Cultivate

Valerie Comment

Every year for the last six years, I have hosted a fundraiser through Valerie Dawdy Fitness. A chance for people to get a great workout, have fun, and raise money for a worthy cause. This year I took a risk and decided to change it up a little. 

I made a decision to add an hour of being creative before the workout and to have the event on a Friday night. Well, this event tanked. Not a little, but a lot. Only five people came plus the four that were involved, and that equals nine. Nine people and I was hoping for at least twenty.

I was feeling really discouraged for two weeks before the event because I knew that very few would be attending. Yes, I shed a few tears. Events take a lot of work and I wanted to raise money.

And you know what else? 

Rejection, that's what. Rejection right after writing my blog post about rejection. 

Like, seriously, that is so not cool.

But this fundraiser was not mine. My goal when I have a fundraiser is to get as many people as possible to it so that a lot of money can be raised for the organization. That makes sense, right? But what if God had a different goal for the evening?

So I wrote these words in my journal...Dear God, this fundraiser belongs to you, not me. My goal is to have a lot of people come and raise a lot of money, but maybe your plan is different than mine? I open my hands and surrender what is out of my control. I trust you and know your ways are higher than mine. 

God opened my eyes to the fact that I was measuring success according to the world's idea of success; a large attendance and a lot of money raised. I wish I could say that I didn't struggle after that revelation, but I still did. I still had moments of discouragement, sadness, embarrassment. Pride...blah.

The morning of the fundraiser I awakened with the thought to love on those that were attending; to go all out and surprise them with an extra special, beautiful evening. I didn't even tell the other three ladies that were helping because I wanted to surprise them too.

Originally, I had entitled this fundraiser 'Cultivate' and it was an hour of creativity and fitness which included stamping, learning to knit, and sketching, followed by a workout. The new plan would include a light dinner. I first decided on vegetarian spring rolls, but guess what? You can't find rice paper in Belding. Shocking. So then the menu became vegetarian quinoa lettuce wraps, a creamy avocado honey-lime sauce, cheese sticks, and strawberries.

We had a picnic outside and then we stamped, sketched, and knitted, all while listening to French Cafe Music. It was a  lovely time of food, conversation, creativity, good music, laughter, and raising a little money. In fact, we didn't even end up working out.

That is a successful fundraiser.