The fruit of our labor-part 2 of the story

I tried to write all of this at one time and it was WAY too long. For part one of what I’m sharing about, see this post. Now that it’s clear how much I enjoyed the job I had and the kind of stories that came from it, here’s the rest of my heart on the matter.

I was delighted to help write the client story portion of the fundraiser auction for Step by Step this year. What we did was gather stories of clients lives who were changed then I condensed them to a few words without losing the impact of the testimonies. I also scripted a narrated portion that would be read as each client walked across the stage holding a white sign with their ‘past’ story on front then they flipped it over and on the back was their ‘present’ story. Hard to explain but hopefully that makes sense.

Friday when I went to finalize the signs with new, fully inked markers, I was shocked when the ink bled through the tag board paper. I quit breathing for a minute and nearly had a panic attack. I had already spent hours writing in pencil, carefully spacing each letter, making sure it was large enough to be seen in the back of a room holding 250 people. I grabbed a couple kids, hopped in the van and went to Staples. I found thick, foam board that would work great (not the economical option however!).

I got home to start over. I had to work outside, the smell of the pens indoors had made me horribly sick the first time around. Problem was it was 40 degrees and windy. Christopher set me up with a table and a shop light in our driveway. It was already dark. My next door neighbor saw I was up to something strange and offered to help. Hours went by. Five hours. In the freezing wind trying to keep our hands warm enough to write. It was close to 1 AM when we finished. The signs turned out amazingly.

Point being this, I invested a lot in this project. I could not wait to see it all come together. So imagine my heartbreak when one thing became clear.

Sick children. Fevers. Tears. Coughs. Sore throats. All-I-want-is-mama.

There was no way I could attend the auction last night. I was hopeful but once I woke up Saturday and took a quick survey, I knew I would be trading in a steak dinner for leftover pizza, a nice black dress for snot-covered jeans, a peaceful few hours without children for 7 hours of whining, crying and wiping noses.

We muddled through. My sister brought a casserole-that was the highlight.  It was not a night where any of my sometimes good parenting skills got to shine. We survived. If you’re wondering why my sweet hubby didn’t let me go without him, well he was the M.C. for the night. He was rather irreplaceable and I was not needed technically. I’d already done my part.

As I thought about how it all played out and had a few good cries throughout the day, I felt God telling me several things that He wanted to show me in the midst of my disappointment.

Just as I wanted to see the fruit of my hard work for the auction, I instinctively want to see the fruit of the sacrifices I make or the kindness I share with my children or with others. However, I didn’t get to see it last night. And I don’t always get to see it in life.

Regardless, I still am called to put everything I have into what I’m asked to do. Whether I get to see the end result or not. And as for mothering, the end result is a long ways off! So I need to take each day at a time and do my very best to give, love, teach, and model life while these little sponges soak it in. I’m in this for the (very) long haul.

As for my children, they saw I was sad to miss the night. But when they asked me why I was home with them, they answered their own question before I had the chance. Rylee said “It’s because we’re sick mama, and you know you’re the only person we want to be with. You love us so much and you’d rather be here since you can’t be both places at once.”

Well said. A true statement from my little firstborn. I couldn’t have said it better myself.  Her words were sweetness to my heart.



i’m so sorry you couldn’t make it. that presentation brings me to tears every time i see it. the first was on this youtube video. I’m hoping step by step to a video of it, it is so worth sharing. Hope your little guys feel better soon…


Well said and when you look back, you will see the cumulative effect of what you are giving those sweet babies. Rylee gets it already! Love you.


Im so sorry you missed it. When your heart is into something so much it does hurt to miss out. I’m glad your babies got their snuggle, mama time, what a wonderful sacrafice you make daily. Big hugs, I hope everyone is on the mend


That is precious, Karissa. When I talked to Rylee the other night she said, “Well, Kyler slept with Mama last night cause he was the sickiest, but I don’t know who will sleep with her tonight. She’ll let whoever is the sickiest sleep her cause she takes care of them in the night.” Just another reminder that they know their Mama takes care of them 🙂


I so want to see a video! I loved reading this. When you were telling me about all your crazy work (and I was wishing I could have helped!) I kept thinking, that is God’s way – sacrifice. I didn’t really want to say it out loud to you because it didn’t sound very encouraging. But I think your gift of sacrifice – not getting to go being the biggest but not only one – is huge in God’s book. Your consistent submission to sacrificing is the part of your character that I believe everyone who knows you is hugely attracted to…it has produced priceless character and isn’t really even explainable. Gotta go unpack some boxes now…


Oh, I am a wreck right now after reading this, didn’t know your auction was this weekend and certainly didn’t know you would be missing it. I am so, so sorry for the way it all turned out. But wow, what an amazing lesson about planting the seeds even when you don’t get to be the one working the harvest. I am overwhelmed.

Love you, got your message about dinner, will check my calendar and we’ll do it absolutely. Had an emotional day here yesterday too (obviously) and am still trying to recoup from the weekend…talk (very) soon.