Wednesday, June 25, 2014


For this week I already was at an advantage. We have been raising 4 chickens free range style since they were little baby chicks and we now get about 4 eggs a day and have added three more chickens to our flock. So the hubs and I decided to plant a garden this year. After a weekend of us {okay G} tilling and pulling weeds we had a garden all set up. I was so excited as we picked out organic seeds and planted them in the earth {I did not listen to my husband who says organic is just a word liberals made up to charge more}.....

Every few days we tend to our garden. Check it out! 

I felt like the previous work was kind of a cheet so I dug a little deeper into this whole "waste reform" and tried to fast harder from waste. I worked hard to buy concentrated products and add wart like soap and cleaners. I already make my own laundry detergent but we did do a huge recycling run and burned a large set of boxes. I did try to recycle cans one night when we had over 50 people at our house but it soon became overwhelming and I gave up. What does that say about me? I care about the world and the environment, but only when it's convenient to me? I think that point it the basis of in his study. 

Jen Hatmaker had us read from Job and Isaiah. I loved reading about our Creator in Job 38:1-15. I think this week started to hit home for me when in Isaiah we read about desolation and waste from plundering. I realized I may not be responsible for changing the world but I am responsible for my actions and my decisions. To be a STEWARD instead of a CONSUMER! I am going to continue to try my best to recycle out old packaging, continue donating our clothes, keep working on our garden and creating our own food and visiting the farmers market for more local foods. (Which we did however we also brought back cookies, bread and pie!) 

I think Jen sums it up pretty well when she shares the quote 
           "If we believe it is part of our task as earth keepers to recycle, then we ought to recycle, 
              whether or not it will change the world. Do the right thing .... Our calling simply depends 
               on our own identity as God's response-able human image bearers." 

Thursday, June 12, 2014

A different kind of blog today

I have to take a short break away from my 7 journal to share what is on my  mind.....

I am struggling right now. I am. I have been able to follow along and communicate with one of my friends who is in Ethiopia adopting right now. We are so close to our one year anniversary of having N home and the memories and emotions are flooding back to me. I remember the way the country smells of burning wood, petroleum and dirt. The sounds of the city with the bajaj's running around late into the night along with the chickens crowing and the chanting of the priests. Most of all I remember the people. The love they have for one another and the desperate need to access resources. Each person that I met on the street or in the mission groups that we met had a desire to work and to support themselves, they just lacked the resources to do so. Sometimes that was be medication to help them well, a way to send their child to school or an ability to do a job or just simple access to food and water.

I have heard a story about a 5 year old little girl who, like so many street kids, has been abandoned outside one of the guest houses. She is there getting food from people at the guest house but that is the extent. You see, as I have shared before, there is no DFS to call. No one to whisk her away within 24 hours and take her to a foster home or a hospital to get checked out. No family to call and have them come pick her up. This is the story of so many children, the story that could have been our sons. This story is told day in and day out by living, breathing individuals just like you and like me and like our children.

I am compelled to do something. I am so angry at myself for forgetting what I saw and what I experienced. Has my life changed since Ethiopia- absolutely! We partner with several groups in Ethiopia to help children like this little girl and I am part of Noonday where I can share the message of poverty around the world, but is that all I can do? Is there not something more????

How dare I get Starbucks coffee three times a week when I could be using that money to help provide resources for other families. I am overwhelmed at the injustice that is MY FAULT. I have allowed myself to go back home, love on my family, do a little difference here and a little difference there...but how have I changed? All my fancy drinks and nice things aren't bad, but how are they making a difference?

I don't need your justification or your pity. I don't need your way to go's or your criticism. What I need is a wake up to be reminded- this life is only temporary. That I am called to love others as Christ loves us. That means I cant just forget these people. I am called to Ethiopia, to Africa- I know it in my bones. You may be called somewhere completely different and that is okay. No judging, just eye opening but we have to do something !!! 

In the great words of Anna Voskamp- We are the Esther Generation! We must MOVE!

                          " There is a whole Esther generation rising right here 
                                and now and it is us....
Who are done with easy
Who know that being like Christ and caring for the poor in body and soul
Means more than just caring about easing our consciences
It means living real sacrifice

That we may BELIEVE and LOVE and PRAY and FIGHT and REST and LIVE!"
{For those of you compelled like me to help this little girl: Individuals are moving and working towards helping her and getting her connected to resources in Ethiopia that can take care of her. But, for every one of this little girl are a hundred more right in that same situation} 

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Week Four: Media name is Amanda and I am addicted to Facebook.

 This week was on Media. The premise being how much of my time do I fill up with "media" i.e. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, E-mails, Chat Groups, Movies, TV, Music. This list could go on and on.

I spend so much of my day on the computer at work and for Noonday that I really had to think about this one. So here was my rules:

1.  Only check my personal e-mail 2x a day.
2.  30 minutes of "personal"time on the Internet (so facebook, instagram combined)
         (This one I really dogged around on because I used the need to post about Noonday
         things as a "work" reason for being on Facebook so I still allowed 30 minutes of personal time.
3. The 30 minutes must occur AFTER the little ones go to bed and AFTER I spend quality time
         with just the big kids. 
4.  No TV
5.  No movies

I did follow this for a week...and I epically failed!!!! As in, failed with in my first hour.

The first day I was in such a habit I actually checked my personal email like three times before 11am. I don't even have that many emails but I'm so afraid to miss one. You would have thought I was waiting for a email from publishers clearing house.

By the time I got home I reminded myself of the rules and had no problem with TV or movies but the computer taunted me. I mean, I think at one point it started calling my name. I had fun with the kids but secretly counted down my time to be on Facebook. Then once I was on there I couldn't think what to do first. My time flew by and before I knew it I was only half way through my news feed. (Oh the humanity!)

By day three I started to get come control on the Facebook cravings. I would notice as I waited in the drive through lane I instinctively picked up my phone to check face book. It had become by go to boredom fighter.  That's when I think it became a game changer for me.

I haven't always had access to the Internet.We only joined the smart phone club about 3 years ago so what did I do before all this access to media? I may have missed knowing that a friend of a friend got a new car or one of my co workers went to the beach. But what I was really missing was quality time. I had allowed media to sneak into the little moments of time that I use to spend with my children doing songs or rhyming games or just chatting about their lives.I was missing the nightly check and connect with my husband each night because he was watching Fox News (his other wife) and I was on my tablet.

I'm still working on this little addiction of mine. I know there is a problem and I have to daily think of what is truly important in my life. Ultimately I'm thinking what do I want my kids to do with their free time. If they see me with media all the time, then what am I showing them. There were some good blogs on this...if only I had more than 30 minutes I'm sure I could find them :)

Keeping it real y'all,



Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Week three: Posessions

So after realizing that I had a problem with clothes I tackled my closet. Last week I showed you the before, so here is the after....

I ended up with three totes and two trash bags to donate and one pile to sell. Then I felt like I was on a roll so I tackled N and K's closets. Two more totes and one trash bag later they were done. I tried really hard to not just give everything to one place. Instead I methodically reviewed each item and distributed to various places. I took some to the freestore where anyone can get anything for free, then I sorted some for Crosslines where they work with families needing a helping hand up. I knew a few girl friends with younger children that I gave too and finally I took some clothes and gave them to Out Of The Ashes for the kids of Korahand then a few reselling. {Now, I have to state for the record. All of these possessions are AFTER I spring cleaned and de-cluttered just about two months ago}.

In the bible study Jen shares Matthew 6:19-21 and states that about 15% of Jesus's teaching were on "treasures".  I have always prided myself on not having a lot of these "treasures" and yet as I look around at these piles of clothes I see an awful lot of stuff. Like, a bunch of it!

I wish I could say that this week will forever change the way that I  think about buying things and the way that I spend my money. That I am going to sell my huge house and move into a smaller home and send that money to non profit somewhere to take care of those in poverty. That I would live Radical  {awesome book- read it now} and give up the "American Dream". But, in all honestly, I'm not there yet. I still have so much more to grow and change but I am taking it one step at a time. I am going to make some simple choices that will continue to lead me in the right direction though.

  1.  I took back several new outfits that I had gotten for this summer. Lucky I still had the tags and receipts. Instead the funds went to the mission trip our children are headed out on this weekend. 
  2. I joined a hand me down group for women's clothes where we can trade or purchase one another's clothes rather than buy brand new. I am doing the same thing with the children's clothes.
  3. I'm keeping track of the outfits I wear so I can continue to downsize this crazy closet of mine (and keep it from getting bigger)
  4. I am choosing to create a new outfit each week with my existing clothes to help lessen my future purposes. 
    Now it's your turn. What does your closet say about you?