Give and Take.

The last two weeks I have heard the Lord say: give. Even in times when I was certain I heard that word, I found myself paying for things I didn’t necessarily want to. I am having a difficult time coming to terms with money, comfort, what’s enough. I have even been desiring marriage in a way I never have. As my dad said this evening, “someone to help carry the load”. He hit the nail on the head! After 3 years of school and never making enough money to support myself entirely on my own, this has been a radical transition for me. How do I spend my money, how do I make it last two weeks, how do I put it towards my future? Yes yes, I made a budget. So there’s that. But then there is also an underlining freedom. I am trying to find the balance. It’s interesting though, because it seems to me already that the more you get the more you want. And the more you have, the more you worry. Whatever it may be, we are never fully satisfied with what we have. 

Before I continue, this is in NO way manipulative. We are a non-profit and run off donations, yes, but these are the musings of my mind and nothing else.

So let me rewind to last week. I went to dinner with three of my friends. Two of them I would call my best, one I would call a mutual friend. Though we have spent time together, I would not say we are close in any way. It just so happened to be his birthday the next day. He joked about me paying for his meal, as I have suggested others to do for me, and I didn’t think a whole lot about it until the bill came. In that moment, I reluctantly grabbed his and insisted on paying. As I saw my purchase double within seconds, I immediately thought of the number in my account decreasing. Still, I knew it was the thing to do. He was obviously grateful, but somehow that wasn’t enough for me. I was still consumed with how many dollars I had to my name. (I’m going out on a limb here, assuming you’ve had a similar experience.) There is not a miraculous end to the story. I didn’t win the lottery the next day. But, I did see him a few days later and he thanked me from the bottom of his heart. I could see it. And he said those words, “it meant more than you know”. 

We’re talking a whopping $13.00. It wasn’t about the money. It was that in that moment, he knew he was worthy to be blessed. Imagine the power we hold each and every day. You know what I’m talking about. Taking an extra second to hold the door open for someone even though they’re several steps behind you, sharing a smile or a laugh or a comment with a stranger, giving someone a simple and needed nod of dignity. 

 

“Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.”

                                -Plato

Finances are difficult for SO many. In America, our concerns are vastly different from those in other parts of the world. This website (www.globalrichlist.com) is AWESOME! You can type in how much money you earn annually and it will give you a little perspective about the global community. I was just thinking, what if we became a little less attached to the things of this world and start living with eyes that see the need of those around us. What if we lived our lives in such a way that we reminded others of how worthy they are to be blessed. And you know, now that I think about it, a few weeks ago I found myself being blessed by others in this same way. You can’t help but to pass it on. 

The Lord gives and takes. It’s a fact. So why don’t we give when we can, and humbly accept when we need. 

Wishing you a week full of blessings.

-Crista. 

Our Message is Simple.

‘Millions of people in the world’s poorest countries remain enslaved by the chains of poverty. It is time to set them free.’ –Nelson Mandela.

750 pieces will give women in extreme need a life changing opportunity.

Our clothes are SUPER aDARable but its more than that, it’s putting your little girl in an outfit that was made by hands you will personally receive a message from.  Made by one of our sisters living in conditions you and I would never imagine possible.  Made with love and joy because while she was making your daughter’s outfit, she was rejoicing in the life changing opportunity your purchase has given her.

Let me assure you that it is not our goal to be pricey.  However, these are well crafted garments made by women who are paid fairly for their labor. Because WeAreDAR is a non-profit, the proceeds go directly to our seamstresses and to cover the cost of production.  We use quality materials to ensure that this will be a great investment for your little one.  Take a chance on us and see for yourself!

So, please help us.  Help us spread the word! Help us get it into the right hands. We are all connected and perhaps you could help us tell others who might help us.  If you have any ideas, I would LOVE to hear them. And to all of our friends, family, supporters… thank you for supporting us and allowing us to follow and pursue our true hearts and passions.

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Authentic Joy

I have to admit that when we landed, I found myself in a sort of secret fear. Of course, I didn’t know it at the time. I was mildly panicked about where my water would come from and when I would eat next, how I would keep my malaria pills down, how long the hair on my legs would grow. The priest of the parish in Tibouk welcomed us with open arms. Somehow, I ended up in the front seat of his nicer than expected truck, while three others sat in the back seat, and still three more sat in the bed. WIthin moments of departing the airport, the skies opened and rain poured. Father mentioned that if it continued to rain, we might not be able to cross the river that would lead us to our home for the week. My travel companions, now friends, would not hesitate to tell you that I was a little stressed at the beginning of our journey. It took a few days for me to surrender, let go, and enjoy the beauty surrounding us. And so we drove.

Instantly we were immersed in this place. The women walking with determination carrying baskets, bowls, and barrels on their heads, their left arm gently tucked into their backs. The men riding on motorbikes, inching their way ahead. I began wondering where they were going. So many people out and about, and yet, I couldn’t figure out their destination. I recalled my last visit to New York. Surrounded by so many, every now and again you catch the corner of someone’s eye and are met with an intensity unlike any other. Everyone is fighting to get ahead, driven by success. In this foreign land, it was clear that the determination was one of survival and protection. 

As we made our way to the village, Father turned up the music. Pumping the brakes every so often, his intention was clear when my body began to sway back and forth. I found his lightheartedness comforting and experienced authentic joy for the first time in a long time. I wanted to take pictures of everything I saw. It was beautiful in a way I knew I wouldn’t be able to describe. Though I was unaware in those moments, I can now see that my heart was growing with every site I saw. 

Even now, I feel a sort of loss and pain being separated from a place that brought me so much peace and joy. 

I know that I would bore you if I mentioned every detail, so I won’t. But I have to mention the last moment we shared with our seamstresses. 

So there we stood after 4 days of sharing, laughing, teaching, learning, growing. Surrounded by a sea of sisters, Macius informed us that they wanted to say a prayer before we parted ways. I could tell that she gladly accepted the role as leader and that she was loved and revered by all. We held hands, wrapped in each other, and they began to sing. In my mind, this was a very sweet moment that would soon be over and I was not to cry. I don’t like showing my emotions and felt as though I could keep it together. As it continued, I realized that this would not be over in a matter of seconds and that I was not strong enough to control my tears. One by one, the tears streamed down my face and I allowed these completely beautiful, insightful, powerful women to speak blessings over me. Marc-Endy, our interpreter, translated these prayers just loud enough for me to hear. Prayers of protection, blessings, gratitude poured over us. The very little research I did before traveling to Haiti led me to believe they were a people who primarily practiced Voodoo and I prepared myself to share my faith in any way possible. Little did I know, their faith would move me so. 

My heart has expanded in ways I couldn’t imagine. I’d like to think I could have traveled to any village and felt the same love, but I really believe that this place is sacred and divine. In Mountains Beyond Mountains, a Haitian peasant explains to Paul Farmer that, “God gives everyone a gift and his gift is healing.” In a country that has had a tremendously difficult time standing on their own, I am honored that we are able to give this village an opportunity to start a new cycle. A time when parents are able to provide for their children in ways we take for granted. A time when dreams can not only be created, but achieved. A time when we are able to heal each other. 

Riding in the back of the truck from tibouk to Cap Haitian. 1 hour of sights to see. The children waving from above us, the motorcyclists only inches away, a different smell every two miles, cows chickens goats cows chickens goats, bright colors, hand painted signs, people bathing, people working, people smiling, bump bump bump, mountains, rivers, one extreme to the next, hot sun, perfect breeze, complete joy. I will be back. 

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XO crista 

Thank YOU, from Mommy

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Dear Emery and Gigi,

It’s Mommy. Today is a BIG BIG day for me and our team. As you can probably tell, from Mommy being on her computer and phone all the time, we have been working our buns off for this day and it is finally here. So now that my nerves have settled a bit, I wanted to say a few things to you.

This has been on my heart for awhile, and I know that if I don’t put it on paper now, that I may never do it. I want both of you to know that I see sparks of passion and adventure in each of you. I wanted to thank you both for inspiring me to follow my dream and true passion. It is because of this that I started WeAreDAR, and thought of the idea of our cause driven children’s clothing line aDARable. You inspired me, and I will forever be thankful. I hope I have made you proud as your mommy, and I hope and pray that one day those sparks turn to flames and both of you will find the inspiration and determination to follow the passions that are rooted deep within your souls.

I cannot wait to take you both with me one day to meet the women we work with. I want you both to become explorers of the world and see all the possibilities and potentialities and not be afraid of them. I want you to not only dream, but dream BIG. I want you to be excited by your own abilities to mold your worlds, to change your futures, to make things right and better and beautiful.

You are young now. Emery you are 5 and Gigi you are 3. You are both small, but you are growing, and you are powerful. Know this in your hearts, if nothing else. Even when you doubt it, or others doubt you, or when you are scared or unsure. You are amazing, and you are never alone.

And remember: Always follow your heart no matter how crazy people may think you are. Your mommy is crazy. Your mommy believes she can make this world a better place and decided to follow her dreams soon after the two of you were born. Things haven’t been easy. There have been many sleepless nights. But I try my best to be a model for both of you. Your light will shine brighter and further than mine for sure, but I will always try to learn and grow so that you will know this is not an expectation of you alone. I hope you enjoy our very first collection. It was designed for little girls just like you!

I love you both to the moon and back…and on and on and on.

Mommy

P.S. if you want to buy a couple of pieces, you have Mommy’s permission to do so at shop.wearedar.org 🙂