last thursday i flew in to austin texas. while i’ve always wanted to be a cowgirl, own a cowhide rug, wear cowboy boots & eat chips and salsa on a regular basis ( well i guess i already do that!) i’ve never actually been to texas. as far as site seeing, photographing longhorn and eating legit tex/mex i’ll have to do that on another trip.
those four days were completely focused on being completely present with around 120 women who, although we came from all over the united states & have different stories, we share several passions. not the least of which is empowering the poor and creating sustainable income for those in vulnerable situations, raising awareness of the orphan crisis…all through sharing stories through Noonday collection.
this is Jalia ( our lead artisan in africa) on her first trip from uganda to america!
i came on board with noonday, not to make a bunch of money. i joined a small start up company ( i think i was #21) because i wanted to do something. do something to make a difference. i saw a generation rising up with serious passion to end modern day slavery. a generation and movement to do something about poverty. i sat in my fluffy white chair, in my home with running water and heat, warm freshly ground coffee in my occasionally manicured hand and thought i gotta do something. it might be relatively litttle, but once i knew i couldn’t unknow. ( incidentally we’ve now grown 1000% and have almost 400 ambassadors!)
ya’ll. besides marrying 2 men, sitting bedside while one passed away and birthing four girls, these last two years both with noonday and in the launch of my photography business, have been the most amazing of my entire life. my income from when i was practicing nursing has probably actually decreased, i still drive the same beat up car and my occasionally manicured hands have held the hand of artisans in guatemala. my mind has been blown by women who said YES. women who decided to do something. not held back by the “well what can i do. it’s an overwhelming situation this world is in. nearly half of the world’s population — more than 3 billion people — live on less than $2.50 a day. more than 1.3 billion live in extreme poverty (less than $1.25 a day). i mean i have carpool to drive & soccer practice to get to. i can’t even wrap my mind around that number anyways.”
let me tell you something. jesus said “I tell you the truth, if you had faith even as small as a mustard seed, you could say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it would move. Nothing would be impossible.” faith, even if barely there. faith, of i can and i will, through the power of jesus’s spirt in me, i can do something. even if it only changes the life of one person.
we had that one person ( actually two). jalia & daniel in uganda. and get ready for this. one family in less than three years is now over 300 families. THREE HUNDRED families, now have jobs in uganda because YOU have purchased the jewelry they created. YOU have given them sustainable, dignified income. they have homes. not only are they able to just keep their children ( and not place in an orphanage in the first place) they can feed their kiddos AND send them to school. YA”LL!! that’s freaking amazing!!
god doesn’t need us. but he chooses to let us in on his story. and that blows my mind.
so this weekend i loved on : laughed until i peed with : stayed up ALL night long :went to tattoo parlors : drink wine : prayed against strongholds : watched a woman from uganda come to america & go to the MAC counter: and encouraged like minded women that we can keep on keeping on making a difference. a monumental weekend for me for sure.
there are so many amazing things happening in & through noonday this year. some of them i need to keep on the downlow for now but can hardly wait to share them with you! for those of you who have prayed for me, purchased from me, encouraged me in this adventure, opened your home for me, i thank YOU. from the bottom of my heart.
jen hatmaker & jennie allen came & spoke at our conference. out in the middle of the texas hillcountry, on a ranch with 70 degree weather in january god showed up and blew me away. we were reminded us to be stewards & servants. to live called, not driven.
i feel like i’m all over the board this morning & fear i’m failing in clarity. i can barely type fast enough to share my jumbled thoughts and my full heart. bottom line is this. things are changing. real lives are changing. i know. i’ve met them. the grace and goodness of the lord blows me away.
probably the hardest thing for me to overcome is being bold and asking….but won’t you consider opening your home to a few friends to advocate for the orphaned and the oppressed? it’s not planning a wedding. i promise. i wont harass you everytime i see you to buy my product. i wont be that person. i promise. but here’s the way i see it. i know and i can’t unknow.i’m passionate and i have stories to share with you. stories i didn’t know two years ago. i have met these artisans and i want you to meet them through my stories and images too. i want you to want to join the efforts of women, just like us, who love their babies and want them to have an education. i want you to buy the creations they create. to wear them with pride and know that YOU have made a difference too.
the spring line releases on february 20th. it is gorgeous!!! like i want 75% of the line. we have new products from the groups we collaborated with while in guatemala. our uganda peices are more beautiful than ever. the images are spectacular.
in order to make room for the coughcough several hundred dollars of gorgeous pieces i will invest in, i will need to let go of several current samples. come back monday as i’ll have over two dozen current and past noonday pieces for sale at great discount prices.
in the mean time, partner with me. throw some chips & salsa on your counter. invite your girlfriends. like all of ’em. and allow me the opportunity to share stories and allow our friends in 13 other countries lives to be changed!
“when you satisfy the needs of the oppressed
your night will become like the noonday”