ever/after

ever/after on RedRoverStyle.com

Posted in Launch by christy winston on July 23, 2010

Check out ever/after’s feature on one of the hottest online magazines!  RedRoverStyle.com is a lifestyle + charity magazine that bridges the gap between fashion and philanthropy.  It is a network for those in the fashion industry with a passion for using their talents to put others before themselves.  We love the Rovers and we know you will too!

Check out the article and tell a friend!

Advertisements

ever/after asks Mandy, “How do YOU change the story?”

Posted in Change the Story by christy winston on July 21, 2010

Gary and I have felt the most thankful for the new perspective ever/after has given us above all of the other blessings that have accompanied this step of faith.  This new venture ushered in a new way of thinking, and therefore living, where self is second to serving others.  What a reversal of everything we stood for and believed up until this point!  There were hundreds of times I would awake from the coma of stress just long enough to think, “Hmmm…that would be “neat” to volunteer at a soup kitchen or tutoring center or something…”  Then I’d be so overwhelmed with my to-do list that I’d completely forgotten about the whim I just had 30 seconds ago. I thought I was busy then…HA!  At a time such as this when my to-do list looks like it’s for 15 people, this is when I feel most compelled to serve…really?  Yes, it’s true!  I think it’s one of those times where God just gets such joy out of revealing himself even more because there’s no way that I could humanly manage everything on my own.   I’m not going to pretend that it wasn’t without hesitation that I drove (correction: that I had Gary drive me…because I was too scared to go by myself) to the Learning Center on Minnie Street for my first day of volunteering.  It’s kind of unbelievable when you begin in idyllic Newport Beach, hop on the freeway and drive about 10 minutes inland and take the exit for McFadden and feel like you’re in another world.  You go from gated neighborhoods to grated windows.  The difference is jarring really.  As tentative as I was about serving here, I was surprised how quickly I fell in love with it.  It was a quick connection with a few of the 3rd graders that clinched it for me.  At the end of my first day with them, the sweetest little girl in the group came up to me just before leaving and said “I had fun today” is a quiet but happy little voice.  At first I was afraid that fun was from the chaos that dominated much of the beginning of class because I had lost control of the situation for a while there (until I tapped into my Mommy confidence that is–2 year olds make this group look like cake).  But then she said, “I had fun with you today.” 🙂  Okay, that’s it…who put her up to this?!   I think I know who…Needless to say, after that I was hooked.

My dear friend Mandy and I have much in common, but our love for the kids of this inner city neighborhood is at the top of the list.  She has the true heart of a servant and evidence of that can be found in all aspects of her life.  I am so thankful for our friendship and the inspiration that I find from her day to day.  Read more about her experience with another stellar program that serves the families of the Santa Ana community, KidsWorks.

Mandy sporting her favorite t-shirt (of course it's ever/after!)

Mandy Cathy – KidsWorks

My husband and I relocated to Southern California 3 years ago, and it wasn’t long before a girlfriend asked if I would have any interest serving in a ministry in Santa Ana called KidWorks. This is a non-profit organization in a Latino community with the mission of “Restoring at-risk neighborhoods …  one life at a time.” I studied Spanish in college and have a love for the Latino culture, so it automatically peeked my curiosity. I visited KidWorks soon after her invite and was hooked. I joined with a few moms in the community and helped start a “Mamas” group to offer a support/prayer/community for local moms.  As I learned more about KidWorks, I found out that a large part of their ministry is after school mentoring. I help out a couple days a week with elementary kids getting homework completed correctly and working on character building skills.

Consistently, I feel that serving at KidWorks, is a gift from the Lord and something that I can do because of the outpouring of His blessings on me. He blesses us to be a blessing! I almost feel my “Change the Story” actually changes my life story for the better, much more than it actually affects anyone else’s story. I heard the CEO of KidWorks ask, “You want to try and understand the mind of the Lord? Flip life upside down, if you want to be served, you must serve, if you want to be first, you must be last and if you want to live…..you must die.”

http://www.kidworksonline.org

ever/after asks Scott, “How do you change the story?”

Posted in Change the Story by christy winston on July 6, 2010

I met Scott about 2 years ago at a birthday party. Since then Scott has played a big part in changing my story. He has been a mentor to me both personally and spiritually and has become a very good friend.
If you were to meet Scott the first thing you’d notice is his mustache…. but the second thing you’d notice is the quiet confidence he exudes. He is one of the few people that is as equally gifted in listening as he is in speaking. One of those rare people you meet who is totally comfortable in his own skin.
If I stopped the intro here you would likely be left picturing a softy in a bowtie which I assure you is not an accurate picture.
Scott is a guy’s guy. He is a legit skateboarder. Not the casual longboard cruising type of skater, but the serious ramp & pool skating kind. He rips!
He’s also been gracious enough to give me a lesson at the skate park every Friday morning…I assure you that it’s a lot harder relearning the sport at this age after taking a 20-year break. So I will also add “patient” to one of his many qualities to be admired.

So after all of that…… here is how quiet, confident, mustache-having, skateboarder, mentor, & friend Scott Wilson is changing the story:

Scott Wilson

I love skating. Growing up in Orange County, the epicenter of the surf/skate/snowboard culture, manifested itself in my standing on my first board at the age of 6 and now, at the ripe old age of 35, I still find my way to the skatepark every week.

I’m also a Christian. Not in a generic, “I’m an American so I guess I’m a Christian” sense, but in a, “I live to be with and to be more like my God and Savior Jesus Christ” sense. I read His Word daily, I talk to Him constantly, I raise my family to know Him and I even teach a weekly Bible Study. I don’t offer all that as a super-spiritual checklist. Just as a way to say it’s something I take seriously.

Yet, in spite of my being a skater, and my being a Christian, the two have always remained separate in my life. What I mean is skating has always been about me, not Christ. For most of my life I never once thought that I skate for Christ. No. I skate for me. Me learning new tricks. Me blowing off steam from work. Me having fun. And I never thought twice about it until I discovered The Uprising.

The Uprising is the skate ministry of Jay Haizlip, Christian Hosoi and Brian Sumner, some of the biggest names in skateboarding history. They all have gnarly stories of finding life in Christ and they’re doing amazing things as they live for Him. But what stuck out at me most when I discovered their ministry is that they all said they used to live for skateboarding, but now they just use skateboarding to give out the only thing that really matters- eternal life in Jesus Christ.

If anyone would be justified in making skating about them it would be the biggest names in the world who get paid to skate. Yet, they don’t. Everything is for Christ, their entire lives, especially their skating.

That changed the story for me. From that moment on, every time I go skate I pray that I can be used by Christ. I still have fun. I still work on tricks. But my main purpose in being there is no longer me, it’s Christ. And since that switch went off it’s been amazing how he’s provided opportunity after opportunity to speak and live His life giving truth to people while skating with them.

That’s how I’m changing the story. No longer am I living for Christ in most areas of my life. I want to live for Christ in every area of my life, even skateboarding, to give out Christ and change the eternal destiny of a person for whom Christ died. The greatest way I could ever change the story, and the reason I exist, is to change the story of someone else by offering them eternal life in Christ. If that means pulling a backside 180 lipslide on the peanut bowl at the Volcom Skatepark while giving out the truth of Christ, all the better.