A few weeks ago, we asked for your help in finding some incredibly deserving women to be gifted a Simplified Planner this holiday season. We were blown away by the responses we received. Our team read through story after story of amazing, selfless, women who are giving so much of themselves for others each and every day. To say we had a difficult time choosing which women to gift planners to for this giveaway would be an understatement! We were so moved by the stories that were submitted that we decided to share some of the stories below. We hope these stories will touch your heart as much as they touched ours.
Asa’s Story (nominated by her daughter, Abbie)
My mom’s planners from the 90’s (those chunky calendar ones from drugstores) have inspired me my whole life. Scrawled in the most impeccable handwriting are the notes that made up our lives these last 25 years. Grocery lists tell me our favorite foods. Phone numbers, dates, and bank balances show me how much of an empire she ran every day. Homeschooling 3 kids from kindergarten to 12th grade took guts, strength and a sense of purpose that reverberates like music notes through her writing. I cannot read those pages, that to most would be just boring facts and figures, without crying over how much she loved us and still does. These days she keeps her notes in little notebooks that fit in her purse and I would love for her to have one that could finally keep up with her style and love for lists (so many lists lol)! She would never buy a Simplified Planner for herself because she never thinks about herself. And I would love to give her this gift.
Stephanie’s Story (nominated by her daughter, Kara)
When I was 16, my mom (Stephanie) was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor. She was given five years to live…that was almost 10 years ago! She fought so hard and survived with her will and God’s plan. I’ve always considered her my Wonder Woman. And this week, we found out that the tumor has started growing again. We know that He’s got this, but it was heartbreaking again. I know she will be able to fight this yet again and will continue to amaze me. But with my brother’s impending wedding (and possibly mine too) and more doctors appointments coming up, I want to give her this amazing planner that I’ve fallen in love with. The tumor makes her forget things often and having this blank canvas could help her keep track of things and stay organized. I want her to be able to take notes at her doctors appointments and keep track of her meds and/or symptoms. But I also want her to keep track of fun things like planning the wedding and ladies bible studies and my nieces birthday party! I just want to give her a small way that might make her help feel in control.
Leah’s Story (nominated by her friend, Natalie)
About a month ago, Leah’s mother, who had never been hospitalized in her life, was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia. It has been a whirlwind from a doctor appointment on a Friday to starting daily chemo the following Monday. The burden of the vast majority of support and logistics has fallen to Leah. Her and her husband, Mark, went to the mats to get her mother a room at Moffitt after being told there was no space. Leah and Mark had actually been planning to buy her parents’ house when all of this happened. So in addition to this shocking diagnosis, Leah has planned and overseen the selling of her home, the purchase of her parents’ home, locating a home for her parents to purchase and the buying of that home. She was also responsible for moving out of her house and into her parents’ house AND moving her parents’ belongings into their new house. She is also taking charge of organizing and furnishing her parents’ new home to provide her mother a comfortable, put together environment when she is able to return home. She has done all this with a 4-year-old and 2-year-old in tow. Oh, did I mention she is 17 weeks pregnant with baby number three? Just thinking about what she has done and what still awaits her makes me dizzy. Some people would crumble, but Leah is getting it done while still remaining positive and maintaining her sense of humor. (Just ask her about her parents’ dog that she is taking care of that none of us are very fond of.) She is so much stronger than she realizes and what she can accomplish in one day still baffles me. I know she would love a planner that is fun, stylish and, most of all, practical for her crazy life right now. Not to mention, more than at any other point, she is now so aware of the poignancy and urgency of focusing on what matters most.
Jessie’s Story (nominated by her friend, Jenna)
Jessie’s husband recently accepted an exciting new job, but it means a move to a new city for them, very suddenly. She is expecting their third BOY early in 2017, right after they move! In a season of great change, I think the Simplified Planner would be a helpful, beautiful, and even comforting tool. I would love to send her into this new season of calling with a resource that has been thoughtfully designed to help women live with a sense of purpose in each of their days.
Raven’s Story (nominated by her cousin, Ashley)
I’m nominating Raven because she’s a wife, mother of two boys both under the age of three, and she’s starting her own business in 2017. Did I mention Raven also works 50 hours a week at her full-time job? Raven currently doesn’t own a planner and I know that the Simplified planner will be a complete balance for tracking the appointments of her sons Liam and Chancellor, her deadlines at work, and all the necessary planning for launching her new business. The Simplified planner will also assist Raven in meal planning. Having Raven win a Simplified planner will be the best gift to give my hero to show her how much I’m cheering for her success in 2017 and beyond.
Brenda’s Story (nominated by Heather)
Brenda is my mother-in-law’s caretaker. My elderly mother-in-law (with dementia and who only speaks Vietnamese!) moved in with my husband and I just after we got married. We have been fortunate to find a caretaker who does a great job looking after my mother in law. The service we use is expensive, but, unfortunately, does not pay the caretakers very well. Brenda is in our house every day and knows how much I rely on my Simplified Planner. She would love one for herself and I know she is also a busy grandma so she needs all of the organizational help she can get! We appreciate the peace and joy that Brenda has brought to our home and the peace of mind that she gives us by caring for my mother in law! A Simplified Planner would be a wonderful blessing for Brenda, who works hard and gives selflessly to our family!
Michelle’s Story (nominated by her friend, Helen)
Helen devotes her life to encouraging others and could use this little bit of encouragement herself with a Simplified Planner to begin 2017 off to a great start! She recently moved into a new home and is trying her best to put more organization into her home office, as well as keep up with the rest of her life of wife and mom. She has also had to take on more responsibility at the women’s home with the house mom being out for a few weeks due to major surgery. She is truly an amazing lady.