honesty + freedom

Do you sometimes read someone’s words and say, “YES!”  It feels like every chapter of Shauna Niequist Bread and Wine has made me feel like that.  I just finished reading the chapter about her mom titled, what my mother taught me, and something stirred inside of me.  She said that she realized her mothers closest friends, and those that felt most connected to her, were so because “her honesty invited them to be honest too”.  I want, like Shauna’s mom, to be able to share my darkest times, my most honest moments, in order for others to feel like they can share them too.  To bring them out of the dark and into the light!  For freedom!  ”it’s for freedom we are free”  and I don’t know about you, but I desire more and more freedom.  for myself, and for those I love.  and for those I don’t know.  So while it might be “counter culture” for me to share so much of my life online, and in real face to face conversations, it’s for freedoms sake.  I’ve lived a life of bottling things up for far too many years, and it hasn’t done me much good.  It’s only when I open the flood gates, confess, share, be honest – that others feel compelled to be honest too.

I’m going to sit down, and let the floodgates open up, and be honest about where I’ve been.  It’s hard.  but it’s healing.  stay tuned.

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ps- I wrote this before the holidays took over.  but it still rings true, and I still have a few posts I’m working on finishing.  thank you for walking this with me.  it seems like everywhere I turn people are talking about this idea of freedom in christ.  I heard Jennie Allen recently say, “our vision is to be free + set others free.  If we aren’t free we can’t set others free.  If we don’t set others free, we can’t remain free”.  Amen to that.  So.  It’s for freedom

Chantel - Love you sister so much!!!! I also am reading Bread and Wine, O if I could just be at your house sitting around your table. Know that even thou states away I am walking life with you, carrying your hand through and ALWAYS believing in you! Love you!!!! <3

Melissa Blair - Amen to all of the above. That’s what I tend to do…I’ve never had a misconception that life is perfect so I just ‘go there’ and appreciate women who do, too. It’s honest and real…and this is where we can learn from and lean on each other…not by pretending. Love this. Praying for boldness of spirit for you and cheering you on, sister.

how do I find my people » Gloriously Ruined - […] Speaking of honesty. […]

Wynne - thanks melissa. thank you for praying and for your encouragement! i’m glad we are in this together!

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Happy Birthday Camp!

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Camp,

Happy Birthday to you my sweet boy.  I can’t believe how much you have grown and developed and changed since we first saw your sad face as a 4 month old.  How are you already two?  You are our joy, Camp.  You made me a mama before we even saw your face.  The hope of getting to finally be someones mama, brought me so much life and hope in those long months of waiting for you.  So many people love you Camp, and have been a part of your story from the very beginning.  You are our treasure, Gods precious precious gift to us.  Some people might say you are so blessed or lucky to have us, but that’s not the full truth son.  We are blessed to have you, and to be your mom and dad.  My heart breaks for your birth mom today, wondering if she even knows that you are alive.  If she only knew how smart you are, and how much you are thriving at home and at “school”.  I pray that she knows in her heart that you are alive and deeply deeply loved.

You bring us such joy, Camp.  You really are so inteligent [and I'm not just saying that because I'm your mom].  You love to learn, you study every single thing you touch, and reading is your favorite.  You repeat every thing we say, and can almost count to 20.  When I ask you where you are from, you say both “Ethiopia, Akka” and “Texas”.  Right now, you are obsessed with HEB [our local grocery store].  When I picked you up from school last week, you introduced me to all of your little friends.  You have a lot to put up with your very spirited sister, but you hold your own.  I’m thankful God made you exactly how and who you are.  You are beautiful and deeply loved my son.

Happy 2nd birthday!

love, mom + dad

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thankful to have such talented friends to help me capture these moments of camp over the past 1+ year.  photos by Alison Holcomb, Katie Norris + Helen Byrd [and a few by yours truly]

Whitney Jordan - Happy Birthday little Camp!! What a sweet birthday letter to your darling boy. I love that you say you are lucky to have HIM :) Hope you have a wonderful birthday together.

ashanti - That was Beautiful Wynne. Thanks for sharing your story. I am happy I was able to meet you on your journey. I remember how Camp little hands were balled up in a tight fist as if he was so nervous. And I also remember the love you and your husband both had in your eyes and I knew he was in good hands and that you all would love him forever.

:-)

Mary Helen - this is the best!!!!! i love you camp! you are the coolest little boy i know!

Kiersten - Happy birthday, Camp!

I love that you shared pictures of him through the last year. He has changed so much, but yet his eyes are still so deep and full of life and love. So glad that you blessed him and changed his life and that he is doing the same for yours.

Be blessed!

Melissa Blair - Wynne. I will drive to your house to hold this boy and play with him. I am in LOVE. I love your big mama heart. Your babies will have scores of memories kept by a mama that loved them. Thank you for sharing the sweet stuff.

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new creation.

“If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation.  The old has passed away, behold the new has come”- 2 Corinthians 5:17

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It’s amazing how a verse I’ve read in scripture so many times, can start to come alive again.  I love this verse because it’s a reminder that because I am in Christ, I am a new creation.  Only because of Christ, not because of anything I did.  I died with Christ when I gave my life to him, and so it’s no longer I who lives, but Christ in me.  I want to believe this fully.  about myself + about others.  I want it to change the way I live.  When we are IN CHRIST, He makes us new.  We don’t have to go back to who we were.  We don’t have to listen to who people think we are.

We. are. new. We can forget the past, and move forward with you.

I want, in 2014, to stop keeping score.  I want to keep no record of wrongs.  For myself, and for those I love.   In 1 Corinthians 13, the Message says, “Love doesn’t keep score of the sins of others”.  So I don’t want to keep score this year.  I want to see people the way God sees them.  I want to see myself how God sees me.

How do you see you?  or how do you see the people around you?  can we pray together that God would give us HIS eyes to see? 

abra - love, love love that verse. such simplicity but so much Truth. i just started HolyYoga last week and this is our verse we are meditating on! it’s so refreshing to stop and breathe in those words and remember we don’t have to ‘do’ anything to be saved. but we ‘do’ because of His great love for us!

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Update: Gully Family

 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]

IMG_0064Today 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….

Dear friends,
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!

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thoughts + words

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.

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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.

alison - love you, friend! love your heart and the beautiful stories you tell. praying for god to inspire you & write just for you!

Haley Barnett - Excited to see what words God brings to your heart and blog with this new writing style! :)

abra - oh wynne, i just love this. i think we are A LOT alike. i make so many notes here and there about stuff i hear or things i read. i dream so much. and this year i’ve decided to act on my dream, which really isn’t my dream at all. it’s God plan for my life, and i just want to live for Him. like you said, my story is His story. amen, sister, amen.

we must meet someday. really.

Melissa Blair - Sometimes when you say things, they are my thoughts…just makes me so excited to hang out with you!! I love the intentionality of you thinking about writing…I will pray long-term that your hands are His tools. And looking forward to your writing.

Wynne - Melissa – thank you for your words sweet friend! I feel the same way about you! can’t wait to get some real time together oh so soon!

Wynne - thank you so much haley!

Wynne - abra, I love this! thank you for your constant encouragement! i’m sitting here in starbucks early morning alone, praying and asking, and about to start WRITING!

Wynne - aww alison, thank you! i love you and am so thankful for you!

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