There are so many beautiful reasons to be happy this morning...I'm not sure where to begin. In the midst of our journey, God chose to look down on the Donnelly Tribe and give us a much-needed dose of sunshine. My cup runneth over! Let me explain:
For Christmas, the Homegrown Homeschool Co-Op that I direct (with the help of some wonderful moms) blessed my daughters and I with tickets to the Dare to Be Concert. I was so excited to hear Charlotte Gambill speak and Natalie Grant sing. I thought we were going as a group...sitting together. But a few days before the concert I was informed that the group decided to upgrade our tickets to VIP seating and backstage tickets. I was thrilled! (little did I know that this was all a part of the "plan")
The night of the concert arrived. The excitement in the Donnelly house was evident as the girls and I got ready for a powerful night of worship and the Word. Then off we went. I had NO idea what was happening behind the scenes as Beth and Kyrsten plotted. I had NO idea that friends, family, and co-workers were all in the audience, as they knew what was about to happen. I was still completely in the dark...just enjoying the event.
Then, Natalie Grant comes to the stage to honor a woman from the community. As she began to read the bio of this woman I found that my heart began to race and I started to cry....realizing that she was reading about our family. Then she called me to the stage. I could hardly walk as my legs were trembling. I was in complete shock!
When I got to the stage they said some wonderful things about me (ok...I've had to go back and listen as I was so nervous on stage and didn't process everything at that time.) Anyway, Charlotte and Natalie handed me a beautiful bouquet of flowers and a bag of gifts. I felt so blessed. THEN...they informed me that our family would be blessed with an all expense paid beach vacation....I started to cry.
THEN...Natalie Grant said that we would be given $10,000 towards a down payment on our new house! I completely broke down crying. I felt so overwhelmed with gratitude. I could hear my heart beating in my ears, I was trembling, and in complete shock. Words will never express how humble I felt at that moment....that my friends would nominate me for this award.
As I tried to sleep last night (my head was spinning from excitement!) I began to thank God for His many blessings. He has been so faithful to me...even during those times that I have failed Him. God has proved Himself over and over in my life. Walter and I have not had an easy journey, but who does? It's called life. And I can't imagine walking through life without the Lord.
He has been a healer to us...healing our son when he was given less than 24 hours to live. He has been a shelter in the middle of life's storms. He was my comforter when we lost two babies. He provided us a home when the bank laughed at us. He placed Godly friends in our lives who have encouraged us along the way. He blessed us with the finances to travel the world to get 4 more blessings (our kids!). And on and on it goes......God NEVER fails.
I am so #thankful for Deb and Beth who made a video (how did I miss all of this?), collected letters from the moms in our co-op and coordinated with Dare to Be and Kyrsten on making this a complete surprise. I want to thank my co-workers, friends, and family who (unknown to me) were in the audience cheering me on. And I want to thank my wonderful husband and my loving children for all the dinners you've cooked, getting your school work and chores done, being a taxi driving when I've had to work...and just working as a team. You are the very reason I get out of bed each day. Click here to read the whole bio and watch the video they sent to the Dare To Be Foundation.
I also want to thank the Dare to Be foundation and the ladies from the Philadelphia conference who donated and provided for such a wonderful blessing for our family. May God bless you!
So friends, keep walking out your journey of life. NEVER give up hope. God's faithfulness does not change...even during the storm. I am living proof of what God can do in a life that is willing to surrender to Him.
I was so overwhelmed with gratitude...all I could do was cry. And to be on the same stage as Charlotte Gambill (one of my favorite speakers) and Natalie Grant (love her) was such an honor!
If you know a woman who is admirable in faith, humility, and surrender, whose story is making a significant impact in her community, and thus the world., and want to nominate her for a honoree moment, please click here to nominate her and fill out the Dare To Be Honoree nomination form.
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