The Crisis: Part I

We are in the midst of one of the greatest tragedies of mankind.

While we sleep under down comforters in warm houses in wintry December, a silent crisis of massive proportions is occurring on the other side of the world.

It probably won’t make the nightly news or even garnish attention from our story-seeking media.

Powerless people living in the death grip of poverty don’t have a voice. For the most part, they only arouse a bit of curiosity and make us uncomfortable in our American Dream.

The global orphan crisis has reached staggering statistics of 163 million orphans (United Nations). The number is so great, it is beyond our comprehension.

And yet it is real. As far as the eye can see, stretching across countless miles, there is a sea of children who live without parents and are in a desperate need of help. Every number is a face, a life created by God, an innocent child whose companion is suffering. Children who have smiles that light up the world, children who play with a ball created from trash. Children much like our own, only born into a gulf of poverty.

When I think of an orphan, I automatically think of adoption.

It has traditionally been the answer in our western minds to this vast need. And while I love adoption and watching the undeniable beauty of an orphaned child rescued and brought to the abundance of our country, I firmly believe that adoption is not the answer to the global orphan crisis.

Is it life changing? Definitely. Does it solve the problem for the orphan adopted? Absolutely.

But for every child that is adopted there are thousands left behind.

What is the answer to the global orphan crisis? I believe it is empowering these destitute nations who lack basic resources with our support through the local church, but even more than that, it is Jesus.

I’m still trying to figure out what this means for me and my family. I believe that giving our finances to Godly organizations like Compassion International is part of the answer. I believe that providing clean water and resources is part of the answer. I believe that it’s God’s desire for Mercy House to empower hopeless girls with the skills and education needed, so they don’t abandon or abort their children. I believe we all need to ask what we are supposed to do-for some that will be adoption, for others it will be something different. But every Christian needs to do something.

I believe a conscious awareness of this global crisis in our every day lives will stir up a resolve to move out of our comfortable lives and do something.

Across our nation, there is a collaborative movement of meaningful conversation rising up to help us think outside of traditional roles of caring for the orphan, one such event is the !dea Camp. I hope you’ll consider joining me in February at this event.

“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter”-Martin Luther King

Close your eyes and listen.

Give them a voice.

Where you find an unfathomable crisis, you find God.

God is with the poor.

WFMW: Gift-Wrapping Center

I’ve got gift wrapping on the brain, so I’m going to show y’all some pictures.

If you want to think that this is my house and my idea, I might let you.

But it’s not, it’s my friend Sandi’s house. I love the gift-wrapping center she created:
You could create this anywhere, but I love that it’s above a counter in her laundry room:

  • She uses paper towel hangers to hold spools of curling ribbon
  • A long towel rack holds tissue paper
  • A wooden hat rack is the perfect place to hang ribbon
  • An unused vase holds bows
  • The double plate stand is a catchall for tape and cards

Isn’t this clever?
It works for her (and me!)
(This is a repost from last Christmas).
Anyone want to come wrap my gifts this year??

The Rusted Chain {Giveaway}

*Updated with Winners: Congrats to random #’s 39 Lindsay of Not to Us and #149 reader Kelly (!

Dear People of the World,

I have the perfect, inexpensive, custom Christmas present for you to consider:

The Rusted Chain Hand Stamped Jewelry.



Seriously: Doesn’t this make you want to SOAR?

And I want to wear this around my neck, even though I’m hardly a photographer (and I’m terrible with a gun, too):

And, sweet Beki, owner of The Rusted Chain has blessed me personally by creating a beautiful design to benefit the word of The Mercy House. $10 from every sale of this necklace goes toward this ministry:

The Rusted Chain is giving away TWO $25 gift certificates to TWO commenters. Tell me what you love and you’ll be entered!

This giveaway ends on Thursday.

Spinning Plates, Tree, What Have You

I survived 48 hours in a hotel room with four girls, five including myself- quite an achievement for this introvert.

It was like a high school sleepover, only we’re our mother’s age, plus there was some snoring going on. I slept with a girl I met on the Internet (if you would have predicted that ten years ago, I would have laughed my head off), but we did line fluffy pillows between us…to prevent any nocturnal spooning or leg crossover.

It was fun and I am tired. I also have no voice. A bonus for my kids. It was good to have a break from my spinning plate routine-juggling The Mercy House, my family of five and looming Christmas. I came home with a lighter burden.

In other news, my tree spins. We decided to simplify our Christmas decorations this year. I invited a couple of newly married girls over to dig thru my SEVEN boxes of decor. I now have two. Lighter. Better.

But since I haven’t reached perfection. I bought a rotating Christmas tree stand. I was really excited to decorate the tree.

Which means I had to decorate the back of my tree. Which means I had to use ALL the ornaments from the last 16 years of marriage. Which means there are a lot of paper handprints on my tree. Which also means we used all my hubby’s childhood ornaments. Which means that he read the date on the bottom of each one. Which made my kids want to touch said special ornaments. Which means three were broken the first day. Which means I may be calling my newly married friends to get some of those Christmas ornaments back.

My kids wanted to decorate it while it was rotating-I had my doubts about the wisdom of this decision…it went pretty well, except for the few times my kids were trying to hang an ornament on a moving branch they ended up stuck behind the tree. That can really frighten a kid.

[Riveting 23 second video] Our Christmas Tree 2010

After thirty minutes, the tree wasn’t the only thing spinning.

I love Christmas, especially with an illuminated oscillating timber.

::Mercy Benefit Silent Auction::

On January 17, 2011, I will be hosting a Silent Auction to benefit Mercy House here on We are THAT family. And we are going to need YOUR help!

How it will work: In increments of 30 minutes, all day long, we will publish a new item up for auction. If you want to bid, you will leave a comment with your bid amount. Each comment is a bid, with the last comment being the winner–just like a silent auction. The Benefit Day will end at 10 pm CST on January, 18th. We already have around TEN amazing donations, but we need 15 to 20 more!

Donate an Item: This is a fabulous way to get FREE ADVERTISING for your store or product and your own post write-up with links (and support a great cause)! All the cool kids are doing it! We will limit the auction to around 30 items, they must be a minimum of $50 in value. Please send your interest to (you will need to send a picture(s), item description, value of donation).

Highest Bidders: Will be announced in a new blog post and invoiced via Paypal on January 19th.

All proceeds from the silent auction will benefit The Mercy House. Since we now have 501c3 status, your non-cash donation is tax deductible if you request a receipt!

Special thanks to the two amazing friends who are heading up the Mercy Benefit Day: Sara of Happy Brown House and Eryn of Mama Hall: Making the Most of It. You girls are a blessing to me!

Spare Change

I’m holding up a cup today.

Asking for a few coins on behalf of those without a voice.

I get emails Every.Day. from people asking, “What can I do to help with Mercy House?”

I hold up my cup.

Today is the 3rd. I’m asking for each of you to give just $3 a month to remember the 3 girls who are raped in Kenya every 45 minutes.

$3 isn’t much, but my $3 and your $3 and her $3 x 100 or 200 or 1000 is powerful.

Would you drop some spare change in my cup today?

If you’d like to give $3 on a recurring, automatic basis, you can subscribe to that option:


Going Deeper. Still.

I’m heading to Birmingham, Alabama.

Compassion Bloggers are having a little reunion. I couldn’t miss it. Plus I’m rooming with Ann, Holley, Lisa-Jo and Robin and meeting dozens of my favorite Compassion bloggers!

We are meeting in conjunction with the Deeper Still Conference, so I have my Bible and highlighter. And I have my big hair on.

While y’all get ready to enjoy December’s first weekend (HOW DID THAT HAPPEN??), here are a few links:

This Is Where I Give Up

I am weak.

And that’s just the way God likes me.

I try too hard to do things on my own. I work and work and work. And then I pray.

I’m learning that praying and praying and praying. And then working, is much more effective.

But still I struggle.

God likes me weak. Because He is made strong in my weakness.

“God delights in exalting our inability. He intentionally puts his people in situations where they come face to face with their need for him in the process he powerfully demonstrates his ability to provide everything his people need in ways they never could have mustered or imagined. In the end, he makes much if his name.” -David Platt, Radical

During this process of wild adventure, I am learning so much. Late at night, we whisper the husband and wife song of the unknown. It’s in these profound moments, revelation happens, a deeper understanding of God and His Word:

One day on my knees is more effective than 30 working around the clock on my own.

“The future of our lives, the Mercy House, etc, isn’t depended up me or my efforts. If it is, than it will be for my glory. If it is done in His power and prayer – his glory will be so blinding – that it is all anyone will see and instead of people being drawn to me, they will be drawn to Him.” – Terrell Welch (my smart husband).

I’m giving up. I can’t do it on my own. I’m giving it to Him.

I’m learning that when I take my hands off, back up and let God work…

He does.

What do you need to give up on today?

Let it go. Let Him.