It has been interesting for me to see how God is inspiring me to do things that I talked about doing, or tried to do, but I never had the best outlet to really make a difference.
This year I put together an event for Panther Creek Inspiration Ranch (www.pciranch.org) and it was a wonderful success! We had a great turn out with inspired and generous people! Not to mention, family and friends made very generous donations to further support the ranch and the children they serve. I am very excited to be able to volunteer more regularly at the ranch this summer and become a trained therapeutic riding instructor.
A few years ago when Andy and I started dating, we always talked about how we wanted to volunteer both locally and abroad. We are so excited to volunteer at the ranch this summer! In addition to this local opportunity, God has opened door for an international opportunity. A few weeks ago Andy and I had a very extensive conversation about wanting to find volunteer opportunities abroad, and God opened a door using Pinterest! Yes, Pinterest! The next morning there was a pin for GoAbroad.com where you can search for different types of volunteer opportunities anywhere in the world. I think my exact reaction was "Oh. My. Gosh." Andy and I were very excited and looking forward to pursuing these opportunities this summer. But God has different plans...
A couple of weeks later I was running with our wonderful doggies and realized that I want to use my Stella & Dot business to do good in this world. I don't need the money I make from selling jewelry to live on, so I can use it to make a difference in my community and the world. I shared this with Andy and my passion for growing my business grew exponentially. I was so excited to see what God had in store!
Two weekends ago we woke up for church and did NOT want to go. We were tired and sluggish and would have rather stolen a couple more hours of sleep. However, we knew we needed to go, especially because we so badly didn't want to, as that often means that God has something to tell us and the devil is trying to get in the way. So church was great and our spirits were lifted, and then Esther, a woman from Ghana, came to the podium.
She came to our church from Ghana to thank our congregation for financially supporting the growth and development of their school. Because of our donations, this school has been able to become stable and add a new grade level every school year. This year, they are adding a 5th grade classroom. As Esther was talking, I looked at Andy, and he looked back and said, "Ok".
Esther invited anyone who wanted to come to Ghana to make the trip to their school, and the congregation laughed. Again, Andy and I looked at each other with smiles on our faces.
After church we went to tell Esther that we are so excited she is here and we want to be a part of the growth of their school and help in any way we can. We exchanged emails with her and are currently waiting to find out about trip costs so that we can make this happen. www.ourladyofholycrossschool.com.gh
Just the other day, on the Stella & Dot facebook page, nothing more than a Stylist in Ghana working with children!!
Just this month, I grew my business by sponsoring two, fabulous new stylists! I have learned to expect the best - and it makes me so excited!
Expect the Best
God is my companion and guide at all times and in all places.
I may have certain expectations about my finances, relationships or
future goals, but I don't place limits on the good I expect. My
expectations are high, and my vision is wide--wide enough to include a
world of unlimited possibilities. I release any struggle and have faith
in God, my constant companion and guide.
An unexpected change--or even an expected one--might seem like the
last thing I would ask for; but over time, its value becomes clear. My
life is unfolding in divine order. As I remain at peace with what is and
listen for divine direction, I move into new experiences with grace and
ease. I cooperate with my spirit and expect only the best from this
My sheep hear my voice. I know them, and they follow me.--John 10:27
In the process of all of this, I have begun to ask God to take the things away from me that do not serve me. This includes cravings for foods, physical ailments, and my crazy amounts of clothes and accessories. I have begun diligently cleaning out my apartment and selling things on eBay to raise more money for these volunteering adventures and get rid of these things that are just not important. I can change the look of any outfit with a fabulous piece from Stella & Dot - I just don't need it all!! It's rather liberating to be working to get rid of these things and use the money for good rather than more things. Things don't serve me. Faith serves me. Loving and teaching my students serve me. Volunteering locally and abroad serves me. My family and friends and the food and exercise that makes me healthy serves me. I love how I'm changing into this person that just doesn't need all these things....
God is doing so much for both Andy and I, and I am almost bursting with excitement over it all! He is guiding us and we are doing our best to listen! I pray that we don't get in the way of His will for our lives!
So now that I have a "why" for my business, and a fantastic way to make money for the good of those around me, I am doing everything I can to be open to the work God must do within and around me...I love this :)