(my brother Chris 7, me almost 6 and lil bro Greg 2)
Last month in March I had an anonymous comment which I never posted. It read something like this:
"why are you always donating? Why do you have pieces in your shop that are donation pieces with 100% of the proceeds going to certain causes or organizations? Why not just give a portion? Why are you even doing it? Is it for marketing yourself or something you just feel like doing?"
at first I was offended.
are you kidding me?!!
I was on my high horse talking at the computer screen saying things like
"who do you think you are Mr. anonymous?"
"who even asks something like that?"
"you have no idea what I've been through in my life!"
"and besides I don't need a reason to want to help out people if my heart feels called to help out"
There were many more rants and raves until I realized that this person didn't know what I'd been through and maybe just maybe they weren't attacking me and were genuinely interested in why I support causes so freely
I calmed down to stop and pray, because I had been feeling a tug on my heart to share on my blog about part of my story but then decided not to months back.
After receiving this comment I needed to collect my thoughts and ask if this was something God wanted me to truly share, because though painfully real and a part of my life I had hid this from so many and never really shared this with anyone.
not everyone understands or knows my heart and how much it desires to give, especially to those in need.
So I have decided to share something with you all.
A piece of my life very few actually know about
I instantly wept because I personally related to this family in need, how this single mom was crammed in this apartment with her five children.
I knew in the instant after reading that I
wanted needed to be part of this. I wrote miss Ashley letting her know I wanted to help in any way with the Shine Scholarship Project which is a non-profit organization helping inner city kids go to college.
below is a portion of that email I sent
This note to Ashley just scratched the surface of what me and my family had to go through during those hard eleven years. It took the same amount plus some for the Lord to heal my broken heart and all the things I felt entitled to or that I deserved
(in 2006 less than a year after his release our family photos began to resume normalcy)
Though many of those years are a hazy fog one thing was as clear as day the importance of giving. Though we had near to nothing, my mom always gave of what little time she had to serve at church. She made meals for the sick and recovering with the little food we had for ourselves. She made sweet homemade gifts for her friends for any occasion. She made sure to tithe weekly to our church and always was helping out neighbors who had even less than us by buying them groceries with our welfare food stamps.
Some times this made me angry, very angry. Did she forget how much we were struggling? How much my brothers and I were sacrificing and how we were working at young ages just to help her pay rent.
why give I always thought?
My mom held my hand and stared into my eyes one day after I screamed at her for giving our food stamps to a single mom who was in desperate need and I didn't understand why she gave what I felt was ours. What we needed. She told me this.
"honey, God will always provide for us. He always has. Nothing we have is our own, He loves us and will always take care of us"
And that my friends is why I give
was life really hard and sucky all those years?
do I wish things could've been different
But God is the orchestrator of our lives. He brought me to a place where we were in constant need of his loving Mercy and Grace
God softened my heart and taught me to trust fully on Him when it came to finances. He showed me to love others in need, in pain and in suffering.
I give not only because we find it all over scripture to do so but because I want to. My heart has been there. Broken and weary. Poor and needy. Yet I never went without, and I can't count one time that I wasn't more blessed by giving than I was receiving.
I have been blessed beyond measure with my little family. God is providing so I am able to live out my dream being a stay at home mama to my littles
And since opening my shop, God has always provided and made it possible for me to be able to give back.
When opening my shop earlier this year I knew it would be primarily to bless others rather than to make an income. My embroidery started as an outlet for me during a very difficult season in my life this past year. It is something I thoroughly enjoy and God used this skill to help me to be still and to take my thoughts captive during a time when my thoughts were filled with lies instead of his truths. I talked a little about that here
Whether through our finances, our time, our prayers or even my hoop art; wherever I'm able I pray I will always desire to give.
And that my friends is just a little part of my story.