Hello there, my friend. This note is full of lots of goodness – with intimate stories from my heart to yours. Skim for what captures your heart’s attention or dive deep into each tale. May the seeds of these stories from the lives of my beloveds plant themselves in you, deeply fueling and enCOURAGING you this day.
At a glance, what I share in this note may seem distant to you or disparate threads of storylines, but draw near. From our sister in Nepal’s dream to build a school to prevent human trafficking … to virtual events hosted by dear and trusted friends that you can join in on … to a nudge of inspired ACTion to weave into your everyday life … to a PoP (Place of Pause) on Lamenting, Together which shares a glimpse of my friend, Fatouma’s, faith in the midst of great loss … to my husband’s dramatic vision loss these past weeks … to our Nana’s passing this past weekend … this is all a picture of life in our big and beautiful human family.
May we open and receive the gift of walking through life, T O G E T H E R … especially when it is hard.
There is much that is hard happening in the world right now, is there not? Here in Colorado, we witnessed a day of great injustice and violence this week when a young man open fired in one of our neighborhood grocery stores. We cry and grieve with the families of those who were killed – and we pray, send blessings and good thoughts, and encircle all with an ocean of love.
May we proclaim that peace and hope are stronger than fear.
May our love for each other overcome what divides us.
May we be tenacious in our care for one another.
OK, my friend … let’s dive in. ❤️
5 Days Left to JOIN our Seeds fundraiser this month!
ANTI-TRAFFICKING / NEPAL. Anjali Tamang was trafficked to India at 12 years old, was rescued, is now married with a beautiful baby boy, and is building a school to prevent trafficking, child marriage, and poverty in her village in Nepal. Her HEART is SO BIG and PASSION is PALPABLE! Learn more | Watch/listen to Anjali’s inspiring story if you have a few minutes.
The new Freedom School in Eastern Nepal is moving forward quickly. First floor construction is nearly complete, and we have begun training teachers and providing remedial education to the first four students – girls who had to leave school due to COVID 19 or personal/family issues. The school and anti-trafficking project was founded and is being run by survivor-activist-author Anjali Tamang (who co-wrote Standing in the Way with HFC Founder Sarah Symons). -Her Future Coalition (Anjali’s family & partners)
Whether you have $5 or $500 to give, we wildly celebrate and are grateFULL for your generosity. WE are the lucky ones to get to be a part of this sister’s passion project that is making a mighty difference in her community. Email me a blessing, a poem or Scripture, or a prayer with Anjali as you make your donation – I’ll pass it right onto her with great joy!
Buy & Shop with Heart with Threads Worldwide
This beautyFULL sistah’s name is Radha. ❤️ She assembled and quality checked one of my favorite Threads Worldwide pieces, the Balance Necklace in India – more on THAT below after a tiny glimpse of her big and bold vision for life.
I learnt that self-respect and becoming independent is important for the women. I like my work … I want to give education to my daughter therefore, it is important that we continue to have some work. I never want to leave this place… -Radha
Y’all, I love how our friends and partners at Threads are tenacious about continuing their organization-business-sisterhood … and dang! I know that it’s not easy these days to do it. But, they are not givin’ up, because they are SO COMMITTED to Radha and to so many more sistahs across the globe. So, my loves – if you have gifts to buy or love beautyFULL jewelry that’s made with lots of love, check ’em out.
Ohhhh, and yes – lemme tell ya about the Balance Necklace. It’s made from a semi-precious stone called Labradorite which imparts strength, balance, perseverance, and grounding when you’re going through change. Might be valuable for us these days, aye? (I need all the help I can get, that’s for sure!)
SHOP their INDIA line (and MORE from ’round the world)
LEARN more about the Threads-Seeds Partnership and how we are working, together, to make difference-making more simple and powerful than ever!
Don’t Miss These Amazing Events TOMORROW!
Thursday, 3/25 at 9pm EST (Free) | GirlTalk
Learn more about our sisters at Her Future Coalition (with their own Sonali Pathak) and be inspired by this evening of conversation, celebrity guests, musical performances, and more! This special will air live on POPSUGAR (and on their TikTok, YouTube, and Facebook accounts), as well as TV Networks TLC and OWN and discovery+ streaming services. Grab some popcorn, a friend and tune in!
What happens when some of the most influential and inspiring women out there sit down together for an evolving conversation? Change happens, ideas are sparked, and all of us can bask in the magic that is created. We are so excited to announce Girl Talk, a one-hour virtual event featuring Michelle Obama. With an interactive Q&A, musical performances, special guests including host Sofia Wylie, late-night rockstar Lilly Singh, and much more to be announced soon, it’s an event you do not want to miss. -PopSugar
Thursday, 3/25 @ 7 pm MST (Free) | Casa de Paz Virtual Movie Night
(Yup, same time as GirlTalk – so you’ll have to choose or watch the recording of one of ’em!)
We’re thrilled to announce our Casa de Paz immigration movie nights! Each month we will choose a different immigration-related film. You’ll watch it on your own at a time that is convenient for you, and then on the last Thursday of the month, we’ll hang out virtually via Zoom and discuss it together. -Casa de Paz
The film for this month is The Infiltrators directed by Cristina Ibarra and Alex Rivera. This is a docudrama that follows the stories of some Dreamers as they attempt to get immigrants detained in a Florida detention center released. The film combines documentary footage with recreations of the scenes in the detention centers to tell these stories. More info & sign up to join from anywhere in the world via Zoom.
Become a pen pal with a detained immigrant.
A detained immigrant recently told his Casa de Paz pen pal, ‘Thank you very much. I appreciate any way you have to help me. Nothing is more dehumanizing than the absence of human companionships.’ -Casa de Paz
From the Casa team: “Corresponding with immigrants in detention has been a lifeline for many immigrants, especially since March 2020, when ICE closed all detention centers to in-person visits due to the pandemic. Since that time, the Casa de Paz pen pal program has evolved to take on a national focus, and during the last year, over 300 Casa de Paz volunteers have corresponded with nearly 350 immigrants detained in 33 detention centers in 12 states. We always have a need for more volunteers of all language abilities, so if you are interested, you can go through our online volunteer training and then join the team!”
According to a recent survey of Casa de Paz pen pal volunteers, a large majority of folks have enjoyed the work, and the comments below are typical of why volunteers find it meaningful:
My heart is deeply touched. I learn so much from what immigrants have told me about their lives.
A strong, heartfelt connection human being to human being.
It meant so much to him to feel seen.
Makes me feel like I am giving them a little bit of hope and reminding them that there are people who care about them.
Founded by Sarah Jackson, who has become a dear soul sistah of mine, Casa de Paz fundamentally believes that famlies belong together. Take a few moments and check out what Sarah and her dream team are up to here. or learn more about Sarah’s story in this episode of the Seeds Storyteller Series in which we have a conversation about Belonging and Borders.
A PoP on Lamenting, TOGETHER
I think about my dear friend, Fatouma. Fatouma’s heart cracked in two when her son passed away several years ago. Her wails of lament will remain in my heart and ears forever.
According to her Islamic faith tradition, for forty days of du’ua, of prayer and mourning, her tribe of sisters and brothers gathered and encircled her. She did not mourn or pray alone. We lit candles, brought food, prayed, sang, and cried, together.
One day, she said to us,
I am a very strong woman, but without you and Allah, peace be upon Him, I wouldn’t have made it. There is no doubt in my mind; I wouldn’t have made it through this alone. I am African, Muslim, woman, grandma, sister, mother, wife, aunt, friend. Allah, peace be upon Him, gave me everything. He has given me the world as my family. He gave me you.
Her sacred text, the Quran, speaks to this:
And as for the believing men and the believing women, they are guardians of each other; they enjoin good and forbid evil and keep up prayer.
When it comes to the big stuff, the really hard days,
we are not meant to find solutions or care for ourselves alone.
The greater the struggle,
the greater the grief,
the more we need each other.
Sometimes, our lives depend on it.
So, dear friend, let’s take a moment to pause, to breathe, to be quiet … together.
Be Still. Surrender.
Lean back, rest your head.
Prop up your feet.
Take three breaths,
Stay here … for as long as you can, need, want.
Ponder. Has there been a time of great sorrow in your life when you felt alone? Perhaps you didn’t feel comfortable reaching out to others for the support you needed. What made it difficult for you to ask for support? If that time is now, sit with this nudge: Is there one person you can call, text, or email today? Right here, is there one person with whom you can share your raw and real story?
A nudge. Set a date to gather some folks to explore and dream together how you might extend some care to someone or a community in need of support.
Given the state of our world – the Corona virus pandemic, school and work closures, challenges to global markets and personal paychecks – we must take a few moments to BE still and to pause. These days, more than ever, there has been much clamoring for our attention 24-7 with LOUD, FEAR-based, PANIC-inducing messages – but let’s practice peace, together, amidst these stormy days. I share these PoPs so you can FILL UP with peace and navigate this wild and crazy season with strength and courage.
Our Family’s Story (My Brandon and our Nana)
Our beloved Nana (my grandmother-in-law) passed away Saturday afternoon, March 20. She was 93 years old. Oof – our hearts are both saddened and celebrating that she is no longer struggling and is now reunited with her beloveds. In fact, my daughter, Sophia, discovered that March 20 is “International Happiness Day”! For those of you who knew our Nana, you know it: HAPPINESS IS NANA. In fact, my mom-in-law (“Momma Sue”) used this Scripture from the Bible as the theme for Nana’s 90th birthday:
A happy heart makes the face cheerful. -Proverbs 15:13
If you want to laugh a lot, check out Nana’s hilarious clips from our family’s adventure on the gameshow, Family Feud. Simply type in “Miss Carol Family Feud” into your internet search and get ready to catch a glimpse of her happy heart. (We’ve been doing this all week!) Here’s one of our favorite clips.
My husband, Brandon continues to be his superhero and ever-so-courageous self, even though his vision has not yet returned. Today, he is experiencing about 90% vision loss in the left eye – with full vision in his right eye, thankfully. We finished the recommended treatment from his doctors last week. Although the treatment didn’t “work”, we’re still hopeful and exploring other options for healing, and we have not stopped praying for a miracle of full restoration of his eyesight.
These days have not been easy, for sure. And, yet, we have felt ourselves steadily surrounded by the extraordinary love and care of family, friends, and our faith. Prayers, blessings, and words of encouragement have been pouring in, flowers left at our doorstep, and delicious feasts whipped up in the kitchens of our friends and shared with love.
We. Are. Blessed. And, there’s more goodness percolating, too … a new and tender love is emerging from the struggle in our little fam that is absolutely amazing, as we witness daily glimpses of gifts growing out of the grit.
We’re in this brutiful (beautiful-brutal) life, together. ❤️
Have a most blessed and beautyFULL day!
You are loved.
We belong to each other.
Let’s standTALL together and light up the world!
xo, -Sarah DT ❤️