Kisses From Katie {Book Giveaway}

UPDATED WITH WINNER: Congrats to comment #136 Karo

If you’ve been reading my blog for a long time, you know that Katie’s life impacted our family before we even knew what our story would be.

More than three years ago, I started reading Kisses From Katie. At first, it was hard to even imagine how this young girl left home and haven for the red dirt of Uganda, alone.

Not only did she go, she stayed.

And then she adopted 14 daughters and fed and healed hundreds more.

She wanted to make a difference. And it made me want to make a difference. Remember when we raised $3200 for her ministry, Amazima, to buy chickens and seeds and hope?

Katie is one of those girls that is called to greatness, but remains the girl-next-door.

 

Her first book, Kisses from Katie: A Story of Relentless Love and Redemption, is a lot more of the same. It’s profound.

It’s beautiful. 

It still makes me want to be different. These words from Katie sum up her life:  ”to be real is to love and be loved until there’s nothing left.”

Her book is remarkable, a true mirror of Katie.

I’m giving a copy away today. Please leave a comment if you’d like to win it.

This giveaway ends on Thursday.

[Disclaimer: I did receive a copy of this to review]


Me & My Best Friend

oh, my. I love this man.

And even better: I like him.

We had a date at Starbucks on Friday night. We pushed two big, comfy chairs together and pretended we were the only people in the room. With a notepad and laptop, we wrote down our dreams.

Not so much our goals, but the visions we’re afraid to give voice to- we wrote those down.

My hubby called it a dreamstorming session. I like that. Because if it had been a brainstorming session, my brain would have told me our dreams are too big, impossible.

People like me don’t do this well-envision things that I can’t figure out or control.

But it felt good to say it out loud to each other.

To write them down.

We sense change coming. It’s scary. It’s exciting.

It’s an opportunity to trust the unseen hand that guides us.

There’s a sweet intimacy that comes when you acknowledge your secret dreams to your best friend.

You should try it sometime.

Source: etsy.com via lannerart on Pinterest

 

P.S.  Two teen boys who badly needed haircuts and belts, showed up with guitars and sang loudly about two feet away from us. Everybody has a dream, some squeakier than others.


He Alone Can Rescue {And Some Really Amazing News}

Our maternity home in Nairobi, Kenya, is registered as a Rescue Center.

And there’s not a doubt, our girls, their unborn babies, needed rescuing.

Our first mom and baby

From abortion, abuse, horrors that still leave me angry at our cruel world.

But let me be clear, we are not the rescuers.

We can offer them a safe home, unconditional love, counseling, skills, good medical care and a full belly.

But we cannot give them hope. We cannot give them a future. We cannot wipe away every terror they have known in their short lives. We cannot heal them.

Oh, we try. But it’s not our job.

Only Jesus can do these things.

Several of our girls were accepting all that we offered, except Him. They knew they would have to trust the same One who allowed so much pain. It’s been a very challenging, painful couple of weeks.

But then it happened: every one of our girls have asked Jesus into their lives, to be Lord of the past, the present and the future.

And just like that, the heaviness lifted and Heaven rejoiced.

He alone can rescue.

And He has.

 


Why We Need to Be Creative

I love to make things.

I grew up in an enterprenure’s home, with a dad who can still come up with ten new business ideas on a napkin at dinner and with a mom who folk art painted on Thursday nights, made stain glass on Saturdays and created porcelain dolls in between.

You could say I inherited some of this (except I can’t come up with ONE business that will get my hubby next to me during day time hours and I’m a horrible painter).

Except for that.

But I love to create.

For a long time, my creativity could be found in my DIY projects and home decor. But after returning from Africa, I struggled with continuing to make it about me and not sharing some of it. Does that make sense?

I think that’s why I can’t believe I get to be a part of Mercy House, specifically helping to empower our girls by selling their artistic creations. It all makes sense, this creative outlet helping them help themselves. Plus, I really enjoy this part of it!

Creativity has come full circle for me. Mine has found a purpose and I’m finding my rhythm to allow my creativity free reign back in my home again…

Ephesians 2:10 For we are God’s workmanship created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

Why we need to be creative:

  • We serve a creative God. Just look around you. (He also may or may not have a sense of humor)
  • God created us to be creative.
  • We possess a unique, original gift of creativity. We can produce something that no one else can.
  • We honor Him when we produce something creative.
  • He receives glory in our creations.
Challenge: My hubby and I are dream-storming about the future (you know, instead of brainstorming). It takes  a lot of creative juices to think outside the box. Besides just mental creativity, I’m trying to scratch the itch that demands hands-on creativity.
So, with only items in my home and 10 minutes to spare, I made this:
-white platter on my shelf made a great canvas -leftover ribbon and stickers from an old project -flag pieces cut from a sentimental Compassion International flyer -put them together to make a happy sign
What can you come up with?

Pin It

And don’t even tell me in that whiny voice, “I’m not creative.” You know who you are.

YOU WERE CREATED TO BE CREATIVE. It doesn’t have to be crafty to be creative. Go make a unique dinner, organize the garage exceptionally, write something heartfelt.

Glorify Him thru your creativity.

Why are you still here?
Go!

WFMW: Family Phone

Well. I’ve gone and done it.

I’ve did something I said I would NEVER DO. Don’t you just love it when you have to eat your words.

(They taste like chicken).

I have said for years that I would never ever get my kids a cell phone before they were driving.

I just think it’s crazy how young kids are with phones and nice phones at that.

But then I got a sixth grader  and within 12 hours of being in “middle school” it dawned on me that my daughter was going to be in situations where she needed me. And more importantly, where I needed to connect with her (band practices, lessons, etc).

But since we still feel like she’s too young for her own phone and don’t want all the headaches that come with that much freedom, we opted for a family cell phone.

Our family cell phones stays at home and is only used when we drop off our daughter for an extracurricular school or church event. Or if she is a mother’s helper across the street, or I run and get a sweet tea and leave her in charge for 7.5 minutes, etc.

We were able to just add a line to our existing contract for $10 a month, so it was a cheap solution.

It gives her a small amount of freedom she craves and keeps me from worrying.

It works for us!