Tuesday 02nd March 2021,
Inspired Girl

The Reason: Connecting the Dots


A few months ago, a team of people from Oprah Winfrey’s Network (OWN) came to New Jersey searching for the next TV star for their “OWN” show. With a lot of coordination and support from family and friends, I spent the night in my car and camped out waiting to meet someone and talk about my vision for inspiring television. I really felt like I was “called” to go. I really believed something would come of the weekend.

Well, after a long night and a crazy morning of waiting, I finally had my turn to meet the producers in the big white tents. Exhausted and frizzy, I didn’t feel like my “best self”, but I had fun. I met many amazing people that day, including a sassy, adorable woman named Laurie Caspert. She is an art teacher whose mission is empower kids to express themselves and bring out the innate creativity in every child. Definitely an “Inspirista”; we even exchanged contact information.

I went home and waited for the call. The producers told us if we received a message that evening, we would be included in the callbacks in Atlantic City the following day.

Again, I really believed the phone would ring and I would have another chance to describe my vision, only this time with a little more sleep and a fresher face. While all of my incredible family and friends called to tell me that they were proud no matter what happened, the phone call from the producers never came.

I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a bit disappointed. I believed I was meant to go to the auditions, but nothing seemed to come of it…until the amazing woman I met (Laurie) connected to me via facebook. We chatted several times, and I felt like we were instantly friends. She read my blogs and always commented with her support and valuable remarks.

Now, you may recall my blog about the event I was planning with Enchanted Makeovers at St. Joseph’s Home in Jersey City. Laurie responded to me immediately, and asked if she could be involved by teaching art to the children of the women who would be attending the event!

Laurie’s offer added another beautiful layer to the event, that was completely unplanned. Terry Grahl (the founder of Enchanted Makeovers) was excited about Laurie spending time with the children, and the directors from St. Joseph’s agreed it would be wonderful.

The event happened this weekend, and on Saturday while we were teaching the women about journaling, doing yoga, writing affirmations on the magnificent mural by the Cre8tive Sisters, Laurie (and her WHOLE FAMILY!!) spent time with the children, decorating treasure chests, painting, getting messy, having fun, incorporating inspirational words from the day into the children’s artwork.

Laurie has since told me she would like to go back to St. Joseph’s Home and work with the women as well. Another unexpected gift.

So, I went back and connected the dots. I was meant to go to the OWN auditions. Something more incredible than I could have dreamed came from the massive coordination effort of my family-  meeting Laurie, and her generous, kind spirit so willing to share her talents with others.

You never know who is around you. Being open, starting a simple conversation, and connecting with people can lead to extraordinary things. We all have something to share, teach, and learn from each other. Everything has a way of unfolding perfectly as it should. I LOVE looking back and connecting the dots!

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About The Author

writer. speaker. dreamer. foodie. late night blogger. wife. mother. believer. Founder of Inspirista Lifestyle Design + Co-Founder of The Domesticated Dad + Author of Balance Book & Little Miss Negative...


  1. Rebecca E. Parsons/Cre8Tiva October 19, 2010 at 6:37 pm

    the dots are still manifesting as the connections will be made for years to come…the beauty of service to others…glad Lauri did her magic as you did…glad i was able to connect the dots of my life while making new friends… XOXOX

    • Jennifer Tuma-Young October 19, 2010 at 10:07 pm

      So very true, Rebecca!!! And, it was an absolute pleasure to meet you this weekend!! Thank you for reading and commenting :)

  2. Tisha October 19, 2010 at 8:54 pm

    Hi Jennifer! I certainly identify with the “Connecting the Dots” experience. Not that I’ve ever had an opportunity to meet with Oprah’s folks (okay, there was that really early morning last summer when they showed me to my seat in Central Park for her NYC show), but serendipity is fast becoming my favorite experience. The looking/hoping for something specific and getting some other, unexpected and unexpectedly wonderful, thing. The conscious intent becoming the means by which a subconscious/spirit need is met. It’s a beautiful thing.

    • Jennifer Tuma-Young October 19, 2010 at 10:08 pm

      Wow- love how you put it!! It is a beautiful thing!! Thanks for sharing!!

  3. Laurie Rivlin Caspert November 3, 2010 at 9:15 am


    I truly believe things happen for a reason – and I LOVE connecting the dots. What a great feeling.
    In fact, the book The Dot, by Peter Reynolds – just arrived in the mail yesterday. Coincidence? I say not!!

    YOU, my friend – and I CAN call you that – are a TREASURE!


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