Why Underwear is Important

Did you know that the average American woman owns approximately 21 pairs of underwear? About 10% of women own over 35 pairs.

Did you know underwear can mean the difference between a girl who’s educated with a chance for a bright future, and one who’s not?

Sometimes it just blows my mind how much I don’t know.  Recently I learned some not-fun facts about the challenges facing women in Uganda, including the challenge of underwear.  But I also learned something I can do about it.  And boy that feels good.

I’ve written before that our daughter Maggie is working in Northern Uganda this summer at Pader Girls’ Academy.  They teach and give vocational training to girls, many who have escaped the Lords’ Resistance Army, but can’t return to their communities.  They have become outcasts because of the stigma of being raped by soldiers or having babies out of wedlock.

But even after they have a tiny glimpse of hope for the future through education, there are still hurdles.  For example, I learned that girls often miss about 5 days of school a month when they have their period because they don’t have sanitary pads.  Or underwear.

Are you freaking kidding me? Continue reading

Afraid of Getting it Wrong and Getting it Right

It’s Fearless Friday and the half-marathon is tomorrow.  I have a lot to be afraid about.  You may too.  But I also have lots to celebrate.  Among my blessings are so many of you who have supported, encouraged and prayed for me.  Thank you to the moon!   Since the half-marathon is about raising money for clean water through World Vision, today I want to share a related fear and some good news.

I’m a first born.  A Rule Follower.  I hate “getting it wrong”!  I get so embarrassed by my mistakes.

When someone dies, I’m scared to death of saying the wrong thing, inadvertently being “that person” who was somehow insensitive or oblivious.

When helping those in need it’s the same.  Over the years I’ve found that there are so many ways that well-meaning folks (Read: “me”) can cause more problems than they solve, creating dependency, or taking away dignity, or upsetting the country’s economy or…

Also, poverty is overwhelming.  Injustice seems intractable.  Often I just want to cover my ears, shut my eyes and yell “Lalalalala…”  The problems are so big it’s hard to know where to start.  When we do DO something we don’t want to hear it’s the wrong thing!  So it was with fear and trepidation that I started reading the book, Toxic Charity recently.

One of the criticisms the author, Robert Lupton levels is at organizations who create dependency instead of equipping and empowering those in need.  We need to do with and not just for others.

As I read this terrific book, yes, there were some little things that I hadn’t thought about that I need to change, but there was good news too. Continue reading

Jesus Stalker?

Bob Goff is one of my favorite guys.  He inspires, encourages, challenges, and cheerleads for Jesus. He reminds me of Peter Pan – a perpetual kid on a kingdom adventure filled with hope and joy.  He throws candy down to kayakers from a cliff above them. He helps orphans in Uganda.  I want to be his friend.

If you haven’t read Love Does, DO! (Check back in on Wednesday for an opportunity to win a free copy!)

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Bob spoke at the Leadership Summit a couple of weeks ago and asked, “Are we just stalking Jesus?  Have we just been learning more and more stuff about Him?”

I picture a psycho with a creepy room with a stash of Jesus pictures, and Bible verses with strings to cards with the Greek translations, and maps with arrows.  But then…maybe he’s talking about people like me who love to learn and can get stuck there.

Continue reading