Feb 11 2013

Happy Birthday Gina Marie and a Birthday Giveaway!!!!

Ginas-headshot.jpgHappy Birthday to this very special lady!!!!!

Today is Gina Marie’s birthday and I am sooooo excited to help her celebrate!  She is such a blessing to me and so many!

God blessed me so much when he introduced us through my old blog, “Seeds of Encouragement Sewn with Grace”.  She began commenting and then we began chatting on Facebook.  Over a year later, the Lord made it possible for us to meet up in person!

Gina-and-Mary_thumb.jpgThat’s Gina Marie and me at my house in June 2012.  God is so awesome that way!  We were good friends before that meeting but once we got our families together for the day…a day it poured down rain most of the day LOL…we were sisters for life!

Our husbands hit it off!  Loved listening to them talk and then the four of us visiting together too was awesome.  Her husband Randy is a very special man.  And he is head over heals for Gina Marie and she is for him!  I loved the way they interacted!

Unwrapping His Grace at surrenderedlivingnow.comOur younger kids had a blast together and spent lots of time play and being silly.

Unwrapping His Grace at surrenderedlivingnow.com

And our high school girls had a fun talking and hanging out together.

But most of all…I got to know this amazing woman in person.  We even did a last-minute pot luck.  They got some snacks out of the car to add to the chili I had in the crock pot.  We just all kicked back as new-found friends who hit it off like family.  Relaxed, talked and talked and talked and ate!  My kind of day!  And…she gave us a priceless gift while she was here too.  She took a huge “roll” of family photos for us.  None of us knowing that they would be the last photos we would have taken as a family before Will went home to heaven!  God is SOOOO good!  And the photos are amazing.

After they left and we all promised to stay in touch with each other and shared lots of hugs…I got a Facebook message a few hours later asking me if I had plans or could I come over to their hotel and have some girl talk, just the two of us!  Will insisted that I leave immediately and have a great time.  He loved them all and was sooo happy that we had the chance to meet.

During the time Gina Marie and I had together sipping cold drinks in the very comfy lobby of their hotel, we got to know each other at another level.  We had the blessed time of sharing heart stories and I found out that the beautiful spirit of Gina Marie that we see on-line is sooo for real!

I learn so much from Gina Marie.  And I have been so blessed by our friendship.  After visiting together we decided, and our husbands agreed, that we were sisters separated at birth!  LOL  We have so much in common!

When the accident happened, I found a way to get in touch with her from the hospital and she walked with me via long, tear and emotion filled phone conversations from my hospital and then the rehab hospital.  When I needed someone in the middle of the night because the grief was so painful, she was there for me.  She shared with all my readers on Facebook what was going on and got everyone praying and passing my prayer needs around.  She shared updates with everyone when I wasn’t up for it.  She listened to me pour out what God was doing and shared the awe of His hand in our lives through a very painful time. I can’t count the times she prayed with me over the phone and helped me to get through more than I ever expected to experience.  And through all of that we grew closer as sisters.

Over the past several months I have had the honor of learning more about her personal story.  I have seen God’s grace shine in her life while she was going through very painful times with new diagnosis of medical issues and other challenges in life.  I have had the honor of standing with her and listening and praying with her through her challenges.

We share our joys and struggles as homeschooling moms who want the best for our kids and struggle with health issues at the same time.  We are able to encourage each other and share ideas to keep our families on focus in the midst of our challenges.

Mr and Mrs Randy Weeks

We are both in awe about how God’s timing is perfect.  Our friendship is such a gift.    I was so thrilled to have my sister, Gina Marie join me here on Unwrapping His Grace and the face that she is here to share every Monday about her journey and what the Lord is teaching her in her marriage is once again, God’s perfect timing…and she does it with such grace and openness!

Gina being silly! Unwrapping HIs Grace at surrenderedlivingnow.com

Gina has such a fun sense of humor and can always make me smile.  I love her excitement and passion for her Savior and her family!  She is so gifted in so many areas!  I am so thrilled to have her as a sister and a part of the writing team here on Unwrapping His Grace!!

To help in celebrating Gina Marie’s birthday, we are going to have a special giveaway in her honor!!!!

If you have a business, blog, or website that would be something our readers would enjoy, this is for you!!!!

Our big Birthday Giveaway will give ONE winner ONE MONTH of FREE Advertizing on Unwrapping His Grace at surrenderedlivingnow (dot) com for the month of March to a business/blog or e-book that fits our audience!!!

You heard me right!  You will get a 150 x 150 Ad in the right side bar here on our website for four weeks at NO charge!!! That is a $20 a month Ad at no cost to you!  AND your website/business will be promoted once a week for that entire month on our Unwrapping His Grace Facebook page!

We are averaging over 20,000 hits per month here on our website now and our momentum is growing and that is just since we started back up this Fall! And we have over 1, 210 amazing followers on our Facebook Page!!!

The Lord is blessing Unwrapping His Grace ministry so much over the past several months!  We want to pass on the blessing to YOU!

And as they say on TV…but wait!  There’s more!  If you are one of our wonderful readers and do not have a business, you can still win!  You can win a $10 Amazon Gift Card!!!!  Now that would help buy some of your favorite e-books wouldn’t it?!

All you need to do is leave a Happy Birthday comment to Gina Marie in the comment section below!!!

For an extra entry, subscribe to Unwrapping His Grace so that you will receive it in your email inbox or your e-reader and leave a comment letting us know you did!!!

For another extra entry “Like” our Unwrapping His Grace Facebook page and then leave a comment letting us know you did!!!

And share this giveaway on Facebook or Twitter and receive FIVE extra entries…be sure to leave a comment letting us know you did!

Be sure to leave email so that we can get in touch with you so we can let you know when you win!

The Giveaway is open through Wednesday night, February 13, 2013 at 8:00pm CST.  I will announce the winner at 9:00pm that night here on the blog and on Facebook so be watching!!!!


Don’t miss a single post! Take a moment to sign up for the free updates through your E-Reader or in your email.  And be sure to join the Unwrapping His Grace Facebook Community where you will find daily updates, Scripture, encouragement and opportunities to share prayer requests or follow us on Twitter!

Dancing at the foot of the Cross,

Mary Joy

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About the author

Mary Joy

I am a broken daughter of God and a work in progress. I am passionate about encouraging women to embrace God's grace and faithfulness as I discover and share His faithfulness, grace and even joy in the messiness of my journey as a widowed (less than 2 yrs), homeschooling mom with a missionary's heart. I am in awe of how God fills me up and carries me through each day. My Heavenly Father leads me as I continue to parent and home school my two recovering and very active boys and encourage my beautiful teenage step-daughter (long distance) during her first year in of college. In every moment I see incredible evidence of God's healing love, grace and faithfulness. I am so blessed to be the creator, manager, and an author of Unwrapping His Grace as I lean on my Savior to lead us in this special web-ministry.

Permanent link to this article: http://www.surrenderedlivingnow.com/2013/02/11/happy-birthday-gina-marie-and-birthday-giveaway/

  • Tabatha F

    Happy Birthday!!!!! Hope it was/will be great!! boobear27525@gmail.com

    • Gina Marie

      It was a great day, Tabatha! God bless you and thank you for your comments! – - – To GOD be the Glory!

      Gina Marie

  • Tabatha F

    Also I ‘like’ Unwrapping His Grace’ on FB!! Btw, that was a beautiful story of friendship!!

  • http://www.facebook.com/monica.bland.97 Monica Bland

    Oh Happy Birthday Gina!! :D Today is my baby boy’s first birthday and such a beautiful day (here in MD anyhow) to celebrate!! I’m a friend on FB too btw. I love reading your posts and pray for your families often.

    • Gina Marie

      Happy birthday to your baby boy! He shares a birthday with Mary Joy’s son Josh and Abe Lincoln… and one of my best friends!

      Thank you for your prayers – I know that Mary Joy treasures them, as do I. God bless you and I cherish your birthday wishes!

      To God be the Glory!

      Gina Marie

  • Cheryl

    Happy, happy birthday to my dear friend Gina! :)

    • Gina Marie

      Thank you Cheryl… from CA, right? Love you too, dear friend!

      —Gina Marie

  • Cheryl

    I “like” the page on facebook as well. :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/angiealdridge7 Angie Aldridge

    Happy Birthday Gina, I hope it was very special for you!

    • Gina Marie

      Thank you Angie! My mother’s maiden name was Aldridge! Small world – - – they are from FL and GA – - -are you????Maybe we are related!

      God bless you!

      Gina Marie

  • Kathleen Winans

    Wishing you a very Happy and blessed Birthday!

    • Gina Marie

      Thank you so much, Kathleen!

      God bless you!

      Gina Marie

  • http://www.facebook.com/angiealdridge7 Angie Aldridge

    I’ve been a fan and liked your Unwrapping His Grace Facebook page for quite some time now!

  • http://www.facebook.com/angiealdridge7 Angie Aldridge

    I am also subscribed to Unwrapping His Grace! :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/janice.v.lane Janice VanHorne Lane

    I too only truly know Gina through Facebook as we met through her husband Randy. Randy and I went to Asbury College (now University) together in the early 90s. It’s been a true blessing to get to know her and am so thrilled to have been introduced to your website through her. Although I already wished her a happy birthday on Facebook, I again want to say, “Happy Birthday, Gina!!”

    • Gina Marie

      Thank you so much, Janice! We did meet IRL at the Reunion 5+ years ago – - – but, truly got to know each other through FB like you said.

      It has been such a blessing – - – and thank you for your kind words and friendship!

      —Gina Marie

  • http://www.facebook.com/cjbruinius Cara Bruinius

    You guys make me teary! Thank you for sharing so openly with all of us and praying and caring for us. God’s blessing on you, Gina, on your birthday. It is evident His love and grace shine through. And Mary Joy, it has been an honor to pray you through this last few months. I have no idea how I found you but I’m so blessed I did. :) BLESS. Bless. Bless.

    • Gina Marie

      Thank you so much, Cara, You are a great friend and I am so glad I met you through FB in one of our support groups!


      Gina Marie

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