Friday, April 29, 2011

April Showers Bring...

... some beautiful flowers!
For those of you who may not have noticed:

Tomorrow is the last day of April!

There are many things that this can mean, of course.

  1. Storehouse Food Drive
    These are the last two days to donate for the April food drive of the Storehouse, which I mentioned in an earlier post. If you would like to donate still, but aren't sure quite how, please either read my other post, comment on this post, or email me! I will be glad to help you donate!
  2. One Month!This beautiful blog is just over one month old! It's been so fun sharing all of my fun findings with you!
  3. GraduationFor those college and high school students out there, the end of April means that graduation is just around the corner! Congrats!
Since graduation includes myself this year, I have been quite busy with homework, studying and packing. Unfortunately, that means I haven't had time to come up with any new creations. Request your own design, and give me a reason to get back to crocheting (it's so much fun!).

What does the end of April mean to you? Is it near your birthday? Do you have a wonderful celebration or anniversary coming up? Does it simply remind you of something fun from your childhood? I would love to hear all about! Please leave your thoughts and comments below.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Meandering Thoughts

A few weeks ago I watched a really interesting seminar video about inspiring others simply through the way you present information.
Aside from doing bunches of homework, I have spent these last few weeks mulling over my shop on Etsy.

How am I, merely through words on a page, to present how much I desire to help the homeless, the needy and the struggling citizens of Chicago?
To share about how I spent the last three years working (albeit slowly) on one very warm blanket to give to one of the homeless men and women who depend on blankets to survive the bitter cold winters?
How excited I was to finally have said blanket given away this last Christmas to someone who truly needed it?

And how I realized that I wanted to do more than simply provide some temporary warmth to a person who already had six or seven blankets piled atop them during those crazy winter nights?

I love making blankets: I love crocheting! It is something that brings me great peace and relaxation.
My blankets are a delight to create, and I am even more delighted to combine that with the joy of helping those in need.
Rather than giving my blankets to the needy, however, I am choosing to sell my (beautiful, warm and colorful) hand-made blankets to those who consider themselves even slightly more fortunate than those men and women who cannot always afford to buy themselves a meal, let alone a home. I am choosing to give a portion of the sales to a group that will use the money to help the needy of Chicago.
I found this wonderful CDC (Community Development Corporation) that is starting up in the middle of what I call the struggling Chicago. This CDC, called The Storehouse, wants to provide not only the clothing and warmth that I want to give, but also the wonderful gifts of food and medicine. The new location they are in the process of acquiring will allow them to provide access to a hospital clinic, professional counseling and Social Services.
And beyond all of these wonderful gifts, this CDC is run by a Christian church called the Storehouse, and being led to love the men and women of struggling Chicago with the overwhelming and unabashed love that God freely gives.

I don't think I could express what an amazing influence The Storehouse will be making in Chicago.
But I want to be a part of it.
Will you?

Visit HelpfulBlankets on Etsy and request your favorite colors!
 "Request custom item" is under Shop Info on the left side of the shop.
It is absolutely free to sign up on Etsy, so don't be shy!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Silly absences...

Hello, again!!

I wanted to write a quick post simply to apologize to you, my faithful blog readers:

I am sorry for being absent! :-)

I hope you will forgive me, and will not be put off from checking back every so often!

I am in the middle of finishing up my final semester of college (and planning a summer wedding, to boot!), so I'm afraid I have allowed homework to creep up and swallow me!!

I will hopefully be able to post after this next Tuesday, when my super crazy school project is due, and then we can go back to exploring some of the awesomeness of the internet ... and the crazy-awesomeness of you!

Enjoy another week off!


Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Endless Giving

What was the last thing someone asked you to give?

Think about that for a moment.

Now, what was the last thing that someone needed to receive from you?
...something that they didn't actually ask for?

Did you even notice? Were you too busy?
Or did you actually take the time to give what they needed?
Whether you gave or wish you had given, I would love to have you share your story either by email or in the comments below.

I read this amazing blog article a little over a week ago on a site called the Everyday Giving Blog. In it, the author talks about his daughter and her friends, and how they were blessed by an unexpected financial blessing from a complete stranger. They weren't out of money, but this woman went out of her way to pay for their breakfast, tip the waitress and share with them the love that God has for them.
Now those young women have been inspired to give to others.

It's absolutely amazing what simple giving can do for those around you ... and everyone around them!

That blog post reminded me of the movie Pay It Forward, which I watched several years ago. It's a definite tear-jerker, so be sure to have some tissues! This movie was a blessing to watch, because it was an amazing reminder that the innocence of caring and giving can make an incredible impact in some pretty unexpected ways.

Read the blog post. Watch the movie. Be inspired. Give.

Be sure to share with us the ways you have and will be giving! This is to be your community of support for all of your endeavors. Go ahead, be bold!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Searching for Need

I perhaps owe having become a painter to flowers. ~Claude Monet

Sometimes, all you need is a single inspiration to make a great idea come to life.

Sometimes, all you need is a fleeting thought and the confidence to pursue it.

Sometimes, all you need is to have eyes that are willing to see ...that are willing to see a need.
And a heart that is willing to give ... to give with everything in a desire to help that need.

Are you aware of the needs of those around you? Those other students who sit with you in the classroom? The people you work near? The people you walk by on the street?
How is it that you can meet their needs?
In what ways are you already trying?
Please leave your thoughts and comments below, or send me an email. I'd love to hear from you!

Here's an inspiring story of how a need is being met.

Go ahead, make a difference.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Where is Your Moment?

The butterfly counts not months but moments,
and has time enough.  ~Rabindranath Tagore

I grew up in Southern California, only a short jaunt from that wonderful whirlwind called Los Angeles. A bubbly little girl, I made friends with everyone I met. Being shy was a phase saved for much later in life. I never failed to say 'hello,' and always wanted to be a part of the mad rush of movement.

When I was pretty young (my guess is around 5 or 6), I got involved in modeling. It was really fun! I got to try on all sorts of clothes, strut my stuff down a short little runway, and smile for all of those cameras. Sure, I was the spunky little munchkin who looked like she was only 3, but I loved that they loved me!

Not too long after, my agent got me started in acting. Mostly behind-the-scenes stuff, like voice-overs for radio commercials and things like that. I have to say, sometimes the auditions were more fun than actually recording! I guess you could say I have a slight competitive streak...

The biggest thing I remember about my acting days, however, was the first time I got a check in the mail. It wasn't much ... probably around $200. My parents sat me down and showed me my check (with my name on it!) and a magazine I'd never seen before. It was a magazine for a charity organization that worked in third-world countries; if I remember the name, I'll update and let you know! Every page had an adorable picture of what could be given, a price in US dollars, and the number of people that could be helped by one donation. There were wells that could be dug, tiny homes that could be built, animals that could be bought, etc. For less than $50, enough baby chicks could be bought and raised to support almost 20 people, knowing that they would lay eggs and make more chickens once they were old enough.

In a matter of moments, my parents taught me one of the most wonderful lessons some people never have a chance to learn.

It does not matter how much you make, for giving of even the little that you have can be an amazing blessing to others.

What great lessons have your parents taught you? What lessons have you learned from others?

There are so many ways to help others. Sometimes, all you need is a little perspective.

Live in this moment, and live with an abundance of love.

How can you start helping others? What ways are you giving already? Time, money, food ... anything! Please leave your comments below or send me an email; I'd love to hear from you!

Be sure to check out my newest blanket, debuting tomorrow!

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Being Courageous

No one needs to stand alone.

Here's another random fact about me:

I am a part of the 12% of the US population that has a non-severe physical disability (meaning I can do most daily activities on my own, though they might be more difficult). You can check out other stats about disabilities here. I have a neuro-muscular disorder called Charcot-Marie Tooth that can have an impact on the seemingly simple parts of everyday living.

I might have a disability, but this can't stop me from doing what I love; and I absolutely love to help others. I know there are times that I need help, so I am overjoyed to pass it on!

I just read a really awesome article about a man who also loves to help others; his name is Craig Grimes. Stuck in a wheelchair after breaking his back in a tree-climbing incident, Mr. Grimes has not let his unexpected disability keep him from living the adventurous life he loves. Through learning about the difficulties of traveling while in a wheelchair, he has also learned ways to overcome many of them and still be adventurous. His knowledge and enthusiasm has propelled his desire to encourage others in the same thing: being adventurous despite a disability!

He is a man of courage despite his physical challenges, and an encouragement to all of us to find ways to help others.

In what ways do you think you can help others? Comment below or email me with your thoughts.

There is nothing that can stop the heart's desire to share God's love.

Check out my Etsy shop. It's pretty cool.