Day 24 [The Candy Shop]

I watched this video this morning & it was intense.  It’s a “fairytale” about human trafficking. If you have a spare half an hour, sit down & watch it.  It could be a step to start caring about the world more than our to-do-lists.

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Day 23 [A Very Visual Update]

 On day 11 my sister and nephews ventured up to Michigan State for a visit!  I thought tucking the dress in as a shirt was more suitable for the adventure we were about to embark in.  Can we just acknowledge how adorable they are?!?!
Moving forward to days 18-20, the dress and I went on fall retreat.  I had a wonderful God-centered weekend.  But roughing it proved to be pretty difficult.  By the end of the weekend the dress was in desperate need of a washing.

Day 17!!!

 

So many people I have talked to wanted to know my mindset going into The One Dress Project.  When I first started thinking about doing the project, I immediately started praying about it.  Eventually, I felt like I was being given more and more of a desire to take action.  My next step was talking to those around me.  That came with mixed reactions.  Some of my loved ones were really excited about the idea of this.  & others had some concerns.  Some still have concerns.  Please take comfort in the fact that I wrestled with all of those same concerns:

People are going to think I am a weirdo.  When faced with this concern, it just came down to asking myself  “Am I really going to let what people might think of me hold me back from doing things I am passionate about for the rest of my life?  What would be the right way to raise my self-esteem?  By making lots of so-called friends that wouldn’t accept my quirky personality and support my crazy adventures?  Or doing something to fight a terrible injustice?”

 This is my senior year!  Is this really the way I want to be remembered by my classmates?  This is my senior year!  This is the perfect season in my life to do this!  I don’t have a job that I need to look “professional” for everyday.  As a matter of fact, I have a job that encourages stepping out and doing something to make some sort of difference.  I have my youth on my side.  If someone thinks I’m a weirdo, chances are I won’t see them after graduation anyway!  & what a way to finish off a college career that looks nothing like I thought it would when I started it 4 years ago.  By doing something that I never would have imagined doing. 

What man will want to date a girl who is wearing the same dress all the time?  I debated including this in my entry, but this was honestly one of the most common & most urgent concerns of quite a few people.  I am a quirky, weird person.  If a man wants to date me, he is going to have to get used to it.  & if a man cannot respect me for doing something that I think is truly fighting for justice for a people group that needs advocates to fight for them, then  I don’t think he’s the man for me anyway!  I want my man to have a heart for justice & a spine to act on it!

Won’t I get smelly? Let’s clear something up right now, my friends.  The dress gets washed.  The dress gets washed often.  Also, I DO NOT SLEEP OR WORK OUT IN THE DRESS!   I sleep in pajamas & I work out in work out clothes.  

Won’t the dress get beat up? Yes.  It will.  Lucky for me, I live with the Spartan Seamstress.  & when talking about this concern with one of my beautiful sisters in Christ [who took part in The One Dress Project last year,] she reminded me that some of these women and children in the trafficking industry probably only have 1 dress.  Their dress is probably tattered and torn too & mine will not even compare to the pain that their dress has been through.

What will I get out of this?   This is a very real question.  I definitely have a lot of personal goals & ways I hope to grow throughout the journey of The One Dress Project.  Of course, I have my personal financial goal that I would like to reach in donations the The Daughter Project. But in addition to that, I’m hoping that the Lord teaches me follow through and self discipline in the next 6 months.  Let’s face it, I’ve made a very public commitment, & there is no backing out now.  I also hope that the Lord reveals to me any places I may be dangerously be placing my worth.  Maybe I find my worth in what people think of me.  Maybe I find it in the world’s image of “beauty.”  Maybe I’m not even sure of my worth.  Do I know the true source of beauty? Who knows?  I sure don’t…..yet, but I’m sure I will get to a point of exposure at some point in this journey.

Let’s me real, people.  I am just about at awful as taking pictures of my outfits as I am at blogging on a regular basis.  These are a few of the outfits I’ve had along this journey so far! Also, today was the day that I took the step of faith & made a bulletin board for my floor formally informing my residents of The One Dress Project.  I’m not going to lie, I have anxiety over it.  But I know that Abba will comfort me in this time, & protect me from any harm.  He’s REAL good at that!

Day 2Day 3Day 4 [The Barn Bash]Day 10

An Acceptable Day 1 Entry

On account of my 8:30am class being cancelled, I now have time to blog a respectable entry about the start of this journey that I am beginning.

Tuesday, September 20 was Day 1 of my One Dress journey.  I will be wearing the same darling gray dress everyday until Easter Sunday.  Why would one do such a thing?  It’s funny that you ask because I asked the same question last December when I met a woman that was doing exactly this.  Amy Seiffert started a 6 month journey of wearing the same dress to both raise awareness of the problem of human trafficking and funds for an organization called The Daughter Project who labors to help girls who have been freed from this industry recover.  After hearing about her cause, I was intrigued to say the least.  I knew that trafficking was an issue but I don’t think it was ever real to me.  As I thought about her cause, I remembered the speaker at a retreat I attended in Fall 2010 & how he talked about the work he did freeing women and children from brothels in India.  & it wasn’t long after hearing Amy speaking that I heard about my home church’s partnership with Cambodia & what a problem human trafficking is there.  But I would say that the thing that made it the most real to me was living in the city this summer.  Every once in a while, I would observe something that would remind me that just because we live in America, does not mean that this crisis isn’t relevant to us.  When I came across this fact, it hit me pretty hard:

The FBI estimates that over 100,000 children and young women are trafficked in America today. They range in age from nine to 19, with the average being age 11. Many victims are not just runaways or abandoned, but are from “good” families who are coerced by clever traffickers.

[Fact taken from: 55 Little Known Facts about Human Trafficking]

I have started backing this cause long ago.  I have been praying for God’s children that are bound by this industry for a while now, but it wasn’t until recently that I felt asked to do more.  That is where the One Dress comes in.  Amy’s efforts raised so much awareness of this problem & I know that The Daughter Project saw funds come in from that, but I also know that from Amy’s efforts also resulted in so much passion and prayer.  If my journey can make 50 people aware of the human trafficking industry & it’s harm, I will find my journey worth while.  If 10 hearts could be broken enough to get on their knees and pray, it will be worth while.  If a spark of passion could be sparked in 1 person to take action, it will be worth while.  & if those quota’s are not met, I’m confident that this is absolutely still worth while.

I invite you to check out The Daughter Project‘s website.  I also invite you to pray and consider getting involved in this battle by donating to their cause.  If you would like to give me cash or check, I will collect it & be making donations to The Daughter Project along the way.  Or You can donate on TDP’s website!   I also ask that if you do donate to TDP, that you would let me know how much you donated so I can keep track & see how close I get to my own personal goal that I have set.

I’ll close by letting you see Day 1’s outfit.  I kept it pretty simple.

contentment

Real talk, right now I am so happy that I have the Lord. To be able to talk to Him, to learn the things He wants me to know, to please Him with my life. It is an amazing thing. I don’t deserve it. & sometimes I don’t understand it. But He pours down an unconditional love onto me anyway. Mmm, so good!

a monumental day.

Yesterday was a day that will go down in history.  In fact, it’s past midnight, & it was just a little more than an hour ago when President Obama addressed the nation confirming that Osama Bin Laden had been killed by a secret-op mission.  Of course, I was delighted at the news!  My first instinct was to tap into my bank of never-ending sarcasm to make some sort of joke out of the death of this man.

But then, I found myself wondering “Where is God in all of this? What kind of reaction to this situation will be one that pleases Him?”  In the depths of my heart, I think I know where God stands.  Jesus taught his disciples to love their enemies.  Now, of course I’m not saying that if Bin Laden was still alive I would go to the mall with him & cuddle up to watch a movie.  However, hate is a deep dark feeling, that I am not entitled to have for this man, or anyone, for that matter. Rather, I am called to be saddened that this man lived his life not knowing Christ.  & because He didn’t, He couldn’t live the life that he was actually created to live.  He did evil things because he served an evil master & knew nothing else but evil.

I am fully aware that many people will probably read this entry & say to themselves “What an anti-patriotic idiot!”  You might even question if I loved all those people that Bin Laden killed & hurt in the September 11th attacks.  & the answer to that is of course I love those people!  My heart is broken for them & for their families.  & I’m not going to make the bold claim that I’m void of any negative feelings towards this man who’s life ended today.  I am bitter towards him, & I definitely wouldn’t consider him to ever be a potential homeboy.  But as I sit here, I have to ask myself, “Are you going to conform to the world today, or are you going to finally step up as the Woman of God you were meant to be?”  What’s my next move?

the end…of the semester.

If we are going to be real right now, I am really frustrated with studying.  I feel like it’s all I’ve done for the past 3 weeks & I’m ready to be done.   All I want to do is read my Bible.  After Friday, I won’t be responsible for reading any other books!  I can finally sit down and read for however long I want.  I won’t have to worry about being a good steward & making studying a priority.  I have almost 4 months to fully focus all of my attention on the Lord.  Ahhh, I can’t wait.

As I think about summer, I get really excited.  I am spending my summer at home.  & I have never felt more confident that this is precisely what the Lord was calling me to do.  I know that at first I was feeling like I wasn’t doing the right thing because I wasn’t going on a Summer Project, but if we are going to be honest, that was completely out of my tendency to people please.  But as I get closer to the summer, & more of my plans become finalized, I AM SO STOKED!  I will be using my God-given passion for business & family to work at my family’s business this summer.  I will be serving in Detroit, some way or the other.  & I will be getting involved in my new church!  More importantly than all that, I will really be spending a lot of time pursuing the Lord.

My only anxiety for the summer is not knowing if I have for sure landed the internship with the church that I hope to work with in Detroit.  It is something I really desire.  However, I feel like the Lord has calmed me over the past couple of weeks by showing me that even if I don’t get the internship, there are ways I can be in ministry in Detroit.  We will see how it goes….=].

Gahhh!  7 more days until I move home!  I’m trying to remain content with where I am right now but gee golly is it difficult right now!

Chapter 9: Can the Sweeter Song Be a Solo?

When opening up to where I left off in When God Writes Your Love Story, I discovered that my next chapter was on singleness.  How fitting.  As I read, I realized, I didn’t think I really found my identity in my relationship when I was in it.  I think I was pretty good at putting the fact that I was a daughter of Christ first.  However, now that I am single, I am definitely letting that define myself.  Today, I found myself believing the lie that I can’t accomplish the big plans God has for me if I don’t have a spouse.  One of my biggest dreams in life, one I consider a God-sized dream, was the most heart breaking to think about.  I kept dwelling on the fact that fostering & adopting children is a huge task & is just not feasible for a single woman, even if I do have a steady job.  & that may be very true. Time, however, plays a huge role in this.  I won’t be able to pursue that dream until much later in life, & who knows, maybe by then I will have a spouse to join me on this amazing journey.  I don’t know what is going to happen.

Here is what I do know.  I am alive today.  I am a Daughter of the King.  I am only 20 years old.  I happen to be single. God willing, I have a lot of life left in me.  I have big dreams.  & I am capable.  I have nothing holding me back from serving the Lord with every fiber of my being.  & God is giving me a much more clear picture of what that might look like for me.

If God is preparing you to make an impact on this world for His kingdom, chances are He will take you through a season of solitude.  This is a season when you learn that you can’t lean upon anyone but him for your confidence & when you gain the strength to stand alone even when no one else stands with you.  [Leslie Ludy, When God Writes Your Love Story]

This passage in the book really impacted me.  It just got me really pumped up actually.  I have the power in me to do some big things.  & there is no need to put them off until I’m married.  Shoot, there is no need to put them off until I graduate.  I should get started now!  Forget this apathetic attitude. I’m over it!  Time to let go & let God.  & I am so excited to see what kind of crazy adventures He will be taking me on.