disconnect and rest [on my heart]

as I’m writing this it’s Thursday morning, it’s snowing outside, and I live in Texas.  Our weather in west Texas changes at the drop of a hat – and I have proof – during my garage sale Saturday I was seeing signs of spring at 65 degrees, now it’s 11 degrees and snowing.  I am pretending today that I live in Colorado, and probably look ridiculous with my Hunters, big “colorado jacket”, some Noonday alpaca and a big green crochet headband.  I am sitting in my cozy corner at my local Starbucks, and it’s a venti skinny vanilla latte kind of day.  who’s complaining.


Something that I wanted to make a priority in 2014 was taking time for disconnect and rest.  We live in such a connected world, and have everything at our fingertips all the time.  It’s really easy for me to get pulled into social media + my love affair with my iphone 5.  I am a good mix between first child-type A-organized- planner girl and creative free spirit.  Is that strange or what?  The Lord is teaching me a lot about worry and planning.  It’s been a constant prayer for grace, and I’ve learned that I absolutely have to keep my eyes straight on jesus all the time.  that’s also where the prayer for grace comes in.  I am one of those people who has lists in her head, all the time.  Unlike a lot of my straight up free spirit creative friends, I have that big part of me that’s still a planner.  but really, I should know by now that there is NO point to worry.  The bible says, “don’t worry about tomorrow”, and why should we?  We aren’t promised tomorrow,  every single day is a gift.  If we are still breathing, God is not done with us…isn’t that a beautiful reminder? So with my overscheduled calandar and commitments, God has been hammering this lesson in me.  and it’s refining me.  but sometimes it’s not pretty.

so today, today I rest.  I disconnect.  I’ve been to Target and Hobby Lobby to get my list of things for the kids birthday party next week, their valentines party at school, and my shoe cutting party Monday….[did I mention over scheduled?] and now I rest.  my resting goes in spurts, as those of you with little ones know.  Today, I have a few hours while they are at church parents day out and last night I had a little time after they went to bed + the hubby and I had spent time together.  Wine + a book in the bath is my night time disconnect of choice, and today it’s writing and coffee alone at Starbucks.  which that’s another weird thing about me – I think despite the fact that I am a major extrovert, I am secretly an introvert.

I think I should have told you this post was going to be all over the place…this is just what’s on my heart this week.  It’s been a good week on the blog – we talked about opening up + being vulnerable, I told you how you can get involved with shoe cutting parties, and how you could bless my sweet friend Sarah in her families adoption, and I told you about my February goals.  I’m hitting the road this morning with my bff Jenna to meet up with some other friends in Austin for the IF Gathering.  I’m praying God prepares my heart and some soul work is done as I ask, “IF God is real, then what?”  happy weekend lovelies!

ps..come back Monday for some pretty amazing Noonday samples I’ll be selling!

Breena - My son is very ill and in this season where we live with my in-laws after uprooting ourselves from another city (due to finding out my son’s diagnosis being fatal) and putting my kids in a new school, I’m tempted to ‘go there’ and wonder, “When this season is over, what will life look like? How will we move on? Where will we live, what kind of schooling will we choose?” But in this most challenging of season, I’m reminded just as you have said, we are given today and that ‘today’ is a gift and tomorrow isn’t mine- it isn’t promised. For a very free- spirit, that’s still a challenge but I’m learning. And I’m SO JEALOUS you are a creative that ACTUALLY plans…the best of both worlds ;) Thanks for your post!

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37k in 37 days – Stephan Family Adoption

hey friends!  remember when I introduced you to my friends, the Gully family?  Through a few of us blasting their story, God gave this family the finances they needed to legally adopt their 6 girls!  wow!  So, the dreamer dreamer girls are at it again.  One of our own, Sarah Stephan, and her family are adopting a sweet little boy from China.  The cool thing is, we all know this little one.  I’ll let Wendy tell you the story….


“There is this amazing little man who spent six weeks with us this past summer, who stole our hearts, and showed us what it’s like for a child from across the world to come to a new place, experience new things & quickly learn that there are people who love him. We heard about hosting program’s from our friends the Patterson’s who had hosted 2 little boys. We briefly discussed it and thought it would be an amazing way to share the love of Christ with a child. At the Summit Conference in Nashville I walked past a booth for New Horizon’s for Children, an international hosting program for orphaned children. As my eyes scanned the 200+ prayer cards I saw one little face, read his bio, text my husband & 20 minutes later we were approved to host this precious little boy. It was cool, it was crazy & it was God. It was such an incredible blessing to our family to be able to love on this little guy and include him as a family member. I HIGHLY recommend hosting. After 6 weeks we traveled to Dallas with a sad little boy, a bag of all his belongings & a stuffed monkey and tearfully watched him wave goodbye to us as he walked through security. My heart could hardly stand the thought of never seeing him again. And now my heart is bursting at the seams as I follow our dear friends who have said yes to adopting him! Eeekk!! He. Has. A . Family. Coming for HIM!”

Please consider being a part of this adoption story. This is an amazing family, with amazing hearts & an incredible love for God. Let’s get this little man home so he can get the medical care he needs & sleep under the roof of a family… FOREVER!

Click here to read the next chapter of this sweet boys story and donate to the Stephan family adoption!

follow Sarah’s blog sarahstepan.com/blog

If your in the Midland/Odessa area Sarah is an amazing photographer & is doing sessions to help raise money for their adoption!
photo (15) copy
gift certificates available
email sarah@sarahstepan.com 





Come on ride the train. » Gloriously Ruined - […] friends the Stephans with their adoption expenses of their boy in China!  [me + some girls started this campaign//read more about their story here]  so anytime you shop online, know that 10% of your sale will go […]

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yall, to say that I am excited about this #blogHOPE sole hope trip I’ll be leading in March would be an understatement.  The google hangouts we’ve had, the wisdom that’s been shared from previous blogger trips, as well as feeling that we are paving a new way…all the talk about sitting down at one big long table with our laptops out makes me giddy.  this is why I blog and why I write.  to tell STORIES.  not just to inspire you, but to inspire you to ACTION!  One way that I hope + pray my storytelling and experience here at home and across the world  in Jinja will inspire you to do – is host a shoe cutting party!!  Before I tell you about that, just watch this video of my beautiful friend Asher tell her story and how this whole thing got started.

  Sole Hope – Asher

** it was too big to put on my blog, but PLEASE take a few min to watch this incredible story unfold through this video!!**


Monday I’ll gather with a group of friends and we will cut up old jeans into patterns and then they will turn into shoes in Uganda.  I’ll have the opportunity to carry these shoes with me and watch the shoemakers put the soles on them, and then they will be ready for a child’s feet!  yall!  this is amazing and I can’t wait to see how the Lord is going to use this shoe cutting party for His glory and for the good of the kids in Jinja, Uganda.  If you are local, and want to be a part of this shoe cutting party: please email me [ wynne (dot) elder (at) gmail (dot) com]   info on how you can host your own shoe party here.


these images are courtesy of Sole Hope – but I wanted you to see the progress these shoes we cut will take…from my living room, to a shoe maker, to a clinic where jiggers are removed, and then to a CHILD!!  I can’t wait to track the progress of the shoes we will cut! happy shoe cutting!

Allison H. - I just sent out the save the date email for my 1st shoe cutting party today!! I will be hosting it on the 27th, so excited!!

Wynne - yay allison, that is so exciting!! my party is monday and I can’t wait! can’t wait to hear about yours!

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how do I find my people

Speaking of honesty.


I have a group of girls here in Midland that I do life with.  We started with play dates with our kiddos [14 between us all] and then took a litlte girls trip this summer.  Some of us have been friends for years, but as a whole, our friendship and sisterhood started sometime last year.  I remember when we were on the way to Santa Fe this summer, I prayed so much for months before that trip that it would be sweet time together.  Not just sweet, but that we would be able to open up to each other.  To really feel known and loved.  to make everyone feel comfortable sharing and opening up, being honest about their struggles.  and it happened!  many opened up to share things that I had no idea they struggled with.  It only helped me know them and love them more.

On that trip, we talked about doing the Bread + Wine book club, and we had our first meeting a couple of months ago.  Once again, I pleaded with God to open up all our hearts and spirits to be able to open up and share ourselves with each other.  I have come to desire greatly feeling known and loved, and making others feel known and loved.  Success!  It was a beautiful night of sharing, story telling, crying, praying, loving on each other, and a greater understanding of who we each are.


I shared something with that group that night that was hard to share.  I shared about ENOUGH.  Meaning, I shared with them the thing I longed for.  my desire.  Most of them knew my struggle with infertility, but to varying degrees.  I got to share with them that night what was really going on in my heart.  I shared my desires.  I finally let myself cry.  I had been so emotionally disconnected, but that night that shattered.  I think there were 10 sets of tears around that table that night, and I walked away feeling loved and known.

The next day….well the next day something happened that hurt my heart.  I started my period.  My last IUI, and it failed.  I started heavy and painfully in the middle of the night.  That day was dark from the beginning, and I sent out an SOS to the girls.  It was pretty crazy timing that I had just spilled my heart the night before, and now I needed them.  I needed support, love, prayers and help.  and my people came to my rescue.  Starbucks in the morning, followed by flowers and snacks on my porch, chick fila for lunch, dropped off my kids to play with their friends so I could rest, more flowers, and my favorite pizza in town dropped off for dinner.  They came in droves, they came because they knew my hurt.  

simply because I let them in, and I told them!

Receiving help is hard.  Why can we be so prideful?  We all need help every once in a while, and if we are open to our needs, others will be open to theirs.  We are meant to live life in COMMUNITY and it’s hard to do that when we all live a life of closed doors and mouths.  I’m not saying you should share all your junk on facebook, I’m just saying you should have a few close friends that know you intimently.  When I posted the picture on instagram that day, I got all sorts of comments.  Most were worried about me and my well being [maybe shouldn't have posted it], but one question stuck out…

“I’ve never had people like that, how did you find so many?” 

So I’ve been thinking about that.  How do I find “my people?”  and this is what I’ve come up with.  I heard Rebekah Lyons say recently, that in order to have those kind of relationships, you have to lead with vulnerability.  You have to be honest [like I wrote about Shauna's mom], and you have to be that kind of friend to have that kind of friend.  You have to let people into your junk.  You have to learn to ask for help.  and for me, I have an open door policy.  I love the friends that walk in my front or back door without knocking.  I want my home, and my heart, to always be an open door.

So, my friend.  If you are desiring this kind of friendship, be that kind of friend.  It’s hard, I know, but being open, honest, and vulnerable has it’s perks.  Sometimes I wonder why strangers tell me their whole life story, but maybe they feel safe with me because I’ve shared so much of mine.  None of us are perfect, we all struggle, and if we stop acting like we have it all together, we’ll attract more people to us.  and really, to HIM.



[this post was brought to you by the encouragement of my friend ashley.  I know I have been "talking" a lot about how I am going to open up about things, and well I've been putting it off.  I feel like there is so much "back tracking" to tell you in my journey of infertility, but like I said here God is sweet and good.  and I will go back + tell you all that He has done in my heart the past year.  but for now, I'll be in the present, and share where I am now.  this post was written right around the holidays, in November.  still much more to process, and to write.  but I will do it.  if only for others to feel not alone in their infertility journey. will you pray for words? and grace? and for goodness sake, uninterrupted time to sit down and write my story?  thanks dears.]

Sommer - Honored to be one of your peeps. You are so courageous!

Ashley O'Brien - What a beautiful piece i needed to read this morning, Wynne. I so long for community. Especially in a new state. I long to be known and loved & to know and love others. I also cried big ugly wet tears reading this. It’s funny how God can use our words. My words to encourage you…and then turn right around and He uses your words to encourage me. So glad He is in control & makes all of our junk into beautiful things used for his glory. love you.

Chantel - I love this Wynne! I have a group of women that I do life with as well, but unfortunately we are vastly different, while I am always dreaming and doing they are all very content with being here and staying the same. Something I admire some days and loathe on others. Would love to find a group of like minded women!

Wynne - love you sommer!

Wynne - ashley, I keep trying to text you back but it’s been insane around here. thank you for your encouragement and wisdom and prayers. I do love how god uses us to encourage and love on each other! so powerful! love you!

Wynne - chantel, I totally get that too. I think for me, I have both. the go-ers and the send-ers. it works ;) praying for that community for you!!

Kierste - Wynne, thank you for sharing your heart. I needed this particular post. I am a youth minister’s wife in a town where we have no family and very few friends. I get incredibly lonely and find my introverted-ness coming out stronger and stronger because of it. I so badly desire a community of friends to be myself with and to share my heart with. Thank you for reminding me that I have to allow myself to be vulnerable and endure some of the pain that comes with opening up to others. I am praying for you and your community of girls as you grow together. And thanking GOD for your willingness to share with me, a perfect stranger but fellow sister in Christ. Thank you.

Mindy - I am looking forward to hearing you share your journey with infertility. I know it will be an encouragement to me (a fellow adoptive mom dealing with infertility).

Wynne - Kierste, thank you for reaching out and commenting. it’s so hard to be in a new place and to feel that way. I hope those words encouraged you to step out and be the one who opens up, even if it’s scary and risky, knowing that once you find that community + those people, it will be worth it. I appreciate your words! prayers!

Wynne - wow, thank you mindy. I hope it is too. it’s quite the journey, and it’s not always butterflies and rainbows huh? You are not alone!

Jodi - Wynne, Thanks for sharing this..I so needed this today. We are getting ready for a big move back to the US and I am all ready dreading not having that circle of friends that know something is wrong without you saying a word. Being vulnerable is hard. Praying for you.. I love reading your encouraging words. Thanks

Wynne - jodi, thank you for your message. i’ll be praying that you build those relationships back when you move home and it’s an easy transition! god will provide!

disconnect and rest [on my heart] » Gloriously Ruined - […] on my heart this week.  It’s been a good week on the blog – we talked about opening up + being vulnerable, I told you how you can get involved with shoe cutting parties, and how you could bless my sweet […]

shame + infertility » Gloriously Ruined - […] I wrote last week about “how I find my people“, I got a lot of response for you.  [and I love it, thank you].  My prayer is through this […]

Mary - Heartbreaking. As a nurse who has worked for a fertility clinic I hope you consider IVF if that’s what God is leading you too.

Wynne - thank you mary for your words. god is moving and showing us the next steps!

Links to Love for March | Motherhood In Kennett Square - […] How Do I Find My People via Gloriously Ruined […]

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February goals

hey friends!  oh goals…does that word make you shutter?  Well, it sometimes does for me.  But I grew up with a entrupurnerial dad, and it seems like we were always setting measurable goals.  In fact, something I really love about my dad is he takes a few days each year to get away + get alone and write his goals for the year, 5 years, and beyond.  I have always admired this about him, and am always interested to see what his goals are.

While on vacation over the holidays, I wrote out a page of “2014 goals + dreams”.  I want to pick a few of those goals each month, and accomplish them.  Some of them, like “write a little every day” aren’t goals that I can “check off” the list each month, and that isn’t the point here.  I simply want to keep myself accountable to be working towards the things I have set out to accomplish in 2014.  I also want to say GRACE, GRACE over this year.  I want to give mroe grace, and recieve more grace.  So don’t be alarmed if in my “march goals” post where I recap my February goals, they aren’t all marked off.  Ok, ok enough about that.  here we go.



1. Make a Artifact Uprising book of my favorite instagram images of 2013 and get it printed

2. Finish my “anybody” series by writing MY anybody story

3. Find a place to write people’s names that I’m praying for each day somewhere in my home that I can see easily

see! measurable.  not too much.  small steps.  I also want to work towards these goals continually throughout the year:

  • make a time each week for disconnect + rest
  • learn to say no + not overcommit
  • read + study the Word as many mornings as possible
  • write a little every single day

[those are not numbered, because they aren't something I can "cross off" my list if you will.  Those are just things I want to keep in front of me each month to remind me what I need to do to perserve my mental health :)]

what about you?  do you goal set?  I’m linking up with Tiny Twig today!

Ashley Wells - I too am trying so hard to learn to say no more.

Wynne - it’s hard, huh Ashley? glad we aren’t alone in this!

Danielle - Great goals this month! I need to get a photo book done for the last 2 years, so I might just have to add that to next month’s goals! I used to use dry erase markers on my mirror for prayer, notes, or verses!
Also, great idea keeping those ongoing goals separate from the others, and amen to giving ourselves grace!!!

Shannon - I love the idea of finding a place to put the names of the people I am praying for. When I worked, I had index cards propped at the bottom of my monitor — this worked well. But now that I am home with my boys, I haven’t quite found the sweet spot. I am thinking maybe inside the cabinets?

Carly - I love the idea of putting up the names of those people I’m praying for. Hmmm…need to think about that! Great goals!

Wynne - thanks danielle! ohh yes photo books are ALWAYS on my list, but I figured i can start with 1! YES!! I need to add mine back I think in the shower….the best place or me to pray.

Wynne - thanks shannon! I love that with the cards by your computer. I am thinking by the sink, laundry room, and in the shower!

Wynne - thanks carly!!!

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