Why the blog?

I write as the Spirit moves me. I have prayed about what I'm supposed to do with my life a lot. A lot. Writing. Writing is what I believe God is leading me to do. Whether or not He wants me to write for anyone to read is His business. Much of my writing has been therapy for me so maybe I'm the only one who is supposed to read it. So, why the Blog? As a sounding board, a note pad, a place to keep my ideas and thoughts. A place to share and promote my books, and photography. Written prayers, a place to vent. Possibly, even a place for the unknown reader to learn about the love of Jesus.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Matthew's Hope Fundraiser

UPDATE (2/26)
The Matthew's Hope fundraiser is winding down.   Only THREE days left to shop forward. You don't want to miss out on this opportunity.

Starting Saturday March 1st the Accept Pregnancy Center will be the beneficiary of Origami Owl sales.  Stay tuned for links to shop. This will be an online fundraiser, however, I am more than happy to have an in-home event as well so you can see the new spring line, which comes out March 8th.

If you haven't visited Matthew's Hope in person, or their web site, I strongly encourage you to do so.  Scott Billue and his team of dedicated volunteers are making a tremendous impact in the lives of the homeless, the poor, those struggling to meet the basic necessities of life -food, water, shelter, love.

Shower Trailer

Farmer's market


Guest-run garden

Transitional housing
Showers for the homeless, a garden to grow their own food, transitional housing.  These are but a few of the services provided.  Everything,  and I mean EVERYTHING is done with donations from the community - cash, supplies, physical labor, food, clothing, technical and office support.

I have been blessed to be a part, a very small part, of Matthew's Hope from the beginning a little over three years ago.   Read all about it on their web site and their 'Moving Forward' magazine.  I know all the work they do first hand, I know how much money it takes to do the services, and I know it is used properly.

It is my heart's desire to help as much as I can by working directly with Matthew's Hope in any way I can and by spreading the word.  Homelessness isn't what it used to be.  It isn't always what is preconceived.  My heart breaks when I see a young mother with her children come through the doors, homeless because her husband abandoned her and she lost her job because she cannot afford child care or the man who asks for help because his house burned down and he has nowhere to go, the veteran who has been lost to the system.  The stories are as endless as they are diverse.  (you can read some of them in this blog:  the homeless interviews)

I would give every penny if I could.  However, if I did then I would be homeless.

God has given me an amazing opportunity to give back.  Origami Owl custom jewelry.  It is a new business for me and I plan on using it as a platform for giving.

Now through the month of February I will be donating the proceeds of my MH online party to Matthew's Hope.   Shopping for a cause.  Tell your story through your locket while giving money to buy a new pair of shoes, a blanket, or a meal for someone in need.

Caring for the Homeless Men,
Women and Children of
West Orange County
Matthew 25:35-40 NIV
For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.'
"Then the righteous will answer him, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?'
"The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.'

Read about Matthew's Hope, pray about where you can be a force for good.  Then, click here and shop away, knowing that  with every purchase you are helping a man, woman, child, family in need.  In March, I will post the amount donated and a picture of me handing over the check so you can see for yourself what YOU have contributed to.  

"Matthew’s Hope fosters the physical,
emotional, and spiritual well-being
of the homeless men, women, and children
of our West Orange community by meeting
basic needs, developing skills,
and restoring dignity and independence."


Living lockets
dangles

love locket with crystals

believe

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Change

Nothing changes if nothing changes.  I've heard this many times over the years.  This year, I am actually going to put it into action.  After praying for God to lead me to do something new for what seems like an eternity, I am finally stepping way, way out of my comfort zone and joining the ranks of MLM as an Origami Owl independent designer. 

I have worked exclusively at home for twenty years, specifically, since I was five or six months pregnant with my now 19-year-old daughter.  At the time, and until recently, it was a blessing.  I got to be a stay-at-home mommy AND have a full-time job.  God blessed me with what I needed and I am truly grateful.  My work-at-home schedule allowed me to parent my children the way I wanted to, pay the bills, and it also has allowed me the time to write, which is what I love to do.  I have ten published books and am very proud of that accomplishment. 

Over the last few years, however, I began to feel stuck, lonely, frustrated, underused, isolated, agitated, bored, stuck in a rut.....  The day job situation changed shortly after marrying the most wonderful man in the world.  I no longer needed to make the money I had, so God took that away. That's okay.  He knows best.  I still work in the same field, however, the money and the hours drastically decreased, and my mind began to wander, flounder, creativity became stifled. 

Prayer kept me going.  God, lead me. God, use me.  God, I'm frustrated.  God, use me.  I tried many different outlets, started an online magazine. It's still an ongoing project but doesn't bring in any money.  I have books in my head that I want to, no, need to write.  Day after day I still sit, staring at my computer.  Not enough work to keep me focused.  Time on my hands but I'm chained to my desk waiting for work to come my way.  My focus is everywhere and nowhere.  Nothing gets accomplished.  I don't care about my job but my morals make me do my best and do just enough to keep from getting fired and make the minimum I need to pay the bills. 

Then came along a friend whom I've know for years who is an Origami Owl designer (seller/distributor/party girl).  Cute product, but not for me.  I've done these things before. Tried Amway.  Sorry, but I hated it.  Had a few parties in the past with other companies.  Liked the product, but not for me.  I'm not a salesperson. I'm not a party girl.  My only contacts are my church friends.   I'm not social.  No thanks.  

So, what changed?   "Nothing changes if nothing changes."   I decided I Had to do something.  OO is something I can do both online and in person.  It was time for me to take a leap of faith, get out of my very small comfort zone and let God work in me.  I was tired of being stuck, chasing my tail in circles and expecting to stop in a new place, new situation.  Isn't that the definition of insanity? Repeating the same behavior over and over and expecting a different outcome.  Time for a change. 

God willing, I will at the very least learn something new, meet new people, and widen my circle of influence for Him.  My hope, my goal, my prayer is that this will lead to the ability to quit the dreaded day job, re-energize my creative juices, and perhaps a plant a few seeds and point others to God.  

Need a change?  Make a change.  It is that simple and that difficult. Do it.  Do it for yourself.  Do it for your family.  


Friday, January 24, 2014

ORIGAMI OWL

"What is Origami Owl?"  

That was my question to my good friend when I first heard the phrase.   I know what origami is.  My mom taught me how to make swans and frogs and paper hats when I was a little girl.



No.  This is not what  Origami Owl she was talking about.  Curious.  I looked it up and promptly booked a party.   Origami Owl is fun, creative jewelry!!  You can tell your personal story, support a cause, or celebrate a special moment. 

Tonight was my first party and I learned a lot.  Origami Owl is a creative locket that you personalize to your life, your situation, Valentines Day, or any other occasion.  Think build-a-bear for adults. 


 

 

New for Valentine's Day

How cool is Origami Owl?   Clink on the links to start building your customized jewelry to tell your story.  Great for gifts, Valentine's Day, new baby, wedding, graduations, the list goes on. I know you will love it as much as I do.  The best part?  It's totally affordable.  The charms are only 5.00$.  Want to host a party to earn free charms?  Comment on this page and let's get started! Love it but don't want a party?  Click on the link to order. 








Monday, January 13, 2014

Running on prayer

If you have ever run, or walked even, for more than thirty minutes, you know it can get a bit boring.  Music helps. If you run alone, like I often do, my mind tends to wander and the music fades into the recesses of my mind.  Thoughts wander, I can be creative and think about story lines or even write an outline to my next book.  

I think I started praying during my runs when my son joined the Air Force.  The prayers had a calming affect on me, helped me to focus on something other than my physical state.  So, my obvious next step was to focus my prayer, be specific, incorporate it into my daily running routine.   Eventually it became a habit and I craved those times outside alone with God. 

This past Sunday, was my second Disney marathon.  I decided about a week prior to continue the habit so I posted a request on my Facebook page:  I'm running the Disney marathon on the 12th. Every person who comments, I will pray for you for one mile.

My to my surprise, the slots filled up fast!  Some people simply commented with 'good luck' and other were very specific.   Wanting to fulfill this promise to the best of my ability, I typed out the list, in order of postings, with each and every prayer request.  Then, I printed it out, laminated it, and stapled the prayer list to my camelpak.
I knew the first few miles were going to be run in the dark so I read over the list several times a few days prior to the race and even prayed about praying.  Overkill?  Not a chance.  

At 2 a.m. Sunday morning I jumped out of bed.  Who can sleep?  I had packed the day before so all I had to do was get dressed, make my oatmeal, and leave. At approximately 3 a.m. I merged with a line of cars at the Epcot parking lot, followed the car in front of me to my spot, expertly directed by Disney volunteers.  By this time I was hungry, or maybe that was my nervous stomach growling.   In any event, I sat in the back of the car and ate breakfast while watching the cars file in.

I thought I was parked very close to the entrance of the staging area, however, I had not realized there was a new procedure.  Bag check.  It did not occur to me that in the wake of Boston we would be subject to tight security, however, I and everyone else took it in stride and I believe we all felt much better about our safety. 

Once inside, I wandered around and took a few photos.  

After this shot, I quickly put on my jacket.  The temperatures were cooler than I had expected, thank the good Lord above.  Saturday it had been 80 degrees.  At this point in time it was 60 and dropping.   See that white piece of paper above my right hand? That's my prayer list.

At about 4:30 a.m. we, all 25,000 of us, began our twenty-minute walk to the starting corrals.  For those unfamiliar, the runners are grouped in order of expected finish times in "corrals" cordoned off by orange mesh fences.   The wheelchair racers are in the front, corral A consisted of the elite runners and this year the few people who had run all 20 Disney marathons.  

I was in corral H.  The last corral was P.   You get the idea, there were a lot of us.  

At 5:33 the first gun went off.  Every 5 minutes thereafter  the next and subsequent corral started.  As each corral leaves, the group behind moves slowly to the starting line so we all start from the same place.   I decided to run with a pace group this year.  Not sure if it was a good idea or not because it was so crowded and I had a hard time keeping the pacer in sight as she cut through the slower runners ahead of us.   

The reason I wanted to run with the pace group (which is a group led by someone who keeps a steady pace/speed the entire length of the course) was my prayer list.   I wanted to be able to focus more attention on praying and less on whether or not I was going too fast or too slow.  Typically I start out fast and slow towards the end.  For the most part, it worked.  I had the first two names on the list memorized so as soon as the gun went off I started my prayer. 

Every mile was marked with a large sign and the time.  I ended each mile with a word to the Holy Spirit to continue my current prayer and then began with, 'Father, the next prayer mile is for...".   By mile three it was still dark and I could not see who was next so I began with someone who I knew was on the list.   

This went on fervently for about 15 miles until I started to tire a bit.  I continued to pray, however, I had to refer to my list more and read the prayer request over and over.  My brain was fatiguing.   I lost sight of my pace leader around mile 18 or so and began interjecting, "I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength" into my prayers.  At one point, I cannot remember which mile, I dropped my list.  I stopped mid stride, turned around and retrieved it.   God must have been parting the sea of runners because there were plenty of feet that could have run over me.  

Feeling tired, and losing energy, I reached behind me into my Camelpack to retrieve my snacks.  I promptly spilled half of them then dropped two of my energy gels.  Had never done that during any of my training runs.  Oh well.  I kept on running and kept on praying.  

I re-energized once I saw mile marker 20.  My prayers picked up as well as my speed.  The last few names on the list didn't have any specifics but I lifted them up to the Father as best as I could over and over again, mile after mile, with the insertion of Philippians 4:13 as needed. 

Mile 26 was heard before I could see the sign.   The Hallelujah choir singing their heart out made my heart skip a beat.  I was almost at the finish line!!!    I read over the names on my prayer list one last time, sent up a final prayer to the Father then ran as fast as my tired legs  and spent brain could carry me.  I was crying and laughing all the way to the finish!

I took this silly 'selfie' before a nice volunteer took the photo below.


 My time.

This race is my third marathon. My performance was better than last year.   It's a good accomplishment for my 48 years on this planet.  However, I am most proud of the fact that I did what I set out to do.  Prayed for friends and family, people who entrusted their hurts and needs with me to intercede with the Father.  Of course, we all can pray for ourselves but how comforting is it to know that someone cares enough to pray for you no matter how small or large the burden?   I am truly humbled by this experience.  Thank you, all of you who asked me to pray.  I did.  I prayed for you by name.  I prayed for what you asked me to. I took this self-given assignment seriously and I hope that God is proud of me.  Not for running a race, but for loving you. I only wish the course had been longer.  My race is not over, will not be over until God calls me home and I hear those words,  "Well done, good and faithful servant."  

P.S.  I finally said Amen when I got in the car to go home, by way of church.  I made it to the last half of Sunday School!


Saturday, January 11, 2014

Black Bean Brownies

This is one of my favorite dairy-free recipes.  As with my others, I scoured the internet, found several, played with variations until I had tweaked and created to my liking.

1 can black beans, rinsed well and drained
2 Tbs coconut oil
1 egg
1 Tbs all natural applesauce
1 Tbs pumpkin
1 Tbs coconut milk (canned, not from refrigerator section)
1/4 cup +/-  Agave (this can be halved with raw Stevia)
1/3 cup Enjoy Life chocolate chips (leave a few out to add later if you like chunky)
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1 tsp vanilla extract
Pinch salt
2 Tbs shredded unsweetened coconut flakes

Put all in a blender, wet first, beans last.  Add them a little at a time.  Puree until smooth.  It will take several minutes.  Spray mini cupcake tin well with Pam or equivalent. Bake15 minutes at 350.  Cool 5-10 minutes before removing from tin.  Refrigerate or freeze whatever you don't eat.

These are great for after a hard work out, or a marathon, which I am doing tomorrow!







Thursday, January 2, 2014

READ THE BIBLE IN A YEAR





My husband and I started something a few years ago that has become not only a habit, but part of our lives - daily Bible reading.  

Every night before bed we turn off the TV, crawl into bed and open up our Bibles.  Well, truth be told we click on our tablet, computer, or phone and click on the Bible App.  

The first time was difficult.  It was not something we had done before on a regular basis.  Changing our schedule, starting something new, commiting to reading anything for a year, every day for a year, can be quite a challenge.  

How did we do it?  How can you incorporate Bible reading into your life?  

The short answer is, one day at a time.

Specifically:
1)  Pray about it.  
2)  Decide, yes, this is something that is important and worth doing.
3)  Find a plan.  YouVersion and BibleGateway.com have great reading plans.  There are also paper Bibles that are available. 
4)  Get an accountability partner.  
5)  Schedule the time.  Whether you need to get up 15 minutes early, skip a TV show, or set aside time before bed.  Several online apps have audio, perhaps play it in your car.
6)  If you fall behind or miss a day or two, don't give up!!  Catch up all at once or a little at a time.  

Most importantly, don't get discouraged.  When you get to those difficult chapters don't worry about understanding everything.  Pray about it and keep on going.  You will be blessed for doing so.  

Also, it is a good idea to take notes.  Especially if this is your first time reading the Bible.  It is not, I repeat, absolutely not necessary to understand everything.  God will increase your understanding in HIS timing.  If you desire it, He will provide.  

I encourage all of you to start now, don't wait until 1/1/14, don't wait until tomorrow.  You will be blessed beyond measure and beyond your current understanding of what that means. 

Need help?  Start a Facebook support group page or contact me here.

Be blessed and HAPPY BIBLE READING!!







Colleen Wait Edits

Colleen Wait Edits

About Me

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This YouTube channel was created to add video to my blog.  Read it here:  www.colleenwaitwrites.blogspot.com.  I write about my life, my books, my family, my cats and kids, and of course travel.