October First

This is my favorite month of the year.

I love the orange.

I love the breeze.

I love pumpkin-flavored things.

Today, I’m dropping my kids off at their awesome grandparent’s house and heading to Austin, Texas for the Together for Adoption Conference. We are excited to learn more about orphan care and represent The Mercy House.

Monday, I’m going to Bunco. In a Halloween costume. More on that later (in other words I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT I’M WEARING). But I’m feeling bold.

Tuesday, I’m learning how to knit! I even bought a skein (using a knitting word because I’m an overachiever). When we spend a month in Africa next summer, knitting is a skill we hope to teach in The Mercy House. Did you know you can make really cute stuff out of “plastic yarn?” Plastic bags are an easy resource to find in Kenya.

Then there’s church, YMCA flag football practice, friend’s birthdays, lunch with an old friend…and that’s just the first week.

Hello, October.

I love you already.

What do you have planned?

When the Ordinary Becomes Extra

I’m afraid some of you have misunderstood.

There have been words thrown at me the last couple of weeks – godly, good, brave, crazy…

I’m not worthy of any of them (except maybe that last one).

The Mercy House is a home God is building. My family is honored to be on the construction crew, along with our fellow laborers, Maureen, and people just like you. When I look in the mirror, I don’t see those words reflected. I see a scared woman who sleeps too little and worries too much. She tries to carry the weight of the world on her shoulders and remembers when the burden is too heavy to give it back to God.

Our family isn’t any different than yours. We are ordinary people. Our garbage can stinks. Our kids talk back and throw fits in open places. Our marriage is a miracle. Our dog looks longingly at her leash. We are just like you.

My hubby the other night after hammering dozens of copper pendants said, “So this is what it feels like to jump off a cliff?”

I laughed.

Then I cried. “Free-falling, isn’t so bad, huh?”

I’m just like you. I was just given a glimpse into God’s heart (the poor) and I couldn’t turn away.

Now that I have seen….

I am responsible.

We are ordinary. God is anything but.

When you look into my life if you seen anything out-of-the-ordinary, He gets the glory for it.

Are you standing on the edge? The first step off  into the unknown is terrifying. But don’t worry, He won’t let you fall.

He is extraordinary.

**The story behind the song is truly an example of the extraordinary. It’s about a little orphaned girl named Albertine from Rwanda. You can hear her story here.

WFMW: How to Get Your Laundry Done

Hire these cute people (picture from 3 years ago):

Pay them in Room & Board.

[grin]

Seriously, though. I’m a work at home mom and as much as I’d like to say that I CAN DO IT ALL. I can’t. I need help. My kids are totally capable of helping me with laundry, I just don’t like the way they do it. But in an effort to GET OVER MYSELF, I bought 3 baskets and divide out my kids clean clothes from the dryer. They are responsible for folding, hanging and putting it away.

It’s messy, but it’s done.

Baby steps, y’all.

Having my kids share the load (heh), works for me.

*UPDATED TO ADD* Next week’s WFMW has a suggested theme: (as long as you have a tip, you’re always welcomed to link up!) Share an entertaining tip (plus there’s a sweet giveaway)!

What works for you?

Audrey Assad: The House You’re Building {Giveaway}

*UPDATED with WINNERS* Congrats to Patty of South of the Fork and reader (no blog) Megan C.

99.9% of the music I listen to is Christian worship music. (That other 1%? Um , that would be the theme music from Dora and Handy Manny). My last one if almost four years old, so there’s a light at the end of the pre-school music tunnel.

There is simply nothing that drives my heart and mind into the presence of God like worship music.

Audrey Assad is a writer’s singer. She loves words and her music is a reflection of that soul-stirring.

Her debut album: The House You’re Building is fabulous. She has a new fan. It’s deep and mature and leads you to Him.

I love Audrey’s unique style and individuality. Forget Hannah Montana, I want my daughters to emulate these kind of stage musicians.

The title song is probably my favorite, but I also love Come Clean and several others.

Listen to a song or two and come back and leave a comment to win this:

Two winners will receive:  a copy of her record as well as a handmade lyric book and custom bag. Leave a comment and tell me your favorite song!

This giveaway closes Thursday.

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If your business is supporting The Mercy House on a monthly basis, you need to read this.

The Devil is a Sly Old Fox Remix

I haven’t turned on my video camera since July. When I did the other day, I was tickled to find a plethora of forgotten music videos from my 3 year old.

She’s got quite a gift for noise music. The tune usually eludes her, but that never stops her.

The following 2 minute video is a musical review-of-sorts. It’s got a little bit for everyone.

Featuring a tune from my childhood: The Devil is a Sly Old Fox

(lyrics: If I could catch him, I’d put him in a box, I’d lock that box and throw away the key for all those tricks he’s played on me. I’m glad I am a Christian, trusting in the Lord).

Overall impression: The theology is questionable, but her delivery is right on the mark. I really like her expression and the way she interpreted the song.

Featuring: All the Single Ladies

(lyrics: all the single ladies, all the single ladies, put your hands up and shake like you just don’t care)

Overall impression: I really like the artistic hand expression and the backup singer.

Featuring: A Whole New World

(lyrics: Aladdin Come Out -repeat 942 times or until  your momma says ENOUGH)

Overall impression: The electric guitar adds a nice touch and while riding on an exercise bike? Memorable rendition.

Which one is your favorite?

Links I Love: Mercy Shop Edition

Check out these awesome donations added to The Mercy Shop this week. 100% of the proceeds go to The Mercy House:

The Fight for Dinner

There is an hour in my day that I protect fiercely.

I don’t allow the ring of phones or the intrusion of the Internet. I ignore the door and hold off the undeniable force that tries to threaten this time. I fight for the hour a day when my babies and spouse circle around the table.

I fight for dinner.

It’s not about the food that is sometimes good, sometimes not. It’s not about me and an audience. Dinner is about the conversation, the laughter, the being together. Some days I feel like I’m against Hell itself, warring to interrupt this precious time.

Dinner is loud. It’s not organized or perfect. It’s getting up and down, filling up, knocking over. Dinner is a pause in our busy day. Dinner is our connection.

As my kids get older, I notice there’s a stronger pull away from this family time. There may be play dates vying at the door, sport practices with their demands, meetings at work and school, but I fight them all. Even though I occasionally lose the battle and dinner is a mismatched, half-hazard attempt with a traveling husband or a dash out the door to a meeting, I am rebellious against the things that try and steal away this treasured hour.

Did you know that research has proven that families that eat dinner together:

  • have kids who are less likely to use drugs
  • are noted as happier families
  • have kids who have better grades
  • enjoy stronger marriages
  • kids adjust better in life in general
  • produce healthier kids with better eating habits

And when teenagers were polled about the importance of regular family meals, an overwhelming majority craved family meal time together more often!

So. Throw out the excuses! (You don’t like to cook, there are practices and busy schedules, etc) Change it. Make dinner a priority. Don’t let the world, and hobbies demand how you raise your family. Be creative to get that one hour together.

Because really, we’re talking about a lot more than dinner.

On Flags, Dreams and Mercy

Since I was in high school, then a youth pastor’s wife, now a mom of school-aged kids, I’ve gotten up early on the third Wednesday in September and held hands around the flag pole and prayed. It’s not a strange, cultish ritual, it’s See You at the Pole. And it’s awesome. I love hearing nervous, young voices pray in front of their school. I love seeing teachers take a stand and join us. I love that we live in a country that allows us this freedom.

And for my own comic relief:

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I’m talking about God-sized dreams that are a size too big with Holley today. I’d love for you to dream big with me. (Plus, there’s a giveaway!)

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Speaking of giveaways, here are the winners from The Mercy House launch last week:

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