November 07, 2013

A Little Help From My Friends

I wanted to let you know about an opportunity to help put shoes on the feet of people in Africa, while also providing work for women there, who make the shoes.

As most of you probably know, I hosted a Sole Hope shoe cutting party for my 35th birthday last month.  Sole Hope sent us patterns, we used old jeans and recycled milk cartons to cut out all the pieces that it takes to make the shoes.  These pieces will then be sent to Sole Hope where the women in Africa will be paid to make shoes out of them.  These shoes will be handed to adults and children once they have had the jiggers removed from their feet in hopes that the horrible diseases these bugs cause can be lowered.  Lowering the rate of these foot-related diseases dramatically improves the quality of life for those receiving the shoes.  Check out the pics from my party:

Here is my request: Sole Hope asks that those who host a party send a $10 donation for each pair of shoes that will be made from the patterns they cut out.  My hope was that we would end up with 10 pairs of shoes by the end of the night.  I was blown away when we completed 30 PAIRS OF SHOES!!!!  I am so excited!  Though, this does present me with a dilemma...the cost I need to send with the shoes is more than I was expecting or budgeting for.  The first 20 pairs of shoes have been covered thanks to the ladies who attended the party, monetary gifts I received for my birthday, and donations from some amazing people.  So, I still need the money for the other 10 pairs of shoes.  Would you be willing to donate just $10 for to help a pair of shoes make their way onto the feet of someone in Africa?  If you are willing, drop me an email or Facebook message and I'll get you the information you need to make out a check and my mailing address (if you're from out of town) so I can send the money in with the shoes. 

I feel so blessed to be part of this amazing ministry.  It is so much fun to sit and cut out these patterns.  I look forward to being able to do this as a family in the next few years (the kids are still a bit young to be able to do it correctly, yet.)  Thank you in advance to those who will participate.  We will never truly know the impact these shoes will have on lives there in Africa, from the ladies who will make the shoes, those who will give out the shoes, to those who will receive the shoes.  I just know God will do amazing things!

November 06, 2013

A Little Bit of Follow-Up and a Whole Lot of Randomness

I have to admit, I didn't take the 40 Days of Solidarity with the Poor to the full 40 days.  I did take it all the way through the month of October and, while I wasn't as strict with it as the author was, it did open my eyes about some things:
-I am so used to having food whenever I want in pretty much any amount I want, so it didn't take long for me to be hungry.  And no matter how hungry I was, I couldn't help but realize it was nothing compared the hunger people around the world feel.  My last meal was, at the most, 4 or so hours before, but their last meal could have been days ago.  I can't even imagine that kind of hunger.
-It helped me to see why people might do unsavory things to get food when they are that hungry, particularly if their children were that hungry.  I would never want my child to feel that way and I don't know what I would do if we were in that situation.  My heart was broken at the thought of families without enough food.  Again, I just can't even imagine.
-Though I didn't have as much money left over in my grocery budget as I was hoping, I did have enough left over to buy quite a few groceries to donate to our church's food pantry.  Shortly before I went to the store, I saw a blog someone shared on Facebook about food pantries.  It was a blog encouraging people to really think about what they donate.  Don't just go through your pantry and toss out whatever your family decided they didn't like.  Be intentional.  Shop for the food pantry as if you were shopping for your own family.  You can really show love and care by the food choices that you give others when you donate.  This really touched me and I tried very hard to do just that.  I tried to imagine trying to get a nice fall meal together, or maybe even a Thanksgiving dinner.  I tried to get as many healthy options as I could and I truly tried to shop as if I were shopping for my own family.  My children even helped pick out items they would enjoy so we could send some things kids would enjoy, as well.  I feel so blessed that I was able to have the extra money to do something like this, and all I had to do was eat a little less and stick to what was already in my pantry.  I have been blessed far beyond measure and I feel even more blessed to be able to share.  Lord, thank You for opening my eyes to the humiliation and pain and despair lack of food causes.  Thank You for the humbleness it brought me to feel hungry.  Thank You for allowing me to help others by this gift of food.  Show me how to be more consistent and intentional with this ministry of our church.  Please bless those who receive this food and use it to draw their families to You.

I love good television and movies.  I love actors who are amazing at non-verbal communication.  I love watching theatre/movies/TV that have me laughing one minutes and crying the next.  I love the power that acting holds.  I love that even 5 minutes of great acting can change your mood, change the course of your whole day, and spur you on to bigger and better things.  I love that a good book can do the same thing.  I love that a piece of music has such great influence in a heart.  I love that a beautiful painting or piece of art can move the heart of the old and young.  The arts are amazing!  I love that my sweet Sophie loves to draw, create, talk in silly accents, dance to any kind of music, gets into radio dramas, and loves movies.  I love that I can take a stage, completely change who I am, and I hold the hearts and minds of all in the audience in the palm of my hand.  What a great responsibility!  No wonder God used parables and eccentric prophets to tell His message to His people.  (I cannot wait to see Steel Magnolias next week at HLGU!  Sabrina, thanks for always doing such high-quality productions.  I love watching them, I love helping with them, I love hearing others talk about how great they were!  You are doing great things and, yes, I am a bit jealous you get to be right at the heart!)

Lord, move in amazing ways in my heart and in my family.  Give us all a hunger and thirst for You and Your word that cannot be quenched.  Help me to see each teachable moment, seize them, and point my children always to You.  Help me to be more consistent with my time in the Word.  Lord, help me to be a woman of prayer at all times.  Show me how to truly pray without ceasing.  Lord, make me more like You each day in all I do so that others see only You when they look at me.