A Table And A Prayer

Recently, I had the cumbersome task of returning some ridiculously heavy tables to our church storage shed. I had borrowed them for a garage sale the week before, and was finally able to bring them back. My neighbor kindly helped me lift the hefty metal monsters into my mini-van and then I headed down the road alone.

Unorganized as usual, I hadn’t bothered to call ahead to let anyone know I was coming. I just assumed someone at the church might be available to help me unload my hefty cargo. Half way down the road, however, I thought I should probably ask the Lord to provide some assistance. Continue reading

The Gift Of Wonder

I was in a hurry.  My mind was set on one goal.  Get into the store and get out!  We needed paper plates and some white table cloths for an upcoming event, and that was it.  I had NO time to dilly dally and look through the aisles of “junk” in our local dollar store.

But my young daughter had other plans.  You see, when we walked into that discount store, she didn’t see cheap trinkets.  Instead, she saw aisle upon aisle of treasure.  Everything was new and exciting. Breathtaking even.

As she excitedly flitted from one chintzy item to the next, her eyes were wide with wonder.  Every once in a while, she would let out a little gasp of glee at her newest discovery.   Continue reading

Four Ways To Foster Fantastic Friendships

“There‘s nothing better than a friend, unless it is a friend with chocolate.” ― Linda Grayson

I love my children. And I absolutely adore my husband.  But sometimes, I don’t know what I would do without my girlfriends.  They help me keep my sanity on the days when I feel like I could completely lose my marbles.  They make me laugh when I would rather cry.   They love me on the beautiful days and when my inner beast comes roaring onto the scene.  They are truly a gift.

Authentic, soul-satisfying friendship is one of the sweetest things we can experience in life. It is something to be cherished and cultivated. But I’ve learned that genuine, life-giving friendships won’t happen by chance.

So what does it take to foster fantastic friendships? Continue reading

How To Keep Past Mistakes From Defining Your Future

Out of the corner of my eye, I saw a flash of black.  My heart sank.  Not again!

As I turned my head to get a closer look, my suspicion was confirmed.

They were back…

With a sigh, I grabbed a wad of Kleenex from the bathroom and then set out to track down my uninvited little intruder.  I found him marching resolutely across our freshly painted dining room wall. Continue reading

Peace In Trying Times

As I have browsed online articles, and scrolled through my Facebook news-feed over the past few days, I couldn’t help but notice an overwhelming sense of fear, anxiety, frustration, anger and in some cases, hopelessness, reflected back at me.  Tensions are high right now.

Transitions are hard.  It’s especially hard, if you aren’t a fan of the changes unfolding around you.

As I was thinking about this, a scripture popped into my mind.  John 14:27 says, Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” Continue reading

Let Me Be A Woman…

The other day when I was looking online for some home décor items, I ran across a cute sign with the phrase: “Be the kind of woman who when your feet hit the floor each morning the Devil says, Oh Crap, She’s Up!”

I didn’t buy the sign, but the phrase has stuck with me.  I think it’s because it speaks to the heart of who I WANT to be.  Unfortunately, it’s not always the way that I actually live my life.  I can get derailed so easily.  Continue reading

Hope For The Hungry

Today is a special day!  It’s the first time I’ve ever hosted a guest writer on my personal blog.  I am so excited to introduce you to my friend, and fellow blogger, Karah Hawkinson. 

Hi!  I’m Karah from Food Shelf Friday.  Christy invited me to come here today and tell you a bit about the cause I’m passionate about, global hunger relief. Don’t tune me out yet!  I promise you the same thing I promise my readers – no guilt, no sad pictures, just hope and opportunity.

Here are some facts about hunger in the world today.  Nearly 10% of people don’t get enough to eat. 1 in 4 children is stunted physically or mentally by malnutrition.  21,000 people die each day from hunger and hunger-related illness, many of them children. A child dies from hunger or hunger-related illness every 10 seconds.  But I promised you hope, didn’t I?

There’s no denying that hunger is a big issue in the US and around the world, but there are also many wonderful organizations distributing food and clothing, digging wells, and providing employment and educational opportunities that will change the future of these families.  And you and your family can be part of that solution, even if you don’t have a lot of disposable income to give!

One thing my family practices is the Food Shelf Friday dinner . On Friday nights, we exchange our usual dinner for the kind of thing families get when they go to the food shelf for help.  We have pancakes and canned fruit, meatless spaghetti and canned vegetables, boxed dinners, canned soups, or rice and beans, and with the money we save, we give an identical meal to our local food shelf.

But if you’re going to start having Food Shelf Friday dinners, or if you’re contributing to one of the many holiday food drives this season, how do you know what your local food bank REALLY needs?  Generally speaking, the most useful item you can give a food bank is money.  They have buying power that the average grocery shopper can only dream of, so a financial donation goes a lot further than a food donation.  If you are going to donate food, the basic food bank needs are:

  • Canned fruits and/or veggies
  • Dry or canned beans
  • Rice and/or pasta
  • Breakfast cereal
  • Canned meats like tuna
  • Canned soup and/or chili
  • Pasta sauce in a plastic or aluminum containers
  • Dry dinner mixes (Hamburger Helper mac & cheese, etc.)

Keep in mind that food shelf users get a lot of sodium and preservatives in their diets, and they struggle to get adequate fiber and quality protein.  Low sodium foods, beans, brown rice and whole grains help fill these gaps.

Do NOT donate:

  • home canned foods
  • foods that need refrigeration
  • anything past its expiration date

In addition to Food Shelf Friday dinners, there are a lot of activities you can do to involve your whole family in helping the hungry.  I’ve posted about a number of ideas on my blog; here are some links:

Birthday Bags to provide birthday basics for a kid who can’t afford to celebrate

Blessings Bags so you always have something on hand when you encounter someone in need

Food Shelf Scavenger Hunt – a fun way to get kids involved in shopping for food bank basics

Thank you for helping the Hungry!

Karah

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