Domestically Dunn

The most important work you and I will ever do will be within the walls of our own homes. -Harold B Lee

Lemonade For Africa And Our Reason Behind September 7, 2011

Filed under: Jesus Thoughts,Uncategorized — domesticallydunn @ 4:31 pm
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Umi, who is three-months-old, is examined by a nurse at a Save the Children outreach site in Kenya. Weighing just 3.7lbs, Umi was referred to the district hospital. Her mother, Amina, says her two other children are malnourished because the drought caused the death of the family's livestock, which subsequently led to a lack of milk. Photograph: Per-Anders Pettersson/Save the Children

There is a famine in Africa right now.  A severe drought, the worst in 60 years, has affected the water and food supply of nearly 12 million people.  You probably have heard this already- if not you can watch it here.  In response to this crisis, our family had an idea to set up a lemonade stand to raise money.  Our hope is that others will join us in a group effort to bring some relief.  We will be doing this the weekend of Sept 16-18th, and would love for YOU to join us by having your own stand for a few hours, helping another stand, spreading the word, or by donating to the effort at World Vision’s “Famine No More“.  All of our proceeds will go to this amazing ministry as well.
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Why are we doing this?
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*Disclaimer:  I know I have many friends who are not Jesus followers.  I just need to say to you that my life centers on my faith, and for me everything flows from that. These are my reasons; I would like to share them with you, and I would love to hear yours as well.
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This idea began taking root quite a while ago.  We had just moved to our new home, it was naptime, and I was scrolling through my blogs.  I saw this.   As I was watching, my munchkins came down from nap.  We all sat and watched together, looking at all the pictures with my heart breaking further open with each one.
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I explained to my sweet babies as I held their healthy bodies on my lap, that the rains just hadn’t come, and these people had little to no food or water.   Expecting them to be shocked, I asked them what we should do.  They didn’t seem surprised and my son said very matter of factly, “We should send them some of ours.”
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What?  Well, yes, of course, but that’s it?  Isn’t your heart breaking? ~  These were my thoughts.
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But to my son, this huge problem had an answer… it could be fixed.  It was very obvious… we have plenty… they don’t … so we share.  Period.
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Why has it become so complicated for us?  Why do we get overwhelmed with our feelings and lose sight of the simplicity of the answer:  Someone is in need, so we help.  Someone is hurting, so we comfort.  Someone is hungry, so we give.
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Don’t get me wrong, I think God uses our feelings to motivate us to action.  But somehow in the middle of all the heartbreak, the problem seems too big, too complicated- like what we have to offer won’t make any difference.
Like anyone would do, we decided to make a donation here,  but even weeks later, my heart was still being tugged.  The idea had popped into my mind to do something like a lemonade stand, getting the kids involved, but it seemed almost silly to me. I mean, how much did anyone ever make at a lemonade stand?  How would that help?
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Weeks later I am spending time in the Psalms.  I had still been thinking about and praying for Africa, and begging God to send the rain.  Throughout the psalms, He reminds us that the earth is full of His goodness.  I knew that I see it all around me, but was wondering if those people in Africa see it.  And I get to this verse:
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“Blessed is the one who considers the poor…” Psm 41:1
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“Happy is the one who gives attention to the poor…”
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I think on this for quite awhile because it almost seems like a self-serving verse to me.  Another item to add to my to do list.   I want to be be happy so I _____ (fill in the blank as long as it has to do with the poor).  I didn’t think I understood it quite right, so I kept thinking and thinking until…
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 It finally sinks in.
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This is the blessing the psalmist talks about…. God allowing US the opportunity to be like Himinviting, even commanding us to show his goodness to a poor, needy, broken world.    Isn’t it His goodness that draws people to Him?  And isn’t it his goodness that leads us to repentance?  So the beginning of faith is all the result of the Goodness of God.  And I get to be a part of that for someone else!  THIS is why the psalmist said “Blessed is the one who considers the poor:   We are happy when we are doing the very work of God.
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So we see a need,  this great need in Africa, and we respond.  Just like Jesus did when he saw us.  It’s not very complicated, is it?  I think my son had it right.   Maybe,  just maybe, He wants to use us to show his goodness to the hurting in Africa.  It’s a humbling thought.
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I know there is no significant thing about a lemonade stand. It is just a simple way our family can raise a little money to feed some hungry souls.  But the significant thing is everyone joining together at the opportunity to be a part of something bigger than us,  something eternal:  to be a part of showing Jesus’ love to others.
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I don’t have a goal for this event… I am only hoping and praying the Lord will bless it and multiply our small effort like He did with the small gift of the young boy.  With his five loaves and two fishes, Jesus fed five thousand.    I am wondering how many he can feed with the money from a few pitchers of lemonade?
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Would YOU consider joining us?
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There are multiple ways you can get involved!
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1. The first is spread the word!  You never know how many of your friends and family would want to help out!  Also this could be a great opportunity to get your church’s kids and youth ministry involved.   There is a Facebook event page here where you can invite your Facebook friends and others through email.
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2.  Set up a lemonade stand!  Get some cardboard, markers, and lemons and get to it!  Please RSVP on the Facebook event page and let us know where you will be having it!  (City and state please!)  Make sure to invite your friends, family, and neighbors to stop by!  You can donate your proceeds to World Vision’s Famine NO More here.
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3.  Pray, pray, pray.  Please pray that God would have mercy and send the rain to East Africa.  Please also pray that He will bless and multiply the efforts of people all across the world who are contributing to helping the hungry.   Pray that He would enable us to show his love in this way.
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**If you are a blogger, would you please consider spreading the word by writing a blog post and linking to this post or to the Facebook event page.  What an easy way to reach thousands of people!
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Thank you to all who have helped and will be helping in this great effort!
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With Hope,
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A Very Ordinary Day March 2, 2011

Filed under: Jesus Thoughts,Motherhood,Uncategorized — domesticallydunn @ 4:20 pm

It’s been a long time, I know.  But I felt like writing today.  So here goes:

Waking up this morning was hard.  I had stayed up way too late on my ipod reading comments on Amazon and other blogs about Ann Voskamp’s new  book, deciding if I want to get it.  And I think I do.   Since I wanted to sleep a little later today, (I normally wake way before the rest of the fam) of course it was the day that my sweet Lovebug woke up earlier than he has in at least a month.   So that meant no alone time with my Lord.

It has been a hard couple of weeks.  It all began two Sundays ago when my son began vomiting after church and since then someone has been vomiting nearly every other day.  Throw a two year old’s bladder infection, yeast infection (which resulted in her not urinating for at one point 16 hours), and two colds into the mix and you get a very weary Momma.  Lovebug started vomiting again this Sunday afternoon, and was fine by Monday evening, and so Tuesday the Hubs was right on time… driving down the highway when it all began.  I feel bad for the people driving around him.  I had to clean it off our car, but it’s different when you love the person you are cleaning up after.  🙂

The kids are doing great now… they are such troopers.  But when I woke up this morning I felt sorry for myself.  I feel like I have been on a treadmill, nothing ever staying accomplished, clean, or even healthy for long.  I have been exhausted and achy on and off for the last week and a half.  I finally get all the puke laundry done, only to be swimming in it once again…  Woe is me… can you hear it too?

I knew immediately that I needed to sit down and block everything else out and ask the Lord for some perspective on the day.  But the time just kept being put off.  One more juice, one  more water,  one more can I have this, can you help me with this,  one more scream cause Lovebug looked at Lulu wrong, and ten more frustrated whines that things aren’t going their way.    And all the while I am whining in my soul, wondering how much of what I am doing really matters and will the kids remember anything I try everyday to invest into them, because sometimes it feels like all I am a maid with a broken record for a voice.

I finally get everyone settled in for a few minutes and I sit down in our big comfy chair with a cup of coffee, figuring I have maybe five minutes.   I open up my heart to the Lord with all my guilt for my attitude and complaints because am I not supposed to be a servant, am I not supposed to find joy in serving?   I eventually find my way to the Psalms.  “The Lord is my strength”,  “The Lord is my rock” , and immediately I don’t feel alone.   Yes I am tired, and yes my body is weary, but God is my strength in this day and in everyday.  The strength to prepare one more meal, do one more load of laundry, the strength to be gentle when my patience is waning.    And as always I realize the guilt isn’t from Him, it never is.   It’s only the guilt I feel of not living up to my unreachable standards.   The grace I feel, the grace I want to extend is His way.   And suddenly I can breathe.

The kids find thier way from the dining room back into the living room to play with thier newly created airplane out of a box.  They both have thier own seats divided  by a sheet of cardboard down the middle.  Lovebug is steering and Lulu is playing with a bear that sings songs.  I grab another cup of coffee wondering how I drank the first so quickly, and sit down to just watch.  The bear sings “I love you, I love you, morning, noon, and night.  I love you, I love you, you make the world so bright.”

So Ann Voskamp’s book is about finding Him, finding Joy in the everyday ordinary.

Lovebug listening to the song, mumbles something under his breath.   It takes me a minute but I realized what he said: “No, you don’t make the world so bright.  Jesus does.”  I smile and my heart leaps.  This is exactly what I needed to hear, and from the very mouth I needed to hear it.   I thank the Lord for this moment, feeling Him reassuring me that my efforts are not in vain.   I find Him in this moment, this very ordinary moment of extraordinary value in my heart.   

And I can’t help but wonder if I would have had this moment but for all the sickness, laundry, and fatigue.  Probably not.  And so I’ll count it as a gift.  I’ll call it #1.

You can check out Ann’s book here

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A Letter March 2, 2010

Filed under: Jesus Thoughts,Uncategorized — domesticallydunn @ 10:38 am

I sent this letter to a girl this morning, but while writing it, I thought of many girls I knew that would say they struggle with this too.   I have modified a few things to help the initial receiver remain anonymous, but wanted to paste it here just in case any of you needed encouragement as well:

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I was studying this morning, and had some things that speak to me that I wanted to share with you cause I think they would apply to you too.

I talk to the Lord all the time about the things I feel like I can’t change, patterns that I hate in myself, and things that I think I’m stuck with.  And sometimes I get angry.   I know everyone has wounds, but most of the time I feel discouraged, like mine are beyond repair…  like I have tried for years and years to change and just end up feeling hopeless.

But, God.

This morning doing a word study on “hope” I found these verses:

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Psalm 42:11

Why are you cast down, O my soul,

and why are you disquieted within me?

HOPE in God;

for I shall yet praise him,

who is the HEALTH of my countenance,

and my God.

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Mark 2:17

And when Jesus heard it,

he said to them,

“Those who are well have no need of a physician,

but those who are sick.

I came not to call the righteous,

but sinners.”

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And finally this one:

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Psalm 147:3

He heals the brokenhearted,

and binds up their wounds.

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These are the translations for those words:

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heals: to heal, make healthful; also to sew together, mend

broken: to break, rend violently, wreck, crush, maimed, crippled, shattered

heart: inner man, mind, will, heart, understanding, soul, reflection, memory, conscience, a seat of emotions, passions, courage

bind up: to bind up 😉

wounds: pain, hurt, injury, sorrow, wound, also translated: he binds up their pains, “the wounds of their minds”

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I feel like God used this verse to remind me there is hope in him. That my “shattered, crushed, and maimed” mind and sorrows can be healed. That there will still be scars just like any wound, but that he is the Master Physician and I NEED him every day.

I know you go through alot in your lives everyday too. I hope this bit from God’s word can encourage you that he is and always will be working in us to make us WHOLE.  That he wants us to experience health.  That  the things we have gone through can be used to bind us to him.  I know this is simple stuff for those of you who do in-depth Bible study all the time, but sometimes it is the simple things I need to be reminded of.