Musings, Social Work

Beautiful Ideas Help the World: ASIA {Hand and Cloth Giveaway}

December 23, 2012

Sanaih kantha
Sanaih pantha Sanaih
parvata langhanam.

Slowly one stitches rags,
Slowly one traverses the path
And slowly one climbs to the top of the mountain.

-Traditional Bengali Sloka

Home, my friends. We fly home on Christmas morning. Ready to unwrap the gift of 2013.

As the blog rests quietly during this last stretch of December and we amble down from our mountaintop milestone of completing a year of travel abroad, I’m happy to share my final Beautiful Ideas Help the World post of 2012.

While moving from continent to continent, living out of a backpack, I’ve been unable to pack souvenirs home for everyone, but I’m grateful to be hosting giveaways along with each Beautiful Ideas post, offering friends and readers a little chance at something special from overseas while highlighting projects impacting lives through beauty, creativity, and entrepreneurship.

Feature Four: Hand & Cloth: Bangladesh
Enter to be in the giveaway for this beautiful, one-of-a-kind Hand & Cloth “No. 2” blanket from the Blue & Gray Silk Collection by leaving a comment; read below for the full story.

How do you enter to win this lovely green and gold and blue hand-stitched silk blanket?

Easy!

I’m not a fan of gimmicky giveaways, so I’m not requiring tweets or follows, but I’m providing links to Hand & Cloth, and I’d love to invite you to follow the project’s story and think about purchasing from them the next time you want your dollars and cents to go toward something beautiful.

To enter the giveaway, simply leave a comment below answering one of the following questions. (Leave a second comment answering the other question if you’d like to enter twice.)

A) What mountain top (literal or figurative) have you reached after a series of diligent footsteps?

B) What reminder makes you feel most comfortable in your own skin?

Giveaway is open to anyone, anywhere. (That means you lovely international readers as well!) All you need is a mailing address. Winner will be chosen at random and notified by email. If winner does not respond within 48 hours, a new winner will be selected and notified. See here for full giveaway terms and details.

Giveaway closes at 11:59pm Pacific Standard Time (that’s Oregon!), on Saturday, January 5th (the one-year anniversary of the beginning of our journey around the world).


This story is special to me in particular at this homecoming-time. Two very precious and beautiful Hand & Cloth blankets are among the remaining possessions that I kept packed away after throwing antiques from covered wagons..and when I think of returning to Oregon and feeling rooted in my surroundings, I think of the feeling of these blankets against my skin.

Hand & Cloth sells handmade kantha blankets crafted by at-risk women in Bangladesh empowered to leave the red-light life through transitional job training opportunities 1 and the ability to develop leadership and entrepreneurial skills in the context of a supportive, faith-based environment.

Kantha Blankets
In Sanskrit, the word kantha simply means rags; yet this story of kantha blankets is one of fabric and lives transformed into treasures.

I’ve purchased four Hand & Cloth kantha blankets over the years, both as gifts and personal keepsakes. They are not snatched off of registries or available at any department store; they are crafted one by one, each unique, like the precious women who make them and like the life stories they and we are leading in vast and varied corners of the world.

The Kantha Tradition:

For centuries, poor Bengali women have taken their discarded cloth and sewn them together with a simple running stitch to create something new. The functional kantha dorokha (“two-sided quilt”) was not a work of art, but simply what the poorest families used to keep warm. Kantha also had an aspect of intimacy. Old cloth in Bangladesh is said to keep the user safe from harm. Women stitched kantha for their loved ones–for their children, their husbands, their parents. The earliest known mention of the Bengali kantha is five hundred years old–in Krishnadas Kaviraj’s Sri Sri Chaitanya Charitamrita, he refers to a kantha sent to him by his mother…

Even the most practical kantha is creative and spontaneous in nature. It is no easy task to create a functional quilt out of old, worn rags! Overtime, a more elaborate nakshi kantha tradition developed. Most kantha was made by illiterate women who would stitch stories into their quilts–which often would take years to complete. The same kantha is known to have been worked on by a grandmother, mother, and daughter. Many of the kantha motifs reflect the needlewoman’s desire for happiness, marriage, and fertility. These women would then “autograph” their pieces either with their name or by indicating their relationship with the person for whom the kantha is intended.

When I first read about Sarah Aulie’s work with Hand & Cloth (formerly “Hatha Ka Bana2), my mother in law was recently home from a meaningful trip to India, and Ted and I ordered a blanket to give her as a Christmas gift.

I was so inspired by the story of these blankets’ creation that I ordered one for myself as well, happy to know that the investment of money was going to women who could know the tangible benefit of honorably earned cash.

My first blanket, light blue and aqua, with hints of gold along the trim, joined our home early in our married life and became a centerpiece in our living room over the next handful of years. That soft and perfectly imperfect blanket graced each of our dwellings: our little country cottage in the Willamette Valley, then our second-story duplex carved from a cute old 1890s Portland house, and finally our 1960s cube at the Stepping Stones apartment project. In 2010, my best friend got married, and I chose another beautiful, sari blanket – this one fuchsia pink with more gorgeous gold – as a wedding gift that could be treasured for always.

At that same time, I took the opportunity to order another for my home as a little experiment. Life felt unsettled, external signals were chaotic, and in the face of unknowns, I chose to use my new olive green and gold blanket to create a spiritual space, dedicating it as a mantle of sorts – a comfort to remind me, when wrapped in its luxurious folds on a cold morning, drinking steaming tea and reading words of Life, that I was a loved and cherished daughter of a King, at home in my own skin. No matter the outward surroundings, the circumstances or the settings, the truth was true, and the tangible silk reminder honored the life of the woman who made it and the life that God had given me.


My two treasured Hand & Cloth blankets: one blue and cottony soft, the other silky smooth and olive green, each crafted beautifully with perfectly imperfect stitches, each made by the hand of a woman I’ll never know and will always remember.


When we sold off and gave away many of our possessions, I kept this special trunk of keepsakes packed away for our return.

Paring down our possessions was a great exercise in liberty and gratefulness. The exhilaration of living with life literally strapped to our backs has given us new perspective on the meaning of “essentials.”

Now, as we prepare to come home and engage our roots, I anticipate returning to the comforts of those few particular familiar treasures we kept and the reminder (when I’ll need it most) that while my external world is constantly shifting, I am, above anything, a loved and cherished daughter of a King, at home in my own skin.

Hand & Cloth’s vision is powerful: Through dignified work and the Word of God, Hand & Cloth offers livelihood and Life to women at-risk.

Old Testament writers used the Hebrew word רפא (rapha) to refer to healing, especially divine healing. More literally, rapha means to sew together or to stitch. And so our name, Hand & Cloth, is an image not only of the creative work women are doing, but also of the creative, healing work God is doing in their lives. As each product is handmade by a woman, our hope is that she would come to know that she is handmade by God.


Gorgeous Images by M Lindsay Photography and Meredith Elsen for Hand & Cloth 3

I do hope you’ll enter to win this beautiful blanket from Hand & Cloth. Consider peeking at their other beautiful collections, and be sure to leave comments answering one or both of the questions above to be in the draw.

Slowly one stitches rags,
Slowly one traverses the path
And slowly one climbs to the top of the mountain.

Thank you so much for following our journey in 2012.

The story does not stop here. The future is coming. I’m excited to greet it, and I’m eager to continue sharing beautiful stories of creative and healing work all along the way…


This post is part of my Beautiful Ideas Help the World giveaway series featuring organizations I personally love, impacting lives around globe through beauty, creativity, and entrepreneurship. No tweets or follows or gimmicks are required to participate, but please consider keeping in touch and following along on our respective journeys:

twoOregonians
twoOregonians on Facebook | @twoOregonians

Hand & Cloth
Hand & Cloth on Facebook | @handandcloth

Notes:

  1. Women working for BASHA (“basha” means house and “asha” means hope in Bengali) and selling their handmade products through Hand & Cloth complete a one year job training program with MCC and CUP prior to beginning full-time work
  2. Text from the first article I read on Hatha Ka Bana, originally published in Radiant Magazine
  3. Many thanks to M Lindsay Photography and to Meredith Elsen for the beautiful kantha blanket images. I’ve always been sincerely impressed with the way Hand & Cloth uses beautiful imagery to communicate the story of these precious women and their art of renewal.

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56 Comments

  • Reply Andi of My Beautiful Adventures December 23, 2012 at 4:04 pm

    A) What mountain top (literal or figurative) have you reached after a series of diligent footsteps?

    I made a lot of business mistakes when I first started my clinic, but after a couple of years I finally started making the right decision and my clinic became really successful.

    • Reply Bethany ~ twoOregonians January 9, 2013 at 10:48 am

      I have so much respect for entrepreneurs and small business owners! It takes amazing diligence to really see a dream through from idea to success. Bravo, Andi!

  • Reply Andi of My Beautiful Adventures December 23, 2012 at 4:04 pm

    B) What reminder makes you feel most comfortable in your own skin?

    My husband smiling at me.

  • Reply Kathleen Moore December 23, 2012 at 7:54 pm

    A) What mountain top (literal or figurative) have you reached after a series of diligent footsteps?
    The mountain I climbed was giving birth to my second daughter naturally. I knew I could do it, set a goal, studied hypnobirthing and meditation and the day she was born was the most exhilarating magical thing.

  • Reply Kathleen Moore December 23, 2012 at 8:00 pm

    B) What reminder makes you feel most comfortable in your own skin?

    Looking at my grandmother’s copper tea pot, the sole belonging she carried with her on her journey from Ireland as a young girl. It now has a place of honor on my mantel. It is tarnished and dented but still functional despite its age. It reminds me so much of her- hard working, beautiful and strong. It makes me proud to have come from such linage.

    • Reply Bethany ~ twoOregonians January 9, 2013 at 10:50 am

      Kathleen, that is such a beautiful story! Thank you so much for sharing it… I have one or two family pieces as well, and I’ll treasure them always. I can just picture your grandma – “hard working, beautiful, and strong” – such an inspiring lady, I’m sure. xx

  • Reply Bonnie Joy December 23, 2012 at 8:21 pm

    A) Reaching the top of the mountain that is my Masters degree took many diligent footsteps. At times I got fed up and just wanted to run away but I didnt and I am so glad I finished it.

    • Reply Bethany ~ twoOregonians January 9, 2013 at 10:52 am

      Great work, Bonnie! That moment where you see the final check mark on the list of requirements and know you’ve completed the program = priceless! :)

  • Reply Bonnie Joy December 23, 2012 at 8:21 pm

    B) A reminder that makes me feel good in my own skin is my husband reaching out to hold my hand.

  • Reply Annie December 24, 2012 at 7:42 am

    A) What mountain top (literal or figurative) have you reached after a series of diligent footsteps?
    On our rtw honeymoon, my husband rreally wanted to climb to the Everest Base Camp. I loved the idea, but couldnt reconcile the amount of mental focus and physical commitment involved in making the trip. I was terrifed of the climb – thought about it at least once a day for months. all throughout our time in South America and our summer-y Greece travels. It seemed impossible. Once in the mountains though, I realized I was 200% capable of doing the walk as long as I believed in my heart that I could do it. It wasnt impossible. All I needed was a positive mindset and faith. I made it to the top and the experience still is one of the most amazing personal stories of growth and possibility that I have in my 31 years.

    B) What reminder makes you feel most comfortable in your own skin?
    Physical – I look at a pendant I bought at a trading post on the way to Everest Base Camp and remember that I can do anything I want, as long as I believe in myself.
    Mental – I listen to a band that has always made me feel like myself. Just one song of a band that has been with me through good and bad – it always reminds me to forget about outside pressures and be who I am.

    happy holidays guys!
    :)

    • Reply Bethany ~ twoOregonians January 9, 2013 at 10:54 am

      Holy smokes, Annie. Nice going making the climb to the Everest Base Camp. I’m so impressed. I’ve climbed just a handful of (easy) literal mountains in my life, but I know that feeling well of pushing through and knowing I could reach the summit if I just kept at it. Slow and steady strides pay off…and that feeling of accomplishment is a boost for the rest of life, isn’t it??

      Hope you’re having a great start to the new year! xx

  • Reply Ursula December 24, 2012 at 5:16 pm

    A) Mountain top — Literal- Oregon’s South Sister. Figurative (and much more difficult) — natural childbirth.

    • Reply Bethany ~ twoOregonians January 9, 2013 at 10:56 am

      South Sister! Oh my, that was a challenge for me. All the scree and the last, long stretch of scrambling to get to the top… But the views are so amazing.

      Bravo on making it through natural childbirth, and bringing your little sweetheart into the world. I’m so glad I finally got to meet her!

  • Reply Ursula December 24, 2012 at 5:18 pm

    B) A reminder that makes me feel beautiful is seeing my lovely daughter look at me with adoration. The greatest thing ever!

  • Reply Anna Costes December 25, 2012 at 5:34 pm

    Reached a mountain top after series of steps:
    Started, lived, and finished my days feeling overall better and actually happy after choosing to focus only on the positive and practice the law of attraction one month when I was seriously depressed. It was a diligent practice and I am relieved that it worked.

    • Reply Bethany ~ twoOregonians January 9, 2013 at 10:58 am

      Oh, Anna, you have all my respect for this. I know that it’s not easy at all to be in dark, slow, sluggish places, and I’m so encouraged by your story of diligence to move toward a brighter spot. I wish I could give you a big hug! Thanks so much for entering. I’ll be drawing the winner’s name in just a little bit…

  • Reply Anna Costes December 25, 2012 at 5:34 pm

    BEAUTIFUL textile!

  • Reply Susan December 26, 2012 at 11:33 am

    Mountain tops– (figuratively, intellectually)- finishing a Master’s degree while working full time, raising kids and trying to be a good wife.

    (figuratively, physical challenge)– finishing a marathon with my big sister and buddies after months of training and overcoming injury two weeks prior.

    (Literally) the South Sister, Central Oregon with husband, several children, classmates and colleagues.

    Common impression– reaching mountain tops results in commingled euphoria/exhaustion. Worth it but bittersweet.

    • Reply Bethany ~ twoOregonians January 9, 2013 at 10:59 am

      Yep, euphoria and exhaustion. You nailed it ; )

      I’m glad I got to be with you at the top of the literal mountain : )

  • Reply Jenna Osborne December 27, 2012 at 5:01 pm

    I love this cause! What beautiful pieces and what a lovely and peaceful reminder of rebirth and second chances. I cherish my blanket and someday hope to add another to our household. Thank you, Bethany for this blog (and for introducing me in the first place!!xx).

    A) What mountain top (literal or figurative) have you reached after a series of diligent footsteps?

    Running my first marathon required great mental and physical mastery and diligence. Completing it gave me the courage and confidence to accomplish other things in my life that I had previously considered impossible .

  • Reply Jenna Osborne December 27, 2012 at 5:13 pm

    B) What reminder makes you feel most comfortable in your own skin?

    “Be yourself, everyone else is already taken” – Oscar Wilde
    This quote reminds me that who I am is just fine, dandy and unique, thank you.

    • Reply Bethany ~ twoOregonians January 9, 2013 at 11:00 am

      I just love this quote : ) You are a peach, and I’m so glad to know you and to watch you live your life with diligence and confidence. You’re an inspiration. That first marathon was amazing! xx

  • Reply Tiffany December 27, 2012 at 10:16 pm

    A) What mountain top (literal or figurative) have you reached after a series of diligent footsteps?

    I equate coming into oneself, at any age, with climbing a mountain. For many years I struggled with feelings of obligation and guilt to my family, faith, and community. Instead of making choices for myself I would make decisions based on averaging the wants and desires of the people closest to me, because I thought that what they wanted/thought was right. Others possessed the ‘Truth’ for my life. When I realized that God had a much bigger plan for my life than to sit around projecting perfection or the desires/goals of others, I was able to start understanding what empathy and compassion really meant.

    B) What reminder makes you feel most comfortable in your own skin?

    I feel most comfortable being myself when i get to share something special with a friend or acquaintance. It helps me realize why I am thankful for existence. New thoughts or ideas are contagious. I love learning new things through sharing.

    • Reply Bethany ~ twoOregonians January 9, 2013 at 11:02 am

      Love this story, Tiffany. God really is so good and so big, and so liberating! The words you chose are beautiful…empathy, compassion, learning…. Keep on living a bright life and sharing it with the world.

      Thanks so much for entering the Hand & Cloth giveaway. I’ll be drawing the winning name shortly : )

  • Reply Shelley Farrell December 30, 2012 at 1:37 pm

    My mountain top is every day…. just reminding myself to take care of others in large or small ways… I like myself… but, it’s taken me most of my 61 years to be close to being the caring person, every single day, that I want to be…

  • Reply Shelley Farrell December 30, 2012 at 1:38 pm

    AND… what makes me most comfortable in my own skin?…. my children… my grandchildre. They are wonderful persons, and that reminds me that our lives together have been meaningful on this earth.

    • Reply Bethany ~ twoOregonians January 9, 2013 at 11:05 am

      Thank you so much for sharing this, Shelley… You paint a beautiful picture of the overlapping generations, and I wish you many more wonderful moments with dear family members. xx

  • Reply Claire Dixon December 30, 2012 at 2:02 pm

    A) What mountain top (literal or figurative) have you reached after a series of diligent footsteps?

    Finishing a 6 month long internship and study abroad program in Indonesia.

  • Reply Claire Dixon December 30, 2012 at 2:03 pm

    B) What reminder makes you feel most comfortable in your own skin?

    What I have was given to me without me doing anything to earn or deserve it.

    • Reply Bethany ~ twoOregonians January 9, 2013 at 11:05 am

      Such humbling truth…

  • Reply Jessina December 30, 2012 at 2:03 pm

    B) What reminder makes you feel most comfortable in your own skin?

    This thought: God is alive and magic is afoot. Or, for a place, when I am alone in the woods.

    • Reply Bethany ~ twoOregonians January 9, 2013 at 11:09 am

      I share your love of being alone in the woods, Jessina. I feel so grounded when I’m either in the kitchen cooking or out in nature, free as a bird… : )

      “True solitude is a din of birdsong, seething leaves, whirling colors, or a clamor of tracks in the snow.” ~Edward Hoagland

  • Reply Kate December 30, 2012 at 6:58 pm

    Here because I follow Hand & Cloth, and am glad to find such wonderful supporters of their work. I have donated to support them–and spread the word whenever possible–but can’t wait until the time comes when I can finally get my own kantha blanket.

    As for the answer to A) Mt. Sneffles, a 14er in Colorado (it’s fun to say it’s higher than Pike’s Peak and I climbed it! but the name is oh-so-unglamorous!)…still working on the biggest mountain of my life right now (besides being a parent to twin girls), just getting started really, since I finally have a name for it as of about 6 months ago: narcolepsy.

  • Reply Kate December 30, 2012 at 7:01 pm

    And my B) is one that I recently combined from two great phrases and entered into the “note” section of my alarm clock app so I see it first thing most days, as a reminder: “Turn your face to God. You are enough.”

    • Reply Bethany ~ twoOregonians January 9, 2013 at 11:12 am

      Thank you, Kate, for sharing this. Your stories of mountain climbs and motherhood are inspiring, too, but this reminder speaks the loudest to my heart today. Wishing you a very peaceful January.

      Thank you so much for your support of Hand & Cloth, and thank you for your entry! I’ll be drawing the winning name soon : )

  • Reply Amy Bailey December 30, 2012 at 8:10 pm

    A) What mountain top (literal or figurative) have you reached after a series of diligent footsteps?

    This current pregnancy. We tried for nearly 2 years and went through many step and difficulty trying… We are expecting a beautiful baby boy pretty soon and all is going amazing!!

    • Reply Bethany ~ twoOregonians January 9, 2013 at 11:14 am

      Congratulations to you, Amy! How exciting to be expecting a little son after so long. Wishing you and your growing family all the very best in this new year. Thank you for reading about Hand & Cloth, and thank you for your entry! Winner announced soon…

      • Reply Amy Bailey January 9, 2013 at 10:34 pm

        Oh my goodness!! I just received the email that I won! I can hardly believe it! I responded to it and I am SO excited to received this throw I can hardly wait!! Thank you so very much!! :D What a beautiful gift!

  • Reply Amy Bailey December 30, 2012 at 8:11 pm

    B) What reminder makes you feel most comfortable in your own skin?

    Just touching my own body and focusing on my breathing. I also enjoy listening to a mediation or doing yoga :)

  • Reply kel December 30, 2012 at 10:23 pm

    My husband and I moved to Cambodia for work. There are so many beautiful memories, full of laughs with great friends, wonderful moments at work, celebrating the small successes, and tempered by low moments too.

    The mountain that proved to be the biggest challenge and turned out to be my greatest personal achievement in this year, was facing and overcoming the paralysing fear I had of bike riding through the mayhem that was traffic.

    Navigating Cambodia’s roads certainly took a certain type of courage – you have to dodge and weave, look 360 degrees and then again followed by a reckless abandon that throws caution to the wind and into the traffic you go! Wending my way through bikes, hand carts being pulled by sellers, animals, rickshaws, SUVs, and a myriad of motorbikes on my bike, proved to be a bigger challenge than cross cultural communication, sweating it out in 40+ degree heat, or being far from the gum trees and home.

    Unexpectedly it was this, that reduced me to a heart pounding, knees and arms and legs shaking. A puddle of paralysing fear.

    But, each time I got on the bike off to the market or to meet friends for mee char bon lai (veggie fried rice), I felt like I stepped up the mountain, just one small step closer to the top. And I kept at it, for a whole year, until I could do it.

    That’s the trick, I think, not letting the fear stop you.

    By the time we left Cambodia, I was able to ride around confidently. This had given me a great sense of personal freedom – being able to get out and about on my own. Its one of the things I am most proud of from that year.

    • Reply Bethany ~ twoOregonians January 9, 2013 at 11:18 am

      Oh my. After visiting Cambodia and being a passenger while my friend drove us through the traffic, you have all of my respect, Kel! So courageous of you, to keep getting on that bicycle and pushing through the fear until you could be out on the streets, independent and mobile and confident!

      P.S. I loved taking a peek at your photography blog and seeing beautiful images from New Zealand! : )

  • Reply Anna December 31, 2012 at 2:17 am

    The voices of my children , telling me they love me, makes me feel safe in my own skin

    • Reply Bethany ~ twoOregonians January 9, 2013 at 11:19 am

      Love this, Anna : )

  • Reply Candace January 1, 2013 at 9:50 am

    How beautiful. What reminder helps me feel comfortable in my own skin?

    That this is a process. Life is a process, it’s the journey, and it unfolds as it is supposed to.

    • Reply Bethany ~ twoOregonians January 9, 2013 at 11:20 am

      Candace, thanks so much for your entry and for learning a little more about Hand & Cloth!

  • Reply Davina Petermann January 2, 2013 at 12:04 pm

    A) What mountain top (literal or figurative) have you reached after a series of diligent footsteps?
    Understanding that even when I am going through some of life’s biggest challenges and heartbreaks, that I can be on the mountaintop with God as He helps me through them–that even though it may be a “valley” of life, it doesn’t have to feel like one when God’s glory is surrounding you.

    B) What reminder makes you feel most comfortable in your own skin?
    My daily devotions.

    • Reply Bethany ~ twoOregonians January 9, 2013 at 11:21 am

      Such a good reminder, Davina, that even in the valleys we can be surrounded by glory. God is so good. And his invitation to trust gives us so much opportunity to experience that…
      Thank you for entering and for sharing your story.

  • Reply Shannon January 5, 2013 at 6:41 pm

    What mountaintop have I reached?

    OMG I JUST FINISHED MY FIRST CHILDREN’S BOOK MANUSCRIPT and now I’m seeking out agents!

    What reminder makes me feel comfortable in my own skin?

    “Truth is always approximate.” ~Buckminster Fuller

    • Reply Bethany ~ twoOregonians January 9, 2013 at 11:24 am

      Shannon – I’m so stinking excited for you! What a feeling of accomplishment! Somehow, when I think of manuscripts, I still think of that paper bundle tied together with string (like…Little Women era?). I’m sure yours is way cooler than that in this modern world, but I’ll romanticize it in my head anyway and imagine you with your stack of sheets, all ready to go. Best of luck with the agent search!

      Thanks so much for entering and for sharing about Hand & Cloth on Twitter. I’ll be drawing the winner’s name soon, so stay tuned…

  • Reply Johnnie Burt January 5, 2013 at 10:34 pm

    Mountain top that I reached?
    Navigating the care during the illnesses, and then dealing with the deaths of my mother and maternal grandmother two days apart.

    • Reply Bethany ~ twoOregonians January 9, 2013 at 11:27 am

      Phew, Johnnie. Tough steps, I’m sure. You’re such a gracious woman and so good to your family… I’m truly sorry for your loss of two special women so close together. Hugs xx

  • Reply Johnnie Burt January 5, 2013 at 10:36 pm

    Comfortable in my own skin?
    The realization that Jesus died for me just as I am.

  • Reply Crystal January 6, 2013 at 5:50 am

    I literally climbed to the top of the steepest peak in Glacier National Park. It was a major achievement for me. To this day, when life is a struggle, I draw strength from the knowledge that I have made it to the top of a mountain.

  • Reply Crystal January 6, 2013 at 5:57 am

    The reminder that I grew and birthed my two beautiful daughters makes me feel more comfortable in my skin. Thank you for posting this beautiful piece of writing. I have recently noticed these gorgeous blankets at a few high end retailers, and wondered more deeply about their roots and how to support these women directly. Now I know.

    • Reply Bethany ~ twoOregonians January 9, 2013 at 11:30 am

      It’s been my pleasure to share more about Hand & Cloth, Crystal! I just love the stories of these blankets and the beautiful pieces of art that they really are…

      I love your story from Glacier National Park. There is something profound about that mental boost that comes from having reached a physical milestone… I love carrying those inspirations in my own heart, and I have a feeling I’ll be drawing on memories from this trip for many, many, many years to come.

      Thanks for reading along, and for entering! I’m excited to draw the winning name in just a few moments. xx Bethany

  • Reply Bethany ~ twoOregonians January 8, 2013 at 9:49 pm

    Everyone ~ thank you so much for your beautiful, wonderful entries. I’ll be posting the winner soon!

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