Our environment and its relationship to poverty

Our environment and its relationship to poverty

Awhile back, I came across NASA astronaut, Mark Kelly’s, remarks about how he’s seen the earth visibly change from his view in outer space. After describing what he’s seen, such as the vastly visible deforestation of the Amazon Rainforest, he concluded, “As an astronaut, I’m often asked about the climate, our environment and how we are destroying the Earth. My response often surprises people. ‘Don’t worry about the planet, the Earth will be just fine’, I tell them. ‘What you need to worry about is us - all of us.’”

It wasn’t until I read this, that I started to think about our environment and the “global warming” controversy in a different light. Maybe it was his choice of words that really struck me - making me really think about how damaging our actions can be to the earth, and then how that directly affects humanity. Of course, I care about our world, but the environment wasn’t always top of mind for me like social issues were, until… he connected it back to people. As I dig into it, I’m learning more about how our world is interconnected, and how our actions, really do come back to affect us…good or bad. Call it karma, fate, science, God’s design, the truth is, our environmental actions are affecting all of us, and not only is it affecting the poor first, it’s affecting them worst.

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What it's like to grow up with a brother who has Down Syndrome

What it's like to grow up with a brother who has Down Syndrome

March 21 is World Down Syndrome Day! It’s a day we celebrate people with Down Syndrome and participate in activities to advocate for their rights, inclusion, and well-being. After having my brother in my life for 25 years, I sit here pondering why we even have to advocate for the “rights, inclusion, and well-being” of those with Down Syndrome in the first place. What is it that makes us believe they shouldn’t have the same rights or inclusion as others? You see, for me, growing up with a brother who has Down Syndrome was normal. After all, he was born when I was just 2 years old and he is the very first memory I ever had - Thank you for the best first memory, Jesse! Despite life being a little different when he first entered into the world, life with him wasn’t much different in the sense of what another family might have been experiencing. After all, every family has differing quirks, issues, and personalities. Jesse just brought his own to our kitchen table where we gathered together to be a family. It’s the story of our family and I wouldn’t change it for the world. ❤️

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Fashion & Compassion

Fashion & Compassion

My anthem for 2018 was “Courage”. Courage to step out and do what’s been on my heart, push myself in new ways, and be who God created me to be. I’ve decided to carry over that same focus into 2019, because I’m so inspired by others who live with courage each and every day - often because they have to. 

The artisan women at Fashion & Compassion are some of the very women I find so inspiring. They’re women healing from addiction, incarceration, generational poverty, human trafficking, and more. These women share different experiences and tremendous hurt, but through their work with Fashion & Compassion, they come to build trust and fellowship with each other by making jewelry.

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Living Your Best Life through Life Planning

Living Your Best Life through Life Planning

What would it look like if you could put all of your thoughts, dreams and goals on paper, organized into tangible actions to implement throughout the year? What would it look like if you could articulate, at any given moment, your most precious priorities in each area of your life? And what would it look like if you clearly understood your heartfelt “why” behind those goals? It would look like a life plan. It would look like your BEST LIFE, a life where you are living with intention, happiness, determination, and confidence…At least, that’s what life planning has done for me. Come with me, as we discover how the technique can do the same for you. 😊

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Urban Recipe - Food & Thanksgiving

Urban Recipe - Food & Thanksgiving

Food. It has long been a source of gathering and community, a silent facilitator of relationships and celebration. In fact, we as a nation, just celebrated one of our most beautiful reflections of these very things, Thanksgiving! Aside from all that yummy Turkey, the tradition is an expression of gratitude and a time to gather in unity. It offers us a moment to prepare our hearts in “giving-thanks” for all we have, while extending our gifts to those less fortunate too. In reminiscing on the holiday, I’m reminded of an organization whose mission fits so well with the idea of Thanksgiving. Urban Recipe is a natural extension of what we’ve been learning - how to “help without hurting”.

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Haiti: Stories of Real People We Met

Haiti: Stories of Real People We Met

This is Joubert. (I’m calling him by his middle name, so as to be respectful to his privacy.) He’s 2 years old and I know his family wants us to share his story, because his short life has already served as a testimony within his community. His parents are willingly sharing this story, hoping that everyone who hears it can come to believe in the Lord.

Two years ago when Hurricane Matthew hit La Beyi, Haiti, their entire community was wiped away. Water flooded the plain on which their community was built and rose halfway up the mountain leaving their homes, livestock, and land completely destroyed.

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Haiti: Finding Joy & Hope

Haiti: Finding Joy & Hope

On October 4, 2016 Haiti was hit by Hurricane Matthew, leaving their homes, livestock, and land completely destroyed. In fact, water flooded halfway up the mountain, completely covering everything they knew. Despite the relief and recovery efforts over the past 2 years, little improvement has been made for those living on the south coast of Haiti. The locals described their community as being beautiful with coconut trees and pristine white sand, but the hurricane took that all away leaving them struggling to survive. My husband, Sam, was talking to a women who described their shelters of sticks and tarps as not being acceptable living standards. They used to have homes and now, in her words, they “live like goats”.

This breaks my heart. 

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“Putting Love into Action”

“Putting Love into Action”

Poverty is an opportunity to uncover great beauty in other people. 

For years it's been this beauty and opportunity that has drawn me to be an advocate for the poor! While that desire has been tugging at my heart for a long time, I wasn't always quite sure the best way to help, where to begin, or worse, aware that things I do can potentially hurt the poor in the process of trying to help. In my last story, I recounted one of my most shameful efforts that did indeed, actually hurt the poor. Today, I want to share with you one of my recent experiences that I believe lends itself more to helping!

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Four Alarming Facts about Haiti and Why I’m Eager To Go

Four Alarming Facts about Haiti and Why I’m Eager To Go

My dream is coming true! My husband, Sam, and I are traveling with 410 Bridge on a mission trip to Haiti this summer. For those who know me, you won’t be surprised to know I’ve been learning all I can about Haiti and the people we’ll be working alongside. I like to study, read-up and be prepared as a way to create the most meaningful experience possible. As I’ve started to learn about the intricate details contributing to poverty in Haiti and around the world, I’ve begun to realize just how small and interconnected our world truly is. We say it all the time, but do we mean it? This time, I mean it. From a distance, poverty looks the same in many places. That’s because it is. Many of the same factors that plague Haiti’s development, plague other areas of the world, yet each of these factors manifest in different ways, making it actually appear quite different in each country or community. My hope is to share with you what I’m learning about Haiti’s specific situation before we go, so I can bring you with me on the journey to Haiti and back. Want to join? Here we go!



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