not broken – just open

Day 1 in Rwanda.

latte

I’ve heard it said, my heart was broken for Africa.

All day today I’ve thought through that line and while I completely get it and yes, my heart has definitely broken in places today, mostly I just feel like it’s been pried open.

Enlarged, open, raw.

Of all the things I’ve prayed for with this #styleforjustice trip, it’s that my heart would be changed. Opened. Raw.

Prayer answered after just one day. Praise Him.

My new friends (oh my goodness how I adore them already!) are all posting throughout our time here sharing their hearts and perspectives on our days. To make everything easier, you can read each of those posts at the noonday website. Jennie, Jessica & Wynne are posting first. Click here to read.

Now off to bed where I will rest my weary eyes and prepare my heart for day two.

 

 

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let the adventure begin

I’m currently sitting in the airport across the country in the other Washington – Washington DC – en route to Brussels and then on to Kigali, Rwanda.

The fabulous Paige is sitting across from me and we’ll meet up with the others (Jen, Jennie, Jessica, Wynne, Meredith, Kelle & Raechel) on the next leg. We’ve been packing and texting and preparing for months and it’s hard to believe our #styleforjustice trip is finally here.

We’ll each be posting on certain days, so be sure to sign up here to receive daily updates. I think I’m up on Wednesday, but I’ll try to post before then once we settle in.

You can also see frequent updates on instagram (my name is EMILYJDC).

One more thing before I board for Brussels (my first time in Europe!), we switched servers this week and are still tying up lose ends to get the blog functioning properly. Anytime you mess with the back end, you’re bound to come across techy problems (like not being able to log in all week!), but we’re working them out. If you notice anything strange or have a hard time logging into your account or downloading freebies, please let us know.

Keep us in your prayers as we travel xoxo

 

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making a small difference

One of my proudest professional moments so far was participating in the creation of this cute journal:

emily-noonday-journal

(photo by paige knudsen)

It was my first collaboration with Noonday Collection, a company I have come to love and will be traveling to Rwanda with in just a few days (!).

My part was simply to design the cover and artisans in India turned them in to beautiful works of art. I know it was just a little thing, but I felt so honored to be part of something bigger – helping women across the world make ends meet for their families.

To know that the journal made a small difference in the lives of families across the globe is inspiring to me. But it doesn’t take designing products – simply purchasing them can make an impact, too.

This whole concept of’ using my purchasing power for good’ is fairly new to me, but one I am seeking to embrace. I want to buy pretty clothes and gifts and decorations, and if I have the chance to buy pretty things AND have my money go towards supporting artists and small businesses, I’m all for it.

I’m headed to Africa where I’ll get to meet a handful of these women whose lives are forever changed because their work is sold through companies like Noonday. I’ll be traveling with a few friends whose lives have been forever changed because they have funded their adoptions or sent their kids to college or paid their mortgage with the income they’ve made through selling products created by these artisans. It’s such a beautiful cycle and one I’m grateful to be part of.

You can make a difference, too. Here are two ways:

1. Follow along on our Rwanda trip to learn about the ways Noonday and IJM are advocating and providing opportunities for families across the globe. Our group will be sharing throughout our stay and you can stay up to date by signing up for updates here. There’s actually a pretty generous giveaway going, so enter now for a chance to win.

2. Host a trunk show. Gather your friends and neighbors, snack on finger foods and sip your favorite drink while you hear more of the Noonday mission, shop for beautifully made jewelry and gifts, and use your purchasing power for good.

We’re actually creating a new collection of items while in Africa (SUPER excited about this and I’m sure I’ll share much more next week!) and those will be revealed at a nationwide trunk show this August.

host-trunk-show

Everyone who attends the trunk shows will have the chance to vote on their favorite designs we’ve created alongside our new Rwandan friends and the winning designs will be produced. More details on the #styleforjustice collection to come, but check your calendars and sign up to host a trunk show!

host-a-noonday-trunk-show

>> Click here for details <<

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