Do you remember the financial collapse of 2009? Most of us recall the sudden loss of jobs and income, and the resultant anxiety about the future. Here in our family, my husband and I both lost our jobs and we were suddenly faced with the loss of our home, as well as all of the stresses of not being able to pay the bills.
The loss of health care coverage was of real concern, as our youngest daughter has Cerebral Palsy, and although she is quite healthy, there have been those moments when she lost her balance on the playground and broke off a front tooth . . . and then the time when she lost her balance while swimming and gashed her forehead on a dock, requiring 17 stitches. It took us a while to pay off that hospital bill!
The reason I am telling you this is because I suddenly realized that we have many new readers and writers who do not know the story of RUBY – how, when, and why the ministry of RUBY came to be, where we’ve been over the past seven or eight years, where we are now, and where we are going in the future. It is because of the financial collapse of 2009 that I became the Senior Editor for RUBY magazine. So just in case you are interested in the story of RUBY, I want to offer you that tale of God’s direction in the life of one ordinary woman who found herself in the midst of a ministry that came along as quite a surprise!
In April, 2009, my husband lost his job working with a local construction company. I was working at a bank (which is not my favorite thing to do, but it helped pay the bills!), and our two young daughters were in elementary school, with daycare after school at a local church. Through that summer, we were struggling with only one income, but our Daddy was able to be home with the girls so that was a good thing. But then, in October of 2009, the bank I worked for closed all of its branches in the town where I worked, so everyone in our company lost their jobs. Eventually, my husband found another job, but not before we came very close to losing our home.
Late in 2009, as I was wondering what I should do next, I connected with a Christian woman online who had been publishing a small, independent magazine (which at that time was just a PDF file that she offered as a subscription, which included devotionals, craft tutorials, recipes, and other articles of interest to women of all ages). As we emailed back and forth, she asked me if I might be interested in helping her market the magazine, known at that time as Ruby Women. I indicated that I would be interested and available, and so began a conversation about how to build an audience for her magazine.
It was only a few weeks later, however, that she emailed me and told me that she was experiencing some health complications that would prevent her from continuing with the magazine. She had decided just to discontinue the project unless she could find someone who wanted to take it over completely.
Well . . . since I was not working away from home at the time, and my background was in writing, editing, and teaching, it seemed like a good fit for me at that time in my life. So, I said, “Yes!” and that was the beginning of my journey with RUBY.
Over the past seven years, there have been many changes here at RUBY. The first change came about when we were able to offer the magazine online as a digital document. It has always been available as a free online resource for Christian women on the RUBY blog which was another change that we implemented early in the project. I often describe RUBY magazine as somewhat of a Christian “Women’s Day,” in that we focus on resources for women for whom their primary ministry is in their home and with their family.
That is not to say that we do not offer encouragement and resources for single women, or women who work outside of the home, but we felt that God had given us the opportunity to be a blessing to those women who have devoted themselves to traditional homemaking and family ministry. Each issue of RUBY magazine includes inspirational articles, short stories, poetry, book reviews, craft tutorials and recipes.
From the beginning, the ministry of RUBY has not received any financial compensation for any of the work that is done every month in putting the magazine together. We occasionally have advertisers, but that is not our focus, so consequently all of the expenses of the ministry of RUBY have been covered from our family budget. God has provided and we have always been able to keep up with things, so for now, it continues to work out each month.
One of our goals for several years was trying to figure out the logistics of getting RUBY magazine in print – in light of the fact that I’m not a technology genius, this took me a while, but eventually we finally figured it out! Last August was the first issue of RUBY magazine that was available in print, and now each month there is a new issue of our beautiful magazine, available for free online as well as for purchase as a print publication. So far we aren’t covering our expenses yet, but it is helping!
We also have an online Christian women’s community on Facebook where we would welcome your participation in the conversations, the groups, and the Bible study. The RUBY community is a great way to connect with other Christian women. I hope you will stop by one day!
Here are some ways that you can help support the ministry of RUBY:
Promote RUBY magazine wherever you can. You can post the magazine on your blog or website; you can share the link for each issue on your social media accounts. You can tell your friends and family about RUBY so that more people are aware of this great resource for Christian women.
2. Advertise with RUBY. Our advertising rates are very reasonable, perfect for small businesses, especially for online home-based businesses. Tell your friends and family about this marketing opportunity. Demographic and statistical information is available on the RUBY blog, or email for more information at firstname.lastname@example.org
3. Purchase copies of RUBY magazine for your friends and family. Or encourage them to purchase the print publication each month. It will take the sale of approximately 3 – 4 magazines for us to offer one free magazine to one writer, and that will not include any profit to cover the expenses of producing the magazine.
4. Get involved with the daily tasks associated with creating and publishing RUBY magazine. There are so many ways that we could reach more women with the words of blessing, inspiration, and encouragement through the ministry of RUBY, and I would love to include you in that process.
There is so much more that I could share with you about how God has used the ministry of RUBY over the years to reach and touch the hearts and lives of women around the world and across the street. If you feel God calling you to be part of the administrative team of RUBY, please email me at email@example.com and we can talk about the possibilities.
I’ll keep working on making RUBY a great resource for women of all ages, and all stages of life, and look forward to sharing words of hope, inspiration, and encouragement with YOU, our readers.