now that i’ve seen, i can’t unsee…

i’ve wanted to sit down and begin to process the events and connections and relationships and the laughter & the tears and God’s protection and how he wove our team together over the last week. but as i’m sure has been the case for any of you after a “big event”, i’ve found it a bit of a challenge. part of me feels like its just so much, how will i ever process it all? really.

i had brought my journal with high hopes of taking notes, if you will, of the week. but there really just wasn’t the time. i wanted to truly be present and be with my friends and be there in the moment that writing ( for this trip anyways) seemed like a distraction to me. i’m sure that’s how someone might feel when a certain photographer/mom might be taking their photo over & over again during a family beach trip!.  thank goodness for my camera, which feels like an appendage to me and a form of being in the moment as much as physically being in the moment. comprende?

before i boarded the plane out of atlanta, i sat down with my journal and read through some notes from a Noonday conference call back in february. jen hatmaker, big leaguer/adoptive mama/biological mama/believer/advocate/author/speaker/down-right hilarious woman, is buddies with jessica ( our founder) and also lives in austin. so, we get to be blown away blessed by her wisdom and knowledge on occasion. anyways, jen encouraged us  and told us she was proud of the Noonday presence. the desire, at the root & heart of Noonday, is to provide a source of sustainable income for artisans in areas of poverty.  and connecting YOU with these artisans.

one of the things jen said that rings in my little head over & over is this: once you know them, you can’t unknow them. once you see you can’t unsee.

while this particular trip we didn’t see absolute desolate poverty, hopeless despair ( we weren’t in the slum of the slums) we DID see the faces of our artisans. we DID hug them & hear their laughter. we DID hold hands & pray with them ( tear jerker, tear jerker!), we DID eat on their porch. we DID hear them say over & over, thank you! they said thank you for making a difference in their lives. we DID hear concepcion say “thank you. because of you i can send my children to school. they can have an education”. we DID.

goodness gracious. i’ll never be the same ya’ll.

i’m serious.

i came home with crazy amounts of energy. i was waking up at 5 am, which is like 3am in guatemala, waking up and cleaning out closets and doing laundry. staying up late. chatting dan’s ear OFF about the trip and my vision and passion for Noonday.  it was like operation organization at our home. i’ve been like a woman on a mission. with loads of energy. ( i will say yesterday i woke up and hit the wall, but for several days  prior i was nesting- woman- extraordinaire)

i sat there in church this morning & realized i have indeed been nesting. excuse the, what i assume for many may be corny, analogy but i truly believe i came home and birthed a new passion. a new passion to share about these artisans that we met in guatemala. lordie ya’ll, if i met all our artisans, especially those in africa, i think i’d come completely unglued. i know my heart couldn’t handle it all. a couple days of spending time with them has placed a desire in my heart, stronger than before to share their stories. their hope for not only their future, but the future of their children. we listened as they shared their dreams. i could go on & on. and i will. i apologize if my blog for the next several weeks comes back to this.

let me encourage you, if you live anywhere near an ambassador, ask her if you can partner with her and open your home and host a show. this is not your regular jewelry party my friends. this is an opportunity for YOU to join us and connect others, with these artisans like concepcion & ana. ya’ll they’re over there. and they need us. please don’t worry that your home needs to be “tour worthy”. please don’t feel like it’s going to be like planning a graduation party ( which will do you in by the way. wink). we’ll practically do everything for you. you just supply your home. the jewelry we’ll bring is so awesome your friends will look at all of it and not whether or not you’ve mopped your floor. that’s the truth. its just an opportunity for one of us to come share. and you & your friends will try on the beautiful pieces these  men & women have made by hand. you’ll open a bottle of wine or set out chips & salsa. all the while making a difference. that’s it. how could you not, right? sorry. i’ll be honest. the direct sales part of this job has always been a problem for me. it’s out of my comfort zone, big time, to ask. but now that’s changing. i can not bury, i can not keep quiet what the Lord gifted me and allowed me the privilege to see ( with this trip/opportunity) and just keep quiet because i don’t want to be “that girl”. i can’t anymore.  i just can’t.

if you live near me or are a direct, real-life neighbor of mine,  i’ll probably be asking you to open your home for me so i can share….or you could always make it easy for me &  just offer ( wink). forgive me because i’m not keeping quiet. i just can’t.

now that i know, i can’t unknow. now that i’ve met them, they’re in my heart.  now that i’ve seen, i can’t unsee…

ps. i’ve had several readers inquire…you may always purchase via online. orders may be placed at any time at , the parties are just our vehicle to share about the vision & heart of noonday !

August 18, 2013 - 6:33 pm

Rilla Checko - Hey there. Its Rilla the girl who didnt say hi at MarketCafe. 😉 We had a long instagram exchange about it. Anyway….I just love this. You speak to my heart all the time. My little man, first born, starts kindergarten tomorrow.I spent the day shopping for healthy food, making homemade granola bars, organizing closets. Nesting. My husband told me I am controlling what I can control. So I guess you could say, you know and you cant unknow…I DONT know and I am trying to know. I am in Nashville and wish I could host a Noonday party. I at the very least would like to buy some pieces. Please let me know how I can do that to benefit you. 🙂

August 18, 2013 - 6:40 pm

Stacey - How can I find an ambassador? Any in east TN? Would love to host a trunk show. I love your passion Paige, it’s contagious.

August 18, 2013 - 8:58 pm

Bridgette Gresham - Hi! I’m in Alpharetta, GA! I’d love to know more about hosting a show!

August 19, 2013 - 12:06 am

Chrissi McConkey - I’ve sooo enjoyed reading about and seeing this trip! What an inspiration! I’m a fellow ambassador in East Tn (only one ) and would love to help out with anyone you know wanting to do shows up this way … As long as its too far for you to travel. Prayers girlie! We’re so blessed to be in this!

August 19, 2013 - 8:36 am

tara - very excited to hear all that the Lord is doing in your heart….growing, stretching, bringing more passion for his people, teaching you more and more about his love for justice!

August 19, 2013 - 9:55 am

LLH Designs - I love your heart…always. But love what I read here about how you don’t what to be “that girl” anymore. That’s when we know real transformation is taking place. What an awesome thing! xo!

August 19, 2013 - 11:53 am

Melissa - I wish you lived closer I would love to host a show! I know what you mean – it’s so hard to put into words what you experience on a trip like that! By the way loved the bags you got at the market in Guatemala. I was kicking myself for not buying one.

August 19, 2013 - 12:46 pm

Lemonade Makin' Mama - Oh you CAN’T unknow once you KNOW. That is so true! My heart is so full for you Paige. I’m not sure where the Lord is taking me but I know He is taking me someplace once again, after a couple of very tough years and I feel Him working on me and softening my faith that has grown somewhat brittle with battle after battle. I can see Him stirring something in me again with devotionals and powerful sermons and blog posts that remind me what we are truly here for and what it’s ALL about. Love you for being a part of His plan.

August 19, 2013 - 9:43 pm

Sara - Love this image! And your words are spot on. Thank you!

August 23, 2013 - 10:53 am

good reads from the week 8.23.13 – The Front Porch Ramblings - […] Now that I’ve seen I can’t unsee […]

July 8, 2014 - 6:18 am

dreaming an absurd dream » simple thoughts from Paige Knudsen Photography - […] i press play and share a very short video about noonday. then every single time sweet ana’s face comes across the screen i feel the huge lump in my throat once again. and i think , oh goodness […]