Falling

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I’m falling apart

at the seams

it is a slow process

that sometimes

doesn’t exist because

I feel normal, complete, successful

then

I have a day where I want to do so much

I have planned this to do or that to enjoy

and NOTHING gets done

because I am falling

apart

And then

I am not and I get things done that I never thought I would

And then

I fall again

because the dishes are half done

the laundry is sour

there are crafty items everywhere

&

I cannot even complete a conversation with a friend

because

I’m falling apart

loosing a grip

shaking with anticipation of the next thing that my mind tells my body to do

willing my mind to focus but so unable to complete anything

making those around me go crazy

because I am crazy

and

I’m falling apart

 

 

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I am

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I am comfortable.

I am sheltered.

I am warm.

I am fed.

I am clothed.

I am loved.

I am cherished.

I.am.free.

These are all reasons why I #dressember.  I know that I have so many privileges in my life that others cannot even perceive.  I am going to try, over the next month, to use the privilege to bring a voice to the voiceless.

Two years ago I decided to go on a journey.  That journey has brought me here.  I am a better consumer by being a less consumer.  I am more aware of people around me by actually seeing people in need.

But the more I think about that the more I realize that it is not about what I have become but more about what I am unbecoming and how I am changing the focus from me to others.  I am trying to take the I out of my life.  That is super hard, trust me and I am not good at it, AT ALL!

So stepping back and thinking (without using “I statements”) about how this venture of dresswearing will change the world one may become more self centered OR not depending on how they view the cause.  Choosing to view the cause as opposed to yourself can turn dresswearing into #unselfies and #advocation.

It is a work in progress so we shall see what happens as the month progresses.  Keep watching and reading to see where it lands.

In the mean time check out https://support.dressemberfoundation.org/isaiah-61-1-3 and give what you can or pass on the link to a friend if they are able to donate.

 

In spite of me

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I think that I am the one making a difference by wearing a dress. But really,  the difference is being made in spite of me.
Bringing attention to myself by posting about myself, words or pictures, isn’t as helpful as I would like it to be.

I am not important.  It is not me that makes this work or go away.

Sure, I am a vessel for the cause.  But it all works in spite of me. In spite of my self-consciousness, my forgetfulness, my desire for attention, my fear, my inattention, and all my other faults!

Here’s what I mean: I am important.  My voice in the fight may be the only voice some hear.  AND despite all my faults a difference is being made.
Someone once told me that it must take courage to do this challenge. To wear dresses every day and have my own style.  Another person said I was a trend setter due to my eclectic pattern mixing. I heard someone ask, “What is she wearing?”
What’s interesting is that it takes more courage to move that conversation away from my fashion choices and to the real issue of slavery.  There is a special kind of courage to move the conversation away from ME & to the issue at hand.

I am working on having that courage.  Your choice to read this blog is helping me find my voice and courage.  I appreciate that you have chosen to read my blog.

IF you are able donate to the cause of freeing people form the bonds of slavery. Not only will you help free them, you will help to rehabilitate them by your gift.

 

 

I get to be in the yearbook!

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A few days ago one of the students who is on the yearbook staff asked me if they could do a little feature on me and the #dressembermovement

Of course with my goal being to talk to as many people as I could about this issue I said YES! Then she said she needed me to write a little bit about it in the Humans of New York style.

So here is what I wrote:

For much of my life I have been interested in social justice.  I look outward into the world instead of being focused on myself.  A little over a year ago I heard about a little thing called Dressember.  I love a good play on words so I looked into it.

Turns out the founder of Dressember enjoys word play too.

What began, for her, as a fun little creative jaunt has become a world wide event to raise awareness and funding.  The organizations that benefit from funds that are raised during Dressember free slaves and also work very hard to rehabilitate them so they don’t fall prey to the victimization again.

I knew I needed to participate.

This is my second year wearing dresses.  No, skirts don’t work.  To quote FAQ’s from the Dressember site “it isn’t Skirtember”.  Dresses are not my comfort zone.  I feel vulnerable in dresses.  All of my dresses are summer dresses so I feel cold a lot too.  It makes me exceedingly aware of all the comfort I have around me.

#itsbiggerthanadress

#sayyestothedress

#dressember

It was hard to write about it without going all dark and self-righteous.  I had to really think about my audience and what I wanted them to hear about the #movement that so many people have joined.

The reality is that the more we discuss it the more we will be able to help it go away.  The more aware people become about the issues the more they can do to help heal it. We all know that though.  That doesn’t mean we should stop talking about it.  If fact it means that we should keep talking and keep talking.

Please donate to the Isaiah 61:1-3 team effort.

This little light of mine

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I’m gonna let it shine in the form of a dress.

It is shining in the darkness of slavery.  It is a beacon of hope for the hopeless.

Today at lunch a co-worker came to lunch and I was able to share my reason for wearing a dress was more than just my quirky style.

Unfortunately, it isn’t what people want to hear.  They don’t want to think about how they need to spend a little more on things and have less in order to make sure that others aren’t taken advantage of.  When we are looking at the spending season (aka the hap-happiest season of all) and needing to have loads of presents under the tree.  The light still MUST shine.

I am happily finding places to shop and telling people about them.  I am happily shining my light daily.

If you follow my instagram you have seen a two constant posts for the past 4 days and you’ll continue to see them.  Our family tradition of ornaments and my dressember campaign. (If you don’t you should imacurlygirl)

The ornaments are little lights in the darkness of the winter.  My dresses are little lights that spark discussions.

Check out my Dressember Team site for donation options. Whether its’s $5.00 or $50.00 any amount helps!

 

I officially have a TEAM!

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I am so excited that Kezia joined the team I made on the Dressember Isaiah 61:1-3.

A team is support.  It is fellowship and friendship. A team works together to accomplish a goal.  A team is “together we can do more”. A team says we support each other.

About a week or so ago Kezia posted on my facebook that she was going to join me.  I asked if she wanted to do a team and she agreed. About 12 hours ago she officially joined (reminder: it is never to late to join the team… come on, let’s make a difference together!) the Isaiah 61:1-3 team.

When I was thinking about a team name the verse “oil of joy instead of mourning” came to me. I thought what could that verse be talking about.  I looked it up and here is what the verses around it say:

The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me,
    because the Lord has anointed me
    to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
    to proclaim freedom for the captives
    and release from darkness for the prisoners,[a]
to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor
    and the day of vengeance of our God,
to comfort all who mourn,
    and provide for those who grieve in Zion—
to bestow on them a crown of beauty
    instead of ashes,
the oil of joy
    instead of mourning,
and a garment of praise
    instead of a spirit of despair.
They will be called oaks of righteousness,
    a planting of the Lord
    for the display of his splendor.

I love the context surrounding the “oil of joy for mourning” verse.  I love that in verse one it talks about being sent “to proclaim freedom for the prisoners” and that in verse three it talks about those who are in despair will be “oaks of righteousness”.  In general, when I read these verses I was amazed and so happy that that was what the verse was about.  Immediately I began to think how I could use it in my campaign.

Everyday I put on a dress is a meditation.  A strong thought that is deliberate and purposeful. I am meditating about how I get to choose the dress and others do not have the ability to choose anything.

I will talk more about the meditation on Wednesday week.

I want you to spend some time this week meditating on the verses posted and imagine the freed and reintegrated slaves who are benefiting from all the hard work organizations like IJM, A21, Polaris, and so many other anti-slavery organizations do.

If your are able it would also help if you donated to our team.

Round two!

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I am back.  A second year of dress wearing.  I haven’t bought a new dress since last year so the pictures you see on my instagram (imacurlygirl) will feel very familiar!

Serendipitously, I was off today.  I had a dentist appointment (honestly, I totally forgot when I scheduled it in June) so I was able to go out in the world and talk about Dressember on my first day.

I love my dentist! She is fantastic! ~I don’t get paid 😉

The hygienist asked what was going on and I opened with “well it’s #givingtuesday and the start of dressember”.  So that of course opened the conversation and the idea for today’s blog.

We talked about how I am a serious pattern mixer especially since all of my dresses are summer (short or sleeveless). We talked about the supply chain.  The conversation took us to trafficking out of a local spa.  It is always good to talk with people who are genuinely interested and who will begin to think about their consumerism in a different way after our conversation.

One thing I want to do differently this year is talk.  Talk to everyone I meet about my adventure.  My meditation. This journey toward awareness.

I would love it if you could help out in any way you can.  Tell people, give to an anti-slavery organization, become aware of your consumerism.

Keep posted all month long.  Check my blog daily for my new post.  Follow me on my instagram.  Watch my facebook posts.

Here is my donation site for Dressember

Hugs. For Life.

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This is my cousin’s blog! #ihavedecided #jonacuffmethod

Jenn Hudson

hugs

Let’s talk hugs.

I visited a church one weekend with my husband, and met this beautiful gal who greeted me at the door with the sweetest smiling face. Her skin was the color of Africa, and that may be why I liked her all the more, but her smile and warmth could be felt as equally as far away as her country of origin. “Thank you,” were the only two words I spoke to her as she gave me that rich warm greeting and held my door open. I turned back and added, “You are so pretty!” Which is about the only thing I know to say when my heart is feeling full, and I want to tell someone that I appreciate them more than this fleeting moment. She stopped and did something entirely unexpected from this rich-smile-warm-heart door greeting lady, she hugged me. She pulled me in and gave me a precious…

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#Linkinprofile

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I have always wanted to say that in my posts on social media without sounding like I am begging for people to come to my blog and read what I have written.  I have never been one to seek attention, good, bad, or otherwise.  (Wait, what would otherwise be??) Then I made the most delicious dinner the other night and took a picture of the post deliciousness and #checkmyblogfordetails & #inprofile happened.  Now, I have to make good on my promise to the 10 people who liked or commented on the picture and post the recipe OR maybe just the experience of creating the recipe. I don’t really know yet, you’ll just have to keep reading to see what transpires here. So a while ago I wrote a blog that was about dinner and how frustrating it is sometimes to figure out what to cook and how unhelpful my family can be.

Last night I didn’t know what to cook.  I had chicken and some homemade curry sauce in the freezer.  I also had some peppers and onions that needed to be cooked.  I decided to start with the peppers and onions and really I wasn’t sure where it would go from there.  I cut them up bite size (my bite size is usually to big for most people) and sautéed them with olive oil, salt, & pepper. From there I decided I wanted to cook the chicken and, wait, what is that?? Lo Mein noodles from Wegmans in the freezer? MMMMM

So then the magic started to happen.

I don’t know how to explain this magic as it has happened so infrequently in the last 5 years, since my sister’s death.  But when it does, I love it.

I love the end result when my husband says, “Did you write this down so you can make it again?”

And I say, “No.”

Then quickly pull out my phone to start writing the bones of the recipe down so I don’t forget that I magically created.

I know I will never be able to recreate it.  It is an impossibility to truly recreate a magic trick.

Often times that is what making dinner feels like, a magic trick.  One that, even I do not understand.

So here is my attempt to give you the recipe that was magical:

  • 1 yellow pepper chopped however you like it but small enough to cook all the way
  • 1 small red onion diced but not to finely
  • 2 average cloves of garlic (FRESH is best) cut up however you like
  • 1 TBSP of olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
    • saute and set aside
  • Cook lomein noodles, rinse and set aside
  • cube chicken of your choice (3/4 of a pound or so) I used chicken thighs (5 of them)
  • cook in batches in sesame oil and olive oil with a little s & p to taste
  • the second batch of chicken add in 2 TBPS of soy sauce
  • when all the chicken is cooked toss it together with the soy sauce and let it steam for 5 or so minutes
  • toss the pepper and onions in with the chicken to coat with the soy sauce
  • SERVE over the lomein noodles

No pictures. I really, honestly, didn’t think it would be good so I didn’t take any pictures. While we were eating and my family was reflecting on how they really liked it and how I should make it again, I thought, “Well Gee!  I should have taken a photo for insta.”

And thus this post was born.

Maybe I will post about my cooking block that has last for 5 years.  Maybe I won’t, it is a hard subject to discuss because I really do love to cook.  No, really, I DO! I also love to do grocery shopping, but that is a post for another day.

Faceless & nameless

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How many of us could say we were not even a face in the crowd?

How many of us could say no one even knows our name?

How many of us have no idea what our real age is?

There are few of us that fit into that category.

We are known.  We have a face that others want to see.  We celebrate our birthdays (often for a whole month) , anniversaries, girls/boys night out, & so many other things.

Could you imagine if that were not so?

What if no-one knew your name?

If I could make it right for the 36 million slaves to be known I would.  I feel like writing about it and talking about it helps a little bit.  It is like that starfish story from my classroom.  As long as I can save one.

Through this week I have learned of several domestic human trafficking organizations.  I have heard stories of people WITH names and faces who live in my county who have been directly touched by slavery.

I can make a difference and so can you.  Make a plan to learn about what you can do in your neck of the woods to bring awareness to this human tragedy that has lasted for ever and ever and can stop with us!

Check out these sites for more information:

Polaris Project

IJM

Redeemed Ministries

Restore One

Comment with others that I need to know about.  The more we know the better we are.