Dressember Day 6: The Prince of Peace

#‎Dressember‬ Day 6
“And His Name, Shall be called.. The Prince of Peace”- Handel’s Messiah
Christmas is the time to wish for peace on earth. It feels like if the world could ask Santa Claus one thing, this should be our heart’s cry. With terrorism hitting too close to home, family’s being torn apart, blood being shed: we need a little Christmas. We need a little peace. What we must realize is the very thing we long for, is the very thing we can give to someone else. Look for ways to give peace to someone this week. It may be someone you love, it may be someone you can’t get along with, it may be to the women who suffer as modern-day slaves through the Dressember campaign. But the truth that God came down in the form of a baby in order to gift us with this indescribable peace in any circumstance, brings us to a place where we have no choice BUT to spread peace on this earth. 14490398318267-3.jpg
Please visit my fundraising page: https://support.dressemberfoundation.org/fundraise…

Dressember Day 3: The Spirit of the Season

#Dressember Day 3
The spirit of the season, is made for the dreams come true

Experiencing the magic of Christmastime today at Disneyland, I was reminded of the spirit of this season: that dreams come true. Disney princesses dream of balls and gowns and prince charmings; while the real-life princesses being mistreated and sold into slavey around the world dream of freedom. The spirit of Dressember is to redefine fashion and creativity for a cause. As I wore my dress today and prepared for this magic, I prayed and thought of the woman I am dressing for. I am dressing for their dignity. I am dressing for their dreams to come true #disneyland @Dressember 14490398318267-2.jpg

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
14490398318267-1

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.

my grown-up Christmas List

#dressember day 1
#lyricoftheday 🎶no more lives torn apart…this is my Grown-Up Christmas List🎶
Dressember Day #1: My Grown Up Christmas List– No More LIves Torn Apart by modern day slavery.
Whatever you hope for this Christmas, I hope it’s not just about you. It’s easy to get caught up in this season and think you need to buy just one more thing to make yourself happy when the true source of satisfaction is when you do something for someone else. Join me in helping fight for the inherent dignity of all women. That they will be “clothed with strength and dignity” and restored to their proper place, replacing their role in a statistic, their false identities as a “sex slave” and trading that in for daughter, princess, woman, beautiful. I know my voice matters, and that I can help change the world that millions of abused women and girls wake up to every morning. Your voice matters, too, and our voices are louder together. Let’s sing, let’s run, let’s dress for the restoration of dignity for all women.
Follow my blog and fundraiser page to stay updated on my @dressember challenge and become educated on the fight against modern slavery.
Whatever you hope for this season, some girl is hoping for freedom. Stand with her to make her Christmas list yours. 🙌🏼👯💃🏻14490398318267

Standing with an Army… #OperationChristmasChild

144631091911101

#Lyricoftheday I’m in pain, I’m a child, I’m afraid
But, yeah, you understand
When I’m with you,
I’m standing with an army

Ellie Goulding- Army

As the holiday season approaches, what better way to spread Christmas Cheer than being the “army” for a child in need and giving the gift of Christmas. Presents may just be objects to us. The Operation Christmas Child project may just seem like a bunch of shoeboxes with items from the dollar tree; but to a child it sends a message that in pain, fear, and loneliness- you are not alone. There is always someone who cares. These gifts demonstrate to the children that receive them that they are not alone. That they have an army, somewhere, half-way across the globe: someone cares. And aren’t we all like children? In pain. Young. afraid. Aren’t we grateful for the times when someone has taken our hand, given us a present, reminded us of their presence and said: “I’m with you, let’s face this together.” One simple shoebox can speak such a loud message to someone in need. And while you’re at it, tell someone right next to you who needs to hear that you are here for them.  That they don’t have to stand alone, they are not on the front lines of battle without armor, without an army fighting the fear together, hand in hand, heart in heart. That is the only way we can win this war: with Love.

A small shoebox can have a big impact. What goes into the box is fun, but what comes out of it is eternal. Be a part of changing children’s lives: For more information, visit: Operation Christmas Child

find your life.

02e27adaaf2ebecc625d8c42074aaccb

#Lyricoftheday I found my life when I laid it down. – @Hillsong United “Touch the Sky”

There’s a quote that the legendary John Lennon is credited for saying: “Life is what happens when you’re busy making other plans.” I know that is supposed to be an inspirational quote, but frankly, it freaks me out. You see, I’m a planner. And what that means is, my brain is always running, running, running. I’m constantly flooded with ideas and dreams and hopes and plans; which are all good things. They are things that excite me, make me look forward to waking up in the morning.  but can sometimes make me believe the illusion that my life is completely in my control. That if I just the right amount of sticky notes, or buy that one more daily/monthly/yearly planner that this organized, strategic planning will lead me to the highest amount of success and happiness possible.

The reality, of course, is that even the tiniest of plans can be derailed by something as simple as getting stuck in traffic, as I experienced while I was driving around for work this past week. I had planned down to the minute where I would need to be at what time, only to need to relinquish my plan to the circumstances and be stuck in traffic for just about half an hour (you think driving around in LA for the past 27 years would have taught me something!)

But this lesson did teach me something. It taught me that I can’t find my life in the grasping and clinging to the idea that I have for what I want life to be. I also can’t sulk and give up simply because what I wanted (or thought I wanted to happen) didn’t happen, or not yet. And while I love planning, and I feel like that creative, excited, dreamer part of me is a part that God created; I must hold my idea of my life loosely. Of a “perfect life” loosely. Because even if everything did turn out the way that I had hoped, the experience and living of it would not be all that I hoped for or thought it would be. The reality is that God knows the outcome of my plans better than I do. The thing I thought was best for me, may not actually be best for me. And the life that I find when I let go of the life I keep trying to hold onto is the abundant life that is promised to me.

the rise to overcoming

I will rise. I will rise.
As Christ was raised to Life- @HillsongUnited- Beneath the Waters (I will rise)

Do you ever feel like you are drowning? Like you’ve gotten bad break after bad break? And all you want to do is come up for air, even just for a second. To breathe without the burden you can’t seem to lift. Maybe it’s hard to wake up in the morning: knowing you are going to have to face that difficult situation, or person and there doesn’t seem like there is a way out.  You’ve prayed for what seems like days, weeks, months and nothing ever seems to change.

There is good news. There is a way out.

“But for you who revere my name, the sun of righteousness  will rise with healing in its rays. And you will go free, leaping with joy like calves let out to pasture.”- Malachi 4:2

Just as one went before you, and rose above the deepest adversity. The worst torture. The unspeakable betrayal. Fear, Loneliness, Pain. Jesus rose from the same ashes, the same bondage the same hardship that faces us today. And just as one who has forged a path on a mountain climb in the wilderness, He has made a way. When there seems like no way, make this your prayer. Tell yourself: the rise is coming. All you have to do is revere His name, look to Him. Reach out your hand when you can’t seem to stand. He will lift you up, lift you up to overcoming.

but girl-you’re not old yet

549067268428009_a-ad442f5d_77uuVQ_pm

#Lyricoftheday Step by @VampireWeekend
Everyone’s dying, but girl – you’re not old yet

#Photooftheday Park Bench in #SLO , CA

Some years, it feels like days fly by so fast, before you start to really understand what this year holds for you, it is already over. I looked at the calendar the other day and wondered how fast 2015 flew by. Sometimes it feels like your finger is super-glued to the fast forward button on the remote of life and you can’t let it go, no matter how hard you try. And isn’t that the truth about life? As much as we try to avoid it, the reality is that it has an expiration date.

I came across this park bench and was so moved by this woman’s tribute to her husband, who “showed me the beauty of life and love, and gave me a safe, sweet place for my heart and spirit. A man of dignity, gentle kindness and generosity. He suffered injustice bravely.”
What a legacy to leave behind. As the days speed by, and I am one year shy of ten years younger than Scott W. Bennett, I will strive to ask myself: how do I shine the light and show others the beauty of life and love today? How can I provide a safe and sweet place for the hearts of those who I encounter, even for just a moment? How can I embody dignity, gentle kindness and generosity through my words, my thoughts, my actions. How can I suffer injustice bravely?

There is not much we can control in this life, but we can impact the world around us, and as the great poet Emily Dickinson once wrote “if I can stop one heart from breaking, I shall not live in vain.”

don’t dream it’s over

#Lyricoftheday
And I’m counting the steps to the door of your heart. Hey now, Hey now don’t dream it’s over by #crowdedHouse
#photooftheday in #portland, OR

How many steps did you take today? When I was a little girl, one of my favorite things to do was climb stairs. I used to always wish we had a two-story house so that I could have fun going up and down the stairs and every time we went to visit my cousins I basically lived on the stairs with the dog. I like to think that my early childhood love of stairs was symbolic of my future in following my dreams, “climbing up ladders” and not being afraid of the inclines of life. We only get so many steps on the staircase of life. Some go up and some go down. Some lead us where we want to go and some set us back. Like a game of chutes and ladders, life can often feel unpredictable and no matter how high we climb, the next second, due to unforeseen circumstances we can fall right back down. The beautiful thing about this process is that, we have faith that each step we count in life is leading us somewhere. The great Martin Luther King Jr. once said “Faith is taking the next step, even when we don’t see the whole staircase.” Just because you don’t know where the steps you took today will eventually lead you, and if you even want to go there, you can trust that your dreams don’t have to be over if you have taken a few steps backward recently. You are still on your way.

“An optimist is someone who figures that taking a step backward after taking a step forward is not a disaster, it’s more like a cha-cha
536957151043494_a-ad442f5d_uNitVQ_pm

Wide Open Spaces

708435849619840_a-1db0bea9_mbl7VQ_pm

🎶She needs wide open space, room to make her big mistakes🎶- Dixie Chicks: Wide Open Spaces

The most important thing you can do in the journey of reaching your goals is give yourself room. Room to make the big mistakes and learn from them. Learn about yourself and the only way you can do that is to be. Don’t live a restricted, constricted life. Don’t allow yourself to shrink because of anyone or anything. You are vast and your life is an open field to graze on. Be free. As you check in on yourself in the half-way through this year, I hope you let yourself make mistakes “Because if you are making mistakes, then you are making new things, trying new things, learning, living, pushing yourself, changing yourself, changing your world. You’re doing things you’ve never done before, and more importantly, you’re Doing Something.

So that’s my wish for you, and all of us, and my wish for myself. Make New Mistakes. Make glorious, amazing mistakes. Make mistakes nobody’s ever made before. Don’t freeze, don’t stop, don’t worry that it isn’t good enough, or it isn’t perfect, whatever it is: art, or love, or work or family or life.

Whatever it is you’re scared of doing, Do it.

Make your mistakes, this year, next year and forever.