All The Fairy Gave Her

Today I came home and I noticed my daughter rush into her room frantically. This happens every so often, so I did not think much of it. Then not long after I walked into the kitchen and found this on my counter….

…four small baggies, with money divided up in them. One baggie said “church”, one said “Hatti”, another said “poor pepole” and the last said “jump for heart” (something the kids are doing in gym class “because there are people that cannot walk because their hearts are not working right”). While I was glancing at these Cayden walked by. She told me that she used all her tooth fairy money and is going to give it to these different places. I asked her what made her want to do this. She said

“I was sitting in school today and I realized I have so much, so I want to give all the money I have to help others that don’t have as much as me”.

I was blown away, this little 6 year old, MY little 6 year old was giving all she had for the good of others. I think I will just hold on to this moment for a while.

1 John 4:7  Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God.


One of Many…

When we moved to Orlando we hardly knew anyone. We had met Abigail on one of our many visits prior to moving. When Cayden and Abi get together they are unstoppable.

When we moved down here Abigail was Cayden’s lifesaver, and still she helps Cayden not be so lonely during this transition time.

Abigail has one brother, (Jacob age 3), an amazing mom (Tammy), and a pretty special dad Wilson.

When Jacob was one week old and Abigail only 3, Wilson had to return to Haiti and they have worked ever since to get him home. Tammy has been raising her children on her own, talking to Wilson as often as they can. The thing I love the most is the love his children have for him and it is clear, that while he is miles away, he is still as involved as he can be. They respect him and oh how they miss him so much. Their story is incredible, and heartbreaking, yet they make the best of the situation. In fact, Wilson spends most of his time helping out at a local church, telling others of the love that God has for them.

You can only imagine the devastation that they felt, when they learned of the earthquake. Especially since the area that Wilson and his family live was one of the hardest hit. Immediately we couldn’t help fear the worst, but Tammy learned soon after through a text that Wilson was fine…as fine as you can be, seeing all that he had. Tammy tried every 30 minutes for the next two days to call, even sleeping with the phone in her hand, and continued to get no answer. Then she finally heard from Wilson today. Everything his family has is gone, but everyone in his family, by the grace of God is alive.  They are sleeping on the streets, because EVERYTHING around him is destroyed. Wilson and his family are spending the days pulling bodies out of the rubble. Knowing that they have many months of rebuilding and restoring what was once their’s. Unfortunately their story is bright compared to most, if you can even call it that, since they have their family, but in reality the entire situation is very very heartbreaking.

Wilson has his job cut out for him. Not only will he be rebuilding his house, but he will be helping the community. One of the greatest things Wilson has is his belief in Jesus and the hope He finds in Him. He has the power to us this hope to tell others of him. He is going to need help though. Through prayer and people who feel led to help him restore what is around him and help with his necessities to live.  Tonight I am sitting in a home that is warm, and filled with the smell of fresh baked muffins and Wilson and his family are laying on rock wondering what or who they will find under the piles of the debris that lay around them. This is his reality. He cannot escape it, he can only hold on to what is left. They are one of many just like this.

As far as Jacob and Abigail. Well, Abigail tells me that she cries sometimes, but she is so thankful that Jesus kept her daddy safe. Tammy shelters her from much of the reality. This little family. This family who has been so wonderful to my family, needs us to pray for them and think of them, and if possible love on them.

If your reading this please pray for his family. If you want give to this family, Tammy lives down the road from me. Any money that she receives she is sending straight to her family in Haiti for food, water and any living necessities. Not only will they use it to help themselves but Wilson will also use it to help others near him. It doesn’t have to only be money, any kind of letter of encouragement to Tammy I’m sure, would be much appreciated. If you have your own kids safe at home,  it would mean so much if your children might send Abigail and Jacob a note, letting them know you are thinking of their family.

If you wish send it to:

Tandy Grandstaff

c/o Tammy Joseph

8507 Lake Waverly Lane

Orlando, FL 32829

Genesis Church is also going to be doing something for Haiti in the near future. Tim is very serious about helping those less fortunate. I will have more information on that soon. There is also an organization that is currently gathering donations of water and food to head down immediately to Haiti. Go to Gleaning for The World for more information.

This is the time that we can help. We may not be able to fly to Haiti or give millions of dollars to restore an entire community, but do what you can to help. If it means stretching yourself or reaching out of your comfort zone, do it. I promise it will be worth it. In the mean time, if anything, pray for Haiti.

Because you can…

Of all the friends my son could choose, God gave him Elvis. Yes Elvis. We love Elvis. Elvis is funny. He thinks Cobe is the greatest and Cobe loves Elvis. One thing I noticed about Elvis, is that every day his tia (aunt) rides to school on a 20 inch bike  and picks Elvis up. She puts him on the back of the bike (standing on the bmx pegs) and bikes him home. Then she bikes back by the house a few minutes later and picks up Elvis’ little brother Nani from preschool. Every day.

This week in Florida, it has been cold. Not cold for Minnesota, but cold for Florida. In fact it has not been this cold since 1999 (we might even get snow flurries on Saturday). Yesterday I ran into Elvis’ aunt (SuSu) on the way back to my car after grabbing my kids, and three of their friends. Elvis let me know that his aunts bike was broke. She doesn’t speak perfect English, and I know she has some hearing difficulty (especially since I talk so fast). She let me know that as soon as her husband could he would fix it. So of course I offered her a ride. We chatted on the way home from school. I found out that no one in her family drives except her sister who works full time trying to raise her boys. So SuSu’s only transportation is her bike. It is the only way she can pick her sisters boys up and do her part in helping her family. I dropped her off and told her that tomorrow she could ride home again with me if she needed to.

Today she came walking up to me at school. Her husband had been working extra hours and had not had time to fix her bike. She laughed telling me how she tried to fix it and cut herself because she has no idea what she is doing. So she hitched a ride again and we chatted the whole way home. I don’t always understand everything she says and I am sure she thinks I am the fastest English speaking person that exists, but we chat it up.

I was suppose to get a bike for Christmas. Correction. I did get a bike from my husband, we just had not purchased it yet. I would love a bike, but I don’t absolutely NEED a bike (I have a super sexy white mini van that gets me to and from….don’t be hatin’). So tonight we went to Walmart and found the coolest bike with pegs we could find. We bought a girly seat with flowers to give it a feminine touch and woke my kids (they just fell asleep) up to walk this bike to Susu.

Now I don’t like to write God’s story. I have tried to do that too many times and have been sorely disappointed. Not long ago I prayed that God would bring a spanish speaking family into our lives. Simply to create a relationship with so that we could learn Spanish…even if just a little. It’s kind of secretly been a want of mine for a long time, don’t really know why. Tonight I met Elvis’ family. His mom works super hard at a pediatric office. She is pregnant with her fourth boy. His dad is in Alabama working right now. He leaves for work, because there is none in Orlando. Right now he is at a military base working on houses there. His older brother speaks the most Spanish out of all the boys, and his little brother is shy. His aunt Susu almost cried when she saw her bike tonight. She has a little boy who is one. We spent almost 30 minutes talking while Elvis lit up the Christmas tree and our pajama wearing kids went throughout the house.  Tomorrow Elvis is coming over and I am going to work with him on his reading so he can pass the second grade. I cannot wait!

I don’t write ANY of this to toot my own horn or to point out how amazing the Grandstaff’s are (even though I think my family is great). I write this to point out that we are called to love. Everywhere we go there are people who need help. People who need more than we need. All you have to do is look around you. It may be a neighbor or a store clerk. It might be as simple as bringing kids (who are not your own) to school….JUST BECAUSE YOU CAN. It might be buying groceries for the family down the street or paying for someone’s heater to get fixed because right now their heater is broken and they have no money to fix it, and it’s cold. I know of a family who bought a family a Christmas tree accompanied by presents because they had nothing for Christmas.

You may not have the money to do big things (if I could only tell you the financial fun we have going on this month) but buying a bike, or paying for gas, or giving a homeless man a lunch, or even buying the elderly lady’s breakfast at Cracker Barrel, It’s all what being called to love is all about. It’s what we are suppose to do. It’s what living a life that God truly intended for us is all about. Man it feels so good.

I will get my bike. It won’t be long. I am not worried because I traded that, temporarily, for something bigger. The chance to love, that, money cannot buy.

I am begging, pleading, insisting that if you are reading this just try one time doing one “act of love” for someone. Ask God to show you how and see what happens. One small act may lead to a life changing experience.