Join an (in)courage community group!

Registration for (in)courage community
groups begins Monday!

This session, there will be 70+ groups with 160 amazing leaders. So ladies, I'm pretty sure that is a spot for you!

I am excited to be co-leading the (in)couraging working new moms group for its third session this Fall, along with my friend Lisa! Even though I'm a leader, this group has given so much back to me. I haven't always loved being a working mom, but getting to know other moms who understand the joys and struggles of this busy life has helped me to embrace this calling. God has worked through our group to form friendships, spread joy, and show us how deeply He cares for us.

Here's some more information:

What is an (in)courage community group?
Community groups connect and build up like-minded women. Groups are formed around a specific interest or phase of life (e.g. motherhood, artists, empty nesters), and "meet" in closed Facebook groups.

What do community groups do?
Community groups will talk about topics of interest, pray together, and share encouragement.

Why should I join?
If you're longing for a place to belong, if you could use a cheerleader to help you through the hard days, if you want to find "your people" online, if you love cupcakes (or even if you don't), this is the place for you! :)

How do I sign up?
Go to www.incourage.me/community and look through the list of groups. On Monday, choose a group and click Add Your Link toward the bottom of the page. Add your name, email address, and website (if you have one). Within a day or two, your group leader will email you a link to join your group on Facebook!

Lisa and I also have a special surprise for working moms coming up in a couple of weeks, so stay tuned!!

Have a great weekend, friends!


An invitation to join me in Kenya

I was a young mom. The hubby and I got married at 20, got pregnant at 21, and we were overjoyed but scared. How would we pay the bills and afford daycare? What if my temporary job didn't get extended? How would I figure out how to be a great mom, with zero friends who had kids? But my worries were small compared to those of young women living in the slums of Kenya. 

Three years ago, an ordinary mom and blogger named Kristen Welch traveled to Kenya with Compassion and witnessed the living conditions of pregnant girls living in the slums. Many of of those young women were raped, or forced to have sex in exchange for food. After coming home, she learned about the dangerous backstreet abortions that occurred in those same slums, and she did something about it. She founded Mercy House.

The mission of Mercy House is 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."
Today, (in)courage is celebrating its 4th birthday by kicking off five projects to benefit Mercy House!

Sometimes it's easy to feel removed from the evil that happens around the world. It's easier to harden my heart, to put on blinders, to pretend like I can't do anything. But God has not called us to apathy. He has called us to act justly, show mercy, and walk humbly with Him. 

I am no better than the residents of Mercy House, but for some reason only God knows, I've been given a much easier life and a job that pays more than enough to meet my family's needs. And I know that part of the reason is so that I can be His hands and feet to the poor, so that I can sacrifice a little of my comfort to comfort another. 

Photo credit: http://bessbrownlee.com/

I'm honored to be a part of promoting project #4 -- a computer lab to provide job skills for the high school girls (more about that later!). I invite you to donate to any and all of these projects, because even a few dollars will make such a difference in the lives of 12 mamas, 12 babies, and the future residents of Mercy House. We can do something, together.

Learn more about Mercy House through this 6-minute video:

If you feel led, donate to a Mercy House project here:


When you're feeling dry

It's almost time for the third (in)couragers session to start. My stress is extremely high, and I'm feeling bone dry.

There is so much awesome that we are planning for this session, and yet all I'm feeling is fear. That I won't have enough joy for sharing, that I can barely handle working motherhood and how in the world can I cheer other moms through it? And yet I recognize that this fear is not from God. I know He will use my weakness as His strength. 

I know that He is my adequacy, even on days when I forget I need to drop off the kids at daycare and miss the bus and get to work 2 hours late. Even when my husband and I fight and I go to bed angry. Even when my kids cry that they miss me. Even when I have nothing of my own to offer, He is my life-source, my living well, my bread and wine. Jesus is my victory. 

So if you are feeling dry and overwhelmed too, I hope you will come to Him with me. If you're feeling weak too, let's let Him be strong for us. 

Because these empty times are when He fills, when He shows up in power to shower us with refreshing rain and bear fruit in us. These are the times when He brings dry bones rattling to life, putting on sinew and muscle and flesh. When He breathes his spirit, puts on his hands and says Walk. Move forward in faith. Do not fear. 

He's got this.