I wanted to share with you that I had the chance to do a guest post yesterday on Lemon and Raspberry’s New Year’s Day Blog Party! What a fun way to start 2013 and so much available in one day.
Amy always provides lots of information and motivation for all kinds of business and personal projects throughout the year and this is the way she kicks it off.
You’ll find tips and inspiration about Memory Keeping, Blogging, Photography, Travel, Marketing and just general creativity and productivity. She also provides creative prompts for journaling the details of your life.
My post is called Memory Keeping with a Purpose. If you have a few minutes stop by and say hi to Amy, check it out and tell her that I sent you. She’s running a free mini online workshop and several giveaways as part of the New Year’s Blog Party, so sign up to participate or for a chance to win one of the prizes.
Have you ever been touched by the vision and goals of a particular non-profit and struggled with the fact that you didn’t have the money to write them a big check? I have. I’ve also wondered what I could do with my life and limited resources to help so many of the worthy causes that I encounter.
Early in our marriage, when our growing family was trying to stretch every penny I realized that in many cases my time and talents were just as important as my dollars. It was then that I committed to give a portion of my time, gifts and talents to serve and assist at church and various non-profits that were close to my heart. It was and still is the LEAST I can do!
With that in mind, a few years ago I was given the opportunity to go on a short-term missions trip to Bosnia and Herzegovina through our church. Short-term missions was something that I had always wanted to do. I love to travel and love to help people, but circumstances had prevented it in the past. Now God was opening the door for me to be able to “Travel with Purpose“. My first trip was with my husband and another couple and because of my photography hobby I was asked to participate on the trip using that skill set. I had the privilege of:
documenting all the details of the outreach and ministry on the trip in pictures to share with others when we returned
taking photos of the children that were sponsored by our church so that their sponsors in the U.S. could see how they were coming along
taking photos of a missionary family, along with their home, neighborhood, church etc. so we could report on their progress to those supporting them at home – Soon after our visit they had to return to the U.S. unexpectedly for medical reasons and the photo book that I was able to create was a tangible reminder of their time serving in Bosnia.
What a thrill it was to be able to contribute out of my gifting! If you’d like to see a few of my favorites, you can check them out at Flickr here.
And it didn’t stop there! Last year I was working part time with a non-profit called Greater Reach Ministries (now Global Training Institute for Women – GTIW). They were in the planning stages of a training program that reaches around the planet to unleash influential women to impact their world. They were embarking on a vision trip to Israel & Jordan to meet with women and discover how GTIW might come alongside them to assist with encouraging, training, empowering, and releasing women to be all that they were created to be. Again, I was invited to join the team! I was so excited to be able to help with documenting the women and the culture in those countries so that we could bring back images to help convey the message of the ministry and the needs in the Arab world! And here’s a link to some of my favorites from this trip.
Now I have a new opportunity! This same ministry, GTIW will be conducting their first training session in May of this year in the Middle East and I’ve been asked to come along. This time I will document the sessions in pictures, as well as assisting the Team Mobilization Director with the many logistical and administrative tasks that will be involved in bringing the training team from the U.S. and about 20 women from 5 different Arab countries to the training location overseas. The photos will be used to raise awareness and funds for future training sessions and my administrative support should help this first session to run smoothly while lightening the load for the Director. I’m so thrilled at the chance to use what God has given me to help others.
How about you?
Have you found ways to use your gifts and talents to help where the need is greatest? Or perhaps you’ve been blessed with the financial resources to help others. We were not all meant to do the traveling. Some of us have the opportunity to help others fulfill their vision by responding financially. Is that your contribution to furthering these noble causes? If so, I would love for you to consider a gift to help me travel to the Middle East. My financial goal is only $2700 and $1000 has already been raised. This brings me almost halfway to my goal. Would you be willing to contribute $5, 50 or even $500? Every dollar really does count! None of it goes into my pocket. And the donations are tax deductible since GTIW is a 501(c)(3) non-profit!
If you’d like to help pay for the expenses of the trip, please go to the GTIW Support Page here and select my name (Nancy Hann) from the team member drop-down menu. Or if you’d rather mail a check, it should be made out to Global Training Institute for Women (or GTIW is fine), butPLEASE include my name in the address on your envelope or on a separate piece of paper so we know whose account it should be credited to:
8283 N. Hayden Road, Suite # 258
Scottsdale, AZ 85258
Thank you so much for considering a contribution. Every little bit helps. Feel free to come back and see the progress on the blue thermometer in the sidebar!
Have you had a chance to “Travel with Purpose”? Where did you go and what did you do? I’d LOVE to hear about it!
This week I finished two different Blurb books for a non-profit organization that I help out part time. I love creating these books and thinking of new ways to use them to help others.
The first book that I finished this month was a (200-page) 12″ x 12″ photo book that captured the trip that I was privileged to go on in October of 2011. I joined a team of 7 other women and 1 man who traveled to Israel and Jordan to gather information and talk to women in the Arab World about an upcoming training program that’s being offered by the Global Training Institute for Women (GTIW aka Greater Reach Ministries) beginning in May 2012. The 6 training sessions will take place over a 3-year period. Their goal is to see transformed women who are rooted in their biblical identity and have a clear understanding of their spiritual gifts, resulting in courageously leading other women to the same truth. They hope to take at least 20 Christian Arab women leaders through this program and in the future expand into Eastern Europe and the U.S. as well.
Our hope is that the photos I took on the trip will help them to spread the word about the need for training and the vision of GTIW and help raise funds to pay for the women who have limited income to attend the training. They’ve also asked me to join them in May as the photographer/historian at the first training session in the Arab World.
If you’d like to get a sampling of the big book, you can check it out here. The photos of the people that we met with have been omitted from the online book preview for their own security, since some Christians and Muslim Background Believers risk their lives in professing their faith in Christ.
The second book that I created is a personal Prayer Journal that contains 31 blank pages to write in and a page with scripture and a photo from the Holy Land for every 7 blank pages. If you’d like to see a full preview of the journal, please take a look here.
All proceeds from both books help to fund the Global Training Institute for Women… So after you see it, if you decide you’d like to order a few for yourself or as a gift, please use this link and get 15% off your whole order with the discount code 15OFFBLURB (all caps).
f you write a page each day in the journal, it will last a full month. If you write less than a page, then the journal will cover a longer period of time. In the future we may be researching other printing options to lower the cost and increase the fund-raising dollars per book and be able to increase the page count as well. Plus we’ll be creating new designs with different photos and possibly a planner/calendar layout too!
For more information about the ministry or if you would like to contribute directly, please visit the website to donate at GreaterReach.com, send a check to the address below or contact them at:
Global Training Institute for Women
8283 N. Hayden Road, Suite 258
Scottsdale, AZ 85258
Be sure to tell them where you heard about it! And let me know your thoughts on what you’d like to see in future book products as well. Thanks so much!
I’m interrupting my stories about Scotland to celebrate my 600th post by doing a little catch up on what’s going on in my life at this moment.
Today I’m in downtown L.A. I’m here to attend BlogWorld Social Media Business Summit & New Media Expo (#BWELA)! I’m really excited about the avalanche of workshops that I will encounter over the next 3 days and can’t wait to get started sorting out which ones I’ll attend in person and which I’ll listen to after the conference.
BUT, before I dive into the conference I wanted to share a little of what inspired me today. You see, not so very long ago I lived in a suburb of L.A. In fact I lived just about 40 miles north of here for 18 years. And while we didn’t come into the “city” frequently, we did have a chance to enjoy the benefits occasionally. I’m not really a city girl, I’m fairly certain that I wouldn’t want to live here, but I love visiting. Something about the soaring skyline and bustling traffic energizes me. I get the feeling that important things are happening here. Deals are being brokered, historic decisions are being made and ideas emerge here that are changing the world.
These are just a few of the things that inspire me about L.A.:
Passing billboards about new TV shows and movies (do you see that in your town?)
Enjoying dinner outdoors in November
Landing on radio stations in 7 or 8 different languages
The city skyline – it’s breathtaking
Exit signs for Little Armenia, and Historic Filipinotown
Realizing that the Pacific Ocean is just minutes away.
Appreciating all the sculptures and great architecture in downtown
Remembering that they have an “all news-all the time” radio station (AM1070). I miss that.
Celebrating the fact that the L.A. Philharmonic plays regularly at two awesome venues – The Walt Disney Concert Hall (see below) and the Hollywood Bowl (one of my absolute favorites). I miss that too.
So here’s how my day went in this inspiring city…
I drove from the Burbank airport this morning and met my daughter and son-in-law for breakfast (which I don’t get to do nearly as often as I’d like). Amy and Andrew are a couple of inspiring people too, but that story will have to wait for another time. I enjoyed a few hours with them, then headed down to the hotel where I’ll be staying for the duration of the conference.
On the way there, I passed the AMAZING, Frank Gehry designed, Walt Disney Concert Hall just a few blocks from the hotel. After checking in, it was such a gorgeous day that I decided to walk there. If you’ve never seen it in person, you really should make a point to go. I would love to take a tour and would especially love to attend a performance there. I understand that the acoustics in the auditorium are nearly perfect. Another fun tidbit is that there’s a small theater and gallery space in one corner of the Hall, called REDCAT (Roy and Edna Disney CalArts Theater). I used to work at CalArts (California Institute of the Arts) when REDCAT was being built and the staff and student body were anxiously awaiting it’s completion, so I have a bit of a vested interest in the place.
Anyway, here are a few photos of this awe inspiring complex.
The amazing thing is not so much imagining the building, but actually making it come to life with all those curves and waves. It’s spectacular!
While there I stopped in the gift shop because these places are just dripping with culture and creativity. I saw this great T-shirt and a bunch of other inspirational items, but it wasn’t really a shopping day for me, and I can’t really afford a $120 scarf no matter how beautiful it is, so I had to pass on all but a couple of little things that I picked up for Christmas gifts.
After dinner, I had a chance to go out and play a little with my camera and here’s a fun shot.
So now, it’s off to bed to rest up for 3 days of inspiration and information to come.
Have you ever been to Los Angeles? If not, what do you find inspiring about your own town?
O.k., so its clear that you’re probably not getting much inspiration from me lately, but I do have a recommendation for you to check out someone who is a prolific blogger. And this week, she’s running an online Blogging Workshop on “Lemon and Raspberry” called Better Blog Content 2.0. You can find all the details here.
Full disclosure: she happens to be my daughter, but that doesn’t mean that she doesn’t have great stuff to share and to help you in the blogging world. In fact this might just inspire me to start posting again. See, this post is proof that it’s working already. 🙂 I love this picture of her from some recent “outtakes” at her home photo shoot. Note the raspberry lemonade in the photo for her “Lemon and Raspberry” blog. Clever huh?
But, it’s getting more and more difficult for me to choose what to blog about. We just added a few more events to the list. Last week I helped my dear friend, Linda on a photo shoot with her daughter-in-law and granddaughters, which was a blast! I’ll post more on that.
Then I went with my husband and the Ryans to Tucson to hear my husband and Bob perform at the Tucson Folk Festival. I promise, soon I’ll post about that trip, as well as an awesome Mexican restaurant that we visited there. It’s a place that you won’t want to miss if you’re in the Tucson area and are hungry for Mexican food. Stay tuned for all that and more to come.
Thanks for hanging in there with me during this busy time of life.
So…in case you were wondering, we did make it out of the mountains on Monday last week. But not before we enjoyed dozens of quiet hours together by a warm crackling fire, watched all 10 episodes of the mini-series “The Pacific”, and had a chance to take some shots of the beautiful aftermath of the storm. (Don’t forget to click to enlarge the pictures.)
I loved these icicles, especially against the blue sky!
Every once in a while I need to set up the tri-pod so that we can have proof that I was actually on our trips.
This is what it looked like after the snow plow came through to clear the long driveway. Our car is buried under the snow there on the right. We still had a little more digging out to do.
This was just crazy! When we walked to the end of the driveway we found this SUV parked in the middle of the road right where we needed to drive to get out. As we walked around trying to figure out why it might have been left there we noticed that the doors were unlocked and the keys were still in it. AND we saw clear evidence that someone (presumably the driver) had taken a pee in the snow by the side of the road. So….what would you guess was the scenario there? We have no idea. Fortunately, when it was time for us to leave the car was gone and we’re hoping that it was driven away by the owner.
This was a view from under a covered patio where the snow and ice from the roof was in the process of sliding off. The ice was really thick, so it’s not a place that you would want to be when it finally landed.
I just love the contrast of the blue sky to the snow covered trees in this one.
I had some roses left from Valentine’s Day and Terry suggested that I take a few pictures of them in the snow. This is one of my favorites.
Thanks for sharing the adventure with us. We had an amazing time!
How do you feel about snow? Do you love it? Do you hate it? Have you ever been snowed in?