There’s Always The Next Thing

If you’ve been following along on my journey you’ll recall that I’ve jumped off…

…flown through the air…

…hung in mid-air for awhile…

… and was supposed to land on my back and remain in a blissful state of peace and rest for the entirety of my remaining days. (If you’re new to my blog check out the blogs leading up to this below.)

Remember that dream I had?

Sooo, why do I feel like this sometimes???

Ok, to be honest, for the most part I feel like this>>>>

This is NOT me. It’s my amazing friend, Tammi, and our just as amazing Lead Instructor, Thurston.

My arms are really tired lately. But, they’re being supported by my Creator, Yahuwah, and my wonderful brothers & sisters and family.

For those of you just reading this blog for the first time, in a nutshell, I’ve jumped in, quit my part-time job, and have devoted my full efforts to this mission. No big deal, right?

Remember that dream I had that I shared with you? You know, the one where I landed on my back, no impact from the water, and floated blissfully away?

Uh, well, I’ve been looking for that feeling again. I’m just being transparent here. It’s been a whirlwind.

I listed my house for sale by owner, sold it in less than a week, with no real plans of where to go, closed several weeks after that. And I’m still here! The buyer of the house really made it convenient for me to take my time moving (I don’t know how people move so fast! I’ve been trying to get ready for a year and a half!) or stay if I want. That’s something I never thought of! It’s pretty amazing how things work out.

In the midst of this, I’m assisting my mom as she struggles a bit more as she ages, trying to educate myself on managing a new learning management system for the organization, run the social media campaigns, set up the trainings, etc., blah, blah, blah. I’m not telling you all this to complain although, it’s been hard.

But I thought I was supposed to be floating! I have to admit I’ve had stressful days. Days I’ve wrestled with if I’ve made the right choices. I’ve had to fight off the negative thoughts about making the same mistakes… again. Are we really supposed to be doing this?

One day while on my daily trail walk, I asked, “Why am I not experiencing that peaceful, blissful feeling I had in my dream? What is wrong with me?!” Then I realized it. There’s always the “next thing”.

I accomplished a pretty big task of selling my house but then began to think about the “next thing”. Now what? What do I do? Stay? Go? Rent? Buy? Move in with my mom? And believe me, it’s been a daily- sometimes on- and -off throughout -the -day thing! To the point of being ridiculous.

I had to confront fear. Yep. I’ve never been a fearful woman. (Except for the fear of bats which I have also had to confront, once again, this year!) But, I realized that the fear of returning to struggling financially again had put me in this constant state of, I hate to admit, worrying about lack. How crazy is that? I have never REALLY lacked a day in my life! Struggled, yes. Almost lost everything, yes.

Worrying about the “next thing”. On that walk that day, I realized there will always be the “next thing”. How profound, right?! I really should have known this. You know, there are those moments when truth really hits you and this was one of those moments.

The thing is I, we, need to learn how to have peace in the midst of ALL circumstances and the “next thing”, whatever it may be.

And now in the midst of what could possibly turn out to be a pandemic, who knows what the “next thing” will bring? Well, there is ONE who knows.

I won’t go into what we, as an organization are already experiencing, and right when we were about to step into our “breakthrough”. Instead, I choose to believe and trust in what’s already established for us, and look at this time as a chance to get that learning management system process locked down and begin our online classes!

I know some of you struggle with the same thing. What’s next? Now what? What should I do? How will I do it? I want you to know you’re not alone.

Something that has helped me in the past is to remember how I’ve come through. Sometimes you have to go through to get to!

(I can’t find the picture with the correct view! The shirt says, “Educate, Train, Release”. We need help!)

To remember how I’ve been brought through some very difficult times. My life’s biblical scripture is, “You shall have your life as a prize of war becuase you put your trust in me,’ says YHWH.” (Jeremiah 39:18)

Let’s try to stay focused, think on good things and float in bliss! Because there’s always the next thing.

Peace and good health to you. Shalom!


Present Situation…Mid-Air

Today was the day. I took the dive. It was my last day at the part-time job I held for almost two years. It was a bittersweet day.

Somehow it didn’t feel like what I felt like in that dream I last wrote about. I had some mixed emotions. Mostly, sad because I will not see my co-workers as often nor the kids I have grown to love. Somewhat excited to be free to devote more time to this mission and the new business developing. But I didn’t quite have the peace I felt in that dream when I was floating on my back in the water.

My kids hugged me and told me not to go. Then off they ran to greet their parents soon forgetting I wouldn’t be there next time. Some of my co-workers encouraged me by telling me how they had learned much from me. Something I really hadn’t realized. The co-worker who worked with me in the same classroom brought me flowers and, offered to help me write my book. My supervisor kept giving me the sad, pouty face and thanked me several times before reminding me to come back at any time. The executive director thanked me and offered to help in any way they could with this mission. I held back my tears and kept telling them all I’d probably be back in several weeks! Just because I’d need to see them and would help when they were desperate. Time will tell.

I cried on the way home. When I started this position, I tell you, it was hard! I had probably the most difficult group of kids, tweens, that had been there in recent years. Most of those kids now when I see them hug me and tell me they’re doing well, at least in their minds. Then last year I had a number of very difficult kindergarten children. I made it. They made it. They have their moments but, they are doing well. This year has been the best. That makes it all the harder to leave!

It is time though. I must move forward. It’s now or never. It’s do-or-die. Failure is not an option. Momentum is building and the time is now.

As I reflect on the emotions I’m experiencing I realize these are the emotions of “mid-air”. They’re crashing one into the other- sadness, joy in knowing I did my best, relief, excitement, and just maybe a twinge of fear if I let it in. I’m taking that breath before I hit the water.

And, on impact, I’ll be on my back, floating, and in peace. Thanks for following along the journey! Tomorrow I hit the ground running!


Jumping Off

I had a dream several months ago. I was on a pier-like bridge down at the river that separates my town from the next. I was at the beginning of the pier. As I began to walk forward I noticed a post next to me. I thought to myself, “If I jump in here I might hit the post and hurt myself.”

I continued to walk forward across the pier and when I got to the end, I dove in. I didn’t feel myself hit the water nor even remember myself submerging. All at once, I was floating on my back, hands behind my head, basking in the sun. It was the most incredible feeling! One of joy, peace, and rest! I then woke up.

On waking, I remembered this dream immediately! For the most part, I have come to realize which dreams are of my own flesh and which are divinely delivered. This was, I believe, divinely delivered regarding the timing and the result of my “jumping off” moment.

If you read my last post, “Flying Squirrels”, you’ll remember I stated that the time was coming soon that I needed to “jump off, fly, and hit the ground running”. NOW is that time!

You’ll also remember that I’ve done this before. No biggy, right? Wrong! It was harder this time. And as I stated in that blog, I’m taking off from a more difficult position this time.

I’m going to be open and real with you. Times are difficult for me. They have been for about 18 years now! But, that has never stopped me before. When it was time to step out into a new season, a new adventure, I did it. I’m not saying I didn’t ponder and pray and seek counsel but, I was less fearful. This time was different because it truly feels like an all-in, do-or-die moment!

So what’s the big deal? What am I jumping off into? For the past almost two years I’ve worked a part time job to…well, to eat, put gas in my vehicle, and maybe pay a few bills. And I mean a few! That job, including travel time, ate up 5 hours of my day. I worked on building World Wide Academy Training Services around those hours. On top of that, I am preparing to put my house on the market for sale which requires time. AND…my mother is slowing down and needs my help.

There just wasn’t enough time for me to do everything! In order to move steadily forward and keep my sanity I needed to make a change. So I decided, after much wrestling with my Creator, to walk away from the part time position. To dive off the pier, to jump, land, and hit the ground running. To take a leap of faith. To put my all into this organization!

I gave my supervisor notice of my resigning. Getting the words out of my mouth was the hardest part but, I did it! When I took the dive, I had no idea how the bills would get paid. This will either “fly” or I will lose everything. I have to do it. It’s a massive vision (which I hope to continue to unveil as time goes on). I’m not getting any younger and people are depending on my progress. The time is NOW!

So, thank you for coming along on this journey with me (actually us, because it will take others to bring the vision forward). I don’t know what the next months really look like. I don’t know what every step will look like. I do know that it will be another time of growth and faith-building for me. I hope you will be inspired by my journey. Enough so that you will step out and do what you were created to do! Let’s run together. I’m looking forward to “floating on my back” with joy, peace, and rest. How about you? Here’s to childlike faith!


P.S. Just in the last week, after my diving- off decision, I came across an opportunity to partner with a dear friend and assist her with her mission. In assisting her I’ll be able to bring in more income and move WWATS forward. You never know what’s waiting on the other side until you dive in!

Flying Squirrels

As I was coming to the end of my walk today I noticed a squirrel fly about a foot off the ground into the air and hit the ground running. The thought came to my mind, “That’s me soon.”

It’s soon coming time to take off, fly through the air, and hit the ground running…again. It won’t be the first time I’ve flown through the air, completely trusting,abandoned feelings of reason, no fear. Why does it seem harder this time?

I’ve been here before, many times. I was younger then. More daring. Maybe I subconsciously thought I’d have more time to recover just in case “I” failed. Or maybe that mission didn’t seem so massive. Hmmm…. I don’t know, I don’t think so.

As I wrote in the first blog, it’s been a journey, a life-long journey, to get to where I am today. It’s been a process. And, man, have I been through the process! On good days I’m keeping a good perspective and appreciating the past and how I got here. On not so good days (just being real, I have a few) I wonder why I did what I did and question if I’m off my rocker-again!

I’m trying to remember, in the words of my Creator, that “perspective is very important”. I’m remembering that HE put this vision that some would call a crazy dream inside of me. That He WILL provide as He has done in the past.

But it’s different this time. In the past, when I opened a new business or quit a job to start a new business or nonprofit I didn’t start from the point I’m at now. Ok, so here’s where it gets a bit personal for me. But, hey, people like authenticity, right?

I am not where I “should” be at this time of my life according to this world’s standards. You know, according to those who set the standards for success. I struggle, big time, where all that’s concerned, according to their “standards”. I should be readying for retirement. Vacationing. Slowing down. So “they” say. (Who are these people anyway?!) But I never was one to follow the world’s standards. Hence, the path I chose.

But now it’s getting near time to jump off, fly and hit the ground running. I’m starting from a really hard place! BUT, I’m so very excited (some would call me crazy!). I know it will be a time of great growth, again. I know it will be a time of a greater measure of faith, again. And I know it will be a time when I’ll be joined by some amazing people, see the hand of YHWH Elohim’s (who most call God) provision, miracles, amazing grace and courage!

I’m planning on writing about the journey as we move forward into new land. (If you haven’t seen our Facebook page or YouTube channel, check them out. I’ve posted some videos and they’ll be many more to come!)

So, I invite you to come along with me on this journey and watch what HE will do! Put on your running shoes!

Pear Pie and the Basics

I have a pear tree in my backyard. This time of the year I try my best to snatch the pears off the ground and the tree, staying ahead of the squirrels, bees, and flies who feast on them. So many pears! I give them to neighbors and friends. I put them in my salad. I mix them with my vegetables. I make pear honey. I bake pear pies.

So what does pear pie have to do with the basics?

As I was mixing the ingredients for my pie I got to thinking about the amount of time it was taking to make it. Mostly because of peeling the pears! I thought about how we have such little time to bake and cook like we used to. Or like our parents and generations before us did. It really takes effort and time to cook and bake as they did. (Even with a store-bought pie crust!)

So much was different in “the good ‘ole” days. The best thing was time spent with family and friends. These days we can barely fit time in for our families.

The culture we live in holds us captive. We can’t (or maybe we just don’t) live as generations before us did. All in the name of progress. We work more in order to stay afloat in a system which was meant to keep us captive, as slaves. Robbing us of our time, energy, relationships, provision.

I wonder how many of us would thrive and not just survive if the system were to collapse? I’m really concerned about the younger generations, especially the children. How many of them will know how to produce the foods needed to survive and then to prepare them? What about living in less than “ideal” circumstances, especially without their electronics!? Or how to fix their vehicle if they have one? What about sewing their own clothes?

We, at World Wide Academy Training Services, are training people to know what to do in times of emergency, especially how to help others. We have a vision to educate, train, and then release our students into a struggling world. We have a vision to teach our children and grandchildren how not to just survive but, to thrive! Our hope and belief is that one day soon we will be teaching on a farm – things like gardening and farming, fishing, cooking and baking, sewing, auto mechanics, and more of well, the basics.

So now you know what pear pie and the basics have to do with one another. By the way, it’s delicious!

Our Story

Thanks for joining us!

Our certified instructors have decades of real-life experience in…

  •   Education & the Arts
  • Basic & Advanced Life Support
  •   Self Defense
  •   Terrorism Awareness
  •   Safety & Security

Certified Instructors

Donna Ruggiero, Executive Director and Instructor

Hi and welcome to WWATS! Our story is one of years of molding and shaping and transformation! It’s one of trials and testing, perseverance, and patience- with lots of laughter and blessings along the way!

I grew up knowing I would be a teacher. My journey took me from college to owning my own performing arts school to founding a small, private school in my hometown neighborhood to this present endeavor. What a journey it has been! There really isn’t enough space to write about it here. One day I may write a book!

My desire is to assist my students in becoming life-long learners. I love teaching! I love when I see my students’ faces light up because THEY have discovered something new or something finally clicked! I see myself as a guide helping my students discover the gifts and passions that make them who they are, preparing them to make a difference in their environments and in the earth!

Thurston and I started working on the training workshops and classes during the time that School of Creative Arts (the school I opened in my neighborhood) was in operation. We had met during an outreach in the neighborhood and discovered we both shared the desire to see our neighbors, students, family, and friends be prepared for emergency situations. Thurston spent many hours preparing and imparting valuable knowledge and practice to our students at SOCA. HE is the expert in this area while I stick to the academic teaching and administration, and assistance with the emergency medical and emergency preparedness trainings!

I’m excited for this next step along the journey! Thanks for coming along with us! I hope to meet you all some day at one of our trainings either on-site or online!

Thurston D. Gill, Jr., Instructor Emergency Medical, Emergency Preparedness, Safety & Security