Updated: Aug 22, 2018
The ampersand is the logogram for the word 'and'
1. along or together with; as well as
2. added to; plus
I've attempted this entry many times but could never posture my heart to be ready for this vulnerability. Alas, here I am at 3am peeling back my skin & crying in the bathroom as I begin this, hoping that it will be received well.
The AMPERS& collection was birthed from the heart-tug of using my craft to help those in need. Wearing this symbol serves as a reminder that to live only for oneself falls shy of a purposeful life. I want to lend a helping hand to the needy whether big or small. It’s a humble reminder that we are a collective, the world doesn't revolve around us & we aren’t here to navigate the world alone.
20% of each sale goes to helping those in need whether it be food, clothing, hygienic products, etc. I want this to be pure & spirit-led. I don't want to have an organization do my work for me. Everything will be purchased by me & will be given to each person directly.
Each month I'll have a different burden for those in need & sometimes the same burden will be carried over into the following month. For this month (August) I will be providing hygienic products (pads, tampons, soap, etc.) from the sales for homeless women. There is nothing pretentiously elaborate about this. This is very stripped down & organic. I will go to a random place in my city, find strangers, hand them the product, speak with them & possibly pray with them. I currently feel no need to impart myself on a mission in a far-away country when there's brokenness in the city I live in. I'm currently not in the best financial situation & I too don't know how my bills get paid but I'm using my hands & whatever I have to help. I worry a lot, unfortunately at my young age & I want to shift my perspective. I've been teaching myself to practice helping others even more so when I'm in need.
Luke 21:1-4 "As Jesus looked up, he saw the rich putting their gifts into the temple treasury. He also saw a poor widow put in two very small copper coins. “Truly I tell you,” he said, “this poor widow has put in more than all the others. All these people gave their gifts out of their wealth; but she out of her poverty put in all she had to live on.”
Here's some backstory of where my heart has been:
To say that God is the only thing keeping my limbs together is an understatement. Being human is hard & I'm honestly trying my best. Grace sometimes feel like a distant thought when the rigidity & toughness of life presents itself but it gets easier knowing we aren't meant to navigate the world alone. I'm at this place, where the heaviness of life keeps extending itself. I've always been a deep feeler but lately I've developed more sensitivities to my environments & situations. My revelation is that I'm becoming spiritually wiser. I find myself questioning existence frequently & not just mere human life but how we actually steer our lives; how we choose to live & the things we allow to take up space in our minds & our surroundings. I also find myself asking God a lot to come back & take me with Him because I'm tired of earth & going through it's motions. Tired of being human. Tired of my flesh. Tired of making mistakes. Tired of asking for forgiveness. Tired of this temporary place.
A few days ago I looked around my room & I became irate. Though I'm not a messy person, in this moment everything translated to a mess & wholly unnecessary. There was just a random desire to create space. I don't know why, but everything just needed to go. I was frantic. I pushed my dresser into my closet, threw out my side table, tried to organize some stuff & mumbled angrily (only a thousand times) how I hate 'stuff' & 'things'. That's the problem, stuff & things. None of it matters. I've been despising things/objects more & more lately. After my tantrum, I sat down & pondered what's truly the point of anything. Everything here is transitory & I can take none of this to the grave with me.
Life here on earth is not about what we have but how many hearts we've caressed. It's about the positive impact we can make; all the lives we can change. When I die what will my stain be here on earth? I don't want to be known only for how I look, dress or the things I have (which isn't much, if I might add) I don't want to go out like that. I want to go Home but He isn't finished me with yet. I walk around with the expanse of God in my stomach. He lives in my body. He chose me, a tiny human like me, so whenever I leave this earth I will leave with a bang & nothing short of it.
Luke 12:33-34 "Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will never fail, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also."
God has this way of coming to me in metaphors & one night I was crying to Him about being lost in my creativity & not knowing what to do with the gifts He's given me. Later that night I had a dream that I was pregnant & my water broke on the bed. The following day, I wrote it in my journal (see photo for detail)
Since then I've been having different visions & symbolisms that all point in this direction & I'm just trying to listen & walk even though I have no idea where I'm going. God has been unravelling & showing me what He's been orchestrating all along.
Feeling out of place has never been foreign to me. I constantly feel as though I don't belong anywhere & I can't help but wonder if that has anything to do with my heart for the homeless. In my teenage years, Beth has been a name that I attached to mine not knowing the meaning or where I even got it from. I just knew I liked it & it felt like me. I've shared more on this in the about section here on my website. Essentially, the word Beth is the second letter of the Hebrew alphabet & it means house or dwelling place. I didn't look deeper into it until about two years ago & it was one of those moments where my mind started racing to connect the pieces of my life to figure out where this epiphany derived from. Strangely, I've always felt that I could be a safe place for people to come & bear their scars because I've been open with mine.
Here's a poem I wrote in 2013:
The new trend is to be steadfast on proving to others that we are involved rather than evolved. Think about the present & how we neglect it. How we neglect the opportunities to crawl back into ourselves & reflect. How we dismantle the stillness of the moments that cry out for our attention.
These moments are for grasping, learning & rising. The blueprint of our evolution, from great to greater. It's so easy to get caught up in the trivialities of life & not realize that a nation is crying out - that we aren't the only inhabitants here. Life extends outside of ourselves.
Luke 3:11 “...Anyone who has two shirts should share with the one who has none, and anyone who has food should do the same.”
This is the journey & I'd love for you to ride it with me. I'll be posting on Instagram (@bethautumnart) about who we are helping together every month, behind the scenes of this project & other happenings. Thanks for sticking around & giving me your time!
From my depths.