Submission

What does it mean to submit?  Does it mean to give up your happiness for someone else?  According to Merriam-Webster.com the definition of submit is 1.)  to give (a document, proposal, piece of writing, etc.) to someone so that it can be considered or approved.  2.) To stop trying to fight or resist something:  to agree to do or accept something that you have been resisting or opposing.  3.) To offer (something) as an opinion or suggestion.  The definition of submission is 1.)  An act of giving a document, proposal, piece of writing, etc., to someone so that is can be considered or approved:  an act of submitting something.  2.) Something that is submitted.  3.) The state of being obedient:  the act of accepting the authority or control of someone else.

You may be asking yourself, why is she writing about this?  Well, it is something that I need to learn to do.  No to a person, but to God.  A few weeks ago, the Lord called me back into the ministry.  Previously I had worked in youth and children’s ministry, but due to recent events, I feel He is now calling me into another area.  There are people who know what the ministry area is and are praying for me to know that this is God’s will for me, not my own desires.  I have to be willing to submit to His call and though I have been a Christian most of my life, I struggle with this, as I am sure many people do.  The Lord asked us to submit to Him (To stop trying to fight or resist something:  to agree to do or accept something that you have been resisting or opposing) and He will take care of us (James 4:7-8).  This submission to Him (The state of being obedient:  the act of accepting the authority or control of someone else) is crucial if we are to enjoy the abundant life He has promised us.  Now, before you go thinking that all you have to do is go through the act of submitting, think again.  God does not look on the outward appearance of a person; He looks at the heart and motives (I Samuel 116:7).  The abundant life He has promised us may not mean riches of the material kind.  They could be in many other ways, friends, family, other blessings.

Now, I know there are people who read this that work with horses.  One goal is to get the horse to submit to the bridle.  Horses are wild, beautiful creatures who have a will of their own and quite often exert that will.  Most times when we least expect it or want it to show up.  Any equestrian will tell you that one key is to be gentle and speak with a soft voice.  That is how God is with us.  He speaks with a still soft voice that we need to be listening for.  As with horses, they have to be listening if you speak in a soft voice to get them to obey and do as you ask.

So, back to the original questions.  To submit, in the Biblical sense, is to stop trying to fight or resist God and what He has for you.  Does it mean to give up your happiness for someone else?  Again, if we are submitting to God, no.  God wants what is best for us.  He is our Father.  What father would want to see his children miserable so that he could be happy?  Only a selfish father, in my opinion.  You know, God even knows how many hairs you have on your head (Matthew 10:30)!  How awesome is that?  Think about it.  How many people are there in the world?  Billions!  God knew and knows how many hairs were and are on each person’s head.  He loves us that much.

I know I have a long way to go in submitting everything to God.  However, I also know that He is a patient and loving Father who will always be there, no matter how many times I mess up.  I am human and I will make many more mistakes in my lifetime.  If you are struggling with giving something over to God, let me encourage you to do it.  When you do, you will feel such a relief of letting go of a burden that was not yours to carry.  So, what are you waiting for?

 

Pricing items to sell

I have heard so many people complain about the high prices on handmade items, that I want to weigh in on it.  If you are not a crafter and you are at a show, please be respectful to the crafter or artisan.  We all work very hard on our craft and to have rude comments made in front of us is very irritating and uncalled for.  In my eyes, it shows a lack of education and training.  I want you to consider this when looking at an item.  The crafter has to purchase all the materials to make the item, which can also include the cost of shipping or the amount for gas used to go to the store to get it.  The price also includes the cost for the labor and a small amount for profit.  Most crafters DO NOT make a lot of money, if any, after expenses.  For me personally, the money I earn mostly goes back into making more items.  However, I do strive to be able to use some of the money to support a place that really needs support.

Crafters enjoy what they do.  Some of them even enjoy doing the shows.  However, when people are rude and inconsiderate, it takes that joy away.  This last year many crafters have noticed that there are more and more people who go to shows just to get ideas on how to make items.  One crafter even said that she had people just about ripping apart something she had made so that they could figure out how to do it.  Wake up people!  Ask!  Most crafters love to talk and teach others how to make things.  I have mentored a few people myself.  To go to a table, pick up an item you like, and almost rip it apart in front of the crafter, that is inconsiderate of the crafter and now they may not be able to sell the piece if it is damaged.  Frankly, if you do that at my table, one of two things will happen.  I will either ask you to pay for it or I will notify the authorities regarding your behavior and have you removed from the show.  Yes, I said have you removed from the show.  I do not care if you are a vendor or a customer.  Destroying someone else’s property is wrong and you need to be held responsible for your actions.  All you have to do is ask.  That is all.  It is as simple as that.  Do not be coy about it either.  Most of us have been to serval shows for several years and we do have good memories for faces.  If you are another vendor at the show, well, once you are turned in to the coordinator, you might find that you will not be asked back again because of your behavior.  You will also have your name spread around the circuit as one to watch.  That would not be good for your business.

Now, for those of you who think those other vendors who sell similar things do not do anything like that.  Think again.  I heard, and was warned to be on the lookout for it happening at a big show this last year where a vendor came to another vendor’s tent, just behind me, and place his or her business card on top of the other vendor’s business cards.  If you are at a show and see this happening, please let someone know.  It is very unprofessional to go to another person’s booth and try to steal their business.  Stand on your own.  If you are not having any sales, figure out why.  Do not be dishonest.

Pricing formulas will be different for each vendor as well.  I may use one formula, but the next vendor may have a different one that they use.  As a customer, you also need to be aware that each vendor has their own preference for Supply Company’s and the prices on the materials may be different.  You also need to look at the quality of the work on the piece you are considering.

So, with the craft show season starting to gear up, yes, shows are being planned and they are actually starting at the end of this month, think about some of these things as you attend the shows this year, if you go.  I post where I will be and I know I would like to see some of you and talk with you.  I want to hear your suggestions and input on what I am working on.  Some of the other vendors also welcome input.

Something interesting I read today

I read a post from Hrtwarming.com and it made me draw back and think about how I have acted and treated other people in the past.  Here is the link to the post if you would like to read it:  http://www.hrtwarming.com/woman-realizes-that-shes-been-accidentally-abusing-her-husband-this-whole-time-wow/.  Anyways, it really made me sit back and ponder on how my words and actions may be coming across to others.  While I may not mean to sound condescending or snotty or judgmental or angry or any other negative way, that may be how it’s coming across.  I really need to stop coming across as an old time Baptist hard nose.  I know I have many Baptist friends out there, do not get all upset on me now.  Please hear me out.

I was raised Baptist and it was a strict upbringing.  Now, there is nothing wrong with that.  The strict adherence to the “religion” of being Baptist I am now taking issue with.  Growing up we did not fellowship with others that went to a Methodist church or Catholic Church.  As far as Baptists are concerned, they are wrong in their “religion”.  However, being a Christian is not about being Religious.  It is about a personal relationship with Christ.  Who am I to judge the next person?  They may attend a Catholic church, but they too can have a personal relationship with Christ.  In Matthew 7:1- 2 it says, “Do not judge, or you too will be judged.  For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”  I know many people know the first verse and use it against others.  I too have used it, but we forget about the next verse.  If we judge people on looks, piercings, tattoos, whatever, we too will be judged on our appearance.  We do not know what their life was or is like.  They could be the nicest people, but we would never know because of a preconception that is flawed.  Christ associated with adulterous women, tax collectors, lepers, etc. during his three years of ministry.  Most likely, many more prior to that.  Shouldn’t we be following HIS example?

In the post I read that made me think, the woman berated her husband for getting the wrong hamburger.  He did not see the issue, but then she realized how she was treating her husband after going off on him to the point that he looked like their child when he was being scolded.  She realized that her husband was always gentle with her, even when she messed up.  He did not hold her past mistakes against her.  She changed her attitude and thinking and what she got was a better marriage and better relationship with her husband.

There are people I know I need to apologize to and will, when I get a chance to talk to them in person.  For me it has to be in person as I have realized that sending a text message, an email or even over the phone can also lead to miscommunication.  Especially the texting or email.  These are written words.  They do not convey the feeling behind them.  During a face-to-face meeting, the other person can see the truth of the words by hearing it in the voice, seeing it in the eyes and the body language.  This is something else to consider, we depend too much on technology today, and it is causing many broken relationships that did not have to be broken.

This post also makes me see our relationship with Christ.  Christ is the husband and He holds nothing against us.  He just continues to take whatever we dish out to him.  Can you imagine what it would be like to really change our attitudes towards Him and let Him into our lives, to guide us, comfort us, and love us?  I am starting to find that out on a very personal level.  I have been a Christian for many years; however, only recently have I really hungered for His word, hungered to spend time with Him and to follow Him, no matter the cost to me.  That cost could be my job, friends, family, or whatever.  I have been learning that no matter what happens, He is right there with me.  I cannot depend on people.  They are undependable.  Those that told me that they would help me whenever I needed it are never able to be help when I ask, but they have a fit if I cannot assist them when they come calling.  There was a situation recently when all I needed was a human touch.  The person I told that to told me to buzz off and lean on God.  That was the last nail in the coffin of trusting people to care about what I was dealing with.  Then God stepped in and held me all night long as I cried out to Him for comfort.  I felt around me His arms.  His voice I heard in my heart comforting me when no one else cared to.  Do not get me wrong.  I do have friends that care but hearing someone, I trusted say that hurt me and taught me to keep those types of things to myself.  Others that I may have gone to were dealing with their own issues that were much larger than me needed a hug.  Christ used this time in my life to draw me closer to Him.  Though it hurt to hear that from a friend, I can now look back on it and say they helped me in my walk with Christ.

I know for me that I will be doing my best to change how I treat others, especially those who in the past have hurt me.  We all need to learn to let go of the baggage that is weighing us down and destroying us from within.  Yes, I am preaching to the choir here.  I have not been too good at it in the past, but that is the past and that is where it needs to stay.  How about you?  Are you willing to let go of past wrongs done to you so that you can move on with your life?  Holding onto a past hurt is only hurting you, not the other person.  Do not give that other person the power that they do not deserve.

Heroes

I have two heroes, gramps, and my dad, actually three, Christ too.  These three have shaped my life and taught me many things that I am so glad to know, especially with living in my own place now.  Gramps raised six kids and worked as a carpenter.  He helped to build the Laura Sharp Elementary School in Pulaski, NY.  He also helped to build the enclosed pavilion at Selkirk Shores State Park.  He taught me how to use my mind and my hand to build and repair things that needed repairing.  If we did not have the exact things we needed, he showed me how to do with what we had on hand, or jerry rigging!  Gramps and dad both taught me about hard work and being honest.  Some of you know my dad’s story, but some do not.  My dad was one of six children, the youngest boy.  He served in the US Army with the 101st Airborne on D-Day and jumped behind the lines.  During WWII, he was also with the 42nd Rainbow Division, the Division that liberated the German Concentration Camp at Dachau.  After WWII, he got out, but could not find any work, so he re-enlisted.  He was deployed to Korea for the Korean War with the 1St Cav.  On Halloween weekend of 1950 (October 31 – November 2) the 1st Cav, 3rd BT, 8th Regiment was overrun by the Chinese.  My dad was wounded, but for the heroic actions of Father Emil Kapaun (Capt.), he would have been killed.  Dad survived 33 months as a POW.  After the first three months, the Chinese took over the POWS because the North Koreans we not able to take care of them and wanted to release them.

These men are Heroes, not Bruce Jenner.  What did he ever do to be put up on the high pedestal that he is on?  Have a sex change?  So what!  Many people have had sex changes over the years.  That does not make you a hero.  Society today is so mixed up.  Men having a sex change are heroic, yet the men and women who are fighting for our freedoms are not?  In my opinion, this is sick and twisted!

As a society, we need to realize who the real heroes are.  They are the policemen and women who protect our streets, the military personnel who are fighting for our freedoms, the firemen who are there when our homes are on fire or there has been an accident, the doctors and nurses who take care of us when we are sick, the teachers who do have the heart to teach our children.  Any man or woman who puts their life on the line for others is a hero in my book.  Pastors are also heroes in that they are constantly going to battle against Satan.  They pray for their flock or congregation; however, you want to call them.  They stand in the gap for those who are hurting.

Professional athletes are also considered heroes, yet some of them will tell you that they are just doing a job.  They are not putting their lives on the line and their paycheck is a lot bigger than any of the public servants who do.  Why should someone be paid millions of dollars to play a game, can someone please explain this to me?  It does not make sense.

Here are some of my favorite pictures of my heroes:

10373740_10152406688245289_3986326938270726660_n Dad  1466204_10152065701920289_131848713_n Father Kapaun1466100_10152065695240289_1973084192_n Dad at statue in Pilsen, KS  GrampsGramps 1233473_10152406324980289_2050600933875267011_n

Please feel free to tell me your thoughts on this subject.

Spoiling my old girl

New bed1

Today my old girl, Natalia, got a new, Serta dog bed and new blankets.  I have had the dog bed since I got her 12/01/2010, so it was time for a new one.  So far, she likes it.  It is soft and comfy for her and will keep her up off the cold floor.  She is starting to show her age now and I want to be sure that she is comfortable at all times.  She is my buddy and has been a huge comfort for me the last few weeks.  We may get on each other’s nerves at times, but that is normal with two females who think they are the boss in the same house!

Now, I know there are people who think that an animal should not be spoiled like this.  Well, she does have manners, better than some kids I know, she is potty trained, for the most part, and she is a lot more lovable than some people are.  I have always done that one thing with my dogs; train them so they are not out of control totally.  She is a lab and she does like people, well, mostly.  She is also protective of me.  There are certain people that she really likes and it can be hard to pull her away from them when they come over, but these people know her and are prepared for her going crazy when they get here.

So, I do not have kids, but I am going to venture into this topic anyways.  Spoiled kids.  I have seen so many kids that are allowed to totally disrespect all adults whenever they want.  I have seen parents give their kids everything they ask for without even having the child attempt to work for it.  When I was growing up, if we wanted something, we worked for it.  It was not just given to us.  We had assigned chores, which in my case included cleaning stalls, cleaning tack, cleaning the barn, feeding and watering the horses (in the winter when they couldn’t get out and down to the creek), mending the fence line and chasing the horses when they got out.  When I got older and could drive, it was my responsibility to go get hay with the truck, bring it home, and unload it in the barn.  For those who know me and have seen me back my car without turning my head, now you know why.  I learned to back using those little things sticking off the side of the door called mirrors.  Yes, I am being sarcastic, but there are too many people out there who do not know how to use them.  If Roger Howland were still the Driver’s Education teacher at Pulaski, at least those kids would know how to use it.  Of course, if they were forced to drive a truck with 100 bales of hay on it, they would learn it too.  Then there was the rule that the animals had to be taken care of before we could sit down for supper.  Kids today do not have a clue about how to be responsible for their own thing, much less an animal, yet there are kids having kids.  I am sure there are some out there shaking their heads and saying I am meddling in something, I do not have a clue about.  Newsflash!  I kinda do.  I have worked as a substitute teacher in several different schools, I have been a youth leader in a couple different churches, and I have been a mentor.  Beyond all of that though, I am observant and watch and see how things are being done today.

Now, not all kids are in the category I am talking about.  They are a minority though, which is sad.  To those parents who take the time to discipline their children, give them chores; do not cater to their child’s every wish, THANK YOU!  I wish all parents would care enough about their children to ensure that when they grow up, they will be, at least, half way decent adults who know how to work for what they get.  Before some of you get all uptight and say we do care about our kids even if we do not do all those things, I have a question for you.  If you were to go back and do it all over again, would you discipline your children and teach them that they have to work for everything they get?  On the other hand, would you do the same thing and let them think that they are entitled to everything and do not need to work?  If so, you are part of the problem that is raging across the United States right now.  Young people think that they are entitled to everything without having to work for it.  In Proverbs 13:24 it says:  Whoever spares the rod hates their children, but the one who loves their children is careful to discipline them.  (NIV)  What does this mean in today’s language?  It means that if the parents of a child truly love them, they will discipline them so that they will know right from wrong.  However, the first part of the verse, “Whoever spares the rod hates their children…” according to the Matthew Henry Commentary, means “ He acts as if he hated his child, who, by false indulgence, permits sinful habits to gather strength, which will bring sorrow here, and misery hereafter.”  What I see this to mean is that when the parents indulge a child, they become adults who act entitled and bring sorrow to their parents, much like those who were rioting and looting and killing police officers all summer.  Another verse tells how God treats His children:  Hebrews 12:6 “For the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and he punishes every son he accepts.”  Those who have accepted Christ as their savior is a Child of God.  He is out Father and when we do wrong, or sin, He disciplines us because He loves us, not because He hates us, as some would have us believe.  God wants what is best for us, but we must follow Him and not man.

Discipline does not always have to take the form of a spanking either.  There were times I would be given a choice.  A spanking or being grounded from riding my horses.  I would take the spanking!  I would rather take the pain of the spanking over losing days, if not weeks, of riding my horses.  Moreover, I still had all my chores to do with the horses while being grounded.  Discipline can be grounding, extra chores, loss of phone/computer/TV privileges, whatever the parent decides would teach the child that when they behave a certain way, this is what they can expect.  I have to admit, though I was spanked, I did not hate my parents, did not fear my parents, but I did respect them and knew my boundaries and the consequences of crossing those boundaries.

Another consequence of children being spoiled is that they make terrible employees.  They do not have any idea what hard work is.  They believe that they should earn a high wage when they are first hired, with no experience, fresh out of school.  They think they know everything just because they have a degree.  What they do not teach in school is what it takes to work in an office and be part of a team.  That skill is sadly lacking in today’s society.  Having worked in an office for over 15 years, I can attest that this younger generation just does not know how to be part of a team or how to respect those who have been there for many years.  I have been treated as if I am stupid because I happen to believe that when I do a job, I do it right the first time, not after three or four tries.

It is never too late to start teaching your children consequences.  It is harder the older they are, but the key is to be consistent, even when it is hard.  There are people who will help you, me included.  Children want boundaries.  It makes them feel secure.  Some studies have even gone so far to say that children feel more loved when there are boundaries.  Therefore, the ball is in your court now.  Do you want to live in a society where everyone feels entitled?  Or, do you want to live in a society where everyone is respected and hard work is rewarded?