Tuesday, June 17, 2014

a super big heartfelt thank you and group hug

Friends! First I wanted to make this so fancy and compelling. Picture a title like "when saying yes looks like a no" or you know, something that would pull you all in. (im slightly being sarcastic) but really I just cant because currently all I want to do is tell you thank you. I dont want to be preachy or layout what this looked like and all the wonderful things I learned and felt. (at least not yet?! cliffhanger!)

I just want to say thanks!

Its been about 2 weeks since all of you went nuts rallying for me to win that trip to Rwanda. So I wanted to follow up here. In case you arent on facebook or Instagram and didnt know, I wanted you to know I did make it in to the top 7! You guys did it and are so awesome! It was amazing watching the votes come in and all of you go crazy up until the very last second voting! Yall were sharing it everywhere.. texting all your people.. emailing everyone.. sending out to your offices.. I mean the list goes on & on!

After the top 7 made it then we all had to submit a 1 minute video saying why the team should pick us to go. I did this, during the stomach bug of 2014 I might add, and then waited.

Then on Monday I found out I did not make it into the final top 3. So I apologize if you're just now finding that out and were waiting for me to update.

I wanted to follow up since its been so long now and Ive had some time to process it all.

Here are my thoughts: That was awesome! When I entered that contest it was on a whim. I saw it right when it was announced and went crazy and entered because I knew it aligned with the dream the Lord has given me and then I thought about it after.  That night I sat in bed thinking "what in the world did I just do?" Then when I saw the other people who were entering I especially questioned myself. I thought it was all over because I had no chance and then I felt ridiculous for putting myself out there. But that's when my friends & my husband all stepped in and said "keep going" and that's when all of you stepped in and kept voting! I couldn't believe it. I kept pressing in and trusting the Lord and just saying "I will at least finish this well." The first week I had no idea what was happening or where I stood or how many votes I had. Then the second week they showed the ranking and I started crying right when I checked them... I WAS IN 4TH PLACE!!!! All lined up and surrounded by women who I follow and know can rally a community by just pushing one little button. But YALL did that - you actually responded when I asked for help and that was amazing you guys.

Then the rest of the week you kept going back and kept voting and kept sharing it and kept encouraging me. My inbox is still FULL of emails from you guys sharing it on facebook. Friends I haven't "talked" to in years and people I haven't seen since high school - all of you being willing to vote daily and ask all of your people to vote too. IT WAS CRAZY ans seriously SO AWESOME!

So I just wanted to say thank you again so much. It means so much. (I can promise you if I ever see anything asking for votes again - I will be stopping to vote! ha.) It was such a crazy experience.

Don't get me wrong, I was sad. Like, so sad. At first I was okay. Then one night I was watching a video from our founder at Noonday, Jessica Honegger, where she was talking about the work they are doing and the work IJM is doing in Rwanda and I had the biggest cry fest I have had in a long time. I think this is okay and good though. It shows me that I really did want this and I really do believe in the work both these organizations are doing. I know through all this the Lord gave me a clearer vision of what my passions are. He gave me an even larger desire to be a storyteller and a voice for the vulnerable and for that I am so grateful.

In the end, I mostly felt so encouraged from all of you. So many of you texted, emailed, commented and prayed with me. You affirmed that I wasn't crazy and this was something I could do. You affirmed that all the dreams and desires in my heart are there and that you see them and know them. Sometimes its easy to feel like I need to convince people of how I feel or what the Lord is teaching me or giving me a passion for - but all of you stepped in and said "we've seen this and know this about you.. we see the Lord doing this and we are with you!" In my little world its easy to also feel like "this is something everyone wants to do" and that the dreams I have maybe aren't valid because its a dream everyone has. So I also learned that (once again) all our dreams are different. And that's why we have to be willing to say yes.

If anything this crazy contest made me love social media that much more. (I know some of you are rolling your eyes!) But its true. People are nice. Social media has the power or ability to wrap their arms around you and encourage you. I know it isn't always that way. I see it daily where people are just straight up mean and I'm shocked. But not my people - not yall! You've never been rude on my blog. (seriously! EVER) You've jumped in and supported us and encouraged us and come along with us from Texas, to Pennsylvania, to Uganda & Kenya and now in Ohio! Through our little zoo to now our 3 kids and a 4th on the way. Ive learned a lot and probably didn't deserve most the grace y'all gave us!  Please know if anything I'm just so grateful for all your encouragement during the contest and for all your encouragement over the last 8 years that Ive been blogging. (yikes)

I will definitely still be following a long on the trip. You should too. The girl who won, Meredith, is wonderful and I'm so proud and excited for her.

And as most of you know I am in the process of launching my relationship with Noonday Collection! I will write about that tomorrow! Im so excited. So far I have loved advocating for these women and the Lord has continued to amaze me!  Stay tuned. 

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