more than prayers and hashtags

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This epidemic known as human trafficking is one of the darkest, heaviest stones in my heart.  It’s been there a while, possibly since I saw it first-hand with my work in Haiti.  And now that this story is in the headlines, well I’m really just angry.  How is this even happening in this day, in this world??  (See facts about human trafficking that you may not know at the end of this post.)

What can I do?  I can pray.  I can help spread awareness.  Good things.  I can keep myself informed (important!).

Since I’m a big believer in using one’s gifts and talents for good, for people, it’s time I went beyond praying and adding hashtags to my IG posts.

I’ve always said I could help more people if I were a doctor, if I were an educator, if I knew how to solve big problems.  But me?  Me, I know how to make things.  So maybe a middle-aged woman who likes to make things can help too?

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So I’ve made some bracelets that are in my Etsy shop to raise funds for Love 146, a coalition partner of the End It movement, and an organization that I’ve been watching closely for several years.  It’s a small thing to do really.  But it’s a thing I can do.

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I believe everyone deserves the chance to be free.  Everyone.  So I hope this bracelet will be a two-fold reminder:  {1} freedom is a beautiful blessing and {2} millions of people are living without it.  Every one of those people is someone’s daughter, sister, mom, friend, loved one.

I think we can do this thing.  I think we can end it.  At least for some…at least for one.  Right?

DIVIDER-COLOR-STRIPE copyFACTS ABOUT HUMAN TRAFFICKING:

{ The United States is one of the top destination points for victims of human trafficking–let that sink in a moment } *

{ Cases of human trafficking have been reported in all 50 states } *

{ Each year, an estimated 800,000 women and children are trafficked for the purpose of forced sex work } **

{ Human trafficking is a $32 billion annual industry } **

{ There are more individuals in slavery today than at the height of the transatlantic slave trade } ***

——-

*source:  UNICEF

** source:  Soroptimist.org

*** source:  ThePolarisProject.org

 

 

 

 

May 7, 2014 - 6:44 pm

Kelly - Thank you for this important reminder today. Your bracelets are lovely and are a wonderful way to use the gift of creativity He gave you to help others.

May 7, 2014 - 11:15 pm

Lorrie - It’s horrifying. We have a friend, a former police investigator, who worked in that department. Such evil in the human heart. Using your gifts to help others – we must all do something. Blessings on your work.

May 8, 2014 - 2:48 am

Cath - Everyone of us has the power to change a life. One by one, it will be done.
Blessings to you for using your God given talent to make a difference.

This is by far my all time favorite song, says it all so beautifully.
http://youtu.be/op9sUiANKiE

May 8, 2014 - 9:29 am

Jennie - Thank you for doing this.

May 8, 2014 - 1:42 pm

Jill - When I was talking about this with my daughters we began to talk about the rest of the story of the numbers not counted, those also used/abused/in slavery…those women would not be taken if there weren’t twice/trice/quadruple/more? number of men who are willing and wanting to use them. Where do those men go after? I’d guess most are married probably with children. The other victims are at a so called home. Your prayers matter. My prayers matter. Your work matters. I’m not saying anything new, just sharing in your anger and declaring Christ as the risen Lord who has already triumphed.

May 30, 2014 - 12:34 am

Cherie Wilson - YES!!!……. IN MY HEART TOO. IT IS HUGE!
How can this be? It is ugly and dark. Very much. How can I help you HELP????? XO

{ the stone collective } farther along

{ This is my second feature as part of The Stone Collective.  Read all about the collective at the end of this post. }

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Sometimes things come into our lives unexpectedly, and we wonder why.  For several months now, I’ve had a health issue with a high misery index.  Something that didn’t have to happen.  A lack of communication with doctors.  Just something really frustrating that has kept me at home much more than I’d like to be.

I started asking “Why?”.  I’ve whined and complained and thrown things across the room.  Until I realized how childish that is, and that sometimes we don’t need to know why just then and there.  My choices are to keep focusing on how miserable I am, or to use this situation to become a better version of myself.

I choose the latter.

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And it’s caused me to grow.  Emotionally, mentally and definitely spiritually.  To not question God about why this is happening to me, but to know this is now part of my story and learn how I can use it for good.

My youngest daughter introduced me to this version of the old hymn “Farther Along” and it’s become my theme song.

My oldest daughter and I have been working on a new line of bracelets, so I made one for myself with the reminder that everything I’m going through now will make perfect sense somewhere down the road.  A wearable ‘ebenezer stone’ to bring to mind God’s goodness and timing.

*****

Farther along we’ll know all about this,

Farther along we’ll understand why.

So cheer up, my brother,

Live in the sunshine…

We’ll understand it all by and by.

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The Stone Collective is a community making much of Jesus as we create art, photography, prose, poems or music that commemorate the wonderful things God does in our life. Based on the passage in 1 Samuel 7:12-14, each month we will collect Ebenezer Stones as a regular practice in the art of worship via our creativity. Want to join in on The Stone Collective? Create your own Stone and link up to LIVE IT OUT! Blog. #TheStoneCollective

April 30, 2014 - 2:59 am

Kelly - Thinking about you and saying a prayer for you tonight!

April 30, 2014 - 3:11 am

joyce - Holding you sweetheart. What started about 3 years ago gradually had me house bound and being able to wear very little clothing, I have grown so much in this time-learning how to speak what I needed to speak and in the last year and a half I stated being able to wear clothing for more than 10 minutes at a time, going places again for longer periods…learning patience, learning more and more trust in Him then ever before. The E-stones project sounds awesome and it sounds like you guys are enjoying yourselves. Glad you are staying strong.

April 30, 2014 - 4:13 am

Lorrie - I’m sorry to hear about your misery, but so happy to hear about the growth it’s caused. You’ve written beautifully.

April 30, 2014 - 6:54 am

rachel - I really connect with your testimony, Rebecca. Sending love- and know that you will be in my prayers. I’m glad you’ve chosen courage. God be with you.

April 30, 2014 - 11:21 am

Jeanette in Illinois - Rebecca,
Keeping you in my heart and prayers. May complete healing be on the horizon and you walk a field of soothing green grass to get there.

Looking forward to your beautiful creations.
Hugs,
Jeanette

April 30, 2014 - 11:58 am

Amy Smith - Are you talking about the Josh Garrels version of the hymn. I love it! I love everything he does, really.
I am sorry for your illness. I struggle with neck and back issues and there are days when I can’t do much of anything and I feel so frustrated. It is hard to let go of our expectations of ourselves and just trust the Lord in those times.
I love, love this bracelet too!

April 30, 2014 - 3:29 pm

Sarah Martin - OH my good gracious. This is so powerful. Thank you for inspiring me today and for joining in on The Stone Collective. Hugs!!

April 30, 2014 - 3:32 pm

Anne-Liesse - Rebecca,
I am pondering the idea that you’ve shared about growth coming from enduring and not being sure of the outcome–the idea of the “coming through”. It is so hard for me to wrestle with, personally. I am very goal-oriented and I function well with a point ahead on which to focus. I also understand the feelings associated with the “why me?” thoughts and then the guilt? that comes right after as one ponders those that have it worse that you perceive yourself to have it. If you ever listen to any Zac Brown Band, he has a song called “Quiet Your Mind” that has the same point as the hymn you quoted. The idea that living in the moment and finding the blessings that are right there are more important than concerning yourself with what happens next. I try to live that way and often fail. I do keep trying, though.
Take care,
Anne-Liesse

April 30, 2014 - 11:02 pm

Petra - I haven’t read a blog in months, but just happened to click on this from Instagram today. Exactly what I needed to read. Exactly. Thanks Rebecca! I hope you feel better soon!!

May 1, 2014 - 4:38 am

rebecca_sower@bellsouth.net - Thanks Anne-Liesse! I will definitely check out the band. So glad you shared your thoughts on this post!

May 1, 2014 - 4:39 am

rebecca_sower@bellsouth.net - Yes, Josh Garrels! I hope you find some comfort from your neck and back pain, so sorry you have to endure it. Glad you stopped by!

May 1, 2014 - 4:40 am

rebecca_sower@bellsouth.net - So sweet, Jeanette! Thanks so much.

May 1, 2014 - 4:41 am

rebecca_sower@bellsouth.net - Thank you! And my prayers are with you through your physical journey. Many blessings.

May 1, 2014 - 4:42 am

rebecca_sower@bellsouth.net - Thank you, Kelly. Much appreciated :)

May 2, 2014 - 12:34 am

kas - thank you….thank you….thank you Rebecca for being so brave and for sharing your heart…your words seep into my soul and encourage me to be brave too…blessings to you this night.

May 2, 2014 - 2:01 pm

Yvonne Welty - So sorry to hear about your health issue. Sometimes it’s hard to understand! Hope all will be better with you soon. Love your bracelet!

May 6, 2014 - 8:42 pm

Karen - I’m so sorry to hear about this health concern, Rebecca. It sounds like God is already working it out for your good, like he promises. Your project sounds wonderful. It’s good to be reminded of God’s goodness in our lives, and what better way than through creativity.

May 6, 2014 - 9:13 pm

rebecca_sower@bellsouth.net - Yes Karen! Thank you for your thoughts.

I’m out here…

…in the fresh air.  Busy as a bee…

IMG_6139IMG_6104IMG_6136IMG_6142IMG_6144IMG_6141IMG_6137IMG_6140…see you soon!

r.

April 24, 2014 - 3:43 pm

Dagmar Leuenberger-Swift - I am so happy to see these wonderful photos you take. Your spring is so much further ahead of us ours here in BC.
I hope you are having a wonderful April. Xox
Dagmar

April 24, 2014 - 5:38 pm

Anne-Liesse - What lovely photos! I feel refreshed since you shared them. What contented kitties you have. Do they bother the chickens?
Anne-Liesse

April 24, 2014 - 7:07 pm

rebecca_sower@bellsouth.net - Thank you, Anne-Liesse! No they don’t seem that interested in the hens. Too lazy maybe?? :)

April 24, 2014 - 7:08 pm

rebecca_sower@bellsouth.net - Hi Dagmar!
Yes, spring has finally come through after a long, hard winter. Hope yours is lovely!

April 25, 2014 - 7:18 pm

Sheila Rumney - What beautiful spring photos of your little part of the world. Enjoy! Getting anxious to start planting my garden.

April 26, 2014 - 12:37 pm

Sue - Rebecca, Lovely photos! I couldn’t believe it when I saw your lilac tree. I didn’t think they grew that far south. Maybe your winters are a tad colder than in Atlanta area? You lucky girl☺ xo

April 26, 2014 - 8:58 pm

Hastypearl - This posting was nice. Lots of content, even though it was few in words :) Laura

all that is wild and natural

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My top ten favorite concepts from a much-loved new book on the shelf titled “This Book Was a Tree” by Marcie Chambers Cuff…

{1}  Disconnect with screens

{2}  Get dirty

{3}  Develop a compassion for nature

{4}  Explore more

{5}  Be aware of the wide world around you

{6}  Think of life as an experiment

{7}  Know your food and connect with it

{8}  Relearn the essentials of living

{9}  Strengthen the community around you

{10}  Befriend the bees

I could go on.  Marcie does a spot-on job of luring us (and our kids!) into loving the natural world.  The unpredictable, extravagant, raw, beautiful, wild natural world.  I love every little bit of it.  A much-recommended read and what perfect timing, here at Spring’s front door.

Here are a few shots of the natural world here on our little hobby farm that is fast waking up from winter.

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Go be wild.  Wild is good.

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BLOG TOUR SCHEDULE:
Week One:
Week Two:
Week Three:
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April 7, 2014 - 2:53 pm

Bloggy Book Tour: Day Five - […] to Rebecca Sower’s hobby farm in rural Tennessee. Check out Rebacca’s take on the book right HERE (plus the most adorable photos of her newly-hatched downy spring chicks), and visit her […]

April 7, 2014 - 10:51 pm

Lorrie - Sounds like a delightful book, with principles we can all apply to life. Spring is beautiful on your farm.