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Growing up, my toes were slipped in to pink jellies in hot California summers and covered in black clogs for church (they were comfy) and orange sneakers to run across the play ground. High school had me sporting another pink shoe, this time a pair of Converse and these days comfy, grandma flats (as my sister lovingly calls them) are my favorite. I have always had shoes and more than one pair at that. And that seemed normal. Nothing to question or think twice about.

Until I heard of jiggers and learned the detriment they caused little feet worlds over, as Sole Hope spanned my computer screen a few years ago. It's simplistic message and need, coupled with  the heart and story behind it broke my heart.

I rang in my birthday that year with their Party with a Purpose. Friends and family came over, jeans and milk cartons in hand, ready to trace and cut shoe patterns for children who knew the pain of jiggers first hand, burrowing deep in to their feet.

It was humbling seeing everyone so focused and willing to help. And the next day, the scissor cutters could hardly move their fingers but they said it was all okay in the name of Jesus. Sweet sarcasm, sweet friends. That being said, fifteen minute station rotations is recommended to get the full experience, just in case your party goers are amazing, hard worker ,enthusiasts like mine.

Meeting Drew, one of the co-founders, at the Allume Conference brought Sole Hope to another level this year. Witnessing first hand his passion and heart driving the movement as he spoke about what it is all about and how we can partner with them was humbling still.

He stood on a chair in a crowded room. Raffle participants waiting in a lounge filled with sweet delicacies to see if they were the winner of an overflowing gift basket or the IPad, all generously donated. His words were real. His heart on his sleeve. To help the children. To be Christ overseas through giving and support. The raffle prizes seemed hollow and empty in the context of his heart and message.

This month the 10 for 10 program was launched: a way to ensure each that pair of shoes cut will be fully funded to completion - from sewing and all construction, which takes place in Africa, to finding ten toes to protect from jiggers. With just $10 a month, you can ensure a pair of feet have something to slip into, to run in, keeping them safe from burrowing jiggers.

There are lots of other ways to use your resources to assist them: donating common medical supplies, purchasing items from their Amazon Wish list, be a voice of hope by letting others know about what is going on, shopping their store and of course praying for them.  

Let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. Hebrews 10:24

I am not affiliated with Sole Hope or anything of the sorts. Just someone who believes God is using them to do his beautiful work. Praying you would seek a way to be of service to them, whatever it looks like for you. Praying you would do something.

Here's to being of service and spurring one another on.

The Allume conference has came and past. A whirlwind of take offs and landings, business cards and name badges, roommates and chocolates, speakers and an out pouring of encouragement.

When God calls you to the other side of the country, leaving your three children and traveling alone for the first time, it is quite an adventure and a constant reminder of his provision; Jehovah - Jireh. An entire exercise in trust, something God has been working on in me this year.

Trusting God to lead and for me to follow.

Trusting that whatever God had for me during this time, it would be just what he had planned.

Trusting that everything would be secure on the home front.

Trusting that I would make my flights and find the connections, despite my lack of direction and the playing of musical gates with the airlines as they decided which one was now best.

Trusting I would make it on the correct shuttle to the hotel and not on the one that stood waiting long before I was there.

Trusting my rotating roommates would be genuine and not on the creeper side.

And God came through. My husband rocked the home; complete with Chick-fil-a and night feedings. I made each flight, even though one was overbooked and my seat was TBD and I was the final person to board. The shuttle came on time, despite a delayed flight. My roommates were the sweetest women, more than I could have imagined. And peace lavishly covered each day and hour.

The speakers were authentic and held beautiful incites and truths but it was the conversations with women from across the US (and Canada) that sewed the conference together so eloquently, along with those on the planes and streets. The way God brought each one together at just the right moment. One Spirit lead conversation after another with threads only God could sew. Another reason to stand in awe and wonder at him. Life's trials and journey's exchanged; meeting one another as words formed pictures of days past, now redeemed and hemmed in hope and sent with encouragement. Seeing glimpses of the Masterpiece coming together this side of eternity.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart
    and lean not on your own understanding; 
in all your ways submit to him,    
    and he will make your paths straight.
Proverbs 3:5-6

This verse has been embedded in this year and a constant encouragement throughout the days for I could never understand it all.

Praying whatever you are holding in your hands that you would give it to the Lord. That you would trust he is working out everything for your good and know there is nothing you can do to slow it down or speed it up or work out. He is in control of even the smallest of things because he truly cares for you - his child. Praying your eyes would be opened to the areas where trust is lacking and that you would jump in with both feet covered in faith and radiating in his peace.

Here's to more trust and adventures. 

Happy October! Another month and Another craft. We are excited to make these fun, little signs. A few popsicle sticks, glue and stamps and you have a cute way to encourage someone.

Signs are a perfect way to label something. They tell you exactly what the contents are and what is expected to be inside. For some, comments and descriptions of others easily roll off the tongue. Peace maker. Encourager. Holy roller. Some you expect and still others you could never fathom. Words attached to you by someone without your approval. And sometimes it sticks. Other times it bounces.

You know, the woman with the gap between her teeth, who always seems to get lip stick on it.
And the other one, who is just a little too friendly and loves wearing pink shoes.
No, it's the one who always talks about her dog, has really frizzy hair and kind of chunky.

And the opinions of the Proverbs 31 Woman is always an interested topic.

She is the epitome of what it looks like to be a follower of Jesus.
She is not a real person.
How does she do it all? She does too much.

Commentaries and bible studies go on about it. About her. Her character and wisdom and family and work life all simplified in to twenty two verses, overflowing with goodness and purpose and drive and fear of the Lord. And how we can be like her. How you can be like her in your everyday life, doing your everyday tasks because face it, she is pretty fabulous and those labels would look great on you, too.

But you are you and in true Dr. Seuss fashion, there is no one YOUER than YOU. And you are pretty awesome, my friend, no matter how awesome someone else is.

So our hope with this craft is to dissolve the labels that others have given us, whether good or bad and will hold up ones that God has given each of us. Ones that encourage and ring truth to our souls. That allows each inhale to be our breath alone and for that to be sufficient.

Praying that you would focus on who God says you are and not what others have labeled you. Praying you would see the beauty in yourself and the way you were so carefully made.

Here is a simple picture tutorial. Let me know if you have any questions. I have been in to a neutral pallet lately and loving the simplicity but the sky is the limit to the design. I am quite sure glitter will make it to craft night, along with some paint to liven them up.

More info on Pocket Blessings here

Happy crafting!