Sunday, August 29, 2010

a necklace that actually makes a difference...


...many of you know about the non-profit {the BLOOM project} that i started a couple of years ago.  if you don't know about it - shame on you - go visit the website and get caught up {and please forgive my very amateur web design skills}.  i will be very candid in saying that the journey to develop and maintain an organization to rally a cause that you are passionate about is NOT easy and is NOT for the faint of heart. having said that - my friend amy and i have had so much fun just putting one foot in front of the other and seeing where God leads us as two crazy busy mamas who are trying to squeeze in as much time as we can to make a difference in the world around us.

more on BLOOM later {especially as we near our highly acclaimed golf tournament in october!}...for now i just wanted to make a quick mention of an amazingly easy {and fun!} way to support BLOOM.  order this super cool necklace for yourself or someone you love...it's a great gift idea!

...the fabulous california-based designer of this necklace has never met us {i don't even know if she has ever been to the carolinas...i do hope she'll visit one day!}.  nevertheless ~ she has agreed to donate a portion of her proceeds from the sale of her 'bloom' necklace to our organization...isn't that awesome?!?  we think so...

go to bella michele jewelry and check it out!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

chairs

Tuesday mornings are staff meetings at New Charlotte - me and the guys.  It's a tough job but somebody's gotta keep all those hooligans in line.  Today we met at the picnic table on the front porch and enjoyed the first hint of fall, because anything under 85 degrees feels like fall these days.  When we were finished we made our way to the worship center to tackle a pretty big job.  It required a bit of manual labor and although I woke up this morning with a serious pinch in my neck I didn't hesitate to jump in for fear of being called a 'girl'.  {I have to hold my own with those guys.}  


The task:
Over 300 borrowed chairs needed to be folded and loaded into the back of a truck to be returned to their middle school home for good.  They are the chairs that for the past 3 months have been used by hundreds of people who have entered the doors of this old knitting mill turned church to hear about the faith, hope, and love of Christ.  Those chairs had seen their last days in this little warehouse 'home' we've made in the middle of the city.   

As I folded each chair and sent it away, I envisioned the faces of all the people I had seen sitting in them during those summer months.  I imagined what may have been going through their hearts and their minds as they worshipped, experienced community together, and heard the truth of the gospel (some perhaps for the first time) in those very chairs.  The chairs weren't particularly comfortable, but neither is the life that God calls us too.  

Full of hope - yes.  
Full of love and peace and joy and grace - absolutely!  
Full of comfort - not necessarily. 


This weekend we will move in new chairs in preparation for the official launch of our church on September 12.  

The new chairs have nice soft cushions.  

They are pretty comfortable.  
I think we will all appreciate the new chairs.  

But...

I am feeling nostalgic about the old chairs and I am vowing not to forget them.  For me they represent the discomfort that sometimes comes with stepping out in faith to do something that God has called you to even when you face fear and uncertainty.  All of us who have stepped into this pioneering journey to launch New Charlotte Church - and make sacrifices out of obedience along the way - will remember the days of the old, brown, hard chairs and the faithfulness that God has shown us as we watched them fill.  Perhaps more than anyone else we will appreciate the new soft cushiony chairs and every other gift that follows, because we know...
   ...only God.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

pics of the week...

morning y'all!

i spent all my 'blog time' over at the love dare blog this morning so i don't have much left for my bloggy home over here.  feel free to check out the other post.  for now...all you get here are a few of my pics of the week...
{my happy boy at the beach}
{tiny toes in the sand}

Thursday, August 5, 2010

my obsession {it could definitely be worse}

first of all - hello from the beach!  this will be a short post because i have a beach babe who can't stand to be in the house long...
this is her telling me she's ready to go BACK out
 
 ...this way {just in case i needed clarification}......and keep in mind that this was just after we spent the entire day out there and had just gotten showered and changed...anyway, back to today's post...


there have been times {during my pre-kid days} when i have been accused of having an obsession with reading.  these days i try to squeeze in a page or two whenever i can - during naps, in waiting rooms, the wee hours of the morning or night...  so it sometimes takes me months to finish a book {or even a chapter}.  lately i have been making it a point to schedule more 'squeeze in' time for cracking my books {you know i've always got multiple ones going at once}.  


a couple of things i'm reading right now...
The Love Dare  
...which you can find out more about on our love dare blog...
AND
A Million Miles in a Thousand Years: What I Learned While Editing My Life
...yes - you may have heard me first reference this book over a month ago but, as i said, it sometimes takes months...  {i also, amazingly, snuck in a complete novel by jodi picoult over the past couple of weeks so this one was sorta put on hold for a bit}


...anyway...i was thinking today about why i love to read so much {as i was underlining the bazillionth 'highlight worthy' statement in don miller's book}.  for me - reading=learning - and i guess my obsession is really more with learning than with reading...i've just found that reading is an awfully good way to learn.  the fibers of my life are strengthened and enriched by the new perspectives i gain from reading...i really try to keep my level of ignorance to a minimum {but of course i still have a long way to go}.


so a bit of new perspecitive from don miller today  - 
'...i realized how much of our lives are spent trying to avoid conflict.  Half of the commercials on television are selling us something that will make life easier.  Part of me wonders if our stories aren't being stolen by the easy life.'
my response?  protect my story from being stolen. take a few steps down the hard road when led that way.  inconvenience myself.  spend some time really working through some of those nasty deep-rooted issues i have instead of making excuses or just grabbing an extra large cup of caffeine for comfort.  go ahead and book that trip to haiti to be with the orphans my heart desires to care for.  experience their lives without 3 square meals, without shelter, without a change of clothes, without a hair dryer, without drive-thrus... 


what's your response?