Freshly Colored Hair

aaah… I feel human again.

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I have the most stubborn grays (sshhhh, don’t tell!) and it’s gotten easier to maintain by going lighter on top.
The purple? Well, that’s just because it’s so darn fun!

Perspective

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It’s amazing how colorful and lovely a pile of trash and junk can be, depending on how you view it.

Poverty in America. It’s bigger than you realize.

Yesterday, I was reading an article in the Huffington Post on extreme poverty in the US.

The statistics are staggering.

Last fall, the Census Bureau revealed a troubling statistic: A full 6.7 percent of Americans, or roughly 20.5 million people, were earning less than half the official poverty rate — a category generally known as “extreme poverty.” For a family of four, including two dependent children, that would amount to an annual income of about $11,000 or less.

Nearly half of all Americans who are considered poor at all fall into this category.

20.5 (TWENTY. POINT FIVE. MILLION.)

That is mind-boggling to me.

I’m not going to go over the entire article; you can read it, and I hope you will.

But the article brought several things to an overflowing boiling point in my mind. Things that I’ve had swirling around in my head and have tried to capture and put to words over the last several months. Yet I’ve continually felt both incapable and inadequate of attempting.

I still feel both incapable and inadequate of attempting, but I’ve come to realize that that is part of the problem.

Why bother?
My voice won’t matter.
How can one person make a difference.
I don’t know enough to back up my thoughts in a heated discussion.

And that attitude does nothing to offset the alternative drumbeat of those screaming for the poor to “just stay in school” and “get a job”.

I’ve been poor. As a college-educated adult, with children.

But I’ve never gone hungry for days.

Millions of children and adults do daily.

When you are hungry, not much else matters.

One of my student teaching practicums in college was at a school that butted up to a trailer park in rural WV.

I came in doe-eyed, with big ideas of what I wanted to teach the children and what I wanted them to learn.

One day, early on, as I was sharing my ideas and lesson plans with the classroom teacher, she looked me straight in the eye and said: “You have a lot of great lessons there. But you need to know this: these kids don’t care one bit about the environment or recycling.

They are worried their mama won’t be home when they get out of school. That dad’s kicked her out. Or whether they’ll have any more food in their stomachs between now and tomorrow.”

Stunned, I gathered my emotions and resolved to rethink my plans.

Fast foward 18 years, 4 kids, and a million life experiences later.

I get what that teacher told me. I’ve lived some of it.

I hear her words ringing in my mind.

Yet those children are still forgotten and overlooked.

They are in your child’s class.
You sit next to them at traffic lights.
Their mother’s wait on you at the grocery store.

They are in a cycle they can’t easily escape. Yet we sit on the sidelines judging and condemning them as lazy, ignorant or less-than.

That does nothing.

In fact, it’s that very attitude that has made me, a once upon a time, (very) conservative Christian, reconsider so much of what I think in terms of policies and politics, moving me further and further away from the “here’s a $50 bill” party I’ve long belonged.

It no longer seems adequate or appropriate to look away and wait for others to take care of it, while chipping away at their help and assistance.

I’m looking to be part of the solution. To show love to someone who desperately needs it.

20.5 million people in America are waiting for that.

And the change starts with me.

“He who mocks the poor shows contempt for their Maker” (Proverbs 17:5)

y’all…

chevy hhr

This is my new-to-me car.

Can I say “LOOOOOOOVE it”. I feel as though I should have a surf board on the roof and The Beach Boys blaring from the speakers.

A couple of days ago, I didn’t even realize that we would be in the market for a car so suddenly, but on the way to church Sunday, my YOUR ENGINE! IS OVERHEATING!! STOP! STOP NOW!! light came on. Sean is a fabulous mechanic (not by trade, but he rocks the car repair) and we knew that it wasn’t something that could be fixed without removing the engine, lots of expense, not to mention labor.

blah blah blee blee blah blah. (isn’t that how car talks usually sounds…)

fast forward…

We were blessed with a great deal and a reliable car. So thankful.

(* for anyone interested, it’s a [barely] used 2008 Chevy HHR).

Due to a couple of unexpected events, I will announce the 10 winners of the Lee Jeans tonight, by 7PM.

My apologies for the delay!

http://www.karlaarcher.com/4252/