Saturday, January 31, 2015

In January

Hi friends! I'm still around, it's just been a hiatus from this blog. I'll introduce my new project for real a little later, but go ahead and check it out if you'd like.

I'm blogging in another space so I can keep a deadline for a hopeful book and because it's more fun to document stories in real time, but I do miss connecting with you here. I wanted to join in on what I've been learning and what I've been thinking about this month. This can fill more than one blog post, but for now, here's a few January randoms for Emily's What We Learned.

I need music more than music needs me.

Obviously, music doesn't need me at all, I just liked that. Because it's true. On the list of things I need to function, music is high.

For you, friends, because things often come out better in song, Happy New Year, in all the words of JJ Heller and her new tune.

To better prove my point, I have a habit of playing songs on repeat when I love them so. Tonight I listened to this song over and over and over. I am a sucker for sibling duos. Like these two.

And Lennon and Maisy Stella.

Somehow I'm involved in about three different local human trafficking groups.

I know they are all CONNECTED and working together, it's just random. But good.

Last year, I made my friends stop at halftime of the Super Bowl and talk about Human Trafficking. I'm pretty sure they looked at me in bewilderment because the halftime show is the best part. But, human trafficking is a problem, guys. I'll just take a minute of your time now so I don't disturb the big game.
We all have hundreds of numbers in our phone, right? I found some numbers in my phone from over 10, maybe 15 years ago the other day. I might need to clean that out.
In the meantime, it can't hurt to put this hotline in there, because it could save a life.

Are you a parent? Do you feel helpless when it comes to an issue like this, OR do you think it could never happen to them?
Here's an article on 6 things you can do as a parent to help prevent your child from being a victim of trafficking. I know it's not a pleasant conversation but the reality is that an estimated 300, 000 children are at risk of being trafficked in the US alone. We need to do what we can to be aware and be involved in the lives of young people for good.
Are you a teen? Join other teens who are tackling hard things and impacting the world. You guys inspire me. 
Within 48 hours of running away or being on the streets, a teen has a 1/3 chance of being picked up for trafficking.
Surprisingly, it's hard for me to write about matters of trafficking. It sounds so impersonal. It's not about statistics for me though. I love young people, especially teens, and I hate that this happens. I don't want to be afraid of talking about it and I want teens to know they matter, that their bodies and their lives are valuable. If we do one thing, let's let them know that. But let's also have honest conversation with teens because we can't comprehend everything in their lives, and they need to know what to do to stay safe when life feels out of control or chaotic. 
I know this is a complex problem. I've spent years working on prevention strategies for the youth I work with. I don't 'do' human trafficking for my day job but in counseling and crisis management, it gets discouraging at times. I can imagine human trafficking is that way, too. All day long, a call to change something that is so big and powerfully negative, so many forces working against them.
I have learned, or rather am still learning, that God is in big things that seem too big to change. In the world and in our lives. He's in those weighty things.

I'm encouraged that this weekend so many people are sharing about trafficking awareness. I'm thankful people came to my party last year. I'm thankful for the groups I'm involved in that keep emailing me to come and be part of local happenings. I'm beyond grateful for those who don't tire of doing good, even in the face of evil.
I'm learning to be content with the forward, backward, forward again steps that lead to change, around me and inside me.

What does that look like for you?

Happy new year! May you and I be happy with small steps that lead you to change, even if you're looking for a leap.

linking with emily

*check out Polaris Project for more info