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'

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