phenom phen

Come Alive

Ready for a question: One. Two. Three.

What makes you come alive?

Quick.

What’s your answer?

I was sifting through old photos a couple days ago, and came across this one from my travels in Cambodia Summer 2011. My heart races when I look at this photo. Why? Because nothing makes me feel more alive than traveling and working with villagers, orphans, and victims of sex trafficking. I know, not your typical answer from an 20 something HR girl, but that’s my answer.

Before the sun even rises, I’m at work. Around dinner time, I leave the office, only to do more work at home. The result: I work probably 50+ hours a week. Yet all the while, I feel so alive. I know that working in the corporate world is making it possible for me to live out my dream to travel and help the oppressed, the down-and-outters.

My day job as an HR girl allows me to see and hear a lot. Over the past couple months I’ve notice that people in our world are seemingly “burnt-out” they lack that passion in their eyes. They’ve worked so hard for the American Dream, they go to their 8-5 job, go home to wine and dine, then catch a few hours of beauty sleep only to do it all over again. It’s a cycle. In the process of trying to achieve their American Dream, they’ve lost it all. They’ve lost the purpose and meaning of life.

I have a new theory (as always). We have to have a passion, something that makes us come alive, if we want to live life to the fullest. We all need something that makes us come alive. The American Dream isn’t going to be our answer.

Why? If we don’t, we’ll go through the routine of life mundanely, bored, and on the verge of being burnt out. And let’s be honest, that’s no way to live.

So again – here’s my question: What makes you come alive?

Go after it.

Find your passion and purpose and move with courage.

Kampong Thom, Cambodia // Summer 2011

Be Inspired + Create

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Tonight.

The setting – Birmingham, Alabama, USA 
The time – 7:07 pm

Tonight, the average 8 year old little girl will be at home with her family in their little suburban home. She’ll be playing dress up with her mom and little sisters; trying on heels, putting on lipstick, and pretending to be a pretty little princess.

The setting – Phenom Phen, Cambodia
The time – 7.07 pm

Tonight, a beautiful 8 year old girl will be locked up in a basement with a number attached to her raggedy dress. Though she cannot see anyone outside the four walls of the basement, she is being watched by men. A customer is about to pick her number and when he does, she’ll be escorted to another room where she will forced to put on heels, red lipstick, and as a man who is old enough to be her father has his way with her, she’ll pretend that she has escaped this life of torment.

The setting – Unknown
The time – Right now

Sex trafficking is the second largest industry in the world today, and it is quickly rising to the top, generating almost $28 billion dollars a year.

In a moment of honesty – I believe the majority of us would admit to day dreaming about our future. We dream about the adventures we’ll go on, the people we’ll meet, our future careers, who we’ll marry- and what our family will be like. We were meant to dream.

However, while we sit and dream about our futures, 1.39* billion girls will be dreaming that they will merely survive. The truth is that these girls are robbed of the opportunity to dream for anything else other than survival. The life they live is far from a dream come true, rather its one’s worst nightmare. These young girls have been betrayed and manipulated by those they’ve trusted most, and forced into an industry that strips them of their dignity, and puts their life at risk. Treated like property, instead of a human with a soul, the girls are pawned off to almost every demographic of men and with no say in the matter. The girls are drugged up and forced to do whatever sexual favors the men desire. And though every piece of their body wants to escape, the girls must muster up enough strength to endure the next 20 minutes that the men have paid for. This is only a glimpse into their reality.

I believe that God intended us to dream big; not just for ourselves, but also for others. Let us begin to dream for freedom for those who are in bondage. The Apostle Paul urges us to be kingdom minded saying, “Set your mind on things above, not on earthly things.” (Colossians 3:2) It is time for us as humanity to care more about God’s kingdom coming to earth than our own plans for the future. I challenge you to let the love and passion of God rise up in your hearts to bring justice, love, and hope to these young beauties.

Tonight, you have a decsion to make. Will you be choose to be consumed by your own personal comfort? Or will you choose to be so consumed with loving and dreaming for others that you begin to create change?

“The love for the less fortunate is a beautiful thing- the love for those who suffer, for those who are poor, the sick, the failures, the unlovely. This is compassion, and it touches the heart of the world. This is God’s love. It conqours the world.” – Francis Chan

Be Inspired + Create