(Disclaimer... before reading this, please, please, please read Jen Hatmaker's post In the Basement.
Please.   I don't care where you stand of the Chick-fil-a controversy.  If you are a human, you need to read it.  Now.  Go...)

My family is no stranger to Chick-fil-a campouts.
We love them.  They are fun and crazy and sometimes hard, but always worth it.

Last week we spent a better part of a day preparing for one.
Jason put a vacation day request in at work.
We packed the car.  PACKED.
If you have ever gone camping, you know that it pretty much takes the same amount of work, gear and prep, regardless of if your stay will be one night or one week.  The only thing that changes is the food.
A heck of a lot of stuff.

We woke up in the dark, and headed out.
Us and 350 some other crazy people.
Sad, sleepy, Shane tucked into the Ergo.

Nervous excitement as we each were handed a ticket for the raffle.

Scanning the crowd, we knew our odds were not great.
But I had faith.  I hoped upon hope that either my ticket or Jason's would be picked.

One by one, each number was called.
We cheered and screamed when it was someone from our group.
Fifty were picked.
Then 75.
Then 95.
My hope stood firm.

I awaited my numbers.
Still not picked.

On to the alternates.
We were not among them
No chicken for us.

I was fine.  Happy for our friends that were chosen.  
Sort of happy that I wouldn't have to sleep in a hot parking lot.

We walked back to our cars.
Jason ended up going into work anyway.
I went home to unpack.

My peace about the situation dissipated.  My disappointment set in.  I let myself wallow in it for a bit.
Convinced myself that we deserved to be picked.
How much we needed to be picked.
In this time of extremely limited "fun" money, and with the days of all the kids sharing one meal long gone, going out to eat together has become a rare luxury.

I wasted away the day with a raincloud over my head.

Dumb. So very dumb.

My whole life is really a luxury.  The fact that we still have tickets leftover from previous campouts is a luxury.  

The simple truth that we have never, ever, ever, for a single day gone hungry, is a luxury.

Yes, we didn't get picked.  Yes, it is in my nature to be disappointed.
But it is in God's nature to see past our small, silly, sadness and to enable us to look beyond our circumstances.

People are legitimately starving all over the world.
Hope for Sudan has a plan to help remedy that need.
My heart breaks.  My heart wants to help.

Thank you so very much for your hearts to help.  
They are halfway to their goal.

Our God is the God of hope.
His love never fails, it never gives up, it never runs out.

(Two new printables are available in the shop.
Each one feeds 83 people.
Even better than a year of free Chick-fil-a.)

(P.S.  If you want to leave a comment about Chick-fil-a no matter which side you are on, I will delete it.    This is not the place or the post for that.  I'm in the basement.)


  1. Jen Hatmaker...so good.
    Hope for Sudan...even better.

  2. I have never heard of a CFA Campout before ~ sounds fun! Lol my husband & I would probably get along well with you & your husband. The CFA cow was my husband's best man in our wedding last October. He even wore a tux :) Beautiful printables, by the way!! I love the yellow & turquoise best.

  3. Thanks for posting that link. My mind has been swirling about all that & she put my swirls into words. And...I've had a rain cloud today. Mad at myself. Thanks for the very timely reminder...I have no need for a rain cloud. Just rainbows & unicorns;). I am blessed.

  4. you are a crazy beast. in the best way possible.
    thanks again julie for being amazing for Jesus.
    and linking that article. yes.

    and for wanting to feed people.
    i wish we could give all the hungry people a spicy chicken sandwich. right. this. second.

  5. i've never heard of a chick fil a campout.

    what an awesome heart you have. so glad i could buy 1 small print to help you in your efforts! blessings!

  6. What is a chick fil a campout, and what were you hoping to win?? I want to campout!!!

  7. Your heart is amazing.
    As always I enjoy your realness.
    I love your prints.

    And I loved the post you pointed us to.
    I won't say anything other than I'm joining you and Jen in the basement.

  8. I really wish they would get a chick fil a in Michigan.

  9. Im so glad you wrote the link at the beginig. I copy it and share it with friends. Im in the basement too.
    Thank You!

  10. hope, basement. also, i love you. thank you.

  11. loving life in the basement!!! great share today....

  12. My daughter introduced me to the term, "First World Problem." Now I hear it all the time. It puts disappointments in perspective. Almost anything that can potentially ruin my day would be a joy to most third worlders because my problems are always accompanied by plenty of food.

    PS---Jen Hatmaker's basement is a lot more pleasant than the tornado cellar. Great post.

  13. Love your post but like several others, have never heard of a Chick-fil-A campout. Doesn't matter, though -- I'll be in the basement with you today...


  14. I've never heard of CFA Camp-Out! So cool!

  15. Love you so much.....you are such a good person with a big heart!

  16. i just figured out what a campout is, and i think i'm going to need to be on the lookout for new chick-fil-a's opening around these parts.

  17. You guys are a crack-up- camping out for some fried chicken? Right on!

    With you and Jen in the basement- she has the ability to explain in words my feelings.

    I actually had an opportunity to talk w/someone who's nickname is "Namaste" and we talked about how non-Christians can be judgemental just as much as they think Christians can be. We had a conversation and he actually said his goal is to love like Jesus and I was shocked. He didn't believe that Jesus came as our Savior, but that Jesus was the epitomy of how people should treat/love others.

    thank you for your posts, for sharing yourself with us!
    Love & blessings!

  18. Dang, I want my currency to be spicy chicken sandwiches.... :)

  19. Thank you for sharing this.
    Waving hello from the basement....

  20. Thank you for sharing the basement. I grew up in Colorado so I get the concept! I am going to the basement and thank you for yet another way to help people in Sudan! I'm buying while I'm in the basement!

  21. As always... Every time I read your blog update... You either bring a smile to my face (clear & Pepsi story was rad) or inspire me to try to become a better HAPPIER person, wife & mother! You are a true JOY! Blessings :)

  22. have YOU read interrupted?
    i want to shout all about it to everyone.
    but i don't even know what to say.


  23. Thank you for sharing! I'm in the basement - spicy chicken sandwich in hand :) You are beyond rad!!

  24. I just wanted to tell you you're awesome! I'm in the basement too...it's better down there!

  25. I was already in the basement and looking for a way to express it, thanks for sharing the link. And man, I've been using the 'thinking of other's needs to make me appreciate my blessings' trick a lot lately. Life is rough right now, but it's rich people rough, not I can't feed my children rough. I'm really, really thankful for what I have...and thankful for your lovely blog : )

  26. i appreciate your vulnerability, julie. i like when you say things like "rich people problems" because in comparison we really are quiet rich. but i also value you being honest about a "lack of fun money," because i'm with ya (and we have a surgery expense and other necessary expenses in our near future that are kinda really freaking me out).
    blogville is often so misleading, and i'm a jerk who get's envious and mad at what everyone else "seems to have" that i don't.
    so today, thank you for keep'n it real for jerks like me. :-)

  27. love this. so real. i have been in a pity-party mood all day and i need to snap.out.of.it. this was encouraging to read...thanks.