Wednesday, August 29, 2012

How I Found My Purpose - A True Story!

 As I look back over the past three years of my life, I realize what an amazing amount of transformation I've experienced. I would like to share my story with you in hopes that you will read it and find the inspiration you need in order to become the person they were truly meant to be and born to be.

I am about to share a story with you that is deep and personal to me. A story that only a very few people which are those closest to me, will know.

If you have read my book you will read through my pages; stories that don't make what i do today seem like such a surprise. I have always had an open heart and a desire to change the world and be a mother to those around me. I even did with with my dolls as you will also read in my memoir. However life's struggles and the choices i made led me to a very destructive path and enabled me to believe in myself or make something out of what i already was. A young girl who wanted to see happiness in the world. A broken child who craved nothing but to show love in hopes to get some back. I thought if i can show "them" love, they will know how to love me back. I often had dreams about peace in the world and had visions of what that would look like. As a child i had many dreams of angels singing to me, dancing with me and playing with me. I would wake up and tell my sister i wished life was really like that. Unfortunately there was nothing angelic about my world. My vuvo (grandmother) said i would have these dreams because i am an angel :-)

I say this to say; three years ago i went through a very hurtful separation. I thought i was a happily married woman when out of nowhere adultery came and ripped it all apart. I was confused and had no idea why it all happened and still i don't have those answers. But i have forgiven him and given it to God to deal with. Two months prior to my separation, i launched my company A self development and counseling organization.
 Once i got married i started transforming into a very non-social like person. I had cut off all my friends but a couple and had no communication with my siblings or family members. Except my little brother and mother. I often felt alone as i was not entertaining my friends and family at home as i loved doing so prior to meeting him. Granted i was caring for 5 foster kids, 2 boys of my own and my sister in law. So 10 bodies within the house-hold. Now that's a lot of cooking you know (lol) but i love to cook so i never complained. I did however feel deep down inside - a void. A sense of sadness. I wasn't myself anymore.Although you would never know this from the outside- looking in. Not a single soul ever knew this. I had married a man who was my complete opposite, who did not laugh, who never ever left the house unless it was urgent or church and was NOT by any means a people's person at all. Now when you do the math and you know anything about me, your probably saying "HUH??? How did that happen?" Well, the truth is i was desperate to be married and wanted to make someone happy. You see now..? That same desire i had as a young girl actually never went away.

When i came up with the concept for my business, i knew deep in my heart it would be an outlet for me to start planning events again for women, to be social again with women, to empower women, to encourage them and to be myself again. To do my part in volunteering for the community again. I was desperate for something. Anything to do with empowerment. I tell ya Gods timing is the BEST timing. 2 months later a disaster broke out in my home and off i went to a shelter with my 2 kids. My friends, this was the scariest yet most fulfilling time in my life. I spent 2 months in a shelter with other women, mothers and their children; in a fully furnished apartment with my one and a half old Captain and my 17 year old Keeno. I left my husband (at the time) with nothing more then 3 garbage bags, 2 of shoes and one of clothing (lol). My sons clothing and my integrity. The Lord knew my heart, He knew what was ahead of me, He knew my desires and He knew just where to place me at a time where i was trying to find purpose. In a building filled with broken, beaten, homeless, neglected women. These women had more issues then i had ever had in my entire life. For 2 months i went to and from work everyday, dropped my Captain off at daycare, my Keeno went to work, came home and cooked daily, read with my boys, played with my boys and bonded with Keeno for what seemed like the first time in a couple years (since i had married). Tears are rolling down my cheeks as i type this.

A month prior to the break-out i started planning my company launch event "D.e.v.a Day Brunch" My aim was to have about 70 to 80 women there. Originally.

The day after i checked myself and the boys into the shelter, i got on their computer and continued to work away on that event. I was not going to allow the devil to use yet another trial to rob me of my purpose again. I was tired of letting him have his way with me. I planned away every morning on that computer in the resource room from 6am to 8am before i got ready and left for work; i worked on sponsorships, media kits, social media advertising, interviews, meeting, vendors, promotions, selling tickets, finding performers, speakers, programs, music, food etc. I had never been more determined in my life to get something done. Oh by the way i did this all while going through HELL with the people involved in the scandal. Nothing i had ever gone through as a child was as hurtful (so it seemed at the time. It was actually a walk in the park).

At the end of my days i would go and pick up my Captain with a big smile on my face, we went to parks, the beaches, indoor playgrounds and got involved with community programs and all with a sense of joy and anticipation to get back to our shelter apartment to be with the other moms and their children. The three of us slept in the same room on 2 different beds. We spent night after night laughing so much i sware i almost peed my pajamas a few times. I would wake up early in the mornings and knock on the other women's doors to get them out of their bed and depression. I would bring them downstairs and make breakfast for them. I would help them to get their children up and ready. I encouraged them. Empowered them. Shared myself with them and in return i got healing and understanding. I was able to handle what was going on because the Lord had my mind on my purpose.

The kind of women that lived in that shelter were exactly the clientele i was aiming The D.e.v.a In You for. Women and youth at risk. I remember one evening one of the program facilitators in the shelter asked if i could attend one of the workshops- that week- to encourage the women residing there to get up and do something about their situations. I asked "Why me?" and her reply was, "Elizabeth in all the years i have been here i have never seen a women come in here and use her time here to plan an event to empower women."
It was right then and there that i heard God say "You are not here by accident. Your purpose begins here."

Those who knew said, "wow Liz of all times, look when this happened. Right when you were launching this women's company."

So yes to all 250 of you beautiful women who attended my launch, The D.e.v.a Day Brunch October 3rd 2009 and witnessed me speak, present and walk around with that amazing glow all day while 17 vendors catered to your needs and filled the atmosphere with fun and their services, i was indeed living in a shelter. It was shortly before the event day, that i found a place for my family and i where we could start over and call our home. Out of the 250 women, 9 of them were from the shelter. A couple even brought their children.

Many of you mentioned the fact that i had lost so much weight (15 pounds) well now you know why. Do you remember when i broke down while i was on the mic presenting my speech to Vanessa? Now you know why.

I thank God for also sending women into my life at that time who helped to uplift me, encourage me, pray with me wee hours of the night, tend to my emotional needs in my home at 1...2 in the morning. Who helped me financially while living at the shelter, brought me packs of pampers, listened to me, cried with me. These two women i will forever remember, for the rest of my life. Vanessa Wheatle and Colleen Blake Miller.
Yes there were other women who encouraged me but these two were my ROCKS! Two awesome women of God!

So there, now you have it. How i found my purpose.
 My dear friend Karen Miller said to me the other day, "from childhood, you were called to mother the motherless." The gift was always there only now i am walking with it and in it on purpose :-)

You are in your situation on purpose with purpose. Search deep into what is going on around you and ask yourself "what can i do about this and with this?" The pieces are there, now start putting them together.
This is my story.

Love Lizzy

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Are You Making A Difference?

I am sitting here at school researching articles on people who have made a difference. I don't just mean by donating to an organization or charity. I mean in all areas of LIFE!
It is amazing how much you can with only having to do so little. If you can, please print this list out and place it somewhere - where you can see it everyday.

65 Ways To Make A Difference on


1.Seniors love your artwork! Brighten walls – and smiles – at the local senior center.

2.Got a favorite game? Teach it to younger kids.

3.Win brownie points! Organize canned goods at home and take extras to a food pantry.

4.Got talent? Share it!

5.Your old backpack needs a new friend…donate it!

6.Gather up outgrown, gently worn shoes and clothes for your local Salvation Army, Goodwill, church or synagogue.

7.Party leftovers? Local soup kitchen guests are gonna love ‘em!

8.Neglected stuffies in your room? Little kids at shelters are aching to cuddle them.

9.Like a challenge? Your game board skills are in demand at the senior center.

10.Friend forgot their snack? Share yours!

11.Read aloud to little kids at the library – they’ll love you!

12.Dust off your old - but still good - books and give them to your school library.


1.It’s your birthday! Give a gift to someone in need.

2.Share your lemonade stand $$$ with your favorite worthy cause!

3.How about a toy drive for kids stuck in the hospital?

4.Get a haircut! And give your ponytail to Locks of Love.

5.Got old sports equipment? Bring it to your local Parks & Rec!

6.Calling all chefs! Bake cakes and donate the proceeds.

7.Feed your furry friends at the animal shelter…drop off a bag of food!

8.Time is precious…share a bit of yours to help others.

9.Kind words lift spirits…give a compliment and lift yours too.


1.Compost your fruit and veggie scraps…and watch your garden BLOOM!

2.Help save a gazillion disposable water bottles…reusable bottles rule!

3.Save a tree! Use both sides of your notebook paper.

4.Reuse, recycle. Reuse, recycle. Reuse, recycle. Got it?!

5.Keep the earth cool…walk, bike or use public transportation.

6.Got energy? Pick up trash! Remember: wear gloves & work with an adult.

7.Your town doesn’t recycle? Yikes! Create a program now!

8.Nourish your neighborhood green spaces…grow a community garden.

9.Like clean air? Grab your friends and plant trees.

10.Drat those petroleum-based plastic bags! Use fabric bags instead - for everything!

11.Buzz your town selectmen for more neighborhood trashcans and recycling bins.

12.Want to save energy while leaping tall buildings in a single bound? Turn off the boob tube and play outside.

13.Love surprises? Plant fall bulbs and flower seeds…and keep a weather eye for spring blossoms!

14.“Turn off the lights!” Make switch plate reminders for your whole house.

15.Save water and tons of $$$ - turn off the water when you brush teeth!

16.Keep sturdy takeout containers for future leftovers.

17.Transform colorful magazine pages, comics and more into artful projects and gift wrappers!

18.Learn how to donate/recycle old computer stuff & post instructions (with permission!) at your local electronics stores.

19.Breathe in nature…turn off the AC and open a window to the world.


1.Whip up your favorite yummy snack and present it to a soup kitchen!

2.Love history? Visit folks at the senior center and ask about the amazing things they’ve witnessed.

3.Want to change the world? Practice random acts of kindness.

4.Keep your brain sharp and body strong. Ask for healthy lunch options at school.

5.Say “thank you!”…’tis music to your teachers’ ears.

6.Seeking positive change? Ask your local government officials for help.

7.Lead by your good example.

8.New kid at school? Eat lunch with them!

9.Volunteering? Invite your nearest and dearest along.

10.Have an older neighbor? Rake their leaves or shovel their sidewalk!

11.Need a cat or dog to snuggle? Visit the animal shelter.

12.Help end poverty. Check out the UN Millennium Development Goals online.

13.Make soldiers smile…send letters & goodies!

14.There’s nothing like a warm hug…share one today.

15.Show gratitude and write thank you notes!

16.Get fit and have fun…start a neighborhood exercise group.

17.Eating healthy? Partner up to share knowledge, tips and encouragement.

18.Share a home cooked meal – and cheerful chat – with a homebound person.

19.Got a big idea? Launch it with a community event!

20.Friend on a mission? Help them!

21.Tummy grumbling at the grocery store? Buy a canned good for the food pantry box.

22.See somebody struggling with heavy bags or boxes? Lend a hand.

23.Active voters make our country great. Ensure adults in your life are registered!

24.Adorable pets await loving homes! Where? The animal shelter…tell your friends and family!

25.Brighten the world…smile often!

I believe we have gotten a little to comfortable with texting and emailing. The next time someone in your life is celebrating an epiphany, birthday, anniversary etc let's try and go back to the ol'school days where we still sent letters (pen pals) and cards through the mail or actually picked up the phone to congradulate them (instead of a text). I personally think it's also a great way to contribute some "realness" to this world.

Sealed with Love,


Saturday, August 11, 2012

Rediscovering My Portuguese Culture

                                                       Viva Portugal

A few months ago i started working on a project that would give back to my Portuguese Culture / Community (something I have never done).
December 26, 2011 changed my life forever! After surviving brain surgery, and against all odds, coming out stronger than ever, I decided that I was going to go all the way with my purpose.
The project I have decided to start is a documentary, “Rediscovering My Portuguese Culture".
This is a personal journey for me that began at the age of 14. When I ran away from home. From my siblings, friends, and school. My community, values, language, the music, traditions and culture. But most of all my IDENTITY! (It took a lot for me to openly admit this). 
                                                               Portuguese Festival
I was put into foster care and a world where I discovered all other cultures but lost sight of mine.
Being that all my abusers were Portuguese, I decided to rebel against my own on a whole. I was beaten, hurt, internally broken and desperate to loose myself so that I could forget the pain. And I did. For many years. Only the memories were still there and it came back. When? The moment I woke up from surgery.
Wanting nothing to do with that little girl who I thought was bad, I completely lost myself and abandoned my identity. I escaped into a world where I was able to hide who I really was and where I could live a lie.
After surviving my surgery, I promised myself I would revisit my childhood and rediscover that little girl. Take back her purpose, passion - and most importantly - her IDENTITY!
                                                        Portuguese Sausage Making
This documentary has a bigger purpose then just ME. I am taking a Portuguese, teenage girl who has no direction and no sense of who she is along with me on this journey. She has also been abused and wants nothing to do with her culture. She will join me hand-in-hand as we film all aspects of the Portuguese culture and the beauty it holds. The traditions, lifestyle, food, music, language, history, festivals and much more. We will be interviewing families, leaders in the community, learning how to cook the traditional foods and baking (masa), speaking to business owners, filming artists and performances. 
                                               Portuguese Bread - Masa
                                                   Portuguese Sardinahs

I will use this opportunity to also share my personal story with her; how and where it all started for me. Together we will become grounded in our roots. This will also give me the chance to mentor her and let her draw strength from my experiences.
As you know, this project is going to cost a lot of money (pre and post-production, overall marketing, packaging, distributing, website etc). I am pitching the project on KICKSTARTER.COM the first week of September and MUST raise the awareness for funding from now until then when I click the "Launch project" button. I will then have between 30-60 days to raise the amount I pledge, which is $10,000.
I need you to please fund as little as $10 for this project and as high as you want. Just imagine if 200 people pledged $20? and this is not including angel investors or personal friends and family. I will also be seeking help from the Portuguese community. I will also be reaching our to Portuguese business owners, artists etc to be apart of the filming in exchange for their donation. We will be launching this documentary with the Toronto Film Festival as well :-)
The reason for this message is to find out if you will be willing to help me bring this project to life. I have done many things on my own but I CANNOT do this without you! Please respond here, inbox me or email me ( for details and answers to your questions.
Help me to be that voice that encourages the millions around the world to hold onto to who they truly are with no shame or guilt. This is the piece of the puzzle missing in my life and the lives of thousands out there.
                                                       Portugal Algarve