Friday, 24 May 2013

"If you want something done, do it yourself." I've heard that many times before, yet it wasn't always possible to heed that advice. How I wish I had the technology I own now forty years ago. I'm able to write, edit, format, and print off whatever I want to and do it all at home. Back in 1973, I had only pens and paper. Being almost blind, my writing was hard to read. I was also a bad speller with no large print dictionary to help me.

I used to hand out Christian tracts at high school. Without exception, my peers crumpled up the slips of paper I handed them and tossed them back in my face. Not only did that hurt my feelings but those tracts cost money. My dad gave me only enough cash to pay the rent of my tiny basement room and buy some food. Clearly, I had to find some other way to supply myself with tracts.

Then I came up with a brilliant plan. The house church I attended had a spirit duplicator. If I dictated my tract's text on tape and gave that to Sister Roberta, she could type it out and print off a nice stack of tracts for me to hand out at school.

After getting permission from the church, I sat down one evening and rattled off my text into the microphone. The next Wednesday evening, I handed Sister Roberta the reel of tape and waited.

Having heard nothing from Sister Roberta after a few weeks, I walked to the nearest pay phone and asked her about the progress of the tract. She said she was too busy but she'd attend to it someday. A month later, I asked her the same question and received the same answer.

I learned a lesson that year. If it's to be, it's up to me. Rarely do people get excited enough to help somebody with their project. It's better to do what you can and hire out the rest if possible.

I wrote extensively about that house church in my newly-published memoir, How I Was Razed: A Journey from Cultism to Christianity.  Please check it out at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Virtual Bookworm.


  1. When I went to the Arizona School for the Deaf & Blind as a child, the eleventh commandment was "Thou shalt not ask for help." It took me years to un-learn that, and now, I don't have a problem asking for assistance when I need it. Of course I've encountered people like my dad who would say, "I don't have time now, but I'll do it later," but those people have been few and far between, and I don't let that keep me from asking for help.

  2. I remember my last day on the job as if it were yesterday. My then soon to be husband Bill had just moved to town, and we were busy that day moving into a house together. His sister and friend from Colorado had come with him here to Sheridan, Wyoming, to help us move. After a long day of packing, hauling, and unpacking, I had to work the evening shift at the nursing home for the last time. My job was in the activities department, and a musical program was scheduled for that evening. I took residents to and from the activity, and in the meantime, my father, Bill, his sister, his friend and my grandmother, who was staying at the facility for therapy after an illness, came and listened to the program. There was no fanfare, no goodbyes from staff or residents. Although most of the residents knew I was leaving, they didn't remember, and the staff was busy. I didn't notice because I was too preoccupied with moving.


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