Sunday, January 31, 2016

Little Love Letters WINNER!

The winner of this week's giveaway is R. Legere from Maine! I have been in touch with her yesterday, and the publisher is shipping the free copy of her new book, Little Love Letters from God. So fun to add a new state and another mama to our roster of winners! Thank you to everyone who registered (a shout out to you Midwesterners) and to our author, Glenys!

Monday, January 25, 2016

Guest Post: 5 Love Letters Your Child Needs from YOU

This guest post has the power to enrich your relationship with your children. Everyday I want to tell my children what they mean to me. I've noticed that expression is the floodgate for confidence, warmth, and appreciation. Just doing acts for them everyday isn't enough - they need to hear (or read) words from me; as a parent, my words shape their world.

Words from our Heavenly Father can be just as powerful for our children. That's why I'm so excited to introduce you to a resource meant for little ones that helps them know God's love personally. In Little Love Letters from God, author Glenys Nellist shares eight lift-the-flap letters based upon biblical stories. You can register for a free copy of her new book by scrolling down on the homepage or by clicking here. The giveaway will run until 9 am EST Saturday.

In the spirit of her book, Glenys is sharing five creative, heart-warming ways that we can write love letters to our children (or grandchildren) to tell them what they mean to us. I love #4! She writes:

  1. Write Love Letters in Birthday Cards:
When you choose a birthday card for your child or grandchild, pick one that has enough space to write a love letter inside. Begin with Dear ______, what are you like at two (or whatever age they are)? Tell the child what toys they enjoy playing with, what they are good at, a fun day you shared together, and what it is you love about them. These cards containing love letters will become precious mementos for the child and parents to look back on year after year.

  1. Keep Love Letter Journals:
I have four precious grandchildren. Before they were born, I bought a small notebook for each one, and began to write love letters to them. The first letter I wrote was while they were still in the womb, where I shared the hopes I had for them, described the family they were about to be born into, and told them about their family ancestry. Now I write letters to them about every six months, describing what they are like, how they are growing and how they spend their days. How precious these letters will be when I am long gone, and because they are contained in a book, the letters will not be lost.

  1. Share a Love Letter Journal With Your Child:
Buy a journal and explain to your child that this will be a shared love letters book. Begin by writing a simple love letter to them, like Dear ________, I loved baking cookies with you today! See you tomorrow...sleep tight. I love you, Mom. Tell your child that every night at bedtime (or whatever arrangement works for you), you can each write a love letter in the journal. This shared letter-writing can begin even at a young age, when it can aid early reading and writing skills, not to mention the love-filled conversations it will inspire!

  1. Make an "Open When" Love Letter Box:
Write love letters to your child for them to "Open When." Label each envelope, place them in a box, and decide with your child where the box should be kept. Some ideas might be Open When:
  • You Feel Sad
  • You Turn Seven (or whatever birthday is next)
  • We’ve Had a Fight
  • You Can’t Sleep
  • You Need to Remember How Much You’re Loved
  • You Want to Laugh
  • You’ve Had a Bad Day at School
  • You Need Reminding How Much God Loves You
  • It’s Christmas Eve
  • You’re Worried About Tomorrow

  1. Put a Love Letter in the Mail:
Don’t wait for a special day like Valentine’s, Christmas or their birthday to write a love letter to your child. Just write one from the heart, and most importantly, pop it in the mail!

Happy love letter writing!

P.S. Be sure to check Laura Sassi's blog the week of Feb 7th for a free love letter Valentine’s craft!

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Sometimes We Freefall to Fly

First of all, Happy 2016! It's hard to believe this blog is now three years old! (I think that's old in internet terms, right?!)

I am excited to start the year with a post that I promised this fall. It was then that I attended Q Women down in Nashville, Tennessee. For those of you who don't know, Q Women is a conference that focuses on how our faith can and should inform our daily lives. Rather than giving us the answers, however, its design is to ask the right questions to get us thinking. The conference features a variety of speakers who highlight different life disciplines (the examples I heard ranged from body image to homemaking, the work/home balance to healing from a painful past). Attendees not only benefit from the material, but from the fellowship opportunities. The conference is a powerful collective of women who want to be faith-filled and faithful to God's promptings. 

The opening speaker was author and Q cofounder Rebekah Lyons. Truth be told, Rebekah personally invited me to the conference because I contacted her in appreciation for her book. She wrestles with issues such as risk, healing, and calling in Freefall to Fly: A Breathtaking Journey Toward a Life of Meaning. So appropriately, I am going to share with you what I particularly found insightful in her book in those three categories.


The book gets its name because Rebekah goes into a freefall of sorts after making a risky decision at God's bidding. Leaving their support network behind, her family moves to New York City. She subsequently suffers from anxiety attacks as she juggles isolation and purpose. As readers, we get to see how God uses this difficult time to bring her out better than before.

When I heard Rebekah speak at Q Women, she described how much easier it is to stay in our yoga pants, curled up on the sofa, and reading a good book. But, she says, there are days when God calls us to move out of our comfort zone. We have to get up, "put on our big girl pants," and risk being faithful. In her experience, it's worth it.


Rebekah is transparent in her struggles with approval seeking, identity searching, and mental health. While her memoir-driven story is unique, the statistics that accompany her book are not. Did you know that 18.1 million Americans have been diagnosed with depression, and women are a whopping 70 percent more likely than men to experience it?

She writes, "One in four women will suffer some form of depression in her lifetime. From anxiety attacks, as in my case, to mood disorders, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and so on, women are under siege. And the majority of women who are wrestling with depression fit nicely in the twenty-five to forty-four-year-old age bracket. We aren't depressed because we are getting old; we are depressed in the prime of our lives. During the years when we ought to be making some of our greatest contributions to others and to the world, we are stuck."

Rebekah is able to find healing through her relationship with God. I can't help but wonder how God wants to care for and direct other women who are suffering too. What can we do to support other women our age and how can God work redemptively?


When I heard Rebekah speak at Q Women, she defined calling as an act of obedience. In other words, God will tell us what to do and whom he's created us to be; it's our job to listen and follow. Further, following unlocks blessing. Rebekah says fulfilling her calling has felt like walking around "with so much joy my heart could burst." That is how good God is!

Rebekah finds her calling to be a writer in the book. That purpose not only unlocks her own potential, but whispers to the gifts waiting to be uncovered in each of us...What a great thought to consider as we begin a new year!

Rebekah and me at Q Women

Have a question about Q Women? Want to leave a comment about Rebekah's book if you've read it too? I'd love to hear from you!

TODAY Video Clip