Sackcloth & Ashes Giveaway

My son, Aiden, and I were in the car the other day and we saw a homeless man on the side of the road shivering. My little man asked me, “Mommy, why doesn’t he have a blanket?” I then had to explain because he probably couldn’t afford to have one and that it would be nice to get him one to keep him warm during the winter. Aiden agreed.

Since Aiden has come home from growing up on a Caribbean island, he has taken to liking many blankets to keep himself warm as the weather changes on him for the first time in his life. He gets that blanket love from me. We both wish to be all bundled up for the entire winter.

Mommy & Aiden's Blanket

{Aiden and I have let a bunch of other blankets go because of our love for this new one} 

I came across the company Sackcloth & Ashes a few months back. Naturally, my love of blankets drew me in, but their mission is what caused me to stay. Sackcloth & Ashes came to understand that the greatest need of homeless shelters is blankets and so they put together a company that sells high quality blankets. For every one you purchase, they give a blanket to your LOCAL homeless shelter. Not only are you helping people with your purchase, you are helping people in YOUR city. How amazing is that?

Tribal Blanket

Blue Blanket

I can not think of a better gift to give as we approach Christmas than the gift of warmth.

I believe so much in this company that I am giving away one of their blankets to one of my sweet readers. And not only that, a blanket will be sent to the homeless shelter in your city as a result. I am so excited about this giveaway!

Enter by doing these things below and one winner will be chosen for Sackcloth & Ashes to send a blanket to.

To Enter : 1. Like this post and FOLLOW BOTH @krystalribble and @sackclothxashes on Instagram. 2. Visit www.krystalribble.com and subscribe to my blogs (Pink Button on the Blog Page) in order to be notified each time I do another giveaway. 3. Tag two friends who would love my mission and @sackclothxashes’ mission to uplift the broken people and places of this world. **You must do all of these things to be entered to win. We will be checking each entry.** GIVEAWAY winner will be drawn at random on Monday night December 7, 2015, and announced on my (@krystalribble) Instagram. (Giveaway not sponsored by IG, must be 13+ old and US or Canadian resident to enter.) Please know that I am receiving no compensation for this. I just absolutely LOVE what Sackcloth & Ashes is doing and I want you all to join me in their cause!

 

The Trait Project : #6 {Kelsie Reed}

“Rare as is true love, true friendship is rarer.” -Jean de La Fontaine

I have found this quote above to be immensely true in my life. The Trait Project has been my way of honoring those few gems on my journey. This post is no exception. This post is about the biggest surprise of a friend I have received in years.

In January, I will celebrate living in Nashville for 5 years. {Which is the longest I have lived anywhere my entire life and I am going to have a party to celebrate….I just have to} My husband had already lived in Nashville for a number of years, but our entire relationship was long distance so I moved to Nashville once we were back from our honeymoon. Not long after I was settled in, my husband kept mentioning that he wanted me to have a really good friend in Nashville; that was his hope for me. I kept dismissing it because it didn’t matter to me. I had spent much of my life moving around and sometimes had a good friend to show for a certain place and sometimes not.

Before I knew it, I had a really good friend in Nashville. Her name was Kelsie.
Kelsie Reed Peskett Snowden.

The funny thing about Kelsie is that the first time I ever met her was at my wedding. We had a small wedding in Virginia. I wanted ONLY 50 people there and my requirement was that I had to believe that I would still be speaking to you in 15 years if you were invited. We invited mostly family and very close friends in Nashville to attend, one of those friends being a band mate of my husband’s. His name is Phil.
Phil was on a gig with my then boyfriend, Jared, when Jared went to buy my engagement ring. The same week they bought my ring, I was visiting them at the venue of their gig and Phil began to tell me about Kelsie; his not so girlfriend “girlfriend”. I could see his face completely change when her name was mentioned. I knew she was special.

Fast forward a few months. Jared proposed, I said yes, and we began to put a wedding together in four months. I wanted Phil to be a part of the 50 and I asked him to bring Kelsie along. He told me Kelsie was really apprehensive about it because she didn’t’ know us and truthfully I can understand her feeling this way; she would literally be the only person at my wedding that I wasn’t really good friends with. That can be intimidating. I admire her though because she came.

Jared and I took pictures with everyone who came and I look back at that picture with Kelsie and Phil and I never knew God had me standing next to the girl I would ask to be my child’s godmother.

Snowdens & Ribbles @ Ribble Wedding
Snowdens & Ribbles @ Ribble Wedding 2

I can’t tell you what one event pivoted us into great friends. Maybe Kelsie can say what it was, but I remember just looking up from my life one day in a coffee shop and Kelsie was sitting across from me as one of the most familiar things in my life.

As we continue this journey into adulthood, I think we find friends for reasons we never believed we would. I look back on what I needed in my life back then, and even more so now, and I see why Kelsie and I clicked. I, like every other woman (if she will be honest with herself) need a friend who I can be 1000 % honest with. This type of friend is the needle in the haystack.

We as women put on a front.
We hide behind Facebook profile pictures of happy marriages that show a lie to everyone who sees them.
We hide behind snapshots of our kiddos laughing and words describing them as the most beautiful angels when we want to cry and scream because life has been so difficult as a mom.
We hide behind Instagram photos of just our neck and face smiling because we actually spent twenty minutes in the bathroom that morning distraught by our figure.
This is what we do.
We create what we want the truth to be and we choose friends who can’t get close enough to know all the crevasses.
We seek women who are doing the same things so we never have to get too close and be uncomfortable.
And you know what I say to this?? I say we are all kidding ourselves into thinking this is an ok way to live.
We are depriving ourselves of one of God’s greatest gifts in a person if we seek this type of friendship only. We are depriving ourselves of honesty.

When God gave me Kelsie, he gave me a girl that I can tell anything to. And I mean anything. I can not begin to explain the wonderful emotion I have knowing I have complete sincerity with another girl friend. I don’t have to hide behind profile pictures or tell fibs at the coffee table about my days. I can lay all of my raw emotion before her, bleeding and pleading, she accepts every ounce of it for what it is and loves me.

Kelsie & Phil’s Wedding, Coronado Island, CA

kelsie and phil wedding

I saw this picture the other day of a tote bag someone had that said, “Mother Teresa didn’t walk around complaining about her thighs–  she had {stuff} to do.” There are a million reasons I love this, but one of them is in this statement, I see so much of my relationship with Kelsie. When I am with her, I can complain about those things if I want to, but our friendships pushes us both to focus on the best of us both.
Our friendship listens to the inadequacies, calculates their worth in each other, then computes the truth for us both to take from that table with gusto.

____________________

In just the fashion I would have encouraged her to do, Kelsie moved to California this year to pursue some lifelong dreams. I have never once lied to her about my feelings about this move. I have been so excited for her and at the same time devastated. I no longer have a couple of days a week of coffee meet ups with her or evenings of shared dinners with our families. We will from here on out count on one hand the times we see each other in a year. That’s difficult for me to type. But its the truth and she is doing what is best for her family, as I am mine.

I decided a long time ago I wanted to ask her to be my child’s godmother. In the denomination I grew up in spiritually, we never practiced naming of godparents. For me, I wanted to bestow an honor similar to “aunt” or “uncle” on a friend who isn’t blood already. The main reason for picking Kelsie was that I want to convey to my son, that if there is ever a time he cannot come to me; if there is ever a time he feels he can’t come to family for help or share something with us, I want him to know his Aunt Kelsie is that person. She will welcome him as her own and I trust her with his soul. I know she will not lead him astray.

As you are reading this, Kelsie just found out last week that she is my son’s godmother. Aiden took this picture below as his way to ask her. I wrote a note to her about all the things I want Aiden to know about her and my trust in her, and we gave her a bracelet with Aiden’s birthstone to commemorate her role in his life.

Aiden's Godmother Picture
This is a picture of her face as she realized what we were asking her:

Kelsie Finding Out She is a Godmother

My wish is for every girl to have a Kelsie in their life that they can tell absolutely everything to. My wish is for every woman to have a Kelsie whom they can point their child to knowing if they can’t come home, they have a safe place to land and an honest heart to welcome them.

Kels & Krys

I don’t really know if Mother Teresa complained about her thighs, but if she did, I hope she had a Kelsie to talk to about it.

Kels, I love you more than these words can ever adequately describe. As we have joked many times, you are my Right Arm. The miles will never define our friendship. Thank you for always being a safe place for me to land no matter where I am coming from. I love you forever and always.

Noonday Collection Blog : Everyday Advocacy

I have the extreme pleasure of being a freelance writer for many different publications and sites. I will do my best to post links here to those articles.

Noonday Collection is one company that I do some work with not only as an Ambassador for their brand, but as a blogger for their site.

Today I published a story with them featuring Four Ways To Practice Everyday Advocacy.
I wanted to share my journey of becoming a more aware girl in this big world.

Go read my blog HERE.

-KR

Orphan Sunday Video From The Ribbles

With today being Orphan Sunday, I wanted to shared a video we made earlier this week that is being shown at the National Republican Congressional Committee conference later this week in Washington, DC.

Every Orphan Sunday has meant something to us for the past three years, but this year is especially important as we finally have our little guy home.

orphan sunday 2015

Enjoy our little video about how adoption has impacted our family.

Happy Orphan Sunday Everyone!