Every parent looks forward to having a brand-new baby, “perfect”, ten fingers and ten toes. However, no parents imagine hearing or want to hear, that their baby has something wrong. My parents heard the news on a twenty-week ultrasound when the nurse came in and said, “I can’t find your baby’s left arm.” My mom was immediately devastated as any mother carrying their child would be. Needless to say, they were in shock, and had no idea of what God had planned but they had full faith that he had a plan in place for them and for the baby. After the nurse left to get the doctor the next thing that swept the room was one my parents never imagined would. There was soon to be a conversation between my parents and the doctor, a conversation that my parents would choose to be kept secret from me for 19 years of my life.
The secret was when the doctor explained how I wouldn’t fit into the perfections of society. Because of my imperfection, he proposed the unimaginable, an abortion. It was then when I was condemned by society. My parents being strong in faith and full of the love for Jesus, immediately said no, for she is a Child of God. This is when God stepped in and said to my parents DO NOT FEAR. God showed them that I had a purpose, as each and every one of us do. I was a child who was fearfully and wonderfully made by Him. And so, my life became not my own story but God’s story from the very start.
Here I am today with a purpose that was set forth for me while in my mother’s womb. Where God’s love was shown in that doctor’s office and he stepped in.
My parent’s always say I was born waving my “little arm”. I was born missing my left arm right below the elbow, born an imperfect child, in a society where imperfect is condemned. From the moment I was born, God had a plan for me, as he does for all of us. A plan much greater than we could ever imagine. Growing up I did anything any kid with two hands would do. I played sports, I went to school, I was just like everyone else except one thing, I looked extremely different than the other kids around me. When asked what happened I simply explained, “God decided to make me with one instead of two”. My answer from the very beginning was always God. Which leads me to something that is so much greater.
We live in a society where we are expected to look a certain way, where we are expected to hide our imperfections, and the problem with this is that, society is so beyond broken as a whole. Our world is so broken, and no one seems to know the answer to all of this, but really it is quite simple. We all have purpose. We all have an identity that we create or search for. The problem is, our identity is not something that we should be creating. We need to be praying for God to show us our purpose, to show us our path.
From a young age, I decided that my difference was never going to define who I was. But, my difference was a part of my story that God had written for my life. That day my parents said no to an abortion and God took over the presence of that room. God gave me my purpose, He said, bring love, be a light to the darkness, show my love, my grace, and my mercy. Our identity is not found in material things. Our identity is not found in the clothes we wear, the cars we drive, the music we listen to, or our friends. Our identity is found in something so much greater than all of those things. No one on this Earth is perfect. We all have imperfections, it doesn’t matter what those are, it matters how you see those imperfections. Do you see them through society’s eyes? Or through God’s eyes? We all have day’s when we feel alone, when we feel broken, like no one in this world could possibly understand what we are going through. But instead of praying we seek material things that we think will fill the void of “not being good enough” or being “imperfect”. We all have a purpose, and it is probably not the one that we think we have planned. It is God’s purpose for our life, he gets to write our stories. Remember, if you can lose it, your identity is not in it. Your identity is in God, for you are a Child of God and you are fearfully and wonderfully made. You have purpose in Him.
Two weeks ago, when my parents told me the secret. My entire life story, every detail, every night full of tears because I had a “bad one arm day”. Every triumph, and every prayer made sense and made my purpose through God clearer than ever before. We cannot allow ourselves to write our own story. God has written it for us from before we were even put onto this Earth. We cannot allow society to define us. There is one answer to all of this and the answer is God. Our purpose, our identity, our worth, is found in Jesus Christ. He has purpose for each of our lives, just pray and ask him to show you. Allow God to lead you. Allow God to show you your purpose.
I might have been condemned by society, but I am Loved by God. And God always wins.
It's February!! YAYYY!!! You know that this means Valentine's Day is just ahead.
I don't know about you but I love a good handmade & homemade gift. Especially when it involves redecorating a space in my home and has a meaningful message to go along with it.
This is why I am so excited to share with you guys some adorable homemade gifts by a company called KNACKs.
But before we get into the products, I love learning about how a company got started and why it was created. To me this special connection I make with the store is why I love to shop there. And after reading the story of how KNACKs became a thing you'll want to shop shop shop!
How It All Began:
KNACKs started as "Art by Katie Bowser"
When Katie and her boyfriend (Thomas) bought their first home and were waiting on the arrival of their first child, Katie was in college at the time studying Medical Office Administration. After she completed her Fine Arts Diploma in Toronto, Ontario and didn't have many opportunities knocking at her door. That is when they decided to save every penny for their home before their son (Alex) was born. That first Christmas they found themselves in a pinch for money so they decided to start making their family members gifts.
Stained wood with some hand painted words.
After a few were posted on Facebook, requests started to come in and it became a hobby for Katie and Thomas in their spare time while they were both still working.
Eventually "Art by Katie Bowers" was created as a Facebook page. Katie explained it was what seemed like impossible to choose a business name. They started to take orders in while still working Monday - Friday. Not to mention taking care of a baby!
Superhuman if you ask me!
At the time Katie and Thomas didn't have a garage so Tom would cut the wood in the basement or laundry room, and Katie would stain the wood outside on the deck (even in the snow), and paint in the kitchen. At this point Katie bought a Circuit Machine to aid with stencils but as for their home, all the materials were taking over! They had another little boy and decided to start house hunting again. After getting married in May and moving in July of last year, "Art by Katie Bowser" was no longer valid and after thinking on a new name for years, Knack popped into Katie's head. She though of knack from "knick knacks" or having a "knack for something" and eventually it stuck and just so coincidentally it's an acronym with all of the family members names: Katie, Nick, Alex, Conliffe.
If you ask me this name is absolutely perfect because you and Tom definitely have a "knack for something" incredible! It's so amazing to see two hardworking individuals that never gave up and followed a journey they had no plan for.
Throughout the years Katie made small and big goals, one was a website, which took much longer than she imagined. Another was selling from a store, and she was soon approached by a local artist with the BEST local handmade shop!
"Ingonish Trading Co"
Katie has has some employees along the way, one of her good friends that helps alongside Katie, and all her friends do whatever they can to help at "pop-ups".
Tom still takes weekends 'off' as weekends 'on' here in the garage!
Thankfully Katie hasan incredible support system.
Katie said, "Without them, I would not have accomplished as much as I have in such a short amount of time".
What 2018 Looks Like:
Katie said, 2018 will be about stepping out of her comfort zone and staying continuously stocked!! There are many things for her to still learn and each year is a small step, but definitely a great journey she hope's to continue.
Okay seriously I have fallen in love with this story of courage, blessings, strength, love, and two determined and hardworking individuals.
So If you are looking for the Perfect Valentine's Day gift for your loved one, or just a sentimental homemade gift that never get's old. I have your next stop to shop first!
THEY ALSO OFFER PERSONALIZATION!!!
So I know you wanna go shop! Here are all the details you need!
Website: Instagram: Facebook:
I wish I knew how to ______.
Relax. I’m type A, OCD, and need to just learn to chill out sometimes. I’m always on the go and always have a plan. I wish I knew how to live more in the now rather than the future. I am a planner and I have my whole life planned out and I get so worried if something seems like it won't go to that plan. Even though I know God is in control, I am human and I have a rough time dealing with it sometimes.
Quote to live by?
“I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
Night owl or early bird?
NIGHT OWL. I wish I was a morning person but..... I work better at night and LOVE sleeping in! Yeah I sleep in till like 11 if I can!
Favorite dinner spot?
Lasalle Grill (pricey but soooo good! Also they make their own gelato! YUM!!) If not there, any good sushi place or Italian is my fave!! Bring on the CARBS!!!!
A valuable lesson you’ve learned?
Stop worrying and give it to God. Your plan won’t happen it’s in God’s plan not yours.
Last thing you splurged on?
Madewell Jeans, so expensive but totally worth it! The fit is incredible!!
What do you have your eye on?
Triangl bikini and a trip to Scotland
Apps you use every day?
VSCO for picture editing and um INSTAGRAM <------ Click to check my Insta out!
There’s nothing I love more than A family Christmas party at Grandma Stumps.
#1 vacation destination on your list?
Scotland (the lochness monster is real)
Favorite way to spend a day off?
Wake up and run, get ready super late, lay in bed extra long and go to the dog shelter to look at the cute pups!!! And shop shop shop!!
Best relationship advice?
“Line em up”- Grandma Stump find which one you like them keep him and don’t let go.
Kidding but kinda not lol, when you find the right one, pray loads and put God first in your relationship, and love lots!
ICE CREAM!!!! At my wedding Im not having cake I'm having ice cream!
Best advice when it comes to dealing with people?
Give everyone you meet the benefit of the doubt. Don’t assume, don’t jump to conclusions. Every person you meet is dealing with things you have no idea about.
Favorite Starbuck’s drink?
Green Tea Latte with a shot of espresso
Summer: Vanilla Iced Coffee with cream & Strawberry Acai and Very Berry with 12 ice cubes (because Starbucks puts too much ice)
What would you tell your 18 year old self?
Stop worrying and live a little!!
What do you miss?
I miss my great grandpa Dean. He was the greatest and sweetest man in the whole world. And loved Jesus more than anyone I know.
I also miss my best friend Paige. Love you Paigey..
If I wasn’t blogging I’d be _____ .
Blogging is my side job, I’m a full time student and after next year I’ll be working in Human Resources. So I'll still be blogging:) I don't plan on it ever being full time for me.
Best advice you’ve ever received?
There is wayyy too much!
But someone once told me “if you lead with your heart to begin with, your heart will always win and you’ll never lose sight of that.”
Nike or Adidas?
Brooks? (Runner probs)
Coolest celebrity moment?
That one time I met Katie Couric and was on her show. Other than that.... can't think of one haha
Advice for someone dealing with heartbreak?
If it ended then it ended for a reason. It might be difficult but you’ll get through it. Pray lots!!
Weird things about me:
I don’t sleep with a pillow and I like driving in the car in silence. Also I’m the weirdest food eater ever!! Just ask Zac..
Deciding on the perfect Valentine’s Day gift for your loved one isn’t always easy, that’s why JORD is here to help! There are so many ways to spend your Valentine’s day, and you want to make sure it’s extra special for the both of you. I wanted a gift that was meaningful, useful, unique, and stylish for my loved one. That’s why JORD was the perfect option! JORD watches have a minimalist look which I love. It seems so simple, but there is so much detail as well.
You can choose from 12 stunning watch series and if you want it to be extra special and personalized you can add an engraving on the watch to make your Valentine’s day extra memorable!
For us, our favorite thing to do on Valentine’s Day is to relax and sip our favorite cup of coffee at a local coffee shop in town. I was so excited to gift Zac this incredible watch and see his reaction. I knew that this was a gift that would last forever and one that he would use daily! I find shopping for guys so difficult at times but with JORD it was so easy! When I first received the watch, I had no idea what to expect but when I opened the box I was in complete and utter awe. There is so much craftsmanship, detail, and love put into these watches and each of their design. Each watch is beautiful! The watch is going to make this Valentine’s Day extra special because every time Zac wears the watch each of us will be reminded of our love and time spent together. I love that no matter where we go and how much time passes us we have this watch that reminds us of those times together.
The watch I choose for Zac is made with Kosso wood and is the newest offering in the JORD collection. It is part of the Hyde series and trust me you can’t go wrong with this minimalist yet classy look. This piece will not only speak to you but will speak to your loved one as well. I choose to go with the Hyde, Kosso & Gray for Zac because it is a color that goes with everything and you really can’t go wrong.
· sapphire crystal glass
· metal tipped hands
· deployment buckle with push buttons
· push crown
· case width: 43mm
· case thickness: 12mm
· lug ends: 53.2mm
· band thickness: 20.36mm
· band length: 150m
· Citizen Miyota GP11
· display: hours - minutes - seconds - date
· tuning fork type: quartz crystal
· frequency: 32,768 Hz
· accuracy: +/- 20 seconds /mo
· battery: silver oxide SR920SW (equiv)
· drive system: 2-pole stepping motor
So if you are having trouble deciding what to get your loved one this Valentine’s Day I highly recommend going with JORD, you can’t go wrong!
In addition to entering be sure to check out JORD’s website to see more of their awesome hand-crafted designs. These watches make for timeless gift options and offer a unique style element to anyone who wear one.
The giveaway will close January 28th at 11:59pm. WINNER receives $100 Coupon Code.
All other entrants receive a 10% off instant Coupon Code.
The $100 and 10% off Coupon Codes will expire February 11th.
Well known for her love for Jesus, coffee, and having one arm. Sarah share's stories in her life in hope to help others. She wants you to know that,
"Our differences do not define who we are but are a part of the story that God has written for our lives."
Sarah says, " I hope that I can be someone to relate to in a world of untold real stories. Everything I write is from my heart and real."
"We are all created imperfectly perfect by God, we should be proud of our imperfections and differences, they make us who we are today but do not define us, know that you are beautiful and remind yourself of this everyday."
Show Me Your MUMU