V A L E N T I N E ' S G I V E A W A Y !
Just as a way to say "thank you" to all my dear friends who have faithfully read my ramblings here and stuck with me through my sporadic blogging adventures! I am so thankful for every single one of you, friends near and far, many that have known me since childhood and others I have never seen but still love and know just as dearly. You have blessed me with your words, with your e-mails, with your friendship, and I pray this day you will know that you are loved.
I'm excited to introduce three shops to you that are close to my heart. The women behind these shops inspire me daily and I know you will be just as blessed by their creative and genuine hearts as I have been. At the end of this post will be the entry form and you can receive multiple entries for each direction you follow. I'll announce the winner next FRIDAY! xo
My dearest friend, Erin Stargel, is giving away a $125 custom video editing package from her new esty shop Leigh Star Editing! I am so excited about this gift! Just think of all the photos and videos of your little ones that you have laying around and have always wanted to make a video of! Or maybe you're like me and your wedding video was less than stellar (so dark we could hardly make out our faces!) and you would love to re-create a keepsake video for the two of you. Erin has also created meaningful timeline videos for loved ones that have passed away, for graduates, and for birthdays. Erin has been editing videos professionally for Sonburst Communications for many years. She decided to work from home when her sweet daughter Grace Ann was born over a year ago and her newest little baby girl Ella Mae was born in January. Erin is close to my heart. We were roommates in college and while I was always on the phone talking to Joel (now my husband) she was hard at work on her multimedia degree. She's been a source of encouragement and support and just real, genuine friendship to me for so many years.
You can view her work under the product description in her etsy store and here is a link to one of her latest videos: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bLjPxayV99Q&feature=youtu.be
Don't you love when you get cards in the mail? I just received a letter from a friend the other day and I couldn't stop smiling. There's something so personal about snail mail, in reading the scrawling script of a friend you miss and knowing they poured their heart into something you could hold in your hands. This is exactly how I feel about Aneta Nina's sweet little stationery shop Give With Joy. She makes adorable cards that will inspire you to sit down and write a note to that friend who's been on your heart.
Her shop in her words:
"When I was young, I would sprint to the mailbox in hopes that someone sent me a letter or a package. I usually came inside with bills for my mom - she loved getting mail :). Yet, that never hindered me from running back to the mailbox with the same hope each day.Aneta Nina is also offering 15% off everything in her store to my readers. Just visit her shop and enter JOYE14 at the checkout!
Fast forward to today, well, you will find me hoarding the mail key from my husband so I can be the first to check the mail. I love receiving and giving gifts in the smallest form. Who doesn't feel loved and overwhelmed with joy when they get a little "hello" card on a Wednesday!
That's why I started 'give with JOY'. I wanted to bring joy into many homes and inspire you to do the same. Let's give someone a reason to smile when they open their mail. "
Have you heard about No. 41?? This ministry is on my heart daily. I love the hearts of the women behind it. They inspire me to dream big, love bigger, and that with God anything is possible and we can change the world. This is love in action. I really can't describe it any better than what Tara wrote on the No. 41 blog:
"In December 2010, after a two-week mission trip, I followed my little broken heart back to Rwanda, begging God to use me in any way He saw fit. I didn’t have a plan, but I trusted that He did.
In June 2011, I moved into the Noel Orphanage, home to 500+ children ranging in age from a few weeks to their late 20’s. While I got my feet on the ground, I loved on babies, played countless games of soccer, and taught English. By December of that year, I had a list and a plan. So many things I saw going on around me bothered me, but I decided to zero in on two, the oldest girls and the local school lunch program (or lack thereof).
At the time, there were, roughly, 100 young adults over the age of 18 living in the Noel Orphanage. With no family and limited resources, the prospect of university or becoming gainfully employed was low. Along with that, confidence was low, dreams were small, and hope was almost non-existent. It was important, not only to provide a means of sustainable employment doing a culturally relevant trade for these girls, but also to remind them that they were created for a great purpose, by an even greater God. We all have been given gifts and talents and, once realized, we should spend those helping others. That is where the feeding program came in.
In our village there are three secondary schools, grades 7-12, and these students go to school all day, most without eating. The schools, generally, offer a 20-minute break for lunch where children who live close enough or have money, may go home to go to the market to eat. Most do not.
No.41 started on a whim and a prayer in March 2012, with 16 girls from Noel. The girls would be earing a fair wage sewing bags and selling them, mostly in the US, with 100% of the profits going to feed students at local schools. The idea was: FOR ONE child. FOR ONE meal. FOR ONE year. For just $75, a young woman earns a sustainable income and a child receives a hot, healthy lunch everyday at school. By the end of April, No.41 employed 32 girls, with a fairly substantial waiting list, and by February 2013, the No.41 girls were feeding 870 students and 36 teachers, from their own community, every day.
All that has transpired at No.41 is beyond my wildest dreams. We have had ten girls move themselves out of the orphanage and we now have 19 enrolled in university. We have career fairs and business trainings, Bible study and English class. I never believed this couldn’t happen, but I never imagined it would happen like this. No.41 is a testament to all that God wants to do in you and through you, if you’ll just say, yes."
Pretty incredible, right. God can do amazing things with a willing heart and eager hands.
The winner gets to choose one item from their shop. And I love every single item listed. So go show them some love and support!
H A P P Y V A L E N T I N E ' S D A Y !