The Real Problem of the World Water Crisis

Water, water everywhere and not a drop to drink!

My Dad used to quote this when I was a kid. I later learned it’s taken from “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner” by Samuel Taylor Coleridge. It refers to a story of sailors at sea with no drinking water on board, unable to drink the salt water all around them.

But, what if you weren’t at sea? What if you looked out and saw water, but it still wasn’t drinkable?

WWD_2_Full Sized Photo Pack

As much as I might complain about having to drink water, it’s required for life and health, and there are millions (estimated 750 million people) who don’t have safe water readily available to them. This is a real problem – and a serious one.

March 22 is World Water Day, a day set aside to bring awareness to the World Water Crisis. Every year, water-related illnesses, poor sanitation, and lack of hygiene claim the lives of 840,000 people . . . and tragically, 90 percent of them are children. (Want to talk about things getting real? That’s around 756,000 children!)

WWD_5_Full Sized Photo Pack

It’s not just about drinking contaminated water, there are also the real dangers of women and children walking for miles to wait in line for water, possibly becoming prey for sexual predators, and then walking the same miles back carrying jerry cans with up to 40 lbs of water for their family.

The World Help staff did their best to carry these jerry cans in this humorous video:

Lifting Kirinda’s Burden | World Help from World Help on Vimeo.

As a World Help blogger, I want to help shine the light on this real problem. For World Water Day, World Help is focusing our efforts on the Ugandan community of Kirinda. Its children have been victims of the effects of contaminated drinking water for generations. World Help hopes to provide clean water to all 2,000 people in the region through a variety of clean-water projects.

Would you be able to help, even in a small way, to help provide water for Kirinda? Learn more or give here.

While this post did take longer than 5 minutes to write, I was inspired to go through with it because of the #fmfparty prompt of “Real” this week, so I’m linking up with Kate Motaung and the Five Minute Friday bloggers.

Do you have a plan for the year?

Every week a group of writers get together online, centered on a word prompt by Kate Motaung, to help us write free-style for five minutes. There’s more to it than that, but you get the gist of it. So, welcome (or welcome back) to Five Minute Friday.

Prompt:  Plan.

Griffin_planner

I love the smell of a new year. A blank year planner is one of the most exciting things. The year could contain anything. When January 1 hit, many of us made resolutions, and some, wishing to avoid resolution failure, chose words for the year instead. Others, attempting to completely side-step that trend, just considered a rough outline of what it would be great to accomplish in 2015.

I’ve been a fan of the one word concept for a couple years now. God’s been working on my heart in certain ways and I came up with a word rather easily. But I never blogged about it. I never took the time to put it to words and cement it in the stone of the interwebs. I had a plan, but not a very concrete one.

This my fifth year of blogging. It’s high time I revise my About page and one thing I’ve been wanting to do is let my readers know how often I plan to blog. This helps you know what to expect of me and gives me a target to shoot for. Once a month or less isn’t exactly what I had in mind when I began blogging four years ago. It’s time to update my plan.

I help my church with communications and it’s been a learn-by-the-seat-of-your-pants experience, which I mostly love. Thanks to the aforementioned internet, there are more experienced communicators who I get to learn from. The buzzword in communications, church or otherwise, is to have a communications strategy. To know what, when and why you want to accomplish when sharing about your organization. A fancy word for a plan.

So, we’re nearly to the “ides of March” and if you haven’t begun to implement your plan, it’s high time to get going. I speak mostly to myself. It’s time to declare that one word for the year and get moving with a plan for 2015 before it’s half over.

So, here’s my plan. I want to blog at least once a week, so you can expect to see me more regularly. If you like my blog and don’t want to miss a post, you can subscribe to get emailed each time I post. If I did it right, the form is here, but if not, look to your right, under my picture to see where you can sign up.

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Is there a plan that you have for 2015 that you need to get started on? Would you share that in the comments below?

Since it’s now my plan, see you in less than a week!

Do you like this Five Minute Friday idea? Read all the posts for this prompt here.

 

Random sharing

This week’s Five Minute Friday prompt is “share.” The idea is that you’re supposed to take the prompt and write about it for 5 minutes. Raw, unedited thoughts put to pixels.

But I have nothing on “share,” so instead, I’m going to share five minutes of thoughts with you.

water from sky

My writing is sometimes paralyzed by looking at other writers. I see certain bloggers gaining followers, publishing a book, going to conferences. It’s hard sometimes. I dream of making it big or going viral. But realistically, I know that I’m not ready for that. I’m grateful that God is sovereign and I am not, because I would screw up so many things. I’m not ready for that the way that God has shown I’m not ready to be a mom. It’s not that it may never happen – it could – but that it’s not his plan for today.

With writing, which is the point of this exercise, I’m still hesitating. I’m still holding back. Not ready to share the full story within me. Still afraid of what others will think of me. Not willing to bare my soul and share the good, bad, and ugly. Especially the bad and ugly. Until I’m ready to be transparent, whether on this blog or with friends, until I’m ready to be vulnerable, my reach is limited. My impact is blunted.

I’m not sure where this is going or what you can get out of it by reading. Perhaps you can be equally challenged to see where you’re holding back and what you should let go of. Perhaps this is just one of those FMF posts that don’t really make a lot of sense to anyone but the writer.

At least we keep writing.

I’m linking up with Five Minute Friday.

Go where I send thee

It’s time for #fmfparty again. Five minutes to write on a word prompt. Last week it was welcome. This week, the word is send.train

And the first thing to hit my mind is the old children’s song:

Children, go where I send thee
Well, how shall I send thee?
I’m gonna send thee one by one
One for the little bitty Baby
Born of the Virgin Mary
Born, born, born in Bethlehem.

I’ll have to search youtube for the whole thing. It’s a little silly, especially when it gets stuck in your head. (Hey! I found a Hall & Oates version, who knew?)

Child, go where I send thee. And how shall I send thee?

train_graffitiWe have to be ready to go when/where God calls. And for some, like my friend, Eric Papp, or my sister’s friend, Sue Takamoto, it’s across the world. But for others, it may only be across the street.
Across the office.
Across the counter.
Where you are is where God is calling you in this moment.

Stop reading and look around you. This is where you have been sent. Is it a coffee shop? a bus? your living room? your cubicled office? a doctor’s waiting room?

Child, God is whispering for you to go where He sends you. It’s time. You are there. You have been sent. If you don’t know what comes next, pray to Him to show you who to reach out to, where to speak words of comfort, peace, healing, truth, and what to do next.

Go where I send thee.
I’m linking up with Five Minute Friday.

To the new year

Fireworks_tallWelcome new year.

Welcome blank slate. Welcome fresh start.

Welcome new challenges. Welcome the old faithful ones.

Welcome temptations. Welcome trials. Welcome hardships. Welcome stretching experiences.

Welcome new friends. Welcome unexplored places. Welcome firsts.

Welcome health; welcome sickness. Welcome riches; welcome empty pockets.

Welcome laughter; welcome sadness. Welcome births; welcome deaths.

If I truly believe God is in control and sovereign over this new year with its good and bad, joys and sorrows, easy and hard times, then I welcome them all. If…

…we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to His purpose. Romans 8:28

…then – welcome. I can’t wait to see what God has in store for His glory in 2015.

Fireworks_long

I’m linking up with Five Minute Friday.

Still

The Perfect Gift - an Advent series

I’m joining with Kate Motaung and the Five Minute Friday crowd, even though it’s way past Friday by the time this posts and I definitely took more than 5 minutes in writing.

Years ago I was home from college on Christmas break when I caught a bad cold. That same Christmas I was given a Mannheim Steamroller CD cassette (I hate to date myself, but it was a cassette). While feeling miserable and sleepy, this peaceful arrangement and hopeful lyrics were soothing to me. I listened to this song over and over and over, rewinding the tape and replaying it again and again.

Still, still, still, one can hear the falling snow…

Listen to it here; the video will begin at this song:

See why that was so peaceful and calming while I was sick?

If you ever go outside while it’s snowing, the world is hushed. All sounds are muffled, and, if you’re still enough, you can hear the snow landing on the ground or your coat in almost a shushing sound.

cat watching snowOne of the blessings of winter is the world slowing in hibernation. Tree branches are bare, flowers dormant, and cold temperatures outside keep us bundled under warm blankets inside. We need this slowing ourselves, from the busyness that sweeps us along with it.

Sleep, sleep, sleep, ’tis the eve of our Savior’s birth…

There are things we miss by racing about with our agendas and checklists. As we approach Advent, take time to be still. Sit in front of a fireplace or in a dark room lit only by the Christmas tree (whenever you may put yours up). Quiet the sounds of the TV and constant chatter – both inside and outside of your head.

The other song I find so calming on this album is Traditions of Christmas, written by Chip Davis to sum up all the warm memories that make Christmases past so heartwarming: cookies baking in the kitchen, a log crackling on the fire, laughter of family and friends nearby, the soft sound of snow falling outside, lingering scents of evergreen and cranberry, and the familiar strains of beloved carols. It’s everything I remember Christmas being as a child.

Dream, dream, dream of the joyous day to come…

If all Advent means is a baby born long ago, then there is no hope, no dream for the future. But it’s more than that. With Advent, we remember the birth in the past and look forward to God returning to earth to claim those who are His.

Are you ready to begin seeking him in earnest as we count the days toward Christmas?

***

I’m linking up with:

152 Insights to My Soul

Day 24: How dare you?

I haven’t participated in Five Minute Fridays for a few months and this month doesn’t seem like the best time to jump back in – and yet, through the #write31days challenge, I’m reading a lot of great FMF posts and I’m inspired.

This week, the word prompt is “Dare.” So, I will attempt to entertain you with some of my inner self talk presently taking place:

HOW DARE YOU? 

Excuse me?

Who do you think you are? You post such brave and challenging things aimed at others, but what about you? You don’t dare show your own weaknesses or put too much spotlight on your own idols and kingdoms. How dare you?

Well, I thought, maybe…

YOU thought. There’s your first mistake. Look, you write a nice blog and have some talent at stringing words together, but you’re no studied theologian. Six years at Liberty University doesn’t exactly qualify you to preach to others or point out their weaknesses.

I know. Look, it’s difficult. I feel the pull to share hard things but don’t feel like I have the qualifications to speak. It’s partly what tied my hands and shut my mouth this past year. I look at my failings (repeated ones sometimes) and I’m desperately looking for someone to help me through it. Finding no one, I write. Yes, I’m writing to others, because it sounds silly to write posts directed to “Dear Me.” But what I write is for me. I’m not trying to become famous or get a book deal. I just want to help others who may be hurting as much as I am.

Oh, well, when you put it that way…

LOL – I went over the five minutes, but was amused by arguing with myself. The truth is, I laid out where I want to go in this post, but I’m pretty scared about actually going there. It means talking about hard things that may upset some people. It means talking about the things in myself that I’d much prefer remain hidden. And, I suppose, they can still remain hidden – so I need to determine how much to actually put out there in the interwebs, where my mom, family members, friends, and possibly coworkers may see it. I’m awed by the bloggers who put themselves out there on a regular basis, but I don’t know if I’m ready to be one.

All right now, in some ways this feels like stalling. I’d better get to the serious writing. 🙂 See you as we press on through 31 days of crushing your kingdoms.

bold_crushing

I’m also linking up with Five Minute Friday:     

 

A Whisper is Better than Silence

Sometimes you can only speak in a whisper. I recently overheard two college girls where one was explaining that she had laryngitis and could only speak in a whisper at that time.

I haven’t had laryngitis, but my blog has been little more than a whisper this summer. Life has been so full with family, major projects at  church, additional responsibilities, illness, camp, etc., etc., that I had to set blogging aside for a while.

Sponsorship_Rwanda_Photo-PackAnd then inertia sets in. And as any introvert knows, the longer you stay silent, the harder it is to speak.

Using our voice, changing our world.

This is the blogger motto for World Help bloggers. I’ve technically been a #WHblogger for almost a year now, but my whisper has not been heard. I haven’t spoken up, in part, because I’ve been afraid that my little voice in my little corner of the internet wouldn’t have much impact. I know, it makes little sense, since not saying anything has zero impact.

So, I’m starting with a whisper today:

A – I’m back and blogging (yay!).

B – World Help is a solid non-profit that has been on my radar for years. Founded by one of my college professors, Vernon Brewer, World Help is a faith-based organization that meets the spiritual and physical needs of millions of people around the world through child advocacy, humanitarian aid, education & sustainability, and community development. This video gives a window into some of the work that World Help has been involved with recently:

 

Thanks for listening to my whisper today. I look forward to sharing more soon.

This post is also linked up with Five Minute Friday – prompt is whisper.

              World

Where is the Joy?

Welcome back to Five Minute Friday. The general idea is to receive a prompt word and write about it for 5 minutes. No major editing, no fixing things to make the perfect post. It’s about writing.

This week, I left it really raw. It was one of those words that I wanted to overlook, but I stepped up to the challenge to write anyway. What follows is a rough estimation of how my brain works. I like where we finally ended up, but the getting-there was H-A-R-D. Disclaimer: I went way over 5 minutes, but you’ll see why.

This week, the prompt is Joy.

————

The clock is ticking… The meter’s running… 

And I sit and try to figure out what in the world I could say about joy.

|    |    |    |    |    ← the cursor keeps blinking at me.

The Bible is filled with promises of joy. The 2nd fruit of the Spirit: love, joy, peace…

But I don’t feel it. Life is hard sometimes and my joy seems to dissipate like morning fog as the sun rises.

Nope. No.

I don’t remember a joyful moment today.

And I wrestle with how that balances with the people who are bubbling over with joy so much of the time.

I remember how, just before Christmas, a friend had a really exciting thing happen in her family. She couldn’t contain her joy (rightfully so!). One day she shouted on Facebook, “JESUS IS SO GOOD!”

At the time I was working through Advent, preparing to greet the Christ-child anew in celebration of his birth. My heart was raw, wounded, and sore. I mulled over her triumphant shout, happy for her, aching for me. It struck me at the time, that while I couldn’t shout in joy that God is good, I could still whisper it in pain. I could sob it in prayer.

Jesus is so good.

God even used that to allow me to encourage a few other people during the Advent season, to shyly show a tiny window of my pain so that someone else’s day would be brightened. There was a quiet joy in that.

Joy God is good

Back to today. A joyless day? God is still so good.

But my heart aches. God is so good.

And today’s problems will still be here tomorrow. He is good.

But I just want to scream out my frustrations! Jesus is so good!

joy.

Today is the first day of spring. We’re between the two holidays of Christmas and Easter. The joy at the manger to the joy of the cross. You see that now, right? The sorrow has a bright side. God is so good. He orchestrates everything for good, for His glory.

The joy of today is that even on a hard, exhausting, stressful day, God is so good.

Joy!

————

You can read more of this week’s Five Minute Friday posts here – Joy.

I’m linked up with:

Five Minute Friday       

Just Write

This was my Five Minute Friday post from a couple weeks ago. The prompt was encouragement, but it fits today’s prompt, write, so well.
Just write, Friends.

Claygirlsings

Joining Five Minute Friday for the first time this year. The writing prompt is encouragement. Set a timer and write for 5 minutes. Go.

This is my first post since mid-November.

Sad, really. I posted daily through October, but then burned out the rest of the year.

It’s because if I can’t have a perfect post, I don’t post at all. If I can’t put an image that inspires next to my words, it’s not worth the time. If I can’t be an Ann Voskamp or Emily Freeman or Mary DeMuth (or Lisa-Jo), why even try?

Of course, you see the lie. I do, too, when I look.
A) God didn’t make me to be those women. I can reach people that they may never have the chance to reach.
B) They didn’t start at the top. They started with faithfully writing and asking God to guide their words…

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  • Hi, I'm Janice. I'm part bookworm and part creative. I love both science and music (and the science of music). I'm stumbling around trying to grow closer to God. Click the photo to read more about me.

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