Posts filed under ‘Blogging’
I know I’ve completely dropped off the map in 2010…
I know you’ve been wondering if:
- I ate so much holiday food that I’ve literally popped and vaporized?
- I got trampled when some post-holiday shopping madness went terribly wrong?
- There was some horrible glitch in the matrix and I’m frantically banging on the window of 2010, stuck on the other side, in 2009?
Truthfully, it feels like I’m stuck a few days behind, just waiting for the energy to officially enter into 2010.
Someone call Keanu.
As some of you know, I’m heading to El Salvador very soon (12 days!!!) as a blogger for Compassion International. As the trip draws closer, I’m getting really excited about the work I’ll be able to witness, and humbled that I get to catalogue it here.
Many of you know about Compassion’s work, and like many of you, I thought until a couple months ago that Compassion was exclusively a child sponsorship program.
Oh friends, we were sooooo wrong.
Turns out there are three unique programs targeting different stages of child development.
The youngest children served by Compassion are still in the womb! Compassion provides a beautiful ministry called the Child Survival Program. It offers:
- prenatal care and infant survival training for mothers and caregivers, as well as spiritual guidance and education, such as literacy and income-generation training
- ongoing health screenings and immunizations for the children
- child development training for mothers of children under 4
This is a program that I’m very eager to see first-hand. Most of us here in the States take our childrearing skills and education for granted. Our mothers were educated and had resources to raise us. And now we are educated and have resources to raise our children. As huge as that is, conceptually, we take it for granted.
I hope you’ll read the post, Child Survival 101, and learn a little more as I start my journey. That way, when I’m actually in the country, you’ll be all caught up on what I’m talking about and we can focus on the stories, the people, and the lives that matter so much to God. Some of them are being knit together even now.
Thanks for being interested in my trip to El Salvador. And if you have questions about the Child Survival Program that you want me to ask when I’m there, post them in the comments! I want to go as an ambassador for all of you!!!
Can you tell I’m getting excited?
I’m sure many of you have heard of the sensation that is Improv Everywhere. Basically they set up all kinds of hilarious improv scenarios in the midst of everyday life and surprise the heck out of people.
One of my fanatasies in high school was for an impromptu musical to start in the hallways of McDowell High School—people everywhere bursting into spontaneous song and dance. Can you tell I was a musical theater person? It really wasn’t cool back then, but I’m glad for Improv Everywhere making my dreams come true vicariously.
Their blog is cool because you don’t get bombarded by tons of stuff, you just periodically get a laugh at their newest, creative scheme.
Other Blogs I Read
When Abraham and I were in California a few weeks ago, I had the privilege of meeting one of my favorite bloggers—Elizabeth Esther!
I’ve been reading her blog for at least a year, which is a mix of articles and posts about life. You’ll find her writing about family, faith, politics—really whatever is on her mind and heart. And when she shares what’s on her heart, it’s always in a very real way, never with a polished facade.
She also writes occasionally about her experiences of getting out of an abusive fundamentalist church. I come from such a different background that these posts always fascinate me. And she was more than willing to answer my questions when we got together at her kitchen table.
She made us Greek food and chocolate chip cookies (my faves), let us hang out with her kids, and even talked her husband into taking a break during his work day to come hang out with us (thanks, Matt!).
I really hope you’ll visit her blog and poke around. She’s a great writer.
You know how there’s just some people you know you’re going to get along with? Well, she’s one of those for me.
Other blogs I read:
So there was a little buzz around the Twittersphere this morning when it was announced that I’m joining Compassion International‘s next blogger trip to El Salvador in November.
Most of this so-called buzz was from my good friends, who sent me messages saying things to the effect of, “What???”
So to save myself the effort of having to write back to each of you—Yeah, so… Lord willing, I’m going to El Salvador in November.
Okay, the story goes…
A few weeks ago I was contacted by Shaun Groves, who is the Blogger Relationship Manager of Compassion’s blogger trips, asking if I’d be interested in joining this trip to El Salvador in November. I’d followed a couple of their trips through other blogger friends, and been fascinated by the stories I’ve read.
I also thought it was really cool and innovative on Compassion’s part to use bloggers and their influence in this way.
Anyway, back to the story (by the way, this is what it’s like to have a real conversation with me—rabbit trails, rabbit trails)… so that night I mentioned the email to Abraham and our good friend Wes, and they were both really encouraging about my going. I was really nervous, mostly feeling like I don’t have a good enough blog to do something like this. But they persisted, and the thoughts of the trip persisted in my head and heart.
I’ve always felt really intimidated to start traveling down the road of greater global poverty awareness, social justice issues, etc.—mostly because I felt insecure. I’ll be honest about my insecurities and failings. Ready?
- There’s too much information. I wouldn’t know where to start.
- There’s always people who know more than me and I’m gonna look like an idiot if I try to join this effort.
- I don’t have time.
- I have way too much of my own pain right now.
- I’m forgetful when I have food and clean water and money for groceries.
- I might actually have to change if I know more.
- What if I’m a flash-in-the-pan kind of person? What if I get all gung-ho and then lose steam? (Again, pride telling me I’ll look like an idiot, and me listening to that, instead of to God’s voice.)
But back in the fall, right after Felicity’s first birthday, I was treated by my dear friend Jenna (lovingly known for her quirky online alterego, jennapants) to a concert by Sara Groves, Derek Webb, Sandra McCracken, and others to highlight some ministries doing work with poverty, slavery, and childhood prostitution. I was shaken by it. I remember coming home and asking Abraham random things like, “Do you want to become an abolitionist with me?”
I remember wanting so deeply to get outside of myself for a little while and remember the plight of those around the world who have it so much worse than me.
But it’s been hard. To be honest, year #2 without Felicity has felt so much harder on many levels. A good friend of mine (whose 24-year-old son died a few weeks before Felicity) told me recently, “Year One is the year of shock. Year Two is the year of feeling.” How true that’s been for me.
But in all of that pain, I’ve still felt a tugging and longing to be part of this global effort outside of myself to see change in God’s big world.
I know things like poverty, prostitution, and slavery matter to God. Jesus told us that a cup of cold water matters to him.
So I’m trusting God that none of these experiences and longings have been accidental, that he is indeed doing something in my heart to bring greater measures of healing, bring me to a place of deeper dependence on him, show himself to me in new ways… I’m eager.
I’m trusting him that these non-accidents are going to set a tone for Year #3, the theme of which is yet to be experienced.
I really hope you’ll stay tuned through November and pray me through the trip to El Salvador. I’m really excited to share with you all what God is doing in that little country in His great big world.
I’ve wondered what collections are best, and always felt overwhelmed by the number of options out there. Gladys gives a few recommendations to moms like me!
I would highly recommend subscribing to this blog. You know how some experts can make you feel really stupid and guilty about all the ways you’re failing in their particular area of expertise? Not Gladys! I’ve never felt guilted by anything Gladys has written about reading to children. Her posts are always interesting and give me new ideas for encouraging literacy in our family.
I really hope you enjoy her blog as much as I have!
So many times I go to post on my blog or write an email or just look something up on the internet, and before I know it I’ve been sucked into the vortex of social networking applications. Does this happen to you?
I suppose if I were really organized and disciplined, I would make a list of internet to-dos and complete those first. And then I could visit my social network sites. I’d probably get more done, but I’d be so anti-social!