Wednesday, May 23, 2012

The Little Black Dress

Never, in the 18 month history of my blog, have I EVER written about clothing.  Accessories, shoes and the current fashions just don't interest me.  However, as I was getting ready for school last week, I had a "blogging inspiration" and hence, this post.

So, I have this black dress.  Not being a fashionista, I will try to describe it....knee-length, sleeve-less, kind of cinched on the side.  Simply put, a black dress. Definitely modest.  Definitely slimming.  And definitely a sweet deal.  I got it for $10.00 at  Target when I was a senior in high school.  Yep, 10 years ago.

This dress is like those jeans in "Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants."  It always fits.  It never wrinkles.  It never fades.  And it's appropriate with any occasion.  A day at school.  Weddings.  Funerals.  Parent Nights.  Bachelorette Parties.  I've never tried it at Zumba, but I'd bet it would work there too....

Getting ready for school last week, I realized that I LOVE this dress.  I wear it all the time.  People must forget because I always get compliments on it.  They ask, "Did you lose weight?" and "Where did you get that?" EVERY SINGLE TIME.  Seriously, I've had this thing for ten years!!!

But after going to Haiti, I've found clothing matters very little to me.  (I mean, it should be clean and in nice repair...and maybe don't wear navy blue with black...)  However, if my apartment were to go up in flames, I would miss this dress...big time.

WHAT IS THAT?  WHY DO I HAVE SUCH AN ATTACHMENT TO A DRESS?

Before labeling myself as a shallow, typical female, maybe there's more behind the passion for my black dress.  God created all of us worthy of praise, beautiful in His Image, and yearning for comfort, security, and love.  When I'm wearing that dress, I'm at peace.  I'm comfortable in my own skin.  I'm getting compliments from people.  It makes reasonable sense that I cling to this dress.

Thankfully, I've been given an education (first from my parents, then from my community of friends) that our need for affirmation, comfort and security doesn't stop at the clothes we wear.  It doesn't depend on what others say, or even how I'm feeling that day.  I don't use clothes as a method to gain confidence or make myself feel better.

You and I are ALWAYS beautiful and ALWAYS worthy of praise, simply because He made us.  We have a God who wants to shower us with gifts and teach us to live securely in His Love.  Bizarrely enough, He used my black dress to remind me of this daily truth.

So, if I do lose everything I own (because seriously, that's the ONLY way I'm stopping wearing this dress), the grandeur of my beauty still remains!

Monday, May 7, 2012

Cleaner Water, Happier Lives

What if you had to shower in your animals' waste?

Then, reuse that water to wash your clothes?

Then, drink it?

This is a daily reality in the villages in Haiti where I have visited.  It's unjust that our brothers and sisters having to drink literally "crappy" water.  And it's time we did something about it.

Saturday night, I went to a benefit for Haiti at my parish here in Indianapolis whose goal was to raise $5,000 to provide a water purification system for the village of Mole, Haiti...the village where we have a sister parish (St. Nicolas) with St. John's AND the place where I spent a week last May for mission work.

Missy, Scott, and Steve along the bank of river in Bassin-Bleu, Haiti.
Rivers in Haiti are typically used for bathing, waste disposal, washing animals, cars, and clothes, and for DRINKING WATER!
Speaking as a person who has seen it, drinking water quality is the major determinant of a suffering village to a thriving one.

But hope is here!  Using creativity and genius that only God could have blessed him with, Bill Farrar developed a system that purifies water quickly, simply and in a way that villages can self-maintain once it's installed.  Using simple table salt and a 12 volt battery, this water purification system can sanitize water making it healthy for drinking for a village of 5,000 people!  He's installed water purifiers all over the world (and took my friend Joe with him to Haiti last year!) and has created a non-profit organization called "Fountains of Hope."

YOU CAN SEE MORE ABOUT THIS AMAZING SYSTEM AND ITS BENEFITS TO THE VILLAGES SERVED HERE: http://fountainsofhope.org/about-foh/

The great news: We reached our goal of $5,000 and will be able to give Mole, Haiti the water purification system they have asked for.  Additional expenses include providing a storage shed for this purifier so it can stay protected and last for the decade it's designed to.

If you would like to help our project through St. John's to St. Nicolas and the town of Mole, Haiti, you can offer a donation to St. John's and write "H2O for Haiti" in the check memo line.

You can also donate online to Fountains of Hope so that your gift will help the countless villages around the world who suffer from lack of proper drinking water.  Really, this is a no-brainer cause to support.  I'm amazed at what God gives us right at our fingertips to help those in need.



Thursday, May 3, 2012

Happy Birthday to my Lydie Bug!

How could you NOT love this little face?

Thank you, God, for Lydia Rose!  Being an aunt is just a really cool, fun gift that causes me to love a child to a deeper level than a student.  You know, Lord, more than I do, how much Lydia has taught me in her short life.  Her surprise, constant questioning, and undeniable need reminds me of how You created us.  Help me, and all her family, to love her for what you've made her to be and to always want her happiness before our own.

Guide and protect her in her journey through life and help her to constantly seek You in all she does!

Amen.