Saturday, November 15, 2008

I'm a winner! Not whiner, winner! Really!

My youngest brother John works in marketing/design for a large company that produces dairy products. He needs to know who's who on the net as his job involves developing and maintaining his companies web presence.

A few months ago John told me about some popular bloggers including Ree Drummond and her very popular blog thepioneerwoman.com. You may have noticed her blog listed on the sidebar of this site. She is so popular she sometimes gets over 10,000 comments in a day! I have to use guilt, bribery and threats to get a measly 10 comments out of the people who read this blog.
** whispers - "Jerks" - under her breath. Then thinks to herself, "Maybe if I didn't call them names they would comment more often. Nah, that's not true 'cause I never call them names out loud." **

Anyway, I read her blog and I did what I normally do when I like something a lot, I immediately became addicted and got my sisters addicted as well.

Ree's keen sense of humor is evident throughout her entertaining and informative blog. She is a photographer and explains how to take professional shots, then gives tips on how to use Photo Shop to make your shots look their best. Some of you may know that I have been into photography since I was a kid, when I took pictures of my family members in all kinds of embarrassing costumes and poses. Previous to her instructions, I mainly used Photo Shop to add boogers and mono brows to my kids pictures and posted those pictures on the web as a punishment when they misbehaved. Ree posts pictures of the men on their ranch (who usually wear chaps). I love looking at pictures of men in chaps! You can't beat that. I guess you could beat that.....with a firm hand. *eyebrows wiggle up and down suggestively* I've pictured it in my mind many times as I looked at those cowboys' backsides! Te he he.

Ree is also an excellent cook and shares her butter-licious recipes with her readers. Many of you may remember that I have eaten food since I was a toddler. Small world right?

This is an interview Ree gave on CNN last year.



It must be a little surreal to see your boy picking his nose on CNN. I want to know what he says about it when he's 17 yrs old! He is too cute strutting his stuff in his briefs with one arm swinging like a pendulum! (Side note: Did you notice the Dow was at 13,450 on the ticker back then.)

I love her blog because it is fun and entertaining. Recently however, the posts on her blog were not fun at all. They were difficult to read, but I couldn't get enough of them. Ree's husband and daughters traveled to the Dominican Republic with a group of bloggers. They were taken there to see the work done by Compassion International, a non-profit group that assists children who are living in extreme poverty. This is the same type of group that you see in commercials asking for monthly donations. I am ashamed to admit that I usually shrug off those commercials and don't give them much thought. I have my own problems you know.

Below is an excerpt of a post by Brian Seay, a leader of the blogger group.


__________

The Girl Without a Smile
Today several of our bloggers met their sponsored children. This is easily one of my favorite days of any trip. There are always hugs, tears, presents, and lots and lots of love being passed around. Every time I have met one of our sponsor children I really pray that I will bond quickly with the child and deep down I just want them to be fun. I always want to play a little soccer, blow bubbles, hear them cackle when I tickle them, and see the same little child that is within my own children. And usually that’s exactly how it goes - and it’s just flat out fun.

Big Mama met her sponsored child, Anna, today and there were no smiles or laughs coming from this 6 year old girl. We first noticed it when Melanie was giving her a backpack full of goodies- no expression, none at all.

I led the group to visit Anna’s home to meet her mother and grandmother. It became evident very quickly why there was no smile - it’s because there was no hope. Poverty will do that to a Mom. Not knowing if you can feed your family will do that to a Dad.

We asked the mother how we could pray for her family and the Mom stoically answered that she would tell us but we need to know that she doesn’t believe that God will answer any of her prayers or dreams for her children. The silence from our team was overwhelming and the cruel reality of poverty was now firmly in our face. Wess Stafford, Compassion’s President, has often said that poverty is more than the lack of money - it’s the lack of hope.

This story does not have a great ending where we fixed all their problems before we walked out the door. We prayed and we believe that the church will continue to minister to the spiritual and physical needs of this family.

I stood with Melanie outside Anna’s home and watched as the pain of her sweet girl’s situation manifested itself in those big tears you cry when it really hurts. But the reality is that Compassion does a sponsorship program for this very reason. I know it is $32 a month to sponsor a child but you need to know that Melanie’s ministry to this family extends light years beyond the money she sends each month. Melanie is now one of the only people in Anna’s life that will consistently tell her she is loved and it’s ok to dream big dreams because God will hear her prayers. Melanie, and her family, now have the massive responsibility to write Anna and make sure she remembers someone is praying for her EVERY DAY. This sponsorship is not some marketing angle - it’s a real one to one relationship that can make a monumental difference in the life of a child AND a sponsor.

If you don’t currently sponsor a child (or don’t sponsor enough), go to Compassion’s site and do it now.

If you sponsor a child already, sit down and write your child today.


________________


Go here to see a picture of Anna - no child should ever be this sad or look this forlorn.

Ree's husband(Marlboro Man) wrote about meeting Anna's family too, he just about broke my heart. Please read his post here if you haven't already read it.

The posts from all the bloggers on the Compassion trip were touching. You can read them here.

After reading about the poverty and seeing pictures of the children and the conditions in which they live, Hooligan 1 (my eleven year old) asked if he could sponsor a child instead of receiving Christmas gifts from us this year. Proud moment for this mom!

During the time of the Compassion bloggers trip, Ree and Marlboro Man offered to cover the costs for one of their readers to become a sponsor to a young person in the DR who had graduated from the normal program and showed so much potential that Compassion was sending them to the local university to continue their education! I sent in my email, as I'm sure thousands of others did, expressing my desire to be the chosen sponsor. Alas, I was not the lucky reader chosen.

However, I received an email from Ree today! She said she loved my note and they would like to pay for me to be a sponsor to one of the children in the normal Compassion program! How awesome is that, H1 and I can write to our kids together! I am so excited and can't wait to get to know my Compassion child. This is perfect for me, I get to provide support and encouragement to a child, but I don't have to worry about that nasty discipline stuff. Merry Christmas to me! So I'm feeling like a winner for once in my life. ** jumps up and down on couch singing in a sing-song voice ** "I get to sponsor a child, I get to sponsor a child! I am a so-o-o cool!" OK, the boys are giving me the raised eyebrows/curled upper lip look that says "You are so NOT cool." I'll just climb down now.

4 comments:

Sister C said...

You are a winner!! I'm jealous, what an opportunity!

PS....Didn't know that you and the couch jumping Tom Cruise had that much in common.

Shay said...

Very neat!

Slug-A-Bed said...

Oh yeah, me and Ree, BFF!

Aunt B said...

Way cool!! You go girl!! I'm also very proud of your son, my nephew. GO LEVI GO LEVI GO LEVI