ometimes we find ourselves in a place in life where we feel empty. We need to fill a void in our nest. That is where I was in life.

Children off, and husband still working, I missed being a mother, encourager or teacher to children. Cooking, cleaning the house, weeding flowerbeds, all lost their joy for me.

As a desperate attempt to find a passion for life, I pulled out a ham from the freezer, cooked rice and made a ham and cheese casserole, then drove to a place I had never been before.

It is called Common Ground, an inner city ministry. Driving through a neighborhood I never knew exisited, I try to look confident, but the truth is I have been warned all my life to never enter neighborhoods like this or my life would be in danger.

Stopping at each stop sign I felt a little uncomfortable. Kind of like wearing a red dress when everyone else is wearing Khaki pants. I begin singing softly to myself, “One of these things is not like the others…”

I arrive at the location and park close to the door, pick up my casserole and walk into an older building that has been beautifully redone. Pine Sol fills the air; the floors and tables are immaculate. I use to keep my house this clean when I had children in the house.

Walking in I announce, “I’m here to volunteer. I’d like to teach crochet if you have a place for that.” They were so kind and put me onto the schedule.

Tuesday nights from Five o’clock until Six o’clock, they come and sit in a circle. I they are so full of life and chatter. I remind them, “Crochet is a quiet activity” and they quiet down for a few minutes only to bust out in laughter at the smallest thing.

One young lady become frustrated at another, “Why does she have my name in her mouth?” I love the visual image she has just given and try not to let my love of her words show.

We begin talking about how everyone is made in God’s image. If we are unkind in our words, we are hurting God’s heart. He has created that person and we are saying something unkind about His creation, kind of like someone saying something unkind about your crochet work. It is personal and can make us feel sad inside.

I love these girls, when I am with them I no longer see their color; I see something that delights my soul and gives me a breath of life. I tell them, “Crochet is a Life Skill, you can comfort others with your work, and you can also make money with this skill.”

For them it is a Life Skill, but for me it is life CPR.

Are you feeling empty, has life lost it’s flavor? Then leave what you have been doing for a little while, and change your environment. What skills do you have? Can you needle point, knit, sew…write? Then go and teach it to the next generation. It will be CPR to your soul, and a blessing to you community.

My people hear my teaching; listen to the words of my mouth. 
I will open my mouth with a parable; I will utter hidden things, things from of old— things we have heard and known, things our ancestors have told us. We will not hide them from their descendants; we will tell the next generation 
the praiseworthy deeds of the LORD, his power, and the wonders he has done. He decreed statutes for Jacob and established the law in Israel, 
which he commanded our ancestors to teach their children, so the next generation would know them, even the children yet to be born, and they in turn would tell their children. Then they would put their trust in God and would not forget his deeds but would keep his commands. (Psalms 78:1-7 NIV)

Writing with Lisa-Jo, for more than five Minutes on this Friday

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Diane W. Bailey is the founder of The Consilium – an online community of wisdom and purpose for women over 45 years of age. She is a published author. Her books include String of Pearls – From Tears to Treasure, and 30 Days To A Better Stepfamily. She creates her own line of precious metals bracelets. Diane lives in the Deep South with her husband Doc. Together they have created a stepfamily, each having two stepchildren and two birth children, and share three grandchildren, one black lab named Charlie and one long haired tabby cat named Lil Girl. Diane’s passion is to encourage women to be all God has created them to be by pressing past fear and daring to live life as an adventure. Some of her life adventures include traveling to Israel, speaking, entrepreneurship and backyard farming with Doc. She loves Gumbo, fried shrimp and seeing all sunsets across water.

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