Give Love

This past weekend I had the privilege to attend a woman’s conference at my church called Original. It was an inspiring weekend full of beauty, God, celebrating being a woman, inspirational speakers, and being with my intentional friends! The end of February I was on the Original website scoping out the specs of the weekend. I came across the part entitled Give Love. The idea behind Give Love was to see a blessing put in someone’s life that has influenced you in some way. Along with myself nominating someone, I had to include three other people. The end of Feb, I had just spent a quick visit with my friend, Stefanie Boyce. She was at my house for a brief time, and was having a hard day. Once again, Stef left my house inspiring me and lifting me up. Even in her time of hardship. So, it was the next day of so when I came across the Give Love process. Stefanie immediately came to mind and I got busy in the application process. Three of her friends instantly came to mind. Katie Henry, Angie Devore, and Andrea Bercos were contacted right away and they were on board and excited about the process. All of this had to happen ASAP because the application was due by the last day of Feb. I think I gave them a day or two to get it done. I handed the application in the last day of Feb. We all had to write a little something about our friend and why she deserved it. That was the easy part. We also had to nominate her for something. This was the hard part. We couldn’t settle on just one “thing.” I nominated her for 4 different things thinking that if she was chosen, the Original leaders could help us in the choosing of the “thing.” During the week that I was home (central Il) for my speaking events and news appearance, I get a call from Lisa Yonke, one of the Original leaders. She told me that they would be honored to have Stefanie blessed at the conference. AMAZING! She also asked if me, along with the other ladies that nominated, and Jut, Stefanie’s hubby could be at the church Tues afternoon for a video interview. It just so happened that Jake, the girls, and I were heading home that Tuesday. I quickly called the other ladies and Jut, told them what was in the works, and if they could get to the church. Long story short, we all make it to the church and made an amazing video (see below). Andrea Bercos decided to attend the entire conference. She was at my house for the weekend. It was so nice! The other ladies, Katie and Angie were in charge of getting Stefanie to my house Friday evening and not really letting her know why. This was all to be kept a secret from Stef. They successfully got her to my house. She knew we were up to something and tried to get it out of us, but we all stuck to our guns and told her to just trust us. We got her to the church, and I think she was a wee bit disappointed we weren’t going to get mani’s and pedi’s. Not that she wouldn’t want to be at the church, just that our time together was going to be short and maybe we would be doing something different. So, we listened to the first speaker, Nancy Alcorn…….AMAZING! Then there was a short break, then Give Love. The Original ladies started presenting gifts or blessings to people and families. The gifts kept getting bigger and better. Oh, I should say that we didn’t really know what they were going to give Stef. Lisa kinda led on to a few things to me, but never said anything definite. So, they announce the final nominee as “The next story is one of true Faith and inspiration.” The lights go dim, and our video (see below) starts to play. There on the 3 big screens is Jut, I look over at Stef and she is crying. After the video is over, they invite all of us on to the stage. They talk a little about Stef and start presenting her with her blessings. The first was a small wicker basket filled with some bath pretties. They then told her she and Justin were getting a spa get away to Sundara spas in Wi. The basket also contained $500 in Visa gift cards. They then presented her with two rather large Easter baskets for Jayden and Brooklyn. Then came a $300 gift card to Ingrasia Furniture for something for their new home. Then the whopper. Out came a BIG cardboard check for $2,500.00. WHHHEEWWW! I thought it was over at this point. However, to my total shock and complete unexpectedness, they started talking about me. She said, “Here is Kelly, unbeknown to us, until the interview process, did we know that Kelly’s oldest daughter has the same thing that Stefanie’s children have. She could have wavered and hoped that someone would nominate her, but instead she nominated her friend.” They then started presenting me with blessings. I got the small wicker basket with bath pretties, the same vacation for Jake and I, $500 in Visa cards, and two HUGE baskets for the girls. WOW! How generous! I’m still in shock of it all. I was so excited to do this for my friend. It was so easy to do because I love Stefanie and her family so much. I really feel like this is where my heart is. I want to have a giving and generous heart. I want others to know my extreme love for people. I’m ready to sign up to help with Give Love next year! So, it’s not over. After we get off the stage and they dismiss us from the conference, Stef and I get bombarded by people. Words of encouragement, hugs and kisses, extreme love from total strangers. A complete blessing. Then, one of the pastor’s wife comes up to me with this older lady with tears in her eyes. She introduces us and the woman pulls me close to her and tells me she had a son that passed away in the 80’s of the MPS disorder, Hunter’s syndrome. She comforted me and gave me encouragement. WOW! Then, another woman comes up to me, asks me my name, pulls her check book out, and with tears in her eyes tells me that she has been extremely blessed in her life and wants to bless me. She writes me a personal check. It’s another experience of people’s generosity and complete selflessness that awe’s me every time. I wish and pray that more people could experience something like this. Not necessarily getting something (not that it isn’t amazing) but to experience giving is such an amazing thing. I’m so happy for Stefanie and what she received. What a great end to an extremely busy week. Before you watch the video, please pause the music player so that you can hear the video. Love you and GIVE LOVE! CLICK HERE TO WATCH VIDEO!