Friday, September 27, 2013

LBD Project Interview: Elaini

I remember my sister sending me the link to Elaini's blog after we had talked about doing such a crazy thing. "Wear a dress for a year? girls actually do that?"  this girl was one huge reason why i took a step out of my comfort zone and put on my LBD for the children in Uganda. She had lit a small fire in my heart for the children that were so near and dear, but only made it to my prayers every now and again. Elaini made me want to love my children in Africa, like she loved her children in India. She made me want to do something for them. Give them something, show them that people do care and want to love them. Elaini created a way to some dear hearts in India. She's an inspiration and a wonderful woman. 
See what she has to say:

1.  Why did you decide to do the LBD Project? 

    Well there were layers of reasons that went into it.  First because I knew that I wanted to stop being hypocritical (at least in one area of my life!) about saying I loved orphans but doing nothing about it.  Secondly I wanted to get out of my comfort zone and conquer some fear.  Thirdly, I also really wanted to see Jesus show up and learn to trust him like never before.  I knew there was no way I could do this on my own.   

2. Who did you do the project for? 

   Partnering with Warm Blankets Orphan Care I raised money for sweet darling orphans in India in Andrah Pradesh.   

3. How long did you do the project for? 

   The original project only went for 100 days but since the end of that on August 8th, 2011 I’ve continued to raise funds for “my” children.  There is a compelling force that won’t let me stop nor do I want to.  I love those children and they have blessed me more than I will ever bless them.  

4. How did the project change you? 

 How did it NOT change me!?  It literally changed my life which sounds so cliché but is the truth.  It changed or deepened how I view God, others, and myself.  I realizing that my God is bigger than I can ever even begin to dream, I’m learning that I need him more desperately than I thought, and I discovered that community with like-minded people is powerful.  One of the big ways that the project changed me though is that it taught me to get out of my comfort zone.  In fact I’m working on always being out of my comfort zone so that I am always being stretched.  That’s where growth happens and I always want to be learning.   

5. What was your hardest challenge? 

   Surrendering my ideas about how things should go for God’s ways and learning that the project was very much not about me no matter what happened.  When my giving link was down (twice) at crucial times I had to remember that it wasn’t about the money or even the children that I completely fell in love with.  It’s about God’s glory and learning to trust him fully.  I’ve still got a long ways to go in learning that.   

6. What is one of the best things you've learned? 

   My heavenly Father is so patient.  I’ve learned that he loves to surprise us in amazing ways.  I’ve learned that you can fall in love with someone (or a lot of people!) you’ve never met (i.e. children in India).  I miss my kiddos and think about them every single day.  I’ve learned that there isn’t 

“impossible” when God is behind it and that our excuses are just that…excuses.  I’ve learned that change comes by being willing to take that first little step and then just keep walking.  If we all did just a little bit it really would change the world.  I learned that I don’t have to wait for someone else to start something but that I can start it; you can start it.  I’ve learned that when I fail to do all that that it’s okay because my identity isn’t in what I do and there is grace.  I’ve learned that if you’re passionate about something others will catch your vision.   

7. What advice would you give to someone that would like to do the LBD Project themselves? 

   Pray about it and then dive in!  Have a plan but don’t overthink it.  It will change. Having outfits planned out before you wear them is a life-saver.  Be flexible!  Have fun and choose a cause you are really passionate about or you want to be passionate about.   

To learn more about Elaini + follow her story now, head over to: miss elaini ous'

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Day 257

What I'm learning.

Some things are hard. But hard things have taught me to be more and more thankful. To appreciate the lesson being learned, to cherish holding the hand of the little girl that was abandoned, to take everyday with a joyful heart and an open hand. Ready to love even when you feel like you have nothing left to give .

More and more i am realizing,
Even if my hands are empty, there are a million little children that will gladly take hold and fill them right up. 

Tuesday, September 10, 2013


I made my way safely to my temporary home last Thursday. After 28 hours and a couple times through my favourite albums my feet landed in Romania.
I am so thankful.

It's lovely here. I walk the streets holding the hands of my new little friends. It makes me happy, because one day, I will look down, and maybe the road won't be paved but dirt, and the houses will look much different, and maybe the sweet little hand I'm holding won't look the same, but I will be just as in love. These moments I cherish forever. And I cannot wait to have more of them.

Don't forget about my precious ones in Jinja.
Go to the GIVE page to donate now.

Pictures to come!

Friday, September 6, 2013

LBD Project Interview: Alice

In the middle of august, a wonderful woman named Alice sent me an e-mail full of sweet encouragement. She told me how she had taken on her own version of the LBD Project and that she aimed to raise 3k for Compassion International from May 19th thru August 11th of 2013. By the end of her three months, $8736 was raised to help build 10 houses for homeless families in Ghana.
I asked Alice to be a part of the LBD Project Interviews because she became a huge inspiration for me as i continued my own project. Alice's story is one that has been so special to read back on and see how the Lord worked in the hearts of everyone that was a part of her journey. It was a joy to see her goal of 3k far surpassed in the short amount of time she spent in the little black dress. 
Here's a little wisdom from the lady that gave a lot to those in need:

1. Why did you decide to do the LBD Project?

Because there are nine year old girls in Brazil who are seven months pregnant, because they were sold into prostitution- because of poverty. I stumbled across the LBD project blog, and thought it was a crazy enough thing to do to raise awareness and funds for beautiful children like those girls. I was so inspired by Tatiana. 

2. Who did you do the project for?

I did the LBD project for Compassion International, of which I am part of the Child Advocates Network.

3. How long did you do the project for?

I did it for three months, over Australia's winter season. My project was a little different, because I was only allowed one pair of shoes, one dress and one cardigan- nothing else. My hat goes off to the ladies championing this for a whole year. Maybe next time! 

4. How did the project change you?

Incredibly. It has been one of the most humbling things I have ever experienced- in so many ways. My understanding of poverty, of giving, and worshiping Jesus has been totally transformed! 

5. What was your hardest challenge?

That would be my own pride, consumerism and lack of faith. Funny how a little black dress can teach you so much! Well...God's spirit taught me so much! The cold, I could bear. Looking disheveled I could handle. Wearing the dress out, completely wet because I didn't have time to dry it- I could manage that. But, the Lord convicted me deeply, of how passionately proud I am, how I must love Jesus more, worship Him more and give Him more- all that I am and all that I have. How could I not? 

And you know...rock climbing. That was awkward. 

6. What is one thing you've learned?

That most clothing is made by a legal slave trade, and I need to know where my clothes are made before I buy them! (Random piece of wisdom from the Lord and some awesome advocates out there) 

7. What advice would you give to someone that would like to do the LBD Project?

Do it!! Choose your dress wisely. Don't buy a thin, $10 dress. Bad move. Be an absolute fool for Christ.

For more of Alice's story, make your way over to her blog: Love for Compassion.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

LBD Project Interview: Tatiana

Today i have a very exciting announcement! Since i will be traveling for the next couple of days, we are starting a new series over here at The LBD Project interviewing the people who take on a version of the challenge. Each interview will consist of 7 of the same questions giving LBD readers an inside look on the project. Over the passed few weeks, i've been sending interviews out to the lovely people that i know of that have made the choice to be clothed in love so that others can be loved as well.

For the kick off, i thought i would start!

1. Why did you decide to do the LBD Project?
I decided to do The LBD Project because of 13 orphans in Jinja, Uganda. I had never met them, but grew up hearing about this orphanage in church on any regular Sunday. Their needs/stories/prayer requests flooded my life. I knew that prayer was one of the most precious things you can offer a person, but i was honestly at a point in my life where i was using prayer as a substitute for tangibly helping someone in need. I remember thinking to myself, "why am i telling these people i will pray for them when i am capable of helping them in the first place." I wanted to be stretched and challenged, to get a taste of what it feels like to really love those in need. To shove my pride under the mat and maybe be laughed at a little. I decided to do this project for the children, but i also decided to do this project for me.

2. Who are you doing the project for?
I am doing the LBD project for Redeemer House Orphanage.

3. How long are you doing the project for?
I am doing the project January 1st thru December 31st of 2013. Four months to go!

4. How has the project changed you?
My entire outlook on life has changed. I've grown in my walk with the Lord. I've fallen in love with giving to others. I've become more bold in my beliefs and just in general as well. I've learned to care for those that need caring. I am more confident. I don't think i knew what i was doing when i decided to wear one dress for an entire year, but it has been reckless and lovely. There is not one day that passes by without learning something new.

5. What was your hardest challenge?
Not caring what others think of me.
I honestly walked into this project with a hesitant heart. I was scared of being laughed at, looked at, being told it was a stupid idea. All these things passed, but slowly, God has shown me the only one that matters is the Man upstairs Himself. The joy, love, and encouragement will always surpass the negative by a landslide. I have been changed by every message, comment, and e-mail i receive from my readers. It's really not enough to say 'thank you.'

6. What is one thing you've learned?
I've learned to be passionate, thoughtful, and love others around me.
And while doing so, I've learned that life isn't about me, but ultimately showing Christ's love to the people around me.

7. What advice would you give to someone that would like to do the LBD Project?
Whatever doubts you have in your mind, brush them to the side and do it. It's not the easiest thing in the world, but it's worth it. All of it is worth it. The prayers, the people you meet, the e-mails, the hard, and the good, and bad, and lovely. It's all so worth it. You may think it's an insane idea, but aren't the best ideas a little insane? There is an awesome community out here to support you, love you, and encourage you. I would not trade these last few months for anything.

Day 245


Thank you.
Thank you.
Thank you.

Let's not stop there, these children need a lot of love.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Day 244

Wont you love them too?
I spoke at church about the trip i'm about to take. It was the last Sunday at my church for three months. And it's made me realize how much i love it there. How much i love the people, and their hearts, and the love they have to give. I stood listening to the prayer of my pastor before he preached a message from 1 Corinthians. He prayed for the people, for the family about to adopt, and for me.
It's starting to hit me, that i'm getting on a plane to spend three months loving on the poor in another nation. An older woman came up to me after church and talked with me all about her trip to Africa this past year. She was so excited and gave me hug after hug after hug.

This is what i love. And i can't wait.
I can't wait for my 3 months in Romania.
I can't wait to share my stories of the orphaned children, of teaching English, of the people i meet, and each little hand i get to hold.

All this makes me more excited for the day my feet hit the ground in Africa.
The days i see the Redeemer House kids. I will play games with them, love them, laugh with them, just be with them.

If loving people is all i do for the rest of my life, i will be happy.