Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Signing Off.....

I am a mess. God is just messing me all up. He's wrecking me, in ways I never thought I could be. It's good, it's just exhausting. Not in a physically sense, although sometimes it can feel that way. Some days I am just weary, others I am overwhelmed by what is going on in my head and I just can't make sense of it.

This is just section of my journal as of late...

My mind is a mess. I feel as if every day I am being born anew. I am waking up for the first time and seeing for the first time ever. What am I to do with this? This radical change in my heart, and in my mind. It’s ripping the core out of who I am, or who I thought I was.  It’s happening so fast, I can hardly keep up. It’s spinning, it’s plucking and I feel as though I can’t contain it. I don’t even want to.
I feel a foreigner. I am no longer comfortable in my skin, in my surroundings. How do I tell my friends how I am feeling, or what God is doing? I can hardly explain it to myself. In one giant whoosh, I have gone from there to here and now where? Can I try to explain the matters of the heart that I am only just beginning to grasp and does it even make sense? My words fall flat. Nothing.  Nothing can explain what is happening to me. 

I am reading so much. Studying so much. Praying so hard. This past month we focused on Possessions. We are doing our own version of 7 and we started with this one. We went from room to room and I kid you not, even though we have had two garage sales in the past 18 months we had bags and bags and boxes of stuff. It sickened me. Why all the clothes? Why the gobs of toys? The random decorations and gadgets, the excess. The amount of clothes alone we packed up made me nauseous. How many shirts does one person need? While there are so many that have maybe one. 

The goal of this month wasn't just to rid ourselves of the excess in our homes, but in our hearts. We didn't just drop the bags off at Goodwill and check-off the good deed of the day (how many times have we done that?!) we took these things to specific places of need and handed them over. 
While we were cleaning and sorting and purging, God was doing a number on our hearts. Forgiveness has been at the forefront, for both Trevor and I. Glaring at us. Some things go back many many years and are deep rooted hurts, some are more recent, but one thing is for sure; God isn't satisfied yet. He is still working on us and this is a process. Just as it will be a process for us, to not just go fill up our houses again with clothes and things we don't really need. It's painful. The plucking, the sifting as my friend Jenna put it so well. But it is good.

This will be a lifelong effort to be aware of the excess in our homes and lives, and for us definitely not just a "one month stand". 

As we wrap up this first month, a month I thought frankly would be easy because it was just about "stuff" right, and I was thrown for a loop (because God is cool like that) and He messed with my heart more than I anticipated...we move on to Media month.
Jen and her family chose 7 different areas of media to refrain from. 
In our house we are saying goodbye to 

TV 
(it will never be turned on this month, including for movies)

Games
(for us this is the Wii or any games like Angry Birds or Words with Friends on our phones)

Social Media
(this includes: Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, Blogger egads!!)

Unnecessary Internet Use
(Trev has to use his computer for work, including email so only things related to work and paying bills are okay, all other random internet use is not okay,
 including YouTube and Disneyland sites and random web surfing)

This leaves talking on the phone, writing letters, and text messaging. 
It would be super easy to become addicted to texting, so we have said unnecessary texting is a no-no.


I think I will be okay with this month for the first week or so, and then I will realize how much I use this stuff. 
I am looking forward to not feeling the need to check my 5 accounts when I wake up, or the boys are napping.
I'm looking forward to reading more, praying more, and being quiet. 

I plan on writing for my blog, and publishing after the month is done since it's more or less a journal, but I won't be reading anyone's blogs or posting.

Since I want you all to hang around, I have scheduled some great guest posts as well as pulled some goodies from the archives for you!
I will no doubt overwhelm you with pictures from our camping trip, Jack's 4th Birthday, the coast, our Portland trip and the twins 18 month update when I return.

Praying big things for this month.
Until September 1st, see ya!




Monday, July 30, 2012

Enough

*Gearing up for me taking the month off of media....this paragraph was too good not to share*






Why are we still starving for nourishment after our sixth Bible study in a row? How can people supposedly filled with the Spirit be so enamored with the luxuries of this world to the detriment of the other 99% who suffer so? How can be the richest people on earth still be so unhappy? Does my craving for more neutralize the enough that Jesus says He is? If I'm patterned after my Savior, why does my life look exactly like everyone else's, with the exception of some stellar church attendance? The tension finally pinpointed here:

As believers in the western church, how can we have so much and do so little with it?

We have so freaking much. So much money, education, resources, opportunities, knowledge, possessions, gifts, consumer power, privileges, advantages. We have every tool at our disposal, yet we are chronically plagued by ailments - social, spiritual, physical, emotional. Good reader, hands up if your heart is too peaceful, your life too simplified, your hands too generous, your spirit too content, your space too sacred, your stuff too unimportant, your devotion to Jesus too concentrated. Millions of voices are raising, some publicly, some in private turmoil still searching for the words, saying: 

Enough. 

Enough with the obscene excess while the rest of the world is burning down outside our windows. Enough with the waste as 25,000 people die today of hunger, while I throw away another pound of food we didn’t get around to eating. Enough with the debt, the spending, the amassing, the irresponsibility, the indulgence, the fake discipleship, the rat race, the hamster wheel, the power and positioning and posturing with a hunger still for more, more, more, all the while pretending to follow a Jesus who didn’t even have a place to lay his head.





-excerpt from Jen Hatmaker's blog 


Sunday, July 29, 2012

Sweet Simplicity Designs

I first found out about Liz and Sweet Simplicity Designs through a giveaway. I am pretty sure it was Multiples and More and Liz had offered up a full blog re-design and I won!
I found out she had ridiculously adorable twin boys, loved the Lord and was one of the nicest people I've ever "met"

Since that time I have redesigned my blog and am in the process of trying to "brand" myself and Liz will be designing my next stuff once I am good and ready. 
She has now started designing for Wordpress as well as Blogger!

Not only can she redo your blog and make it look amazing, she offers Facebook Timeline templates, she does logo and business designs, prints (cards and invites) and social media icons!



Her prices are some of the most affordable I have found, and she is super easy to work with. She has great creativity, but allows you a ton of control over it as well, and a huge highlight for me: she is a quick responder to emails!!

Here is a bit of her work:




 Liz also offers a discount for parents of Multiples! :)



You can find her on Facebook and Twitter and I guarantee you will be happy with your blog!

Friday, July 27, 2012

The Least of These

I left my littlest ones for the first time earlier this week, overnight. For two nights. This Mama just doesn't do that well. My Mama didn't do it well either. My Grandfather (Dad's side) passed away on July 4th, and we gathered in Washington to remember and honor him. The boys were left in the capable hands of my husband and I really didn't worry at all about them. He does so amazing with the three of them and he doesn't get frazzled easily. 

While the trip was not without it's sadness and hard times, we made the best of it and shacking up in a room with my parents and my little sister really did feel like old times before we were married and before the kids. 

Typically I've not been one to take risks, like I've said before, I have always played it safe. Something is changing in me, and while I will never be one to take a risk just for the sake of a risk, I am beginning to see things differently and look for opportunities to step out of my comfort zone.

We got into Portland Monday night, it was about 10:00pm and my parents headed to the hotel room. My sister and I decided to take the MAX into downtown Portland and find something to munch on. My Portland friends and family may be cringing right now at the time of night and the fact it was just my sister and I, but honestly I wasn't worried. 
I think I've only ridden the MAX once, and it was definitely with seasoned riders, not my little sister. We fumbled our way through the ticket system, engaging a few people in conversation along the way and hoped we picked the right one. By our calculations, we had time to go into downtown, grab something to eat, jump back on the MAX to the airport, call our hotel's shuttle and get back to the hotel before midnight. 

We opted to get off at the Skidmore stop instead of Chinatown and then hiked back up a few blocks toward Voodoo Donut. We'd only been walking a few minutes when we spotted a young boy, maybe 5 and a young woman with him. She looked a bit frantic. He was carrying what looked to be his prized stuffed animal, a bear in a bunny coat, and she asked for help. She pulled out a business card and asked us if we knew where this was. It was a policeman's card and it was the address of the police station. Since we weren't from there, my sister pulled out her iPhone and looked it up on the GPS, she was about 4 blocks north of her destination and as we told her she was on the right street but needed to keep walking, she looked visibly discouraged. She said she was emotional and frazzled. I instantly thought she was fleeing from someone. I asked her if we could walk her the rest of the way, she didn't even have a phone. She said that would be a lot to ask, and I again offered. She declined saying she knew she was on the right road now, and would be able to get there. 

As I watched them walk away I couldn't help feel like I should have forced myself on her and walked her and her young boy to the police station. We were heading to donuts, and she was heading from something. Different ends of the spectrum, walking the same road, to two different destinations. 

I was reminded that there are people all around us struggling, looking for something, going through something huge, yet walking along side of us and we have no idea. It reminded me to be aware, to be conscience and to always be looking outward instead of inward, remembering that it's not about me. This life I live, it isn't for myself, it's for others. 

We stood in a relatively short line for Voodoo and then hopped across the street for a slice of Dante's pizza, plopped down at a table and watched downtown Portland unfold. Homeless people were scouring for a place to sleep, asking for spare change and checking the trash for any discarded food. One little street corner held men in business suits drinking cocktails, groups of teens eating donuts by the dozens, men and women with everything they owned on their backs and my sister and I. It was fascinating to take in, and a tangible reminder of how blessed I am, how blessed we are. 

We hopped back on the MAX only to realize seconds before it took off we were on the wrong one and the one we wanted wasn't running anymore that night. We realized the only way we were getting back to our hotel was a taxi. We hailed one down and drove home in the back of a comfortable car, shelling out the $30 to get us back to our hotel with clean sheets and soft pillows.

I think about that young boy and his Mama often, and I think about the people downtown looking for the best spot to lay their head after a day of walking and pleading and hunger. I am blessed. You are blessed. We are called to use our blessings to help others, not so we can be blessed more. How can we do this? What might this look like for you and I? 
I challenge you to take a step outside of your comfort zone and look in your own city, see what exists beyond your four walls and your bed. And then see what you might do to help....




PS: This is a picture of my Dad on the right, and Jack on the left. Family resemblance much!?


Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Remembering Today

I am all about honoring dates, about remembering and savoring in the sweet moment of tradition and giving these moments their proper due.

We celebrate birthdays by the week in my family, a lot of fun spread out over days just because. I love Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter, Anniversary's of hugs and engagements and marriage.


Today is a date on my calendar that I will always remember, and so I pause to savor it for what it is. Our second little blessing was due on this date and would have turned two around this time. I remember seeing that little heartbeat on the screen, and yet still anxious over that pregnancy. The loss gutted me deep and that little life will always be a part of me, of us.



We believe in the santity of life, and we believe that when scripture says life begins at conception, it really does mean that life begins at conception. And believing and knowing this makes me smile when I think about that day. That day when I am in heaven and see that precious one there.


It's good to remember, to document and to reflect and I always will.....







Tuesday, July 17, 2012

InstaTuesday

I definitely just made up that title. I think. I have an Instagram, but I keep it private and only have followers I know on there, so I thought I'd share with you some pictures that I post there so you don't feel totally left out! :)

I thought my camera was up high enough...it wasn't. My 50mm (nifty fifty) broke. This is the only lens I use.
Mama was NOT a happy camper

Mr. Jack was grumpy/cranky/naughty for a few days and it was time for some 1 on 1 with Mommy

What we've resorted to. These are bungee cords holding the chairs in so they cannot climb them, onto the table and then leap to their death

Too much

My basil overfloweth. I chopped it up, and stuck it in ice cubes. That way if I need basil, I can plop a cube in!

Christian gets the fork and spoon thing really well. 

Oh hey

A hot day

Jack's drawing of our family...including the cat :)

Monday, July 16, 2012

Looking for some Guests! *Updated*

Happy Monday to you all! We have a laid back week ahead of us for the most part and I am so ready for that, it won't last so I am savoring each day and evening!

I wanted to share with you all that next month I will be taking a break from all social media (and other types of media) for our "Media Month" in relation to 7

That being said, I have some posts lined up for throughout the month and am looking for a few guest posts to fill in some dates! If you are interested in writing a guest post on my blog, please shoot me an email at

krystle@3littlemenandamommy(dot)com


*Updated* Guest Spots are filled! Thank you so much!!*


Thanks so much and Happy Monday!



I approach this project in the spirit of a fast: an intentional reduction, a deliberate abstinence to summon God's movement in my life. A fast creates margin for God to move. Temporarily changing our routine of comfort jars us off high center. A fast is not necessarily something we offer God, but it assists us in offering ourselves. - 7 Jen Hatmaker

Friday, July 13, 2012

*New* Sponsorship!

There is a new tab up there ^ !

I have started accepting sponsors for my blog. It's super easy, and user friendly. Here are the details:



 If there is a size that is sold out, no worries. 
You can purchase ad space for when the currently listed spaces expire.


 - Ad space runs for 30 days.

 - Do you need a button? If you purchase ad space, and don’t know how or just don't want to make one, I can make one for you! Send me a couple of your favorite photos and I’ll put one together for you. For free (it’s included in all ad space purchases). Just purchase your ad space, and send me and email at 3littlemenandamommy(dot)com, including a link to your blog and pictures for the button. I’ll update your ad, after the button is finished. 

Everything is done through www.passionfruitads.com and is secured with PayPal.

If you want to see your little ad over there on the side of my blog for either a business, blog or website that fits what I'm doing here on this blog 
(Mommy blogs, religious blogs, etsy shops, photography blogs,etc)
click away!

Email me if you have any other questions!

Also, if you are a MOM (Mom of Multiples) and you want your ad over there, I am willing to do an ad swap, so let me know and I can give you the promo code to enter so there is no charge for you :)



Thursday, July 12, 2012

50% off Thank You Cards!! TODAY only!!

Tiny Prints Sale
For one day only, you can get 50% off thank you cards at Tiny Prints.
Tiny Prints has thousands of stylish thank you card designs to choose from. Plus you can completely personalize them by adding pictures, your own text, and much more. Make them cute, make them funny, make them…you!
Just use the promo code DOD0712 before 8:00am PT tomorrow to get this awesome deal.
Whatever the occasion, Tiny Prints has the highest quality printing available. And there has never been a better time to order, so check out their Deal of the Day on thank you cards now.
Below are a few of my personal favorites!!



17 Months



17 Month Update!

(totally boring unless you are family I am sure! 
You can skip down to the adorable pictures if you want!)





Camden


He is a copycat. Anything Christian does, he tries too. He also pushes his brothers buttons. He likes to get in their faces and be all lovey and sometimes they just aren't in the mood, but that doesn't deter him. He is such a happy waker, he jumps up ready for the day. He still loves his sleep. He and Christian are now napping together. Mostly because Camden dunked the other monitor in the water table and so without the monitor for Jack's room, I can't hear if he is awake. We knew eventually this needed to happen, to give Jack full use of his room again, but Camden decided that it was time. Camden is a food thrower and a food shover. He shovels in his food as fast as possible and then either a) chokes and then spits it all out or b)takes 5 minutes to chew it all and while he's chewing he proceeds to throw the rest of his food on the floor and then asks for more once he has swallowed his mouthful.

Camden is climbing onto the sofa and we are teaching them to sit on their bottoms only. Jack learned this in 6 days and then never climbed on anything else or stood on the sofa again. These boys are a different breed. We are heading into our third week of them learning how to get up onto the sofa and they are still standing and jumping. Now, it would just be funny and silly if that were it. Unfortunately they haven't learned that falling off could hurt, so they try to jump off the edge of the couch, or just fall off. I have caught them in mid air heading to the hardwood floor several times. I can honestly spend 20 minutes telling them "no, on your bottom please" and they just don't give a rip. It is utterly exhausting and if it was safe, I wouldn't care so much, but it isn't and they really could get badly hurt (bumps and bruises happen, yes, but this would be a serious fall)

If it's not the sofa, it's the dining room chairs and then onto the table. Or the water table outside. Or the other chairs.

So, we have removed a chair, the train table, an ottoman and the dining room chairs (on the back porch until we need them) to try and keep Mommy sane and them safe. For real.

Camden actually crawls onto the sofa, stands up and says "No". He knows what he is doing!
So, we are implementing time outs in their rawest form to try and be consistent and teach them they just can't not listen. I am pooped to say the least at the end of the day.

He loves the water. He loves to be naked. He loves to be naked in the water. He actually gets mad and pulls at his shirt for me to take it off.

These are his words:
Ball 
All-done
What's That?
Kitty
Cookie
Dada
Mama
Uh Oh
No
Shoe
Night Night
Yoda
R2
Banana
Belly Button
Airplane
Up
Pooh
Wow
Auntie
Da (what they call Jack)
Bubbles

He is getting tall, we have really noticed a little growth spurt. He got pinkeye last week (we have no clue where from) and when they weighed him I was happy to see he finally broke the 20lb mark! Yippee :)
He is wearing 12 months clothes still, and some 18 month pajamas. Size 3 diapers and size 4 shoes.


Christian



He is the main climber. He is the one that freaks me out the most. He's getting better at sitting on the sofa, but he just has no fear really. He is a great eater and loves to eat with his fork. He still just doesn't need as much sleep as Camden does, and most of the time wakes up super grumpy. He is one of those people that needs to slowly wake up on their own time and probably will eventually need coffee first thing in the morning. If his brothers are too cheery for him, he will throw a fit. He is the worlds best tantrum thrower. In fact, he will start it and then run to find a soft place to throw his body down and proceed to thrash and cry until he is quite pleased with his performance.
The kid is a snuggler though, and I love that he has that side to counter his crazy side. He is still super tiny, but he eats and drinks a ton. He is just one little calorie burning machine. 
He and Jack still really do have a special little bond and love to play rough.
He and Camden are starting to chat more and more and seem to communicate when sharing things back and forth. It's super adorable. 

Christian says all the same words Camden says as well as "Yeah!". 
You will say, "Hey Christian, are you hungry?
"Yeah!"

Or he will blabber on about something, using his hands and eyes to express himself and you will ask him a question after and he will say "Yeah!"
 It is awesome. 

We are in the middle of transitioning to one nap, and it is tough.
Christian was definitely showing signs of needing to transition by not really taking a second nap, or taking a poor one at that. 
Camden really could go down whenever you want, so we decided now was the time.
They were napping at 9/1 and we slowly moved that morning nap back and back until it was at 12, and then dropped the second nap all together. 
This is what we did with Jack and it worked after a few rough weeks.
We have had some days of two naps if I can tell they are super overtired, or woke up too early. 
Hopefully soon, it will be one nice long nap in the middle of the day. 
Jack is flexible too and thank goodness still loves his naps, so they all go down together (and that is how I am blogging right now!)

Bedtime is 7pm and they wake between 6:30-7:00am


Next month they are officially a year and a half and I remember with Jack that age was a blast, and really even more fun from there on out!
I know this stage is tough as they are learning boundaries and testing waters and that it will pass. I love having Jack ahead of them so I can see and remind myself it's not forever :)

I know each stage with twins will be a whole new challenge, and different, but it does help to have walked through the ages before.


We don't go out a ton (unless it's to the store for an errand or groceries or a quick trip to the Library) because they (mostly Camden) aren't content to just sit in the stroller anymore (and why would they be?!)
Going to a park or some other place like that is near impossible if I don't have help, otherwise I'm just chasing them in opposite directions because all they want to do is run (and not toward the same thing) and then Jack has no one to push him on the swings or keep and eye out for him and it turns into an exhausting no fun trip. So, yeah, that's where we are right now :)

It's not the same hard as it was when they were newborns and we were sleep deprived, but it is harder than it was just 5 months ago. It's a new kind of hard, but it is hard.
So no, it isn't easier...it's just different.


Watching them grow into this little people is amazing, and they change on a daily basis.
I am so stinkin' glad to be their Mama.
I stare at them all day long, I am a creeper Mama.
Seriously though, how did we get three gorgeous boys?! I mean really....they are all three so darn gorgeous.

See, I will show you...

 



Monday, July 9, 2012

Putting it Down- My Dream

They say that once you put it down on paper, or say it out loud it means something.
Saying it out loud to someone says, I am serious about this and you can hold me accountable to it.


I started reading Interrupted by Jen Hatmaker last night. 

This book comes before her book 7, which I have told you about.
How is it that my mind keeps getting blown? 
Each day I am left, mouth wide open wondering where the heck I have been?

I spoke it out loud to friend Jenna (who is doing 7 with us)
and I spoke it out loud to my husband, and I've hinted at it with others. 
I'm telling you now.

Someday (hopefully not too far off) I want to open a place like this.

(or this or this)

Either here (the states), or abroad. 

This is what I am passionate about. 
This is what I feel He is speaking to me about.

I have no clue how it will happen, I am the heart of it, not the planner. 
He will have to fill in those details.

For now, I'm putting it down, here and asking you to pray along with me.
Open doors
Emails
Phone Calls
Networking
Meeting People

Whatever needs to happen and however it needs to happen in His time alone.

I'm praying big prayers, big specific prayers. 







Will You Examine Yourself? Oswald Chambers- My Utmost for His Highest

Do you have even the slightest reliance on anything or anyone other than God? Is there a remnant of reliance left on any natural quality within you, or on any particular set of circumstances? Are you relying on yourself in any manner whatsoever regarding this new proposal or plan which God has placed before you? Will you examine yourself by asking these probing questions? It really is true to say, “I cannot live a holy life,” but you can decide to let Jesus Christ make you holy. “You cannot serve the Lord . . .”— but you can place yourself in the proper position where God’s almighty power will flow through you. Is your relationship with God sufficient for you to expect Him to exhibit His wonderful life in you?
“The people said to Joshua, ’No, but we will serve the Lord!” (Joshua 24:21). This is not an impulsive action, but a deliberate commitment. We tend to say, “But God could never have called me to this. I’m too unworthy. It can’t mean me.” It does mean you, and the more weak and feeble you are, the better. The person who is still relying and trusting in anything within himself is the last person to even come close to saying, “I will serve the Lord.”
We say, “Oh, if only I really could believe!” The question is, “Will I believe?” No wonder Jesus Christ placed such emphasis on the sin of unbelief. “He did not do many mighty works there because of their unbelief” (Matthew 13:58). If we really believed that God meant what He said, just imagine what we would be like! Do I really dare to let God be to me all that He says He will be?

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Month One- Possessions. Getting rid of the excess.

 “Excess has impaired perspective in America; we are the richest people on earth, praying to get richer.”- Jen Hatmaker -7



We are 8 days into our first month of "fasting from excess"- our first month being possessions.
I am seeing things completely different these days. 
The toys, the extra mugs in our cupboards, the plethora of blankets that sit in the closet, the clothes I may or may not ever wear again and the shoes that I haven't worn in 5 years. 
We have had two garage sales in the last year and made probably 6 trips to Salvation Army to donate things, and yet I am still filling bags. It makes my stomach turn.

Why all the stuff? I watch gifts get open and money thrown at items that are really not necessary and I see it differently. I see that money feeding a child, adopting an orphan, clothing a baby, rescuing a Mama, building a well. Why do we need all this stuff? What importance is there on it? Are my kids really better off having so many items to play with, and all the little electronics that are in right now? I think not. 

This month we are "purging" our possessions. In Jen's book she gave away 7 items a day for the entire month. We, instead, are using the book Organized Simplicity to purge with and then using Jen's framework of not just donating it to Goodwill or whatever, but seeking a need intentionally. Calling the local homeless teen house and seeing what they need, the local schools, the battered women's home, etc. We aren't just mindlessly dropping it off somewhere, because there is no personal connection with that. We are being intentional about it, intentional purging and intentional living. Isn't' that what life is supposed to be? Intentional?

Since we kicked off our 7 months we've had some rough days. We've had pink eye, my Grandfather passing, and numerous moments of impatience in our house. Our twins suddenly became climbers and dangerous climbers at that, and you cannot leave them for even one second. It's pretty obvious to me why our month has already brought it's challenges and it's reassuring to know we are doing this right. 

Like I said before, it's not a program or an experiment for the sake of an experiment. It's about getting rid of the excess and clearing way for Him to move in our lives. 

While I'm clearing out my kitchen, my bedroom and kids rooms I am also trying to clean out what's inside. The excess stuff I am hanging onto in my heart. My wounded spirit at a friendship gone bad, my unforgiving heart that can't seem to forget the numerous jabs, my selfish pride, my impatience, my attitude in general. 
It's mucking up my heart, just like the stuff that collects dust in my house is mucking up our lives. 

I used to wander Target and window shop for all the things I'd love to have, the home decor, the fun kitchen gadgets, the new rugs or frames or vases. Now I just see stuff. It's nice, and looks fun, but something has changed in me. My perspective is skewed. No, my perspective was skewed, now it is getting back to where it was supposed to be. Stuff that costs money, and we'd rather spend my money elsewhere. 

Does that mean we will never buy another toy, or pair of shoes, or do something fun and go on vacations? No, that's not the point. The point is the frivolousness with which we spend our money has got to be reigned in and we have got to refocus our purpose. We have got to become a people more concerned with giving than getting, and we have got to teach our children this. 

Our kids will come with us when we take our places to donate them. Our kids will see the faces of the people we are giving to. This is a perfect time to teach, the sacrifice of giving some of your things to others, and the joy with which they receive them and then the joy you get while watching them. It's a no-lose situation.




Jesus identified an indivisible link between the heart and money. And here's what it comes down to: you can give without loving, but you cannot love without giving. And the more you love, the more you give. It's not complicated. If you want a heart for missions, for example, then give to missions. If you want a bigger heart, give more. –Mark Batterson, Primal




One of the turning points of my life came the day I stopped setting income goals and started setting giving goals… Making money is the way you make a living and giving it away is the way you make a life. –Mark Batterson, Primal




We stand at the intersection of extreme privilege and extreme poverty, and we have a question to answer: Do I care? Am I moved by the suffering of all nations? Am I even concerned about the homeless guy on the corner? Am I willing to take the Bible at face value and concur that God is obsessed with social justice? I won’t answer one day for how the U.S. government spent billions of dollars on the war in Iraq ($601 billion and counting when $9 billion would solve the planet’s water crisis), nor will I get the credit for the general philanthropy of others. It will come down to what I did...- Jen Hatmaker, Interrupted






These are just a few areas that you can give in, that have immediate and eternal impact. $38 dollars a month is just over $1.20 a day and that is less than what you spend on your Starbucks:



**$30 a month allows these kids to attend school for an entire year, this helps pay for books, lodging, meals and medicine. 

**$38 a month provides medicine, meals, support from a local church, educational opportunities and more


**Three dollars. It isn't much in today's world. You can buy a couple of candy bars or a large drink. Three dollars just doesn't go very far. Unless you add your $3 to my $3 and I add mine to her $3 and she adds hers to theirs...before you know it, $3 becomes a lot.
Three dollars.
On the Third of each month.
To remember the Three girls raped every 45 minutes.


**Give what you can to help build wells in South Sudan, where clean water is a in desperate need. 










Thursday, July 5, 2012

5 Minute Friday - Story

Five Minute Friday1. Write for 5 minutes flat on the prompt: "Story"with no editing, no over thinking, no backtracking.
2. Link back and invite others to join in.
3. And then absolutely, no ifs, ands or buts about it, you need to visit the person who linked up before you & encourage them in their comments. Seriously. That is, like, the rule. And the fun. And the heart of this community..



What kind of story do I want my life to tell? Do I want it to be told by the things I own, the stuff that fills my home? Do I want my story to be told by the accomplishments I achieved like going to college, buying a house, having stocks and 401K's and savings? What does that say of me? 
What will my kids think of that?
I don't think that's the story I want to tell with my life. I want my story to be impactful. I want my story to tell of risk, sacrifice, love, commitment and unselfishness. I want to tell a story that means something, eternally. I don't want to listen to the stories of others doing great deeds and then smile because that was "for them". That story is for all of us, and I want my kids to have the same story. I want my story to mean more than what it has. 

It's still being written, and there is time for your story to change as well....shall we rip out the pages and start anew? 






Monday, July 2, 2012

Miscellany Monday

This weekend was my 10 year reunion. Crazy. We only had about 39 people in our class, and only 12 showed up for the reunion (there were 22 with spouses). Little odd haha. Here are 11 of us, the 12th was missing (yes, three guys total from our class showed)





Cool thing was, they took us on a tour of the place. It's incredible, part German Brewhaus, and then offices and a preschool. Looks nothing like it did (thank goodness). They took us all the way up to the restored bell tower and I snagged these shots. Yes, I live here. Yes Oregon is gorgeous. Come visit :)






My baby sister turned 20, and my Mom made three amazing cheesecakes. They rival Cheesecake Factory.


Camden got pinkeye. We have no idea where he picked it up, but now we are expecting the other two to get it (but praying not) so frustrating to once again have the "sickies" and we just need a break! We had to miss church yet again because of it, and it's so darn frustrating.


How cute are they?




Happy Monday, link up with Carissa