My Birthday Thoughts, a New Favorite Number, and a Word for the Year - Rachel Teodoro

My Birthday Thoughts, a New Favorite Number, and a Word for the Year

Do you have a lucky number? I always thought mine was seven. My birthday is on September 7 of '78 (today!) and I weighed 7 pounds and 7 ounces at birth. I kind of clung to the number seven and I've used it nearly every time I've needed to pick a number. I can't think of a single time when it's been lucky for me. I always say that when my name or ticket is entered into a drawing that it's really just in there for filler. I never win anything. As they say, some people have all the luck. I'm just not one of those people. 

My youngest son started telling me about his favorite number. Number 64 in case you were wondering. He says he sees it everywhere. I kind of like the idea of throwing away the idea of a lucky number and starting to think of a favorite number. 

Know what number I've been seeing everywhere lately? The number 39. It's kind of fitting because today I turn 39. I'm starting the final year of my 30's and I'm inching closer to a milestone birthday. I'm ready for it. With that in mind, I want to share something I've been thinking about a lot and a word I'm using that will shape my year.

STAND
MLK Jr quote about silence

Do you ever sit in church and think that the sermon is being preached only to you? Yep, that was what happened this past week. And while, I know there were several different ways to interpret the message, and I kept trying to focus on the one that was being preached, I couldn't help but think about how it tied in to something else on my heart.
Our pastor was preaching on Ephesians 6: 10-20. In the first seven verses of that passage, the word stand is used 4 times. 

10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
The message the pastor was trying to make is this:

 We are called to engage in the battle. How have you been responding? 

You might ask, what battle? 

There is war raging constantly. 

Simply open up the news and spend five minutes scrolling through. I did this morning and I see posts of natural disasters, marriages and families that are failing, greed, racism, inequality not to mention real actual battle wars taking place.

I couldn't help but think of this:


This is the whole verse in Proverbs 31:8 

"Speak out for justice! Stand up for the poor and destitute!"

I have always been passionate about helping others. 

It's important for me to speak up for what I know is right and true. It's why when I hear about injustice, I speak out. It's why the word, stand stood out to me in those verses above.

It's why when I hear about a famine that no one else is talking about, I start talking about it. It's why when I hear about girls being forced into early marriage and sexual slavery I share their story. It's why when I see children taking on adult responsibilities because they have no other way, I tell you about them. It's why when I hear about families who have lost everything and are displaced, I want to share with you how to respond. It's why when nearly 1,000 children under the age of 5 DIE EVERY DAY from preventable causes, I share ways that you can help be part of the solution. I want you to see a face and hear a name. I want you to be able to see those people the way that God sees those people.

I want to stand with them.

It's why I share articles and current news events on my blog and social media channels. I'm not an eloquent speaker, I don't have a platform or an agenda, I simply have my voice and I want to be heard, not because I think I have something important to say that hasn't been said before, but because the lives of those that are affected by these injustices is important.

It's so very easy for me to slip into my comfortable American lifestyle. I have to be intentional about remembering the needs of those around me. I have been consumed by news of hurricanes and those lives that have been affected in the Houston area and now in the Caribbean and I pray for them, but I have forgotten to be praying for those people who have been forcibly displaced and the millions in refugee camps right now because I've been distracted.

This year, as I enter my final year of my 30's, I will stand. I will speak out and share stories of lives that matter. I'm asking that you stand too. The best way you can do this is by choosing a child to sponsor through World Vision, an organization that is near and dear to my heart

You can find a child and be their person. Stand with them this year. Teach your children how to stand up for them. Share their faces and their story and stop being silent just because you want to be polite.

african hut in uganda
Moses, one of my sponsored children at his home in Uganda, Africa

Remember my favorite number? My goal is to connect 39 children with sponsors. I'm well on my way with 26 children already connected. Will you help me reach my goal to stand for these children and their families?

Want to focus on a cause that is important to you? While great work is being done all over the world through World Vision, these are areas of focus in these particular places.

Select a child at risk for trafficking and abuse in Bangladesh

Help focus on economic empowerment in Dominican Republic and Rawanda

Provide access to clean water to every child in Ethiopia

Focus on gender based violence in Lebanon

Stand with and support those displaced and affected by war in Syria 



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6 comments

Lucy G. Nichols said...

First of all, Happy 39th. I too am a September person hitting a milestone birthday this year on the 19th. However my milestone is far from 40. I will be 75. I knew I would get old someday but it has snuck up on me. In my mind I'm much younger. Also my second son was born on 7/7 and weighed 7/7 so I suppose he could call that a lucky number.

I appreciate your compassion for those children who are in need. I too have a heart for those children. Through Compassion International, we support two children and through Gospel for Asia, we have two children that we support. Both are wonderful organizations that minister to needy children throughout the world.

Thank you for the time you spend writing. your blog. I do enjoy reading it.

Lucy Nichols
Albuquerque, NM<

Jewell MARtin said...

Happy birthday! 39 is a wonderful year. It's full of the initiative to finish projects you've started, physical and emotional; to clear your heart of regrets of what happened or what you thought should have happened; to make plans for the near and far future. Why, 39 is not even middle age! And if you haven't really stood before, you have a great opportunity to stand now. You are mature enough to evaluate the 1000s of needs pulling at your heart, and maybe wealthy and healthy enough to become personally involved, even to visit and help hands on. "It's your life girl and you have to live it". God bless you.

Rachel Teodoro said...

Thank you both for your thoughts! I love that I speak to others who have a heart for standing with the marginalized too. Fist bump girls!

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Michelle Paige said...

Happy Birthday! Love hearing your voice, especially about this topic and Compassion International. We have a sponsor child through Compassion as well. I recently did Priscilla Shirer's study called The Armor of God, based on those verses you mentioned. It was so powerful!

Abbey Co. Seattle said...

Love this post! My birthday is Sept 12th - so I have been doing lots of birthday reflecting too :)

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