My Noonday Collection 'Why' Story

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Earlier today, I went live on my personal Facebook with a little video on why I chose to join Noonday Collection as an ambassador. I had a bunch of notes on things that I wanted to share, but then I got so nervous that I forgot to USE my notes. I have no problems talking to a group face-to-face, but technology, man. It gets me every time!

Anyway... I thought I'd type up a better explanation, since I'm not nervous here! ;)

A few months ago, I discovered the beautiful jewelry offered by Noonday Collection. Anybody who knows me well could probably tell you that I wear statement necklaces pretty much every single day (#likemotherlikedaughter). In the past, I've purchased them from all of the "usual" stores, but recently it occurred to me that EVERY piece of jewelry or article of clothing I wear has a person behind it. A real live person, with a soul and a story.

Then, like the anxious person I am, I started worrying.

Were the people who make my jewelry paid a fair wage? Were they working in sweatshops? Were the men and women making my jewelry being taken advantage of? What if children were being forced to make my $5 necklace?

So, I decided to buy some fair trade, socially responsible jewelry from Noonday Collection. However, I decided in advance that I definitely WAS NOT going to become an ambassador. I had sworn up and down that I would NEVER do direct sales again. So, when temptation struck, I did some research in an attempt to talk myself out of it. After all, I was NOT going to fall into the trap.

... but the more research I did, the more I fell in love.

You see, Noonday Collection is more than a jewelry business. It's an opportunity to show women - both here and around the world - that they are loved, chosen, and desired.

Here are the three main reasons I chose to join Noonday Collection:

1. Noonday Supports Social Justice

Did you know that at any given time there are an estimated 24.9 MILLION people in forced labor around the world? To put it in perspective, that is 5.4 out of every 1,000 people in the world. People often end up in forced labor due to limited options. They are taken advantage of due to their vulnerability. Noonday Collection works with the most vulnerable communities to offer them REAL, fair work opportunities.

2. Noonday Empowers Women

Through Noonday Collection, women are empowered, both as ambassadors and artisans. They offer pathways out of poverty that not only enable women to care for their families, but KEEP their families by giving them a means to provide for their children.

3. Noonday Supports the Adoption Community

Noonday Collection was actually started by Jessica Honegger as a way to fundraise for her family's own adoption, and they've remained true to their roots! Since its founding, Noonday Collection has supported over 3,500 adopting families by raising over $550,000! As I hope to someday become a parent through adoption, this truly resonates with me. I would LOVE to be able to help other families bring their children home.

I hope that you will follow my journey and join me as a world changer as I share some of the incredible stories that have come from Noonday Collection artisans!


25 Lessons I've Learned in Therapy

Wednesday, November 29, 2017


Now that I have four months of therapy under my belt, I thought I'd take a few moments and reflect on the lessons I've learned. Some of these lessons are new, and others are obvious lessons that I'm just now allowing myself to put into practice. For the sake of easy reading, I've divided them into three categories: lessons in healing, lessons in life, and lessons in coping.

. : H E A L I N G : .

1. You have to put on your own oxygen mask before you can help others.
2. You are worthy of a therapist's time.
3. Don't expect a doctor to do a therapist's job.
4. Sometimes anxiety manifests itself as anger, frustration, and/or annoyance.
5. It is possible to be clinically depressed and not know it.
6. Needing medication does not make you weak.
7. Mental illnesses are just that, illnesses. They do not make you a bad person.
8. Sometimes God answers your prayers for healing with doctors and therapists.

. : L I F E : .

9. Don't give in to self-deprecating humor. You'll start to believe it.
10. Sometimes if a person doesn't like you, you don't want them to like you.
11. Sometimes your weirdness makes you "delightfully charming."
12. Struggling doesn't make you weak. It's part of the process.
13. Healing takes time.
14. We are in control of very little in this world.
15. It's not normal to cry for days with anxiety about going on a vacation.
16. It's possible to make it through a holiday or vacation without an anxiety attack.

. : C O P I N G : .

17. Rocking helps anxiety, buy a rocking chair and sit in it regularly.
18. Breakfast food cures sadness. (...oops, that was actually Ron Swanson!)
18. Look your anxiety in the eye and ask it "so what?"
19. Do things that make you feel uncomfortable sometimes.
20. Draw boundaries in your relationships.
21. Exercise.
22. Breathe deeply.
23. Don't look for things to be anxious about.
24. Write your anxieties down and cross them off as you tackle them.

. : L A S T   B U T   N O T   L E A S T : .

25. Your illness does not define you.

Have you ever been in therapy? What lessons did you take away?


Perfectly Pumpkin Chili

Monday, November 27, 2017

I'm not going to lie, most of my favorite meals are made in my crockpot. There's something about leaving your house in the morning for work/errands/a day full of shopping and fun (in my dreams!) and knowing that dinner is waiting for you at home with little to no prep left. Am I right?! :)

One of my most favorite recipes for this time of year is chili, and it's given a new twist in this recipe. Give it a try!

Ingredients:

1 lb lean ground beef
1 bag frozen tri-color pepper mix
1 bag frozen corn
1 15 oz can black beans
1 15 oz can kidney beans
1 15 oz can solid-pack pumpkin
1 14 oz can Italian-style diced tomatoes
1 cup water
1 tsp. dried parsley flakes
1 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. oregano
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp. minced garlic

Directions:

Brown ground beef on the stove.

Place all ingredients in your slow cooker and stir.

Cook on low for as few as 4 to 6 hours. The longer your chili simmers, the better it will be!

Serve over tortilla chips, spaghetti, or corn bread and top with shredded cheese and sour cream.

(Makes 8-10 servings.)

Enjoy!


On Being a Mess

Friday, November 24, 2017


There are some days that I'd rather not admit that my chosen profession is writing.

After all, I studied writing in college. I teach writing classes. I write homeschool curriculum.

Still, sometimes I forget to write on my blog for weeks in a row. I make spelling mistakes on the board in front of my students. I submit drafts of my books only to find out that I made a bajillion grammar mistakes.

My life is a lot like that, too.

I make an awful lot of mistakes. There are some days that my temper is short, my attitude is negative, and I just want to be selfish. I've made more than my fair share of bad decisions.

On those days, I would rather not admit that I am a Christ Follower.

Thankfully, being a Christ Follower doesn't mean that I have to be perfect 100% of the time... Being a Christ Follower means that I am forgiven.

When I make mistakes, when I react too quickly out of my frustrations and anger, and when I make poor decisions... His forgiveness is always there. All I have to do is admit that I need Him and ask his forgiveness and healing. How beautiful is that?

But honestly, friends, that's not the best part. The best part is that God takes those broken and messy places and after he heals them, he uses them for His Glory.

Romans 8:28 says "And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to His purpose."* I especially love the way that it is written in The Message: "we can be sure that every detail in our lives of love for God is worked into something good."

Or, as Lysa TerKeurst states in What Happens When Women Say Yes to God, "a MESS, when touched by the MESSIAH, can become a beautiful MESSAGE."

Can I get an AMEN?!

I am so thankful that God doesn't give up on me. I am so thankful for God's mercy and forgiveness. But most of all, I am so thankful that He doesn't let a single moment of my life go to waste.

Lord, I make so many mistakes! I am so thankful for your amazing forgiveness, mercy, and grace. Thank you for your promise that you will take the broken and messy places in my life, touch them, and turn them around to be used for your glory. Help me to be a shining light for you, even in my messy moments. Amen.

*English Standard Version


Will Homeschooling Prepare my Child for College?

Thursday, November 23, 2017


Recently, it was suggested that I start writing a series of blog posts reflecting on my homeschool memories and detailing my experiences as a homeschool graduate. There are many blogs written by homeschool parents, but not nearly as many written by those who were homeschool students. With that in mind, I am setting out on a new adventure! If you have any questions or topics you would like me to consider writing on, leave me a comment, or email me at rebeccam (at) edventuresathome (dot) com.

One of the questions I hear most frequently from those considering homeschooling their children is “Will my child be able to get into college? Will they be adequately prepared?” The answer to that is yes, with a quality home education, students are able to get into college. And truthfully, I believe that the majority of homeschooled students are not only adequately, but also uniquely prepared for a college environment.

Based on my experiences, here are four reasons why:

1. Homeschooled students view learning as a lifestyle. No school bell means no end to learning! Homeschooling families are likely to keep both formal and informal educational experiences rolling through evenings, weekends, and even vacations.

2. Homeschooled students have the flexibility to participate in academic pursuits that are meaningful to them. Colleges love to seek out students who have shown themselves to be dedicated to their academic pursuits. Homeschooling allows students not only to explore areas of interest, but gives them flexibility in structuring their time so that they can study, develop skills, and excel in areas that are of particular interest to them.

3. The types of socialization afforded to homeschooled students transfer well into the college environment. Rather than socializing with a group of peers who are the same age, but may or may not have similar interests, homeschooled students tend to socialize with people of similar interests, with less focus on age group. This is much like the college environment, where students spend time working and networking with individuals who share similar academic and social pursuits, but who may or may not be the same age.

4. Homeschooling prepares students to stand out. Instead of being shaped and influenced by constant peer pressure, homeschooled students are able to be who they want to be. Developing these independent roots at a young age allows them to stand strong in their beliefs and worldview during their college years.

So, what about academically? How can you make sure your students are prepared? I’ll explore that in a future post! For now, leave a comment and let me know if you can think of other ways that homeschooling prepares students for college.


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