Saturday, January 29, 2011

Yes, He is that into me.

I was thinking earlier (dangerous, I know).  My thoughts were spurred by this picture that I saw on this blog.

It's from that movie "He's Just Not That Into You", based on the book of the same title.  I will have to admit that I did see the movie and yes, I also read the book.  I hated the movie (don't waste your time watching it), but did kinda enjoy the book (though I can't comfortably recommend it because of the language).  

So, I saw this picture with the little movie quote and I was just thinking about all those guys through the years who were not that into me.  What's wrong with them anyway.  I'm totally an awesome catch :-)  Ok, prideful moment aside, sometimes it's hard being a girl.  

What's a girl to do when a guy catches her eye?  She may flirt a little.  Or, like me, she may freeze up and crawl into a shell every time she is around him because he is so dreamy it makes her nervous :-)  But in the end she is left hoping and wishing someone will show some interest and when they don't she is left thinking "I guess he's just not that into me."

So tonight I was thinking through those oh so many "he's just not that into me" moments I have had through the years when I felt Jesus speak to my spirit.  While I was thinking, "He's just not that into me," Jesus said, "but I am."  It even brings tears to my eyes thinking about it right now.  

My Jesus is so "into me" it's incomprehensible.  He loves me with an everlasting love that will never fade or expect me to look like a super model.  

The quote in the picture says, "If a guy wants to be with a girl, he will make it happen, no matter what."  Taking that into the context of what Jesus did on the cross to have a relationship with me, I am just blown away.  God wanted to be with me.  He wanted a daily relationship with me and Jesus paid the price to make it happen "no matter what."

I love that Jesus tells me that He is into me.  It makes me see through to my worth.  He really is all that really matters.  He is the only lasting perfect love.  In all honesty, I would not mind someone else coming along and sweeping me off my feet, but really and truly my Jesus is enough for me.

So there you have it.  There is a little glimpse into my thoughts.  

My Jesus is into me.  

He's see what a wonderful catch I am.  

I love Him.  

He's pretty much the best ever :-)

Saturday, January 22, 2011

As seen on Etsy

Etsy is one of my favorite sites to look at on the internet.  I love seeing what people out there are making.  If you don't already know much about Etsy, get to know it.  It's awesome...and I hope to have a store soon.  And then you will really need to be visiting Etsy often :-)

Here are some of my favorite things that I have found while browsing around Etsy.

I have had my eye on this necklace and matching ring for awhile.  So cute and simple.  I love it oh so very much.

I really like this hat.  But I have been thinking that I need to yarn up one myself :-)

You have got to be kidding me!  This sweet baby and cute hate are to die for!

Esty thought that I might like this.  They were right.

I love these.  If I had a home I would probably buy them.

I don't think that a day goes by that I don't find something on Etsy that I absolutely love.  I keep a good track of things on my Tumblr.  So you can always check here for more.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Freedom Friday - what I think about when there is no sleep

Awhile back I started what was going to be a regular Friday post called Fair Trade Friday.  But I found that the title just limits me too much, so I have decided to rename my Friday posts "Freedom Friday".  This came to me at about 3:00 am.  Which really leads to what I want to share today.

I couldn't sleep last night.  From about 12:00 to 4:00 my eyes were wide awake.  Granted I did get a few hours of sleep before my bladder did the midnight wake up call.  So, don't feel too sorry for me.  I got a good 5 hours of sleep and I am good to go for today :-)

I opened my window shade to see if the snow forecasted was actually happening (it wasn't) and then I just laid in my bed listening to music, thinking, and looking into the sky outside.  Here is the music I was listening to:

It is currently my favorite CD.  You can buy your own here or on iTunes using the giftcard you got for Christmas like I did :-)  

A lot of times when I listen to music I tend to dance around in my head - imaginary dancing Melany has awesome moves :-)  It's one of the ways I tend to connect deeper with Jesus.  

As I was listening...and my head, one line really penetrated my heart.  "There is power in the name of Jesus to break every chain."  

You know, it's really so very true and gives such great hope.  There is not anything that I can do in my human strength.  But through the power Jesus left in His Spirit, I can break chains.  The name of Jesus is powerful and makes darkness flee.  

I love the name of Jesus.  I love the man of Jesus (He is my favorite).  I love His love for us and His sacrifice defeating all evil and replacing it with great power and hope.  He truly is the hope of the world.

The issue of modern day slavery moves me.  It really does break my heart and one thing that I have come to know is that I am oh so grateful for the compassion of God.  I literally can't handle this feeling on my own.  When I lay in the quiet of my room and can see faces of children in my head, the brokenness is something that I can't bear on my own.  But I know that the anger and hurt that I feel over the issue does not even begin to compare to how God feels about it.  He just gives me the very little piece that I can handle.  Any more and I would literally explode.

I believe God to be moving in the area of modern day slavery and I enlisted into the army years ago.  I look forward to more opportunities to get involved.  I cling to hope, which means that I cling to Jesus.  I stand grateful for the one who gives all power.

By the way, if you want to know some more about the power I write about and praying with that power, check out the message from my church this past Sunday:

Expecting HIS Power from DC Metro Church on Vimeo.

Thanks for sharing in my thoughts.  Have a wonderful weekend.  Over the weekend I plan to do some lighter posts like some of my favorite things on Etsy and my first time making homemade bread over Christmas.  Be back soon.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Wrap it up

I have wanted to start posting some DIYs onto my blog and what better way to start than with wrapping presents :-)  It's something that I am know for in my family and I just want to share my crazy love of wrapped presents with the world.

Let me preface this blogpost by stating that: yes, I do know that I am a dork.  (I am, after all,  about to write a tutorial on wrapping presents)

I am fully aware of the fact that I have a tendency to go a little overboard in this area.

 I don't think it is at all strange that one of my dream jobs is to work in the gift wrap department of Macys.

What can I say? I just like wrapping presents.

I also know that it is strange for me to be offering this tutorial AFTER the holidays, but just posting as I promised here :-)

So with that said, after all the comments over the years on my wrapped presents, I have decided to launch this tutorial.  I will be using pics that my sis took while I was wrapping Christmas presents. 

I always start with a very plain wrapping paper.  This year for Christmas, I chose a plain brown kraft paper:

First I cut the width of paper that I need.  I am weird and always have to have a straight cut on my wrapping paper rolls, so sometimes I wind up wrapping the paper around the present a few times.  Yes, I know...wasteful (shame on me).
After paper is cut, tape one end onto back of package to keep it from shifting.  Then wrap the paper around the package, going over the tapped portion and fold on the creased edge.  Here is where another of my funny little quirks comes in.  I can't have any tapped paper in the middle of a package.  It always has to be on a edge, so I crease along the edge and fold under the leftover paper.  Like this:

Yeah, pretty edges :-)  Tape it down and flip the box to wrap up the sides.  For the sides, I always fold the paper in on the sides and secure them first (don't have a picture, but you get the idea right).  I usually have a long piece left on the top and bottom, so what I do is crease the top portion like so:

Cut off the extra paper like this and then tape it down:

Now that the top edge is taped down flip the package over to do the bottom.  Crease like before.  Cut off the access, but this time leave enough paper to fold under.

Look at the pretty clean edge being made.  I tape along the edge and at each corner:

Do the same on the other side of the package.  I usually wind up with quite a lot of scraps.  The picture below is my Christmas presents leftovers:

But there were lots of presents :-)

Don't judge me please.

I love our planet too :-)

Now the pretty part - sprucing things up.  This year I have been kinda obsessed with sewing onto paper so I made my Christmas tags out of two pieces of paper sewed together and then I sewed buttons on.  Cute, yes?

I decided to overlay one type of ribbon over the other and wanted a few different options, resulting in the purchasing of the following ribbons:

First I put the wider ribbon on the package securing both ends of the ribbon on the back of the box - the only place where it is ok for tape to actually show :-)

I then put the more narrow ribbon around the box and tied a simple knot on the front:

Then I attached the tag.  This one was for Mama Doris and Papa:

And voila!

I was all about some simplicity this past Christmas.  I have also done things like:
- using small mirrors and writing names on them for gift tags
- painting names onto small Christmas ornaments for name tags
- used newspaper instead of wrapping paper

Happy wrapping!!!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Where to shop

Here is a list of websites that offer stores and resources to help you live a fair trade life.  

Need to buy a gift?  Have a home to decorate?  Looking for some cool accessories?  Ten Thousand Villages is a great website to look at.  They have products from all over the world (literally).  Shopping at this store does not only mean that you score some really cool cultural items, but you also get to help provide for the artisans making such wonderful things.  They have a website here, as well as stores located throughout the US.  I am lucky enough to have a store in my area.  Guess where I did some of my Christmas shopping? :-)

If you have followed by blog for awhile, you have already read about Not For Sale at this blogpost.  This organization is a movement with the desire to abolish slavery.  A few days I mentioned the book in my blogpost here (reading the book today).  They have a store on their website that contains resources, apparel, accessories, coffee, art, and more (just check it out).  You can reach their store by clicking on this link.

I just learned about this extension of the Not For Sale campaign at my friend Karisse's site.  See what she had to say here.  I will let Free2Word explain themselves.  In their "About" section they state, 
" is a singular location that streamlines and simplifies the process for consumers on the topic of most concern to its audience, modern-day slavery. On, consumers can easily search specific products, learn more about various labor standards and corporate practices, and further their engagement through their consumption decisions."
Basically they are monitoring companies and sending that information to us (the consumer).  They even have an Iphone app.  Now I want an Iphone :-)  Start exploring their website here.  

The Good Guide is a website similar to the Free2Work website.  It gives ratings on products in the areas of health, environment, and society.  Beware checking the products that you use (some of them are actually really yucky).    They also have an Iphone app.  Gosh, I really need an Iphone don't I?  Visit the GoodGuide website here.

Night Light is a jewelry ministry based out of one my favorite countries, Thailand.  This ministry gives women working in the Bangkok bar district an opportunity to leave the sex industry and make money by making jewelry (you can read more about it here).  This is another ministry that you have already heard about if you have followed my blog for awhile.  See this blogpost to see some of my favorite Night Light pretty things.  If you (or someone you know) is in need of some new jewelry, check out the Night Light store here.

Yet another ministry that you have already heard about if you are a follower of my blog.  You can read my original Thai Song post here.  This ministry is also ministering to women in Thailand (in case you could not tell by the title).  Their bags are so so so cool.  They use plastic bags and crochet them into beauty.  I love them and hope to have one of my own someday.  Seriously, they are so cool.  Check them out here (in grabbing this link, I discovered that they have new products.  Ahhh...I love it!)

I am sure that we have probably all heard of The Body Shop, but do you realize what they stand for.  Check out their "Values and Campaigns" link here.  And while you are at it get some "Soft Hands Kind Heart" hand lotion.  All proceeds go towards combating and raising awareness of the sex trafficking of children and young people.  Hand lotion is definitely a necessity this time of year.  Dry dry dry winter months :-(

So there you have it.  My little list of places to begin a life of fair trade shopping.  I know that there is probably so much more out there, so if you know of another site that needs to make it on the list, leave a comment below.  Have a wonderful week all :-)

Friday, January 14, 2011

I'm a winner!!

I just found out that I won a giveaway over at Julia's Poppies Design.  I am beyond thrilled.  I never win anything.  Check out these goodies coming my way:

Go check out Jamie's blog here.  She is super cool :-)


I am attempting some blog facelifting, so my blog will most likely be changing a lot over the next couple of weeks. Keep checking back for more lifting of the face :-)

Thursday, January 13, 2011

What to watch

As promised, here is a list of films that I recommend for anyone wanting to learn a little more about modern day slavery:

Invisible Children

This film actually holds a pretty special place in my heart.  I first saw it in October of 2005 and it was the first time that my eyes were fully opened to the issue of modern day slavery.  God used this film and other circumstances in my life to awaken purpose and send me in new directions.  To learn more about Invisible Children and to be updated on what they currently have going on, you can visit their website here.

Born Into Brothels

"Born Into Brothels" won the 2005 Academy Award for best documentary.  It is about a photographer who meets a group of children living in a brothel and teaches them how to take pictures.  Seeing the world through the lens of the camera placed in the hands of these children is beautiful.  One huge way that this film spoke to me is in using creative methods to reach the impoverished.  As a creative person, I long to be able to use the art of making things to impact the world.  For more information about the film and the children whose lives it documents visit the website "Kids with Cameras" by clicking here.


"Taken" is a movie that was released on the big screen in 2009.  It is about a retired CIA agent whose teenage daughter gets kidnapped and put in the European sex trafficking ring.  As you watch this film and see the efforts that one father goes to in order to rescue his daughter, look for the glimpse of God's heart and imagine the efforts that He goes to in order to rescue his children.  It kinda helps that the lead character is also the voice of Aslan from Chronicles of Narnia.  I guess that Liam Neeson plays a ferocious lion in many different ways :-)

Slumdog Millionaire

If you have not seen this movie, just go rent it.  I adore this film.  I love the story line.  I love the way it is filmed.  I even love the way they did the subtitling.  The kids in this movie make me want to file paperwork for adoption right now :-)  The soundtrack is also amazing (Latika's theme is one of my all time favorite songs - so magical).  Basically this movie is stunning.  There are many good reasons why it was up for so many Academy Awards.  To watch it also gives sight into the way that kids are used for profit in India.  "Slumdog Millionaire" - watch it.

Call + Response

Call + Response is a documentary film that gives a good overview with facts concerning human trafficking.  I got to see this movie with Lauren and Karisse while I was in LA.  They also have a heart to raise awareness about these issues.  I miss those gals.  For more information on the Call + Response initiative, go to their website here.


The movie "Trade" is about a girl in Mexico who is kidnapped and then brought to become a part of the sex trafficking ring in the United States.  Though this film is not a documentary, I believe that we must realize that this is happening in our own country.  Just because you don't see it, doesn't mean that it isn't happening.  This stuff is real and it is in your own backyard.

Svetlana's Journey

"Svetlana's Journey" is a film that was made by writer and director Michael Cory after his eyes were opened to the issue of sex trafficking while he was acting on location in Bulgaria.  I got to meet Michael a couple of times while I was in LA and he screened this film for the DTS (Discipleship Training School) a few times.  Visit this site for more information on the film as well others short films and public service announcements that the director has made.

Amazing Grace

Ahhh, I can't even watch this movie trailer without crying.  After all of those heavy movie recommendations, I leave you with one more filled with hope and inspiration.  William Wilberforce truly is a man of great inspiration.  His story shows us how one voice can make a huge difference.  Every time I watch "Amazing Grace", I am reminded of what I want my life to count for : the freeing of the captives.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

What to Read

As I mentioned in my last post, I wanted to gather together some resources to suggest for anyone who might be interested in learning more about modern day slavery. The following are some books that I have read. I actually started to say "enjoyed reading", but let's face it: they are not the most enjoyable books to read. This is heavy stuff we are talking about. In fact, usually when I read a book on modern day slavery, I have to chase with some light fictional reading (something that you could probably find in the youth section of the bookstore). But as hard as these books can be, I think it is really good to keep ourselves aware of the stories of others. After all, they can't just lay their current circumstances aside and go on to a "light fictional read". This is their life.

Ok, so I have to admit that the last time I started this book I got distracted and put it down for awhile. Then I let someone else borrow it and now I am picking it back up again. Anyone care to join me in this read? More information here.

I read this book years ago when I was on a mission trip to Uganda. Being in Africa really brought this story to life even more for me. It's about a child soldier in Sierra Leone. You can find out more about the book and the amazing boy who lived the story here.

Gary Haugan is the president and CEO of International Justice Mission (an organization here in DC that I would love to work for). This was the first overview that I read of modern day slavery. You can find more information and purchase the book at the International Justice Mission website here.

This book gives stories of different individuals who have been caught in the trap of modern day slavery. Each is a story that ends with the redemptive freedom only Jesus can offer. This story also includes questions to help the reader think even deeper into what they are reading (I like that part). More information can be found here.

This story gives a little glimpse of what slavery looks like in our own backyard. It is the story of a girl in California who turns to drugs and prostitution as a means of survival and how she turns her life around. More information about the author and the book here.

This is another book that I have not actually read, but it has been waiting for me on my Amazon wish list for awhile. Harmony Dust is a girl who was once an exotic dancer and who now has a ministry called Treasures, which reaches out to exotic dancers on the west coast. This is the story of how her life was transformed. More information here.

There is a short little list of books that have really touched my heart and challenged me. Feel free to post a comment with any book that you think may need to be added to the list. I love recommendations :-)

Change of heart, change of blog

I had intended to get onto my blog today and finish some posts that I had been working on, but with the burning in my heart the posts that I had previously promised to write will just have to wait.

What burns within is the fact that today is Human Trafficking Awareness day. As I did my part of finding something to post on my Facebook to raise awareness, I found this video:

...and I began to cry. I shed tears over so many things. I cried for those who are bound by slavery, my heart broke for the hurting, and the harsh reality struck me of how quickly I had forgotten them. Anyone who knows me very well at all, knows that my heart is for the hurting and I am passionate about social justice. I have to be honest and say that sometimes I forget. And it strikes me "How in the world could I forget about my passions and desires? Gosh, I get so distracted by 'stuff' and my heart gets to the point where it needs a big jolt." This video was my jolt. For me, it is definitely not coincidence that this realization and awakening (to a desire I had allowed to fizzle) comes at this season in my life. I know that God is once again stoking the fire and (once again) I don't know what it will lead to. One thing that I do know is that right now I can share it (hence the blogpost). I have already been encouraged to see others share the video on Facebook, which is really what it is all about: spreading the word and raising awareness.

On a blogging standpoint: I want to take a pause in the things that I had previously planned on blogging and concentrate on this issue highlighted by "Human Trafficking Awareness Day." So instead of the blogs I promised to write in this post, keep an eye out for "What to Watch", "What to Read", and "Where to Shop". I want to find resources to help you raise your own awareness, learn, and spread the word. If you have any resources you think need to be included, please feel free to leave them in the comments section. Have a wonderful day and be thinking about how you can be a voice for the voiceless. I believe we can see modern day slavery come to an end, but it's going to take an army: Who wants to enlist?

Thursday, January 6, 2011

What's to come

I have been wanting for quite some time to become a more regular blogger. After an absolutely amazing Christmas break, I finally feel like I have so so much to share. It is actually a little bit overwhelming even. So here begins yet another quest at becoming a real deal blogger. However I can't fit it all into one, so here is a little snippet of what's to come.

Wrap it up:
I absolutely love wrapping presents and after a friend of mine mentioned my presents at her blog here, I decided that I wanted to do a step by step. So I enlisted my sister to take lots and lots of pictures while I was wrapping Christmas presents at home in Memphis.

Roll with it:
I spent lots of time in the kitchen over the holidays and one of my favorite things was making bread from scratch for the very first time. I used my great grandmother's recipe for yeast rolls dating all the way back to the 1940's. They actually turned out really good and I had so much fun making them.

A trip into Red Velvet heaven:
I was so excited to take a road trip with my sister to Springfield, MO, which by the way has officially become one of my favorite towns to visit. Flea markets and thrifting galore!!! We did not even make it to all the flea markets (after extending our trip to MO one more day just to hit more stores). I was so excited to visit the Red Velvet store. I follow the blog of Elsie Flanagan at A Beautiful Mess here. Going to her store and meeting her was just too cool.

So there, it is. It is my goal to get these things blogged in the next week, as well as hopefully posting about a really cool yarn creation that I am working on. So much more to come. I am excited!!

Goodbye for now. I hope to be back very very soon.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...