Monday, September 17, 2012

Things that are beautiful to me…


(sweet Will on his first trip to the lake)

One of my favorite “non-important” things that I’ve gained from marrying Donald is darn-good appreciation for the band ‘Waterdeep.’  Oh my.  What a goodie.  Soulful / folky (is that a word?  Don’t think so) / poetic – there are so many great things about this band.   The song we danced to at our wedding / what we sing to our kiddos at night / what we listen to in order to both praise and grieve…Waterdeep.


(little Nate admiring a huge moth on the flowers at the arboretum)

Anyhow…one of the choruses that I find myself singing alot when I am needing beauty / searching for goodness is this:

Its just like you to bring beauty to ashes
Its just like you, Lord it's just like you

It reminds me of this…God can make anything beautiful.  It is in His nature, it is His essence.  Beauty.  And can I tell you that in the middle of piles (and piles) of laundry - of feeling like I always smell because of having spit-up on my chest or chasing an 18 month old boy – of never having make-up on except on Sunday mornings :: I need reminders that play in my head that I am still part of something truly beautiful.  The unmade bed / the sink full of dishes / the crazy (funky, as abi calls it) hair…it is part of a beautiful life.  And I struggle to see that at times.  I need reminders.

photo 2(1) photo 3(1)

(a fantastic dinner party hosted by a delightful friend)

The other reminder…it is just like the Lord to be about these things.  He is good – He is FOR good things – it is just like him.  I serve a God who wants “bests.”  This is beautiful to me.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Tomato Delight with Slave-Free Tomatoes

Rewind to the beginning of the summer – here I sit delighting at the season that begs me to eat BLT after BLT (which I am oh-so-happy to oblige!) and I had no idea that there was about to be a wave of discussion in our home about the little, beautiful tomato. 

American Slavery.  What??  Not a history lesson.  But, today, currently, there is a modern-day slave situation in our country surrounding tomatoes.  There are men and women who are treated unjustly as they harvest the millions of pounds of tomatoes that our country consumes.  We were blown away and our hearts were saddened.


 (aren’t these beautiful?  When we shopped for our co-op the last time…grown in Texas, no slavery here as far as I know)

So what to do??!!  These realizations beg for action to be taken on our part.  Thankfully there are great grocers in our area (Whole Foods & Trader Joe’s) that have made a commitment to only buy tomatoes from responsibly grown sources.  (PS – I’m always grateful when companies do some of the hard work – makes shopping and life a bit easier).


(the best kind of tomato – grown in Donald’s momma’s garden)

And then there is this – testifying to change and eating.  That is my kind of movement.  IJM has hosted throughout the summer really delicious recipes to encourage and remind us of the situation in Florida.

Check it out here.

An oldie-but-a-goodie.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Labor Day :: Mercy Project

When I start to her ‘Labor Day’ pop up in conversations in the month of August, my mind usually drifts towards a few ideas…food & hanging out with friends and family / the end of summer / and that D gets a three day weekend = hooray.  Quite honestly, I don’t reflect on the reason that our country even has Labor Day.  I don’t spend much time pondering that there were groups of individuals who fought to guarantee fair wages, safe working conditions, and prevent discrimination.

I often fail to really let it soak in that there are so many laws in our country that strive to protect the  vulnerable.  And who are the most vulnerable?  Children.  Unfortunately, this is not the case in Ghana.

mercy project

Today as we’re celebrating the systems in our own country that strive to prevent injustices like child trafficking
and child labor, we’re mindful of the many child slaves around the world who are unprotected and the
organizations, like Mercy Project, who are working to free them.

mercy project1

As a momma, it’s completely impossible for me to imagine my children working 14 hours a day, 7 days a week. I’m unable to wrap my brain around the thought of my children engaged in long, hard days of physical labor, eating one meal a day, and then falling asleep at night on a dirt floor filled with other slave children. Yet this is the
daily reality for kids who have been trafficked into the fishing industry in Ghana, Africa. As with much of
Africa, there is a great deal of poverty in Ghana. Unfortunately, this leaves many mothers in an unimaginable
position: sell their children to someone who can take better care of them or watch them starve to death. Most
of the mothers are told their children will be given food, housing, and an education. Instead, the kids are often
taken to Lake Volta where they become child slaves and their mothers never see them again. Thankfully,
Mercy Project is working to break the cycles of trafficking around Lake Volta by providing alternate, more
efficient, sustainable, fishing methods for villagers – ultimately eliminating the need for child slaves. Because
of the work Mercy Project is doing in Ghana, the first group of children will be freed this month from Lake

Take a few minutes and watch this video…it both breaks your heart and offers a surge of hope.  And hope is a powerful thing.





hanging out at Nanny & Grandpa’s last labor day

This Labor Day, I am thankful that these images  are the reality for my children; but I am ever-mindful and pray with fervency for the mommas who, like me, delight in their children and hope for good things for them – and are faced with such a different reality.  Whenever I learn more about the sad realities of this broken world; I am humbled that I must have a response.  I cannot learn these things and expect my life to look the same.  I am thankful for a community to work through these issues with – I really feel that this is where change happens.


To find out more about Mercy Project and what is happening in Ghana please head to their website.

Facebook -

Twitter (for those who are cooler than I!) -