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I'm a redeemed child of God and the momma to four vivacious daughters. I'm passionate about finding hidden blessings in the trials of life, living it out in an honest and open way, while encouraging those around me to believe in better.

9 Jan

teacher gift :: note folio

I’m all kinds o’ excited to share this project and gift today! Mainly because it includes some of my own crafting! And just as important – it includes the support of a crazy, wonderful organization – GlobalGiving!

A beautiful friend gifted me with one of these lovelies a couple of years ago, and I’ve been yearning to create one myself ever since. Well, I finally bit the bullet and did me some sewing!!

I made a total of seven folios … counting teachers, aids, and tutors, we had 5 “teacher” gifts, plus I made a couple more to give to friends.

I love, love, love the way they turned out! And as soon as I get some more time, I think I may be making a few more … you know, just to have on hand!

{folio pattern by JCasa Patterns}


Posted in charity, craft, creative, gift idea, giving


20 Dec

would you, could you help?

For as little as a one-time $4.00 gift, you could help a child in need this Christmas.

Giving through Compassion’s Christmas Gift Catalog provides an opportunity for the churches they partner with in South America, Asia, Central America and the Caribbean, and Africa to personally hand these gifts to a child in poverty, to meet their need, and to tell them Jesus loves them.

My goal is to raise $100.00 through this gift catalog. That goal could easily be met if just:

  • 10 of you donate $10.00, or
  • 5 of you donate $20.00, or
  • 2 of you donate $50.00, or
  • a very generous someone donated $100.00

Would you … could you … help these children in need?

Take a look below at some easy giving options, if one catches your eye and seems doable, click the photo and it’ll take you directly to Compassion’s donation page. You can also go to their catalog and read about other giving opportunities.

I’m praying through our giving these children might know the love of Jesus …

(more…)


Posted in charity, compassion, gift idea, giving


19 Dec

giving …

I was hungry, and you gave me food. I was thirsty,
and you gave me something to drink.
I was alone and away from home,
and you invited me into your house.
I was without clothes, and you gave me something to wear.
I was sick, and you cared for me. I was in prison, and you visited me.

“Then the good people will answer,
‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and give you food,
or thirsty and give you something to drink?
When did we see you alone and away from home
and invite you into our house?
When did we see you without clothes and
give you something to wear?
When did we see you sick or in prison and care for you?’

Then the King will answer,
‘I tell you the truth, anything you did for even the
least of my people here, you also did for me.’”
Matthew 25:35-40 {NCV}

As I was listening to the radio the other day, the DJ shared her thoughts about losing faith in humanity and their capacity to care for others.  Especially during this Christmas season.  She went on to share a story she’d read about recently that gave her hope.

A woman went into a big box store, walked over to the layaway department and told them she wanted to pay off a certain number of people’s layaway accounts.  And she did.  But she left just $10.00 on each account, so when they came to pay, they would feel they contributed to their gifts too.

I can’t begin to explain the warmth I felt when hearing this story.  It made me think of our Random Acts of Christmas Kindness project and I couldn’t help but wonder if this woman had gotten a hold of it and performed her own RACK.  The RACK project has been global this year.  Global!  I’ve gotten emails and encouragement from South Korea to Australia.  This isn’t about promoting “my project” … it’s about promoting Kindness.  His Love.  “I tell you the truth, anything you did for even the least of my people here, you did also for ME.”

In our own hustle and bustle of the Season, it’s easy to pass by someone whose only need might be a kind smile.

I’d like to share the outcome of our recent giving project with you.  As I mentioned, it was so hard to choose.  My heart broke over every request and it felt like I didn’t have a right to play God and decide who should receive and who shouldn’t.  Guess I didn’t think about that when I posted the request.  In the end, I enlisted Taylor’s help and she narrowed it down with me.  We ended up giving a lot more than we set out to do, but it was too difficult to “turn people away.”  A couple of people sent photos of the recipients who were blessed … looking at those photos and knowing, not just the blessing, but the hope they received … brought tears to my eyes.

I’ve said many times and believe with all my being … the Lord has greatly blessed me, how can I not turn around and share that blessing with others?

In the end, I didn’t share our giving details with the littles.  Wynter’s heart, especially, was fragile this year.  She was in tears recently claiming she didn’t want any Christmas gifts and to give them to others who needed them.  I don’t know … maybe I should’ve shared who was blessed, so she could see the good … and maybe I will someday … but right now my mama heart is protecting her fragile heart.

Anyway.

I know not everyone can walk in and pay off numerous people’s layaways.  But everyone can have a caring, giving heart.  Everyone, no matter how destitute, has something they can do or share with others.

There were some kind acts that came out of our project that I’d like to share:

  • A few families, who I know are in need for themselves this Christmas, nominated someone else whose needs are greater.  I saw love and sacrifice in that.
  • A couple of readers contacted me that they’d like to give as well.  And to let them know of some of the smaller needs and they’d like to help meet them.  {I’ll be in touch with you ladies!}

We’ve been commanded to love others as ourselves.

If people say, “I love God,” but hate their brothers or sisters,
they are liars.  Those who do not love their brothers and sisters,
whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have never seen.
And God gave us this command:
Those who love God must also love their brothers and sisters.
1 John 4:19-21 {NCV}

Showing kindness, love, compassion, caring … they don’t have to be grand acts and big gestures.  Love can be shown in the smallest of ways.  As quickly as a harsh word or evil glare can cut a heart … a smile or kind word can put a heart back together.

What can you do … just one small act, to show God’s love today?


Posted in giving, inspiration


8 Dec

hairbrushes and lunches

I have a couple of things to share with you today.  Both relate to Tuesday’s post … another “hairbrush” story … and I’d also like to share the reason we were making “lunches” for church.

Let me start with the lunches.  I mentioned in my 1000th post {hee! my 1000th!} that the girls and I are giving in other ways this Season and one of the things we’re doing is making lunches for church.  “Say what?”

Our church is continuously involved in various organizations, missions, and ministries.  One of those is called “Room in the Inn.”  They provide food and shelter for homeless people during the winter months.  Our church teams up with them every Thursday night and provides dinner and a bed {cot?} to 12-14 homeless individuals.  We do this right at the church and a team of volunteers come in to help provide.  Where do the “lunches” come in?  The next day as they’re leaving, the church sends them off with a bag lunch.  Because the recipient is “out in the elements,” we’ve been asked to bring the lunches in plastic bags.

The girls and I have volunteered to do this for the next three weeks.  It’s a touching, and important teaching moment with the girls.

Wynter, especially has been touched by this.  She’s so bent on helping others … not wanting anyone to be in need.  Someone asked Piper recently to share something about each of her sisters {I was there listening}.  Her simple, direct, and accurate description of Wynter touched me.  “Wynter sacrifices for other people.”

And now for the other part of this post … another hairbrush story!  First … thank you so much to those of you who shared a story … they touched and encouraged me!

The story I want to share isn’t my own, it comes from a previous pastor of mine.  And I may get a few of the details wrong, I’ll admit that up front … but the foundation of the story will come through.

This is a “hairbrush” story gone wrong and it’s impact will remain with me forever.

In his youth, my pastor worked for his dad at an auto dealership.  One day on his way to lunch {or maybe an errand}, he passed a parked car with a man sitting inside.  God loudly told pastor to speak to this man, possibly witness to him.  Pastor refused.  Made excuses and ultimatums, “if he’s still there on my way back, I’ll talk to him.”  Well … the car {and man} had left by the time pastor walked past that way again.  If I remember right, pastor may have even sighed with relief at not seeing the car.

Back at work, the dealership received a call.  There’d been an accident on the interstate.  The dealership also handled those things in the small town.  Pastor was sent on the call, and as he drove on the interstate, approaching the accident … he immediately recognized the car.  It was a tragic accident and the man didn’t survive.

And so …

Who knows … literally, who knows why that story ended the way it did.  God knows.  He knew from the beginning.  But look … something that happened years ago, is speaking to you today.

What I know for sure is … the more you are obedient to the small things He’s asking and calling you to do, the stronger His voice becomes.

Let me encourage you with this … don’t let that small whisper become a hairbrush story gone wrong.


Posted in charity, giving, inspiration, wynter