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pretty crazy to think I just got back from a trip I’d been dreaming about and planning for for months.

now it’s over.

I love to write.  I love to travel.  I love to be in Africa.  I love to support missionaries + their ministries.  I love to be with people.

so this kind of trip was perfect for me.  a culmination of so many of my gifts + passions.

I sorta sound like a broken record.

 

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I started writing this post right after my trip with Sole Hope back in March.  but as I look back, I can foresee me saying the same things when I get back from my #StyleForJustice trip too.  The culmination of a dream fulfilled.  Getting to travel to a country (and continent) I love, with two organizations I love, and with friends and other amazing women I’ve looked up to for years.  writing, taking photographs, learning more about the work of IJM and re-connecting with Noonday’s group of artisans I met 3 years ago.

 

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what happens when these things are over?

re-entry after trips like these to Africa is hard.

but what happens when after this trip, there is nothing on the calendar?

nothing to look forward to.  to pray for, plan for and pack for.

no group of women to connect with, pray for and travel with.

 

what happens when, like me, one of my biggest dreams will be fulfilled and OVER???

these are the thoughts that go through my head, yet I know without a shadow of a doubt that God has cleared my fall schedule for a reason.  I have no idea what that reason could be, but I have peace about it.  I do stay up late and think about what the reason could be – a move? a new job? a baby? africa?  but regardless of the WHY I know the WHO.  I know WHO is in control and although my human-ness wants to freak out, the peace of Christ that surpasses all understanding gives me all I need to be calm.

it’s almost here, ya know?  My husband gives me the daily count down, and most of the time I put my hands over my ears.  Not because I’m not ready for it to be here, but because I’m not ready for it to be over.

Today, I am going to make a couscous effort to not just think about the future, but to live in the present.  to enjoy every moment, soak them all in one at a time, and be present.

10 more days, will you be joining in our journey?  sign up here to get updates [and enter for a chance to win some great prizes!]

all but 1 photo by Wandering with Mary 

  • Hannah Bunker - Hey Wynne! So reading this post made me think of sharing my friend Jennifer’s blog with you. Her husband does medical missions in Africa and they, as a family (her, Paul, and their 4 kids) do missions in Africa every year. She wrote a post recently about re-entry back into our world after her latest trip to Africa. It made me think of you saying that in this post. I think you might enjoy what she writes so I thought I’d share. She’s awesome. :) http://jenniferosteen.com/2014/06/hello-old-friend/ReplyCancel

  • Melissa Blair - Oh my soul. I understand this ‘present’ struggle. Every. Second. Sure loved reading this one this morning…puts me back there with my people…good, sharp stabs in the heart this morning. Love love you. ReplyCancel

It’s sunday evening, and I’m lying in bed at home alone on my heating pad.  I’ve been here pretty much all day, and I just looked up long enough to see a text from my mom that let me know this time 2 years ago we were on the way to meet Camp + Asher for the first time in Ethiopia.  Two years ago.

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The day I became a mom.   As I re-read that post I wrote on the day that we received our double portion, I couldn’t help but be reminded of God’s faithfulness.  I needed that today.  A part of my endometriosis (and infertility) is that every month there is at least 1 day that I am forced to stay home, mostly in bed.  The bleeding is so heavy that I’ve felt lightheaded and dizzy when I get up out of bed, and somedays I just am so over it.  I want to have “that moment” again.  I want to be in a place ready to receive the good gifts God wants to bestow on me.  Most of the time I feel unworthy.  Today, I rebuke that I want to start praying and claiming Gods promises for me.

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Over the past 5 years of our infertility/endometriosis journey, I have been prayed over many many times.  I can recall every single instance someone prayed for healing over me, and those powerful moments in prayer with my brothers and sisters around the world will forever be etched in my memory.  Last Sunday as I was visiting my good friends, the Gibsons, church with them, I felt led to go to the front during prayer time to ask for praying for healing.  again.  I told the two precious women who were praying for me, that I’ve been asking God to heal me for a few years, and even though he hasn’t physically healed me yet, I still have faith that He is able to!  One of the women, after I finished, said “so you want us to pray for you to have a baby?”  and I said, no, I mean that would be a great bonus to the healing work God could do in my body but that wasn’t what I was requesting prayer for.  After the prayer time ended, she looked at me and said “I know what I heard”.

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As I walked back up to our seats, I thought about what she said and as we continued in worship, I felt the Lord giving me new faith.  fresh faith.  and fresh eyes to see that I CAN indeed ask for a baby in prayer.  I am not saying I deserve a baby, or that I feel like God has promised me a baby, but I felt like that day in that church He gently spoke new faith to me.  He spoke his fatherly love to me.  He reminded me that I don’t have to feel this guilt I feel when I think of asking for such a thing in prayer.  I’ve been so focused on my physical healing the past few years, that maybe I’ve lost sight of the true desire of my heart.

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Tonight, as I sit in a quiet house eating my pesto pasta in bed alone, I am reminded that no matter what happens – if God heals me by way of a baby, or just by his miraculous works, I am a mom.  I do desire to keep being a mom, and whether thats a mom biologically, or if we adopt again, I will keep mothering.  As I said in that first mom post, it IS the best job.  It’s not always butterflies and roses as I suspected (did I tell you we’ve been potty training this weekend?) but it’s the best job.  I am beyond honored to be Camp + Ashers mommy.  Today, I want to celebrate that gift.

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photos by the lovely + talented Alison Holcomb  [and they are the biggest gift ever]

  • Melinda Adams - I’m right there with you, my stomach winced in pain, as I read this. A familiar pain that I’m oh so very well acquainted with! So sorry, praying for you, I so know where you are coming from with wanting a body that functions “normally” !ReplyCancel

  • Tara - Praying for you Wynne!ReplyCancel

  • Megan - Praying alongside you friend! I want you to be encouraged that those feelings/thoughts of guilt are not from Him. You’re a wonderful mother, and I know you’ll get to be a mother again to more sweet children – no matter how they come along. Praying for bodily/emotional rest and comfort to come your way this week – love you!ReplyCancel

    • Wynne - thanks for praying megan! you are so right – those thoughts of guilt aren’t of god, and he’s teaching me so much in this process! love you!ReplyCancel

  • Melissa Blair - So so thankful that I got to spend some time with you and these little people just a couple short weeks ago. It was just…a gift. And I am able to see those faces in these. And see the bond that you have with them (best bootiful fwen) and SEE this second that God placed them in your hands. How beautiful, Wynne. How very beautiful. Thank you for sharing these precious moments. Wow. ReplyCancel

  • Caroline - There are so many of us waiting for healing! He acts on EVERY prayer!! Believing He will heal and restore our bodies and return a double portion!ReplyCancel

 

so fun to get to guest post over at The Root Collective’s blog today about our purchasing power.

go check it out here.  and get you some #Ottomademyshoes flats handmade in Guatemala here.

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Purchasing with purpose.  This was a term that I had no idea what it meant 2+ years ago, but now it has become a frequent term on my blog, pinterest and just overall lingo.  See, I used to buy things just because they were cheap.  Especially jewelry, accessories and shoes.  I didn’t really know any better.  Then I was introduced to Noonday Collection, and The Root Collective among other amazing companies that create beautiful pieces hand made by artisans.

hand made!  this just astounds me, that instead of using my purchasing power to buy something that was made in a factory across the world, I can use my purchasing power for good!  I can say no to purchasing “cheap” things, and instead use my money and voice to purchase items that I know are ethicically produced.

I know now when I wear my Root Collective flats, that somewhere in Guatemala, Otto’s hands touched them and created these beautiful works of art on my feet.  When I wear my Noonday paper beads from Uganda, I picture Daniel, Bukenya and Caleb and all the work and heart and love that went into making that necklace special and unique.

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You see, as consumers we have purchasing power!  We have the opportunity to spend our money on something that reaps rewards all over the world, not just in my closet.  Think about this….how many times have you given money to someone in need?  You know the parable – you can give a man a fish, or teach him how to fish…this purchasing from these artisans….it’s teaching them how to fish!  When you use your purchasing power for good, you are sending them a message too: YOU MATTER!

Your purchases are powerful because they give them purpose!  The power of having purpose is POWERFUL!  I’ve sat in enough homes of artisans all over East Africa to know that their job is the one thing that gives them purpose, it’s the thing that gets them up in the morning, it’s the thing that provides for their family.  It gives them HOPE, and a FUTURE, and there is nothing better than using our purchasing power to give purpose to the women + men all over the world who handmade these beautiful adornments we wear.

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so what do you say?  How about next time you are tempted to head to your local mall and pick up a $3 pair of earrings, how about instead think of how your purchase could be used for good?  Let’s do it!

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Like I said last week about our trip to New Orleans, it’s a fun family tradition.  My parents have been coming here every year for over 30 years with their best friends.  Every time they do the same thing: eat and antique shop.  They stay at different hotels, and their restaurants vary but one thing remains: Friday lunch at Galotoires.  It’s quite the experience if you haven’t been.  There’s only one seating time: 11:30 and you have to get a “line sitter” to stand in line for you starting at 7:30 am.  Everyone comes in their southern best, and it gets rowdy in there!  It was fun during “happy birthday” for the entire restaurant to erupt in song.  I love celebrating my dad.  I love being with my family.  I love being a part of their tradition, and I hope that me and Stephen have traditions like this one that last over 3 decades.  There’s so much to be said about having friendships that last, and friendships that include travel and fun adventures!  I was proud to be a part of my dads big 6oth!!

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Wynne04

have y’all heard of this amazing boutique called Altar’d State???  Y’all, my small west Texas town hardly has any amazing chain stores or boutiques [like, we don't even have a GAP anymore] but we have an Altar’d State!  The first time I went in this store, I immiedeltly fell in love.  They were blaring good [christian] music, yummy smelling anthro-like candles, friendly staff, clothes, accessories, shoes AND gifts.  Seriously this place is a one stop shop.  What I love most about this store is the fact that they GIVE BACK.

They give a portion of overall sales to local + international charities, and each store has a specific charity/cause they work with and that a portion of that stores sales goes to!  They also have their own brand, that gives food, clothing and shelter to kids around the world.  This dress is an Altar’d State brand and it’s quickly become a favorite for my spring/summer wardrobe…

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partner it with some of my favorite Noonday Collection Annie’s Feathered earrings, and Rubik’s jade necklace and some stacking bracelets and I have a complete look!  All “purchased with purpose!”

that is what I like to call MY STYLE!

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**I was not compensated for this post, I am purely a huge fan// photos by the lovely Erica Sledge Photography 

  • Jessica Thornton - I recently went for the first time! Such cute stuff.ReplyCancel

  • Abra Clampitt - i started following them on IG because of you! LOVE that store. it reminds me of a store in nashville tennessee called philanthropy–you would love it. and that dress is so stunning on you!
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  • Abra Clampitt - i started following them on IG because of you! LOVE that store. it reminds me of a store in nashville tennessee called philanthropy–you would love it. and that dress is so stunning on you!
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  • Danette Dillon - Cute dress and earrings. ReplyCancel

  • Jessica Meyer Votaw - Gorgeous!!!! ReplyCancel

  • Andrea Worley - beautiful dress! off to check out their store!ReplyCancel

  • Laura Loewen - You are beautiful inside and out, girl!ReplyCancel