Tuesday, March 11, 2014

New Noonday News

"And if you spend yourselves on behalf of the hungry
and satisfy the needs of the oppressed,
then your light will rise in the darkness,
and your night will become like the noonday."
Isaiah 58:10

I stumbled across Noonday Collection about a year ago via a blog I was reading and was intrigued by their adorable, fair trade accessories, but didn't think much more about them. Then, in February, as some ladies from small group and I were participating in the IF:Gathering women's conference, Noonday and their mission popped up again during the conference. The IF:Gathering conference inspired our small group ladies to pursue and plan a discipleship focused brunch for the women in our church (and consequently in our whole association!) and as we researched impactful and meaningful give away prizes, I was drawn to Noonday once again. I just couldn't seem to stay away from them, y'all! Browsing around their website, I found that they had opportunities to be an Ambassador for the company. I pondered and considered and prayed and talked to the husb. And then I did all of that all over again. You see, I had been thinking about part time work options for a long time. Something that would allow me to make a little extra money, but still be at home with my sweet little ones. I had looked into Thirty-One or Pampered Chef, but I felt that in order to sale a product it needed to be something that I truly cared about. I struggled to find a single thing that I could really get behind and be passionate about until Noonday.

Want to know why I love Noonday? Want to know why I'm SO excited to share not only their products, but also their mission with you? Because this business creates pathways out of poverty by providing sustainable jobs for artisans around the world. They work directly with people in vulnerable communities buying their handmade products at living wages (sometimes double what the artisans could earn in their own communities!) and then, as an ambassador, I get to show them and share them with you! Noonday also has scholarship programs so that people in those same communities can afford education AND they help fund adoptions for families. So I get to show cute accessories at parties in women's homes and when products are bought, they help keep families out of poverty and help put children in forever families. Absolutely amazing, y'all.

Want to learn more about how these cute accessories are changing the world?! Let's partner together to spend ourselves on the hungry and satisfy the needs of the oppressed. Go here to browse the Noonday collection or to order online:
Or e-mail me at NoondayMC@gmail.com to schedule a fun trunk show house party where you are able to see and try on some samples in person AND learn more about the artisans who made them.

Monday, March 3, 2014

What's in a name?

That sweet head belongs to our baby girl! If you know anything about our baby naming process, then you know it is so important for me to choose a name that has significant meaning. Choosing a name for our sweet girl was no different, but I can't tell the story of her name without telling a different story first…

On Christmas day 2012, we found out we were pregnant with our 3rd child. Bryan and I were overjoyed, but for various reasons we decided to keep our little Christmas present a secret for a while. For one thing, Asher would turn 4 on January 8th and we didn't want to detract from celebrating his sweet birth by announcing a new one. Also, sometimes when you announce you're having another baby people choose to respond with cynicism and scoffing and we didn't want to hear that either. We just wanted to enjoy our tiny child together without having to process any negative reactions or comments. And so we did. We would lay in bed at night and whisper and giggle about baby names and due dates. It was a time filled with hope and wonder, unscathed by doubt or fear. However, on January 4th, 11 days after we found out we were carrying a sweet baby, I started cramping and bleeding. Some of my closest friends had experienced miscarriage so I knew what the signs meant. I prayed that God would stop the bleeding and save our child if He saw fit to do so, and if not that He would grant me the grace to endure such a loss. That afternoon, we lost our tiny baby.

Since we had not gone public with our pregnancy, we shared our loss with only some of our closest friends. Those who we knew would pray for us and those who had walked the painful road of miscarriage before us. One of my greatest comforts during that time was the women who had experienced the same type of loss and who were not afraid to share their scars with me. They had known great pain and had endured. They also understood that my baby, no matter how tiny, was more than just a lump of flesh, but was a child who was worthy of my mourning and sorrow. The hardest part of miscarriage, other than the obvious loss of a child, is listening to what others have to say about it. Many times well meaning people try to say comforting things that end up causing an already hurting mother more hurt. I was going to write a whole blog post on what NOT to say to a mother who has miscarried and I may still do that one day, but for now I came across a blog that says it so much better than I could: Why Miscarriage Matters when You're Pro-life.

Because of my miscarriage, when we found out about our current pregnancy, I was nervous. I went to the OB-GYN as soon as I found out and had them do blood work and tests to see what the chance of a viable pregnancy was. The chances were good, great even. I was still nervous. As I shared my fears with some of my friends who had experienced miscarriage, one of them shared that Philippians 4:8 had encouraged her during her pregnancy after miscarriage. "Whatever is true…" In that moment, despite my fears, the truth was that I was pregnant and our baby was healthy. Every day thus far I have thanked God for the truth of a healthy baby. On January 4th 2014, we were 12 weeks pregnant with our little girl. One year to the day that we lost our Sweet #3 (some find it helpful to name their lost little ones, however, since we didn't know the gender or even how far along we were, we've taken to calling ours Sweet #3). God's display of His grace to us did not go without notice or without tears. We celebrated that 12 week mark as we remembered the child we had lost.

Our baby girl, our sweet #4, will be called Alathea (truth) Jane (God is gracious) because our God is so full of truth and grace. We will call her Thea (Gift of God) because we have been well taught that every child is a miraculous gift whether we ever hold him or her in our arms or not. We have been so very blessed by our 4 children thus far and we are praying for and anxiously awaiting the arrival of our Alathea "Thea" Jane, our sweet little gift of truth and grace.