Monday, November 30, 2015

Team Douglas is Going to Southeast Asia!

Happy snowy Monday! I'm so excited to share some fun news with you all today. I've been sitting on this one for awhile (well, if you are a close friend or family member you may have heard a bit about it) ;) so to get to share it with you today makes me so happy!


This February, Brian and I will be spending two weeks in Thailand and Cambodia to learn more about sex trafficking. We're going with two other people from our church who are also involved in a new anti-trafficking ministry, BASE. We will be meeting up with different ministries who are fighting trafficking and helping restore women and children who have been trafficked. Most of our time will be spent observing and learning as much as we can while also helping them do ministry. This trip will also serve as an exploration trip to see if any of the ministries we'll be visiting would be good options for future short-term trips.

We're excited for this trip for many reasons—to gain a broader understanding and scope of sex trafficking, to observe and interact with different ministries and missionaries and see how they do their work, to travel internationally together doing something that has Kingdom value and impact, to see God work in the support raising and preparations of the trip, and many more.

Would you pray for us? We know we will need prayer during the trip as it will be emotionally trying and physically tiring as we see things that just shouldn't be and experience jetlag and difficult hours of ministering during the night at strip clubs (Heather) and waking up early for flights. We also need prayers as we prepare—for the protection of our hearts and minds as well as trust in God to provide all that we need to go on this trip.

If you'd like to read more about the trip and the background behind why we're going, see our support letter.

If you'd like to join our team of financial supporters, click here. For "Trip/Project" select "S/T Bangkok (Base) 2/16" and then select us as the individual. Let us know if you have any questions! We are incredibly blessed by the generosity and emotional and spiritual support of our friends and family. Thank you!

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

A Few of My Favorite Things // 3 Home Inspire-ers

Happy Tuesday, friends! I hope you all are having a good start to your week and that you had a wonderful (chilly!) weekend! As for me, I had my first hunting experience as Loverboy and I headed to the woods of Wisconsin with some friends for the weekend. While the men sat outside in the truly winter temps waiting for a buck to wander by, us ladies enjoyed the warmth of the cabin and spent the days knitting, watching movies, snacking, napping, and lounging around. So utterly chill.

Today I wanted to share with you three people who have been inspiring me in my home lately. These books and tv show have really gotten my creative/decorative/organizational juices flowing, and hopefully they'll do the same for you!

Styled by Emily Henderson
I've been following Emily's blog for awhile now, and when I saw that she was going to write a book I just about died. I pre-ordered the sucker and ran to the door every day to see when it would come. And let me tell you, it did not disappoint. I read it from cover to cover, slowly savoring each helpful tip, sassy insight, and beautiful photo. The best way I can describe it is that it is the happiest textbook for your home that you could ever want, teaching you the ins and outs of styling every room in your house from top to bottom. I was so sad when I finished it and I know I'll be referring to it often. Worth every penny.

The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo
I recently checked this book out at the library, and to give you a glimpse into it's current popularity, I was #600 on the waiting list! (But there were 200 copies, so I got it pretty quick.) I really enjoyed the practical points of this book and how Marie has many organizing tips, tricks, and rules that are opposite of what so many books and Pinterest articles teach. Her method centers on the idea of our objects sparking joy... and if they don't, then get rid of them! I found this incredibly helpful as I am known to keep things "just in case" or out of guilt. But with her method I found it easy to get rid of belongings that in reality are just stressing me out. My one qualm with this book is how she personifies objects and asserts that they have feelings and that we should thank them. Gets a little too weird for me, but if you read it for her practical approach and ignore that stuff it's a very helpful guide.


Fixer Upper with Chip and Joanna Gaines
This is an HGTV show that's been around for awhile but just recently was put on Netflix. So I might be a bit behind to the Chip and Joanna bandwagon, but Loverboy and I have thoroughly enjoyed watching them taking the worst houses on the block and making them the best. We love watching them interact (they're a super cute, sassy southern Christian couple... could it get any better?) and seeing how they flip a house is amazing! Plus, Joanna has the best (if not a tad Southern) style. I know that when we have a house of our own someday we'll be using terms and employing tricks that we've learned from this show!

So there you have it. Those are a few of the people that inspire me when it comes to decorating and organizing my own home. What about you? Who do you find inspiring?

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Love>Fear // On Loving Refugees Even When It's Scary

[Read her story here.]

As the internet has been exploding with opinions and articles and arguments over whether or not the US should let Syrian refugees in or not, my heart has been hurting. The fact that these people are even in refugee status and having to flee their country is heartbreaking. And seeing some of the things that are being said about these people adds to this heartache. 

I get it. People are scared. The threat is real (maybe not likely, but real). But, at least as Christians, we don't have to fear this worldly threat. You don't have to read much of the Bible to see that Jesus did not fear worldly threats, but instead ministered to those who were the weakest, sickest, in the most need, regardless of what it cost Him. And He calls His followers to do the same. To pick up their crosses. To love their enemies. To care for the least of these. (1) Nowhere does He command that we stay safe or comfortable. (2) 

This doesn't mean that we have to throw caution to the wind and let in whoever comes knocking. Which is definitely not the case in the US refugee vetting process. (3) But it does mean that we're willing to take risks in order to love. (4) It means that we follow Jesus' example because if His ministry would have been filled only with safe, comfortable, non-threatening things then there'd be no hope for us at all. It means that we don't let fear rule our lives and make decisions for us. (5, 6) 

Fear is a liar. It says that we have to take care of ourselves, protect ourselves, build lots of high walls and do whatever we can to stay safe. But 2 Timothy 1:7 says that "God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control." Love is greater than fear. 

And as an average citizen in the Midwest there might not be a ton that I can do to practically and tangibly love these people that are fleeing for their lives. But I can control how I'm feeling. I can choose to let God's power and love and self-control in me be bigger than my fears and be open to how He might use me. I can pray for these thousands of lives that are on the brink of survival... these human beings that are made in the image of God and loved by Him. I can be loving on social media and advocate for their care and support. I can love my enemies because this is how the world will see the light of Christ. 

And if loving your enemy sounds too radical, too hard, then can't we at least love the innocent ones who are being terrorized by our enemies?

P.S. Here are some oldies (but goodies) that I've shared before, but they are kind of perfect for this post. Download away!


Friday, November 13, 2015

Weekend Wrap-Up


Happy Friday, folks! This graphic pretty much sums up how I'm feeling right now. Sun is shining, gourmet pizza for lunch, and just a few hours out from the weekend.

This weekend is looking like it will be the perfect mix of social, relaxing, and productive. We'll be visiting some art studios, having coffee with new friends, and going to an old friend's housewarming party. We will also be picking up our new (to us) car at the dealership tomorrow (cuz, that one time), working on a mailing that we'll be sending out soon (keep your eyes on your mailboxes!), and meeting with BASE to plan a purity conference. Good stuff.

This past week I found a few things on the internet to be extra helpful... drumroll, please...

This blogpost on adopting first has really impacted me this week and reiterates a lot of the thoughts that Loverboy and I have had on this topic.

Although not super pretty, this graphic from the UN is super helpful in understanding what makes up trafficking:
And last but not least, this recipe for Sausage & Apple Stuffed Acorn Squash not only looks amazing, but I have had it recommended to me by two ladies that I work with. Needless to say, I may have a couple acorn squash sitting on my kitchen counter ready and waiting!

Monday, November 9, 2015

TDM: Kitchen // After

Welcome to another installment of Team Douglas Moves! Over a month ago I shared with you what our kitchen looked like when we moved in. I thought it was about time I showed you what it looks like now! Obviously, since we're renting it's not like we made any real big changes (we're no Chip and Joanna Gaines!), but we have put our own special touch on the room and it really is one of my favorite upgrades in our move. So without further ado...

We love that we get lots of natural light and the amount of space makes cooking so much more enjoyable! And I like that I get to sit at the table and watch my cute husband do the dishes. BEST part ever!

Polka Dot Rug: Ikea
Black Wire Shelving: Target
Minnesota Cutting Board: Bed Bath & Beyond
Dishes: Target
Tea Towel: Bed Bath & Beyond
Hanging Planter: Ikea

Anything else you'd like to know, just comment below!

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Just Say It

I can be awkward with words. As far as love languages go, words are near the bottom for me. I can have a hard time expressing love, comfort, appreciation, and gratitude through words. (I personally think it all started when I was a toddler and would grunt and point at what I wanted and my sisters would oblige and thus crippled me for life. JK, sorta...)

So when I married a man that had words at the top of his love language list (like many men do), I was like... uhhhhhh. Anyone else there with me? 

But I feel like this is something that I have definitely been growing in—how to not be as awkward about affirming this guy of mine, or at least pushing through the awkwardness and just saying it anyway. 

So today, when I stumbled across this article on 24 honest phrases we need to say to each other more often I felt like I had struck gold (or found that killer high-end brand-name score at the thrift store... ya know, to each his own).

So things like "I don't know what to say, but I'm here" and "what can I do to support you?" and "I disagree but I still love you" are like little nuggets of awesome thrift-store finds for my vocabulary. They help me see that loving, affirming, comforting, they don't have to be awkward, but instead can be super simple phrases that mean a lot to the people that I say them to.

So next time that I'm not sure what to say, or feel like my words don't mean that much, I'm going to try some of these phrases. I'm going to be honest with how I'm feeling and just say it—awkward or not.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...