Thursday, December 5, 2013

neither here nor there

I was talking to a friend the other day--she was sharing about being at that spot where you are just in between. You know where you need to be, you are okay where you are--but you are waiting, focused on the goal while trying to maintain a good, peaceful attitude in the meantime. I told her, "I know! I always hate feeling like I'm in limbo..."

I thought about how often Rey and I have been "in limbo". When we felt called to join up with my aunt and uncle in their missions work--there were months between that decision and the day we moved. It was hard to live fully during those months, not to just throw them away since: "I'm not staying here anyway..."

When we felt called to return home to Illinois, again there were months between the decision and the actual fulfilling of that decision. Big decisions, big moves like that take lots of time, lots of prayer, lots of investigating and organizing. It is so easy for the decision to become so all-consuming that you forget to live fully in the in between.

And again, we find ourselves in an "in between". We feel we are being led in a certain direction--but we are most-certainly in limbo. Not here, not there. Leaning, but not sure. Directed, but lacking detail. I felt myself chafing at being at that point again. Just wanting to be there, or here, but not in between.

Then the thought came: Really... we are called to live our whole lives in limbo. We are living for the promise of being unified with our Love. We are constantly pulled between the heavenly and the earthly--longing to be with our eternal Father, but loving our life here. Yearning to be where our feet are leading us, but striving to enjoy the journey as we are walking. It made me reflect on the yearning of generations for their Messiah... the waiting remembered in these days of Advent.

I am *finally* delving into the great book "One Thousand Gifts", and in my last reading this phrase jumped out at me: "It's the in between that drives us mad." Wow. Exactly what I'd been contemplating.

Further, I had been realizing that this irritated feeling I'd been having with being in between, was also combining with my utter abhorrence of Illinois winters. Ever since the bitter cold and long, grey weeks have blown in, my overall mood has also been grey and dreary. I have been lacking energy, impatient with the kids and generally a real treat to be around. ;) I have been feeling actual anger towards the weather, towards being stuck indoors when we'd rather be out playing, towards the world being pitch-black by 5 pm... you know, anger. Because it helps so much.

Slowly, though, I feel as though God has been breaking through the irritation, despondency, and anger... and calling me to return to fully living where I am, how I am. Saying things like, "Buck up" and "Get over it" and other kind things. In a gentle voice, because I am a sensitive soul.

In this time, I was reading Luke 21 and came to this verse: "By your patience possess your souls". This can mean many things to many people, but to me in the time I read it, my eyes read: "If you can choose patience in these in-between times of life, you will possess your soul. If you choose patience when the kids are being kids, you will possess your soul. If you wait for Me patiently during your years on earth, you will possess your soul."

Then, I read a smidgen from My Utmost for His Highest I stumbled upon, relating to this passage:
"Luke 21:19 means that we take possession of our souls through patience. But many of us prefer to stay at the entrance to the Christian life, instead of going on to create and build our soul in accordance with the new life God has placed within us. We fail because we are ignorant of the way God has made us, and we blame things on evil that are actually the result of our own undisciplined natures. Just think what we could be when we are awakened to the truth!
There are certain things in life that we need not pray about— moods, for instance. We will never get rid of moodiness by praying, but we will by kicking it out of our lives. Moods nearly always are rooted in some physical circumstance, not in our true inner self. It is a continual struggle not to listen to the moods which arise as a result of our physical condition, but we must never submit to them for a second. We have to pick ourselves up by the back of the neck and shake ourselves; then we will find that we can do what we believed we were unable to do. The problem that most of us are cursed with is simply that we won’t. The Christian life is one of spiritual courage and determination lived out in our flesh."

Good old Oswald. I guess if I didn't hear that whole, "Get over it" message before, I should now right?

All of this to say, I'm learning I need to be okay with in between. I need to learn to fully live, in patience, in limbo. Because, our entire existence is a thread stretched between here and another place, the perfect tension between two places that both hold such portions of our heart and time--yet must compliment each other instead of competing with each other.

In the meantime... I am especially loving this hymn of longing and expectation:

"Oh, come, oh, come, Emmanuel,
And ransom captive Israel,
That mourns in lonely exile here
Until the Son of God appear.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to you, O Israel!
Oh, come, our day spring from on high,
And cheer us by your drawing nigh,
Disperse the gloomy clouds of night,
And death's dark shadows put to flight.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to you, O Israel!
Oh, come, Desire of nations, bind
In one the hearts of all mankind;
Oh, bid our sad divisions cease,
And be yourself our King of Peace.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to you, O Israel!"

Monday, December 2, 2013

Trunk Show in a Blog Post! :)

It's Cyber Monday... and what better way to spend it than by investing in the lives of families and communities?! I'm inviting you to sit back and enjoy browsing my list of top picks for gifting this season! Several of these items are best sellers--all of them are personal favorites and changing lives with each purchase made.

Let's pretend I'm having you over to my house for a trunk show. Come on in! The music is on, there's a hot beverage to sip on and some yummy snacks. This trunk show has a twist though! Since there is no hostess... I will be selecting a "mystery hostess" from you who are able to join! Those of you who decide to purchase from my site in the next 5 days will be put into a drawing for a $50 gift card from Noonday Collection! Make sure you pick my name, Liz Sanchez, from the ambassador list at checkout to be entered in the drawing.

If you have ANY questions about sizes/colors/ordering... I am always available to help!

Ready to see my top picks?

Ok, seriously? La Noche Bracelet is an absolute show-stopper.  Square-cut beads are skillfully woven together by our Guatemalan artisans and cast off amazing glimmers and sparkles with every movement of the wrist. Can't go wrong with this one. Price: $38


Whatever you are doing... STOP and check out our Home & Gift selection! Every item is on sale right now! Our stationary is a go-to choice for those shopping for gifts for teacher or mom... and our tea towels add a bright spot to any kitchen. Check them out! {Sale} Prices: $12-26

This Charlotte's Bag has been my one-and-only bag for most of this year. It has gone with me to playdates, soccer games, grocery shopping, church... (I know, I know. I lead a wild life)... And, has held up beautifully even with all the abuse it has received. It is a roomy, open bag with a small interior pocket (like for a cell phone), and two, larger pockets on the front of the bag. It would work perfectly for a cute diaper bag. Skillfully stitched by our group in Rwanda. Price: $58

These Bone Carved Leaf earrings? Best sellers. Oh, yes. And for good reason! They are just the right size, super light-weight and go with everything! I've seen them on bridesmaids, in family portraits--and with a baseball hat at a sporting event. They are that versatile. Made in India. Price: $30

Best-selling scarf for me this season? The Lines and Stripes Infinity Scarf, beautifully hand-knitted with 100% alpaca wool in Peru. It is soooo light-weight and easy to wear. The soft, mustardy yellow provides a nice contrast to the natural creamy oatmeal colored scarf--so that even "non-yellow-wearers" such as myself love putting it on! The knitting is so fine that it is almost like an intricate crochet, leaving the scarf so soft that it is just fun to touch. Price: $72

Now, I'm just going to throw in one of my personal favorite new items from this line: The Annie's Feathered Earrings! (I may mention that I saw Jen Hatmaker wearing them all through Europe a few weeks ago--so, there you go!) ;) These earrings are made of leather--so they are so light-weight. They are longer in length, so they may not be for everyone. However, they add such a great pop of color and texture, even to just a basic t-shirt and jeans kind of day. Easy, no fuss--but all kinds of fun! 

And, it wouldn't be a true "Noonday Trunk Show" without talking about the Bethe Rope. This is basically a "Noonday Classic". One of our best-sellers for awhile, it is made from upcycled artillery in Ethiopia--providing not only dignified work for our artisans... but a chance to live. You see, our artisans in Ethiopia all are HIV positive, and their creations make it possible for them to be able to purchase the medication necessary to become healthy people--truly back from the dead. Our Bethe Rope can be worn in a number of ways: long as pictured here, or shorter... or even as a bracelet! Many of our customers who prefer a more simple, uncluttered look gravitate towards this piece. It also is a great "layering necklace"--adding movement and interest, but not looking too "busy". Price: $40

Another best-seller, and just an easy go-to piece for a pop of color: The Tagua Seed Bracelet. It's just as great as it looks. ;) Made in Ecuador. Price: $28

One more best-selling scarf: The Angelica Infinity. This scarf is made of cotton, not wool, so it can be worn year-round. Woven by the campfires of our Guatemalan artisans, this is a true piece of culture. (*Note that the scarf is currently on backorder, but we expect our shipment from Guatemala to arrive December 15th, so Noonday is planning to have the scarves delivered in time for Christmas). Price: $58

I hope these picks have helped you to get started making your shopping list! Feel free to browse around on my site. You navigate it just as you would any other online retailer... the only difference is choosing my name at the checkout page. Noonday Collection is guaranteeing delivery by Christmas on any items ordered by December 17th (that are not listed as being on backorder).... and remember: shipping is a flat $6, so, order away!! :)

Happy Cyber Monday to you! (And, here's hoping YOU win the $50 shopping spree!) :) :)