Friday, November 24

25 Days of Kindness {Advent Acts}

It's our 6th year of Advent Acts of Kindness: Six years of doing one kind act each day from December 1-25. Six years of brainstorming ideas and asking others for theirs; six years of planning and plotting that culminates in December. Six years of feeling the joy of helping another; six years of failing miserably, too. Six years of trying to change our children's hearts from focusing on "me, me, me"--only to realize that we ourselves are just as much in need of a heart change. Six years of realizing our own weaknesses and vulnerabilities, the issues or people we might shy from; six years of finding the courage to overcome those challenges. Six years of praying for strangers and crying over random parking-lot encounters; six years of children tugging at our hands to ask questions about love and kindness that tug at our hearts and leave us forever changed.

Wednesday, October 25

Will You Leave a Legacy of Kindness?

Happy Wednesday, friends! Today we're over at The Arc: Stories to Inspire Faith-Filled Living, writing about our book on kindness and why it's become a big part of who we are as moms. Here's a brief preview of the post:
As mothers, the three of us are fully aware of our world’s need for kindness. We see the need in our communities, at our schools, echoing through the halls of power, and whispering in our churches. As parents, intentional kindness has become a concrete, tangible way for us to weave Micah 6:8 into the fabric of our families. In fact, this verse has become our heartbeat, the measuring stick against which we strive to align our lives: “What does the LORD require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?” (ESV)

Kindness is a legacy rooted in the traditions of our own parents, who quietly and intentionally blessed those who crossed their paths. In doing this, they laid a foundation for us.

One of our favorite fall acts of kindness is a tradition begun by Julie’s mother-in-law. Every fall, she sends each of her grandchildren to school with an envelope addressed to their teacher. Inside the envelope is an encouraging handwritten note and a check to be used on whatever the teacher needs for his or her classroom. Two years ago, one kindergarten teacher used this money to buy a graduation cake, fully decorated with a graduation cap and school colors. Doting parents and grandparents joined the kindergartners in their happy celebration.

You can read the rest of the post here. Also, if you haven't entered Tyndale's amazing giveaway for an Uplift a Box, there's only two days left! Find the details on the easy-peasy entry here.


Tuesday, October 17

It's Release Day!

Heart pounding, I checked my teeth and smiled nervously one more time in the hotel room mirror.

"Ready?" Kendra asked, her face appearing behind my reflection. Nodding, I grabbed the handles of the baby stroller that held my 6-month-old daughter and exited the hotel room. Walking into the glass elevator and zooming downstairs had never felt more like a plunge into the unknown.

Steadying my nerves, I dropped off Ashlyn with a friend and clutched the book proposal we'd spent hours perfecting as we walked into the Starbucks located on the second level of the hotel.

"Hi, I'm Kara," a woman said, standing up. Smiling, she shook our hands, then we sat down to talk about writing, kindness, and the possibility of reimagining our proposed book as a 365-day devotional.

Wednesday, October 4

The Significance of Small Acts

Yesterday morning, I had the privilege of sharing a few words of encouragement to a local moms group that I am a part of. I planned a little something over the weekend, but then I woke up Monday morning to the news of all that had happened the previous night in Las Vegas. Listening all day to updates, I felt a heaviness I just couldn't quite shake.

Thinking again about the morning's conversation with the women and what I would share, I realized that, to me, love and kindness and acts of kindness sometimes feel weak or insignificant in the face of such blatant violence and anger. And it makes me wonder, Does what I do really make a difference?

This past Sunday, our faith community was having a conversation about times in our lives where we had a moment with God that changed us. And as I sat and listened to others share around the circle, I found myself thinking, When has God shown up in my life? 

The memory that came to me actually happened several years ago at a time when we were challenged to start building relationships with people outside of our church walls by showing kindness and hospitality to neighbors, co-workers—anyone we came into contact with on a regular basis. 

My husband and I decided we were going to get to know our neighbors, which was slightly awkward since we'd lived in our home for many years with little more than a wave to those who lived closest to us. But we decided to walk across the street to talk with an elderly man who lived alone.

Wednesday, September 6

Coming Alongside: Blessed to be a Blessing {Guest Post and Giveaway!}

We've had the honor of knowing Sue Moore Donaldson for a few years now and love the simple way she offers encouragement and easy ways to show God's love through hospitality and mentoring! Her books make you feel like you're having a conversation with an old friend and leave you feeling inspired to share the love of God with those around you! Today we are thrilled to have her share a portion of her new book, Table Mentoring, and are giving away a FREE copy to one of our lucky readers! (See details at the end of this post!)

In my early 20’s I met Jeanne Garison. Jeanne was wise, gracious, funny, and for some reason, loved me. She showed it by pouring her wisdom into me, her time into my time, her life into my life. Living life with Jeanne alongside made all the difference.


I was a new college grad, starting my first whirl into the real work world—single and facing my first career, a new roommate, a new town and a new church family. Not floundering exactly, but needing emotional, practical and spiritual support.

I don’t remember how we first met one-on-one. I do remember sitting at Jeanne’s table, talking and talking, usually a cup of tea in one hand and a pen in the other. (It was good to have a pen when I spent time with Jeanne.) I also remember Jeanne’s response: spoken with a smile, a gentle word, often a chuckle of understanding--never a judgment:

“You know, Sue, this is how it was with my mother.”

“Sounds like you could use help in this area – let me get this organized for you.”

“The most important thing you can tell your students is that God is your most important thing.”

Tuesday, July 25

A Competition Worth Winning

Did you sign up to receive our Summer Bucket List of Kindness? Starting today, you can get our second list! (yay!) If you already signed up to receive our emails and got the first list, the second one will be sent to you automatically. If missed out on our first list; no worries, we'll include it along with this one. Simply click the prompt on the home page and you'll be able to sign up. Easy peasy. Also, today I'm talking about how summer kindness has been going in our home:
 
Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor. (Romans 12:10, ESV)

I was tired of the squabbling in our home. Normally, my girls get 20 minutes of “technology time” after they’ve cleaned their room and finished their other tasks for the day, but after a morning of incessant fighting I decided to switch it up on them.

“That’s it!” I said, trying to breathe deeply through my annoyance. “Today the amount of technology you get to do is based on how kind or unkind you are to your sister. I’ll add or subtract accordingly.”

Although both girls began the day with 20 minutes, as the afternoon wore on and the fights over Barbies, who threw water from the mini pool on whom, and which towel was the prettiest ensued, they were down to a lackluster 10 minutes each.

Pulling them aside, I let them know the current tally.