It has been fairly busy around here the last month. I have been gradually getting involved, again, in social justice work, in addition to working on Christmas gifts and continuing my involvement with the Friends of the GSU Library. I have reconnected with an outreach group that helps to provide food, clothing, and household necessities to poor people in my area. I, also, had the opportunity to reconnect with the Peace and Social Justice group at Pax Joliet.
Something I don't believe I have mentioned before is that I am also a Secular Franciscan. I can hear you asking, "What in the world is a Secular Franciscan?" In the early years of the 13th century, St. Francis of Assisi established three Orders. They were the Friars Minor, Poor Clares, and the Third Order. The Third Order was originally known as the Brothers and Sisters of Penance. Over the intervening centuries, there have been many changes, of course. One of those changes is that there are now what are called "regular" and "secular" Third Orders. The "regular" are priests and nuns. The "secular" are lay people. Therefore, as a Secular Franciscan, I am a lay person attempting to follow Christ in the manner of St. Francis. You can find out more about the U.S. Secular Franciscans at NAFRA. We are, also, part of the international Order. You can find more information about that at CIOFS. These Franciscans are Catholic. However, there are also Franciscans who are affiliated with other churches. You can find out more about that here: Order of Ecumenical Franciscans.
One of the things I did recently was go to several craft/artisan fairs. They generally serve to inspire me, and I occasionally come across some wonderful artists. Unfortunately, some of the artists whose work I would like to share with you are not on the Internet. There are a few I can share, though. The Posh Kid Boutique does not have very much on her Etsy site, but has wonderful satin flowers along the lines of the one shown. Moon Cookie Gallery has delightfully whimsical watercolors, and Amy Simpson makes beautiful fused glass pieces.
Another thing I have been doing is research for a book I am writing. It is an historical fiction piece, set in the 20th century. Since it follows the life of a woman who was born in the early decades of the century and died near the close of it, my research has to cover a lot of information.
I am truly grateful for the opportunities I have been given, and happy to be able to share some of what I have found with you.
Until next time, I wish you peace and all good.