WFMW: “Mom, I’m Bored” Edition

This is my favorite themed WFMW (all tips are welcomed, but we’d especially love your boredom buster tips this week!)

Because it never fails, my kids get bored in the summer.

Since we’re spending the first 24 days of our summer in AFRICA, I haven’t exactly planned for the rest of the summer. I plan on saying (a lot) “how can you be bored? I took you to the other side of the globe this summer!”

My best tip for this summer: have a family brainstorming session at the beginning of summer. Have each person write down a few things they’d like to do in the summer months-but give them these stipulations-it must be FREE and CREATIVE.

Place all the ideas in a jar and each week, pick a couple!

Here are the lists of hundreds and hundreds of summer boredom tips from the last few years:

You can read the WFMW guidelines here.




The Most Amazing Gift: You Won’t Believe It!

I love Compassion International.

The trip I took to Kenya in 2010 started a chain of events that will lead me back to Africa 11 days from today. I cannot tell you what an integral part Compassion has played in helping behind-the-scenes with Mercy House planning.

I believe in their sponsorship program–so much so that we sponsor 11 children–from Africa to the Philippines.

We love these kids. We will meet 4 of the 11 in Kenya in less than two weeks. My kids will meet the children they have prayed for at bedtime and scribbled letters to–face-to-face.

I wrote about Precious on my blog nearly a year ago. She is 19. And she just happens to be my 4 year old’s best friend.

So, when I heard that the next Compassion Blogger trip was going to the Philippines, Precious’ country, I knew my 4 year old and I had to take a shopping trip. We tucked nail polish and flip flops, candy and treats into an envelope and mailed it to a blogging team member.

Precious writes the most beautiful letters in gorgeous English script. We feel like of all our kids, we’ve gotten to know her best because she’s older and writes often. She just graduated from high school, but will stay in the child sponsorship program until she’s 21 (part of the program’s initiative to stop child trafficking).

Oh, and she’s a beautiful girl, wearing purple flip flops, hanging out on our fridge.

So, this morning when I opened my computer for the first time at 9:30 a.m., I was surprised to find an alarming amount of tweets with my name. I followed the trail …..

to this post by Shaun Groves, who is leading the current trip to the Philippines RIGHT NOW.

You won’t believe what he discovered.

In an instant, I was bawling.

I can’t tell you how much I needed this. It didn’t convince me of Compassion’s stellar program-I’ve been a believer and advocate for a long time.

But it did feel like God was using this unbelievable “coincidence” to speak to my heart: “I know it all, Kristen. Every step. Every dream, fear. I care for you. I love Precious. A sparrow doesn’t fall without me knowing. I hold it all.”

As our family prepares to fly around the world to work at Mercy House and our dear Maureen and staff, actively recruit and interview pregnant girls this week, I just needed this reminder.

He holds us all.

Would you please consider sponsoring a child today?

God will use it to speak to you…maybe a year from now, when you need it most.

It will change your life.


Worship Music Jackpot {Giveaway}


UPDATED WITH WINNERS: Congrats to random winners: Lacy (winner Worship Together Set and Worship for the Family), Melissa Y, Melody, and Erin (winners of the Worship Together Set)

Nothing calms my day and quiets the craziness like worship music.

It’s good for the soul!

I love hearing my kids hum tunes and speak beautiful words. They are learning to worship.

Worship Together: 25 Favorite Worship Songs, is a collection of 25 BRAND NEW recordings of the most popular songs sung in churches today. This is the perfect collection for those who are looking for ‘songs they know and sing’ each week in church.

Today, I’m giving away Worship Together: 25 Favorite Worship Songs (2 CD set) and “Worship For The Family” (3 CD set) to one winner and 3 copies of “Worship Together: 25 Favorite Worship Songs” to three winners!

If you’d like to add these CD’s to your music collection, let me know in the comments as your entry.

This giveaway closes on Thursday.


You Don’t Have to Do Big Things for God

On Sunday, my pastor reminded me of something I tend to forget:

God doesn’t demand I do big things for Him in order to bring glory to Him.

He demands that I remember He is the Big Thing.

And I can bring God great glory as a mom and wife, if I honor Him in the little, every day choices:

choosing to say positive things to my hubby, not negative

giving my kids freedom to fail and fly, without controlling

being the first to say I’m sorry

being slow to speak, slow to anger

remembering it’s okay to be okay

Sometimes He asks Big Things of us (usually when we least expect it), but we’re never called to save the world and lose our family…

God doesn’t demand Big Things.

But the little things–some of beauty, others mundane– add up and become a Big way to bring Him glory.

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We used a local Groupon deal to rent a boat and celebrate an early Father’s Day with the best man in town at a nearby lake. We loved every windy minute!

Have a beautiful Memorial Day!


Happy Weekend

I have looked forward to this l-o-n-g weekend for a l-o-n-g time. I love that Memorial Day means SUMMER around these parts!

I think we’re gonna swim and drink sweet tea and just be together.

I’m so thankful.

WHAT ARE YOU DOING THIS WEEKEND??

I’m excited to follow the Compassion Bloggers in the Philippines next week. I sent a package with one of them to give to Precious!

P.S. Since we’re going to be in Africa for Father’s Day, I do have a little *something* up my sleeve for my hubby this weekend. I’ll tell y’all about it next week!