Courtney’s Purpose Project :: A Guest Post

Today is a special day! I’d like to introduce you to my friend Courtney.  We met Courtney 13 years ago & this amazing woman has consistently pursued meeting the needs of others.  She is an inspiration to us! She’s here today to tell you about her latest project that I believe you would love to hear about.  Thanks Courtney!

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Hey readers! Thanks for letting me share here today. My name is Courtney and I blog over at www.storyhope.com. For the month of August I’ve been participating in a Purpose Project with an amazing organization called The Mocha Club. I set a goal to raise $1000 for clean water in Africa. Check out this video to hear about what I said I’d do if I reached my goal of $1000…

So there you have it. I’m going to run a 1/2 marathon on October 12th in Libertyville, IL if I reach my goal! Although I’m a little scared because I’ve never run this far before, I’m training hard and ready to do it!

With only five days left until the end of the month, I need to raise $624 to reach $1000 and I could really use your help! You can help in two ways…

1) Go to my blog and give $5 to be entered into a give-away for a REALLY cool t-shirt. Contest ends at midnight on August 31st.

2) Go to my Purpose Project page on the Mocha Club blog to donate ANY amount you’d like! I would be thrilled to reach $1000 and I would be even more thrilled to blow that out of the water! (pun intended).

Thanks for much for taking the time to read this and thank you for your support!

Courtney

Better for Risking to Rest :: A Guest Post

At the end of our 31 Days of Rest & Risk series, we had a giveaway ~ $100 to REST or RISK. My friend, Ellen won! & she’s here today to share how she chose to spend the $100.

Her experience of REST & RISK ::

 

When I won $100 from Caroline and Greg to pursue rest or risk, I was ecstatic, shocked, overjoyed and happy. When the money showed up in my mailbox?

I got scared.

What in the world would I do with this money?

I entertained putting it toward a conference or some other thing that was on my really want to do list.

But then I looked at my husband with his schedule ramping up and our life about to get a bit hectic and I decided to do something restful. We arranged for our children to spend the night with my parents on a Friday night and we used the money to set up a small staycation right here in our town.

nothing like starting a staycation at the public library. #AlmostSunsetPicture #AndYouAreWelcome

I decided to try not to use any real, honest to goodness MONEY money except for what I’d won here. So we booked a room in a pretty little part of downtown and grabbed a gift card from the baseball team my husband helped coach in the fall.

It was very simple. I worried that it wouldn’t be enough, that we should have arranged to go on some elaborate trip. In the end, that was the risk. Could we believe that simple and small was enough and do it anyway?

catching up on pictures from a little night away. #justneedthemforapost #nothingtoseeherereally

We did. We stopped by the library and I was able to check out books by myself. Amen. We ordered an appetizer. An appetizer! We ate fancy steak and fish. We lingered a bit and took the long way back to the hotel. We were quiet together. I flipped through magazines and cookbooks and my husband switching between college football, Sports Center and Guy Fieri cooking shows (Side note: why is every show on Food Network a Guy Fieri show? He’s nice and all but….). We slept in. Peered out the windows. Took our time.

more of the same. morning view.

It was simple but it was good. There weren’t any life changing, a ha! moments. Sometimes I struggle with saddling my world with that expectation. This little restful move? Mostly, I think it set the tone for how we would manage our lives during a very busy season. We stepped away. We were quiet. We rested. And I find myself managing my own expectations better, able to say no more easily.

Better for risking to rest.

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Thank you so much Ellen! 

Ellen is a dear friend that everyone wants to have as their next door neighbor.  Her stunningly beautiful words & photographs are sweetly & creatively filled with grace & conviction.  Be sure to subscribe to her blog, Sweetwater, for continued inspiration.

31 Days of Our Lives :: Day 30 Part Two ~ A Note From My Parents


After reading Day 30, my parents sent me the following message and asked if I would add this as a comment. It’s so much more than a comment ~

Who would ever think we could share our most coveted Day in Our Lives through the thoughts of our most endearing daughter, her family ~ Greg, Gunnar, Tygar, Stone & Eden and our son David and his family ~ Lia & Dakota.

Black Mountain United Methodist Church, 2:30, Saturday, October 31, 1964. As we were taking our vows, rays of sunshine came directly on our hands. It was a special moment in time. We could feel the warmth of the sun. Our hearts leaped with joy, knowing we were being blessed from our Heavenly Father. Not to sound morbid, but how good it would be to have our memorial at the same place whenever that day arrives.

The reception was at the Monte Vista Hotel in Black Mountain, N.C. A place where my grandmother, mother and myself all worked during our high school days. The cake was not the one we ordered. When my father picked it up he discovered that ours had been given to someone else earlier in the morning. You know that was just fine. Certainly the batter was the same and to us it was delicious. Why should one even think twice about a cake when two people madly in love, hand in hand, cutting cake for others to enjoy? We didn’t even think about grumbling. We have forgotten the cake we picked out to begin with. The country ham and southern biscuits were the beginning of our weight gain. Hopefully, when number 50 arrives we can meet at the Monte Vista and have another cake cutting. Serve the ham and biscuits and gain more weight {hee, hee}.

My white bible with the orchid that Wayne wanted me to carry was a special surprise and felt so good to hold during the wedding. The orchid has faded, but the bible remains in our bedroom to this day.

Check out the glasses, the dark hair, and the pillbox hat. Poof! That’s all gone now but we do still have the same hearts, and smiles to share. Now since this is our day, another beautiful autumn October day, just like 47 years ago. One might ask have there been any regrets. We can think of two. We would have married earlier in life and it would not have been October 31st. Believe it or not, we did not even know it was Halloween. That’s what happens when love captures hearts. We must close and be about our merry way to celebrate year another Day of Our Lives together.

May God be praised for his genius of marriage and the thrill of celebrating it annually with the one we love. BELOVED. As in Song of Solomon 8:7,

“Many waters cannot quench love; rivers cannot wash it away. If one were to give all the wealth of his house for love, it would be utterly scorned.”

Mr. and Mrs. Wayne David Mahaffey, Sr.

I told you they were beautiful, didn’t I?

31 Days of Our Lives :: Day 23 ~ Kara’s Krew & A Giveaway!

Thank you to the faithful ones who have stuck it out with me during my 31 Days of Our Lives. Today is a very special day because of two reasons: A Guestpost & A Giveaway!

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and today I have asked my dear friend, Kara, to share about her breast cancer journey. I wanted to include her in this 31 Days of Our Lives, because she is a part of our lives despite the miles between us right now. I am so grateful for her friendship and I hope after you read her story, you will be inspired by her courageous spirit and in her Hope that never fails.

I am honored that Caroline would use one of her 31 days to share about me and therefore, spread the word about Breast Cancer. On July 26th, 2011, my journey through Breast Cancer diagnosis and treatment began. This is a journey I never thought I would start taking at 33 years old but that is what it is…a journey. The journey has required many steps, some unknown and a few that were known at the time. There have definitely been a few twists and turns, but we prayed for as few as possible and God heard our prayers. We have met some new friends along the way who have provided my medical care. And though there were many unknowns, the destination has always been clear ~ we will be more like Jesus.

On my CaringBridge page I talk about what the Lord showed me in those first few days after we found out.

“I see a God who loves me and has ordered every step of this journey so far and will continue to do so. I see a husband who is so strong, wise and loving and by having dealt with a lot of hard stuff in his life already has been prepared to hold my hand through it all. I see two little miracles that will keep a smile on my face and life as “normal” as possible. I see parents that would take this sickness themselves if God would allow it. And I see a community of friends who are willing to help with the details while pouring scripture and prayer over me. So I don’t question why I have to take this journey, I just know that I have everything I need to take it.”


One thing I didn’t mention at the time was that I was equipped with a faith that dates back to my late high school and college years under the leadership of Greg and Caroline TeSelle. I am so grateful for all that Greg and Caroline poured into me during those years and have been able to trust in a Sovereign God because of the foundation of faith gained during that time.

Today, October 23, Kara’s Krew {many of my family and friends} will gather together to show their support and walk/run in the Race for the Cure in Hunt Valley, MD. The love and support of our family and friends have been amazing, and we have truly experienced the Body of Christ in a whole new way since this all began. I have lived away from Greg and Caroline for many years now (something I desperately wish were not true) but they are key members of Kara’s Krew as they have shown their support through handwritten letters, emails, texts, and most importantly prayers. Something the TeSelles have taught me over the years is that life is all about loving God and loving people. Cancer has definitely reminded me of that.

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Isn’t she absolutely amazing?

About the Giveaway: Because I love Kara, and in an effort to raise awareness about Breast Cancer and to share Kara’s story, my friend Angela of Button Bird Designs is giving away one of her Coffee Sack Hobo Bag’s from her Etsy store to one of you.

To enter the giveaway:
1. Visit Button Bird Designs & her Etsy shop
2. Come back here, click “Leave a Reply” at the bottom of this post, and simply leave a reply ~ that will be your entry!

Also, we’re friends, right? And friends like to share ~ if you are on facebook or twitter, can you share this post with your friends? It’s a simple way to share Kara’s story & raise awareness about Breast Cancer. {See the Share This: at the bottom of the post? A simple way to share!} Thank you!

{This giveaway is only open to US residents.} I will keep the giveaway open until 11:59 pm Tuesday & I will announce the winner by 12:00 pm on 10/26.

{Winner announced here!}

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8 more 31 Days left! Tomorrow ~ I’ll be telling someone Happy Birthday!