Monday, March 31, 2014

No Sorrow, Y'all.

So, once upon a time,
I went to Austin for a conference.
Arriving there, I really had no idea what to expect
other than trendily dressed and badassly accessorized kindred spirits 
with a shared heart for orphans and widows.

I hadn't yet even viewed the itinerary, having been so crazy busy
with the starting of a new job as a professor (a what?  me?) 
and having re-entered the world of dating after a 10 year hiatus. 
(Could you please pass a Xanax?)

Did I mention that I have a little person that needs fed, watered, 
and has at least 100 questions for me every day about how the world works
and what my favorite color would be if it in fact were not blue?  
So, yeah.  I'm brain dead most of the time.  

Let me take a moment here to give a shout out to my travel companion extraordinaire, Breck,
who ensured that I had a place to lay my head, transportation, 
and a general sense of what in the heck was going on.  (Kisses to you, Brecky.)

(Travel buddy, Savage Race companion, and fellow Noonday Sister, the Breckster.)
I hadn't prayed about the trip, my hopes or expectations, etc. 
This is par for the course of my haphazard believerdom. 
Those of you that know me are aware that I am a hot or at least lukewarm mess
at least 90% of the time. 
Hands too full, not totally sure what's happening next, 
and likely to drop the occasional ball or two of the 17 that I'm juggling. 

Enter Jalia. 
Jalia was our speaker for the first night of conference.


(I got to hug on the amazingly inspiring Jalia Muwanga, artisan rock star.)

She is the lovely Ugandan women who co-founded our first ever artisan group. 
During her time, she shared her amazing story of redemption...
how she and her family have gone from having no house, no job, no money, and no hope
to overseeing a successful fair trade business 
employing and empowering over 300 people in just 3 years.  

Hearing this made my heart sing. 
Made me so excited and thankful to be a teeny tiny part of Noonday's mission. 
If things had stopped there, my weekend would be complete. 
(As soon as Jen Hatmaker and I were bff's the next day after she spoke.)


(Me and my BFF, Jen Hatmaker, my earthly comedic hero and fellow professed hot mess.

AND THEN....
Jalia shared more about her life and her family. 
She shared the name of her children and told us a little story about her son's middle name, 
"Mukisa." (mue-key-sah)

In her native language, this beautiful word means.
"The blessing of God adds no sorrow." 

Hold the phone. 
This experience had just gotten even more profound....

Many years ago, a very influential person in my life had done a sort of prophesy over me
(sounds hokey...it wasn't) 
and called me "a woman of sorrows." 
As awful as that may sound and as much as I kind of hated her face for pronouncing that, 
it was very appropriate for that stage of my life. 

There was so much stored up grief from years past. 
And there was SO MUCH DEATH that was about to occur around me. 
Death of my Pappy, the man that had raised me and had been my father figure. 
Death of my marriage.
Death of my dreams of the kind of life that deserved
those goofy mom, dad, 3.5 kids and dog stickers 
that people plaster on the back of their SUV's. 
Death of my church family. 
Death of one of my most intimate friendships.

I hated that name and was ill equipped to deal with the reality of it. 
I much preferred to put a smile on my face, crack a joke (or ten), 
and move on to the next happy thought I could scramble to create.

Lord knows I spent the next 7 years sorrowing. 
Simultaneously hating but believing that this name was in fact my name. 

Woman of Sorrows, reporting for duty. 
Ugh. 

But then it hit me!  Like a cherry on top of a hot fudge sundae.
Like the bright shiny beam of the Noonday sun.
Right smack in the middle of nowhere Texas. 
Jalia spoke and the clouds parted...

MUKISA! 

The blessing of God adds NO SORROW. 

That stupid, awful truth was NOT A LIFELONG CURSE. 
After years of burden and oppression, 
in a split second and with one simple word, 
that awful hold on me was broken. 

MUKISA. 

To make it even more warm and fuzzy, 
Jalia then busted out in a song of the same name. 
Singing what felt like a foreign language lullaby straight from the mouth of an angel. 
Call me crazy, but I swear Jesus was singing, folks. 

It took all that I had not to run up to Jalia, 
crawl up in her lap, and beg for her to sing the lullaby again.

The most beautiful part of this experience was that all that I had to do was show up. 
Completely unprepared, bedraggled hot mess of a single Momma, 
awkward date, and nutty professor who just happens to be passionate 
about the cause of the widow and orphan.

My point? 

Jesus is bigger than our sorrow.
Jesus is bigger than our planning. 
Or lack thereof...
Jesus is in the business of taking ashes, rubble, and tears
and turning them in to a perfect picture of His goodness and peace.

He is perfectly capable of showing up for us every day.
In just the way that you need Him.
And then the next day again even bigger and better.
And sometimes he's even sweet enough to do it when we didn't ask
or weren't even aware of how we needed Him. 

This is true for Jalia and the now 300+ members of African Style. 
This is true for little old me. 
And this is true for YOU. 

At the risk of sounding all Bible beater crazy person
and scaring off of decent portion of all of you readers,
please know that I am a normal,
very down-to-earth kind of girl. 
I cuss more than I should.
I drink wine and beer and even occasionally too much of it. 
I frequently am not content with the riches that I have been given.
I take things for granted.
Sometimes I even want to commit murder.
So, let it be said that I sin. 
Often. 

But that's not too much for God. 
He loves me. 
He delights in me.
And my haphazard hot-messness. 
And he delights in you, too.

Sending you good vibrations of that blessed wholeness, acceptance, and love,
dear readers.
ANYTHING can be overcome.
Just believe.

------------------------------------------------------------


Thanks for stopping by today on this here blog train. 
To enter for your chance to win a $50 Noonday giftcard, 
visit Noonday Collection and find your favorite handcrafted, lifegiving piece
from our spring collection. 

Click here to enter and post your comment on Rafflecopter.

And thanks for tuning in.
Happy day everyone. :) 

24 comments:

  1. The Carnival Earrings are my favourite! :)

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  2. Love the equestrian infinity scarf

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  3. Impossible to pick just one favorite, but I would say the Fusion Necklace is at the top of the list. Beautiful post :)

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  4. love the threaded charm necklace!

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  5. I have a hard time choosing between the bloomed trio bracelet or necklace, but I think I have to go with the bracelet (at this moment - it will probably be swapped tomorrow...I love Noonday!!!)

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  6. Wow, thank you for sharing all of this. I am so bolstered by women that are willing to share like this - it gives me hope that faith is true and worth it.

    My current favorite is the gem trio studs - simple but stylish, perfect for the phase of life that I'm in.

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  7. my favorites are the botanical bag, horsehair bangles and the equestrian scarf! thanks for the chance! (I love Jen Hatmaker, too --- I swear she's my long lost sister!)

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  8. I have such a hard time choosing my favorite - probably a tie between the Tushabe Necklace, Jinja Scarf and the Lines and Striped Catch All Bag. :-)

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  9. My favorite piece(s) are the little trio of paper bead necklaces that is shown worn together -- Precious Paper, Soaring High, and Metallic Accents. I also love the Galaxy Wrap Bracelet and the Filigree Paisley Earrings. So much pretty! mindyoja AT hotmail DOT com

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  10. My absolute favorite is the Del Mar necklace!

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  11. I love the lines and stripes catch all bag! Thanks for your post...your honesty was touching!

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  12. The Embellished Belt is so bright and cheerful! The colors add a real pop to so many of my outfits. On my wish list is the Lines and Stripes Catch All bag.

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  13. I love this so, so much. I feel ya. Every bit.

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  14. All of them? But I love the clutch at the beginning of the book with all of the colors and the Artemis necklace. So much.- Jess Gemeinhart

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  15. Love your post! My (surprise) fave this season is the Luxe Horn Necklace! I have a LONG wish list though!

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  16. Great post! So many pieces I'm loving--threaded charm, Ana's scarf, and taj earrings are some of my faves :)

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  17. The forget-me-knot necklace is lovely!

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  18. I believer God is always pursuing us, speaking into our lives to bring healing to our hearts - thank you for sharing your story.

    I really like the Golden Locket Earrings :)

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  20. I loveeeeee the golden locket earrings.

    katherine.taylor@du.edu

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  21. I'm in love with the Very Versatile Bracelet and the Gatsby Necklace!

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    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PgWYZyShA3c

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