Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Let's stop giving crap away!

I read the most amazing blog post on We Are THAT Family today. You can read it here. It was awesome for a number of reasons:
1. I literally just finished a conversation with my parents (they like to put me on speaker phone, which I hate, so the three of us can chat) about helping some charitable organizations to become sustainable and what that would look like. We talked about consuming less so we have more to give. I pointed out that for a mere $15/work day we could support another entire family in Ethiopia and that family would be able to afford things they never dream of, but that we Americans think are necessities. We talked about micro loans and helping widows buy animals so they can support their families. We even dared to dream a bit about what the future may look like if an organization could become sustainable and no longer rely on inconsistent monthly donations. Finally, we considered the practicality of all of this in our daily lives and what we need to do to make it happen - less talk, more do is what I like to say. What can we do today to make the future a little brighter for the orphans in Madagascar & Ethiopia? Those are just two of the places we've made connections. My Dad summed it up with this statement, "Crucify the flesh." And with that our 10 minute window was up and Mom had an incoming call.
2. In the above mentioned conversation, my Mom mentioned a place in Kenya, which she thought was called Mercy House, that she wanted to look into. I didn't think twice about it - we always have another organization or charity that we are looking into and dreaming of ways we can help. After the conversation abruptly ended, I clicked onto Facebook and saw that an old friend had posted an article title, "Dear World, let's stop giving our crap to the poor!" Well that intrigued me and I clicked. First sentence in I read "Mercy House" in Kenya. Wait a minute, I feel like I just heard that name. I didn't even have to go searching to know more about Mercy House, the info found me. Cool.
3. And now for the most important reason this article was awesome - it was TRUE! The article talked about rich, spoiled (I added that part) Americans sending their leftovers to the poor and thinking they did the world a favor. What is wrong with us? Seriously? Why do we think it's okay to give our rags to the very people Jesus told us to care for? Is that what we think Jesus would do if he were in our position? I think not. Why are we so connected to our stuff that we aren't willing to lay it aside for the sake of another? God help us. God help me. I don't want to be this person. "Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me."

Please hear my heart. I'm not saying you have to give away designer fashion or high end whatever, I'm simply saying let's give our best, not our worst. Let's give generously. Let's live generously. Let's deny ourselves of our riches and give to the least of them. Let's wear the same pair of jeans until they wear thin so someone else can eat one meal today. Let's give whatever God asks of us in order to care for another. Most importantly, let's ask God what it is that He would have us give. We all have something to give. Ask Him and be obedient. God, help me to give generously, to live a generous lifestyle, to crucify my flesh so others can simply live.

And if you haven't already, go read the blog post that started this whole rant!

Monday, September 29, 2014

Uncommon - where it all began

A few years ago my Mom, a couple close friends & I had this burning desire to have a women's event that was different from the norm (shocking, I know). We had been through it all - the hype, the emotion, the "deeply spiritual" prayer conferences, the girls' weekend laugh it up types and everything in between. Some of those have their place and well, we felt like some were just weird (nothing like a little honesty), but none of them were what we felt God was asking us to do. So, we prayed and worked and prayed and dreamed. We wanted an event where women shared about their real world experiences and revelations in serving Christ, a place where women would learn what it meant to live for Jesus everyday in the little things and the big things. We wanted a safe, open, honest atmosphere that would lend itself to vulnerability so relationships could be built. Out of all that came Uncommon.

This is our third year hosting Uncommon and I'll venture to say it's the hardest. One of our dearest friends who started Uncommon with us has gone to be with Jesus. She was passionate about reaching women and showing them Jesus. She was instrumental in all the behind the scenes work that goes into putting on an event like this, but more importantly, her prayers were deep and heartfelt for those whom God would bring. Her death left us hollow, empty and in shock. Some days I still don't believe it's true. We didn't talk about what if she wasn't with us this year, I never imagined that could happen. I hear her voice when I sing her favorite songs and I see her eyes when something goes awry. I hear her gentle encouragement and strength in the midst of hard things. Through it all, I know I don't get to know why and I can only rest in knowing that God knew what would happen and His plan is bigger than mine. I know that my dear friend would have wanted us to seek God all the more. She would have wanted us to continue Uncommon with a greater fervor and diligence than ever before. It was of this event that she once said she knew without a doubt that she was really doing what God had for her. So, we press on. We remember her legacy and rejoice that one day we will see her in glory.

And now, my friends, I invite you to join us for Uncommon 2014 as together we pursue a deeper understanding of what it means to give your life away. Come, bring friends and build relationships with other women who are seeking a life that would bless our Father's heart.