The Magazine to Empower and Enrich Today’s Urban Woman
Faith God The Cry of
Table of Contents
The Cry of God ..................................... Page 2 Handling Disappointments ................... Page 9
Making Things Beautiful From Nothing ... Page 3 I Can’t Believe They’re Eating ............... Page 5 Crazy Beautiful Fashion Show .............. Page 7
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Editor-in-Chief .......................... Crystal Wacker Writing Editor ....................... Christina Williams Spanish Translation .................... Jodi-Kay Ellis Spanish Editor ....................... Mona Ré Shields Contributing Authors ............... Crystal Wacker Margaret Lavisky Joselyn Ward Crazy Beautiful Team Graphic Artist ............................. Diana Faruqui Photos ........................... www.iStockphoto.com www.sxc.hu Ray Scott Maribelle Gomez Clinkscales
By: Crystal Wacker
Dad and I were talking one afternoon about our readers. He has such a soft spot for women who need to know that Jesus really, really understands their desperate situations. Then he told me he’d been thinking that the first time anyone ever heard God’s voice, it was a cry.
God made the cry of a baby to speak clearly and effectively without words. Every mother learns what the different cries of her baby mean. Surely, God knows our cries as well.
Isaiah 53:3 says that Jesus as an adult was a Servant to mankind. This is a peek into those thoughts. He wasn’t handsome, even though movie directors insist on handsome actors playing Jesus. Scripture says When you strip everything away from Christmas celebrations, it boils there wasn’t anything attractive down to being simply about a baby. about Him. In fact, He was looked A holy baby, the Christ-child, a tiny down on, He suffered, and He knew pain firsthand. infant. A baby who cried. There are some who would like to make you think that as the Godchild, “no crying He makes.” Wrong! He cried for his mommy; He cried when He was hungry; He cried when He was wet. He cried. Isn’t it amazing that the God who had EVERYTHING and lived in heavenly majesty, who never knew pain, or sorrow, or headaches and disappointment, let go of everything in order to become human? And, not a fully grown adult in control of his life, but a dependent baby with control over nothing. Just think -- the very first sound of God Himself was a cry. That says something to me. The God I reach up to understands me when I cry. After all, God created me and my human emotions. He gave me tear ducts so I could cry. And
and His plans for our lives, we hurt Him -- enough that He cries. Jesus cried over His city. He cried when His friend Lazarus died. He cried when things got really tough and when the personal pain became too great just before He was arrested. He cried out to His Father on the cross. In a very real way, that’s why we celebrate Christmas. God came to earth to identify with His creation -- humbly, softly, and emotionally.
Maybe through your tears you’ll find enough joy to celebrate the Jesus, who knew glory in heaven birth of the God-child who gets it. (which I can hardly figure out how You are not alone. You matter to to describe), also knew rejection, God. Your tears matter. The cry of put downs, and extreme disappoint- your heart is being heard by God. ment. Sorry to say, I identify more Reach up to Him. It will make all with that side of Jesus. And maybe the difference. He’s reaching out you do too. to you….
You Merry Christmas. Crystal and her dad
Maybe you have cried lately. Do To: the holidays bring problems and hurt to the surface when it seems everyone else is happy and celebrating? I understand. But I hope to From: encourage you with this: Christmas is all about the God-child who came to earth so that men and women everywhere for all time could be reconnected with the God who made them an d loves them so deeply that He cries over them. Yes, I believe Jesus cries over our hurts. When we reject His love
Something from Nothing Beauty in Everything!
A Reach UP Interview with Margaret Lavisky Recently we (RU) interviewed Margaret Lavisky (ML). She helps us promote Reach UP magazine.
ML Yes, and there are other things I saw my mother do that I took for granted. As an adult I’m now amazed at her talent.
She made all our clothes. My brother’s pants were made from the back sides of my father’s worn-out RU Margaret, you didn’t grow up in the inner city, pants – the part that hadn’t worn out. She took did you? But you said that your experience could the seams apart and sewed a smaller pair of pants relate to our readers. How’s that? out of my dad’s large pants. ML As a child, I grew up on a country dirt road in Ohio. We were really poor.
Nothing in our home was wasted. My mother figured out how to make something from nothing. It really was quite an art.
RU Ok, tell us about it. RU What if someone doesn’t know how to sew? ML Until I was six years old, we didn’t have indoor plumbing. We brought water into the house from an outdoor well with buckets.The water was heated on a wood-burning stove for cooking, bathing, and washing clothes. We washed our clothes using a washboard and an old-fashioned wringer washing machine. Then we hung them out on the line to dry.
ML Even if you don’t sew, you can learn how.You can mend clothes that get torn and put patches on holes. I learned so much. But before I go into that, I want to mention that Mom always kept busy. She crocheted and knitted. And we can teach that. So much can be done. I remember that mother would reuse yarn that she pulled from an item that no longer fit, or that had a hole in it. We learned: RU Wow. I wonder how many even know what a Reuse it, remake it, and you get something new! I washboard is, let alone a wringer washing machine. would love to teach women how to make things. Doesn’t take quarters, does it? Line drying your It’s fun to keep your hands busy and get something clothes, though -- that’s a way to save money. out of it, too.
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wo r k h a rd
! e njoy li fe
RU Sounds good! I wonder how many of our readers would like to learn (or teach someone) how to sew, crochet, or knit? It’s the holidays, and they are often celebrated around food. What did you learn about food?
recycled hand-me-downs, but they were always clean and made with love.
ML The food mom served was simple, but she tried to make it healthy and delicious. She served it with a flair. She picked fresh flowers from the outdoors. You know, bouquets don’t have to cost. Pick leaves or a branch, wrap them with a child’s ribbon, and put them in a glass with water, and it looks special. Dogwoods were her favorite. I can still see the twinkle in her eye when she picked them. That’s what she taught me.
ML We were taught the value of hard work and to enjoy the fruit of our labor. It’s been a lesson I carried with me all of my life and what I’ve tried to teach my daughters.
RU Very good. Is there something else you’d like to leave us with?
RU Yes, it’s obvious that was a special delight.Your sister painted that picture of a dogwood. It’s our goal at Reach UP to inspire our readers to look for beauty wherever they find it. ML My earliest memories were of mother looking for ways to create beauty and warmth in our home. We didn’t realize that we were that poor. I guess you could say that not only did she try to make things look nice with what we had, she had a bit of an “attitude.” No one would be able to say we didn’t look nice. Our clothes may have been
i t. e k a m e r re us e i t. g ne w ! in h t m o s =
For the next year in each issue, we’ll follow Jeanette Rivera as she prepares for her upcoming wedding. We’ll get an insider’s view of what it’s like to plan and budget for a wedding. Then we’ll have a special wedding issue of Reach UP. So here’s our first glimpse…
Reach Reach UP UP
By: Joselyn Ward
I ’ve been asked many times,
“How do you get your kids to eat the way they do?” Kids are famous for being picky eaters, but my four daughters are used to eating at least two servings of vegetables and three servings of fruit a day. With child obesity on the rise, it‘s getting harder to keep on a healthy eating track. Sometimes I serve my daughters the usual things like baby carrots, lettuce and tomatoes, or apples and oranges. However, they have learned to enjoy lima beans, artichokes, brussel sprouts, pomegranates, grapefruits, and cactus fruit*. Surprising, right? Getting them to like these things is not as hard as it seems. It just takes presentation, persistence, and patience. Here’s how:
Presentation: Think of different ways to introduce new foods and to present everyday foods in a new way. Add color to the plate in the form vegetables for dinner.
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Cooked vs. raw: My children did not like vegetables cooked -- not boiled, steamed, or baked! Children often don’t like mushy texture; they prefer crunchy. That’s okay, so go with it. Offer veggies in a baggie instead of chips. Or prepare a veggie tray in advance and leave it in the fridge for an occasional snack option. Instead of popcorn for family movie night, fill the bowl with grapes, strawberries, and cherries. Move beyond everyday fruit like apples, oranges, or grapes. Let your kids pick out something new, then create a fruit salad. If they are still not interested, you can bake fruits into a regular muffin or cake mix for a tasty dessert, or dump them into pancakes for breakfast. Dip it: Children will eat anything if they can dip it. It’s fun and almost like playing with their food, so they are more likely to eat it. Salad dressings are great to use as dips, any kind from ranch to balsamic
vinegar. Yogurts and caramel sauce are also good for dipping fruits. Top it: Sauces such as sweet and sour, barbeque, and honey mustard are not just for meat anymore. Hummus (chick pea paste) is also great to use to top veggies. Sour cream, creamy spinach, and cream cheese make other tasty choices. Ice cream, jams and juices can be used for sweet toppings or making a shake. If all else fails, you can top anything with cheese, peanut butter, or chocolate. Hide It: Prepare regular cake mixes for muffins and add fruit, even veggies. Cut up and add various veggies to create a chunky spaghetti sauce. Add tomatoes and peppers to spice up a boring omelet.
Persistence: If you teach your children to expect fruits and veggies as a consistent part of their meals (and I mean breakfast, lunch, and dinner, including snacks), they will learn
to accept them as normal. Be persistent,
to them normal. butaccept don’t push oras nag them. Be This steer persistent, but and don’tturn push or nag will just annoy them off to them in the them. This will just annoy and turn try new things. Remember to have right direction. them offnew to try new things. Re- It’s another way of fun with experiences and member showing that you care flavors. to have fun with new experiences and flavors. and are interested in their opinions, interests, and health. Patience: Patience: Most children will not like what youTeaching them now about good Most children will around. not like And, what food choices will help them to offer the first time you time around. whatoffer theythe like first today, they might make better and healthier choices And, what they like today, they when they are older and on their like not like tomorrow. But don’t might like not like tomorrow. But give up! I have found that it takes own. don’t give up! I to have founda that time for a child acquire taste. it takes time for a child acquire As children grow, theirto tastes grow *Reach UP readers live all over the world, a taste. As children grow, their and change too. You may offer and not all the fruits and vegetables tastes grow too. You kids the bestand fruitchange and vegetables, mentioned are available everywhere. may the best fruitdon’t and Still it’s nice to learn about them. but ifoffer they kids don’t like them, vegetables, but if they don’tanlike get frustrated. Just try again them, don’t get frustrated. Just other time in another way. Sometry again another time in another times your negative reaction is all way. Sometimes your negative it takes for a child to never want reaction is allSo it takes for a child to try again. stay cool! to never want to try again. So stay Join cool! them in healthy eating: Eat with them. You will always be Join them healthy eating: their first andinbest example. If they Eat with them. You will always be Our author, Joselyn Ward, presently lives in Kitchare taking a risk with trying beets, their If they ener, Ontario, Canada, with her husband and takefirst theand risk best with example. them. Children four daughters, ages 11, twins 10, and 6. She are risktaking with trying beets, grew up in Williamsburg, New York. As a child, see taking this as a you an interest she attended Metro Ministries Sunday School take the risk with them. in their health. They see Children that they (an aggressive inner-city outreach program) see youtotaking an interest after her father passed away. Determined to canthis trustasyou be there to see make something of herself, she volunteered in their health. They see that they them through anything. Believe it in that ministry, eventually going on staff and can trust you to a belot. there to see meeting her husband there. Currently Joselyn or not, it means is a child and youth worker for group homes them through anything. Believe specializing in mentally and physically disabled it or not, it means a lot. Get the kids involved. Take them with you to the store and let them Get the something kids involved. Take them choose new. Involve with you to the store and let them choose something new. Involve them in meal planning. Ask them what they would like to eat and
Itâ€™s boot season ladies! Grab your favorite pair to accent any outfit! Add coordinated or contrasting colored tights for extra warmth.
When it comes to winter, color choice is important! Leave your bright yellows and oranges behind and dive into deep blues and purples.
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Crazy Beautiful Fashion Show took place in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. It’s a part of the country that rarely gets cold, so the styles shown are more with the warmer weather in mind. But, if you’re going out for that special event and it’s cold outside, wrap your coat around these great looks.
For your fancy holiday parties, an evening gown may seem chilly. Add a shawl for warmth and elegance!
A simple black wrap-around dress is a flattering choice for the full figured woman! Its a-line flare hides all of the “holiday treats.” Accent it with a set of pearls, add a coat, and you are ready for a wintery night out!
Fitted doesn’t mean we have to see it all. Choose your undergarments wisely will make sure you always look your best! Reach UP
1) Recognize that God has known about everything before you did. It is not a surprise to Him. He knows what’s best to do. 2) Talk to God about your feelings. 3) Read the Bible and find out what it says about your situation. 4) Pray with a friend. 5) Make up your mind to do the right thing, even if you don’t feel like it. Your feelings cannot be used as a measuring stick for truth. They’re just human feelings! Don’t make the mistake of thinking a drink, or a fix will help. It won’t. It will only make things worse. Only God’s Word is always true and can be depended upon whether or not it makes sense at the time. God cannot lie and He is the Author of Truth! Hang with God and you’ll get through...! Some verses for some disappointing situations: Not getting something you counted on: Psalm 22:5 (Amplified Bible) “They cried to You and were delivered; they trusted in, leaned on, and confidently relied on You, and were not ashamed or confounded or disappointed.” Look up Psalm 145:19 too. Illness: Romans 8:18 “I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.” Look up 2 Corinthians 4:17 too. Lack of support: 2 Corinthians 4:8-9 “We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down but not destroyed.”
Special Note from the Editor Big changes are happening for Jeanette Rivera and her family. You may recall from the fall issue that Reach UP had planned to follow her plans preparing for her storybook (second) wedding to her sweetheart, Guillermo Rivera. Many of our readers didn’t realize that this was the same Jeanette who wrote, “Desperation Doesn’t Have To Be Forever” Spring 2010. Now on the other side of depression and bad decisions, she’s living proof that God works out all things for good when you let Him. She and her husband have accepted a new ministry position and have to move. With the move and all the other things involved, they simply cannot do everything they’d like, so the big wedding celebration is cancelled. Reach UP looks forward to future articles by Jeanette.
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