Archives For education

Created to Inspire

June 21, 2015 — 2 Comments

FullSizeRenderFor years now, the words ‘Create Hope’ have been a passionate force which helps me live my life. What else are we here on this big blue ball for other than to create hope & inspire others, and to do it all for the glory of God?

All. Everything we are, everything we do, every talent, even every tragedy can somehow inspire others and ultimately show God’s love. I truly believe this. It’s the way I try to live my life. I don’t always succeed & I get it wrong often, but I want to briefly share with my readers & this community how the Lord has given me a new avenue to inspire people!

I work with elementary-aged special needs children during the school year. Knowing I’d need a summer job, I began searching & praying. I wrote in my prayer journal, “God, how am I gonna juggle everything? I can’t leave the kids alone all day, nor do I want to. You are the Father of creativity. Will you share some of it with me so I can have income and still spend the summer with my family?”

So, that prayer sparked a series of events that has led to this. Live4ChangeArt.

My family & I (and a portion of our town, ha!) are constantly on the search for old leather belts. Why? Because I’m upcycling them into leather cuff bracelets to sell locally & on Etsy. Yep, we are having a blast with this summer gig. And guess what? Somehow God is blessing it – people actually like my bracelets and are buying them almost as fast as I can make them. Even a well-known jewelry maker, Beki Hastings of The Rusted Chain whom I greatly admire shared our bracelets on her Facebook Page last week! Thanks Ingrid Olson for that connection!

What makes Live4Change Art Leather Cuffs different from the rest are the personalized inspirational words I inscribe into each of them. I’m thankful to say not all of my training came from google, youtube or Pinterest!! Through some trial, error & prayer, God showed me a really cool way to add lace & jewels; a technique that is all my own. Hallelujah for creativity! Even had someone try to copy it from my page, so imitation IS the highest form of flattery! ha!

I love the entire process – finding the belts with my family, recreating them into bracelets, added just the right inspirational words, sharing my story, selling them and providing income for my family!

One thing I haven’t shared with anyone is that 10% of Live4ChangeArt proceeds are going to our beloved Bheveni Community in Swaziland, Africa. The proceeds are going to their education fund. In Swaziland, tuition must be paid in order to learn to read & write. If a child is orphaned or multiple children being raised by a single mother, how can they afford literacy when meeting life’s basic needs are already a challenge? So our B.E.S.T. (Bheveni Educational Scholarship Trust) Fund is set in place & is helping to keep nearly 200 kids in school every year! Praise the Lord!

So each time you buy an inspirational bracelet, not only is it inspiring YOU, it is teaching a child to read & write & to value their potential!

See why this is bracelet making gig is so fun!?!? ūüôā

And the idea was God-given, He helped me find a talent I didn’t even know I had, and He guides my hands through each step of the process. Leather stamping isn’t easy & sometimes my fingers get pounded instead of the stamp (ouch!), or a snap flies off & hits me in the eye, but hey, I’m still loving it!

One more thing: I’ve been blown away by how many custom/personalized orders coming in. Nearly 75% of my sales are all custom orders. Wisdom. Serenity. Radiant. Shine Your Light (for a whole family!) Proud of My Marine. Attraversiamo (Lets Cross Over). Worth more than Gold. Be still & know I am God.

All words chosen by people who want to wear inspiration on their sleeve. Because we all need reminders of loved ones, reminders to keep moving forward, reminders to pray, reminders that we CAN live this life and all its fullness. Words are special. Just ask God, that’s how He’s chosen through the ages to communicate with us – through His Word, both written & spoken. So yeah, words have power. And meditating on the right words have even greater power.

Did I say this was going to be brief? ūüôā Ha! Impossible.

So that’s my exciting news. Bracelets that create inspiration & bring education!

If you like what you see in these photos, check out my ETSY store. Want a custom order, there’s an option for that too. And be sure to like Live4ChangeArt on Facebook!

 

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Thanks for going on yet another adventure with me!

Shine On!

Danielle

A huge thank you to everyone who participated in Love4Lunch in some fashion or another! As of right now, $12,415 has been given. ¬†I say ‘as of right now’ because just today another donation was made! People are still feelin’ the love!

{Update: by the end of February, over $14,500 was given!!!}

Once all the funds are in from the local events, they will be wired to Swaziland and the Bheveni children will be told that they can return to school for the entire year, without worry of being turned away!

I know many of you, like me, wish that you could be there to see the looks on kids’ faces when they are given the great news! Remember the hysteria created a few years ago when Oprah surprised her entire studio audience with a new car? “You get a car! You get a car! You get a car!”

Yeah. It’ll be that, but x160!!

“YOU get an education! YOU get an education!

YOUUUUU get an education!”

The children will be shouting and spontaneous singing will break out! I can hear them singing now, “I just want to say, Niyabonga, Jesu” (Thank You, Jesus!) And of course, Make Maksohazane will immediately begin doing her African Praise Dance, with one hand in the hand and a war cry like you’ve never heard!

Let me remind you, Giver –

You did NOT go without lunch for nothing.

You did NOT plan a local Love4Lunch event in vain.

You did NOT just throw your money to the wind.

Your money is going to REAL kids in REAL need of a REAL opportunity!

Your prayers, your dollars, your efforts combined with the hard work of the natives & staff in Swaziland will bring change and opportunity the children wouldn’t have had otherwise.

I’m so proud of my Jesus & my community! You did not turn a blind eye or say, “Those kids half way around the world are NOT my problem!”¬†You served them as Jesus in Disguise! I’m so humbled & grateful that you let His Love flow through you this Valentine’s Day! Guaranteed it was the best lunch money you’ve ever spent!

On behalf of the children, their caretakers, and Children’s HopeChest, I say a big fat thank you!!! Keep praying, keep giving, keep loving!

Shine On!

Danielle

 

 

 

 

Love Day!

February 13, 2012 — Leave a comment

Happy Valentine’s Day!¬†

I pray today you are surprised by someone who goes out of their way to show their love for YOU! Of course, no amount of human love can compare with how captivated & adored you are by your Creator. What I find amazing about His love is that it can not be earned and it can not be stolen! His Love is perfectly eternal and ever-present.

Romans 8:37-39  No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

I want to remind you about Love4Lunch that is happening TODAY! What better day to spread the love of God all the way across the world!

Skip your lunch today and instead give those few bucks so that our Bheveni Carepoint children can return to school for the year. Children’s HopeChest has made online giving even easier than before. Just follow this link – NO CODE is needed at this link!

Love4Lunch QuickGive Page

(no code necessary here)

Thank you my lovely friends & readers!

Shine On!

Danielle

 

Love4Lunch Hysteria

February 11, 2012 — Leave a comment

Hysteria is a stretch. Hysterical is not! I’m just so in awe of what’s happening that I keep catching myself giggling about it & can’t stop talking about it! Ask my husband, I’ve not shut up for several weeks now. I’m sure it’s not so hysterical to him.

As you may know, so much of what I love to do is done through Facebook. I see God changing lives, especially mine. The community of children we pray for & support from a distance through Children’s HopeChest is solely connected through Facebook. I often talk about the Bheveni Carepoint kids on my blog, but rarely do I talk about the community that loves them like family.

Children’s HopeChest¬†has several “Connect Communities” each an online group advocating for children at a specific carepoint in Africa, but of course, ours is THE BEST – filled with the most amazing, gifted, funny, snarky, chatty, tag-happy, generous, and excitable group of people I’ve never met.

Everyday, sometimes multiple times a day, they bravely wield the sword of their hand (their mouse) to harness the power of the world (the internet), to share a contagious passion that God has given them for a group of children most of them have never met. Through stories, pictures, videos, etc we have all become one big happy Bheveni family, hearts fully connected with each other and with the 160+ children we love so dearly. Only God could’ve knit our hearts together like this!

What I love about our online community is that they aren’t just sittin’ on their bums talking about how things ‘should’ change. They are making change happen. Changing lives in their local towns. Changing lives across the world.¬†

Don’t believe me? (Of course you do, but humor me.) I’m gonna prove my case.

Through the amazing dedication and teamwork of local Swazis, Adventures in Missions, Children’s HopeChest & sponsors, the children who are coming to Bheveni Carepoint have security knowing that their basic needs for a warm meal, clean water, basic medical care & abundant love are being met. But like any child, the goal isn’t just survival – we want them to THRIVE and be given opportunities to soar! But first their roots must be planted in a solid foundation known as education!¬†

In Swaziland, all children must pay tuition to go to school. On average it costs about $250 per year, per child to receive an education. Every. Child.

CLICK THIS LINK – GIVE LOVE!

Their school year started in January, and already children are being turned away from the school houses simply because they don’t have money.

I’d been asking God if there’s anything we should do to help. That’s where He & our Bheveni Family step up.

About two weeks ago I came across an awareness event that a missionary friend in Guatemala was doing on Feb. 3rd called One Day/One Lunch. LIGHTBULB!!! This gracious missionary said we could most certainly adopt her idea to raise awareness & funds for the Bheveni kids who were turned away from school.

Here’s the fork in the road. Some of you will think I’ve gone coo-coo for cocoa puffs, while others will think I’m suddenly somehow closer to God.

I assure you neither of those paths will explain what happened. While reading about One Day/One Lunch, the Lord opened my eyes to see exactly how to adapt it for our community of kids. The name – Love4Lunch, the date to do it, the concept for finding “Cupids” willing to take the idea into their offices, churches & local communities. All within like 10 minutes. For realz.

All God’s big idea. I’m just not that crazy and definitely not that smart.

My sole responsibility in this is to SPREAD the word. God is responsible for the results. ¬†Shew! So I can do this! (Yes another fundraiser!) I can do this because I’m not responsible for how it turns out! If it’s a colossal failure, it’s not because of me!¬†If it’s a success, it’s not because of me! SWEET!!!

So WHAT in the blazes am I talking about?

CLICK THIS LINK – GIVE LOVE!

LOVE4LUNCH!!!! L4L events are popping up all over the place thanks to God & our Bheveni community (you know, the ones who are chatty & amazing & yada yada yada…)!

– Here in Minnesota at least 3 local schools are giving their staff the opportunity to Love4Lunch.

-In Louisiana, a grass-roots fashion entrepreneur who is pregnant & really should be resting, is selling tickets to a noon hour fashion show at a fancy lakeside restaurant!

-In Texas, a company is offering a matching grant simply because their best employee asked!!!

-In Tennessee, H.O.S.T. (Helping Others by Serving Together) led by a woman who MUST be the granddaughter of E.F. Hutton. (Seriously, she talks, people listen!!!) is sponsoring a pancake breakfast, auction and even a blood drive on Tuesday!

-In Mississippi, Washington, Colorado, South Carolina families are skipping a meal together!

…and the list goes on! It’s happening!¬†Individual people are giving up lunch & inspiring others to do the same, so life can be a bit sweeter for children most have never met.

How about you?

On Tuesday will you skip lunch & give the money instead towards the education of children who have EVERYTHING working against them, except God! Your lunch may cost ya $3.00 or maybe even $10 if you & a buddy head to Chipotle for a Barbacoa (which weighs about the size of a chubby newborn). Skip it JUST once!

If you don’t have a local event, you can give online quite easily.

CLICK THIS LINK – GIVE LOVE!

So I just wanted to share the love & enthusiasm that a G0d-inspired idea is creating!

Here’s to NOT having lunch together on Tuesday! XOXOXO

Shine On! 

Danielle

ps. There’s still time for you to ask your peeps to join you. Click this link to find out even more about how to spread L4L to your community of friends & co-workers.¬†Love4Lunch Page