The Giver

Hello, wonderful people! This month I’m going to share with you a beauty secret that no one can resist.  It’s one that not everyone possesses, yet some may have in greater capacities than others.  My beauty tip for you this Christmas starts with analyzing your heart.  Are you a giver? I’m not asking if you give the best gifts, or if you always empty your wallet.  Do you give LOVE? Do you give HOPE? Do you give to those who don’t deserve it? Are you a TRUE giver?

What if I told you? You have the power to give someone hope far beyond their wildest dreams. What if I told you it’s right there in your hands? It’s hard to imagine how something so small can make all the difference tear down the tallest wall.  It’s feeding the hungry, serving the poor, it’s telling the orphan you’re not forgotten anymore.  It’s doing what love does when no one’s watching you. What if December looked different this year? What if we all just gave Christmas away? If there’s love in your heart, then don’t let it stay there.  Give this Christmas away and your life will be changed by the gift you receive when you give Christmas away. ~ Mathew West

I stumbled across this song in the car, at the exact moment my fiancé was giving away his last few dollar bills to a homeless man.  Giving is not always one that deals with a monetary value. The generous heart of a giver is always looking for ways to bless others through words, prayers or actions.  Let me tell you about just a few of the MANY people in my life who are givers.

Giver.friendsMeet my friend Chelsea Starr. She shines as a bright as her last name! She has the beautiful gift of giving. She is one who goes out of her way to make sure you aren’t the only silly person.  You are never alone with Chelsea. She is giving of her TIME. Her passion is discipling–she LOVES it! Even when it hurts, and it’s messy, she gives her time and energy to infectiously lead others closer to the Lord.

Giver.Dorks(she even helps you win the dance-off at dork balls!)

Giver.fianceThe next person I would like you to meet is my fiancé Brent Stickles. He has a heart of compassion (which I’m completely thankful for). His giving in my life is seen in multiple ways. That precious moment in the car as he gave his last few dollars to a homeless man melted my heart. He is giving of his money, his time and his heart. When I am grouchy and mean he still LOVES me. He goes out of his way to make sure I know how much he loves me.

Giver.parentsLet me introduce you to my parents, Chris and Debbie Adkins. These two have been the best examples (besides my Savior!!) of the giving of unconditional LOVE and forgiveness. I am reminded of the time I called my dad crying to ask for forgiveness, to which he responded “I forgave you before you even asked for it.”  Or the countless times my mom has used her Christmas or birthday money on me (now that’s love ;).  They have sacrificed money to put me through school, they gave up their schedules to watch me play sports, and have supported me through every decision in life.

Giver.momAre you getting the theme here? Every one of us is capable of GIVING LOVE. This Christmas practice the gift of giving. In return your heart will feel tremendously blessed, and you will radiate joy that shines brightly.  It is a rare and beautiful quality to be a giver.  Will you be a giver this Christmas?

|Author + Photographer >> Kaleigh|

Marty + Patti | Built to Last

Let's extend the party–keep those horns tooting and confetti flying! Today we celebrate Marty and Patti's thirty-? wedding anniversary. Can we get an amen–she's stuck with him a long time!

Marty-and-Patti-1[Clockwise from Top Left | Did they know? | Dream in His PocketShe's Amazing | Still Walking | Seize It]

The links above take you to older posts about these two shared here on the blog! They are an inspiring couple! If you have the time, enjoy reading about them!

Marty-and-Patti-2Last night, I put them on the spot and asked for off-the-top-of-their-head answers to a couple questions.

What has been the key to a successful marriage for you guys?
We both have to be willing to give and take. It's not 50/50 with us, it's both of us giving 100/100. We have found the ways we compliment each other in regards to things at work and home. 

Give me a few words that describe or mark your marriage.
1 day at a time. durable. loyal. committed.

Marty and Patti have the commitment and mindset of durability that many marriages lack now-a-days. (Durable–reminds me of a Ford Truck commercial–Built to Last!) I'm thankful for their leadership in representing a marriage that isn't perfect but very Christ-centered.

Happy Anniversary, Mom and Dad! I'm thankful for you both!

How 'bout that white tux?!



full(er) house

Bird-in-nest{He looks kind of how I feel!}

We've a nest outside our camp kitchen door that sees multiple mommies and babies each in their turn throughout the season. While resident mommy was out grocery shopping, I snuck up to say hello and get a few shots!
Baby-birds-in-nestThe birds seem to prove the thought that a small but full house can indeed be a happy house!

And speaking of a full (and happy) house! Our camp family has grown a little more!

Full house1Not just in numbers but in the bonding department too! (who doesn't feel loved by poppers?!)

Full house2

Full house 3Thankful for each person involved in this minstry! Truly a family growing together!

May you find your Monday to be less grouchy than you may expect!

the thread remains

Both wonderful and dreadful is the coming and going of many amazing people in our camp world. Getting to know, hear the stories of, be challenged by such diverse people always puts me in awe of how God works intimately and intricately with His people, for His people and through His people. A tapestry of beauty.Stones-at-whisper-mountain-3 More than thirty years ago, Marty and Patti met Dennis and Corrie Stone at college. Time carried on, paths went different ways, and life got busy as it always does. They kept in sparse contact over the years, until last year when the Stones (who are both teachers) wondered if they could come serve with us for the summer. Corrie became our cook (bless her!)Stones-at-whisper-mountain-2 (this summer's kitchen crew!)

and Dennis became our help in grounds & general maintenance!Stones-at-whisper-mountain-1 (this summer's maintenance crew)

I think I speak for us all when I say that they blessed our socks off as we served with them and got to (re)know them! As this summer approached we were excited to hear they wanted to give their time and energy for the month of June! You know those people that you can pick right back up where you left off, as if you never said goodbye? Like they are part of the family? That's how it is with the Stones.  We laughed with them, struggled with them, shared our world with them! Not too challenging to feel at home with them! Stones-at-whisper-mountain-4What is dreadful about feeling at home with people is the saying goodbye. Today we said goodbye to these most humble, fun and generous people!  Stones-at-whisper-mountain-5
Stones-at-whisper-mountain-6 But all wrapped up in the dreadful is the wonderful! In their going they have left us to soak up the love they shared, hearts to make God famous, encouragement through having watched them pour themselves out with no thought to themselves. They have left that scarlet thread that never really leaves our tapestries, but continues to weave us together in the family of God until that day when we never say goodbye again!

Shining in the Spotlight Today!

Patti     I believe we, as a camp, would be sinking in details if it weren't for this lovely woman!  Patti has given herself the title of Paper Shuffler and Chaos Coordinator and she excels at both…and then some!

Some of her other titles include (but definitely not limited to) Kitchen Help, Laundry Maid, Director of Oh-So-Much (though she never claims it!), Event Planner, Problem Solver, Humming Bird Feeder Restocker, Closet Cleaner, Building Decorator, Receptionist, Accountant, Organizer of Staff & Projects & Everything Else, Mom, Grammy, Wife, Chai Tea Drinker, Friend, Daughter and Woman after God's Heart!

Bottom line…Patti serves. Always. Even when it's the last thing she'd like to be doing; even when she can hardly stand on two feet; even when the founder and director of WM (aka: her husband) drives her batty; even when her head is spinning so much it hurts; even when she'd rather be sitting in a chair at the beach and not in front of that bless-ed computer screen!!

It does so happen that she is my  mom (in case you are new around here!).  But even if she wasn't, I would still want you to know that Whisper Mountain has God's favor because of people like her giving everything to proclaim Him!

Thank you, Patti! (thank you, Mom!)

The Propps

From granddads to their great-grandsons, the steps of each man impacts the next. 

Pictured above are some of my favorite people!  They are huge-hearted, hilarious and well, just plain ole likeable! Their stories (these Propp boys can tell a story!) intrigue me, but what captures me more is the way that God's unexplainable goodness has hovered over them until they have desired Him! When we least deserve it, God is wooing us to the place of His love, to His peaceful streams of life! 

Each of them is at a different place on their journey in life and with God, but each takes steps daily to follow Him. Each is impacting others in the most ordinary and life-changing ways!

May you find yourself walking toward God today! You never know who's following your footprints!