Close To Home And Far Away

by Lance Ekum on · 84 comments

“My piece of bread only belongs to me when I know that everyone else has a share, and that no one starves while I eat.” ~ Leo Tolstoy

Today, I would like to take you on a little journey…one that began nearly fourteen years ago.

It was a cold winter day that welcomed the birth of our daughter.  Rebekah.  Our second child (of what would be three).  Our only daughter.

While I speak from my (very male) perspective – the whole birthing process that day was one of much ease.  A baby girl…a tiny baby girl.  While my memory fades me as to the exact details of this moment, I very much remember the joy of a healthy, happy baby.

Our first moments alone with this new life, a few short hours after birth…cuddling a small, precious, new life.

(just each of us were at our birth…precious and new life)

And in a moment…

In a moment…it all changed.  From a little baby wiggling her toes, cooing, crying…to blue.  Blue, the color.  Blue, her skin.

Panic.  An urgent search for a nurse, someone, anyone, to help.

She was whisked away.  Gone from our arms.  And for what seemed like an eternity (although it was mere minutes), we didn't know.  We didn't know where she was, what was going on, what had happened.

Alone.  Not knowing.  A sinking feeling.

(some of the most challenging moments as a parent)

A few minutes later, the nurse returned.  Although, she had stopped breathing for a brief period, Rebekah would be okay,.  Because of this experience, she would stay mostly in an incubator, with constant monitoring while at her hospital stay.

Within a few days, she came home. 

…home…

What a wonderful feeling, and one, perhaps, that we didn't even fully realize at the time. 

Life.  Is Precious.  Is so worth fighting for.  Is beautiful.  Is such an amazing experience we are given.

We Are The Lucky Ones

Rebekah is one of the lucky ones.  She has been lost – like that moment we felt at her birth.  Moments where life and all it's preciousness flash before your eyes. 

…one of the lucky ones…

She is loved, she is cared for…by many.

She has an education…one that continues for this thriving thirteen year old. 

She leads an active and healthy lifestyle.

She has a place of safety and comfort…home…always there for her.

She has opportunities that some cannot even imagine.

She has love and support that some cannot begin to even fathom.

And Those Not So Lucky

Not all girls are so lucky.  In fact, all too many girls have to face difficult moments alone, have to do or be things that no child should have to endure, have to bear too much of the harsh realities of their world at an age that is way too young for these things.

Lost.

Lost in so much more than the physical sense.  Lost emotionally, mentally, spiritually, physically. 

Life snatched away.

We can look around the corner in the neighborhoods we live in (it's there), we can look to the inner cities around our world, we can look to under developed countries, we can look to families that seemingly have it all. 

And this exists.  Girls…lost…at an age when they should still be celebrating the joy of their childhood.

The Girl Effect

What if…

Note:  If you having trouble viewing this, please click here.

What if every girl, across our global community, was loved for who she is. 

What if every girl, across our global community, was cared for in times of need.

What if every girl, across our global community, was treated with respect for the amazing soul that she is.

What if every girl, across our global community, was given the opportunity to become educated.

What if…

What if each of us, in some way, went out today, and made a difference.  To a girl. 


This piece today is part of an effort to bring greater awareness to the effect we can each have, by helping to give every girl, everywhere, a life filled with promise and hope.

To learn more, visit The Girl Effect.  We can all make a difference.

A special thank you to Tara Sophia Mohr, for creating a space for writers to share in spreading this message of hope and inspiration.

Lance writes stories from his heart, aiming to inspire and motivate, as you align more fully with YOUR true peak. When he's not here, you can find him hanging out with his family, riding a bike, or just generally acting goofy.   Sign up for the Thoughts from the Treehouse newsletter and get additional inspiration in your email inbox!
Lance Ekum
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{ 80 comments… read them below or add one }

Jules - Big Girl Bombshell November 23, 2010 at 8:22 am

Yes!
Jules – Big Girl Bombshell´s Last Fabulous Post ..In Search of Like-Minded PeopleMy Profile

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Lance November 24, 2010 at 6:01 pm

Jules,
YES, indeed!!

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Zeenat{Positive Provocations} November 23, 2010 at 8:39 am

Dearest Lance,
This piece this experience you shared with your little beautiful precious daughter..is exactly word for word what I went through when My little girl was born. The sudden panic and then the ease when she came back into my arms.I don’t even know how to describe it. I cried inconsolably till she came back into my arms. She was lucky…we are lucky.
May each girl have the luck and the love we have. May each child be blessed beyond measure..and live happy healthy lives. Its their God Given birth right!
Lots of love to you & the Girl Effect for this very necessary light that is being shed on this topic.
Z~

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Lance November 24, 2010 at 6:06 pm

Zeenat,
And you know…probably even more fully – as a mother – how challenging these moments of not knowing are. Yes, we are lucky – both of us, and our daughters.

Not everyone is. And that’s the sad part, and what makes The Girl Effect such a wonderful project – helping to give those who don’t have…to have something more…hope…

Love to you too, sweet friend…

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Tara Sophia Mohr November 23, 2010 at 9:06 am

Lance,
Thank you so much for jumping into the Girl Effect blogging campaign with a post.
This is beautiful, and it’s so wonderful to hear from men about their commitment to this topic. It’s been interesting to see how many of the posts are inspired by some experience from the writer’s own experience as a parent…and makes me think a parent-army could really make change around this issue.
For other readers who would like to join with a post please visit here for all the details!
http://wiselivingblog.com/the-girl-effect-blogging-campaign/
The campaign will continue running for the next couple weeks!
Warmly,
Tara

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Lance November 24, 2010 at 6:08 pm

Tara,
Thank you so much for creating this space for writers to become more involved, and thank you for encouraging me to write this piece. As I’ve written this, I’ve also been more drawn into what others have written – and all of that has moved me deeply.

A parent-army…you’re onto something here! And you are – because of the connection, as parents, that we have to our own kids – can be a real rallying force toward something even greater. Sign me up for this army!!

Peace and love,
Lance

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Keith November 23, 2010 at 9:07 am

Lance,

A very powerful post, and one that resonates with this father of three children…all girls. I had a similar scary experience with two of my daughters. My first born was premature, by nearly two months. She was in an incubator and had to be fed through a tube in her nose. She was in the hospital the first 18 days of her precious new life. My third daughter was breech, a fact we found out only in the final stages of labor…so a c-section was quickly ordered. I was there every second for the birth of all three of my girls.

My intense love for my daughters is why I have been there for them, during those moments of being born into this world and every day since. It really breaks my heart knowing that not all little girls (or boys) have that kind of love.

Thank you for making me aware of The Girl Effect. I’m going to check it out….
Keith´s Last Fabulous Post ..Its About LoveMy Profile

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Lance November 24, 2010 at 6:11 pm

Keith,
Having been there with your own daughters, I know how deeply you connect with this. Because, I know, as I think back to that day when this happened to Rebekah – it’s still such a scary thought. And yet, it all turned out so well.

Except…that’s not the case for every girl out there. Too many aren’t given the same chance that our daughters were/are.

Keith, thank you for being here – and for sharing your own personal experiences which connect you more deeply to the welfare of others less fortunate.

Love always,
Lance

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DareToBecome November 23, 2010 at 9:13 am

I will have goosebumps all day from this!
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Lance November 24, 2010 at 6:12 pm

Lori,
Thank you so much for reading, and for being here. I know these words reach into your soul.

Peace,
Lance

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Katie November 23, 2010 at 9:17 am

Simply beautiful Lance. Your love for your daughter has been lifted and enhanced to a love for all the girls of the world who are not so lucky. I’m so glad you decided to contribute to the growing list of girl effect bloggers in Tara’s campaign. Your voice is an inspiring addition to that collection of voices. Much love to you and your girl.
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Lance November 24, 2010 at 6:14 pm

Katie,
Thank you. Thank you, from deep within my soul, for your encouragement of me to write this. You are a gift. You are a gift here, and to all who are touched by your presence.

From my heart to yours…love always,
Lance

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Marjory November 23, 2010 at 9:23 am

This is such a tender piece Lance! Thanks for reminding us of the preciousness of life!

Marjory

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Lance November 24, 2010 at 6:15 pm

Marjory,
Thank you so much for taking the time to read this, and to share your very sweet and kind words. Know that they land upon my soul.

Much love,
Lance

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Erin Prais-Hintz November 23, 2010 at 9:31 am

So well said. So powerfully stated. Such a beautiful girl. That is why I am determined to not let my daughter slip through my fingers, to get lost. I celebrate who she is and what she is becoming. Thank you for sharing this, and sharing the story of your daughter too.

Enjoy the day!
Erin
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Lance November 24, 2010 at 6:17 pm

Erin,
Thank you for your wonderful words. And, Erin, I know how much you love your daughter, and the joy her presence brings to you – something I’ve felt very much through all you’ve shared.

So, having you here is deeply meaningful.

Love always,
Lance

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Emergefit November 23, 2010 at 10:21 am

I remember hearing those words, “it’s a girl” and how I broke down balling because every dream I had ever had just took a back seat to the only dream that would ever matter in my future. And we who have healthy girls should be not only give thanks, but give to others.

Thank you Lance.

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Lance November 24, 2010 at 9:30 pm

Roy,
It’s hard to fully understand until you’re there – in that moment of new life being born – life that you created – to know how deeply that reaches into our souls. And in an instant…what matters…it all changes. You know…

And then to think – not every child is so lucky….

Thanks for being here Roy, thanks for your support, thanks for being “you”.

Peace,
Lance

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Marisa (Loser for Life) November 23, 2010 at 10:27 am

So beautiful, Lance. I can share in those emotions as my youngest daughter was born and had to immediately be transported to children’s hospital for emergency surgery. It was a long recovery, but we are so thankful. She also, was one of the lucky ones to be nutured and surrounded by our family’s love and guidance. I wish it could be that way for all girls, too.
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Lance November 24, 2010 at 9:32 pm

Marisa,
Your daughter is definitely one of the lucky ones…and it all starts with caring and loving parents. That’s YOU, shining your light into her precious life…

Now, that everyone can feel that same love and care…

Love always,
Lance

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The Exception November 23, 2010 at 11:27 am

Lance –

Your words illustrate beautifully such a powerful experience. My friend’s daughter was hit, accidently, in the head with an elbow a few weeks ago and ended up with skull fractures and in a drug educed coma. The doctors were able to do all that they could; and, she will be okay, She is one of the lucky ones as in other countries… this might not have been possible. Even in parts of this country… it might not have been possible.

My daughter is one of the lucky ones though she is growing up with a dad who is not a part of her life as he doesn’t want her.

It is wonderful that there are movements and organizations to support girls and give them what is needed and what, so many, take for granted. Helping these girls will have a direct impact on the world in which we live. I ask this though – what about the boys? What about educating the boys (or the children) and giving them the love and support and whatever it is that they are not getting? There are men hurting and suffering throughout this country and the world leaving the heeling to the women and a few men… what can we do to help these boys?
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Lance November 24, 2010 at 9:57 pm

The Exception,
Wow, that’s scary – and just shows how quickly life can change. So glad to hear she will be okay. And so true – had this happened in another time or place, the outcome could have easily been something much worse.

And I just feel the love you have for your daughter – and that’s such a beautiful thing. You are giving her the foundation for what she is becoming…and what a sweet gift that is.

You bring up a great point, too – on the boys. Because the truth is, when we also fully support and nurture their growth (and respect of everyone) – we are also the girl effect in action then, too. We are – because these boys are given their own foundation on which to be more deeply respectful and caring of the girls in their lives…and eventually the women in their lives.

It feels very circular to me – the question is – what circle are we on? One that builds up and supports, or one that hurts and tears down?

Thank you so much for all you’ve shared here, and made me think more deeply about.

Love and peace,
Lance

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Dr. J November 23, 2010 at 11:46 am

This explains so much, Lance. Being so close to life and death in my career has certainly had an effect on me. Perhaps that is why I am not as patient with those who waste that gift. In my sister’s story that you published, I never mentioned that we feel the reason she was handicapped is that her mother tried to kill her at birth! Of course, as you know, she survived and prospered, as all of us have who have come to know her, as I’m sure it is with your daughter also!

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Lance November 24, 2010 at 10:00 pm

Dr. J,
Being in the profession that you are…what a wonderful gift you are to everyone who crosses your path. And watching this video – and the power of the girl effect – this just hits home even more.

I’m so sorry to hear about what your sister had to endure at such a young age. And yet, from the story you shared here, I know too that she shines today! And what a gift that is!! And it also just shows that when we’re loved and supported, we CAN flourish!

Much peace,
Lance

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Little Lessons Under the Big Sky November 23, 2010 at 12:09 pm

Riveting, Lance.

I am so very grateful for your family…your daughter is beautiful.

The video was very powerful and moving. What a wonderful cause. Any parent with a daughter should watch. Thank you for your commitment to being part of that change….for your daughter….for everyone’s daughters.

Many blessings as you reflect on your own journey….and happy happy birthday to your wonderful daughter!
Love,
Jen
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Lance November 24, 2010 at 10:03 pm

Jen,
Thank you. Really, your words are so meaningful to me. Thank you.

Yes, this video really touches upon just how much of a difference the whole female population makes. And with each person that is helped…our world becomes so much better.

Know that it’s a gift for me to know you.

And I’ll pass on the birthday wishes to Rebekah – her birthday is coming up in January!

Love always,
Lance

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Dandy November 23, 2010 at 12:31 pm

Hi Lance,
This is a wonderful post. Thank you for sharing. Your daughter sounds lovely. The Girl Effect is an incredible program. I strongly believe that empowering one girl is empowering the world. Thanks for being behind this program!!

Dandy
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Lance November 24, 2010 at 10:06 pm

Dandy,
Thank you. Rebekah really is a wonderful daughter (…even when there are moments!), and I’m blessed to have her in my life.

I think of all the amazing women that I know – women that were once girls at that age of twelve. And today, what a difference they make in this world. What a difference YOU make in this world!

Dandy, thank you for being here.

Much love,
Lance

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Lynn November 23, 2010 at 1:03 pm

Absolutely – and as an aunt with four nieces, I think this is a wonderful program. Your daughter is just lovely – you have a wonderful family, Lance.
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Lance November 24, 2010 at 10:08 pm

Lynn,
This really is such a great program – and something I honestly hadn’t thought this deeply about (the girl effect and what it means) until I wrote this piece.

Keep shining your wonderful spirit onto those nieces of yours…they are so lucky to have you in their life!

Love always,
Lance

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Eliza November 23, 2010 at 2:15 pm

First, for a split second I thought I had lost my son when he was little. That was the single most horrifying moment of my life. I know exactly what you mean about seconds appearing to go on forever.

Second, thank you for sharing that incredible video. I popped over to the website. There was so much to digest, I have bookmarked it to give it the justice it deserves.
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Lance November 24, 2010 at 10:12 pm

Eliza,
How scary that is, isn’t it – the thought of losing a child. For those who have experienced this – the loss of a child – I can only imagine how difficult that must be. These precious lives…they become a part of us so quickly…

And thank so much for checking out the Girl Effect movement – they are truly a gift to girls who don’t have a voice for themselves. What hope they bring!

So, so good having you here.

Much love to you,
Lance

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Audra Krell November 23, 2010 at 3:56 pm

There is a mighty and powerful need of this Lance. In fact, my novel comes down to one sentence, which you’ve written above. “Felicia Ship wants to be loved for who she is”
It’s what we all want. To be loved and known for who we are. Not what we’ve done. Not for what we haven’t done. But just for being me. Powerful post, the world needs to know, thanks for telling them.
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Lance November 24, 2010 at 10:15 pm

Audra,
….being loved for who we are. Something that I believe, too, reaches to the core of each of us. (and that novel…as long as we’re talking about it…you have to be getting close!! I’m excited for you!)

Audra, know that having you here is a gift. Know that having your friendship is a gift. Know that your soul is a gift.

Love always,
Lance

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Patrick November 23, 2010 at 4:24 pm

Super post. Incredible read on The Girl Effect. Making a difference is very important but too often very under embraced.
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Lance November 24, 2010 at 10:16 pm

Patrick,
Thank you! The Girl Effect is such a wonderful organization – and what they are doing for girls who have little hope – it’s incredible!

Thanks so much for being here.

Peace and love,
Lance

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Tess The Bold Life November 23, 2010 at 4:27 pm

Lance,
I loved how you connected this with your daughter. The photos are sooooo cute! From one turkey to another…Have a great Thanksgiving!
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Lance November 24, 2010 at 10:18 pm

Tess,
I will say that Bekah takes an awfully cute picture (…and that SCARES me, too!!) .

As I thought about this – the first thought that came to mind was my daughter – she’s that age – just past twelve now – and I could only think – what if she were in a place where she wasn’t valued for who she was… It’s a scary thought for me.

You too, have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Much love,
Lance

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Robin Easton November 23, 2010 at 9:37 pm

Dearest Lance, what a moving story. I got tears in my eyes reading it. It must have been so alarming, and you were SO young then. And she was soooo teeny. A tiny life hanging on. And today she a beautiful young woman, so alive and present in your life. You kids have the same fun vitality that is such a part of you. Thank you for giving them that, Lance.

As to the GIRL EFFECT: it is an organization I have given to and I also keep their widget on my sidebar, because I just feel it is so important, as well as highly “effective”. 🙂 Thank you for having not only a warm and humorous heart, but a deeply warm and caring heart. I love you for that and more. Robin

PS: I forgot!! — I LOVE this line: “Life. Is Precious. Is so worth fighting for.” Wow! I TRULY believe this and live it. Each day is a miracle and a gift. Bless you, good soul.
Robin Easton´s Last Fabulous Post ..Choosing to LoveMy Profile

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Lance November 25, 2010 at 4:26 am

Robin,
We went into this day, not knowing for sure how it would turn out (but then…I suppose every day is like that). While it didn’t feel like a “normal” day, we still had only good checkups with the doctor ahead of time. And then…when things go wrong, as they sometimes do…you just find a way to deal with it. Had I known ahead of time what would happen, I’m not sure how I would have processed it all. In the moment, though, it just was what it was.

Thank you. Rebekah is a beautiful soul…and I’m so, so happy to have her in my life.

The Girl Effect is a wonderful organization, and doing such good in this world! So awesome that you have created this as a prominent part of your site. Each one of us truly IS precious….no matter our location, economic status, color of our skin, etc, etc, etc.

Robin, dear friend, thank you so deeply, for being here.

Hugs and love,
Lance

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Joy November 23, 2010 at 9:49 pm

Hi Lance,
Your daughter is precious! What a beauty filled tribute to her..and to *love*..
You inspired me to write my own essay. You inspire me in life. I am *better* for knowing you. Thank you from the bottom of my heart..
You are a special person..thank you for sharing as you do!
Joy´s Last Fabulous Post ..The Lost Girl…My Profile

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Lance November 25, 2010 at 4:28 am

Joy,
Having Rebekah in my life has been such a joy (well…with *moments* in there, too!). Thank you, so much, for your wonderful words.

And thank you, Joy, for writing yourself, about what the girl effect means to you. Your story is touching on so many levels. Know that you are deeply loved.

Love always,
Lance

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Joe Wilner November 23, 2010 at 9:56 pm

Lance,

Thanks for sharing this story and experience. It sounds like your daughter has had a fortunate and wonderful life. It is a wonderful time of year to feel grateful and thankful for everything we have. I will have to look further into the Girl Effect as I have heard about it a couple times in last week. I’m always intrigued by non-profit initiatives and the power that can get behind a truly noble cause. Thanks again, and Happy Thanksgiving!
Joe Wilner´s Last Fabulous Post ..How to Stay Grateful No Matter What the CircumstancesMy Profile

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Lance November 25, 2010 at 4:31 am

Joe,
Although she might not always think so, Rebekah has most definitely had a life filled with much goodness. When you look around the world, at what some must endure, what we have is truly a gift.

The Girl Effect is doing very wonderful things for girls struggling in their lives. What a gift that is!

Happy Thanksgiving to you, too!

Peace,
Lance

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Hilary November 24, 2010 at 3:02 am

Hi Lance .. daughters, sons, wives and husbands .. love for all .. aren’t we lucky in this world of ours – and we do take way too much for granted.

Thank you for sharing – more importantly – have a great family Thanksgiving weekend .. Hilary
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Lance November 25, 2010 at 4:32 am

Hilary,
We ARE lucky – to live with freedoms some can only imagine. Now…to help even more experience the beauty of that freedom….

Thank you so much for your caring support.

Much love,
Lance

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Jannie Funster November 24, 2010 at 6:51 am

This is extrememly lovely, Lance. At first I thought that must be Laura as a wee one on the tot chair, looks like her mama a lot I think.

This is my first time hearing of The Girl Effect. Thanks for letting us know!

Amazing grace, how sweet the sound…
I once was lost but now am found.

May they all be found.

xoxo
Jannie Funster´s Last Fabulous Post ..Over Three Years NowMy Profile

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Lance November 25, 2010 at 4:37 am

Jannie,
You know what…there are SO many people who see that resemblance between Lora and Bekah. As a teenager (she’s 13), Bekah no longer sees this as a cool thing!! (ha!) In fact, just last night – I told her how much her and I look alike (I know…that one’s a longshot!). Not so cool either…in her eyes!!!

Mmmm….amazing grace…what a completely beautiful song. I’m picturing you singing that right now…and it’s become even more lovely.

…may they all be found…

Jannie…much, much love to you,
Lance
xoxo

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Jannie Funster November 24, 2010 at 6:54 am

Sorry, Lora — I remember now how she spells her name! Please forgive?

xo
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Lance November 25, 2010 at 4:38 am

Hey, guess what Jannie??

You are not the first person to do that!! No worries!

Happy Thanksgiving to you and your sweet clan!

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Jody - Fit at 53 November 24, 2010 at 7:32 am

Lance, I loved this & isn’t this what it is all about.. giving to those less fortunate.. helping others.. building bridges, not forts, encouragement, not fear…

Thank you!
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Lance November 25, 2010 at 4:40 am

Jody,
It really is…it IS about giving, and doing this with a glad heart. We’re all connected, and when we help another…we help so many (including ourselves, too).

Yes, let’s build bridges…

Much love to you,
Lance

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rob white November 24, 2010 at 7:43 am

Wow Lance … You are a compassionate individual … sharing your personal experience is a wonderful way for us all to learn and grow. In the telling of your story I felt the panic and the relief.

I appreciate your raising awareness of this worthy endeavor.

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Lance November 25, 2010 at 4:43 am

Rob,
You are too, too kind – thank you so much, my friend.

If even one girl is somehow helped because of these words here, this has been so worth it.

Thank you for your very amazing and wonderful support.

Love and caring,
Lance

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Evita November 24, 2010 at 9:28 am

Hi Lance

What an awesome way to raise awareness for the Girl Effect by linking it to your own daughter. She is indeed lucky, as am I and your wife, for I know in theory what happens to other girls in the world.

Rebekah was so cute, and is today such a beautiful young lady – what a precious treasure you have and yes, so worth fighting for indeed!

May we each bring into our awareness the other girls in this world that are not as fortunate as us, may we apply what Tolstoy has said and may we no longer sit by in silence and ignorance – may we speak out, may we act in love and may we bring about change!
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Lance November 25, 2010 at 5:03 am

Evita,
Those of us who live above the poverty level, who can speak and do freely, who are loved….we ARE so lucky. Not everyone is so fortunate.

Rebekah is becoming a wonderful young adult (yikes….she is growing up so fast…), and Evita…thank you so much for your very thoughtful and caring thoughts.

If each one of us…each of us who live with so much in our lives (even when we might sometimes think otherwise)…if we each helped another just a little bit…what an amazing difference that would be.

Evita, thank you so much for your beautiful support.

Love to you always,
Lance

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Amy MacLeod November 24, 2010 at 1:58 pm

What a fabulous tribute to The Girl Effect, Lance – and it’s not surprising that you are able to pull from your own life experience – your very own incredibly precious daughter. Someone with a soul as beautiful as yours has to have had incredible life experiences.

You are such an example to other men, Lance. You may be the only freedom they know that tells them that they can unlock the love they, too, want so desperately to give and receive.

One of your commenters has given me an idea – a widget for The Girl Effect. Hope I can figure how to do that!
Amy MacLeod´s Last Fabulous Post ..The Loves of My LifeMy Profile

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Lance November 25, 2010 at 5:05 am

Amy,
Thank you. Your words mean so much to me, and know that they have reached my soul…

And you inspire me, also, to “be the change”.

Amy, know that you are an inspiration to me…in all that you are, all that you do…

Much love,
Lance

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J.D. Meier November 24, 2010 at 2:27 pm

Beautiful title and a perfect story. I’m glad there was a happy ending, and yes, you’re the lucky ones.

And it’s so true that life is precious … and so fragile.

Everybody deserves as a chance at the good life … and I like the ripple effect of the girl effect.
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Lance November 25, 2010 at 5:06 am

JD,
…I’m glad there was a happy ending, too…

Things can change in an instant. And it reminds me that now is what we truly have.

May the girl effect ripple long and wide.

Peace,
Lance

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Jean Burman November 24, 2010 at 3:55 pm

I love the beauty in the words and the heartfelt gesture of your story Lance. Your love is so beautifully stated. She is a beautiful girl! And yes you are blessed to have her. But she has also been blessed with parents who love her no matter what… which gives her a rock solid foundation for the making of a remarkable life. It doesn’t get any better than that!

Thanks for sharing your heart with us here Lance. That’s a gift as well… and one that not everyone can give. It’s very special…

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Lance November 25, 2010 at 5:10 am

Jean,
Thank you. I’m touched, very much, by all that you’ve said.

Rebekah is truly a blessing in my life, and what a shining young woman she is becoming.

Jean, your spirit and soul shine through here…and they reach into my soul…

Love always,
Lance

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Sandra Lee November 24, 2010 at 6:53 pm

Lance,

Thank you for sharing so deeply from your personal experience. I can’t imagine what that scary moment must have been like! I don’t have children so I don’t know, although I get a little taste of the fragility of it all with our growing kittens. This was beautiful and thank you for sharing about the Girl Effect. Girls rock!
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Lance November 25, 2010 at 5:13 am

Sandra,
It was such a scary moment. And it was really the not knowing, after having seen her what appeared to be stopping breathing (which it was, as later confirmed by our nurse). Life IS precious, and I have never felt that more strongly than I did in this moment.

Kittens!! They are fun, aren’t they! And, pets really do become a part of our family. We have a cat, also – Rufus. He is loved, too…

Sandra, thank you so much for your caring support.

Much love to you,
Lance

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Andrea DeBell - britetalk November 24, 2010 at 11:28 pm

Hi Lance! Having a daughter myself, I can totally relate to your post. There are so many girls around the globe that don’t partake on the beautiful lives that our daughters have the opportunity to live. This is a very touching and inspirational post that motivates me to continue my work helping street kids.
Thanks for sharing so nakedly. Loving blessings, sweet friend!
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Lance November 25, 2010 at 5:18 am

Andrea,
We, who live here in a place where freedom is a part of our lives, it’s so different from those who don’t have this. And then, when we put love in there, too – something very basic that is a part of all of us (and yet, some don’t have this either).

Andrea, what a beautiful gift YOU are. Your work with street kids…that’s helping those on the fringe…close to home. I would love to hear more about this work you are doing – it is just so wonderful to read what you’ve shared here.

Thank you so much for sharing your beautiful soul here.

Much, much love to you,
Lance

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Evelyn Lim November 25, 2010 at 5:48 am

Your girl looks just like you! But of course, I don’t recall seeing the picture of your wife. Your daughter is precious indeed. Just like all the other girls. I have just watched the video from The Girl Effect. It’s so sad that many of them don’t even have the chance to make a choice about their own lives.

Lance, you are doing a wonderful job of spreading awareness about worthy causes that we should take note of. I salute you!!
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Lance November 26, 2010 at 6:07 pm

Evelyn,
Why thank you!!!! You are sweet!! Rebekah’s really the spitting image of her mother – they sure look alike!

Evelyn, I know, too, how much you care for your very precious, very wonderful daughters. Now…to get to that place where every girl feels this…what a great place that would be.

Thanks so, so much for being here…and for your very beautiful support.

Love and blessings,
Lance

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Brenda Freeman November 25, 2010 at 2:23 pm

What a beautiful piece. This bought back wonderful memories and joy from when my own children were born. Now they are adults, they often tell my husband and I how wonderful their childhood was and the effect it has had on them……..I smile – use my selective memory and also remember those fantastic times.

Your video was really inspirational on how the small things can truly make the difference for generations
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Lance November 26, 2010 at 6:09 pm

Brenda,
Mmmmm….that selective memory!!! (I can relate!)

Your children sound wonderful…and that is you and your husband, and what you have given them – what a gift that is!

I look forward to the day when every girl can feel that same love in her life…always…

Peace and love,
Lance

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Tim November 27, 2010 at 8:04 am

Hi Lance:

Thank you for sharing your story here…a great reminder of the preciousness of life. And I’m so glad that it had a happy ending. But, as you bring up, not all girls are so lucky. I also know that when it comes to society’s expectations, girls and women face different expectations than males. I sense, in the U.S., that every magazine out there pushes the idea that women need to have it all: a career, a family, nice house, etc. But I know in other countries, it’s worse. Thank you for sharing this eye-opening video and bringing awareness to this important subject.
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Lance November 28, 2010 at 6:42 am

Tim,
Life is precious. And it’s easy to get into the daily of our lives, and let this thought kind of take a back seat (it is for me, anyway). Yet, this Girl Effect movement, it just reminds me deeply of how much we have…while others suffer. And yet, each of us IS precious…

Thanks so much for being here, Tim.

Peace and love,
Lance

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Peggy Nolan November 27, 2010 at 9:42 am

As the mother and bonus mother of four daughters and the grandmother of a grand daughter, I can’t even begin to tell you how important this message is. Thank you Lance for spreading the word – I will be following suit – and thank you Tara for putting things in motion.

Peggy
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Lance November 28, 2010 at 6:44 am

Peggy,
Having five very important girls in your life…I know you understand this. Because, I know you look at each of these special girls in your life, and see them for the soul that they are.

The Girl Effect is truly all about every girl being loved like this. And what a wonderful world we can have, when we all open up to help lift up the spirits of all…

Love always,
Lance

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Megan "JoyGirl!" Bord November 27, 2010 at 9:24 pm

Lance, once again you shine such loving light into this world, illuminating darkened parts and turning attention toward good causes. Thank you for helping raise awareness about The Girl Effect, and thank you for perpetuating Tara’s good efforts, as well. You’re both earth angels; healing happens in your caring hands.

I read Joy’s post, which was inspired by what you wrote above. Another earth angel… Gives me hope, Lance, and tells me that whether together or individually, all of us can make a difference through LOVE.

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Lance November 28, 2010 at 6:48 am

Megan,
The truth is…none of what I share here would come to be…without the love and support of so many wonderful and caring souls. Megan…I want you to know that you are that to me. You are that on so many levels, and I don’t think I can fully express how deeply this love of yours has touched me. Know this, though – I am so grateful for your presence in my life, for your being here on earth, for the love to open your heart up to, for the infectious joy of your presence, for you…

I am the girl effect. You are the girl effect. We all are the girl effect – when we open up to love, and share that with others.

Megan, thank you for your beautiful presence here…today and always…

With deep and caring love,
Lance

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Aileen November 29, 2010 at 3:19 am

a very powerful story Lance, thank you for the gift of opening up ones eyes and shedding light where it is needed. – very, very powerful!

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Lance November 29, 2010 at 6:12 am

Aileen,
The Girl Effect is such a wonderful organization, and I’m truly thankful for Tara Mohr, and her creating a space for writing about this.

Aileen, it’s so good having you here. You shine so much amazing goodness into our world….

Love always,
Lance

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Rachel November 29, 2010 at 8:12 am

Thanks for this beautiful post, and for blogging about an issue of great importance.

Having lived in India, we experienced first hand the oppression that many women through out the world face- lack of education, the bondage of the dowry, abuse, lack of equal rights and so much more.

It just takes helping one girl at a time…one by one change can begin.
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Lance November 29, 2010 at 4:18 pm

Rachel,
I can’t fully imagine the oppression that you witnessed in your time in India. Seeing it firsthand, that just has to bring this more fully into awareness.

And, Rachel, I know you shine beauty and love into this world. And what a difference that makes…to every girl…to every person…whose path crosses yours.

Much love to you,
Lance

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