Nov 27, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving

Today's art work.  Looking happy and thankful, indeed.

Nov 23, 2014

shopping opportunities that make a difference

Friends, before you buy all those shiny Christmas presents, check out a few options that will use the money you spend to support women in poverty around the world.  You get lovely things, and you join in something beautiful, all at the same time!    These gifts are so meaningful for those who receive them, because they know that you really thought about it--a way to honor them by choosing a gift that impacts another's life.  
(Also, you can shop from the comfort of your living room whilst the crazies fight it out on Black Friday!  Just click on the links and merrily shop!)

(PS--Spoiler alert!  If you're on my Christmas list, DON'T look here!)

Sari Bari
This place makes bags, scarves and other things from up-cycled saris in India.  By women who used to be enslaved in the red light district and are now free.  You can look up the name of the woman who made your bag (it's on the tag) and find out a little about her.  I have a bag that I got last year for Christmas and I've carried it all year!  The worn saris are so soft, and they make things with 4-6 layers of saris quilted together. Totally unique, and really beautiful.  I met people who work with this organization at a Christian conference on prostitution several years ago, and they were awesome.  The stories they had about God working in India with these women were just amazing!  Go support them!!  Now!!!

I met people with this organization at that same conference.  They are also selling the products made by women who have been freed from lives of indentured servitude in the sex industry to support the women now that they are free and have to make a living.  Beautiful work!  I have a bag from here, as well.  They have several products.  I love this T-shirt, which has the signatures of the women who made it as the focal point.

Signature Circle Printed Tee - Unisex Quarter Sleeve

This ministry is one started by Katie Davis (whose book, Kisses from Katie, is amazing, and you should read that, too!  She writes beautifully and details how God led her to Uganda to start a ministry and to adopt 14 little girls and young women there.  Her blog is in the list to the right.  It's incredible!).  She (in addition to helping kiddos go to school, hosting hundreds of kids for a Bible study and dinner each week, parenting 14 children, and opening her home to acute AIDS patients) has started a relationship with several women living in poverty in a nearby slum.  These women make a living by rolling paper into beads, and they make the most beautiful necklaces!  I love them.  I want all of them! (I suspect you may, as well--check them out!)

Last, but certainly not least, please check out jewelry made by women at The Well, in Thailand.  I love these people.  LOVE them!  I was blessed to work with them several years ago in Bangkok, and I know that they are battling for women's hearts in a dark place.  You can feel confident that your support will go to make a difference in the lives of precious women in Bangkok.

Happy shopping!

Nov 17, 2014

love note

This is what you did while I was in the shower.  You ran in, all yippy and excited, yelling that you WROTE SOMETHING!!!  And then I saw this.  No books or cards out.  I asked you if you copied it from a book or something.  "No!"  you replied, indignant.  "It's from my head!"  I didn't know that you knew how to spell love, much less write it, but here it is!  Wow!  I also included your drawing from that morning.  All of your people look like this:  a big head and two legs coming down.  Then you always connects the legs at the bottom.  I think it's SO adorable.  They used to have straight line mouths, but you recently figured out how to make a smile.  That day, you was awed with yourself.  "Does she look happy, Mama?  Does she look happy??" Well, I'm certainly smiling, Lucy Joy!  :)  Welcome to the world of printed words!  It's lovely here.

Nov 13, 2014

falls, receptions, and the cutest doctor around

People, this is the thing.  I fall down.   I shared my history of spectacular wipe-outs right here, which is not in the slightest exaggerated.  So it will not surprise you that I fell down again.  I twisted my ankle on Saturday. (On what, you ask?  Nothing!  Just nothing.)

We were at Steak n Shake breakfast, and my little Joy-belle was sharing with our favorite waitress and the manager that she was getting married today.  She was marrying Jay-ton (her imaginary brother---that's a whole other thing to address).  And she was making a wedding list.  She read it off to me:  flowers, cauliflower, hamburger, and lemonade.  Her receptions was to be at Kroger's (our next stop) and she asked the lovely Steak n Shake ladies if they could please come.  She had us cracking up!

Then I twisted my ankle on the way out.  It was already puffing up like I had a ping pong ball in my sock as I limped around to get Lucy strapped in and we finally drove off.  I was a little teary because it hurt!  Lucy noticed that we passed Kroger and were going home.  "Why aren't we going to Kroger??" she cried out in panic.  When I told her that we had to go home so that I could put my foot up, she started sobbing.  Bawling.  "What's wrong?"  I asked.  "We can go to Kroger another time."

Through her tears, shoulders shaking, she screeches out, "RUINED!!  My RECEPTION is RUINED!!!"

She was sobbing and I was giggling hysterically.  It just struck me as SO funny!  She's a distraught "bride" worried that the details of her reception are not coming together!  She's a little dramatic, but the laugh was just what I needed!

When we got home, she got to business.  First, she brought me a Diet Coke (I didn't even ask her to, she just knows her Mama!)  Then it was "Doctor to the rescue!!"  She ran out of the room for neosporin and band-aids.  (Just the right thing for a swollen ankle, right?)

Neosporin.  A LOT of it :)  "I'm going to put on some medicine and it's going to make you feel all better."

One band-aid (or Ban-Ban, as she's always called them)

The doc at work.  Definitely more than one Ban-ban needed.  Saturday was going to be a clean-up day after a busy week, but, so pardon our mess :)
Several Dora Ban-Bans will surely help!

As will a little blanket from her baby's bed.

Laughter is the best medicine?  Fully part of her medical training.

She gave me a check-up.  This is one thorough doctor!

Bedside manner:  super sweet

This little blessing really helped me that day!  I love that she wants to "take care" of me when I need it.  I like to have a plan for the day (and week, and year) and it was totally derailed.  I was on the verge of grouchy from the messiness of our house and the inconvenience of having to hit pause and not do that (or much of anything) while I let my foot rest.  But her kindness just helped me have a better frame of mind.  Overall, even on rough days, I can't help but be thankful.  God has blessed me with so much to be thankful for!