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Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Change the World Tuesday: FIMRC

This week's feature came from my lovely, real life friend Rabun over at 500 days of wedding.
She just got engaged:
Aren't they cute?!

Anyway, this summer, Rabun is getting ready to go to Uganda with this organization:

This organization is amazing.  Rabun described it to me as more than just a help for children.  Now, they focus on whole communities.  She says:
They have done such a great job there setting up a Community Health Educator (CHE) system—empowering local men and women to teach and heal their own community to prevent & treat HIV, malaria, tuberculosis, and other infectious diseases that no one should die from.
 I fully support organizations that teach native people how to live and survive better.  If they can become self-sustainable, then the change is lasting and effective.

What we can do:
Donate to the cause.  You can even choose a specific project you'd like your donation to go to.
Go.  Be like Rabun.  Spend a summer or even a couple of weeks down in Costa Rica, El Salvador, India, Nicaragua... If you can't go, encourage someone that can.
Run. I know that some of you run.  Count me out.  However, there is a whole site dedicated to marathons that raise money for this organization.  Check it out here.

If you haven't entered the Green Giveaway, make sure to do it soon!

Monday, June 28, 2010

Dirty hair, Dump Cake, and Granola...

Miscellany Monday @ lowercase letters
1. We had a great couple over this weekend, and I made Ashley's (from 6 inches of ribbon) dump cake.  It was so good and only took three ingredients.  I felt so accomplished and our friends loved it!  I think Billy will be demanding it from here on out!

2. Almost every morning, I eat breakfast at work.  It consists of a cup of water and an Oat's & Honey bar from Nature Valley.  I don't know how nutritious this is, but to this non-breakfast-loving girl, it gets the job done.

3. I now have my Pandora set on a Kari Jobe station.  I'm now hearing a slew of breathy worship ballads that make my day just so much better (excepting the constant reminder that I will never have that voice).  I found this gorgeous song by Sarah Reeves.  Poor Billy has heard this song a good 10 times over the weekend (Sorry, Honey...)

4. When I straighten my hair, I don't wash it for about 3 days.  Sometimes 4.  For all of you straight, thin haired girls, you might think this is pretty gross.  But if you have thick, coarse, bunches of hair that could probably spread across 5 bald people, you know what I mean.  By day 3, I'm thanking my natural oils for finally kicking in and giving me shine.

If you haven't entered the Green Giveaway, make sure to do it soon!

Friday, June 25, 2010

Work It!

I'm trying to lose some weight.  Marriage has made me happy, and I keep eating.  And that, well, puts a little extra weight on.  When I say a little, it really hasn't been much.  It's just enough to make me feel off.  Therefore, I am trying to just live healthier!

Here's my strategy:

Zumba!  It's awesome!  I have been going and I think that I might go tonight for a second time.  I just love that I can forget I'm working out because we're dancing.  And before you get worried, I don't shake anything too much.  I don't think I have much of that rhythm, so I just do what I can while being modest.  And while turning bright red.  That's right - after even 10 minutes of working out, I become a tomato.  And it's not pretty.

Water.  I love my Camelbak, and it makes it much more fun to drink water.  I try to drink a few of those bottles a day, more if I'm working out.

Black.  Ok, so this doesn't make me thinner.  But when I wear black, I look skinnier.  It's tried and true.  It'll work for you, too.

One of the things I find about myself is that I need simple, applicable things to integrate into my daily life.  No crazy crash diets for me.  I'm an extreme person, and I might do really well for a few weeks, and then I might go the other way.  

What small steps do you take to live healthier?

If you haven't entered the Green Giveaway, make sure to do it soon!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Green Giveaway

I've been promising you a giveaway, and I am so excited about it!  I was contacted by CSN stores to do one on here, and I was so happy.  CSN stores have so many lovely things from cookware to dining room furniture to bedding.  It was pretty hard to choose what to giveaway because there were so many great options!
However, as I have been attempting a more green/organic lifestyle (attempting being the key word), I thought I would giveaway an eco-friendly package!  And guess what?  You get two things!
This gorgeous Bamboo Bowl (8")


Your choice of one of these 100% cotton decorative dish towels.

To Enter:

Be a follower (1)
Mention this giveaway on your blog (2)
Tell me which towel you like best (1)
Mention The Big Give on your blog (See yesterday's post) (2)

That's 6 chances to win!  Remember to comment for your entries!

This giveaway closes July 1 at noon.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Change the World Tuesday: The Big Give (+Giveaway)

This Week's Feature:

When I went to their website, I was totally inspired.  Women bloggers from across the world have come together to make up this contest.  

The website describes the contest:
The rules are simple: Using $20 or less, spend the month of July plotting, executing, and documenting an incredible random act of kindness for someone. Turn in your results at the end of the month. A panel of four judges will review all the entries and choose the winners.
You even get a prize if you win, which all of us know is an incentive.  However, I'm hoping you will just join and give for the sake of, well, giving.  

All it takes is $20 and a big heart.
We have a few days left in June.
Take some time to look around you.  Notice needs.  Ask yourself if you could do something with that twenty dollars to change someone else's life.

Also, please spread the word.  If you mention this contest in on your blog, you will receive 2 entries in the surprise giveaway I'll tell you more about tomorrow. 
Leave a comment here telling me if you've mentioned it with a link to your blog.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Whirlwinds and Fruit Flies

Miscellany Monday @ lowercase letters

1. Since the mission trip ended a little over a week ago, I have not felt able to catch up on rest.  I guess that's what happens when you jump right back into life.

2. When we came home from the trip, I saw a couple of fruit flies in our apartment.  We were too exhausted to check it out.  The next day, however, I noticed a ton in the kitchen.  I didn't have any fruit out, but do you know what they came from?  Potatoes!  Somehow, our week-old potatoes decided to rot (something I've never seen happen).  To rid ourselves of these pests, we bought a sticky fly-attracting thing.  It looks disgusting, but I feel victory every time I see one more fly die on that contraption.  I think we are almost out of flies.  Thank goodness.  ( I don't need to post a picture of fruit flies.  They're disgusting.)

3. Sometimes I wonder why people hang up when they call the office.  I like to imagine why they freak out when I say, "Thank you for calling ____ Church, how can I help you?"  Are they guilty?  Do they have something against churches?  Some people really do have some funny premonitions.

4. I like complete darkness when I sleep.  Before we got married, I liked to use those eye-masks when I slept.  When we got engaged, Billy told me in no uncertain terms that he did not anticipate waking up to a wife with something covering half of her face.  Especially this one from Bath and Body Works:
I guess it is just a little creepy.

5.  My friend Baillie is going to have a baby!  You all don't know her, but you might know her sister-in-law, Chelsie.  We all found out yesterday, and it is just so exciting!  Last year, Baillie, Chelsie, and I got engaged in the same weekend and all were in each other's weddings.  I can not wait to see their beautiful baby!  They'll be great parents!
(Baillie and I with our to-be husbands at our shared engagement party)

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Office Oddities

(You may call me the queen of lists, since I seem to make them all of the time.  I make lists for my lists.)

1. M&Ms.  I have a bowl of them at my desk, which is in the lobby area.  I mostly keep these so that people will come by and say hi.  I'm sneaky like that.  However, I have noticed that the peanut are by far more popular than the original.  This puts me in a conundrum.  Do I keep only regular M&Ms so that people still come but don't eat bukoos of my candy, or do I keep the peanut so that people will stay longer? (I know I should be focusing on actual work during these times, but it's good to take a break...)  What do you think?
2. Music.  When I first started working, they told me that I could play music for the office, which I rather enjoy (thank you, Pandora).  However, I quickly noticed that I could only play when our worship leaders were not in the office, because they are always playing music in some way or another.  They do not tell me when they will start this.  I only know because I start to think my song sounds funny until I realize that's because there are two or three other songs being played!

3. Greenery.  The person who sat at this desk before me had a plant on a shelf that I have basically killed off with neglect.  I'm thinking, do we really need a live plant?  Would a plastic one be alright?  I have no green thumb.
So it doesn't look like this yet, but I'm anticipating...

4. Germs.  A couple of weeks ago, I had a pretty tough cold.  Since then, I have bought Clorox wipes and I use them all of the time.  I'm a little paranoid over it.  I just realized yesterday, after wiping my phone, that I'm the only one that uses it.  I know I need to relax, and I'm sure I will soon.  I just like the knowledge that those germs are gone, and I killed them.  I'm a regular germ and plant murderer.

I'm sure you all have much odder oddities in your office.  Just so you know, we can all be weird together.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

I Pledge Allegiance...

Oh, how I love being home in America.   Though I've always had a special place in my heart for Mexico, there is something amazing about coming back to this country, and things I take advantage of usually become blessings:

1. Clean Water.  I can sing in the shower as much as I want and not worry.  I can stick my toothbrush under the faucet and not freak out afterwards.  I can wash my veggies in my kitchen sink.  All of these things were not allowed for us in Mexico.  Their water is different than ours, and, well, makes you sick.
disclaimer: this is not me
2. Government.  Alright, so there are a lot of things I don't agree with in our politics.  However, the poor in Mexico are really destitute.  They make our poverty line look like gold.  I'm thankful for the standard of living here.

3. Toilets. If you've ever been in Mexico (and I don't mean at a resort), then you know you can't flush the toilet paper.  Their system is not strong enough to handle it.  So, right beside you there is a trash can, for, well, the soiled stuff.  It makes for an interesting smell in even the nicest restrooms.
This is so not how the toilets look in Mexico, but it is very Mexican!

4. Grass. In many parts of Mexico, there is vegetation.  However, that is not the norm. Many times you will see people watering their yards of dirt, which looks a bit ridiculous because you know nothing is going to grow there. That is until you realize they're just trying to keep the dirt and dust on the ground instead of getting picked up by the wind.  Needless to say, greenery is much prettier.  I realize that you all in Arizona and lower Texas may not feel included, and I am sorry.  But I love my Carolina greenery.

These may be silly, but oh so true.  God bless America.  I love my home.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Change the World Tuesday: Change for the World

To those of you who follow Change the World Tuesdays, thank you!  I am always open to more ideas, and eventually I am open to letting you all join in!  It's special to find other people who share the same passions to make a difference.
This week's feature:

The mission: find substantial needs and meet them.
The idea: motivate people to put their spare change toward the organization.  It gives "Change for the World" a double meaning.
The current project: provide and install water filtration systems "for the The San Blas Islands, 365 tiny pieces of land nestled off the coast of Panama in the Carribean Ocean [that] are home to the Kuna Yala Indian Tribe."  They will also send medical staff to help those diseased by the unclean water that they are currently drinking.

What we can do: Make a Change Box, and send the change you collect to the organization.

Also, you can donate on the website or text “Go” to 85944 and donate $10 now!

Let me know your own ideas, and if you have an organization you support, I'd love to allow you to tell your own story one Tuesday!

Monday, June 14, 2010

I've Missed You!

I'm linking up to the new mommy-of-two's Miscellany Monday:

Miscellany Monday @ lowercase letters
1. Our Mission Trip was just wonderful.  I'll update more about it in spurts, I'm sure. And this post might be not-so-random due to all I want to share!

2. The place we stayed was just gorgeous.

3. My friend Chelsie and I became really close with these two sisters at the church we worked with.  It was such a blessing to see their dedication to their community.  I felt a partnership with them even though we came from such different backgrounds!
4. I am always reminded of God's presence while worshiping in Mexico.  I know it is partly cultural, but the reckless abandon with which these people run into God's presence is humbling and inspiring.

5. My guest bloggers, Cole and Lauren, were amazing last week.  To read their posts: Change the World Tuesday: Feed My Starving Children & Where Would You Go to Meet God?

6. Thank you for your prayers and encouragement while we were gone.  It meant so much and I know God worked because you interceded.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Where Would You Go to Meet God?

Hi there Bon Mot readers!! I'm Lauren from Living By Faith and it's a joy and honor to be a guest blogger while Sarah's on her trip - I'm thrilled to be with you today! : ) I thought long and hard about to write and I confess that I came up blank for awhile. That is, until Sunday, when I heard one sentence in the sermon that stopped me in my tracks and struck a chord in my heart.

"He meets us in places where we think He is not."

Where would you go if you wanted to get away and spend time in the presence of the Lord? Would it be the living room couch with a cup of tea and your Bible? Would it be a quiet bench in the park with birds chirping and the distance sound of children laughing? What about the church you grew up in, would it be there? When we think about all the places we could go to meet with God they are usually quiet, peaceful, serene, wonderful places that bring us happiness. There is nothing wrong with that - that's a good thing! But, I have found (as have many others) that God is with us in the times when we never expect Him to be. It's those times of extremity when we think He can't possibly be in that situation...

Like the night I got home from the hospital after losing our first baby. Despair doesn't begin to cover what I felt as I lay in bed. I begged God to show me He cared and to give me something to get me through. I opened my Bible and the pages fell to Isaiah 54:10 "Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed," says the Lord who has compassion on you." In that moment I knew He was there. I was in His presence.

Or how about that horrible day when our foster children were taken back to their parents? I went through the motions of packing their things while they took their nap. They woke up just 10 minutes before the social worker arrived and we sat on the coach with them trying to explain and love on them. As we buckled them into their car-seats in the back of that van Avery looked up at my tear streaked face and said, "it's okay - Jesus with me when I go bye bye car." He was just 2 years old. The van drove out of sight and took my boys away from me forever I sobbed in the front yard... but God was in the backseat of that van... as impossible as that seemed.

I've gone through many experiences and been in so many places in life that I never wanted to be. I've wondered, how can I praise God in this? How can I worship in this experience? But then God shows up, and in His presence it suddenly doesn't seem so difficult to sing praises to my Father... it just seems right. It's that moment with Jesus that makes all the suffering worthwhile... 

I have asked God for a mountain top experience and there I assume I will meet Him. But instead here I am... and here is God... with me in the painful, difficult moments... with me when I never thought I'd find Him... with me when it's hard...

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Change the world tuesday: Feed My Starving Children

I’m Cole over at lettersfromcoco. Sarah Ann kindly asked me to write a guest post for today and being that I simply love her sweet blog I said yes. And even better she asked me to write on a Tuesday. Sarah Ann’s Tuesday posts have inspired me so much. It’s really a breath of fresh air to see someone filled with so much compassion for hurting people, that she’s not only talking about it but out there right now serving. Thanks for asking me to share Sarah Ann. Praying for you this week.

Charities that have to do with saving children always touch my heart. As a mother of two small boys I can’t even imagine what it must be like to not have the resources to feed them. My mind can’t fathom what it must be like to watch children die of starvation. I know that may sound harsh but the truth is children are dying every single day because they don’t have food to eat. We are so fortunate that we live in a country where we will never have to witness such extremities first hand, but that doesn’t give us an excuse to not do something about it.

Feed my starving children is one of many non-profit organizations out there saving children around the world. They have volunteers that hand-pack special nutritional meals and ship them out to nearly 70 countries. Just $1 will feed five children. That’s 19 cents a meal. I bet every single one of us has that hiding under our couch cushions.

It’s too easy to get absorbed in the culture around us that we forget that people all over the world desperately need us. We show tangible love in how we take care of people who are suffering and need help. Think about what you could give up this week and instead give that money towards feeding someone who is starving. Maybe a trip to McDonalds, or one cup of coffee?

For more information on how you can help visit here.

(photos found here)

Thursday, June 3, 2010

true love

I wanted to be a wife as far back as I can remember.  I wanted a man that would tell me how beautiful I was and how much he loved me. I wanted to make him dinner and vacuum a house and iron his clothes for him.  I wanted to cuddle on the couch.
I had really high expectations of love and marriage.  I longed for an intense commitment that got me heartbroken before I found my husband.
I blame my parents.

Today is their anniversary, I'm sure that whatever they do will be romantic, no matter how simple or inexpensive.
I'm so thankful for their weird PDAs my whole life, and for the way that my dad just dotes on my mom.  I love the way you would walk around the corner and he'd be chasing after her in the kitchen.  I love their openness with how cute they think the other one is.
I also love their shared goals.  They love people and dedicate their life to them.  They have taught us so much about selflessness.
I also blame them for my wonderful view of marriage.  And for my desire to stick everything out.  And for my second-nature to run toward God for answers.
They're my heroes.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010


1. Lunch with my friend Chelsie.  She's wonderful.
(doing her hair on her wedding day last July)

2. Hanging out with an awesome couple for coffee tonight.

3. Deciding where to move next (apartment-wise).  Our lease is up in August, and unless we buy a house (doubtful) then we will just move to a bigger apartment!  I can't wait!  I'll post pictures when we move in...

4. The mission trip that is 3 days away.  I can't wait. God is going to do some awesome things.

5. Buying mexican vanilla (or should I say vainilla) while we are down there.  If you have a chance, get some.  The authentic stuff is the best.

6. A giveaway that might come around at the return of my trip.  You'll just have to wait and see.

7. Last, but definitely not least, I can't wait to go to Barnes & Noble today.  In the past 4 days, I've read through two books already.  I'm eating up the time I'm getting to spend on fun reading.  I should do reviews on the ones I read.  I just finished this one yesterday:

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Change the World Tuesday: Voice of the Martyrs

Thanks to my real-life/blog friend, Carissa's suggestion, this week's feature is:
It's hard to imagine that there are real-life, Bible-like Martyrs for the faith in modern times, but they are very real.  Voice of the Martyrs focuses on bringing attention to the atrocities committed against Christians all around the world, and connecting them to Christians here.  Here is a recent video that attests to an specific attack on Christians in Nigeria:

The great thing about this organization is that there are numerous opportunities for you to get involved.  You can: 
pray for the people,
write to the prisoners, 
give to the ministry,
volunteer short-term or long-term,
or just learn about the cause and spread the word.

I want to be a part of my brothers and sisters across the world.  What courage and boldness to preach Christ, no matter what the cost.  What better way to have unity and harmony with Christ's body?
Is there any encouragement from belonging to Christ? Any comfort from his love? Any fellowship together in the Spirit? Are your hearts tender and compassionate? Then make me truly happy by agreeing wholeheartedly with each other, loving one another, and working together with one mind and purpose. (Philippians 2:1-2)
Again, please send any ideas for Change the World Tuesdays to sarahannsbonmot@gmail.com.