On purpose, with purpose.

It’s been so long since I’ve visited this little corner of the internet that I feel about 100 different forms of angst as I’m writing this. I’m not completely sure why that is. Or why I let it keep me from hitting that Publish button for over a year now. Thankfully, I am reminded of great words like these..

“Self doubt. Instead of letting it silence you, force it to work for you.” – Emily Freeman.

Back when I use to write this thing rather regularly I often found myself feeling all sorts of vulnerable as I wrote. Often times, those posts meant the most to me. So I’ll take the nerves in my keystrokes as a sign that I’m on the verge of something good over here.

A few weeks back Clint and I had the honor of standing beside our friend, Chrissy, as she stepped out in obedience and stepped up in a big way. She did something big. She did something bold. She did something that others couldn’t even imagine. And she did it on purpose, with purpose. Chrissy shaved her head.

If you’re like me, those words immediately make you reach up and make sure your own pony tail is still in tact. And now you’re probably wondering how a shaved head and a calling from God end up in the same story. So, let’s bridge the gap.

About a month back Chrissy shared her idea to shave her head with us. With the weight of a worldwide problem on her heart Chrissy felt called to create awareness about the horrifying reality of modern-day slavery.

Did you know that there are more slaves TODAY than any other point in human history?
Did you know that over 27 MILLION people are enslaved across the world?
Did you know that human trafficking affects EVERY country in the world?
Did you know that the average age of someone being enslaved is 12 YEARS OLD?
Did you know that human trafficking is the fastest GROWING criminal industry across the world?
Did you know? Because now you do.

Now you know that human trafficking is a HERE and NOW issue. It’s in our country. It’s in our state. It’s in the heart of our city and the soul of our suburbs.

This is not the kind of problem you want to wait to start caring about until it affects someone you know. This is an issue that demands prevention and is all too often only met with reaction.

When Chrissy shaved her head she did it on purpose.

A shaved head is common in slavery. An action done to break a person down to the core. To make an individual feel exposed. A practice performed to inflict shame. But on Chrissy – a shaved head is a symbol of strength – a shaved head is a platform for a purpose – a shaved head is a beacon to let the beauty of God’s Holy Spirit shine bright.

So, what’s it all for?

Chrissy shaved her head for a purpose.

First of all, to raise awareness. To get people talking… or typing. To help kickstart a conversation that needs to be happening. Between families. Between friends. Between total internet strangers! This is an issue that gets swept under the rug, but you know what.. it’s time for some Spring cleaning. It’s time for some people’s hearts to be set ablaze with a passion for awareness, a passion to end human trafficking.

Secondly, it’s to assist in the effort of the A21 campaign. A21 is an incredible foundation that is actively working to abolish injustice in the 21st century. They do this through what they call the 4 P’s. Prevention (Education + Awareness). Protection (Rescue + Restoration). Prosecution (Enforcement + Legislation). Partnership (Supporters + Partners).  A21 has been an outreach partner of our church for several years now and I’ve been blessed to hear their founder, Christine Cain, preach several times. The work they are doing is nothing short of incredible. Rescuing people ALL OVER the world. (Yes, that means right here in the “land of the free”.) I strongly encourage you to check out their website. Read their blog. Follow their Facebook page. Their updates about rescues and prosecutions will serve as a harrowing reality check I can guarantee it.

So here’s what I’m asking you to do.

Donate. So far Chrissy has raised enough money to send a rescued individual on a flight back home. She’s raised enough to hire a lawyer to prosecute someone responsible for these heinous acts. So far.. she’s raised enough to change a life.. and the best part is.. she’s just getting started.

Go visit her donation page right HERE!

Her goal is to raise $21,000. That’s a lot of money and that’s a LOT of lives changed.  So let’s start small. $21. Donate $21. I promise you won’t miss it. I promise the world will keep spinning if your wallet gets a little lighter. And I know that God can take a small amount, multiply it, and deliver on BIG promises.

A promise to overcome…
“And call upon me in the day of trouble: I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify me.”
– Psalms 50:15

A promise of salvation..
‘And I will deliver thee out of the hand of the wicked,
and I will redeem thee out of the hand of the terrible. “
– Jeremiah 15:21

Let’s stop pretending this issue doesn’t exist and let’s start working intentionally towards ending it. Let’s start doing great things on purpose, with purpose.  

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Farewell 2013.

2013

Psssst. You can check out last years farewell here.

When I initially thought of writing my little 2013 farewell I thought I might do a highs and lows recap of sorts – a highlight of the peaks and pits of the year. What I realized as I began listing my moments was that 2013 was the year where each low met its match with an unfailing high. 2013 was a year filled with great optimism, and even greater moments in between the milestones. 

In 2013…

In 2013 we moved… twice. (I, in fact moved three times, if we’re getting real technical and including that month I moved back home with my family to start my job while Clint wrapped up life in Raleigh). And it was unbelievably stressful and hectic and overwhelming, and on one particular weekend there in late February we had a mere seven days left on our lease and no idea where we were packing up our life to go . I cried… a lot. But after packing up all our stuff, unpacking it, then packing it back up 2 months later and unpacking it again, we’ve been blessed to finally have found ourselves in the place we had been yearning for, for so long… home.

In 2013 I finally stopped looking for jobs… because I found one. I started the year exactly how I ended the later half of 2012, searching and applying, searching and applying, searching and applying, and beginning to get awfully good at throwing over the top pity-parties for myself. After many, many months, I found the one, and it found me, and we’ve been pretty darn happy together ever since. It’s kind of like a match made in CareerBuilder heaven. I’ve been blessed to find a job I love.

In 2013 Clint celebrated his two-year work-anniversary in November… and subsequently quit his job. But only because he had an even greater opportunity awaiting him. An opportunity that doesn’t involve being out-of-town 20 out of 30 days of the month, or working until well after-hours the nights he is home, and it even means I can take back that little nook in my family room that’s only ever been the “home office”. He’s been blessed to be able to walk away from one experience and seamlessly into a new one that holds great promise.

In 2013 we celebrated a year of marriage… and I was attacked by yellow jackets to mark the occasion. On our anniversary we truly put “in sickness and in health” to the test (which actually, was not even in our vows) but “I hope others see His heart and love in the way I care for you” is, and boy did I realize on our anniversary, the day after I got stung, and the day Clint was supposed to head out-of-town for work but chose to stay with me instead, that my husband loves me with a love so strong it could only be a love that was gifted from God.

In 2013 we also celebrated eight years of being together… and had ourselves a little photo fun. I had actually wanted to do first anniversary pictures but as fate, and the yellow jackets, would have it, it was a pretty good thing I didn’t schedule to have those pictures taken. Instead we opted for an eight year anniversary shoot. You can (and SHOULD) go check some of those pictures out HERE. Because these photos show exactly how we spent the greater part of 2013. Together, and in love. I’m so grateful for this time of marriage with Clint – the time in between newlywed bliss and parenthood, the time of just the two of us.

2013 was a year filled with blessings and with that,
2014 will be my year of greatest praise. 

The one in which we get colorful.

I’m now thinking every blog needs to be titled, “The one…” ala F R I E N D S. Which now also has led me to have the inevitable, am I a Rachel or a Monica dilemma?

Anyways. This weekend I ran The Color Run with some fun people and now I’m gonna drop an abundant number of photos on you.

 

ZYECFMOLKNI

Stone Mountain.

cover

//Hi people. This is my official “back to blogging” post. Lately I’ve been letting some things convince me that my little blog was no longer a good thing, but I’m refocused on why I started this thing and ready to start keeping track of the many moments in between the milestones. Speaking of stones,(yep- just did that) yesterday me, the mister, and my sister went up to Stone Mountain and took in some of this beautiful Autumn weather . I’m always so thankful for the month of October, between the crisp of the air, and the crunch of leaves, what’s not to love. Also, just in case anyone is keeping track, this hiking trip was slightly less eventful as I did not find myself stuck on a rock. \\
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