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Friday, September 1, 2017

5 Favorite Things on a Friday: It's September Edition!

Happy Friday, everyone! It's Friday Favorites today and I'm wordy, so grab your coffee or your diet coke or your water with lemon - if you must - and check out some of my favorite things from the week!

1. Texas Showing the World that Light Shines in the Darkness

Here's a little thing I've noticed recently. It's going to catch you by complete surprise. Social Media can be dark and ugly and judgmental and nasty and full of pee-drinking crap faces. 

DUH. (And thank you to the movie, The Sandlot, for supplying me with that colorful vocabulary.)

During this tragedy in my home state though, Social Media has been a blessing to me for the most part. I have been able to check in on friends in the Houston area. I've witnessed numerous organizations and regular ol' folks responding to the pleas for help. Ironically, the tweets, facebook and instagram posts have often been a source of hope and even of much needed humor this week. These are some of my favorite moments from this week on the "socials".

This video showed Texans lined up for miles to get to Houston and surrounding towns to rescue folks from their flooded homes. Oh, how I love a random average dude with a boat.

I followed along as Beth Moore journeyed from Nashville to Houston over a few harrowing days to get to her family. She kept her sense of humor and stepped right in to be the hands of Jesus - if, in fact, Jesus's hands held some full-fat tortilla chips, a hunk of Velveeta and a can of Rotel. Which I'm fairly certain they would.

Because of the fact that the great majority of people in this wide world are not pee-drinking crap faces, but actually really, really good, there are a huge number of places where you can donate which I have found through social media. These are just a few:

One of my favorite bloggers is Melanie Shankle at The Big Mama Blog. She is partnering with Milk and Honey Tees which I have mentioned here before. The God Bless Texas Tee sporting graphic art by August Joffe is being sold with proceeds going to Hurricane Harvey relief. Go HERE to order.

JJ Watt of the Houston Texans has raised over $10 million already. You can donate to his effort HERE

UMCOR - The United Methodist Committee on Relief - is coordinating with early response teams to offer relief both in Texas and Louisiana. You can donate HERE

Samaritan's Purse is one of my favorite charities. They are sending disaster relief trucks to the area. Donate HERE

As I'm quite the fan of the baseball community, I was touched to see that the University of Houston's baseball coach followed the lead of the university's basketball coach by tweeting out a plea for baseball teams across the nation to send twenty of their program's jerseys and ten pairs of shoes to help the relief efforts. For more information see THIS ARTICLE.

And finally, let's talk undies. My Texas people need under garments. I saw a plea for this the other day on Instagram where the poster pointed out that no one donates their old underwear when they clean out their closets and for that I would say THANK YOU, DONATERS. Still this is a big need. Go HERE to donate.

To donate to the Red Cross, text 90999 to make a $10 donation.

There are so many more ways to donate and they aren't hard to find. So please, find one. Keep spreading the light, friends. The darkness will not overcome it.

2. Bandana Scarves

Did you know that bandanas are the new scarves? 

Actually, I've no idea if that's true. I made that up myself, but if someone who knows what they're talking about will say that, I'm down. I love infinity scarves, but especially on a short gal, they can become overwhelming and can even make me feel claustrophobic. I'm seeing bandanas every where and since my heart is in Texas, I've made my neck that way, too. 

I snagged this pretty green one from Madewell last weekend. They have lots of them priced from $12.00 - $24.00.

This one is on sale at Nordstrom. PS You can get the Madewell one from Nordstrom, too.

This one from Target is $5.99. I dare you to go to Target and just buy the scarf.

3. Ellie Holcomb's Find You Here

This is my new favorite song on Christian radio.

The only thing we can see is darkness up ahead, 
But you're asking us to lay our worry down and sing a song instead. 
And I didn't know I'd find You here 
In the middle of my deepest fear, 
But You were drawing near. 
You were overwhelming me with peace, 
So I lift my voice and sing.  
You're gonna carry us through everything.

Amen, Amen, and Amen.

4. Books, Books, Books

I made a day trip on my own to our home at Lake Anna this week. I intended to spend most of the time there sitting in the quiet house near the window to write. The day was so beautiful and I panicked at the thought of the summer slipping away from me, so I changed course and went out to sit by the water with my truckload of books. I ended up reading for three hours straight before I headed back home. I finished A Man Called Ove and I cannot recommend it more highly. This book had been recommended to me a zillion times and I am so late to this party. It was laugh-out-loud funny,  terribly sad and terrifically hopeful, all at the same time. A perfectly beautiful story about a perfectly imperfect man and a testament to the way a community can literally save a person's life without even knowing it. Here are a few of my favorite quotes.

“Ove glares out of the window. The poser is jogging. Not that Ove is provoked by jogging. Not at all. Ove couldn’t give a damn about people jogging. What he can’t understand is why they have to make such a big thing of it. With those smug smiles on their faces, as if they were out there curing pulmonary emphysema. Either they walk fast or they run slowly, that’s what joggers do. It’s a forty-year-old man’s way of telling the world that he can’t do anything right. Is it really necessary to dress up as a fourteen-year-old Romanian gymnast in order to be able to do it? Or the Olympic tobogganing team? Just because one shuffles aimlessly around the block for three quarters of an hour?” 

“Men like Ove and Rune were from a generation in which one was what one did, not what one talked about.” 

“Loving someone is like moving into a house," Sonja used to say. "At first you fall in love with all the new things, amazed every morning that all this belongs to you, as if fearing that someone would suddenly come rushing in through the door to explain that a terrible mistake had been made, you weren't actually supposed to live in a wonderful place like this. Then over the years the walls become weathered, the wood splinters here and there, and you start to love that house not so much because of all its perfection, but rather for its imperfections. You get to know all the nooks and crannies. How to avoid getting the key caught in the lock when it's cold outside. Which of the floorboards flex slightly when one steps on them or exactly how to open the wardrobe doors without them creaking. These are the little secrets that make it your home.” 

5. September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month

Gavin Rupp

Mathias Giordano

Kate Rhoades

Alex Green
I hesitate to put this on a list of favorites because I wish with all my heart that having an awareness month for children stricken with this awful disease was unnecessary.

These photos are of just some of the children from my area who have died in the past four years. And there are so many more. It's an unbearable number. In August I ugly-cried all the way from my son's new dorm room to the car after I dropped him off for his future. The mamas of these children will not get to cry at college drop-off. They will not get to watch their kids make mistakes and have successes. I imagine that any "grief" I have at the knowledge that my son is 3 and 1/2 hours away from me is quite laughable to them. And I try hard every single day to remember that.

This week we had some great news in the Pediatric Cancer community. I heard about T-Cells and immunotherapy four years ago when I joined my Kyle's Kamp colleagues for a tour of Children's National Medical Center. I had to use all of my brain cells to understand what they were saying, but I got the gist. (I wrote about that day here: Where the Yellow Brick Road Should Have Led)

In September, I ask you to do something for these children. I'll be posting various ways you can get involved throughout the month.

Have a great weekend, friends!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thanks Jenn!
Missing #15, #12, Kate and Alex
GO GOLD for them and all of the Kids fighting the FIGHT!
#KylesKamp #ChildrensNational #StJudes