Monday, April 28, 2014

Renmen Abonde

Renmen Abonde, creole for "love abounds," is the name I've finally chosen for my bracelets.

It's taken me quite a while to decide on a name, because I didn't want a name that pointed to any good I'm doing by making them, but rather point to the love of Jesus, because without Him none of this would be possible.

When I think about the way Jesus has taken some wire and a few beads and transformed them into something so beautiful, it gives me goosebumps. Isn't it funny how He can take simple things and transform them into awesome opportunities to share our faith? Making these bracelets has been such an adventure, full of every emotion wrapped into one. How do you start something like this with no money? I found out first hand that the answer to that question is faith. Trusting that the Lord would honor my efforts for Him, I jumped in head first with this attempt to raise money for my upcoming mission trip to Jacmel, Haiti. Since then, I've seen the Lord work in my life in the most profound way and I know that it's only a glimpse of the goodness He will reveal during my time in Haiti.

So many people have answered the call that Jesus has placed on their lives, buying bracelets and giving far more than asked of them in return. There aren't words to describe the gratitude I have for their support, encouragement and generosity.

My heart behind these bracelets is to connect women all across the world in Christ. Each of these bracelets are tangible reminders of the love that abounds across the deepest waters, uniting his daughters through the love that He so freely gives.

Thank you, Jesus. Your love abounds.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Take Heart

These last few months, The Lord has really been working on my heart. He used this adorable little boutique, some wire, and a few beads to totally wreck my heart, grow my love for the Haitian people, and learn to wholly place my trust in Him. After making my bracelets for just a little over a month, I've already raised more than half of what I need to go back to Haiti in August, and last week, after praying diligently that the Lord would continue to open doors and provide new opportunities for this effort to grow, I ran into my friend, Emma, in the library, who suggested I take my bracelets to the boutique where she works in Blowing Rock. Today, I walked in here with no idea what to expect and left with my heart so full I thought it might explode. Not only did Sheri, the owner of Take Heart, purchase my bracelets, but she also blessed my heart in the most precious way with encouragement, Godly advice, inspiration, and a challenge to dream bigger than I even thought possible. Why have I been limiting what I thought God could do in my life? He made it so clear to me today that He has big, big things in store for me if I'll just dream a little bigger, sparkle a little brighter, and fall a little more In love with Him || Jesus, it's all Jesus.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Three Easters

It's hard to believe that three Easters have gone by since this handsome man first asked me to do life with him. So much has changed since then, and we have overcome more obstacles than we can count. We've laughed together, cried together, challenged each other, and grown in ways that could only come from Jesus. 

Homemade Easter Egg Dye

Every year, it seems like the quality of store-bought Easter egg dye gets worse and worse. This year, we ran out at the last minute to buy a box of Easter egg dye, only to get home and realize that only 3 of the 6 tablets that the box advertised were actually included and they had melted somewhere along the way and the colors were all mixed together. Rather than getting out again in the rain to hunt down another mediocre box of egg dye, we decided to get a little creative. After mixing a few different concoctions to find the perfect homemade dye, we finally found a way to get eggs prettier than any box dye could provide.

Using a generous amount of Wilton icing coloring, a cup of water and one teaspoon of white vinegar, we dipped our eggs in these homemade colors and they came out completely streak and spot free, with beautiful colors that we had much more control over than boxed dye. 
 And voila! They turned out absolutely beautiful! In fact, they may be my favorite ones we've ever done. Any who would've thought, the secret to beautiful, streak-free eggs was right inside our kitchen cabinets the whole time!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

The finish line

As I eagerly approach graduation, assignments are piling up and I am more overwhelmed than I've ever been. Senior portfolios, group projects, and final photography assignments take up every second of my time and I feel like I've been treading water just to keep from drowning in a sea called college. Where is the end of this tunnel? Will I ever be finished?

In search of some encouragement, I read 2 Timothy 4:7, which says, "I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith." I know that the Lord will only bless my perseverance and diligence, so no matter how hard it gets, I accept the challenge of pushing through these last few weeks and finishing strong. 

Fight to the finish with me, sweet friends. Wherever you are, whatever you're facing, the Lord is there with you, walking right beside you, and He can't wait to see you victoriously celebrating at the end of whatever tunnel you might be going through.