It's been a while. A couple of weeks have gone by since I blogged last because quite frankly, I was pouting. For 2 years I have planned out starting a non-profit. Two years. When Jason and I made the huge leap of faith to move to the Outer Banks 5 years ago, we had $48. Forty Eight Dollars. Total. We packed everything we owned and spent every single cent that we had to come to a place that made us feel alive. The big job offer that I received was an answer to prayers and off we drove leaving behind family and friends in tears. Six months after that big job offer came, my employer closed her company and I was back to square one. One week after Christmas and I had no-job, a 7 year old, a new husband and high rent to pay in a town where you can't find much work in the off season. But I prayed. Hard. Taking another leap of faith, I sent one single email in an attempt to start my own business and here I am 5 years later with two thriving businesses and a non-profit. Which has all come from God and God alone. But in those few months before my business took off, I saw the darkest and hardest months of my life. I felt like a failure. I couldn't do the weekly grocery shopping, I struggled to buy my son clothing and rode my bike to the store to save on gas. During that period I realized that I was not the minority on the Outer Banks. In fact, so many families are struggling here and so many people go without, especially during the off season and it broke my heart. Born of my hope to help others in need, specifically other Outer Banks Mom's who needed a hand up, I created Outer Banks Mom as a fun blog with sunshiny details of our favorite local spots and encouraging posts for moms, sisters, friends and believers. I wrapped in a few beach tricks and tried and true beach products and I was so excited to get the ball rolling. And it rolled. For a solid 3 months, it rolled. And then someone copied the idea, only for personal gain. And I pouted. I don't actually like to believe that there are people in the world who do this kind of stuff, but since their are, I pouted. How am I supposed to compete with someone? I am the least competitive human on the planet--- But early this month I sat at my kitchen counter with one of my favorite people, the founder of Dream Big Honduras and I gave her the run-down of my feelings and the details of this copy-cat. By the end of our conversation we were talking about being true and remaining diligent to what God has planned for us and not questioning why He calls us to do things that turn out to be a source of anger or stress. And it hit me like a ton of bricks-- I didn't set out to start a non-profit for a pat on the back or a standing ovation- I started this so that the mama that is struggling with her electric bill this month has another mama who understands and can pay it for her without any questions. I started this because I've been the Outer Banks Mom with $48 to my name. I did not start it so that people can like my posts or follow me on Instagram, this was not my non-profit. This was His non-profit. I am not called to compete with anyone and I know above all things that I am loved and my worth does not come from a following or from Instagram likes. Am I doing things for my glory or for God's? When did I start caring more about if Instagram strangers liked it than if God would like it? Is this an example that I dare to allow my children see, that they may see worth in "likes" as they grow up in such a social media dominated world?
I think it's so easy to fall prey to this and so many of us are consumed by if someone will "like" us via social media. This all stems from the fear of not being good enough and last month... I allowed fear to consume me.
Good news. God's perfect love casts out fear. He only needs us to be still. He is working for us, for our good. We only need to be still and believe that He is for us. This is my prayer for those that are struggling here on the Outer Banks and everywhere, that they may be still and believe. While I didn't blog or post very much last month, Outer Banks Mom(s) still took the bull by the horns. It's been incredible seeing other Mom's step up to help and it's been so amazing to watch God lead the way for Outer Banks Moms to help other Outer Banks Moms in so many different and unexpected ways! That's more than I can ask for, hope for and prayed for so I'm allowing myself to ignore the things that I cannot change and focus on the things that God put on my heart and continue to build Outer Banks Mom for His Glory and not for my own.
Here are a few pictures of one of our latest events cooking dinner for 40+ people right here on the Outer Banks! I had so many awesome Mom's come out to help put on this perfect evening of food and loving on locals. Special shoutout to my Italian brother in law for sharing the best baked ziti recipe ever! It was a huge hit!
And it wouldn't be right if I didn't include Penny staring lovingly at the dessert table trying her best to be patient for it to be served. Haha!