One Year & a Giveaway

Tomorrow marks the beginning of this journey I know as Evangitality.  I remember sitting on my deck on a beautiful summer day with laptop in hand and fingers typing away.  I had an idea of where I wanted to head, but I’ve made a point to try out new paths along the way.  My first post began with destroying the Supermom image, while others followed with recipes, meanderings, trials & joys and stories to share.

Life has been busy in our household these past couple weeks.  Our oldest daughter V has been going to various doctor appointments to figure out what is limiting her ability to blossom.  I not only want to share fun stories, yummy food and ways to extend hospitality, but take you with me on my life’s journey.  And I hope that my story, my journey might shed light onto who I am, but more importantly, help you realize that whatever it is we build up as our idea of perfect is usually not the case.  I know when we share our story it redeems our past and gives hope for our future–it makes us human.

My little girl entered this world with different “things” that I always wondered if they were just me being paranoid mama or real “issues.”  I wanted that first month of her life to hurry and finish itself out.  There are moms who have loved being a mom from the get go, but I wasn’t one of them.  I loved my daughter dearly, but a lifetime of fear & anxiety shows its ugly head with greatness in postpartum.  Boy, did I feel it.  Nursing was difficult.  She wasn’t gaining weight adequately from 2 months to 4 months to 6 months she gained about three pounds.  At the beginning, her inadequacies were absorbed by me–making me think it was a direct result of me as her mom.

Fast forward to late walking, little comments by the doctor, feelings of inadequacy, reading into someone’s comments about her (or lack thereof) and at times comparing her to other kids wondering why she weren’t more like so and so.  I would become defensive when acquaintances would heap praises on a friend’s child while my little girl seemed to go left unnoticed.  But what was worse, I realized that I wasn’t looking at her for who she was created to be.  I was looking at all the weaknesses; rather, than the strengths.

God has been working on my own insecurities and heart these past three and half years more than any other time in my life.  I have cried and asked forgiveness for not loving her like God does.  When I think about the true heart of hospitality (as I’ve said before), its loving the person unconditionally, because God created them in his perfect image.  My little girl, well, she’s amazing.  My intuition of something not being quite right was right.  We’ve had her evaluated for speech therapy, physical therapy & to get orthotics.  The speech therapist said she was fine, just a little oral motor discrepancy.  The physical therapist said she needed some orthotics for her ankles to correct her posture & strengthen her ankles.  She also said she has low muscle tone & possibly a sensory processing disorder with hyposensitivity with proprioception.  What does all that mean?

It means I have a healthy girl, who has a little catching up to do with gross & fine motor.  She has to wear braces 8+ hours a day anywhere from 6 months to a year or longer.  That she needs daily exercises to strengthen her core & give input to her senses.  For me, there are days when I jump ahead and wonder if it will ever get better?  Will she wear braces for the rest of her life?  Will she be able to fit in with others, etc?  Yet, it’s also like finding the missing pieces to a puzzle you’ve been trying to figure out for a couple years.  It brings hope & clarity.  With her oral motor, it’s hard for her to do sucking & blowing, which helped me realize that as a baby she wasn’t gaining in those months, because she couldn’t suck adequately as a nursing baby.  When she was still having difficulty walking up & downstairs at three years of age, it made sense once we realized her weak ankles & low muscle tone in her core.

I’ve sat down to write a couple of times to put up a new post, but haven’t had the energy to finish my thoughts.  Yesterday, I was listening to a story about a little girl, Naomi, who attended a camp for children who are neglected & abused.  She had gone from 2005-2009.  Her first year she didn’t want to participate in any activity or with anyone.  She was broken and didn’t know her full worth or capability.  The story ended with her in her final summer of camp seeing another little girl on the fringe.  Naomi went to her and said, “Would you like to play the game?”  The girl shook her head “no.”  Naomi went on to say, “It’s okay, you don’t have to play.  I’ll just sit here with you.  You know, I was just like you.  I didn’t want to participate or talk with anyone either.  But, then I found out I was worth something and I’m here this summer to help you know that you’re worth something too.”

After V’s second physical therapy appointment, I saw a new little girl.  She had a confidence & energy about her.  It was as if I saw for the first time my daughter blossom into who she truly was & has been designed to be.

We all have stories and the only way to give them life is by speaking them.  As I think about what this blog has become and what I want it to be, I’ve realized a couple of things.  I don’t really care about getting high traffic.  I do love comments, because it gives me input and direction; plus, affirmation is a way to my heart.  I also want to invoke the heart of genuine hospitality in others.

So, I want to celebrate a first year by doing a giveaway.  The thing about it is, if you want to enter, you need to share a story.  I’ll be giving away a copy of one of my all time favorite cookbooks, The Cake Bible by Rose Levy Bernabaum.  It’s basically the go to book on baking & decorating all types of cakes.  She covers butter, genoise, sponge, & cheesecakes; as well as, ganache, buttercreams, homemade fondant, & fillings.  It’s hands down a must for your baking library.

How to Win

Everyone has four chances to win.

1. Comment by sharing a story of how you’ve extended hospitality (evangitality) or someone has extended it to you.

2. Comment by answering the following: If you’re an introvert, how is being hospitable difficult or easy?  If you’re an extrovert, how is being hospitable difficult or easy?

3. Comment by referring someone to evangitality that you think would enjoy or benefit, then post their name here.

4. Comment by answering the following: What type of posts would you like me to explore in the realm of hospitality?  Other thoughts or comments.

This giveaway will end July 10 at 7:00pm Pacific Time. Free Give Away is Closed.

Winner will be announced July 11th.

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About Kamille

daughter of the most high.wife.mother. sister.daughter.aunt.friend.baker. culinary seeker.singer.storyteller. hospitality giver.foodie View all posts by Kamille

36 responses to “One Year & a Giveaway

  • shelley

    Saw the cute foot braces on Sunday, and Veronica was SO proud of them. Way to go mama!!! You know your girl:) Keep up the good work. I love your blog. You’re great at it, and I can tell you like to do this. I RARELY read blogs:) But I do check yours from time to time and enjoy it so much:) Thanks for sharing!

    • Kamille

      Shelley–I’m so glad you’re there on Sundays to see my girl, rally her & bring out the good in her. It takes a village right! Thanks for sharing in this little community online too:)

  • mfm

    What a lucky lucky girl, to have a mama like you, who will embrace the challenge, and grow in love , strength, and tenderness,
    …..and will discover a silver lining
    that outshines the clouds.
    What a lovely post,Kamille, of the testament of God’s abiding presence with us on our jouney through life.
    I can tell you know He is right next to you.
    Blessings, dear friend, for what’s ahead, reach out and hold on.As you look back the path will be sprinkled with gold dust.

    • Tim and Lindsey

      My story, really isn’t much of a story, but a childhood example. Growing up my parents were continually hospitable. If someone we knew needed something, my dad would change his plans or make plans to help them out. My dad is really handy around the house and mechanically. He would have a constant project around the house or would be working on our cars. My mom always loved to throw a party. Looking back on it, I see not only the social aspect, but the community connection importance. Everybody wants to belong to a group or a community. My parents put plans in place and covered all the details to make others feel welcome and that they were important. Now, having a family and belonging to a community, I see all the background work that goes into being hospitable. Sometimes it’s hard work, sometimes you have to put yourself out there when you don’t feel like it, sometimes it’s an inconvenience to your everyday life, but it’s worth it. It’s worth it to seek that individual out and let them know they belong to a community.

      • Tim and Lindsey

        I want to recommend Ellen (her blog is lapuremama.com). She loves to cook and loves to be hospitable. She’s also a fellow B’hammer.

      • Tim and Lindsey

        I always love to hear about practical, everyday ways to offer hospitality to others.

        By the way, you are a great mom and have great intuition. Keep it up!

      • Kamille

        Lindsey thank you for your comments. I love what you wrote about hospitality being about being part of community. So beautiful & so true. What great examples you had with your parents. I know you are doing the same for your boys & Tim, what treasures you give them.

    • Kamille

      Peggy–thank you for your constant support & encouragement.

  • Talia Nuckolls

    crying. Kamille, you are brave to post this…this is personal and yet universal. You are beautiful. V is beautiful. Praise God that he guides and sustains those with young kids.

  • Nancy

    1. Share a story of how you’ve extended hospitality (evangitality) or someone has extended it to you. I have a friend named Hugo, he moved back to Salem,OR from OK but was going to be living in his car. That really bothered me so I told him to come stay with me. I had a 2 bedroom at the time so he had a room to himself. The interesting thing about Hugo he is a Liberal Atheist. So you can imagine some of the conversations we had. All in all we got along fine. I did have to put my foot down when he would blast Christians. In all actuality, we found areas in politics and beliefs that we are the same. He helped as much as he could while he stayed. I was unemployed at the time. Things were tight but I was able to make it work. I would do it again if he lived in AZ and was homeless. I speak with him almost every day. It is funny that when things aren’t going too good for him that he calls to ask me to pray for him. My prayer is that the Holy Spirit will soften his heart because I want to be able to see him in heaven. He is currently homeless in Salem and I am the first person that he calls when he is in the pit of despair. He told me that he knows that I have faith and that even though he doesn’t believe in God that because of my belief that if there is a God he listens to me.

    2. If you’re an introvert, how is being hospitable difficult or easy? If you’re an extrovert, how is being hospitable difficult or easy? I am an extrovert, so I have been told. I find it easy to be hospitable. I get such a rush and a sense of accomplishment when I get to help those that need a hand up.

    3. If you know of someone you think would enjoy reading Evangitality, then refer them and post their name here. Angie, Susan, Hugo, both my brothers.I am sure that there are more, just cannot think of them currently.

    4. What type of posts would you like me to explore in the realm of hospitality? Other thoughts or comments. Preparation for an event. Giving timelines on how to get everything together.

  • Paige

    You are a gifted mama! Congratulations on one year of extending your “evangitality” to the world!

    Now, to win that lovely cookbook…
    1. I don’t really have a specific story that comes to mind. I guess for me, it’s not about having one great story. It’s about living every day in a way that extends hospitality to all I come in contact with and everyone that enters my home. Food is an integral part in reaching the lost and saved alike and that’s why I love your blog, you combine the two, making up evangitality!

  • Paige

    2. I am an introvert, however, I love to cook and am married to an extrovert. So, in a way it’s hard because I have to come out of my shell to entertain and open up my home but Stephen makes it a whole lot easier because he is an extrovert. The hardest thing for me is letting go of the fact that the house doesn’t have to be perfect to be hospitable and to welcome others into your home. The home is made by the love being extended, the meals being cooked, and the friends being welcomed.

    • Kamille

      I loved this Paige. I really seek to understand where people opposite of me find themselves in the midst of being hospitable. I also love that you work with Stephen, honing your gifts and one another.

  • Paige

    3. I referred my sister-in-law, Claire. She is an avid baker and extremely hospitable. I think she would fit right in here!

  • Paige

    4. I would love to read more about how you balance opening up your home, cooking for others, and being the super mom you are. This is something I constantly struggle with.

  • Julie

    1. Comment by sharing a story of how you’ve extended hospitality (evangitality) or someone has extended it to you.

    I had only babysat twice for this particular family while I was in college, and the mother pulled out a lovely silver necklace to give me as a Christmas gift. I couldn’t believe that she had been so thoughtful.

    • Julie

      2. Comment by answering the following: If you’re an introvert, how is being hospitable difficult or easy? If you’re an extrovert, how is being hospitable difficult or easy?

      I think I seem extroverted at times, but I really have social anxiety and am very timid about interactions. I have taken to reciting to myself to, “do what’s right, even when it’s hard,” to make sure I reach out to people when it may be more comfortable to just walk on by.

      • Kamille

        Thank you Julie for sharing this. As an extrovert, I think it’s hard for me too at times, but I do know it is even more difficult for an introverted individual.

  • Quinn

    In an effort to win The Cake Bible, I will answer question #2. Being an extrovert, I have always enjoyed entertaining. I love to have people in my house. In fact, ease of entertaining is a trait we have considered when we bought our homes (both layout and an abundance of parking). The difficult part for me is that I often feel, at the end of a party, that I have not adequately mingled with all of my guests. I am working on figuring out better ways to replenish food and drinks, etc so that I can spend more time with my guests and less time in the kitchen.

    In October I took a class about learning styles and came away with an understanding of how exhausting it is for my mother-in-law (an introvert) to entertain. Unfortunately for her, their home is large and centrally located and so most family events occur there. I understand why she is so excited for us to move closer so that she can pass the torch for family entertaining to me. I will be so glad to help her out!

  • Sarah

    I have been on vacation with spotty internet and don’t have time for a real comment but just wanted you to know I love reading your blog and really appreciate your honesty in your posts. I wish so much we lived closer so our children could get together and I could learn to bake with you. Maybe next year! Pray for a position to open up at Western. That would be a real answer to our prayers!!

  • The Cake Bible Giveaway « Evangitality

    […] one day left to enter the giveaway.  Below you’ll find a review I wrote a year ago of the highly acclaimed cookbook by Rose […]

  • Ashley Thomasson

    I (and I think almost anyone that’s met ever me) would consider myself to be an extrovert. Hospitality is something I am extremely passionate about and love to share it with anyone whenever I possibly can. That said, sometimes I find the nature of hospitality difficult. I catch myself at times making it more about myself rather than who I should be blessing. Hospitality is one of those areas where I consistently need to seek the Lord to humble my heart when using my gifts to better and bless others rather than myself.

  • Ashley Thomasson

    1. I think my heart for hospitality began to grow at a very young age. Hospitality is a strong characteristic of my mother. And I always remember having people over or bringing food/hospitality to people. I LOVED to help my mom with cooking, baking, making cards and other trinkets, whatever it may be. When I was in middle school however, my dad left our family and not only that, but left us in a great deal of poverty. Suddenly, the roles were reversed. Where we were once the ones who were able to bless, we were in great need of support to make it through the day. I don’t know that there is any one specific example that I can point out from this time, but I do remember day after day feeling overwhelmingly blessed and grateful for the hospitality of others. Meals, bags of groceries, gift certificates to still do things as a family, people who fixed our car, helped mow the lawn, etc. And it wasn’t just for a while, it went on throughout the years, beyond what we ever could have fathomed – the Lord was gracious and looking out for us through the expression of hospitality from others. Although this time was a painful road for all of us, I still am able to look back on the last of my growing up years with joy in God’s faithfulness brought to us by hospitality. These years of hospitality have only enriched my heart and desire to serve and bring God’s joy and faithfulness to others as well.

    • Kamille

      Oh Ashley–thank you so very much for sharing part of your story. I do believe that those who go through big pain give big love. God is such a redeeming God and I look forward to hearing how you continue to shower others & eventually your growing family with that same redeeming, welcoming, hospitable love.

  • Ashley Thomasson

    3. I would like to recommend my friend Autumn Meyer. Her and her husband Charlie go to Hillcrest. Autumn has a large heart for hospitality (and making yummy food) and I think she would definitely be interested in your blog if you two haven’t connected already.

  • Christine Angermeier

    I have a story to tell but I dont know where it fits. I leave it to you to decide. When my first husband and I divorced, his parents were understandable very hurtful and mean to me. But I kept in mind that his parents were grandparents to my children and never bad mouthed their father or their fathers family. Unfortunately, this was not easy but I can truthfully say I did it. Fast forward to 3 years ago, my ex inlaws were ill and really had no one to care for them. One was in the hospital and one was at home but didnt know how to care for himself. So my husband and I decided we would bring them to our home and care for them. I converted my office back to a bedroom and their son brought his father to see the room. At that point, he decided this was where he wanted to be and when his wife was better, she came to us also. Since they have been here, they have flourished, are healthy and both have Alzheimers. Their remaining son was killed in a tragic motorcycle accident a year ago and my husband and I felt God sent them to us because he is the wise one. I have never thought back to the hateful times until now and it makes no difference because they are part of our family now. I have lost my husband almost a year ago but I continue to fulfill the promise we made to their son that we would take care of them no matter what for as long as we could. I feel this is what God wants us to do for as long as they have. Thank you for letting me tell my story. I love you all

  • Stacy

    Thank you for sharing your story, Kamille. It requires such vulnerability on your part but there is great freedom in “saying” it out loud, and letting people in on our insecurities and hurts. [All the better when you’re on the other side of those things and we can rejoice to see what God has done! :)]

    I am so thankful for you that you finally have answers to questions you’ve had, thankful for the beautiful Veronica that God gave you- for every bit of her that was created and shaped by God. And I just want to hug you for your sadness and fears, too.

    I’m grateful as I look at my own challenges as a mother- with some of my children more than others- that God uses them/relating to them/mothering them to refine me. I’m thankful that’s the tool He’s using because in the sometimes very difficult process, I get *so* many moments of delight and joy.

    Great job sticking it out through this difficult season, Kamille- and allowing God to work in and through you. You will be perfectly equipped to tackle each and every issue that arise in the future, with Veronica and Cadence.

    May God continue to do good work in your heart (and in all of us mothers, Lord!) and bring healing and strength to Veronica’s body, too.

    Love to you, good mama!

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