Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Wear One Share One (Mercy House)


This is a great family service project.  I think we are going to make these as a family and sell them at our neighborhood garage sale along with a Mercy House Bake Sale to raise.  You get a kit to make a bracelet to wear and one to share to pray for the mothers and babies at Mercy House.

What is Mercy House?  Mercy House "exists to raise funds to provide alternative options for pregnant girls living in the streets of Kenya. The Mercy House will aid them in education, nutrition, housing, prenatal care, Bible study, counseling and job skills for sustainable living." 

Our family has been supporting Mercy House for years, and we just love to see all that God is doing there.  We always like to join Him where we see Him working!  You can learn more about Mercy House with the links above or at We Are That Family.

If you would like to order a kit to help support Mercy House, click Wear One, Share One.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Look what my minions made


So, we always seem to have toilet paper tubes.  You too?  Anyway, one day we needed a craft.  Upon seeing the toilet paper tubes, I issued a challenge:  What can you make with this?  And this is what the littles came up with - Minions.  I thought they turned out cute :).

Friday, April 10, 2015

The Christian Caregiver


http://www.christiancaregiversupport.com/
 
I'm sharing today about my dad's Christian Caregiver support site.  My dad started this site after caring for my granny in her last years.  The site is filled with devotions, resources, devotional blogs, etc..  The site includes suggestions on how to start a local support group.  These resources are applicable to caring for aging parents, sometimes even for adoptive families caring for their children from hard places, for spouses caring for ill or disabled spouses, for those who may be caring for siblings or whoever God has placed in your life. 
 
 
Caregivers need each other and support to be strong and faithful to those they care for.  God is strong and faithful to us as we are caring for our loved ones, and He uses others in our lives to carry us along.  Sometimes it is even just a book of devotions that keep our eyes on Him.  Sometimes it is connections with others on the same or similar road that we are on.
 
 
I love that God used my dad's caring for my granny to bless others.  I saw how God blessed him and carried him through that journey that at times seemed overwhelming.  It was a holy time.  A time of weakness when he needed to lean on God and was able to see and know Him in new ways.
 
 
I see little bits of that just in my parenting of my children on the hard days.  Thanks be to God.  He loves us and our loved ones SO very much.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Trades of Hope


I am so excited to be an Independent Compassionate Entrepreneur with Trades of Hope.  This is a missional company to empower women around the world out of poverty, out of sex trade or sweatshops, etc. with sustainable business through fair trade.  I have always been passionate about helping others and speaking up for those whose voice isn't heard.  That's one reason our family adopted.

One project that Trades of Hope works with is the Apparent Project in Haiti.  The vast majority of orphans in Haiti are given up simply because the mothers can't feed them.  By helping these mothers have a sustainable business they are able to keep and take care of their children at home with dignity.  That makes me SO happy!

I'd love for you to check out my website:  www.mytradesofhope.com/saragellerstedt or my Facebook page (and Like it :)).  You can make a difference too when you purchase these wonderful fair trade items.  Or you can become more involved and host an online party or become a Compassionate Entrepreneur.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Prayer: Habits of a Child's Heart

 
For February we read chapter two on Prayer from  Habits of a Child's Heart:  Raising your kids with the Spiritual Disciplines by Valerie Hess and Marti Watson Garlett.  It has been a great way to move into the Lenten season.  Prayer has been so central to my faith and relationship with God.  I have kept a prayer journal since I was a teenager.  It is my "Ebenezer" of sorts - a marking of God in my life.  I have been able to see how God has been working in my life and answering ALL my prayers.  I am in awe and amazement any time I think of it all.  Seeing His faithfulness in my life in the past gets me through the times when it is hard to see what is going on.  It has built my trust when I am in a wilderness or when I cannot see ahead of me or understand my circumstances.
 
Anyway, I only want the same prayer life or even better for my children.  I try to pray with them regularly and spontaneously.  I encourage them to record in some way God in their lives.  This chapter has many suggestions of encouraging and sharing the prayer habit in your and your children's lives.  Some ideas include:  a prayer "rule" (a regular time of prayer whether we feel like it or have anything to say or not), a prayer journal, memorizing prayers, and more.
 
How do you pray as a family?  How do you encourage your child's prayer life?
 
I feel prayer is so central to our faith.   I am hoping to share more prayer resources and books over the next couple of weeks that have really shaped our prayer life in our family.  Do you have any recommendations?

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

EMBRACING HOME


HOME ...

Have you heard any of these sayings?

Home is where the heart is. 
Home, sweet, home. 
There's no place like home.
Keep the home fires burning.
Make yourself at home.
Charity begins at home.
Close to home.
A good laugh is sunshine in a house.
A happy home is but an early heaven.
A house is built with boards and beams; a home is built with love and dreams.

As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.
In our home let love abide, and bless all those who step inside

Have LOVE in your HEART and PEACE in your HOME

Having someplace to go is HOME . . . Having someone to love is FAMILY . . .
Having both is a BLESSING.

When children laugh and families play, home is where they want to stay.

Our home is filled with peace and rest – may all who enter in be blessed.
Sit long, Talk much, Laugh often

Welcome Home
 
 


I wrote shortly after we moved last year about starting to feel at home in this new place.  And yet this world is not truly our home.  I am understanding that more and more.  I think I had hopes of finding that perfect house and perfect setting here.  But I was looking at it all from my point of view and my wants.  What makes a home?  Is it just a residence or a dwelling?  Where do we find home?  There's no perfect house or location.  Even if you had plenty of money and built your dream house - would it be perfect?  Probably not (that's a guess). 

I think home is not where but WHEN we are embracing our plans and life in God's hands knowing he loves us and he has our best.  We can trust all our dreams and desires to him when we are seeking and trusting him with all our heart.  It's not all about me right now.  Maybe I am here for my kids - this is the best place for them right now.  Or maybe it is for me and I don't see it yet or for my husband or for a way to serve.

So, I am embracing home.