(Y’all. This is a real picture from my real friend Sara Gilmore’s home in Salt Lake City, Utah!)
Because I like to share all the good things…
Let’s be honest: I happened by The Swoonerie in the beginning because it’s next to Sonic and the hours between 2 and 4 are the Happy ones. The second my big toe got past the door, I knew I loved the person who owned this shop and Pam and I hugged on our first meeting.
Let me tell you all the things: 1) it smells delicious in there. 2) every purchase you make is fair-trade and benefits a real person with a real story and helps with the kinds of things like feeding them and their families, giving them a sense of self-worth that purpose through honest (and talented) working gives and 3) keeps them out of the cycle of things like poverty, prostitution, and hopelessness.
All the unique gifts I give to my people come from The Swoonerie.
Know what else?
On top of all the yum, Pam chooses a new charity or organization to give a portion of The Swoonerie’s profits each month.
Pam Holobinko (the mama) and Sam (the 17 year-old daughter) moved here from Florida with a whisper from God and open hands. I am crazy-thankful The Swoonerie is a direct, tangible, delicious by-product of their obedience.
Please. Go support good people doing beautiful things.
3003 Richmond Road
Texarkana, Texas 75503
Check it out:
The Swoonerie on Facebook
The Swoonerie (website currently under construction but get them on FB and Insta)
This is my new 10 pound and 1 ounce baby friend Auden Noelle Aiken (her mama is my girl Mo and you’ll be seeing her next month because she is my favorite) See that sweet blanket this sack of sugar is wrapped in? I got it from The Swoonerie…it’s a recycled Indian sari made into a baby quilt.
I love her.
Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis
Deciding I needed more steak in my reading menu, I finally picked up a 5 year-old copy of Screwtape Letters that still had the yellowed receipt tucked right inside the middle of it. The premise of the story is that Screwtape, apparently one of satan’s best men, is writing letters to his nephew, a novice, about all the ways they like to mess with the humans and nullify, void, and generally debilitate their good, long walks of faith.
The thing is…I can for-real honestly say I have never read anything as 1) comedic 2) smart 3) true. It made my head all sloppy in the middle (highlighter and dictionary are necessary accessories to this one). But by the end? It put me back together rightly and tightly.
‘Men are not angered by mere misfortune but by misfortune conceived as injury. And the sense of injury depends on the feeling that legitimate claim has been denied. The more claims on life, therefore, that your patient can be induced to make, the more often he will feel injured and, as a result, ill-tempered. (Now you will have noticed that nothing throws him into a passion so easily as to find a tract of time which he reckoned on having at his own disposal unexpectedly taken from him….)’ ~A letter from Screwtape to his nephew, Wormwood.
I cannot say enough big or good words about this book to make you read this thing that will mess with your head in the best way possible.
This last summer I went to my girl Wynne’s house in Bryan, Texas. I said, choking on my coffee, ’What is this cuteness on your fridge?!?!’ She said, ‘Have you heard of Sticky 9?’
I’m a large Sticky 9 fan.
Sticky 9 turns your Instagram pictures into the cute, sweet things. This is my fridge currently…these are magnets:
But they have so.much.more. I just ordered something for my husband’s office for Christmas but he reads my blog (and comments all the time…thank you, Baby) so I can’t tell you about it.
So go check it out.
Also…here is a discount code I got ordering the other day (I think it’s like 15 or 20 percent off):
You’re welcome. I love you, too.
(also…come find me on insta…that’s really my favorite place and there’s some really yummy pictures of my kids.)
PS this makes great gift-giving for your grandmother who is not on Instagram and doesn’t get to see your pictures.
Noonday Feathered Fringe Earrings, Cobalt
Remember Wynne from just before this?
Wynne and I met on a storytelling mission with Sole Hope in 2014. We’ve been related ever since. Wynne is on a mission to travel with other Noonday Ambassadors to tell the stories of the women who make the jewelry and other beautiful things Noonday sells. The other night I was Christmas shopping for myself on my couch and I accidentally found a cute pair of earrings.
Wynne and I texting:
me: I feel like I would wear them all the time. Casual and cute.
Wynne: totally cas and cute! you are a color girl. Have you ever worn our feather earrings?
Me: Ha. No. Never.
So I got them.
I’ll be wearing these every day and you will run into me with these earrings and say, ‘Hey girl. Have you thought about wearing something different?’ and I will be all like, ‘No.’
I’m a color girl.
So are you (or the girl in your life is). Go get some fun and support my girl Wynne in telling stories for others:
Feathered Fringe Cobalt Earrings and other yummy things…
One Million Thumbprints and Belinda Bauman
There are moments I wish I didn’t know things. I might want to rewind to five minutes before I held a heavy, hot rock of the knowledge of injustice in my hands…a rock that I will have to do something with: set it to the side, hand it to someone else to mess with, or take a hammer and start chipping away at it.
The moment passes…and that’s when I feel the fight.
Belinda Bauman handed me the story of Esperance in October…and I haven’t stopped thinking about it since.
Before escaping to a UN refugee camp in the Congo, Esperance’s husband was murdered by rebels…while she watched. Then Esperance was raped almost to the point of death.
Every day millions of women experience brutal violence as a result of conflict and war. Please don’t read that sentence as words.
That’s one victim every 7 seconds.
In the Congo alone, 7 out of 10 women have experienced sexual violence.
So much…it’s hardly ever reported.
Esperance felt forgotten and alone until she met Belinda. Esperance asked her to ‘tell the world’ her story.
The part of this story where I lost it, was when Belinda told us Esperance’s eyes were begging for people to know what was happening ‘as if they cared’.
As if they cared.
Esperance signed her request with a thumbprint.
This is my friend (isn’t she beautiful?!?)
One Million Thumbprints is building a global movement of peacemakers dedicated to overcoming the devastating effects of war on women. They’re not just telling stories: they’re doing things.
There are things you and I can do in our own spaces to come alongside these women, y’all. We can use our voices. We can collect thumbprints in our communities. We can support.
There are things we can do.
I’m going to be talking more about this later.
But for now…grab a hammer?