On my last day in California I went to Newport for one final walk along the beach. As I was strolling along, the cutest little girl popped out onto the sidewalk and piped, “Would you like to buy a sea shell?! For free?!” and then flashed the biggest smile I think I’ve ever seen.

IMG_3309So I walked over to her sea shell store to find a vast array of sea shells she had collected that day all displayed out on the beach house banister. She proceeded to tell me she was in 1st grade and I was her 5th customer that day.

I asked her which sea shells were her favorite and she pointed at two tiny, swirly ones that were exactly alike. After she walked me through the rest of her collection I asked her which one she wanted me to have and she held out one of her favorite ones and said, “This one!” When I asked if she was sure she wanted to give away her favorite one, she said she was positive.


One of my friends met up with me shortly afterward and also went sea shell shopping and the little girl gave her the other favorite shell. We both walked away feeling so refreshed and energized by this sweet little girl’s presence.

I walked away from this encounter learning 2 things:

  1. Love is free. Give it away.

    This little girl was so excited to “sell” her sea shells but she wasn’t even charging for them!! She wasn’t just giving people a precious keepsake, but she blessed them with her enthusiasm and youthful spunkiness. Why do we hold onto our love like people should earn it or pay for it before we give it away? Whether its possessions, a favor or simply loving someone, we should give with an eager, willing heart and not pick and choose who is “worthy” of our love. If you have food and someone is hungry, feed them! If you have water, give to someone who is thirsty! If someone is sick, take care of them! You get the point, but let’s start turning our values and beliefs into actions and SHOW Christ’s love to others by doing something about the brokenness we see in the world.

  2. Give your first and your best

    I was shocked that this little girl gave away her two most favorite shells from her collection, and with no hesitation! I’m so used to seeing people overtaken with greed, saving the best for themselves and offering up the scraps, remains and bad parts to the rest of the world. Even I’m guilty of it!!

Okay be honest, how many times when you’re splitting food have you cut it in half and then chose the half you think looks best for yourself and then give the other person the other not-so-good-looking half? Yep. Thought so. This little girl reminded me that I don’t need to hold my possessions so tightly. If I truly want to bless others and bless God, then I should give my first, my best and my favorite.


This little girl and her pure intentions is the perfect example of how Jesus said we should be. He calls us to have childlike faith, love with no expectation and live fearless. He wants us to release what our hands are gripping and open them to be filled by Him. When we come to Him empty, He will fill us up so full so we can go out and give with a generosity that knows no bounds.


I challenge you to think about what areas of your life that need freedom. What can you let go of and what things you have been gripping too tightly? Are there things you have that someone needs? Are you willing to give them up for the sake of them? Start with something small and try it! You will be surprised to find Jesus bringing freedom and healing to areas that have been chained up for way too long!

Love you friend!! Thanks for reading today!

Love always,

Nicole xx #DoStuff #BeStuff

Comments +

  1. Carmen says:

    Congrats on everything this past year! In the future, can you do a post about your journey to Miss WA, and the steps to get there? (titles and difference between miss usa and miss america).? Thanks:)

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