Wynne Elder & A Noonday Collection Giveaway
You know those people who meet online or in real life and you just know one another’s hearts? That’s how I feel about my friend Wynne. We’ve actually hugged in real life once and spent the rest of a weekend being in the same circles but so busy at a conference we didn’t have time to sit and relax over a cup of coffee. We’ve know and bonded together over adoption and through social media over the last five years and I’m just so honored to have her with us today. A fellow adoptive mom, justice seeker and Noonday Ambassador, we’ve partnered to give you guys an amazing $50 gift certificate to Noonday for a giveaway this week.
I’ll tell you about that in a minute, but for now, meet my friend Wynne.
Tell us a little bit about yourself?
Hey ya’ll, I’m Wynne and my husband and I just celebrated our 9th wedding anniversary. We are college sweethearts, and have recently found ourselves back in his college town of Bryan/College Station, Texas. Together we have two cuties whom we adopted 3 years ago from Ethiopia, Camp and Asher. Our son, Camp, has special needs so this year our kids are in two different schools and it has this mama driving all around town during the week. I absolutely love people – I love connecting with people, connecting people to each other, and creating spaces where people can belong, connect, and just be their true self. I have a space in downtown Bryan that serves as a place for me to write, and house my other work endeavors but also is a space for connection for women in our town! I love Jesus, creativity, writing, traveling, community, being outdoors and dream of summer all year long.
You and your husband adopted from Ethiopia, can you describe that process and what led your hearts toward adoption?
Oh man, what a story! Adoption was never on our radar – we wanted to wait 5-7 years after we got married to start a family, and overnight the Lord changed my heart and we started trying to conceive. After almost a year with no luck, I had to “put it on a shelf” for a season and in that season a friend asked if we’d ever considered adoption and challenged me to pray about it! Within a week, I know that’s what the Lord’s plan for our family was and three years later we brought Camp + Asher home. Obviously, a lot happened in those three years and we truly believe God used adoption to “gloriously ruin” so much of our lives and open our eyes to His kingdom and purposes on earth. Fotolanthropy did a great job at telling our story in 8 minutes, you can watch that here! http://fotolanthropy.com/
For those readers who aren’t familiar, what is Noonday and why are you passionate about it?
So when I was still praying that my husband would catch the adoption vision, we went to an adoption conference in Austin (Together for Adoption, 2010) and it was there that I was first introduced to Jessica + Joe Honneger and the company they founded – Noonday Collection. What started as an adoption fundraiser for them to bring their son home from Rwanda, has in the past few years turned into one of the fastest growing companies in the US. Noonday partners with artisan businesses in 12 different countries around the globe to create a marketplace here to sell their handmade goods. Noonday is a socially responsible business that uses fashion and design to create meaningful opportunities around the world! In the past 4+ years, I’ve gotten to travel with Jessica to all three African countries where we partner with artisan businesses, and been able to see how it truly is giving them passion and purpose and allows them to be the mothers and wives that they need to be for their family to thrive! These people have become my friends, and the community I’ve built among the Noonday ambassador group has been invaluable as well. It’s one of my favorite things to share! I love connecting people here with the impact and power their have with their purchases (plus, I just really love accessories)!
You’ve been open about your struggle with infertility, how has that struggle opened your heart to God’s timing and provision?
Oh yes, I felt a few years ago like God wanted me to share my struggle with infertility in the MIDDLE of it and not “when it was over”, but to truly come alongside other women to say “you are not alone!”. It’s been over 6 years since God gave me the desire to be a mom, and having the experience of being pregnant and birthing a baby is something we are still believing for. I can truly look back on the first year we were “trying” and know that it was worth it – because without it I would not have my children now. There was such purpose in that, and I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world.
You have a new adventure coming up related to helping others in their infertility process, what’s that about?
YES! The Carry Camp (http://www.thecarrycamp.com) is a ministry that a few gals and I started for women struggling with infertility! We launched last August as an online ministry with weekly devotions/blog posts and online small groups and this past month we had our first retreat!! We welcomed 17 women from across the country to a weekend in the Texas hill country where we worshiped, played, ate, connected, shared, and just got to be there for each other. It was truly amazing and an opportunity I would never have had if I wasn’t walking this painful road. You can see the retreat recap here: http://www.thecarrycamp.com/?
When you are waiting for answers or direction, would you say you are patient or do you struggle with God in that?
Oh man, I find myself in the “waiting” situation more often then not. Whether it’s waiting for answers on how we are going to grow our family, when the check is going to come through, when a relationship will be reconciled, etc. I’m all those places right now and it’s a struggle but it’s such an opportunity to trust, and to lean into the Lord. I want to take things into my own hands, but I’m constantly reminded that God has been faithful before, and he will continue to be. He knows the big picture when I don’t, and He will take care of me!
What’s your favorite way to seek God out while you’re waiting?
Lately it’s just been in worship. I feel like so many times I’m looking “for an answer” from the Lord, and he is constantly reminding me that He just wants my worship. He wants me to come to him like a little child and spend time with him. With little kids at home, sometimes it’s a challenge but even if it’s 15 minutes in the car as I cart people around, turning up the worship music and just allowing myself to receive the fathers love for me!
Wynne blogs at http://wynneelder.com/ and can be found on FB at https://www.facebook.com/GloriouslyRuined and on twitter at @wynneelder
Want to win the $50 gift certificate from Noonday? Sign up for our newsletter and then comment on the post below to let us know and we’ll draw for the gift certificate next week! Can’t wait for next week to shop some Noonday? Go to this link and shop until your heart’s content.