I have been wanting to update everyone on what's happening lately, especially about my experience at Women of Purpose. I realize that it was over a week and a half ago, but would you believe I haven't sat down for a moment since then? I promise just when I think life couldn't get any crazier or busier, it always does! But God is doing so many amazing things in my heart this year and I catch myself more and more stopping to take a deep breath and appreciate the blessings I have in every moment. When I stay focused on what's important, the business becomes purposeful and I can take it in stride a little easier. Besides, idol hands are the devil's handiwork, right? Or, something like that.

Well, the Women of Purpose conference was a beautiful, spirit-led day full of incredible women (and some men too!) encouraging one another in worship and in faith. I am happy to report that I survived my 40 minutes of speaking...and even went over if you can believe it (ok, those of you who know me and are chuckling right now cause you know what a talker I am can stop now - I was surprised). I was so blessed by everyone who came up and encouraged me afterwards with their own stories and how sharing my journey helped them even in the smallest ways. I count it a blessing when even one person is encouraged by my experience, so I was overwhelmed and humbled at the opportunity God gave me to share my story with so many. Oh yea, and I got to sing with some of my favorite Mountaineers too!

And of course woven into this wonderful event is the beautiful story of how God brought me to the woman who built a home in Honduras in honor of my Jeremy 3 years ago, and allowed our stories to overlap just a few weeks ago. If you didn't read how that happened....YOU NEED TO. Scroll down and read the last blog post I wrote. I still get emotional thinking about it.

And speaking of that, you all are AH-MAZ-ING. Within the first 12 hours, you all donated enough for Steve and I both to make the trip to Honduras to serve!!! I can't tell you how thankful I am that he gets to come with me and share that experience (not to mention, his desire to go was so strong, and you all made that happen for us both!)

Thank you, thank you, thank you!

I'm overjoyed to see the work that God has been doing, and I will try my best to document the trip for you all (and I'm sure I'll want to remember every detail). But my work is not done yet....

It will cost $1600 to build the next home in King's Quarters. The WOP team and the REVIVE team are doing their part to raise money for this trip, as well as carving out the time and resources to make this house building project possible this year, so I want to do my part and ask once again for you all to be a part of this amazing story. I know God's hand is in all this, as been made evident through this whole process - but every dollar helps. I am keeping the donations open until the first of November (click the donate button at the top left corner of this page), so there are only 2 weeks left to donate.

If that's not your cup of tea, consider buying a Revive t-shirt (I bought one and let me tell - they are not only cute, but SUPER comfy!) and with every purchase, we will send another t-shirt to our Honduran missionaries that we serve. It's a great way to do something good AND get something cute as a reminder - CLICK HERE to order!

And if neither of those options are right for you (and that's ok!) - please consider setting aside a few minutes to pray over this trip and this ministry. Pray that the missionaries are indeed revived and blessed through these few days, pray that we raise the money needed for building as well as the money needed for REVIVE to operate, for safe travel, and for anyone involved to be blessed by this experience. This an important plea, as we can always use all the prayers we can get!

That's all I can keep my eyes open long enough to write out. Tonight, I go to bed with a full heart, and please know that YOU have a hand in that.


You won't believe this incredible story anymore than I did...

I am shaking as I write this.
I haven't been able to sleep.

It seems fitting that the first post on my blog in almost a year should arise out of this incredible experience I had last night. And I need to share it with you all.

A few weeks ago, I was asked to be a speaker/presenter to share my story for the Women of Purpose Conference here in Parkersburg (you can learn more about it here). I am definitely not a great public speaker and I'm incredibly nervous about delivering a message for hundreds of women, but I know God has a story to tell through me, and I am trying to be a willing vessel. I am humbled and honored at the opportunity. As a very cool twist of irony, I discovered this week that the event will be held in the very same building I came to lead worship in for a rally 2 weeks after Jeremy passed away. And some of the women on the WOP planning committee were in the audience that weekend and were praying over me when they heard my story. I can't really tell you why I went that weekend or even remember a whole lot about it, but it's humbling to put faces and names to the amazing people who lifted me up all over the country during the darkest days of my life.

Anyway, last night I went to a planning meeting for the event to run through the flow and focus of the day. One of the cool and unique things about Women of Purpose is that they support a ministry called Revive, which serves missionaries in Honduras. As they were sitting around the room discussing details of the trip and sharing with me the blessings of the ministry and how much it has meant to them, I half jokingly but genuinely told them how much I would love to be part of something so powerful. It has always been my dream to do a mission overseas and the few times I've had the opportunity, it had fallen through for one reason or another. And Honduras has a special place in my heart already...

Any of you that have been following this blog long enough may remember that on the first anniversary of Jeremy's death, a woman contacted me to tell me that in honor of his memory a group of people were building a house in Honduras and putting up a family who desired to follow God. As they put them up in a home, they also shared Jeremy's legacy as encouragement and example of a godly man and father. (I posted about it here - read it, it's amazing.) Of course, I hadn't touched base with that women in years but since that day, my heart has ached to someday travel to see the place that is marked with the memory of my husband.

I randomly shared this story with this group of strangers I barely knew.....and here's where it gets really crazy...

One of the women looked at me and said, "That was me. I sent you that letter."

Excuse me, what?!

This woman (her name is Jen, btw), this beautiful spirit who probably without knowing it brought me hope on one of the hardest days of my life, who gave me this incredible piece of honor for my husband WAS SITTING IN THE ROOM WITH ME AND I DIDN'T KNOW IT.

If you don't have goosebumps at this point, then I'm not telling this story right. But, it gets even better. They need extra people on their team because of the growing demand for this ministry...to teach, lead worship, encourage and pray with these missionaries in Honduras, and asked if I'd like to be a part of the team. ARE YOU KIDDING ME?! It's a no brainer - it combines so many things I've always dreamed about. And because of Revive and the great need for this ministry, they haven't put another home in "King's Quarter" since 3 years ago and there is a possibility that we may to able to add another this year and that I may get to HELP. BUILD. IT. (The tears are flowing for me now.)

If that's not enough, the trip just happens to land over November 9th, which will mark the 4th anniversary of Jeremy's death.

I got in my car that night and burst (almost literally) into tears! What an incredible overlapping of circumstance and stories that brought to me this moment. I have fumbled through how to share this and re-playing it over and over in my head. And praying. So much praying.

So....there's more to this story. This mission leaves in just over 6 weeks, and I am very far behind in the game! Luckily for me, I have everything necessary to make the trip except the funds for my flight. Lodging and food once I'm there will be covered, but I of course have to get myself there and back. I've never been good at asking for money, but here I am, hoping and asking for you to be a part of this incredible story and help me make this dream a reality.

My blog followers and those random people who just stop by once in awhile; my family and friends....you have all given me so much that I could never repay - monetarily, physically, spiritually - as well as banded together to bless another widow in her time of need. I am truly grateful for this space that God has used over and over again. I could never expect more from all of you. But, if you can find it in your heart to give, there would be no depth to my appreciation.

I have added the donation button at the top. My goal is to raise at least $1000 - anything above and beyond that will go to Revive to fund expenses for this ministry and further trips. If you can't give money, please consider giving up a few minute to lift these people up in prayer: The missionaries in Honduras, the people of Honduras, the WOP team, and my role in all of this as I attempt to serve in this incredible capacity.

Thank you thank you THANK YOU to everyone who is reading this. For even considering supporting me, for praying, or just for taking the time to read my story and hopefully mark in your heart the legacy of the man I love and how God has worked through the tragedies in my life to bring hope to others and glory to Him.


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