You Were Made to Make a Difference

*UPDATED with WINNERS* Y’all, even if you didn’t win, you need to own this book! Here are the random winners: Heather E., Tricia Moore  (readers, no blog) and Kelly. Congratulations, y’all!

I picked up this little book.

Tucked it away to read

when I had a chance.

A few pages in, I knew

we should read it together,

as a family.

And that’s what we’ve been doing-

one page at a time, after dinner each night.

I can tell you–the effect– has been

moving. Inspiring!

I have wiped tears on my dinner napkin,

listened to my son talk about pressure,

my daughter share defeat,

my hubby lead us.

ENGAGE with my family….

But most of all, from the youngest to the oldest,

we are learning a very clear and profound message–

life isn’t about what we want,

it’s not about making our own dreams come true,

We are learning that we were made

to make a difference



in the lives of others.


Read this, please? Find out what my hero has been up to this week….


This book makes The Perfect Family Devotional for tweens and teens! And for moms and dads….

I’m giving away 3 copies today. Please leave a comment if you’d like to win one.

Have a happy weekend!


How to Really Have a Family Devotion

We aren’t experts. We are actually quite amateur. No two devotion times are the same and the best ones are also the worst ones.

But we try.

We have our family devotion time at the dinner table, after we’ve finished eating because that’s what works best for us. It’s usually only about 15 minutes and it goes like this:

  • pray over our meal
  • eat
  • spill
  • complain about the “new dish”
  • ask for dessert seven times
  • clear the table
  • practice our weekly verse
  • insert laughter and crazy motions and a arguments over who goes first
  • open our Bibles, take turns reading a chapter OR a story from the Jesus Bible Story Book
  • read a chapter from a “devotion” book. I use that term loosely because it’s not always a formal devotional book. Right now we are reading and LOVING a book I will tell you about tomorrow (giving 3 away, too!)
  • Q&A time: We ask our kids questions about their day, feelings, things that are going on at school, etc
  • finish in a quick prayer, sometimes taking turns, each of us praying for our Compassion kids.

Bottom line: it’s messy, but it’s ours.

And it’s my favorite time of the day.

How to really have a family devotion:

  1. Be flexible-it will not always happen. Sometimes our youngest cries through the whole thing and we hurry through the process or just choose two of the four on the list above. And sometimes (last night) we eat on the floor and have a special family movie night!
  2. Forget perfection-it’s just not ever going to go exactly like you want.
  3. Choose a time that works best for your family…it doesn’t have to look like someone else’s to be right.
  4. Don’t give up- your kids will learn to love this time, even through the rough spots. Don’t give up!

Do you have a family devotion time?

WFMW: Recycled Fun

When our family travels to Kenya this summer to work at Mercy House, my hubby and I will be doing some staff development and teaching some skills, along with the staff there. The girls will be learning many things, including sewing, soap and basket-making, gardening, paper beads and beading and even paper mache art.

Mercy House will buy the products from the girls and sell them in fair trade coffee shops and online stores.

For months, we’ve been working on narrowing down ideas to four solid products-we have three so far: (handbags/headscarves from Kenyan fabric, unique paper bead necklaces (different from what’s out there) and funky paper mache mobiles for home decor.

This one didn’t make the cut, but it was so fun to learn, I thought I’d share it with you.

Did you know you can fuse plastic bags from the grocery story to make a heavy tyvek like material? It’s easy. You simply place the plastic between newspaper and iron it! Here’s a video tutorial.

Once you have your fused plastic ready, you can sew it just like fabric and make amazing things!

Here’s an easy business card holder w/a felt applique made from thin plastic grocery bags:

The sky’s the limit with this recycled idea!

P.S. Next week, for WMFW, there’s a suggested theme for those of you who may run out of ideas: Spring Cleaning Tip! You can link up old or new posts and you don’t have to follow the theme if you’ve got a good tip to share!

Mercy House Headquarters [a.k.a Our Garage]

Our local paper, The Houston Chronicle, wrote a beautiful feature on the work of Mercy House. While I wish the article had focused more on Maureen, Executive Director of *Rehema House  in Kenya, (Swahili word for mercy) the coverage brought a lot of awareness and some wonderful new financial sponsors. You can read it here.

photo by Mayra Beltran

Please consider requesting brochures so you can share this work with your community!

Praying for Your Boy(s) {E-Book Giveaway}

*UPDATED with WINNERS* Congrats to Jen of The Party  That Never Quits, Rachel Roland, Tina, and readers D, and Terri (no blogs),

I’m a boy mom.

I thank God for my son. He’s the creamy middle between two strong-willed girls (honored to be raising STRONG women of God, but that’s another post). He’s sensitive and caring, deeply loyal and kind.

He also would rather not take a bath, makes everything a sword, tells questionable jokes (insert poop here) and teeters on the edge of everything that makes my heart stop. (I named my blog We are THAT family after an emergency room visit when he knocked out multiple teeth–get the picture?)

I used the think I wanted the best for him (insert my strong will). But now, I just want what God has for him.

And that’s why I love Brooke McGlothin’s E-book, Warrior Prayers: Praying the Word for Boys in Areas They Need it the Most.

It’s a 21-Day Guide into the heart of the Father for our boys. It’s practical and it’s easy to follow.

What I love the most? It’s a call to action.

What boy (man) doesn’t love action? But it’s not a lesson book on mom fixing it, it’s a in-depth guide to PRAYER. Praying for our boys is truly the only way to reach their hearts.

You can also join a host of other boy moms in community to link up a weekly post of how your 21 day journey is going. Because boy moms need support!

You can buy a copy here.

I’m also giving away FIVE copies today.

Leave a comment and tell me about your boy(s) as your entry.

This giveaway ends on Thursday.