Archive for Hope In the Midst

Permanent marker meets its match

  • A white table
  • A portrait of a woman with long black hair
  • A black, Sharpie, permanent marker
  • A spray bottle of water
  • A pair of scissors
  • A tissue box
  • A smudged, scratched, 3-day-old puddle of blackness

There’s the description of the crime scene as I happened upon it today.  I only wished I had taken a photo of it at the time but I was too busy stifling screams and tears that never escaped amidst the myriad of questions that swarmed around my head.

  1. Why did I have permanent markers in the school room?
  2. Why did I tell one of our children that she could use that marker very carefully on the lapdesk only?
  3. Why did I think that was a rational request?
  4. Why did I think that the most damage a pair of scissors could do was cut off a doll’s hair and create countless pieces of confetti on the floor?


 After a classic discipline transference that included lines such as, “Wait until your father sees this!” and “What made you think coloring on the kleenex with marker and then spraying the table with water would remove the stain??”  I resigned myself to the failsafe method – google.  Above you’ll see the results of that search – a white eraser and white toothpaste.

  1. Use white paste, not the gel kind, and simply put a small amount directly onto the wood furniture. With either a soft bristle toothbrush or a soft rag, start making circular motions and rubbing the paste into the marker.
  2. Be patient. You may have to do several applications before the marker is completely removed.
  3. When the paste has basically taken on the color of the marker, wipe clean and then start with step 1 again.

I started and ended with the white eraser and the piece of the table you see in the photo was where the majority of the marker resided and all that remains are the scratch marks from the scissors she used to try and scrape it off when the marker-saturated kleenex failed.  Hopefully this has given you hope for your marker-tatooed furniture if you found this site in desperation.  My advice – take a photo now before the evidence is all gone!


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Delancey Street…a foundation of hope

This foundation is such a source of encouragement regarding society that I had to post it. It is so exciting to see a vision that has been turned into a productive contribution to society. The founder of Delancey Street says it perfectly, “You have to be two opposite things at the same time with any population that’s in trouble. You can’t be naive to who they are, and you really have to take a very hard-edged approach to the reality in front of you. But you have to be naive about what they can become. You have to believe all things are possible.”

The Delancey Street Foundation opened in 1971 with less than a handful of residents, a one thousand dollar loan and the vision that substance abusers, former felons and other hopeless individuals would find a place where they would be enabled to turn their lives around and become productive members of society. The foundation is run by the residents and for the residents who have no professional training, no government funding, at no charge to the clients. The residents commit to a minimum two year stay (but average of four years) and, in turn, will gain an academic education and three marketable skills; not to mention the character traits they cultivate along the way.

Over 14,000 people have graduated from a life of crime to become law-abiding, tax-paying members of society. The three marketable skills required to graduate may be obtained from any of the following (all founded and run by the residents): the Delancey Street Restaurant, the Delancey Street Cafe and Bookstore, the Delancey Street Moving Company, the Delancey Street Para Transit Service, the Delancey Street Automotive Service, the Delancey Street Christmas Sales, handcrafted Southwestern style furniture, and handcrafted pottery and art.

You must check out this media clip!

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Waking From Winter Dreams

Christmas Tree 2006

This was the week to gaze upon the Christmas tree fondly one last time before packing it up with all the fond reflections of the season. This year our tree gained some precious family memories for me that can be represented solely by the simple strands of popcorn that adorned it. Originally, families would string popcorn, cranberries and other food as a symbol of “plenty”; a representation of the Garden of Eden and God’s abundant provisions. Our family endured many a financial trial this year with my husband being without a consistent paycheck for approximately six months and no paycheck at all for about two months. However, in the midst of all of this, God’s provisions were ever-present and we were able to keep our home, feed our babes and end the year with the blessing of a new job!

Goodbye Ornaments 2006

As I was taking the ornaments off our tree this week, I reflected on the funeral of a dear friend and his son that was occurring nearly simultaneously. Prayers of a teary-eyed sister-in-Christ rose with great effort above the cemetary of ornaments that decorated my floor. I imagined my dear friend mourning over the tragic loss of her husband and five-year-old son and the day she would take down her own Christmas tree this year, pack away ornaments that could bring no joy at a time such as this, and the process of beginning to sort through the memories she is only now beginning to unpack in her mind. There is a wonderful peace in knowing that her beloved husband and son are with the Lord, a pleasure we can only imagine in their absence, but the ache in my heart for my dear friend and the two sons she will now raise as a single mother is tremendous. The ornaments appeared almost dream-like through my teary gaze and I thanked God that our trials of this year were so minute in contrast.

Christmas Decor 2006

The origami balloon light covers are the only remnant of our Christmas that remain. I am so thankful to have happened upon this brilliant idea over at Alicia’s. She never fails to share such loveliness as this. I intend to leave them up year-round as they bring me a wonderful sense of calm and contentment and they add such a warm element to our home. Our home blessed with two lovely little girls, a husband who adores me in spite of myself, a beautiful miracle of our very own to be born any day now and a hope that there will be many more days ahead upon which we can reflect in our golden years – years that are now only a possibility, yet a possibility some will only experience with their beloved in dreams. Dream well, my precious friend Deanna…dream well.

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