Tuesday, February 28, 2012

A New Direction

So, I have been praying a lot about my business lately. I have been trying to come up with a new model in which the whole thing runs more like a ministry and less like a business. At the same time, of course, I still need to help support my family. I was intrigued by the idea behind TOMS shoes where every time a pair of shoes is purchased, another pair is given to a person in need.  I'm about half way through the book "Start Something that Matters" by Blake Mycoskie, the founder of TOMS. Check out his blog http://www.startsomethingthatmatters.com/

 So, inspired by the idea of business as missions and following what I believe to be God's direction, here is the idea I have come up with...We want to help people who are raising funds for mission trips and couples who are raising funds for adoption. Adoptions can cost tens of thousands of dollars.  If you are interested, we will send you 20 pieces at a time. You sell them for $24 each and send us back half. No money up front and you can return pieces that don't sell. After selling your first 20 you can request a special verse or message on the back of your next batch like "pray for Haiti" or a verse about adoption. (You can check out our jewelry at www.rebekahblocher.com.) I have had 5 or 6 people do it so far with good success. I'm planning on completely redoing my website to accommodate these changes. I'm so excited about this!! So now all we have to do is get the word out...Please share, pin, repost, etc.
Thank you!

I LOVE to read! My husband cleaned out my car once and found 13 books. I usually have 2 or 3 going at once with a backup list after that and an audio book in the CD player. Right now I am reading Start Something that Matters by Blake Mycoskie (founder of TOMS shoes), Message from an Unknown Chinese Mother by Xue Xinran, Among the Betrayed by Margaret Peterson Haddix, Heaven by Randy Alcorn, and listening to And Then They Came For Me by Maziar Bahari. I get most of my books from the library, but every now and then I find one that I know I am going to want to mark up and underline in so I splurge a little. I feel like I learn more from them that way, but then they end up sitting on a shelf forever. So I thought it might be fun to start doing small book reviews on my blog and then give them away. I will be happy to send my used copy to the first person to show interest. Just be the first to make a comment on the blog and send your address to me at hello@rebekahblocher.net. And I would love to hear your feedback after you read it! One book per person please, 18 and up (unless it's YA) and no mailing them internationally. So here is the first one...

I just finished this fantastic book called Growing Grateful Kids by Susie Larson, but I think a better title would have been Becoming a Grateful Person. It was one of those books I decided to read slowly so I could soak it up. It was so convicting in an "Aaah I really needed that" sort of way. Every single chapter had something so good that I decide to make a list of all the quotes that stood out to me and put it up in my bedroom. The quote, though, that summarizes the central idea is...

"What's the best thing you can do for them (your children)? Be serious about your own relationship with Jesus. You love them best when you love Him most" Page 45

The best way to teach gratefulness is to simply BE grateful. But being grateful isn't always simple. You have to constantly guard your heart from things like pride and discontent. The table of contents alone in this book create a meaningful list of what it takes to develop heart that puts the focus on God as the one who meets all our needs and helps us see ourselves rightly as undeserving receivers of all His goodness.

One thing I loved about this book is that at the end of each chapter Larson gives several ideas for personal application and parental application. One of her ideas at the end of the chapter called Embrace Contentment was to create a gratitude journal and write notes in it often. I love this idea and found tons of cute samples on Pinterest.
Peyton's Gratitude Journal

So I got my son busy making one and I am going to make one too. I want to re-train myself to recognize blessings and not take things for granted. It has started several good discussions between us and we looked up some good verses on giving that we have decided to memorize. I want my kids to be able to find happiness in small things and not feel entitled to have every new thing that comes out on the market. I hope they grow up to be adults who are able to live simply and humbly consider the needs of others before themselves. I want them to enjoy giving freely and radically because they know they have already been given so much by God and that He loves them and has promised to meet their needs. To do that they need to see me tell myself no more often to things I may want but don't need and hear me voice out loud the things that I am thankful for. This one page in the book really stood out to me...here's a little excerpt from the Live Humbly chapter (pg. 110)

If our kids see
us shaking our fist at people more than they see us praying for them
They'll learn
that people shouldn't get in the way of what we want. That's pride.
If our kids see
us responding humbly to the rude person in line at the grocery store
They'll learn
that we are alive to reflect the character of Christ. That's humility.
 If our kids see
us dissecting other people's flaws more than they hear us honoring them in their absence
They'll aquire
an exaggerated view of their own importance and the idea that it's okay to gossip. That's pride.
If our kids see
us speaking well of others, giving people the benefit of the doubt, and believing the best about other's motives.
They'll learn
not to be quick to judge or to assign motives; they'll learn to believe and hope for the best in others. That's humility.
If our kids see
us striving and straining in our own strength and neglecting to give Jesus the credit He deserves
They'll learn
that more rest on our shoulders than on His. They'll come to believe that they are stronger than they really are (and that God is weak in some way). That's pride.

There's another page of this in the book and it's really good but I don't want this to go too long. So I will wrap it up with 3 last quotes from Larson..

"You cannot impart what you do not possess." (pg.16)
"God's promises are almost always linked with our obedience." (pg.42)
"When our strength is unequal to the task, we see the strength of God come to bear in our lives" (pg. 28)

If you like this book, you will also love...

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Journals for Footprints Ministry

Learn more about this incredible ministry at www.NICUfootprint.org

Tuesday, February 14, 2012