To insure or not to insure

That is the question.

Whether to risk getting a terrible disease without adequate coverage

or go broke trying to protect myself against all manor of unanticipated events.

Do I suffer the slings and arrows of hardship

Or do I throw caution to the wind?

That is the question.

 

 

I had loads of good old-fashioned fun last weekend.  I went back to my craftsy roots by weaving a batch of potholders.  

 I started making potholders as a young girl – my mother bought me a square loom and the loops from the dime store, and I took to it right away.  I made so many potholders that I decided to begin to sell them to my neighbors.  Around the block I went, selling my potholders.  Every couple of months I’d make the rounds again.  God bless those neighbors – they always bought from me! Anyway, I take out the loom every couple of years when my potholders start getting either too worn out or dirty and make myself some new ones.  Usually, though, the selection of loops I have found is serviceable but uninspiring.

 But not this time!

 I was looking through the Uncommon Goods catalog and spotted gorgeous, bright-colored loops and I knew I HAD to order them.  I didn’t know such beautiful loops existed!  I ordered them and I was so excited when they came I spent the whole weekend making these beautiful potholders. I think my kids thought I was crazy (obsessed) but I really enjoyed the soothing rhythm of the weaving process again, working the colors into random patterns.  It made me happy.

 I have since checked out the website of the company that manufactures the loops, Harrisville Designs, and found out I can order loops by color! (be still my heart!) Oh, my…I hope my neighbors need potholders…

I thought forgiveness meant that I wouldn’t feel the hurt anymore.  I thought it meant the pain would be gone.  It thought that letting go meant that the negative feelings wouldn’t come back to haunt me, or that I wouldn’t feel that choking anger anymore.  I thought everything would get easier once I forgave.

 I begged God to help me let it go once-and-for-all.  I wanted the pain to be done, the memories to be purged, the anger to stop.

I thought there was something wrong with me because forgiving wasn’t working.  I didn’t know what forgiveness looked like.  I kept asking, praying and searching for it, but apparently I was just supposed to do it.  People would tell me, “well, you just have to forgive.”  I kept asking ‘what does forgiveness look like?”  Being very visual, I guess I needed someone to draw me a picture.

 I kept asking God to help me to let it go and to forgive.  When I would get upset again, or the bad feelings would claw at me I would think “well, I guess I never forgave like I thought I had.” 

 Thanks to Mark Gungor at Celebration Church in Green Bay, WI for his blog post entitled “What Is Forgiveness?”  I got the picture drawn for me at last.  It was the answer I had been looking for when I asked the question all this time.  The anger coming back didn’t mean I hadn’t forgiven!  The sadness threatening me didn’t mean I hadn’t forgiven!  Of course I was going to get mad all over again over new transgressions – it didn’t mean I hadn’t forgiven – it just meant that I needed to forgive again.  Mark gave me the action plan toward forgiveness that I needed. 

Forgiveness is now an actionable plan for me.  It is a plan to give the pain to God every time it comes to me.  It is a plan to hand over every negative thought when it comes to me. 

 Forgiveness doesn’t always just divinely come over us one day

and the pain will be gone.

A lot of the time it takes more work.

I have to keep forgiving.  As many times a day as those hurtful transgressions come back into my mind they have to be given up to God.  And again.  And again.  And again.  

Just like God forgives me.  Again.  And again.  And again.

 

The Security Myth…

March 10, 2011

 

On January 26, 2011 I received notice that my job was being eliminated along with 74 others.  I had just been downsized.

At first I panicked, which is a normal reaction.  I am a single mom, after all.  What was I going to do?  How was I going to support my family?  What would become of us all in this depressed economy?  For the first week I cried, I prayed, I had massive anxiety issues.  I couldn’t sleep.

Panic is my nature.  Worry is, too.  I am highly emotional, and by my nature I go to these places when things happen.  Then I get very “busy.”  Which I did by going to the local job center and getting paperwork and information going before they even had a chance to schedule anything for all of us at my workplace.  I signed up for a class on Shipbuilding. I had my resume finished and my Linked-In profile updated and started stockpiling toilet paper on sale.

 Then the most amazing thing happened.  While down with a migraine, I had hours on end to think.  I allowed my brain to wander, and it did something that surprised me…it opened up to possibilities.  I started to dream again. I asked myself “what if?”  And it was SO EXCITING! 

In the aftermath of my divorce, I gave up the dreams I had in order to provide for my family.  I was too busy seeking some form of security from the outside world to dream anymore.  I needed a salary.  Benefits.  Stability.  Security.

 But guess what?  For a while I had the salary, benefits, stability, and what I thought was security.  But it really wasn’t security, because I had no way of knowing my company would be sold.  So it was a false security that I bought into for awhile.  Realizing this was a real a-ha! moment for me.  There is no such thing as earthly security! 

 Wow – what a revelation that was to me, and how freeing it was!  It opened the floodgates to ideas and dreams and plans that have obviously been stuffed down inside of me for far too long, things I’d given up on because they didn’t offer the security I thought I needed.

Why was I so willing to look for security in strangers instead of in myself?  Who has more at stake than me to provide for me and my family?  I know my responsibilities and the capabilities I have…who better to trust my children and myself to?

So I’m going to trust in myself and go with my dreams.  I don’t know what the future holds or how things will work out.  But I do trust God, and I know He put these dreams inside of me for a reason.  He will work with me and through me.  I have a chance to finally live the life I want to live, on my terms, in my own way.  What I thought was a disaster could be the biggest opportunity of my life.

 I’m putting my money on me.

Image from http://www.colectiva.tv/wordpress/lang/en-us/2008/08/

 

When I was first in college, I was bitten by the vintage clothing bug.  I frequented our local Goodwill store.  They had a wonderful “Antique and Vintage Clothing” rack, and I bought some fabulous things there.  I also picked up oodles of jewelry.  Most of it I wore, but some I just wanted to have. I didn’t know why, but I started collecting even broken pieces if they struck my fancy.  Maybe I had an inkling that one day I would make jewelry – I’m not sure – but for whatever reason I continued to collect it even after vintage clothing became trendy and the good stuff was always gone. 

 My mother and I went to a lot of garage sales in my young adult years.  I furnished my apartments with garage sale finds, and I also came back with any jewelry I could find.  When I had children and would scour the sales for deals on baby items, I would still come home with jewelry.

Is it any surprise then, that one day while I was reading a craft magazine I came across a design for a bracelet I knew I just had to try?  It showed how to make a name bracelet with letter cubes.  Perfect!  I had 4 nieces with unique names so they could never get anything ready-made in personalized items.  I loved giving handmade items for Christmas, so this seemed perfect.  I went to the craft store and bought what I needed.  What fun!  When I was done with the name bracelets I was having so much fun I decided to make mothers bracelets for my friends and sisters-in-law.  I was forever hooked.

 And the rest is history…well, my history, anyway!

I still have tons of old jewelry with a head full of ideas to make from it.  Part of me doesn’t want to take apart such vintage masterpieces, but the other part sees glorious new ideas made from these older, worn out baubles.  Hopefully I can find a way to blend the vintage with the new into unique ways that do justice to the pieces these once were.

The image is from Andrea Singarella at www.andreasingarella.com

 

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