Wednesday, December 4, 2019

Mercy House Global Fundraiser

A Baby Changed Everything

One of my favorite ministries is Mercy House Global. They rescue pregnant teenage moms in Kenya from desperate circumstances. These girls once lived in the slums and streets of Kenya, and they became pregnant as a result of rape or because of forced prostitution. Some families are so desperate that the mothers ask their daughters to trade sex for food. It's a tragic and heartbreaking reality.

Mercy House comes alongside these young mothers and provides them with a safe home, an education, medical care, job skills training, and much more. Through this ministry, they break the cycle of poverty. Most importantly, they share the gospel and provide regular Bible teaching and discipleship. The lives of these teenage mothers and their babies is being changed for the better. And for those who come to know Jesus, their lives are changed for eternity.

If you have been reading here for a while, you have heard me talk about Mercy House several times before. I love the work they are doing, and it has always been a joy to help them in whatever ways I am able. Recently I had the opportunity to join Mercy House as a volunteer Ambassador. It is an honor to advocate for these precious girls and their babies. I hope that someday I will be able to travel to Kenya to meet these girls and see the maternity home there. I don't know how I will physically do it, but it's a dream of mine nonetheless!



I want to write more about Mercy House Global in the coming months, but for now I have a need to share with you. Mercy House is $50,000 short of their fundraising goals for the year. If you are looking for a ministry to give a donation to this holiday season, will you please consider Mercy House?

I am partnering with Mercy House this month to help them raise these much-needed funds. Will you join me? Let's help them rescue more young mothers and babies in 2020! Let's serve these girls in Jesus' name.


Friday, October 4, 2019

Busy Hands: R2-D2 Hat


My latest crochet project is this R2-D2 hat for Stafford. I worked on this during the spring and summer this year. I found the pattern several years ago, and I was excited to finally make it.



It is such a cute hat! And I love the little ear flaps. They will be perfect for keeping Stafford's ears warm in the chilly Minnesota winter. 



I think the hat is adorable. Stafford isn't too sure about it, however! He pulls the hat off pretty quickly. Hopefully he will want to keep it on once winter arrives.

I found this pattern for free online. I wish I could link to it, but the blog is no longer available, unfortunately. If I find the pattern online again sometime, I will come back and update this post.

Crocheting was hard for me during the first half of this year, so I didn't get much done. I would often try to crochet, but would have to stop to rest my arms every minute or two. In the past two months I have been able to crochet for longer stretches of time again, which has been great! Now I need to search through my patterns and yarn stash and find something fun to create next!

What fun things have you been creating lately? What is your next project?

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Review: Suffering Is Never for Nothing


I was delighted to learn this year that a new book by Elisabeth Elliot has been published!  Many of you are familiar with Elisabeth Elliot already, and you probably know that she passed away a few years ago. She faced suffering in many different forms throughout her life. She spent challenging years in a remote jungle as a missionary, both when she was single and when she was married. Her first husband, Jim Elliot, was speared to death, and she was left alone with a young daughter to raise. Her second husband died of cancer. In her later years she suffered from Alzheimer’s. Through it all, she remained faithful to God, trusted in Him, and worked faithfully to simply do the next thing.

Elisabeth Elliot’s new book is titled, Suffering Is Never for Nothing, and it is based on a speaking series she gave many years ago. The words in the book are taken directly from the transcript of her speaking series, and very little editing was necessary. It was delightful to read this book and to “hear” Elisabeth Elliot’s voice again. She shares, as she always did, in her straightforward, no-nonsense way.

This is an encouraging book for the believer who is trying to make sense of the very hard suffering in life, and it is also beneficial for the believer who is looking for help as they face everyday challenges. If you are searching for hope in your suffering today, I pray that Elisabeth Elliot’s words will be an encouragement to you.




Suffering Is Never for Nothing
(If you are reading this in an email, you may click over to the blog to see the video clip.)
I cannot say to you, I know exactly what you’re going through. But I can say that I know the One who knows. And I’ve come to see that it’s through the deepest suffering that God has taught me the deepest lessons. And if we’ll trust Him for it, we can come through to the unshakable assurance that He’s in charge. He has a loving purpose. And He can transform something terrible into something wonderful. Suffering is never for nothing. - Elisabeth Elliot

You can watch all of the videos from Elisabeth Elliot's teaching series, originally titled Suffering Is Not for Nothing, for free here on the Ligonier website.

If you prefer reading over a video series, I recommend picking up a copy of the new book, Suffering Is Never for Nothing, found at Amazon and Christian Book. This is a short book, with only six chapters, but it is a gem of a book! You will be challenged and encouraged in your faith!

Disclaimer: I was given an advanced reader e-copy through NetGalley. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions in this blog post are my own.

Sunday, July 14, 2019

A Bundle of Letters


Last summer I received a whole box full of snail mail, courtesy of my friend, Elizabeth, and 280 other people!

Elizabeth was planning to come up to visit me in July last year. Our two oldest sons were going to attend camp together, and Elizabeth was going to help me while the boys were at camp for the week. I was exhausted from taking care of a baby, and I was in need of some full time help for a while. Sadly, Elizabeth and her son had to cancel their trip. It was a big disappointment for all of us! We trusted that God’s plan was best, even though it hurt, and even though it was not the plan we would have chosen.

Because Elizabeth couldn’t come to see me in person, she decided to nominate me for a bundle of letters through www.moreloveletters.com. She shared a little bit of my story, and I was chosen as one of the August recipients!

During the month of August, when I was completely homebound and confined to bed for most of the day, 280 people I had never met were thinking of me, praying for me, and writing beautiful letters. They mailed them to Elizabeth, and in September, she packaged them up and mailed them to me.



I had no idea that such a package was coming. Tears filled my eyes as I read a card from my friend, telling me about More Love Letters and the 280 people who had written to me. I was amazed to learn that so many people I had never even met took the time to write encouraging letters to me.

The days and years of chronic illness are long, and often lonely. Receiving this bundle of letters in the mail was such a special gift! I was grateful for everyone who cared enough about a stranger to reach out and send such lovely words of encouragement.



I laughed when confetti fell out of this card! I read about a hundred letters on the day they arrived, and then I fell asleep from the exertion! My arms and my mind were tired, but my heart was so happy.



This note was one of my favorite ones. The woman who wrote it shared about Amy Carmichael and how she was confined to bed. She encouraged me to write just like Amy did.



It took me a week to read all of my letters. I cherished each one.



I kept this basket of letters in my room for 10 months, and I read each letter again. This second time through I went slowly, and I prayed for each individual who wrote to me. If you sent a letter to me in this bundle, you were prayed for specifically this past year.

Some of the people who wrote to me shared their own stories of hurt, chronic illness, and loneliness. Many of these people suffer much more than I do. I was humbled that they would take the time to reach out to me when they were facing such hard battles of their own. It was an honor to read their words and to pray for them.



A few of the people who wrote said they were praying that Elizabeth and her son would be able to come to Minnesota for a visit some other time that year. We live many hundreds of miles apart, and we did not think that would be a possibility at all, but you know what? It actually happened! They came up to visit for a weekend in the fall! The boys got to play together, and Elizabeth and I had time to visit.

Lord willing, Elizabeth and her son will be coming again soon, and our boys will get to go to camp together this summer! I am looking forward to time with my friend, and our sons are very excited about a week of camp. This time with our friends will be all the more precious after missing out on this special week last year.



Our visit with friends was one of our highlights 2018. And the bundle of letters was definitely a highlight too! As I read through all of the letters I was reminded how helpful it can be to reach out to friends and encourage them with a handwritten note. It can even be good to reach out to a stranger who is hurting and encourage them with a letter.

A couple of weeks ago I sent my first letter through More Love Letters. I was grateful to be able to reach out to someone who is hurting in the same way 280 people reached out to me last year. As I have the energy, I hope to send more letters to old friends and new friends!

Tuesday, June 4, 2019

Favorite Books of 2018

Last year I had a goal of reading 15 books. I knew I wouldn't be able to do much reading after Stafford was born, so I kept my goal pretty low. I was able to reach my goal, but I must admit that several of my books were very short!

Here are four of my favorite books from last year:



The Gospel According to Paul by John MacArthur

This is a wonderful book! John MacArthur clearly explains the gospel as it is taught through the letters of Paul in the Bible. Reading this book helped me to appreciate even more the sacrifice of Jesus on my behalf and to marvel at the beauty of the gospel. The Gospel According to Paul is a must-read!


Glorious Intruder by Joni Eareckson Tada

I often read a chapter in this book at night before falling asleep, and I’m so grateful for Joni’s encouragement through this book during a difficult year for me. No matter what you are suffering through in life, Joni’s words will help to encourage your heart and strengthen your spirit. This book contains very short chapters, which is very helpful for those who struggle with reading or brain fog.


Doing Life Together by Debbie Lillo

This is a great little book, and it is available for free on Kindle. Doing Life Together is a good resource for individuals and churches who wish to reach out to families affected by disability. It is very applicable for families who are affected by a disabling chronic illness as well. If someone came to me and asked for tips on how to reach out to the chronically ill in their church, this is one of the first books I would recommend.


God’s Very Good Idea by Trillia Newbell

Trillia has written a wonderful children’s book that shares the Gospel and God’s plan for a diverse people to worship Him. God’s Very Good Idea is filled with fun and colorful illustrations, and it will be a delight for parents and children to read together.


This year I have a goal of reading 20 books. I'm keeping up so far, but just barely!

What were your favorite books from last year? What books are you enjoying currently?
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