Archives for January 2013

Stand Up for Yourself

My friend posted this article the other day about the long-term effects of sitting most of your day. 

Research is showing that sitting for extended periods of time is worse for you than smoking. 

Even for people that exercise regularly.

Yikes.

I can’t tell you how much my life expectancy has changed but I can tell you that after 13 years of sitting at a desk for 30-40 hours a week, it takes a toll.  Often, I can feel my legs begging to be moved.  I have a really bad habit of slouching AND curling my legs up into the chair.  It just can’t be good for me.

I’ve seen the treadmill desks and such but that just isn’t happening for us.  This article though really sparked a need for change.

What did I do?

For now, I’ve stuck a laundry basket under my laptop.  Oddly, it’s the perfect height.

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Hopefully Scott will feel motivated for something more permanent soon.

But can I tell you?  I. love. it. 

I find myself fidgeting and even, gasp, dancing to my music [read: burning more calories].

While I wholeheartedly believe that my time has already been measured, this has made my work time more enjoyable. 

And really, I’ll take all I can get.

What I Wore Wednesday 1.30.2013

Today’s the day I share my outfits from the week with The Pleated Poppy’s What I Wore Wednesday.  I pair my outfits with inspirational photos.  Read more about that here.

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This is my comfy day.  I had a full-on cold and felt yucky.  Wearing the yellow and blue helped, though.

Source: pinterest.com via Amy on Pinterest

 

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This is the day I got to meet Maureen from Mercy House Kenya.  100% of proceeds from my handmade necklace goes to the women in Kenya that made it.

 

Source: flickr.com via Amy on Pinterest

 

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Source: flickr.com via Amy on Pinterest

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Source: treknature.com via Amy on Pinterest

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Source: myaloysius.tumblr.com via Amy on Pinterest

Gluten-Free Food 101

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If you’ve been following my site for the last year, you know I went gluten-free last February.  In the last few months, I’ve been frequently sending a quick-start email to friends choosing the gluten-free lifestyle and realized it might be useful to others. I’ve turned that email into a Gluten-Free Food 101 guide here on the blog and made it available to everyone. 

Share the page with friends going gluten free or even those that aren’t so they might know how to cook for their gluten-free guests.  Please don’t share *this* post, but hop over to the guide and share the URL/picture from there.  The guide is also available on my header so it’s easy to find. 

Hope this helps!!

Lessons from Maureen

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Have you ever felt like you were exactly where you were supposed to be?  It doesn’t happen often, but I surely felt it this weekend.

If you follow us over at our Facebook page, you would have seen me post a link over to Kristen Welch’s blog We Are That Family this week.  For those of you who have been reading for awhile, you know I love Compassion and Mercy House Kenya, a ministry that Kristen started after her first Compassion blogging trip.

Well, my friend Jenny saw my post and tells me that Maureen, the co-founder of Mercy House, was scheduled to be in my town speaking in just a few days.  I could not believe it.

My sister joined me and Jenny Saturday to hear Maureen tell her story and the story of Mercy House.  I have heard the story of Mercy House many times, as I’ve followed Kristen through the years, but I had never heard all of Maureen’s.

Maureen was rescued by Compassion from the slums of Kenya.  Her house was made of mud.  She couldn’t sleep on rainy nights because of the muddy floor.  She sometimes wouldn’t eat for 3, 4, 5 days.  They had no sanitation.  Many girls were forced into prostitution—by their mothers.

Compassion breaks in at age 7 and begins to help her family with food, rent money, school fees and of course shares Christ.  She gets her family out of the slums, goes to University and is in the Compassion leadership program. Eventually, her story collides with Kristen when Kristen takes a Compassion blogging trip to Kenya and Maureen serves as their tour guide.

It’s just an amazing story of God’s redemption.

We sat listening for over an hour and it felt like we were the only room in the world. I could have listened to her all day telling stories of the women in the Mercy House and the ways God had moved. 

I took away a few points from her talk and thought I might share them.

Be a Vessel of Honor

We were pretty much wrecked from Maureen’s opening prayer. 

There have been few moments in my life where the Holy Spirit has moved so quickly and powerfully in just a few sentences of a prayer.  You could hear her reverence for God and her faith.  It truly brings me to tears just thinking of it. 

She prayed one sentence that is still sticking with me.  In her Kenyan accent she prayed, “Oh God, make me a vessel of honor.”  A vessel of honor.  I don’t know if that hits you like hit us in the room, but that prayer will always be with me.

Your Past Doesn’t Define You

As she spoke about her past, she shared something someone told her and it is, “Poverty shapes you but it doesn’t define you.”  We all have things in our past that could define us.  We easily label ourselves as broken, cheaters, liars, poor, etc, but our past does not define us.  It simply shapes us.  Of course Maureen is impacted by the slums of Kenya, but I can tell you first hand she is not defined by the slums of Kenya.  She is free, grateful and joyful.

Find God In Your Dreams

I know this is an odd one to include.  We know God spoke so many times in the Bible through dreams.  I’ve personally had at least two dreams I’m convinced was God speaking to me.  But there was something about hearing Maureen speak about how God had spoken to her through dreams that confirmed it for me. 

Say Yes First

As she was sharing her story, she knew that God was calling her to ministry before Mercy House was even a thought in anyone’s mind.  She didn’t know what God was calling her to but she said she told God “yes” before she knew what it was. 

So many of us get this backwards, including me.  We want the plan, the name, the vision, the dream—all of it—before we weigh the risks and decide to say yes. 

I think we need to say yes and THEN God will show up.

Be The One

If you ask Maureen, she traces back her rescue to one person that chose to sponsor her through Compassion.  One.  It only takes one person stepping out and making a difference in someone’s life and you can impact an untold number of others.  Be that one.

If you need an idea, support a child through Compassion.

 

When the speaking was over, I was able to talk with Maureen.  She immediately recognized my necklace as a Mercy House Shop necklace and wanted a picture to take back to show the girls someone wearing it. 

Even in that, I was reminded that this is the real deal.  It’s not the latest Internet fad to support.  There are real girls with real babies that are really being rescued.  And they need our support.

If you can support Mercy House, please do so.  You can become a monthly supporter for just $3 a month or support them through their shop.  100% of the funds go to the girls making the products.

 

Maureen prayed Saturday to be a vessel of honor and her prayers were surely answered.  Thank you, Maureen.

Again

Writing with Five Minute Friday on “again”.  No editing or backtracking, just writing for 5 minutes.

 

sea-001 image source

 

Last I updated, we waited.  Waited to hear about the possibilities of a little blonde-haired boy coming to our home.  I said it felt right, and it did. 

The waiting has ended.

But maybe not for the reason we hoped.  He’s getting adopted by his foster parents.

I’m so happy for him.  I truly am.  He’s getting a forever family with someone that already knows him and where he feels comfortable.  He doesn’t have to move homes yet again.

But I can’t say we all weren’t a little disappointed.

But God spoke to us last weekend through a friend, giving what we needed just when we needed it.  He let us know he’s coming, finding his way home.

And with that message, my heart is content.  Disappointed, but content.

We’re out to sea now, though, floating and not able to see the shoreline.  Not sure which direction we need to go to find it.

We’re in a different waiting game, one where we try to find the next step, knowing we’ve taken all the ones He’s told us to so far.

And so we’ll wait. 

Again.