provoking.  Reflecting on each of the experiences above I walked away with these three actions:

Value Humanity
Focus on Your Vision

Pass the Baton

When we Value Humanity, Focus on Our Vision and Pass the Baton we build a world community that is built on respect.

Gratefully Yours,

Read more about how I applied this mantra in my own life and what I learned from it

A Thoughtful Note

While reviewing my emails recently I came across this article in Next Avenue an online community. Having experienced the loss of a spouse, a child and parents there is often an awkward moment when people say: How Can I Help. This article addresses the question quite well. What takeaways did you get? Share your comments with me at:


FORGIVE:  Learn & Move On


Writing a memoir forces you to journey back to a period long ago. A vivid memory of learning my spelling words came to mind. My mother had a mantra: Say it – Spell it – Say it again. So I would write the word, say it aloud and spell it and then say the word again.  This evening, while out taking my evening walk, I thought about Forgiveness and a mantra I could devise for my readers and forgiveness advocates like me and I came up with this: Forgive – Learn – Move On. Continue reading “FORGIVE:  Learn & Move On”

Taking Time To Relax

Welcome to Saturday, the Slocal lakeabbath day, a day of rest, relaxation and rejuvenation –  at least sometimes and supposedly. Saturday is also a day for family & friend activity and remember running those multitude of errands. Often times a family with a special needs child has limited opportunities to relax and rejuvenate.  Check out this weekend respite program I recently found out about. I thought it was nice as it is our goal at Erick’s Place to build a similar environment. Just a little something to ponder this weekend as you’re out and about chillaxing!

You Are Being USED!

This Labor Day Weekend was gratifying. I had the BLESSED opportunity to RELAX, sit back and take stock of my actions over the past 8 months. A perfect way to end the Summer of 2013. The glorious three day weekend ended with my awesome husband, Rosy and I watching the movie “Unconditional. I will not spoil your viewing the movie for yourself, as it is a must see. But I will say this: You are being USED. Yes, you are, I am, your neighbor is too — we are all being USED.

Along this privilege of a journey called life, we are touched by others in a myriad of ways. There are people who help us navigate this journey through prayer (with us and for us); through guidance and advice; or simply encouraging us along the way — our cheerleaders. Continue reading “You Are Being USED!”


…Now I have a forgiving heart….I forgive them and move on.” That’s what Gabrielle Douglas said during a recent interview with the SunHerald (

Forgive and move on. These are powerful words that give all of us something to ponder.  The NOW shows a shift.

Think about it. We’ve all said and done something we regret – minutes, even days after.  Perhaps we used harsh words to someone during a time when we were angry about something else. Or, because someone hurt us we lash out at everyone.  Yet as difficult as it can be to forgive someone who has hurt you – it’s something that we all need to do in order for us to be free and move forward with our lives.  Being the bigger person and saying – I forgive you, gives you your freedom.  Holding on to the anger and bad feelings is an unhealthy time bomb. Your blood pressure rises every time you replay the situation in your mind. And guess what, the person we are angry with has MOVED ON!

So do a Gabby on the person who has hurt you:  forgive them and move on. You’ll feel better and the world will be a better place.

Sabrina Umstead Smith is available to speak to your group/organization on Forgiveness. Contact Sabrina for more information.


Journaling is a good way to capture your thoughts and feelings. You can work out problems, have a conversation with yourself, develop your ideas just by writing them down in a notebook or on a piece of paper. When you write them in pencil, you can erase anything you don’t like; when you type them in a word document you can save them and edit them at a later time or you can even delete them. I just came across some of the many journals I’ve kept over the years reviewing the entries. From those entries I recalled some really dark times in my life. The pain, anger and discontentment I was experiencing at the time is very evident in my words and tone. I thought to myself — WOW I have come a mightly long way since then. As I read through the entries some of those feeling were stirred up again, and I thought hmmm, I thought I was over that. Then I remembered something I read just a few days ago about putting the past behind and forgiving: I have to do my part to forgive the person and God will heal my emotions.