Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Find ways to give back

I recently joined a group of volunteers to help write their quarterly newsletter.  The group is made up mostly of retirees.  Much to my surprise I am finding that I enjoy working and learning from my future demographic. One of the women I volunteer with is a vibrant, intelligent 92 year old woman.  Here is someone who is still giving back and doing things to add value to others.

This gives me hope. It doesn’t matter our age we all have something to give. There is something that each of us can participate in, that we can teach, that we can mentor and that we can learn from.

Our lives can sometimes be overwhelming, simple, and complicated at times. This is life.  I want to encourage you to find a way to give of yourself.  You can do something great or small.  It all matters. 

My mom taught me about giving.  She was a woman who had very little when I was growing up and yet she was the most generous person I knew.  She gave of her resources, her time and talents.   She served the homeless, always visited the sick and was constantly cooking up a dish for someone. She still visits the sick and cooks, though she is 80.

I have started volunteering again and it feels great to give beyond the scope of my own family.  Find your niche, it can be great or small, remember it all matters. 

Here is a favorite quote that I am learning to live by. 

“Do all the good you can, in all the ways you can, to all the souls you can, in every place you can, at all the times you can, with all the zeal you can, as long as ever you can”

John Wesley quotes (English Evangelist, founder of Methodism. 1703-1791)

Friday, November 11, 2011

A suggestion for the recession…

Many you are out of work or know someone who is. The recession of the 20th Century is affecting us all.  I know I am feeling the pangs of it too. Although you may be going through a tough time now, you will get through it I promise.    

I have found creative ways to get me through these challenging times, for example:  I recently exchanged my organization and cleaning skills in exchange for a pair of winter boots.  I knew I could not afford it, so I worked for it instead.  I want to encourage you to be resourceful.  Find your creativity.  Some of you can barter or trade your skill or craft in exchange for something you may need. 

I have gone back to using my coupons for everything you can imagine.  I look at all my favorite websites* for coupons on groceries, clothing, cleaning products, etc.  I have also gone back to repurposing and refinishing furniture to brighten up my home. (I haven’t done that in 20 years)  The point is there are things we can do and do without. 

I have managed to put my focus on what I can control.  I have a mental list that looks like this: What I can control/What I cannot control.  I can control the way I take care of my home, my family and my finances.  I cannot control the price of gas or the cost of food.

You may be down, but not out; broke, but not broken.  Things will get better.  You may know someone who is struggling, why not encourage them today.  I know people who still have jobs and are struggling, not just with their finances but also with their faith.  Extend them a hand, let them know you care.  It is amazing how far encouragement can go. 

Take time to assess what is really important for yourself and your family.  For me the well-being of my family is what is important.  Let us not be discouraged by our circumstances.  Our best days are ahead of us, not behind us.

*Favorite websites:,,, and