My two friends and I were sitting at the kitchen counter eating fresh strawberries from a local farmer’s market and telling war stories. You know, stories about all the crazy things our kids had been doing recently. At times like this, we talk about what we do when our children back-talk, what training techniques seem to work well at what ages, what we do when we are sleep deprived, and on and on the stories and lamenting and encouragement go. We support each other and affirm each other and give counsel when needed. We love each other and we cry and we laugh when we talk about life with little ones.
This particular evening, much like our other times together, we found ourselves complaining a bit about the naughty things our children had done. And then my friend said something to the effect of, “If only I could cure my complaining problem! Guess we’re not much different from our children!” We laughed and agreed, and the words went deep.
We are not much different from our little ones…
Read the rest over at (in)courage today!
WINNER IS ANNOUNCED AT THE END OF THIS POST!
It’s that time again…
I know, I’m not Oprah, but I too have favorite things, and I too love sharing with you! Now, I can’t give all of you my favorite things, but I can give one of you ALL of them! Yay! And as a side-note, I’m also giving you a great Christmas shopping guide. You’re welcome! 🙂
Now, let’s get this party started!
My Favorite Things Giveaway!
Shoes from The Root Collective!
My feet in my favorites, Millie in Silver Spiral!
These are my favorite of my favorite things. I ADORE these shoes and wear them ALL THE TIME. I only just got them at Allume, but since them, we’ve been inseparable. They are so lovely and comfortable and they can be casual or dressy. Another bonus, my husband likes them, and apparently, he’s not a fan of most of my shoes. These were his exact words when he saw me in them, “Those are the only shoes I’ve ever loved on you.”
The best thing about these shoes though? They are handcrafted, ethically produced shoes by artisans in Guatemala in partnership with The Root Collective, whose goal is focusing on economic development in rural and urban slum communities in Guatemala. Read all about The Root Collective HERE, and be sure to follow them on Instagram where they post the cutest pics of their shoes and those who make them.
“Our makers are defying the odds in their communities, pushing forward with hope in a place where darkness often overwhelms. They are providing jobs, food, and family to many without.
We keep our margins slim because we don’t take advantage of our makers and pay them fairly, while keeping prices affordable for consumers. We believe there is power in our business model, and invite you to be a part of that.
Remember that you are powerful this holiday season. Shop with intention.” -Bethany Tran, Founder
For the giveaway, I’m going to let YOU choose which pair you want if you win! WOOT!
(If you want to get a pair for yourself or someone else, go HERE and use code SARAHMAE and you’ll get 10% off!)
The Shine Pullover from Persimmon Prints!
I also snagged this comfy little thing while at Allume this year! It is so cute and comfy and has become a favorite clothing item of mine. It was designed by the sweetest woman, Kacie, who owns Persimmon Prints, a lovely “faith-art” shop with things you will adore. And it’s much more of a delight to shop with them knowing they give back to help those in need.
“As the designer of persimmon prints, it’s my joy to creatively capture & display God’s divine words, and to share His message of love with the world. i want to help your fill your life with print, fix your heart on God, and fight for those in need.” -Kacie
The shirt I’m wearing here (“Free Indeed”) is also Persimmon Prints, and it’s on sale now!
Oh my goodness, this candle SMELLS SO GOOD! It’s like, you’re at an evening bonfire! And who doesn’t like an evening bonfire! 🙂 Seriously. I love WoodWick candles because they make that crackly fire/rain sound while also making your home smell delish. You will love this candle.
Want to shop for some WoodWick candles this season? Here you go.
The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane is a deeply touching book, and is one of the best books I have ever read. It was also a delight to read aloud. The kids and I were hooked; we couldn’t put it down. It is an exceptional work by Kate DiCamillo. If you don’t win this giveaway, you absolutely MUST get it. Love, love, love.
I mean, do I really even need to explain why this is a favorite? COMFORT FOOD! Oh, and if you haven’t read the first Mitford book, At Home in Mitford, I’ll throw that in the pot as well because it is a delicious read that will have you baking and longing for the warmth of small town living.
My favorite conference, the one that inspires me in my first calling, is Sally Clarkson’s Mom Heart conference. These conferences are so inspiring and helpful and I always leave encouraged. I cannot recommend how highly I think you should go if you’re a mom, particularly a mom of little ones. And you all know how much I esteem Sally. She is such a wise, gracious woman of God.
If you haven’t registered for one of the Mom Heart conferences, just get on with it by going HERE to find a conference near you (I’ll be speaking in Texas)!
Today, I am giving away a ticket to the California conference which is February 12-13th. You can read all about that conference HERE. Oh, and Chrystal Evans Hurst is speaking at the CA one, and she is a TREAT! You will laugh until you nearly have an accident (easy to do if you’re a mom!) and you will walk away with a good word. And of course, Sally will be speaking, and her insight will so fill your heart you cannot help but go home ready to keep on as a mother, in grace and Titus 2 wisdom.
I know there are some of you out there who really want to go through this course/study but just don’t even have the $10 to purchase it. I understand, and I’ve been there. Therefore I’m not only giving away one course, but THREE courses! When you leave a comment, let me know if you would like to specifically win the course.
Now, speaking of $10, right now my Longing for Life video course is only $10 through Thursday, and even though you have a chance to win it, if you don’t want to miss the deal go ahead buy it now, and if you win, I’ll refund you! Easy peasy.
To get it for $10, click HERE and put in this coupon code: ten
To read more about the course, click HERE.
Okay, last but not least…
You know I’m going to go on and throw in my books!
For those trying to navigate the tension between their longings and their reality
For the mom who has ever whispered, “I just can’t be a mother today.”
There you have it, my favorite things of 2015!
The winner of the whole shebang is…. Brittany Osborne!!!! WOO HOO!!!!!!
The other two winner’s of the course are… Sarah Koontz and Sara Shultz! CONGRATS!
To Enter the Giveaway…
Just fill out the form below!
Giveaway open to the continental US only. Giveaway ends Thursday at 9pm EST!
There are affiliate links in this post. Read my disclosure policy here.
I looked at my iPod. Which playlist should I pick to listen to while I wash my dishes.
My eyes went back and forth between my “Cleaning” playlist and my “Rend Collective” praise music list. I decided on the praise because it’s been a dark day.
I propped my iPod up on my kitchen window, pressed play, and as the words came out, something in me opened up.
I turned around, slid down to the floor on my knees and cried.
I think I’m in a bit of a depression.
And depression is this weird thing that you can’t really explain or give reason for. It just is.
“Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me…” Psalm 42:5
I get this way from time to time, it’s just a darkness, and it seems to be a rhythm of my life, and I know it will lift. But it’s been a few weeks of struggling to do basic tasks, and I finally had to admit to myself that I’m in it. And I function. I’m kind of a functioning depressive, or so I told my friend this morning. I can be mostly okay, but in my home, going about the hours, everything is a mountain.
I had a class in college and I remember the professor telling us once that when you find yourself in a depressed place, that everything feels hard, and to just do something small as you can. Maybe you can just make the bed. Do that.
My small thing, right now, is writing this to you, because there is something in the writing that helps. Something about vulnerability and honesty that allows the process to take its course.
So here I am telling you that I’m depressed. But I’m also hopeful because God is with me, and He knows all of my heart and every bit of my soul, and He will be kind and tender with me through this. I’ve been here before.
So today, I’m going to be gentle with myself, and I’m going to slowly do my dishes, and I’m going to keep on knowing that I’m not alone.
I’m not going to believe the voice of the enemy and I’m not going to condemn myself. I am free, and I trust the healing in the heaviness.
If you are struggling with a dark day or days, hang in there. Be gentle with yourself. Listen to truth not accusation. You are loved, you are not a failure, you are going to be okay.
“Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.” Psalm 42:5
“…whenever our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and he knows everything.” 1 John 3:20
“…the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.” 1 John 4:4
“In my failures You won’t walk out
Your great love will lead me through
You are the peace in my troubled sea”
My Lighthouse, Rend Collective
Much love to you today,
Today is a guest post from Ruth Schwenk. She and her co-author Karen Ehman have penned a much-needed resource for moms called Hoodwinked. Today Ruth shares some wonderful encouragement from their new book. Enjoy!
We had tried about everything.
Nothing seemed to be registering, at least for lasting change.
“Tell me about her,” my friend continued.
I (Ruth) shared with her a little about my child’s personality and what she liked and disliked. I shared our history and some of the stories that would help her understand our parent-child relationship a little better.
My friend looked at me and said, “Well, she just needs to know you empathize with her.”
“Empathize with her?” I said.
“Yes. She needs to know you hear her, understand her, and feel what she feels before you teach her.”
I sat there for a moment, not knowing what to say at this uncomplicated answer to what I had been trying to figure out for months. This was a lightbulb moment for me.
“You mean everyone isn’t just like me?” Hello, Ruth! I had been so focused on how I felt that I never even stopped to consider our differences and how my child was feeling.
I know it seems so simple. But for me it was a tremendous discovery. Up until this time I had never taken into consideration that my children were not like me. Their personalities are all different, and they look at life situations different than me. Everyday life looks different through their eyes than it looks through mine.
We view a situation in two different ways, and instead of faulting my child for that, I need to understand her in order to reach her. Now I’ll admit it … it’s not easy. Not one bit. It takes every ounce of my being not to burst out laughing at a situation that I find rather humorous, yet she finds tragic. Or feel sympathetic when a situation looks more black and white to me. She is much more of a “feeler” than me. Now of course there has to be a balance, and you have to help your child learn how to handle her personality in light of how God wants us to live, but you can’t help her do that if you aren’t viewing life through her lens. You won’t be able to understand where she is coming from to help her in her journey of growth.
Right now as I sit here at my desk writing, my eye catches a large framed picture. On the picture matting all around the photo are the written words, “I love you, Mom. You’re the best mom ever. Best friends. Bella + Mom = Best Friends.” The framed picture is from my oldest daughter. The child I “just couldn’t figure out.”
I am so thankful that my friend spoke that truth into my life a few years ago. Her wise words changed the way I parented my daughter and helped me embrace our relationship. I had to intentionally (and still do) make an effort to work hard at understanding her. Some children are more outgoing, talkative, and personable. Others are quieter, more reserved, thinking cautiously and calculating everything. These differences are not weaknesses. The goal of recognizing differences is to help our children grow into the unique people God intended for them to be. We need to help them discover that their gifts, personalities, and interests are all a part of his plan and his story.
It has been so incredible to watch God knit my heart and Bella’s together.
I wouldn’t trade all that hard work for anything.
*Taken as an excerpt from the book with slight alteration for blog length from “Myth #9: I Have to Do It All Right, or My Child Will Turn Out Wrong”
My good friend Karen Ehman and I are absolutely thrilled to share a resource that we believe is a game-changer for moms: Hoodwinked: Ten Myths Moms Believe & Why We All Need to Knock It Off!
We have had ENOUGH of the misconceptions of motherhood!
Myths such as: “The way I mother is the right (and only) way,” “Motherhood is natural, easy, and instinctive,” or “My child’s bad choice means I’m a bad mom.” These myths leave moms hoodwinked and sometimes even heartbroken.
In our straightforward yet encouraging “we’ve been there” style, we enable mothers to
- Identify the ten myths of motherhood
- Replace the lies with the truth of what God says
- Forge healthy, supportive relationships with other moms of all ages and stages
- Confidently embrace the calling of motherhood as they care for their families in their own unique way
Ultimately, Hoodwinked equips mothers to stop searching for the secret and develop and embrace their relationships instead- with their kids, other mothers, and most importantly, with God.
You can grab your copy of Hoodwinked today HERE:
Affiliate links are used in this post.
And you all have to know, that I esteem her so highly and I couldn’t recommend her or her work more. She is absolutely brilliant at business, particularly online business. She is genuine, lovely, and a gift to all us moms out there who want to earn an income from home.
If you are looking for ridiculously practical ideas, tips, and inside info on how to make an income from home, you MUST get a copy of Money Making Mom. Crystal knows her stuff like no one I have ever met before. She is always surprising me with her capacity for learning and implementing what she’s learned. And what’s more, she is one of the most generous people I have ever met.
To get your hands on her new book, just head HERE or click the book image above. You won’t regret it. Here’s what Crystal herself has to say about the book:
“Money-Making Mom is not a book about about making money as a blogger or even just about making money online. Instead, it’s a hands-on manual to help you discover your passions and talents and turn those into a profitable business — whether online or offline.
Woven through the pages is my heart to inspire women to uncover their gifts, use their gifts, and make a difference in this world! Because you have a story. You have a message. You have gifts and talents. And the world needs your story, your message, your gifts and your talents!”
What are you waiting for? Get yourself a copy!
There are affiliate links in this post.