For my friends who are far away and those who can’t make it to the show Saturday, I am having a mystery hostess show this weekend and you can be a part. What this means is that for every increment … Continue reading
Congrats Kate H!!
First of all, if you’re visiting from the Noonday Blog Train, welcome! This is a first for me and my new-ish blog, so I’m really glad that you’re here. If you’re a regular, fellow Noonday Ambassadors and I are celebrating the launch of our Spring Collection with blog posts and giveaways. You can catch a ride here, go back to yesterday’s post and then onward and upward to tomorrow. All aboard!
I’ve talked a little about Noonday Collection here before. In short, Noonday uses fashion and design as a tool to help empower vulnerable people around the world by creating sustainable economic opportunity for them, as well as providing other assistance as needed. This is done through the creation of a market for the jewelry and accessories that these once-vulnerable artisans make with their own two hands, often in their homes. You can read story after story of their lives at the Noonday Collection blog. I am loving the opportunity to be an Ambassador for this world changing company.
What I am not loving? How long it takes to BUILD a business. Thomas Edison said it best. “Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.” And it starts small. Noonday Collection as a company began three-and-a-half years ago as an adoption fundraiser where the founder, Jessica Honegger, sold paper bead jewelry made by one family in Uganda to fund the adoption of her own son from Rwanda. The family in Uganda, Jalia and Daniel, made this jewelry in order to keep food on the table for themselves and their two children. It was a small, desperate operation. Today this small workshop in Uganda has grown to employ and support over 300 families and Noonday Collection has similar operations in 10 other countries.
Back to my partnership with Noonday. I joined as an Ambassador in November and, to put it quite plainly, it’s a roller coaster ride. Business is up and down. Because, 1-I’ve just started and 2-let’s be honest, I spend my days taking care of three little people, so I have to work on things in small windows of time. Also, let’s be VERY honest I get discouraged. I feel like everything is I do is small. Cutting grapes, wiping noses, zipping jackets, buckling car seats, unbuckling car seat, unzipping jackets, you get the picture. Sometimes I feel like I’m on a hamster wheel.
But. (Oh that word!) Ever since I started this journey, God has been whispering to me, “Do not despise the day of small things.” No matter how much my cynical self wants to get discouraged, that’s what I keep hearing. I do small things. My business is small. But do you know what? We all do small things. Everything starts small. I won’t despise it. I’m going to embrace it because, small things add up to big things. For us and, most importantly, for our artisans.
And as my mom always says, “You know how to eat an elephant right? One bite at a time.”
In honor of this, I’m GIVING AWAY FREE NOONDAY!!! That’s right, I’m giving a $50 Noonday credit to one lucky winner. To enter, go to the Noonday website, check out the collection, and comment below (or on the FB link) with what piece or pieces you would spend the $50 on. For an extra entry, share this link on FaceBook. The winner will be chosen out of a basket by Eliana on Thursday, March 27th.
COMMENTS ARE CLOSED, WINNER WILL BE ANNOUNCED SHORTLY!!!
Our dear Eliana recently turned five. Five. How did that happen? I feel like she was just born. Five means a lot of things, but I think the one that she enjoys the most is the fact that she no longer has to take naps. Technically, this has been going on for a while, but now its official. She gets to have “rest time” which means she basically gets to hang out in the play room, play school with her menagerie of stuffed animals or play games on her Leap pad.
But. Some days. Some days she’s just flat exhausted. Her eyes get this glazed over, half crazy look and I know I’m gonna have to make her take a dreaded “sleeping nap.” I know that this is going to mean much weeping and gnashing of teeth, but it’s what she needs. So, because I love her, in mercy, I make her go to sleep. And you know what? When she wakes up, she’s back. She’s the Eliana we all know and love and not the wild animal that sleep deprivation turns her into. How? Why? I’m her mom and I know what’s best for her. Despite how terrifically unpopular my decision is, sometimes sleep is what she needs even if she goes to bed kicking and screaming.
After one of these particular afternoons last week it occurred to me that this is exactly what God has to do with me sometimes. He knows what I need, even if it’s not what I want. He knows me, he sees that wild look I get in my eyes and heart sometimes, and he does what he knows is best for me. Even if it’s moving me away from everyone and everything I know and love time and again. Even if it’s a life that I never would have guessed for myself. In mercy, He is again and again driving me to himself.
“Your rod and your staff, they comfort me.” -Psalm 23:4b
This is consistently one of my favorite songs. It reminds me that no matter what life brings, I have a Father who sees me, knows me, and loves me. His goodness to me was sealed in Christ and CANNOT be shaken for anything.
Give it a listen if you have a moment.
You can’t win them all. It’s true. You have to pick your battles. Also true. What’s painfully true about my life right now is that I don’t feel I’m winning at anything. There are so many battles, I can’t keep track of them, much less pick the ones to face. I’m spitting as hard as I can, trying to put out the forest fire ablaze in my house. Each night I go to sleep only to wake up, gulp down a cup of coffee, and do it all over again. It’s like the movie “Groundhog Day” but nobody’s laughing.
Last Tuesday was particularly one of those days. I woke up to my older two children fighting and my baby crying, so I huddled under the covers for a minute thinking, “I don’t want to do this today.” I’ve been mulling over this for almost a week now, amidst the snow and ice that has surrounded us since then. It seems cliche to still wrestle with God’s goodness after being a believer for so long. I mean, outwardly, I have no reason to doubt, but the longer I live, the more hurt I see and the more pain I feel. Probably because of all the time I spent on stage growing up coupled with my tendency for the over-drama, I get all Hamlet-like in these moments, frozen and wondering, yet completely unable to hold a thought in my head.
Stonewall Jackson is quickly becoming one of my favorite historical characters. We live pretty close to the battlefield where he earned his name and in learning about him I’ve come across a couple of quotes that are attributed to him that I love. One such is, “My religious belief teaches me to feel as safe in battle as in bed.” How can this be? Only through trusting a Creator, Maker, Sustainer, and Savior who cares about every sparrow. And if the sparrows, how much more for me? I’m not worthy, but I’m called, and for this calling I HAVE to believe that the very hand of God Himself will sustain me.
So, I pray before my feet hit the ground for His help, gulp down my coffee, and begin again. Because the snow may be fresh and piled up again, trapping us inside for another day, but His mercy is new also.