Friday, October 31, 2014

Two Years Ago

Our Etsy shop opened on October 31, 2012 

On October 31, 2012, a small shop called Gifts of Grace opened. The shop was created to raise money for adoption, and was started by my mom and I when I was 14. 

My burden for orphans started at young age. When I was four, my mother said something that most moms say at one time or another. We were at the table and I didn’t want to eat my supper, when she explained how some children in the world did not have enough food and that I should be thankful that I did and eat my supper. This struck me in a profound way, and I immediately went into my bedroom. Moments later, I came back with various items that I wanted to give to those children. Unfortunately, although I asked several times over the next few weeks, we couldn’t find a way to give to children that were in need.

In the summer of 2012, I read a great deal of books. “Do Hard Things” by Alexis and Brett Harris and “Kisses from Katie” by Katie Davis were ones that really impacted me. Those two books served to rekindle my burden for orphans and bring it back stronger. Again though, I was faced with a dilemma. What could I do to help?

Mom and I tossed back and forth ideas for about a month until she suggested an opening an online shop in order to raise money for children in need. After talking it over and praying about it, we decided that this was the best option. Then we started planning. Who were we going to raise money for? What should the shop be called? What should we sell in the shop? Over the next few months, we began to get some answers.

‘Gifts of Grace’ was chosen for the shop name. We chose the name because of what we decided to sell (items that could be given as gifts) and because God had given us the grace to be able to do this. The main question was still unanswered though. Who were we going to give the money to? After some searching and discussing different ideas, everyone came to the decision that the shop proceeds would go towards Nik and Stacy Lingle’s adoption expenses.

We first learned that Nik and Stacy were adopting from their cousin, Christina. Once I found out about this, I began to pray about giving the shop proceeds to Nik and Stacy. Even before we discussed it, mom and I had came to the same conclusion. All the proceeds from our shop would go towards Nik and Stacy Lingle’s adoption expenses!

We sold the first item from our Etsy shop on March 5th, 2013! 

The next few months were full of more planning. We contacted Nik and Stacy and started getting to know them. I created a website, business cards, and Facebook page to start getting our name out there. The response was overwhelming! In November we had a booth at a local craft fair to kickoff the shop, and we raised over $400!

Our Etsy shop opened on October 31, 2012. God has been with us every step of this journey, and He has provided in so many ways. We have gotten to hear some extraordinary stories from some amazing people. Year to date, we have been able to raise over $1,000!

Nearly two years after opening Gifts of Grace, my burden for orphans and adoption has only grown. Over time, God has channeled that burden towards the foster care system in America. He has guided me towards working with children in foster care by becoming a foster mom after I graduate college. I am excited to see how God will continue to use Gifts of Grace in my life and in the lives of others as we enter into the third year of this special journey.


Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Spring Newsletter + Giveaway

Happy Spring Everyone!

Aromatherapy Bracelets
School is almost finished, and we will be on summer vacation soon! As we will be visiting family for a couple of weeks in June, our shop will on vacation from June 1-17. Until then, you can use the coupon code SUMMERVACATION to receive 15% off your order!

Africa Necklace- Glossy Black
In case you missed it, Nik and Stacy wrote an update on their adoption and we posted it here: Update on Nik and Stacy's Adoption. God has been good, and you all have already purchased enough items from our shop to raise nearly $100 this year to go towards Nik and Stacy's adoption expenses! That is about double what we had raised last year by this time!

Starfish Necklace- Brown
Last week we had a Facebook party and we added five new items to the shop! You can still enter the giveaway here:a Rafflecopter giveaway
Africa Onesie- Newborn
How has your spring been so far? Let us know in the comments!


Monday, March 3, 2014

Update on Nik and Stacy's Adoption

Several of you have been asking over the past few months how Nik and Stacy's adoption is progressing. They were kind enough to write an update so that you could know what has been happening.
Over the past several months, there has been a lot of discussion in the Ethiopian government about the condition of their international adoption program. The governmental agency responsible for the international adoption program released a 42-page document about the condition of adoption in their country, highlighting the challenges and other alternatives.
The document contains 1) pages of unsubstantiated claims about corruption and inefficiency in the adoption process and in orphanages, 2) suggestions for correcting these problems, and 3) alternatives such as focusing on domestic adoption (Ethiopian families adopting Ethiopian orphans).
This document became the basis for countless meetings of parliament and special interest groups that took place around the turn of the year. And it created much uncertainty for all families in the pipeline for international adoptions from Ethiopia. Basically, families were completely uncertain as to whether Ethiopia would remain open for adoptions.
All that to say, through our adoption process we have very much felt the meaning of "waiting on the Lord." When we started the paperwork, we were told it would be 18-24 months before we brought a child home. But we've already passed the 18-month benchmark. Over the past year, that timeline has slowly crept up to something more like 40+ months. Imagine being pregnant for 40 months! The anticipation is protracted and the hope seems distant.
But we know the Lord reigns over all of it. So we are patiently recallibrating our expectation to match what he has planned from the beginning. It may be late 2015 before we are matched with a child, or it may be longer. But we know that whenever it happens, his timing is perfect. And at the end of the day, this process is not about us and our timeline. It's about exercising the kind of patient love that God has shown toward us.
If you wonder how to engage orphan care, start with the biggest thing first: Pray. 1. Pray that God would graciously maneuver in the details of government to allow for safe and quick adoption, so children can receive care in loving families. 2. Pray that Christians in particular would take up the cause of the voiceless and needy, participating in orphan care in whatever way God leads them.
Nik and Stacy

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Winter Newsletter 2014

  Hello friends!

Gifts of Grace
Black, Red & White Africa Necklace
The past year has been amazing. We have been able to see God work through Gifts of Grace in so many ways. We have been able to meet many new people, and I have been able to learn so many things about running a business. Who knew how much actually goes into running one! Last spring, we had a booth at the Craftastic Day Craft Fair. We were also able to meet Nik and Stacy for the first time in April (sorry that there is no picture, the one that we took did not turn out)!

Gifts of Grace
Maranatha Craft Fair November 2013
This past fall we had a booth at the Maranatha craft fair, and it was a huge success. While we were there, we were invited to participate in the Handmade Holidays craft fair in Schofield, Wisconsin. We accepted, of course, and redid our booth design using the dividers that my grandpa made (pictured below).

Gifts of Grace
Handmade Holidays Craft Fair 2013
Thank you to all the people who stopped by at either of the booths, it was a pleasure to get to know you!

As some of you know, we only planned on supporting Nik and Stacy for the first year of our shop's existence, and we planned to help a different adopting family each year. Well, we have decided to keep supporting Nik and Stacy's adoption! Eventually there will be a time when they will have completed the adoption and no longer are in need of funds, but we are going to continue to help them until then.

Changes in Our Shop 

Gifts of Grace
Blue & Silver Africa Necklace

As we were reviewing our shop towards the end of 2013, we decided to make some minor changes. Here is a quick review of all the changes that are taking place:
  • We're in the process of adding new items. We have lots of items to list: Africa necklaces, flower headbands, aromatherapy bracelets, washcloths, hats, crocheted headbands, and more!  Watch the shop to see as we list new items:
  • We also lowered our prices by 10%*! This change doesn't affect shipping prices at all (US shipping is still free). Awesome!
Thank you so much for helping us to raise money for Nik and Stacy!

Have a wonderful year,


*The prices were rounded to the nearest $0.50.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

One Year (Giveaway)!

I can't believe that it has been a year since Gifts of Grace has opened! Opening Gifts of Grace has allowed us to have some pretty awesome opportunities including meeting some amazing people, learning all about the inner workings of owning a business, and being able to raise money for adoption.

Because this is our first birthday (and that causes for celebration), we've decided to have a giveaway! From now until November 9th (the day of the craft fair) you can enter to win a set of our new African Animals Card Sets. These sets also are available for purchase on our Etsy shop or they will be available at our next craft fair booth (more information about the craft fair can be view here) from 10am-4pm in the Maranatha gym.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Fall Newsletter

I've decided to start doing a quarterly newsletter instead of blog posts (as you can see I haven't been very good with keeping up with posting).

8x10 Walk Into Fall Print

Hello everyone!
I hope that you have been having a great fall so far (we have). This past April, we got to meet Nik and Stacy! It was super neat to be able to get to know them and see their excitement about adopting.

Set of Four Photo Cards- Fall

Lately, we've been busy getting ready for the Maranatha craft fair coming up on November 9th. We plan on introducing several new items (be watching for sneak peaks on Facebook in the coming weeks) including t-shirts, cards, and jewelry! We hope to see you there!


Monday, April 29, 2013

New Items

Lately, we've been working on adding some new items to the shop. We're in the process of introducing our new Africa shaped necklaces and key chains, crocheted washcloths(currently sold out), and some new prints!

Stone Blue Africa Necklace- $20
Black and Gray Africa Keychain- $10 
8x10 Digital Print- $5
Glossy Black Africa Necklace- $25
Tropical Swirls Africa Necklace- $25
Head on over to the shop to check out the rest of our new items. There are more to come!



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The element in the header and the background paper are from Spring Freebie Collection by Just Jaimee. We use Blog Giveaway Directory and Free Scrapbook Fonts, do you?