sweet friends. today i am so excited to share with you something bigger than just Oak + Oats! i want to share with you a place to be INVOLVED. as i have been reading though the Bible following along with the Naptime Diaries journal, i have been prompted on what it means to be a generous giver and liver. yes, i can give my money when the need arises but DEEPER than that – like how do i love each moment being generous, in my praise, in my actions, in my love, in my time, in my dedication on a work project… living generously!
when my dear friend Lieah talked to me about her upcoming Silent Auction that she was helping organize, i knew it was something i wanted to be a part of with her! i am going to let Leiah share with you a little bit about her heart and what she does for a living AND (this is the scary part) i wanted to ask you to be a part of it with us!
Tell us a little bit about yourself:
Hi, my name is Leiah Nicholson and I live in Denver, Colorado. I am so excited share on Beth’s beautiful blog and to introduce you to the non-profit that I work for, Youth for Christ Denver. I know I live in CO, but unlike Beth, I am not a CO native, I grew up in Dallas, Texas. I have a twin named, Lauren, and an older sister named, Lindsey. Our story started off a little different than most but at the same time, similar to so many… when I was 16 months old, my parents got divorced, and my grandparents started to raise my sisters and me. Growing up, and still to this day, my grandparents are my parents. They are beautiful and wonderful! They have such big hearts that love and serve others! I was truly blessed to be raised by them. Growing up though, I always carried around a weight of being unlovable and unwanted. I thought: “If my own parents wouldn’t want me, why would anyone else?”
Going away for college was wonderful for me because God moved in my life in amazing ways while I was there! You might think that I love big cities being from Dallas… Eh, not so much! I tried to escape the big city and I chose a small college in a small town – Siloam Springs, AR (home to 16,000 people). There, I attended John Brown University. That is also where Beth went and that’s where we met! I quickly got close to Beth and all her friends, and basically started living in their dorm room. I just visited one day, and then stayed. It was pretty great. Becoming friends with Beth was one of the best parts of college. She loves to laugh, go on adventures, send mail, and be creative. She also loves others so deeply but most of all she loves Jesus! Her heart for Him and others is SO BIG!
In college, the Lord showed me that I am truly loved – by HIM. He gave me beautiful friends to speak love and truth into my life and He also gave me my husband who God used to redeem a lot of the pain and hurt I held deep inside. My husband’s name is Marshall, and he’s just the best! He loves God and others, and truly can talk to anyone. His heart doesn’t categorize, he cares about everybody! He loves to give (time, money…), to serve, be outdoor, the Broncos (!!), and his family. He’s a quality guy and I’m so thankful for him.
Tell us a little bit about your job, and why you do what you do:
As I mentioned above, I work at a non-profit in Denver called, Youth for Christ (Which, started in the 1940’s, and Billy Graham was the first full time staff member! Can you believe it?!) Last August, I was looking for a job that would allow me serve God and to minister to kids and youth of abuse, neglect, and abandonment. At that same time, YFC Denver started a new partnership with another non-profit in Denver, Shiloh House. So, I got connected to YFC at the same time they were starting this new partnership. And (what do you know.. ) Shiloh House works for children and youth in the foster care system. The kids, some as young as 6, and youth that they work with, have repeatedly been told “You’re not worth it,” and they have had countless people walk out on them. These kiddos pull at my heart because a little part of me understands those deep feelings of complete rejection and worthlessness. You see, the pain and hurt I felt has been transformed to be used for good… to share with others just how much they are loved! God gave me a desire to reach out to those kids! to let them know… “You are worth it.” “You are so loved.”
How can we get involved?
April 26th, YFC is hosting their 4th Annual Auction, and I was wondering if you, or if you know others, that would like to get involved and donate items to the auction. I’m needing to find 3 to 4 items under $50, and 3 to 4 items at or over $100 (for more information read this letter). If the Lord has laid it on your heart to give something from your shop or join in with some friends to purchase something unique for the event, I encourage you to follow through with that leading. You can fill out your information here! If you have ideas, and are unsure if they would work, please text, call or email me (all my information is bellow!) I’d love to connect, and answer any questions you have! All donations are tax deductible!
I feel so honored and blessed to have the opportunity to share a little of my story and what God is doing in Denver with YFC with you! Blessings to you!
because i believe in this ministry, i will give $5 to the silent auction for each item donated by one of you! if you do not have a shop or something to donate, i encourage you to give! maybe we can pull all our money to buy something great for the auction like a Naptime Diaries canvas! let Leiah know that you heard about the Silent Auction through Oak + Oats and she will let me know how many donations came in! PLEASE consider donating one of your handmade goodies to bless LIVES! and grow your shop’s reach by being placed in front of donors who may be hearing of you and your products for the first time! take advantage of this opportunity and other opportunities the Lord places in front of you to live generously. and thank YOU for inspiring me daily to follow Christ with my whole heart! this community has blessed me more than you can ever know!
HERE IS LEIAH’S INFORMATION: