A White Girl’s Questions About Black Lives Matter

Hey friends! Welcome back for some more girl talk!

This week we’re talking about social justice, and this video is in honor of Black History Month (February).

I interviewed a couple amazing friends of mine (Imani of the Monzi Memoirz blog & Ky), asking questions about the Black Lives Matter movement – and about life in general. They explained these difficult subjects so beautifully!

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Sex Trafficking: How WE can help end it

Proverbs 31:8 has been on my heart recently:

“Speak out on behalf of the voiceless, and for the rights of all who are vulnerable.”

Sometimes I get so caught up in doing “Christian things,” that I forget about the things that truly matter. I forget that God calls us to speak up for those who have no voice, and for those who are being mistreated.

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Are we too worried about offending others?

“People wrongly believe they have a right not to be offended. That is not only faulty, but we as educators have a duty to be offensive in the sense of forcing people to rethink their fundamental assumptions… Diversity is cited in this mantra [not being offended], yet we are killing ideological diversity, which is just as important.”

– Nadine Strossen, New York Law School Professor and former president of the ACLU

I read that quote yesterday in the Schenectady, NY Daily Gazette, and was floored. Nadine Strossen said it perfectly!

(Ironically, I have just finished repeatedly changing the picture associated with this blog article, because I didn’t want to offend anyone.)

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The Hope Bag

This isn’t just a beautiful bag given to me by my soon-to-be sister-in-law. It’s a bag that brings hope.

The couple who started the bag company FreeSet accidentally moved into the red light district in India. They discovered that literally 10,000 women a day “stand in line,” as it’s called, waiting for the thousands of men who come to buy sex. This couple wanted to provide another option, so they started a business where women could come and make bags to sell around the world. They now make 1,000 bags a day, and provide health care, full-time status, and twice the local going rate, for all the women who work there. They employ 190 women.

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Why Me?

Sometimes I get so focused on the things I don’t have, that I forget how many things I do have.

The other night my best friend and I stopped to pick up a Starbucks latte before hopping into my chic car and driving to pick up groceries for a dinner party. As we stepped back into my car, the thought hit me:

Out of the billions of people around the world, how am I in the small percentage of those who will EVER have this experience?

This experience of driving to a grocery store with a Starbucks latte in a cute car to buy enough food for a dinner party with her extended family? Not only that, but going with a best friend and without fear of our safety? Why me?

Sometimes I pass people walking along the street and do a double take, wondering, why do they not have a home but I do? Or why have they experienced so much sickness but I have so much health? Or why have they lost their family and job and all they know, but I have more than enough?

And yet in the same breath I can wonder why I don’t have more clothes. Or cuter shoes. Or a certain kind of relationship. Or a home somewhere south where it never snows (please God!). When really the question should be:

Why me?

Why have You given me so much?

What do You want me to do with these many blessings You’ve entrusted to me?

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Be Her Freedom

Be Her Freedom

I found this powerful picture and caption on one of my little sister’s friend’s Facebook. I don’t know who originally wrote it, but I wanted to share it here because it’s poignant and beautifully written:

“The Super Bowl is one of the largest sporting events in the world. It is also the largest human trafficking incident in the United States. In 2011 the super bowl saw an estimated 10,000 sex workers brought into Miami, most of which were women and children. This year alone, traffickers could fill the stadium twice with American trafficked victims. The cost of a 30-second super bowl ad will hit $4 million this year, roughly the same cost as 44,444 slaves. Those of us that live in freedom are responsible for those who don’t. The greatest of all mistakes is to do nothing because you think you can only do little. We all can do something to end slavery. By spreading awareness on social media, you have the ability to create a movement that travels across the globe. We need to pray and we need to be a voice…because their lives are worth saving.”

I pray we can put an end to human trafficking, and see these young women — women just like you and me — set free.

See also my blog on human trafficking and Love 146.

Lung Leavin’ Day

Have you ever been afraid?

(You’re probably thinking, “Um…who HASN’T been?”)

Recently activists Cameron and Heather Von St. James emailed me about a cause dear to their hearts called:

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Heather was diagnosed with Mesothelioma (a type of cancer) and given 15 months to live…only she’d just had a little girl. When the opportunity for a life-saving surgery came along, she left her lung behind. But not her life. Guess what. Eight years have passed, and she is alive and well.

So what does this have to do with yours and my fears? Well in the words of Cameron (Heather’s husband):

The purpose of LungLeavin’ Day is to encourage others to face their fears!  Each year, we gather around a fire in our backyard with our friends and family, write our biggest fears on a plate and smash them into the fire.  We celebrate for those who are no longer with us, for those who continue to fight, for those who are currently going through a tough time in their life, and most importantly, we celebrate life!

You can check out the rest of Heather’s story here! Lung Leavin’ Day is February 2, and I hope much awareness and funds can be raised. I also hope you and I can be reminded to leave our fears behind and live with courage and hope.

Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgement that something else is more important than fear. ~Ambrose Redmoon

Schindler’s List and my one life

Rick has been wanting me to see “Schindler’s List” for so long now, and we just watched it tonight. You know at the end where Schindler says, “I could have gotten more, I could have saved more. This car…could have been ten people. Why didn’t I sell it?” It hit me in the gut. At the end of my life I know I’m going to be saying the same thing. So many I could have reached, yet I was too afraid to say anything, or didn’t want to offend someone, or didn’t have the time, or didn’t want to be bothered, or they weren’t someone I’d normally connect with, or whatever. In the end, who cares? When this life is over and I have to answer to my Creator, what can I say?

I have just one life to live for You, I wanna give it all away

I pray many, many will have found the freedom and abundant life found only in Him. That my life would not have been in vain.

Getting over myself part 2

I feel like I’m always talking about some book I’m reading, but I just have to mention this one. Going off of last night’s post, I wanted to add a few more sentences about getting over myself. I’m reading this book called “Exodus” by Leon Uris, which is written like a novel but is a true story about the founding of the nation of Israel in 1900s. My version of it is this huge book that seriously looks like a Bible cause it’s so thick, with a plain cover that looks scholastically daunting, and yet – just as my mom warned me – I cannot put it down! And what strikes me over and over is how much the Jews believed in fighting for and creating this nation; how much they wanted it and would not let anything stop them, even in the face of insurmountable odds. It is amazing, the way they gave their lives for forming their country.

Perhaps it’s nothing new; perhaps we have seen that in the American Revolution and Civil War and others that have been fought for values people hold dearer than life itself. But it makes me look a little harder at my own life and wonder if I would fight for my faith like that. If I could stand to the death because I hold my faith in the lover of my soul dearer than life and comfort and food.

Just like I did yesterday, I have to ask myself again, “How would my life look if I had the kind of conviction the Jewish people have shown? How would my life look differently if I truly lived it all for Him; not for me? If I ran with the perseverance Paul spoke of in 1 Cor. 9, if I counted all as loss for the sake of knowing Him, and for the glory of His name?” I’m being more and more convicted that I need to set out on a journey to find in my daily living the answer to that question.