Sunday, October 31, 2010

Want To Know The Truth?

I almost said "NO."

To be flat out honest when Amaya said she wanted to raise her own money for shoeboxes I wanted to just say "we do shoeboxes as a family you don't need to make your own money to do it."

The truth plate is full right now....NO to be honest my plate is overflowing right now. I had just come to the conclusion that even though I love helping families fundraise for adoptions that I needed to find a balance between God, Chris, kids and everything else I am responsible for.

How could I take on ONE more thing knowing that when God uses a child a lot of times it ends up being big.

I wanted to say "no" but something stopped me.

If I would have said no, I would have missed a HUGE opportunity in Amaya's life for her to know what it is to truly be the hands and feet of Christ. If I would have said no, there would have been several children that wouldn't receive a shoebox or possibly their only chance to learn about Christ. If I would have said no, there would have been sooooo many missed teaching opportunities. If I would have said no, I wouldn't have been able to explain to my six year old that God must see her as a very special person if he entrusted her with a job this big at such a young age. If I would have said no, Amaya would have missed out on a ton of encouragement from you.

If I would have said no Amaya would have missed the chance at letting several children experience this:

Galatians 6:9 (New International Version)
9Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.

Click HERE to read about Amaya's Shoebox Project.

PS Only 17 more to go to reach her goal!!!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Letter's To Amaya

I cannot even begin to thank you guys enough. We have received sooooo many amazing comments, letters, donations over the amount of the $5 and with each one it brings tears in my eyes and amazing joy to a precious 6 year old child. When I read each one I sit wondering if the person who wrote the note has any idea how much they are encouraging a little girl to be the hands and feet of Christ.

Amaya has now sold 66!!! Please keep spreading the word because she still has 34 more to sell to reach her goal of 100 and only 9 days left to sell them.

Last night Amaya was supposed to be in bed and the little math whiz that she is had ask her daddy how many minutes it was until she woke up in the morning. Amaya came downstairs crying because 450 minutes seemed like a lifetime to her and she couldn't believe we would make her stay in bed that long. I just happened to be checking my email as she came down the steps in tears and I saw a letter to Amaya. I told her to come on over and let's read the letter together and below is the letter we found that had one little 6 year old making BIG plans for the future (I did ask permission to share this letter).

Dear Amaya,

My name is Kathy Schriefer (maybe Mrs. Schriefer to you) and I live in Erie, PA. I want to tell you that I am praying that God will help you to pack more shoeboxes than you could ever imagine.

Back in 1998 I read about a girl who packed 200 Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes and that seemed like an impossible goal. But I prayed about it and by 2000 God allowed me to pack 300 boxes and I was just amazed.

Well, every year God gave me a goal to pack more and the project just grew and grew. This year my whole community helped me pack boxes and we packed 12,670 of them in just 6 hours. You can see a video of it by clicking on this link

I was able to go to the Dominican Republic to help pass out shoeboxes in 2009 and I know so MANY kids are waiting to get a shoebox and hear about Jesus. So keep packing those boxes, Amaya, and keep trusting God to do bigger and bigger things for you. He will surprise and amaze you every day.

Praising God I got a chance to hear your story and share in your dream,
Mrs. Kathy Schriefer
Operation Christmas Child
Northwestern PA Area Coordinator

If you are new to my blog you can read how to help Amaya with her project here.

PS If you haven't received your ornament yet and you have ordered one it will be coming. We had sickness in our house this week and since Amaya is writing a special thank you to everyone it is taking a little time but you will get it. Thanks for being patient!

Thursday, October 28, 2010


OK, I know several of you are waiting for an update on Amaya's Shoebox project. As of last night she had sold 52 ornaments, over half way to her goal of 100!!! Thanks to a very special reader who blogged about Amaya here we have had several more orders just come in that I haven't had a chance to count yet.

Last weekend we took Amaya out so she could start making a few boxes since she was so excited and we had soooo much fun. Amaya truly thought out every little item she put in each box to make it extra special. Amaya was also very careful about how she spent the money because she knew that if she didn't spend a lot on each item she could fill more boxes.

We did not tell her what to buy, we did let her know things that were not allowed to go in the boxes, but she did amazing.

Amaya was able to fill 4 boxes that she took to church last weekend and she can't wait to fill some more.

The pastor was so excited for her on Sunday he let her get up on stage and tell the church about her project. If you are a pastor that supports children, THANK YOU!!!

Thank you so much to everyone that has bought an ornament, help spread the word, and an extra special thank you to those that have prayed.

Amaya still has a week and a half to make her goal of selling 100. If you haven't read about her project you can read about it here.


Tuesday, October 19, 2010

What An Amazing Thing To Watch

OK, I'm sure the tears are going to be rolling as I write this but I had no idea. I had no idea what an amazing experience it is to watch you child on a mission to serve God.

This is day 3 of Amaya's Shoebox Project and she has now sold 33 ornaments! When Amaya works on an ornament she is soooooo careful about where she puts every bead. Amaya prays as she is making them asking God to let her meet her goal of 100. Amaya looks at every single one and says "Momma who do you think this one will go to". Amaya is even writing a special thank you note to everyone that buys an ornament. As soon as she wakes up in the morning, gets home from school, goes to bed, she goes running to count the list to see how many she has sold.
With each one sold she thinks about what she will buy to fill a shoebox with.

I have learned sooooo much about Amaya during these 3 days. I now understand why she has a hard time making a list for Christmas or her birthday. I know why "things" just don't matter to her like other kids (including my other 2). Amaya's passion is others and not herself. Amaya's gift is giving. I have never, ever seen her so excited about anything.

I am so thankful God gave us such an amazing miracle child!

PS If you don't know about Amaya's project she is selling Christmas ornaments to raise money to fill shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child. The ornaments are $5.00 each plus $1.50 for shipping if your not local so for a donation of $6.50 (you can use the chip-in above or buy through my Etsy shop link on the sidebar) you get to help this precious 6 year old with her first mission for God.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Memorial Box Monday

I know it has been a long time since I have done Memorial Box Monday but I don't ever want to forget how God provided!

Like I had said a couple of posts ago I had become very embarrassed and to be honest depressed over the furniture we had. I cannot even begin to tell you the guilt I felt for feeling that way over stupid furniture but it was so bad we didn't even want to sit on it let alone anyone else. Actually someone came to visit a few weeks ago and you could see the disgust on their face and they wouldn't even sit on our couch. The couch had a board under the cushions because the springs had broke and cotton hanging out of it because it was completely worn out.

After a lot of prayer God blessed us with a new livingroom set at 1/3 of what we had planned on paying and trust me we weren't looking at the expensive new sets.

So this is our $99 couch that we love to cuddle on as a family now.

These are my very favorite pieces, my very cool loungy, grab a cup of coffee and a book chairs.

I also have a sofa table and 2 end tables that I have no idea what to do with because we have never had tables before. I can't wait to figure something out to put on them.

I wanted to give you an update on Amaya's Shoebox project. Amaya has sold 21 ornaments so far!!! I can't even tell you how excited this little girl gets everytime she gets an order. Amaya is also a planner so she keeps coming to me asking how much money she has made to buy stuff to fill shoeboxes and she has been making a list of things to fill the boxes with. Amaya thinks through everything and she is even thinking about making sure that the boxes for the 2-4 year olds don't have anything in them that could hurt them.

If you haven't read about her project yet you can read about it here. Can you help us spread the word because she has been praying constantly that God would help her sell 79 more?

Thanks everyone!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Amaya's Shoebox Project

Our church asked me to be in charge of Operation Christmas Child this year. Little did they know I had already prayed about it wanting to do it but we have only been going to out church for a few months and I felt it was too soon to ask. The church didn't even know how much of a passion I have for Operation Christmas child.

Anyway as I was watching the video about it to have them play at church Amaya asked me if she could come up with a way to make money to fill some boxes.

I was one very, very excited momma when my 6 year old wanted to do something to make a difference.

So my precious 6 year old has come up with a way to raise some money. I'll let Amaya tell you about her project.

I am Amaya and I am 6 years old. I am selling ornaments to fill shoeboxes for kids that don't have a lot of stuff. The ornaments are made by me and they cost $5 plus $1.50 for shipping. I would like to try to sell 100 ornaments to fill shoeboxes.

Can you please help me make my goal?

Thank you!

As you can see Amaya's goal is to sell 100 (her first goal was $10,000) so we need help in getting the word out. Could you help us by blogging about this or sharing on Facebook?

The cost of a handmade by Amaya ornament is $6.50 which includes shipping (this includes international shipping too). To order you can use the chip-in (make sure you leave me your address) and make your donation to Amaya's Shoebox Project. I will also make these available in my Etsy shop. This is a 6 year old with a very big goal so please allow up to a few weeks before shipping so she has time to make them.

By purchasing an ornament you get to be part of Amaya's very first project at making a difference!


Friday, October 15, 2010

Feeling Soooo Blessed Today!

We have had a week that only God could have orchestrated. I am a strong believer of sharing ways God blesses you to give all glory to God. I honestly don't even know if anyone still reads my blog since I don't hardly get any comments anymore (hint, hint) but I need to write this out so that I remember all that has happened this week.

First of all a couple of weeks ago out of the blue God sold Chris' truck without him even trying to sell it. Chris has become a true used car salesman (other than the dis-honesty part) and if someone wants to buy something he has he sells it (I won't let him have the keys to my car). We have been looking and looking for a broken vehicle to replace his vehicle but we just hadn't found the right car. We usually have no problem at all finding them. This week Chris had a very expensive piece of equipment break at the shop that had to be replaced that day and do you know it cost just about the same amount Chris had sold the truck for. God knew 2 weeks ago we would need that money. Yes, Chris is riding a bike to work but we have the piece of equipment we needed.

In the last week for the first time ever I was faced with being challenged with God's heart for adoption. I can't even tell you how many times people have asked me about it but never have I been challenged over it until this week. God has given me what I needed to fight that challenge. The hard thing is God has given me even more of a reason to fight for these children this week. It has been emotionally draining but it is tools I need to fight for the orphan.

OK this part is one of those get real parts that some people would think I shouldn't put on a public blog but I want to be real because I know I can't be the only one out there that feels like this. We have needed furniture for a very long time but I am not a believer of putting furniture on a credit card and furniture is just very expensive. It is so bad that over the last 2 months I have cried, cried and well cried because I was embarressed to have people over to our house. I will be honest and say that one day someone said they might drop by that hadn't seen us in a long time and I ran to my room, cried, curled up under the covers and cried. Chris came and got under the covers with me (I love that man) and held me. Chris ask why I was under the covers and I told him I couldn't see the furniture under the covers.

I don't want you to think we are needy because God has given us everything we need and we are totally blessed but we just hadn't had the $2,000 to buy new livingroom furniture because it all needed replaced not just one piece.

One day I walked outside crying out to God and I talked to him about how it was so very, very hard for me to even think about buying furniture because I would much rather use that money to feed hungry children, help adopting families bring kiddos homes, get Chris things he needs for his shop and things like that but it was time I gave it over to God because it was to the point I didn't want people in my home because I was so embarrassed.

I went out furniture shopping trusting that God was going to provide the money I needed. I was sooooo close to putting a set on layaway and Chris told me to just wait until I had all the money. God provided the money I needed for the set of furniture I had picked out but something stopped me from buying it. This is was stopped me:


OK God, you have given me the money but how can I spend this much money on furniture. Out of the total blue I found a furniture store online that sells furniture that has been in model homes, short term executive suites or movie sets. Mom and I went to the store the other day and I was able to get an entire livingroom set for 1/3 of what I was going to pay and it looks almost brand new. See.....God even cares about the little things.

On top of all this God has blessed us with the most amazing church and the most amazing Bible study group. We started a new church a few months ago that was just a few blocks from our home. We weren't looking for a new church it just happened. This church is truly one of God's hidden treasures.

PS I will post pictures of the new furniture as soon as I get it :)

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Winning The Battle For Children

Several weeks ago a Facebook friend shared about this organization on Facebook. I looked through the website and didn't sleep at all that night. Being a advocate for adoption for the last 4 years I have tons and tons of info that runs through my head all the time. I know God's heart for adoption, I know the need, I know our responsibility as Christians but this book opened my eyes to so many things I had never thought about before.

If you are a Christian, someone against abortion, a birth mother, an adoptive family, a pastor, or an adoption advocate. Please order this book! I am not part of this organization at all and I am not making anything by blogging about this. I am just someone who's eyes have been opened big time by reading this book.

Click here to order.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Our Little Grease Monkey

Isn't this the cutest grease monkey you have ever seen?

Jaxson just spent the afternoon working with daddy.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Like Father Like Son

OH MY.......I cannot even begin to tell you how much Jaxson and Chris are alike. Sometimes I even joke with him asking him if he didn't sneak off to China about 9 months before Jaxson was born because they have the exact same hair color and they like the exact same things not to mention they both are better at cleaning than I am.

Anyway Jaxson has been working with Chris in the shop which is one of the biggest blessings of owning your own business. Actually Chris bought Jaxson his own broken motor so he would have something to take apart and learn how to fix with his daddy.

On Saturday we were in a hurry to get out the door and I asked Jaxson to run outside and put their Jeep away. He honestly had it put away and out the front door in about 2 minutes. We went to an auction and when we came home this is what I found.

Jaxson didn't only park the Jeep in the garage but he jacked it up and made sure it was safe by placing the board under the front tires.

This picture is what I bought at the auction!!!

With 3 little ones in the house we have shoes everywhere, jackets everywhere, SOCKS, SOCKS and SOCKS, backpacks (Jaxson has 2 schools so he has 2 backpacks) and TONS of craft stuff. I have been looking and looking for school lockers to buy to give them each their own locker to store stuff in. I was so excited when I saw these gym lockers at this auction because they can each have a locker for different things like shoes, jackets, SOCKS and well you get the idea. There is also enough room for me to store things which in an old house is a true blessing.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Trying Something New

A lady contacted me a couple of months ago about doing a fundraiser. The kick is that this fundraiser is NOT for her but for someone else. There is a family IN CHINA working with orphans everyday and they are adopting and ask this lady to help them fundraise even though she didn't know them well. This adopting family is living out James 1:27 and they need the Christian family to pull together and help them with the adoption cost because their work in China is volunteer and not a paid position.

Valerie (the one fundraiser for them) told me she wanted to sell 200 pendants in their one day sale. Valerie said she new it was a very high goal to make but she was trusting God that this could happen. I personally think it's an awesome goal to have because I know that the adoption community is AMAZING and we have a very big God.

I started praying asking God for a way to help her make her goal and God gave me a very cool idea.

On Fundraiser days I do not take custom orders do to the amount of work it takes when you get 30-40 custom orders in one day. What you see is what you get in the shop and sometimes people get a little frustrated when the one they wanted so bad already sold.

So we are trying something new for this sale and we are giving people a chance to get an EARLY SHOPPING PASS. The actual sale for this fundraiser is OCTOBER 5 but you can earn a early shopping pass to get first choice by blogging about the fundraiser or by sending out special messages on Facebook. You have to get a special CODE to shop early for this fundraiser so please read this blog post by Valerie to get the details.
Please help spread the word because this is a family caring for orphans in China and they can't do the funraising themselves so they are counting on other adoptive families to help.
I have stocked up the shop with tons of China pendants, orphan care, adoption, SNOWMEN, and sooooo many others.
PS Come back tomorrow because I have a couple of very cool pictures to show you.
PSS Today Chris and I are celebrating 12 amazing years together. Chris is truly the greatest gift God has ever given me!!!