Friday, February 15, 2013

And the winner is...

Sorry for not posting this sooner, but the winner of our 300 sales giveaway is...

Congrats, Elisabeth! Check your email and please respond within 48 hours. If I don't hear from you within 48 hours a new winner will be chosen. Thanks to everyone who entered!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Basic, simple, beautiful love

Well, here's another post in the blogosphere about love...on Valentine's Day. How cliché, right? Actually, this post is going to be a little different than many out there today.

So, Valentine's I've probably mentioned before, I've never been a huge fan. It may very well stem from high school, watching all the girls whine and complain when their "boyfriends" didn't get them what they wanted or didn't make a huge spectacle professing their "love" for them. Whatever the case, when I think of Valentine's day, I often think of how self-centered people get on this holiday. So, like I said, never been a huge fan.

Today changed my perspective, though. I had lunch with a friend and decided to grab a few things at Target before heading home. While I was there I joined a mob of 10-15 men frantically sorting through what was left of Valentine's cards, and picked up a card for my hubby (thankfully, the first one I picked up was perfect). As I walked to the checkout line I randomly got in line and noticed there were several women and a handful of kids who appeared to be about early high school age. A few more kids came filing in past my cart to get in line with their friends and a woman came alongside my cart, apologizing for the boys being "rude" and cutting in front of me. Just then, one of the boys turned with a big smile on his face and said, "I got my mom the perfect Valentine gift!", as he held up a 20 oz. bottle of Mountain Dew. Then it hit me.  Here in front of me was a group of high schoolers and their Special Education teachers on an outing as part of their Life Skills class. I smiled at the teacher who kept apologizing and assured her I was in no hurry. She continued to apologize for the kids talking loudly due to their excitement. That's when I finally said to her, "I've got a daughter with special needs - I totally GET IT!". Instantly you could see a look of relief come over her face.

The students excitedly showed me what they were buying for their parents for Valentine's day and it was wonderful to share their excitement and visit with them briefly. What struck me the most, though, was the items they'd picked out for their parents weren't what someone would typically give as a gift on Valentine's day. There were no bouquets of flowers, chocolates, or even cards for that matter. Nope, these beautiful kids had picked out simple things like an ice scraper with a mitt to keep your hand warm {the boy told me his mom always says her hands get cold when she scrapes the windshield}, and a 20 oz. bottle of Mountain Dew {this boy said his Mom was really tired this morning because he couldn't go to sleep last night}, and some new socks. Basic, practical gifts that most people would be "offended" to receive on Valentine's day. It nearly brought me to tears watching these kids beaming with their thoughtful gifts, so excited to wrap them up and give them to their parents. They weren't concerned about impressing anyone or making sure they spent a certain amount {because that's what matters, right? ;)}.  Nope, they had very intentionally picked out items to meet the basic needs of their caregivers in an effort to show their love for them. Now THAT is love.

I've been thinking about this all afternoon and I can't get over how my quick trip to Target today opened my eyes to the beauty of Valentine's day – the "non-commercialized" version of Valentine's day, that is. What a great reminder that showing your love for someone doesn't have to be a big extravagant production. Just think how much God loves each one of us. These kids in line at Target understood exactly what their parents really needed...just as God knows each one of us and what we truly need vs. what we think we need. Oh what I wouldn't give to be a fly on the wall as these kids give their gifts today!

"Lord, you have seen what is in my heart.
    You know all about me.
You know when I sit down and when I get up.
    You know what I’m thinking even though you are far away.
You know when I go out to work and when I come back home.
    You know exactly how I live.
Lord, even before I speak a word,
    you know all about it."
Psalm 139:1-4

May you feel the love of God on this Valentine's day, trusting that He has your best interest in mind and knows the type of love you really need!


Thursday, February 7, 2013

300! Giveaway time...

Our very first on the blog {excitement}! Somehow over the weekend we reached 300 sales in our Etsy shop. Wow. A couple years ago when I contemplated whether or not people would actually buy scripture artwork I had NO idea what God had in store for Red Letter Ink. He is amazing. Simply amazing. Looking back and seeing how He used little 'ol me sitting in my basement dreaming up new ways to display His's pretty insane, and frankly, quite humbling. I've had the privilege of donating countless prints for silent auctions, adoption fundraisers {LOTS of them}, cancer benefits, special needs fundraisers, birth-mom baskets, and many other types of fundraisers/auctions/benefits. I've also loved being able to donate a portion of our proceeds & prints to support various ministries such as Victory Riders, The Sparrow Fund, Children of Grace, The Mercy House, and Wonderfully Made. We were also able to bless a family this past Christmas with some gift cards that allowed them to buy Christmas presents and food. Thinking back on all of this just makes my heart want to burst with excitement and thankfulness that God has allowed me, a sometimes {who am I kidding, sometimes?} weird socially awkward tomboy from backwoods Wisconsin, to be used in this way to reach others. There really are no words to describe the feeling.

But this isn't about me - it's about YOU! None of this would have been possible without YOUR support!!! We can't thank you all enough for your support - buying prints and spreading the word is how Red Letter Ink has grown and been able to utilize the proceeds to turn around and help others. You guys are incredible, so THANK YOU!

Now, let's celebrate all that God's done with a GIVEAWAY!!! I absolutely love the phrase "Go big or go home", so I decided to "go big" for this giveaway. There are a few different ways to earn entries, so be sure to check out the info below - and good luck!  Giveaway ends 2/13/13 at midnight.

{Please note} --->  Open to residents of USA and Canada onlya Rafflecopter giveaway