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Sunday, July 31, 2011

The Winner & Speaking Up

Friends, thanks so much for stepping up to support Kelsey and Kirby! I’m overwhelmed! When I announced this project on Thursday night, I told Dan and that I’d be thrilled if we could raise $1,000 and get K & K halfway to their goal.

Raising money for overseas mission work is no small task. It's often slow going and discouraging. But there's always a light at the end of the tunnel. Deuteronomy 31:8 says that "the Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid, do not be discouraged."

As of this evening, we’ve raised an amazing $2, 750!!! Thanks to everyone who gave for being the light at the end of this tunnel.

And now, the giveaway. Because we’re vacationing with some friends in South Georgia this week, we decided to do a beach-style drawing.

And the winner was…

Johnsie Gregory of Greenville, SC

Congratulations! Johnsie, please email our t-shirt queen, Joy, at joyharty@sixtyfeet.org to claim your shirts!

In other news… it’s been a wild couple of days around here. This week, our family story was featured on what is literally the biggest blog I’ve ever encountered. Before I came across The Lettered Cottage, I had no idea that blogs with 8,000 followers even existed. It’s an interior design blog, written by Layla and Kevin Palmer, and it’s pretty incredible.

Layla is a Christian and she and Kevin are in the process of adopting from Ethiopia , but she writes her very, very large blog for a secular audience. And she took a big risk by asking the Crazy Crew to guest post.

Layla didn’t feature our family because she wanted to put an interior design spin on our story. She didn’t ask me to share about the ways I’ve made our tiny kitchen work for a family of seven. She also wasn’t interested in the little bathroom that all five of our children share or how we re-arranged our three bedrooms to accommodate our two new additions.

Instead, she graciously gave us the greenlight to openly advocate for the orphan and for the imprisoned children of Africa. It was only after this was posted that I realized this was my first time “speaking” to a secular audience.

The comments, feedback and emails from the post were overwhelmingly positive – but not all of it. The world is just not always as small as we’d like it to be.

I’ve insulated my little world to some degree. I know l’d like to pretend that we’re all Christian, orphan loving, Africa ministry advocates. But that’s not reality. There’s a great big world out there… and if I’m really interested in being salt and light, I know can’t always preach to the choir. Sometimes we have to take risks and speak up – even, and especially, to those who might disagree with us.

Thanks, Layla, for giving me the chance to speak up this week.


Jessica said...

thanks so much for speaking up! i cried looking at the pictures of your sweet kids before adoption. we have a huge heart for adoption but i've never heard of children prisons, so horrible. thanks for sharing and thanks for standing out even when everyone doesn't understand.

Lara said...

Kendra said...

I'm so glad Layla shared your blog with me. I do hope you share with us how you make your tiny kitchen work for a family of seven. Please share the process of rearranging the rooms to accommodate everyone. I believe if you share this it will put it in perspective fore and others so we too can go and adopt.

I subscribed to your blog. Thank you for the challenge and the inspiration.

Jo's Corner said...

I am so happy that she did feature your beautiful family! You are an inspiration! I'm now following your blog and on FB! ~ Love in Him!

Christy said...

awwww I miss all those little faces! And yay, you did amazing on that blog post! Praise the Lord that the word is getting out about Sixty Feet and people's hearts are being challenged!

Nancy said...

Shelly, I'm so glad your story is spreading beyond the walls of where it is safe. It reminds me of just about a month ago...Katie's story was featured on NPR. There was much positive feedback, but a lot was negative, too. From people who really have no clue about how she lives her life. It's kind of frustrating, but light has to penetrate the darkness. Be encouraged! :)

Anonymous said...

Hi Shelly,

I got here through TLC's blog post. My husband and I have been married for a few years, and are starting to talk about our dreams for our family. We've talked about international adoption for a long time, as we've spent a lot of time in Bolivia at an orphanage. It seems crazy, especially after how much our summers in Bolivia have impacted us, but your video really got to us. We can't get it out of our heads and have been talking/praying about our future goals and how adoption is such a big part of that. Your family is beautiful. THANK YOU for posting on that blog.
Praying for your sweet family!

Mrs. Kee said...

I follow Layla's blog and when I began reading your guest post, I immediately darted over to your blog and became a follower. I love your family's story and the love you have for the Lord. Thank you for your beautiful blog and for sharing your family with everyone. Y'all are such an inspiration. Bless you!

Christy Q said...

I follow Layla's blog as well so when she featured you on her blog last week, I had to come over and read more of your story. I am amazed at all you and your family do and how you so freely share God's Word with everyone else. Praying for continued growth with SixtyFeet and all that you and your family do.

Ngozi said...

So happy for you and your beautiful family! My husband and I are passionate about the world's poor too, and we are also planning to adopt soon (Lord, willing). It is encouraging to see what God is doing in the lives of my fellow Christian brothers and sisters around the world. Keep fighting the good fight!

LauraC said...

I'm so glad she featured you too - that's how I found you! Read your archives in a day (well, two evenings), and not only have I been blessed and challenged, I am determined not to let it fade. THANK YOU!!

anything but LoKEY said...

That is great that you got to share your story! It is hard to imagine negative feedback and yet we too have received some of our own. It seems to come in small seemingly harmless questions and comments, but I am trying to remember to be thankful for the opportunity it gives us to share about God's love. :)

Kathleen said...

I, like many others hopped over here from Layla's blog. I LOVED your story. And I get it..a few years back we had a distant relative who had children way to early and their one 6 month old son was badly shaken. We were notified and asked by social services if we would take this child into our homes. At the time, I had 4 children of my own, ages 16, 14, 8 and 6. I certainly wasn't planning on any more....but God had other plans for us. Its like that old saying: Wanna make God laugh...tell Him your plans. So this beautiful little boy entered our lives...and nothing was ever the same, nor would I want it to be. Sometimes blessings are thrust upon us. I am so grateful for that.

Lettered Cottage said...

SO honored to have you guest post on our blog, Shelly! I'm still not sure what "secular" means (must Google that- LOL), but we put that handy dandy Adoption tab in our menu bar to (hopefully) make it super duper easy for folks to read all about our (and other peeps!) passion for it. I'm all about helping spread the word and sharing inspiring stories like yours! :-D We can't thank you enough for the work you do with SixtyFeet!
Layla :-)

Gabby said...

Your story is inspirational, I just emailed a link to the post to my prayer sisters and asked them if they didn't think it would be better if we each adopted a child at the same time so they could all grow up together in our small town. ;)
Praying for Sixtyfeet and your family. Thanks for daring to be faithful.