I haven’t posted ballet photos in some time, but yes, my sons just finished their second year of ballet a little over a month ago. Micah was in pre-ballet this year (last year he was in preschool ballet) and Leto was in Beginner ballet (last year in pre-ballet). They have since each moved up a level (Micah in Beginner ballet and Leto is now in level 1 ballet). They each performed an hour long gala for their level for family members. Micah’s gala was to A Midsummer Night’s Dream, but sadly the seating wasn’t too great for me so I didn’t get enough good shots. He did a great job though! He was once again the only boy in his class. Leto’s performance was more strict and done mainly from memory and not with a teacher showing them what to do. Leto did a great job! I loved watching each of them. I had a front row seat right in front of where Leto was standing, which was neat (and thankfully it didn’t distract him). Here are some photos from the mini-gala they had. I do post photos throughout their training on my instagram too. On to year 3 of dancing ballet (and they LOVE it).
When I was pregnant with Leto, a long time friend of my mom’s who could not attend the baby shower because she lives in Vermont, but who sent her gift with a friend she had seen who was going to my shower had hand made me a quilt. It was the first quilt I owned though it is not mine. . .but Leto’s. It was beautiful to me and small but I was so impressed by it for some reason. It was and will always be my favorite baby blanket and I used it for Micah when he was a baby too. I’ll post a photo of Leto as a baby sleeping on the quilt under this paragraph. He loved it too and it is pretty much the only thing I still have from when he was a baby. Now that I make quilts, I see that baby quilts or at least square block quilts typically made for babies are very simple but very pretty. I always loved patchwork in general. I took a look at Leto’s baby quilt before I had made this quilt to give me an idea of what to do. I liked the tri-color pattern so I decided to go with that. A woman from church was pregnant and we were planning to have a baby shower for her at church. I didn’t have a lot of time or money but I was able to find matching fabrics for a good affordable price and I had left over batting. I decided I could make a baby boy quilt quickly enough, and so I did so! It really only took me a few hours total. I used my favorite colors! When the gift was opened and they realized I had made the blanket, the couple were happy and were very thankful. The little baby boy has since been born and I hope he has been receiving peaceful sleep on his quilt!
As a child I was barefoot most of the time. I remember when I started to see those signs in stores here in NJ saying, “No shoes, no service.” It bothered me for some reason (though I do understand people don’t want to clean the floors so often in their stores). When I was 13 I got planters warts because I was barefoot so often and germs from a public place attached to my feet (man did my feet itch for a few years). It didn’t stop me from being barefoot. I don’t have planters warts any longer but have the scars. I used to walk around in my socks or barefoot in high school and I think honestly, people were used to me being so. I got married barefoot. I gave birth barefoot. I love calluses on feet and don’t understand why people want such soft and pretty feet.
When Rob and I were on the worship team in our former church, we were usually barefoot. Our children don’t like wearing shoes either, though they only have one pair each at this point as it is. They normally have dirty feet and I often find myself cleaning them. We are usually always barefoot. It can be dangerous in our state to be without shoes with all the litter we see and people chuck glass bottles around, or if a recycling can had some glass escape, it is dangerous. At a beach once my brother stepped on some sharp glass. I understand why it is important to wear them if you have a long distance to walk or if it is very hot and your feet are burning or if you are walking in harsh areas though (we get snow here for a few months each year so I definitely would’t be stepping out barefoot in that, though I have before a couple times), so don’t think that I am one of those “all barefoot all the time” people. I prefer being barefoot but I wear shoes in public. We live in the suburbs near the city but my heart has always wanted to live in an open country farm area where you don’t need to worry about pollution and weird things to step on other than maybe bees and cow dung (I’ve stepped in poop though before and it honestly doesn’t really bother me as strange as that sounds. . it just washes right off). Anyway, if you like shoes, that’s cool. Don’t look down on people who walk around barefoot. Remember that most of the population of the world can’t even afford shoes while most Americans seem to own 5-10 pairs (myself included – though they are all 2-10 year old pairs). It is better to live simply though than to spend money and be weighed down by materialism. By the way, there are loads of health benefits to walking and being barefoot. Check them out.[outfit details: Sevenly shirt from 1.5 years ago, Target skirt from 2 years ago, Simply Fair bracelet]
Saachi had thought her marriage to be wonderful. Her husband had a good job and her children were safe. Suddenly the mannerisms of her husband Udit began to change. He started to beat her and would not give her money. She started begging and her children were going hungry. Udit had confessed after time that he had another woman that he was living with. Saachi went into despair and sobbed time and time again. Her husband left her completely. Saachi didn’t know how to provide for her children since her husband refused to help her. She found a job at a garment factory to help her.
Saachi started to see a man at her new job but was fearful of what he would think of her own children. She started to realize that she needed to break ties with the man, as she was doing as her own husband had done to her, while she was still married to him. She was a wreck and decided to end her life. She thought there was no way she deserved to live with the actions of her life and what had happened to her.
Saachi poured kerosene all over her body and was ready to light the match. In a few moments it would all be over—the guilt, the shame, the pain. She struck the match, its small flame sizzled, and before she allowed herself to change her mind, she let it drop.
As the flames enveloped her, the pain was unbearable and Saachi started to scream. The neighbors heard her cries, hurried over and rescued her. But her burns were already extensive. She was immediately taken to a hospital.
When a woman missionary for Gospel For Asia named Jabeen heard about Saachi, she felt she could relate, as she had a husband who had an affair and left her as well. She was led to a pastor who had told her about Jesus’ love. She started to devote herself strictly to God and doing His work.
As Jabeen stood beside Saachi’s hospital bed sharing her story, she told Saachi about Jesus and how precious her life was to Him. Saachi didn’t need to pay for her sins; Jesus already did. Saachi wept as she realized that this man would never be unfaithful to her or abuse her. He loved her perfectly. Three weeks later, Saachi was released from the hospital and decided to go to church. There, she made a decision to fully accept the love of Jesus.
The scars from Saachi’s burns remain, but God is healing the scars on her heart. She has found a job that helps support her and her children’s needs. Her friendship with Jabeen continues, and they stay in touch. She knows that God sent Jabeen along when she needed her most.
Gospel for Asia women missionaries like Jabeen can minister in ways men can’t. Understanding the struggles of other women in Asia as they visit homes and hospitals, they are able to share the Gospel with those in need of hope. Sponsor a woman missionary today.
Aw, so glad that Rachel (who I know in real life too) is in this digest with me and her photo is on the left of mine! Yey! Hi Rachel!
Summer activities are picking up this time of year, and we get a chance to take a look at the lives of our sisters and what they are up to—from serious thrifting to conferences to just goofing around! No matter where you are and what you do at this time of year, a good pick-me-up is to wear something pretty and bright! Read on to find out our top 5 links for this week:
- a la Modest: My Review of Savers Thrift Store + Grand Opening in Owings Mills, MD
- Faith, Fashion, and Food: One Top, Five Ways
- Justice Pirate: Justice Always Prevails
- Natasha Atkerson: Bold Blue
- Our Wood Home: My husband takes my outfit photos now
Modest Fashion Network is a brand new global community for fashionistas who honor their bodies by clothing themselves with dignity and purity.
If you’d like to be part of our weekly digest, head on over to Modest Fashion Network to apply and submit your blog posts every week.
I had asked my eldest brother what size quilt he would have wanted for his home and what types of things he’d like as a quilt. I asked him and his wife what colors they liked. Basically they liked the color of leaves and purple. I didn’t really know exactly how to combine those colors. A few years ago when I wanted so badly to learn how to quilt, I bought a book of patterns. There was a leaf applique pattern that I really wanted to do. I figured this was a great chance to do it. This is one of the most fun I had in making a quilt. It was the fifth quilt I have finished, and I apologize for taking so long in posting it. I basically used fat quarters of each color in various fabric choices that I bought from JAQS Fabric (minus an unused fat quarter left over from my 4th quilt). I then cut out the applique leaves (two different sizes) and ironed them on in the way the pattern stated. Then I sewed each leaf on. There were 24 leaves per block (16 blocks total). I was trying to figure out what to do with the backing. The pattern showed purple and orange – two fabrics put together as I did. I really loved the unicorn fabric because my brother and sister-in-law love fantasy stuff. I was thankful to find an orange fabric with purple in it that looked great next to the unicorn fabric. Both were from JAQS Fabric again. I don’t know if I’d choose the green for the binding again, probably an orange if I were to make a quilt like this again, simply because to me it clashed with the backing a little, but looked great with the front. I used a meandering quilting design on the whole quilt which was my first time doing so, and can understand why it is such a popular design. It is fun and easy and looks great. I was nervous about doing the meandering on the leaves, but it came out great! I was nervous as to how it would be liked and was overjoyed that my brother and sister-in-law were impressed and loved it. I haven’t been at their home since to see how it looks in their living room as a lap quilt, but I am sure it will receive attention.
I had the great opportunity to attend The Justice Conference simulcast here in NJ. Although most of Justice Network (which I am a part of) were at the event, I had a table set up for Gospel for Asia. I wasn’t there the entire time, because the boys had a ballet rehearsal, but while I was there I loved listening to speakers Eugene Cho, Louis Dooley, and Bob Goff. I also heard most of Lynne Hybels‘ powerful reconciliation speech.
A lot of people might or might not care for the anti-human trafficking passion that I have, and some probably got sick of hearing me always try to tell them about slavery still existing in the world over the near eight years of my understanding of it. When you meet and talk to someone who survived sexual slavery, it grips you even more. At our simulcast, we took some time to have an actual speaker (not on the screen) come to talk named Danielle Douglas. Before she gave her testimony, I had the chance to talk to her and ask her for advice for a girl I know who is being trafficked currently. She was very sweet and insightful and the whole time she talked to me I wanted to honestly just cry in her arms for her plight, as weird as that sounds. I am grateful to see someone who has come through and acknowledge that Christ has healed them.
Danielle then went up to speak and explained how she first became trafficked. It is one thing to sort of know her story from seeing her in documentaries or read about her, but when she spoke in front of me, I held back tears a few times because I would have just sobbed right there. That could have been me. She is only a year older (she’s an ’82 baby. I’m an ’83 baby) and was trafficked when I had wanted to become a model but something stopped me and protected me when a few lone photographers wanted to photograph me in lingerie and were angry when I refused to meet them: God. I am glad I didn’t go through with it. Danielle didn’t even seek out that sort of attention or vanity as I once had and was thrown into prostitution against her will. God saved her and she acknowledges Him for doing so and has only been a Christian for two years now and announced that she was going to be baptized the following day (which was yesterday). What a blessing she is! Her children played with my children and her church is in the town where my husband works. It truly opens your eyes to who and what is around you and how we are all once lost and that God is always finding us even when we hide from Him. It made me feel so grateful.
When we fall we can always stand up tall and hope to continue on without falling ever again! True justice comes from God’s healing through acknowledging His son’s sacrifice for us. Outfit from Modcloth, bought a couple years ago, so I am unsure if they sell these anymore.