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Celebrating Safe Refuge

December 17, 2016

A safe place, a refuge - that's all Mary and Joseph were looking for. Far from home and expecting a baby any time ... And so begins the story of Jesus' birth, celebrated this month. And so begins the story of many newborns this year.

Refugees far from home, looking for a safe place to settle from now on, or until they can return. This year has seen an unprecedented number of people flee their homes and move en masse across many borders. Some have moved for fear, others for opportunity and many for myriad other reasons. All however are now at the same point - in a new place, with a different language, few if any possessions, strange customs, confusing systems, their kids' questions, family expectations and, in the midst of all this ... just maybe a little hope.

This week I had...

Freedom is a Gift Too.

December 8, 2016

Gift giving comes in all shapes and sizes. In the midst of generating the most joy for our pennies however, I really do want to keep it grounded, keep our hearts wholly focused on why we make these careful and caring gift choices.

International Justice Mission, IJM, is an anti-trafficking agency doing phenomenal work in setting people free. The deep gift of freedom is something most of us take for granted. I know I do - it's my norm, my right, a right for us all - but what if it's been taken away?

IJM's recent video, Supermaarko, is very tough to watch, and it needs to be - the lives they help liberate are awful to live. I'm hi-lighting their work today intentionally and hope you may also...

It's amazing the kind of joy that floods our souls when we freely give from our hearts! And with more options than ever to give magical gifts that amazingly give twice the joy created is exponential - in my math magic land 1 purchase = 6 times the joy ... what's your equation?

So, as promised, here are some great GO TO places for ethical and alternative gift giving this year:

#1 TOP Fair Trade Stop

Has to be YOUR local Fair Trade Shop -

Hands up those who love the handmade? For sure at Motif we do - it's our lifeblood! Maybe you love the making or prefer the receiving but either way - there's just something inescapably precious about the handmade!

There's also something awe inspiring about how random raw materials take on a new life in the hands of a skilled artisan. Even more precious can be the love and dedication expressed in toddler's handmade card.

At every point on the spectrum, creativity and skills combine to produce something of value for somebody's, "Oh My! Look at THIS!"

Recently I've seen a couple of videos that stood out. I want to share them because they highlight very important reasons why, in our hi-tech age, the handmade still has a vital role.

Hi-Tech...

Maybe I've done my job, shouted long and hard enough against this Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) deal and you're all on board - to which I add a Huge Hallelujah! and salute you!

BUT if you're still not convinced, or need to convince others, here's a letter received recently on the urgency of acting NOW, yes even TODAY - because...

When Dads sneak up and …

September 19, 2016

... inspire us!

OK, so my wonderful dad was ‘promoted’, as my US family says, 2+ years ago. But he sneaks up now and then – bringing me a smile and a tear every time. My guess is someone special does that for you too now and then!

Recently here he was – all in a moment – unseen, yet as full and as present as if physically in front of me. How did it happen?

I'm in a super fun writing group with others in business and a few weeks ago our coach’s dad joined us. It was fantastic; seeing their connection, listening to their wise, witty exchange and understanding more of how Stella Orange simply knows 'stuff’.

Getting into our weekly Shut Up & Write session, a number of us felt encouraged by and close...

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