Since it is SMA Awareness month I wanted to share a story.....
Do you believe in coincidence? I don't and really never have, I was blessed to be raised by parents that were able to point out those little "coincidences" and show the BIG picture. This summer I lived one of those miracles, right in front of me, like the magic trick of a great magician. See what you think..........
My friend Melissa & I own a hat and hair accessory business called Beb-e-ssentials. We sell online or at craft and art shows. Every since we started the business I have wanted to go to the Troy Strawberry Festival, it is legendary in the food department around here and well, for obvious "strawberry" reasons I wanted to go. When we looked it up the deadline had already happened and they said NO LATE ENTRIES. Bummer! I sent off an e-mail anyway trying to beg our way in. Then we looked again and the site said that they were still accepting a few entries (miracle 1) So Melissa sent in our application with pictures of our crafts to see if we would be selected. A few days later we found out we were in!
A couple months went by and we busily prepared for the show. We wanted to take a good selection and also take our SMA/Gwendolyn Strong Foundation information and butterflies. As the time got closer our excitement grew. Finally it was the day of the show! the plan was for me to go ahead, set-up, and work the first part of the day. Melissa would be home with Caitlin working at her garage sale. I got everything set-up and as I hung the Gwendolyn Butterflies on the board I prayed that we would sell all 12 over the weekend. You see for every Gwendolyn Butterfly sold we donate 6.00 or 60% to the Gwendolyn Strong Foundation. I have been prodded and led to work hard (God can do that you know)to promote awareness for SMA (Spinal Muscular Atrophy) and help to raise funds for the much needed research to find a cure. We did a fund raiser over Mother's Day and did very well but I wanted to be able to start giving more often. So as the show started things were moving but not the butterflies... then the clouds rolled in. Very threatening clouds, clouds and storms that were bad enough to evacuate people to the stadium. I asked the man beside me, a army veteran, what we should do. He had told me he been working shows for over 40years! He calmly looked out from under his awning and shook his head.... "Nah, it not going to be bad, the most of it will blow over. I'm staying right here...." so after he declined my offer to sit in our tent with the sides on it, I rolled down the sides and put my chair in the middle and waited. As the wind howled and rain beat the little tent I got a bit scared and aggravated. I started praying in aggravation that with this weather we would never sell the 12 butterflies I had brought. We wouldn't be able to donate the money! The wind and rain whipped the tent around for what seemed like forever.... I think it was more like 30 minutes.
When it all settled down there was mud EVERYWHERE! People were walking along their shoes covered and with mud up their legs! But the shopping continued and I got busy and didn't think anymore about my prayer. When Melissa came I escaped long enough to go find something Strawberry to eat. Once I got up on the levy I shopped and tried to pick the best strawberry snack. I walked back and forth a couple times looking for the best deal. After I got my food I headed back to the booth but on the way I heard a voice saying "ducks for sale, anybody want to buy a duck?" (# 2 miracle)I walked over and asked a few questions of the sweet ladies behind the table. They were selling rubber ducks as a fund raiser to raise money for next year's event. Ducks were 5.00 each and the plan was to dump barrels of rubber ducks off one bridge and award prizes to the 1st through 4th place ducks as they made it to the next bridge. 1st place was $1,000.00, 2nd through 4th were local food places. They also gave a prize of a 500.00 gas card to the last place duck. I thought about it for a moment and then I was given a wonderful idea the Gwendolyn Strong Foundation needed a duck! I told the ladies selling the ducks about SMA and let them know I would be back in the morning. I ran back down the hill to our booth. That night I posted as a last minute thought that we were buying a duck and anyone that wanted a duck could message me. Well, after the long day I got a late start in the morning and forgot to check the messages. Once Melissa got these she asked me if I saw the message. One of the families dealing with SMA posted to buy 100.00 worth of ducks.... Wow! (#3 miracle)So I grabbed our SMA information sheet and some Gwendolyn Butterflies and I went up to buy our ducks.
I got all the information so I could photograph the "duck launch" and put the event in pictures. I wanted to give a smile to the families and spread the word..... I stood at the bridge for a long time..... a very long time. Finally I ran back to the table and the ladies told me that the water was too high from the storm and the ducks would be selected out of the community pool. I found out where it was and off I went camera in hand! I wanted to get pictures of Gwennie, our ducks! Once I got there I had a really hard time seeing to get pictures so I went around to see if I could step in. A really BIG guy came and told me nobody was allowed in, after I explained our story he said "Okay, you and only you!" (#4 miracle) Wow, I thanked him and headed in staying WAY out of the way. I started to snap shots when the girls came in. The Queen and her court would pick the ducks. They were given strict instructions on how to pull a duck from the wading pool. I snapped and snapped till the ducks were picked. Then I ran back to our tent and told Melissa how it all went. We got back to business and forgot all about it.
During the last hour of business we heard an announcement about all the winners of the several awards given during the show. They started with the duck race and the first place award, as we listened they announced The Gwendolyn Strong Foundation as the winner!!! We about jumped out of the tent!!! We scared the ladies in the tent shopping! $1,000.00 for RESEARCH!!! (#5 miracle, a BIG one!) We had 21 ducks in the race, 21 out of 1,007!!!! I checked the pictures that I had taken and I actually took the picture of the Queen pulling her duck from the water! How cool!!!
When I got a call the next day they told us we had won. I guess they didn't hear us yelling during the show! I went to the office the next day and picked up a check, posed for pictures, and met the Duck Race organizer.... none other than the BIG guy that I had met at the pool! I gave a interview about SMA to the newspaper and got some GREAT news! They asked us if we would partner with them next year. (#6 miracle)They want to give 1.00 of every duck sold to the Gwendolyn Strong Foundation! Remember this year they sold 1,007 ducks. Next year they have asked us to work with the Duck Race booth to sell more ducks! What that tells me is more Awareness!!!
When we did a final check I found another little "God thing". We took 12 Butterflies to sell, we sold 5. If you remember in the Bible five fishes fed thousands.... we had 7 left. Seven loaves of bread was fed with the 5 fishes... I was SO worried and disappointed when the rain came that we wouldn't sell the 12 butterflies, if we had sold them we would have donated $72.00. Instead, God took control and we were able to do "infinitely more". $30.00 for butterflies and $1,000.0from our winning duck! ..... one of my favorite verses......
Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power
at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think.
Who says prayers aren't answered?!?!!?
Don't forget August is SMA Awareness month!
Enjoy a few pictures from the race!
our entry form
the pace duck
ducks in the wading pool
ducks ducks ducks...... do you see Gwennie?
The Queen saw her, and picked her!
2 weeks ago