23 APR 2015 :: What Matters Most?

Every day I add a blog post, I try to decide what I should write about. When I made it my goal to write certain days of the week, I was trying to change my habit of letting it go.  What to write about became a small nightmare.  :-)

I tend to be very serious and, like many other bloggers, have my own list of things I want to see changed in the world.  My life, my children, my faith... these have all been affected by many serious issues.  Working Together is a reflection of my hardships, and my hope to prevent that suffering in the lives of others.  Blogging is just one of my efforts.

Writing takes time, important issues need information, facts, and other supporting materials.  I haven't had that time so, instead, I have mostly focused on personal experiences, goals, ideas about change, and current efforts to sell online.  I am still moving toward the goal of deeper, more serious, writing, but it will have to be achieved over time.  Hopefully, I will live that long!  :-)

In our huge global community, the problems are numerous.  My information about other countries is limited to what I have read or seen/heard in various reports in the media, in ministry materials, online, etc.  Right now, my focus is mostly America because it is what I know most.  It is where I experienced poverty, hunger, homelessness, courts and prisons, education, and government processes.  It is where I live.

I am discovering a new priority list for my life, for my writing, for my work...I hope you will share in my efforts to discover what matters most.

22 APR 2015 :: Sale Day Treasures

I was able to go to my favorite sale today... the Salvation Army 50% off Sale Day... Wednesdays to me.   :-)   I found some great deals today.  I need clothes badly, so I have been trying to look for and buy what I can when I go there. 

Today I splurged on about $10 in clothes (my sale price) for two pair of pants (one jeans, one knee-high pants for summer), a top, and badly needed PJ bottoms.  :-)  I normally sleep in shorts or pants, so this will be very nice for me.  Even second-hand clothes are a major expense for me. 

I also make the rounds of the other store sections, except furniture -- I can't carry furniture.  I did see a great table for only $15... I would have bought it if I could.  :-)

I was delighted to find a second cup like the one I found another time... big, oven and microwave useable, white, great looking, the right size for soup and for leftovers.  :-)  My idea of great - one person size.  Now I have two... I can alternate them!   :-)

I found two VHS tapes I plan to watch later and tomorrow...Singing in the Rain and Harvey (the old movie about the invisible rabbit  :-)  I might have bought more, but I limit myself to $1 for my VHS and book choices, though I did go over my limit today... I found two amazing old cookbooks for whole grains and good foods. I also found a nice book with "1911" collected statements... that should be fun to browse through.  I will share some of them in my blogs as I discover them.  The final book I chose was a decent copy of Oswald Chamber's My Utmost for His Highest... I need to read those entries again.

My really special find was two magnet things that look like dish hooks... I guess they would be the travel version, if that's what they are...maybe for picnics or camping (if you have a great metal cooler).

Kitchen gadgets can be my downfall, and I was very good today... only found one small pan for my baking goals, and a soup spoon.  I don't know if it is a Bundt pan, but I will use it like one... it may be one of those old jello molds. It's aluminum, so it will work for my planned Banana Bread use.
..maybe a mini version of Monkey Bread or the One-Egg Cake I am trying to recapture a great recipe for.  :-)   I really love to find weird things I have never seen before, and then try to figure out what they are for...and how to use them!

I didn't even realize it was Earth Day until I heard it on the news a few minutes ago... I am so sad about that. I had it marked on my goal sheet --  I want to create special products just for Earth Day sales.  My mind was focused on my budget and my Sale Day treasures, and my big need for clothes.  I hope I can do better next year.  I did buy my bus tickets today, and shopped second-hand... do those count?  :-)

It takes a lot out of my day and my body to go shopping, so I am writing this now to make sure I get it done.  I am still sorting through my room changes, and looking forward to working at my new craft spaces... really looking forward to that.  :-)  It feels like a small piece of progress for me, even though there are still more things to get done.

As soon as I get some photos done, I will share my progress here and in my other blogs.

Enjoy your evening, find your meaning in life, move toward it, and do what you can to help others.

In Christ,

21 APR 2015 :: In the passage of time...

I am watching a program on PBS about "Champion Trees" -- the oldest trees of each kind. There was one tree ring they had in a display somewhere that went back to the time our country was founded. It was a HUGE tree with lots of rings.  I need to mention that they referred to Arkansas a lot, so it may be that the program was about all the Champion Trees in Arkansas.  I am sorry, I didn't catch that detail.

It's over now.  One of the speakers in the program was an artist.  She had decided to create drawings of many of the Champion Trees. When others in the program were talking about her unique focus on the trees, I thought about each person's purpose in life. I believe GOD puts a cause in each heart, and when we don't find our way to that cause...well, sometimes I think GOD finds another person to do our task, other times I feel the task may be left undone.

Abortion is related to this issue.  All the children that were killed left empty spaces in our development as a nation, as a world.  We will never know the depth of loss we experience because of their deaths, but one thought to consider is our Social Security program.  I believe the funds projected to pay for the program were based on pre-abortion population growth.  Without their labor, and deposits to the program funds, we haven't been able to collect enough money.  We have a continual struggle to overcome the financial needs of the planned program.

The Bible tells us that GOD creates life in the womb.  We can only wonder what blessings we have lost because of our choice to promote abortion rather than life.

Another statement that caught my attention was from the man that placed markers about the Champion Trees in rocks.  He said the older a rock was, the softer it was to cut.  I never heard that before.  I always thought rocks were rocks...but now it seems the degrade just like everything else in our world... not by erosion, but by aging.  That has a lot of implications to me... in the creation and destruction of the universe.  It is a new bit of information for me, I will have to consider it for awhile.  Imagine how that changes our scientific views about rocks... at least, for me it does.  :-)

For several weeks, I have been debating within myself about how much to share about my opinions in my blogging.  I am deeply affected by many things in our lives, including the news.  I have wanted to cry because of the repeated showings of the 25-year-old man who died in police custody because of mistreatment.  I can't imagine how his mother must feel having to see that over and over again.  I have two that have gotten into problems with the law.  I worry about them every day...and continually pray for their safety and future.

I have noticed that most of the reports have been about Black men.  It is a recurring issue in America, but I know that there are abuses to all races, and lots of problems in our justice systems.  I hope these events will lead to positive, and permanent, changes.  Cameras are changing things... but criminals seem to find new ways to achieve their goals as one method is disrupted. :-(    I hate to see "movements" fed by the misery of one group when the issue is affecting all kinds of people. 

We depend on our police forces for our safety.  There is a movement to take guns out of our hands, which makes decent people potential victims, unable to protect themselves.  As morals decrease, the values of our entire society will be more affected... including both police and criminals.  I don't know what that will mean in America, but it isn't good in other countries.  Victims in other countries use to try to come to America for safety and freedom.  I'm not sure how much longer that will continue if America continues to lose what made it great.

The violence I see on TV and in movies contributes to the idea of committing violence in real life.  It is harder and harder for me to watch any of the police shows because they are getting way too "real" for me.  I have the thought that when a show starts out it is fresh, decent, kind, interesting...but the content gets worse and worse as they run out of community and family topics...  I have also had the thought that the content of our programs reflect the morals of the ones producing, writing, and editing them...which tells us ...what?

60 Minutes had a segment on Syria about the death of innocent citizens by SARIN, biological warfare I think it is called.  In minutes, just breathing led to the deaths of men, women, children, whole families.  I assumed they were testing it out for a larger use.  I hope it won't be America.

We don't live in a world that loves GOD and tries to be better every day.  We live in a world with a lot of people who want money, power, and control... and they don't always care how they get it.  The Antichrist will be one of those people... pretending to want peace, but really just trying to get into a position of power.

My small world is here, in a bedroom in a house in America, with little money, lots of prayers, and trying to do what I can each day.  I would like to do more, but it seems to be an impossible task.  I decided long ago that I would just have to keep trying...keep going...keep doing what I could within my limitations...it was all I could be expected to do.  If GOD wants me to do more, He will just have to provide for it.

I haven't quite decided what He has provided for...  what do you think? 

20 APR 2015 :: Another week, another list...same goals.

The weeks seem to fly by... it's April, almost May, already.  I am wondering how to survive the rest of the year...
  • how will I accomplish the goals I have?
  • will my health work out?
  • what should I do first?
  • how do I overcome the "obstacles" I have to deal with?
  • what can I do to save more?
  • will I be able to sell anything to increase my income?
  • how can I get the space and equipment I need?
and more...the questions are endless.  It is the same challenges, in a different place, with different variables, but the challenges are always the same.  The issues of health are the biggest problem... we can't do much without our health.

I was making a to-do list on Sunday and I started to measure my room (11' x 13' - plus closet space) to see how big it was. Then I started to measure my furniture pieces (twin bed, dresser, shelf, etc.) to see how much space they would need if I changed them around.  THEN... I started to move things, and felt like I was going to die several times in the process!  I am still trying to finish the project, and still feel the "pain" it causes.  :-)

It is a better room now, when all things are considered.  I have an idea of what I can get to make it work even better. I am hoping this will help me function and create and sell better... and soon... as I need to find more space soon.

Most of the business stories I read or hear about come from people with more money and space.  I have been (repeatedly) amazed at how hard it is to find the money, equipment, and space needed to accomplish anything.  I have almost won the battle, but not quite... then I would have to start all over again.

Finding workspace and storage space for all the different parts of making something to sell on the internet (or anywhere) has always been an issue for me.  You need supplies, and somewhere to store them. You need specialized equipment and a space to create (at each of the stages of a project).  And you need supplies and storage for packaging, shipping, and inventory. 

You can see how it might be hard for homeless and low-income households to accomplish things.  This isn't an excuse, just a fact of life.  I still remember a biography of someone that became great by spending the little bit of money they had on something to sell and, eventually, grew into a giant business like Woolworth's or Penney's or maybe it was Sears...  I wish that could be me, but it isn't, especially now.

I have decided the internet is my only hope...  :-)    ...at least, until I can hire people to help me.

Pray for me... for my needs... for the protection of GOD for me and Working Together, and provision for both of us.  No matter what happens, we need GOD's help.