I won! I won!

Two days ago, I woke up on a tiny couch-bed in Cincinnati Children’s Hospital to a friend congratulating me through text for winning an Instagram giveaway- #amys1on1giveaway held by TheAmyClarke (her Instagram name). She is a beautiful, Jesus-loving gal living in California. She is also a very talented make-up artist and has the BEST before and afters! You can check her out on YouTube here! ( I have got to be honest, seeing her “live” makes me want to meet her more! haha!)

Fun, right? Very fun!

It’s even more fun to see her give back! Amy and her friend, Lady_Dianna (Instagram name) , a Jesus-loving gal and talented hair stylist (amazing “before” and “afters”!) go to underprivileged countries to teach women their trade and to help empower them to be able to support themselves and their families all while doing things they love as they help reveal their inner talents. It’s beautiful to see, even if only a glimpse through a silly,little social network like Instagram. You can read more on what they do, here. You can also follow @supportthetrade on Instagram. You will be blessed.

 They are so excited!!!

Well, on Amy’s giveaway, she asked us to explain why we deserved winning (I TOTALLY felt like a sob story…and extremely guilty but went for it anyway!) and then we just had to re-post the image about the giveaway. The winner won a free make-over/lesson with THEAMYCLARKE and a mini photo-shoot + swag (funny word!). It totaled $1,000! Maybe I should not have applied but I didn’t think I’d win and it also sounded lovely. So, I did. And then, I won!

I was so excited that I re-posted the Instagram of Amy congratulating me and another girl (who was smart and actually lived in California) saying we won! Through this, I now have more people who are praying for Zeke as they read our “sob story” who have started following our adventure through my blog and Instagram. So, there’s that huge blessing! I’m always game for more prayer warriors!!

I also posted this exciting news on Facebook and that I needed to start a fundraiser to get me to California! You sweet, sweet people got so excited for me and said really sweet things. The thought of you wanting to jump in on helping me get there made me feel so loved!

I also had this feeling of regret.

I really should not have joked about a fundraiser. A fundraiser, to me, isn’t about getting me to go and get pampered no matter how much it may seem I need one. A fundraiser is more for people who have real needs like, beds. Beds because that were lost in a house fire.

Or, money for treatment for a son who has a similar case as Zeke’s. Epilepsy they cannot get controlled as they are slowly loosing their son. I would never start a fundraiser for myself to go on a trip. That was always a joke, but I would (and was always going to eventually share with my readers) share with you about 2 families I know personally, who are in need. Have true needs.

I recently became friends with a family who just wanted to help us. Whatever that looked like, they were game! We knew of each other from a previous church we attended but it wasn’t until I was driving through…wait for it…Caribou Coffee that she saw me and told me she had recently started reading my blog and felt a tug as her daughter wanted to work with special needs children. My days are crazy and as much as I’d like to avoid the truth, I cannot. I need help. And so, this was timely. Something I would never deny was considered a divine appointment.

It’s been so much fun getting to know them. Our kids play and their oldest daughter is much loved by Eisley, Bexley and Zeke. Cy is off playing with all of her sweet boys. The way they have loved on our family (and you all know how I feel about other, non-family people loving on my kids especially being in a different city than family!!) has been another sign of The Body acting as The Body should!.

But, there’s more. This women loves the Lord with her everything. She makes me feel less crazy. These days, and this is NOT to sound all holy, but these days I have a hard time not having a conversation that is quickly engulfed in Jesus. And this is how she talks. And it’s genuine, pure and real.

I cannot do her story justice but I will say, her and her family, a husband and nine kids, lost their home to a fire. They all made it out safe even though it was at around 1am. Praise God for that! And she isn’t moping around but she’s working hard to get back what they lost. Like the Proverbs 31 woman would!

She takes the money they’ve been given from insurance (and THAT is a whole other story/nightmare) and isn’t going out and buying the newest, latest couches, light fixtures, etc. She is being extremely frugal and buying very nice but used items and dang-it this gal finds deals! I’m talking one person spends $30 and her budget is $2. She prays about it and God blesses it.

But beds? You cannot get used mattresses. That is just gross. I mean, if she only had a couple of kids, hand-me-downs from family is fine…but with as wise as she has been with her money as they wait for their house to be re-built, I feel like asking for help in buying new mattresses is more than acceptable. You can read more of their story on her blog, here.

The next family I mentioned above has a sweet boy named Elijah. He is a cutie! Their family is trying a new treatment for him that they hope will bring healing for their sweet boy. It’s extremely expensive and is not covered by insurance. I do not know much of this family but they are not too far removed from us as we’ve had seasons where we have been in each other’s lives and of course, knowing someone else is suffering with the pain we endure, I cannot help but want to try and help out the best way I can. Through sharing their story, too.

Please read her blogpost here, so see how you may be able to help!

Please, consider giving even just a small amount if you can to both or either family in need. God put this on my heart to share with you all and through this fun Instagram giveaway, I saw the perfect opportunity to do that! Love how God works!  If all of my readers gave $5, $10 or whatever God puts on your heart…they’d be set. If only, pray about it and see how God would use you to bless them.

Bless you all! What a wonderful family of God we have! What an amazing heavenly Father we have that we can lift up all of these requests and more!!

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