Mental Post-Its

Thoughts, Notes and General Mental Mayhem


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I’m going to India! Would you be willing to help?

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Darjeeling, India

I’m so excited to be heading to India for the first time this July with two friends to learn and explore. My friend who is leading the team is the founder of an organization that assists at-risk girls in India to pursue their education through university level with “life scholarships,” which provide housing, tuition, clothing, medical care, life training, tutoring, service opportunities, stability and care while in school. The funding is mostly accomplished through her tea shop in Downtown Atlanta, which is how I met her.

Unfortunately, some women and girls in India are still persecuted for being female, especially in rural areas like Darjeeling. And for some of these girls in the program, good alternatives would be hard to find. They have already faced incomprehensible challenges in their young lives such as: families who couldn’t provide for them, being orphaned for being a girl, and the threat of being trafficked or forced into prostitution, among others. So, I’m excited to meet the scholars in this program who are excelling in their education, and have promising futures that might not otherwise be available to them. They will create a better India. In a country of 1.2 billion people, the education disparity between girls and boys, especially after age 14, is still far too high. Programs like this one are helping to fill the void. For more information on girls’ education in India, please see the “women’s education” section on this page.

Additionally, many of you are aware of my passion for abolishing modern-day slavery. According to the 2014 Global Slavery Index, India has more slaves than any other country in the world, around 14 million. Therefore, I am very interested to see the climate which fosters this reality, and hopefully meet other organizations who are on the front lines of fighting this atrocity in its various forms.

And, of course, there will be many bright spots in this trip. India is a unique and beautiful country with a long and interesting history. I’m really excited to see the culture and vibrancy of these remarkable people.

It’s going to be an incredible trip, and I’d love to have you partner with me.

Here are some of the things we’ll be doing:

  • Staying with the 11 scholars at their center and spending time with them, helping however we can and learning their individual stories.
  • Exploring the cities of Kolkata and Darjeeling, and possibly Mumbai.
  • Visiting the tea plantation in Darjeeling where my friend sources her tea.
  • Connecting with other local orgs that are fighting various forms human and labor trafficking.
  • Having a ton of fun along the way!

If any additional money is raised beyond my needs or goal, I plan to give it as a donation to this incredible organization. And if you’d like to make a donation to them directly, I’m happy to connect you.

**Unfortunately, donations made for this trip are not tax-deductible. I realize that may impact your ability to give, and I still deeply appreciate any consideration. Also, please know that Indiegogo Life, where my campaign is housed, charges no fees for its service, therefore all donations will go directly to me outside of your standard credit card fees which are typically around 3%.**


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The Orange Conference 2015 RECAP

If you weren’t able to attend OC15, or even tune into the Live Stream, here’s a peek at what happened when over 6,600 people decided to gather here in Atlanta and learn how to make the most of the phases that kids go through.

I think it went pretty well . . .

OC15 Recap on Vimeo

 


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Watch The Orange Conference 2015 Live Stream

LiveStreamFB_01It’s here! It’s here! OC15 is this week! My company, Orange, hosts the largest family ministry event, The Orange Conference, and it’s all going down this week. We’ll be joined by almost 7,000 of our closest friends!

Not going to be here with us? No problem! You can still tune in to our Live Stream. We’ll be streaming a few of the main sessions, give away LOTS of prizes, conducting speaker and author interviews, and generally having a good time. So, you should make plans to hang out with us.

A couple pointers:

  • Check the Live Stream site for the schedule. BUT if you can only watch one thing, tune in Wednesday night at 7:30 p.m. ET to hear our founder, Reggie Joiner. It’s going to be a great message! Plus, it’s the opening session so there will be lots of fun things happening.
  • Be sure to RSVP for additional perks and offers you won’t see anywhere else.
  • Get your game face on! You could win a variety of fantastic prizes just for watching—including a ticket to next year’s conference!

Hope you can make it!


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Interrupted: Book Review

InterruptedI just finished reading Jen Hatmaker’s book, Interrupted: When Jesus Wrecks Your Comfortable Christianity, last week. Ummm, pretty FANTASTIC!

If you aren’t familiar with Jen, you need to become part of the fold. She’s funny and smart and honest, and most of us regular Christian gals just wish we could be friends with her. Jen’s most popular book, 7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess, is one you may be more familiar with. It was where I first formed my girl crush. Or if you are an HGTV junkie, you may know her from My Big Family Renovation.

So, she recently re-released Interrupted, and I thought that now was finally the time for me to read it. Soooo glad that I did. It is an inspiration to me for sure, and maybe it will be for you too.

It tells the story of her entry into social justice, and consequently, how she and her husband, Brandon, formed Austin New Church. Her story resonated with me on so many levels. We grew up in church, lived pretty comfortable lives, did lots of ministry work, worked our way toward what we thought was success . . . and were still left believing that, even though life was very good, there had to be more to this life of faith. We were both sort of blindsided with social justice, but now see it as a calling and glad it has wrapped itself around our hearts.

If you are a Christian and at least curious about social justice on some level, I highly recommend this book. It’s a great starter and entry point. She does a beautiful job of laying out scripture on social justice, and telling you of her struggle to basically allow God to interrupt her very comfortable life for this new venture. She could’ve say no thank you, but she chose to see God’s leading and embraced it. She lived a life many of us are familiar with, and may need to question in one way or another. She prayed a very simple prayer, and it changed everything. So, let that serve as your warning. :)

And even if you are a seasoned social justice advocate like me, you’ll love this book. For all the reasons that I’ve already outlined, and so many more, you’ll find a kindred spirit on this journey. It’ll remind you of where you started, and more importantly, why. And it’ll inspire you to continue your great work. On the days when it feels lonely and hard, you’ll remember you’re not alone.

So, check out Interrupted. Just be prepared for what may come next.


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Enjoy Your Local Farmers Market

Farmers Market HaulIt’s finally starting to feel like spring! Well, in most places at least.

Nonetheless, it’s a great time to get outside and shop local. I was craving some fresh air and even fresher veggies this morning so I hit my favorite farmers market, the Marietta Square Farmers Market, for the first time this season. Take a look at my beautiful haul! I can’t begin to describe my love for arugula.

Anywho, I often talk about social justice here on my blog, and farmers markets are a great way to keep the supply chain short. They also help stimulate the local economy and provide income for our neighbors. And, if you have kids, it’s a great place to teach them about where actual food comes from, as well as meet the folks that grow it. Plus, it’s so much more fun to walk around than a grocery store. (Note: This is coming from someone who really loves to walk around grocery stores.) Oh my, and if you’ve never had food this fresh, you’re missing out. The tastes are so much stronger and delicious.

So, get out there and enjoy your local farmers market! You won’t regret it!

Don’t know where your local farms, farmers markets and CSAs are? Check out Local Harvest. It’s a great resource.

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