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Everywhere we look, there are empty spaces, waiting to be filled. There are empty moments, seconds collected between greater tasks and too often overlooked - but they could be filled with prayer. There are empty hearts, waiting to be filled with love, wanting to be wanted. There are empty hands, lifted high, begging God to take our earthy passions and fill us instead with grace from Heaven.

There are empty patches of earth under the South African sky, filled once a week with adults and orphaned and vulnerable children who gather to worship, to play, to share a meal... but many of the children depart to lives empty of supervision, outside of school. One day is filled - but what of the rest?

There are empty outlines, waiting to be filled with hope. Hope in the form of a permanent community center, a garden, a kitchen, classrooms, a playground... Hope for the other six days. Because we all need grace and mercy, broken bread and the Body it symbolizes, and a love so great that it merely comes through us and is not of us - every day of the week.

But then there are those who see those empty spaces as opportunities, because they are full of the Love and Hope that must be shared, not kept and hoarded. And they've hatched an audacious plan to build a community center, a garden, a kitchen, classrooms, and a playground - and to fund it by Mother's Day.

And you're invited to join in! The lovely Lisa-Jo Baker is heading up this project stateside, and in this age of internet, you don't have to be able to go to South Africa in order to help. The first phase begins today and you'll find it on Pure Charity, here. (If you'd like to see the full project, with more fabulous photos from Lisa-Jo - who also provided the ones in this post - and the whole story, that's here.) And if you'd like to help and would enjoy having a beautiful bit of Shiny made from a vintage dictionary definition to go along with your warm fuzzies, then you will definitely want to check out Kashoan's stunning "Fall in Love with the World Next Door" necklace, which she made just for this (and half of the purchase price will be donated toward the project!)

So, how about it? Will you join us in loving our neighbors - even the ones an ocean away - this Valentine's Day?


Lisa-Jo Baker said…
Oh Sarah Jo! Yes this -- all these empty spaces especially the ones inside of us that get filled up when we pour ourselves out for the God who is all mystery and upside down wonder!!

love Lisa-Jo
Karrilee Aggett said…
So Much Amen! I love this... thrilled to be linking arms and hearts and falling in love! (We're neighbors over at Lisa-Jo's and I'm so glad that we are!)
Dalene Reyburn said…
Thanks Sarah Jo! So exciting to be part of this together!
Dalene x
Alia Joy said…
Exactly what Lisa Jo said, those empty spaces God fills when we're obedient to listen to the wild dreamer who started it all. Glad you joined in and I got to visit here.

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31 Days of Unraveling Designs

It's that time of year again... the 31 Days writing challenge starts today! Bloggers from all over will be writing every day of the month of October on the topic of their choosing. This will be my fourth year participating - the first year I did 7 for 31, and spent a month going through Jen Hatmaker's book 7. The second year I did 31 Days of Sustainable Dwelling, and wrote about local and fair trade living. Last year I was busy but still wanted to participate, so I went the easy route with 31 Days of Everyday Beautiful.

This year I'm diving into my greatest passion: knitting! I'll spend this month looking at past designs and talking about the inspiration behind them, so there will be plenty of regular life mixed in with the stitching - and there may be discount codes for the patterns that I write about. You'll just have to read and see!

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