Meet Shirley

Let me start by saying, Meet Shannan

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As we all know her, FlowerPatchFarmGirl.

The woman who shares stories of living on the wrong side of the tracks, in spite of where she originally dreamed of dwelling.

She shares countless accounts of her life that leave your eyes a bit misty when you finish reading.

So beautiful.

So inspiring.

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Now, meet Shirley.

My precious, little, blurry pictured beauty who lives a continent away from me.

She’s four.

Ecuadorian.

Lovely.

She caught my gaze instantly.

She’s mine and Cody Bell’s compassion baby.

We saw her picture with a little heart on it that said “waiting for a sponsor for 378 days.”

We knew she was supposed to be our kiddo to send goodness to.

ALL because of a blog post shared by Shannan, a woman I’ve never personally met.

Compassion Bloggers Ecuador 2016-DayFour-1(disclaimer, these are all from Shannan’s page, I just needed you to see the beauty.)

Shannan shared a story of sponsoring a child in Ecuador.

It was more than a story, it was a reality.

It was truth.

It was simply sharing the power that $38 per month has on a child.

Compassion Bloggers Ecuador 2016-DayTwo-32The stories that she shared moved me beyond words.

Now, here I sit, a sponsor to a little Ecuadorian baby who is crazy deserving of my help because of priceless words that hit me right at the heart.

I don’t have much, at least I think…

Then, I open up a picture of beautiful little Shirley and my heart is changed.

My money gives her education, food, Jesus…

which doesn’t feel like much to us crazy blessed Americans, but it’s everything to Shirley.

Compassion Bloggers Ecuador 2016-DayFour-32Shannan is currently in Ecuador meeting her kiddos that she blesses from her North American dwelling.

She keeps sharing story after story of her interactions with these folks and those accounts are priceless.

She is seeing first hand what her sponsorship is doing, and it’s absolutely beautiful.

Compassion Bloggers Ecuador 2016-DayFour-60Her pictures bring her words to LIFE.

Her actions are just pure gold.

But her sacrifice to give to others humbles me.

Compassion Bloggers Ecuador 2016-DayFour-66Be sure to check out Shannan’s Page today and see how incredible the opportunity is to sponsor a kiddo through Compassion.

 *Images by @MikeRavel via FlowerPatchFarmGirl.

New Home, New Improvements 3

“The best portion of your life will be the small, nameless moments you spend with someone who matters to you.” -unknown

I couldn’t agree more with that quote.

My weekend was full of work and projects, but all of it with my favorite Cody Bell.

IMG_4410 (1)We finally got the tile laid and grouted in our bathroom… (praise hands).

BUT grout has to dry and our final week of construction is this week… so more updated pics to come of that!

IMG_4388A few months ago we found this little piece of furniture at a yard sale in our neighborhood.

I bargained my way down to $30 for it.

Literally had a man trying to buy me out with it and for some strange reason, the owner gave it to me for the lower price (favor?? Can I get an amen?)

IMG_4389We talked to our contractor and sweet friend, Dave about this little piece being transformed into a vanity sink.

Dave gave us the thumbs up, so our next step was to get it to the color we wanted.

Simply White by Benjamin Moore was final decision.

So Saturday, January 30, it was sunny and 75 (Thank God I live in the South) and Cody Bell and I rolled up our sleeves and got to work!

IMG_4392If I’m being honest, this was really easy to paint. The only issue we ran into was the top of the vanity, which only took about 25 min to scrape. The rest was smooth sailing.

IMG_4395Chipped nail polish for the WIN! 🙂

I have to be real, I am NOT a DIY girl.

I really think it’s fun for about 20 minutes, and then if it doesn’t look like its working how I planned, I get over it REAL fast.

IMG_4396Gray hair on fleek am I right? ^^

But this day was spent with Cody Bell.

He’s my husband for those of you who don’t know him and YES I call him by his first and last name.

It’s a thing.

IMG_4397We talked (mostly in British accents) and laughed and painted and painted and painted.

But we were together.

Our schedules don’t exactly hand us quality time,

SO, when we do have quality time, it’s so incredibly sweet.

 IMG_0001Isn’t he the most handsome?

It was time this weekend that really reminded me some truths about life.

Number 1.-It’s always a work in progress

Number 2.- Time spent with those you care most about is time well spent.

Number 3.- You have to put work into the things that you want to work, which includes marriage, friendships, family, and the Lord.

 IMG_4391Clearly this piece only came with three door handles.

We are looking for some pretty handles…

Any ideas or suggestions on where to look? Would love your help!

Liberated #ValiantWednesday

“Now a slave has no permanent place in the family, but a son belongs to it forever.  So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.”

IMG_4380Yesterday I hurried through the back door of Valiant Cross Academy after running behind on time to tutor my student.

I scooted through the entry way and found my student’s paper work.

The Language and Social Studies teacher approached me saying,

“Vocabulary words are the best thing to focus on this afternoon” as she handed me a sheet with words and definitions. 

IMG_4355My scholar and I found a place at a table amidst many other tutors and scholars and started going over the words and definitions, practicing spelling, and finding ways to connect the definitions to examples in our own lives.

“Liberate. LIB-ER-ATE.” I said as my scholar was trying to figure out how to spell the word.

Instead of attempting to spell the word in that moment, this incredible almost-teenaged boy asks,

“Oh Mrs. Bell, isn’t that kind of like getting to be free? If the Son sets you free, you are free indeed, right?”

*Pause for the water the fogged my vision momentarily.*

I simply nodded my head as he continued,

“We have been liberated by Jesus!”

IMG_4354I just kept nodding in agreement and trying to gather my emotions so the two of us could keep working diligently on the assignment.

IMG_4370IMG_4371 These boys hang their coats on the wall of a place that tells them their identity, freedom, and ability. Every. Day.

And in the midst of my spastic, flustered, and rushed afternoon, 

I was re invited into a place of intimacy with the Lord that gave me permission to remember my freedom in HIM, all because of a child who knows what Jesus has set before him to do in every life that he comes into contact with.

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How is it that a 12 year old was able to redirect my mindset for the rest of the afternoon?

Whom the Son sets free, He is free indeed.

No matter where we come from, what we look like, who we are in contact with in a day,

We have been LIBERATED.

We have an assignment to be the light and freedom that others are so hungry for.

Take some time to invest in the Kingdom,

because when you invest in the Kingdom,

the Kingdom invests in you.

#ValiantWednesday