Samaritan’s Feet….Changing lives one pair of shoes at a time!

Making pair of shoes at a time!

Samaritan’s Feet volunteers & staff, Gaston County Commissioner, Tracy Philbeck and I washing feet and giving a new pair of shoes at Rhyne Elementary in Gastonia, Making Friends, one pair of shoes at a time!

Jesus said, “If you’ve had a bath in the morning, you only need your feet washed now and you’re clean from head to toe. My concern,  you understand, is holiness,  not hygiene.” John 13:10

Spending time at the feet of others was the example Jesus set for us to follow as He bowed in subjection to the disciples for the purpose of washing their feet as an act of honor and service. Nothing can be greater, than knowing that the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, humbled Himself to the position of servant. As we put ourselves in the position of service, we look up into the eyes of the ones that we have come to serve and say. “You are the most important person at this very moment. I want you to know that you are loved by God and by all of us. We are here today simply because of our heart to love and serve you just as Jesus did.”

Today, I was once again blessed to participate in a shoe distribution with Samaritan’s Feet. The mission and heartbeat of founder, Manny Ohonme, is 10 million pairs of shoes on the feet of 10 million children in the next 10 years You can read more about Manny’s story of how a simple pair of shoes changed his life and led him to follow what was exampled to him by the love of  one who came to serve him.

I have had the privilege of serving alongside Manny Ohonme and his wife, Tracie since 2005 and have nothing but the utmost love and respect for this man and his family who daily live out what they believe. While we do not often share the same schedule, we are often in contact and communication. Today, however, Monty and I were blessed with a most special opportunity; to give back to children, teacher’s and staff at an elementary school near our hometown of Dallas, NC. We rallied and gathered our friends to help us support the effort of Samaritan’s Feet in our Jerusalem. Gastonia, NC

On this day, 400 plus children, teachers, and staff would receive our undivided attention as we spent time getting to know them, focusing our hearts and attentions towards them, washing their feet and providing a new pair of socks and shoes for each one of them. The event was a surprise for the entire school and spear-headed by their caring principal, Rebecca Huffstetler.

The day started as usual with the younger children filling our stations. So, precious. Timid. Embarrassed and confused by all these people taking off their old shoes, putting their little feet in cold water, washing them and putting new shoes on their feet. Refreshing, but in time the older children would fill the chairs and their disbelief was often verbalized.

My breath-taking and life-joy moment happened near the end of the day when a less than thrilled tough 5th grade boy sat down in front of me. What would become my favorite conversation of the day began with, “So, lady, how much are they paying you to wash my feet, be nice to me and give me this new pair of shoes?” And with attitude and no smile, I might add. He was not rude. Simple putting it all on the table and in all likelihood, wanting to call me out and say, yep, told you so, they don’t care about me.

“Nothing.” I replied. “God loves me (us), we love you and I came here today to tell you how very special you are to Him and to me. Nothing more. Nothing less.” A cynical 10-year-old smile ensued. Our moment together ended within five-eight minutes and toward the end a new-found, whimsical, wry smile appeared. I held his hands, looked him square in the eyes and ended by letting him know that every step that he takes in these new pair of shoes, that I will be thinking of him, praying for him and trusting his life to a God that wants to do great things in and through him. His name will be written in my prayer journal and I will believe God for His very best until heaven.”

I continued as the Holy Spirit kicked my heart into gear and shared the gospel message of hope, a future, and of surrendering his heart to receive the free gift of life now and eternal through Jesus Christ. The promise of forgiveness, new life and God’s perfect plan for his life. You see, we get moments like these on occasion and I felt the urgency to seize the moment while it was sill today! I continued. “God’s plan for you is perfect. Your story is still being written. When you want to give up or you struggle, think of the silly lady who said, you can do it through complete surrender of your heart to the Lord and the power of God which is greater than your mind can conceive.” God wants you to know that you matter and that He has a plan for your life!! An, sweet friend, I pray for you, I will claim each step for the rest of your days for  God to do “exceedingly, abundantly in your life above all that you can ask or think.” HE IS ABLE!!!

He sheepishly, smiled. I said there is just one more thing. “Can I get a hug?” I have yet in my life until today, felt a more genuine embrace than from his big ole size 10 men’s shoe bear hug that I received from Gods most precious possession.
You see, God spoke directly to his heart today. The Holy Spirit penetrated the deepest part of this young mans soul and there is no doubt in my mind that the God of the universe will make good on a prayer prayed forward for a life in the balance between the god of this world and our heavenly Father’s will for his life.

So, when you wonder if God still uses the smallest of opportunities for His good and His glory, remember the hardened heart of my friend today. And when you pray, you need not know his name but that his heavenly Father is well acquainted with the matters of his precious heart and life. Next time you think, I should do something to help….just do it. Don’t wait. The true blessing will be yours. And when you wonder, does God really still open hearts in the least imaginable ways….like through a pair of shoes, a smile, a hug, a word of affirmation, a touch or a smile? May you see my face smiling back at you and saying….Oh yes He does!! Remember, Jesus said it best….”My concern is holiness…” May we walk simply on this path of righteous living….and trust God for life-changing results! For His glory! Amen and Amen!

Caring for God’s beloved!

Happy Camper Store Grand Opening


Please join my sister and I over @ our new adventure— Happy Camper Store!!

We have found our happy landing place!

We are sisters. Melanie and Claudia. Two “Happy Campers” since childhood. Weekend hikes collecting treasures, swimming in rocky rivers, bacon frying in a cast iron pan, lazy Saturday’s, fishing with our dad, games at the picnic table, family time, catching fireflies, roasting marshmallows under the stars and telling stories around the campfire until late into the night.

From a very young age our parents taught us the importance of tradition, adventure and making time for family. Together, we treasure childhood memories of doing life in the great outdoors.

So, welcome to our special little corner of the world over @ the Happy Camper Store!!

Our heart is to provide inspiring products that will bring the adventure back to every grown-up happy camper heart like ours.

Happy Days. Simple Life. Happy Campers.

We’d love to have you join this journey with us as OUR story continues. Keep dreaming. Keep writing your story! There’s a big and beautiful world out there!!!

Adventure Awaits!!

DaySpring End Of Summer Sale Extra 25% Off



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Note: Full Affiliate Disclosure: When you place an order with this link I will potentially get a percentage of the order.

Young Living Premium Starter Kit Sale 10% Off


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Young Living has 30,000 units of each discounted PSK type available.

Questions? Let me help you navigate the most amazing journey of your life!!!

God Wastes Nothing He Gets You Ready


Lately, my heart has been longing for a ladies gathering with you for the purpose of worship. While my private worship is an incredibly important and empowering part of my faith journey, there is NOTHING like ALL of our voices raised as one to our Lord, Savior and King. Our collective of hearts and deep soul’s longing to be in His presence is magnified when we lift our eyes toward heaven in praise and worship. 🙌🙌🙌

As I have prepared, prayed, planned, purposed, surrendered to the Lord’s will for the 2019 Summer Caution, I have considered this night, one of great significance as the vision and mission of this event is changing.

Case in point- I listened to an insightful podcast this week. I cannot remember who the pastor was or the church but the next seven words stopped me in my tracks.

The context of the pastor’s sermon was the life and battle between a very small and seemingly ill-equipped shepherd boy against a warrior and military giant.

Yep- David and Goliath

A young, ordinary shepherd boy David was prepared by God through the power of the Holy Spirit to boldly step in to serve the Lord no matter the directive!! He was READY!!!

In this season of my life, my family has continued to battle giants at every turn. This last month, God has led me deeper into the Old Testament. My spirit has been inspired, challenged hip-boot deep and stirred while lingering alongside of hugely significant historical faith moments in the lives of a nation, a people and individuals found in God’s Word.

The highs and lows of God’s people. Real life. Always a wonderful, good and faithful God. Failure, success- no matter the hardship or circumstances, they were humbled and bowed low with reverence in their response to the God of heaven. Forgiven, after taking God for granted, their immediate response was that of thanksgiving, gratitude, worship and adoration.

So we have lots of fun planned. You best be prepared to laugh, grow in community and end the night with an all-in worship opportunity!

Listen friends- Praise ALWAYS leads to victory. Simply opening our hearts, breathing out the air from our lungs and singing/expressing words from our throat and mouths opened up gives our souls the ability to clear out the things that weigh so heavy on our souls. You know what I mean. That weight we carry on our chests – every little thing for all the right reasons! He has made us to regularly worship and release.

So get ready beloved of God- Clint and Amber are bringing the band and no matter how bad our voices creak and crack, God will inhabit the praises of His people.

God wastes NOTHING that we have been through in our lives! He is preparing us for something bigger than we are, bigger than we can do- So am I ready? Are you ready?

God is doing something greater!!!

Isaiah 43:16

“I am the Lord, who opened a way through the waters, making a dry path through the sea. I called forth the mighty army of Egypt with all its chariots and horse……. But forget all that— And it is nothing compared to what I am going to do. For I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it? I will make a pathway through the wilderness. I will create rivers in the dry wasteland…… Yes, I will make rivers in the dry wasteland so my people can be refreshed. I have made you for myself, and they will honor me before the whole world.”

Man if that doesn’t make us shout and sing hallelujahs- Behold!!!! God is doing amazing things. Tuesday, as a collective, let’s surrender. Let’s send resounding notes in beautiful harmony toward heaven. Let’s watch and wait women of faith and courage. Let’s believe together for HIS honor and glory!!!

Not ticket? No worries!!!

Just let me know you want to join us. Or contact the MRO Office Monday. 704.455.3828

Text Heather Haaland 704.794.8496

Thanks Monica Palumbo Hancock ❤️❤️❤️

You can also check out what God is doing in the lives of Clint Hudson and Amber Hudson


2019 MRO Ladies Summer Caution Night Of Worship


Note: This was supposed to go out yesterday but I encountered a little setback. For every person who text, called, communicated, visited, that earnestly prayed for my healing…. Thank you from the bottom of my heart!!

Monty confiscated my phone yesterday with good reason. He said I can communicate with everyone but have to give it back to him. 🥴


I am home. The artery that was blocked and caused my heat attack is the same one that took my daddy’s life @ the age of 42. Praising God for life and protecting my heart from permanent damage.

Beyond grateful to the Lord for His deep love. His ways are perfect. His plan is good. Thanks for your love and prayers.

How about we gather for a little worship on July, 16? I’d love for you to join all the amazing ladies of MRO- I will be the one with arm stretched toward heaven singing redemption’s song!

So here’s the “why”!!!! ❤️❤️❤️

On July 16, the women of Motor Racing Outreach will gather our hearts for a night of pure worship in the presence of God. Each beat of my heart is for us to “spur each other on” toward deeper intimacy with the Father. Together, God has blessed us with this opportunity to express our gratitude for who God is and who we are in Him.

Do you long for moments that will capture our individual and unique expressions of worship no matter the season we are currently in?

You see worship is our reasonable response to God. Worship on this ordinary Tuesday night is a paradigm shift that will only enhance our walk of faith beyond our last ten years of giving back. It is our offering of gratitude for so great a love as this- that God from from the beginning of time longed for a relationship with His creation. You and me!

We will shift from the horizontal view of giving to lifting our eyes toward the vertical view of heaven because of His great love for us. With ALL of our being, giving thanks to a gracious God.

For who He is.

For what He’s done for us.

For His goodness.

For His blessing.

For His faithfulness.

Even in the moments of enduring, His love ALWAYS overwhelms me- especially this afternoon. 🥰

Would you consider joining me for this extra special night worship for collectively gathering our hearts in complete surrender unto Him?

Stopping to say “thank you Lord” is the most powerful offering that we in our smallness can offer.

A clinging song for me of late has been the song “Goodness of God.

This is my heartbeat for Summer Caution this year. We need YOUR voice to join our collective of worshipers. Eyes on Jesus. Hearts held by His great love. One beautiful chorus of love.

“All my life You have been faithful. All my life You have been so, so good. With every breath that I am able. I will sing of the goodness of God.”

God has sweetly allowed me to embrace every breath, every note, every word, every opportunity over the last couple days. You have all shared in that journey and I cannot imagine every one of you to not be singing alongside of me!! Life is a gift!

So excited to have Clint and Amber lead us in holding tight with all of our strength and courage that we have that only can be found in Christ our Savior. I believe it will be an opportunity to prepare our hearts for the last half of the season with the heartbeat we all need to finish strong in the Lord in 2019.

Check out the who, what, when and where!!

July 16, 2019

6:30pm – 9:30pm

Tickets: $35

R.S.V.P. Heather Haaland 704.794.8496

The Speedway Club 5th Floor Ballroom

“Be strong and courageous.” Joshua 1:9

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Breathing Out & Breathing In



This is what if feels like when God wraps you up in His consuming love!

Life hands us all pause and we have two choices.

Breathe in life-giving oxygen.

Refuse to surrender and forfeit the opportunity for God to do the miraculous.

Like breathing in and breathing out.


This is where faith begins.

In the middle of the hardest days of our lives~ That sorrowful, numbing blow to the chest that takes everything you know, have known. and implodes with the weight as your soul is suspended timeless. Breathless. That is until life reminds you to breathe when you feel you it will never be possible to EVER breathe again.

The police officer at the door, the frantic phone call from a family member, words like tumor, cancer, treatment, prognosis, no cure. The life-altering moment that shatters every inch of your ability to grasp words like death, divorce, we have done all that we can do, financial devastation, loss of a job, you make too much money to get any assistance, a barren womb, abuse, broken relationships, abandonment, a family divided, suicide, and words that are truths we experience so very real but we can’t fully prepare for.

We have to fight to be purposeful!

While there are always things that you need to get done, right? This weekend Monty and I purposefully checked off a few things that in all honesty were way down the list. Instead of laboring around the house, we chose to check on our little camper on Rocky Creek in Union Grove and get opened up for the season. A small detour was a much needed view before the coming weeks and months of travel for ALL the good and right reasons.

Truthfully- he and I needed to hit the pause button. Well, there is actually a 200 year old oak tree that decided a couple years ago to fall across the creek. Thankfully the wind blew it in the opposite direction of our camper.

Arrrgghh that old oak tree has become our arch nemesis and at the same time “group therapy” in the middle of one of most special places we have ever known. Our little spot at “The Mill” as locals call it has brought so much joy to our hearts. Family time. Respite. A place for refreshing. A blessing larger than we could have ever imagined.

We were giddy for sunshine and the great outdoors. The weather. Oh my the most beautiful weekend. We had accomplished most everything on our “list” by mid-Saturday and had so much fun in the process.

Well, that is until my friend and I went up to throw together a little lunch. Grill on, food prepped and then an agonizing scream from the creek. I knew immediately that it was Monty. The shrill pitch of his scream took my breath and almost sent me to my knees.

We both dropped everything and ran down the stairs to the creek. After we had gone up to the deck, Monty had wandered back upstream to grab a few rogue limbs. The creek water has been quite high this spring. Because of that, it had shifted rocks and the very character of its depth and width have changed. Sandy high spots and deeper pockets of water in places where they had not been.

After grabbing the branches and heading back downstream, he stepped into a huge hole and the stronger than usual current pulled him down and immediately filled his wading boots. The water was so cold it took his breath and for a minute he could not get up. His head was never under water but the moment he could breathe, he screamed for help. So thankful that he did not hit his head and get knocked out.

We made it to where he was just as he was staggering to stand up from what we would soon learn was his 3RD fall. 😳😳😳

Once he went down it stunned him, he got up, fell backwards AGAIN. He got up, leaned forward and then because his waders were full of water went headfirst. We arrived just in time to see his hat floating ahead of him. I would have laughed but it was soooo not funny. He finally made his way toward us and got up out of the creek.

While we have always had a safety rule that he is not allowed to work in the water, have his chainsaw or work on the tree without two people there. Uhm ✔️ There were 3 of us there. This was an unexpected “pause” and a reminder just how differently this could have turned out.

Needless to say, he is ok but all I can remember is the way my chest felt the weight of his scream, my heart dropped in an instant and I willed myself to breathe for what I might find.

The same weight of fear that swept over me throughout my life when I have received the unexpected, deafening words spoken.

It took a little while before I saw his body and mind shake off this moment. It has weighed on his heart too. So- you cannot say that I said this but it was equally scary for him! In time, we finally surrendered the rhythm of our souls to breathe in and out again but it has caused me moments of unrest even today. One small incident can turn in a moment and become a random accident with huge consequences.

We have counted the gifts more intentionally today. Water lapping over the creek rocks awakened us this morning with such comforting ripples just outside of our window. Tonight the sunset from our front porch was a beautiful day’s ending and a gift.

Friend- I am not sure what circumstances you are wrangling through today but I am keenly aware that people everywhere are hurting. Their yesterdays did not end as well as did ours. I pray I never forget that all around us daily are life-altering diagnosis’s, loneliness and isolation in someone else’s heart, loss that has changed lives forever and to always, always, always give thanks even in the middle of the hardest things.

Real faith and trust is built and written like DNA into the fabric of our souls by our Heavenly Father when we can surrender to the rhythm of who HE is, what HE is doing and how HE is bringing us through.

In this moment, no matter where you are. In a car (don’t close your eyes), outside, inside, by a hospital bed, giving thanks for a sunset, making plans for tomorrow, washing clothes, checking off the list (and like me- transferring it to be done tomorrow. Do you do that too? I get it.), procrastinating, praying that the kids will stop fighting, praying by the bed of your child, weary, tired- then get back up again or preparing for a beautiful days end…

Surrender: Right. Where. You. Are.


In the sacred few moments ahead of you… You’ve got time. You HAVE to MAKE the time for pause.

Close you eyes.

Breathe in as much air as your lungs can possibly hold and then breathe in some more.

Exhale until every bit of breath has escaped and left your entire being.

Now start slowly breathing in and allow God to blow IN the warmth of life as He fills you up with HIS love. Take in that moment and find every little part of who HE is- the great I AM- take it fully all the way in.

Then allow God’s love to blow freely and fully into the next beautiful moments of living.

Breathing out and breathing in. Yep. It makes a difference when we consider every little IMPORTANT part of living- breathing.

It all started in the garden- when God made man from the dirt and then breathed LIFE into Adam. The gift of God is ours to take hold of and it is a choice.

Sweet friend~ Just so that you know this tonight. Just in case you are wondering. Beautiful LIFE.


You are loved more than words will ever be able to paint. God’s love letter to you- The Bible is the way, the truth, the life. With the fullness of God’s great desire for creation, relationship and the fight for YOU through the gift of His Son Jesus, He is redeeming the moments of chaos as we speak.

Practice breathing every part of yourself OUT in order to breathe fuller, deeper, longer, enduring, the sweet breath of life that can only come through a relationship with the Father.

You and I both know there have been days, will be days and until heaven we will forever breathe in because of our desperate need of God’s love that wraps us up tight and secure…. until heaven.

Do not be afraid to breath out the emptying of your soul so that the fullness of HIM can sustain you when life’s hard days happen.


Breathing out and breathing in alongside of you friend. We are one when we belong to Jesus. ✌️


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