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single!

A P U B L I C AT I O N O F O N M Y O W N N O W M I N I S T R I E S

k NOV.

/ 09

Young Christian Woman

Is It Still Tattletaling When You’re 20?

Project Balance: All Things in Moderation

The Job Search: Should Money Be the Deciding Factor?

“I’m with Stupid” Resurgence of the Graphic T

Ring ... ring ...

Your Ministry is Calling

w w w. o n m y o w n n o w. c o m


o

in this

issue... Straight Talk from the Proverbs: Grab that Dog by the Ears if You Need To

by Donna Lee Schillinger

Moving Out ... Settling In: Project Balance

by Kimberly Miller

Down Home Healthy Cookin' for One ona Budget:

Three Square Meals + Some on $5 a day, The Third

by Reba Ray

Dear Gabby: The Job Search: Should Money Be the Deciding Factor? Spare Change:

Making Christmas More Like Thanksgiving

by Paola Segnini

Fashion DIVinA Resurgence of the Graphic T

o

by Gwen Schumaker

.4 .8 .10 .14

Single!

Young Christian Woman a publication of On My Own Now Ministries

www.onmyownnow.com

Editor-In-Chief

donna lee schillinger contributors

paola segnini kimberly miller gwen schumaker Debra Collins

.16

art director

.18

Cover picture by

Just What You Need Ring... Ring... Your Ministry is Calling

by Donna Lee Schillinger

daniela bermĂşdez Robyn Crow

.20


o Fridge-worthy.

We see high drama in the movies all the time, but in real life, big acting does not win awards.

Straight talk from the Proverbs for young Christian women who want to remain pure, debt-free and regret-free. “In this interesting and thought-provoking exploration of the book of Proverbs, Schillinger takes young women along a journey that will help them to make better, safer, and more sound decisions.� Cheryl C. Malandrinos The Book Connection blog Now Available at www.onmyownnow.com, at Amazon, B&N and a library and bookstore near you.


straight talk Like a muddied spring or a polluted well is a righteous woman who gives way to the wicked.

Proverbs 25:26

The first proverb is the origi-

nal version of that modern maxim, “Bad things happen when good people fail to act.” But it’s not just when good people fail to act, there is a certain category of actions that is just as bad as no action at all – avoidance, running away, turning a blind eye – these are all actions that have the net effect of failing to act.

Grab that D i Like one who seizes a dog by the ears is a passer-by who meddles in a quarrel not his own.

Proverbs 26:17

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People w with the w givi


Evil builds in us quite early a strong prohibition to standing up against it with that one little word, “tattletale.” Nobody wants to be called that! And however right you are in blowing the whistle, you can’t ever do it without a nagging second-grader in your conscious or subconscious taunting you with, “Tattletale, tattletale.”

for parole last year, denied and now up for it again in 2010. A businessman, Moseley woke in the middle of the night deciding he wanted to kill a woman. Call him crazy! He was – a necrophiliac to be precise. He left his wife sleeping in the bed and prowled Queens until he found Kitty.

Well, stuff a sock in that brat’s mouth and do the right thing anyway. People want to know what’s wrong wit the world today? In my opinion, giving way to evil is it.

Kitty was the manager of a bar and had just driven herself home at 3 a.m., parking 100 feet in front of her apartment. There doesn’t seem to be anything particularly unusual about that – a lot of women today have jobs that let out in the middle of the night – I had a couple myself in college – and it’s not unusual to have to walk 100 feet from the parking lot to your front door, especially in an apartment complex. Kitty didn’t do anything to bring this on herself. Moseley had never met her before; she just happened to be the unlucky person he found while out hunting for a victim.

Back in the day when I was taking Psych 101, they were still telling the story of Kitty Genovese, the young woman in Queens, New York, who was raped and killed over a 30-minute-long attack that was overheard or seen, in part, by 38 people who did nothing about it. It happened in 1964, which makes it seems like ancient history, but her killer, Winston Moseley, was actually up

Dog by the Ears if You Need To

want to know what’s wrong world today? In my opinion, ing way to evil is it.

by Donna Lee Schillinger

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Moseley stabbed her in the back and Kitty started to scream. One person shouted out to Moseley to “Let that girl alone!” and he ran off. The police may have been called but if so, they didn’t respond. Seriously injured, Kitty drug herself toward her apartment. Moseley returned looking for her, found her, stabbed her some more and raped her. After the rape, a neighbor called the police. Kitty died en route to the hospital. She woke the neighbors with her screams; some even had to turn up their radios to drown out the screams. More than a dozen neighbors confessed to having heard Kitty or seen her struggle but didn’t even lift the phone to call the police. They admitted they didn’t want to “get involved.” When this came to light in a New York Times article, it spurred a flurry of interest and study of the psychological processes at work in those people, and their lack of action later became formerly known as “the bystander effect” or “Kitty Genovese” syndrome. This story always shocks people when they first hear it. No one reacts by saying, “I can totally understand how so many people wouldn’t do anything!” No. Everyone always says something like, “How is it possible that so many people would do nothing?” and especially when it was their very own neighbor who was being attacked. And yet we know how it’s possible if we’ll only think to a time in our own lives when we saw some wrong being committed and did nothing. Have you ever heard someone tell a lie and let them get away with it? Of course, the consequences aren’t as dire as in Kitty’s case, but that same feeling you’re having when you’re listening to a lie and failing to do something about it is what Kitty’s neighbors probably felt. If you don’t have the courage to meet a little lie head on, do you think you could stand up to a rape or murder going on outside your door? That’s a lot scarier – your own safety feels at risk. You imagine yourself having to ID the perpetrator, testify in court, you imagine him coming after you when he gets out of prison – all that runs through your head while your hand rests on the phone. Should you pick it up and call? Then there’s that little devil saying, “This is none of your business, you busy body!” and “This probably isn’t serious – just some kids playing.” All of the sudden, there seem to

Hold this thought:

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be a lot of reasons why you shouldn’t do anything and hardly any reason why you should. When I lived in Georgia, one night around midnight, there was a knock on my door. It was a crying woman, asking if she could use the phone to call the police. She said her boyfriend had beaten her up and dropped her off right in front of my house. In the 10 seconds it took me to frame my response, a hundred things went through my mind and the one that was most pressing was, “What if this is a trick and that man she’s talking about is waiting for me to open the door, they both rush in and attack my daughter and me.” Even if she wasn’t in cahoots with the evildoer, he could be still lurking about and when he saw I had aided her, he might come after me! I had no weapons of any kind – I never have – and in my wooded neighborhood, no one could even hear me scream. God gave me the good idea to call the

Where the rubber hits the road, not everything is so cut and dry police for the woman and tell her she could wait on my porch until they came, but I didn’t open the door. It wasn’t until the police arrived about 10 minutes later – the longest 10 minutes – that I realized she was telling the truth. I watched out my window while she got into the squad car, looking like she’d been beaten up. I felt badly about not having done more for her, but I was protecting myself and my young daughter.

God, give me courage to stand up for what’s right.


Hold this thought too:

God, give me the wisdom to know when to mind my own business You see, where the rubber hits the road, not everything is so cut and dry. Even against a little lie, when there is no danger to you, standing up in the face of wrong still takes a lot more courage than most people can muster. I know from many experiences though, there are no regrets about doing the right thing, about getting involved to right wrongs even when it’s none of your business. You can go to sleep that night and every night after knowing that you did the right thing. You didn’t cower to intimidation; you didn’t let fear overcome you. And you will find that it gets easier to do the more you practice. Sadly, the more you look the other way, the easier that gets too. Hey wait! What about the other proverb? Is it contradictory to the first verse? I placed these side by side to draw the distinction between getting involved to help and getting involved to add to the problem. There are a lot of things that are none of our bees wax. How can we tell the difference?

Here’s a quick test for SVs: If you hear a voice cautioning you against getting involved, that’s probably SV speaking to you. If you hear a voice encouraging you to make the move and get involved, that’s probably Wisdom.

Of course, there are those urgent situations in which you need to analyze later and act now – you don’t want to be going through this mental exercise as your best friend is choking on a piece of chicken! Those tests are

When you come upon a situation, use your good judgment to discern if you can make a positive difference. Does someone need help you are able to give? Does the situation need a mediator? Can you effectively fill that role? However, be aware that you may be prejudiced in how you judge a situation, depending on your own feelings of self-worth or egoism. Another way in which there are two types of people: There are those who will underestimate their value to help others – Shying Violets (SVs) and those who will overestimate their value – Ms. Fixits (Ms.Fs). Learn your disposition and try to compensate for it as you’re applying your best judgment in deciding if you should involve yourself. Most importantly, listen for the Holy Spirit and the voice of Wisdom encouraging you to get involved or stay out of it. When your alter-ego (SV or Ms. F) has a strong voice, it can be hard to know what you’re hearing. Is that SV, Ms. F or is that Wisdom?

Quick test for Ms. Fs: You hear a voice that’s already working on the solution that you need to impart – that’s Ms. F. If you hear a voice telling you to slow down and see if maybe the situation can be resolved without you, that’s probably Wisdom.

more for quarrels, to which our proverb refers, and not so much for situations in which there is a clear moral imperative or someone’s health and well being immediately at stake.

Read a summary of the many interesting aspects of Kitty Genovese’s case at www.wikapedia.com or for more in-depth reading try Thirty-Eight Witnesses: The Kitty Genovese Case By A. M. Rosenthal, A.M. ISBN 0-520-21527-3.

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w moving out ... settling in 13 12 11 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1

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balance project

I have made a new resolve this past month to put into action the resolution I made last January: to get into shape and shed a few pounds. That’s right, I am about ten months late, but it’s better late than never, I say. Like many young women, I have always struggled with having a positive self-image. Instead of being thankful for my health, I often criticize my figure because it isn’t Hollywood perfect. Even knowing how stupid that is, it isn’t always easy to ignore. In late high school and into college, I was obsessed about my weight and thought I’d be better off not eating. Or if I did eat, I thought I should probably throw up afterwards to make sure it didn’t stick. However, I never was able to go through with it. I always got scared and cried.

by Kimberly Miller

One of the times I tried to throw up in the dorm shower, I got really scared and started crying. I was pretty shaken when I came out of the shower, and my roommate noticed and asked what was wrong. Something must have knocked sense into me, because that day was the end of my psychological problems with food. Well, the end of that kind of problem. Recently, I have had the opposite problem. I work hard eight hours a day, I come home and I just want to relax and indulge. And within reason, that would be fine, but if I have

gone out to eat with the girls for lunch and had a cheeseburger and fries, coming home to brownies and ice cream and three bowls of Fruity Pebbles isn’t a good idea. Actually, I have always tried to make health and nutrition a priority; it’s just that sometimes it’s more of a headknowledge thing than a lifestyle. I


w am on the Advisory Team for the Wellness program at work, but that doesn’t usually stop me from eating a couple donuts that were left over from meetings. Mmm, I <heart> donuts. Unfortunately, my thighs love donuts too, and they refuse to ever let them go. The donuts, cheeseburgers and chocolate go right to my tummy and thighs, and I’m left sitting there, feeling fat, and judging myself for making bad dietary choices. And then I’m tempted to go back to the food obsession that led me to try bulimia… Why can’t I just find a balance? So here I am, determined to find balance, and hoping that you, the readers of Single! Young Christian Woman will be inclined to join me. If you do, be sure to find the routine that fits you best. Here is my Project Balance: Reduce caloric intake, but don’t

starve myself. Exercise, but don’t strain myself. Eat more fruit and veggies, but don’t forget the protein. Make fitness a priority, but don’t judge myself if I miss a day.

Unfortunately, my thighs love donuts too, and they refuse to ever let them go. Every other day, I will spend 15 to 45 minutes on the elliptical – enough to get my metabolism up, but not so much that I stress my body. The days that I don’t elliptical, I will stretch and maybe learn a few yoga poses to practice. Every day, I will limit myself to one “junk food.” I will do crunches most days but not every day. I will eat breakfast, lunch and dinner

If you don’t have an elliptical machine, maybe you have a treadmill or a park where you can run. If none of these will work, I suggest you go to Wal-Mart and get Gold’s Gym weighted-handle jump rope for about $6. We all ought to be good stewards of these bodies that God gave us. Let’s stay motivated, but also gentle on ourselves both physically and psychologically. Let’s focus on balance and moderation in all areas of our lives. Will you join me? Remember, though, that no amount of physical fitness can ever negate the need for spiritual health. The Bible says in Proverbs 4:20-23:

}

20“My son, pay attention to what I say; listen closely to my words. 21 Do not let them out of your sight, keep them within your heart; 22 for they are life to those who find them and health to a woman’s whole body. 23 Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life. A jump rope will exercise not only legs; it works abs and arms and is great aerobic exercise too – a great full-body workout for cheapcheap. And you don’t need to spend an hour doing it. In fact, it’s one of the best solutions if you have very limited time for working out. Jumping rope four or five times a day for just two to three minutes a time will have a payoff. It’s enough to get the heart pumping and muscles burning, but not so worked up that you have to shower. Get a couple of ropes and leave one in the car or in your backpack or purse and add a few minutes of jumping rope during breaks between classes or coffee breaks at work to wake your mind up too.

every day, but the portions will be smaller and I will eat healthy snacks in between.

What’s balance look like for you? Join our group on Facebook and tell us about your Project Balance.

Bulimia: Not a Way to Achieve Balance

As warped as it sounds to someone who has never tried it, throwing up after a huge meal actually makes sense to desperate young women who suffer with bulimia. However, this is not a healthy way to balance out a box of donuts. As a habit, it wreaks havoc on the body (illustration here), but it’s extremely dangerous even tried once, as well. Why? Because it’s habitforming. Be smart, don’t start. And if you wish you never had – we urge you to get help! Learn more at http://www.womenshealth.gov/FAQ/bulimia-nervosa.cfm

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o Reba Ray´s down home healthy cookin’ for one on a budget

Square

by Reba Ray

Three

MealS

SomE 5 a Day

on $

In the September and October 09 issues of Single! Young Christian Woman, I gave you two of four parts of a 16-day program I’ve worked out so that you can eat healthy on $5 a day. This here is the third.

Just like before, I’m gonna give you four day’s worth of menu and shopping list, as well as the shopping list for a starter kit of ingredients that’ll last you for at least three months, in most cases. Yur gonna have to check back with me in the next issue of Single! Young Christian Woman, to get the final menu and shopping list for days 13 through 16. But with this here menu and the other two, you can get started saving money while you eat healthy. Now I know $55 for a starter kit sounds a little outrageous, but it will average out to be less than a dollar a day because of how long the ingredients last. Add it to the $4-a-day menu and yur eatin’ for $5 a day. Some things on this menu are made with items leftover from the first and second four-day shopping lists. If you are seeing this for the first time, what ya really otta do is go back to the first fourday menu and start there. Then go on to the second four-day menu, then add this one for a total of 12 days of cheap, healthy eatin’. But if you wanna be stubborn and start with this 4-day menu, then you’ll have to buy the things that you were supposed to have left over from the previous menus. I’ve included that list below for the hard-headed. Now, let’s review the ground rules.

The Third.

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1. Shop smart. No fancy schmancy markets – you need a Kroger or a Wal-mart


or some other low-priced store and even then, you need to buy the store brand when you can to make this work. I don’t list a size on these products, so just get as large a container as you can without going over the allotted price. For the spices, if you have a Wal-Mart Superstore, look for their large spice bottles for $.50 each instead of paying for name brands. If not, go to the local dollar store to buy yur spices. And a disclaimer: prices vary so much from store to store and then when you take into account different regions of the country, well, this iddn’t no exact science. I’m ballparkin’ figures here and I believe

you can get mighty close to the total amount regardless of where you live, as long as you shop smart. 2. Surely you notice a little repetition in these menus and that there aren’t too many fancy foods on them. Newsflash: You can’t eat fancy foods on $5 a day. And if yur just feeding yurself, well, you’ve got to have a little repetition to use all the food that was in the package. Again, budget food does not usually come in single servings. 3. As always, I’m learnin’ ya how to cook healthy. Give it a try – I just know you can learn to love what’s good for ya.

I'm learnin' ya how to cook healthy!

$55 starter kit Salt Pepper Ginger Cinnamon Basil Oregano Cumin Brown sugar Molasses Baking powder Baking soda Whole wheat flour Vanilla Mayonnaise Pesto Bullion Cubes (chicken and beef) Lemon juice Jalapeno peppers Olive oil Balsamic vinegar Soy sauce Worcestershire sauce Apple cider vinegar Canola Oil Cooking spray BBQ sauce

$2 $1 $2 $1 $1 $1 $1 $2 $2 $2.50 $1 $3 $2 $2 $3 $2 each $2 $2 $5 $3 $3 $2 $1 $3 $3 $1

If there is any money left over, buy: Parmesan cheese $2.50 Box of crackers $2.50

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o Reba Ray´s down home healthy cookin’ for one on a budget

Day 9 BREAKFAST: Cereal w/ milk (And don’t you dare buy some sugary cereal not fit for human consumption! ) lunch: Patty melt (4 oz. beef patty on bread with 1 oz. cheddar cheese) snack: Raisins dinner: Chili desert: Apple pie (find yur favorite recipe and substitute oil for shortening in the pie crust)

Day 10 BREAKFAST: Two scrambled eggs w/toast lunch: tuna salad snack: Carrots dinner: Enchiladas desert: Leftover apple pie

Day 11 BREAKFAST: Oatmeal w/ apples lunch: Egg salad or scrambled egg sandwich snack: Peanut butter toast dinner: Tortellini w/ pesto, peas desert: Apples 'n oat sprinkle

Day 12

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BREAKFAST: Pancakes lunch: Leftover chili snack: Apple dinner: Breakfast tacos desert: Peanut butter cinnamon toast


Recipettes 10 minute chili: Brown ½ pound ground

beef, drain. In dutch oven (the big pot that came in your cookware set!), bring to boil over medium heat: one can tomato paste, one can kidney beans, 2 cups of water, three beef bullion cubes dissolved in 1 cup boiling water, spices to taste including chili powder, garlic, cumin, salt and pepper, and jalapeño, if you dare. Add browned beef. Let simmer until you get so hungry you can’t stand it. It only takes a coupla minutes to pull this together, but the longer you let it simmer, the better it’ll taste. And the leftovers are gonna be even better!

Gringo Enchiladas: Brown ¼ lb. ground

beef, seasoning it with salt, pepper, cumin, garlic and chopped jalapeños, if you want. Drain. Shred two ounces cheddar cheese. Using the back of a spoon or a basting brush, coat both sides of four corn tortillas with canola oil and warm them in a skillet or griddle over medium heat for about 90 seconds each side – don’t let ‘em get crispy. Coat the bottom of a small cake pan with enchilada sauce, then slap those tortillas in the sauce, one at a time. Put a row of beef and just a sprinklin’ of cheese in the center of the tortilla, then roll it up, ending with the seam side down. Repeat for the other tortillas, pour the rest of the enchilada sauce over the rolls – until they’re swimming in it, and sprinkle the rest of the cheddar cheese on top. Cover with foil. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes, until the sauce is bubblin’.

Apples ‘n oat sprinkle: Peel (or not!) and

core one apple and cut it in thin slices. Put em in a bowl and coat with one tablespoon syrup. Coat a single-serving au gratin dish (what, you haven’t bought one of these yet? What in the world are you waiting on? Buy one now!) with cooking spray and dumpy the syrupy apple slices in. In a cup, mix ¼ c. raw oats, 1 tablespoon brown sugar and ½ teaspoon cinnamon together, and then coat the mixture in2 teaspoons canola oil. Sprinkle the oat mixture over the apples and bake, covered in foil for 20 minutes at 350 degrees. Then remove the foil and bake for 15 minutes more.

Left overs from list # 1 & 2 Corn tortillas Oatmeal Apple sauce Frozen peas Peanut butter

Cereal Carrots ½ Gallon of Milk Spinach tortellini Raisins

Shopping List #3 Eggs Bread 8 oz Cheddar cheese 1 lb ground beef Kidney beans Tomato paste Enchilada sauce Bag of apples Can of tuna Tomato Syrup Fresh Garlic

$1.20 $2 $2 $3 $.80 $.40 $1.20 $3 $.60 $.50 $1.50 $.25

Peanut butter Cinnamon Toast: Heat yur oven to 425 – or use a toaster oven if you have one – and lightly coat one side of a slice of bread with peanut butter, using maybe one teaspoon. Spread one teaspoon brown sugar and sprinkle cinnamon over the bread. Toast on medium, or bake for a few minutes in the oven, watchin’ to take it out when the peanut butter and sugar start bubblin’ together and the bread turns to toast. Eat warm. Yummy!

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Dear Gabby

by

ter

s Gab

dear gabby: I am going to graduate from college in the spring and I am trying to decide

how to go about a job search. My mother says I should look any and everywhere and go with the best money offered. However, I am conflicted

about leaving this city where I have lived for more than 10 years and feel like I have my roots. She says the world is my oyster but I am happy

being clammed up right where I am, though job prospects are slim. If I

stay here, I may have to take a job not related to my degree or earn less than I could in other parts of the country. What should my priorities be in this job search?

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- Content and Clammed up in Cleveland


“For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord. They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope” Dear Clams, First of all, your mother is right; the world is your oyster. And you are right; roots and home are powerful forces in a person’s life. So what’s the right choice? Dear Gabby’s pearls of wisdom are this: Do It All. “HUH?” you say? That’s right. Apply to every decent job, near and far, that you can get your hot, enthusiastic, little college graduate hands on. The fact of the matter is that this country is in a recession and decent jobs for new graduates are not easy to come by. In order to make the most of the time and money you put into getting this degree, you should find a job that will challenge you to use it! Now if you really want to work exactly where you are, that’s fine. A great job may come along there. So by all means, apply to jobs in your area. That’s cool. But if you’re set on staying in the area, you may indeed have to compromise. On the other hand, if you love what you majored in, why would you want to do something else unless you had to? I mean, what if a GREAT JOB appeared two states away? And Gabby isn’t just talking great money. Making lots of clams isn’t the only reason for taking a job. What you want is a great opportunity. Some jobs may pull you in at a higher salary, but in the end there’s nowhere for you to grow. You’re stuck like a size 10 foot in a size nine boot and that really starts to pinch after a while. No, what you want is a job that will lead to something more. More responsibility, more cross-training. Then the money will come. The hardest part is relocating and doing the scary stuff like making a new life in an unfamiliar place. To that Gabby would say, “JOIN, JOIN, JOIN.” Join a church, a service club like the

Jeremiah 29:11 Junior League or a gym. Get out, meet people, put out shoots – that’s how roots start. Only you can really decide what you want most. Fortunately, it sounds like you have a supportive family behind you. Also, you’re at a point in your life where your personal baggage is pretty light. You really only have to please yourself. Embrace that because it won’t always be that way. And other things won’t always be the way they are either. Don’t be surprised if you enter into this field you so love to find out that it’s not right for you, or, that after a decade in it, you’re ready for a new challenge. This first job decision seems monumental, but if you’re like the average young American, it’s not such a huge commitment. Very few college grads lock into a career on the first try. Think of this first job as a primer. You will learn an incredible amount about full-time work – yes, even if you’ve been working your way through college – there’s nothing quite like that first career job. You’ll learn a lot about yourself and your priorities may shift from what they are now. Remember, Clams, no matter where you wind up, a good, steady paying job is a blessing – most especially today. And remember that God has a plan for you. A plan for a future, a plan for hope. Wherever you go, there He is.

- Gabster

15


K

Spare Change

it’s beginning to look a lot like

chri$tmas by Paola Segnini

Mom

Scarf

$25

Dad

Boots

$75

Andrea

Blouse

$18

Mariana

Shoes

$50

Adriana

Blanket

$15

Cousin

Hat

$10

If a Christmas gift isn’t worth going into debt for, is anything? Let this Christmas be the start of a new way of spending if you have been used to relying on credit cards. Though they were never a great idea to begin with, credit cards are quickly approaching the ridiculous. If you have a credit card, check your mail closely

d 16

over the next couple of months. (Or maybe you already tossed this correspondence, thinking the usual insignificant stuff.) Your terms are about to change. Interest rates are being hiked big time – some as high as 30%, based on prime, which means they can get even higher. It’s the economy, stupid. Think tanks have been warning that


K

I

t’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas – have you noticed? Christmas decorations in stores and Christmas ads all over the place. I thought Christmas wasn’t until December. Silly me. Apparently, and according to those same ads, I’m already running late with my Christmas shopping. Nonetheless, I wasn’t even thinking about the holidays until today, all of a sudden, my friend Ninel told me she needs to get started with her shopping. I was surprised! Not that she was thinking about presents so soon, but that I immediately got concerned about the fact that I haven’t started shopping either.

To be honest, in the past I haven’t thought too much about the material and financial aspects of Christmas, because I’ve had the money to just go and get presents for everyone when I felt like it. But this year is different. I haven’t recuperated financially from losing my job – even though I found another one, I definitely don’t have money to spare on presents. To make matters worse, my mom’s birthday is December 23rd.

Even if this is not your particular situation, and you only have to get two or three presents instead of 10+ like me, you may be tempted to use a credit card to have yourself a merry little Christmas… but beware! As much as I love my family, no material thing I could get for them would be worth going into debt. And because they’re my family, and they love me, I’m sure they don’t want that for me either. I love Christmas as much as the average person, but my favorite holiday of all times is Thanksgiving. It’s ironic since I’m Costa Rican, but the concept of getting together with family and friends to give grace for all the good things in my life fills my heart. Thanksgiving is not about material things – though you could go all out and buy an entire store worth of food; I have had the greatest of Thanksgiving celebrations with the very basics.

Why can't I celebrate Christmas the same way I do Thanksgiving? Why do people even consider going into debt over celebrating the birth of Jesus? It just doesn't seem to match the true spirit of the holiday.

So now what? I’d feel terrible about not giving anyone a present but I really don’t have the money to get them something. I bet I could try to cut a few corners here and there to get my mom a birthday present and my sister a Christmas present, but what about my dad, grandma, grandpa, uncles, cousins and best friends? My extended family all lives very close by, in true Latin-American spirit, and that means they’ll all be around for the holidays.

credit card companies are next in line for an economic meltdown and these random rate and fee hikes are the first solid indicator that the meltdown is coming. If you read the terms carefully, you’ll notice you can opt out of the increases and you won’t be negatively affected if you pay your balance off by the time your current card expires

It occurs to me it would be a good idea to apply this rationale to Christmas. Why can’t I celebrate Christmas the same way I do Thanksgiving? Why do people even consider going into debt over celebrating the birth of Jesus? It just doesn’t seem to match the true spirit of the holiday.

When I decided to take this approach, my worries seemed to fade away. I don’t NEED to get them presents! I’d LIKE to buy something. There’s a huge difference. Though I’ll probably at least spring for some Christmas cards, or make them myself to give them a personal touch, I hereby publicly announce that I won’t spend another minute of my time worrying over Christmas shopping.

or your current membership year ends, whichever comes later. The account will have to close, but you know what? Who cares? They can keep their stinking credit because cash is king! Girls, get out the scissors and let’s make confetti of those credit cards. Sayonara Citibank!

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by Gwen Schumaker & Donna Lee Schillinger

resurgence

graphic

of the

Fashi on DIVinA

18

T

When my mom was in high school, she had a minor crush on a guy named Duane, who had one serious flaw that kept that minor crush from being major: He wore stupid t-shirts – graphic T-shirts with messages written on them like “I’m with Stupid” and “Don’t Follow Me, I’m Lost.” In the 1980s the graphic T was just bad taste in clothing. Thirty years later, it seems that it wasn’t so much that graphic Ts were a poor choice as it was that they just had not come into their own yet.


100% Cotton Hand Wash Do not dry

The graphic T has never gone away really. There has always been a place on every boardwalk across the country to buy a blank shirt on which you could pop one of a hundred different messages and then have your name gummed on the back. Add a wide-tooth comb in your back pocket and you’re ready to strut down the fairway. So how does something so blue collar find its way back to the limelight in your favorite mode stores like Rue 21 and Pac Sun? Honestly, I don’t know – and I’ve been asking myself the same about legwarmers! If I had to pin the blame somewhere though, “Napoleon Dynamite” would be as good a place as any. Oh, and “Nacho Libre.” This genre of movie, to which new releases are still being added – see “Adventures of Power” – celebrates the nerdy and marginal in taste and has exalted them to an unprecedented popularity. Let’s be real, what are the odds that you would have ever in your lifetime worn a shirt that says “Vote for Pedro” if not for Napoleon Dynamite? It’s a magical process this cooling of nerdiness, and one that I like just fine. It’s actually gratifying to see nerdy simplicity get its moment in the limelight. Poor Duane – he was simply ahead of his time.

So the graphic T is full-blown fashion, and as a bonus, they make it cheap to be in style. You don’t have to blow $20 on a graphic T. That $20 will buy you 4 Ts on sale – what a bargain! The big question in my mind, however, is whether stocking up on graphic Ts in this bull market for them is going to pan out as a good investment. The Ts aren’t made to last forever – I’ve noted most of them are made of very lightweight cotton jersey that might hold up to a year’s regular wear and washing without springing a leak under the arm. But let’s say we pamper our Ts – put them on the gentle cycle and line dry them so the iron-

on appliqués don’t crust over and start to peel. If we can make them last two, four or six years with this tender care, will their favor in fashion last as long? Because of the fact graphic Ts never really went away, I’m inclined to say that $20 spent on four Ts is a good investment. Sooner or later, the limelight will drift elsewhere, but those graphic Ts will still be good for working out, bumming around the house and, of course, wearing on the boardwalk and fairway.

As Christians, another thing we need to keep in mind when contemplating the graphic T is how graphic it is. Each T has a message – some lighthearted and carefree, some artistic, some disturbing, some inane. What are you expressing in your choice of graphic Ts? When people see the words and pictures on your shirts might they possibly think, “What a wholesome gal”? Or are your shirts literally a graphic tease? Be sure to put out a positive, encouraging message with your graphic Ts. If you’re having trouble finding the right message at Rue 21, try Christian online retailers like http:// shop.kerusso.com, www.c28.com and www.WithinHisGrace.com, or secular retailers who have an inspirational section of graphic Ts in their catalog, like Choice Shirts. Unfortunately, and in my opinion to the disgrace of these retailers, graphic Ts with a Christian message seem to only come at a premium. Expect to pay $12 on clearance to $18.99 for regularly priced shirts on these Web sites. On the flipside, expect a better quality jersey too. I do wish these Christian retailers would get competitive with their pricing, if only by offering a cheapo jersey with a B-grade graphic. Fact of the matter is that some of us have to shop by price. Have fun with this easy-going, comfortable fashion trend, and to quote a graphic T, “Love, Joy, Peace” and graphic Ts to you!

These Graphic Ts and more available at www.withinhisgrace.com.

19


C

l F

Just What You

Need by Donna Lee Schillinger

A connection to the

world 20

M


M

Mind if I ask you a question? Are you into anything that’s not all about you? I’m going to let you in on a little mystery: life is better when we care about something bigger than ourselves. I have no idea why, but happiness actually seems to be inversely proportionate to how much time and energy we invest in ourselves. Simply put: we’re happier the more we care about others. Don’t ask me why, like I said, it’s a mystery. Does this mean that if I sponsor a child in Africa, I’ll be happier? I can honestly say, “no.” I sponsor a young man, David Duncan, in Kenya (or is it Nigeria) and I am not notably happier because of it. I wouldn’t withdraw my support from David. I like getting his Christmas letter and I don’t feel bad about putting him through school – or whatever it is that I’m really doing – but I can’t honestly say I feel good about it either. OK, I feel good, but not like a real feeling. I’m not getting warm and fuzzy inside like I feel when I rescue a lost kitten. That says to me that sponsoring a child, however noble, is not a social passion for me. Social passions – oh yea, I got ‘em; but it has taken a little effort on my part to figure out what they are and are not. My point is that if you have tried something in the past that was supposed to make you feel warm and fuzzy and you didn’t get the feeling, you have effectively eliminated something that is not a passion for you. You have a social passion, though. It may not have been adopting a mile of highway or cleaning animal cages, but don’t give up. Find that happiness that’s eluding you in the form of caring about something bigger than yourself. Volunteer. Give. Share. Don’t know where to begin? Here are some suggestions, and no, sponsoring a child is not among them because I assume you have the 411 on that from watching late-night TV.

Minimal time:

Moderate time: Megatime:

Can you click a mouse 13 times in rapid succession? Bookmark StyleSubstanceSoul.com,go there once daily, and from there, click 12 more times to make your daily donations to six causes that get credit for clicks. With high speed Internet, this will take a minute a day. Think you don’t have anything left to give? Mocha Club will challenge that notion. This is a neat site that let’s you create a social network around your sponsorship of a good cause – all for $7 a month. If Mocha is your passion, you could end up interning with them, being a campus rep or even joining them on an Africa trip.

Got a weekend to spare every now and again? “If you are in a place where you want to grow, where you want to be involved in ministry that matters – if you can stand being challenged spiritually and the smell of 8th grade boys, then this is the perfect place for you to start,” says Katalyst Ministries Founder Kevin D. Kirkland. Learn more:

Ready to do something really radical? I cannot begin to tell you how many people, upon learning that I was in the Peace Corps, have said, “I always wanted to do something like that.” Do yourself a favor and don’t become a person who can say that. Instead, just do it! www.

D Katalyst Weekends.

PeaceCorps.gov.

Or if you’d rather pay to do good works in the name of God, rather than the U.S. government, check out ShortTermMissions. com, where you can search for an opportunity in any country, for any length of time, with a bunch of different organizations. Totally freaked out by the prospect of international travel? How about a domestic year in missions? Visit

MissionYear.org

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single!

Young Christian Woman

Read our blog at: www.onmyownnow.com


Single! Young Christian Woman Nov 09  

Resurgence of the Graphic T-shirt; What's Your Social Passion? More $5 a day Meal Plans; Tattletaling or Doing the Right Thing: What's the D...

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