Give 1 Save 1: Would You Help Our Friends?

There are so many people in need.

There are so many places to give.

It can be overwhelming. And let’s face it, with the economy teetering, the holidays looming and your own family’s needs, sometimes it’s hard to be generous.

But we must.

And I have the perfect (affordable) way for your family to make a difference today.

It’s called Give 1 Save 1.

Every week, there’s a new family or ministry or worthy-recipient.

You can give $1 today and make a difference. That’s all. That’s it. Just $1.

Our family has been blessed with some very good friends, friends that were an answer to our prayer for real life community:

And they were chosen for this week’s  Give 1 Save 1 Campaign! (click to get to know them). The Martinez Family are the real deal and they are nearing the end to bring a sibling group home from Ethiopia (My youngest is expecting new best friends, please!)

Would you give $1 today to help make this possible?

Leave a comment if you can contribute a $1 (or more) and our family will match it up to $100!

Bookmark Give 1 Save 1 today and start together as a family, saving change, changing a life.

Everyone can Give 1 Save 1.

What He Said

I’m sitting at the airport, looking out the window at huge lumps of snow, pushed into dirty piles. I’m a Texas girl and the blanket of snow that fell from Heaven was a gift.

It’s not the only one I hold in my heart today.

For two years, I’ve met God at Relevant. Last year, I quaked. He breathed courage to follow Him. And this weekend, I came emotionally and physically exhausted, the balance of juggling home, children, husband, writing, non-profit, dream-chasing teetered precariously.

But I let the tears come, laying the burden at his feet and leaned in to listen:

He revealed I have community wounds. But He showed me community would heal.

He uncovered my ugly desire for success. And He asked me to just be faithful. Because that’s how He defines success.

He reassured that I have a destiny. And promised to lead the way.

He reminded that what I’m doing doesn’t make me important, it makes me a Christian.

And He restored hope.

My spirit sustained as woman after woman shopped mercy.

I’m boarding the plane, tired.

But full.

Next time, I won’t wait for Relevant to hear what He wants to say.

I’ll just ask.

You should too.

He has a lot to tell you.

 

*Thanks @mamahall (pictured above) for setting up our table and serving and to Family Matters for sending me!

Make Pumpkin Carving Meaningful

We love to carve pumpkins every fall at our house. On Halloween, we dress up, pass out the good candy to neighbors and give out a printable like this. I’ll just say it: I have a beef with Christians who don’t take advantage of being a LIGHT on this night every year. I said it. My controversy of the week. (I’ve written about it before).
Updated: I think my “beef” comment was pretty judgmental. I’m sorry for doing the same thing I don’t like people doing to me. It’s a personal choice, so whatever you choose, I want to be respectful. Please forgive me.

This year, we helped our youngest carve her pumpkin to match this prayer.

Dear God,
As I carve my pumpkin help me say this prayer:

Open my mind so I can learn about You;
(Cut the top of the pumpkin)

Take away all my sin and forgive me for the wrong things I do.
(Clean out the inside)

 

Open my eyes so Your love I will see;
(Cut the eyes out in heart shapes)

I’m so sorry for turning up my nose to all you’ve given me.
(Cut a nose in the shape of a cross)

Open my ears so your word I will hear.
(Cut the ears shaped like the Bible)-we did rectangles

Open my mouth so I can tell others You’re near
(cut the mouth in the shape of a fish)

Let Your light shine in all I say and do! Amen.
(Place a candle inside and light it)

We found the prayer on this fun pumpkin bookmark.

Have a safe weekend and go light up the night with Him!

Raising Strong Kids

I watched a single tear escape his long lashes.

He quickly swiped it away.

Inside twisted, that wrecked feeling mothers get when children hurt.

But this wasn’t the kind of pain a band-aid could fix or a kiss on the brow. This wound was inside, out of my reach.

“I’m the weird one, Mom.” His words felt like a blow.

I grabbed his hand, the one with marker stains and chewed-nails and refuted his words. “There’s nothing weird about you!”

He told me how different he felt from most of the other boys at school. The other 4th grade boys who cussed and bullied and wore tough.

And then my little boy said, “It’s hard being a Christian. It makes me odd.”

And then I felt my own tears, press hot against my lids. I closed my eyes and remembered the feeling. The one I lived with growing up.

I couldn’t discount his words or his pain, I knew they were true. He’s just so young to experience it.

“Were you ever the weird one, Mom?”

And so I told him my own stories. I whispered words I prayed would heal his heart, knowing they wouldn’t fix the problem.

We are called to the problem, to be the strangers of this world, to follow a different road, to live counter-cultural.

I told my son that we didn’t expect him to be perfect. We knew there was pressure to give in and I told him we’d love him no matter what and then I told him of times I’d tried to fit in. He looked at me with steel-eyes, “I know I can fit it, I don’t want to fit in.”

I marveled at his strength.

I walked down the stairs, heavy. I made a playdate the next day with one of the Christian boys who stood at the pole with us. I called a friend from my community group with a son the same age, grade, struggles. We devised a plan so our boys could find comfort and strength with each other.

And then I cried.

Because sometimes I feel like the weird one too.

It took a little boy to remind me that it’s exactly how I’m supposed to feel.

Do you ever feel that way?

———————-

If grace-based parenting has taught me anything, it’s to try and raise my kids the way God raises me–with infinite grace, unfathomable love and room to still be me. Today, I’m flying to the Relevant Conference and I’m proud to have Family Matters as my sponsor. Make sure you stop by the Mercy House table!

WFMW: New Ways to Write Your Sponsored Child

Yesterday, we got a Final Letter from one of our Compassion kids. Precious graduated from the program. Yes, this special girl.

It was bittersweet. My kids begged for another child, but we still have ten and honestly, we have to pay the sweet college student giving my kids piano lessons, something.

We logged on to Compassion’s site since we’ve heard great things about their new letter writing options. Let me just say: AWESOME. You can choose from a variety of fun templates, upload pictures of your family (!) and even duplicate the letter for multiple sponsored kids. Within 15 minutes, all of our kids got a Christmas letter with pictures.

But we did send Precious one last letter and my youngest drew her a picture, that was well, precious.

 

What? You haven’t changed a life in a third world country and given your children a global perspective by sponsoring a child?

It’s the single most significant thing we’ve done to ignite compassion in our children.

Click here to do so.