Let’s Talk About Ruth (part 1)

The book of Ruth is a bridge between the days of Abraham’s descendants becoming a nation and the days of the kings leading the nation. It is set in the time of the Judges and is just a short little book but it tells us a lot about faith, commitment, and Jesus’ genealogy. It also gives us insight in to strength in a crisis, where to find hope, when to step out in faith, and even when to go home.

I’ve read this book many times in my life but always just as a history lesson. Not as a life lesson. I know that every book of the Bible is meant to teach us something but until recently, I wasn’t sure what that was for Ruth, aside from pointing out that Jesus comes from not just Israeli blood. That is, of course, covered several times in the Old Testament, Rehab is part of Jesus’ blood line as well, but I thought that was all God was showing us here. Not that his bloodline isn’t crucial, it is, of course, and probably needs to be explored further (I think I just found another blog topic!), but there are a lot of little nuggets in Ruth about faith, commitment and just a whole lot of other great stuff!

The book starts during a famine in Bethlehem. Naomi, her husband Elimelek, and their 2 sons, Mahlon and Kilion head to Moab to be able to feed their family. We’ll stop right there for a second. This is big. Moab wasn’t a friendly place for Israelites. Not even a little bit. I’m sure it took a lot of courage for these people to go there, but if you’re a parent, you know, you’ll do what you have to do to feed your family. Am I right?

So off they go to Moab. By the way, we’re only on verse 2 of this book. What happens in verse 3? Elimelek dies. So now Naomi is a widow with 2 sons in a hostile foreign country. The Bible doesn’t give a clear timeline of how long they were in Moab when this occurred or how old the boys were when they went there.

The boys married Moabite women, Orpah and Ruth and after they had been together 10 years-and no children- both of the men, Mahlon and Kilion, died. That was in verse 5. I point that out because it’s clear this book is not about the men. It’s about the women that survived them and, well, how they survived!

At this point in the story, Naomi is completely overcome with grief. She’s lost her home, her husband, and now her sons, who left her with no heirs. In the ancient world, this was a tragedy beyond what we can imagine because she was now nothing in the eyes of society. Nothing. Her life meant nothing to anyone as far as society was concerned. She had no one to take care of her, and being a woman, that was required back then. I have to interject right here that I’m glad I didn’t live back then! Hahaha! 

By this time, the famine was over in Bethlehem so Naomi was going to head back there. She headed out with Orpah and Ruth but told them to go back home where they may have a future. Orpah went on back to Moab but Ruth insisted on staying with Naomi.

This is where we’ll pick up our discussion next time! I just wanted to lay the groundwork for where we’re going. The backstory.

The book of Ruth wouldn’t take you long to read so I’d suggest doing so before we dig in. In my next post we’ll look into the dedication Ruth had to Naomi and what that can mean in our own lives!

Much love to you! I hope the rest of your week is blessed beyond measure!

~Nancy

Advertisements

That went well….

So, here I am again, 2 months later. Work is still crazy, but I’m adjusting to that. It’s the new normal. It’s going to get even crazier again soon (co-worker/friend having a baby soon), but I don’t plan on letting it interfere with this quite as much. Let’s see how I do this time.

As I said in the last post, there are some changes coming for mgthumbprints as a whole. The main one is this…this blog will be changing from ‘business only’ to business and faith. I was going to do two blogs, but let’s face it, I’m not keeping up with one well.

Along with that, the shop will take a decidedly Christian tone. I’ll be selling mostly t-shirts, onesies, bibs, greeting cards, and tote-bags with a Christian or just positive  message. I’m always up for special orders from friends and family, so don’t think those are the only things I’m doing. Shoot me an email or a message through the shop, and we can talk. I still want to do shirts for fundraisers as well. I’m not giving up that part. I’ve not updated the shop yet, though. Give me a week or two on that. Still working on some designs.

Why am I doing this? Well, I’m a follower of Jesus. That’s who I am at my core. I want to glorify God in all that I do. That includes my small business. I’m a work in progress, so if you know me ‘in person’ you know that well.

If you stick with me, and I hope you do, you’ll learn a lot more about me and about Jesus. You’ll find I’m not a Christian Right person politically. At all. I’m much more about people and love, and what would Jesus do. Pro-life? 100%. That’s really my only ‘right leaning’ stance as far as ‘politics’ goes. We won’t talk about politics on here, by the way. I’m just pointing out that I’m not a closed-minded nut who does what televangelists tell them and not what the Bible actually says. So don’t be freaked out and scared away! Hahaha!

I’m really excited about the changes that I’m making. I hope you are too. This is really what I’ve wanted to do all along but I just didn’t want to alienate any of my non-Christian friends. Well, if they’re my friends, they will be with the change as well! (they are…I’m sure of that)

That’s it for now. I hope to be back in the next couple days. That’s MY plan, anyway. Today is daylight savings day so I’m tired and probably will be for several days. I love daylight savings time but I hate the change. How about we just leave it this way? Who’s with me?

Till next time…

Love you all bunches!

~Nancy

Shipping Snafu

Or….best laid plans of mice and men. I’m not sure which is a better title. Hold on for a story of frustration and ridiculousness!

As I mentioned before, I’m in the process of making t-shirts for my great nephew’s team for a JDRF walk that happens to be this Sunday. (The shirts are for sale in my shop if you’re interested. 50% of the proceeds from that shirt will always go to JDRF.) The closeness of the date of the walk is a very important part of this story. On September 6 my niece placed the order for the shirts for her family. I placed the order with the blank t-shirt distributor the following day. I got the confirmation of the order and the next day I got 3 shipping notices.

One shipping notice was for 2 XL shirts and the walker of honor’s (great nephew) shirt. Another was for all of the medium and large shirts. The last notice was for my adorable 3 year old great-niece’s shirt. Shipped all by itself. The latest ‘deliver by’ date was the 15th. That was for the XL shirts and the youth shirt. Little A’s shirt had an expected delivery by the 13th.

A day or two later I ordered the shirts for others that had ordered and all were expected to arrive by the 16th. I planned to get all of them done and delivered to my brother and sister-in-law’s house by the 18th. All of the shirts arrived ahead of schedule. Except one.

This is where the story turns ridiculous. I called UPS (and was, of course, connected with who knows where) and told them that the shirt had shipped and was 5 days late. Granted, I probably shouldn’t have waited that long but it’s status was “we’ll be in your area so we will deliver to you instead of transferring to the USPS.” It was sent UPS Sure Post. So, the young lady on the phone was very nice and took my complaint. She told me to contact the seller as well, blah, blah, blah, but they’ve opened an investigation.

My plan became ‘run to Hobby Lobby after work on Monday and get a gray shirt’. Much to my surprise and delight, while I was eating lunch on Monday, the UPS man delivered a package! Yay! I won’t have to go buy another one! Wrong again.

The package was a box, which seemed odd since all of the other shirts came in shipping envelopes. It also made a ‘clunk’ sound if I shook it. On the outside of the little suspicious box was what was obviously the original label from the shipping envelope-and pieces of the envelope itself,  complete with the correct tracking number. Inside the box, however, was a 60 yard roll of industrial grade duct tape. Yep, duct tape. Oh, and the packing list that said ‘XS youth t-shirt, Charcoal gray’.  Now, to the credit of whoever did that (obviously someone at UPS), the tape is gray. That’s the only similarity.

Needless to say I called UPS right away. They returned my call about 3 hours later and I’m waiting for them to ‘make this right’. She said she was going to call the shirt company and have a new one sent out. So, I wait. We’re down to the wire and 2 days past the date I planned to deliver the shirts. I did get a shirt at Hobby Lobby, but it’s a lighter gray.

Anyway, the point of this story is….yeah…you can’t make this stuff up.

Thanks for reading! Don’t forget, sign up for the newsletter and follow me on FacebookTwitter, and Pinterest!

~Nancy

t-shirt-tape

Major Pinterest Tip!

This is a sponsored post. While I will be compensated for it, the views and opinions are all mine!

I’m not kidding, folks! This is huge! It’s been a game changer for me! I love Pinterest. I have since I first heard of it. I can spend countless hours on there, pinning my life away. But when I started my shop and blog, I found I needed to work smarter, not harder. Enter Tailwind.

tailwind-front-page

I’m not completely sure where I found out about Tailwind but I’m glad I did. I was looking to schedule ahead of time anything I could to make sure things happened even if I couldn’t tend to the business every single day. Obviously WordPress lets you schedule posts and Facebook does, too, but Tailwind  outsmarts them all in my opinion.

Tailwind gives you several tools to keep track of your pins and how they’re performing. Lets face it, if you’re using Pinterest for a business, you want to be sure you’re spending your time wisely. The Pin Inspector tells you how many times your pin was liked, repinned, as well as any comments people leave. It also has a button to ‘find similar content’. I love this! Not just for my business, but personally. It helps me find other things I’ll be interested in and therefore, so will my followers.

Board Insights breaks down your pins by board so you can see how many people are following each board. You can also track repins, likes, virality and other engagement metrics for all of  your boards. Everything you might need, want to know!

Like I said, I used to spend a lot of time on Pinterest.Now, I don’t need to. This frees up time for me to make things, which is my first love! Not only that, but Tailwind helps me find new things to pin and keep track of all activity on all of my boards. I love it!

To check out Tailwind, click one of the links or go to my Resources page or the side of this page and click one of those links…those are affiliate links so you’ll be helping me out as well!

Thanks so much for stopping by! I’ll be back in the next day or so to tell you about my  current project!

~Nancy

 

Labor Day

This weekend is Labor Day weekend and I’ve mostly been taking it easy. How about you? I had lunch today with my kids and then went swimming at my brother’s house. Lots of fun! Tomorrow it’s back to work.

Aside from taking it easy, I’ve been working on my next little endeavor. I’m going to start making t-shirts. Some of them will be for charity. The first one I have on my shop is for the JDRF One Walk. 50% of the proceeds will go to JDRF. My great-nephew has Type 1 and they do this walk every year. I’m doing the shirts for them this year! I’m so excited about it, plus, I had been considering getting into making t-shirts to sell as well. We’ll see how it goes!

My sister, and I are trying to come up with something to put on a shirt to raise money for the Alzheimer’s Association. Our mother had early onset Alzheimer’s and passed away when I was 21. Obviously, that’s a cause close to our hearts. Another one on my list is the Adult Congenital Heart Association.

Anyway, the heat press is on order, the space is ready for it. I’ll place the order for the shirts and vinyl as soon as they place their orders on Etsy. This is the ‘small business’ lesson for this post. Always get money up front. Even if it’s family that you’re doing the work for. Not to be mean, of course, but when you’re in business for yourself, you can’t take a risk by putting out money ahead of time. When I get to the point where I have money in the bank from the business, then I’ll keep some inventory of shirts and vinyl on hand. I’m not there yet.

Well, this is a short post, I know, but it’s been a busy weekend, for sure! I’ll be back in the swing of things tomorrow and hopefully posting in the next day or so!

Have a great week! I hope it’s a short week for you, too!

~Nancy20160607_143753656_iOS

 

Time flies when you’re having the time of your life!

Warning…sappy post ahead…

As I said in my last post, I’m on vacation from my ‘day job’ this week. It’s only Tuesday and I have my whole house cleaned and 4 new products to list on the shop! Tomorrow is my day with my grandson so I doubt I’ll get a lot else done. He’s 5. He takes all of my attention.

He’s growing too fast

My boy starts kindergarten next week and I swear it seems like he was just born. I know, that was nearly 6 years ago, grandma. It’s like I blinked and he’s off to school. I have to say, I’m the luckiest grandma on earth. Seriously. His parents have always made a point to include us grandparents in every aspect of his life. I’ve seen him at least once a week, if not more, ever since he was born, unless they were on vacation. But they always made it up to me with a sleepover or an extra day if I miss a day with him.

G and I are very close. I hope and pray we always are. I’ve always had so much fun with him! In the past 5 years I’ve been a Power Ranger, a Superhero, a Paw Patrol pup, Super Why, a princess, a villian, an innocent victim in Joker’s evil schemes, a construction worker with Bob the Builder, etc. You get the idea! I’ve watched TV shows that I watched when his dad and uncle Alex were little. Great memories to share with him!

He loves to do crafts with me. We’re going to a craft store tomorrow and I told his mommy to remind me to get glitter. She warned he’d want to help. I advised her we’d do the glitter clear out in the back of my back yard. I’m not sure that’ll work tomorrow though. The yard is pretty wet right now. Oh well, a little glitter in the living room. I’m ok with that. More memories for grandma.

Cherishing every second

I know he’s not going off to college. He’s just starting kindergarten for heaven’s sake. But this is the first part of going off on his own. Know what I mean? I’m tearing up typing this. It just seems to go quickly.

I’ve always cherished every second I have with him. I really have. I’m grandma so I know how fast kids grow up. I know what an incredible gift it is to get to be a grandma who lives nearby and is a part of his life.

While I told you guys some of the fun games we play, role playing and such, he also is really into video games. No surprise. Most kids his age are! My boys both were from the time they were little. He likes to play a fairly new game I got for him, Lego Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Of course he likes me to play with him. It’s fun to have him telling me what to do next. I think I laugh more than anything!

Of all those things we love to do, do you want to know what might be my favorite? He plays on the iPad and I mess around on the computer or my phone while we lay on my bed and talk. Yep. Just hanging out with him. Just talking. Being together.

I know the games and role playing will fade as he ages. The crafts will, too. But I sure hope he knows he can always come to Mucka’s house and just hang out and talk. I’m always here!

Thanks for walking with me today!

Nancy

20160311_235422739_iOS

 

Side Hustle

Side hustle doing your own thing

Notice how the penguin is off on his own, doing his own thing? The others are back there, just doing whatever it is penguins do. (Oh, yes, I like to go to the zoo with my grandson so there will be animal pictures on this blog from time to time.) Sometimes its good to go off and do your own thing. I have a full time job. I love it. I really do! Its not exciting, but I work with great people and I enjoy the work. But in spite of how much I love that job, I wanted to do something just for me. Something on my own. All mine. Extra. No pressure to pay the bills, just something fun.

That is a side hustle. Doing something you like that’ll earn you money, but maybe not to pay all the bills. At least not at first. But it’s fun. That’s the main thing. I love making crafts. It’s so much fun to create something. I never thought anyone would be interested in buying things I made…but… Etsy is there for exactly that reason. As you saw with the ‘guest post’ from My OBT, people sell all sorts of things on there! So, now it’s my turn! I’m still getting my footing, of course, but the journey is fun!

I first learned of a ‘side hustle’ when I read the book “Do Over” by Jon Acuff. (that’s not an affiliate link-just a recommendation) Do Over talks about doing what you love for a living. And yes,  you often have to start off with it being a side hustle. Actually, Jon talks about hustle a lot and has influenced me a great deal in this endeavor.

Build a plan, I’ve talked about that before. Stick to it. Before you know it, you’ll be doing what you love. This is ‘hustle’. The stick to it part. As I’ve said, as long as I have things down on paper (yes, paper) I get things done. I’m on ‘vacation’ from my ‘day job’ this week. One full day I’ll spend with my grandson. A lot of the rest of the time will be working on my side hustle! I’m so looking forward to it! Expect to see new products, PinsTweets, and Facebook posts in the next several days!

So, what is it that you want to do ‘on the side’? Sit down and make a plan to do it! I tell you, it’s one of the best things I’ve ever done!

Do the hustle!

~Nancy