These Are a Few Of My Favorite Things {Giveaway}

Today is going to be fun.

Most of the gifts I’m giving for Christmas this year are things I love and use myself that are faith-based, fair trade or support a cause I believe in.

So, I thought it would be fun to give away a few of my favorite things. (over $300 value)

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One lucky reader will win everything pictured (color and style may vary from picture):

Please visit each of these links and enter below!

1. Hand knit scarf from The Refugee Project- this is the local ministry I’m involved in

2. Burlap iPad case made by women in Ethiopia

3. Fair Trade Friday Gift Box- Every box comes with 3-4 amazing items made by women all over the world.

4. An apron that changes the world- made by girls who have aged out of a Rwandan orphanage.

5. My favorite handmade soap made by families in Zambia (their lip balm is amazing too)

6. An autographed Book to Inspire-this book supports the work of Mercy House.

7. Words Matter Letterpress Blocks I’m giving meaningful words away this Christmas.

8. Shine Necklace -I love this inspiring Dayspring line.

9. Laline Milk Body Scrub-My Russian friends who are making disciples in Israel gave this to me and I love it. It’s made from salt from the Dead Sea.

10. My favorite everyday gold hoop earrings empowering survivors of modern day slavery

11. A squirrel pendant carved from a nut made by artisans in Ecuador

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Happy Blog Birthday to Us {Giveaway & an Opportunity to Change the World}

This month, We are THAT family is celebrating seven years of blogging.

7 years.

I’ve written more than 2500 blog posts, read more than 150,000 comments and deleted more than 1,000,000 spam.

I’ve embarrassed myself.

I’ve been wrecked. 

I’ve been inspired as you’ve helped make this a reality in the last few years.

We’ve been through a lot together. Some days, I feel like I’ve said it all. And others, I feel like I’m just getting started.

Blogging has changed my life. And it has given me the opportunity to change the lives of others.

This online journey reminds me that I’m not alone.

And it inspires me to remind others they are not forgotten.

Here’s to 7 more years!

For past blog birthday celebrations, I’ve given you gifts (thanks to generous sponsors of this blog). Today, I’m giving you the opportunity to be the gift.

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I’ve told you about our super fun (and wildly successful) Fair Trade Friday Club. Its had a waiting list since the day we launched and now has hundreds of members empowering hundreds and hundreds of women in more than a dozen countries! Today, to celebrate, I’m giving you the chance to join me in changing the world for some of the poorest women across the globe…like these beautiful Ethiopian women who are Fair Trade Friday partners who wanted to say thank you:

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We have a very exclusive number of High-End Fair Trade Friday boxes available for purchase. High-End boxes are different than our monthly boxes because they contain 4 higher priced items (think the best Christmas gifts ever!)

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Each box is valued at $137 each. We are selling them for just $84 dollars (priority shipping included). Not only can you knock out some of your Christmas list, the first 68 people who purchase one today, get this cute burlap clutch made by women in Ethiopia (additional $24 value ).

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So, that’s $161 of life-changing cuteness (which means you’re getting 5 items for around $15 each!!) well below retail.

Get yours and celebrate this amazing opportunity to make a difference in the world (and look cute while doing it!) I know that’s a lot of money and Christmas is still two months away, so I’m also giving away TWO of these fabulous boxes today. Enter below. 

Join the FTF wait list today and spread the word about Fair Trade Friday. It’s a beautiful way to change the world.

Happy blog birthday to us!

 

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WFMW: The Two Words That Changed My Life {Giveaway}

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Today, we are taking a break from our Yes Works For Me stories, so I can share with you two words that have changed my life and give away a beautiful word to one of you. Make sure you leave a comment as your entry!

[Updated with Winner: Congrats to Hannah, random commenter #311]

We had just finished speaking, Maureen and I, tag-teaming, sharing the Mercy House story over and over the past few weeks. We not only wanted to bring awareness to the countless impoverished women in the world, we also wanted to inspire people hearing our words to join the story.

The lady waited her turn and pulled me aside afterwards, “What really changed your life? What woke you up? What was it?”

It’s a hard question. But the answer came easily.

Two words, I whisper.

I love words.  I love reading them. I love writing them.

But mostly, I love living them.

They are powerful. They speak death or give life.

Words guide us.

For nearly 5 years, two words have led my feet on a hard, beautiful journey. I’ve gone deeper than I ever wanted, stretched further than I thought possible and been more fulfilled than I ever dreamed.

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Love. Mercy.

I love these two words… I understand love. I long for mercy. I can give both to others.

These two words have changed my life.

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And the lives of others.

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Don’t think for a moment that your words aren’t important.

Your words matters.

What you say with your lips, write on a screen, scribble in a book, jot in a thank you note, they are powerful.

When we start with The Word. Our words can change the world.

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Dayspring’s new (in)Courage Words Matter Letterpress Blocks are stunning. They chose the two words for me that are now hanging over my bed for me. I cried when I opened the mail.

Today, they are giving away $50 to one of you because your words matter. 

Click below to look at the awesome variety of letters:

Leave a comment with “your word” as your entry.

Blog Elevated Conference Ticket Giveaway

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Congrats to random commenter #12, Geralyn!

I’m excited to be speaking at the Blog Elevated Conference in Galveston, Texas in a couple of weeks! Whether you’re a seasoned blogger or a brand new one, the Blog Elevated Conference has something for everyone. There are sessions on:

In my keynote, I will be sharing how to “Use Your Blog to Change the World.” I’m honored to share my blogging story and where it has taken me and I pray it inspires others to blog for good.

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Check out the other speakers here and registration details here.

And the event will be at the lovely Moody Gardens Hotel.

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GET YOUR TICKET TODAY!

Today, I’m happy to be giving away a full conference pass to one lucky reader! It’s a $249 value and includes:

  • Welcoming reception on Thursday, Sept. 25
  • All sessions and breakouts on Friday, Sept. 26
  • Friday night party
  • All sessions and breakouts on Saturday, Sept. 27
  • 18 sessions in all, with a blogging track, social media track, and visual/design track!

Leave a comment for your entry. This giveaway will end in 24 hours.

Navigating Technology With Our Kids in a Screen-Obsessed World

*Updated with Winners* Congrats to random commenters Tanya and Ami!

My oldest daughter got her first school locker at 5th grade orientation at the new middle school.  She nervously worked her combination and adjusted the books on her white locker shelf and added a mirror on the door. I’ll never forget the day four years ago—not because it was a big deal that she was growing up. Because it was. But I remember it more because of how grown up the other kids around her seemed.

The girl next to her had fake nails, hair highlights was wearing name brand clothes head-to-toe and had was going to take notes on a tablet. And at the locker below her, a girl was texting her boyfriend on her iPhone. It felt more like a scene from high school musical than the 5th grade.

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I silently prayed I could keep my little girl little and we could navigate these adolescent years well. And we have so far.

When she asked for certain brands, we talked about budgets and saving and through the years she enjoyed a few. When she asked for a smart phone, we told her high school and thankfully, she hasn’t asked for fake nails or a boyfriend yet.

We recognized along the journey that some parents said yes sooner than we did and others said it later. And that’s okay. Because there’s not a perfect age or stage and we are all doing the best we can. I think it depends on what’s right for your family.

I’m not saying it was easy. It was just plain hard at times. I think my daughter must have asked for something we weren’t quite ready to give her a hundred times during those middle school years. We would remind her of our goal. The requests lessened in junior high.

That’s why surprising her a few days ago before she started high school with her own smart phone was a joy for all of us. She was shocked. But she was ready and the moment felt like victory for all of us.

Along with her phone we gave her this contract. It requires phone etiquette and usage rules and where and when it’s appropriate. We all signed it.

It’s just a matter of time before your child has the power of technology at their fingertips. Whether it’s a game system, a smart phone or a Kindle or a laptop, technology is more accessible than ever and it’s here to stay. Every parent reading this handles is differently.  It’s not a question of if, it’s a matter of when.

I love technology. It’s a huge part of my life and I certainly don’t want to rob my kids of the good things that it offers. But more than anything, I want them to understand the power it wields, the dangers that are a click away and make sure they are mature enough to handle it.

It’s a big subject that changes as fast as the next upgrade and it’s our job to not only monitor our kids, but to live by example.

Growing Up Social: Raising Relational Kids in a Screen-Driven World by Gary Chapman and Arlene Pellicane helped us with this decision. This summer I read (and endorsed) this important book and I can’t recommend it enough. It’s like curriculum for parents in our tech-savvy and screen-obsessed world and it released this week!

In my daughter’s cell phone contract, we asked that she wait on a Facebook account until she was older, but gave permission for an Instagram account. After a couple of days, she said, “Mom, I’m going to wait on that too. I don’t think I’m quite ready for it yet.”

And I knew we’d waited long enough. She was ready.

Today, I’m giving away two copies of Growing Up Social: Raising Relational Kids in a Screen-Driven World. Leave a comment if you’d like to win.