Hey y’all!

My name is Brandi Wagner and I am known as the “joy curator” behind all things Give Joy Crate. If you have a few minutes I would love to share with you the heart behind this little box of joy! 

Give Joy Crate was born from a place of discouragement and sadness. Kind of ironic…huh?

I don’t know about you but so many times I struggle with turning on  the news, reading the Twitter headlines or scrolling through the FB and Instagram posts.  In our current cultural & political climate, the words that are unfolding on all these various platforms are just many times not so joyful.   It is a tumultuous time in our history where words are tearing us apart. I tend to be more of an observer in situations of conflict and verbal disagreements. Because of this, I find myself feeling just so heartbroken watching words and the lack of being able to communicate with each other respectfully unfold on a daily basis.  I have the great blessing in my life of knowing many songwriters, speakers and authors who have a gift with words and can communicate love and truth so well with their art.  I wish I had that gift but I don’t,  so I began to pray about what intentionally communicating with people in a loving and truthful way would look like for me.

Something happens when you start asking God questions…He begins to answer. Slowly He began to show me that I could use the gifts that He has so generously given me to  make a real difference in my corner of the planet. God always leaves his fingerprints, and what I’m learning is that you have to train yourself to look for them. Oftentimes, it’s a comment or remark that is made by someone that grabs my attention and speaks to me deep down in my soul.  Other times it’s a piece of scripture or a quote that provides me with inspiration and motivation.

I began to think about the power of words in my life and how they have shaped me over the years and why I feel the need to fill my home and life with all the positive and good words. I also thought about how words have been used by me to hurt others as well as used by others to hurt me. We’ve all been there…. that old cliché “sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me.” Whoever coined that phrase was sorely mistaken I’m afraid.  Words have literally shaped and changed my life…(heck, I found Jesus through the lyrics of an Amy Grant song) and they’ve probably shaped and changed yours as well if you really think about it. When I turned to scripture, the ultimate book of living words, I found Deuteronomy 6: 4-9.

Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.

This passage helped me realize why I need those good words in my home, why I need to read them on the daily to be encouraged, and why it’s important for me to keep walking each day in faith. I need the good words in my world so that I can face the not so good words on social media and face the not so good words on the television and so I can encourage myself to keep praying and keep asking the Lord to move and change hearts and minds.

I like to think of myself as a somewhat creative person, but really at my core I am someone who has a deep respect and affinity for the products that creatives dream and make.  I want to bring awareness to what these artisans and vendors are doing. The older I get the more awe I have for handmade things and for the vision and art behind how they are created. I also love a good boutique and would prefer to shop a row of unique stores any day over the mall. Don’t get me wrong, a good mall day does me a world of good, but boutiques, they just speak to my heart. I love to decorate my home with things that bring me joy and I like to go out into the world wearing or carrying things that inspire. I also love products that give back and I’ve been able to see firsthand how these products are providing economic sustainability in impoverished countries and how products that give back can help children, the homeless, and widows right here in the United States.  So many good things are happening in our world and  we need to be reminded about the good on a regular basis to counteract the dark and bad that tries to surround us from all sides.

Give Joy Crate was born as a way to speak all these good things into the lives of women in the form of a box of beautiful products for the home and life delivered every season.

I would love it if you could help us get the word out and share about this concept with your friends and circles of influence. If you know a maker or artisan whose products speak life, please send them my way (brandi@givejoycrate.com).  If you know of someone doing a good work with the least of these, please tell us their story so we can link arms and bring awareness and funds to their campaigns.

Words have power…use yours to speak life and spread joy!

Brandi Wagner