PHIL_4-13   1,177
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Money and the Needy

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

HealthyMe47, this is a response to your blogs about Calah, her "little sister" sorta', through the group Bolder Options.

I just love what you're doing, Laura, and wanted to share some of my experiences, particularly about finances for the needy.

I agree that you are keeping with Bolder Option's guidelines--not spending tons of money on her. This will put your mentorship on a more equal footing.

May I suggest taking Calah to a thrift store for workout clothes? She might be able to afford something there herself. If not, you could get a note from BO explaining the programs. Our YMCA thrift store here has given us BAGS of clothing to take to Guatemala.

Another source of inexpensive clothing is a rich high school's lost and found at the end of the year. They donate that clothing, generally. If you ask at the right time, you could get some clothing for her there. If Calah helps you sort through that lost and found, and haul it off to a thrift store, than she has "earned" her pick of the clothing. (I have done all these things---I am bold and goofy!)

From my perspective, I might encourage an arrangement where Calah paid at least a portion of the cost of the clothing at a thrift store. It teaches her the value of money...budgeting, chosing, etc. And I feel it empowers her as well. Just a thought.

If she has not cash, would it be against BO rules to hire her to do some chores? It could take creativity to set up. If she is not allowed to see your home, you might pick a church where she could do some jobs. This would further empower her, and allow her to value her energy and strength and abilities. It would show her that others value her work, too.

I would go with whatever BO advises, but let me tell you why I suggest work/responsibility...

I am a "Representative Payee" for a mentally handicapped friend, E. This means I receive her Social Security disability checks for her. I keep her accounts, pay her bills, and pay her a weekly allowance from the SS money. Since impulsivity is part of her disability/diagnosis, she has never saved money for long.

Various organizations have handled her money in the past, but charged her for the service--only $25 to $50 per month, but that's a lot for an income of $637 per month!

I don't blame them. But my time is worth more to me, so I donate my time, if that makes any sense! :)

Anyway, that money has added up. Plus I have been very stingy with E. when she is getting manic. So where SS used to give her $100 here, $100 there, when she pressured them for spending money, I made her save.

I also paid off her credit card so she would not owe the HIGH interest. She did pay me back the capital, but I did not want her going further in the hole for interest.

My condition was that if she EVER signs up for a credit card again, I WILL QUIT. Period. She has agreed and has stayed out of debt for several years now.

E. used to get a little frustrated with me when I would not give her random spending money, but we love each other and she trusts she put up with it. Plus she knew I was trying to help her. So I would just joke and tease her out of getting angry. That does not work with everyone, but we have a good relationship.

And eventually came the payoff...she has been without a car for about 5 years. She could not afford the repairs on her clunkers.

Soooo....E. just bought a used car with her savings a few months ago! Another missionary friend, who is a mechanic, found a great deal on a low-mileage but old and half-painted Volvo for E!


She has so much more independence again!

And since that car purchase went through, she has never bugged me for spending money again! Delayed gratification... MAJOR delay....but it had a huge payoff!

Now we are saving up to repair the small rust spots and large area on the hood & roof where the paint has worn off. Plus we keep money back for repairs.

A side benefit? She wants money for gas, so I think she has cut back on her smoking a bit.

What does all this have to do with Calah?

I used to give E. work to do at my house, and I would pay her a fair rate. She could not do heavy work, due to bad knees & back.

Also our church often hires a member who is out of work to do office work or cleaning or yard work.

Once I had a yard sale at my home & let E. sell stuff here. Other times I just gave her stuff to sell from her apartment. That did not work as well. She kept most of the stuff, which she does not need. :) Trial and error!

Odd jobs could give Calah some spending money. She would also have the pride of learning pay-worthy skills. Many young teens do not get this chance. She might even be able to help out her mom a bit.

I may sound harsh and "child-labor-ish." But think how many of our young teens get hired to babysit. Mow lawns. Pet sit. Chances are she does not have those opportunities in her neighborhood. But I believe they are empowering opportunities.

I don't hire E. any more. I became her payee instead, putting her on a better financial footing. Now she cooks for me sometimes to thank us for helping her. This works out really well. She is a great cook. And she always has more food than she can use, from local food pantries. It gives her a way to thank me and to contribute to our family.

That way my work for her is not all "charity." She can give to me as well. It puts us on more equal footing.

Some say that when a beggar receives money, he loses pride, which he hands over to the giver.

I learned a good model of service from Sun Eagle, a Mattaponi Indian leader and poverty minister near here. He taught that giving and receiving should be circular, back and forth.

This is also taught by a ministry called Sister Parish. SP does not allow the N. American church to become Santa Claus to their sister church in Central America. Then they can stay equals, sisters & brothers in Christ.

Instead, SP does a lot of cooperative work. Say the village in Guatemala makes crafts, and friends here sell the crafts in our consumer market. Then that cash goes back for school fees in the same Guatemalan families. Or maybe the village buys a corn grinder, with an interest-free loan from the North. Villagers pay to have their corn ground. The loan is repaid, and profits go for needs of the village.

It sound like BO is already thinking outside of the box. Excellent! If they want to avoid chores for Calah, they know what they are talking about, I am sure. I just wanted to share with you some of what we have done to be creative about finances.


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TMBTTLES 4/6/2011 9:47PM

    Great Blog! It's always nice to hear stories about helping others and such great advice!

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PHIL_4-13 4/6/2011 7:59PM

    To IWillRun100: It takes a big heart to see & admire a big heart. Others would only scoff. So service must already be in your present, or in your future.

The energy to do this is all from God. At times, E would say things that were too overwhelming for me. Her history is a very hard one. So as she narrated, I would pray, "God, I am not strong enough. Please bear this burden with me. Be my Yoke Fellow." And He was faithful! Amen!

My great aunt used to say, "If you are feeling bad about yourself, do something for someone else." It works! I believe that is because when we do things "for the least of these, we are doing for Jesus." And when we do things for Jesus, we are doing the will of the Father in Heaven.

And that is like dwelling in the vine--it lets you bear fruit. "And the fruits of the Spirit are Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Gentleness, Self-control, Generosity, Faith, Goodness..." And who does not want to be like that? To bear those fruits?

You don't have to look far to find someone in need of those fruits. Just share them freely. And when you do, give God the glory and you will feel Him give you more fruit!

There. I gave you a pep talk for service. Now you can give me one for jogging! :) I did bike with my dogs today. But I am not as on track as I want to be.

Be blessed, and thanks for answering my blog!

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IWILLRUN100 4/6/2011 6:24PM

    I agree, you have great patience AND a big heart. I hope to be able to live my life like you someday. I am too wrapped up in my own issues right now...

God Bless,

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PHIL_4-13 4/6/2011 5:21PM

    "Patience of a Saint." Um. Not so much!
I did learn to set concrete boundaries. Like I have to tell her up front when she has called me too often. Sometimes she can go a week without calling. But other times, she will call 3 to 5 times a day, at all hours.

So I set rules. No calls after 9pm or before 9am, except in emergencies. (Like the night I had to help E commit herself. Now THAT was a learning experience! And I used that experience later to help another friend commit herself. It also puts me in a better position to counsel and console those whose family members have to go through that process.)

Other rules: she is not supposed to bring drug addicts here. Recovering ones, fine. But not those actively taking drugs. I like to pick whom I minister to, for my own safety and for my own very-important mental health! She picks up drugs now and then, but she does not scare me as many users do.

We go around in our culture trying to be discreet and gentle. That works and makes relations kinder, generally. But sometimes--like with adolescents and people who do not obey society rules--I really need to be blunt now and then.

Actually, setting the rules makes everyone more comfortable, I think. We all set rules for each other. We can obey the rules or leave the friendship, basically.

You set some rules with Calah when you mentioned that the KFC trip was special. I think that was wise and kind.


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HEALTHYME47 4/6/2011 2:32PM

    P.S. that is very cool what you are doing with E. You must have the patience of a saint.

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HEALTHYME47 4/6/2011 2:31PM

    Hey Dorothea, thanks so much for these suggestions! They are all great ideas and I will run them by the Bolder Options program coordinator to see which ones we are allowed to do. Another thing this girl is going to need is workout bras! Probably need to get her some new ones. I'm thinking John and I could make a donation to Boulder Options, which could then use the funds to buy sports bras for the girls....middle school girls are so self-conscious about their chests and I wouldn't want that to be a hindrance to her running.

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Goofy Exercise Challenges for ANN777 and others...

Monday, April 04, 2011

I am missing my favorite blogger, ANN777. She and I have been out of motivation for the last two months.

So I went wild for her today, and for myself. I decided to do things I have never done before.


A Masai Warrior Jumping Dance.

Click on the link and imitate. But don't click til you are standing, ready to jump! It takes less than 2 minutes.

What are you waiting for?



#1 To earn this dare, you must chant along with the warriors. Pick a warrior to follow and jump when he does. I am the guy in the tall fur hat. (Mwaaa haaa haaa!)

#2 Respond to this questionnaire:

A. I jumped as high as---(You will win points for creativity, humor, and joint-defying acts.)

B. I sounded like---(Points for species and volume)

C. As a result of my jumping...(Extra points for broken housewares, flights booked to Kenya, runaway pets, etc.)

D. I **Did** or **Did Not** have to stretch my thighs at the end. If not, perform the challenge again! :)

E. My legs do not work, so I performed this with my arms, and looked like....(Triple points here, but only with a doctor's note.)

I have other fun links to send, but 5 people must meet this challenge first. If we really get going, I will video myself challenging ANN777 to all manner of ridiculousness!

Now go click that link! And start hopping!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

PHIL_4-13 4/5/2011 9:57AM

    OH NO YOU DON"T, Ann! Notice I left a clause for arm waving. Go back to that DVD, chant and pump those arms. Don't make me come after you! Besides, how important can ankles be? ;)

And SAPHRAEL! You just made my day! I tried to jump the whole time, too. Not that I made it, but I TRIED! I am serious. YOU MADE MY DAY! I will smile for at least an hour!

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ANN777 4/5/2011 8:32AM

    LOL. How do they jump so high??

I will have to take a pass on this one lest I break an ankle or something important!

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SAPHRAEL 4/4/2011 5:38PM

    Hysterical! I'm in!

1 I should've read the rules better. I tried to jump during the entire vid!

A. I jumped as high as---I have high hopes that my feet actually left the ground!

B. I sounded like---a gasping hyena. I think I scared the pants off my cat!

C. As a result of my jumping---I definitely scared off the cat. My typically social hermit crabs are still in a daze...

D. I **Did** have to stretch my thighs at the end...feelin' the burn!


Comment edited on: 4/4/2011 5:38:57 PM

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Why am I Night-Eating?

Monday, January 17, 2011

I have asked myself why I overeat in general, and why I overeat at night in particular.
I have heard several answers that seem to fit:

#1 Eating feels good...It tastes good. It reminds us of earliest memories of when food and survival and Mom were all connected.
Is there something else that can make you feel that way? A good book? A hot, cozy bath or blanket? A toy from childhood--I mean it. Photos from a happy time? Call a friend? (Okay, I know it's late.) BLOG! Get help from friends here--good choice!

#2 I am tired and still want to stay up for some reason, so I go for a sugar boost. After dark I feel less responsibility to get things done, so I like those hours of relaxing. Maybe I am just trying to make those hours longer with a sugar boost.
A tiny bit of exercise will actually boost your energy without a crash. And falling to sleep is helped by exercise a couple hours before bed. Even something small.

#3 I am sad. You and I both know food will not help, but we keep trying it anyway. (See #1--it feels good.)
Solutions: Try something else that makes you happy: singing, dancing (see #2) even if you feel stupid doing it! Stupid is the new cool! :) Laugh at yourself.

You and I are conquering our enemy, "who roams around like a roaring lion, seeking whom to devour." (1Peter 5:8) So laugh at your enemy! He HATES that! It reminds him that we have victory in Jesus.
1 Cor 15:7--"But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.")
Romans 16:20 "The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet. "

Now that is GOOD news for us and BAD news for overeating! It will be crushed. I want to crush it now while I am still able to exercise and to control my eating. (I have read blogs of bed-bound members who have a much harder uphill battle than I do. Also I have had breast cancer but am healthy now. Now is the time to get even healthier.)

There are lots of lines to tell yourself when you want that stale donut--and believe me, I have eaten more rediculous things!

--Save it for tomorrow if I really want it. I'll have calories to spare then.
--Better yet, promise yourself a tastier one tomorrow. Only one!
--Gotta have it? Count the calories. How much exercise will it take to "buy" that donut. Is it worth it? Then do the exercise before eating the donut.

I am glad I am not in this alone!

I wrote this as a response to ANN777's blog entry
"Seriously, This Night-Eating Really Has to Go!"

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TWEETIBEAR 3/12/2011 12:45PM

    I am a night foodie addict.

So I always pre-plan my daily meals and stick to it as close as I can. If I change something, I change my Spark nutrition page. When I plan, I make sure my planned day includes my night-time snack.

Often it is popcorn with my hubby (sprinkled with Butter Buds)
Sometimes it's a Nature Valley Trail Mix Fruit/Nut bar.
Sometimes it's a square of Apple crisp (orange for dessert earlier so I could have apple crisp at my 'addiction' time)
Sometimes it's one individual mini Milky Way candy bar.

My daily foods will include the oranges, carrot sticks, and other "have-to-have" foods...but I reserve my "addiction" time for real treats.

I know, I know, there are many who say eating at night is a no-no. Others say what goes into and out of the body in a 24-hour period is what matters.

Perhaps my weight is coming off slower, I don't care. I am doing what I know will take my weight off while enjoying all the foods I love.

Doesn't work for everybody, I know...we must each find what does work for us or not.

I'm glad you're finding that night eating is not working for you and are figuring out how to work around that.

As usual, we know God is blessing our journey, as long as our journeys are on the Right Path!!!

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AMYB1985 1/17/2011 9:49AM

    Yes, I'd like to pin a large number 2 on my shirt! emoticon

You did a great job of analyzing the reasons and seeking alternative solutions!

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HEALTHYME47 1/17/2011 9:25AM

    Great job Dorothea of pinpointing exactly what is going on with you and the night eating. It seems to be a fairly common desire for a lot of us. I read ANN777's blog entry and commented there as well.

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My sister may have multiple myeloma

Monday, January 10, 2011

Please pray for my sister--the one who had gastric bypass surgery 4 years ago--my only sister.

She just called to say she has bone lesions & elevated liver & kidney enzymes. The most likely cause the Dr. suspects is multiple myeloma...treatable by radiation & chemo. But still scarey and yuck!

I had breast cancer 4 years ago--I just had my 4th cancer-free anniversary. I did not need chemo or radiation & I am sad for my sister. I did have 2 years of hormone therapy (translation: instant menopause, and now I will get to go through menopause a second time! Woo Hoo.) And I had a mastectomy on the left side--so HA HA! I get to weigh myself without one boob every morning! I bet you're all jealous! (I am bucksome--my boob weighed 3 pounds and got a trip to California (to a genetic testing lab). So why didn't I get a trip to California?? I don't remember foregoing that on the release form...

I am praying that my sister's cancer does for her what mine did for me: drew me closer to God. That was the first time in my life I was actually able to "Rejoice in all circumstances."

The full verse is:
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
16Rejoice always; 17pray without ceasing; 18in everything give thanks; for this is Godís will for you in Christ Jesus.

It is strange, but I was actually able to thank God for my cancer. It took away many of my fears and let me trust Him more fully. I had to lean on Him daily--the "pray without ceasing" part.

I am pretty stubborn about prayer and did not like having to take "No" for an answer. Especially because I have seen miraculous healings on the mission field. So I got to be reminded that I am not God, I am not in charge. But S/He is trustworthy and Loving.

Thanks for praying!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CKDAY1 1/11/2011 7:01PM

    Keeping her..and my prayers.

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CHIQUITA72979 1/11/2011 1:57PM

    i will be praying for your sister. multiple myeloma can be very scary, but there are people who have survived with the disease for decades, so it is possible!

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Self Control, not from ourselves, but a Gift of God

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

I am so encouraged to be using this website...particularly to gain the support of other Christians seeking better health! Thank you, all!

God gave me insight today. I feel like He is answering my prayers from November & December when I could see my weight continuing to rise to a past high. I prayed often for His mercy and self control. And now His mercy is all over me and my eating and exercise!

I see it this way lately: self-control is a fruit of the spirit.

Galatians 5:22-23
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. (ESV)

So we do not supply it for ourselves, but gain self-control only by dwelling in the vine. Self control is a fruit we bear by dwelling in Christ:

John 15:5
I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.

He is actually helping me WANT to eat the fresh foods and WANT to exercise. So I am rejoicing. Please pray for me that it will continue, and I will do the same for you, if you ask.

I pray desperately that this will last...but even as I pray, God is showing me it is not that terrible to be overweight, either, or to be dieting.

On a silly note for newbies like me--have you noticed that when you are first dieting, you get to eat more calories and still lose weight? ;) It makes the first few weeks the easiest. So let's enjoy that, shall we?!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

PHOENIX2B 1/9/2011 9:17PM

    That's deep... thank you for sharing! Yes, self-control is a fruit of the Spirit, but I had never thought about it that way until you spelled it out like that.

So, we should rest in the Holy Ghost and cease from our own labors, relying on God and self-control will come... hmmm, that's good spiritual meat.


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