Our Plan = Sell 150 bracelets in 30 days in order to fundraise for our adoption while also giving back to the people of Haiti. HIS Plan = 450 SOLD in 15 DAYS!!! What started out as an idea to fundraise a bit for my birthday month has turned into a part of our journey that will be forever treasured. These paper beads have become like stones set up in Joshua 4 as a memorial to always remember what GOD has done and will do. My planner has been packed with lunches and coffees with our tribe for bead delivery, and the Cooper Cottage has been full of friends stopping by to pick and pay. I have loved being in the space of every single one of you, even if it was a quick, curb-side pick-up. I have also made quite a few friends at the post office! For the past few months, my "late nights" have consisted of lots of tears and fears, BUT the late nights of the past few weeks have been FULL of gratitude and worship as names are written and assigned to each paper bead bracelet. "For the Lord your God is living among you. He is a mighty Savior. He will take delight in you with gladness. With his love, he will calm all your fears. He will rejoice over you with joyful songs." Zephaniah 3:17
As a teacher who loves to learn. I have learned that getting older is really not all that bad. Yes, with each year comes different changes and challenges; BUT, with each year also comes new experiences lived and lessons learned. I mean, I am smarter now than I have ever been, right? So, for year 29, here are 29 things I have learned recently:
1. Collect moments NOT things. 2. Headbands and hats are a must. 3. My story is written for HIS glory. 4. Who I am in prayer is who I am in ministry. 5. Coffee is good, really good - hot or iced. 6. Kids can teach us so much. 7. Maxi skirts are just as comfortable as pjs. 8. Asking for and extending forgiveness is always worth it. 9. It's not about how I look, but how I feel. 10. My gratitude determines my attitude. 11. Life on mission is meant to be lived every day, everywhere. 12. Sending and receiving "happy mail" is the best. 13. making a difference starts with loving and serving my family. 14. I have an old soul obsessed with the "good 'ole days". 15. Worship is the BEST way to get through a tough day. 16. Perfection is not the standard, but GRACE. 17. Humility is not meant to be glamorous. 18. Anywhere near water is where I want to be. 19. Books are the best "brain break". 20. Walks and talks are meant for giggles and tears. 21. Hot tea with the hubby is a sweet time. 22. Our "Peace Place" is home to all. 23. This "Happy Camper" loves to be outside. 24. Confidence is an issue of identity. 25. There is a difference in knowing God and knowing about God. 26. Peppermint and lavender oil are my kind of perfume. 27. Rest is more than sleeping. 28. See every person as God sees them. 29. Moments should be printed off not just scrolled through.
In a season of learning so much, I am grateful and more confident in my calling than I have ever been. As a student of the Word and the tribe of people surrounding me, my God continues to sustain while pruning away at my pitiful pursuit of perfection.
“I am the true grapevine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch of mine that doesn’t produce fruit, and he prunes the branches that do bear fruit so they will produce even more. You have already been pruned and purified by the message I have given you. Remain in me, and I will remain in you. For a branch cannot produce fruit if it is severed from the vine, and you cannot be fruitful unless you remain in me. “Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing. Anyone who does not remain in me is thrown away like a useless branch and withers. Such branches are gathered into a pile to be burned. But if you remain in me and my words remain in you, you may ask for anything you want, and it will be granted! When you produce much fruit, you are my true disciples. This brings great glory to my Father. “I have loved you even as the Father has loved me. Remain in my love. When you obey my commandments, you remain in my love, just as I obey my Father’s commandments and remain in his love. I have told you these things so that you will be filled with my joy. Yes, your joy will overflow! This is my commandment: Love each other in the same way I have loved you. There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. You are my friends if you do what I command. I no longer call you slaves, because a master doesn’t confide in his slaves. Now you are my friends, since I have told you everything the Father told me. You didn’t choose me. I chose you. I appointed you to go and produce lasting fruit, so that the Father will give you whatever you ask for, using my name. This is my command: Love each other." John 15:1-17
The month of September has been about MUCH MORE than beads and a birthday, friends. It has been about our faithful GOD who not only hears our prayers, BUT answers. Our GOD who uses the ordinary to do the EXTRAordinary. To our incredible village, THANK YOU! Our kiddos will see your names and hear ALL about how GOD used you in such a miraculous way. "Look around at the nations; look and be amazed! For I am doing something in your own day, something you wouldn't believe even if someone told you about it." Habakkuk 1:5
These beauties are just $10 each ($3 shipping) and handmade in Haiti! Not only will your purchase help this mommy and daddy bring their little love home from Haiti, but will also empower mommies and daddies in Haiti to care for their children with hope and dignity. We know our God is working in our waiting, and we continue to be humbled and completely overwhelmed by our tribe that continues to love and support us in this journey. Shop the "Birthday Beads" today, friends!!! In fact, 150 MORE bracelets are on their way from Haiti NOW! Comment, message, text, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit https://www.gofundme.com/cooperadoptionfund to order.
What are you learning? Who can you learn from? Who can you teach? What is your mission? Who can you serve? Know HIM. Make HIM known. Choose JOY in your journey!
Worship in Waiting: