Why We Have to Try {Free Printable}

If you ever wonder if the impossible is possible, this story is for you.

If you ever wonder if your yes matters and how powerful your no might be, lean in.

If you ever wonder if God still cares for the sparrow and works miracles, keep reading.

It’s been exactly five months since Mercy House found Edith with her 3 day old starving baby, whom she was feeding water from a rag. She named her Hawi (God’s favor in Swahili). We had a house full of girls, were short-staffed and overwhelmed, but we couldn’t say no.

We had an empty bed, support from donors and we had to try.

Maureen, Executive Director of Mercy House, saved their lives that day with her quick response.

This remarkable miracle story is still being talked about at the hospital where she and her baby spent several weeks.

These pictures were taken the day we brought them home to Mercy House:


Maureen realized just how sick this tiny 3 pound premature newborn was after she snapped this picture and rushed them to the hospital.

And yesterday, exactly 5 months later, when this picture hit my inbox, I burst into tears.

Our God is so big.

They are thriving. Edith wants to be a doctor one day. Baby Hawi is healthy and happy and meeting milestones, despite her prematurity.

Two years ago when Maureen and I set out on this wild and scary journey, we had no idea what we were doing. There were no promises of success.

But God didn’t ask us to be successful. He just asked us to try.

And when people see this beautiful picture, they will look past our inadequacies and see WHAT GOD HAS DONE.

And when our fear and doubt surface and the brokenness of our girls overwhelms us, we will remember:

We just have to try. He will do the rest.

And that big frightening mountain looming in front of you? He isn’t asking you to conquer it. He’s just asking you to take that first step.
Why We Have to Try :: FREE 8×10 Printable

WFMW: DIY Lava Lamps

This is the last week of summer for us.


I’m going to miss these care-free, lazy days. A lot.

But I’m also going to enjoy the structure that schedule brings. My kids are all starting new schools and the  excitement and jitters are setting in. My oldest is starting Junior High and my baby is heading to Kindergarten. Hold me.

We’ve been trying to knock a few things off our summer bucket list lately. One of those is DIY Lava Lamps we found on Pinterest.

Oh, so fun and super easy, it’s food science and it got two thumbs up in our house:

Supplies Needed:

empty bottle

cooking oil


food coloring

a couple of alka seltzer tablets

Simply fill a bottle 3/4 of the way full with oil, fill the rest with water, leaving about an inch at the top:

Add about a dozen drops of food coloring to the bottle:

Drop in pieces an alka seltzer tablet and watch the lava begin!

Even though the bubbles don’t last forever, we duct taped our lids on and have a fun “science experiment” to play with.

Playing with food (and learning) works for us!

Be a Part of Something Beautiful {Giveaway}

UPDATE: Liz (comment 18) & Kirsten (comment 32) have been randomly selected as the winners of this giveaway.

I don’t believe every Christian in the world is supposed to adopt.

But I believe we are all called to do something to care for the poor and defend orphans.

One amazing way to do that is by giving financially or shopping a worthy cause.

The Adopt Shoppe has been a long-time advertiser on my blog, with the purpose of the shop to help bring one little baby boy home.

I’m happy to announce that is happening very soon! The Adopt Shoppe will be closing soon, so here’s your last chance to help support a great cause.

From The Adopt Shoppe FB page: With our impending travel to Taiwan to pick up Maddox, I’ve decided to shut down my shop for an indefinite period of time on Saturday, August 25, 2012. We are still $2,000 short and I will still be taking orders in my shop through next Friday. They will be shipped out within 14 days of placing your order.

In celebration of one more orphan finding his forever home, today I’m giving away two $25 gift certificates to The Adopt Shoppe.

Beautiful freshwater pearl and hemp bracelets:

I love this inspirational print in the Shoppe:

Step into someone’s story and make a difference today. Welcome Max home in the comments and that will be your entry!

This giveaway ends on Thursday.

The One Thing I Want My Kids to Know About This Christian Life

I have spent my parenting journey making a conscious decision to impart Jesus to my kids through intentional Christian living.

In the last twelve years, we’ve taken our kids to more than 5,000 church services, bought them dozens of Christian t-shirts, own a slew of inspirational fiction and non-fiction books, have attended bi-weekly community group, support nine Compassion children and do regular weekly devotions. We have 7 versions of the Bible, 3 Nativity sets, audio CD’s on inspirational living and countless worship and Christian music albums.  We’ve traveled to Kenya the last two summers as a family and volunteer (daily) at the non-profit our family started.

If anything, we will die trying.

The other night we were doing “highs and lows” of our summer around the dinner table. We talked about the ups and downs of our trip across the country and even about some of the attention our family has received for doing what many call “extraordinary.”

And that’s when I knew we had to teach them the most important lesson yet in this parenting journey.

Because the older I get and the more we do, the more I’m convinced that only one thing really matters: I can spend a lot of time, money and energy being a Christian, but if we don’t have love, we have nothing. Above all, I want my children to love others.

I want them to understand that saying yes to God (Mercy House) doesn’t make our family special and it (shouldn’t) doesn’t make us different.

It simply makes us Christians.

At the end of the day after we’ve painted or taken brownies to a new neighbor or searched the couches for loose change to “change the world”, we do every bit of it for one reason: Because we love Jesus and that makes us love others and loving others magnifies our love for Jesus.

I want them to grow up thinking it’s normal to dirty their hands helping others, wherever that takes them and it just happens to have taken us to the continent of Africa. Our world likes to put a size on things and bigger is better. But in God’s economy, love always wins.

I want my children to know serving (locally and globally) is a key to true Christianity.

I want them to know that is where they will find Jesus.


Move Along, Thieves

I spent this week (the last week before the last week of summer) hanging out with my kids and rolling my eyes at the to do list that continues to grow.

We swam and made this fun treat (great arm workout) and painted pottery, among other things.

And then my kids showed me how easy it is for a burglar to get into our new front door.


So, um, we need to fix that this weekend.

Not that I’m worried (attention all robbers who might read mom blogs), clearly we have killer canine protection.

Y’all have a happy weekend!