Scrap to Treasure: An Adoption Story

In today's society, there are so many things that get scrapped or thrown away.  I drove past a metal scrap company the other day and was simply amazed at all the piles of thrown out pieces and rubble. BUT I love how God can redeem what we thought was scrap or unusable.

If you have come to this blog post due to our bunting sneak peek's on social media, you may have figured out after the first few lines, that not only am I taking our Two Little Fish scrap and turning them from scrap to treasure, but I am talking about so much more.

We are releasing our scrap bunting today, in three different varieties and if you know about the mission over at Two Little Fish, you may know that we give 100% of our proceeds away to help Put Poverty to Bed and support various organizations and individuals that focus on reducing local and global poverty. You also have probably noticed by our donation of mattresses to the AIDS orphans in South Africa, that we have a heart for orphans.....and this is where the story gets interesting.  Keep reading, I don't want to miss this announcement.

If you are not familiar with my personal story, I was divorced with two small kids and I married a widower who had four children in 2011.  So now, I am a mother of SIX kids age 7,8,8,11,13, and 16. There were so many things that God whispered to me while leading me to Steve, marrying a widower was one of them.  I felt at the time I met Steve that God had also impressed on my heart that I was not done having children.  We were not quite sure what God was going to do with this as Steve and his late wife had decided they were done having kids.  We trusted God to lead us and trusted him that if he wanted to expand our family, he would lead us in that direction.

Blending a family of eight after death and divorce, as you can imagine, was not seamless.  There were many emotions and much counseling that needed to occur before we were healthy enough as a blended family to even begin to think about what expansion looked like....BUT he knitted our family together through the adoption of Christ and HIS family, our hearts began to stir.

It was Christmas 2012 when we were driving all the kids down to grandma's house that it happened. Steve began to tell me about a dream he had about changing some kids diaper and immediately, I wasn't ok!  We had a few days to ourselves over our two year anniversary and we just began to pray.  It didn't even take Steve 4 hours until his spirit was settled with the idea of another baby....AND then I began to hyperventilate.  WHAT?!?!  7 kids..were we crazy?  But there was a peace that settled over us and we knew that God ordains life, if he wanted us to have another child, he would ordain that.

We went down the most predictable path we thought for our situation and we sought out a Dr. to attempt to have a biological child.  It then seemed like the first month, it worked, but sadly that excitement ended just a week later in what most would term as a chemical pregnancy.  We were saddened, but also excited at the same time, because we felt that it worked!  We continued to try for around six months until we decided to make sure all systems were a go at the Dr's office when hadn't yet ended up pregnant.  Our first test came back as a 0.  When we started this process, the Dr told us we would have a 95% chance of success and a natural pregnancy.

BUT GOD had already been preparing my heart.  As Steve and I were on the path of trying to have our own biological child, I had TWO separate friends tell me about stories of Embryo Adoption.  Friends that they knew had adopted embryo's and had them implanted.  They were not telling me these stories in regards to our situation, they were just sharing with me, but God intrigued me.  I began to read these women's blogs and after reading felt encouraged and curious.

It was then, at our second Dr's appointment and receiving the confirming result of 0, that instead of my spirit being crushed, I excitedly asked "What about Embryo Adoption?".  The Dr began to tell us how this process worked and gave us a referral for a fertility Dr.  I came home and began searching through all the information and found the Snowflake Agency.  The embryo's they have up for adoption are called snowflake babies :)

(Picture taken from Snowflakes Webpage)

Isn't he CUTE!!!!!  I felt peace and excitement regarding this, but Steve wasn't quite sure yet.  So we both began praying.  I felt led in a certain direction, but I didn't share with Steve as I wanted to be absolutely sure we both got the same message!  It was about 3 months later that he states from the kitchen "there it is".  "huh?"  I said, confused.  "Snowflake, she just said snowflake, I have been praying over the word snowflake." In a random TV program, God had affirmed this path in Steve.  Now, I of course, thought the TV program we were watching was silly...ha ha, was this really the confirmation?  It was the very next day that I was driving our two oldest to youth group in the beginning of November and as we passed a Subway restaurant sign, my eyes were drawn upward.  It said, "Grab your snowflake today".  I think I laughed out loud. I LOVE how when we are open to the ways of God and his direction, he WILL speak to you and lead you exactly where he wants you to be.

If you have not heard of Embryo Adoption yet, it is the process in which we adopt an Embryo (or two) that has been conceived through In Vitro Fertilization that is NOT our own DNA.  We then implant this adopted child into my womb and pray that it will implant.  There are MANY couples today that go down the road of IVF, but what many doctor's fail to mention or emphasize is that if you pull 15 eggs from the woman and fertilize them all, the eggs that fertilize successfully and begin growing and multiplying have been conceived and in my eyes, is a special God ordained life.  But what happens when the couple implants 6 of their 10 embryos and they end up with four kids?  They feel their family is complete and they should not have any more children, but they still have four embryos left that they have not implanted.  What do they do?  Do they SCRAP them and throw them away?  Many do. BUT, some choose to place their embryo's up for adoption and give them a chance at life.

So, why in the world am I telling you all this in regards to our bunting?  Well, God gave me the analogy that just as we have turned our TLF scrap into treasure as adorable bunting, he wants to take these Embryo's from "Scrap" into the LOVE of Adoption.  That sentence alone brings tears to my eyes.  This process for me has brought me so close to God in understanding his heart for adoption and for our family.

When I got the news that the medical intervention Steve and I sought to form our own biological child didn't work, I wasn't heart broken, as the point was never just to have Steve's baby.  The point was the opportunity to restore what had been broken about our past, the opportunity to enjoy this momentous occasion of pregnancy and childbirth with the man of my dreams and the idea that all six of our children would love this one child equally.  BUT GOD, had a better story.  What would that speak to all of our children if we were to implant an adopted child into my womb and love on it as our own.  How would their adoption into our blended family be affirmed?  Would they finally get the beauty that God ordains our family, NOT BLOODLINE?  Again, teary even typing this.  I believe THIS is the point.  Our fertility Dr actually asked us out of curiosity why Steve and I didn't just decide to do IVF as we could have that opportunity.  We responded with "Honestly, we just didn't feel led that way, we think God wants to show us the beauty of his adoption into the family of Christ and to minister to our children that it doesn't matter what your bloodline is.  As they watch this child grown in my belly and help us raise him/them, all eight of us will be loving someone perfectly that has no blood relation to any of us.  Just God's ordination to our family"

Our fertility Dr. then jumped up and said "Let's do this!  That is exactly why we do what we do...sign me up!"

So, we have started the process to adopt.  We will adopt two embryo's and implant them.  God will decide if we have 2 kids, 1 child or he will take them both to be with him.  Our chances of a pregnancy through Embryo Adoption of two embryos is about 50%, with a 15% chance of twins.  Just like any other adoption though, Embryo Adoption is not free nor is it cheap.  This is also how it ties in with our scrap bunting.

Many of you know that I do not take an income for my work with Two Little Fish.  That is just where God called me to serve and I love it.  Our family gets by.  Many times it is tight, but compared to the rest of the world, we have plenty and I want my children to see this and know that we are not always given everything we desire, but we always have what we need.  So, after LOTS of prayer, I felt led for my family to take the scraps from TLF and make them into bunting and for THIS PRODUCT ONLY, I will pull an income and use this income directly to fund our adoption.  Please also know that with every 10 buntings purchased we will still send a mattress to an AIDS orphan in South Africa.

So, the bunting ranges in price from $35 - $40 and comes in lengths from 4 feet up to 12 feet.  There are three kinds, Tied Scrap Bunting, Triangle Bunting, and Ribbon Bunting. All bunting is also made using fabric straight from the hands of village women in Ghana, Africa and can be special ordered in specific color combinations of your choosing.  The bunting also comes wrapped on an uber cute shiny gold card that could also be used for decoration.

 Medium Ribbon Bunting

Large Tied Scrap Bunting

Medium Triangle Bunting

If you feel led to support our adoption through donation and do not wish to receive a bunting, you can donate at the bottom of the blog page as well using the donate button.  Please know that your prayers and support are so very important to us.  We are also aware, that not everyone may agree with this choice, and that's ok.  We are confident that this is God' path for our lives, regardless of the outcome.  We are also so very happy about the idea of Embryo Adoption and feel God has already ordained the spirit on these special frozen babies, but we also know that not everyone will want to follow us on this journey and that is ok too.

I am SO SUPER excited to share this with you guys today AND to create this bunting out of our "leftovers".  Even if you do not purchase a bunting from Two Little Fish, I hope you hear from this story, that God leaves no leftovers...he has purpose for every fiber of your life.

Love you guys!



What's that Pastor sayin? That can't be true?

The last week has been a whirlwind.  We had a week full of joy and grief regarding two different events in our seems so unexpected when those two things collide.  BUT, that is the reality of our world.  We are constantly sitting in the middle of the unseen....the victories of Christ amidst a broken world.  

However, what I want to talk about today is the reality of truth and does it really exist?  Is what the Pastor says REALLY true? Our messages the last couple of weeks at our church, Northview Church, have been regarding our stuff....our money, our material possessions and who really owns that.  Did YOU work really hard at getting that promotion, or was it God's hand in making all the pieces fall together.  I simply love our church and the way they are so relevant to our culture today.  Here recently our church gave out $83,000 to our congregation and simply stated it was God's money and they wanted us, the congregation, to invest it wisely....knowing that GOD would return their investment to them.  REALLY.....Does that really work....when you hear of all this talk from "the church" do you believe that to be true?  Well, I want you to do two things....

1.  Check out this article written by the Indy Star and the last sermon series titled Trust Issues.


2.  Listen to our story.... 

So, if you missed it, Two Little Fish was recently awarded a $20,000 grant through CWAM!!!  I thought in order to truly express how amazing our recent grant money win was, I needed to tell the whole story, so here goes.  

We started Two Little Fish shortly after my husband and I got married.  He had just recently lost his former wife to breast cancer.  From that he had a life insurance settlement that he stated he wanted to tithe, which is giving 10% away to do God's work.  This then gave us a nice percentage to put forth towards our ministry.  However, when praying about what to do with this money that God had entrusted us to invest into his kingdom, we decided to do the following.  With the large amount of money we had to start this ministry, we gave 80% away , yes 80%.  50% went to help a family adopt a child, and 30% went straight to the women in Ghana at Global Mamas So this left us 20% of the original amount to begin this ministry.  As some of you may imagine, starting a ministry and business is expensive, so we quickly went through those start up funds, however, God had led us with the direction of our giving. So we continued to trust him.  There were major needs that continued to pop up and each time, God provided us with the right person for the of charge or supplied by someone else.  We were taken on as a pro bono client from an international law firm, we were blessed with graphic design, web design, video work, accounting, printing services...all free or at a very minimal cost.  

However, with the kids ALL going back to school for the first time all day....I had been spending every day downstairs in our "Two Little Fish office" or better known as the basement, trying to be all things to keep the ministry a float.  We reached a point where we were literally running set to set in order to meet our bills that come in each month.  Christmas vacation came and it was such a nice break as I was burnt out due to fulfilling SO many roles all on my own.  And this is where the amazing God ordained timing of HIS will comes in.  

We had $150 left in our bank account and each month our steady bills are around $150.  My assistant, Paige, came over to help me on Wednesday prior to the CWAM grant winners announcement party and my exact words to her were, "Paige, I really need you to pray about this grant money and what happens afterwards, I am afraid if we don't get any funds......I can't do this anymore"  It was a statement out of desperation, a statement of a woman desperate for BALANCE once again in her life.  I didn't mean I would let Two Little Fish fail, but it looked impossible if we did not receive any of this grant.

Thursday is the night of the big reveal with CWAM and we had been snowed in for three days!  It was the first day the kids had returned to school and we live an hour away from Indy, so we were going to have to leave the kids that night to make it to the awards ceremony.  It began snowing again and my assistant Paige is pregnant.  She decided that she just couldn't risk the drive and I agreed.  So, I was left with the choice of whether I still made the drive alone in the weather.  I will admit it, I really didn't want to go by myself.....who wants to go to a party and sit and talk to themselves! Ha.  So, after some prompting, we made the decision for my husband to come with me and leave the older kids at home to take care of the little ones and keep them on track with their homework.  And I am SO glad that we did!  One of my best friend's even got to stop by and visit with us as we now had an extra ticket to share.

Isn't she gorgeous!  She is an AMAZING make up artist in Indy should check her out...Beauty By Crystal

There were 2200 teams that competed NATIONALLY and Two Little Fish was chosen for a second place prize of $20,000.  I still am pretty speechless about this.  They announced the 10,000 winners and when TLF was not mentioned, I simply assumed we had received one of the $1,000 or $5,000 prizes like last spring.  They began to list the $20,000 winners and I whispered to Crystal, "These are the big dogs, like Habitat for Humanity and Kids Against Hunger".  So, I sat....all the butterflies had left and I was simply listening in support.  Then I heard them say Northview Church, but it still didn't sink in as our church entered around 10 teams.  Apparently they then said Two Little Fish and put up our web banner, but I honestly don't even remember hearing our name.....I just stared at our web banner up on the screen.  My husband then looks at me and says..."That's us", Kinda like....."wake up you dummy"!  I was in such shock and disbelief, that I thought maybe I had missed something...did they go back to the $5,000 prizes?  Did they really just announce us for $20,000?

And they had!!!!!  I am still sitting on the enormity of this.  Just the day before I had stated that I couldn't continue at this pace, that we were out of money.  And here I sat now, in the blessing of God, with FOUR TIMES the amount of money that we had ever operated on.  As I started feverishly sending texts and posting on Facebook, I got the next affirmation.  It was a simple statement from the mother of the adopted child our initial funds had gone to and it stated. "Congrats!! Double your initial investment....Right?"  And the awe of God and his blessing back to us began to sink in.  WE HAD GIVEN AWAY 80% OF OUR FUNDS, WE WERE OPERATING ON FUMES, and God stepped in and said, HOLD ON, LET ME GIVE THAT BACK TO YOU.  When we started, we had $20,000 and we gave $16,000 away.  God replenished what we gave away AND MORE.  In fact, the blessings are still rolling in.  That night the National Christian Foundation of Indiana gave additional funds out and we received another $1,000 in Grant money! 

The cycle of God' blessing didn't stop there......Remember the challenge I just mentioned that our church gave out by handing out $83,000 to our congregation to put to work in the kingdom of God.  A member of our Northview Greater Lafayette congregation was present this Sunday and received a $10 bill.  As she prayed, she just recently shared with me that she was led to put that money towards Two Little Fish and also have it "grow".  Her $10 turned into $2000 for our ministry!!!!!   WHAT?!?!

My hope is that by sharing our story with you, that you will BELIEVE that our Pastor's words regarding giving ARE TRUE, because they are scripturally based on the Word of God.

Malachi 3:10 "Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, so that there may be food in My house, and test Me now in this," says the Lord of hosts, "if I will not open for you the windows of heaven and pour out a blessing until it overflows"

And that's my husband...isn't he a doll face? :)

I am NOT amazing, I am NOT superwoman, BUT I am OBEDIENT.  YOU too ARE CAPABLE OF GREAT THINGS when you walk with God and trust where he leads you.  WE must take the steps to follow after him and trust that he will provide for us and lead us to safety.

Keep following and watching to see all the GREAT things Two Little Fish will do with this money in 2014!  You can find our e-store HERE.


** Please note, the title and commentary of "Is what that pastor says really true" is simply meant to draw you into the conversation, we are not expressing an opinion that what comes out of any and every pastor's mouth is the truth.  EVERYONE'S words must be checked against the TRUTH that is contained in the Holy Bible, as God's word is the only inherant TRUTH**


Thanksgiving outside the box

The season is here.....time to spend our hard earned cash and shop til we drop, but yet amidst this black Friday rush, we are to stop and give thanks.  I will admit, I am almost done shopping....having six kids to get Christmas for, I HAVE to look for the deals and hit all the Black Friday ads, but this year as I have been shopping, this image has been burned into my mind.

This is a little girl that I met when I traveled to Africa.  At first glance, I thought the marks on her face were painted on...but as you get closer you can see that they are scars.  Scars from a knife or razor that was taken to her skin to release the evil spirits.  Her family practiced Voodoo and they believe that cutting her face would protect her.  She will now forever live with these scars on her face.

When you go to a third world country, you just can't believe it.  We literally drove past a small two year old walking along a cement embankment, holding a machete, with a blindfold over their face!  Our bus passed and all we could do between the glass was stare and pray.  The feelings of helplessness simply can't be expressed.

BUT, there is something we CAN do straight from home, that was the basis behind Two Little Fish, using what we HAVE been given and blessing others with it.  I partner with a Non-Profit Organization named Horizon International.  They have the ability to send food and other various items to these women and children in Africa.  So this Thanksgiving, I am asking if you can give thanks outside of the box?  Can you share your feast with someone across the globe?  For your donation of $35 Two Little Fish will partner with Horizon to send a Turkey straight to a family in Africa.  $10 of this donation will also go towards supporting our spiritual partner for the month of December, Life Action Ministries.  Here at Two little Fish, we feel it is so important to take care of those across the globe who are so much less fortunate than us, but also to not forget of the spiritually poor, the families here amongst us that are struggling.

SO, can you have thanksgiving outside of the box this year?  Simply click the donation button to the right and donate in the amount of $35 (You may donate more if you would like) and we will send a Turkey straight to Africa for you AND support an amazing ministry that partners with families for their spiritual health.

We are THANKFUL for you!


**Two Little Fish is an accredited 501c3 corporation, you will receive a letter from Horizon International confirming your purchase.**


The MEGA church....Do they really care?

We had an experience this weekend as a family, and I have been reflecting on it all week.  My heart has been prompted to share it with you.  It's a long post...but I don't think you will want to miss it!

Many of you are new to my story, so I will give you a quick glimpse of it.  I have six children, four of those children, I "adopted" by marrying a widower in 2011, the other two are my biological children and are children of divorce.  Their father and all of our family live about an hour away and we share pretty typical every other weekend custody and split holidays.  But what isn't typical, is the way GOD has molded our family into ONE unit, the way he has bonded my husband and I into one spirit.  God with every breath I breathe, I hope I always remember to thank you for that man.  He is truly the most pure in spirit, humble, selfless man I have ever met.  My life verse is Romans 8:28 and God really is miraculous in the ways that he works this into our story.

Family Camp 2013

Isn't he handsome?!?!  But, this post isn't just about his cuteness! Our family really has come a long way.  There is a lot of pain through death and divorce.  God has absolutely used Romans 8:28 to bring our family together and grow us into spiritual maturity through these circumstances.  However, I shared the above pictures with you to show you that you can't really see pain and turmoil through these images.  When we glance at pictures of someones seems effortless and put together.  What I have been reflecting on this week is why is it that we long for this SO much?  The effortless, the easy, the put together, conflict free life?  Is it because that is what our souls long to experience in heaven? OR is it because of a wounded life we have lived along the way?  I don't know...but what I do know is that I struggle with this a lot....we talked about this at Bible Study this last week.  Comparison of how hard my life sometimes is due to death and divorce and the jealousy that others don't have to experience this pain.

So, on to my reference to the MEGA Church.  We attend Northview Church which is a multi-site church located in Carmel, IN.  My husband and I attend the Greater Lafayette campus.  Here is a shot of the Carmel Campus or more popularly referenced as ....the MEGA church.

Picture taken by Kurt Hostettler

And...although this picture is still doesn't really do it justice!

 Picture taken by Mel Carpenter

Here's the big question many people ask...Can a church that ministers to 5-6K people on a weekly basis REALLY care about one person?  Do they really value relationship and invest in one another? OR are you just a number in their revenue stream?

Honestly when I hear these questions about the MEGA church, I can't even fathom where they come from.  Northview Church has been my home church for 12 years.  I visited a few churches in the Indianapolis area before landing here, but the minute I walked into Northview Church, I knew there was something different.  Back then, we had about 1,200 in attendance and our sanctuary was small with traditional stained glass windows and white walls.  Although Northview has now grown in size and has a separate building for our youth, as well as, a state of the art concert venue as our sanctuary....the people's hearts have remained the same...actually I would challenge that to say that they have grown BIGGER by watching the work the LORD has done in our congregation through attendance, multi-site campuses and spiritual growth.

This past weekend, my husband was attending a Father/Son Football tournament at North Beach located on the Carmel Campus.  This left me with all five kids and nothing to do.  Although I currently live in Lafayette, many of my close friends live in Carmel, so I decided to drive down and spend some time with them and take the kids to the Carmel service at Northview.  I had forgotten it was Baptism weekend, open baptism too...which makes it even better.  Pastor Poe preached a wonderful sermon on the meaning of baptism and the reasons for it, then at then end they opened it up to anyone who felt led by the spirit to come down and take part, they had prepared extra clothes, towels..everything.  There was no reason to ignore the Holy Spirit's leading.

Towards the end of the service, Pastor Poe addressed the children and made a quick statement to parents that we not take lightly our child's request for Baptism and truly determine whether we feel it is spirit led.  Then he asked the children, if they felt led to go ask their parents.  As soon as the music started...I knew, I could feel that Malena was going to ask and that she did...Steve's youngest daughter, Malena, came walking down the aisle and so sweetly said "I want to be Baptized...CAN I?" spirit shook, her dad was not with us and was busy...but what do I say?  My first thought was to respond and say I'm sorry, no...your Dad isn't here...but there was a hesitation in my spirit, it just didn't feel right quenching this desire in her.  So I quickly texted Steve to see if he could make it over from the Youth building.  He immediately responded and came right over.  Then it soon as I told Malena she could be Baptized, my son Braeden came running towards me...."I want to be baptized too"  I immediately pushed back to let him know that he couldn't just get baptized because Malena was...but tears began to fill his eyes.  You see Braeden, even at the age of 7, sometimes prays circles around me. He is so gentle, compassionate, AND spirit led.  I then asked him to tell me why he wanted to be Baptized and knew I couldn't tell him no either.....BUT his dad was also not with us at service.  I just didn't feel right in my spirit telling my son Braeden no, but also knew his dad should be there.  I remembered that Braeden's Grandparents go to Sat. night service at Carmel, they could call Braeden's dad and get him there.  The problem seemed to be solved, but as we got downstairs to the open baptism, it seemed the line was moving quicker than normal and Braeden's grandparents came down to say that Braeden's dad was at least 30 minutes away!!!  So what do we do?  Do we tell our son that he can't be Baptized, when his spirit has prompted him otherwise? Do we continue with his baptism without his Dad?  These were all choices and scenarios I had to face literally within a five minute time frame.  This was NOT turning out to be a calm, stress-free, enjoyable baptism for Mom!

But that is the question that I want to pose to you.  When you have a child that you feel is making a spirit lead decision, but it's uncomfortable for those around them....Do we stop them?  What is Baptism about?  Baptism is about a spirit lead prompting to declare your love for Jesus and your following of him.  It isn't about the pictures, the video, or who gets to attend the ceremony, it should only be about the person going into the water and Jesus.  I was SO proud of my son, as he was faced with a difficult decision as well, regardless of who was there with him, he declared he didn't want to wait, because for him, this experience wasn't about his parents, it was about his relationship with Jesus.  What an example that a 7 year old child has given to us. He embraced the true meaning of his baptism and wasn't about to stop it because the family didn't feel it was going as we had planned.  Talk about a proud mom moment!

So, where does the MEGA church come in....Did they care that all this was going on?  Even though they had a line of probably 50 people, were they concerned about the one family who was struggling over what to do?  It so happens that Stan Killebrew, our Next Steps Ministry Pastor happened to be downstairs and overheard what was happening and that Braeden's dad was coming but was going to be late and therefore would miss the baptism if Braeden went through the open baptism line during service.  So, in his selflessness, he offered to wait for Braeden's dad to arrive and he would baptize him in a private ceremony afterwards.  We discussed this and braeden was fine with the idea of waiting, so we walked our daughter Malena through the open baptism line and we then waited for Braeden's dad to arrive.


As we went back downstairs after the service was over, I realized that we wouldn't have video or pictures of Braeden's baptism since they were closing up service.  I quickly asked one of the five volunteers downstairs if they could ask the videographer/photographer to stay and wait?  No problem....they replied.  It was about 20-30 minutes that we waited for Braeden's dad and in that time, not only did Pastor Stan wait, but the Worship Director, Greg Wallace, went outside personally to make sure the doors were unlocked for him, the 5 volunteers downstairs that were passing out shirts and extra clothes, not only stayed, but participated in the baptism ceremony with us and were filled with tears.  As we walked out to baptize Braeden in the now empty sanctuary...even though all the worship leaders and musicians were now gone, Shaun Miller and the tech team had cued new music and lights to play just for Braeden.  He also stayed to run the video camera and be sure that as a family, we didn't feel like we missed a beat.  These were all men who had worked probably 70 hours that week already as Northview hosted the Glorious Unfolding Tour on Thursday night.  But without hesitation, they stayed and did extra, to show Braeden, his dad, and our family the love of Jesus.

Still reflecting on this moment gives me chills, you see God has been working all these things together that entire day.  As we waited for Braeden's dad to arrive, our oldest son, Gavin, decided to be baptized also.  Romans 8:28.  In the waiting, Gavin was prompted.

In the waiting, God was ministering to those around us and those in our family.  You see, when my family ended in divorce in 2009, many of these individuals watched it happen.  They know our story.  What an amazing picture they showed of God's grace and love by waiting and adjusting their schedule for Braeden's dad and our family.  By watching this, I could hear jesus saying, I love you and you are important to me.  There were two mom's there hurting to protect their son's experience of this baptism, myself and Braeden's grandmother, but only ONE parent that can truly love them both equally, GOD.  God created a scenario that spoke loudly for Braeden and his father.  And without the moment that GOD created that looked much different than I had expected, I wouldn't have been able to snap this picture...which to me is pretty special.  Look at all those hands on my sweet son!

I often forget that people have watched my story, Steve's story, and our story unfold together.  I forget the impact  that our story has.  I am so thankful to one of the volunteers, Brian, for pointing out that fact to me.  He stated that he remembered me from before and had watched my story unfold.  Those who were passing out the shirts and towels, got to watch a family that has experienced much pain, sit in the love of Jesus and his will for the way things operate and how we show love to one another. I am SO very thankful for the MEGA church and all the spirit led individuals that I get to worship with every week, that truly care about our story, that sacrifice their time for us, and whom continue to show those who may not be attending their church, that we are here for you....we will stay late, we will turn the lights back on...we love you and we just want you here with us..........If you don't have a church home like this, may I suggest you find one.  MEGA church or not, find one who operates out of a spirit led love for one another.




We are ALL Adopted

Ephesians 1:5       He predestined us to ADOPTION..according to the KIND intention of his will
Ephesians 1:11      we have obtained an INHERITANCE, having been PREDESTINED
Ephesians 1:13b   you were SEALED in Him with the HOLY SPIRIT of promise
                           MENTION OF YOU IN MY PRAYERS
Ephesians 1:17    that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, may give you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in
                           the knowledge of Him
                           YOU KNOW WHAT IS THE HOPE OF HIS CALLING

God predestined YOU with purpose....What is on your heart?  What dream/passion do you hear being whispered?  Share with me...I would LOVE to pray with you.....

(image from


Stop striving and FOLLOW

So...I just returned from The Influence Conference and it was just SO much fun.  I have had to sleep for a couple days to catch up...but after my two days of naps, I am sitting on what God did in me this weekend.  There were so many wonderful speakers and women, but I have to say those that stuck out to me were Lara Casey and Rebecca of Better Life Bags...Why?  Because their story was steeped with the term FOLLOW.  Neither one of them had "formal" training in the path God took them down, they simply followed GOD's prompting and desire for their lives and their careers.  It is SO very cool to see just what God can do when we trust him and abandon our fears and just follow him.

I have to say that I only slept about 30 minutes on Friday night..seriously not I was just stupid tired on Saturday....ask my assistant Paige, I introduced myself to Shauna Niequist by saying "Hi, I'm Nicole, I don't read"  Ha ha ha , what I was trying to say was that I hadn't yet read her books, but I had listened to her at the WillowCreek Global Leadership Summit...but it just came out stupid.  OH, I LAUGH :)

But the beauty that God perfomed in my tiredness was that I was so completely exhausted that I simply prayed that he would connect me with women, that HE would cross my path with those that he wanted to speak with and listen to.  And guys did he ever show up.  I am still really sitting in awe of the connections he made this weekend and the work that he did in my heart as I tiredly SAT, stopped STRIVING, and FOLLOWED him.

Guys, I am so very excited for what lies ahead with Two Little Fish and for the connections and relationships that God is bringing me out of this ministry...Did you know we are a ministry?  We are actually a NON-PROFIT organization that makes Children's Bedding, YES, that means we give 100% away...This set is one of my all time favorites..ALL of the fabric was hand stamped and dyed by village women in Africa, then sent directly to us to make into this Uber cute bedding set for little Adara.

We also just received a NEW shipment of fabric just before Influence of a few new Ghanaian prints.  I had already set up to bring them to the conference to show one of the girls who was pregnant, Two Little Fish will be making her Baby Bedding and with this set a mattress will then be sent to an AIDS orphan in South Africa :)  BUT, I'm gonna let you guess as to just which pregnant lady it is?!?!?!  There were SO many.  She will be doing a blog post on I will be sure to share then.  Here is a sneak peek of the fabric she chose.

So, in closing, I was so blessed to connect with all these souls at Influence who want to use their voice for Jesus, who want to lift and encourage one another.  I am so blessed to serve through Two Little Fish, such a cool dream that GOD had and gave me the honor of leading....But I hope my leading comes from FOLLOWING.

There were so many of you that I didn't get to meet...I would love to connect ...comment, find us on twitter or IG.

Much love to you!



Influence.....God is calling you to be completely YOU!

So I am ridiculously excited about attending the Influence Conference this month and gathering with women from all over the states...and share in our vision to bring Jesus into our everyday lives and businesses.  So, I will share a little bit about how I heard about the conference, what I am most looking forward to and what I am going to be sure to bring with me.

A few months back, Two Little Fish won grant money from CWAM and we were so thrilled!  With that money, God was prompting me that I was to focus on Marketing our Non-Profit organization and product.  I have to admit, when God prompted me to spend the next few months on "marketing", I was less than thrilled...I am a designer, a seamstress, I know nothing about marketing.  BUT GOD, knew just what I needed....not just "marketing", but relationship, networking.  I have been completely overtaken and amazed at the COMMUNITY of women that awaits me.  Typically when HE calls me towards something, he has to tell me twice :)  I received a text from a friend saying "Hey, have you heard about the influence Conference? You should go"  I thought...oh, wonder what that is...maybe I will look into it.  Life happened and I forgot to see what this Influence thing was that she was talking about.  Then not even two days later, I get a quick email from a friend while she was driving home from BlogHer 13 telling me I should go to the Influence Conference.  This time, I heard HIM, so I went to check it out.  I immediately loved what I saw and the heart behind their mission and signed up.  But it was what happened next that I wasn't prepared for.  I started "marketing" our Non-Profit Organization and product on Instagram and began to follow and connect with these women that were to be at this conference and I was blown away by the story of their life, their heart, and their desire to follow Jesus.  I saw them all speaking about a devotional they participated in and I looked into this as well, She Reads Truth.  She Reads Truth is now incorporated into my morning routine and I just love it.  God has used the story of many woman that i have connected with through social media to really touch my heart and shape it by watching their life circumstances or how they respond.  So my friends, the internet is real and it can be used to pour Jesus into another life.

A question was posed asking what I was going to be sure to bring to the conference.  First, since everyone was chatting it up about what "style" they were going to sport at the conference, I had the idea to get some of the women's clothing from the line of fabric that we use in our bedding sets.  This fabric is hand dyed and stamped in Ghana, Africa.  We then buy some of this fabric to use in our product, but the organization, Global Mamas, also employs local seamstresses in Ghana and Pram Pram to make clothing and bags.  So, I am super pumped to be sporting my new Chevron blouse made by Gina and Grace.  I just love the idea that I get to "market" what our mission is here at Two Little Fish while supporting and pointing people to Global Mamas for some cute threads :) 

Just giving you a teaser speak peek, but I think this color is a perfect excuse for me to go buy some new Coral pants to rock with know since I am at the TOP of the age bracket for the woman attending, I need to dress a few years younger :)) The six kids doesn't really help my style either, but I am getting off topic!

The second thing I am going to bring is my SECURITY in exactly who God created me to be.  This is sometimes such a struggle to us gals, but one thing I have learned walking through my 20's into my 30's and that we MUST find security in exactly what God purposed US for.  I know it is very intimidating for many women to walk into a room FULL of talented young women, but my sister, YOU are one of them.  God has ordained your product, your blog, your words, your ideas just for you to carry out.  He doesn't want you to be a copy of me or for me to be a copy of The Tiny Twig, or Better Life Bags.  He has gifted each of us with a certain personality and work to carry out for his kingdom.  So that will be my prayer for you my sweet sister, and myself, is that as we walk around and interact with all these amazing women that we constantly remember that God brought us there to be who HE created US to be, not morph us into someone else. 


So, in closing, I am most excited about sitting in the wisdom and relationship of these women that surround me and hearing their STORY.  Each one of us has been given a story that draws people closer to God, whether through our pain, our journey or our triumph.  I am excited to see the faces of those I have read about and just SIT with LIKE MINDED souls.  But as we enjoy being LIKE MINDED, I pray that God sets us apart and encourages the fire and passion he has created for each of us that have been invited into his presence.

Be sure to check out how we Put Poverty To Bed by clicking on our VIDEO and visiting our STORE.  

Many hugs to you!