Like millions of other Americans, my heart is heavy after hearing about the mass school shooting this week in Florida of 17 adults and students by a former student on Wednesday, February 14th, 2018. CNN’s article showed how quickly the devestation occurred and peace was shattered:

While I initially joined mourners in prayers for families of the victims… I began to grow in concern  for all children impacted by the shooting and their parents who may be at a loss now.  

Since I work in trauma recovery as a counselor and routinely hear the broken hearts of children and youth struggling to cope with what happened to them, my wheels started turning in my mind. What little part can I do to help?  Growing  up in urban city I remember how devastating it was when my close friends were killed or badly injured. It was definitely traumatizing and I “acted out” like many students who silence their pain and as a result  do not get sufficient help dealing with the overwhelming feelings. Thank God for my parents who prayed continuously and disciplined me through my nightmare season. My parents never gave up on me. 

It was and continues to be difficult for children to understand what to do with all the grief, anger, frustration and fear swirling around in their heads after a horrible tragedy. 

I kept thinking, 

“Parents need support understanding how to help thier kids cope and process this tragedy… not just this one, but the  many others students live through that don’t ever make it to the headlines.”

Then… last night, I received a call from a close friend who brought it all home and made me realize youth I know and care about personally have been impacted by this recent shooting. My extra babies. I cannot begin to express in words how it feels.  Here is her status update this am:

Parkland school shooting

A link below has a simple resource any family or teacher can use with students who have been impacted by the Florida shooting

Overall, help students:

  • talk about their feelings concerning the tragedy in a healthy manner 
  • Provide safe judgment free environment where they can communicate 
  • Art, drama, writing or any form of expression is also encouraged. 

Dwight Bain is a thought leader in our country to many corporations and individuals. I’m grateful he compiled a “what to do” article in reponse to the Florida school shooting.  Bain says, “If you can talk through it – you can get through it”

Parents and teachers can consider the counseling tools on his blog post. His video commentary is link is at the top of the article.

Parkland school shooting video

Educators may also benefit from the Trauma Informed Podcast that offers direct intervention strategies to help students who have experienced trauma. Dr. Kay Ayre has condensed useful data into an easy to apply and digest format. It is sometimes comforting to hear from others in the trenches.

Additionally, please reach out if you have further questions to help your child or classroom cope with the recent incident. More comprehensive trauma recovery solutions are available and may be more suitable for your circumstances. You can contact a local counselor, your school guidance counselor or message me through LinkedIn. 

Again, my sincere prayers and condolences for all those impacted by the Florida school shooting. 

Lord we pray You will help us, comfort and heal heavy hearts in Jesus Name. Amen. 


Heloise J Ridley, MBA, MA 


December 1, 2017

Today would have been Moms birthday and I would have scrambled around to find lotion, facial wipes, oil of Olay bath set and face cream and maybe perfume for Mom from her grandkids present to her. Then maybe a gift card to either Old Country Buffet or Red Lobster from me. 

The kids would have baked her another round cornbread with a candle as a cake that they proudly made themselves…

Then grandma would have acted like it was the best ever and make a fuss even if she had the same lotion and perfume on her dresser still there from Mother’s Day. 

But this year it is her first promotion to her reward in heaven day because Mom loved Jesus and accepted Him in her heart. 

I pray all those she touched with her life seek to be best friends with God as she did. 

God was #1 and she let me know clearly because I was never allowed to skip church or Sunday school without significant discomfort that week…

Here is her favorite verse she would recite in the car to my kids:

Psalm 121

“I will life up mine eyes unto the hills, 

From whence cometh my help. 

My help cometh from the Lord

Which made heaven and earth.”
God Bless You Grandma Dottie


November 22, 2017

Lord we give You thanks…

To be quite honest it’s not always easy to serve You  Lord but definitely worth every minute. 

Life is not always fun. In fact this year has been brutal and beyond words. At the same time it has been phenomenal professionally. 

But You are thrilling Lord and You flood hearts with Your Delicious Presence which brings us:

Peace that makes no sense at times

A smile when we connect with Your heart 

An idea 

A solution to a parenting or work problem

New resolve 


Unbounded, unconditional love 


A fresh perspective 

Grace, grace and more grace


Humility when needed

Exhilarating Joy 

Safety in close calls

Heavenly help

Gratitude when we realize how much we are blessed 

Hope for the future no matter what it looks like

Chuckles, even at my moms funeral when the kids said “9 kids!!!” 


Resilience.  How are we still standing Lord? 


Ability to see others as God says and not their current state. 

Re-Grounding and soundness of mind


Countless other blessings. 

God we thank you for Jesus who is our advocate and savior. We Love You Lord. 

Happy Thanksgiving to God. 



July 27, 2017

Thank you for every kind word and prayers…

Teach Children 

June 26, 2017

In this cute dance recital picture I see not only my daughter and her buddy but potential. 

This verse popped out to me because it suggests something profound to me….

Blessed are we when read the Word of God to our children then blessed are they if they hear it. Moreover, they will be stellar if they take the lessons “to heart” and choose to live them. That would be phenomenal. 


“We thank you for Your promises of blessings Lord. So cool! 

Lord it is not in our strength that we can read your Word regularly to our children. 

Please help us Jesus to prioritize and have strength to follow through as we juggle our family responsibilities. 

You know our hearts Lord and give mercy. 

 You are truly our priority and source of all life. 

We praise Your Mighty Name Lord in Jesus Name. 

We love you God.”