Saturday, August 27, 2011

Come On, Irene

Our apartment is under voluntary evacuation.  They told us to put masking tape X's on the windows (you can kind of see them in the picture).  If we could have, we would have driven to Pennsylvania to see my grandparents, but I have to work on Sunday and so we can't leave.  We're moving Vindaloo, our cat, with us to a hotel in Manhattan for the next two nights.

If you could, please say a prayer for the East Coast, for those who have already been hit by Irene in both South Carolina, the Bahamas and Puerto Rico.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

One Year

I think if I hadn't visited Save The Children, I wouldn't have realized that it's been a year since the floods in Pakistan.

A natural disaster that would have devestated more than 5 states has passed its one-year-anniversary with a whimper.  With so many people affected, why has it been so easily forgotten?

I think we know.  But if we are going to call ourselves Christians, we need to love and care for our enemies.  If we are to call ourselves humanitarians, we need to remember the children, mothers, fathers who were harmed.  If we are to say that we love the world, we must love ALL of it, not just the parts that are good to us.  Not every person wants to hurt us, but there will be some who do.  Should we allow many to suffer because of some?

I think we're asking that question now with the famine in the Horn of Africa.  I think it makes it harder, but we shouldn't look at those suffering and say, "Well, you did it to yourselves so...too bad."  It's easy to say that, but we just can't.

If you would like to know what Save The Children is doing in Pakistan, a link to their report is HERE.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Adopting An Elephant

It was funny.  If you believe in coincidence, I guess you could say it was that.  My husband and I are going to Kenya next April for our anniversary.  My friend, Hilary, posted an article about these cute baby elephants who got rain coats!  As it turns out, my husband and I will be mere minutes away from that baby elephant orphanage while we're in Nairobi, Kenya.

I'll be the first to admit, while I care about animals, I have always preferred to help people first.  I feel that most people are more willing to help animals.  Someone said once that, in order of amount of donations, the order goes: Animals, Children, Art, Women and, lastly, Men.  People see animals as wholly innocent - it is man who put them in this situation.  So people donate, firstly, to animals.  I don't always think this is right.  But I would like to show you a fun way to help elephants and rhinos, if you so choose.

At The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, you can foster a baby elephant.  If you go to their website, you an actually read through all the stories and find out which elephant tugs at your heart. You will receive your baby elephant's story, a certificate with a name and picture, a monthly watercolor painted by Angela Sheldrick who continues running the wildlife trust among a handful of other things.  To help take care of a baby elephant, it's $50 A YEAR.  $50 a year.  It pays for formula and rescue and food among other things.  If you would like more information on fostering an elephant, please feel free to visit The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust and click on "Fostering."  I mean, really, who can look at all those cute little elephants and not want to do SOMETHING?!

If you choose, there are still many people who are suffering in the Horn of Africa (Kenya included) that still need help.  If you would like to help and are unsure of where, I know of a few good places!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Book Review: Where Children Sleep


A few weeks ago, a friend of mine posted a link on her Facebook about seeing into the lives of children and their bedrooms.  She said it was, "eye-opening" and I clicked on it.  It was eye-opening.  

James Mollison's book "Where Children Sleep" is a journey from America to Japan to Kenya to Brazil, looking at the lives of children and, as he put it, what choices they have over possessions and their relationship to them.

I have to admit, it took me weeks to find this book.  Though released in 2010, the story is being circulated a year later and I don't think the publisher was ready for it.  I bought a copy for my sister-in-law and niece earlier, but had wanted my own copy.  Thankfully, I was eventually able to find it.

The book is set up where each child gets two pages.  On the left-hand side is the picture of the child in front of a white backdrop and their story is set in a paragraph underneath them.  On the right page is the child's bedroom.  After photos and stories of Israeli children are the stories of Palestinian children.  After the photos from a New Jersey child's mansion is the bare, dirty mattress of a child who works in a granite quarry at the age of 8.  It is stark and breath-taking.

Mollison comments in the introduction that he does not have any judgment, but wished to acknowledge his own amazing upbringing and to start a discussion about what we can do for, in my own words, "the least of these."

The book is moving in its simplicity and straightforwardness.  The images are well done and beautiful.  You want to reach into the pages and touch the little girl whose village will disown her because they believe the Devil has stolen her soul.  You smile at the boy who wants to make marmalade for a living.  

One of the reviews I read on said, referring to the book with her children: "They feel privileged when reading about the lives of many of of the children and are critical of the have-it-all children who are also pictured."  While I think that it is good to share this book, I think we must also be careful.  Because, in the end, WE are those "have-it-all" children when compared to many of the children in this book.  I think it is important to see ourselves in those American children and see what we could do to help those who are hurting.

I would highly recommend this book, especially to those who wish to teach their children compassion.  It is temporarily out of stock on Amazon (and really, everywhere else), but here's the LINK.  You can order it now and they won't charge you until it's shipped.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

What Would You Do?

Facebook is a great place for questions.

I love to ask random questions, but I always go back to one:

What if you money wasn't an object?  What if you could spend your day doing what you loved and what would that look like?

Obviously, it's sometimes a pipe dream.  If you need to pay for your house, if you have children, you can't just up and quit your job.  But maybe we could take some of those thoughts and put them in place now, before we're too old, we're too busy - take a moment and appreciate the person beside us and realize that money really wasn't the object.

So, what would you do if money didn't matter?  What would your life look like?

Song of the Day: Barenaked Ladies, "When I Fall"

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Jesus taught us, saying: ‘But I say this to you who are listening: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who treat you badly. To anyone who slaps you on one cheek, present the other cheek as well; to anyone who takes your cloak from you, do not refuse your tunic. Give to everyone who asks you, and do not ask for property back from someone who takes it. Treat others as you would like people to treat you.’ Luke 6:27–31

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

None us lives to herself, and none of us dies to herself. If we live, we live to the Lord, and if we die, we die to the Lord; so then, whether we live or whether we die, we are the Lord's. - Romans 14:7-8
I find this thought very comforting.  The funeral for the little girl was yesterday.  There were so many people in our church that a handful of us had to stay downstairs in our basement and listen to the service over the speaker.  It was beautiful to see how much support the family has received and I thought that our pastor said a lot of important things.
Do you have a Bible verse or a quote or a saying that means something to you and brings you comfort?

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Prayer Request

Our church family has had some very sad news.  A 5-year-old from our congregation passed away this weekend after an accident.  If you could please keep the family in your prayers, it would be much appreciated.

  1. Abide with me; fast falls the eventide;
    The darkness deepens; Lord, with me abide;
    When other helpers fail and comforts flee,
    Help of the helpless, oh, abide with me.
  2. Swift to its close ebbs out life’s little day;
    Earth’s joys grow dim, its glories pass away;
    Change and decay in all around I see—
    O Thou who changest not, abide with me.
  3. I need Thy presence every passing hour;
    What but Thy grace can foil the tempter’s pow’r?
    Who, like Thyself, my guide and stay can be?
    Through cloud and sunshine, Lord, abide with me.
  4. I fear no foe, with Thee at hand to bless;
    Ills have no weight, and tears no bitterness;
    Where is death’s sting? Where, grave, thy victory?
    I triumph still, if Thou abide with me.
  5. Hold Thou Thy cross before my closing eyes;
    Shine through the gloom and point me to the skies;
    Heav’n’s morning breaks, and earth’s vain shadows flee;
    In life, in death, O Lord, abide with me.

Friday, August 5, 2011

God delays, but doesn’t forget.    
~Spanish proverb

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Forgive all who have offended you, not for them, but for yourself.    
~Harriet Uts Nelson

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Wedding Of Hope

I know that I don't have a ton of followers on here and that's fine.  I'll just share what I have with you guys and, if you feel so moved, you can share it and maybe some people will hear about it.  And that would be awesome :)

So I have some friends who run a magazine and they interview people who are making a difference in their community.  I read about a couple named Diamond and Michael who are having their wedding on September 10th, 2011 and the guests of honor will be homeless men and women from New York City.

Diamond spent time on the streets and met her husband at the Bowery Mission, a homeless shelter in downtown NYC and they will be married at the Bowery Mission!

Right now, Michael and Diamond are looking for donations to sponsor guests at their wedding.  Even if you don't want to sponsor, you can still check out their photos and what they're doing.

Here's their website:

Monday, August 1, 2011

Developed-World Tantrums

Developed-World Tantrums

I do like this post, if you want to go read it. The Compassion response to "First World Problems" and "White Whine."