Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Paper Flowers, Provision & Promises

Friends. I just posted that we were able to sponsor our first child through No Ordinary Love Ministries yesterday!

For a little back story. I had been praying about this for the past few weeks. The month of April was the slowest month for Pancakes & Glue Guns in almost a year, it brought it approximately 1/3 of the profit it normally brings in. It was during this month that I reached out to No Ordinary Love Ministries.

The entire month I waited and waited for the shop to return to its former glory, but it didn't - it was slow! I've always said that God's hand on this shop is so perfect as I have rest exactly when I need it, it provides a distraction from work stress when I need it, and it provides finances the exact minute we need them. All of this never happens in a "safe" way, instead the shop is constantly fluctuating in sales and profit month by month to provide exactly what we need when we need it. For instance, in April I finally had some time to make my paper flower crosses and after making a few was inpsired to reach out to Hope Spoken about being a vendor in their market. Without that down time to create these I wouldn't have pursued it. God is so good and perfect!

When I first contacted No Ordinary Love Ministires, providing a sponsorship for a child once a month was actually in the excess of my shop. I would definitely notice it, but it didn't require too much faith to make it work.  I kept telling myself, well April was a little slow - so let's just start the sponsorship thing in May. But then as the days went on and I was in the Word I read about how giving in faith as a sacrifice is a form of worship to the Lord  is so pleasing to Him.

So, I went ahead and did it - the funds from April went 100% to sponsoring a child at No Ordinary Love Ministries - there wasn't any excess, this wasn't an easy donation as it forced us to rely on faith to provide what we needed for the rest of the month.

Well, two hours later the Hope Spoken instagram account shared a picture of one of my crosses and I had dozens of new followers inquiring about custom orders in my Etsy shop. Then the next hour my husband receives an email that his scholarship for his summer internship had been increased by about $500 - the amount of the sponsorship.

Step out in faith friends, the Lord always keeps his promises. I am so blessed to be used by Him through my paper flowers. :)

Hebrews 13:16 Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God.
Hebrews 11:6 And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.
Phillipians 4:19 And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.

Monday, May 5, 2014

May Sponsorship & Hope Spoken

Friends, we've sponsored our first child through No Ordinary Love Ministries' home-based reunification services.  You can read his story here. Please pray for him and his family. :)

Thanks for supporting Pancakes & Glue Guns this April and helping me use this shop for His glory!

And another exciting note: I'll be attending the Hope Spoken conference in Dallas next March and will be a vendor in their handmade market! I'm also providing some free swag for their "swag bags." More to come on my idea for that soon!

I'll be building up an inventory of paper flower crosses for the market. It's going to take me the entire 10 months to make enough...!! Exciting though :)


Friday, May 2, 2014

Great Commissioned Moments - She Shares Truth

She Shares Truth
I'm writing my first "assignment" from the She Reads Truth devotional series. We're asked to think about what holds us back from being available for commissioned moments and to share any that we've experienced. Well, my blog post will focus more on the "holding back" than the sharing. (Insert nervous laugh.)

Mark 16: 14-20 talks about the "great commission" and asks us to "Go into the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation." (v15)

Now when I read that it makes my stomach hurt and get a little nervous. I don't want to be a overbearing weirdo and I get anxious in general about a lot of things even though I'm mostly pretty outgoing.  The thing is, the Lord knows this. He knows every secret in my heart and he also meets me (and all of us) exactly where we are.

In general I think I'm not available for commissioned moments because I over-think and over-analyze every interaction I have with someone and I'm very concerned about making sure they are happy and feel comfortable. Sometimes sharing the word of God (in love of course) can cause conviction and make someone feel uncomfortable. That's the part that makes me anxious.

But again, the Lord knows all of this, he knows every detail of our being and every secret of our heart. He knows exactly how I feel about this. It was through our recent adoption journey that the Lord opened the doors and kindly pushed me through them to get better in this aspect of my life. When we decided to start the adoption process nothing about it made sense. Logistically - we're away from our family, living on law school loans, my husband is a full time student and my job was a nightmare of stress. And personally - it wasn't because we couldn't have biological kids. We started this process because we really truly felt the Lord called us to do it. One of the reasons we pretty much knew it was the Lord was because nothing else about it made sense and walking in blind faith is a scary, but amazing opportunity. 

So, that being said, when people would ask about the adoption and why we decided to adopt (which is always everyone's first question) we really had absolutely no other answer than we felt called to do this by the Lord. Well, for many of our friends who had never heard us utter such words before I'm not sure what they thought. But I know that the Lord provided a huge number of moments through this story for us to share at work, at our new church, to our friends, family, etc. And  when my stomach would hurt to say it because I didn't want an unbelieving co-worker or friend to feel uncomfortable the Lord gave me the strength to say it and then go on to explain it. 

Now I'd be lying if I said it went perfectly all the time. So, for instance one time I believe I said "well, you know it's just like, you know, like, what we're supposed to do, ya know? YA FEEL ME?!" Ha! I didn't say it exactly like that but pretty darn close. And man what a terrible feeling in my stomach when I walked away thinking - man, I just had the opportunity to share my faith and also the truth (instead of my half-hearted lie) with someone and I didn't. And you know what? Instead of feeling anxious that I made someone uncomfortable I felt more anxious that I didn't give them the opportunity to hear and that was my selfish choice. So after that things started to turn around. But I'm still not perfect, and never will be. 

It's amazing to talk about this experience with my friends who are believers, but when you attempt to explain why you are doing something seemingly irrational to a non-believer and they stare at you with a blank look and then physically look uncomfortable, that's hard friends. 

Currently we're still being pushed in this direction as in the recent months we've felt that this is no longer the direction the Lord wants us to go right now. He has revealed some amazing wisdom to us and also opened doors for us to partner with organizations who help keep families together and reunite families in Ethiopia. Explaining now to our friends, some of whom never understood in the first place, that now we are placing this on hold is even more difficult! But at the same time it allows us to explain that we're becoming more familiar with the Lord's voice, that the Lord used this process so far to do amazing things and that now that we know what it feels like to hear him give direction in our lives we are waiting for what is next. 


Thursday, May 1, 2014

Yum....Waffle Grilled Cheese? Try it.

I came out of my office to a surprise from my husband. Of course, being the "pancakes" side of this blog - I should have expected this, but what I found was a grilled cheese sandwich on a belgium waffle.

He casually explained that we ran out of bread, so why not put cheese on a waffle?

Friends. I totally recommend this. I'm sure there will be more to come with additional ingredients we've added on. Now to make sure I don't over-do it and I allow this to be a treat and not a daily meal...sigh.

A follower on instagram said the perfect thing "Hungry men are sooo inventive!" True, true and true. Inventive doesn't always mean tasty, however as I've seen some weird creations appear from extreme hunger, but this time it did!

(And yes, that's a clearance $0.38 pack of Rolos behind the waffles. We do eat relatively healthy, but I couldn't say no to the Target red tag!!)