Tuesday, December 28, 2010
On Christmas morning a momma walked into the hospital with stomach pains. It must be appendicitis or ovarian cysts she thought....After several tests, the doctor walked in and told her the news. She was in labor, 3cm dilated with a full term baby. To say she was surprised wouldn't do justice to the rush of emotions and shock she was experiencing. How can this be? She was on birth control. She never had any pregnancy symptoms. She already has 3 little ones at home. Her husband was just laid off. She was having a baby and on Christmas day!
Hours later Nathaniel was born, weighing 6 lbs 14oz. Unexpected for sure, but one look at him and you know he was planned from the beginning. God wove him together miraculously and beautifully in her womb. As I sat there visiting with mom and holding Nathaniel I couldn't help but to think of how funny we must seem to God when we plan things, when we think we are in control and run around fretting about life. In just a few short hours of being in this world, baby Nathaniel is already making a difference and proving that every life matters.
Needless to say, this family could use a lot of love, support, baby diapers, CLOTHES, prayer, and basic needs.
We will be taking donations, supplies and meals to them over the next few weeks. I need help though. If you live local and would like to help this family-PLEASE CONTACT ME! They have nothing for him. If you want to help by making a monetary tax deductable donation to purchase gift cards, food and other needs you can do so through my partner Delivering Hope.
Together we can shower this sweet family with abundant love and blessings.
The donate button to contribute is on the top right of my blog
Tuesday, December 21, 2010
That was it. I didn't even get their names. I don't know their ages or why they were outcast and lived amongst the dying.
I have thought about them so many times since then. On my last trip back, I wanted to find them. Timing didn't work out though. So, when I got back this time, I hired Alebachew to see if he could find them. I sent him a picture. I told him to look for them and if he found them, to give them the picture of us together and share with them the story of the broken woman who thinks about them everyday. To let them know....they are loved, prayed for and thought of. I asked him to get their names, ages and talk to their momma. To find out if they go to school or how many of the girls are now mommas themselves. I told him to find a school in their town and inquire about tuition ( school is not free in Africa). I asked him to find out what skills the mom has and if she is still alive. I told him to ask if I can come and see them in March....
Today in my inbox are 12 pictures. 3 years is a long time to try to recognize someone you only saw briefly. I only have 2 old pics to go by...Could the faces I am looking at, be the same children from the church? Could my search be over? Do they remember us? Through broken English Alebachew said he found 7 kids. I remember 12. Did they eventually end up being a shadow under the cross? There was only one face I recognized....
The picture from almost 3 years ago after walking past death...
You can see from my face (that doesn't hide feelings well)
The beautiful kids I met.
I so wish I had all my photos from then to study their faces...
There is one face I won't forget.
In this picture you can't see his..
(the kid sitting down)
but I will always remember his kiss:)
This is one of the pics sitting in my email.
I do know this face!
I do remember his kiss!
Could it be?
Did I find them?
Can I do what I should have done 3 years ago?
Sit down. Talk to the mom. Get to know her kids.
Look beyond the death, devastation and poverty.
To see them...really see them...know them...really know them...
To appreciate their beauty
to let them know....
They are loved.
Thursday, December 9, 2010
Until last week I had no clue what that meant.
I thought it was an organization that sold bead products for orphans
Then I found out what it really meant
The orphan bead.
The discarded bead.
The bead tossed aside with no clue what to do with it...
After awhile the bowl is full of orphans ..what started out as just one or a couple
grows and grows...
My heart and mind can't help but to see the face of a baby, toddler, child, teenager in every orphan bead in the bowl.
I think about the 147 million orphans just waiting...
wanting to be noticed
wanting to be needed
wanting to belong
wanting to be beautifully strung together in a family.
The last time Dawn went to Ethiopia to minister to the orphans of Zeway and teach the them how to make jewelry that would help sustain them...it is no surprise that the orphans were drawn to the orphan beads. After learning and making several patterned bracelets with the non-orphan beads, their faces lit up when she brought out the few orphan beads she had. She said it was like a spark lit up in their spirits. To see all the different beads that were different from each other allowed them to see the beauty in their own creations.
The best part is when Dawn came home to sell the bracelets to support the orphans...
Guess which sold out first? The patterned beads or the orphan beads?
and for you to help spread the word...
We want to send Dawn from Funky Fish with as many orphan beads as she can carry on her trip this March to show the orphans of Zeway that they matter.
Because Every Mother Matters will be there to capture it all on video:)
To learn more about Funky Fish visit their site.
To donate your orphans send them to:
110 Lost Pine St
Elgin, TX 78621
Do you remember the good ol' days when the Tacky 4 Africa headbands were truly tacky? I know some our first fans to jump on this train of tacky are shaking their heads and laughing. We had everything from wide headbands that never stayed on, headbands with...yes, Easter eggs on them, the lucky St. Patricks day, Fourth of July, Grandma's curtains, great grandma's polyester pants or what was left of them, strawberry shortcake and everything in between. If you don't know the story of how it got started I encourage you to read it. The thing that I loved most about that time was how much fun it was to randomly reach in a bag and know that whatever I pulled out would be pretty tacky then send it to the person who ordered it. I would visualize them opening the package, laughing their butts off and thinking..that was the best $10 donation they had ever given! Well, since then the Tacky 4 Africa headband has morphed more into a realm of somewhat awesomeness (depending on ones taste)..I can honestly say we no longer make ones that I, myself would not wear. I genuinely love them all. It seems like I always sell my favorites right off my head:) Now when I reach in my grab bag of headbands to send one to a buyer my first thought is, "Oh I hope they like it, don't care if the sewing is a little off and they think it's worth the $10".
Buying a Tacky 4 Africa headband should be fun! It should be about the fact that your $10 donation not only supports the refugee hands that make them, but amazing organizations that BEMM supports. The thing is...I don't think your expectations have changed. You all rock! It seems something happened inside of me and I forgot somewhere along the way that it is about the why and not the what. Two weeks ago I got over 60 headbands back from one of our refugees. The headbands were a mess. They had holes, back stitching, weird sizes and were sloppy. For the first time ever I didn't pay for the really bad ones. I sent them back saying they were unsellable. I paid reluctantly for the semi-okay ones and prayerfully sent them out to you all. I hoped you wouldn't notice the flaws. I forgot that you don't buy the Tacky 4 Africa headbands for the headbands themselves, you buy them for the cause. Then this week I got another batch in. They were great...except that the refugee that made them got a few of the patterns mixed up. Meaning the tie and the headband don't match at all! My first thought was to send them back and have them redone, but then I remembered the Easter egg headband, the lucky charm, the grandma's curtain...I remember how I struggled with how on earth I was going to sell them...I remember staying awake all night until God helped me come up with Tacky 4 Africa and grab bag headbands...I remember selling out of the "unsellables" within days...I remembered that it is about the $10 donation to an amazing cause and not the trinket. So here I am with a stack of Tacky 4 Africa headbands that are truly either tacky or misshaped. I paid the refugees upfront in faith, believing that I will once again have fun choosing a headband and visualizing the buyer laughing when they open their package and thinking that was the best $10 donation ever spent.
I have 30 of them. My goal is to sell them within 30 hours, to raise the $300 for BEMM to prove that why you do something is always more important than what you do...
Thursday, December 2, 2010
Wednesday, December 1, 2010
I set out to achieve a goal of raising 5k by World Aids Day for Project Hopeful's Sisterhood+ campaign. You all know by now... I don't plan or think things through. I don't "pray" about it or wait for a "sign". I just act. I move forward with confident expectation. I believe my God will move mountains, peoples hearts and miracles will happen. Why don't I pray about it first? Do you pray before you meet one of your kid's needs? Your spouse's needs? Do you pray if you should help a child lost and screaming for their momma? Do you pray before you call the police if your house is being broken into? Do you pray before you heat your house in the winter? Do you wait for a "sign" to go to church? If you see a baby that is crying, soiled, starving, abandoned...do you pray or wait for a sign before you reach down and embrace the child? No. You don't think. You don't plan. You act. You move forward with confident expectation that what you do WILL make a difference. You don't think about what's next? What if the child you pick up dies, what if the people who break into your house hurt your family, what if you can't meet your kid's need...The outcome is not up to you. What is up to you..is what you choose to do or not do.. right now. We are STILL over $1500 from our goal. Yesterday was a crazy, beautiful and tragic day. Within moments of each other I found out our biggest donation yet had come in ($1000 from a beautiful person) and my dad had a massive heart attack. Imagine if I was a "pray" about it or give me a "sign" type person. I would be a confused mess. The thing is...life is messy. It is unpredictable. It never goes how we plan. It can be beautiful and tragic all in the same breath. We have our agendas and picture how we see things happening...we can get caught up in waiting for the "right" time, "praying" for the next step...in truth-all you have is right now. This moment.
At my sister's funeral (who died in her sleep unexpectedly) I spoke about James 4:13
Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.” 14 Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. 15 Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.” 16 As it is, you boast in your arrogant schemes. All such boasting is evil. 17 If anyone, then, knows the good they ought to do and doesn’t do it, it is sin for them.
Today we are selling our TV and entertainment center to raise the money for my 5k goal. Why am I sharing this? Do I want a pat on the back? No. I don't. My point is sometimes...we need to be willing to climb that mountain, we need to be the miracle....we are the "sign" that is needed. Instead of waiting for God to move...we need to move forward with confident expectation...knowing and believing that HE is 10 steps ahead not only waiting for us but carrying us the whole way.