asia's hope (after a brief used undies update)

EDIT (12:26pm): Here’s a beautiful video (it’s short!) of the kids at the Cambodia orphanage. It was taken right before Christmas. I’ve seen it so many times, and it still brings tears to my eyes.

Really? All you have to do is make up a story about buying your underwear at the thrift store, and you gain instant notoriety? Really?? I wish I’d known that years ago.

Oh, I jest. I do buy them there, and as much as I hate to gross out my dear, darling friends (and a few apparent nemeses), I have no intentions of stopping. I tried to tell you I was an anomaly. A popular nerd. The cool author chick who wears hand-me-down underwear (and I’ve borrowed bathing suits from people too, now that I think about it).

Bottom line–I’m not ashamed, folks. Money’s tight, and I spend very little–especially on myself. When God provides (sometimes new, sometimes not, NEVER stained) Victoria’s Secret undies in my size for 40-90 cents a pair, I’m all over it. Only in America can we afford to be so picky. I look at this as preparation for the trips I hope to make to Cambodia in the future to visit our church’s orphanage over there. I already eat food I’ve dropped on the floor. I’m so ahead of the game.

A big thanks to those of you who love and support me even if you strongly disagree with my choice. And in my (last stab at) defense, I keep a big box of, um, liners in my top dresser drawer. Believe it or not, I like hygiene, and I use one of those puppies 365 days a year. So, there’s a layer of protection between me and all the imaginary germs.

And with that, the last of the menfolk have exited my blog and unsubscribed for life. It was nice knowing you!

Thanks for sharing your own hilarious odd behaviors! I loved them. Maybe some of you will find yourselves starring in a future post…


I want to talk about some beautiful children in Cambodia who were rescued off the streets, saved from a life of certain poverty, violation, and unspeakable evil and given HOPE and a new life in a clean, comfortable, loving home. Filled with love and joy and peace and JESUS CHRIST.

Last year, our church partnered with Asia’s Hope to establish this orphanage. In October, our friend, Jen Morgan left everything she knew and loved in Ohio to live with these precious kiddos. We started attending Vista right before Jen left, so I barely knew her. Since then, I’ve gotten to know and love her through her blog. I’ve seen tons of pictures and videos of these kids–and fallen in love. Some of my friends just got back from the orphanage, and I’ve hung on every word of their stories. These 16 kids have totally captured my heart. Did I say that already? And if I’m not mistaken, there’s room for 9 more in the orphanage–they just need the money to support them.

Some days I just want to drop everything and go live there. That’s not feasible at the moment, but I’m certainly not ruling it out. There’s so much I want to do for them, but I feel kind of strapped. I’m praying for God to open up big doors, but in the meantime, here are the little things I’m doing.

1. Praying for Jen, for the kids, for the orphanage directors, for the folks going on missions trips to the orphanage in the next few months (okay, so prayer isn’t a “little thing”)

2. Collecting paperback picture books to send over with my friend Cindy to help the kids learn English–shapes, colors, numbers. Nina and I are going to the Infamous Thrift Store to look for the perfect books tomorrow–can’t beat 25 cents a book. (If you have books you could donate, let me know, and I’ll get you details!)

3. Talking to our girlies about the kids in Cambodia every chance I get. They love these kids too!

And some of you might be able to help me with this last one. I’d like to do some sacrificial giving–as in give some of my personal money to the orphanage each month. But, here’s the thing. The only income I have is from book sales (and occasional speaking events). And I did some depressing calculations today. Do you want to know how much profit I make when people buy books from my website? Well, it depends which book(s) they buy. After you subtract the cost of the book (50% author discount), paypal fee, shipping fee, and mailer, I make anywhere from -73 cents to $1.15 per book. Is That All? went up in price in January, so I’ve been losing 73 cents each time a sell a copy.

I’m a savvy businesswoman, let me tell you.

So, here’s the scoop: Gabe is changing some of the pricing on my books as I type. Blushing–$6 (today only, then $10), Is That All?–$12, Diapers–$11, First-3-books combo–$22, Expecting–$13.

And I’m humbly asking you to buy a book (or 3). I know a majority of you already have them. But if you don’t, and you’ve been thinking about getting them, TODAY is a perfect day. Maybe you have a pregnant friend. Or know someone who just got engaged. Or a new mom. Or someone who wants to spice up her marriage.

I’m going to donate every single penny of today’s book profits to our orphanage in Cambodia. I’ll let you know tomorrow how much that is. Tell your blog readers. Tell your facebook friends. Just don’t tell them I wear used underwear until AFTER they’ve ordered the books.

Happy Tuesday, friends!

18 thoughts on “asia's hope (after a brief used undies update)

  1. Amy

    I just HAVE to tell you about a Victoria’s Secret outlet place right here in Cbus that sells UNUSED underwear! Seriously, you need to check it out! Its off of Industrial Parkway in Dublin (that road you can see off 33 when coming into 161) just down the road from “Made From Scratch”. It is open Thurs through Sat only 9am to 4pm. They have pants for $6 and shirts and jammies and robes and UNDIES! I think they were around $1 per pair. And bras….and all sorts of things….PLEASE GO!!!!

  2. Marla Taviano

    Ginger–I’m not sure if you can send them to the orphanage or not. We have someone from our church taking a load of them. I know they want really simple ones–shapes, colors, ABCs especially. Let me find out for you!

  3. ginger

    “And with that, the last of the menfolk have exited my blog and unsubscribed for life. It was nice knowing you!” THAT is funny!!!
    Wouldn’t you know I bought one of your books 2 DAYS AGO?!?! Geez…
    That video is beautiful. Those kids are gorgeous. I want to be there. But my husband & kids might take exception. 🙂
    Please tell me about sending picture books over. I have tons of children’s books in boxes in my garage.

  4. Jennifer

    This is so great. Thank you for being so generous with your time and talents. I’m praying that God will give you the chance very soon to get over to Cambodia and see these precious little ones face to face.

    I’m going to share what you’re doing on my blog and facebook. Hope it sends some people your way! (I would buy books for all of them myself, but alas, money is tight enough around here that I’m still wearing underwear I wore in high school. Which really isn’t much better than thrift store undies if you think about it. :P)

  5. Denise

    Do you need anyone to accompany you to the thrift store (perhaps someone who needs to get out of the house for a bit???) Some one who has an adorable little boy named Parker???? I would love to help out! I may go look at Once Upon a child too. I am loving that you are doing this with the books! I want to go to Cambodia so bad, some day, some day! Please let me know what I can do to help, packing them, buying them, hanging out with you tomorrow…whatever! I want to help! Love you!

  6. Lou

    I completely understand your money probs. I think we are all in tight times right now but I am going to see what I can do. In the mean time I want to get more info on this orphanage. I lead an Acteens group and we are looking for a missionary project where we can help out first hand. I will go to the blog but any extra info you have will be greatly appreciated.

  7. Missy

    This is a topic I have sooo much to say on (the children, not the underwear. Ok, well maybe the underwear at any other time, but not now).

    Thanks for sharing about these kids!

  8. Rebecca

    I would like to make a straight contribution – where it your paypal account? Thanks for being an awesome woman leader in Christ!

  9. Jamie Nygaard

    I just love missions. Its my dream as well to take my family on the mission field. And I know that you have always had such a HUGE heart for missions. HUGE HEART.

    Your just stinkin’ awesome!

  10. Gail

    I love to see your heart for missions and the way you are passing that on to your kids. And it’s about time you raised your prices a bit. 😉

  11. Bethany

    In June, Stew (and his mom and dad) is taking our Teen Missions Team to the orphanage in Cambodia that our church supports! I am so sad that I won’t be able to go and meet all the little kiddos!

  12. Jen

    I weep when I hear about how other people love our kids as much as I do. Their lives literally HAVE been saved…and they are a light to those around them. Thanks for sacrificing for them. Marla, I can’t wait until you can come and see them for yourself. You think you love them now…just wait!!!

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