SGM Christmas Giveaway Extravaganza 2013 Winners

Congratulations to the SGM Christmas Giveaway Extravaganza 2013 Winners. It was such an honor to read all of your stories. I cried with and prayed for so many of you this week, remembering with you…reading your stories of loss, heartache, and healing. I hope this week has been a blessing to you, in the midst of all the aching and missing that comes with this season. Please remember, you are not alone. There is hope, because Jesus came for us. He did not leave us here, and because of Him..the greatest gift…our stories don’t end with live on planet earth. This is just the beginning.

If you are listed as the winner, please email us this week with your prize in the subject line, and your name and shipping address the email to sgm dot shipping at gmail dot com. Please expect a couple weeks for delivery. Thank you!

Day One
1. Celebrate Life Bracelet goes to comment # 77. Mandy
2. Mother’s Love Bracelet goes to comment #16. Kyla
3. Mother necklace goes to comment #7. Lisa
4. Footprints necklace goes to comment #44. Sarah
5. Baby footprint necklace goes to comment #20. Kristen
6. Heart necklace goes to comment #110 Marie

Day Two

1. On Wings of Hope Butterfly goes to comment #24. Janelle
2. Blessings from HeavenAngel goes to comment #44 Tracy
3. Baby’s First Christmas girl goes to comment #26. Stephanie
4. Baby’s First Christmas boy goes to comment #28. Jenn
5. Always Remembered Sand Dollar goes to comment #34. Judy
6. Merry Christmas from Heaven goes to comment #41 Maggie

Day Three
1. Isaiah’s Story goes to comment #24. Julie
2. My Utmost for His Highest goes to comment #27. Kali
3. Hope for Today goes to comment #15. Stephanie
4. Walking With You Booklets go to comment #21 Emilie
5. What Women Fear goes to comment #5 Judy
6. Happy, Happy, Happy goes to comment # 9. Joy

Day Four
Dreams of You Package goes to comment #5. Summer

We also had many parents make requests for Dreams of You items (without having to help cover shipping fees) this week.

Day Five
Sleep in Heavenly Peace Precious Moments Statue
goes to…

Comment #70. Jean

Many people asked where I purchased the ornaments and the Precious Moments Statue. I bought them a local Hallmark store. You can also find the statue at: www.preciousmoments.com.

If you have been blessed by Sufficient Grace Ministries, either this week, or in throughout your grief walk, and would like to help us, we are currently in a contest to win a donation to our ministry for $5,000. (That’s about 2 months of our budgeted needs as we send items around the world.) If you would like to help us by voting for SGM (you can also watch the very cool video of our day at BGSU on the site while you’re there), just visit this link and click the green button. You can vote as many times as you would like from now until December 15. No registration necessary. Sometimes it freezes, due to many voting on the site, so try back if you have trouble.

For more information about the products and services offered by SGM, please visit our website and/or Facebook page. Sending love and prayers for so many…and wishing a grace-filled and gentle Christmas season to you and yours.

SGM Christmas Giveaway Extravaganza Day 3 ~ Books!!

Today, we are giving away some books that will hopefully encourage and inspire you in this season. Stories are such gifts to our minds and can be a salve to our weary souls.

1. Isaiah’s Story by Jennifer Ross, my dear friend and fellow SGM board member. This beautiful story depicts the heart-wrenching journey of a mother who had just minutes with her precious son before he went peacefully from her arms to heaven at just shy of 20 weeks gestation. It is a story that honors the life of her precious son, and the God who carried her through her grief.
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2. My Utmost for His Highest by Oswald Chambers
This classic is my favorite devotional. I love the wisdom and no nonsense truth Oswald Chambers delivers in this daily devotional. This is one with nuggets of scriptural meat meant for chewing, and soaking in. As relevant today as it was in the early 1900s when it was compiled, this devotional continues to give me something new each time I revisit it’s pages every few years.
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3. Hope for Today, Promises for Tomorrow ~ Finding Light Beyond the Shadow of Miscarriage or Infant Loss by Teske Drake
This story/devotional can be used as an individual who has experienced miscarriage or infant loss, or in a support group setting. Teske shares her own journey, encouragement from scripture, and inspiration from the journeys of other mothers walking the path of grief after loss.
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4. Walking With You and Walking With You for Fathers by Kelly Gerken and Sufficient Grace Ministries
Walking With You ~ A Gentle Guide For Grieving Hearts: This 28 page booklet was compiled by Kelly Gerken and published by Sufficient Grace Ministries, using quotes from parents who have walked through the loss of a baby. This booklet is a wonderful resource for families who have received the terrible news that they are about to lose a child, and for those in the initial moments and days after a miscarriage, stillbirth, or infant death. It is a great addition to hospital care packages.
Walking With You For Fathers Booklet ~ This 20 page booklet is a compilation of quotes and insights from fathers who have lost a baby to miscarriage, stillbirth, and infant death. It is a rare look into the raw and real pain a father’s heart endures when walking, often silently and unnoticed, through grief. The thoughts shared in this short booklet can encourage a father who may not seek outside conversation, with the knowledge that he is not alone and his grief is valid. There are also pages where spouses reflect on communication in marriage while grieving the loss of a child. A beautiful addition to a library of resources for grieving families.
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5. What Women Fear by Angie Smith
This book by the beautiful and talented, Angie Smith, addresses the dreaded “What ifs” we women often struggle with as we strive to trust God through anxieties, fear of trusting God, abandonment, and a host of other things this imperfect world throws our way.
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6. Happy, Happy, Happy by Phil Robertson, star of Duck Dynasty
We love the family values and the down to earth, bearded folks of the Robertson family on the Duck Dynasty show. This powerful story tells pieces from the Robertson family past…a story of brokenness and redemption, the path to salvation.
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To enter, leave a comment sharing about a book that has inspired or encouraged you. Also, please leave the number of the item or items you wish to enter for. You may enter for as many as you would like to receive.

For additional entries (Leave a separate comment for each!):

Share a link to this post on Facebook, Twitter, blog, etc.

Share the Remembering at Christmas Event Page on Facebook, Twitter, Blog, etc.

For an extra 5 entries, donate toward an ornament to add to the SGM tree (You will also get to keep the ornament after Christmas! Details here.)

Spread the word and enjoy! Sending prayers for a peace-filled and gentle season for you and yours. Tune in tomorrow when we share some of my favorite books! Giveaway is going until Friday, so if you didn’t enter yesterday, you can hop over and enter on that post, too!

For more information about Sufficient Grace Ministries and the services we provide for bereaved parents, please visit our website: http://sufficientgraceministries.org

SGM Christmas Giveaway Extravaganza ~ Day Two ~ Ornaments for our Family Tree

A Christmas tree tells the story of a family, like nothing else. I love to get my ornaments out each year and put together pieces of our family story, our family tree. I put the ornaments gifted to me after we lost our twin daughters, Faith and Grace. That first Christmas took my breath…stepping into a life without my baby girls, while I was still a baby girl, myself. Not much more than a year later, I placed ornaments in memory of our sweet baby boy, Thomas Patrick. All I have of them, are a few tangible items, like ornaments. Scattered throughout the tree, are the handmade offerings of my sweet boys that walk the earth with us. Kindergarten pictures, carefully placed beads, hand painted masterpieces. My mother’s ornaments, each year, another homemade them, beginning with the glorious 70′s, pepper the tree, along with a couple of the childhood ornaments from my love and me. Our Christmas tree tells a story, like all Christmas trees should. Ours is one of brokenness and redemption, or love and grace, and forgiveness so sweet. Of souls saved, of painful goodbyes, of death and rebirth, of survival, perseverance, and a Savior who came and said, “These are Mine”. Abiding, saving, crazy love.

Today, we are giving away ornaments to help you tell your family’s story. I love Hallmark. Yes, I am a sappy sap of a girl. So, today, we offer you some beautiful Hallmark ornaments to honor the memory of someone you lost and are missing this Christmas.

1. On Wings of Hope ornament ~ With hope, we find our wings.DSC_0213

2. Blessings from Heaven ornament
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3. Baby’s First Christmas ~ Girl (Even if your baby is not here on earth, this would be his or her first Christmas in heaven!)
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4. Baby’s First Christmas ~ Boy (Even if your baby is not here on earth, this would be his or her first Christmas in heaven!)
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5. Always Remembered ornament ~ The ones we love never truly leave us.
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6. Merry Christmas from Heaven ornament
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To enter, leave a comment sharing about your favorite Christmas ornament, or a favorite Christmas memory about someone you love and are missing this Christmas. Also, please leave the number of the item or items you wish to enter for. You may enter for as many as you would like to receive.

For additional entries (Leave a separate comment for each!):

Share a link to this post on Facebook, Twitter, blog, etc.

Share the Remembering at Christmas Event Page on Facebook, Twitter, Blog, etc.

For an extra 5 entries, donate toward an ornament to add to the SGM tree (You will also get to keep the ornament after Christmas! Details here.)

Spread the word and enjoy! Sending prayers for a peace-filled and gentle season for you and yours. Tune in tomorrow when we share some of my favorite books! Giveaway is going until Friday, so if you didn’t enter yesterday, you can hop over and enter on that post, too!

For more information about Sufficient Grace Ministries and the services we provide for bereaved parents, please visit our website: http://sufficientgraceministries.org

SGM Christmas Giveaway Extravaganza 2013 ~ Day One ~ Something Pretty For the Mamas

Welcome to the SGM Christmas Giveaway Extravaganza 2013! Today, we are giving away something beautiful for any mother (or a dad who wants to bless a mom) who is missing either her baby or her own mom this Christmas. Christmas and the surrounding holidays are such a special time to remember that Jesus came to save us. And, the gift of that cannot be taken away…not even by grief, death, and pain. Because He came, there is hope and the promise of a forever reunion. Many hearts are missing someone this Christmas. I am missing my sweet babies and my mother.

My mom loved to give at Christmas, and I’m so grateful that through SGM, I can give some gifts to bless some of the mothers with aching hearts this Christmas. That’s what the SGM Christmas Giveaway Extravaganza is all about! Some light hearted joy in the midst of the missing. And, remembering together, during this sacred season. Five days of giveaways, beginning right now and lasting until Friday December 6, when all the winners will be announced by midnight.

Because, you are still a beautiful mother. And, your baby is always worth remembering.

Before I reveal today’s gorgeous gifts, there is also a special ornament giveaway offer going on today only on the SGM Facebook page. Five moms will be chosen to receive an ornament to be placed on the SGM Tree at tonight’s ceremony, with their baby’s name on it, without having to pay the $5 donation. If you don’t win, or if you would just like to help support SGM, you may donate $5  using the donate button on this page (plus $2 shipping if you would like the ornament shipped to you after Christmas) with directions about your ornament choice. Also, for any locals, tonight our Walking With You support group will be meeting at SGM at 7pm to enjoy some dessert treats and add the names to the ornaments and hang them on the tree. Together is always better than alone. So, we would love to see you there! No RSVP required. Just show up!! You can find out more information on our SGM/WWY Remembering Together at Christmas Event Page.

And now…here are today’s goodies, some beautiful jewelry from Hallmark. Hallmark just gets it, you know. I’m not going to lie, I’ve been watching some Hallmark movies this Christmas season. I like the corny predictability and happy endings. It brings some peace to my tattered heart. Movies can be a little vacation from the heaviness of grief. Of course, they are no cure, and true comfort comes from sitting in the lap of our heavenly Father for awhile. But, every once in awhile, a little movie-watching is a nice gift.

Ok…now where was I? Oh…that’s right, the giveaway Here you go, mamas and daughters:

1. First, a Celebrate Life…One Moment at a Time Charm bracelet with an I Love U Teddy Bear Charm. Sweetness.charm bracelet
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2. Next, this sleek bracelet with the precious saying: A mother’s love is the first gift we know, one we never outgrow. Oh, how true that is!

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3. Because, whether your baby or child is in heaven or on earth, you are still a mother! DSC_0150

4. In the hardest of times, just like the famous “Footprints” poem says, when we see just one set of footprints…when we don’t feel God…when we think we’re alone, it was then, He carried us. He carries us still.
Even to your old age, I am He, And even to gray hairs I will carry you! I have made, and I will bear; Even I will carry, and will deliver you. ~ Isaiah 46:4
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5. Another Footprints necklace. These sweet baby feet represent the footprints left on a mother’s heart. Always.
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6. And, finally, this sweet heart necklace. I love the saying: We hold every moment, every memory in our hearts. Yes, we do. This precious heart is filled with tiny pink crystals to signify the sweet memories we hold in our hearts.

heart memory necklace

 

To enter, leave a comment on this post saying which numbers you would like to be entered for, and a memory about who you’re missing this Christmas ~ your sweet baby, your mom, or someone you would like to give this item to as a gift to bless a grieving heart. You can enter for more than one item.

Additional entries (Please leave a separate comment for each one!):

Share this post link on Facebook, Twitter, Blog, etc.

Share the Remembering at Christmas Event Page on Facebook, Twitter, Blog, etc.

For an extra 5 entries, donate toward an ornament to add to the SGM tree (You will also get to keep the ornament after Christmas! Details here.)

Spread the word and enjoy! Sending prayers for a peace-filled and gentle season for you and yours. Tune in tomorrow when we share some special ornaments for those missing someone at Christmas.

Isaiah’s Story Giveaway

CONTEST CLOSED ~ WINNER CHOSEN ~ CONGRATULATIONS TO: Stacie Tessier!! Please email us your shipping address at sgm.shipping at gmail dot com. :)

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It has been several years since I clicked over to read the blog entitled, His Grace is Sufficient, by Jennifer Ross. The title caught my eye, for obvious reasons. I’m all about God’s sufficient grace. His grace saved my life. More than once. Her raw grief captured my heart, and I began to pray for this mama. She was among the first mothers to complete the Walking With You series, a step-by-step, walking together as we tell pieces of our loss journey with one another. There is healing in the telling, healing in the pouring out.

Her grief over the loss of her son, Isaiah was still fresh when I met her. She battled guilt and deep, dark sorrow over the loss of her son. But, all the while, she clung to the same God who carried me. I could see His grace on her…the same way others saw His grace on me. There were a few times I had the privilege of battling through the attack and struggle with her, praying and speaking truth to encourage. I couldn’t fix it, because there is no fix. But, I could walk with my friend.

I watched her wrestle with the intense pain of early grief, clinging with faith to our God, and I watched her grow in strength and healing, as He continued to carry her through the sea of grief. Our friendship has deepened over these years as we walk together, and Jenny now serves on the SGM board, representing SGM in northern Michigan with a monthly support group. She joined Holly and I in taking the SBD doula class last spring. I know that she pours her heart into being a dedicated mother to all of her sons. And, Isaiah is no exception. His story is her way of honoring the life of her beautiful son, and reaching out to other mothers walking this path.

After reading her book, Isaiah’s Story, I left these words on her Author Page:

 I just finished reading your book. I have spent the last few hours reading your amazing journey. And, even though I walked with you through much of your grief after the loss of Isaiah, I wept for your sweet boy anew, reading your words. You honored your son and our Father beautifully in this book. This is a window what you have walked through, a window into the agonizing moments leading up to the loss of your son, and the agonizing grief you experienced as a mother. You are an amazing mother. Your first grade wish came true…you’ve accomplished it well. I love you dearly, and I’m honored to know you and your Isaiah. So much love to you!

I encourage you to read Isaiah’s story for yourself. You can purchase the book on Amazon by clicking here.

You can also enter to win an autographed copy by leaving a comment on this post!

For additional entries (Please leave a separate comment for each entry):

Like and/or leave a note on Author Jennifer Ross’ Facebook page.

Share this post on Facebook

Share this post on Twitter

CONTEST WINNERS WILL BE CHOSEN MONDAY NOVEMBER 18,2013.

Day 4: SGM Christmas Giveaway Extravaganza

CONTEST CLOSED. Any comments left after 7p.m. will not count toward the giveaway!

I am again posting on the run. I am home this morning with an under-the-weather James. So I apologize for the late and quick posting of today’s giveaways.

 

The first: We are giving away 3 PAIL  Remembrance ribbons made by Holly Haas. The ones we are giving are similar to the one pictured below, except the ribbon doesn’t have the loops on the border.

 

Item #2: Adorable Avon Ornaments, donated by a few generous people who purchased them in our recent fundraiser.

Giving away one girl and one boy ornament. Please specify in the comments which you would like to be entered for. Thank you!

 

To enter:

1. Just leave a comment saying which item/items you want to win.

Additional entries:

2. Leave a comment sharing anything you would like prayer for…we will gladly pray for you.

3. Share about this giveaway on your blog, Facebook, Twitter, etc.

4. Like SGM on Facebook, or tell us if you already do.

Please leave a separate comment for each entry to help with counting! Thank you!

P.S. Don’t forget, you can still enter  to win on Monday’s post if you haven’t. Each day’s post remains open for entry until Friday at 7:00 pm.

DON’T FORGET TO TUNE IN TOMORROW….WE ARE GIVING AWAY A BIG FINALLY….and it’s AWESOME!!!!!

 

October 15th Remembrance Day Happenings & A PAIL Rosette/Ribbon Giveaway

CONTEST IS CLOSED! CONGRATS TO THE WINNERS: Betty Jackson, Hazel Flint, Becky Clancy, Stephanie D, and Jackie!!! Please email me your address ASAP so we can ship your ribbons within the next day or 2!! Thank you!!

You can still donate $5 to SGM to receive one of our beautiful PAIL ribbons by using the donate button on the right sidebar. You can also still comment on this post to enter your information to be included on the October 15th Remembrance Page. However comments will no longer count toward the ribbon contest.

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For the last couple years on October 15th, we honored and prayed for many families who lost a baby or child. And, I would like to do it again this year. I hope you will join us. Here is an excerpt from last year’s post:

October 15th is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day. I have met so many beautiful families through Walking With You, this blog, and through Sufficient Grace Ministries. Your stories have touched my heart, and I want to remember each one of your precious babies. Every life is precious in the eyes of the Lord. Every life has value and purpose. While I have prayed for everyone who has crossed my path, it would be nice to have a list to pray for all in one place…with names and birth dates (and heavenly home-going dates). I thought it would be special for us to compile a list of our precious babies and post it here on October 15th. So, if you are a mother who has lost a baby/child and would like to include your family on our list, please leave your information in the comments below or email it to me at sufficientgraceministries@gmail.com. If your information is on last year’s list, please note I will be including those previously listed and just adding any new names and re-posting the list. 

Even if we’ve never met (in real life or blog land!), you are welcome to participate. We want to remember all of the precious babies and their families. On that special day, I will post the list here and pray throughout the day for each of you…as we remember together. If you would like to help us spread the word on your blog so that we could include more families, please feel free! If you would like to include your child on the October 15th Remembrance Page, please leave the following in the comments below (on this post):

Child’s Name
Parents Name
Birth Date
Entered Heaven:
Any message you may wish to share…or bible verse that brings you comfort

Also…if you are a grieving parent, and new to our site, please visit the Dreams of You Shop. If you would like a Dreams of You Memory Book or Comfort Bear, please email the shipping address listed on that page. We do not charge parents for our products or services. It is our desire and prayer to offer comfort and hope to every family who crosses our path.




*We would also like to bless 5 moms who comment on this post with a beautiful PAIL Remembrance Rosette/Ribbon, inspired by Franchesca from Small Bird Studios and made by our own Holly Haas. You must enter by Friday, October 5, 2012 at 5pm. You may comment after that with information for the Remembrance Page. But, comments after 5pm on Oct. 5th will not count toward the giveaway. (Holly is also hosting a PAIL Ribbon giveaway on the Caring for Carleigh blog until Friday!!

You can also purchase one of these gorgeous ribbons by clicking on the donate button located below the ribbon picture on the Dreams of You Shop page and on the right sidebar of this blog. Your $5 donation goes to support the outreaches of Sufficient Grace Ministries as we continue to provide free services to families who have lost a baby or child. So, if you don’t win, you can still get a ribbon to remember our babies in heaven…and help a great cause at the same time! Order by October 8th so that you can receive your ribbon by October 15th!
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We are also hosting a very special Grace for the Journey conference for grieving mothers and anyone wanting to know how to minister to the needs of grieving families, which includes a sky lantern release in memory of our sweet babies in heaven on October 13th. For more information, please visit the Coming Events Page. We would love to see you there!!

Hodge Podge: SGM Updates/Operation Support SGM/1,000 Gifts Giveaway

Operation Support Sufficient Grace 2012 rolls on, and we are so excited to see what the Lord is going to do next. Thank you to all who have generously donated in the past and continue to support this ministry. We continue to grow to serve more families, and have many ideas on our hearts to do even more. Currently, we hear from mothers and families requesting Dreams of You items almost daily from all over the United States and beyond.  We send items to families with no cost to them. Your donations are the reason we are able to continue to do so.

Just wanted to give a quick update on some of the opportunities to support SGM:

* A huge thank you to the 4th grade class of Patrick Henry, who recently hosted a fundraiser for SGM and donated $625 from their event! It was an amazing night, as I felt that two of the passions of my heart were able to collide. I had the opportunity to share about SGM to a room full of parents and family from our local communities before the students performed their school musical. Music from One Way played in the background of our display. The students were so proud to offer the popcorn, cookies, lemonade, plants, and jello they had made. It was a precious gift, and I believe they were blessed, just as they were used a blessing for us and for those who grieve. I will miss those kids and the beautiful staff of teachers.

 

* Last week, I gave a small presentation to a group of ladies from Avon interested in hosting fundraisers to support SGM. It was such a blessing to meet these ladies and I was encouraged by their response, as hearing about SGM touched their hearts. We are looking forward to seeing the Lord bless and work through their willing hearts.

* The SGM Golf Outing 2012 is coming up on Saturday, July 7, 2012 at 8am at the Country Acres Golf Club in Kalida, Ohio. We are looking for golf teams and sponsors for the event. Scrambles are the most fun and stress-free way to golf….and you don’t need to be a good golfer to join in! Even if you are not able to attend, please consider supporting the event by sponsoring. Your business or individual name will be posted on a sign at each hole if you choose to be a hole sponsor. There are donation opportunities of $50 (1/2 a hole) and $100 to sponsor a hole, $150 to sponsor non-alcoholic beverages, and $250 to sponsor the dinner. You can also give a door prize or other donation amount. Please visit the Coming Events page or the SGM Golf Outing event on Facebook for more information. Contact Kelly at sufficientgraceministries@gmail.com. We would appreciate your prayers for all aspects of this event: good turnout, good weather, the Lord’s hand and blessing on all the planning and on the event itself. He is always faithful to provide!

* We are hoping to help with a conference for grieving moms in Michigan, and would love to hear your input on some of the topics that should be covered. We will also be working on one for Ohio later, if all goes well! So please pray for those events. And, share your thoughts, too, if you don’t mind.

* We are working on a booklet/pamphlet for grieving dads and one for hospital staff/caregivers. We would love your thoughts. If there are dads out there reading, please share your thoughts or email me. (Ladies, will you ask your husbands to help with this?) Many hospitals and individuals have requested information on how to support bereaved fathers. And, families…what would you like us to share with hospital staff/caregivers on ways they can better support you? Share your thoughts in the comments, or email me at: sufficientgraceministries@gmail.com

* A couple of the bigger needs we are praying for currently: 

Some vehicle issues. Need a safe vehicle to travel for SGM events and meetings.

Possible building for our work/office space and to serve as a perinatal hospice

Funding for growing projects and to cover some of Kelly’s expenses/ family health coverage

* Ongoing smaller items that can be donated to SGM: 

Polyfil stuffing for Comfort Bears (We prefer the large bags at WalMart and/or JoAnn Fabrics)

Satin for gowns (creme or white colored)

Sheer, wide creme colored ribbon for bears

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In other news, I have been finding much peace on the patio Tim recently built for me. It is where I meet up with the Lord each day to do devotions and soak in the moments, giving thanks, counting the gifts. Many of you have heard of the book One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp. I started the journey more than a year ago, counting the gifts in a little pink journal. Yesterday morning, on the patio, I finally reached 1,000. My first entry: Hot tea with honey. My 1,000th entry: Home, our haven, the time to be here, soaking in this moment, seeing. Ann talks about slowing time by counting the gifts, soaking in the grace of right now, this moment. The older I get and the more the seasons of life change, the more appealing it sounds, the slowing of time, the soaking it in. I’m not a fan of saying that any book other than the bible is life-changing. But, this one comes pretty close to earning that sentiment. It has changed me, the counting of the gifts. And, if you let it, I believe it will change you as well.

One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are

If you haven’t read it, or would like your own copy, just leave a comment on this post, sharing something you’re thankful for…can be simple or deep…something in the gift of right now. I would like to give away a copy, in honor of reaching one thousand. 

Have a beautiful day!

 

 

 

Hinds’ Feet on High Places (Giveaway)…And Some Precious God-Whispers of Truth

CONTEST CLOSED: WINNERS TO BE ANNOUNCED SOON!

Many of you have probably heard of the classic, Hinds’ Feet on High Places by Hannah Hurnard. Dinah always wanted me to read it. We would chat for hours about the spiritual lessons that God was teaching us and the mysterious ways that he would weave His truth and grace into the tapestry of our lives.

When I talked of the ways that God brings beauty from suffering and restoration out of brokenness, strength from weakness, and grace that is always sufficient…as I walked through grief and pain and found sweet healing, Dinah would say: “You really need to read Hinds’ Feet on High Places”.

Dinah went home to heaven this past February, and a month or two or three (I’m not really good with time these days) later, when I was in the thick of “the missing”, my friend Joyce handed me the book. (Joyce is also one of our faithful, hard-working Comfort Bear ladies.) O.K….o.k., I conceded. Obviously this is a book God wanted me to read! I could just picture Dinah nudging the Lord…”Tell Joyce to have Kelly read this book…she really needs to read it.” Now I’m not sure if that’s how it works in heaven, but down here on Earth, Dinah’s constant suggestions and persistence were quite effective. I wouldn’t put it past her, that’s for sure.

Anyway, I started to read the book, and sat astounded at the parallels in my Christian walk as I related to little Much-Afraid with all of her flaws and weaknesses as she struggled to resist her Fearful relatives. Some of the truths that spoke to my heart in this book are the very truths God has revealed to me over the years, as I walked my own path toward the high places, resisting the tools of The Enemy, desperate to know the kind of love that never leaves, embarking on the journey holding the Shepherd’s hand, learning about acceptance with joy in my own desolate Valley of Loss, embracing the surrender that comes from having Sorrow and Suffering (who later became Peace and Joy) as companions, realizing that such journeys lead to the transformation from Much-Afraid to Grace and Glory.

All of the truths I have clung to and battled deception with…the very truths I have claimed as my own…truths that defined my walk over the past seventeen years of clinging to God… painted in word pictures by a woman years ago. Even the place I am in now of learning about the love that lays it all down…it’s in there. I thought how silly to think that it is just my walk she is describing, even as the words resonated with my inner core. This is the walk for all who choose to follow Him. Our paths may not look exactly the same, but the truths…the lessons…are all the same. This is one of the most beautiful and perfect descriptions I have read of the ways God works in our lives. Of course, I’m sure it only scratches the surface of His deep mysterious ways.

I just want to share an excerpt that depicts the essence of the lessons that God has taught and is teaching me. I have spoken of this same truth over the course of my life, but never as eloquently or perfectly as the author shares in this incredible book:

“First,” said she, “I learnt that I must accept with joy all that You allowed to happen to me on the way and everything to which the path led me! That I was never to try to evade it but to accept it and lay down my own will on the altar and say, “Behold me I am Thy handmaiden Acceptance-with-Joy.”


“Then I learnt that I must bear all that others were allowed to do against me and to forgive with no trace of bitterness and to say to Thee, ‘Behold me – I am Thy little handmaiden Bearing-with-Love’, that I may receive  power to bring good out of this evil.”


“The third thing that I learnt was that You, my Lord, never regarded me as I actually was, lame and weak and crooked and cowardly. You saw me as I would be when you brought me to the High Places, when it could be truly said, ‘There is none that walks with such queenly ease, nor with such grace, as she.’
…”My Lord, I cannot tell You how greatly I want to regard others in the same way.”

O.K….I just have to interrupt Much-Afraid’s commentary for a moment and say…Do you realize that is the very essence of what God wants for us…to love others and see others as He does? He doesn’t want us to look on them the way they are…but the way they will be when they are made perfect one day in heaven’s glory, without the muck and sin in this world. Oh Lord, put that love into our hearts. O.K….back to Much-Afraid and what she learned. (Even though the author likes to say “learnt”, which I must admit pains me to type.)

“The fourth thing,” said she with a radiant face, “was really the first I learnt up here. Every circumstance in life, no matter how crooked and distorted and ugly it appears to be, if it is reacted to in love and forgiveness and obedience to Your will can be transformed….”


It may seem like I gave the most precious nuggets of this book away, but believe me when I say that you must take the entire journey of reading this book to fully grasp it’s meaning…to fully experience the truth God is whispering about this journey.

For this is the story of every Christian’s journey…the one we are meant to walk. The love God pours into our lives is meant to overflow into the lives of those around us. And, everything we experience has a purpose in leading us to being the person He created us to be.

Thank you, Dinah and thank you Joyce for sharing this book with me. I’m sure I should have read it years ago, but I was busy living it. I have ordered a few copies to share with others, because it really is a precious picture of the way God works in our hearts to transform us. Truly one of the best books I’ve ever read…and that’s saying a lot!

So, of course, I want to give a few copies of this treasure away on this post. Just leave a comment to enter.


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In other news…for those praying for Tug, there is a VERY important update at the bottom of this post….click over and join us in rejoicing for all God is doing. And, please keep praying as the journey isn’t over!! Thank you so much!

New Walking With You…Helping my Monkey…and a Wild Olive T-shirt Giveaway!

For the first time since February, there is a new Walking With You post up. Could you please do me a huge favor…if there’s anyone out there anymore? I shared about a mother walking the path many of us have walked. Her name is Katie, and her baby girl, Evangeline Joy has been diagnosed with Potters Syndrome. She is in her final trimester, and prayerfully awaiting the arrival of her precious baby girl. She just started a blog, and I would love to flood her with encouragement, so that she knows she does not walk this path alone. Will you please join me. Stop by her blog and leave a comment of love and encouragement. Let this mama know that we are praying for her and her family…that they are not walking alone. That’s why we started WWY in the first place. I hope you will take a minute to do this. It would mean so much to this grieving mother’s heart.

In other mamas-we-can-help news, my monkey Mattie shared about a way you can get a gorgeous Wild Olive T-shirt AND help sweet Mattie raise the funding needed to adopt their baby. Mattie is the mother to Ethan and to two children in heaven: Shyla and Jakin. She is a beautiful mother inside and out…a mom I’ve had the privilege to meet and hug in person. Click here to read how you can get a Wild Olive Tee Shirt and help my Mattie-girl.

And….
Because I love Mattie, I love grace, I love the verse on this T-shirt, I love Wild Olive, and I love you….
By Grace

                            (back of shirt)

By Grace

We’re giving away two shirts from the adoption fundraiser on this post!! One sized medium and one large.

There are several ways you can enter to win:
(Please leave a separate comment for each one you do. Please also specify the size you want. Choices are medium or large. We can also order another size if needed.)

1. Leave a comment on this post.
2. Get an additional entry if you are a follower of this blog.
3. Get an additional entry if you are a follower of the Sufficient Grace Facebook page.
4. Get two additional entries if you leave a comment encouraging Katie on her blog. (yes, I’m bribing you to encourage this sweet mom…and no, I don’t feel guilty about it!).
5. Get an additional entry for sharing this post on Facebook.
6. Get 5 additional entries for every Wild Olive Shirt you order toward Mattie’s  adoption fundraiser. There are a lot of other styles to choose from! Please remember to enter Mattie’s code at the “enter coupon” section before checking out: WELLS0417