Archive for September, 2008

Tuesday’s Child – Volume 9

Posted: September 30, 2008 in Uncategorized

Since the launch of the Amani Life Project recently, we’ve often been asked the question, “What about boys?  Are you going to send boys to college?”  Our official answer is, “No. But we’re hoping that an organization springs to life sometime that does focus on the needs of orphaned boys.”  While we know the needs are just as great, we feel it’s important to have a narrow focus that’s easy to understand and support.  So here’s the bottom line for us as an organization: girls who age out of an orphanage or foster care system are some of the most vulnerable people on our planet.  Because of issues with AIDS, pregnancy and sex trafficking, they are at risk in ways that are astounding for those of us in safe, beautiful America to comprehend.  I ran into this list on a pretty cool web site that targets teenagers for social justice projects. Some of these facts I had seen before, but some were new to me.

11 Poignant Facts about Women Around the World

  1. Women perform 66% of the world’s work, but receive only 11% of the world’s income, and own only 1% of the world’s land.
  2. Women make up 66% of the world’s illiterate adults.
  3. Women head 83% of single-parent families. The number of families nurtured by women alone doubled from 1970 to 1995 (from 5.6 million to 12.2 million).
  4. Women account for 55% of all college students, but even when women have equal years of education it does not translate into economic opportunities or political power.
  5. There are 6 million more women than men in the world.
  6. Two-thirds of the world’s children who receive less than four years of education are girls. Girls represent nearly 60% of the children not in school.
  7. Parents in countries such as China and India sometimes use sex determination tests to find out if their fetus is a girl. Of 8000 fetuses aborted at a Bombay clinic, 7999 were female.
  8. Wars today affect civilians most, since they are civil wars, guerrilla actions and ethnic disputes over territory or government. 3 out of 4 fatalities of war are women and children.
  9. Rape is consciously used as a tool of genocide and weapon of war. Tens of thousands of women and girls have been subjected to rape and other sexual violence since the crisis erupted in Darfur in 2003. There is no evidence of anyone being convicted in Darfur for these atrocities.
  10. About 75% of the refugees and internally displaced in the world are women who have lost their families and their homes.
  11. Gender-based violence kills one in three women across the world and is the biggest cause of injury and death to women worldwide, causing more deaths and disability among women aged 15 to 44 than cancer, malaria, traffic accident, and war.

Read that last one again and let it sink in.

I believe that if we can turn orphaned girls into a voice for their gender and generation, the change in our world will be exponential and – truly – magnificent.

Loving God and Loving Change,


P.S.  If you haven’t actually taken the plunge yet to help send an orphaned girl to college – we would SURE LOVE for you to jump over to and do that now.  For the price of a Sephora lip gloss, you’ll get a great sense of fulfillment, knowing you’re helping to bring social justice to women who need it the most.  You’ll ALSO get a cool 143,000,000 Tote Bag so you can tell the world you care.  Our goal for this September is 20 sponsors and we’re sooooo close…you can help us hit it on the very last day!


An Iron-Clad Investment

Posted: September 29, 2008 in Uncategorized

The market?  She is crazy!

The economy?  Shaking.

Home prices? Falling dramatically.

Interest rates? Rising steadily.

It would seem that we are living the definition of Hebrews 12 and the “removing of what can be shaken.” There is, however, good, amazing, immovable news.  Ready?   Here it is:

“Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, for our God is a consuming fire.”

As residents and co-workers in this unshakable Kingdom, how should we handle our money?  Well, I’m no financial expert, but it seems to me that if we live in the Kingdom, we should spend in the Kingdom – ESPECIALLY when the world’s system fails.  Kingdom currency trades on an entirely different scale…one that I think is found in Proverbs 19:17.

“He who is kind to the poor lends to the Lord, and He will reward him for what he has done.”

As I’ve watched the elected leaders of our country fight and feud and fail to come to any sort of feasible rescue operation, I have decided to plant my cash deep into the soil of the the one market that doesn’t change, doesn’t fluctuate and won’t fade away.

Fiscally Faith-filled,


P.S.  Check back here tomorrow afternoon for Tuesday’s Child, Volume 9…because even in our economic downturn, the truly poor still exist.


Posted: September 29, 2008 in Uncategorized

I’m so proud of my friends – Casey, Mike, Tim & Evan – and my son-in-law, Corey – who have waited and dreamed and prayed and believed and are now launching their new band, Elliot.  I’ve heard their new music and I love it.  I’ve watched their lives and I love them.  Great things ahead for these guys…I’m certain of it.

You can download their new single Way to Feel Alive, here. It’s free and it’s really fun but it also pushes you to take a look at your life and what you’re doing with it ( I love tricky stuff like that.)  I think Elliot has done something very few bands can do in crafting music that defies the usual demographics of young, old, lost, found, etc., and hits the heart of each one of us.

Please visit their web site: if only to grab your free song and go.  But if you choose to linger and read the story of how they got that name, I promise you’ll be glad you did!

Rolling the Windows Down to Feel the Wind in my Hair,


My e-issues.

Posted: September 26, 2008 in Uncategorized

One email for work.

One email at home.

One email for Amani.

One blog.

One Facebook account.

One web site.

One Paypal account.

One Ebay account (which does me no good because I NEVER win auctions.  Bitterness.)

One Amazon account.

One Forever 21 account (three daughters – don’t judge me)

And that’s 10.  Ten online accounts, each with it’s own unique username/password combination.  And about ten hours each day to check in on them all.  Okay, maybe not ten hours (and maybe I did actually win one ebay bid)…but it does take a lot of time.  Mostly because of typing the wrong password three times before finally, mercifully (and usually accidentally) cracking the elusive code.

So far?  Technology is not making my life all that much easier.

Crafting a strongly-worded email letter to Bill Gates,


Oh Happy (birth) Day!

Posted: September 24, 2008 in Uncategorized

So, last year – after MUCH longing, whining, weeping and angst –   I got one of these for my birthday:

This year, Tess got me something ELSE I’ve been begging for:

It’s the best book ever on the subject of cakes-from-scratch .  They’re not the cutesy princessy birthday cakes covered in dots of frosting…they’re  eat-til-you-cry, flavor-filled works of genius.  I love to bake birthday cakes and I love my mixer and I love Tess for remembering how much I love these two things.

Now all I need is a someone to have a birthday!  I might also need a case of Slim Fast and a vigorous exercise regimen, but that’s another story.

Economy? Boo!  Hazelnut Spice Sponge Cake with Italian Meringue Buttercream? Yay!

Send me the Slim Fast,


Tuesday’s Child – Volume 8

Posted: September 23, 2008 in Uncategorized

I have two wonderful things for you this week.  One I love because it got my mind rolling in the direction of orphans and another I think is just really fun.

First, we have a new design in our Amani Shop for Social Justice and it’s totally rad! Do people still say “rad”?  I’m saying it.  It’s rad!  I love it because it’s mysterious and it’ll get people asking, “Why do you have that number on your shirt/apron/bib (if you’re one of the lucky babies wearing Amani this season).  Here’s what it looks like:

Cool, yes?  Yes!  And even MORE exciting news:  everyone who becomes an Amani partner in September and October (just ten bucks a month!) will find a fantastic Amani tote bag on their doorstep (or mail box) and that tote will be wearing this very graphic.  You can stuff your books and receipts and car keys and probably even a small pet in this bag and – while you’re at it – remind the world that there are 143 million reasons to care about the orphan crisis.

Secondly, this video.  Oh my…such a great song.  Such a great video.  Such a great moment when I first saw it.  Even if  you’ve watched it a thousand times, do yourself a favor and watch it again today for the first time.

That’ll do for Tuesday.

So many blessings,


News Stew.

Posted: September 22, 2008 in Uncategorized

This post is going to be a little like Leftovers Soup…bits and pieces of information that will – hopefully – come together to form some sort of collective thesis which will (fingers crossed) make some sort of sense.

Let’s see what’s in the fridge, shall we?

  1. I have traveled a lot of miles in the past week or so.  A CLC retreat, a speaking gig at George Fox University and a ladies event in Washington.  I’ve told my kids goodbye…and hello!…and goodbye a lot of times and I’m about ready to settle back in at home.
  2. This weekend – September 27 – I will be speaking at the Selah Conference at George Fox.  I’m so excited for this chance to share my heart with women from so many different places.  It’s entirely possible that a few words may be included about the plight of the orphaned child as well so if you wanna come cheer along, it’s not too late to jump in.  If I don’t know you – please come find me and introduce yourself…I’d love to meet you!
  3. Speaking of the plight of the orphaned child as it’s related to the Amani Life Project announcement of last week:  WOW.  We’ve been astounded at the response from mom’s and students and just all kinds of women who want to make a difference.  In addition, several businesses called last week and said “count us in!”  They are donating a percentage of their proceeds to Amani because they agree that the statistics for orphaned girls are unacceptable.  In an economic downturn, these people and businesses are willing to look past their own need to the needs of the helpless and I can’t think of a word to use for them other than “heroic”.
  4. Many of you have asked for ways to get involved.  We have a lot of ideas and we’re going to be sharing them in upcoming posts and in our Amani newsletter.  We’ve also scheduled about a million coffee dates and are excited about every single one. (If you haven’t signed up to receive the newsletter, you can do that here.)
  5. Something fun happened.  Something fun and God.  Last week, Anne B. sent me an email and suggested that I meet a woman who has been involved in serving orphans for over twenty years.  She felt this woman might be able to offer us the most important resource of all: insight from experience.  I was grateful for the suggestion, but my schedule is so crazy that I just said, “God, if I need to meet this woman, You’re going to have to figure out the when and where.”  The next morning, I went to the airport at the ridiculous hour of 5:00 a.m. to catch an early flight out to Seattle.  I got in line to check my bags and the woman in front of me turned around and smiled and then said, “I loved your last message.”  We started to talk and she told me her first name, and this is the moment when I got goosebumps (and I have them again right now!) and stuttered…”Um..what’s your last name?”  And, yep!  The Father of the fatherless had made a meeting happen with the very woman Anne had wanted me to meet.  We had the BEST time EVER talking as fast as we could before getting on our respective flights.  She is doing amazing things for orphans in Africa and India and she offered to help us in any way she could and I can’t wait to talk more.  Isn’t that amazing?  Thanks, Anne, for having such a grand God idea and for sharing it with me! Had I not gotten your email the day before I would have said, “Thank you,” to the nice woman and moved on with my trip.  Truly, friends, God is smarter than we give Him credit for being.

Oh goodness, there’s more to say, but I don’t want to overwhelm you in one post.  I hope you’re finding your Monday delightful and that you have already made some dangerous plans to change the world this week.

143,000,000 Thank-you’s,