In three days I will turn 50. High level I am doing okay mentally and my wish of raising money for Hope House Florida has been a positive force. My hope was many invited to the party would want to give a gift to help me reach my goal. I also thought it would be a great way to make birthday week a fun and exciting one seeing the goal get closer to becoming a reality. Well, that hasn’t worked out so well. It might turn out great but not knowing any details surrounding my birthday party my perception knowing only $265 raised caused me to be discouraged.
This morning God and I had a long conversation before I even got out of bed as I was pretty down. It was clear I needed to release it and know post birthday I still have 3 weeks to create a marketing plan before I ride my Century for Hope. I got out of bed knowing God had it covered and I needed to let the week unfold and regardless be thankful and just let it go.
Later in the day, the phone rang at the shoppe and it was my boss from when I was 23 years old working for Gap, Inc. as a store manager. I had just relocated and took over a high volume store in Danbury, CT that was a disaster.
She was an amazing mentor and teacher who ran me through my paces, was fair and my biggest advocate. I am the merchant today because of all she taught me. I was blessed to have her in my life for 5 years. She was there when I got promoted to area manager, district manager in Boston and then to HQ in San Francisco.
We have exchanged cards at the holidays and emails here and there but have not been in regularly in touch. She got the invite to my party and read about my Century Ride for Hope. She called to ask me some questions about Hope House and then told me she and her husband decided to give $1500 to fund a girls education at Hope House and would be sending the check. I was humbled and started to cry. I was realizing again that God had a plan and as always didn’t look like mine.
Deep down my heart's desire is to raise enough money for 2 girls but was afraid to speak it, as my success on raising money for one wasn’t too good. Convicted because my word for the year is bold and in this situation I have not been bold to step out in faith and ask and trust.
Fast forward to this evening, I rode my “purple bike with basket” to pure barre and locked it, went out after class and when I came back was left with a cut lock. I was sad that someone would stoop so low to take my bike but never got mad. As I was processing it all came full circle. Yes I am sad I don’t have my purple bike with basket, but I am blessed because I still have my road bike and a car; I am still way ahead of most of the world.
When I was holding the cut lock there were two messages that came to mind:
#1 – This is how trafficking happens, in just one instant a life is stolen
#2 – Breaking the locks /chains and allowing girls to fly free
My passion was renewed and my energy of the stolen bike refocused to what really is important – a life being set free and being given the education to fly free. For me it isn’t just about Shoppe 561 shining a light on Modern Day Slavery and Hope House Florida, I see it personally as my responsibility and calling.
Boldly I ask you to join my journey, to help me kick off my 50th birthday with the knowledge that girls who have reached safety at Hope House will get the education they need and deserve so one day they can fly free and live a life full of joy and freedom.
Thankful for those who have already responded, some of whom I have never met, your donations have encouraged me beyond compare.