6.29.2011

Go.



I've had a lot of "nothing time" these past few months. I barely get any hours at my job so during the day I'm often home alone. These nothing times have been filled with constant face-book stalking and looking through many blogs. My prayer has been the same for a few weeks now asking the Lord to reveal himself more and more to me. He made me realize that these "nothing times" were to be spent with him. This past week I have been reading my bible and letting the worship music sink deep within my heart. I am waiting on the Lord to reveal himself to me and as a result I've been growing more. The Lord desires to share so much with us and to love on us but when we constantly consume ourselves with other pointless things we put those before God. 

I love that the Lord is patient with me as I continually re learn so many lessons. This morning I was reading Luke and I just had to stand in awe of how the disciples trusted God and how I often doubt my callings. 

Luke 22:8-13

And Jesus sent Peter and John, saying, "Go are prepare the Passover for us, so that we may eat it." They said to Him, "Where do you want us to prepare it?" And he said to them, "when you have entered the city, a man will meet you carrying a pitcher of water; follow him into the house that he enters. And you shall say to the owner of the house, "the Teacher says to you, "Where is the guest room in which I may eat the Passover with My disciples? And he will show you a large, furnished upper room; prepare it there." And they left and found everything just as He had told them; and they prepared the Passover.

I was so challenged by this passage because Peter and John just left, trusting that what the Lord had said would be true. So often I doubt. So often I feel that maybe something small wouldn't be right or I would chose the wrong man carrying a picture of water. My excuse for a while was saying "well if Jesus were actually here I would have more faith" but I am far enough in my faith to know the Holy Spirit is living inside of me and is just as present and powerful. 

What I also love is how the bible says they "found everything just as He had told them"
Everything?
Yes, everything. 

I so desire to learn the faith of John and Peter and when I hear God's calling (whether reading it in his word or hearing it in my soul) to go. And to leave right away- not after checking my email or texting my friend but to just drop everything and leave knowing that God's will is always the best for my life. 

6.28.2011

Shopping For Africa

Another day devoted to crossing things off my packing list! 43 days and I'm outta here!

Went to the travel clinic for a few shots, hit up some thrift stores (2 super cute skirts = success) and got some sweet headbands:) It's getting closer and closer and I'm getting more excited than ever!

6.26.2011

Love isn't safe.

This has been my anthem for the past few weeks.

Love isn't safe. I'm learning that very quickly.
What i'm also learning is that love is ALWAYS worth it. It's always the right thing to love big, even with the fear of rejection and hurt.
& I am resting in the fact that God wants to love on me and when I love him back I know that I will never experience fear or rejection. How amazing is that?

Take a Listen:)





You keep tryin to get inside my head,
While I keep trying to lose the words you said
Can't you see I'm hangin by a thread,
To my life what I know, yeah I'm losing control and
Oh no, my walls are gonna break
So close, its more than I can take
I'm so tired of turning and running away
When love ju--st isn't safe
(your not safe, mmm-mm)

I'm strong enough, I've always told myself
I never want to need somebody else
But I've already fallen from that hill,
So I'm droppin that guard here's your chance at my heart and

Oh no, my walls are gonna break
So close, its more than I can take
I'm so tired of turning and running away
When love ju-st isn't

Everything you want, but its everything you need
Its not always happy endings but happy in between
Its taken so long, so long to finally see
That your love is worth the risk

Oh no, my walls are gonna breeeaakk
Oh no, my walls are gonna break
So close, its more than I can take
So tired of turning and running away
When love ju-st isn't safe

Oh no, my walls are gonna break
So close, its more than I can take
So tired of turning and running away
When love just isn't safe

You're not safe
And that's okay

6.23.2011

A bit of Meena

"Meena estimates that in the dozen years she was in the brothel, she was beaten on average 5 days a week. Most girls were quickly broken and cowed, but Meena never quite gave in. Her distinguishing characteristic is obstinacy. She can be dogged and mulish, and that is one reason the villagers find her so unpleasant. She breaches the pattern of femininity in rural India by talking back- and fighting back"


Meena is fighting for her freedom.


What are you fighting for?

6.22.2011

Meet Srey


You just have to turn past the table of contents in Half the Sky by Nicholas D. Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn to meet Srey. She is the first girl that they talk about. I was hesitant about writing about Srey because she is on the first page, however, by the time I finished the introduction tears were already streaming down my face. How could the world that I live in do something this horrible to thousands of girls? Before I get to ahead of myself here is a glimpse of Srey's story.  (remember I am summarizing everything from the book Half the Sky!)


Srey Rath: a self confident Cambodian girl.

When Srey was 15 her family ran out of money and she took a job in Thailand as a dishwasher to make money for her family. Once she left her family she was sold to gangsters and Srey had her first customer who tired to forced her to have sex. Srey fought back. Because she refused to sleep with the customer her "boss" and other gangsters beat her and raped her to teach her a lesson. They told her that if she didn't accept the customers they would beat her to death.

Just pause with me for a second. This is not some fiction story or an exaggeration of what happened. This is real- this happened to Srey. Even though we do not know her personally, this happened to another human being. The reality is that today this is happening right now to thousands of girls. Do you feel uncomfortable? I hope you do.  Thats the whole reason I am leaving the country and heading to South Africa. I am so uncomfortable that I have to do something.

Lets go back to Srey's life at the brothel.  She worked 7 days a week, fifteen hours a day. She was kept naked to ensure that she wouldn't run away. She was barely given enough to eat because her clients didn't like "fat" girls. Srey tried to escape and found herself behind bars when she went to the authorities because she was an illegal immigrant. After being released she was taken to the border but sold once again into the life of a sex slave.


A young women with her life shattered. What would you do in that situation- I personally can't even think about it for too long- it makes me sick. But keep reading - this part is super encouraging!!!

Srey escaped again (what a determined young women) and got in touch with social worker who helps girls who have been trafficked.  American Assistance for Cambodia  used $400 in donated funds for Srey to become a street peddler.

$400 dollars? How many of us can make 400 dollars. To give Srey hope in her life I would give $400 in a second.

Fast Forward:  Srey's business thrived, she ended up getting married, had a son and began saving for his education! Key points from this heart breaking story:

"If girls get a chance, in the form of an education or a microloan, they can be more than baubles or slaves; many of them can run businesses.... Women aren't the problem but the solution. The plight of girls is no more a tragedy than an opportunity."

Srey is a role model and hero to me. This girl went through hell and when given the opportunity, given the chance to break her cycle of poverty- she thrived.

I can't wait to continue to be educated and become a global citizen with you. I know today's blog is heavy but I hope that you realize this is happening right now and deserves your attention - even just reading her story is a start, so thank you.

Just Wait!

I have been reading "Half the Sky" for the past 5 months!  Crazy it took me this long because I love reading and have had time to read this summer! However this book is full of incredible and life changing stories. It lists a large amount of organizations and every time I would read their story I would put down the book and learn about the organization!
Aka- this book has taught me so very much about the power of women and education.

I rented the book from the library (yes for 5 months!)  but I want to write down the main points from a book that has changed my life! So the rest of the week is devoted to summarize my favourite lines from the book.

I am finalizing my thoughts about the book but I just couldn't wait to tell you that I am done reading!

Come back later to be educated

6.21.2011

and as we let our own light shine...



This famous quote has been around for a long time. In two movies and Nelson Mandela's Inauguration speech in 1994.

It's been one of my favourite quotes for a while but yesterday I had a profound conversation that brought this to my mind once again.

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others. - Marianne Williamson

We are all meant to shine as children do. Each and every one of us. By letting our own light shine, by believing and never backing down we carry a fragrance that is contagious. When we believe we give people the opportunity to believe. I encourage you to read this quote a few times (even if you've already memorized it like myself!)

Ask yourself- who are you not to be?

Whatever your passionate about, today decide to believe in it and don't look back. You'll be surprised how many people become liberated from you.

Maddie

6.20.2011

Documentary Update- Manufactured Landscape



Happy Monday Everyone!
I hope everyone's weekend was splendid! Mine def. was a bit crazy working all weekend but I'm so happy to have today off to relax.


Last Thursday, Zach and I went to Princess Cafe in Uptown Waterloo and watched a documentary called Manufactured Landscape. This was def. up "Zach's alley" because his favourite things to watch are Discovery Channel and National Geographic + I love anything social justice related so we thought we would give it a try. 


A little background on the documentary:
 - Edward Burtynsky is a photographer and travelled around the world observing it. He basically looked at multi national corporations and manufacturing and took pictures and film of what he saw. This film was released in 2006 and won a few awards including Best Canadian Film by Toronto International Film Festival.


Here are some of my thoughts/reflections and challenges from the documentary!


1) It's a slow moving film- this bothered me at first because it felt like the introduction would never end but it showed how long tasks took in real time and captured the essence of pondering each photo and camera shot and looking at all the details
2) This film had no bias (and not a lot of talking!) I really loved this aspect of the film because Burtynsky didn't tell the viewer that making people work long hours is destructive or the fact that they are breathing in toxic chemicals will kill them- he just showed us and allowed the viewer to make their own conclusions about the different shots around the world- I personally thought this idea was brilliant!
3)The film showcased a lot of people working in factories and in jobs and the whole time I thought "what if I worked there" "what if that was me". These thoughts cross my mind often and I believe its important to reflect on what people are going through today- and every time I do I complain less and less. For example, in this film you meet a girl named Tam Yangfan. She assembles 400 units a day without overtime and has been doing this same job for 6 years!


4) At the end of the film Burtynsky said that "he feels people don't want to give up their comfortable lifestyle but they realize from [his] work that something isn't right."
I couldn't agree more!
We know people are starving, children are dying, people are forced into slavery today more than ever. We are aware of these facts but how often do we change our lifestyle choice? and if you can't change - why not? What is holding you back? These are just a few questions that I have been struggling and pondering with for the past few years. This documentary enabled me to reflect on them more and more.


I challenge you to ponder the above quote in point 4.  Would you say that statement is true in your life or are you doing something?


Thanks for reading my thoughts again!


Mads.

6.17.2011

Thankful.


Just a short thought that is so very present on my heart as I slip into bed this evening.

I am thankful. I am thankful for having a loving family who accepts me. I am thankful that my family knows and loves the Lord. I am thankful for my boyfriend who can play his guitar so beautifully at my house. I am so thankful that he loves the Lord too! I am thankful that I can spend my Friday night at home with my sister, Jason, Zach and my parents and have the best night ever.

Less than 2 months I will have to say goodbye to all of that for a little while. However, tonight I am thankful that it's mine.

6.14.2011

Summer Parties!

I am just loving this summer weather and I am loving planning and attending parties. I got to plan a going away party and boy did I love it! It was my first time planning a party so I was terrible but I can only improve.

Here are a few pics from planning Steph's party to attending my future cousin in law bridal showers!

 Backyard setting:) I got the big table from my dad's work!

 Table which would soon be filled with food and drinks.

 This is not meant to be fancy but just some treats that I love

 I made a flag for Stephanie and the girls ended up signing the flag for her to take with positive thoughts and messages
 I got this idea off of a wedding blog. I asked the members of the party to bring a short note of encouragement for Steph and got this cute woven basket to put them in. Yes I coloured in the bubble and block letters- not very professional but still a lot of fun



 The best punch ever- so easy and simple. Frozen Strawberries + peach juice + gingerale + fresh blackberries = wonderful and refreshing.

 Notes of Love for Steph- I think that turned out so well

With tea we had angel food cake, fresh strawberries and kiwi and whipped cream.. mmmm.. delicious!

These are pics from the shower I attended on June 12

 Who doesn't love a fruit tray that looks like this?

 Presents for Natalie!

 Gift Bags for the members of the bridal shower.



Brunch is served! Hurray!
Girl Cousins

6.09.2011

Video Blog!

So first thing to do- Read my below post! It will set more of the tone for this next blog. 
This video blog is just me spilling out my thoughts about this trip finally starting to set in and how that makes me feel. Mainly just scared. 

So thats pretty much all I said in the video I think but if you still want to watch it click below:)



6.08.2011

South Africa Thoughts!

Hey All!

So today has been a crazy day. It started out with going to the beach with Stephanie! What a wonderful blessing it was to 1) go to the beach and get sun but 2) hang out with one of my best friends and dear sisters of the faith. Stephanie is leaving on Sunday to Sudan for a few weeks to do missions work with International Teams. I am so excited for her! Steph being excited has made my trip and experience become so real.

On the ride home tonight from the beach I think it finally hit me how real South Africa is. I am going. Up until tonight I haven't really accepted that fact. I don't commit to anything this huge and I guess a part of me thought I wouldn't go. With this realization it has lead to me become terrified of going. I guess a panic has set in. I know in my heart and head (finally) that this trip is happening but from that realization has brought up another thing to work through. BEING SCARED. If we are God's children he calls us to not be afraid and to not worry. I so want to come to a place of peace about leaving my friends, family and comfortable lifestyle and venture out into an unknown world. I have full knowledge that if I fully let the Lord take control of ambitions hopes and fears I will not be disappointed but to be honest it is a very scary thought.

I know I have blogged about being scared before and having the trip set in but these are things that I am really trying to work through! Preparing to leave has been so much harder than I would have ever dreamed of!

Guess I should get back to making my packing lists! Here's a pic of what I've got so far.

6.03.2011

SA providing precious opportunities!

I've made another step in the right direction for my trip!
My x-rays came back and my blood work is in! A radiologist has signed off saying I'm healthy and I'm almost ready to submit my work visa so that I can finally say its 100% (not 99%) official that I am going to South Africa!

The Lord has already been developing such a passion in my heart to serve these girls and the children at the school, and I am so blessed by that. As many of you know I am a server at a restaurant that mostly serves elderly. On occasion I will get a table that wants to tell me their whole life story and talk forever while I know I have 4 other tables waiting on me. Yesterday however this one table overheard the sweetest elderly women as I told her I was leaving to go to South Africa. This couple waited until I only had 2 tables left and than told me they overheard my earlier conversation and wanted to know everything about my trip! It was awesome to see people interested in what I'm doing- even if they are complete strangers!! I started sharing about my job while in SA (they asked so many questions!) but than all I could think about is this is what the Lord had called me to do and I needed to share that with this couple.

Romans 1:16 immediately came into my head. "I am not ashamed of the gospel..." I was worried whether I would get to good tip or offend this wonderful couple if I started talking about the Lord and how I felt this was something he called me to do. Than Matthew 10:20 came into my mind (all while I'm standing at this table) which says "for it will not be you speaking, but the Spirit of the Father speaking through you."

Don't you just love the word and how it speaks directly to our situations! I just have to praise Jesus for that because scripture is the only thing that gets me through sometimes. God is just so good!

I ended up letting the Holy Spirit speak through me and talking to this couple about my love for the Lord and how that is the driving force and only reason that I am going on this trip. They weren't Christians but the lady at the end of our chat said "God bless you, I'm sure he's happy your following him." I know I will never see this couple again but I am so blessed that I got to share my love for the Lord with them and that God gave me this opportunity to talk about him by talking about my trip. I am just so thankful that I serve a God who is active and living and who wants to use me and love on me.

I hope this inspires you to speak boldly about the Lord and know that the Holy Spirit is right their guiding you and speaking through you. I know I am not bold (I even questioned telling a couple I will never see again about the Lord) but I know that I want to become more bold. The disciples prayed for boldness to share the gospel and I believe that is something that should be in our daily prayer walk with the Lord.

I am so blessed you are reading this and I pray the Lord uses my life more to bless others. I am just very thankful that the Lord  uses screwed up people like me to bring glory to his Kingdom and he used that through my trip to South Africa.

Have an amazing day!

Madeline.

 photo copyright.jpg
envye template.