All posts by sthomas5

My encounter with the cross

The shadow the cross has weighed heavily on me the past few days. As I sit and rest in the stillness of this Easter Sunday I am overwhelmed with the power of the cross. Death did not prevail.

As I reflect on the cross, a picture of love with it’s blood and brutality,  I am brought back to the Camino. In 2014 I hiked 500 miles in 33 days across El Camino de Santiago with my mom when I graduated high school. It was the hardest feat I have ever accomplished and my life truly restarted through that experience, I have never been the same.

In preparation for our trek we did what all good pilgrims do. We each selected our rock from our home to pack in our backpack to leave when the time is appropriate. Per tradition, nearing the final stretches of the Camino stands Cruz de Ferro, it’s base a composite of the aches and groans of this temporal world.

When space in your pack is so limited (your pack weight is meant to be less than 10% of your body weight for this nature of hiking), carrying a rock feels a little ridiculous. Mine rested in small pocket in my waist strap for weeks.  Sometimes I’d open that pocket and remember that I had a stupid rock in there and couldn’t use that space.

Journey with me to the cross.


 

Early morning start. I fight against the fatigue and work to open my eyes and guide my feet to another day of hiking. I throw my feet over the side of my bunk and pause to nurse my aching muscles. My body is unrecognizable at this point. My legs are scratched, sunned, and raw instruments of strength. As I hobble to the communal bathroom, my legs feel as if they can barely support that pack-less trek. We have a long day ahead. As the sky is barely waking with us, my mom and I begin our day’s walk. Today we encounter the cross. I have replayed what I have thought this moment would be in my mind over and over. For us, Cruz de Ferro loomed about an hour into our morning hike.

We each walked alone during this hour’s silence and march to the cross. I finally pulled my rock from it’s residence and held it in my hand. It was smooth, polished by Alaskan water that had pushed and pulled this rock to shore and then gingerly lapped against it, refining and smoothing its texture. It was split, half gray and half white stone. I turned it over and over in my hand and started to talk to Papa God. My conversation quickly transitioned to song. “Lead me to the Cross” filled my mind and tears threatened to burst at the beauty of this anticipation.

Lead me to the cross

Where Your love poured out

One foot in front of the other.

Bring me to my knees

Lord I lay me down

Earth crunches under my feet as I step closer and closer to the cross.

Rid me of myself

I belong to You

Lord, can I finally surrender to you?

Lead me, lead me to the cross

With one bend in the path we were suddenly there. Not to sound ungrateful for this experience, but it was smaller than I expected. As morning due still clung to the earth, the cross appeared in it’s humble glory. How appropriate that it would seem smaller and a humble image. The cross that held the body of Christ was of simple wood, with simple nails, with blood staining the earth. The gore of a crucifixion doesn’t fit comfortably with the narrative of a stained glass church.

It’s time.

I move to place my rock, warm from anxious turning in my hand, and I laid it down at the cross. The relief I feel as tears stain my cheeks is incredible. All my anxieties, my heart hurts, my wounds are represented in that rock that is now just one of many at the base of the cross.

At this place are the rocks of sinners, of widows, of orphans, of those battered and bruised, of those weary, of those seeking, of me.

As Easter Sunday continues to tick away I am brought back to my knees at the cross. I have been in a spiritually dry place for so long and the truth of what today, Easter Sunday, means moved me to tears for the first time in a long time. As our congregation sang “How He Loves” and I belted the truth of his grace and affection for his people, tears made their way down my face as a smile covered my face. As our congregation welcomed three more members to the church family through their public declaration of baptism my heart stirred. Death did not overcome. And I return to the cross to remember that it is paid in full, it is finished.

And I have joy to face the morning.

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When you marry a man who works hard

Baby can you pick me up?

Can you say please? 🙂 

Baby I have to go do more training tomorrow.

Oh… I’ll be right there.

Last week I was looking forward to having my husband home when reality reminds me that I married a man who works hard, a Marine at that. The drive home was filled with tangible exhaustion. The hours weigh on this man I love and the fluctuating dates and times kill any ability to plan in our lives.

You see, I married a man who works hard.

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So sometimes, “I love you” looks like grease stained hands, blood blisters, and callouses. I am reminded of this profession of love every time I find his hand wrapped in mine and I trace these scars and tiny moments of discomfort and pain that my husband’s work day included.

Sometimes “I love you” looks like preparing to watch a movie together for a night in and my love falls asleep with his head on my shoulder. Fatigue clings to him and I carefully slide out from under him so I can grab a blanket for him; I cherish these moments he’s able to sleep.

Sometimes “I love you” looks like grabbing Hot and Ready pizzas from Little Caesar’s because you’re both too tired to figure out dinner after work.

Sometimes “I love you” looks like quiet pre-sunrise drives to work as we try not to grumble over being a one car family with two job lives.

Sometimes “I love you” looks like paid bills, dancing in the kitchen, and movie nights on the laptop.

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Photo Credit: Jessica Bills Photography

As work hours fluctuate, duty calls, and life keeps coming at us, I’m learning more of a deeper and more profound love as I grow with Matt. This love grows deeper daily, through thick and thin, as I continue to learn and love my husband. This love endures beyond financial security, comfort, schedules, and trials, this love embodies the promises made May 28th that point to the commitment of forever.

Today is Valentine’s day and it looks like a normal day for Matt and I. I dropped him off at work, I went to work, I’m around the house working on the daily and random, and I have reporting tonight. There’s something beautiful about the ordinary because I know that at the end of today, and every day for always, there’s my man what works so hard and impresses me in the daily at the end of it all.  Happy Valentine’s day, to the man that makes me feel like the luckiest woman alive in both the mundane and monumental.

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Photo Credit… you guessed it. Jessica Bills Photography

Sara’s Gone Green

Hey friends! Man I’ve been missing writing. Last month was CRAZY (seriously where did January go?) and I’m finally recovering from 2017 entry into my life. So a little recap is due since it’s been awhile.

I’m doing project 7, a project for 7 months mirrored after Jen Hatmaker’s book, 7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess. The purpose of her project was to challenge herself to focus on growth in the categories of media use, green habits, purging of material hoarding,  eating limited types of food, wearing only a small wardrobe of clothing, shopping at less places, and developing spiritual habits. Each of these categories is focused on for one month and generally emphasizes the word “7” so 7 different types of food, 7 articles of clothing, 7 habits added, etc. Myself and some other women across the country are doing our own version of her challenge to grow ourselves this year.

Last month was media and I failed pretty hard. I’m quite comfortable with my failing though because

  1. The book isn’t to be imitated to the letter, that’s legalism. I was using her book to challenge patterns and habits in my life.
  2. January had some curve balls at me and using media actually was often a way to celebrate community and let myself ask for help.
  3. The purpose of the media fast is to challenge my reasoning for media and to be using it for healthy reasons, not for the unhealthy reasons that so often drive me to my apps.

I’m overall really happy with how I was challenged in my media use and reevaluated what I want my use to be in the future. Some of the big things I realized are:

  1. I spend a lot of wasted time of the internet and social media. I have too many big goals to be on it as much as I am! I also can be using the time I am for “community” on Facebook to call and personally talk with some people that I am unable to otherwise due to lack of time.
  2. I like starting my mornings with no social media, it’s refreshing! I am still bad at this habit but I want to work at screen free mornings, I felt so good that way.
  3. I loved challenging why I am posting. Is it to validate myself? To show off? To brag? To be pitied? To get attention? If it’s one of those things I don’t want to post. If it’s to celebrate, to share, to educate, to enjoy, then yes! Post away! But I want to be sure that I don’t post in haste or with my heart in the wrong place.

Now we’re into February and it’s the green month. Not going to lie, it’s super tricky! And honestly the heart issue at the root of it all is convenience. We live in such a world that glorifies anything that makes our lives function faster, fuller, and at 120%. I think we are robbed not only emotionally but spiritually by how much we are doing, pursuing, and taking in. As I am working my way through this project I am seeing the theme of pausing and enjoying the time that things take. Yes some conveniences are not bad but so many are pushing me into overdrive.

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My dryer broke today which is really helpful given that one of my goals was to do two loads of laundry by hang drying to save electricity. I will be doing a lot more than two as Matt and I are probably not buying a new dryer since our $50 score was once in a blue moon kinda deal. As I hung dry laundry I wasn’t actually bitter or stressed about the fake that my dryer is out of commission. It was relaxing. My husband and I hung everything and chatted while we worked. I remembered how many seasons of my life have been spent hang drying: mission trips, El Camino, study abroad in Greece, fish camp, etc. This little pause in my day is welcomed. And though laundry day is more intensive now, that’s not necessarily a bad thing. I welcome the stillness of hanging fresh laundry on the line and folding sun kissed clothes.

I’m making baby steps. It’s not easy to break habits but I’m looking at my heart and seeing big changes already. I am faithful to showing up to the daily and though I’ll mess up through it all (I keep buying plastic grocery bags… why do I do this to myself), I will start each day renewed and thinking through my motive and purpose of my life.

For February:

  • No Ziploc bags
  • Reusable, cloth bags for groceries only (struggling still)
  • Use leftovers better (we struggle so hard as a family of two)
  • Buy a plant that’s good for the air (little things)
  • Turn off lights more (hard for me, I am kinda a wimp with the dark)
  • Go to the local farmer’s market twice this month
  • Hang dry clothes! (Well, all of the clothes now lol)

Media Fast Update

Hey friends! As you know I’m on a media fast for the month of January. I thought I’d just share how I’ve been growing through this project so far! Preface: I should also start that my media fast hasn’t been incredibly strict. Today I allowed myself to go on social media. I have been struggling with feeling isolated and alone and it seemed a little silly to be cutting out a resource to help remind me that there are a lot of people that care about me. I also am allowing birthdays because I love celebrating people and life and I don’t think that’s a bad use of social media. Also, there have been situations where I have allowed Hulu/Netflix.

So! What has Sara been learning:

  1. I have so much more time in the morning now that I don’t sit in bed and scroll to “wake my eyes up” or whatever excuse I give. This time I have been able to consecrate to daily devotional. I use to be really disciplined and eager for this time but ironically, I lost my discipline at school (Bible school) but I am so thankful to have this time back.
  2. In general, I have less wasted minutes throughout my day. I came into this challenge feeling pretty good about my current phone manners but there are still times where I check my phone and it shapes my behavior more than I want. I keep my phone on nighttime mode a lot now and I like the freedom it gives me to not be dictated by my phone vibrating.
  3. My silent commutes to work with no radio have been a great time to actually face how I’m feeling instead of ignoring it and distracting myself with noise. I also have tried to pray during this time and it’s been so rewarding and I enjoy the silence instead of dread it. The same goes for no music at the gym, I am able to be motivated without my pump-up playlist and let my thoughts move beyond worries.
  4. Social media isn’t bad but I want to make sure my motives are good. I recognize moments I want to go scrolling and what sort of emotions are tied to it. Am I wanting to do something mindless to not deal with my own thoughts? Do I want to scroll to disconnect from the community I’m a part of now? Social media is such a great way of connecting and it’s been a blessing for me. But I also don’t want to but using it for the wrong reasons.

These are just some recent learning curves, I’m excited for the rest of the month!

Wilderness and Wonder

This morning’s devotional spoke so deeply into my situation. I am proud to say that I am getting back into the rhythm of a daily devotional and I feel so healthy. I don’t know why I’m so surprised when I find comfort in the Word. When I feel far from God it’s so easy for me to shut down, I forget to show up.

I’m currently using He Whispers Your Name by Cherie Hill as a way to organize my devotional reading. It pointed me to Mark 1:12 and I was reminded that the wilderness is guaranteed and the hope that comes from knowing Jesus has been there first.

This truth hit me so hard because I have been spiritually numb as I fill my days with to-dos and schedules, and appointments; I crawl into bed emotionally battered and remembering nothing. The next morning commute is filled with questions of “what am I doing with my life?” “Is this all I’ll amount too?” “I am nothing” “what does God want to do with my life?” but before I dwell on them too long I’ll blast the radio, and scroll through my social media accounts later, and fill my planner to drown out the internal interrogation. This numbness motivates me to do more, to be busier, to be more.

So I recently started working on showing up. I moved aside the vices that fight for my time with Jesus. I prayed honestly and gave the broken pieces of my life that feel unusable in his able and caring hands. The silence of the meaningless repetition was filled with prayers for those I interact with today. The morning’s of sleeping in were sacrificed for time with Papa God. The desire to go to people for comfort first was replaced with the discipline of seeking God first.

But creeping in through the night, discouragement, attack, and despair come in. The emotional battle is an unseen and under credited villain in the narrative of pursuing God. And we are warned, are we not? The Valley of the Shadow of Death will follow the mountain top experience. You thought the climb up was work? Prepare for the descent. You cannot stay on that mountain top forever, you are certainly not called to. We curse at the valley. The pains, the hardships, the mountain pales in worth and beauty the further into the valley we slump and set up camp.

Wilderness follows wonder. The wilderness attempts to kill at these moments of living and praise be to God for that. Praise be that we are so noticeably in pursuit of God and his ordained will that the valley is so incredibly dark and despairing. There would be no praise if we didn’t have hope in our side but we do. And we know we will be battle tested in the end. The snares of loneliness that bite, the isolation of a lone traveler, the burn of past sins and humiliations: the battered pursuer is a beautiful image of faithfulness to continuing to show up.

The wilderness will continue to follow wonder and I embrace it. I know that the trial and testing tell me I’m in pursuit of the right thing, Satan despises God’s people pursuing Him. And this wilderness is training me. As an explorer I know that the season of wilderness prepare me more than perfect conditions and seamless travels. And our Savior went through the wilderness as Mark 1:12 points out. Do I really believe that I am alone here? I can just picture Jesus knowing the emotions I am feeling and knowing it’s necessity and purpose. Yes Jesus is fully God but he came also as fully man and these emotions were experienced and designed by him. In this I find my hope.

I find myself currently in the wilderness and it’s taking all of me to not lay down in the valley. But oh what wonders I have seen and I have faith in the wonders to come. And how precious are the growing pains the bring forth such splendor. I keep showing up for the wonders and wilderness and praise that growing pains accompany mountain top experiences.

This Year’s Big Project

I remember so clearly the first steps Matt and I took into this house that we call home. It was 115 outside and the air felt heavy and my island girl lungs were adjusting to the higher altitude and unbearable heat. My skin had already developed a shade of pink that hinted of the sunburns to come. We move in our suitcases and between us, the air mattress, and the three suitcases this was it. We didn’t mind a bit though because we were overjoyed to simply be in a place to call our home. Our wedding gifts were being mailed to us and we would eagerly add the generous gifts to our home as we started to set up. But overall, things were pretty simple. Two plates. No furniture. One suitcase worth of clothes. I had downsized significantly for the move simply because I had to. I had to binge clean at school because two suitcases were all I had to move everything to Alaska to then move to California. It was refreshing and foreign to finally be situated somewhere that would be longer than a few months.

I have lived fairly lightly since my backpacking endeavor but as I looked at my home I felt a switch flip and I desired to fill it. My intentions were not necessarily evil. I wanted our home to be a place of fellowship. I need couches, I need dishes, I need a guest bed, I need more pillows, I need, I need, I need. Quickly I noticed my mindset change from minimalist who lives out of a backpack to let’s set up our home! I was excited and a dreamer. This house was going to be so homey!

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The only AC unit we had at the time was this old and slow unit in the dining room. It felt pretty cold if you were right up next to it but didn’t do much good otherwise. We slept in the dining room for a good two weeks and didn’t get a bed until about a month into our marriage. Still wouldn’t trade these moments for anything in the world though because I was sharing them with my best friend and husband.

Fortunately, I was able to back up a few steps before my life was control by materialism and consumerism. Matt and I were convicted about our desire to fill our life with stuff instead of Jesus. I realized the language of “I need this” concerned me as it never applied to my life spiritually but always was in a material context. Now I want to be careful to stress that there is nothing bad to setting up a home. I’m not writing to shame having a full dining set or boasting that Matt and I are holier for being a one-car family; the stuff itself means little. What I am concerned and convicted about is my heart attitude. Why do I fill my life with stuff? Often it’s pride, fear, or comfort. I’m not saying all purchases are evil but I am concerned that my heart, and many others, are filling our lives with things instead of Jesus.

While I was feeling this conviction I was simultaneously reading Radical by David Platt, Crazy Love by Francis Chan, and Seven: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess by Jen Hatmaker. All these authors are convicted by the same heart attitude and are making changes in their life to reflect a Jesus filled life instead of a stuff filled life. I don’t want to mindlessly be filling my discomfort, my fears, my anxieties, my insecurities, my boredom with stuff. I want to be filling it with caring for others, growing in Jesus, and looking beyond myself. To challenge myself, I am participating in the 7 challenge that Jen Hatmaker created in her book, Seven: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess by Jen Hatmaker. Essentially from January to July, I will be mirroring her project and focusing on eliminating clutter from these aspects of my life:

  1. January- Media
  2. February- Waste
  3. March- Possessions
  4. April- Food
  5. May- Clothes
  6. June- Spending
  7. July- Stress

Hatmaker stresses the number 7 in her project because

“Perhaps this is the philosophy behind the biblical fasts of three days, seen days, and forty days in the Word. Maybe we need more than one day to push through the inauguration onto the business of communion. After the shine wears off, the real spiritual work begins”.

And that “real spiritual work” is what I’m desiring in my life. I’m not alone in this pursuit and I have my own council of women from around the country that will be holding me accountable, growing with me, and challenging me as well and that is a blessing to have as I face the next seven months of growing pains. This month I am abstaining from 7 types of media.

  • Amazon: I spend an incredible about of money and time on Amazon. I hope that by cutting this out I will do my shopping around people more and not be so disconnected. I also hope to eliminate random purchases I make to just fill wants.
  • Facebook: This is by far the most time consuming part use of my media. I am still using Messenger to communicate with people but I am abstaining from Facebook itself which for me leads to a lot of hours of mindless scrolling or comparing myself in a way that isn’t healthy. I hope by February I can use Facebook in a way that drives community and fosters friendship better.
  • Instagram: Similar to Facebook, I spend a lot of time here. I am interested to see what sort of motivation I have to post of Instagram because I feel like this may be a pride issue as well that I hope to grow from this month.
  • Netflix/Hulu: Oh Lordy Lou. I spend a lot of time streaming. Though like everything else this isn’t necessarily bad in itself, I am hoping to develop healthier habits and to not default to “what do you want to watch”.
  • Texting: I am trying to limit my texting and focus on when I text. I don’t want to be on my phone when I’m with others. I don’t want to be governed by text messages. When possible I hope to video call or give phone calls. However, I am still maintaining normal texting with my out of area friends and family. After all, this project is in part about building relationship.
  • Radio: On long drives I am allowing listening to the radio but on my commute to work I am not going to listen to the radio. I hope to dedicate this time instead to prayer.
  • Spotify: I always, always, always plug in my earbuds at the gym and this month I will be device free. Instead I hope to either pray or allow my mind to be inspired and creatively think or talk with my gym buddy if I have one for that day.

There will be exceptions and days I mess up. A month is a good chunk of time and this isn’t intended to become something legalistic and cut-throat. My hope from the next seven months is to grow. I hope to reset my mind and with these seven unique fasts, I believe there is room for incredible growth and heart change. Friends, I’ll be keeping you posted and welcome to “an experimental mutiny against excess”.

Dressember is over… now what?

This year I had the honor of participating in the Dressember project again. I was able to be more disciplined than years past and had very few days where I forgot to where a dress. Each time I dreaded putting one on, instead of grumbling and caving into my desire to wear jeans, I remembered this slight discomfort is my means of standing in solidarity with those exploited by sex trafficking and it’s bigger than my comfort or desire for pants. I wrote a piece for Sincerely, Kindred about my thoughts on Dressember but the question remains… what now?

” …I’m not wearing a dress every day for the month of December for vanity’s sake; I’m more of a leggings and dry shampoo sort of girl. I’m also not the only one doing Dressember, thank goodness for that or I’d be that crazy dress in December girl by myself. Allow me to introduce you to the Dressember project, and in effect introduce you to big part of my heart.

The Dressember website states their mission as:

“Dressember uses fashion to advocate for women who’ve been exploited. As women take on the creative challenge of wearing a dress for the 31 days of December, they are advocating for the inherent dignity of all women.”

Women rally together in the month of Dressember by raising awareness through their fashion choice. While committing to wearing a dress every day for 31 days fundraising occurs and supports organizations like International Justice Mission, A21 and the like. The funds raised go to combat human trafficking with a specific emphasis on sex trafficking.

And it starts with waking up and putting on a dress.

About four years ago I prayed desperately in a fight against apathy and despondence: “God break my heart by what breaks yours”. Isn’t it beautiful to serve a God who hears? I was aware of sex trafficking but after I uttered this prayer God gave me a fervent passion for this field. Since then, I have dedicated to studying to work in this field and to be a part of the movement against sex trafficking. I recognize I may sound idealistic, too dreamy, and naïve when I speak about this topic. And I recognize that in my life I will not see the end of sex trafficking. But I will continue to wake up every day like I could. And the greatest thing I have realized in my preparation is even if it was just one person victimized this way, we should be doing everything and anything to restore their dignity and free them from the bondage of sex trafficking.

Dressember picks up on the same note. Even if it’s just wearing one dress a day for a month, that matters. Because it’s becoming a voice for the voiceless. It’s becoming an advocate in the midst of whatever your job, your life, your existence is. It’s taking the symbol of women and declaring that this is beautiful, this is dignified, this is worth it.

So I put a dress on today. By putting on this dress I embodied Proverbs 31:25, “She is clothed with strength and dignity” because she is, even though her voice has been stripped of her and her dignity held captive.  I invite you to join in being a voice of justice. We’re a little over a third of the way through but it’s not to late to dress for advocacy. It’s not too late to make a contribution to Dressember in lieu of a red cup holiday beverage from Starbucks. I invite you to be a voice of justice through the means of fashion, because it’s more than just a dress.

Sincerely,

Sara Kernan”

See Sincerely, Kindred’s work

This field is my passion and chosen study but for many, there is a frustration that comes with projects such as this: what are we suppose to do now? You have just had your heart broken by the realities of these atrocities but you may feel helpless and useless in the field. The heartbreak from this tragedy is very real and should be sobering, but we have hope in Christ. I have compiled a list of some ways to continue the ministry and work against sex trafficking beyond the month of Dressember.

 

  1. Pray

The power of prayer is to not be undermined in this circumstance. Pray for radical rescue missions that point to God’s glory. Pray for girl’s to feel God’s peace in the midst of bondage. Pray that the identity of God as “Father” can be redeemed by those that have no example of a loving father in their life. Pray that you don’t get numbed by this reality and will consistently have a passion for this field. Pray that those that exploit will be convicted and that they’ll come to know God too (yes we must pray for those that cause pain, they are are pain too and victims of a fallen world). Pray for justice.  Pray for how God is moving in your life to be a vessel of justice. We must surrender this in prayer, in lament, praise, exhortation, and pleas.

2. Donate

I know, also cliche. But did you see how Dressember was a vessel of justice this month? They raised $1.3 MILLION. The work that they will be able to do is incredible. Rescue missions, aftercare, awareness, etc. That million wasn’t raised by a single donation. That’s the composition of donations, small and large. If you can’t personally go into ministry this way, then SEND.

3. Share

William Wilberforce is one of biggest heroes. He worked to end slavery in Britain and he is quoted to have said: “You may choose to look the other way but you can never say again that you did not know”. Wow. I love that so much. How quickly we look away so our hearts don’t hurt as much and we can continue in the comfort of our innocence. But now you know! Our responsibility as global citizens is to educate others, educate ourselves, and to raise children and communities where the youth is nurtured, cared for, and aware. Awareness won’t eradicate sex trafficking but neither will rescue. We must work hand in hand to combat sex trafficking.

4. Be vessels of justice

Be asking yourself what need is presented in your immediate community. Be mobilizing justice in your own circle. If you see suspicious activity? Report it. Those reports lead to busts more frequently than people know. Do you see vulnerable demographics in your town (foster kids, low income, etc)? Reach out to them, and don’t let vulnerable circumstances win again. Be a bearer of justice in the small ways, they add up.

5. Don’t normalize stigmas

One of my biggest pet peeves is how casually teenagers throw around the phrases “Ho, whore, pimp” and the like. Or to joke about those who are prostitutes. Recognize that prostitution isn’t a profession and to joke about resorting to that if you fail a class isn’t funny. If we continue to make light of this issue the issue will dim in it’s severity. Don’t be a part of the problem in this regard and speak up if your friends or company are.

6. Don’t feed the problem

So many purchases made exploit and people are not aware of the harm their dollar has. Labor trafficking goes hand in hand with sex trafficking and we are not allow to cherry pick which sort of exploitation we care about. Look at your coffee, your chocolate, your clothes. So many big names exploit and keep people in poverty. You can actually calculate your slavery imprint here. I’m not perfect at this (I fail in many ways) but let’s start to change that. Shop fair trade, buy local, and cut out the purchases that you know exploit. Another big industry that feeds the problem is more overt and is pornography. Pornography is not only detrimental in interpersonal and emotional ways, but also exploits the women that are victimized by the porn industry. Sure, it looks a little more glamorous but the exploitation remains the same. Check out Fight the New Drug for more information.

Dressember is a start. I hope that after this month your heart is more broken and bent towards this cause that you will be open to how you can be a part of the solution. This list is not exhaustive but there are ways in the daily that we can be actively combating sex trafficking. Friends, let our hearts be broken by what breaks God’s today.