Category Archives: Giving Back

We All Need a Little of That!


As many of you know just a little over a week ago I was surprised with a getaway birthday weekend to Houston. It was a weekend filled with love from my friends and family.

While Gindi and I shared a delicious BBQ chicken pizza from California Pizza Kitchen (which by the way was YUM!!), we talked about this idea of community. On FB the night I found out about my surprise I posted a picture of my letter and this comment “To say that I am floored and overwhelmed and crazy excited all at once is an understatement….not exactly sure where I am headed on Saturday but the “three birthday bandits” have completely surprised me!”

130 people liked that post and I had over 40 comments…

I don’t say that to brag, it is a reflection of how much something like this would mean to so many people.

“Best present ever!!”, “I want to get kidnapped”, So fun, can’t wait to hear about it”…and on and on.

People, women especially, long for this type of community.

Maybe we don’t say it or admit it…but it is true. We love to feel loved. (<====Click to Tweet)

I think it is in our nature, it is how we were made. I know so many women who love big and love well. But this experience for me was proof that we all have a secret wish that someone would love on us in a HUGE way like I was.

And I don’t want it to end with me.

I realize that many of us might not be able to plan such an elaborate surprise like I received…but as Gindi and I talked I was challenged to think of ways that I might be able to love on others well, here in my own front yard.

Because we all need a little more of that, don’t we?

Of community, friendship, lavish and unconditional love?

This may mean that we have to step out in faith…and what if it isn’t well received? What if we put a Turquoise Table in the front yard in April, invite our neighbors over, and no one comes?

It could happen.

It probably won’t, but there is that risk.

But you know, I have found that by being willing to take the risk, the crazy leaps of faith…that I have been given back so much in return.

If I hadn’t been willing to open my heart to the idea of online friendships…well last weekend would have never happened. And what a blessing that was in my life.

I hope you can understand that I face these challenges with the same fear that I expect many of you are facing. We are in this together!!

That is why I felt like it was so important to write about this today. I often make decisions based on fear, especially fear of the unknown.

But when we see a need – how can we NOT respond?! Maybe your response isn’t with a surprise trip, but instead a call to a friend for a lunch date. A card in the mail to a neighbor or introducing yourself to a “stranger” at church.

The act itself doesn’t have to be monumental, but I am seeing that the small things can become monumental if we are invested in and working at community. (<====Click to Tweet)

So I come here willing. Prayerfully considering how this looks in my own life and open to being pushed to where I may feel uncomfortable…because if I can be the hands and feet of Christ here…who knows what might happen!

Photo Credit: Niall Kennedy

Celebrating A New Beginning {Virtual Shower Fun!}

Today I have the pleasure of introducing you to a special young woman. But first before I do that, I need to give you a little of the back story!

I met Holley Gerth 2 years ago. I had the honor of being a part of her God-sized Dream team book launch. Several of us gathered at Allume again this year and celebrated all the places God has taken us in the past 2 years.

Holley and I!

God is just so good.

During this past year Holley and her husband Mark saw their own God-sized dream come true when they adopted their 20 year old daughter Lovelle. It is a beautiful story of God’s redemption and you must go read all about it!

When Lovelle got hitched to her fiance David I knew that I wanted to do something special to celebrate their new beginning. Holley has been a mentor and friend, but really is family to me, so I wanted to help her celebrate this incredible journey she is on as a new mama! Being miles and states away proved difficult. I had hoped Lovelle would be able to attend Allume so we could have a shower there, but that couldn’t happen so I got to thinking outside the box!


I came across a site that posted about a Virtual Shower and they created a website  to use as the landing place for all the celebratory goodness.

I knew that was the route that I needed to take and so Lovelle’s Wedding Shower Website was born. Now let me be clear about one thing. I am not responsible for the adorable site design. (I wish I had that talent!) My dear friend Lisa, and master designer of my site here, volunteered to help and I just love it!

The idea behind a virtual shower is this…it gives those who want, the access and ability to celebrate with David and Lovelle, even when we can’t all be together in person.

So the “official” party time is November 1st through the 8th. I chose a week so that there was opportunity to share the site and people would find some time in the next week to join the fun.

Of course you will find a link to their gift registries, if you feel led, you can order something and send it their way. But even more exciting is a tab to read more about the happy couple with 20 questions answered by them…did you know what their answers would be?! A tab where you can leave a comment with advice/encouragement for David and Lovelle, and a tab to leave your favorite recipe to share! As a new wife I needed all the help I could get…so let’s fill up their virtual recipe box with some yummy goodness!

And no party should commence without some sort of party favor…so Lisa designed two amazing prints that are downloadable/printable! (I told you she was awesome!!) Each print is designed around David and Lovelle’s favorite bible verses. Love love!

It is my heart that we will shower Lovelle and David in a HUGE way. They are starting out their new life together in such a Godly, honorable way and as a community I hope we can cheer them on together.

So join me over there won’t you? Leave some advice, a prayer…maybe a favorite bible verse or recipe. I know that Lovelle and David will be blessed by your support, so thank you in advance for loving on them in this way with me!

In Him, Kristin

Funding a New Classroom for Mercy House Kenya!


Mercy House Kenya is this amazing organization started by Kristen, blogger at We are THAT family.  I have been reading Kristen’s blog posts for several years and know that she has a heart for marriages and families but also for helping the lost.

God placed a big dream on her heart, a dream to open a safe place in Kenya for women to come who were alone and pregnant. In Kenya 21,000 women annually are hospitalized because of an unsafe, illegal abortion.  Kristen envisioned a place where pregnant women could come to be provided for and educated during their pregnancy.

You really must head over to her blog and read about some of the beautiful women and their babies that have been saved as a result of this amazing organization.


Photo Credit: Bess Brownlee

(in)courage has partnered with Mercy House Kenya to raise funds for some big projects. In Phase One money was raised to buy a new (used) van for the women at MH.  Now we are on to Phase Two – New Classroom Spaces!

The goal is big – but our God is bigger!! I believe that when two, or three or four or more are gathered – amazing things can happen.  That is why I am here today. To ask for your help.

$8,500 is needed to fund this project. Myself and many other bloggers will be spreading the word about Mercy House and ways you can support them.

Would you consider a donation of at least $25 today? I don’t want to limit you, so if you feel led and are able to give more, please do. But when I think about what I waste on $25 in just a weeks time…well I think I have a little to spare for something as important as this!

Please checkout more information here and you will also find the button to donate if you are able. And please be in prayer for this organization and the women they are helping.

Thank you so much!

**Disclaimer – I am not being paid in any way to write about or for MH. I love what they do and believe in their mission and was excited to support them in spreading the word!!**