The Inspire Shop


music monday: love came down by brian and jenn johnson

Tiffany Nicole2 Comments
I spent most of my college career working as a barista. It was busy. Multi-tasking was a must. With twenty or more drinks to prepare on one slow espresso machine and forty tired eyes staring, eagerly waiting for their morning pick me up, it got a little crazy. 

These days, my busy time seems to be the five o'clock hour. When the clock strikes 5pm, it seems as if the entire house goes bananas. The baby cries. The toddler whines. Dinner on the stove starts whistling a burning tune and I stare at the mess that has accrued on the living room floor from the past hour of play time. Overwhelmed? Perhaps a bit.

I take a minute to digest it all and get a game plan going. The game plan has been more on the offense these days as this routine has brought itself about. The crock pot has become a good friend and earlier prepping has been the wisest of choices.

I know this is just a season and shall too pass but in the mist of of it all, it can be total chaos. I have to keep calm for the sake of everyone else and have a clear head to cook and feed and bathe and clean all by six. It's in these moments that this song becomes my anthem and my prayer:

If my heart is overwhelmed and I cannot hear your voice. I hold on to what is true, though I cannot see. If the storms of life they come and the road ahead gets steep. I will lift these hands in faith, I will believe. I'll remind myself of all that you've done and this life I have because of Your son.

Have a listen. 

It is in these moments that God grants peace and patience and somehow everything comes out okay and we arrive at six fed and clean and calm. It is in these moments that thankfulness has new meaning. No, I am not thankful to have the crying baby and whiny toddler but I am thankful they are there in the this moment that God has blessed me with them. And for their health and the ability to provide a meal for their hungry bellies. And for the little place we call home to shelter them from the heat and cold. Thankfulness takes over and as the song states, I'll remind myself of all that you've done and this life I have because of Your son. 

Everything I have is because of Jesus. Because he died. Because he loves me. It is in the crazy that prayers come to life and the bigger picture unfolds, if you let yourself see it. I pray that when you find yourself in the midst of the chaos and daily stress that God will whisper the little prayers of thanksgiving to your heart and the small reality around you will melt away with gratitude and joy. 

Here's to more thankfulness in the busy and more calm in the daily storms.

music monday: do something by matthew west

Tiffany Nicole1 Comment
Health is something we easily take for granted until something comes up. The test is positive. The x ray reveals what is causing the systems. The prognosis is not looking good. It is at these times that everything else falls at the wayside and the fight begins. The fight for your life. Or the life of a loved one. Perhaps your own child. 

When I came across Alex's Lemonade Stand last year, I knew it was something our family had to take part in and was quickly added to our family's bucket list for the summer, along with dinners and mini vacations. We have been blessed with healthy children but other parents have not. What would I do if my child were sick? Truly sick. With the possibility of death as an outcome. The question would definitely not be what I do but what I wouldn't do to help them. We may not be able to sit next to them in the waiting room or hug them through treatments but we can do a little. We can organize and plan and facilitate events to fund research for a cure or help with traveling expenses. 
The non profit was started by a four year old girl who wanted to raise money via a lemonade stand to cure childhood cancer. The cancer she had been fighting since she was merely one year old. She went to be with Jesus when she was just eight years old but her memory lives on through the lives she continues to touch as new research and hope is given to families fighting the same fight all because of her stand. When God closes one door, he opens another one. It truly breaks my heart to think of Alex' family and their trials but the beauty that has come from it is amazing and the lives of those who have been touched is immeasurable. 

We began praying what this would look like for our family to help. When? Where? Location? And just as God always does, he made the whole thing happen as only he can.

Our neighborhood has a fourth of July parade each year and we had planned on walking in it with our church, as we had done the previous year but this year there was not an entry.

Very last minute, we prayed about doing our stand at the park where the parade ends and it all fell in to place. We got in kind donations from Nugget, a local grocery store, so we did not have to worry about supplies. We had friends and family give yummy snacks, time and monetary donations. The go ahead for the space at the park the parade ends at was given. And my favorite part of all, a few weeks before we even knew when we would do the event, the stand practically landed on our doorstep. I had been praying for something to use that was a little funner and fancier than a table. On a walk one day we found our answer. A neighbor a few houses down was giving away a desk for free. It was perfect. Ricardo noisily wheeled it to the garage.

Here's the before and after.

With exactly enough leftover paint and a chalkboard sign, it was perfect.

It was humbling to see the community come together and respond and God move. We our goal was to raise $500 and we came in at $420, which will fund just over a day of research. Woohoo! I am so thankful for everyone who helped and gave and did something bigger than themselves.

Not to mention we learned what a great barista Penny makes. Who knew?

The scripture says to carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ (Galatians 6:2). This is a tangible way of coming a long side families who are broken at the core and having to watch their children fight a hard fight and give them a bit of hope. No one can do everything but we can do something that impacts others and changes the world, one cup at a time as their slogan reads. If you feel lead to set up a stand in your area or be involved in one of their many events, have a look at their website for more info on all of the awesome things they are doing and how you can help. 

Penny's favorite song, second only to Build your kingdom by Rend Collective, of course, is Do Something by Matthew West. It seems appropriate to insert here. Have a listen.

I pray that God will reveal to you a little something that you can do. And that you will say yes to it.

Here's to more helping and doing all in the name of Christ.