Pinterest (something negative here)

Given the title to this post you will most likely think I am going to talk about how Pinterest takes up too much time. But I'm not. So breathe a sigh of relief and release the tight face muscles that are resulting in a frown.

As with a great many things, it can be both good and bad, which means it all depends on how you use it. Here are some short thoughts from yours truly on how Pinterest affects us. Take 'em or leave 'em, they're just thoughts.

No Original Ideas

There are many times when I wonder what I did before I found Pinterest. Where did I get my ideas for my crocheting or the other crafts that I do? Was I not as inspired then? Conversely, I feel like I was more creative before Pinterest than I am now because the thoughts and the inspiration I had were original. What I made was inspired by something personal to me and my mind did the processing and the creating. Now that I have Pinterest there are some many amazing things other people do that I don't have to create my own. In fact, when I finish doing all the cool ideas I get from other people I don't have any more inspiration for something unique to me.

Subject to Fads

The world is full of fads and people love to follow them. It's like the sole goal in a persons life, to keep up with the latest fads. Even the "DIY" category has its own fads. Of course, if you want to get technical, DIY is a fad. For example, people have been making their own furniture, household things, you name it, for ages, or at least let's say they did more of it in ages past. Now it is called DIY and put in the hobby category. Imagine that! But here now, let's not chase a rabbit. What you see on Pinterest is what is the most popular today. If you draw your inspiration from Pinterest than you will essentially be following the fads. It's not always a bad thing, but this goes back to my first point: it's good to have an original thought.

But am I now eating my words? Am I saying after all that Pinterest is bad? No, I am not. And here's why.

It Inspires My Creativity

It truly does! I've honestly said before that I don't know how I would have gotten through my first year of designing crochet patterns without the inspiration I received from Pinterest. Simple things like scenic pictures give me ideas for my next color scheme. Or some retro picture inspires my next crochet project. I've tried new techniques in art and been surprised at what I didn't now I could do. Pictures from around the world opens my little world for better fiction writing. And there are plenty of other ways so it is suffice to say it has been inspiring.

Is Relaxing

And that's the most important. In my world of trying to gauge everything by what I can gain or accomplish, this is a bit of simple fun that brightens a few moments of my life. I need to be told every once and a while that I can do something without expecting to gain anything from it.

My Personal Conclusion

That said, I think I will go pin some remodelling inspiration! I'm thinking mint green walls with ivory borders, and plenty of "DIY" pieces of furniture and wall adornment. Pure and simple. Because Pinterest has some good ideas. The trick is to keep the creative juices flowing.

Well? What do you think? Let me know in the comments below!

Issue #17 - Winky the Bullfrog

Nearly three years ago I wrote my first issue of In My Backyard (then called Creatures in my Backyard). I was consistent in publishing one at the end of each month but I eventually turned my attention to other areas of writing and gave up the monthly issues. Although I don't think I'll ever permanently quit.

I wrote then how toads have always been a favorite of mine, and how my darling "toader" and I would have great times together. (Check out the post to watch a video of one eating a June bug). Even now I scare the little warty creatures by occasionally holding them. But more rare to my experience are their slippery relatives, the American Bullfrog. Yesterday morning our work schedule was interrupted by a fair sized specimen we called Winky (if you are familiar with Nintendo's Donkey Kong video games, you will no doubt know what I mean).

Clumsy and anxious, Winky "splatted" across the shallow water to get away from us but instead made it easier for him to be caught. He protested soundly the whole time he was held and even threatened us when we let him go. Watch this video I took of his "aggressive" behavior.

The poor thing was so upset; he left the water soon after and hid. It took quite a while before he relaxed and returned to the water, but by night he was singing with the other Chorus frogs.

In years past we would fish for bullfrog tadpoles in the ponds in our area, ruining the pool net in the process. It was rather insignificant, but fun, nonetheless.

I hope you have enjoyed this post. Be sure to let me know what you think in the comments below!

The Drop Box

When I mention "drop box" you will most likely think of the cloud-based folder that enables you to reach material from anywhere through the internet.

There is another drop box a little more down to earth and vitally important to the little children of South Korea.

I recently heard about the documentary from Kindred Image and Focus on the Family called The Drop Box. Abandoned children are prominent in South Korea, from parents unable to afford the cost of a disabled child, or unwed mothers. Pastor Lee Jong-rak and his wife, Chun-ja, care for a great many orphans in their own home, including those with disabilities. The danger of leaving children on the streets prompted pastor Lee to create what is now called the Drop Box, a specially created enclosure to protect abandoned children from the elements. A mother can leave her child in the Drop Box, knowing it will be protected and given a chance at life.

In our placid American homes, it's easy to overlook the downtrodden, the "least of these", the poor and the helpless. We have a responsibility to our fellow man to treat him, whether socially important or not, with respect and God's love.

Pastor Lee and Chun-ja's decision to care for as many children as God sends their way is humble and unselfish, but they could in no way do this without trust in God's plan. And I know they would be the first one's to admit this. It's humbling to me. What dedication it must take, tireless belief and hope. But who could look into one of those dear little faces of child-like perfection, marred from infirmity or not, and refuse it the love and care it needs?

How would you respond?

When God calls a person, they have no choice but to answer that call or live their lives in hopeless despair. I am reminded of Dietrich Bonhoeffer's famous sermon on Jeremiah where he says, "He is a prisoner and he has to follow. His path is prescribed. It is the path of the man whom God will not let go, who will never be rid of God."

What a beautiful world this would be if all Christian's took their role in society with more sincerity and selflessness. God, soften our hardened hearts.

Visit the site, The Drop Box, and check out what you can do to help. And let's spread the word by bringing this to as many churches as possible!