Thursday, October 14, 2010

World Food Day

Hey! I don't have a whole lot to say, mostly because I don't have a whole lot of time. I hope you've been well!

I just wanted to take a second in between things and tell you about World Food Day, which is actually this Saturday on October 16, 2010. First of all, Megs invited me to this presentation for it today and a couple of people spoke and they had a traditional Langar lunch and it was pretty neat but more importantly, very informational.

Second of all, I thought I'd lay down some facts. Some of these were given in the presentation but then I had to look them up because I couldn't remember them exactly:

~In NWA alone there are about 100,000 hungry people.
~1.3 billion people live on less than 1 USD a day.
~There are about 1 billion people who are hungry in the world right now.
~160 million children under the age of 5 are malnourished.
~1 in every 8 children under 12 in the US will go to bed hungry tonight.
~Every 3.6 seconds someone else will die of hunger.
~4 million people will die of hunger this year.
Yikes, right? $1?! How many movies do you go to in a year? Say 1 every month. That's $48 if you went to a $4 movie, but it's $96 if you went to a regular movie. But this isn't a pitch for you to give anyone money. Why? Because I know it's something that everyone struggles with. It's just a thought.
What I really want to tell you comes from the book I read this summer, Red Letters. I know I talk about it a lot, but I guess that's how you know it's good! At the end was this 5 for 50 plan that the author suggested the reader attempt. There are 5 steps and you add on as you go. At some point I will have given them all to you, but for today, there's just one that's important.
So the book is about HIV/Aids in Africa and the plan is 5 steps to help the 50 million people in the world suffering from the disease. So what does that have to do with the hungry? Well what you may not know is that when parents have Aids and can no longer provide for their families (specifically in African countries), the children are the ones who attempt to. Unfortunately, their skills are limited at 10, 11, and 12 years old so many times people with food take advantage of these children and their situations and the kids don't see another way out. They're responsible for their families at such a young age and their dedication should be admired, but instead it's used. For what? One or maybe two meals, but by then they've already been infected with the disease and soon they won't be able to care for anyone, including themselves.
Hunger is what drives this process. Step 2 of the 5 for 50 plan is to fast for 5 hours just once a week. It can be while you're in class or at work, or maybe you could just try it once. Not anything. No food or drinks (besides water). I remember the first time I tried it, and it had only been about 3 hours since I had had breakfast and I was already hungry! It took me a while to really realize the purpose of it. That small grumble in my stomach from not eating in 3 hours is a large pain to those who haven't eaten in 3 days. From that point, I started saying a quick prayer for those who are hungry all around the world and I thank God for how blessed I am.
So how about this: it doesn't matter if you don't finish you're meal at dinner, the truth is, you can't send it to starving children in Africa. It doesn't matter if you can't send money. What do you have to offer? A prayer. Or even a thought for those less fortunate. Don't even fast if you don't want to. Being hungry at some point in your life is bound to happen, and I hope you remember this, and I hope you remember all of them.
I'm sorry to be such a debbie downer. On another note, if you would like to donate to NWA directly, there's the, and there's not a doubt in my mind they won't appreciate whatever you have to offer.
I love you! Have a wonderful Thursday and super great weekend :))

Sunday, October 3, 2010


Well hello there, fancy seeing you here! Or wait, is it more interesting that you're seeing me here? Unfortunately that's the truth. I haven't blogged in a considerably long time. Why? I'm not exactly sure if I can pinpoint it on just one thing. My theory? Well I'll tell you a little bit about what I think is going on, after I tell you what's been going on recently in my life!

So I'm not sure if I've told you or not yet, but I am going to the most amazing church (for me :). You know how I've gone to a conservative church my whole life? I never thought I'd be comfortable in any other setting. I went to lots of non-conservative churches this summer, that further confirmed that fact that I could not worship in a non-conservative setting. Well that was just a big fat lie I told myself. When school started, I tried out Church at Arkansas on Mission, and I loved it! Truth is, I had gone once before...Freshman year...but I went for the wrong reasons. Yes, a boy. But because of that, I never formed a real opinion about it. Now I went knowing what I was looking for in a church, it was perfect. And week after week, I feel reassured that I'm in the right place. It's nondenominational, and the music is contemporary, but not overwhelming. They also dim the lights during worship to emphasize the importance of it (I think), and I look forward to waking up early on Sunday mornings to go. Will I stay forever? I'm not sure yet. But for right now, I think God led me here and I'm looking forward to getting more involved with it in the next couple of weeks.

In addition to attending a new church, I got a little more involved in the organizations I've been a part of. I love making presentations and talking to groups of people about whatever I can, so it's perfect. I love going to meetings and being involved, and I'm thankful for the opportunity to. One event I'm temporarily involved with is Make a Difference Day. It's October 16th from about 9 to 1 and it's just a service project day. I'm a project leader for the Yvonne Richardson Center: Playground "Beautification" project. I'd love for you to sign up and join me! It's on the website, but it's not just restricted to university students, so this should be the biggest year yet! There are a lot of other projects going on, so if you're more interested in another project, sign up! I'll understand :))

Remember when I started my blog? I may not have fully explained how all this got to be, part was because I was inspired by a dear friend, but the bigger part is the impact lent had on my life at the time. You'd think giving up something would be easier if you slowly got rid of it, but for me, it was a lot easier giving up something cold turkey, knowing I was doing it for a higher purpose. Now? Well it's 40 Days For Life! Yes, I am pro-life so I'm happy to be part of a national movement of people trying to make a difference about it. You can find out more about it on the Facebook page 40 Days for Life. And if you have any questions about anything I'm doing or a part of, feel free to message me and I'll try and clear things up!

And as for school? Well it's going. My classes aren't too bad this semester, and I'm trying to stay on top of things, which has worked surprisingly well so far. Although I know I owe a big thanks to big man upstairs for helping me stay focused in between all these activities. Megs and I are going to be taking lots of trips in the next month or so. Lots of little celebrations along the way. A concert here and there. Ridiculous outfits, activities, and jumping pictures whenever we can. $4 dollar movies. I still go to the Farmer's Market on Saturday mornings. I attempt to stay positive....

Can you hear it? (my life is normal). I'm scared to say it out loud because as soon as I admit that things are perfect, something is going to fall through. Any second the balloon of my life that I've been blowing up again, is just going to pop and all I'm going to have are pieces of what used to be perfect. Yikes! But that's where I'll start. It's too normal. I'm too happy with life right now.

I keep in constant communication with God throughout my day: thanking Him for little victories, asking for motivation or patience whenever I need. On the other hand...through all the tests and activities and lack of caffeine in my life lately, I haven't been getting up early to just focus on us. I mean God and me. No reason in particular, other than I'm just so tired! It's not that I don't want to, but there isn't anything absolutely pressing in my life right now. We're still close, but I'm starting to feel more independent because I'm not constantly asking Him to just help me make it through another day. I mean, I know God is always there. He's still looking out for me, we're still communicating, but something is different! I think I'm in rut. My relationship with God is in rut, maybe.

It's like in relationships when 2 people have been together for so long they just get comfortable with each other. They stop going on dates or looking nice for each other. They stop trying to get to know each other because they think they know it all. They've lost the spark. And so have I. It's not that I don't love God. It's not that I don't want to do more for Him. It's certainly not that I don't need Him or want Him in my life. I'm just struggling in a completely different way.

I read a quote from Eleanor Roosevelt that says "So much attention is paid to the aggressive sins such as violence and cruelty and greed with all their tragic effects, that too little attention is paid to the passive sins, such as apathy and laziness, which in the long run can have a much more devastating effect." If you didn't know, she's one of my favorite people ever. She has all sorts of the most wonderful quotes, that just make so much sense! This quote is best for situations of giving back and volunteering, but I think this is where I am. I think I've worked so long on the "big" sins in my life or the "big" problems I had, that now my only problem is that without any problems, I'm lazy and apathetic. Not about life in general but about my relationship with God. Somewhere in this newfound happiness, I let all these other things become more important than being with God. And I have to reinvest in our relationship now, because when times do get hard again, I won't have any savings to fall back on.

Even now, even blogging. It doesn't feel right. As much as I love to, I haven't wanted to recently. I think of all sorts of things to talk about and then I just don't. I'd rather do something else. That isn't praying or spending time with God. Weird. And then I try and pass myself off daily as a righteous person.

This morning we sang a song, and it hurt because I knew it wasn't true for me. So instead of singing, I prayed them. And if you're anything like me, then maybe this will help you too. It's called Center so you can look up the real lyrics if you'd like, but here's my prayer for this week:

Oh Christ, be the center of my life
be the place I fix my eyes
be the center of my life
Lift my eyes to Heaven
and help me wrap my life around Your life
help me lift my eyes to Heaven, to You.

This very well may not be the underlying problem. No matter what though, it has to help. Prioritizing Him will only lead me in the right direction. So yes, I want to continue to talk to Him throughout the day, but I need to set our own, just the two of us time apart again. No matter how happy or satisfied I am with my life, it won't feel right if I'm not putting anything back into our relationship. Our relationship rut, was just a rut I've put myself in. I let other things become more important, and I asked God, probably very nicely, to sit in the backseat and let me drive a while. I'm not even a good driver, so I don't know why I thought that'd be a good idea! But seriously, in letting other things become more important and then being happy with how things were going, I thought I could leave Him back there, knowing that wasn't His place in my life. I guess that's the key. Just because you're happy, doesn't mean you're life is great or where God wants it to be.

So I'll continue this prayer. I hope I get to be less apathetic and lazy about this, because it means a lot to me and I just can't will it to it's normal state of importance on my own. On another note, I probably won't be blogging until I get out of it. It's like having writer's block. I force each word I type. But I guess that's when you'll know we've worked through it!

Ok, I love you. I never stopped. I always will. And no matter how apathetic you may be, God still loves you and He's ready when you are :))

Have a great week! Let me know if you need something!