Tuesday, February 8, 2011

My Cup Is Overflowing!!

Wow, what a fabulous night with a fabulous group of people.

All the stressing and getting down over the weeks leading up to the event melted away as the yacht left the dock Friday night!

Just to make sure that the boat had arrived, Amy and I took a little drive down to the dock at 9:00am.  As we were walking past the boat and we were commenting on how glad that it was there, someone asked if he could help us.  We commented that we had an event on the boat in the evening and we were just happy to see it had arrived.  "You must be from BRIGHT Children International.""Why, yes we are."  "We are looking forward to having you on board tonight!"

It was off for the whirlwind day of errand running and final touches.  At that point, I had no dress and a long list of things to do.  Everything took twice as long.  The dress I had gotten had a hole and a new dress was supposed to arrive with UPS and as soon as it arrived, the boutique was to call me.  Noon came and went and no calls.  "It should arrive by late afternoon" was the answer when I called them for an update.  I was supposed to arrive to set up on the boat at 4:00.

We were getting ready to load the cars with everything, one arm load at a time, it was going to take a while and some strength, cases of wine are not light.  A man making a delivery at the building saw us carrying items and asked if we needed a hand truck.  We said that would be great.  Out he pulls the hand truck of all hand trucks, one large load got everything out to the car!

Around 2:30, the dress shop calls to say that they have the dress and I arrange for the hubby to pick it up on his way to the boat.  Shortly after I receive another call from the shop, there is a bit of a problem.  My dress is significantly longer than any of the other dresses.  Technically it is not a dress it is a tunic.  My dress, with the hole, is six inches longer than even the large.  Houston, we have a problem.  They told me to come by and decide what I wanted to do, find another dress, wear the one with the whole, you decide.  Oh dear.  It was decided that I would just wear the one with the small hole and we would catch up with the store later regarding a long term solution but I needed a dress and didn't have time to try on dresses and change the whole wardrobe.

We arrive at the boat at 4:30.  They announce to me that they have decided to set us up on the larger deck due to increased numbers.  The crew was great and making adjustments and meeting our needs.  The tables looked nice and we had much more space than we would have had on the smaller deck.

People started arriving at 6:15.  By 7:00 most people had arrived and were boarded.  We were missing a few and knew that one had gotten stuck in a detour.  We waited until 7:20 and everyone that was going to make it had arrived.  I apologized to the captain for having to keep people waiting.  His comment was "It is your boat, we can wait as long as necessary."  BRIGHT had the whole boat to move about, three decks and for the price of the one deck!!

The music was delightful, the company fantastic, the desserts and appetizers delicious.

The best of all...BRIGHT had the best first fundraiser one could ask for. Just from ticket, silent auction, and raffle ticket sales we raised over $6,500.  This will cover the expenses incurred for the event and the trip to Bulgaria.  With additional donations given, we will be able to make donations of instruments to families with children with Down Syndrome, the orphanage(s) and safe house while we are there.

God has provided and met our needs for our first event and trip.  He is faithful and patient with us when we have little faith.  He brings people together and provides support.  He builds friendships and reminds us that He is God.  He removes the stress and shows us that everything will work out in His plan.

Thank you to all of you have provided us with support through encouraging words, your hard work, your generosity, and so much more.  It is with your support that we can go to Bulgaria and share the power of music and the acceptance of children with special needs.  Please continue to pray that things continue to fall into place and for safe travels.  We depart on our journey on March 16.

It is time to turn our energy toward our presentations and learning Bulgarian children's songs.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

The Big Night

I can't believe the big fund raiser is tomorrow night.  My mind has been spinning with making sure everything goes off without a hitch.  I know I am doing something right as the enemy continues to try to get me down and tell me it is not going to work.  God is trying to teach me something--patience?  Faith?  The fact that I cannot do everything on my own?  It will all make me a stronger person.

Three weeks ago, I went into panic mode.  We had only sold 15 tickets and I wanted to sell out our deck of 120.  How in the world, can I get 105 more people in three weeks time?  I contacted the boat that we are using for the fund raiser and asked if we could move to the lower occupancy deck with an occupancy of 80.  This would save us money and reduce some of the stress.  They agreed to switch, a win-win for everyone, they can sell more tickets for their deck and I can pay less money for the other deck.  I was praying for 60 people. We are one day away and it looks like we will be close to 75 in attendance!!!

Last Thursday afternoon I went to order the flowers that I had seen on the COTSCO website. It was such a great deal and they would deliver them to my office on the day that I desired.  "Please read the fine print thoroughly before completing your order."  The fine print proceeded to tell me that I must order the flowers 7-10 business days before the event.  That means that I won't get 18 bouquets all complete delivered to my office ready to put into the vases.  I have to learn flower arranging in the next week!  My mom graciously offered to do the flowers for me and will pick up the vases today and deliver complete bouquets to the boat in time to set up.  THANKS MOM!

Another panic set in Monday morning when the boat emailed me to say that we would have to reschedule our appointment for layout from Wednesday to Friday as the boat was not going to be arriving back from routine repairs until Friday morning.  WHAT THE BOAT IS NOT ARRIVING UNTIL THE MORNING OF THE EVENT???!!!!  I quickly responded letting the individual know that this made me extremely nervous especially since two weeks ago the boat was to arrive back on Tuesday morning and that already had me in a panic.  Someone reminded me that there is a contract in place and that if the boat did not arrive in time for the event that friends and family would be supportive and the boat would be in a world of hurt with a breech of contract.

Wake up Tuesday morning, not feeling so hot--congestion, headache, couldn't warm up!  I can't be sick, get everything done, and see my clients.  Daughters wake up not feeling well, no one was going to work or school and I had extra time to sleep and get things done.  Tuesday evening I received a phone call saying we had received another donation--two cases of olive oil.  What is one to do with 24 bottles of olive oil to raise funds when you have three days before the event?  If you have any ideas, please pass them on.  There is a possibility that the donor will be attendance so another thing that must be kept in mind.

So here we are 37 hours from the event.  Things are coming together.  The deck is almost to capacity.  I have many wonderful donations of wine, silent auction items, raffle items, and monetary donations.  The perfectionist in me is trying to make sure everything is together and nothing is forgotten.  The dreams in the middle of the night remind me of things I still have to check on and pull together.  I am feeling much better than Tuesday.  Praying for clear skies and a safe arrival for the BRIGHT Secretary as she flies from Indiana.

This has been a learning experience in many ways.  It brings me closer to going and trying to make the day brighter for the children in the orphanages until their forever families can find them.  It gets me one day closer to sharing the potential of each child and his or her value in the world and to God.  It allows me to be one moment closer to making a difference.  Thank you, Lord, for what you are teaching me and showing me the way.

Please continue to pray for the success of the fund raiser and the first trip that is just six weeks away.