Category Archives: trying to matter

tinselectomy story

I’ve always tried to teach my kids about the importance of giving to others. I started this process when they were very young. I used to tell them that they had a lot of toys and would encourage them to give some away to the thrift store. I would tell them how giving some of their toys away would help needy children.

At the same time, I was also trying to teach them to be frugal and teach them the value of a dollar. If we weren’t using something or wanted to upgrade, I would sell our stuff on eBay. If we shopped at the thrift store, I would give them a budget. So Joe, who in his own ‘Joe’ kind of way would go around telling people, “Yeah, I’m helping needy kids by selling my toys to them.”

Although ‘tinselectomy’ is not a new concept for our family, it’s needs to be a more important part of our lives. I’m excited to be a part of this movement!  Become a fan of tinselectomy on Facebook!

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a portrait of society

I have several friends that are job hunting right now, searching for an opportunity in this non opportunistic economy.  Although I’ve been very blessed by having not only having a job, but one that I love, I still feel the stress.  Stress for them and their situations and stress knowing it could be me.

Last week, I received a forwarded email from a friend with a job listing she received from an online job search site.  Before I respond to it, I’ll let you read it.

Category: Writing, Editing & Translation
Description: Single white male seeking open minded creative female writer please, to edit and rewrite some internet personal datng ads.  That can attract and convey that I’m a multi dimensional open minded male with a caregiver overall character.

I’ve been fortunate to have some long term relationships with some beautiful openly Bi women that lead to some SAFE unforgettable fun times. I’ve been very open with those I date.  I believe in having open honest communication rather than playing games and wasting time.

So my point is I don’t necessarily need to walk on that side but would like to have about 4-5 racy different ads that are very candid in letting the reader know that I don’t judge people and if they are, OR were straight, bi or curious with mild to wild desires now and then, that’s fine. But among other things point out that I’m a very accepting, financially and emotionally secure, non jealous type of person.

I would like to place the ads onto various sites and have the ads be tasteful yet a bit edgy.

My first uttered word after picking my jaw up off the floor was “wow”.  Is this for real?  This clearly combines everything bad about the dating world and everything bad about job hunting, creating a disturbing portrait of our society.

The single white male that posted this has not only put a lot of time, effort and thought into this, but also spend a good amount of money doing it.  I would love to hear his definition of some of the words he’s chosen here: caregiver, long-term, safe, emotionally secure…  It’s not really the ad that makes me uncomfortable, it’s the fact that he’s looking for a professional writer to make his personal ads, and making all of this sound fun and acceptable.  I know this world exists and there will be plenty of women that will respond to his “well written” ads, but I suppose the part that bothers me to the point that I’m writing this, is that it’s intersected with my world.

I’m not a very judgmental person, and if this is the lifestyle he has chosen and he has women choosing to participate as well, then that’s his business.  I’m a single mom, not very actively dating, but let’s say I want to change that at some point.  I would not like to run into this guy, or anyone like him.  Seeing online dating through the eyes of friends, they have run into this type of single white male.  The problem?  These friends have similar values to mine and yet they are getting matched up with men or women that in no way resemble what they are looking for.  Do guys like this lie on their profiles or are the people matching software programs written that poorly?

Now let’s talk about my friend that received this and other friends I have that are job hunting.  (I suppose hunting is a good word since you have to gear up, find one, then fight for it)  I have several friends that desperately need a job.  Imagine the job hunt…  You wake up in the morning to check your inbox and you have four or five emails from job search sites.  Out of thousands of jobs, you get the four to five responses.  The above listing was one of many like that, a listing for questionable freelance work.  I seriously doubt any of my friends would ever consider replying to a listing like this one, but the fact that this type of listing comes up and they have to weed through stuff like this, well, it just has to be frustrating.  Where is the real job they need?

I do call this a disturbing portrait of our society, despite that, I plan to be a speck in the corner of that portrait that represents goodness.  Goodness in God and goodness through positive influence.  I know there are many good specks in the portrait and when you stand back and look, those specks make a beautiful impression, overlaying the sometimes unfavorable reality.


light painting with the kids

I love it when I can share art with kids!  I am in Nuevo Laredo, Mexico at Casa Hogar Elim orphanage.  Last time I was here, we did photography light painting with the kids.  This time, I brought lots of flashlights for the kids to use, and with a supply of color gels to color the flashlights.

Not familiar with light painting?  Simple, and yet most cool process.  If you have an SLR, place it on a tripod and set the shutter on ‘bulb’.  Hold the shutter button down and have people ‘paint’ with the flashlights.  Anything that has light on it will show up in your photo.

The kids down here love to light paint.  When we break out the camera and flashlights, they know exactly what we’re doing.  They get so excited and like to see the photos right after we take them.  With that being said, I have to hold on tight to the camera because the stampede of children will come after every photo.  The excitement on their faces is awesome and it’s wonderful to watch them come up with creative ideas for the next shot.

Enough words.
Photos below.  J



crossing the border

I’m listening to the song Give Me Your Eyes by Brandon Heath
on the radio driving through Nuevo Laredo, Mexico.  That song is so touching and really about what I want to
accomplish in blogging about this trip.

This is my second trip down here, but before my first time,
I had heard so many stories about Casa Hogar Elim.  Anyone that had a story would say. “…you can’t put it into
words, you have to go down there to experience it.”

The best way I know how to communicate what an amazing
experience it is and how blessed I feel by being around these children is to
show photos and write a little bit about each one of them.

We are on our way to Laredo, TX to pick up a few pallets of
food donated to CHE.  They have a
storage facility there to accept and store donations.  It is quite a process to get the food across the border and
to hopefully not get taxed on it.

I’m writing this as we are in a caravan of four vehicles
going to Laredo.  JD just got
pulled over by the local police for speeding.  Anytime we see flashing lights down here, it’s a little
scary.  (that didn’t stop me from
taking a photo… will post as soon as I can download it from my camera)  Looks like it’s just a standard
speeding ticket thing.  The police
were not fans of all of us pulling over, so two vehicles left to cross the
border.  Still waiting to hear from
JD.


JESUS is everywhere

Wow.  I have thousands of stories from just 5 days.  Where to start…

Not only did we spend a lot of time at Casa Hogar Elim, many of us wandered out into the surrounding areas.  We went into “las colonias”, the local neighborhoods surrounding CHE, the middle school, a few stores and into the city.  I noticed a lot of graffiti on walls, but was surprised about the theme of it.  At first I thought it might be a random thing, but as I continued to look around, I saw the name Jesus a lot.  Now my first thought is that some guy named Jesus (he-sus) has way too much spray paint and he gets around.  Also, my lack of Spanish means I’m probably posting photos with no telling what on them, however these people worship Jesus all the time and He is in the forefront of their lives.
And as Sloan said in an earlier post, they love to know our names.  Not only do they want to know our names, but they write them down, like in this photo.  “Jesus te ama” is Jesus loves you.  This is one of many pieces of paper like this.

This other photo is of a chalkboard in one of the classrooms.  The kids love chalk!  Shortly after we arrived, the concrete was covered with chalk art, much of which had crosses, hearts and Jesus.  I haven’t even gotten to those photos yet.  They are absolutely beautiful.

All of this reminds me of a saying that is on my bathroom floor.  (Yes, I’m aware that is not normal and my bathroom floor is a whole other experience, but later…)  It says, “In America you’re seldom in a position where you NEED God.  It’s something that we need to experience – where we’re in a position where we have to actually TRUST God.”
I’ve been back a few days now and it’s difficult not to think about the experience of this trip every single minute.  I went down there to serve them, but that worked the other way around.  I think it was Elizabeth who had a Facebook update of being forever changed.  I don’t see how anyone could go there and not be forever changed.
Jody Wissing

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