Tuesday, August 30, 2011

When You Come- Lisa Gungor

     I said goodbye to my mother, auntie, and cousin six hours ago. And I'm exhausted. Saying Goodbye is really hard. And in the midst of realizing I was saying goodbye to my mother, my heart noticed that in a short time I will be saying goodbye, not to three people who I will see again in a few months, but to a nation that i have grown to love. and friends that have forever marked my heart.
     It was in the midst of all of these wonderings that this update emerged. Sometimes it's easier for me to write this way, as opposed to a formal letter. So, forgive me if you hate to read poetry. Know that my week with my family was such a beautiful and eternally signifcant time for my heart. We enjoyed museums, coastlines, wildlife, and of course, delicious food. It was difficult to come back to the Pa'us after dropping them off at the airport because it looked like my mom should still be here: the cake we baked together on the counter, her favorite crumpets in the fridge, the last bit of perfume still lingering in my room...
Goodbyes are so difficult! So this is what I'm sharing with you all now. i love you!

Standing on the Brink of Goodbye
Like a handsome cliff that descends into beauty
How can I leave?
The perils and preparation that led me up this mountain,
have all been reimbursed
by the giver of every good and perfect thing.
Atop this place I have learned new heights
and seen new understandings,
and even a new river has been formed
from my heart’s bursts of joy
and cries of sorrow.
I have walked new soil,
breathed new wind,
and heard new songs carried from afar.
Yet, How can I not go back?
This Land of the Long White Cloud is not my home,
nor was it intended to be.
I’ve known this was just a season

Why were we created with so much capacity for longing?
More strain on each beat,
as I keep giving pieces through tears, laughs, and sharing stories.
My heart no longer resides in me, but in the people of
Bolivia. Kenya. USA. New Zealand.
Given life to share it,
Your love poured out so that  we may pour ours out.
Help me, Jesus.

Standing on the Brink of Goodbye
able to see
what I am leaving
what lies ahead.
God, will you show me where to tread?
This life before Eternity, these transitional phases, these moments of Goodbye-
Make me hungry
for the day
of Eternal Hello’s
and the reunion of souls.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

40:19 (feat. Monica Allison)

I have to confess something: I love clothing.
And I love accessories.

    And one of the most satisfying ways to de-stress is spending the day assembling an outfit after sifting through racks of clothes. Beautiful designs, flowing skirts, high heels, flattering trousers, floral scarves, headbands, fitted tops, necklaces and matching bracelets… I love being a girl and getting excited about expressing my creativity and beauty through clothing.
     A few years ago, however, I started assessing the way I spent my money. I realized that after paying whatever small bills I had, most of my money went to a) clothes and b) food. Then this thought emerged as I was analyzing my spending habits: whatever I spend my money on, I am supporting. Even though I may not verbally support it, I am financially backing this company and whatever they stand for.
    Upon this realization, I started treating my spending habits more seriously. As I researched the clothing companies I was wearing/buying, I started to learn things that challenged my comfortable shopping lifestyle.
     Almost all of the clothes in my closet are made in sweatshops. (Target, Wal-Mart, H&M, Banana Republic, Gap, Forever 21, Adidas, and Nike to name a few) Shoes/sports wear/ scarves/ shirts/ pants/ dresses… all of them made in distant countries by women, men and children I’ll never meet in working conditions I’ll never experience. (verbal, physical, and sexual abuse, dirty factories, unsafe and unhealthy working areas, working 7 days a week, families living on less than $2 a day)  Does my distance from them give me the right to ignore their abuse or financially support their employer?
    Recently, I have discovered several companies that have begun making fair-trade clothing appropriate for all occasions! I was so thrilled at my discovery, and in the last week, I have decided to change my consumerist habits.
     From now on, I will only buy fair-trade or second hand clothing. When I leave New Zealand, I will be leaving most of my clothes behind, only bringing home those items that are fair-trade or second hand. In two years, I hope to only have fair-trade/second-hand clothing in my closet! I know this will be difficult for me, or anyone for that matter, because fair-trade clothing is often times more expensive than clothing made in sweatshops. I think that means I will just have to have LESS clothes. But, is LESS clothes really that much of a sacrifice?

“Purging my closet will not be easy, Jesus. Help this all be fueled by a love for you and your people, and please replace any legalism or judgmentalism with your love, mercy and grace. Keep teaching me how to follow you, Father. Teach me what it looks like to love you and to love my neighbor.”
Here’s a list of a few available fair-trade stores online: