The year of 2020 was a pivotal year for me. I had been so busy running a Newborn Photography business for the past 15 years and was feeling a push that God was calling me to something else. But what? I tossed around many ideas in my head trying to figure out what He wanted me to do - write a book? start a ministry? travel and disciple? I've learned that if you have to sit and figure it out, it's usually not from God. Because God will put it in your lap right in front of you and there's no denying it came from Him.
That's the goodness of God.
I know when God's speaking to me. I can feel the Holy Spirit calling. But when He started closing the door, I wouldn't listen. I kept opening it back up. It's hard to close something you've had such a passion for and worked so hard to get where you are at that moment. But sometimes when we don't listen the first time, God really gets our attention.
He stopped allowing me to book sessions. They just stopped. Out of the blue. Very few inquiries or bookings. I panicked. What am I going to do? I need this income!
I closed down my website, just to open it back up a week later. And again, and again. Until I said, "Ok Lord. You have my attention. What do you want me to do?"
After closing my website, I began pulling out my crafts and rented a space at a local downtown boutique where I started selling my goods. Macrame, earrings, greeting cards, t-shirts, stickers, you name it. It was going pretty well and I was bringing in a little money, although no where near what I was making with my photography business. But I began to fall into this new stress-free-season of rest and learned to live on what I received. My husband even told me he liked me not working and we learned to live on his income alone. And it was good. You know how God tells us he will take something and turn it around for good and for His glory? Well, turns out he was right, as He always is. haha.
"And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose." Romans 8:28
Fast forward to the Spring of 2021 when God opened the door to Embrace Grace and I started volunteering as a co-leader with the support group at our church. Embrace Grace is a non-profit ministry teaming with churches across the world to come alongside young single mothers with unplanned pregnancies and help them to choose life for their babies and lead them to Jesus. Our first season we had one girl, then the second we had three. We are now in our third season with six girls. What a blessing!
That's 20 lives SAVED!! 10 women + 10 babies = 20!!
Backtracking just a little - During my photography years I was interviewed by a top Photography Magazine and I was asked, "If you weren't doing photography, what else would you do?" and I said, "I would own a Baby Boutique." That had always been another passion of mine. Whenever I would walk by a boutique, I had to stop, touch and look at all the baby clothes! My husband would always say, "Honey, we don't have a baby anymore." haha...that didn't matter to me. I was in love with babies.
Well guess what? God allowed me to have that passion I dreamed about! A Baby Boutique! Except it isn't exactly as I thought. It was better! So much better!! God told me to make it a "Giving" boutique where everything is free and open it up to single mothers. And sell your crafts to make money that will pour back into the boutique. WOW!! Can you see the blessings that are going to come over these young women?!! I'm sitting here right now typing this thinking that I can't wait to see the joy on their faces the first time they set foot inside the boutique and are told they get to pick out anything they want and they don't have to pay a single penny for anything!! You see, I've turned half my photography studio into the Baby Boutique. The other half is being used to photograph these young mamas and their babies! Can you see how God is synching everything together to work seamlessly for His purpose?!!
That day is coming on January 29, 2022 - the Grand Opening of "THE BABY BLESSING BOUTIQUE!!"
I have so much joy in my heart being able to make whatever my passion is, sell it, and put the money back into buying new baby clothes and essentials to stock the boutique for all these single mamas! I look for sales and wholesalers who will partner with me to offer discount pricing so that I can turn around and give them for free. I also accept gently used items for donations. I have received an abundance of generous donations that I am beyond words of how grateful I am and how big our God is to fill this need and use me for his purpose! People are dropping off donations weekly and I'm receiving items from the Boutique Gift List of clothing, diapers, wipes, baby wraps, swaddles, burp cloths, etc.!! It's so amazing the outpour of love that is being given! Thank you to everyone who is helping to make a change in these young mother's lives! You are truly a blessing!
LOVE. GIVE. BLESS.
That's what life is all about. It's not about ourselves. It's about God and Love.
Raise money to share hope. Money is temporary. Jesus is eternal. Give both and watch the world be changed