Archives For Across Our Table

change in our home & family

John Maxwell – The Power of Words on a Page John Maxwell posted this yesterday & I thought I’d share it with you. It seems fitting after our Beveni Outpouring 72 campaign.

Nineteenth-century writer Walt Whitman struggled for years to get anyone interested in his poetry. He became very discouraged. But then he received a note that read:

Dear sir, I am not blind to the worth of the wonderful gift of Leaves of Grass. I find it the most extraordinary piece of wit and wisdom that America has yet contributed. I greet you at the beginning of a great career.

It was signed by Ralph Waldo Emerson.

I can’t help but wonder what might have happened to Whitman had Emerson not invested in him by writing those kind words. That note must have been like fresh air to Whitman, who breathed in its encouragement and was inspired to keep writing.

You don’t have to be a professional writer like Emerson to make a difference in someone’s life. Just taking the time to write a note of encouragement is evidence of your willingness to invest in that person.

from 25 Ways to Win with People

I honestly enjoyed the planning & execution of Beveni Outpouring 72. I love when a team comes together, dedicating themselves to a higher purpose, outside of their own benefit. If you aren’t familiar with the Outpouring 72, Read This Post. Basically we took 72 hours to infiltrate all of the Facebook & Twitterdom worlds, asking everyone to give to 132 kids at our Carepoint in Swaziland who need some basic supplies such as Tylenol, band-aids, school supplies, shoes, etc. 72 hours to raise $7200.

Well we didn’t meet our goal by the end of hour 72, but we did raise a proud $2300! Like one of my friends said, that $2300 more than the Beveni kids had before the weekend started. Hope has been created and word has been spread about their needs!

But off & on I would find myself fighting feelings of discouragement that more people didn’t give. If you’d like to read how ashamed I was that I google, ‘how to get people to give to online charity‘ read this brief post Confessions of a Fundraiser.

You know how God helped me through? He helped me through you! Through the givers!

Here is a sampling of emails I received from people who took the time to encourage me along with their donation!

  • Hopefully it’ll help you reach your goal! Thank you SO MUCH for your willingness to step into the unknown, leaving what many of us would consider your safety zone, and embrace the adventure that God has provided.
  • And bless you for your sweet and compassionate heart!!!
  • Keep up the spirit!  Have a great evening! 🙂
  • Great Job! Your generosity will be no small thing to the children of Beveni!!!!
  • I was thinking about you and wanted to say how impressed and proud I am of you with all your work your doing with raising money. Please tell me more about your trip your taking to Africa. Also I am very impressed with your mom blog. You are very encouraging to me on many days.
  • Thank-you for all you are doing for these kids in Swaziland!! You are such a Blessing!
  • I just wanted to tell you how much I’m enjoying your Moms4Change blog and following the Beveni Carepoint happenings on Facebook. What a great thing you have going with Moms4Change. Sounds like an awesome group!
  • Any there were more!

Encouraging words are like a breath of fresh air just at the right time ~ just ask Whitman or myself!

Find someone in your life today that could use some encouraging words. Call or write them a note telling them how proud you are to be their friend!

Shine On Sisters!

The Missing Peace!

July 20, 2010 — 3 Comments

The Missing Peace!

They screamed. I screamed. We all screamed…

Not for ice cream, though I could’ve used some today. My kids fought most of the afternoon about one thing or another – who tooted on who, who’s turn it was to pick up the dog poop, who stole money from the Monopoly bank, etc. etc.

But did I come to the rescue with laughter or a calm attitude? Nope. They were screaming at the each other, so the obvious answer was for me to scream louder, right? So I screamed, “PEACE!!!!”

All I wanted was for them to get along & play Monopoly peacefully. I could think of no other word (okay, well, I could, but PEACE is what came out, thank God!) Unfortunately my scream scared my seven year old and made him cry all the harder & louder. Ugh. I wanted a do over. And the only way to get it was to create peace – not just scream about it.

Ever have a day like that?



An amazing word that nearly evokes a sigh of relief when spoken (not screamed). A word that seems to breath hope at its very mention. Peace. We long for it. We seek after it. And many times we are left questioning, “Why don’t I have any?”

In this world we live in, how can we truly ever have peace or hope of peace? Won’t there always be conflict & turmoil? Won’t there always be famine & disease?

Yes. It’s true. But true peace does not come from everything in our lives being perfectly in order. Nor does it come from being accepted or being popular.

Do you hear that?

You will NEVER achieve peace if you are looking for some outside force to bring it to you.






Peace comes from within. You may have heard that before, but are you living as if you believe peace comes from within or without?

God’s peace is not a promise of the absence of turmoil, but a promise of peace during crisis & chaos. I can think of no greater comfort than knowing that God’s peace is available to me regardless of my circumstances.

Isaiah 53 says, “But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed.”

Did you catch that? It was Christ’s punishment that brought us peace. We already have peace because of His suffering & His punishment.

So how do I live according to that peace Christ died for?  And how do I communicate that peace to my children without duct taping their mouths? (Did I just write that?)

  • Seek the Giver of Peace ~ “Turn away from evil & do good. Search for peace, and work to maintain it.” Ps. 34:14 – Action is required when pursuing peace.
  • Release the Care ~ “So be content with who you are, and don’t put on airs. God’s strong hand is on you; he’ll promote you at the right time. Live carefree before God; He is most careful with you.” 1 Peter 5:7 I love that God is careful with me. He is tender with me as a mother is with her newborn baby. He loves & holds us close.

Corrie Ten Boom said, “Worry does not empty tomorrow of sorrows; it empties today of strength.”

  • Create an Attitude of Thankfulness ~ your attitude determines your altitude. Find the things & people in your life that you can be thankful for in the midst of a difficult time. We don’t necessarily thank God for the turmoil or chaos or disaster, but we thank Him in the midst of it, knowing that He says all things work together for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose.
  • Don’t Give Up ~ “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33

Your story, God’s story through you, IS NOT OVER!!!

So today I hope you are encouraged to seek & stir up the peace that is already within you.

When you are stressed & ready to duct tape someone’s mouth shut, how do you respond? 🙂

SOS! Shine On Sisters

*not listed in order of importance, mind you

Stir up the Lovin’!

July 9, 2010 — 2 Comments

I’d like to hear from my readers today! Tell us all something extra special about one of your kids – your daughter’s beautiful smile, your boy’s adventurous spirit, his tender heart, her latest accomplishment… Or share one of your best memories together ~ like the time your four-year-old  ratted you out as the one that passed gas at the table (oh wait, that was my son!).

I find that when I remember the good times with my kiddos, is often when I’m stirred to create new good times! How about you?

Stir up the lovin’! What’s great about your little bambinos?

Shine On Sisters!

P.S. Hey, you don’t have to be a writer to leave a comment! Just say it as it comes! It works for me! Besides, how often does someone actually ask you to brag on your kids? Exactly!

My kids are at the zoo. {Shout out to the Gpa & Gma! Holla!!!}

I’m guessing they’ll see a few of our relatives there, specifically in the orangutan exhibit. No, I’m not an evolutionist, but boy those animals sure look like my long lost Uncle Emmett, with less hair.

2 shots of public humiliation with that, please!

While the kids are at the zoo, I’m sitting here looking for inspiration at another zoo of sorts. Barnes & Noble Cafe. Have you seen some of the people who frequent this joint? Me included. This is great content just waiting to be written!

One table across the way has caught my eye & ear. Allow me to briefly set the scene. A girl, probably 19, skinny with a very low-cut scarlet red shirt. A boy, who looks like Twilight’s Jacob (and seems to know it). And then there’s the gal that completes the trio. I’ll call her Wanda. She’s middle-aged. Short unkempt hair, glasses & a classic pair of mom jeans. {I think they saw me staring, cuz they just left} Oh well, more wi-fi for me! Just kidding.

The two youngsters (I can say that cuz I’m in my mid-thirties) Scarlet & Jacob pull out their PC laptops. Not even MacBooks!  That should’ve been a clue that something was about to go very wrong. They spend the next 40 minutes explaining to Wanda how Facebook works. They hold nothing back. Scarlet even decides to set Wanda up with a FB account, on the spot. How thoughtful.

While I’m trying to find inspiration from heaven, and look completely interested in what I’m not doing, I hear bits & pieces of their conversation. I can not believe how condescending Scarlet’s teaching methods come across. And I’m shocked that Wanda lets it happen! Wanda even dares touch the laptop much to the loud chagrin of Scarlet. The entire B&N Cafe hears, “Don’t move it like that! Unless you want to buy me a new one!” Jacob chuckles. Wanda doesn’t.

Why am I telling you this? Because I’m Scarlet. Not literally. But I act like Scarlet & her sidekick Jacob, specifically with my kids. I know I do. Even in public, I talk down to them like I’m the Great and Powerful Oz possessing of all the world’s knowledge and they just arrived from Kansas with their little dog.

I often resent the “why?” I get asked at least 27 times a day.

Even though these two were actually taking time with her, I felt so bad for Wanda. She just wanted to learn how to use FaceBook. I don’t think she ordered up a shot of arrogance & public humiliation with her tutorial.

Next time someone needs our help let’s remember a few things :

  • I am not Oz. I am not superior because I have knowledge.
  • The person (including our kids & parents) are not stupid. Everyone deserves respect.
  • There are still things we need to learn. I think we reap what we sow. Let’s sow patience & understanding when we want to flaunt how much they don’t know!

So yeah, I feel like I pried into the lives of strangers. I kind of did. But I learned an important lesson during my time of people-watching at the local Barnes & Noble Zoo. When we talk down to people – our kids, the waitress, our parents, our co-workers, we do nothing to lift ourselves up. When we patronize, we look ridiculous & I can guarantee our help will not be solicited twice. Let’s teach the way we want to be taught, with patience, kindness, and encouragement.

I’d love to hear your perspective. Have you ever been on the receiving end of public humiliation?

Shine On Sisters!

I did not grow up in a Christian family.

Actually we really weren’t much of a family at all.

We were individuals simply co-existing because our culture mandates it. Like every child, I longed for acceptance & unconditional love, but I never felt a lasting sense of belonging & being wanted. Emotionally I felt like an orphan. For as long as I can remember I have had an “orphan spirit”. No matter who was around me I always felt completely and utterly alone.

The summer after I graduated from high school, I found out I was pregnant and the reality of just how alone I was took on new meaning.  My parents wanted NOTHING to do with another “kid” so I was told to either I terminate the pregnancy or I had to get out.

To say I was terrified would be an understatement.

Feeling alone in a place you call home is one thing, having NO home is another thing entirely.

Not knowing where to turn, I found myself downtown at a clinic, prepared to terminate the pregnancy.  Unlike now, when you can simply schedule the procedure and have it done within a matter of hours, back then it was a two-day process.  The first day you came in and talked to the medical staff, watched a video and the next day you came back in to have the “procedure”.  As I sat in that office watching the video, silent tears streamed down my face.

The nurse came in and sat with me quietly for a few minutes.  And then she said the magic words…”you know that you DO have another option.”  It was exactly what I needed to hear. In that moment, it was as if I was given permission to say yes to continuing that life inside of me.

Baby Bethany

That one conversation forever altered the course of my life.

I gave birth to my daughter, Bethany, on October 3, 1990.

What an amazing gift becoming a mother is.

Being able to pour into my child all of the love, compassion and nurturing that was withheld from me was a defining moment that redefined how I viewed myself and the world around me.

Barriers that I had built around my heart to protect myself were no longer necessary.

It’s impossible to find the right words to do it justice.  All I can tell you is that in the months…and eventually years that followed her arrival into my life, the holes that existed began to fill up and the deep ache from my family wounds began to fade. As a mother, I learned how to give and receive unconditional love through the gift of my daughter’s life.

Very soon my Bethany will finish her sophomore year at Northwestern and will be getting married to an amazing young man.  Although our journey had many peaks and valleys, everything has had a purpose and is just how God divinely planned it to be.

Not long ago, I was introduced to a book by Richard Rohr called Everything Belongs. You can find the book here: The poignancy of the title struck me the moment I heard it.  In much the same way, the realization that everything in my life up until this moment has been in preparation for the work I am doing at Southside.

Kimberly & Bethany

Today, I am the Executive Director of a non-profit organization,

Southside Life Care Center in South Minneapolis.

Simply put, our mission is to serve

women and children in crisis.

I love the simplicity of that definition, because it leaves a lot of room for us to really build a program around each woman who walks through our doors that is specific to her needs, to her circumstances.  Among many other things, we help women facing unplanned or crisis pregnancies, like I myself faced many years ago.  But we don’t believe in the idea of a one size fits all program.   Our goal is to have a lasting impact in their lives and to do that, we really have to have a solid understanding of what brought her to us in the first place.  Everything we do is about building relationships.   And every once in a while, we are in the right place at the right time, and another young woman receives the gift of “permission” she was longing for and the comfort of knowing she is not alone.

Southside Life Care Center Staff

But there is so much more to the story!

We are so much more than a free pregnancy test and a 30 minute counseling appointment.

We are in the business of providing tangible solutions to young women so that they CAN choose life.  We work hard to break down barriers and create opportunities that many of the women we serve wouldn’t find anywhere else.  This is not about coercing or bullying women into continuing a pregnancy, it’s about giving them the resources, the support system and the tools they’ll need to be successful whether they parent or make an adoption plan.

Do you know a young woman in need of resources?

For more information about Southside watch our YouTube video:

Or visit our website at

Are you inspired to make a difference?

Here are the top 3 ways you can help Southside further the mission of helping women and children in crisis:

1. Pray & Spread the word that there is HELP at Southside – forward this link to your friends & family, asking them to spread the word as well.

2. Donations – financial support as well as baby items are needed.

3. Volunteers to work either behind the scenes or as mentors with the women in our programs.

Please contact us via the website or by telephone: 612.823.0301

One of the questions I’m asked most often is “What was it that made the difference for you?” I guess the short answer is that along the way, I had people who saw my potential when I couldn’t.  Who loved me when I couldn’t even love myself yet.  Who were willing to invest in me and believe in me.

In the end, that is really what this is all about.  Paying it forward.

Creating the same opportunities for success in the lives of these women and their children

that were created for me 20 years ago.

The Rynders Family


Kimberly Rynders is married and has 5 children, ages ranging from 20 years old down to a 1-year-old. For nearly four years, she has been the Executive Director of Southside Life Care Center, a non-profit organization located in South Minneapolis that is committed to helping women & children in crisis.

Note from Danielle to Moms4Change Readers: I just want to congratulate Kimberly for sharing her inspiring story. I am blessed by her honesty & willingness to share in this post.  She is a perfect example of a Mom making a difference Across Her Heart, Across Her Table & Across the Street. I pray she inspires you, as she has so many others. Feel free to leave comments or ask questions!

The Dinner Desert

7 Sure-Fire Ways to Rescue Yourself from the Dinner Desert

As Moms4Change, we’re supposed to be reaching Across our Table. Here are some practical ideas for blessing your family’s mealtime! I’d love to hear how you make meal planning or the lack thereof, work in your house!

I confess I’m currently wandering in the Dinner Desert. And it’s hotter than the Sahara itself. Haven’t heard of it? Oh, trust me you have. It’s just that no one has named it until now. Let’s dig our way out of it together.

The Dinner Desert. It’s a dry, sun-scorched, lonely place. We’ve all been there at one point or another. Oh sure, I find my way out every now & then, but eventually I wake up one day and think, “How the heck did I get here? I was kicking serious mommy booty! My family was actually eating something besides cereal or ramen noodles every night! Ugh!”

Okay, so enough of the analogy. You get it! 🙂

Let’s return to the Land of Plenty where there is plenty of love, plenty of joy

and plenty of food for another meal!

Really, I’ll stop this time.

Here are 7 Sure-Fire Way to Rescue Yourself from the Dinner Desert:

1. Send out an SOS – yes, cry for help! Admit you’re burned out! Admit that you have a problem! As we know, that’s the first step to solving anything!

2. Stop doing it on your own (or trying to do it!) I will never for the life of me understand why family & friends don’t share meal-planning ideas more often. Realize you’re not alone. You don’t have to reinvent the wheel. There are great resources from women who’ve been where you are! Here are some online.

  • – Rachel Bruner shares pdf files of two-week meal planning calendars. You’ll see that she has a meal idea list, as I describe below.
  • – Erin Chase, a missionary mom decided to share her ideas on how to cook for her family of 4 every night for under $5. Not only has she done it, she’s got a business & book deal out of it! She has the recipes on her website as well as other resourceful dinner planning ideas such as couponing & freezing meals to use later on. I’ve used her recipes and man, she can cook, and cook cheap!
  • – This is a really fun, informative website for meal planning. I’m the type that gets overwhelmed with cooking 30 days ahead, but for some of you, this is just what you’ll need. The website offers specific details on how to do everything from shopping frugally, to freezing & thawing correctly, to eating healthy.

3.  Get a calendar. No seriously, go get a calendar. Either online or on paper, you need to write it down! Personally I use Google Calendar. It’s amazing (when I use it!) because you can set reminder emails to be sent to you the day before so you know what meal is coming up without having to look. And even better, Google Calendar can be set to REPEAT! You heard right! We all repeat our meals, don’t we? Why not do it on purpose?! Within minutes you can have an entire year’s worth of meals planned out ON PURPOSE! I set repeats for all our favorite meals. For example, my kids love lasagna, so its on the calendar, set to repeat once a month or until the kids get tired of it!

4.  Make a Meal List. Before adding meals to a calendar, write down all the meals you make that your family enjoys. Just one big list. Once you get the list, start adding them to the calendar. Keep this list for future reference and add to it as you find yummy new recipes.

5.  Pick 30 minutes of ONE day out of the week that you plan your meals. For me, it’s Sunday afternoon. Then it’s time for grocery shopping with my list in hand!!!! Leave the kids at home if at all possible! Because we know grocery shopping & kids don’t mix!

6.  Start in the morning. What? But breakfast is in the morning! Yep, but before you head out the door, pull out the marinade and throw that bird in the fridge. It’ll be thawed & flavorful by the time you get home & you’ll have just decreased your dinnertime stress by half.

7.  Headline your meals. By this I mean choose meal categories. For example, Sunday night is Pizza Night. Monday night is Crock Pot Night. Tuesday is Breakfast Night. Wednesday is Buffet Night (I refuse to call it leftovers, but essential that’s what it is. Everyone gets to choose what they want that night from the 3 previous nights). Thursday is Mexican or Seafood. Friday is Dinner Out. Saturday is Italian (pasta dishes). The kids love this, by the way. They look especially look forward to Breakfast Night!

The Land of Plenty

The Rewards:

  1. Renewed Self-confidence – don’t you love that feeling when you know you’re serving your family the best of yourself? Me too.
  2. Spend less Moola – because you’re not out buying last-minute fast food meals.
  3. Save more Moola – consider using the money you save to sponsor an orphan through Children’s Hopechest OR save for vacation!
  4. Your family is fed & you’ve just created a perfect atmosphere for family talk time WITHOUT exhausting yourself!

In the interest of honesty, I want to be clear that I don’t always live by these tips myself. But when I do this Momma is much happier & healthier, and as a result the whole family is happier & healthier as well.

Now let’s hear what’s working for you? What’s not working for you? And how you get yourself out of the Dinner Desert into the Land of Plenty?!

Let’s network, Moms!!!!!


5 Reasons Your Local Food Shelf Needs Your Time!

1. Get OUT of your comfort zone – Some of us are extroverts (Holla!) and some aren’t. That being said, the food shelf is a place of service and anyone can serve, even if you are uncomfortable around strangers. They won’t be strangers for long if you get in there and give it your all. Plus, it’s good for ALL of us to be out of our comfort zones on a regular basis!

Over 2800 items were donated by KIDS in ONE MONTH!

2. Get an honest perspective on your local community’s needs – Your local food shelf is on the front line in fighting hunger & poverty in your community. It separates the gap between ‘us & them’. You realize there is no ‘us & them’ at all. Everyone’s been lying to you.

Truth: there are literally people living in your community who are going hungry. People that need support at the Food Shelf are not free loaders. Oh sure you get the occasional guy sneaking three snacks instead of the standard two, but that is rare.

They are genuine people who are down on their luck. Many are well-spoken & hard workers. And as you may have guessed in today’s economy there are many who are down on their luck that may have been living the American Dream just a few short years ago.

Imagine yourself in that predicament.

3. Giving your time can make a difference – Want to brighten someone’s day? You can. Some days when I go into the Food Shelf I can see the shame on people’s faces as they sit in the waiting area. I imagine what they are thinking, “This is so humiliating. I shouldn’t have come.”

A volunteer can be the difference by simply smiling at them and genuinely honoring them by serving. I even try to throw in a few jokes every once in a while to tear down any barriers of shame. Most of the time it works, even if the jokes are lame. Yeah I may look a little foolish, but I don’t mind so much.

4. You’ll be an example to your kids – Not all food shelves allow it, but on occasion I’ve had to bring my six-year-old in with me. Even his time has made a difference in the life of those needing food. He has helped bag the groceries & then replenish the shelves as well. When he comes, it’s been so fun to watch the joy on my little man’s face that he’s helping!

Some of the hard working Student Govt. girls at the Food Shelf delivering what was collected!

5. It’s not about YOU, and that’s why it’s so rewarding!!! – Volunteering is one of the healthiest things you can do for yourself. No, I don’t recommend volunteering at the food shelf just so you can feel good. But it does get you ‘outside’ yourself for a bit. Our world is so focused on our own entertainment.

Volunteering is sacrificial & yet so rewarding. Yeah, there are days that I think, man I could/should really be doing my laundry (which is usually last on my list!) or studying how to have a kick-butt blog or sitting at B&N drinking a vanilla latte. But never once have I regretted sticking to my commitment of serving.

It has been one of the most rewarding things I’ve done.

Don’t know where to begin? Here’s a few links that will help you find your local Food Shelf or Food Pantry.

Hunger Solutions, MN

Food Pantries Across America

In my little town of 600 people our Food Shelf serves appx. 30-40 families monthly, but this also includes several other small towns around us. There is a need.

I dare you to step up.

I double dog dare you.

(Now you just have to, right?)

Keep Lovin’ Moms!

Idol Gives Back… but some of what they gave me tonight I want to return.

Does an ‘Idol’ really give back? No. However,  the machine of American Idol is using its platform of mega-proportions to do some good in the world.

I only watched bits & pieces of AI last night in between cleaning up from a frozen pizza dinner, chatting with my SILs, and putting the kids to bed. And I even folded a load of laundry during the show so I wouldn’t feel too guilty about sitting still.

I saw two parts that impacted me.

I’ll share the first one today. The second, more positive one, I’ll share tomorrow.

Low Point: The Black Eyes Peas  performance

I saw all of three seconds of it. Unfortunately my 8-year-old son, Bernie, saw more than I did. The TV was on in the sunroom and when I walked in, he was sitting 2 feet from the screen, with a shocked look on his face. I walked in & saw what he saw.

He saw Fergie shakin’ what her momma gave her for all the world to see. No she wasn’t naked, but she was dressed provocatively… on purpose. {Let me just say that those four words “dressed provocatively on purpose” have never been written about me and never will be! LOL}

But I’m not slamming Fergie. I actually enjoy some of her music. And when I do get around to it, the music has a great beat for working out. Not a lot of lyrical quality, but hey. The beat. It’s all about the beat. I won’t, however, be shakin’ what my momma gave me for the world to see. ‘Cuz I think my momma gave me a little too much for shakin’!

Last night I saw BEP’s music in a whole other light…. through my son’s eyes. My innocent, vulnerable, impressionable 8 year old’s eyes. And I was embarrassed for him. I get that Bernie & his little brother Benny are gonna see ‘things’ as they are growing up, because society practically throws it in your face.

But you better believe I’m gonna limit the exposure as much as possible as LONG as I can. At least that’s what I thought before last night. Well, I still believe that, but I wasn’t prepared to explain why women put themselves on display sometimes. Heck, I’m not even sure I know the answer. What do you think?

I want my boys to grow up respecting women. And women, let’s respect ourselves.

You may call me an overprotective mom. {no, seriously, go ahead call me that} If my husband & I don’t protect them, who will?

Thank you!

Tomorrow I’ll share how one segment of Idol Gives Back truly touched me & blessed me. Can anybody guess which part???

Keep Lovin’ Moms!

ps. No, their names are not Bernie & Benny.

Across Our Table

April 21, 2010 — Leave a comment

I think this book will be WELL worth the read for us Moms, looking to raise balanced, well-adjusted, compassionate, visionary kids, much like the one in this picture! 🙂

Continue Reading...

If you haven’t read my last post, please do so. It is Part One of the story.

For those that have them, this is a typical Swazi home

Redemption. Deliverance. Rescue. Don’t we long for it? God brought redemption to me, a little girl missing her Daddy, in a form I didn’t expect.

My Mom remarried an incredible man, whom I’ll refer to as Lee. Lee, I don’t think could’ve loved me more if I had been his biological daughter.

Seriously. He never once called me his step-daughter. I was his. He was mine. And nobody better say differently! His tender heart softened mine so that I let him into my world and heart. In fact, it was with Lee that I first saw the Save The Children Infomercials on Sunday afternoons.

I kid you not, every single week, every single show he could not keep from crying when he stared into those little black African eyes. His compassion astounded me. He made me realize these are REAL kids. They need food! They need parents! He & my mom gave their support to Save The Children whenever they could. Redemption.

So yeah, I identify with the Orphan Spirit, but even more so I identify with REDEMPTION. I’ve experienced both & I can tell you that through the years, my void of loneliness & fear was replaced by ONE man letting Jesus soften his heart to children – both to me and to children he’d never met.

I want to tell you that I did find & contact Steele when I was in my mid-twenties. Honestly, I can’t even remember how I found him. I wanted him to know I forgave him & I had lived a good life. Ultimately, there was no redemption for me personally. Hopefully there was for him.

It is because I identify with this Orphan Spirit and experienced redemption in my own life that I feel so passionately for the children in Swaziland whom I know have been abandoned and left to themselves. I sense a small measure of their heartache.

And I know there are other moms that can make a difference, whose hearts have been broken, who are willing to be the voice crying out on their behalf, who want to reach across our world to help a child in need of love.

These are  the children who have been orphaned because disease and famine have stolen their parents. Can you imagine being that parent, knowing you are dying, having to leave your little kids to fend for themselves? This happens everyday across our world. Swaziland’s population is currently around 900,000. Of that 900.000, over 150,000 are ORPHANS!

These kids in Swaziland need someone – a Mom – to give them some hope of being loved, adored & cared for. To let them know they ARE worth being loved & they do belong to someone who cares about them. We all may not be able to go to them physically but we can sponsor them, send notes of love and pray for them to know God’s love. One person choosing to love, made all the difference in my life.

God is in the redemption business… and so am I!!!!

Orphans being fed at one of the CarePoints

If you wish to find out more about sponsoring an orphaned child in Swaziland, please email me at, or leave me a comment saying you want to help and we’ll find a way!  I know specifically of 3 children who had previously had sponsors who now are in need again.

Keep lovin’ Moms!