I’m getting closer and closer to my first big deadline over here- less than three months and counting. Everyday it’s prayer first, second, last and a hundred times in between. I surely would never be doing this on my own. Even then, I’m constantly fighting away the not good enough feeling that follows me wherever I go. I keep pushing forward and I am on my knees.
I am so thankful for all your encouragement and also for the surveys so many kids filled out! (I am still accepting them, if anyone else is interested!) Kids are the best and they are brilliant.
I want to encourage you in this new year. I am giving away three books I have recently read.
You might know that she wrote over 1,000 hymns, many under pseudonym, all without her sight. What you might not know about this extraordinary woman was her servant’s heart. Among the endless lists of ways she served, including giving away most of her money, she choose to live in one of the poorest tenements in New York City. My favorite part of the book is the picture of the crowded building she called home. She lived in proximity to those in need.
In Amy’s books she shares the definition of gutsy: showing determination when your heart beats fast, your hands grow sweaty, and you fear failure. Brave. Courageous. Daring.
Right now it feels a little hard to be festive for the Christmas season when the hearts of children and families in Syria are so threatened right now. The images shred at your heart. You think, they are so far away. There is no proximity. This is the time to put yourself in proximity to their suffering. The death, destruction, displacement.
There was a video earlier this fall of a little boy put in the seat of the ambulance, his head bleeding. He reaches up and touches his forehead, looks at the blood and tries to wipe it off on the seat. It makes my Dad cry anytime someone mentions it. Another video in the hallway of a medical center after a bombing, it’s inhabitants covered in dust, a teenager cradling the dead body of his baby brother, a women with no children left, two siblings looking for their mother. A group of orphaned children implore help to escape. The days are growing cold as winter settles into Syria and families are desperately trying to escape.
We can’t travel there and scoop them up and rescue, but we get up as close as we can in proximity. We can cry out for them to be rescued and we can help.
A verse, ideas, and a prayer accompany each topic A through Z on topics that help us uplift those in our communities. I love the range of topics: abundance, emergency responders, homeless, justice, refugees, teachers, zero prejudice.
How many of your meal time prayers sound like this, “Thank you God for our food. Amen.” Or you say that you’ll pray for a certain person, but in the busyness of life completely forget. Sometimes it’s just easy to have prayer block and not even know where to start when you want to talk to God.
This guide is perfect for families to use together.
help your kids learn about issues that affect families and people in your community
think of people you know that might need prayers for a specific topic
learn about praise, petition, and listening to God’s answers
consider who God is through prayers of praise
pray together as a family
As we pray for our communities’ deepest needs, we bring God’s light into the darkest corners. As we praise Him, we come to appreciate the glory and beauty of His creation.
We know prayer is powerful.
God hears us and longs for us to talk to him about everything.
Our communities, families and friends need to be uplifted and that is something we can give.
Comment below to be entered to win a copy of the book. How do you pray as a family?
(I received a copy of Pray A-Z as a part of Litfuse Publicity Blog Tour.)
How can you talk justice to close out the month of November?
Happy Giving Tuesday! Remember to give to your favorite make a difference organization today. Make sure your kids know about Giving Tuesday right along with Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday.
The leaves in Michigan are beginning to make their descent to the ground, which means around the corner is snow… for now we will be thankful for every day of sunshine, warm breezes, and the ability to see green grass. Here are ideas for talking justice with your family.
I have piles of books, paper flying, ideas moving, so many prayers.
We have a Kids Talk Justice book coming! I’m so excited and terrified. I’m longing for Jesus to be close.
I know we feel that closeness most acutely in the voices of our children, grandchildren, nieces and nephews. I can’t wait to include those voices in the book! They are fantastically brilliant at this stuff and I want to hear from them as the pages take shape!
I will include their voices as sidebars throughout the book
and also in social media that encourages.
Everyone who participates will be entered to win a $25.00 gift card to Barnes and Noble. Any parent, grandparent, aunt, uncle, teacher or friend who recruits and helps a young person with the questionnaire will be entered to win a $25.00 Starbucks gift card. I’m looking for ages three through eighteen.
I will deliver, send to you via email with attached PDF, or mail with return envelop. Just let me know your preference for recieving the questionnaire! firstname.lastname@example.org
Beyond your children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews etc… do you have a small group, classroom, or team that might like to contribute? We love all voices!
For the past year I have been in the humblest spaces. Places where no echoes, pathways turn into dead ends, and the silence is never-ending. Somehow in the midst of all those questions and rejection, God gave me the biggest surprise.
I am so excited to share this journey with you. So many of you have supported me from the very beginning. I could not be more thankful for your voices, hearts, and encouragement.
My heart is so happy to be writing something that means so much to me.
And I would love to ask for your voices!
Would you be willing to lend your voices? Here’s how you can help!
Help your kids answer the Kids Talk Justice Questionnaire! You can print it off in PDF, or let me know you are interested and I’ll get a copy to you! You can access them here: elementary/teen questions and young kids questions.
You can lend your voices with one simple question. How do you talk justice with your family?
Sign up for the Talk Justice quarterly newsletter for updates on the right side bar of the website or let me know and I’ll sign you up.
Here is my encouragement to you:
never give up- for God is able to do immeasurable more than we could ask or imagine.
Happy September and start to a new school year. Praying you feel the beauty of a changing season. Here are some talking points for your family to talk about justice together.
Loss and Hope: The children of 9-11 and what they can teach us. More than 3,000 children lost their parent that day. Their stories of loss and hope.
Refugees: I am Syria. A gentle, illustrated look at the reality of Syria and the needs of refugees. Perfect for children.
but in my heart I look ahead to the rebuilding of our cities.
Poverty:Landfill Harmonic a coming documentary about a recycled orchestra born out of a slum alongside a landfill in Cateura, Paraguay. Hope. Watch the trailer here. Ask the members of your family what they are thinking!
Kindness and Innovation: A teen the creates an app called Sit with Us, so no one has to sit alone in the cafeteria.
Our Global World: Follow the Out of Eden Walk from Paul Salopek, a reporter who has set out to retrace our ancestors global migration on foot. He will cover 21,000 miles. The photographs and stories are striking. Follow his travelogue together.
What happens when you become a war refugee? You walk.
Literacy and Education: Emma Watson interviews Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn, authors of Half the Sky and A Path Appears.