(psst….there’s a gift from me to you at the end of the post)
One year ago today, my husband and I and some friends were sitting at the Rend Collective/Tenth Ave North concert when I felt a tap on the shoulder. The woman behind me wanted to see my bag. One that I had just made a few hours earlier. She passed it to her friends, gave sweet compliments and said she needed one just like it. At the next break, she handed me her card and asked me to make her one.
Then one of the lead singers came out to discuss Compassion and child sponsorship and everything just clicked. God answered all of my questions and prayers together in one instant. Personal relationships and connecting with people is where my heart is. Yes. It just made sense that we would give back by building relationships with children all over the world.
Our sweet girl is in Rwanda. It is such a joy to learn all about her. She wants to be a businesswoman and a great preacher. She knows about you all, how you are praying for her and supporting her. I have huge dreams about expanding the sponsorships, but until we can, we are also giving a portion of all proceeds to Compassion International. Please consider sponsoring a child.
I am overwhelmingly grateful to all who have been part of this Ginger Lane journey over the past year. I never would have dreamed that it would be a real business with and hundreds of bags sewn and photoshoots and customers and goals and trunk shows.
The morals of the story?
God likes to surprise us. Be patient and Trust. His plan for launching my business was a thousand times more fun and encouraging than if I pushed my way and tried in vain to make something happen on my own.
The best free and lasting gift? A genuine compliment. It is selfless for the giver. And highly encouraging for the receiver. Just her words and excitement have carried me through the past year.
As you buy gifts for friends and family, often gifts they may not need, considering shopping for a real gift that will greatly impact the life of a stranger.
The gifts below range from $4-$180. You can impact a life with just $4! You would pay more for a coffee at Starbucks. For example, the gift of a pig is a “living savings account” to a struggling family, giving them income, protein and soil nourishment. Such a better gift than a holiday sweater!
Click on the images below to learn more about each gift, and better just, to donate to and impact the life of a someone in need.
You’re awesome. You deserve a medal for making it out the door with your 3 young boys. I’m sure you had many battles this morning before you even left the house. I can imagine the pit in your stomach when you had to hunt for one of the very few shopping carts that had three seats. (Seriously Target, you should really have more of these. If a parent is willing to leave the house with 3 young kids, we choose where we are going based on who has carts that can fit all of our kids. The thought of getting your kids from the car to store, and realize you have to turnaround and hunt one of these carts down in the busy parking lot – with kids – will bring a mother to tears. But I digress…)
Your son had clearly lost it. I heard him screaming from the other side of the store as I checked out. Every time I thought he was going to let up, he screamed and kicked even harder. But you held it together. You spoke calmly to him. You didn’t waver.
Parents throw around the phrase “We’ve all been there”. It often comes off patronizing. But I want you to know that when I looked at you, it was not in a judgmental way. I looked to see how I could help. My eyes darted around, maybe a People Magazine would cheer her up? Maybe I can help put her bags in her car? I wanted to say something encouraging, but I know when the tables are turned, if someone spoke to me in that same situation, I wouldn’t have the energy to be polite. Or I probably would lose it and start crying along with my child.
I wanted to tell you that you’re amazing. No one was judging you. There is no reason to be embarrassed. There is no reason to worry about what anyone else around you is thinking. What your child is communicating right now has nothing to do with your parenting skills. How YOU are reacting to it shows just how great a parent you are.
And as I write this to you, Mom-I-don’t-know, I also write this to myself. To remember the next time one of my 3 loses it in public.