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Wednesday, January 31, 2018

I came across a great website

It's a pretty cool site. Musicians donate their used strings & Wear Your Music turns them in to jewelry.

Their story:

In the summer of 2004, designer Hannah Garrison was focused on making jewelry from recycled and found objects. Her island studio was also a gathering place for all kinds of people, especially musicians.  Naturally, she began to pick up the refuse they left, and transform it into art – specifically, guitar string bracelets were born. 

Her initial designs were gifted to and purchased by the girlfriends, wives and families of local musicians. After the initial inventory sold, Garrison moved to Mexico to work for a designer there, and the guitar string bracelet idea lay dormant for a  few years.  Then one day, back in NYC, she stumbled upon a Craigslist ad for someone who did interesting things with guitar strings.  All of her ideas came tumbling back.  Alongside the ex-president and publisher of Relix Magazine, the Wear Your Music concept was born: Bracelets made from guitar strings used and donated by acclaimed musicians with the profits going to the charities of their choosing.
Read more here:  Wear Your Music

They were looking for people to blog about music related topics so I volunteered. My first blog post can be found here:

It's a pretty cool website. You need to check it out!
Find them on instagram & twitter also 

Haiti 2018 - just a playground? Or much more.

This years trip to Haiti was a little different the in the past. First off there were 27 of us so that made for a pretty full house. Secondly instead of building housing we were going to build a play ground at the school. I will be perfectly honest I wasn't too thrilled with this project. Not that the children didn't need this but there are so many other needs that I felt it wasn't important. But, God, of course knew better than I and the end result was blessings all around. 

Do you see those smiles? Too bad you weren't there to hear the laughter and all the fun they were having. It was contagious. 
God's ways are much bigger than anything we can imagine. I should have known he would use a playground for His glory. 

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Haiti 2017

Once again my trip to Haiti has come and gone. But, my emotions are still running high. When I first arrived this year I felt so comfortable...that feeling you get when you finally go home. Almost too comfortable. Then I remembered that I had prayed that I never become this comfortable because I don't want to forget why we go. We don't go to just build housing or bring presents for the Haitians. We don't go to feel good about ourselves or put another notch in our missions belt. 
We go because of this:

This isn't a photo of an abandoned home...this IS someone's home.
 Children live here. They play here.
 Mother's do their laundry here among the piles of trash.
 Haitians live here. 
This isn't fake news...this is real.
I stood in the center of this and I cried. 
I cried for the mothers who have to endure this daily, the children that have no where else to play but in a trash pile right next o an open well.

The well is directly behind these two children
This area is lower than the alley that you walk on to get to this living area called Bethel. So, when it rains this fills like up a bowl with trash & waste water. Meaning the well has been completely contaminated. There are buckets next to the well attached to rope so someone is using this water for something.

Bethel I & II will be the next project we are involved in. It will be slow going because there is demolition as well as rebuilding. To add to it there are families living in these homes that we can't displace. So, the work has to be done one living space at a time. Once complete these people will have a beautiful place to live. 

But, what about the rest? MANY people live like this in Haiti, many people go days without food, fresh water is hard to come by, jobs are hard to come by.  I pray for the Haitians and I pray for God to show us what else we can for these people. 

Why Haiti? Why not right in my own back yard? Because God has placed this nation on my heart. He has given me a passion for these people. The poorest American has it better than the people of Haiti. 

While driving around the city of Cap-Haitian you get to see a lot of things. People rummaging in garbage for food remnants. And, Haiti's garbage isn't like our garbage. America's garbage is 'clean' compared to the piles of garbage laying in waste water that you have in Haiti.
 Trash is piled on the streets

This water is running out from the pile of trash. 

My heart aches each time I leave. I feel as though I am not doing enough. Once a year I go with our group do some work and hope & pray it helps someone. Throughout the year I pray for this nation & look for more opportunities to help. Please join me in my prayers.

Monday, February 8, 2016

Haiti 2016 - Part 2

A friend used the quote above to help encourage me! I love it! 

The first time I went to Haiti the sites and sounds were overwhelming. There are people, motorcycles & other vehicles all over. People talking, laughing, yelling! Horns blowing on either side of you as they are signaling they are passing you. The smells of open sewer and garbage hit you like nothing you ever experience in America.  The sun is usually shining and the heat of the day hits you, which being from Iowa and it is January, you will get NO complaints from me! It was all foreign and new to me. 

The second time I went everything was a bit more familiar but, still foreign and somewhat new.

This third was like coming home. The sun, the heat, the sounds and the dirt and dust.
As things become more familiar I pray I don't get complacent and become numb to my surroundings. I need to remind myself that behind the smiles of the Haitians there is poverty. Extreme poverty. Most of them have nothing and others have less than nothing. Jobs are almost non existent.

When you drive around the city you see lots of people heading in all different directions. I am not sure where they always have to go but, go they do. As you look you see all the trash and sewage. It is heart breaking. You see people taking sponge baths outside of their homes. Laundry, that has all be washed by hand, is hanging from anything standing still, from roof tops to cactuses.

The homes are pieced together with whatever they can find.

The trash is every where. Along the streets & buildings.

On the sidewalks.

Even in the bay.

Some people keep mission work in a tidy little box and feel it is worthless if it doesn't fit in the box they have created for it. But, there are MANY ways to serve the Haitians. Applying a new coat a paint may seem like silly work for a missions team but, when you see the joy in the ladies eyes because they now have a place to call home they can feel proud doesn't seem so silly! Repairing bunk beds at a church camp might not seem so mission minded but, the day that the young Haitians come to that camp and have a fabulous time near the ocean doing something besides playing in the worth it! Mission work can even be done from home. Raise some money for toiletry supplies. A friend of mine crochets and she is going to crochet dish cloths that we can take down and pass out to the ladies. Save money to give to the church so they can buy food for the homeless and starving people. Send gently used clothing and shoes. For a child to attend school it costs about $30 American dollars which, I believe, includes their a child or two! When the average Haitian wage for a family is $2 a day someone taking are of the school fee will go along way for that family.

Here are posts about my 2015 trip

This one was written before my 2015 trip

Haiti Mission Trip 2015- Matthew 25:40

This one was written after (I never did a part 2 like I intended)

Thoughts from my Haiti Trip 2015 - Part 1

Monday, February 1, 2016

Haiti 2016-emotions

I have just returned from a week long mission trip to Cap-Haitian, Haiti. My emotions are high, I feel like I could just break down and cry. I missed my family and I am glad to be back home with them. But, on my drive to work today I wondered what my purpose for this day was. I go to my job and I sit and do my work. It isn't life altering work, just pushing paper.

Last week I was helping to fix a leaking roof on the Pastor's home so that other people could sleep in that room and serve our Lord in Haiti. Last week I saw the poorest people in the Western hemisphere go through their days with smiles on the faces because we were there working side by side with them to make repairs they don't have the means to do on their own. I am not always skilled at the jobs that need done but, I am able to hand tools & supplies where they are needed or learn how to do a new skill to help finish a job. I helped paint people's homes so that they feel a sense of pride in their tiny little homes. I was able to share a smile, a hug, hold a hand in solidarity with people who truly appreciate the work we were doing.

Now, I am back in the States with all my 1st world problems and it makes me sick. I would happily be right back there without hot water and intermittent electricity, no social media, no coffee shops on each corner, just as long as there are jobs to do to help others. People get after me for not helping more in the States. It is something you will never understand until you go to a 3rd world country. Even the poorest American has it better than these people.

I keep trying to put into words all that is weighing on my heart. To try and explain the inner turmoil I am experiencing. When I try to tell people the ideas I have they just sit quietly, probably thinking I am crazy for having these thoughts or they say negative things about why it just won't work. I don't understand why these things won't work. I am a person who would rather be doing than talking about doing. To make plans, set goals and get busy working on them. I am at a loss as where to start with this.

I believe God has called me to serve Him. Whether it is locally or abroad I feel Him pulling me to help others. Is what I am doing enough? I don't think so. I am going to start with prayer. I am going to search my heart and find out where God wants me to start. I just don't think one week a year is enough.

Monday, December 28, 2015

Trim Healthy Mama eating plan

I have been struggling with my weight for quite some time. Actually since I had a hysterectomy and was then in surgical menopause. I have tried lo-carb, weight watchers, myfitness pal & other ways to drop some pounds. Things just aren't working!

So, my SIL introduced me to TRIM HEALTHY MAMA! She had lost 20# in 3 months. I thought I would try it and see how it goes.

Well, three weeks in and I have lost 10#. And, not only that I have so much more energy! I don't hit a wall at 3pm. I eating and I am FULL. I am so excited about this new eating plan.

There is a lot of info online but, I recommend buying the plan book & the cook book to start.

Click links below to order via Amazon.

The recipes are easy to prepare. My family is even enjoying the supper time meals with me as well. I will be posting more about this fabulous new to me, eating plan! 

Monday, November 30, 2015

No sew Christmas tree skirt!

I made this tree skirt! I LOVE it! I bought 2yds of RED FELT from Amazon. 

Then I followed this TUTORIAL.

I made my flowers a bit larger and then coated them with a shimmering paint. It was super easy and I LOVE the way it turned out!!

The blog where I got this tutorial is awesome!! So many fun ideas! Be sure to check her out!!