happy Christmas to all and to all a good night

#Dressember Day 2

Down the chimney St. Nicholas came with a bound.
He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot,
And the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath;
But I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight,
“Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good-night!”- The Night Before Christmas
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Lessons from Santa:
Sometimes you have to squeeze through tight places to geto to where you need to go.
Making others happy can often be an inconvenience to yourself.
Spread happiness on your way, as you go!

The Christmas Spirit is all about inconveniencing yourself with the aim to make another happy. We think of and get excited about buying gifts  and doing things for those we love that we know they would appreciate. Why do we do these kind things? Because we know that ultimately, this is what brings us joy. Loving others is a desire inherent to who we are as humans and the character of Santa Claus reminds us that despite the inconveniences, the narrow chimneys, the stale cookies and the others trials he went through: he still spread the Christmas cheer everywhere he went. May we all prioritize the desire to help others, and in turn, help ourselves so a wreath like a halo follows us wherever we go.

Dressember Challenge in Review: They say, “Stay down” and we stand up. King pointed to the mountain top and we ran up

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Lyric of the Day:
They Say, “Stay Down” and we stand up.
King pointed to the mountain top and we ran up.

John Legend “Glory” from the movie Selma

Dressembers Day 22-31 🙂

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January 11, 2015. National Human Trafficking Day. The day to bring awareness on this issue of slavery that our forefathers fought 200 years ago. That we are still fighting today. Today I reflected on the challenge I embarked on one month ago, that changed my life in many ways. Changed my perspective on activism and raising awareness. Changed my perspective on my role in advocating. But most of all, changed my perspective on how this issue of human trafficking has more to do with the underlying problems of injustice that plague all the issues we face in our world today.
With this in mind today, I was especially touched by several moments at the Golden Globes which brought to light the importance of restoring the dignity of people and especially the cause against unequal treatment and oppression toward women. Issues of Restoring Dignity. Of Equal Rights and Respect for Women. Of giving a voice to the oppressed. Of justice and civil rights and being a brother of courage in the face of evil.
Once we address these underlying issues happening in our workplaces, our homes, our relationships and our hearts we will find that the larger issues and injustices facing us in a global and sociological sense will heal themselves. Let us run to the mountaintop that Martin Luther King Jr. pointed to, laying aside all hindrances and fear. Stand up against the injustice in your world, and the injustice in another’s will feel your light. Your courage is contagious, like the courage of these actors, who chose to use their moment in the spotlight to shed light on the injustice in another’s:
1. On women who have experienced the horrific injustice of rape: Actor Joanne Froggat, who plays one of my favorite characters of all time Anna from Downton Abbey, won the season in which her character was raped and she played a rape survivor dealing with the trauma of the aftermath of this injustice which so many women struggle with. She recognized the thousands of letters she received from survivors of rape who just wanted to be heard and gave their voices the spotlight of the world. “One woman summed up the thoughts of many by saying she wasn’t sure why she’d written but she just felt in some way she wanted to be heard. I’d like to say, I heard you and I hope saying this so publicly in some way means you feel the world hears you.”
2. On the strength of women:  Amy Adams recognizes her character’s “quiet voice and strong heart, and her ability to use her voice.” and thanked her own husband “who would never silence my voice”.
3. On the injustice of slavery: Common reminded us that “Selma is now” and “we stand in solitary for those fighting for justice right now.”
4. On the role of women in this industry: Maggie Gyllenhaal recognizes that the wealth of roles for actual (genuine) women in TV and in Film is revolutionary.
5. On the classiest human rights activist couple in the room: Amal Clooney being recognized for her incredible work in human’s rights while “her husband” gets a lifetime achievement award lol… and to take from his video montage:
“we have to continue to fight this fight and the best way to do it is shining a light on the atrocities. Making it harder for the bad guys to get away with it and harder for the good guys to ignore it.”
Let’s all be known as being the brother of courage and stand together against trafficking, genocide and all other injustice. No matter our position. I was humbled by this experience, thank you for your support and encourage you to never be silent about what matters and what is wrong in this world. Whether it takes wearing a dress, or using your voice: do something.
“I always thought, someone should do something about that, until I realized: I am someone”.
Thank you for all your support. You can still visit my fundraising page until the end of this month: https://support.dressemberfoundation.org/fundraise?fcid=372170
“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter”- Martin Luther King Jr.
“If slavery is not wrong, nothing is wrong.”- Abraham Lincoln.

DressemberDays17&18_ The Hopes & Fears of All the Years, Are Met in Thee Tonight.

Lyric of the Day: The hopes & fears of all the years are met in Thee tonight.- “Oh Little Town of Bethlehem”

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Dressember Day 17

Dress: Free People

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Dressember Day 18

Dress: Mimi Chic

Vest: Love on a Hanger

Ankle Boots: Michael Kors

“Now when I think about my life, it’s all about happiness… I still remember that first day after the rescue operation, when I work up in my own home. It suddenly struck me that I am free, rescued from slavery in India”- Vasanthi, Rescued forced labor slave in India, saved through the work of the International Justice Mission.

Reading these words on the Christmas Card from International Justice Mission, and seeing Vasanthi’s picture encouraged me in this sometimes difficult process about the change that this challenge is making in the world, the change that you and I are a part of in knowing about this problem, and what we are doing to raise awareness. Awareness is what leads to activism. Activism leads to abolishing slavery in our world today.

Reading Vasanthi’s stories and the countless other stories from slaves that have been freed reminds me of the words of Jesus’ mother Mary in her song of delight after she was told that she is going to be the Mother of the Messiah. Although it was the time of greatest fear in her life (it was custom for a woman who was pregnant outside of the confines of marriage was punished by death); it was also the time of greatest joy and anticipation. Isn’t that the truth about all things in life? Everything wonderful starts out a little scary, doesn’t it? But we take comfort in the great truths that Mary sang, “For He has been mindful of my humble state”. What a reason to rejoice! The King of Heaven and Earth was mindful of the state of a young, teenager who was part of the most marginalized, looked down upon social groups in the world: young women. And He chose her to carry out the most important mission in the history of the world: the Birth of Jesus Christ. The beginning of mercy, grace and true freedom in the world. Are you in a time of great fear or great unknown? He is mindful of your state. Eyes & heart are fixed on you and He has engraved you on the palm of His hands. This is the truth that has changed the world from the first Christmas til today for You, Me, Vasanthi, the 135 million slaves in the world, the 79% of that number that are women. He is mindful of all of our fears, doubts, joys, hopes and despite the current state of the world, there is a reason to praise Him and know that He is Immanuel, God with Us. Whom shall we fear? May we have courage to be His hands & feet and show love to the “least of these”, just as He did.

Please consider and pray about donating and supporting this world-changing organization on my page through this link: https://support.dressemberfoundation.org/checkout/donation?fcid=372170 

DressemberDay16_Children Singing, all is Merry & Bright

Lyric of the day: “…Children Singing. All is merry & bright”- Here Comes Santa Claus

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Dressember Day 16

Dress: Kenzie

Necklace: Swarovski

One of the most beautiful gifts of this Christmas season is that for just a little while, we all get to be children again. We get to, like the song says “experience Christmas like a child”. Laying aside the worries of our day-to-day routines, and get caught in a magical moment of anticipation, joy, merriness and brightness. I think there is something we can all learn from children during this season and always. To, just for a few magical moments, sing instead of talk, dance instead of walk, play instead of work, make music instead of noise. This is what it means to experience Christmas like a child, to have childlike faith and innocence rekindled during this season is the best gift that we can give ourselves.

I hope you all have children in our lives to admire and learn from like I do. As I watch them grow and adapt to their environments, and celebrate this season, I can’t help but think about the approximately 150 million children around the world who do not get to experience Christmas like a child because they are part of the horrible epidemic of child slavery in our world today. Children who have had their innocence stolen from them, the magic of this season is nonexistent. I know it seems like an insurmountable number, but in the spirit of Christmas; we must trust and with childlike faith and unstoppable perseverance, fight for the pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father which is caring for orphans in their distress (James 1:27). It is not an easy truth to acknowledge in our world today, but we must. Without awareness, change cannot occur. And though it may feel like all we do is work and wait, we know that it is not in vain. Like the advent season reminds us, we never labor in vain. All of God’s promises are Yes in Christ Jesus (2 Corinthians 1:20). The Messiah has come to set all captives free, as they will be in Heaven. But He has placed us here on earth to be His light, His hands, His feet; freedom cannot just wait until Heaven. The issue of slavery in our world is not a social justice issue, it’s a spiritual issue. It’s not something to be on the fence about. It’s a reality and you are either fighting against it, or accepting it as a reality. And by accepting it, you are on the side of the perpetrators of slavery in this world. I will not accept this and I hope you don’t either. I pray for the day that all the children, sing together. When all is truly, merry & bright.

If to be feelingly alive to the sufferings of my fellow creatures is to be a fanatic, I am one of the most incurable fanatics ever permitted to be at large”- William Wilberforce

If you would like to support me in this cause to raise money for the International Justice Mission, please follow the link:

https://support.dressemberfoundation.org/fundraise?fcid=372170

DressemberDay9_Blue Christmas

Lyric of the Day: You’ll be doing alright, with your Christmas of white but I’ll have a blue, blue, blue, blue Christmas. 

As Sung by the King of Rock, Elvis Presley in honor of re-wearing the dress I wore when I visited the historic RCA Studio B, where he recorded much of his work.

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Dressember Day 9

Dress:Like Mynded

Jacket: Kenneth Cole

Necklace: From a boutique in New Hampshire– a preserved mustard seed and a pendant that says “Faith of a mustard Seed”

Ankle Boots: Boutique9

As Christmas fast-approaches and we get caught up in the business that the season brings, trying to find just the right present or attend just the right amount of Christmas events, we have to remember that not everyone’s Christmas is White this year. There are many who will be experiencing pain and suffering beyond what we can imagine. To us, a blue Christmas is just a concept in a song. To the estimated 35 million slaves in our world, a blue Christmas is their reality.

In her book, Radically Ordinary, Marquita Burke-DeJesus said in her writings about working with child slaves in Cambodia, “I cannot fail these girls by diverting my eyes from the invisible residue of slavery that clings to them like a shadow.”

This quote, and book, is so convicting for me. Participating in this challenge is such a small act of faith that I stepped out in and although this cause is close to my heart and constantly in the back of my mind and in my prayers. But modern-day slavery is not my every day reality and it is something that I can easily forget about in the next decade, or year, or even month. So how do we remind ourselves of others’ suffering when it feels like we can’t do anything about it from such a distance? By not diverting our eyes because their pain is too uncomfortable for us. By never allowing our advocacy efforts to be silenced or put on the back burner, or invalidated. It’s fighting for the cause, each and every day. When I view the pain that this season brings millions of people, it’s not so hard to have a blue Christmas. In fact, we all should be having a blue christmas this year. We all must have a certain part of our hearts break in order to produce effective change in the problem of slavery throughout our world. Their experiences will not leave them, our passion for this cause should never leave us.

“Let it not be said that I was silent when they needed me.”- William Wilberforce.