I don't normally get caught up in contraversy like this, but seriously? J. Crew's current ad that shows a little boy and his mom painting his toenails hot pink has become quite the talk of how kids "might" become confused with their identity. Just stating upfront here, I would consider myself a conservative, christian, mid-western mom but I don't really think that painting a little boys toenails pink will in anyway determine his lifestyle choices for the future. If you read my blog at all, you know that I am huge fan of pink, and I am not one to limit the color to my clothing, front door, or for females only. Would there have been any discussion if the ad showed a dad and a little girl greasy from working on a car? Really, these folks cannot be serious when they take offense to J. Crew in this ad. This layout for me simply shows a mom and her son spending time together and being a little creative. I had no idea that nail polish was strong enough to change the identity of a small child. Seriously?
I just can not get the images of the devastation in Japan out of my head. Sitting here in my home with water, electricity and many other comforts makes me feel so helpless. From here, I know there is really only one thing that I can do and that is pray for the leaders and people of Japan. Their need for comfort, daily needs, and wisdom in the face of all the destruction has to be overwhelming. My heart goes out to the organizations that are on the ground in what I am sure is a desperate need to help and not stop until there is nothing else to be done. I always have a yearning to go to these devastated places in the world and help, but I have no way to do this, let alone funds to make a difference. I do know I can help with my donation to organizations that are there on the ground and they do need the funds, even if it is just my little bit. Here are few ways you too can make a denotation.
Heart to Heart International is an organization that mobiles volunteers and supplies in the face of disastors. Find out how you can help with a donation or provide personal care kits at their website.
Salvation Army has made it possible to donate by texting the words "Japan" or "Quake" to 80888 to make a $10 donation, or make a donation via their website here.
The Red Cross also offers this option, text "Redcross" to 90999 to donate $10 as well, or visit their website to make other donations.
Wow, the past couple of days I just cannot stop watching the newscasts on Haiti. The Haitian people, especially the ones that I met last April, are on my mind constantly. We visited several orphanages while we were there, most of them to the southwest of Port au Prince, and have received word that these children and their Mamas and Papas are safe, there is still one orphanage in the city that is still unaccounted for. The people of the Global Orphan Project have a team that has gone in to assess the need and take supplies. If you want an organization to donate relief funds to, click here. The Global Orphan Project is guaranteeing that 100% of the funds donated to Haiti relief will do exactly that. If you are in the Kansas City area on Saturday, January 16th, there is a Haiti Prayer Event being held at 8 - 9 am. To get the most up-to-date information about the Global Orphan Project team in Haiti go to their blog.
Today the kids and I stepped into Africa through the World Vision Experience. I had no idea what to expect but I knew that I would leave that place with a fresh heart for the poor and hurting of our world. This brought to my mind the men, women and children that I have met across the world that are in need of a hand up. I thought of the little orphan boy, Jefty, in Haiti that hugged me and crawled up in my lap and clung to me during a church service. The fact that he just could not get close enough to me was almost overwhelming. I remember the little girl I met in the Philippians that would not stop staring at me and finally came over and sat with me and sang worship songs to me while a pastor spoke in a language I did not understand. I am reminded of the children in the orphanages in India that I have met and the house Moms that care for them. My friends Sam and Prati Stepehens, Pastor Benny, Samita, Dony St. Germain and the many others that minister to these people. My heart for the under resourced of this world continues to grow. As I walked through the life of Babirye today not only did the young girl loose her Dad to AIDS but she also tested positive for the disease.
We each followed the story of a different child and had to wait in the clinic area for the test results of that child. Lindsey and Anna's little girl did not test positive, but both Ryan and I had children that are now living with the disease.
All of the children pictured in the prayer chapel have either been diagnosed with AIDS or lost one or both parents to the disease. The impact of AIDS in Africa is staggering and is wiping out an entire generation of people.
I am not sure what touches your heart. But I do know that you need to act on that desire to help. Even though you do not think that your small gift or service can make an impact, if every one of us acts, we can, and will make a difference to the people in this world who are in need. Whatever you do, ACT!
Today my hand is stamped with a + sign as Babirye's was in the clinic where she found out the news. This is a reminder that I can make a difference if only I act no matter how small the gesture. My God can take my act and grow it into a plan that will make a difference in the world. Our family plans to act in the LIVE OUT LOUD offering at Indian Creek Community Church on December 20th knowing our God has a plan.
Yes, today was the day that I took our tax information over to our accountant to prepare our taxes. Every year I do this with great anxiety to the point where I always have a stomach ache. I know this is crazy because it has been several years since we have had to actually pay any additional taxes on April 15th, but just the possibility that we may not have paid in enough and we would have to come up with some more money at the last minute. . . This is crazy! To allow something that I cannot control to cause such anxiety. Maybe we could just write an IOU if we owe more money, after all the state of Kansas may be doing just that. And speaking of the state of Kansas, both of our girls are state employees working at their Universities and are a little concerned that they will not be getting a paycheck this Friday. What poor college student can go without even one paycheck? Ohhhhh, I get it, they are both going to be home this weekend.
Has anyone else seen a bigger bow on a hat? When they announced her and she walked out of the Capitol building I burst out laughing. Are you kidding me? I guess the bow is not on the hat, the bow is the hat. I am not sure who her stylist is but I think they missed this one. The bummer thing is that this will go down in history and the hat will be seen forever.
Now there are times when bows are appropriate, but come on they can be WAY TOO BIG no matter how cute you are. I mean come on, what was this mother thinking?
On this historical day in our country, I have the opportunity to have the president in my home. Yes, he will be spending the day with me. You too can have president Obama in your home today by going here and doing a little cutting and folding. I love these kinds of events in our country and have a hard time pulling myself away from the TV. Although I know that all of this will be reviewed in tedium in the media, I want to see it all for myself. I am going to try to stay on task today and not sit and watch, after all I can multi-task. I just am easily caught up in the hoopla.
Yes, I voted by mail because I could. I have very bad memories of the 1992 election when I waited in line at my precinct for hours on end with a two year old on one hip and a four year old hanging on my leg. Because of the amount of hoopla surrounding this election I just have a feeling that this will be a repeat of that election. With the amount of technology out there in this nation why are we still voting in such an archaic way?
We have the technology that will allow me to text message my friends and family from India and receive an answer back within seconds, but we cannot rely on our system of voting to be accurate. I can stand anywhere in the world and my Garmin Forerunner can tell me within three feet my exact location on the earth, but I cannot vote on line. There is a remote control sitting on my coffee table that will allow me to order movies on demand, allow me to watch any television show anytime I want but I cannot count on the fact that the vote being counted before and after mine is that of a real person versus Mickey Mouse, Dallas Cowboy's staring offense, or a dead person. Although I will always excersise my right to vote when will I ever be able to trust the system that is counting that vote?
If I were to only listen to the media, I would think that any day now we will all be waiting in soup lines for a meal. I am not saying that I understand this "financial crisis" at all, but from the world around me I am not sure that I see it as "tragic" as the media. If you go to any store or shopping center, I still see people pulling out that plastic to pay for their purchases. I thought there was no credit to be had? The media would make you think that there is no credit out there for student loans, when I know a lot of students who have received student loans for this year with a five minute application process. They are students, mind you, and have NO income. The mortgage industry, well, I do not see the interest rates at 10.5% which is what we paid on our first mortgage back in 1984. Perhaps I live in a bubble, but I am not sure I see this "financial crisis." Is the "financial crisis" all that the media is making us believe, or are they just trying to freak us out? I am sufficiently freaked, thank you.