Hi you guys!
Hope you had a very merry Christmas!
The whole Dressember campaign is drawing quickly to a close. Three more days left in 2014 = 3 more days of Dressember!
In some ways it has gone faster than I thought it would. I'll admit that I was daunted at first about the idea of wearing a dress every single day. It took me several days to commit to doing it after I first learned about Dressember because in my own flesh I wondered if I'd FEEL like wearing a dress everyday and what if I ran up against denying my own desires! Boy are we selfish when left to our own natures but thankfully God is molding me more and more into His image as I let Him.
As I recognized that my desires/comfort are a minuscule thing compared to bringing HOPE, JOY, FREEDOM and HEALING to others it became a much easier thing to decide.
dress from my Aunt Kim worn while running many Christmas shopping errands!
From Dressember participant Katlyn Schwab who is not only wearing a dress everyday but is also traveling in/advocating from China while doing it!
"Some days, the last thing you want to do is put on a dress and take a picture. But it's a small sacrifice. And this "small sacrifice serves as a daily reminder of the millions of women and girls who wake up without any amount of autonomy. We do this for them. This is our stand, and a dress is our flag. Together we will carve a path to a better future for women everywhere."
You can do anything in a dress including wear one to the chiropractor with some careful layering. You can also do crafts with a 4 1/2 year old and one year old, clean up messes, prepare and feed meals, etc., etc. AND look festive :)
I am so, so very glad that I have done this. Teaming up with all of you has been super meaningful.
Daydreaming about all of the GOOD that is going to come out of what we have been able to do together is beyond exciting!
REAL CHANGE is going to occur in people's lives.
People without HOPE will have HOPE and people to walk alongside them through the process of healing.
coast to coast meets Dressember style challenge day to incorporate animal print into your outfit with your dress - also day to honor Peggy Davis by wearing her favorite color, hot pink!
after wearing the animal print outfit to the preschool Christmas party, Christmas shopping with the kids, through the drive through, etc., etc. I was grateful to be able to change into a more comfortable dress layered outfit for cousin Christmas present opening night at my parents. I recognize that I have so much freedom and choice and I am participating in Dressember for those who through no fault of their own, do not!
"The opposite of love is not hate, it's indifference." - Elie Wiesel
my sweet girlie looks so pretty in her Christmas dress from Nana
We are blessed with richness in material things as well as in our opportunities! I cannot help but want the same for others!
"Day 28, and really missing jeans. It can sound like such a stretch to call a month of dresses a "sacrifice", but when you get to the end of the month, it feels like exactly that. Then we remember why we're doing this-- because millions of women and girls wake up everyday without the luxury of choice. #Dressember is about solidarity in one small, daily choice; together we proclaim that choice is not a luxury, but a human right. All people have the inherent right to a vibrant, autonomous life.#itsbiggerthanadress" - Dressember instagram account
As I write this blogpost, a donation came in that HIT my wonderfully crazy goal of $900!!! Because of all of you who have donated and teamed with me, we have raised $900 that was NOT available before to RESCUE people from HORRIFIC SLAVERY.
This is a celebration! I am so happy to be able to help in this way and AM so humbled and feel so privileged that God would use me as a mouthpiece for these individuals and that He would bless me so richly with friends and family who are willing to come alongside me to fight injustice together and bring hope to those who are hurting!
Fun fact: Out of 256 individual fundraisers for the Dressember 2014 campaign - WE - you guys partnering with me are #42 of top fundraisers! This thing is huge and I am proud of what we have accomplished together!
My little girl is loved, protected and cherished by her Daddy. Every girl and woman in the world should be respected and protected by men! Instead of lamenting the huge problem we can confidently stand together knowing that we can do SOMETHING!
I wish I could say I was completely content with what we've done and believe me, if not a single other donation comes in I will be thrilled with what we have been able to contribute to the lives of others together but may I gently challenge those of you who have felt like
"oh I'll give later"
"I'm busy with this and that and Christmas stuff, etc. right now and I don't have time to go over to the page and figure out how to donate"
"my $1 or $2 will not make a difference so why bother, everyone else is giving more than me, it would be embarrassing if I only gave a dollar or two"
to set aside those thoughts just long enough to bless yourself with the chance to do something that you will be proud to be a part of. I can't tell you the excitement and peace and hope that I have because instead of lamenting this horrible thing that exists in our world and wanting to ignore it, that I have instead been able to be a small part of raising $349,846 (the total amount raised by the entire Dressember campaign as of the moment I am typing this - updated totals can be seen here) to bring hope and healing and freedom.
What we are doing will drastically change a woman or a young girl's life in extremely tangible ways.
To not be held captive, starved, beaten, made to do the unthinkable up to 110 times in a single day according to reports I've read . . .
THAT is something worth doing in my opinion.
If each person who has not already donated to International Justice Mission through this Dressember campaign and reads this blogpost or the email that I send about Dressember donates $1, then we collectively as a team of people joining together will have raised $1,321!
$1,200 allows IJM to conduct investigations for one month.
$300 provides the funds to give aftercare packages to 10 survivors of sex traffiking.
$110 allows one family freed from slavery to receive Freedom Training.
From International Justice Mission's website:
Funds raised on behalf of IJM are directed to IJM's Urgent Needs fund, and will be used to meet IJM's most pressing needs in our mission to combat violent oppression around the world. Learn more about IJM's work here.
IJM has some impressive and hopeful statistics:
more than 18,000 people relieved from oppression
13,000 + officers and officials trained since 2012
more than 770 convictions!
wearing a dress once the lights are out in the kids' rooms on Christmas eve and getting to work baking, wrapping, etc. for the morning
so thankful for my family who has supported my dreams of making a difference!
If you are interested in reading the story of one of the rescues International Justice Mission has made you can read it here.
you can even ice skate in a dress (although I was the only one on the rink doing it!) :)
If God is not calling you to give at this time to this cause for whatever reason, I completely respect that and you! Do the work that He is calling you to.
I am thankful to have had the opportunity to spread the word about this problem in our world and to share the excitement and hope that there IS something we can do about it.
We are not powerless.
Satan does not win!
"I swore never to be silent whenever and wherever human beings endure suffering and humiliation. We must always take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented." - Elie Wiesel
Another interesting story about IJM's work with widows in Uganda can be found here.
Blythe Hill, Dressember organizer reminds us that this is all bigger than us afterall.
May we be hands and feet, wallets and those who pray, so that the world will be different for many, many souls!
What is happening is EXCITING you guys!
The enemies strongholds are being torn down and LIGHT is shining into the dark places!
Thank you for joining with me!
May His Kingdom come on Earth as it is in Heaven!