05 July 2011

From trash, a treasure

We were walking through the ravine on our way to D's house. I carried a cardboard box, full of magazines, scrapbook paper, empty red cornflake boxes, empty cake mix boxes, and empty butter boxes. B's youngest daughter seemed confused. "Are we throwing this away?" she asked.

"Oh, no!" I laughed. "We need this trash!" I tried to explain the process by which D makes necklaces out of cardboard boxes, but finally gave up, lacking the word for "glue" or "bead." D's been working with the Apparent Project and has had quite a bit of success starting her own business. When I approached her about teaching B and her girls to do the same, she was enthusiastic. Quite a turn from the original D. "I can't do this. I won't be good at it." And yet, with practice, she could and she was. What a change to see her now employing other women. So cool.

It's an answer to prayer for me and for them. I've struggled with how to help one of B's girls in particular. She's 18 and wants money for beauty school, and she wanted me to give it to her. But it didn't feel right. I thought about loaning it to her, but I knew I'd never get it back. I'm trying to be more generous, so I tried to figure out if it was just me being selfish...but it felt like enabling, not empowering. I wanted to see her empowered, like D, to see how she could change her own life, without any help from me at all. She doesn't need me. I want her to know that.

It wasn't easy to say no. I'm certain she didn't understand my motives at all. But nevertheless, I wanted to help, so I set them up to work with D, with fear and trepidation, hoping, praying, it would work out well for all of them. Today was Day 1. I set them up with lots of materials, put D in charge, and skedaddled.

I hope this works. I hope this works. I hope this works.


  1. Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day. Teach him to fish and he will eat for a lifetime. God bless you Christine, your heart is big as all outdoors!

  2. I'll be praying for them!