I was going to just write a quick post about my outfit today, but I changed my mind after checking my Facebook.  One of the first posts I read, as I sat down at my computer after an afternoon of chasing children, was this photo:

The photo itself wasn't what stopped me, because on the surface this looks like a happy picture.  What shattered and broke my heart was the caption: ' “I wish I could have done more for her. Her life has been nothing but struggle. She hasn’t known many happy moments. She never had a chance to taste childhood. When we were getting on the plastic boat, I heard her say something that broke my heart. She saw her mother being crushed by the crowd, and she screamed: ‘Please don’t kill my mother! Kill me instead!’“ (Lesvos, Greece) '  (Original post HERE)

This photo is one of a series of photos from the blog Humans of New York.  As you may have guessed, the photos are usually based on inhabitants of the city that never sleeps, but the photographer is in the process of traveling abroad and highlighting the stories of a small portion of humans mired in the multi-million person Syrian refugee crisis. (Also, the surrounding countries involved in conflict and those hosting refugees as well.)

I've been struggling with whether or not I was going to write about this wave of refugees escaping the war-torn confines of their home country.  There have been so many posts, opinions, words-words-and-more-words written about them already, and I'm not one to get involved in any issue that might result in confrontation with anyone around me (hence the reason you'll never see a 'political' post on my Facebook or blog).  There's already been so much good, truth-full, inspired writing as well.    There's just been so much that I didn't want to add another voice to all those already speaking.

But maybe we do need another post, because this issue has been on my heart for weeks now, beating along with my heart, with constant Holy-Spirit-urgings to tackle this topic.  Topic isn't even the right word, because Topic is too cold, detached, and clinical to describe this huge, hurting mass of displaced humans.  But of course, my stubborn heart and head had to fight back.

I don't like confrontation.

I don't like offending people.

I don't like people not liking me for my words.

I want to be liked, and this is not a 'likeable' topic.  Nothing about this is comfortable.  People, millions of people, are losing homes, losing family members, losing parents and children and siblings and aunts and uncles.  They're left with nothing.  The refugee camps don't have adequate supplies.  The transportation to other countries is scary, expensive, and dangerous, with no guarantee that they'll make it it their destination alive.  Even if they make it, it's a toss-up whether they will be welcomed or imprisoned.  I wish I could find a grey area, a politician's answer that everyone accepts, so I don't step on any toes.  I wish I could find some mutual understanding for the viewpoint of those clamoring, "Keep them out, we don't want criminals overrunning our country!"

As if crime is only found in one country and people group.

As if our lives are safer and more insulated if they don't come in.

As if they could just turn around and go back home.

To those screaming, "keep them out!" I apologize, because I think you are wrong.  I can't agree when the first words I read from my Bible this morning are these:

"Enlarge your house; build an addition.
spread out your home, and spare no expense!
For you will soon be bursting at the seams.

Be fair and just to all.  Do what is right and good.
For I [the Lord] am coming soon to rescue you
and to display my righteousness among you" (Is. 54:2-3a; 56:1)

The part that hurts and confuses me the most is that I'm hearing this from people who believe in the same God as I.  They cover their words in the wrapper of 'do what's right for our Country' or 'we can't have a Muslim takeover, just wait for the persecution.'  Bear in mind, Christ promised us persecution. To say, "we don't want you to live with us, and would rather you stay in suffering and homelessness because your religion is different than ours," is, from my understanding of the Bible, the farthest you can be from following Christ.  How can we show God's love to people if we keep them out?

I could, of course, just not talk about this at all.  I could get back to my Pinterest, Facebook, 'what should I wear?' and "I better check the weather and see if the kid needs a sweater for school" day-to-day routine, and forget about those who are fighting to survive.

It might even work,until another photo shows up in my news feed, or a friend shares an article, or another toddler's body washes up on the beach.  I could try to ignore the stories, until I feel a twinge of pain as I imagine being a father who put his children in a boat against all hope, only to see his child's photo on a screen or in the newspaper, and for me to imagine how hollow he must find it to know that his baby is the image that forced the world to wake up to the horrors going on.  Until I'm reminded of the first time I understood that there's evil in the world, at ten years old, as I internalized the image of a firefighter holding a damaged child after the bombing in Oklahoma City, and realize that evil is rampant, but God is bigger.  And until I really believe that "the only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing. (source)"

I don't want to be liked if it means choosing inaction.

I don't think my heart can handle the photograph of another child losing their innocence or life because we were too scared or apathetic to act.


If you'd like more resources to help, both here and abroad, start here:





Fair Trade Friday - All Ears

Well, we've made it through the week to another Friday!  To celebrate, how about some new ear candy?  I rounded up some earrings that are currently on my wish-list, and I'm sharing them with you!

Greenola Style Bolivian Stone Earrings

OOTD - SIA / Beza Threads

Ok, so, I'm back!!  I decided to take a while off from blogging (almost a month!), in order to think, focus on my family for a while, and answer a few personal questions I had.  One of those questions?  Why do I blog?  To be honest, I haven't really gotten to the root of the answer to that, because of so many varying reasons.  I love sharing my outfits, I have to get dressed in the mornings anyways, and I love the creative outlet, among many other things.  Another reason I began blogging was in order to share Fair Trade and ethical companies with you, and that reason has only intensified in the past few weeks.  Part of the conversation that starts with asking, "Who made my clothes?" is finding fashionable alternatives from companies committed to enacting positive change in our world.  I want to start re-focusing on that aspect of the blog, so expect a lot more Fair Trade Friday posts in the future!!

It seemed only fitting to come back from my little hiatus with an outfit featuring a scarf I received from Beza Threads, a company I recently wrote about in my Fair Trade Friday feature.  I love what Beza Threads is doing, as they join in the fight against human trafficking by caring for survivors in Ethiopia.  And, it seemed only fitting to include my new scarf in this round of Style Imitating Art, hosted by Salazar of 14 Shades of Grey.  Here's the painting that is the inspiration for the outfits:

Franz Kline / Painting Number 2