Hello long lost friends!!!
I have been very silent on the blogging front.. sorry about that. My pre-new year plans included blogging a few times a week and then we found out we were expecting (yay!). Not that I can't keep up while I am pregnant, but sickness hit me pretty hard and well... I'll save you the details, but needless to say REST was on the agenda first and foremost.
I am glad to be in the second trimester where I do feel a little better over all and I am so happy to be working on a regular basis again and devoting my time to new ideas and growing Hazel Berry Design Co.
The other night my husband and I were watching Shark Tank, and like usual I was taking notes on what the sharks tell the businesses presenting. It started with a business that began with college student making sandals, and since turned into a company that provided college tuition to young women in other countries that would other wise end their education due to lack of economic opportunity. It took listening to this businesses mission for me to say out loud something that had been on my heart for a while.
So I pause the TV to vent to my husband about a thought that I was passionately bursting at the seems to tell him. Anytime I do this and stop what ever we are doing to relay a thought, I think he gets a little anxious, and honestly I don't blame him. Last time I was this dramatic about pausing whatever we were doing, I told him I wanted to quit my job. To which he supportively (and slightly reluctantly) said, "Ok, let's make a plan to make it happen and pray about it."
So I blurt out, "I really want to do more with HBDC! These people have their business focused around giving, and giving back has always been on my heart. I have felt like God wants me to do more to help more people through my business." He responds with, "Ok, so what do you want to do?" "I don't know (classic answer), but I want it to be personable to my brand. Something that speaks to the products that I sell and what I am passionate about." Making a random monthly contribution to a charity or foundation was a fine idea and made the list, but there just wasn't that connection for me of feel like "YES, that is what I want to give to." So I asked around on facebook for some ideas on places to donate money where I would know where the proceeds go. I got some GREAT ideas like Manna Global Ministries, Back to Back Ministries, Grace home Ministries, Salvation Army, Teen Challenge, Compassion International and more. I looked up every single one. I wanted to make an informed decision and I wanted to be able to share with my buyers where the percentage of proceeds were going to. Looking up every organization was information overload...But ultimately I felt so called to do something specific, I just wasn't completely sure what that was yet.
My husband who knows my heart (and the heart of my business) so very well suggests, "What about making a donation to send bibles to children in other countries." At that moment I knew..."That's it. That is what I want to give to."
From Compassion International: "It’s so important for a child to have his or her very own copy of the Bible, especially a child who lives in extreme poverty. Younger children will receive an age-appropriate version of the Bible filled with colorful illustrations, introducing foundational stories and concepts. With this gift, a young child is able to learn about God’s creation, His plan for our lives and the sacrificial love of His Son, Jesus. Upon reaching key milestones, older children and teens receive a new, complete Bible version, one they can read, study and treasure as the years go by and they grow closer to our loving God."
Why Compassion International? If I could, I would have said yes to all of the organizations doing good in the world, but I really wanted to focus on a specific way of giving and CI offered the ability to do so efficiently and affectively. I have heard about CI on the radio for years and have always thought about sponsoring a child in some way. I even wrote an essay once in the fourth grade about donating to a Christian charity that helped kids. A couple of months back my step mother made a trip to see the child that her and my father sponsor. The glow on her face as she told us about her trip, and the way she spoke about how impactful the trip was as well as CI, blew me away. I knew at that point that they would be a great organization to contribute to.
I see my niece beaming in bible class hugging her bible, and shouting "AMEN!" at the top of her lungs after every prayer, and I cannot WAIT to see my little one do the same. Jesus has been apart of my life since day one, and to think that there are innocent children out there who don't know the goodness of our savior literally makes my heart break. To be able to reach kiddos from many miles away through the word of God feels so right and motivates me to grow this business so I can give MORE and do MORE with what God blesses Hazel Berry Design Co. with.
So far this post has been sunshine and rainbows, but I also want to share another side that went through my mind which is.... It's so much easier not to give. Infact, for a while now or ever since HBDC Shop started to become some-what profitable, I compressed the idea of it, because in my mind it meant more money for our family to live comfortably, grow my business, save for our future, pay of debt... the list could go on and on. In a lot of ways those thoughts are important to consider, but I came to the realization that giving in the name of the Lord will never make us poor.
I wanted to tell you that side of my thoughts because It's so easy to see people give and do and feel negatively about our selves because we have worldly thoughts that steer us away from things such as giving. I think we all enter the daily battle of listening to Satan through our minds or God through our hearts. We are all imperfect humans who give in to or get consumed with worldly desires. I am guilty of it completely. There is a time for everything and God stirs our hearts in all different directions at different points in our lives. I feel humbled that he decided to stir mine while watching Shark Tank.
Moving forward with this continual contribution honestly makes me a little nervous, but also feels so right. I haven't been this excited and driven about a project since my Daybooks and I am THRILLED that YOU have the opportunity to be apart of it too. We all need a mission and something that fires us up that is not centered around ourselves, but more so what we can do with the blessings God gives us.
To learn more about Compassion International, visit their website. One thing that stood out to me about their giving opportunities was all of the different and very specific areas to contribute. Check out their gift catalog to browse the options if you are interested.
If you had the resources to give, where would you love to donate your time and financial blessings?