{Sale}

Dayspring is offering their first of the year coupon on your entire purchase over Memorial Day weekend. Get 25% off your total order with code MEMORIAL25.

Some of my favorite items are already on sale, so you can grab them at a great price. We gave these at Teacher gifts last week:

I love this long, funky necklace and wear it all the time!

Redeemed – Beautiful in Its Time – Framed Necklace

Reg $16.99 on clearance for $6.99, with 25% off, now $5.26

Redeemed - Framed Necklace

I’m giving my niece this to take to college in the fall. It opens to a really large bag, perfect for jewelry or cosmetics:

Redeemed – Everything Beautiful – Toiletries Bag

Reg. $29.99, on clearance for $12.99 with 25% off, now it’s $9.72

Redeemed - Everything Beautiful - Roll-Up Toiletries Bag

Deer keep eating my flowers, so I just planted some in this cute Redeemed planter box to keep them safe.

Redeemed – The Goodness of the Lord – Wooden Planter

Reg. $24.99 on clearance for $9.99 and with 25% coupon, now $7.51

Redeemed - The Goodness of the Lord - Wooden Planter

Shop ahead for next school year…

Redeemed – Truly Blessed – Insulated Lunch Bag

Reg. $24.99 on clearance for $9.99 and with the 25% off coupon it’s now $7.51

The coupon is good on anything at Dayspring, including the Redeemed Clearance page.

Hope your weekend is great!

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Grab this beautiful ebook by my friend for free today here!
It’s also available on Amazon:

An Opportunity to See More Clearly

I want to tell you a story:

There were two men sharing a hospital room, each struggling to recover from devastating illnesses. Two things made them friends: loneliness and opportunity. One was blind, the other old.

Every day, the old man would describe what was happening at the park, just outside his window to the blind man. He would describe the children playing ball and the young couple arguing on the park bench.  His words painted a picture describing the way the wind blew the kite a little girl was flying and the way the trees were blossoming.

Every detail was described. The old man helped the blind man see what he couldn’t.

The day came for the old man to have surgery, but sadly he never returned to the hospital room. He passed away. When the nurse told the blind man the news,  he wept. He said nostalgically, “Before you leave Nurse, could you just tell me what’s going on at the park outside the window?”

She opened the blinds to a brick wall, “What park?” she asked.

Sometimes we have to be blind so we can see.

We have the opportunity to make the world a brighter place. We can change someone else’s world with our words and our actions.

Today, I’m going to show you an opportunity to help save someone’s life and I pray you see the world more clearly.

If my 6 year old discovers a tiny hole in her leggings on the way to church, by the time we get home, it’s the size of her head.

It just keeps getting bigger.

Because sometimes once it starts, there’s no stopping it.

I feel like the more good we do in Kenya, the bigger the hole gets. Every time we rescue a new girl at Mercy House (4 more this Spring) or have a new baby (1 newborn and 3 more on the way) for a total of 24 lives in our home by summer, the spiritual attacks increase. Satan is relentless. The more we do, the more work there is to be done.

But the victories are greater.

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I know our battle isn’t against flesh and blood, but the attacks often are. It can be discouraging.

The last few weeks have been hard. The kind of hard that makes you want to pull the covers over your head and cry UNCLE.

Many of you who have supported Mercy House since the beginning, know of the personal loss Maureen, our Executive Director, hero and girl rescuer, has endured. She lost her beloved sister and nephew in her immediate family while we were opening the home in 2011 and the battle has been personal.

Jennifer, Maureen’s mom, has been a huge support. She has endured so much loss in her 53 years, but she has been faithful, volunteering her time and skills to help us help girls in Kenya. Our family fell in love with Jennifer several years ago and she is our extended family now.

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The day after we rescued our newest girl from the grips of darkness, Jennifer, Maureen’s mom, was diagnosed with a life threatening brain tumor that has already caused her to go blind in one eye and her other eye is at risk and ultimately, her life.

What a blow.

Thankfully, it’s not cancerous and brain surgery will save her life. (She is tentatively scheduled to enter the hospital June 2, 2013)

Most people with her medical condition in Kenya would die. And without a financial or healing miracle, Jennifer does not have a chance. The surgery and recovery cost $15,000.

I have struggled with my faith lately, just feeling overwhelmed and exhausted and a little whiny. I know God is able, but the hole fills up with water quicker than I can bail it out.

What better way for satan to attack the good work of Mercy House than to try and cripple our beloved Maureen?

God keeps asking me to believe for the impossible. Probably because He keeps coming thru. I just want to shake myself and say, “Don’t you get it, Kristen!”

Please, pray, there are obviously many risks involved.

It’s a big hole, but God is bigger.

You can help Jennifer by giving a charitable donation here. You can also follow her journey to healing by liking this Facebook page.

We are grateful to the amazing work of an organization called CURE Kenya, who is helping to facilitate this surgery on the ground.

About CURE:

More than 100 million physically disabled children in the developing world can be cured through surgery.

These children have conditions like clubfootbowed legscleft lips,untreated burns, and hydrocephalus. Without treatment, they won’t go to school and will have little hope for a future. Many will die from their condition.

That’s why CURE exists. We’re a non-profit organization that operates hospitals and programs in 27 countries worldwide where patients experience the life-changing message of God’s love for them, receiving surgical treatment regardless of gender, religion, ethnicity, or ability to pay.

Since our first hospital opened in Kenya in 1998, we have seen over 1.9 million patients, provided over 138,000 life-changing surgeries, and trained over 6,100 medical professionals.

[We are collecting donations thru third party Pure Charity so they will be tax deductible. We don’t have a way to receive a tax deductible donation via Paypal at this time.  If you don’t want to pay with credit card/debit card online, you can send a check here:

Pure Charity
2003 Horsebarn Road, Suite 9
Rogers, AR  72756
in the memo line we would need to have “CURE International 58-2248383, Jennifer’s Brain Surgery”

 

Will you help one precious life  see the world clearly? 

Introducing Jewelry Boxes by TVP {Giveaway}

Updated with Random Winner: Congrats to Julie, commenter number 7!

How sweet are these?

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The Vintage Pearl, an Oklahoma based business, has been my go to hand stamped jewelry shop for years. I love the heart behind the company, the quality of their products and The Cute. Because seriously, they have mastered both.

For example, earlier this week when the Oklahoma tornado devastated Moore, they offered this gorgeous piece and gave 100% of the proceeds to the Red Cross to help aid in relief efforts. They have raised an incredible $150,000!! Amazing.

love for Oklahoma

I love these new Sweetheart Jewelry Boxes because you can customize them for a special event and put a sweet secret message inside. It’s the perfect place to keep your special silver necklace too.

The perfect little trinket box to hold your lovely little keepsakes!

This jewelry box measures about 3 1/2″ across. It’s a 2 piece heart box with a lid that was hand molded in our studio and then cast in fine silver– it has handmade imperfections that make it perfectly imperfect. This handstamped jewelry box looks beautiful on your bedside table, ready to hold your favorite tvp pieces and keeping them safely stored when you’re not wearing them. You can customize both the lid and the inside of the heart by handstamping them with names, dates, an inspiring quote, an inside joke, favorite scripture, whatever is meaningful to you– making it a unique custom keepsake.

This jewelry box makes a sweet gift for mom, grandma, a new bride, a graduate and more!

Today, I’m excited to give away one custom jewelry box to a lucky winner.

Tell me what you love at The Vintage Pearl as your entry.

WFMW: How to Help in Oklahoma

[Linky for WFMW will be added to this post at the normal time 10pm CST time tonight]

Before school this morning, my 6 year said, “Momma, what if a tornado comes to my school today? I don’t want to die. I prayed for all the people in Oklahoma last night.”

When tragedy strikes, we are all touched.

Her words sum up how devastated we all feel for the beautiful people of Oklahoma. My in-laws and many other family members and friends live in this state and I know it affects so many far and wide.

When I was 20 years old, I was home from college for the weekend when a killer tornado hit our Dallas neighborhood. As the freight train of wind and debris moved thru our home, my parents lay on top of me, protecting me with their bodies. I’ll never forget the way they sacrificed for me or the way our community lifted us up. The Red Cross fed us breakfast everyday and we picked up toiletries and aid at the local high school, volunteers shoveled glass and put up roof tarps. Everyone gave.

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I think prayer is the greatest gift we can give Oklahoma today. Here are some other good ways to give:



What I Want My Kids to Know About Sex

My husband settled in for The Talk with my son many months ago. After explaining the um, mechanics of the parts, my son stopped his dad and said, “From now on, can we just refer to everything as Thing One and Thing Two?”

It sort of ruined Dr. Seuss for all of us.

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We’ve been talking about sex in our house with our older kids lately.

They are at the age where it’s being mentioned or joked about in some way nearly every day. And my husband and I want to be a part of their sex education. It’s not just public school kids talking…you might be surprised what kids say at church or what my son’s homeschool friend saw on the Internet. Not to mention what’s readily available on just about every TV show and screen in our homes with just a click.

Kids talk about sex.

So, we do, too…much earlier than I thought we would. But I think it’s important to set up God’s standard of purity before they start believing the world’s.

We’ve talked about things that make us blush and giggle and hurry and change the subject. We’ve corrected rumors and dispelled untruths, but most of all, we try and teach the importance of purity.

My husband and I grew up in an era of purity commitments and to put it bluntly: a church environment of shame-based sex education. Your commitment was all fine and good until you broke it and then there was no going back. You were ruined.

This kind of pressure to be pure doesn’t really work because it’s in and of itself, not pure. While my husband and I married as virgins, we did so because we chose to be pure in our hearts first. It took some time for us to untangle the guilt and shame wrapped up in our view of sex.

We lived in the time of “don’t confess you’re struggling with impure thoughts because you’ll be condemned and certainly don’t admit to giving into them or you’ll be damned.” We want to teach our children that they will in fact probably struggle with impure thoughts and possibly act on them at some point because they are human. And while this isn’t ideal or what we want for them, it doesn’t void or negate their purity commitment. It just gives them reason to talk to God about their hearts and ask for his help again.

I desperately want my kids to know this about sex:

1. They can talk to Mom and Dad about anything. I don’t want to hush them or tell them it’s inappropriate. The older they get, the less they talk, so I want to keep the lines open. I want to keep my kids talking, even if the first ten minutes aren’t important. If they hear a word they have a question about or someone sexts them a picture once they have phones (it happens to even good kids) or applies pressure in the cyber world or whatever…I want to be the one (or their Dad) they come to, not peers.

2. There is grace in this life. We all struggle. We all need to forgive and be forgiven. I want my children to know that if or when they make a mistake, their life isn’t over. They aren’t ruined for life. There are consequences for actions, especially sexual promiscuity. But God often uses our mess-ups to draw us closer to Him. My life is full of broken pieces he’s mended. And  I’m stronger because of them. The last thing I want my teenager to believe about themselves is that they are damaged goods. God is about redemption and I want my children to know we serve a God who can redeem anything. Romans 8:1 “There is therefore now no condemnation in Christ Jesus.”

3. God’s way protects and provides for you. I want my kids to know we don’t just make up rules because we’re mean. We are teaching our kids that if we follow God’s standard of holiness, it protects them physically, spiritually and emotionally. It also provides for them in the future without all the cumbersome baggage and guilt that comes from doing too much too soon.

We are still figuring out what to teach our kids. With heavy media influence and availability (and the apps!), the dangers change nearly daily. But instead of creating a giant list of Do’s and Do not’s, we’re focusing on the heart.

It’s really where purity begins and ends.

Resources (Amazon Affiliate Links):

What’s the Big Deal?: Why God Cares About Sex (God’s Design for Sex)

Sex Is Not the Problem (Lust Is): Sexual Purity in a Lust-Saturated World

Preparing Your Daughter for Every Woman’s Battle

Preparing Your Son for Every Man’s Battle

Passport to purity