NO MATTER WHAT.
And while we may know that, they don't. They are the girls, women and children, that are being trafficked.
I am trying to educate myself on the whole issue of human trafficking by reading articles, reading books and talking with friends that have been in the trenches but am having a hard time getting my mind wrapped around the entire thing. I am at the point where maybe I do not need to understand it all, I just need to show up and be there, that I need to TRUST God in the things I don't understand and remember this verse:
"Much is required from those to whom much is given, for their responsibility is greater" Luke 12:48
You and I, we are "those whom much is given" and it is our responsibility to help. Locally and globally and we can not think, "well, who am I ? " or " I am only one person" or " I can't make a difference" because we are the "whom much is given" and we can.
Maybe we can't get ourselves onto a talk-show to talk about it, stand in front of congress and fight for it or raise millions of dollars to go towards it, but we can do something.
"Each one should use whatever gift he's received to serve others." Peter 4:10
Up until this past Monday morning, I had built a beautiful wall in front of me. HGTV and DIY is my "white noise" so I know how to build one strong and mighty, very decorative and one that can disguise or hide unsightly flaws..
Then Monday came and Monday morning I had a powow with Deena and Monday afternoon I made some decisions.
I am in at stage right now that is more like being out on a sand bar at the river, just standing there, watching everything else go by, or like being in front of a road block or on one side of the road separated by a center divider..
or behind a big beautiful,decorative, flaw hiding, protective wall.
You know, a place that might make you feel stuck, or something that slows you almost to a stop and makes you have to decide which way you are going to go, or maybe... something that hides you from what you believe to be risks, a protective barrier from possible failure.
If you have read my blog for the past 7 years...or just 7 months, you might think that this is a pattern with me. It is. I am growing. We all are and maybe I should have been a masonry contractor because even when I was young, I built walls. Earliest I can remember is when I was trying to learn math...uggghhhhh. I can vividly remember sitting in the dining room at Mrs. Larzo's house and she was so gentle and nurturing about teaching me math...and I just sat there, behind my wall...and pretty much sat there and until a huge bright light turned on..and then I was good.
Truth #1: I am tired, and when I am tired, I forget to trust, and when I forget to trust, I start questioning every direction and when I start questioning every direction, I build a wall and when I build a wall, I don't sit on top and let the sun shine or the rain splash on me..I stand like Judy Moody with my arm crossed and my toe tapping. It is called Simply Complicated and if you have been a long time reader, you know that phrase. It all is very simple and yet I create my very own self-road block by complicating things.
Then Tuesday came and I received a "to-do" list from two friends yesterday (thank you girls) and as I am now going over my to-do's, I thought maybe I would share it with you because I am pretty POSITIVE that I am not the only sitting behind this big beautiful, decorative wall.
"There is nothing I cannot master with the help of Christ who gives me strength." (Philippians 4:13 JB)
The Bible gives us five actions we can take to stop procrastinating:
1. Stop making excuses. "The lazy
man is full of excuses" (Proverbs 22:13 LB). What have you been saying
you're going to do "one of these days"? What do you make excuses about?
The number one excuse I hear is, "When things settle down, then I'm
going to ..." Things will never settle down. You must make a choice to
prioritize what is important.
2. Start today. Not next month, next
week, or tomorrow. "Never boast about tomorrow. You don't know what
will happen between now and then" (Proverbs 27:1 GNT). None of us is
guaranteed a tomorrow.
3. Establish a planned schedule. Proverbs
13:16 says, "A wise man plans ahead. A fool doesn't" (LB). If you fail
to plan, you're planning to fail. You need to designate some specific
time slots each week for the things you need to do. Whatever it is, put
it on your calendar. And if it’s a big task, break it down into small
pieces. Break it into bite-size pieces.
4. Face your fears. We hate to admit
we have fears, because we think they’re a sign of weakness. But fear is
a sign of humanity. Only fools are not afraid. You’ve heard it said,
“Courage is not the absence of fear; it's moving ahead in spite of our
fears.” The Bible says there is nothing you cannot master with the help
of Christ who gives you strength.
5. Focus on what you gain, not the pain. There
are very few things in life that are easy. You must push through the
frustration and look at the gain beyond the pain. Concentrate on how
good you're going to feel once you've finished the task.
Galatians 6:9 says, "So let us not become tired of
doing good; for if we do not give up, the time will come when we reap a
Jesus never said life would be easy. There will be
sacrifice and commitment. But there is tremendous reward when we do the
things he calls us to do.
Talk About It
- Don’t ask, "What do I feel like doing?" Instead ask, "What does God want me to do?"
- I want you to write down three things you know God
wants you to do, one item each in these three areas: your family, your
personal life, and your career. Choose one of those three, and start
today. Even if you can only work on your goal 15 minutes a day, do it —
you’ll feel so much better!
Rick Warren is the founding pastor of Saddleback Church in
Lake Forest, Calif., one of America's largest and most influential
churches. Rick is author of the New York Times bestseller "The Purpose Driven Life." His book, "The Purpose Driven Church," was named one of the 100 Christian books that changed the 20th century. He is also the founder of Pastors.com, a global Internet community for pastors.
"I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me" Phil. 4:13
and a number that has come up several times in the past week.
At church yesterday, I learned an awesome way to create a habit of gratitude. Think about the date of your birthday (mine is 4/13) and turn that into a time (4:13) Now, get out your phone and set the alarm for everyday at that time. (Tip - set it at pm so you do not get an early morning reminder!) Every time that alarm sounds, chimes, beeps, rings or vibrates, stop and say/think or write down something that you are grateful for.
Friday night when I walked into Athlete's Choice to set up for the boutique, Kevin, owner of 1Eighty Apparel was setting up his booth and when he turned around, he was wearing this shirt..
and I was not surprised. It was not a coincidence...God does not talk to me in a great thunderous echo-ish deep voice...HE talks to me in ways like this.
I, we, you, can do all things...with the strength HE gives us. Not with our own strength....and thankful...We must be thankful for all things...not just the good things, but again ALL Things and I was reminded of that as I was reading this book last night...
and as I turned the page that I had decided would be my last of the night...
there it was...
okay..go set your alarms!
p.s. the 4:13 story will continue on Wednesday..that's all I am sayin.
on the Prairie was my favorite collection of books to read and my favorite show to watch growing up so of course when I read this quote, from non other than Laura Ingalls Wilder herself, I knew it was the perfect thing to remind myself and others of...
and it reminds me of where I just was
and that feeling of simple pleasures as I took a picture of a couple of cows
(and was so dumb happy about it..as if I had never seen a cow)and really how simple it is.
Life is complicated so today, I am thankful for prayer...
AimeeB in Oregon.. YOU are the new owner of my doodle! Please email me at homegrown1(at)att(dot)com. THANK YOU all for your comments! ...and thank you to all of you who made a purchase over on the ETSY site! Orders will ship this weekend and hopefully I will be able to add some more art in the coming week, or so.
Structure is back in full force with school/work starting and it is just what the dr. ordered.
I thought it was just the boys who needed it, but it is me that needs it most! I am embracing it all with my God given long arms and feel a sense of peace as things get back in the swing of things (although my new schedule does not allow for my summer workout schedule or my early morning creative time)
I am also embracing this VERY SIMPLE but meaningful quote:
and really, it is simple and an awesome reminder, in fact, it helps me to relax a bit.
Speaking of relaxing...I went to work on my stitching project as an after school treat yesterday and just as with doodles, for me, it is VERY relaxing! I hope to have the kits listed in the next few days. All you need to supply is a needle, some thread and a little time..
oh, and stuffing if you want to make a happy basket filler!
Now if the heat would turn down a notch, I could pull out the ol' crock pot and get ready for Fall!
Last night was the final night of the summer study "Only You Can Be You" and I felt a little sad at the end when Erik said "good night" because it was "over" when it dawned on me that it is only the beginning.
The beginning of being fully surrendered and of "Me being Me" so the reminders, art and thoughts about "You Being You" will continue on.
Here is a GREAT reminder and hopefully inspiration for you to do something today...
"Action springs not from thought, but from a readiness for responsibility" Dietrich Bonhoeffer (Only You Can Be You by Erik Rees, page 166)
It is week three of the Homegrown Garden Project 2012 and everything has officially broken ground. This is what my sweet little cucumber looks like this morning:
It may seem corny to you, but sometimes I just like to sit a look at what is going on in this little garden we have created. Although our hands placed the seeds in the soil and we have to water them to grow, it is awesome to really think about what is going on during the growth process. My mind then wanders to how amazing (and hard, I know) it would be to live somewhere like this and experience new growth in a huge way. I am going to totally dork out right now, but that makes my heart flutter....
told ya I was going to be a dork. I am SURE it is painfully hard to have and work on a farm and the amount of determination and faith along with blood, sweat and tears is huge, but the rewards would be so....abundant.
The word ABUNDANT leads me to another piece I created based on words printed on the inside cover flap of the book "Only You Can Be You" which is an upcoming women's summer study that I would LOVE for you to come to with me...
and speaking of discovering the ABUNDANT life God designed for each one of us, I am so excited and proud of my dear friend Mel and all of the amazing things she and her posse are creating in Idaho at the new Brave Girls ranch. Mel and her entire family have truly found their purpose, planted the seeds that are part of their mission and their dreams are growing and living..ABUNDANTLY. This also makes my heart flutter and I do not feel like a dork saying that! I look forward to making my way up there later this summer to spend some quiet time with Melody & Kathy to experience new growth for myself...creatively, mentally and spiritually (Oh, and PHYSICALLY as I told Mel this morning that I am a way better helper than guest, so I will be there to work...and rest)
Today, I want to encourage you to ask GOD to show you what HE has designed for you...it is good..it really is.
seeds and I know that I mentioned I would not quote the book "The Seed" anymore, but I made some paper flowers using "the markers" and attached them to a big manila tag and, well, wrote out a quote from the book on the tag and I just knew that if I showed you the flowers, you would probably want to know what was written around them, so I decided I would just tell you up front that I quoted the book again. (wow that was a lot of information in one sentence)
The quote reads "During the growth process you will experience events that help you soar to new heights but you will also face adversity and challenges that strengthen your roots." The Seed Page 101
I love the "soaring to new heights" part of the quote. The thing is, in order to "soar" we must sometimes feel sore.
Growing pains and suffering are neccessary to strengthen our roots and we must endure the pain, the hardships, the troubles and the difficulties.
"Don't quit in the hard times, pray all the harder." Romans 12:12
It is just hard when we are in those times to remember that there is a reason and a greater purpose for our pain but expect blessings. They will come and then we can share with others what it feels like "To Soar"
"We rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope" Romans 5:3-4