Tuesday, April 30, 2013

And the winner is....

Wow..You gals have some great taste when it comes to picking out Noonday goodness! Thank you for all of your comments and shares. Check back for more giveaways! 

While there are several random generators that could easily pick a winner, I like to run a tighter shift around here. By tighter shift I mean write names on paper, tear into individual pieces and draw from a hat....VERY legit operation. 

Congrats Tanya! You will receive your $50 voucher in your email.  

When you wear your Noonday pieces you are not only a voice for these women but also given an opportunity to plant the seed about lifting others out of poverty. Wear and plant girls! 

....when you satisfy the needs of the oppressed, then your light will rise in the darkness, and your night will become like the noonday. (emphasis mine)    Isaiah 58:10

Be sure to stop by my porch next week to:

1. water my plants for me  

2. read the first "Do Something" post which highlights a mission opportunity just for you. 

(send me an email if you have a "Do Something" opportunity you want highlighted) 

Peace Ya'll! 

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Mothers Day Giveaway!

How about a Noonday Collection Mother's Day Giveaway?  Perhaps you know nothing about Noonday Collection and you are asking yourself "Why would I want something from Noonday?". 

Well let me just tell you why you do...

  • Noonday Collection creates pathways out of poverty for the vulnerable 
  • Provides a sustainable income for families to provide basic needs such as food, clothing, education and medicine for their children. 
  • The artisans are able to make up to 2-4x the amount of income than their local market provides. 
  • Families who otherwise face placing their children in orphanages due to poverty are able to provide the care their children need. 
  • Advocates for women who have been subjected to bonded labor against their will as a means of loan repayment. 
  • Noonday donates 10% of trunk show sales to adoptive families. 

   Perhaps you will consider shopping with Noonday this Mother's Day and bless two mother's with your purchase. Maybe you want to partner with me to advocate and be a voice for these women by hosting a trunk show? Are you worn out from this question session? Where all of those true questions or did I just place question marks at the end? Moving on. 

I'm giving you the opportunity to win a $50 gift voucher to shop at Noonday Collection! Yep..that's 50 smackeroo's ladies. 

Enter to win by:

1. Comment below by sharing what Noonday piece you would  
     give someone for Mother's Day                 

2. Share the Noonday Giveaway on Facebook! 

Winner will be announced April 29th! 

Peace Ya'll

Monday, April 22, 2013

You Go Girl!

I looked up the world “encouragement” on pinterest. Here’s what I found:

            Don’t worry..Everything is going to be AMAZING (whatever that means)

            What’s meant to be will always find a way (doesn’t it usually)

            Be yourself…everyone else is already taken (thanks for the reminder)

I looked on my personal pinterest board and the results were just as lame:

It’s a good day to have a GOOD day. (Because I sometimes choose to throw a bad day in the mix)
            Always be kinder than you feel. (Depends on if I’ve had my coffee)

            A girl without freckles is like a night without stars (this one stays due to 2nd grade bully calling
                me a “stupid freckle face”…yeah…you know who you are)

And the majority of pins on my “words” board had something to do with the importance coffee plays in my daily life.  A LOT. Stop judging.

I’ve been tossing this idea around of how we encourage others around us. And if we do is it truly genuine and authentic or does it lean on the side of just a social grace?

So I posed this question to a panel of profound scholars and intellectuals. (mmmhhhmm)

I wanted to know what hinders us from emboldening those that we live life with…

Here’s what they came up with:
·      We are not vulnerable or transparent enough to let others know we need to be encouraged.
·      We fail to see the good in people so we assume the worst. (i.e. we question motives)
·      Pride

What is sad is that those are all very true aren’t they. We tend to pick and choose whom we lift up if they meet certain criteria.  I have always found it easier to cheer for the underdog. The person who probably has no one to pat them on the back or give them words of affirmation. I’m pulling for all 16 seed teams when March Madness rolls around every year.  I’m thinking the reason I do this is because underdogs seem humble. They need the encouragement. What that really boils down to is pride. And what I’ve learned about pride is that it likes to grow in the soil of insecurity. (let’s visit about that next time..)

God’s word actually has quite a bit to say about encouragement:

            Therefore encourage one another and build each other up just as you are doing.
            1 Thessalonians 5:11 (ESV)

            And let us consider how we may stir up one another to love and good works, not
            neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all
            the more as you see the Day drawing near.
            Hebrews 24:10 (ESV)

There are several more that point out to strengthen, rejoice and consider our brothers and sisters in Christ.

What is interesting is that none of these verses say to encourage you sister after you’ve done a thorough investigation of their heart.  I couldn’t find a verse that provided a checklist of acceptable criteria that one had to meet in order to be given words of hope.

When are we going to get over ourselves and realize we are sisters in Christ. When we are striving to point our families, community and the world around us to the kingdom the enemy will attack and we have got to have sisters ( & brothers) there to lift us up, shake the dirt off and tell us to get back in there because there is more work to be done. The words in Hebrews 24:10 are a call to action.  We are to consider, to regard the welfare and to encourage others to persevere as Christ followers.  Correct me if I’m wrong but we are on the same team right?!

There is a Jewish saying ,“Eshet Chayil” Woman of Valor. Maybe you’ve heard of it. What..your husband doesn’t wake you up in the morning reciting Proverbs 31 to you?  “Wake up my dear Woman of Valor” can be heard echoing through my home daily. (insert laughter)
I first came across this phrase from Rachel Held Evens:

“The ancient acrostic poem celebrating the virtuous woman was never meant to be a standard women struggle to meet, but rather a blessing that celebrates the accomplishments they’ve already made. As we heard from my friend Ahava, in Jewish culture, many men recite the poem to their wives at the Sabbath meal, and Jewish women often praise one another for accomplishments in homemaking, career, boldness, and justice by declaring ‘eshet chayil!’—woman of valor!”

Did you catch the phrase “ women often praise one another for accomplishments”?
I love the picture of this solidarity of women based on one shared commonality: Christ.

Are you an encourager? What are ways you give sincere encouragement to others?  I want to know!

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Seed Preference

Cue the Lowe’s commercial with the family waking up early on a Saturday morning with an up and at em’ attitude. Ready to tackle the day with do it yourself projects that turn out flawless. You know the commercial I’m talking about.  In my mind “that” day always seemed so attainable. So when the hubby announced that Saturday was going to be family work day my expectations where set high.

I’ve been rolling around this idea of planting for a while now. Today just seemed like the perfect day to expound on this. 

Today we planted corn and beans in the garden, geraniums in pots and petunias in the window boxes.  But what about my words? 

Have you ever thought about the seeds we plants in others?

Maybe you are nothing like me. Maybe you never, ever, not even on your worst day have a slip of the tongue. Perhaps all of your conversations are full of beautiful blessings. 

And maybe you are like me. A total loser in this department.

This has been a constant area that God has wanted me to hand over to Him.

So picture a holy washing out of thy mouth if ye would. 

This is what I’ve been thinking…

Depending on what is locked up in the seeds that we plant depends on what will grow, flourish and produce fruit. 
Good seeds: pretty flower. Bad seeds: ugly weed.
Still with me?

So we have a choice: Do we choose to plant good seeds or bad seeds?

Good seeds:

·      Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace to the hearers.             Eph. 4:29
·      Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in your sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer. Psalm 19:14
·      Gracious words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the body. Proverbs 16:24

Bad seeds:
·      He that keeps his mouth keeps his life: but he that opens wide his lips shall have destruction. Proverbs 13:3
·      O generation of vipers, how can you, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. Matthew 12:24
·      Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be. James 3:10

These are all excellent reminders of the power of our words. But God reveled something to me about bad seeds that are planted in others. Ohh…for the sake of bad seeds lets just say, hmm…I don’t know…just throwing this out there….GOSSIP.    I know your are not a loser like me so I’m certain this does not apply to you.  But perhaps you do know someone who does have a tendency to fall into this trap every now and then. But we are of course not talking about you…mmhhhmm.

Therefore, let us no longer criticize one another. Instead decide never to put a stumbling block or pitfall in your brother's way. Romans 14:13 HCSB

Here’s the deal. When I sow a bad seed (gossip) in someone I am giving them the opportunity to water and fertilize that seed. I have just planted something in them that I had no business doing in the first place. Now not only have I sinned but I have caused someone else to stumble.  Isn’t that just swell?

According to Barnes notes:
A "stumbling-block" literally means anything laid in a man's path, over which he may fall. In the Scriptures, however, the word is used commonly in a figurative sense to denote anything which shall cause him to "sin," as sin is often represented by "falling”.

Well..that just about sums it up. I really don’t want to be the one to point others away from Christ.
We were called for much more than that sister!

Oh..and for our family work day: Here are 4 things to take away:

1.  This garden will be like having a 3rd and 4th child

2. Pool toys never last long outside of a pool. 

3. If your child finds a ladybug she will name it (Dottie), make up a song for the ladybug and sing it over and over and over again and inevitably lose it within 30 seconds of being in the car.

4. By golly if the seed packet says plant 6 inches apart then we will plant them precisely 6 inches apart. No time for any tom foolery around here.
Apparently the seeds will grow better if they know you used the tape measure.

Peace ya'll

Sunday, April 7, 2013

orange vest required

Come take a seat and soak in the sunshine of spring. Old man winter has been so cranky about giving up his time around here.

Congrats to Annie on winning the Many Ways Bag from Noonday Collection!! Email your address and I will send it out this week.

So I’ve been looking hard at this verse lately and how it applies to me and my family…

“ Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted from the world.”  James 1:27 NIV

You may be just as familiar with this verse and the responsibility it places on our walk as Christ followers.

BUT there’s another part of this verse that almost never gets any attention. At least I never hear it being talked about when people reference the verse. So you can see how it hit me square between the eyes. One word: conviction.

….and to keep oneself from being polluted from the world.

Pollution is a gross word. Immediately images of smog covered cities and trash filled ponds and rivers come to mind.  We get really ticked when we see Sonic cups and Dorito bags trashing up Gods creation. Why?  Because these things do not belong there. 

But according to Gods word…we too can become polluted. And you know I’m not talking about air quality.  Let’s look a little deeper shall we.

“ Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them. For everything in the world- the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life – come not from the Father but from the world. The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever.”
1 John 2: 15-17 NIV

If the things of this world are the lust of the flesh, lust of the eyes and the pride of life well then I’m guilty on all accounts.  According to Barnes’ Notes on the Bible & Clarks Commentary:

Lust of flesh-  that which pampers the appetite or all that is connected with indulgence.  Check

Lust of eyes- What merely gratifies the sight. For me this is clothing, home d├ęcor, etc. To sum it up in one word: T.J. Maxx. (I may or may not frequent this store more than once a week.)  The thing on which the eye delights to rest where there is no higher object of life.  Check, check.

Pride of life- Hunting after honor, titles, ostentation or boasting.  Well crap.
For heavens sake this needs its own blog post.

My life, my body is Gods creation and these contaminants do not belong there.  I think its time to put on the orange vest and start picking up the trash that has polluted my soul and mind. Twist on the Brita filter and use Gods Word to separate impurities of this world. Trade my gas guzzling SUV in for…..kidding! I’ll stop at that. 

Listen sister!  I love, love James 1:27 and I am by NO means placing more importance on the last part over the first.  But if we want to walk this out in a way that is truly PURE and FAULTLESS then we must be willing to examine our hearts and allow Gods truth to shed some light into those dark places. To put it simply: we must apply all aspects of James 1:27.

So here’s my question-- I’m curious if there are intentional ways you might keep your soul free of these pollutants.

FYI: My knowledge of the technical mumbo jumbo is quite limited. From what I understand, in order to comment you must click on the past comments in order to leave yours. Also- If you’d like to be known as anyone else but “anonymous” you can use the drop down menu to put your name. Whatever is cool by me.