A dream put into action … how many “some days” have I told myself. I am taking real steps to have my home-based business and I am having a BLAST doing what I like to do. Today I pin-basted three baby quilts. I also scripted the steps for a how-to video on my technique for pin basting quilts to avoid those darn ripples, puckers, and tucks on the back of your quilt. Stay tuned, and thanks for being my support!

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The Economy

I’ve noticed something about the economy and yard sales. It seems that when the economy is ‘bad’, there is an increase in yard sales. When the economy becomes ‘Bad’, lots of yard sales but lots of traffic too. I’ve noticed, at least in my neighborhood, the economy has become ‘BAD’, three day yard sales, lots of them in the neighborhood, and no traffic.

So while we ask the government to ‘fix the economy’, I’m puzzled as to what ‘we the people’ are doing. Sitting around waiting for someone else to ‘fix it’? Thinking we, as individuals, have little power in changing the economy. But have we thought about other ways?

Why do we need to fix the economy nationally? Why not start in our own neighborhoods, shopping locally and supporting local small businesses? What about your workplace, is it possible to collectively reduce wages by 5 cents an hour in order to hire one person part time? Or job sharing? Or for competing small businesses in a neighborhood, how about sharing open hours, one takes mornings and the other afternoons?

Have any of us asked why the corporations are showing profits? Where does that money go? Into executive pockets? Why not community development? Why not putting one hundred people to work part-time?

Just rambling… but remember one thing. You do have the power to vote. Make sure you do!

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I volunteer on Tuesday nights working with children who have little hope. One of the young students spent time working on the three Ds.

Disruptive, Destructive, Disrespectful

It was a challenging night for me to continue offering HOPE, finding ways to provide the positive experiences desperately needed to change the anger packed into this young life. Two hours, once a week, eight weeks. Such a daunting task.

I will not consign this young person to the hopeless bin. My contributions to this young life are valuable, if yet unrealized. I trust that when we part ways, a part of what is learned in this short time will remain. I am but one thread in this child’s life. There are others who will come later and weave a section. With many positive role models, perhaps a child with out hope can be mended and made whole again.

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Never Underestimate….

…the power of a Mother’s love for her son (or sons, since I have two!)

The young Marine went through another surgery today. He wants something to eat and to come home. Always a good sign when young men are hungry!

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A Mother’s Love

No matter how old you are, a mother’s love doesn’t end. At the end of the day, the most important thing you can do is let those who share your life know you care. It isn’t the grand gestures that demonstrate LOVE, it is the little ones you experience every day.

LOVE – Look for Opportunities for Valued Exchange. See a need, and fill it. Don’t seek the ‘earth shattering’ change. Find the small things in each day that made a difference for someone. A card, note, phone call, encouraging words, these make a difference.

My friend, the Marine’s Mom, is at his bedside. He is improving, but there is a long, hard road ahead for the family. As the intensity of the crisis diminishes, people will move back into their own lives. Yet, she will need FAITH, HOPE & LOVE, for many months ahead.

Looking for Opportunities of Valued Exchange – this is tough, because my heart wants to do something BIG that will make a difference. Yet, I know it is the steady stream of small valued acts that are the most supportive. Pre-stamped note cards, emails, and blog posts, things that recognize who the both of them are as people, yet support them in the current situation. This is the challenge of LOVE.

The young Marine and I share a favorite author. While he isn’t ready to read, I can certainly read it aloud and send him the tape. I think he, and his Mom, would enjoy that.

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Look for Opportunities for Valued Exchange – LOVE
The kind of exchanges that say “I’m listening. I understand You.”
My belief in FAITH, HOPE & LOVE has been sorely challenged this week.
How do I find valued exchange with a fellow Marine Mom who has received devastating news? What words do I offer? Not much I can do or say in the face of such magnitude. I hold the young Marine in my heart with thoughts of healing and send strength to the family.
For now, I listen with FAITH; watching for an opportunity to LOVE.

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Give HOPE – Volunteer

I volunteer on Tuesday nights. Tonight is my first night as a teacher in the the PEACE program at Rehoboth CDC. I’ve been there several times, but tonight is my official start. For the next eight weeks I will be working with children in Kindergarten through Second grade. I hope I can teach leadership and interpersonal skills to them. There’s that word again: HOPE.

Helping Others with Positive Experiences – these are children who need more positive experiences. The left-behinds; children without homes and parents. Children who have had more negative experiences in life than positive. These children are part of our future, if we choose to help, or not.

I choose to help with a bit of FAITH, HOPE and yes… there is LOVE

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Helping Others through Positive Experiences
It is with positive experiences that people experience and feel hope. If unemployed, hope comes from a positive experience in an interview. Students experience hope when their teacher tells them they’ve done a good job. A friend, who is a bit down, gets a phone call and receives a boost of hope.
What can you do for the people you encounter each day to give H.O.P.E.? How can you Help Others with a Positive Experience?
It doesn’t take a lot to fill a bucket with H.O.P.E. Just takes some F.A.I.T.H., practice and of course, LOVE.

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I’m filled with hope. I hope I’m forgiven for my goof with tape recorders and my professor overlooks the error in my paper. I hope my friend’s medical treatments go well and I hope another friend has a great day on a new job.

“I hope” helps as much as a wet blanket on a hot day. It feels good, but when the echo dies away, what are we left with?

HOPE has a deeper meaning. What does hope mean to you? How do you give hope? Is your ‘bucket of hope’ overflowing?

I challenge you to stretch your definition of hope. Tomorrow…

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How is your mindset today? Have you embraced the FAITH challenge?

One thing I learned from Dr. Kaplan is to listen, not with my ears, but with my heart. Only through my heart can I reach mutual understanding with others. Active, versus passive, involvement through thoughtful questions, looking for authentic understanding, listening at a deeper level and finding the person under the conversation. I can facilitate this by being my authentic self and building relationships; not just contacts and acquaintances.

Facilitate Active Involvement Through the Heart – FAITH

Your challenge for today: Practice FAITH and let me know how it works for you!

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