We have a winner! Was it you?

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Thank you to each of you who entered my birthday giveaway! I especially loved reading about your favorite birthdays. My favorite part of your stories was that it was rarely about an object, but about the thoughtfulness of a loved one. I know that was what made my birthday so special this year!

But on to the news you are waiting for! Rafflecoptor’s randomly chosen winner is……..

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Congrats, Katie! Thanks for your entry! Check your inbox for an email from me 🙂 You have 48 hours to respond.

I hope you guys stick around. I’m super excited about my upcoming adventure, I have some fun planned for later this fall, and who knows? Maybe the holidays will bring more giveaways!

xo, Breanne

Going Adventuring

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I have the travel bug. I love a good road trip, just myself in a car with a cup of coffee, some great music, and a friend at the other end of the road. I love to hop on a plane, lifting into the air and defying gravity to reach a distant destination.

In just over a month, I’m hopping on a plane again, this time for my first international trip: Nicaragua! I’ll be traveling with a group from my church, through an organization called Hope Road Nicaragua. To be honest, I don’t know exactly what the trip holds, but I do know that God has placed an overwhelming excitement in my heart for the work He’s going to do in my life and in the lives of those on my team through this trip.
Flag-map of NicaraguaOver the past year or so, I’ve been wrestling with this concept of “enough.” Enough stuff. Enough time commitments. Enough talk. What does it mean to have enough? What is that line between “enough” and a distracting overabundance? And what does it look like when I live as though God is truly enough. When my possessions and commitments take second place to this God that, in words, I place at the top, but I remain distracted by the rest.

I don’t know what to expect from Nicaragua, but God’s been whispering to me: “I’m enough.” He’s enough when I, a person who likes to be in control of my environment and situations, enter into a week of little control. He’s enough when I barely speak the language. He’s enough when my heart is breaking for the poverty I face.

But. He’s also enough when I see the exuberance on the faces of the worshiping believers in the Nicaragua churches. He’s enough when I play with a child in an orphanage, and that child smiles, knowing she’s recognized, she’s loved. He’s enough when He provides strength and joy and peace.

This trip and what I do while I’m in Nicaragua is not about me. Not in the least bit. Part of my desire to join this trip came from a desire for the Lord to shake me out of my complacency. Shake me up and leave me changed and vibrant in Your spirit and power. I’ve been reading Jen Hatmaker’s Interrupted: When Jesus Wrecks Your Comfortable Christianity, and she begins with a similar request: “Raise up in me a holy passion.” Take me from complacency to an urgent purpose. I can’t begin to tell you about this book in a side note of this post, so I’ll post about it later. Just know that a comfortable Christianity isn’t the goal, and although the idea makes me a bit nervous–I’m an air-conditioning, hot showers, and ice-no-lemon-in-my-water-thanks kinda girl–I’m ready for God to banish the frivolity that so easily entangles me and capture my heart anew.

I know i don’t have to go to Nicaragua for that to happen, but sometimes for me, a jolt in my routine is helpful to shift my perspective.

I don’t know what to expect from Nicaragua, but I know I can expect my God to be enough.

And I’m so excited that I literally did a happy dance in the middle of work the other day. No joke.

Stick around and adventure with me, won’t you?

xo, Breanne

ps: you have two more days to enter my birthday giveaway! Don’t miss out!!!

It’s present time! A giveaway!

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When it comes to birthdays, I’m always six years old, unable to contain my enthusiasm and excitement. Even on other people’s birthdays, I can’t wait to celebrate with them, to wrap up a super special gift and see their reaction when they open it. We celebrated my birthday this week, and it was a supremely beautiful day. I felt so loved! But now I want to give two of you a present, because I just love presents! But read on: you don’t have to wait until it arrives to find out what is inside.

I’ve gathered a few of my favorite goodies for a lucky reader just to spread the excitement of birthdays, and to say thanks for reading!


Here are the prizes:

  • A small gold owl necklace
    • I picked this up months ago just for this giveaway. I have valiantly resisted the urge to wear it myself 😉
  • A set of stationary
    • I have an obsession with pretty cards, so I’m raiding my stash and sharing with you! Whether you’re saying thank you or saying hi, there’s nothing that will brighten the day for your friends and family more than a handwritten note from you on darling stationary!
  • Two “Seeds of Happiness” figurines and two cards explaining their story
    • A “smile” for you, and one to pass on when you encounter someone who needs some cheering up. These are little smiles, originally made by an artist who formed them for his friends from leftover scraps of clay. Now they spread joy all over the world.
  • Jamberry accent Nail Wrap
    • I have been loving these nail wraps. They are similar to a sticker that you adhere with heat (like a blow dryer), but they last forever. And by “forever” I meant up to two weeks on your nails and several weeks on your toes. Plus they’re just plain adorable in 300+ styles. New styles come out September 1, and I can’t wait. Check them out here. And visit the Facebook page of my awesome consultant, Katrina! She’s super sweet and will answer any and all of your Jam-related questions. [No, this is not a sponsored post–I receive nothing but joy for sharing the link with you ;)]
  • Compassion International t-shirt
    • If you’ve browsed around my blog at all, you’ll know how much I love Compassion International’s ministry of releasing children from spiritual, physical, and emotional poverty through hope in the name of Jesus. Wear this t-shirt to remind you to pray for the children in the world who desperately need to hear the Gospel of Jesus.
    • *M-XL available

Here’s how you enter: use the Rafflecopter widget below to earn entries; contest is open through midnight, EST, on September 6th, 2014. One winner will be randomly chosen September 8th and announced on the blog. If you refer a friend, tell them to comment with your first name, last initial, and the person who refers the most friends will earn a surprise as well! Winners will have one week to claim their prizes!

Happy entering, friends! And thanks for reading. I love you for it.

(EDIT: This contest has ended! Thanks for playing!)

Click here to enter! It’s easiest in a new tab 🙂

*Due to shipping costs, giveaway is open to US residents only.

You did it! Now go eat a cupcake. Dessert is a must on birthdays.

xo, Breanne

Edited added 9/4: Make sure you are leaving a comment when you “complete” that entry in the Rafflecopter! I will be checking 🙂 And make sure you enter the Rafflecopter when you leave a comment. If you don’t do both, your entry won’t count! And I want you all to get all your entries in! If you did leave a comment, and it’s not showing up now, try again or email me at truthnsprinkles@gmail.com–I’ve approved all comments on the post, so far.

What are we busy about?

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Summer has been a time for soaking.

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Mountain retreat (“The North Mountain,” according to my 4-year-old cousin, enthralled with Frozen)

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noticing the little things

Soaking in family time, with an extended-family vacation in the mountains. Five days of enjoying the views, the pool, and a (mainly) schedule free time with 28 of my favorite people. (But we missed you, W.) Recently, we celebrated my Great-Grandpa’s 99th birthday. He’s such a blessing. Soaking in outdoor concerts, movies, and downtime with family and friends. This summer’s weather, staying mostly in the mid-to-high-70s, has been divine. I’d take this year round—crisp in the morning, warm with breezes in the afternoon, then cool, lovely evenings, staying light late enough to make an evening out feel like it can last forever.

Soaking in weddings. Lots of weddings! I’m in that stage of life when my friends are finding their someones, when I am honored to be there and celebrate this step into a new stage of life. I love that each wedding is so unique, so representative of the special people we celebrate. I’ve attended ceremonies at college campus chapels and country churches, and I’ve celebrated from afar ceremonies when I couldn’t travel to their destination. My next few months still hold three more ceremonies, a few more hometown receptions for out-of-state weddings, and bridal showers—it’s a good thing weddings are such fun events!

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I love Indiana summers in the country.

Soaking in the opportunities with friends. A weekend reunited with college friends (and how utterly relaxing was that weekend!). A new friend met at small group, an evening out putt-putting…every moment is an opportunity. I’ve tried to focus on each and every interaction, building relationships and enjoying the beauty of each person’s story.  Life has been busy, but in the business, I’ve been focusing on slowing down. What good is activity if no memories are gained from the place-to-place-to-place fun?

Henry David Thoreau wrote, “It is not enough to be busy. So are the ants. The question is: What are we busy about?” So that’s my question for myself each week: What am I busy about? Am I busy for the sake of busy? Or am I investing and soaking in the moments with those I’m blessed to be around?

I’m also in the midst of planning for a super-exciting opportunity this fall—watch for a post about that soon! Here’s a hint: I recently applied for (and received) my passport—I’ve been itching to hop on a plane ever since.

What are you busy about this summer?

When a child shows up in your mailbox….

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Several weeks ago, I went through a training session to become a Child Advocate with Compassion International. According to Compassion’s website, a Child Advocate is “one that pleads the cause of another, specifically at Compassion, one that pleads the cause of children in need around the world” (source). I spent some time on the phone with a sweet woman, and we chatted about Compassion’s mission and methods, some history of the organization, the resources I have available to me, and opportunities I have to volunteer with the organization. A few days later, I received an advocate welcome package in the mail that contained brochures, pamphlets, a newsletter, and how-to information to further equip me to encourage people toward (and in) child sponsorship.

But I was most excited about the child packet. This is Juma.

ImageI have the opportunity to advocate on Juma’s behalf. I could list facts, but facts are dry. As I’ve been praying about Juma and for his future sponsor, I thought about what drew me to sponsorship. When I encountered the little girl sponsored by my church, I realized this was a real child. While I knew that, did I really know before? Before, she was a picture. All the kids on the site were merely pictures to me. But then we had relationship.

I thought how much easier it would be to find a sponsor for Juma if he were here beside me. If we could see his bright smile that I know is somewhere behind the squinty eyes we see from his bright picture day expression.

Imagine a conversation with him as he tells you of his single mother, of his household responsibility of taking care of his sibling. Then, as little boys do, he’d get distracted and go running into the backyard to play soccer with your kids. He loves soccer. And hide-and-seek.

How would he react if he came to church with us? He’d share with us how his church is, perhaps different, but we’re all worshiping our same Father God. What about when he joined in the fun of my children’s church class, perfect, as he is in kindergarten like some of my students. I know my students would enjoy having a new friend.

Maybe we’d celebrate his birthday early, as his birthday isn’t until August 21, just a few days before mine! But any excuse for a party now.

Most adults in his community are unemployed, but Juma’s mother sometimes finds work as a laborer, which would earn her an equivalent of $18 a month.

I wish Juma could be here for you to meet, but if his story has touched you, contact me about sponsoring him and beginning a conversation through letters.

Poverty tells a child, “You have no worth.” Be the hands of Jesus and pour Truth into Juma’s heart. Tell him, “You are beloved. You are special. You have what it takes, and Jesus will never leave you.”

If you’re interested in sponsoring Juma, leave a comment or email me at truthnsprinkles(at)gmail(dot)com. I have his packet until March 28th. If you want to help but can’t manage a child sponsorship, share this post and his story. Here are some other children available from the same project as Juma.

#loveyourselfie (and the selfies around you)

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A few weeks ago, the TODAY show did a week-long series called #loveyourselfie. The promos…left me skeptical–do we really need more selfies floating around social media? When I watched, the series focused on being comfortable in ones own skin, an important, but often discussed, topic. (See some articles and clips here.)

The one installment I was able to watch one morning before work left me thinking, though. In the spot I saw, the anchors shared something they struggled with when they were growing up. Weight. Height. Hair. Skin. Teeth. Common, easy-to-relate-to topics.

I watched them, and I heard my friends in their comments. And I thought of my friends who have made comments about themselves that leave me shaking my head, thinking, “Why can’t you see that people don’t notice that?” Those who matter don’t notice if your hair doesn’t look like you thought it would. They don’t notice the wrinkle in your shirt. The crooked tooth. Extra weight.

They see you. You are beautiful.

I can honestly say that I don’t have a single friend that I can’t see beauty within. They’ll tell you you aren’t beautiful. They’ll fuss and protest. But I look at them and see a beautiful smile. Sparkling eyes. Luxurious hair. They’re gorgeous! All of them! (Guys, you’re beautiful too.) I am convinced that they’re all lovely.

But I look in the mirror in the morning, and I see faults.

A couple months ago, a customer smiled at me and said, “You should be a hand model!” And I blushed and laughed and thanked her. I’d never thought my hands were pretty. I always thought my fingers were stumpy, and that day, my nail polish was chipped. But I was touched by the compliment.

It also made me think. It’s easy to compliment someone’s top, nail polish, necklace. Any compliment is going to bring a smile to someone’s face, but can my words make a difference if I focused in on people, not just their clothes?

Is it stronger when I say, “You have a beautiful smile,” rather than, “I love your bracelet!”

Will a compliment mean more when I tell a friend, “I appreciate how thoughtful you have been,” rather than, “Cute dress!”

There’s nothing wrong with appreciating a fun sweater or bright nails, but the comments I remember are the ones that are about me, not my clothes.

So I’m making a conscious effort to focus on the beautiful in those around me and tell them so.

Because y’all are beautiful. Seriously.

xo, Breanne

In the comments, share a compliment you never forgot! And join with me in an effort to tell someone they’re beautiful (and be specific!).