Don’t Be Afraid to Stand Out {Giveaway}

She’s at an age where her peers want to blend in. They don’t want to stand out.

If one wears her jeans rolled up, the next day, rolled up jeans are the new fad.

It’s a struggle to fit in. It’s age old and it’s come knocking at our door.

I spent all summer prepping and pouring into my oldest daughter. She’s nearly eleven, not so little anymore. We talked and shared and the mother-daughter bond deepened at a crucial point. She came home the other day, weary from the world and the pressure.

“I feel like I’m different from other girls,” she confessed.

“You are!” I said proudly.

“I want to be different. Mom, I know we’re trying to make a difference in the world and I know not everything is about me.”

We snuggled under the covers and celebrated the difference. I did more pouring into and building up. “We are not supposed to be like everyone else. You are fearfully and wonderfully made….”

But I know the pressure. Sometimes, even I feel it. Different from the other moms. A heart yearning for Africa, on an isolated road. Weary from the world and the pressure to be like everyone else, building my own American Dream bigger and better.

I shared my thoughts with my girl-child. She poured into me and built me up. And together, we didn’t feel so alone.

She’s growing up, in more than one way. She chooses her clothes carefully, fixing her hair just right. Her room (OH! HER ROOM), often a source of contention, has becomes hers. It looks the way she wants it to and I’m learning to pick my battles. But the other day, I saw this piece of art that one my newest sponsors, Show Off Arts makes and they sent it to me as a gift:

Romans 12:1-2 has always been my favorite verse. This picture reminded me so much of my daughter and her desire to be different. It reminded me of me.

I took my little-big girl out on a date for a sinfully-delicious cupcake the other night. I gave her the picture for her messy room:

It’s hanging over her bed as a constant reminder.

For both of us.

“Don’t Be Afraid to Stand Out”

Some of my very favorite pieces of art in my house are from Show Offs Art (also sold through Dayspring). I simply love my walls to encourage those who live within them.

Show Offs is generously giving a $75 gift certificate to a reader for their very own piece of art or two. . .

Shop around and tell me what would encourage you or someone you know.

This giveaway ends on Friday.



I’ll Meet You There

I’m still wiping sleep from my eyes and stuttering in steps of exhaustion.

The last few days have been long, and short and I’ve grown tired of hearing my own voice.

But I’ve never felt more alive.

I’ve just returned from Relevant, a Christian Blogging Conference, a first of its kind.

Know this: the weekend had very little to do with blogging.

Blogging at it’s core is egocentric: It’s about memy opinions, my thoughts, my life, and comments about my words on your screen.

I discovered in this time of beautiful connection, with laptop stored away, that I’m sick of me.

When I peel back the corner of my heart and I lay it bare, I see dark corners seeking affirmation from others, a need to fit in, to grow this space, to be known.

Like most in this online realm, I want to take my blog to the next level.

And I can.

How do we? “By going lower. By making our platform an alter.” -Ann Voskamp.

I’m still processing and on my knees in reflection, asking, waiting. Wanting more.

Of Him.

And isn’t that what it’s all about? This world is temporal. Our lives—how we live them, the glory we bring to Him—that is eternal.

I’ve left a blogging conference craving God. I’ve left behind the desire to elevate myself, to seek the approval of friends and foes. I can’t find my aspiration to be the best or the biggest. I’ve lost the desire to compete and climb the ladder of success.

I arrived at the conference, physically and emotionally empty. Deplete of energy and desire. Weary from all the doing, checking one more thing from my list, going to speak on being relevant, but feeling like I had nothing left to give.

Alone. Misunderstood. Accused of being brave, feeling so scared, my very breath hard to catch in the middle of the night, computer screen dark, burden heavy.

How can I give away what I don’t possess?

But I met God at Relevant. He showed up in the hugs of women I’d never met. He met me in the quiet. He was there in rush of people and the urging of words that poured from my lips.

I left with a heart so full it doesn’t quite fit in my chest.

I don’t know what’s in your heart today. I write these words hoping they find a landing spot. But understand that I don’t just write them for you. I write them for me. “Story is the way the Spirit of God can bind up our wounds. When these words find their mark, God heals two hearts-yours and mine.” –Ann Voskamp.

When you click away from my words and heart spilled onto this screen, I want you to run to Him.

I’ll meet you there.

meeting Ann


Relevant

I’m heading to The Relevant Blogging Conference early Thursday morning and spending the weekend there.

If I could be anything in this online world and in my real life, it would be this: relevant: bearing upon or connected with the matter in hand; pertinent

What makes a person connected, pertinent?

Tell me.

I want to be that.


WFMW: A Shoebox Tip

My tip for an empty shoebox: fill it with toys, toothpaste, and tiny things and give it to a child for Christmas!

It’s easy! Follow these simple steps:

HOW TO PACK A SHOE BOX (from Operation Christmas Child)

1. GATHER A SHOEBOX & PRINT THESE INSTRUCTIONS AND LABELS

Use an empty shoe box (standard size, please) or a small plastic container. You can wrap the box (lid separately), but wrapping is not required. Most importantly, pray for the child who will receive your gift.

2. BOY OR GIRL?

Determine whether your gift will be for a boy or a girl, and the child’s age category: 2-4, 5-9, or 10-14. Print out the appropriate boy/girl label by downloading the artwork to the right. Mark the correct age category on the label, and tape the label to the top of your box.

3. FILL WITH GIFTS

Fill the box with a variety of gifts that will bring delight to a child. Use the gift ideas provided on the bottom of this page.

4. INCLUDE YOUR DONATION

Please donate $7 or more for each shoe box you prepare to help cover shipping and other project costs. You can give online by using our EZGIVE option, or you can write a check to Samaritan’s Purse (note “OCC” on memo line) and place it in an envelope on top of the gift items inside your box. If you or your family are preparing more than one shoe box, please make one combined donation.

5. DROP OFF

Place a rubber band around each closed shoe box and drop off at the Collection Center nearest youduring our collection week November 15 – 22.

Operation Christmas Child delivers thousands and thousands of filled shoeboxes at Christmas to underprivileged children all over the world.

It’s a wonderful idea to do with your children! It works for us!

Have you ever participated?