The fragrance of cinnamon pumpkin spice floating from a lit candle on the kitchen counter top.
A thin layer of dust evenly spread over of a cluster of picture frames, doting faces of loved ones.
Soft music playing in the background, competing with children chatter and highlights from the sports channel.
These are some of the things that make me feel … well … feel at home.
A place where everyone is welcomed and no one is left out.
A space where loves grows, laughter takes root and God’s presence fills every nook and cranny.
My good friend, Erica Stidham, knows all about making a house feel like home. She’s a Sr Executive Director for Mary & Martha and understands how to take the simplest moments and turn them into meaningful memories.
Erica is a Jesus Girl who loves her family and celebrates her faith with others.
I want people to know that what I want more than anything is to be aligned with the heart of God. I love that I get to combine my work and faith and then use my resources to advance His kingdom!
I’m thrilled Erica is joining us on the blog this week as she shares how God is using her gifts and passion for His kingdom building.
Erica, how did you discover Mary & Martha?
About 4 years ago, I was invited to a multi-vendor, Christmas party. There were lots of different products and companies represented, but a display of beautiful, faith-based items captured my attention.
I was immediately drawn to a journal that corresponded with Ann Voskamp’s book, “One Thousand Gifts.” I was reading the book at the time and loved the idea of recording my blessings. It was life changing for me!
Since I had not seen Mary & Martha’s line of products before, I thought my friends would enjoy viewing them as well, so I hosted an in-home gathering.
I loved the pieces so much that I decided to purchase the starter kit, with no intention of really having parties or going to any meetings. Ha! Little did I know what the Lord had in store for me.
What is your favorite Fall or Christmas item from the Mary & Martha Collection?
Goodness, it is hard to choose a favorite, but I have a special place in my heart for the Vintage Announcement Board.
I love the nostalgia it creates in most of us as we think back to our first churches. We can envision the message board at the front of the sanctuary announcing attendance, hymn numbers and offering.
Our board has inner-changeable slats that have Scripture, worship songs, Christmas lyrics, or faith-based messages.
Of course my every-day favorite is our Grace & Gratitude pitcher.
It is my vase of choice for fresh flowers and the life-giving message printed on the bottom is such a source of encouragement. I am just blessed to fill my home with beautiful messages of TRUTH!
What do you love most about being a Sr Executive Director for Mary & Martha?
There are so many things I love about working for Mary & Martha, but the greatest is knowing I am using the gifts God has given me to make a difference in the lives of others.
He has created me to be an encourager, a dreamer, a hard-worker, a speaker, and a generous giver. I am able to do all of those things through this opportunity. Our family is able to give generously to those things that matter eternally!
We are even partnering with a missionary in Liberia to build a clinic so that families are able to get the medical care they need for their children. Once they receive that care, they will be taught about hope & faith in Jesus!
Wow! I would have never imagined God would use me to do such a thing. As a leader with Mary & Martha, I am able to invest in other women so they believe TRUTH about who they are in Christ, and in turn they can share this message with others.
Not only do I get to share beautiful products which speak LIFE into others, I am also blessed with the opportunity to encourage and equip a team of women as they build their businesses.
What does the average day in your home look like?
Well, as a mom of three girls, my days are filled with many of the same things as yours. I spend time in my prayer closet first and foremost, always starting with my First5 app of course.
I also walk in the mornings with a friend, so I nourish my body and spirit before taking on other tasks.
My two older daughters do an on-line Classical, Christian school four days a week. Twice a week my two year old is in preschool, so I use that time to work on my business, prepare meals, do laundry, and well, all the other things moms must do during the day.
The Lord has called me to a season of “my best yes”, so several nights a week, our evenings are simply spent together. Going to the park, taking walks, delivering dinner to friends, etc. On the other nights we participate in church activities, dance, and piano.
I host Mary & Martha gatherings about once a week, which is a great time for me to invest in the lives of other women, as well as have a little “me” time!
My husband is a hard worker, so when he is home, we really try to make the most of our time together, watching football, riding in our go-cart, going to the dog park or cooking together.
I pray that my life will glorify the Lord and since He gave us the example of the Proverbs 31 woman, I do my best live the way she did.
Serving the Lord whole-heartedly, tending to my family with intentionality, running a business with integrity and excellence, providing opportunities for other women to do the same, and giving generously to those in need.
I love that I get to be home with my girls, while having the opportunity to live and give differently through Mary & Martha.
Erica has graciously offered to give away this beautiful pitcher.
I absolutely love the inscription: Grace & Gratitude. It’s the perfect reminder of God’s lavished grace towards me and the gratitude I have because of His love and blessings over me.
Someone is going to win this beautiful pitcher and that someone might be you!
To enter this week’s drawing, leave a comment sharing which Mary & Martha item you like the most and why. You can find the entire product line HERE.
Erica is graciously giving 10% off all orders placed between now and November 8, 2015. If you’d like to purchase something from Mary & Martha’s product line, just click here: Mary & Martha 10% off sale. Your 10% discount will automatically be included.
If you’d like to find more about becoming part of the Mary & Martha organization, email your questions directly to Erica Stidham @ firstname.lastname@example.org
Just think … this is a great opportunity to jump-start your Christmas shopping! Plus, you get to share words of hope and faith with every gift you give to others.