Just Arrived! {Giveaway}

UPDATED with Winners:  Congrats to comments #97 Oh Amanda and #125 Jody McComas!

I’m so happy to announce that our NEW Mercy House t-shirts are in!! We decided to have two styles printed since there were only a handful of votes difference between first and second place.  More than 500 of you left a comment to vote…

I love the way they turned out!

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The winner: Women’s fit, v-neck in Navy, sizes S-XL: Love Mercy Africa Shirt

[cute paper bead necklace worn as a bracelet, sold here]

Close second (Unisex, black, sizes available: youth-XXL): Love Mercy Word Shirt

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Both $20 each.

And we have youth sizes for $16 each:

We also have NEW Love Mercy 1″ silicone wristbands in black and white (with mercyhousekenya.org embossed on the inside)

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Today Only: Shipping on shirts is $1 with this code: EMPOWER 

Today Only: Free shipping on all wristbands with this code: MERCY

I’m giving away two shirts today to two winners! Leave a comment on this post to be entered. But wait, there’s more: I’m also giving away shirts on the We are THAT family and Mercy House Facebook pages, so make sure you “like” them to be entered!


Why We Must Not Stop Dreaming

I met Robin when I was young. Oh, so young with childless arms and a confidence that was superficial.

We walked through the ups and downs of infertility together, hubby and I all wrapped up in youth ministry. Years passed, I moved away with my young family to another church on the opposite side of the map. We both had swollen bellies at the time…

But Robin is the kind of friend that is good for introverts like me. She never let go.

She is the first person I knew with a “blog” I used to use air quotes then when referring to this strange practice of writing your thoughts for the world to read. It kept us connected.

She kept us connected. (and was the very very first monthly sponsor of the dream we didn’t know we had).

After three boys, Robin dreamed of a little girl. That was ten years ago. She’s tenacious. She never stopped dreaming. She prayed her dream into reality.

This past weekend, I met her daughter, rescued from the vast hole of foster care, pending adoption that will be official in just a few weeks (which is why we aren’t showing her adorable face in this picture):

Robin has taught me a few things in this life (like how to make homemade baby wipes). She’s also taught me that we must never stop dreaming….

  • God gives us our dreams
  • God changes our dreams so that He will receive the most glory
  • With God, our dreams go from crazy to possible
  • Not everyone will believe in our dream
  • And sometimes dreams happen so quickly, it takes our breath away
  • But most times, dreams don’t happen overnight or even in a decade
  • But with faith and patience and hard work, they do happen

Keep dreaming. Don’t give up.

What do you dream about?

P.S. My big big dream is to one day have my hubby working from home (helping with Mercy House more), out of corporate America. We don’t know what this looks like, but we dream anyway.

Your Christian Student Has Rights

It’s not easy taking a stand.

It’s even harder to do it alone.

When we arrived to See You at the Pole, there were only a couple of others there.

I could sense my daughter’s relief when classmates began filling in the spaces, one-by-one. Silently they grabbed hands and bowed their heads. Each student voluntarily joining together to pray for their school, their teachers, their nation. It took courage.

Moms and dads were sprinkled in and out of the circle, suggesting kids squeeze the hand of the person next to them if they wanted to “pass” on praying out loud.

My son and daughter didn’t squeeze. But my heart did.

It’s easier to have courage when you’re not alone.

As prayers were lifted, the sidewalks got crowded with students and parents pressing in. Some were staring, whispering. Pointing. I opened my eyes and I heard the mom behind me tell her son,  loudly in a tone that sent a chill down my spine: “No, son, they are NOT allowed to pray like this. It’s completely illegal!”

I watched her march into the school, dragging her son behind. He looked perplexed.

I think he knew in his heart his mom was wrong.

Our Christian students have many legal rights on a public school campus to pray and do even more.

Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. Share these with your kids. Encourage them to stand, even without a flag pole.


  • A Bible or Christian group can advertise and make announcements at school if other groups and clubs are allowed.
  • Valedictorians, salutatorians, honorary student speakers can give speeches on religious subjects, including reading from the Bible; baccalaureate services are permitted and if the school facilities are available to other groups then they most be made available for baccalaureate services.
  • Students are free to observe religious holidays and express their beliefs and convictions as they apply to a particular holiday; they have the right to distribute Christmas cards or religious tracts on the “true meaning of Christmas” during non-instructional times.
  • Praying in groups or alone is allowable and legal (including lunch-time and between classes) if it does not interfere with instructional times.
  • Students may bring Bibles or religious books or literature to school as long as they do not disrupt instructional times.
  • Students may opt out of a class for objectionable religious reasons. Unless parental consent is given, no student shall be required to submit to any kind of test designed to reveal information of a non-academic nature. Click hereto obtain a letter to your School Principal enforcing YOUR childs rights as a student based on Hatch Amendment -this is extremely important.

Download and read the entire document….you might be surprised at just how legal it is to be a Christian in public school:
A Christian Student’s Bill of Rights

WFMW: Organized Fall Mornings

{Hard time coming up with tips? Try today’s suggested theme: share a fall tip}

Two-thirds of my children have a hard time picking out the clothes every morning. The other third picks out my clothes. Because she thinks I need help and she’s pretty good at it.

I was at my friend Amy’s house (who happens to live across the street [fun!], and she clued me on her morning salvation:

Beautiful, isn’t it? Okay, not really. But work with me here. I bought two off Amazon (one in pink with a different princess of the day since my 4 year old is still not reading big words yet).

During the weekend, when my kids do their laundry, (Yes, when you turn 8 in THAT family, you get your very own laundry basket! Lucky! and some lessons in the laundry room) I or more honestly, my oldest child who likes people in our family to actually match their clothes, fills up the organizer with outfits.

Y’all. I could cry. Because it works!! It has saved me so much time in the morning and my kids are happy since they helped pick out their clothes on the weekend.

Get your own for less than $10. Or better yet, use what you have and create something that works just as well!

Organized mornings work for me!

Lisa Leonard Designs {Giveaway}

Updated with Winner: Congrats to comment #88 Kim!

Sometimes I forget to eat.

And I’m not talking about food.

While at the beach a few weeks ago with (in)courage, my friend Lisa Leonard let us choose from some of her new beauties. I was so drawn to this necklace.

Because if my tummy is full, but my soul is empty, I don’t have much to offer anyone.


I love being a living message. I love to accessorize as a living witness to what I need, how I feel, or what message I want to share.

Some other favorites:


and I love this [really] cute personalized Heart Banner:

Plus, there’s a fantastic sale page<———– think gifts.

Today, I’m giving away a $75 gift certificate! Look around, leave a comment on this post with what you love and you’ll be entered to win!

But what I love most about Lisa is that she’s a real person with a kind heart. She’s a beautiful artisan who loves Jesus and let’s her light shine for Him! And that just makes her creations more beautiful, huh?

This giveaway ends Thursday.

How You Know You’re a Real Mom

{I’m speaking at a Mom’s group tonight about Cultivating a Heart that is Tender to God’s Call to Minister to a World in Need. But I thought I’d start out by just being real.}

  • You have to think about the last time you washed your own hair
  • You can change a toddler’s diaper while he is flipping around on the floor.
  • You don’t fix dinner when your hubby is out of town. Spaghettio night!
  • You consider it a vacation if flag football practice is cancelled due to a storm.
  • Your minivan resembles a dump, lost and found, and your house.
  • You get a night out and your hubby calls 7 times.
  • You count it a good day if you can stay in your pajamas.
  • You call your husband, daddy, because,everyone else in the house does…
  • You hide chocolate in the house and sneak when everyone else is having a healthy snack.
  • You are always ready to put your hand over your child’s mouth because you never know when she’s going to tell people that she used to drink milk from you boobs and it’s totally gross.
  • You would do anything for your kids, including but not limited to, dropping off their forgotten lunch and band instrument, paying for a lost retainer more than twice, and sharing the last of your sweet tea.
  • Ok,  you lied about the sweet tea. Don’t touch the sweet tea.

What would you add?

2nd Mercy House Benefit Day


On November 7, 2011, I will be hosting our 2nd Silent Auction to benefit Mercy House. And we 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 11 pm CST on November, 9th.

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 (25 14 spots left as of now), they must be a minimum of $75 in value. Please send your interest to mercyhousekenya@gmail.com (Once approved, you will need to send a picture(s), item description, value and mail item(s) to winner).

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

All proceeds from the silent auction will benefit the new counseling department of The Mercy House. We recognize the need for intensive one on one therapy for each of our pregnant girls and have hired a qualified counselor to do so. Monthly cost is a minimum of $250 (goes up with each girl). We are hoping this Benefit Auction will pay for the entire 2012 year! 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: Eryn of Mama Hall and Jamie of Six Bricks High, my volunteer virtual assistant. You girls are a blessing to me!