The Thing is Not the Thing

My husband’s primary area of gifting is working behind the scenes. He’s a fixer. He enjoys a task to tackle with his hands, a specific process that works toward an end he can see with is own eyes. So it was never any surprise to me when he signed up to go rebuild neighborhoods after hurricane Katrina, after ice storms in the midwest, after the devastating earthquake of 2010 in Haiti.

He’s worked with Samaritan’s Purse and Vineyard Mercy Response. These organizations are well-equipped and always ready to descend on any area that needs rebuilt after a widespread disaster. So when they get the call that help is needed, they go into action immediately. Volunteers and materials are organized, temporary command centers are established. There’s no time to mess around. They can’t be late. The well-being of entire communities depend on their ability to know what to do, how to do it, and to do it quickly.

My hard-working, task-oriented husband is just the kind of dude they need. And typically, it’s folks just like him who volunteer to give up a week of their lives and vacation time to take on long days of manual labor to help others in need. It’s a really cool thing.

So when you combine the well-oiled machine of a disaster relief agency and teams of folks who are all about gettin’ it done, you’d expect that everyone from the highest person in the organization down to the newest volunteer would be all about the tasks at hand.

But one lesson my husband brought back from his trips tells a different story:

The thing is not the thing.

One of the mission leaders, a man who had been on staff with disaster relief organizations for many years, held that as his mantra: The thing is not the thing.

The first time my husband heard that, he understood what the guy was trying to say, but at the same time, he thought okay, but the thing kind of IS the thing when you need to rebuild someone’s home in a week so they have a place to stay. But it turns out, they were really both right.

The team got the message. The thing is not the thing. The thing is not hanging drywall when the homeowner starts telling you about how she lost her husband in the storm. The thing is not clearing tree branches when some of the folks from down the street need a few bottles of water. Caulking windows or installing piping or rewiring electrical boxes aren’t the thing when a family needs prayer to keep looking for their still-lost loved ones in piles of memories and rubble.

The people are the thing. The thing you’re really there for. Connecting with them, listening to them. helping them understand that no matter what’s been lost, hope can always be found… that’s the thing.

And here’s the deal: What I’m noticing is that the thing is not the thing whether the disaster around us is a hurricane or just a bad day at work. Because it’s true that all of us are fighting hard battles that no one else may know anything about. But the thing is us. Every one of us. The thing is that we all keep that shred of hope, and that we all help others see it in the midst of our big and little disasters, and in our joys and in the plain old humdrum days.

Let Me Be Clear (The Wrong Kind of “Bonding”)

discrimination

It had been a long day already. Manning my booth at the local festival had made for a super exhausting day. The streets were closed for the event, but the foot traffic was heavy, which meant that my husband and I were sure to run into someone we knew even though we were just hopping across the intersection to grab some grub off the food truck. It happened on the way back, the familiar “Hey!” that occurs when you spot friendly faces.

We stopped to chat with the friends, folks we’d known for years from church. We did the dance of telling why we were there and such, then the conversation came to a screeching halt when he randomly said with a chuckle, “So how ‘bout the fag fest?”

Wait… what??

Silence. Yeah, we’d heard him right. My husband and I had simultaneous looks of disgust on our faces, and we talked over top of each other with our responses to this shocking statement. Where did that come from? Is that really necessary? I don’t think so.

The next 30 seconds were awkward to say the least. The wife attempted to make a quick joke about how her man must’ve had too many wine tastings so far that night, while he himself stumbled over a good-ole-boy type of response to try to play it off. But it was super clear. They’d said something that had obviously rubbed both of us the wrong way.

It’s very hard when someone you know (or think you know, anyway) and have loved and trusted for years says something that kind of changes the way you look at them. The same weekend all this went down just happened to be our city’s LGBT Pride Parade weekend, which is what this man must have been referring to. There was no context whatsoever, just an arbitrary, crude statement, seemingly made in jest. But the words he used. The tone.  And the way he was clearly trying to rally us into his line of thought, and believed himself to be funny while doing it…that bothered me to no end. Just. Yuck. Seconds later, we were walking away, and my husband and I both looked at each other with a sad feeling of disappointment in this friend of ours.

What made this man, a friend we had known and loved for years, think we were going to be okay with him saying this to us? Using language that was clearly meant to be derogatory and relegate an entire group of people to some sort of second-class status? Did he assume that all straight people would be down with this mentality? (Oh, God help us. UGH.)

This wasn’t the first time I’d found myself in this bewildering situation.

I thought back to the times that family members started telling racist jokes or the way they casually used the “n” word like it was an actual way to refer to anyone. Why did anyone seem to think that was okay?

As a teenager, a man came into my store and dropped off a small newspaper, saying “I have something for you, sister,” then promptly walked out. Upon opening it, I realized it was some racist propaganda, published by some “white heritage” supremacy group. Why did he think it would be okay to give this to me? I’ve never even seen that man before.  

And just last summer, when we’d moved into our new home, my first conversation with a neighbor included him running down a description of the neighbors around us. He actually said phrases like “sketchy Mexicans,” “unruly Somali kids” and “THOSE gay people.” Never a kind reference to the families themselves. (The individuals who were, you know, made in the image of God just like we were.) This man JUST met me. Why was he assuming that I’d be okay with any of this?

All of these scenarios are appalling to me. They left me wondering why in the heck these people thought it was okay to speak this way about others to me or to my husband? Is it because we happened to be white and “appear” to be straight? Does that make people think we will somehow band together with them by verbally assaulting someone who looks or acts differently than we do?

Let me be CLEAR.

I’m a woman. That doesn’t mean I am into man-bashing or hearing stories about how “worthless” all men are. (Ask my girlfriends about this one. Ain’t nobody got time for that.)

I’m white. That doesn’t mean I’m okay with you using racial slurs (I am completely fine with asking you to leave my home if you do) or grouping all of “those” people together with sweeping statements about what “they” are like.

I’m heterosexual. That doesn’t mean that I hate or fear anyone who isn’t. Being gay or bisexual or transgendered isn’t contagious, as far as I know.

I’m American. That doesn’t mean I want to discuss people of other nationalities as if they are somehow less enlightened than we are, or act as if all people from a certain country are all the same.

I’m middle class. That doesn’t mean I despise rich people or think poor people are a bunch of lazy bums who just need to get jobs.

I’m a follower of Jesus. That doesn’t mean I vote a specific way or not, or that I in any way hate or feel threatened by people with other worldviews.

I’m human. We are all human. Offending, being offended, and generally hurting each other’s feelings are kind of part of the deal sometimes. I will extend grace to those who say something that offends me. Everyone deserves a chance to make things right. Please do the same for me, as I am probably offending someone right this very minute.

But I will make myself clear, because staying silent about things that matter is a greater offense to me. Allowing someone to think we have found common ground by excluding someone else is dangerous. It perpetuates a myth that we can somehow become closer if we just look around and figure out who is different from “us” then do or say something to feel superior to “them.” That’s the wrong kind of bonding, and I don’t want any part of it.

So if anyone would like to include me in a group to try to bond with, let it be the group of the all-ins. As in we are “all in” because were are all human and all flawed and we are all guilty of bias and bigotry in areas of our lives. We are all in because we all bleed and cry and laugh and try to bond in both healthy and unhealthy ways sometimes. We are all made in God’s image. In all of us there’s a divine center that the Creator himself has put there. Let’s look for that common thread.

We are all in this one big group of being very human, so let’s try to remember that. Let’s understand that when we use our words to divide and classify, it is impossible to bond. Let’s just not tolerate that. Let’s raise the bar in our conversations. Let’s spur one another on toward knowing better and doing better.

I hope that’s pretty clear.

On Needing (and being) Strawberry Pie Friends

@ 8:45 am:

Good morning, friend! Not sure if you are up yet but I am on my way to your house with a special delivery :)

That’s the message that followed the familiar da-da-ding of my phone. At 8:45 in the morning.

Even though this morning was rushed and hectic, and I was just about to walk my non-showered, yoga pants-wearing self out the door to an appointment, I wasn’t the least bit upset about getting a text message early in the morning, announcing this unexpected guest. Especially since it was from one of my very most awesome diva-friends. I am never in too big of a hurry to want to see her smiling face.

Minutes later there was a homemade strawberry pie in my hand and a warm hug around my neck. I don’t even know what to say about a friend like that, other than I want every single one of you to have someone in your life just like her.

You see, folks, right now I am going through a pretty hard stretch of life. Stuff that strawberry pie won’t fix. (Even the homemade kind.) But what will help fix it is all the love that I am getting from my community of people. My own little community of ladies who text and call and invite me to hang out and message me on Facebook and pin inspiration to my Pinterest boards and bring me flowers and cards and strawberry freakin’ pie. They are there for me, whether they live down the street or in an altogether different spot on the globe. They just show up. Not always at 8:45 in the morning, not always even at my house, and certainly not always with a homemade pie in their hands.  But these girls show the heck UP. They show up by praying for me and talking me down from my crazy with God’s truth that I know has never changed. They show up to laugh and to cry with me, when either or both of those things are needed.

I am learning what it means to “bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.”  (Galatians 6:2) To let myself be the “one” whose burdens are being shared by those in my community feels awkward and different for me. It’s always so easy to reach out and share and love on those people close to me when they are hurting, but for some reason I seem to try to work through my junk on my own when it’s my turn in the fire. That’s just silly. I am learning to respect the reciprocity that has to happen in real, authentic communities of faith & friendship.

Good people, keep on texting your friends and praying for them and crying with them when stuff is hard. Take them those cards and flowers and strawberry pies (homemade not required!) Show up in any way you can. And when things are tough in your worlds, you can keep on being a Strawberry Pie Friend by letting them show up for you too.

Sketchy-free holiday shopping ideas :)

Every year, the holiday shopping season is thrust upon us SUPER EARLY whether we like it or not. Seriously, hearing The First Noel on Halloween in a craft store was not really my idea of holiday cheer.

But since it’s happening no matter what I think, I thought I would go ahead and share some places where you can get quality, unique gifts this year. I am a big fan of local and ethically made products, and with all of the options I am about to hook you up with, there’s just no reason to shop for boring gifts at places that might have sketchy business practices. So, there… no excuse at all for boring or sketchy. You’re totally welcome.

Here are a few of my absolute faves. Go forth and shop!

Banners by Bethany

My friend’s sister is so talented! She makes these gorgeous fabric banners for any occasion. With a zillion color and font choices you’ll love, you can choose from styles she already has available, or you can have her customize one for you. (For real, just have her customize one for you!) I’ve ordered a few in the past… one for my own home and a couple as gifts, and I just got in touch with her to make a few more for me this year for some lucky folks on my Christmas list. She also donates 50% of her profits to global missions! So spruce up your décor AND help do some good!

 Little Piney Cove

My friend Antoinette is a young lady who is about to finish college. Sewn here in central Ohio, Little Piney Cove’s accessories are part of a bigger vision. Her Facebook page states, The plan to become a fair trade (www.fairtradeusa.org) boutique is the goal of Little Piney Cove. Employing survivors of human trafficking (www.humantrafficking.org) is what I hope the future of Little Piney Cove holds.” This little world-changer fights modern-day slavery, is just about to graduate from college, and embark on adventures that will allow her to serve the people of the Dominican Republic. I am looking forward to shopping in her fair trade boutique someday. Wouldn’t it be awesome to say you had one of her items since the beginning?

Live Love Dew

A local duo of friends started their business to make natural, no-gross-stuff beauty products. If you do nothing else, for the love of Pete, buy their Body Butter. It makes that big-box bath and body place’s so-called body butter feel like junk. I mean JUNK, people. I love all of the scents they offer, but Love Bites is my favorite of all time. SO many great products to choose from for every kind of skin. You will thank me for this one, for sure.

Mi Esperanza

I learned about Mi Esperanza from my friends Sarah and Jen, who leave half (or more!) of their hearts in the country of Honduras. Started as an organization that offered micro-loans to women who were seeking opportunities to provide for their families, Mi Esperanza now encompasses much more—including training programs, a boutique in Honduras, and handmade goods shipped all over the world. Clothing, accessories, jewelry, you name it… the incredible women of Mi Esperanza use their talents to make it!

Carey Willems for Noonday Collection

I met my friend Carey when she was at my friend Marla’s house sharing Noonday with us central Ohio gals. I was in LOVE. Beautiful (beyond beautiful, really!!) handmade jewelry and accessories help artisans all around the world use their own talents to sustain themselves and create opportunities that carve paths out of poverty for their families and villages. They also have fun ideas to help folks fund adoptions! Win-WIN!!

Fancy Freedom Designs

Okay so I have to mention my little corner of the world, right?:)  I started Fancy Freedom Designs a few years ago to help raise money for a local organization that fights human trafficking right in my hometown. Columbus-based Freedom a la Cart provides support to survivors of sex trafficking. Freedom gives them an opportunity to learn job skills in a safe environment, create delicious food to nourish themselves and the community, and to go beyond surviving to live lives of independence. So, I get to donate a portion of my sales to help them continue this awesome work, and people all over the place start conversations about the reality of human trafficking just by wearing my jewelry. That’s just awesome. Let me create a conversation-starting, freedom-loving design for you or someone special.

Know of any other great local and fair-trade shopping options? Share them with the world and let’s rid Christmas of sketchy, boring gifts!!

***** UPDATE*******

I realize that most of the gift options above are geared toward the ladies, so I scoured the intergalactical web highways and such to find some non-sketchy gifts for the menfolk in our lives. Keep in mind that I can bust out a leather Fancy Freedom bracelet befitting a dude, but if the man you have in mind isn’t into that, here are a few cool things I found:

This sweet leather tablet case made in San Fran

This hand knit scarf and hat, with a portion of proceeds going to Not For Sale!

These sweet coasters for your Ohio-loving dude, made by one of my favorite local artisans.

 

settling in…in pictures

This year has been a whirlwind of activity. So much has happened it’s been hard to catch my breath. Probably one of the biggest things is that we moved into our new home about six weeks ago. Being closer to everything and everyone has made us wonder why in the world we didn’t do this a long time ago. In all of the moving and fitting things in to the new space and settling in to new routines and rituals, there have been so many contented-sigh moments. Not just because everything is getting done, but because I’ve had so many chances to reflect on the space in which I dwell everyday, how I want it to feel, and choosing only to share space with things I find to be beautiful and useful to us. SO many projects and details. Nothing world-changing, but world-arranging for sure. Many folks have asked how things are coming or what projects I’ve been doing since we moved. So here’s a little glimpse of some of our settling-in.

My first little project was to fix up this little bookseller’s side table. I’ve always wanted one of these (who doesn’t want books-at-the-ready next to their chair or bedside?) My man spotted this little number at an antique store down the road for dirt cheap. We brought it home and changed it from this misfit forest green to a lovely shade of brown that hangs out comfortably with the rest of the room. I just love what a little jar of mineral chalk paint can do.

table-beforetable-after

I am “feathering the nest” (as Todd calls it) room by room. We started with the guest bedroom space, with some hints that remind us of the décor of our beloved India.

 india wall hangings mirror and elephantbed

Phyllis, my Survivor plant, has a new home in the kitchen where she gets plenty of sunlight and tons of attention. I wish I could say that Oprah, her orchid cousin, fares as well as she does. But for now, Phyllis will be the only plant I ever get to brag about. And yes, I name plants. Also cars.

Phyllis

Check this thing out. Is this not just pretty?? This lovely light fixture already lived in this house when we moved here. I am enjoying that because it’s really beautiful, but never something I would probably have bought myself (too fancy/expensive/hard to clean…) So now I get to see if some of those things are actually true about this beauty, or if I’ve just been scaring myself away from pretty lights for no good reason at all.

chandelier

First floor laundry. Heaven. Nothing else to say about that.

dryer

Another thing that my eyes can thank me for! I just adored this painting the second I saw it. Hiding out in the same little antique shop where we found that bookseller’s table, this scene was perched up in a funky old frame just waiting for me. Rarely does a piece of artwork just grab me so specifically, but there’s just something so interesting about it to me. Who are these folks? What are they talking about? Who was looking on at them? A few bucks in the hand of the old man who runs the shop, and these thoughts and colors now live with us permanently.

painting

The second we put together our Ikea bookshelf, I got busy stocking it with all my favorite bookshelfy things. This of course included my books, framed pictures, and some of the few keepsake things that I actually don’t mind dusting once in a while because they are just so darn special. Every day I get to look at my very favorite picture of Todd in the whole world, and the bright wide smile of our little Donna in Bangalore. Melt.

bookshelf pics

Y’all knew the “Freedom From Debt” sign was moving with us, of course! If you don’t know the story behind that, here it is: We made this FREEDOM sign from hundreds of pieces of chopped-up credit cards from our seven years facilitating Financial Peace classes at our church. Folks gave up their attachment to credit card debt and we commemorated it with this sweet ol’ thing. There’s SO much freedom represented in this little project!

freedom sign

The new Fancy Freedom Designs workshop. Love this organized workspace! Wait… who just said that?

FFD workshop

Now for some serious happy homemaking… $2 and 30 minutes… voila! Cuteness for a weird little living room nook.

wreath

And then there’s this happening in the kitchen…

chip clip

And finally, the very best part of our new house… the one who makes it feel like a home.

todd in cozy

As I type this, the little neighbor kiddos are scream-laughing while they bounce on their trampoline in their back yard. The dryer buzzer just went off (way too loud) and freaked me out a little bit and poor Oprah needs a drink of water here on my desk. The ice cream truck song is playing creepily from the street, as it has done most days this summer.

Last night, a dozen friends and their kiddos kicked off their shoes into a big pile in the foyer under that pretty light fixture. I still need to vacuum up the dry grass. The noise of our friendships filled my ears and the pile of shoes and dry grass filled my heart. We are enjoying our extraordinarily ordinary life in the suburbs (I know!) and I am feeling just right about all these little gifts we’ve been given in this space we’re now living in.  Looking forward to many more memories here.

A bit of editing

I woke up this morning, made my husband’s lunch, kissed him on the front doorstep and sent him off to work. I did a few small things around the house and made a to-do list for the day. I wasn’t feeling much of anything special until I read an article. An article about a Christian radio personality who has apparently been charged with sex crimes. While I was disgusted by the entire thing overall, and disappointed that yet another person who claims to align himself with the attitudes and actions of a follower of Jesus Christ has a secret life that in no way matches that, I was particularly irked at the way the article was written and by some of the comments that I deem to be quite ignorant.

First of all, the actual text of the article in question can be found here. The summary sounds a little something like this:

There’s a dude in northern Michigan by the name of Balyo. He happens to work as a radio personality for a Christian radio program. The article says he’s been charged because he “allegedly paid another person, who is a defendant in another child exploitation case, to arrange for sexual encounters with minor victims.”  

Keep in mind that the federal definition of human trafficking is this:

Under U.S. federal law, “severe forms of trafficking in persons” includes both sex trafficking and labor trafficking:

  1. Sex trafficking is the recruitment, harboring, transportation, provision, or obtaining of a person for the purposes of a commercial sex act, in which the commercial sex act is induced by force, fraud, or coercion, or in which the person induced to perform such an act has not attained 18 years of age, (22 USC § 7102; 8 CFR § 214.11(a)).
  2. Labor trafficking is the recruitment, harboring, transportation, provision, or obtaining of a person for labor or services, through the use of force, fraud, or coercion for the purposes of subjection to involuntary servitude, peonage, debt bondage, or slavery, (22 USC § 7102).

The article goes on to say that Balyo has been arrested “on charges of first-degree criminal sexual conduct.”

Next, an “expert” weighs in on the matter. The article states:

As Cooley Law professor and human trafficking expert Chris Johnson explains it, Balyo is accused of being a customer. “I think the terminology would be a ‘john’ — that in itself is not going to be human trafficking,” Johnson said. “The person he went to in order to secure the child would be the one who would be guilty of human trafficking.”

And that’s one of the things that’s got me all salty this morning. This dude Balyo allegedly (I understand innocent until proven guilty) sought out another person, by the name of Moser, who was already being investigated under a state and federal sting operation. This guy Moser, according to this article, was a real piece of work. It states that “He ran a website offering paying customers sex with underage boys.” (by the way, there was no “allegedly” to that statement. It had already been established that he ran such a web site.)

So here’s the first guy, Balyo, paying the second guy, whom he knows to run a web site that offers sex with minors, yet this expert says that Balyo is just a “john” and that he wouldn’t be considered a human trafficker. Hmmm. The federal definition says that Sex trafficking is the recruitment, harboring, transportation, provision, or obtaining of a person for the purposes of a commercial sex act,…in which the person induced to perform such an act has not attained 18 years of age.”

Did this many Balyo not recruit an underage boy for sex? Does it matter that he used a mediator to make provision for him to obtain an underage boy for sex? If he had cut out the middle man and grabbed a kid off the street, we would call him a trafficker, but since he went about it the sophisticated way and paid a “professional” trafficker, we’re just gonna call him a “john” instead, right? What the heck!?

Is this man not the REASON there is sex trafficking? Balyo allegedly supplied the one thing this world needs to ensure that children are sexually exploited: the demand.

Which brings me to another point that has me all fired up this morning. This article continues to use language that is harmful in the fight against human trafficking.

The “expert” makes another statement: He apparently says “pimps with prostitutes who are underage are not uncommon.”

There is no such thing as a “prostitute who is underage”. There are only trafficking victims who are minors. According to the same federal definition above, a person who intends to sell a person under 18 is a trafficker, and that underage person is a victim of trafficking. Simple as that. There’s no such thing as an “underage prostitute”. Hear me?

The expert goes on to say that “Many times when you do have a brothel that’s raided, you do end up finding child victims, unfortunately, that are involved in the commercial sex trade…according to the Department of Justice, the average age a person enters prostitution in the United States is between the age of 11 and 13 years old, so there is quite a prevalence of people who have sexual appetites with children.”

“…there is quite a prevalence of people who have sexual appetites with children.”

This statement bothers me to no end. To me, simply saying that there are lots of people who apparently have this “sexual appetite” for children almost makes it sound as if that’s a normal thing. It sounds almost as nonchalant as saying there is quite a prevalence of people who have a craving for vanilla ice cream over chocolate. Totally normal, viable preference, right? No.

To me, semantics matter. BIG TIME. In a world where so many of us are trying to fight against human trafficking, the exploitation and sexualization of our youth, and the criminals who make all that happen, I think it’s high time we start paying more attention to the words we use when discussing the whole thing.

Stop allowing “experts” to use words and phrases such as child prostitute. It has been well established by now that we legally can’t define anyone in that way, and the fact that this person did so, no matter how credentialed he may be, disqualifies him as an “expert” on the matter in my eyes.

And let’s call things what they really are. Instead of saying stuff like “…there is quite a prevalence of people who have sexual appetites with children”  how about we think about our words and say what is really meant by that statement, like “there is quite a prevalence of people who regularly seek out opportunities to exploit children sexually.” That’s what we’re really saying there, isn’t it?  We have got to be more careful with the words we allow when speaking of this evil.

Whether or not this Balyo person will be found guilty remains to be seen. What evidence has been collected to that end, I do not know. But I do know that sadly, this is one of many people who have been accused of exploiting our children directly for their own sick purposes. In my opinion, anyone who participates in that process should be charged with human trafficking. Because the truth is, without the demand, there is no need for the supply. So a person who seeks out some other person person to assist him in exploiting a child is as guilty of trafficking as the person who sells the child for that purpose. Perhaps even more so, because the problem begins with the demand for such a thing. The problem begins with the demand. And as much as we fight against the problem of human trafficking, it will continue as long as the demand continues. It will continue as long as people are able to minimize the thing by talking in terms such as “appetites” and “child prostitutes.” It will continue as long as we don’t think our words really matter all that much.

live now.

A phone call telling us a friend had taken his own life. A message from another friend that his father had passed away, when he had just spoken to him that morning. A friend buried a parent after she had just lost her husband.  A family member with a back injury, and it looks like surgery is on the horizon. A car accident–luckily it didn’t result in any harm to either party. All of this just in the past month or two.

And again last night, a dear friend who awoke to find her daughter with blue lips and a lack of gaze in her eyes. Thankfully she has recovered, and already has that twinkle back in her eyes. Thank you, Jesus.

But that feeling. That empty feeling. My friend said it best… she couldn’t get the “what if” out of her mind.

This. All of THIS.

It reminds me that we only have one life. Every single moment of it is precious and important. We have to make the most of all of the moments that we get, whether we feel like they are spectacular or not.

We have to make a choice to enjoy and pursue and live in the moment…

and listen

and notice

and make a difference

and not sit this one out

and give of our gifts

and pray and serve

and make others understand that they are WORTH IT.

Worth our time, our attention, worth a place on our schedule. Worth space in our hearts. Worth our heartbeats themselves.

I am the first to admit, my calendar sometimes looks like a cage. All those black lines, squaring up and rounding out the minutes of my life… scribbled in and squeezed into and running and running together. Sometimes I look at my days and think “what have I done?” and not in the way of wanting to know what I have accomplished or checked off the to-do list.. but what have I done with my time that matters?? Actually matters? To me? To others? To eternity?

today is the best day

I don’t want to waste a second. I love so many people and I want them to know it. I care about many things and I want them to be evident. I have so little time and I want to use it. I want God to use me in this little span of time that I am borrowing. I want to live.

live now