make it count…

“How we spend our days is how we spend our lives.” ~ Annie Dillard

So how are you spending your days?


Make them count.

Do justice. Create beauty. Laugh. Forgive. Risk. Give thanks. Dance. Slow down. Pay attention. Smile. Pray. Work. Rest. Celebrate. Drink deeply of today…

(video via Josh Barkey)

Joy

In the midst of the craziness of life, when busy-ness threatens to overwhelm, one of my most useful disciplines is to slow down and name the things that are bringing me joy…  There are so many.

A few of them from the past month would include:

Tough Mudder (a 10 mile adventure race up and down a mud-covered hill, full of obstacles to climb over, jump off of, swim under, run through, slide down, and generally try to not hurt yourself too badly…  so much fun, and so glad to share the day w/ Josh.)

– The reminder that our world is bigger than I remember.  Wanna go explore somewhere?

– Rafting in Wisconsin w/ friends – laughing, swimming, telling stories, and enjoying being outside in the sun on the river (w/ my favorite part the waterfall at the end.  If you jump through the waterfall from the right spot, you end up behind it, feeling thousands of gallons of water pour down all around you, all noise drowned out by the roar of the rushing water…  and then you go under and it shoots you down the river so hard that you don’t pop up til you’re 30 feet downriver…)

– This, and what it represents about our world and the people in it…

– Celebrating life with family that I don’t get to see all that often.

– Freshness, newness, and continued hope as I step with eager anticipation into the next good things God has in store…

There is much to be thankful for.  And joy all around.  Even here, where you find yourself today, if you will only stop and look…

Haiti

So I haven’t been on here since the trip out to California for Christmas – since coming back, things have been busy with friends, family, finishing up law school apps and the scholarship applications.  I have been not making time for this outlet.  But I thought I’d take a few minutes to point the way towards a few sites that are doing some good things, responding to the dire, horrific need those in Haiti are suffering from right now.

And while I don’t know first-hand, I can pass on a few sites, info, etc. as to how we can best help.

1 – Be informed.  Learn.

See what happened (via FP’s Passport)

– See what it looks like after 48 hours (via the Boston Globe’s The Big Picture)

Read “Some Thoughts and Links” (via Blood and Milk)

– Haiti is about the size of Maryland and a big chunk of the population lives in or near Port-Au-Prince, maybe a third of the total, depending on what you count as a suburb.  So the collapse of Port-Au-Prince is a big, big deal for the country as a whole.  It’s a dominant city for Haiti.  Plus Jacmel seems to be leveled.  From the reports I have seen, my tentative conclusion is that the country as a whole is currently below the subsistence level and will remain so for the foreseeable future. ~ via Marginal Revolution

2 – Give.  Give generously.

My general rule of thumb could be summarized as the ELE rule:

  1. Is it an Established organization with a longtime in-country presence?
  2. Does the organization employ, empower, and partner with Local individuals and organizations (eg, houses of faith, community groups)?
  3. Does the organization have Experience in disaster relief and/or health care?

(click here to finish the rest of the post, and see a few options for giving, including:

– MSF/Doctors Without BordersOxfam, Catholic Relief ServicesWorld VisionCompassion InternationalMennonite Central CommitteePartners in Health, Haiti Partners, etc…)

via Texas in Africa

3 – Pray.  Pray.  Pray…

Photo via The Big Picture