a soft heart

alright friends.  It’s day 29 of the noonday blog train and I am so happy to be able to host the train today and have you here.  thanks for taking the time to visit.  have you been faithfully following along? i don’t know about you but i have been really blessed and inspired by the posts thus far... aren't the women who wrote them incredible?  and they are just a glimpse of the community of noonday ambassadors that i am honored be a part of.

though there are A LOT of reasons that i am in love with noonday, today, i just wanted to talk about one reason I love being an ambassador.

it helps to keep my heart soft.

i know that might sound lightweightish.  but it’s not.  soft hearts are one of the hardest things to keep.  a soft heart is what it takes to respond rightly to God-sized things –things that last beyond the five seconds that my freshly mopped kitchen floor stays clean with two boys who like to throw, disect, agressively reject, fling, spill, and cannon ball their food healthy children under the age of 5 by the end of mealtime.

if i am honest, everyday, i am tempted to harden my heart.

reading about women in india, kindergarteners in connecticut, another mother's grown son in a movie theater in colorado,  reading an email from a friend who is still struggling and under water, remembering how my own beautiful mother was orphaned as a child, browsing a clearance rack hoping to find a good deal of cuteness and being reminded that this might have been in another mother’s hands; another mother who didn’t get paid nearly enough to work harder than she was meant to, only to be unable to keep her own children her own... all of this tempts my melancholy heart towards becoming hard for the fear that the weight of it all might crush me.

but the truth is; it works in a backwards way.  doesn't jesus always suprise us by turning things upside down and inside out?  soft hearts give strength, courage and hope.  hard hearts break in their emptiness.

what keeps your heart soft?

if you have been following, you know the noonday pieces are beautiful and unique.  but more than that, they are hope.  they are fighting real things and represent real people made in the image of God.  a softened heart knows that it was meant to be connected to the real hands that made the pieces and live the stories they purchase and wear.   praying for and being connected to the artisans who make the pieces and are the stories i get to sell, keep my heart soft and i am so grateful.
so without further ado, we are on to the give-away… i will be giving one lucky winner the choice between these lovely bracelets that were handmade by a fair trade artisan group in india that creates avenues of employment for the economically disadvantaged:

The D'Orsay Bangle
the d'orsay bangle
The Louvre Bangle
the louvre bangle

for 1 entry, comment below and tell me what keeps your heart soft.
for 2 entries, follow this blog and leave a comment to let me know that you did.
and for 3 entries, go to my noonday page and tell me what noonday piece or story catches your eye or heart.
one winner will be chosen at random on february 4th.

and don't forget to check out kristine's blog for her post and give-away tomorrow!!
happy entering!!!