Tag Archives: video

give. shop. my birthday wishlist for others.

I enjoy a lot of things. Traditionally, my birthday has not been one of them.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m immensely grateful for my parents who brought me into this world (and the amazing parties they have thrown for me), for every day I get to live and breathe, and especially for the abundant and eternal life God has given me.

My dislike of the birthday celebration boils down to two things.

1) I do not like to be the center of attention. This has been true since…well, even before that seemingly traumatic incident at Disney World when I was picked out of a crowd and serenaded. Oddly, I’m perfectly comfortable performing or teaching. Otherwise, please focus your attention elsewhere.

2) I just don’t like getting older. No, I’m not looking for the fountain of youth or hunting for hallows. It’s just that at age 6 I declared I was done growing up, and not much has changed. (I think I just loved life the way it was.) In recent years, I have learned to better cope with this fact of life (permission to hum a theme song granted). Still, I declare my spirit to be younger than I am in years.

Recently, I have decided that perhaps the best way to address these issues is by changing how I celebrate a birthday. With a new perspective, the focus can be shifted away from me and to leaving a legacy. 

I’m starting small. To celebrate this year, I have made a different kind of wish list. There are organizations to give to if you are the donating type and items to buy if you are the support-a-business type. What better way to celebrate life than to give or support these life-giving efforts.

Noonday Collection
My friend Paula is an ambassador for Noonday Collection. This past weekend I had an unexpected opportunity to hear from her about this business and see their products. What began as an adoption fundraiser for one family has grown to a fair trade business supporting artisans and their communities across the globe. If you like accessories of any kind, you can find something in this collection whether for yourself or as a gift.

My current favorites:
Brightly Wound Bracelet
On the Mark Necklace 

Video about Noonday Collection

Free Set
Freeset, another fair trade business, is committed to offering employment to those who have been enslaved by human traffickers and part of the sex trade industry in Calcutta, India. There story is best told on their website. Read their story and about their philosophy full of mercy and justice. 

My current favorites:
Teacup Tee
Farmhouse Bag  

Not Forgotten
Passion lights up a face like nothing else. Tyler, Allison, Kristen and any other who left a piece of their heart in Iquitos, Peru will light up like the sun when they talk about their boys. This began with a couple college kids keeping promises to some previously forgotten little boys and has grown into a non-profit currently building their first family-style bungalow for these kids where they will be loved and nurtured.

These guys periodically put on art and jewelry shows to raise funds (as they happen to be talented and have talented friends), but you can make a donation any time via the website. Don’t you want to be a part of breaking a cycle and building hope?

Video about Not Forgotten

Urban Purpose
Again, a couple people with a heart for sharing the life-changing power of God recognized a need and saw way to meet it. A few people partnered with them, volunteered with them, and ministered alongside them. Then a few more did the same. And a few more. Lives in need in the Birmingham area are being changed by the love and grace of God through faithful relationship building. Here is the idea.

Read more and watch the videos that tell their story. Urban Purpose is a non-profit supported by donations. Consider giving them a one-time gift or supporting them with an on-going monthly commitment.

Video about Urban Purpose

That’s the wish list for this year.
Happy Birthday to all!

P.S. If you decide to gift anything in celebration of my birthday this year, please leave a comment, send me an email, or let me know somehow. I want to be able to say thank you!

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give. shop. fashionable’s birthday sale.

October is coming to a close all too quickly. While many are adding cobwebs to their décor, I’m dusting off the virtual ones here to share something important.

After watching The Impossible last fall, I wasn’t sure I would recover. The tsunami of Boxing Day 2004 might as well have happened that day and in my back yard. To say it was difficult to watch… well, it’s just too little to say. My every muscle was taut with the terror and pain. My every thought was of this story. And, as it gripped me for weeks, I continually came back to a single moment.

Maria has against all odds survived and found her oldest son. She is injured, barely putting one torn leg in front of the other. It is too much to bear, but by some miracle of body, mind, and spirit, they find themselves in the company of some other native survivors. The current and debris left their bodies tattered and torn, just like the little clothing they had left. Then, a single gesture of grace and compassion gives dignity and ushers in hope. Maria is wrapped in a shirt. There is no strength left and she falls into the arms of strangers with gratitude far greater than her whispered words: thank you.

I felt it then – relief in gift of dignity.

It may seem silly to you at first for me to liken this moment, based on a true story, to another in a completely different world, but bear with me.

He turned to go.

“Come Dobby. I said, come.”

But Dobby didn’t move. He was holding up Harry’s disgusting, slimy sock, and looking at it as though it were a priceless treasure.

“Master has given a sock,” said the elf in wonderment. “Master gave it to Dobby.”

“What’s that?” spat Mr. Malfoy. “What did you say?”

“Got a sock,” said Dobby in disbelief. “Master threw it, and Dobby caught it, and Dobby – Dobby is free.

“Harry Potter freed Dobby!” said the elf shrilly, gazing up at Harry, moonlight from the nearest window reflected in his orb-like eyes. “Harry Potter set Dobby free!”

“Least I could do, Dobby,” said Harry, grinning. “Just promise never to try and save my life again.”

The elf’s ugly brown face split suddenly into a wide, toothy smile.

At the conclusion of Harry Potter and The Chamber of Secrets, this house elf, a bottom-rung creature forced for years to do the bidding of any master that happened to own him, was set free by a piece of clothing.

And I felt it then – joy in the gift of dignity.

That same joy is visible on the faces of the women who work weaving scarves at fashionable.  You may remember I visited them last summer. The sweet smiles I saw and shared face-to-face told yet another story of how a piece of clothing gives dignity. In this case, it’s not the wearing that brings relief or the receiving that brings the joy. It is the employment, the contribution, and the provision that add worth to their day and shout into the lives of these women that they are worth so much more than they believed.

Take two minutes to watch this.

FashionABLE is celebrating its 3rd birthday this week! For 3 days (2 more) everything is 30% off! By purchasing a scarf or other accessory from them, you are helping to sustain this company and the life-altering, hope-giving opportunities it provides. Give your friends and family gifts from fashionABLE and you’ll be giving dignity.

Blog Post Banner

Spread the word. Share the video. Pick your favorite social media platform or hit them all. Just keep telling people about the gift of dignity.

Click here to start shopping and giving. 


save. your heart.

Happy New Year and Valentine’s Day! I hope you paid your respects to the memory of Martin Luther King, Jr. and our U.S. Presidents. I hope that you did not get scared of your shadow only to run back to your hole in the ground a few weeks ago. And finally, happy Leap Day!

I thought Leap Day was an appropriate time for me to post here since it only comes around every 4 years – like the presidential elections, the Olympics, and apparently, my blog posts.

In addtion to the the many holiday wishes and great activities I have failed to share, I have almost missed telling you about Heart Month. So, here is my eleventh-hour-of-the-extra-day effort: a Heart Health To Do List.

  1. Study up. The American Heart Association website is full of resources for you and anyone you know. Explore the site to learn not just about heart attacks but heart disease and many other conditions that affect your heart.
  2. Take a Quiz. This one is so much more important than “What Downton Abbey character are you?” (more on that later). Take the online assessment to learn your risk for a heart attack. It’s a really short quiz, but it does ask for your weight, height, blood pressure, and cholesterol – a good reminder for me that I need to have my cholesterol checked as it has been a while.
  3. Get certified. Consider getting certified in CPR, but at the very least watch this short video demonstration of hands-only CPR. Then, watch the real one. Also, identify where the Automated External Defibbrilators (AEDs) are in your work place and other public venues you may visit regularly.
  4. Watch this. Yes, it’s okay to laugh… as long as you take the message seriously – as a heart attack. (Sorry, I couldn’t help it.)

And if you find you need to make a change, try this simple one.

Go Red any month! (I’m the one that looks like she’s not wearing red. I promise I had on a red scarf.)


give. shop. not forgotten.

It’s not the first time I’ve mentioned this special organization, so if you remember Not Forgotten, but still haven’t read up, here is yet another chance. I am especially excited that Not Forgotten has undergone some great growth recently and is looking forward to seeing some dreams realized in the near future. This is your opportunity to be part of it.

“Not Forgotten is an organization that is compelled by the love of Christ to provide for the physical, educational, and spiritual needs of impoverished, abandoned, and oppressed people of the world so that they may improve their quality of life, find salvation through Jesus Christ and be empowered to affect change in their communities.”

Visit their spiffed-up website for more. (Or read my past post here.) Better yet, come tomorrow to the Birmingham Art For a Cause event, benefitting Not Forgotten, and hear the story straight from those whose passion and love started this whole thing.

BIRMINGHAM ART FOR A CAUSE
SILENT ART AUCTION and ART SHOW
Thursday 11.03.11
7pm – 9:30pm
Historic Cahaba Pumping Station Museum
4012 Sicard Hollow Rd, Birmingham, AL 35242
(click here for a map)

I should also mention that there are a few products available for purchase contributed by yours truly. Don’t miss a great opportunity to get started on your Christmas shopping with the confidence that your making a difference.


watch. the players say goodbye.

You’ll have to bear with me while I join in the Pottermania this week. To start, I’ll just share what those who created and helped take us to this magical place had to say at the London premiere of the 8th and final movie. If you are a fan and you don’t shed a tear, you may want to check for kitten plates on your wall.

Take this with you: “The stories we love best do live in us forever, so whether you come back by page or by the big screen, Hogwart’s will always be there to welcome you home.”


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