If you've followed my blog for much time at all, you should (hopefully) know that I have a passion for justice. It breaks my heart to see the world we are living in. Human trafficking is one problem that I think is huge in our world today. I feel like a broken record sometimes that I keep bringing this stuff up. I feel funny talking about little girls being trapped in the sex trade all the time. But, it breaks my heart. Honestly, I want to grab them all up and take them far, far away where they can be little girls. Little girls should be able to be little girls.
This thought process has played into my "what I want to do when I grow up" planning. I mean, working at IJM would be a dream job. But, in the end, I want to work with at-risk girls. I want to work with girls that are at risk for becoming addicted to drugs. At risk for becoming prostitutes. I want to teach them that they are valuable and loved by a wonderful creator. That they are worth it. That they can dream big- and nothing, not even their hometown or the environment they were raised in, can hold them back. I want them to DREAM BIG and fall passionately in love with their creator.
So, Lent is coming up. Every year, it seems like I'm always hearing things like "I'm giving up social media" or "I'm giving up caffeine". It's not that these things are bad- please don't take this that way. But, the purpose of "giving up" something is for it to be a sacrifice that brings you closer to God. It's so that you lean more fully on him. So, I've avoided the practice the last few years. It seemed like I wasn't doing things for the right reasons, so I didn't want to do them at all. I felt bad saying that I was "giving up" something so that someone would feel bad for me or think I'm a better Christian. I was doing it for others and not God. So, this year rolls around and my dear Catholic friend Alyce (I don't mean that in a bad way. It's just she's my only Catholic friend, and I love her commitment to Catholicism) posted a link to this article on Facebook. It got me thinking a little bit outside of the box. While not wearing shoes or using utensils is a little impractical, one on vanity really got to me. It got me thinking about things that I do all the time, and how if I gave one of "them" up, I would definitely think of God while doing it. I also remembered a blog I came across a few months back called The Uniform Project. And thus, the one dress project was born.
I'm not claiming credit for this in any way. I've seen it all over the internet. It's mostly done for either 30 days or a year, but I'm doing it for forty (all of the days in Lent. Not on Sundays- since they aren't part of the forty days). For this project, I've got a little, simple, cotton, black dress that I will be wearing everyday (except for Sundays, once again). Max asked me if I was going to wash it- the answer is yes. Expect a video blog on handwashing in a sink and drying with a blow dryer...any day now. I'm not going for dirty and stinky. I'm attempting to highlight the cause of human trafficking- and draw attention to it (because I'm pretty sure someone is going to ask me why I'm wearing the same dress every day). Obviously I've got things like cardigans, scarves, and belts to help it not look exactly the same, but I think it will be kind of fun. I'll be posting pictures of the project as I go and posting facts about human trafficking to raise awareness.
Here's where you come it. There are a couple ways that you can get in on the fun!
1. Commit to 40 days of prayer with me. Commit to praying for the needs that I share and for the girls involved.
2. Part of me doing this project is to raise money for AsOurOwn. They have no idea who I am or what I'm doing- but I want to support the work that this amazing organization is doing to help girls in India. You can go here to read a post I wrote about AsOurOwn back in October, and I'll be sharing information about their work in India as we go. If you feel incline to donate to help them continue the work, you can go here to donate. If you notice, I have a fundraising page set up through the organization. This is so we can track how much is given, but you will give directly to AsOurOwn (through their website) and not through a ChipIn. I'm not going to come into contact with this money at any point, all of it will go to AsOurOwn. I just have a page set up so that we can have a goal ($100 at the moment, but I would love for us to raise more!) and keep track so I can mention it here!
3. You can join me in the one dress project and do it, too! Pick one dress to wear for forty days. Lent starts on Wednesday, February 22, so I will be starting that day! Sundays are not typically included in the forty days, so you may have that day off! Maybe you don't want to do it for all forty days, maybe just a week? Let me know so that we can support each other. One thing that I'm doing as an additional part of this is donating $20. Typically, we spend about $10 a month on clothes. If you're like me, that may seem a little low sometimes when you think about what you really spend. But, since you are saving money (by just wearing one dress!)- please consider donating an *approximate amount* of what you may spend (or just a flat amount).
So, options. I'm mentioning "what I'm doing for lent" a little early...just in case any of you want to jump in and do step 3 with me (trying to give a little notice here!). I don't want this to turn into anything where anyone feels forced to do anything, but I want to encourage you to think about this issue with me for the next forty days. 27 million people are trapped in the human slave trade (in various forms) right now. This is more slaves than ever before in history. It's time to do something now. Ignorance is not an excuse. Indifference is not an option.