Friday, November 30, 2012

What I Wore // Olive + White

Amidst this season marked by dusty blue horizons and muted landscapes, a bright white shirt shines. Making good use of that vibrant canvas I layered on my green fashionABLE scarf...

Green is one of my favorite colors but some shades of it make my skin look washed out. This olive green is a great compliment to my skin though and I am very happy with it. With the contrast of a dark wash jean and the complimenting pop of color from my ballet flats, this outfit is lovely -- and so simple!

Shirt - Old Navy // Jeans - Target // Shoes - Target // Scarf - fashionABLE

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Noonday Collection // Guest Post by Wynne

Our passion at Noonday Collection is to connect you with the lives of artisans struggling for a better future while styling you along the way.  Fashion and design are a vehicle for opportunity and change.  You, too, can be a voice for the oppressed!

I was introduced to Noonday Collection & Jessica Honegger (the founder) at the adoption conference that changed my world.  It was in Austin, Texas in October 2010 and that weekend was the weekend the Lord grabbed hold of my husband and he said YES to adopt!  The conference was full of amazing ministries, and Noonday instantly grabbed my attention.  You see, I LOVE accessories.  I’m always drawn to them, but when I saw the beautiful items Noonday was selling, I had to know more.  They were both beautiful & had a story.  I wanted to know that story!  Since that conference, I have become a part of the Noonday family.  Some good friends of mine hosted a trunk show to support our adoption, and it did SO WELL that I got the amazing opportunity to be one of the first gals to become an ambassador.  What that means is I sell these items in peoples homes, but what it really means is that I tell these women's stories!

Noonday Collection sells jewelry, accessories, and home accents made from women (and some men!) from over 10 different countries around the globe.  Ethiopia, Peru, Uganda, Ecuador, Rwanda and India to name a few.  These artisans get paid a fair living wage for their work, and I can honestly say the work they are doing does more than pay the bills!  I have had the opportunity to go visit our artisans in Ethiopia, Rwanda and Uganda and see them at work and visit their homes.  I’ve heard their stories!  The work they are doing is not only helping them provide for their families, but it’s giving them a sense of self worth.  It’s teaching them work ethic & many times connecting them to Jesus!  It’s giving them a community of other women that are going through the same things they do.  They aren’t just making jewelry, they are making a life for themselves and their families!

This is my friend Embemebet.  She lives on Mount Entoto in Addis Abbaba, Ethiopia.  Mount Entoto has been said to have healing waters for people living with HIV.  Most of the artisans we work with in Ethiopia live here.

She is just ONE example of how lives are being changed through Noonday.  By purchasing the BEAUTIFUL items these artisans make, you are changing their lives.  You are teaching your friends how to shop responsibly.  You are letting people into the stories.  Since I told you before I am a self proclaimed accessorize-ista, I used to wear mainly items from Target or Forever 21.  NOW when people stop me to tell me they like my earrings, I can tell them proudly that they were made by a group of artisans in Ethiopia.  Y'all, the stories and the conversations that are started from simply wearing fabulous items is out of control.

I invite YOU to be a part of the story.  Shop our website.  Buy your sister or your mom something lovely & give it to them proudly on Christmas knowing that you are making a difference in the world.  

Noonday means a lot to me.  It was the primary way we raised money to bring home our two little ones from Ethiopia.  

I hope you fall in love as much as I have.

Monday, November 26, 2012

MUCH // given. expected.

Thanksgiving came and went and we gave thanks for our bountiful blessings, our families, our freedom to worship without fear...
Then Black Friday came and we went out and spent loads of money on great deals, stocking up for Christmas...

We are all geared up to spend, it is that time of year, but while we spend to bless our family and friends who already have the blessings of bounty and family and freedom like we do, there are people who don't even know what Christmas is! They beg for enough food to survive, their churches are destroyed and their pastors imprisoned, they don't have clean water, they sell themselves into slavery to provide for their family, many are orphans who have no one to care for them and are vulnerable to being enslaved and trafficked... tons of people the world over don't even have a Bible. I don't know about you but I am thinking about all the extra I have and don't need and the blessing it could have been if I had spent my money on sending Bibles to those who need one, rather than buying a third copy of Pride and Prejudice just because it looked lovely. Lets hold each other accountable this Christmas season to spending less and giving more!

--- --- ---

 And that servant, which knew his lord's will, and prepared not himself, neither did according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes.
But he that knew not, and did commit things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few stripes. For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more.
Luke 12:47-48 KJV (emphasis added)

Friday, November 23, 2012

What I Wore // Sevenly + Sweats

No reason why a day spent in jammies shouldn't be a day spent advocating for waiting children!

Sweatshirt - Sevenly // Pajama pants - Target // Tank top - Old Navy

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Calling modern-day abolitionists...

William Wilberforce
fought to abolish the slave trade in England

Abraham Lincoln
1863 // Emancipation Proclamation 
supported the passing of the 13th Amendment

13th Amendment 
// United States Constitution
Section 1. Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.
Section 2. Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.

2012 //
human trafficking is the second largest criminal industry in the world (including America)

"Despite its abolishment almost 150 years ago by the adoption of the Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, involuntary servitude is far from a thing of the past. Now referred to as human trafficking, modern-day slavery takes many forms."

According to U.S. Federal law, human trafficking is defined as:
Sex trafficking in which a commercial sex act is induced by force, fraud, or coercion, or in which the person induced to perform such an act has not attained 18 years of age; or
The recruitment, harboring, transportation provision, or obtaining of a person for labor or services, through the use of force, fraud, or coercion for the purpose of subjection to involuntary servitude, peonage, debt bondage, or slavery.

Estimates from the 2010 Trafficking in Persons Report by the U.S. Department of State...
Globally // 27 Million slaves
Western Hemisphere // 6,681 (identified victims)

Where is our modern-day abolitionist? Human trafficking will not be solved by leaving it alone. It is a big thing to combat, but so was slave-trading and the retaining of slaves in the South. 
Great work is being done all around the world to free slaves of human trafficking, provide them with rehab and a good job. I champion the work of International Justice Mission, my heart for India throbs with the knowledge that there is SO much sex-slavery and forced labor in that country... but today I am thinking of America, of the trafficked victims right under our noses. There are victims in my own town. We choose everyday whether we stand for freedom and justice or for depraved indifference.

30 Days of Thanksgiving // Week Four Recap

I have been counting my blessings each day for four weeks now and I have found a pattern... Everyday I am thankful for: the food I eat, the faces I see, the water I get to use and the world I live in. The more I am grateful for these blessings the more I want others to experience them too. Starving children should have food, orphaned children should have a family, countries with poor sanitation should have clean water and proper latrines, and those of us rushing through life in a first world country need to slow down and relish the beauty of nature that God surrounds us with daily.

On Veteren's day I was thinking about how our country's freedom has never been free of charge. But then I thought about how our freedom in Christ didn't come free of charge either. The Son of God knew He was going to sacrifice everything to give us freedom from sin, and He did. The more I reflect on His great love, the more grateful I am just to live. 

How about you? What are some of the blessings in your daily life?

Monday, November 19, 2012

World Toilet Day // Being real...

  I don't really get into all the ridiculous "days" that people have created. I stick to the real holidays, you know, the ones on the calendar. I have made a few exceptions though... Orphan Sunday, the day of prayer for the persecuted church, and, now, World Toilet Day. As you may have seen in a previous 30 Days of Thanksgiving recap post, I do not take our American bathrooms for granted.
  It may seem silly but bathrooms are a big deal to me. One of the reasons I find camping so unappealing is the possibility of not having a proper place to relieve myself. Providing me with a bathroom when I need one is one of the ways that I know you love me. Sounds ridiculous but those are the facts. If you want me to question how much you care for me just disregard the "little" detail of a proper restroom.
  I am headed to India for two weeks and when I asked my trip leader to tell me what to expect for bathrooms I braced myself for the very worst. A hole in the ground. That is the reality that I am facing. While I am counting my blessings I can honestly say that I am glad there will be a hole, that I won't be expected to just go on the ground, but I am crossing my fingers for privacy (and I am praying for a seat of some sort). When I was in France early this year the public restrooms were similar to our American ones except that there were no seats on the toilets and there wasn't water in the bowl. Just those two differences make the smell worse in the bathroom so imagine not having a bowl to contain the waste and no water to carry it away. 
  Sometimes statistics can go over our head but this fact stopped me in my tracks: 2.6 Billion -- the same as the population of America 8x!! -- do not have anything more than a hole in the ground.

  I got a bunch of Christmas gift catalogs in the mail this past week. I love looking through them and dreaming of blessing people in need with bountiful generosity! In spite of all the needs that there are in the world and all the ways that you can give and help and bring relief we are most moved to give things that we relate to, aren't we? Well I am moved to provide bathrooms for the 2.6Billion that lack one. I know that if I was called to live overseas and there was not a bathroom available in the community I was serving and I told my family and friends that we could build one with just $50 I would have a bathroom in no time! As far as I am concerned the people in need around the world are worth investing in as much, if not more, than anyone I know who goes overseas! 
  This Christmas I will be giving money toward building latrines in Rwanda through Blood:Water Mission and in India through Gospel for Asia and I would like you to consider how thankful you are for your running water, your soft bath rug, your private powder room, and seriously consider giving the gift of DIGNITY and HEALTH to those who lack it. Even if you cannot spare the funds lets make a difference together through our influence. Facebook it, Tweet it, blog about it, and spread the word through everyday conversations. Your influence has more impact than you know. Let's put it to work. :)

Friday, November 16, 2012

What I Wore // Sevenly Tee

I have spoken of my love for Sevenly in other posts. I can hardly remember when I first heard about Sevenly but I know that I jumped on board pretty soon after I did. I own quite a few of their limited edition tees now but my favorite one is still my charcoal "Love the Orphan" v-neck.

This was my first or second purchase from Sevenly. The design is fantastic, the message is simple, and the fit is perfect for me. I paired it with my skinnies and my favorite accessory (a scarf!). It is great for lounging around the house or running errands (I'd wear my purple moccasin flats!), which is exactly what I did today. :)

Tee - Sevenly // Jeans - Target // Scarf - Target

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

International Justice Mission // Guest Post by Jessie

"One of these words just doesn’t belong here: shock, disbelief, disgust, grief, hope.  How can hope be mixed in among the reactions we have to the horrors of injustice that grip our world today?  In 2008, I was first confronted with the knowledge that more than 27 million people are literally enslaved across the globe, many of them women and children.  I learned that little girls as young as 8 years old are sold to brothels where they are abused by up to 20 “customers” per day.  I learned that boys my sons’ ages work in rock quarries 16 hours per day, 6-7 days per week, in blistering heat, beaten if they are ill, rather than going to elementary school.  I learned that widows in Africa are forced from their homes, leaving them with no livelihood to provide for their kids, while young men are illegally imprisoned, no longer able to provide for their families.  Twenty-seven million people, sons and daughters of the King, living under oppression, violence, corruption and darkness: I was shocked, disbelieving, disgusted and grieving.  And still, a ray of hope: a sliver to me then, a blazing beacon to me now…
International Justice Mission ( is a Christian human rights agency that brings rescue to victims of slavery, sexual exploitation, and other forms of violent oppression.  Since 1997, IJM's staff has stood against violent oppression in response to the Bible's call to justice (Isaiah 1:17): Seek justice, rescue the oppressed, defend the orphan, plead for the widow.  They are extraordinarily strategic and effective, working with local officials to secure immediate victim rescue and aftercare.  IJM professionals are changing the justice equation in the darkest parts of our world, ensuring that public justice systems – police, courts and laws – effectively protect the poor.  IJM is made up of over more than 400 lawyers, investigators, social workers and other staff - approximately 95% of whom are nationals of the countries in which they serve.  They collaborate with local and state authorities to bring about not only rescue, but system-wide change to make their vision become a reality: To rescue thousands, protect millions, and prove that justice for the poor is possible.  God is using IJM to, quite literally, change the world.
I first learned of IJM in 2008 at a Leadership Summit through Willow Creek Church, and I wept for the victims whose stories broke my heart.  “It’s not okay, it’s not okay, it’s not okay” was my refrain as I gazed at the pictures and videos of beautiful young people being bought and sold like commodities.  I was also seized with the conviction that it would be equally “not okay” for me to sit on the sidelines in this battle for justice.  God had my full attention, but what could I do?  That is the question that plagued me as I prayed and wrestled with Him in the days and weeks after the Summit.   It is also the question that I inevitably get asked time and again when I speak about injustice and the work of IJM.  Fortunately, there is an abundance of good answers to that question.
Just as I have become increasingly convinced that God is at work in IJM, using them to blaze new paths to justice in our generation, I have also come to realize that each of us can do SOMETHING in this fight.  When confronted with an impossible task, feeding 5,000, Jesus said to his disciples, “Bring me what you do have.”  They brought 5 loaves and 2 fish, and HE did the miracle.  When we bring what we have to this impossible problem, HE does the miracle.  God multiplies our offerings, and when we join Him where He is working, people get saved, in every sense of the word.  What did I have to bring?  What were my 2 fish and 5 loaves?  Well, I have a big mouth…I could TELL people about injustice and about IJM.  I did that right off the bat.  I am blessed with a good job as a physical therapist, yielding financial flexibility for giving and providing connections to people who might care if only they knew.  So, I signed up to be a Freedom Partner and I told my colleagues and patients about it.  I love to run and have girlfriends who are caring and generous with their time and energy.  So, we decided to put on a run/walk event, the Just Us (ordinary people for justice) Run/Walk.  We’ve done that for the last 5 years, exposing literally thousands in our community to the problem of modern-day slavery.  I’m unafraid of the spotlight, so I talk about IJM wherever people will give me a microphone.  I can pray, so I signed up to be a prayer partner for IJM.  I had more than I realized that can be used against this “impossible” problem!
The list of ideas for “what can I do?” is limitless.  God has given each of us gifts.  He has made us the body so we can move on behalf of the oppressed.  We can be creative…ABCs for abolition:  Act, Blog, Cycle, Draw, Equip, Fast, Give, Hike, Investigate, Jog, Kneel, Lobby, Minister, Notify, Open, Pray, Question, Read, Shop, Tithe, Understand, Vote, Walk, eXamine, Yodel, Zeal…  I know of a small group who gathers monthly for a meal and “pays” the host what they would pay at a restaurant for a similar meal.  That meal money then gets donated to IJM.  I know of people who recruit teams for the Just Us run and get their company to match their donations.  I know of kids who set up lemonade stands and teenagers who act in skits depicting injustice.  As Christmas approaches, purchasing items made by freed slaves or those in preventive programs just makes sense.  
The options for seeking justice are limited only by our creativity.  We all have time, talent, treasure and influence—it’s just a matter of what we spend it on.   We can join God where He is already at work, through IJM or similar organizations that grip our hearts, through relationships, through prayer… we CAN do SOMETHING.  And the joy that comes from following Christ into this battle is the surprising side-effect, as He does the miracle with our loaves and fish.  The blazing beacon is the Son himself, and we get the privilege of being used for the good works, that he created in advance for us to do.  Pretty dang cool if you ask me!"

Monday, November 12, 2012

Operation Christmas Child // Packing Shoeboxes

This past week every order from The Next Step Store funded the packing and shipping of Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes. Three Country Paintings were sold and two friends simply donated money toward the cause and as a result I was able to pack and ship EIGHT shoebox presents!

Four little boys...

and four little girls!

Here is the break down of the cost. The boys' boxes cost a total of $7.75 to fill...

... and because I splurged on the dolls, the girls' boxes cost a total of $14.75 to fill.

Last year I bought everything for the shoeboxes at the Dollar Store and it was affordable to do so but I wanted to buy things that would last a little longer this year. I decided to experiment by shopping entirely from Target to see how far my dollars would stretch there. As you can see I averaged the same price per box shopping from Target as I did shopping for the Dollar Store!

Tip: Buying items in bulk (like socks or pens and pencils) and filling multiple shoeboxes is the most cost-effective way to go, but even if you are just shopping for one shoe box you can keep the cost to $10 by shopping the $1 section of Target or shopping at the Dollar Store.

Thank you for supporting this cause by your purchases from The Next Step Store!
Whatever the cost, it is worth it for this...

Friday, November 9, 2012

What I Wore // Ordinary Hero

"Change the world for one." 
As a big-time advocate of the orphan and other vulnerable children I work at changing the world for one kid at a time. But the two kids I am changing the world for everyday are my youngest siblings. I am their teacher.

Long-sleeved shirt, skinny jeans and black boots are the basics. Playing up my new hair cut I donned a multi-colored beret and tying the two end of a solid color scarf together I created an infinity scarf which leaves the message on my shirt visible.

Shirt - Ordinary Hero // Jeans - Target // Boots - Target // Hat - Target // Scarf - Target
photo credit: littlest brother

Thursday, November 8, 2012

30 Days of Thanksgiving // Week Two Recap

*You know the quote that goes "What if you only had today what you thanked God for yesterday?" Well I would pretty much always have a toilet. I am so grateful for running water, it isn't even funny. Plus I am going to a country that doesn't have toilets readily accessible so its on my mind a lot...

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

How a shoe-box wrecked my heart

Two days ago I wrote a blog post about Operation Christmas Child shoe boxes and I dedicated all the funds I make this week from sales in The Next Step Store to filling shoe boxes. It started out so simple but it is growing -- in me and in my circles. 

This story wrecked me. Together we can send love to so many children. 
Do not wait! Only four days left. Be in on it. :)

Thoughts on the Election results...

"Whatever may pass and whatever lies before me, let me be singing when the evening comes. Bless the LORD oh, my soul... sing like NEVER BEFORE oh, my soul, worship His holy name."

Women, and the right for HOPE

In America we take great pride in women's rights. I am not a feminist but I do believe that women ought to have basic equal rights, including the right to a college education, the right to vote, the right to own property, and the right to be employed and paid as well as a man would be for the position.

Imagine if our culture still said that the only things women ought to know to do were be a good wife, house-keeper, cook and mother of children. Imagine not being able to read or to write, it would be so crippling to us, especially in a day and age of so much written communication (websites, e-mail, texts, facebook, twitter, etc). We couldn't even do simple things like grocery shop, pay bills, write birthday cards for family and friends, or navigate on the road. Imagine, further, that culture said there was no need for women to vote. I think we can all agree that as governed members of society in America we ought to have a say in who governs us. It is just logical. Then think of this, there are so many single mom's in our country; just imagine the countless added hardships they would face if they couldn't own property or earn fair wages. Yes, we are proud of the rights of women we have gained over the centuries here in America, and we should be. Do we take it for granted, though? I think so.

Because we have all of those freedoms we forget that in many other countries women haven't even begun to gain equal rights with men. In South Asia women are not only illiterate and unable to earn a fair wage, but they are given so little value that they are sold without a thought, used in the most degrading ways and abused physically. Widows are viewed and treated as cursed individuals and are disowned by their families and 50,000 girl babies are aborted simply because they are girls each month.

Of course we want to work to end the sex-trafficking industry and to free slaves, we want to educate women and children to help them have a brighter future, we want to teach women profitable trades so they don't have to sell their bodies night after night to feed their children when their husband abandons them. However, the greatest hope these women could ever receive is the hope of freedom in Christ! How will they hear unless they are told, and how will they be told if male missionaries cannot go to them? You guessed it. Women missionaries! At Gospel for Asia centers women are being equipped to minister to women in their homes, in the slums, in leper colonies and in brothels. These women missionaries are passionate about bringing hope to the countless women of their area. Let's stand with them!

$30 per month equips one of these missionaries to serve the women of their community full-time. Bible studies, house visits and personal ministry is bringing eternal hope to millions of degraded women in Asia. Sisters, spread the word! The rights we take for granted are denied to women on the other side of the world but there is hope, and we have a key role to play in making that hope available to them. Join me in using your influence in your circles, together we can sponsor three women missionaries (Durga, Pinky, and Lalitha) by the end of the year!

Note: Wonderful news! Durga is sponsored. Pinky and Lalitha still need a monthly sponsor though. It is 2013 now, but its not too late to get in on sending these women with the message of hope that India desperately needs.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Shipping love in a shoe box

The holiday season is beginning and if you are like me you are turning on your Bing Crosby or Michael Buble Christmas CD and settling in with your laptop and a cup of hot cocoa for a little early Christmas shopping. I love shopping online. There is something about stealing away from the living room and quietly ordering gifts without anyone knowing (and without having to leave the house). And then the anticipation that builds as brown boxes and bubble-wrap packages begin arriving at the house. I also love the bustle of the streets and the smiles on the shopper's faces carrying their treasures home when we go last-minute Christmas shopping late at night while the snow is falling in the moon-light. Whichever way you shop I think you must agree that Christmas shopping is just lovely. 
I am getting ready to bundle up and venture out into the blustery November morning to go Christmas shopping for some of the Lord's kiddos. Until the day that I become an actual mother I am going to bless children who either don't have mom's to care for them or whose mom's can't afford to give them gifts. Operation Christmas Child organizes shoe-box drop-off's all around the world, bringing gifts to children who have next to nothing. Last year my family's shoe-boxes went to India! I include my younger siblings in the shopping and packing of the shoe-box gifts, letting them decide what gender and age of child they would like to shop for. By the end of the of the day we are all referring to the children as "my little boy" or "my baby girl". Compassion is a beautiful thing to witness growing inside of my little brothers and sister.
From school supplies and toiletries to clothing and toys those shoe-boxes fill up fast. For many years my family didn't participate in Operation Christmas Child because we didn't think we could afford to shop for four extra children during the holidays. Last year my siblings and I completely filled four shoe-boxes at the Dollar Store. At $10 per child, it was completely affordable! Buying picture books from thrifts stores and getting t-shirts from the clearance rack at Target or Walmart, buying one pack of four toothbrushes rather than four individual travel sized ones, and packing school supplies you bought but didn't use (like the extra pens and pencils) are a few other ways to keep the expense low. 

I read this story on Facebook this morning and it moved my heart, "Alma was abandoned by her mother in a train station when she was 4-years-old. She was left with nothing but her name pinned to her coat. The police found her and brought her to a nearby orphanage in central Asia, where she lived for five years until she was adopted by an American family.

At the orphanage, Alma had a small locker for her things. All she had to her name was a hair tie, hair brush a

nd colored pencils, which she kept in a shoe box. Alma didn’t know where the shoe box had come from until after she was adopted, when she saw an OCC video in church with her family. Alma’s face lit up and she turned to her parents, saying, “I got one of those shoe boxes!” 

When she was adopted, Alma had been asked to gather her belongings to take with her to her new home. Alma chose to bless her friends by leaving all of her toys and gifts in the shoe box at her orphanage. She knew she would receive other gifts, but her friends in the orphanage had nothing."

I want to bless those kids, I want to send them love, I want them to see (tangibly) that they are not forgotten. I am going to attempt to pack five shoe-boxes this week. I would love to pack twenty! Pick-up day is Sunday the 11th and Sunday the 18th so, for the next week, every item sold from my online store will provide funding for me to pack more shoe-boxes. So get some Christmas shopping done for your friends and family with one of my paintings or prints and empower me to send more love to "my" kiddos!

Supporting charity while buying groceries

Last week I said to dream big and that something as "out there" as hoping for a day that my everyday spending could benefit those in need was possible. This week I discovered that I don't have to wait for the allusive "someday" for that reality -- a project like that already exists!
Pure Charity leverages the influence of social media and community as well as the dollars we spend on living expenses at businesses like Walmart, Target, Apple, BestBuy, FedEx and others to change lives. Check it out!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Children of the barren woman

I went to a baby shower yesterday. Though I celebrated with excitement for the mother-to-be, my heart ached so badly for children of my own when I left.
Isaiah chapter 54 has been "mine" for years and today the Lord brought it to mind. It was like He said, "You feel the ache of barrenness and you know the sense of refusal from men, but open your heart and home up because I myself am your Husband who chose you when you were forsaken, and My children are your children -- and they are many. They are the fatherless. In a few days we will go to a couple hundred of them. They aren't the children of your body but they are the children of your heart. You are already a mother of many. You cannot fathom the plans I have for you and I." My heart for the orphan has been sincere and passionate over the years, but never have I wished I could go to them more frequently or get them in my arms more quickly than yesterday (and all the days to follow).
Last night my Pastor thanked me for my heart for the Lord's children. My first thought, before the Lord had even spoken to me through Isaiah 54, was, "How could I do anything but care for them? The Lord's children are my children because I am part of His Body." That is true of all of us.
To the barren, ones who have miscarried, the infertile, the single, the widow, the orphan... While others are given the gift of "each other" in marriage or birth or family, we have had those gifts taken or withheld. OUR HOPE IS IN THE LORD. In Him we have a Father, in Him we have a caring and protective older Brother, in Him we have a Husband, in Him we have a family (the Church) and in Him we have children: the fatherless.
Even though I cannot adopt, I can go and I can show them the love of their Father through my motherly heart. There are so many children, with beautiful names and unique faces, with painful backgrounds and seemingly hopeless futures, who need to know LOVE. They need someone to hold their hands, cry with them, encourage them, look them in the eye and listen to them. And imagine, if I was married and had children I would be much less free to go and love them. Though the barrenness aches, I will praise the Lord for it! His ways are higher than mine and His desire is for my good. Oh, praise Him!

Friday, November 2, 2012

Compelled by Love

I am burdened with the Lord's heart and feel compelled to share it with you. 
November 4th is observed world-wide as Orphan Sunday. It is a day for churches to celebrate and proclaim the Lord's heart for the fatherless and it is a day to act on that truth as He leads. Orphan Sunday started in a small church in Zambia, Africa. I just watched the video below and it blessed my heart. Perhaps you do not have 30min now to devote to watching it but please bookmark this post and watch it later. Allow the Lord's love to touch your heart through these testimonies.


What I Wore // Charcoal and Red

November in Wisconsin is chilly (frigid at times) but it still looks like autumn rather than winter most of the month. I could very happily live through a winter with no snow, though I do love having snow for Christmas! 
When I lived in Northern Minnesota November was very different. Lets just say that up North September is the only month of Autumn.

Keeping it simple with neutral clothing but adding a pop of color with the Acacia necklace. You could easily add a few more layers (a wrap-waist sweater and pea-coat perhaps?) and swap out the necklace for a red scarf.

Top // Old Navy
Jeans // Target
Shoes // TOMS
Necklace // Visiting Orphans

Thursday, November 1, 2012

30 Days of Thanksgiving // Week One Recap

Follow along as I count my blessings over the next 30 days! Feel free to join in on 30 Days of Thanksgiving!! (Hashtag: #30daysofThanksgiving)
Twitter // Instagram @chelsea_pea