Sole Hope, The Nester, and a Big Honkin Tree

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I found out about Sole Hope almost three years ago at the Allume Conference.  I was first drawn to the Sole Hope table by their super cool t-shirts.  I know…super shallow but man am I a sucker for a cool t-shirt.  They also had some type of pattern cutting kit that you could purchase to make shoes for kids in Uganda.  What the what!?!?!  I could cut fabric anddddd help kids in Africa!?!?!  Sign me up!!!  But the more I talked to the volunteers, I totally fell in love with more than just their t-shirts and shoe cutting kits.  This organization totally took hold of my heart right there in that hotel lobby!

Sole Hope is a non-profit organization with a focused effort in Uganda to battle the problem of jiggers. Jiggers are sand fleas that burrow into the feet of thousands of Ugandan children who often live their life without adequate footwear. The result is infection, gangrene, paralysis, and occasionally amputation and even death.

I bought a shoe cutting kit, (and a t-shirt) and left the conference.  At home, I watched the video that was included in my kit with my kids, did a little Sole Hope research online, and then put the kit on a shelf in my sewing room where it sat for the next two years.  Life happened, work happened, family stuff happened.  That kit sat through two years of life and many many sewing room clean ups and purges. I have gotten rid of A LOT of stuff over the past couple of years but something wouldn’t let me get rid of that kit.  The beginning of this year, I started following my heart and I started really praying.  The ask, believe, receive kinda prayers that Mama Terri told me about.  I prayed for several months that God would help me find a place where I could plug-in and help.  Children’s Impact Network had become a huge part of my life.  Then that kit caught my eye.  I pulled it out and spent the next few hours pouring over the Sole Hope website, online videos, and cutting shoe patterns out of my old jeans.  Turns out their State side office was only 45 minutes away from my house!!  Since that day I’ve started volunteering with Holly and Mamma Terry at the Sole Hope office, became a Sole Hope Advocate for North Carolina, and have starting hosting shoe cutting parties!

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Now I get to work around all those t-shirts!  (insert evil laugh here)!!!

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Sweet Holly!

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and her mom…Momma Terri!!!!  Love them both!!!

Just a couple of weeks ago The Nester texted me and asked if I wanted to host a Sole Hope shoe cutting party at the cozy minimalist get together at the barn!!  UMMMMM YES!!!!  Nevermind it was going to be my FIRST shoe cutting party, nevermind I was totally unprepared, never mind I was scared out of my mind!!!!!  YES YES YES I will be there…. and guess what!?!?  It was the best day ever!!!!

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We hung out at the barn!!

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We made new friends.

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We took lots of photos of each other!

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Button Bird Designs

We looked at beautiful imperfect things.

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Button Bird Designs

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We walked around the property!

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(I had no idea she was hiding this much wood!!!)

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Button Bird Designs

We hung out in her house!

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Button Bird Designs

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We visited the locust tree!

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Button Bird Designs

and then we cut shoes uppers for Sole Hope and the children of Uganda!!!!

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Button Bird Designs

Button Bird Designs

Button Bird DesignsThe shoes uppers we cut from jeans will be sent to Uganda and than assembled by impoverished women; primarily widows and ex sex workers.  The sole of the shoe is made out of recycled tires!  Sole Hope then pays a fair wage for these shoes and places them on the feet of needy children after foot washing/jigger removal clinics.

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It was a mighty good day.

If you would like more information about Sole Hope visit their website here.  If you would like to order a shoe cutting kit and have your own party click here.  If you live around the Charlotte area and would like for me to come to your home, office, or where ever you can gather friends and host a shoe cutting party or just give you more information about Sole Hope just contact me up there at the top!!  Oh and if you want to check out those super cool tshirts I was talking about click here!!!!

xoxoxxo Angela

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Happy Mother’s Day

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Photo bomber in the back!!!

Happy Mother’s Day!!

xoxoxo  Angela

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When you follow your heart

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It’s been almost three months of not drinking, sleeping well, eating well, resting, working out, and being very very quiet.  5 am time with God in the mornings, reading and understanding the Bible, and lots and lots of prayer.  My eyes have truly been on God first.  No Instagram (during lent), no Facebook, no distractions, no forcing or striving or trying soooo hard to make things happen.  God is speaking to me and I hear him because I’m open and quiet.  I hear that voice deep inside, the one I usually cover up with busyness and wine.  The one I typically try to numb out when it gets too loud and uncomfortable.  I feel real peace and joy for probably the first time in my life. He loves me and I love him.  I want to serve him. I want to help and give and love.

I’ve had a feeling deep inside, an ache, a longing in my heart for as long as I can remember.  An ache for children in far away countries who have nothing.  My heart holds a special place for the children of Honduras, Bolivia, and Uganda.  But alcohol, selfishness, and the approval of people have gotten in the way.  This longing has grown but has been in conflict with my sinfulness.  Conflict within lead to confusion and confusion lead to frustration and frustration to alcohol.  Alcohol, my kryptonite, was the great escape from all things hard for many years, and left me weak, full of fear, completely defeated and lost.  Oh that word… lost.  Coming to the end of myself, being quiet, and listening to God has created peace and joy in my heart.  I’m stronger physically and mentally then I ever have been.  It’s time to follow that voice that has over the years become increasingly louder.

Last summer after returning from a missions trip with my daughter to Honduras I was at a consultation for work.  We were talking with an 8 year old boy whose room we were going to be redesigning.  At that moment I had to excuse myself because out of no where, tears were rolling down my cheek.  That feeling, that ache, that longing was overwhelming even though I couldn’t name it.  At that moment I wanted to be with my 8 year old boy.  I wanted to be at home with my children.  Only so many years left.  Parenting is over and mentoring has begun.

I’ve decided I’m going to follow my heart.  I want to dedicate my life to my children.  I want to dedicate my life to the children of Honduras, Bolivia, and Uganda through Children’s Impact Network, and Sole Hope.   I just stepped down from the best job I’ve ever had.  I’m nervous but also super excited for the next phase of my life.  New phases are good for the soul.  I’m excited to be home with my kids more. I have a few ideas and projects in the works for both organizations.  I will also be helping out one of my dearest friends Tracie at her super cool shop, Papaya Papers two days a week cause lets face it Whole Foods ain’t cheap.  Working for Tracie will give me a little bit of work but also time to focus my attention on that voice deep inside and my family.

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Photo from Sole Hope

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photo from Sole Hope

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Photo from Honduras Mission trip 2014

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Photo from Honduras Mission trip 2014

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Photo from Honduras Mission trip 2014

I’m excited to see where God and this happy, peaceful, light and free heart bursting with love will lead me.

xoxo Angela

 

 

 

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