Tonight my good friend Renee came over for hours of (nearly) uninterrupted gab time.  She is a fabulous woman who sponsors children all over the world through Compassion International and has actually visited many of them in places such as Uganda, Rwanda, Thailand, the Domican Republic, and is always planning her next trip.  She is so focused on the needs of these people, and she was wondering how so many people could be so oblivious to the needs of people in these countries just because they did not see it.

Granted, my life is pretty tame compared to hers, and I certainly know that there are many who just don’t waste time thinking about it if it doesn’t directly affect them.  My example, however, was that for me at this time in my life, I am on a hamster wheel, constantly spinning, spinning, and even though I know there are things outside that wheel, I don’t feel able to take my eyes off of straight ahead for fear I’ll trip up and things will come to a grinding halt.  While keeping the wheel spinning is important, it is also important for me and for my children that I look beyond my narrow scope of things on occasion.

Renee was showing me the website for Another Hope orphanage in Uganda.  Ruth, the founder and director of Another Hope, is coming to visit in September to try to bring attention to her mission.  Her children make and sell jewelry, bags and hats from old magazines and recycled paper and sell them to make money for necessities.  This touched my heart, and I saw a way that I could possibly help.  I intend to reach beyond my hamster wheel and purchase beads from Ruth that I can make into some of my designs.  In addition to helping when I purchase their beads, I can also donate the proceeds from my sales to help the orphanage. 

While I can’t always take my eyes off of my wheel, I can let my heart hear what others are saying, and I can try to make a difference.

The Old Church Gallery…

August 20, 2009

old church 2

Once in awhile I get to have the pleasure of working at the Old Church Gallery in Cedar River, Michigan.  I love this gallery!  Last weekend was one of those rare occasions and I had an awesome, inspiring day there. The ladies who own it – Carlyn Lynch and Cindy Schmidt – are two of the sweetest ladies ever. 

These two women converted an old, unused church into an art gallery in a somewhat remote location and have turned it into a must-stop place on Hwy. M-35 between Escanaba and Menominee, Michigan.  It is primarily filled with art from local and regional artists.  There are so many talented artists represented here!

When I first met the ladies of the Old Church Gallery, I was newly divorced and lacking self-confidence.  My friend Karen encouraged (nagged) me into approaching them with my jewelry designs. I was so nervous!  But the ladies were fabulous and we have had a wonderful working relationship ever since.  Karen and I have done an artist-in-residence day,and this fall we are teaching classes.  It has been such a great relationship for me, and I know Karen feels the same.

During my hours there, my brain flooded with ideas!  I kept jotting things down in my notebook, barely able to keep up!  Creativity spurs creativity in me, and this place is SO inspiring!

If you’re ever in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, make it a point to stop in to see the ladies and their wonderful gallery.  You won’t be sorry!

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