Monday, August 26, 2013

Compassion 5k run update #1

On Thursday last week, crazy things happened. They might not have been things worthy of a book, a newspaper article, or even something you would tell a friend. 

But for me, they were wild, out of control, make me smile from deep within things that pound my heart.

I met with our 5k planning committee. It wasn't even the full committee. Only half could make it but we started setting the ball into motion. 

This idea that I had to help build a well is actually happening. 

We have a name. 

We have a date. 

We have a location. 

We have a strategy. 

Already, God is teaching me lessons. 

I saw on Thursday how powerful working as a team can be. These women have ideas that I would have never thought of. They have creativity that goes in directions that mine doesn't. 

I'm also learning that many times, people want to help. They just don't want to start things.  I love starting things. It means that I can dream big ideas. But, I often have trouble implementing and following through on my dreams. Having a team forces me to keep going and even, to give the dream that extra oomph to make it grow.

Before, I was hesitant to even work with a team. It could mean that "my" dream morphs into something that I don't want. Or I'll have to make compromises. 

And maybe those things are true and they might happen. I don't know. 

But what I do know is that dreams and life, really, aren't meant to be done alone. We need each other to make them happen, to feel alive and productive. 

I would have never learned that if I had stayed curled up with just a dream and a notebook. 

As soon as we are officially in the books with the city, I'll let you guys in on the name, date, and even our logo. It's so dang amazing!!

Thanks for following along. I'm learning so much already and I will definitely keep you guys posted! ;) 

Has anyone else seen the value of a team before in their lives? Has it ever scared you to work with a team? Or am I just crazy?

Monday, August 19, 2013

my work space

Well, this might very well be one of the scariest posts I'll ever put here. I do love my work space, but it's definitely not as pretty as other people's. I had to clean it up and there are pockets of clutter hidden away from the camera. But, just as I want to get to know y'all, I want for y'all to get to know me!

I work from home here in this little space. I'm the editor of a small community magazine in our town and I truly love the job. I get to meet so many interesting people and I get to work from home, which allows me to pursue other creative outlets, like crocheting and blogging.

My husband is a youth pastor, so in addition to all this, I also spend a good portion of my time with teenage girls, loving them and encouraging them the best that I can.

So what about you? Tell me about yourself and your work space! I'd love to hear all about it. :) 

Friday, August 16, 2013

El Salvador

For the past few days, I've been following Hayley from the Tiny Twig on her adventure to Ethiopia. She traveled with the good folks from fashionABLE to see their work overseas. It was moving to hear the stories of pain, to see the pictures of poverty, to peek into her own thoughts on her journey.

Reading her posts reminded me of my time in El Salvador, especially the challenge of a language barrier. Despite my several years of Spanish class, I still hesitated to understand or even try to communicate with any of the people there. It was easy to use our translators as a crutch and stick to the back of the huddle to avoid having an awkward conversation.

I finally decided on one of our last days there to step out anyway and try to initiate a conversation. A beautiful woman walked by and I pointed to the ice cream cart to get her attention. We were handing out free ice cream to any one who walked by. She smiled and put down the basket on her head.

We had a small conversation, largely taken up with the time it took to translate our words. It wasn't life-changing. She was a Christian who regularly attended church and had a strong faith because of an accident that happened to her son. I told her that I would pray for her and she said that she hoped I would. With that, she picked up her basket, ice cream cone still in hand, and walked away.

Despite the fact that nothing magical happened in our conversation, it'll be hard to forget her. I was able to put a face and name to poverty. It makes it more heart-wrenching when you know a person in true poverty. It has a family and a history now. 

Hayley's post also excited me. I love what fashionABLE is doing. Products purchased through fashionABLE are made by Ethiopians and they are given a fair, honest wage. Women are given hope, dignity, and respect, which gives them the opportunity to permanently break the poverty cycle for not only themselves, but their children too.

And we get to be a part of it.

I love, love, love this model. It's life-giving, creative, and hopeful. That even you and me here in the comforts of our very own home can give a woman somewhere overseas dignity and a hug, even if we may never meet them on this side of heaven.

This business model is one of the reasons why I picked up a crochet hook and started crocheting. Not only do I love the craft, but I know that I can help even in this small way - to give safe drinking water through Compassion.

I love what fashionABLE is doing and reading Hayley's process. It's giving me the itch to go back to El Salvador and to even dream big. That maybe someday we could establish something similar to fashionABLE in El Salvador.

If you haven't read Hayley's post yet, go read it! 

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

a guest post on Being Made Beautiful

Hello friends! I'm taking a break posting from here for today. I'm over at Being Made Beautiful writing about waiting and living in between the big moments of life. You can read more on my thoughts if you'd like over on Rachel's blog. And stick around after the post - she posts gorgeous photos of her lovely children, home, and life. I love just looking through it and I know you will too! :) Enjoy and I'll see you on Friday!

Monday, August 12, 2013

A Sweat- Shop Free Outfit {a summer outfit}

I think that it's about time that I do another sweat-shop free outfit post! This is a summer outfit because I'm basically melting in this 100+ degree weather. Thank you, Texas. You've proven how hot you can be. Is it really necessary to keep doing this?

Anywho, here are a few sweat-shop free goods for your viewing pleasure. It has a very bohemian feel to it. Make sure you check out these fine establishments. They're changing the world and we can be a part of it!!

iPad cover :: Fikire by fashionABLE

Friday, August 9, 2013

growing guts


Does anyone else have as much trouble with fleshing out creative ideas as much as me?!

What happens to me is I'll get an idea. It's an idea that I'm certain will make the world flip inside out. I mull it over, think about it, strategize, become consumed by it...for a day or two. Then, at the very hint of an obstacle, I abandon the idea and think it was stupid. And then it's onto the next idea.

I realize that part of this is the brainstorming process. But when this happens for every idea, it becomes counter-productive.

The other night, I had a bit of a mental break down. And when I say "mental breakdown", I actually mean a pity party. I bemoaned frustrations and struggles in my life, you know, the usual run of the mill pity party stuff.

My husband, the sweet man that he is, gently and calmly got in my face. I had an idea to start a 5k race to benefit Compassion International. Our town loves 5k races and the income generated is often high. I had a vision of starting a 5k race and using the money to help build a well in El Salvador. I talked about it for a week or two, but then the excitement started to die down. I knew that it would be work. It would mean potential rejection from businesses for corporate sponsorships. It meant potential difficult runners. It meant a risk. And I didn't want the risk. I wanted to stay in my safe bubble where I could dream and not do.

My husband graciously told me to get my rear in gear. It's easy to complain about "not knowing what God wants me to do" instead of walking and trusting. Dreaming is easy. Trust is hard. Doing is hard.

But that's been my challenge in 2013. My two word motto for this year was to "make mistakes." I wanted to do, to move, to be active. And it's a struggle - more than I thought that it would be. Without realizing it, I was being stagnant.

The next day after my pity party, I decided to take a few small steps and asked two more people to join the team to make the 5k happen. I emailed Compassion. And you know what happened? Beautiful things.

The two people were overjoyed at the idea that I would ask them to help. Compassion emailed me back within the next few hours with a 70+ page document on how to specifically plan a 5k race. And now, we've got our first planning meeting on the books with my five person planning committee.

Holy guacamole, ladies. God is crazy. Over and over again in this season of my life, I'm finding how much I dream and then, crazy enough, how much I complain that the dream doesn't magically grow legs and sprint from my brain into reality. That takes time and it takes guts. I'm growing guts, I promise. Just takes a little bit longer than I'd like.

What about you, friends? Do you feel this way too or am I just crazy?

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

diy cell phone cozy for your car!

Back in the day, one of my best friends from high school had a fantastic little contraption in her car that I just loved. It was a cute little sock that she cut in half and fastened with a small hook on the console of her car. She put her phone in it, which not only made her car cute, but it was also super easy for her to change the current song playing, turn it off, etc. I loved it and recently decided that I would make my own. Except instead of a sock, I crocheted one!

To make this little guy, I used...

- gray Martha Stewart medium wool blend yarn
- baker's white Martha Stewart medium wool blend yarn
- Hook K (6.5 mm)
- my iPhone 4S

sc = single crochet
dc = double crochet
ch = chain
sl st = slip stitch

If you are just now learning how to crochet, check out the PurlBee's helpful tutorial or YouTube it! 

(If you are making this for a phone that is different than the 4S, please make adjustments accordingly!)

1. Crochet 12 stitches in gray (or your bottom color).

 2. Sc in each ch across. Ch 1. Sc in each sc. Ch 1. Repeat for 15 rows total until you get the above picture!

3. When you have 15 rows (or the right size for your phone to fit snugly), press each side together. Use a yarn needle to sew the ends together. That's it for the bottom piece!

4. Using baker's white yarn (or your top color), ch 6.
5. Sc in each ch. Ch 2.
6. Dc in each sc. Ch 1.
7. Repeat steps 6 and 7 in order to create 19 rows. 

8. Just like with the bottom gray piece, use a yarn needle (or sl st) to connect the two together to create a wide loop.

9. You'll now have two pieces that need to be put together. You can either use a yarn needle, like above, or sl st the pieces together. Initially, I tried the yarn needle and did not like the look it created (but I did like the picture I took of it!). Sl st ended up giving it a little more of a clean look.

10. Should you chose to sl st it, this is what it will look like. You'll need to flip it inside out to hide the seam around the gray and white parts and on the side of the gray and white! 

11. And ta-da! Now all you need to do is secure a small hook (you can find a 3M hook or something of the sort at Target or Walmart) on your car console where it is easy to access. And hook it on!


Monday, August 5, 2013

a baby, a wedding, and a lake house.

This past weekend, my husband and I jumped in the car to visit some family and go to a wedding. It was supposed to be an easy trip to simply move my in-laws, go out to eat with my brother-in-law and sister-in-law who would be having their baby in 2 weeks, and get all fancy for this wedding.

Of course, as with all adventures, things didn't go as planned. 

It's 4:00 a.m. and all I could really understand was that someone was talking and I was sitting up straight in the bed. After a few minutes of coming to, I realized that my sister-in-law was in labor. Yup, in labor. Maybe it was the Mexican food she ate when we went out or my little nephew is extremely polite and knew that this would be the perfect timing for us to get to meet him in person. Either way, little Ryan came! All 7 lbs, 7 ounces of him. Just a sweet little bundle of joy.

Needless to say, though, that our relaxing weekend became chaos.

4 hours of sleep
8 hours in the hospital
10 hours of moving my in-laws and the wedding

Of course, there was something wrong in the kitchen at the wedding and it took them three hours to get our food out. I did my best to smile and create engaging conversation without going into the corner and curling up for a little nap. The wedding was gorgeous and I'm so glad we could go, but you know? A girl gets tired.

It all helped, though, having not only a cute new family member, but also my in-laws' gorgeous new lake house. We are so excited for them to be living in their dream home - and that we get to come visit. ;)

So, that was my weekend in a nutshell.

How was your weekend?!