Letter #641: Anonymously Thankful

Dear anonymous donor,

Words won’t even begin to express my gratitude for your generous gift. I had no idea how funding my trip to Africa was going to happen, but I took one step of faith, signed up and trusted the details would follow. Your donation not only helped make me visiting Zambia possible, but it also has been used in a huge way to show me God’s faithfulness.

About a year ago, the phrase “immeasurably more’ entered my world. I have watched more than I could ever have asked or imagined happen before my eyes. You made it happen.

I will never forget the moment I received the news. I was driving to Oklahoma State’s Homecoming. My mom happened to be in the car with me and we were waiting for my dad in a Tulsa parking lot. I hadn’t checked my phone for a couple hours because a cell phone even being within reach while driving with my mom in the car is an unforgivable offense! I opened my email to find a late afternoon note from the Dream Camp coordinator entitled “Good News.’ I figured it had to do with the Gospel, but instead I opened to find this.

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Dazed. Confused. Speechless. Awestruck. You name it, I was experiencing it. After a few moments of silence, my mom noticed the shock in my face and asked what was wrong. All I could do was hand her the phone.

The craziest thing about this whole story is that I have ZERO idea how you even knew I was going and then figured out how to donate. You see, I haven’t personally told a ton of people about my trip. Not because I don’t want to, but mostly because I’ve been traveling and haven’t had extended conversations with too many folks lately. Yes, I wrote a blog post about going, but it never asked for anything. It barely even gave details. There was one link at the very bottom directing folks to be able to see a little bit more about Dream Camp but that was it.

I say this to say, you were determined. You did your homework to figure out how to donate. Nothing that I have said or put out in public gave specific direction. It would make sense for me to receive money if I had asked people for donations. I haven’t.

You are a catalyst to how the Lord is showing me how He will do immeasurably more than anything I could’ve ever asked or imagined. Never in my wildest dreams could I have come up with this scenario. I really did believe the Lord would provide, but I did not know how. I sure didn’t foresee this coming.

I decided to go to Africa about six weeks ago. It was one step, one I didn’t know what the following would look like. Your generosity has stretched my faith in ways I can never express. How many times have I failed to take the first step out of fear and lack of trust? How many times have I missed watching the Lord’s provision and Him doing immeasurably more in and through me because of it?

Thank you. Thank you for your financial contribution. For making my trip a reality. Most importantly, thank you for allowing the Lord to use you to grow my faith, trust and obedience to our God.

I will never be able to thank you adequately, but may the Lord bless you as you bless others in His name,

Lindsay

***A story I couldn’t begin to make up. I wrote this in an attempt to express my thankfulness and sent it to the Dream Camp coordinator to pass on to the donor. This story was too good not to share and Thanksgiving seemed the perfectly fitting time. More than 60% of a nearly $5,000 step of faith provided by someone I can’t even thank in person. God is so much bigger than I remotely give Him credit for. I’m excited to continue working toward as well as watching Him provide the other 40%. Here’s more info on where I’m going, Family Legacy’s Dream Camp.***

Letter #448: Thank You!

Dear Letters for Lindsay,

448. Whew, that’s A LOT of writing. Sometimes you’re full of pictures and documentation of adventures. Sometimes you’re a lengthy post I’ve been thinking about for days and if I’m really on the ball even weeks. Sometimes you’re a very flippant, I have no idea what to write about today, post. I don’t always know what direction you’re going to go, but you’re always an adventure. You’re always either really fun to write, have a great lesson I need to learn in store for me or simply continue to allow me to walk in consistency and discipline. Regardless of how the post originates, you always end up being good for me. My favorite is when you surprise me. A post I think was horrendous ends up being the one that’s retweeted or commented on the most. Vice versa, ones I think are my best have the least views.

You are tricky, unpredictable and just happen to be one of my favorite pursuits in life. I genuinely write for myself more than anything or anyone else. You allow me to process in ways I never could otherwise. You facilitate conversation with family, friends and strangers that would never happen otherwise. You’ve allowed me to discover the love I have for writing.

The craziest thing has happened though. People read. People choose to read you! Not tons of people, but more people than I ever dreamed. Heck, I would’ve been happy if only my immediate family took part. They’d see a side of me they’d never see otherwise, and I still reap all the benefits of writing.

But people read you. I am blown away by this fact. I’m humbled by this. Just this week, a sweet lady introduced herself to me at church informing me she had become a frequent reader after seeing you linked to a mutual friend’s blog. This was surreal. Someone I had never met was reading my blog which turned into an introduction and will hopefully only continue to develop a friendship. Mind-blowing. Then in a meeting yesterday I was informed my blog was referenced in another meeting where I wasn’t involved. Daily, I am baffled.

Today, I’d like to take a minute to say thanks to our readers. The comments, emails, conversations and laughs you’ve facilitated make this more fun than it would ever be on my own. You guys challenge me and keep my on my toes. Thanks for caring, for taking time out of your busy schedules to read along with me through this journey called life. I have no idea where this blog of mine is headed, but please know this community that’s been developed holds a special place in my heart. If there’s ever anything I can do for you guys, do not hesitate to let me know.

Here’s to the future starting with a great weekend,

Your author

Letter #408: Thanksgiving Regardless

Dear Thanksgiving,

I’ve said it before, but I am a huge fan of you! I love everything you stand for…well except maybe gluttony! Besides the fact that Christmas and Black Friday do everything in their power to overshadow you, you are one of the few holidays left that hasn’t been completely commercialized. You have the ability to truly be engrossed in fellowship with family and friends without all the hubbub of presents. You also are one day we actually stop to consider all we have been blessed with and all we have to be grateful for. You are a great day!!!

On September 24th of this year, I began traveling for my job. I’m convinced I’ve been asked how I’m doing more in the last two months than my entire life combined. Maybe I’ve just been more aware. I hate surface answers to questions like these, so I started truly processing how I was doing. My answer has evolved into me being in a season of thankfulness. This season began far before you showed up which is the best part.

I’m thankful for the people in my life. For my job…for having one and for what I get to do. For traveling the country, seeing friends all over and getting to interview college girls while hearing their stories and challenging and encouraging them. For how I am being invested in by the people surrounding me. For how much I’m learning in every aspect of my life. For my health. For Christ and the fact that He plucked me out of my sinfulness and saved me from the eternal hell I deserve. For grace.

I could go on and on, but the best part of being in the middle of this season of thankfulness is that I’m in it without things being perfect. Reality: things will never be perfect, but we want them to be. The reality is I have zero stability in my life. I live in Branson, the Mecca of elderly tourism, and between camp in the summer and traveling in the fall I really only live there for six months a year. Naturally community’s a challenge. I also have no idea what my life looks like after summer. Zero stability.

None of that matters though. Thankfulness is still the word I would use to describe this season of life. I’m not quite sure I can explain how I’ve put aside the imperfections to achieve this, but I think as believers this is how we are to operate. “In everything give thanks, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” 1 Thess. 5:18

May this sense of thankfulness remain regardless of circumstance,

Thanksgiving lover

P.S. How precious is the fall scene in Mama and Papa Roth’s yard?! Wouldn’t be Thanksgiving without the wooden pilgrims!!