My Etsy Shop!


Thursday, September 30, 2010


Just wanted to share that I have listed several new items in my Etsy shop The Mama Sheep, featured at the top of my blog, in the past couple of days. It is a great time to think about Christmas shopping, since I saw Christmas decorations in the store at the beginning of September and all. Well, then actually, I guess that would make us all behind in getting ready for Christmas, wouldn't it? What are you waiting for then? My word, go shop people!!! And of course you will not just want to spend money that does nothing but make the owners of our big old stores even richer, right?? No, of course not! That would be silly-you want to spend your money where it will be used to help children who do not have enough food, clothes, or worst of all, love. Well, then, it seems that The Mama Sheep shop on Etsy is just the thing because all the money that comes into the shop goes back out of the shop to children in need around the world (and in fact, in Ethiopia in less than 3 weeks!!). Isn't that nice how that worked out? Problem solved! C'mon over to the shop, look around-if you see something you like, buy it! (please) If you don't, but have an idea of something you would like, contact me to see if we can make it happen-I really like to do custom pieces, because when I know who the piece is for, I can include that in my process of creating it.

Well, there it is, my semi-sheepish (get it? SHEEP-ish?? haha, I need to go to bed....) self-promotion. So with all that being said, I will leave you with this pearl of wisdom:

There are only 86 days till Christmas. Get on it.
(I am nothing if not helpful. A real giver, that's me ;) )

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Coming Soon To A Blog Near You

Soooooo, any of you readers interested in another in-person account of "Life in Ethiopia" say in about 3 1/2 weeks? :)

Monday, September 20, 2010

Word Soup

Y'all, what a letdown. I had been working on this one post for a week. I began it in a moment of deep theological pondering and wondering and wrestling with serving God in missions and just started typing away. I posted another post in the meantime as I wasn't ready to publish the "deep one" yet, I had so much feeling and heart left to write in it. So each night, I would think about it some more and add some more to it. I thought it was close to getting put on the blog on Friday. It was very long week-I really wanted to put it on there Wednesday, but, well, hahahahaha, I have 4 kids, one of which is a TORNADO. (I will maybe post pictured of how she got unto my (permanent, un-removable, bright turquoise) alcohol inks from my jewelry buisness and graciously decorated the carpet, sofa, ottoman, AND hardwood floors--but I also may not, the pain is still too fresh...) So, long story never short when I am writing it, I hopped on here Friday night to put the finishing touches on my moving, make-you-think, deep theological blog post and get that sucker on the innerwebs for all to read and be enlightened. However, when I read it through, I had this thought: WHAT THE HECK DOES ALL THAT MUMBO JUMBO EVEN MEAN???? I seriously do NOT know what I was talking about, and I am the one who wrote it. I am thinking late at night after a days of wrangling ink spreading tornados maybe is not the best time to tap out some Deep Thoughts. It IS a good time for putting together incoherent snippets of Jesus words that are great fodder for mockery, apparently. So, in lieu of inflicting my word soup upon your fine eyes this Monday morning, I will share several bits from other peoples' posts that were the very words of my heart that I seem completely unable to express. The Compassion Bloggers were at it again on a tour in Guatemala-all the posts were truly fabulous-go read through them if you want to be blessed and please sponsor a child (click the link on my sidebar), or 10, if you can-you will not regret it, we have been sponsors for years and seen firsthand the work Compassion does in country. Anyway, I wanted to share some words from this post by Ann Voskamp as "A Holy Experience":
...our lives full of cluttered ease, muffle out the songs. That when we go to the places that strip life back to its barest essence -- of courage and love and raw, unmasked pain -- our hearts feel again, beat again, hear again the haunting music of a beautiful, bleeding humanity.
Maybe it's this: God hides with the poor and in the pain and we can only witness Him at His most beautifully creative work in the places needing redemption.
Maybe we are only at our most beautiful work in the same places too --- the places where we don't hide behind the distractions of stuff, where we finally empty our hands of all our possessions and idols and come to God empty and ready. The places where we can make art with tears.

and she adds this:

No one tells you that wealth numbs you to life and consumerism callouses your soul to the sacred.
Or maybe Someone did: “"It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God." (Mark 10:25 NIV)

Oh AMEN!! Read it again if you have to-I have over and over.
I will end with these oh-so-true yet jarring words also from the CB Tour by trip leader Shaun Groves' post that cuts straight to the heart of what poverty and injustice are:
When someone, because of war or insanity, brings death to a village or classroom all at once – in an instant – we’re outraged. When 3,000 people are sent to early graves by airplanes punched through skyscrapers, we hold telethons and fight back. But when 24,000 children under the age of five died from poverty related causes today – and yesterday, and the day before that – it didn’t even get a mention on CNN. Their deaths didn’t fling us into impassioned action either. Or even prayer.

Because poverty is slow violence.

It IS. And we DO ignore it. But we SHOULD NOT.

"Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen: to loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke? Is it not to share your food with the hungry and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter— when you see the naked, to clothe him, and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?....spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry and satisfy the needs of the oppressed,then your light will rise in the darkness,and your night will become like the noonday" (Isaiah 58:6-7, 10)

Monday, September 13, 2010

Woo Hoo!

Well, yesterday (Sunday) morning dawned rainy and grey and cold for the triathlon. Yuck. What a way to wake up-at an ungodly hour, too, by the way. The things we do for love ;) Pat left the hotel before 6 to go get set up with a good friend who came to help him in all things triathlon-related (not an area where God has gifted me to be a helpmate since well, I am allergic to running and all...) We left the hotel about 45 minutes later, after everyone cheerfully waking up, hopping out of bed and getting dressed, filled with excitement for the day in the rain. (If you believe that, I have a bridge for sale I'd love to chat with you about...) We grumpily, um, stoically, er, HAPPILY went out to the car to drive to the race site and cheer on our triathlete. We quickly realized that with the rain and traffic, we were not going to make it to see the start of the swim part so we parked and the big Things got umbrellas, the little Things got loaded in the stroller and I found a tarp in the back of the van (it is amazing what is in the back of that thing sometimes....) and all classy-like draped the double stroller in it and we were off. Holy mackerel, some crazies were already on their bikes! What the what?!? The swim had only started 10 minutes ago-these are a whole other breed of people, y'all.... We waited on the side of the rail till our guy came flying by on his bike and we cheered him on. From that point, we stopped at various points to catch glimpses of him and give a big "WOO!HOO!" whenever he went by.

For the running part, Pat donned his Project 61 tee in honor of all the folks in Korah he is raising money for and he finished the race and did very well.
He had hoped to do it in 2 hours or less and he did it in about 1.5 hours-way to go, honey!! It really was a great day and here is a super cool thing-so far about $4600 has come in!!! That is SOOOOO close to the crazy $5000 goal God whispered to me in the beginning. We will keep the website up for about another week if any of you still want to give and hadn't gotten to it yet :) THANK YOU to all of you have given to this fundraiser for Korah-we have just LOVED seeing the support of people all over the place, especially the CHILDREN!! What a blessing to get donations from kiddos who want to help their peers across the world-God is SO. GOOD.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Places to Go

(click on the photo to go to a great site!!)
I have 2 places I want you to go today from here. The first is my husband's website for his triathlon THIS WEEKEND!!!! Oh yes, y'all-God once again showed up BIG time and we are believing Him for something awesome!! When we set out, our goal was to raise about $1200 for Korah. God very quickly (as in overnight, in less than 12 hours, immediately!) blew that goal out of the water and said "Who do you think you are dealing with here, an amateur??" So my hubby set the goal a little higher, going for DOUBLE the original number and shooting for $2400, which was also quickly reached. A little seed got planted in my head to pray for something crazy-$5000. What? Well, the tri is in 3 DAYS, and we are at $3400!!!!! After knowing Him a long time and seeing what God is capable of, I look at that and say "ONLY $1600 more? Let's do it!!" Can you be the one(s) to help us get to that crazy $5k?? Here is the link-click it and take a few minutes to peruse the website, it is a lot of fun to read!! GO! (please :) ) There is no running/biking/swimming involved just for reading, btw ;)

The second place I want you to go is to this blog post. You all know we are big Compassion supporters (if you click on the Compassion link on my sidebar, you can go find out how to sponsor a child if you want!) and I love when they send a group of bloggy folks on a Compassion Blogger trip. Right now the current group of bloggers in in Guatemala and this post made me shout "yes!! that is exactly it!!" It is my heart in someone else's words...

Thursday, September 2, 2010

My Shower

I often have some of my greatest revelations and conversations with God in the shower. It is turning into my "inner room" that I go into to pray, haha! I wonder if that is what Jesus had in mind in Matthew 6:6? Anyway, the other day I was cleaning the shower in my bathroom (I know, it happens on occasion but don't tell, I got a rep to protect...). It's the brand new shower, replaced after the ice incident this past winter. It is a nice shiny bright white, a welcome contrast to the former ugly brown shower which had gotten dulled by years of hard water and bad ventilation. But, even while it is nice and shiny and new, I am sad to report that there is still not great ventilation in there and this new shower seems to be as equally prone to icky mildew as the old one was. Gross. So, thus the need to clean it when it gets to the point where I can see it even without my contacts when I am in the shower (oh, um, just kidding, because that would be gross, right? I would NEVER let it get that bad...sure, never, that would be crazy...)

Anyway, my chatty but adorable 3 year old was sitting on the sink observing and talking my ear off, er, keeping me company while I cleaned and asked many questions, as 3 year olds are prone to do. I had tried to scrub the corners by reaching into the shower but was at a ridiculous angle as our bathroom is quite small and knew that the only way I could REALLY clean it was to get in there. I slipped off my shoes and stepped into the shower armed with my scrub brush. Thing 3 was quite intrigued by this and asked me why I was getting in the shower while I was dressed (and was careful to remind me eleventy-billion times not to turn the shower on since I was in my clothes :) ) I explained to her that the shower really needed to be cleaned and sometimes the only way to really get something clean is to get in there and get a little messy in the process. There was no way to get to the real grime and crud lurking in the corners while reaching across from the outside. Sure, I could get a little bit of the job done and swipe a few spots of ickyness away, but if I really wanted to remove the funk in all the nooks and crannies (btw, how gross is that phrase?? what even is a cranny?? ew.), I had to be right in front of the stains and grime to really put all my strength into scrubbing away the gross stuff. As I was explaining that to her, I thought how much it is like that with relationships with people. If we are going to help people to have their hearts made clean and spotless by introducing them to the saving grace of Jesus, we are going to have to get into their lives. We might be able to swipe some bits of niceness and sprinkle some drops of "Jesus" to folks by reaching into their lives from across the way, but if we really want to show them that they can be cleaned by the blood of the Savior, and if we really want them to know the true, holy, pure love of God, we have to be willing to roll up our sleeves and get messy with them. We need to go where they are, look with them at the dark murky corners if necessary (sometimes figuratively and sometimes literally) and be willing to work right in the middle of that with them to show them the cleansing power of Jesus' sacrifice on the cross. There is just no other way other than to get in there, no matter how inconvenient or how daunting the prospect may seem. There are times when I can just do a quick spot clean of the shower to get it to hang on a little longer until I can get a good scrubbing in-you now, to get the bigger creepy spots to go away so they are less obvious. Jesus had a few times where he shared to great crowds from a distance (from the boat off the shores of Galilee, etc) and gave them a broad view of His purpose in coming to Earth, but His real work was done in His relationships with people when He got right in there with them-when He met the outcast Samaritan woman at the well, when He physically touched the leper, when He got into the boat with His fishermen disciples, when He spat on the earth to make a healing balm of mud for a blind man, and on and on. Those times where He got in and got messy while He cleaned hearts are what show He is a God who TRULY loves and will do whatever it takes to purify us unto Himself. We can hardly be expected to do less in the lives of others since the God we serve was willing to do it. We must be willing to get in there and get to work. For the next week after I got into my shower and saw the gleaming white walls, I was thrilled! (and also maybe I need to get out more...) The hard work of seemingly-endless scrubbing, which honestly annoyed me at the time, was so worth it to not have the heebie jeebies every time I stepped into my shiny, white, non-funky shower. It is also easier to keep clean once I give it a thorough scrubbing and see it looking so great-I am more motivated to do it more often! Realistically, I know I will have to do it again and again as that shower is prone to getting funkified pretty easily even though it is new, but hopefully not as much of a deep cleaning as that day. And once again I see that the human heart is so similar-prone to getting cruddy with sin and the burdens of life, but so much more easily de-gunked once we have a relationship with Jesus where are made new and we can go and get cleansed through prayer and forgiveness daily...and so yes, we will have to get in there and work and get grubby time and again in order to keep the crud of sin from creeping back in. But oh, there is nothing as good a clean heart before the Lord!! Just like with my mildewy shower, I need to let Jesus get into my heart to really get at every icky corner and be "made holy and clean, washed by the cleansing of God's word" (Eph. 5:26), and I need to be willing to get into the lives of others so they too can know the beauty of the clean heart Jesus can give.

Who knew?? Cleaning the shower is good for more than just a funk-free bathing experience! It can teach you the things of God! ;)