www.tradesofhope.com

So many women live in poverty, not because they lack abilities, but because they lack opportunity. We started Trades of Hope to give women that opportunity for a better life. Each woman has a story, and with Trades of Hope’s help, their story has changed from pain and struggle to a story of hope!

We work with the artisans themselves and organizations that are helping women in difficult circumstances. Some women have been rescued from sex slavery. Others are raising handicapped children alone. Some are in war torn countries and others have HIV/AIDS and leprosy. These women have never had the chances we’ve had, yet they are just like us in so many ways. They love their families and hope and dream of a better life for them.

We are helping by marketing their products through the home party model, so they can put food on their table, a roof over their head, get medical care and an education for their children. We want to tell their stories to the world! http://www.tradesofhope.com We have a heart for ministry and business, and through this we have started separate successful non-profit organizations and businesses. Together, we have a combined 30 years of experience. This has given us the tools and drive we need to help women and make an impact on the world! As mothers and daughters, we also wanted to partner together to help create a beautiful world for the next generation.
                                                                                                                                                                     Elisabeth, Gretchen, Holly, & Chelsie of “TRADES OF HOPE”.   

Heavy

 

My husband, Jason C. Ketcham’s blog:

It was December 13th, 2005.

I was ready to depart at 4:30am for my westward journey to Washington.

What awaited me was a proving ground which I had no idea could be so traumatic.

Of the many lessons I learned, One is dear to me.

“When your heart is heavy, and you are tired, stop pushing, pulling, and striving. Just be still.”

I still remember the German Bologna purchased for lunches. And the face my friend would make upon smelling it.

One day she decided to make a lunch for me instead and threw my sandwich away.

I was full afterward. It was good to have a friend to care for me when I didn’t know how to care for anything. Even myself.

I kept asking her if she needed help,

“JUST SIT!” she shot.

I am now quite certain that women know what we need, and vice versa.

Because as I was still, and waited, something strange happened.

Comfort.

Then tears. Tears I held in for years.

She was there.  Eating and talking to me, “Dang, Ketch, I thought it tastes good.”

“It does. that’s why I am crying.” I laughed.

and it did. It still does.

Ketch you later.

Ketch Them

It was December 13th, 2005.

I was ready to depart at 4:30am for my westward journey to Washington.

What awaited me was a proving ground which I had no idea could be so traumatic.

Of the many lessons I learned, One is dear to me.

“When your heart is heavy, and you are tired, stop pushing, pulling, and striving. Just be still.”

I still remember the German Bologna purchased for lunches. And the face my friend would make upon smelling it.

One day she decided to make a lunch for me instead and threw my sandwich away.

I was full afterward. It was good to have a friend to care for me when I didn’t know how to care for anything. Even myself.

I kept asking her if she needed help,

“JUST SIT!” she shot.

I am now quite certain that women know what we need, and vice versa.

Because…

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Snake in the Grass

I have been warned that if I write this I will stir up trouble.  I am throwing a smirk on and caution to the wind on this one.  I am having a hard time believing that people should “SNAP OUT” of depression.  Snapping out of something you have been born with and suffer from continually.Bipolar is really complicated to those who don’t live with it.It is their struggle to understand someone who is outrageous, and sullen, boisterous and sad, happy and suicidal.  Or, mid-line, if we are lucky.Apathy is the best of days at times.  Sometimes it isn’t a roller coaster but a Merry-go-’round. We spin and rise, fall. Disoriented by our own perception and sundered by our thoughts.And there in lies another civet. Our thoughts are not linear all the time, and then switch it up, they are clear and suddenly lucid!  What should people believe?The truth is, we are multifaceted.  With a myriad of beams flowing from a core that is fractured. and yet whole.If you want to know us, love us, without reprimand.If you want to love us, know us without constraints.Tying us down, and whatnot will confuse us. it says we are not allowed to be ourselves.  Not allowed to think this way– but there is not another way.You have two choices. Accept us as we stand. Or please leave us be.

Source: Snake in the Grass

Those Reindeer Games. . . .

Poor Rudolph. He was excluded from those reindeer games. Such is the life of a childless soon-to-be mama, 37, not yet preggo. You see, in this family-oriented town of Ocala, Fl. . . .if you have friends who have surpassed their brood making stage of say at least 1 child, they find if you don’t have any, you are undeserving of other mothers presence, you wouldn’t be interested in being “included” in the occasional birthday party, or get-together at the park. *I will procreate, dammit. And seriously, its getting redundant. The exclusion from mommy life. What will you do when I do pop out or adopt some babies? Shun me still?17022204_10208167763061006_8535001306002069909_n

The Initiative Production of a Testimony Present and Past

As I present my striving story, my wonderful hot mess of a diatribing years. . . .please note that I should be transposing my journals to blog format, commencing in several agonizing weeks. . . . . .If you feel you’ll be in my stories, well that’s just grand, because you deserve the accolades OR confinement of shame on my pages. I’ll be writing about Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Mental Illness as the Rape, Abandonment, high standards of parenting gone wrong, addiction to consumption of caloric intake, riled with anger as it very should be, displayed in due time, healing in tow. . . .I triumph over fear now, and honor my Jesus, who has redeemed and is continuing to heal the rife wounds that linger. . . . . . . .ready to be unleashed to tell of my TEST. . .imony. . ..Because it was a test of resolve, of steadfast living. Bound before, now I  “T H R I V E”, free.