This past weekend at the Noonday #ambassadorconference I had several girls come up to me and ask me about my sweet friend Jody + her family! I realized I never did an update at the end of our 12k in 12 days fundraiser! So here it is! [a little late]
Today is day 12 of the Gully Family Adoption Fundraiser. Two weeks ago 5 dreamer girls got together and prayed & believed that God did not want this family to walk this road alone, that God wanted a community to come alongside this family and LOVE them in a HUGE way. After 12 days this family’s adoption has been “FULLY FUNDED.” This local & online community has blessed this family above and beyond what they ever could have imagined and we thank God for speaking to so many giving hearts. Please continue to cover this family in prayer as their adoption of these 6 girls is finalized. We are thankful for them allowing us ALL to be a part of their story.
yes yall! FUNDED! yall, they received more than they thought they needed….but it’s looking like it was JUST what the needed for now. [the process might take longer than expected, so they might STILL be believing for exactly what they need in the future] God has provided more than we could have asked or imagined. He knows every need, and every turn, and He provides! If you are in the process of adopting, and you are scared [re: all of us!] put your trust in the Lord! Look to Him, Seek Him, Ask Him. He is with you and for you! I am just thankful He brings other people along into the story in a way only He can.
This was a little note from Jody….
We were so overwhelmed with everyone’s response to our adoption news. Your prayers, words of encouragement, financial generosity, and friendship have blessed us tremendously over the years. We had such a difficult time sharing our story and putting so much out there and yet the response was so uplifting. Thank you for walking through this with us. It has taken so many people to help us on this journey over the years and we could have never done this alone. Love, Mike and Jody
if you have no idea what I’m talking about, read here. and get ready, because we have another local family the “dreamer dreamer” girls are about to blast out!
I’m at thinker. A dreamer. A “big ideas” person. I used to think I was good at the details, and maybe sometimes God gives me grace for the details – but mostly I am a thinker and dreamer. I wish you could watch me scroll, and scroll + continue to scroll down on my “voice memos” on my iphone. All clips of me talking over random songs blasting in the background in my car and sometimes a few squeals from my Asher girl as I think my thoughts out loud. It seems like I have my best thoughts while driving, or while in the shower, or while traveling + exploring a new place. The tricky part is then getting those thoughts to form into words. I pray daily that Jesus would take my thoughts and form them into words He can use to get glory for Himself. You see, I am a story person. I love to hear peoples stories, and to tell my own story. When you are with me face to face, it’s not too hard for me to find the words. When I’m journaling prayers to my God, it’s not hard to find the words. but somehow, for some reason, it’s hard for my deep thoughts to form into the written word. I know there is some risk in sharing your life online, or in print, but I am convinced that God has called me to just that: share my story, because my story is His story.
So this year, I want to do more thinking. I want to be intentional about making time to think. If you couldn’t tell by my obnoxious posts on instagram over the holidays, we were on a little getaway over new years to the Cayman Islands. I come to learn so much about myself when I take time to “get away” from the day to day routine. and quite honestly, from my iphone. I’m convinced I think best in the shower, while driving, or on an airplane because my phone isn’t glued to my hand. I don’t have the internet or TV, and I can actually take a clean break from those distractions. It sounds so simple – well, Wynne stop watching TV or getting online… but it’s not that easy. so I will make space to get away, to get undistracted, to think. and to listen and to hear. I will write with a pen in my actual journal, I will make voice memos, and I will think. but…
what I really want for 2014 is to write. to write a little every day. to let those thoughts I think become words. I’ve been thinking a lot about the difference between being a “blogger” and being a “writer”, and obviously you can be both. I consider myself to be both. and not that one is better than the other, but I think for me they are somewhat different. I have focused in the past solely on “blogging” for this space – filling it with encouraging stories, resources, images, and challenging questions. Not that this space will change overnight, but I want to focus more this year on writing. So you probably won’t be hearing from me 5 times a week.
I hope + pray that you will hear from me when God has formed my thoughts into words for His glory.
It seems like a dream. Spending the weekend with over 120 of my Noonday Collection ambassador sisters in the hill country – and it was! I expected the weekend to be amazing. I expected to watch my dry spirit become full and alive. I expected to have late nights chatting and praying and dreaming. I didn’t realize my expectations would be blown out of the water. This weekend was a dream. I know this sounds cheezy, but the Noonday ambassadors are like a sisterhood to me. It’s amazing to me that despite the fact that we come from all different walks of life/parts of the country/ages/etc….we are a sisterhood. We have one thing in common: to fight for the women and men all around the world who simply want to make a life for their children and families. You see, Noonday isn’t just about the artisans, or just about the ambassadors, it’s about all of us. We are working for them, and they are working for us. We both have needs, and dreams, and passions and TOGETHER we are bringing beautiful hand made accessories into the hands of women all over the world. we are using fashion + design to create change + opportunity for the vulnerable!
I can’t possibly share all the reasons why I loved this weekend. Thursday started in Austin with a welcome party + drinks with the girls…followed by P Terrys and a trip to the tattoo parlor. Nothing like walking into the tattoo parlor at 11pm on Thursday night with 5 highly accessorized girly girls. I would like to blame this part of the weekend on my husband. It was him that put the idea in my head, and when I texted him a picture of the sign at the tattoo parlor, all he said was “live alive”. I am proud to permanently have the outline of the continent that has taught me so much about myself + about life on my body. The fact is, I do need Africa more than Africa needs me, and it’s Africa that has taught me that possessions in my hands are nothing compared to the peace in my heart. [thank you Mocha Club].
Breakfast at Jessicas + tour of the home office before we headed out to Camp Balcones Springs. My heart was full and ready as “roar” played in the background – I knew I was in for some seriously good girl time!
one of the absolute best things about the weekend was having Jalia there! Jalia is our lead artisan in Uganda, and she is a VIP in our eyes! I’ve had the honor of spending time with her and her family in Kampala a few times, and so it was such a treat to have her in my home state! She told us sitting on the bed that morning that she felt so loved, and that she had never had so many people tell her she was beautiful. Let the waterworks begin…
I can’t wait to tell you what God did in my HEART over the weekend, but I thought I’d show you some fun pictures of the girls I spent time with before we get into all that. we caused all sorts of trouble: making smores at the campfire, dressing up for a fancy night + photobooth, having some wine, celebrating each others successes + staying up way too late chatting. We also were empowered in our Noonday business, got to share our voice + ask our questions to home office team, learn from each other, swoon over the new spring line [yall will DIE! it's so beautiful], and get to know people we didn’t know! There were seriously so many amazing women from all across the country – some I had connected with online and never in real life, a few that were already my real life friends that I treasure my time with, and some were “treasures” as I say! Totally not on my radar before, and now sisters!
[from top L to R: Brandi, Candace, Paige, Erica, Kim, Krista, Jessica, Ashley + Corrie] and so many more not pictured!
in the minutes following this picture, I got to hear more of Jalia’s dreams for the future [ as she asked me if she put her new Mac lip gloss on right!]. This woman amazes me. I’ll be in her country in March for our Sole Hope bloggers trip + she wants to come and serve with us. Like the people we will be serving on that trip, she too grew up with jiggars. It was such a picture of HOPE for me to hear her say she wanted to come serve – she was once in that place, and now she is a successful wife, mother + business owner! I have much to learn….
the spring line launches FEBRUARY 20th!!! Contact me to host a show today! if you are intersted in becoming an ambassador or hostess [no matter where you are!] there is a lot of great info on the website.
life is funny. sometimes you plan for a fun all gussied up dinner + drinks with the girls downtown, and you end up going to the local diner in your yoga pants with your neighbor [followed by drive thru ice cream shakes...] instead. Sometimes you are sad that the well laid out plans didn’t work, and you will miss the people that were supposed to be there. then sometimes the 2 hour dinner over salad + wine + fried zuccini sticks dipped in ranch blows your mind and give you just the perfect night that you didn’t know you needed. sometimes you realize that you have been
friends good friends with someone for years, and yet have never shared a meal just the two of you. I am oh-so-very-thankful for my neighbor-friend, Jacci, and our yoga pants date. I love the kind of relationships where conversation, I mean really good + deep conversation, is easy and just seems to flow freely. Where you can share anything from your family drama, to third world living stories, and then how much your wedding dress cost. for real. Freeing. Community. I am so thankful to have it right at my doorstep [almost literally].
[me + Jacci. don't we sorta look like sisters here? ps - this was NOT the aforementioned yoga pants dinner date]
It just got me thinking about life, and the “plans” we have. The perfect, pretty, well laid out plans that we think we have control over.
“The heart of man plans his way,
but the Lord establishes his steps.” Proverbs 16:9
the reality is, it’s the Lord that determines our steps. might sound cliche, but God knew that this night would just be me + Jacci sitting across from each other in that booth. He knew that I would be able to take a big sigh of relief, and pour out my heart like she was my counselor. He knew we would get to know each other + our stories deeper than we have in the past. and that’s JUST what life and relationships are about! PROGRESS! moving forward, sharing our past and our past hurts and regrets yes – but ultimately, “forgetting what lies behind and straining for what lies ahead” – Philippians 3:13. We both have a lot of unknowns in the not-so-distant future, but that future is bright! because it’s the LORD who establishes our steps.
It’s Him who messes up our well laid out plans, and gives us exactly what we didn’t even know we needed.
Although I missed the “official” boat to link up for my word in 2014, I have been so anxious to share it with you all! Last year this whole idea was new to me, and I didn’t have much time to think on it, but this year I’ve been thinking and praying on it for months. Wanting this word to COUNT. To mean something, something I can look back at 2014 and think, “yes, I lived alive”.
So my word for the year is: ALIVE.
I want to live alive this year. I want to be completely and utterly exhausted at the end of the year. Not in a way that I didin’t take care of myself, or didn’t make time for rest: because I want that too. What I mean is I want to LIVE ALIVE. I want to take risks, I want to go “all in”, I want to DO things even when I’m tired and would rather lay on the couch and watch TV. I want to take the chance. I want to dream my big dreams out loud and think deep thoughts. I want to go to the places that make me feel ALIVE, and FREE and allow me to think and dream. I want to live brave. 2014 is not the year for excuses, but for living alive.
For me, living alive also means being who I really am, and being confident in my identiy as a daughter of christ. I don’t want to be who or what the world says but what Christ says: I want to live unapologetically to who HE made me to be.
I want to be able to look back at the end of 2014, and see a life that was truly LIVED. I’ll be documenting my year and my word through the hashtag #livingalive2014 on instagram. So far, #livingalive2014 has looked like stealing kisses from Asher on our last night on the beach watching the sun go down, and finally getting some play time in the sunshine on the porch with my favorite little people. You can follow along on my instagram @wynneelder
What about you? What was your word for 2014? Even if you don’t have a blog — I’d LOVE to hear what word will serve to be your focus as you live this year. comment below! [even if don't normally comment! I'd love to hear from you!]