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Thursday, April 18, 2013

noonday

So, this will probably be a long post. Do you have your cup of coffee with you? Good!

If you have been anywhere in the radius of my Facebook page... you have noticed something new going on. And, that something new is Noonday Collection.


Noonday speaks for itself. It is beautiful. It is hand-made. It is connection. But, I realized I have never written here what Noonday is for me. Why I have chosen to become an ambassador for Noonday. How it is changing my life, little by little.



If you know my life, you know I have had first-hand contact with poverty, with hard stories. I know that--ultimately--being connected to God is the only thing that can truly change a life, a spirit.



But, I often wished I could do more for the physical side of things. The needs were so great, and how could I help? Better yet--how could I help in a positive way? I've seen the damage that can be done when well-meaning people swoop in a "rescue" poor(er) people. When money is thrown at problem, quick solutions are provided.



This, "Let me rescue you" approach is flawed on so many levels... It comes, usually, from hearts of love... But it often extenuates the problem and creates new problems instead of correcting or bettering it. Money can bring out the worst in people, quick solutions can make people lazy and self-seeking.



Ah, how I love Noonday's help! It lifts the artisans to their best: providing them dignity. Possibilities. A chance to dream. A chance to actually be doing well enough--that they can help others. They can pass on the help they have received.

Providing well-paying jobs can keep kids in school, it can keep babies with their mommas. It can break cycles of poverty by teaching children that hard work pays off. It rescues entire families from the horrors of every kind of slavery.



Ultimately, it was the stories that "sold" me on Noonday. Yes, the items are beyond beautiful... but, the faces and lives of the artisans stay with me when I close my eyes at night. They risk it all every day--hoping for a better tomorrow. They believe in Noonday, so I do too.







Not only am I loving being a part of Noonday vision... I also am having my eyes opened to things that I truly didn't know before. I am ashamed to confess how little I actually knew about the plight of countless thousands around the world. The information is there for the knowing, I just never was exposed to it.

I think we must choose to expose ourselves to this knowledge. Yes, it is painful. Yes, it will break your heart. Yes, it will haunt you. But, I can say that in these months--I can say that I believe I have actually begun to experience perhaps the smallest, most minute portion of the pain that must be on our Creator's heart as He looks out on all the evil and suffering in the world that He made good and perfect. How His heart must ache as He watches mankind use their beautiful hands to scar His creation. The agony of seeing the hearts that He molded turn hard against Him and their fellow man.



I have begun to understand the phrases in the Bible where it speaks of all creation moaning to be free of its corruption...or the longing for Jesus return. I'd never really understood when the Psalmist would write things like this:
"O Lord God, to whom vengeance belongs—
O God, to whom vengeance belongs, shine forth!

Rise up, O Judge of the earth;
Render punishment to the proud. Lord, how long will the wicked,
How long will the wicked triumph?" (Ps. 94)

...Until I began to glimpse the evil being done day after day to innocent, helpless people.






We are called to love the poor, to show mercy, to love justice, to make peace. The least among you is the greatest. To show our love by our deeds.

Noonday is a drop in the bucket. It is a small step. But, it is something, and it is a step in the right direction.

At the end of the day, we can only be responsible for the decisions we ourselves made. How we did with the time and resources God gifted us with. If we passed on the countless blessings we have received from the fullness of His love?

----

If you are at all interested in knowing more about the plight of millions around the world... I would urge starting with these 2 movies (they also are both on Netflix).  
Half the Sky (it is actually a 3-video series)
58: The Film 
Warning: Not for viewing with small children nearby... and not for viewing if you don't want your life to be changed!


Tuesday, April 16, 2013

noé's riddle

We were doing some evening bonding time with this deep and thought-provoking movie:


About 30 minutes into it, Noé turned to me and said, "Mom... do you remember yesterday when I played that race car game?" Now, for Noé.... "yesterday" can be literal yesterday--or 2 years ago. So, that makes the guessing game that much more challenging!

We've had a very full week with a lot of outings to friends' houses and different events... So, I began naming off the places we'd been: "Was it the amigos house? Was it Mrs. Joyce's house? Was it church...?" No, no, no.

I remembered we'd been at a friend's house several weeks ago that the older boy had been playing some video games there. I asked him if it was there?

"Noooo! There was soooo many people!" he explained, showing with his hands that he meant a lot of people.

Hmmm... are you sure it wasn't at that friend's house? There were a lot of people there. For the birthday party... you remember??

"Nooo. It wasn't there! There were numbers on the door. Remember??"

Noé loves reading the house numbers on every house we visit... so that didn't narrow it down too much.

Ok, so it was a place with loooooots of people and a car video game? Was it a store? Was it Chuckie Cheese? 

"Nooo! It wasn't a video game, it was a movie!"

Hmmm. Now, I really have no idea!

"Mom! Come on, remember! It was the place with lots and lots of doors with lots and lots of numbers and sooo many people!"

It sounded like an apartment building to me... but, as far as I could remember, I hadn't taken him to an apartment building.

We decided to go consult daddy. Daddy was just as stumped as I was. This was one hard riddle to crack.

"Mom! Remember... it was brown on the inside and we slept there and there was a movie and looooots of people."

Oh, wait! Do you mean when we went far away to a hotel and saw Uncle Jake and Aunt Hannah and Uncle Ben and Uncle George and they played in the pool with you??

"YES!!"

People.... that trip was last year. Over 6 months ago.... And, he was pulling all that information out of his memory banks because he couldn't remember the word "hotel". He wanted to tell me that just like the dogs in the movie, he had been to a hotel before.

Talk about the long way around the mountain! I love this kid. I wish I could see the rows and stacks of information stored away in his amazing brain!