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.


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