every blog needs a cause

When we remodeled our kitchen, we put in an instant hot water tap.  We use it multiple times a day. For oatmeal, instant coffee, tea, hot cocoa, sanitizing cutting boards.

It falls on the list of things you never knew you needed until you experience the convenience of it. Its that great.

A few weeks ago, I was making myself a cup of tea and as I was filling my cup with hot water, I thought to myself, “this instant hot water tap is such a lifesaver”.

And then suddenly my heart countered with this: “what a spoiled brat I am. Here I am filling my cup with already perfectly heated water when there are people who have no water at all.”

Don’t you love/hate when conviction hits you like that.

A few weeks prior we received a note with some drawings from our sponsored child in Lesotho. On his drawing was a water tap that his village had just received. The boys and I talked about what a tap is and I explained to them that in many parts of the world children can’t just turn on a faucet and get unlimited clean water. It was a quick conversation and probably didn’t make the impact on them that I wished.  Truthfully, the concept of no clean water is a bit unfathomable to me as well. It is just not a part of our everyday reality.

Our church is a big sponsor of the most amazing non-profit called charity: water.

Perhaps you’ve heard of it. They provide clean drinking water to remote villages in developing nations. It seems like such a basic thing, clean drinking water, and yet it is not available to nearly one billion people.

If you have a second, please watch this video:

I seriously cry through this every time I watch it. That women and children spend most of their day collecting water {unsafe, dirty, disease-causing water, at that} breaks my heart. It makes me thankful for what I have, disgusted with my ungratefulness and hopeful that I can help solve the water crisis.

I am a proud supporter of charity: water and would love to help spread the word about this important organization {and ultimately give clean water to those who need it most}.

If this is a cause you would like to help out with, I have set up a campaign and would be honored if you would partner with me to provide water for 50 people before the end of the month. Even if you can only give $1, it will make a difference.

You can donate by clicking here.

But here’s the thing: if this cause does not pierce your heart and you are not compelled to give, that is totally okay.

In the very wise words of Beth Moore:

“Social consciousness beckons each of us across the board, but the ways we could respond are as varied as our holy passions. We are called to tend to the poor, but adjust your lens and see what specific opportunities make your heart jump … or maybe sink”.  {from the James study, page 86}

Children suffering is what makes my heart sink.

Maybe for you it is teenage pregnancy or sex-trafficking or single mothers.  Maybe child-abuse or orphans or homelessness.  There are so many different groups in need and so many different ways to offer hope.

If there is anything I’ve learned thus far in my faith it is this: Jesus doesn’t want us just believing in Him so that we can guarantee a comfy spot in heaven. Nope. He wants us to believe in Him so that we can make a difference in this life, on this earth by offering His grace, love, peace and hope to everyone we can.

On the sidebar of my blog almost all the way down, you’ll see this graphic:

I have chosen to use my blog to share charity: water. If you write a blog, I encourage you to find a cause that you support and share it with your readers as well. You are welcome to grab this button and add it to your sidebar, and then add the button from the charity you support.

If you don’t have a blog, don’t worry. The main point is just to find something you stand behind and use your life to make an impact.

If we can use our blogs to help, I say, go for it.

44 Responses to every blog needs a cause

  1. leah April 11, 2012 at 1:34 pm #

    Thank you! I felt convicted to share your message in a post today! Even more so after my Bible study last night focused on James 2:14–17, where we are called into an “active faith.”

  2. kelly s. March 23, 2012 at 11:52 pm #

    Hi Emily-
    I just wanted you to know that I followed through on my original comment pledging to post about my favorite charity. http://www.sdseasidesweets.com/sweetspot/?p=251

    Thank you again for the great idea!

  3. Carlita March 21, 2012 at 7:51 am #

    Re nails. This may be helpful:

    an as my dermatologist says, “keep those nails out of the sink” AND “moisturize, moisturize”. :)

  4. Maury @ Life on Mars March 20, 2012 at 10:07 am #

    I love this! I’m taking the button for support of Compassion International, which I support whole heartedly. Thanks for the inspiration today!

  5. kelly March 19, 2012 at 8:43 pm #

    that is a wonderful post, i love your convictions! we give generously to our church who provides many forms of humanitarian aid!
    i totally get your moment though. we are renovating a fixer upper we purchased to live in. i was at a granite yard picking out granite for countertops. a woman walked by in only a sweatshirt, nothing else, no shoes or pants. i felt 1 inch tall! i wanted to give her something but the way the yard was set up i was inside a fence and couldn’t get to her before she was gone. really made me see my blessings though. especially since i was whining about not finding anything i like!!

  6. Rebekah March 19, 2012 at 4:27 pm #

    I love this idea – “every blog needs a cause.” Thanks so much for articulating it so well. I am a true believer in karma and paying it forward.

  7. michele March 19, 2012 at 6:47 am #

    so true. we have what my friend likes to call “white people problems.” it’s all relative, but it’s good to have a reality check now and again.

    my cousin is a pottery artist in indiana, and has been committed, since the beginning of his studio, to donating a percentage of his profits to bring fresh water to africa. even when he was barely breaking even, he still sent his pledge. his stuff is beautiful, and his soul is even more so. i always take every chance i see to plug his work, and if you don’t mind, i will again here, too: http://www.mudlove.com/

  8. Abby March 18, 2012 at 11:28 am #

    I appreciate this post! We do have so much and providing simple ways to give outside ourselves, and to think about it regularly, should come more easily to us but often doesn’t. Thanks for the nudge.

  9. tricia March 18, 2012 at 8:08 am #

    I was teaching my class about water conservation and we watched this video. My students decided to donate as a class to this organization : o ) Love it!

  10. Heidi March 17, 2012 at 8:29 pm #

    Thank you for sharing this message. It has spoken to my heart. I have been wrestling this week with feelings of how the Lord wants to use me to create change. Sometimes we feel so small in the face of such great pain and sorrow. Here is a blog by 23 year old woman named Katie who lives in Uganda and is foster mother to 13 lttle girls. I have felt it laid on my heart to help spread her story. http://kissesfromkatie.blogspot.com/

  11. Jessica March 17, 2012 at 5:16 pm #

    I so understand that guilt hitting you. We’re currently renting an apartment in Korea and have a toe kick button to turn on the water in the kitchen. It is a fabulous, fabulous invention. I often stub my toe though trying to turn on the water in the bathroom where there is no toe kick button. Such a ridiculous 1st world problem!

  12. JoLynn March 17, 2012 at 10:56 am #

    I just finished that Bible Study myself and am amazed how it is changing how I see everything and challenging me to do something about it! It’s always encouraging to know others are responding also!

  13. Erica March 17, 2012 at 10:17 am #

    Thank you For using your blog to support this cause! After traveling to Africa twice I often think about how spoiled most people in the United States are to have clean water in our homes whenever we please. We often take this for granted and it is something every human should have access to. Excellent blog post, thank you for sharing. God bless!

  14. Judy March 17, 2012 at 10:14 am #

    charity: water is such a wonderfully incredible cause! Clean water is one of the most basic of needs and one I know I take for granted. Thank you so much for sharing this, Emily.

  15. Stacey March 17, 2012 at 7:13 am #

    Just donated! Thank you for sharing this. It really tugged at my heart.

  16. Lauren Lowry March 17, 2012 at 6:54 am #

    Emily I love how you glorify God through your blog. I admire how you boldly share Jesus and his call on our lives. I pray He richly blesses you for your obedience to Him.

  17. Stacie March 16, 2012 at 10:08 pm #

    sweet! my husband is in Africa right now, building relationships, working with World Vision to initiate sponsorships in unreached areas and to check up on an orphanage being sponsored by our church. right before he left the folks from charity: water came to his business and spoke about what they do. so incredible! so very wonderful. i can’t wait to see what God does now and in eternity!

  18. Kelly S. March 16, 2012 at 9:43 pm #

    This is a lovely and much needed post Emily. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and convictions. I will be following in your footsteps and writing something similar about the kids cancer charity I support. :) Thank you!

  19. Sandra March 16, 2012 at 9:21 pm #

    I agree…If you have a platform to inform and do good -you should use it =) Thank you for sharing

  20. Jessica Singletary March 16, 2012 at 8:25 pm #

    Emily, thank you for this post. We often get too caught up in our own lives to realize those less fortunate than us. I’m going to do a shameless plug & mention our foundation, The Parker Reese Foundation. It was founded in memory of our daughter Parker who passed away almost 6 years ago from a rare birth defect known as congenital diaphragmatic hernia {CDH}. We have met so many amazing families from this foundation & have found strength & hope in them when it seemed to be lost. Again, thank you for this post. You are always an inspiration to me.

  21. Shannon @ aka design March 16, 2012 at 8:24 pm #

    I was just brainstorming and scribbling notes about having a charity for our blog to support last week. I even asked our readers about which charities they’d like to support if they could in a poll we did a few weeks ago. LOVE this idea!


  22. Tonia March 16, 2012 at 7:37 pm #

    Thanks for the inspiration. It’s devastating how some struggle for what seems like the simplest things in our lives. God bless you for raising awareness.

  23. Hayden March 16, 2012 at 6:03 pm #

    Emily thanks for sharing this. We do take so much for granted living here in the United States. God has definitely blessed us! Thanks for offering the button! I will definitely be adding it to my blog and be blogging about my cause. Thanks!

  24. Sue March 16, 2012 at 4:47 pm #

    I love to support worthwhile causes that make a difference in people’s lives. Thanks for sharing. I just finished Beth Moore’s study on James. Wasn’t it incredible?

  25. Emily March 16, 2012 at 4:18 pm #

    I donated to Charity:water in lieu of some gifts this christmas, and next year we may forgo all gifts and donate enough for a well. In the grand scheme of things, they aren’t expensive. Like you, the disease-filled water tugs at my heart strings and I can’t not do something about it. Thank you for spreading awareness.

  26. Ericka J. March 16, 2012 at 1:50 pm #

    ps – Have you ever thought of doing a print or set of notecards that benefited Charity:Water? (Or maybe even a set of prints that benefits more than one charity?) I’ll bet there are lots of JDC readers who would love to purchase a print that “gives back”!

    We are always encouraging people to use their talents and abilities to “give hope” in unique ways to our charity – The Sound of Hope. Just an idea for you! :)

  27. Ericka J. March 16, 2012 at 1:46 pm #

    Emily, this post is AWESOME! And I love that you talk about how it’s ok if THIS is not your thing- but FIND YOUR THING! My husband and I run our own non-profit and as much as we want everyone to get involved and support the kids we care for overseas (Swaziland, Thailand, India, Burma) it is so good to remember that while this is our passion (and the passion of many people we know) others are needed to be passionate about other things. This is the beauty of the Body of Christ! All of us working together to bring HOPE to a hurting world!

    I love what Frederich Buechner says, “Your calling in life is where your greatest passion meets the world’s greatest need.”

  28. Becky March 16, 2012 at 1:37 pm #

    I love that you have a passion for this. Several years ago, my aunt started a non-profit organization called “Hope Arising” that works on pipe lines to villages in Ethiopia. She has shared so many amazing stories from her trips to Ethiopia (she goes twice a year) and the gratitude she feels when she returns home. You should look at their site: http://hopearising.org/ . Last year they were able to complete a 20 mile pipeline to get water to 58,000 people over there. She told me about incredible miracles that happened to help them serve those humble people. Anyway, I thought you’d find it interesting. I really admire you and your blog. I live in Arizona but you really inspire me through your posts!

  29. wendy larrabee March 16, 2012 at 11:10 am #

    Thank you for bringing this issue into the spotlight. I lived as a missionary in the DR Congo for 9 months working in a prison with no running water, a hospital so over-run with rape victims that women lived outside in the wooded area behind the hospital and even in our own house we did not have running water. I became very sick a few weeks after arrival with typhoid, giarrdia and malaria. Of course, being American, I had the financial means to pay for my hospital stay and of course bathing in God’s great mercy over me. Others we worked with did not have that advantage and I even had to perform a burial for one of the children in our feeding center who died of disease. You can’t even imagine what it feels like to wash your hands with hot water in an American airport upon re-entry. I broke down and cried my eyes out over this luxury that so many people take advantage of. Thank you for supporting such a great cause. In case you want to check out our cause you can go to congocast.org to find out more.

  30. Elizabeth March 16, 2012 at 11:04 am #

    Thanks for the inspiration to create and DO GOOD, Emily! As I am lucky enough to “pin” an image of the instant hot water tap–that I didn’t know existed–I could surely spare a little extra cash for your campaign. I hope you way surpass your $1,000 goal. Best of luck!

  31. Debbie C March 16, 2012 at 10:44 am #

    This was a wonderful post Emily, thank you so much for sharing it AND your faith. Thank you also for including the quote by Beth Moore it was encouraging.

  32. Angela March 16, 2012 at 10:19 am #

    This post is so wonderful! Thank you for sharing, and for challenging other bloggers to support a good cause. It’s so important… especially with the platform that most of them have been given. Think of all the good that could be done! And… I have to admit.. I love that button! It’s so cute! :)

  33. Jesse B March 16, 2012 at 10:10 am #

    Oh, Emily…what a wonderful post. I am so beyond happy to see your support of charity: water!!! I blog over at Scout & Nimble and have a series called Blogging to Better that I have created because I am still under the impression that we can create an impact, make a difference and change the world. And here is my post where I talk about my campaign with charity: water.

    I believe that we all have a voice with our blogs and it is so wonderful when we can come together to raise awareness, be an advocate, and enrich others.

    “And that is how change happens. One gesture. One person. One moment at a time.” – Libba Bray, The Sweet Far Thing


  34. Ashley @ One in the SAHM March 16, 2012 at 9:47 am #

    I love that you use your circle of influence to care about the things that God cares about. THAT is a great steward of your gifts! I (heart) Charity:Water. :)

  35. MominWAfrica March 16, 2012 at 9:35 am #

    I can empathize with Tina in Greece who takes infrequent showers and is thankful for Western amenities {like hot water and a warm home}.
    We live at the end of a paved road, a full day’s drive from the capital city in one of the least developed nations on earth. Everything Emily shared, and Charity: Water promotes is absolutely true. People here rarely have electricity, let alone running water in their homes. People living in towns go for months without power, and when water is found in the taps, it takes hours for women to fill every bucket they can. They try to make it last, but often there is not enough water to go around. Ladies in villages hike miles daily to get water from streams or wells as there is no government supplied water or electricity. Ever.
    This is our reality. It’s our way of life. Still, it’s hard to accept the thousands of infants and children who die each year of disease and dehydration from lack of a clean water supply.
    I don’t share this for self-promotion, or to make you feel guilty for all you have. Not at all. I am simply agreeing with Emily and others who are trying to positively impact the lives of those in developing nations. Praise God for doing what you can!

  36. Erica {let why lead} March 16, 2012 at 9:20 am #

    Thank you for this! So many causes pull at my heartstrings that I still need to narrow it down for my blog. But this is the perfect idea for my blog, so I will definitely be grabbing that button when I’m ready. Thank you so much!

    Also, have you read “Half the Sky”? That book sheds SO much light on the plight of women and girls worldwide. It is amazing. And best of all, it doesn’t just point out the problems, it points us to what we can do to help.

  37. Adela March 16, 2012 at 8:30 am #

    Thank you for sharing this Emily. It’s important to know how people across the world live. It makes me much more for grateful for what I have, and reminds me that we’re all connected. xo

  38. Jennifer March 16, 2012 at 7:51 am #

    Thanks for this post, Emily. Your blog always inspires me- creatively, spiritually- you get me thinking. Thanks for the good words and the great Beth Moore quote!

  39. beth March 16, 2012 at 6:59 am #

    Wow. I’m not sure how, but you’ve crawled into my head and have brought out this thing I’ve been wrestling with. I do have a blog. I’ve written it for years. But just lately I’ve been wondering (convicted?) about making it about more than just our life. I’m not sure where this will lead, but I thankful to you for seemingly putting a *point* on it and making this something I can no longer shove to the back of my head and thoughts. Ironically, water (and consequently, helping mothers and children) has been what I keep coming back to, when i really think on it…….

    blessings, beth

  40. cailan March 16, 2012 at 6:52 am #

    good word, emily!

  41. Christi March 16, 2012 at 6:50 am #

    Beautiful post, Emily. Thanks for sharing your faith, and letting us know about charity: water. (My family was without power for a week last fall during a big snow storm and that really got me thinking about how much I take heat and warm water for granted. It really is true that we are spoiled. So many people have never had a warm bath and I got all worked up because we didn’t have power for a week! Thanks again for the reminder to be thankful for our many blessings.)

  42. Ktez March 16, 2012 at 6:39 am #

    A lovely idea Emily. I often feel guilty for complaining that I can’t afford this and that but the reality is, myself or my family would never go hungry or thirsty. It is incredible that in this day and age, there are people dying due to malnutrition or starvation. Maybe someday this will not be the case and our ancestors will look back with incredulity that this is the way we lived – divided….we can live in hope but in the meantime, making a donation of any kind will help in some small way x

  43. Tina Little March 16, 2012 at 6:33 am #

    In my house here in Greece, in order for us to have hot water in the winter we have to turn on our furnace which uses “petrol” which is extremely expensive (about $1.40 a liter) It takes about 10Euros a day to work our furnace. Since this winter money is tight, we only turn on the hot water every couple of days, so that is when we take our showers. I give my two kids a bath and IF there is any hot water left afterwards, then I will take my shower. Some of you may think that is gross, but you have to live with what you have. I SOOO miss having hot water everyday all day when I lived in the States, but what else can I do?? In the summer however we are blessed and have hot water all day because we have a solar water system that uses the sun’s energy. This winter we have tried to save money by heating our house with just the fireplace. NEVER take advantage of the Lord’s blessings, because sometimes, the grass isn’t always greener on the other side….

  44. Judith March 16, 2012 at 6:09 am #

    Emily, thank you for this information and this post. I have been thinking about a charity for my blog and I am leaning towards water or safe cook-stoves. The lack of both for many families breaks my heart, especially since they are such necessities for daily living.

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