The Macs » Blog

IMG_0256newTwo years ago, DaySpring came out with the Daily Grace Collection. I loved it so much that I decided to use the sugar bowl and creamer set as teacher gifts that year. I bought the $3 succulents from Home Depot, plopped them in and added cute little fabric flags.

IMG_0373newIt was so easy and I thought they turned out so great. I still give these as gifts all the time!

IMG_0338newI posted a few other teacher gift ideas that year too. You can find those here. Fill the creamer with coffee beans and stick a coffee shop gift card inside. Such a perfect little gift if your child’s teacher is a coffee lover. You can give these individually if you need lots of teacher gifts or give them as a set! I love that your teacher will have something to keep once the succulent and coffee are gone. And the sweet message of “blessed & grateful” seems like the perfect way to say thank you to the teachers who pour so much of themselves into our kiddos.

daily grace 3DaySpring is marking down the Daily Grace Sugar Bowl and Creamer Set just for my readers. So great! Use the code JESS15 to get the sugar bowl and creamer set for just $15. Stock up on gifts and get a set for yourself too!

AND…

DaySpring is also generously giving away THREE sugar bowl and creamer sets. Yay!! You guys are going to love these. Here is how you can enter to win:

Giveaway Details:

3 Daily Grace – Sugar Bowl and Creamer Sets

THREE winners chosen at random

One entry per person

Valid for US residents only

Giveaway ends Friday, May 13th at 8pm (CST)

To enter visit DaySpring

then come back to this post and leave a comment telling me what you would love to give as a gift…for a teacher or anyone else!

***Giveaway closed. Winners will be contacted by email.***

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  • Kristina Watt - I like the “He fills my life with good things” cosmetic pouch…maybe for a teacher.ReplyCancel

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  • MurdocksMama - I would get the adorable canvas pouches!ReplyCancel

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  • Cindi - I would love to give the sugar/candy bowl with some candy & a gift card stuck inside. I also love all the tote bags.ReplyCancel

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  • Danielle - i LOVE several of the necklaces especially the Be Thou My Vision one. i have also loved the sugar and creamer set for a long time and putting the flowers in them is so cute.ReplyCancel

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  • Cassie M - I love the sugar bowl and creamer set-what a wonderful gift idea! I also really like the ‘Be Grateful’ wrapped canvas print. Dayspring is such a great place to shop for gifts, I’ve gotten several great things for people over the years and they always go over so well:) Thanks for the fun giveaway Jess!ReplyCancel

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  • Jennifer Roehl - I have looked at this set about 10 times contemplating buying it so I would choose it to give as a gift. I just love what you did with the succulents and little flags!ReplyCancel

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  • Megan - These are so cute! I would give the grace for today bowls to our teachers at our little school, who work so hard to teach our kids to be good people, sacrificing so much of themselves each and everyday.ReplyCancel

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  • Rachel E. - I would love to give the sugar bowl as a gift!ReplyCancel

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  • Angela N. - As a former teacher, I would have loved this! What a great idea!ReplyCancel

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  • Jill Stansell - Wow. DaySpring has some inspiring products! I love the “Your Story Matters” necklace. That would be an awesome gift for a friend that has been a Godly counselor to me!ReplyCancel

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  • Megan Jasperson - I love, love, love the journal with the perfect saying: Let your Smile Change the World!
    Perfect gift for a friend changing jobs.ReplyCancel

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  • Ranee Brokaw - I love the HOPE pennant, but so many many cute things! 🙂ReplyCancel

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  • Michol - I would love to give my daughters teacher the sugar / creamer set as a gift. Her class is small, only 4 students. She didn’t get near as many treats as the other teachers in the preschool last week for teacher appreciation week. I would love to be able to give her a little extra something.ReplyCancel

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  • Amy - I think the Father I Pray – Sticky Prayers would be a nice gift as well as any of the Illustrated Faith items.ReplyCancel

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  • Rachel Newswanger - I think the wooden cutting boards are wonderful. Would be great gifts for my mom & sisters.ReplyCancel

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  • Anne - I love the be strong and courageous chevron necklace!!ReplyCancel

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  • Jennifer Christians - I think that I would enjoy ANYTHING from DaySpring. A daily dose of God’s love and grace get me through my day with my 28 3rd graders. I love that I get to show them my love each day. I am always grateful for their hugs and handwritten notes.ReplyCancel

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  • Beth - I love giving Willow Tree figures as gifts – they are simple, but beautiful and meaningful. And I love the idea of using the creamer and sugar bowls as planters to give as gifts!ReplyCancel

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  • Marisa - I love the sugar bowl and creamer set. I want to stock up on these as gifts and maybe one for myself! 😉 As a teacher I love your gift ideas!!ReplyCancel

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  • Emily - I love the coffee mug that reads: “strong courageous beautiful” it would be perfect for my son’s preschool teacher. She has been through so much and her positive attitude and general outlook on life is so encouraging!ReplyCancel

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  • Danielle Albini - I’d love the set you’re giving away!!! Perfect intentional gifts for sweet friends and neighbors!ReplyCancel

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  • CHRISTINE ROJAS - I would def. get the creamer and sugar bowl. Love the idea!!ReplyCancel

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  • Tracy - I have given the Daily Grace cake stand as a gift, as well as purchased one for myself! Love it!ReplyCancel

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  • K - I would love to give the cream & sugar set or the my hope pendant as a gift!ReplyCancel

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  • Kello - Love the idea of the succulent in the cream and sugar bowls..ReplyCancel

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  • Ellen - I would actually buy the amazing grace coloring book. I think that would a fun way to reflect and have some down time.ReplyCancel

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  • Pam - That is a precious teacher gift! I’m so gonna steal that idea! And thanks to you and Dayspring for a chance to win!ReplyCancel

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  • Debbie welch - I love the Lisa Leonard courage necklace!ReplyCancel

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  • Vicki bluhm - If be a copy cat and choose the creamer and sugar bowl. Such a cute idea.ReplyCancel

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  • katherine - Love this set or the 3 piece place setting!ReplyCancel

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  • Laura Carter - I would love to give the
    DAILY GRACE – LIVE A GRATEFUL LIFE – TEACUP & SAUCER filled with teaReplyCancel

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  • Diane Taylor - I just love this collection – last year for the holidays I bought this set as a gift and it was so pretty, I would love one for myself!ReplyCancel

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  • Donita - I love, love, love the All By Grace dishes!ReplyCancel

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  • Tina - I’d love to give the blessed and grateful vase, so cute!ReplyCancel

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  • Katie D - I also like the Daily Grace collection.ReplyCancel

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  • andrea - I would love to give away any of your daily grace sugar bowl collection!!ReplyCancel

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  • LaVonne - I have always loved giving the “God’s Heart for You” necklace. But lately I have been loving the new pouches (cosmetic, pencil, etc.) and plan to give some of those away soon. Thank you.ReplyCancel

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  • Beth - I love all the magnets!ReplyCancel

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  • Amy G - I love so much of it! I think I will get the Names of God mug for one of my dearest friends. She and I were recently talking about the many names of God and possibly studying them so it would be perfect 🙂 And I love the creamer idea for my daughter’s teacher! I think I’ll do that too!ReplyCancel

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  • Krista Kanode - I would love to give the “Amazimg Grace” coloring book and/or the My Hope necklace. They are both calming in a way and from teaching experience, that’s a huge bonus. 🙂ReplyCancel

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  • Joni - I love the heart sculptures for gifts.ReplyCancel

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  • Amanda - I adore this set! I’ve had my eye on them (well, EVERYTHING) for awhile!

    I would love to give the “Be Still” wall art to my best friend who lives over 1,000 miles away!ReplyCancel

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  • Mary Ann - I would probably buy one of the lovely Artisan jewelry pieces for a friend’s birthday.ReplyCancel

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  • Erin Young - i follow dayspring on instagram and love everything! love their mugs, wow God pouch and the coloring books 🙂ReplyCancel

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  • Cat Kotaka - I love what you did. I would do the same! I also love the cosmetic pouch!ReplyCancel

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  • Karen H - I think the Love Bears All Things – Musical Jewelry Box is cute. Their jewelry and the canvas pouches are cute as well.ReplyCancel

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  • Bridge - I have been eyeing the REDEEMED letters for what feels like a lifetime, and then the wood press letters came out… my heart is conflicted 🙂ReplyCancel

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  • Amy Anderson - I would give the “Be still and know that I am God” bird mug as a gift.ReplyCancel

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  • Lori G. - I’ve loved this sugar bowl and creamer set for a long gone time and just never seem to get around to ordering them! They would be awesome as a teacher gift!ReplyCancel

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  • leah - What an adorable idea!ReplyCancel

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  • AJ - I think the” Created To Be Beautiful” journal is pretty.ReplyCancel

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  • Carisa - I would give the Serenity Prayer – Plank Wall Art. I like that it’s rustic and colorful.ReplyCancel

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  • Lois - I’m fond of the Be Strong and Courageous-Wooden Cross – I have it in mind for a graduate.ReplyCancel

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Well, somehow two whole months have almost slipped by. Those three adorable boys of mine are keeping me on my toes and although they sure can wear me out, there is nothing I love more than chasing them around. There are so many things I could update you on but thinking about where to start is too much for my brain to handle right now. Ha! So, lets just start with this past weekend. Sunday was our annual trip out to the Flint Hills with Joel’s family. Per usual, it did not disappoint.

IMG_8413newOur first stop every year is at this sycamore tree for the cousin photo. Joel and his siblings took family photos here too! I always say this, but I need to get my hands on one of those photos to show you.

IMG_8430newEvery year we all look forward to Bammy’s (my mother-in-law’s) fried chicken. I mean, who makes fried chicken for a picnic lunch? I scored big when I married into this family!

IMG_8445newThe only bad part about having so much good food is you barely have time to inhale it before the kids are begging to head out into the water.

IMG_8461newThe rest of the day is spent playing in the creek with occasional snack breaks of course.

IMG_8452newThis is my oldest nephew, Henry. He is such a great kid and cracks me up all the time. By next year he will probably be taller than his sweet mama. I don’t know how that happened so fast.

IMG_8449newAnd these are the littlest three cousins. I’m sure I will blink and they will be outgrowing their mamas too.

IMG_8458newBut for now, they dig away and require constant supervision. You’d better believe I am going to soak it up as long as I can!

IMG_8503newJake was a big fan of the creek.

flinthills3

IMG_8489newThrowing rocks was his favorite.

IMG_8509newEverywhere I turned, the kids were on some kind of adventure…

IMG_8514newcatching crawdads…

IMG_8521newsneaking off to drink way to many cans of pop…

IMG_8528newand swimming.

IMG_8533new flinthillsThis kid. He is getting so funny. He has the best facial expressions and does not hide how he feels. I forgot how much I like this almost 2-year old stage.

IMG_8537new flinthills2Last years excitement was a snake in the water, this year Uncle Ben caught a big fish with the kids’ net. They were all very impressed with his skills.

IMG_8545new

Chatting with Bammy.

IMG_8481newHere are all the Mac cousins lined up…we were just missing sweet baby Lenore who is in China. This whole growing up with your cousins as your best friends thing is so foreign to me, but it is so wonderful. What a precious gift these kids have in each other. It was such a good day together.

IMG_8557newBye-Bye (said in his loudest voice)! See you next year, Flint Hills.

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  • Marsha Kern - My cousins were my best friends growing up-my Mom came from a family of 9 and we all lived pretty close so it was wonderful, so happy for your kids!ReplyCancel

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  • Melinda - I can’t believe how big Jake is! I remember seeing posts of one of your older boys wearing the cycle shirt when they were his age. It’s amazing how fast time goes!ReplyCancel

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  • Ashley - Oh this makes me so jealous! I love this! So “free range!” lol. I love that the boys all are just able to go off without parents hovering, letting them play, and get wet and get dirty! How lucky they all are to grow up together. I never had that, but am blessed that my boys get to grow up with my sister’s boys. Between us we have 6 boys, ages 9, 7, 6.5, 6, 3, and 3 🙂 It’s crazy, but wonderful!ReplyCancel

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  • Michelle L - I had to Google ‘crawdad’. It’s something I call a crayfish. I love the translations between American and Australian English. Beautiful pictures Jess. Thank you for sharing.ReplyCancel

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  • Meggie - Love reading updates about your family! Such a fun tradition!!ReplyCancel

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  • Toni :0) - What a beautiful family!! Such special memories you are making. How wonderful.ReplyCancel

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  • Mary Ann - I look forward to your Flint Hills adventure every year. Those yearly memories mean so much to kids…and parents. It’s a beautiful thing. Your boys are so precious.ReplyCancel

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  • Gin - Family is the best. Wonderful pictures. I admire “Bammy” for her big family. I know she enjoys every moment.ReplyCancel

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  • Pam - I grew up as one of 13 1st cousins. 12 of us lived within a 1/2 mile of each other on and around my grandparents farm. It was the most glorious childhood! I have grieved that my children (19 & 13) have no clue what it was like. Town kids 🙁 It makes my heart happy to stop in and visit your blog and know that there are still families like yours (and mine) around. Thank you for sharing!ReplyCancel

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    Jess Reply:

    Oh, how great! Thanks for sharing that with me, Pam. I am so thankful that my kids get to grow up around family. It is such a gift!

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    • Jess - Oh, how great! Thanks for sharing that with me, Pam. I am so thankful that my kids get to grow up around family. It is such a gift!ReplyCancel

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Three weeks ago today I found myself once again painting rocks with the boys and preparing to take a little trip to the cemetery as a family to visit Cora’s stone. Our trips there are less frequent these days and as you probably can guess by the promptness of my blog post, life is full and busy and that is a good thing. That same day three weeks ago, the wind blew like crazy. If you are not familiar with Kansas weather, let me clue you in. It is windy here. But there are some days in Kansas that the wind is particularly horrible. My husband always says this kind of wind makes him angry. It just makes me want to relocate the farm…like to Hawaii. But seriously, on these days you stay inside if at all possible. If you must go outside you can hardly keep the door from flinging off its hinges or slamming shut on one of your sweet children. You feel like you might actually blow away, you can forget about having a good hair day, there is dust flying everywhere, and even in the safety of your home you can’t escape the howling sound coming from outside. I may be exaggerating slightly but out here in the country the wind can be intense.

February 8th was one of those days this year.

IMG_1856As I went about my day, feeling the gravity of what the date marked in my life and the little girl that I continue to miss more than I can even try to explain here, I couldn’t block out that howling sound seeping through my windows. Seven years ago I was living my happy, “blessed” life. Things were going just like I had planned for the most part. Life was really good and really safe. I felt like I had Christianity and life, for that matter, all figured out. And then out of nowhere I got shoved out my front door, the door slamming shut behind me before I even had a chance to catch my breath. Gone was my safe, comfortable life. Without any warning my life was turned upside down and I found myself in the middle of a wind storm. It knocked me flat on my face and I felt like even if I tried to get up, the grief, like the wind, was just going to knock me over again. Everything felt scary and unfamiliar. I was confused about what God was doing in my life. I wondered how He could allow my daughter to have cancer…how He could allow her to die. I wondered why He didn’t show up for me when I had seen Him show up for so many others. The questions and confusion were almost as intense as the storm itself.

image5I didn’t know any other way to anchor myself except to Jesus. My feelings were telling me that I would never experience joy again but I knew if there was any chance…any chance to get through the storm…it would be with Jesus. HE was my hope. I was still hurting and confused and I didn’t understand what He was doing, but I knew He held the answers. So right in the middle of that storm I brought my unable to stand, hair in my face, dust in my eyes, tears streaming down my cheeks, beat-up self to Him. I was a mess, you guys. But do you know what I found? I found that Jesus didn’t forget to show up for me, He had been there the whole time. He met me in the middle of that windy mess. He met me in my sorrow. He wasn’t caught off guard by my confusion or my questions. He was compassionate and comforting. He just kept drawing me in closer. I found as I continued to choose Jesus, soaking in His Word each day, He didn’t give me all the answers but He showed me more of Himself. And He was more than enough.

image4Slowly, He gave me the strength to stand again. With His hand in mine, we began walking back towards that house. The months went by and the winds seemed less severe. I never thought I would get out of that storm, but one day I realized that I was once again in the calm of my house. The battle scars were still there, the grief still resurfaced from time to time, and there was a hole from a precious little girl that would never fully go away. Things would never be the same. But do you know what the amazing thing is? Most days I’m okay with that. I know that the peace and confidence in His good and perfect plan is only because of Jesus. The pain is still so very real and there will always be a longing to have Cora in my arms, but I don’t want to go back to those days because through the intensity of that storm, He changed me.

IMG_1857So three weeks ago, as the wind howled, I was reminded of a storm. But more importantly, I was reminded of my faithful God who never left my side through it all. He is the only reason I am standing today. Those little painted rocks started out as something we could make together as we remembered Cora, but now they represent so much more. As the rock pile grows so does my confidence in His character. He is who He says He is. I’ve read about it in His Word and seen it proven over and over again in my own life.

image3The winds are going to blow. Even here in my small town the storms are raging in the lives of people all around me. Where will you find the stability and strength to navigate through the storms? Our lives can change in an instant, can’t they? But God never does. He is consistent with His character, trustworthy in His promises, and so very faithful. It is easy to get consumed by the chaos and confusion that the wind brings all around us. Let us fix our eyes on WHO He is and anchor ourselves in the firm hope we have in Jesus. Even the wind obeys Him.

Even the wind and the sea obey Him.

Mark 4:41

I waited patiently for the Lord;
    he turned to me and heard my cry.
He lifted me out of the slimy pit,
    out of the mud and mire;
he set my feet on a rock
    and gave me a firm place to stand.
He put a new song in my mouth,
    a hymn of praise to our God.
Many will see and fear the Lord
    and put their trust in him.

Psalm 40:1-3

We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure.

Hebrews 6:19

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  • Lauren - Your faith is a beautiful testament and your words are powerful to my soul today.ReplyCancel

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  • Mary Ann - In our church, there is a song we sing that says: The winds and the waves obey His will; Peace Peace be Still. It is a beautiful reminder of all the Savior did for us and that we can always find hope and faith in His almighty hand. Maybe one day for you, the wind will be a gentle breeze and it will tickle the back of your neck and mess your hair a bit….but in that gentle breeze, perhaps the wind will be the whisper of your precious daughter. She loves you!! She is aware of you!! She will never be forgotten. I will pray for you that you will continue to find hope and trust in the Lord. We don’t know the reasons things happen the way they do but I continue to trust that it is part of the plan He has for us and that someday, we will all have our perfect day when we are together with all our loved ones again. Thank you for sharing the cute pics of your boys and their wonderful rocks.ReplyCancel

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  • babykatesmom - What a beautiful reminder to read today, Jess thank you for sharing your heart. Your family is never out of my prayers. Thinking of you all as you celebrate Cora’s birthday soon. I don’t remember seeing that side of Cora’s stone before, so nice to see those pics of your boys visiting. Continued prayers from Florida.ReplyCancel

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  • Brittany Price - Loved this post so much! I love it because I know it to be true! I’m in the thick of grief right now after my world got forever changed with my husband passing away, leaving me a widow with three under three. Jesus is good, faithful and Hope. He is true through the pain & remains trustworthy as our sweet Savior. Thank you for proclaiming Jesus! So thankful a friend sent me this post.ReplyCancel

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  • Kristin - Beautifully written and inspirational. Please write a book.ReplyCancel

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  • Marsha Hinkle - Hugs to you! Jesus is faithful….I have followed your story for 8 years. Your story had made me cling tighter to the truth – found in Jesus.ReplyCancel

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  • Jayne - You have such a wonderful gift of sharing your heart in a very eloquent way. I started reading your blog when your precious Cora was just sick with the ear ache. What followed broke my heart for you and your husband and my tears flowed for a couple I did not know. I continue to read your blog and I so enjoy your heartfelt posts and your family pictures. Your faith is awesome and your love for family is outstanding. May Jesus continue to wrap you in his arms until you can hold your precious Cora in your arms again. Thank you for sharing with your readers.ReplyCancel

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  • Jennifer Tucker - Beautifully written and so true. He is always faithful. Thank you for sharing with us.ReplyCancel

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  • amber - Just beautiful. Your story & sweet Cora still bring tears to my eyes. As someone who found you at the beginning of this journey, I am truly in awe & inspired by the way the Lord has worked in you & used you since those early, dark days. It is so very, truly, bittersweet & radiates Jesus. Thank you for the way you humbly share the way the Lord is working in you with the world. It’s life giving!ReplyCancel

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  • Toni :0) - So very sorry for your loss. Thoughts and prayers for peace and comfort during this tragic time.ReplyCancel

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  • Toni :0) - My comment was for Brittany above. I thought it would plug in under hers.

    Jess, it amazes me how long it’s been. I still pray often for your family. Cora is never far from my thoughts as I always think of her in our intentions at mass. Continued thoughts and prayers as her birthday approaches. Loved the timely scripture as we have suffered a sudden job loss (again) and my daughter who is a dancer injured her ankle and is now in a cast for three weeks. I know we can weather this storm just as we have in the past as long as I keep the faith. God bless you for sharing this.ReplyCancel

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  • Heather - Oh Jessica, this is so well said! We have a faithful faithful King! I’ll be praying for your hearts this week! Love you guys! HeatherReplyCancel

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  • Amie - Oh dear sweet Jess, thank you once again even seven years later putting everything that is precious in perspective for me! You are an amazing friend and mom! Thank you for reminding me even through the storms to have faith in Jesus! I love you dearly! Hugs and prayers always!❤️??ReplyCancel

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  • House Stuff | Small Town Nebraska - […] We also went to look at where my grandparents had their farm. I remember my grandma taking care of her chickens in this chicken house. It must be a sign that I need chickens.They augered their grain into the window at the top of this building. My 92 year old grandpa remembers tining the roof of that building with my cousin and noticed that some of the nails were starting to come out of it. Wish we could’ve jumped out and fixed it for him. Such a good reminder that our things will fall apart and we will fall apart. Let us hope in the God who doesn’t change, the One who even this fierce, spring, midwest wind obeys. […]ReplyCancel

  • Baby Bottle - Beautifully written and inspirational.ReplyCancel

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12508794_1737565313141433_6044667307359686385_nThis precious boy is Nathaniel. Last May, at 15 months old, he lost his battle with leukemia. He left behind his sweet parents, Sean and Christina, and sister, Cecilia. Next week his family will be celebrating his second birthday and he won’t be there to blow out the candles. My heart just breaks for them…a million times over.

12541133_1737564879808143_7064317322070842556_nI’ve had the privilege of “meeting” Nathaniel’s mama on the phone. She lives locally, so we are hoping to meet in real life soon. Nathaniel was so loved and they are missing him like crazy. He was the most adorable little boy and he loved books and bubbles. In honor of Nathaniel’s birthday, his family is collecting books and bubbles to be distributed at local hospitals to bless other kids battling illness. One of the hospitals they will be taking these gifts to is Wesley Medical Center in Wichita. If you have been following me since the beginning, you know that Wesley is where Cora fought her battle with cancer. Wesley is close to my heart! They will also be delivering books to Children’s Mercy in Kansas City.

Would you guys help me bless Nathaniel’s family and the kids at these hospitals? Would you consider sending a book or some bubbles to honor Nathaniel’s life? Nathaniel’s birthday is February 13th. They are planning on taking the books and bubbles to Wesley February 15th. Please have all gifts delivered to the address listed above by February 14th. I know that this doesn’t give us much time, but since Amazon Prime is our bff this is totally doable, right?! Amazon Prime for the win. They will also be delivering books to Children’s Mercy in Kansas City on February 27th. So if you can’t make the first deadline there is still time!

If you have any questions you can use the contact information listed above. You can also leave a comment here or email me and I will get the information to Christina. And if you can’t donate, would you consider praying for Christina and her family as they travel this hard road of grief?

Thanks so much for helping me love on this family! You guys are the best.

To read more about sweet Nathaniel you can visit his Facebook page here.

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  • k&c's mom - Can I send a check to the address in Kechi, Kansas?

    Yes, I’ve been following you since Cora’s journey, and it helped me through some similar journeys in my own life. I’d love to help, but this would be the mort practical way for me to contribute right now…ReplyCancel

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    Jess Reply:

    Thank you so much!!! Yes, I am sure a check would be wonderful. Maybe just make a note that it is for the Bubbles & Books Drive. I know this will mean so much to them!!

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    • Jess - Thank you so much!!! Yes, I am sure a check would be wonderful. Maybe just make a note that it is for the Bubbles & Books Drive. I know this will mean so much to them!!ReplyCancel

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  • Deborah Pruden - Jess,
    I sent a bunch of books in 2 different Amazon orders. They should arrive tomorrow. If there is a next time for books, I can get books through the Scholastic book orders with my teacher account at quite a discount, but it takes a couple of weeks. I’d be honored to help.
    Deborah Pruden aka @caittyquilts on IGReplyCancel

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    Jess Reply:

    Thanks so much Deborah! You are so generous and I know your gift meant so much to Nathaniel’s family.

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    • Jess - Thanks so much Deborah! You are so generous and I know your gift meant so much to Nathaniel’s family.ReplyCancel

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  • Crystal - Hi Jess. I have followed you for years and your story and testimony has left an imprint on my life and has comforted me during the loss of our son. We actually just had our third daughter and we named her Cora. I have always thought it was beautiful and I first heard it from you. My husbands name is Jake so I’m partial to that name as well. 🙂 Through you I heard about Nathaniel and I just sent 4 dozen bubbles to the address listed. Jess, God is using you in big ways. Thank you for allowing Him to, I know I’m not the only one whose life you have touched.ReplyCancel

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    Jess Reply:

    Hi Crystal! Thanks so much for your sweet comment. I am so, so sorry for the loss of your precious son. I would love to hear more about your son and your story. We will have to talk more! I am so thankful that God used this little blog to extend comfort to you…so amazing how God works like that! And I love that you named your daughter Cora. So sweet! Thank you for sending bubbles to Nathaniel’s family. I know this will mean so much to them. Thank you!

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    • Jess - Hi Crystal! Thanks so much for your sweet comment. I am so, so sorry for the loss of your precious son. I would love to hear more about your son and your story. We will have to talk more! I am so thankful that God used this little blog to extend comfort to you…so amazing how God works like that! And I love that you named your daughter Cora. So sweet! Thank you for sending bubbles to Nathaniel’s family. I know this will mean so much to them. Thank you!ReplyCancel

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  • Sarah - Thank you for sharing – I sent copies my son’s favorite book “Brown Bear Brown Bear” for the collection.ReplyCancel

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    Jess Reply:

    Sarah-Thank you so much! I know this will mean a lot to Nathaniel’s family. Brown Bear Brown Bear is one of our favorites too!

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    • Jess - Sarah-Thank you so much! I know this will mean a lot to Nathaniel’s family. Brown Bear Brown Bear is one of our favorites too!ReplyCancel

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compassion-bloggers-ecuador-2016-spotlightHave you been following the Compassion Bloggers in Ecuador? I have admired the women on this trip for a long, long time but their words and photos have totally captivated me this week.

Compassion+Bloggers+Ecuador+2016-DayTwo-51Shannan’s Blog

I met Shannan at Hope Spoken a few years ago. I remember inhaling delicious In-N-Out burgers (I was pregnant and starving!) as I listened to Shannan share her story our first first night in Dallas. Her heart for the Lord and for people oozed out of her every word. If you read her blog, you know what I mean. She truly loves her neighbors well.

2.1.16CSP-02(pp_w744_h496)Ashley’s Blog

When I think of Ashley the word intentional comes to mind. Ashley is so intentional in everything she does…raising her kids, using her voice on her blog, advocating for adoption and foster care and so much more. She has the biggest heart and is just as sweet and intentional in real life as she is on her blog. I love what Ashley wrote today…

Sometimes in an effort to protect kids from pain, opportunities to see them soar are also taken away. I want my children to learn from an early age that the world is far bigger than the 5 mile radius we spend most of our days. I want to be the one to expose them to world – its joys, pains, cultures, people – in age appropriate ways.

Yes!

A+Step+Towards+Hope+{Compassion+Blogger+Trip+Ecuador+2016,+Day+2}Ruth’s Blog

I haven’t had the privilege of meeting Ruth in real life, but I have been following her blog and Instagram for awhile now. I mean, she is a mama to six boys…I feel like I have a LOT to learn from her! More than being a boy mom, Ruth’s dependency on God’s Word as she raises her boys has been such an encouragement and challenge to me as I raise my own boys. She is a wise woman.

I have known about Compassion for a long time. One of my dearest friends recently moved to Colorado so that her husband could take a job with Compassion. Joel and I have even casually talked about sponsoring a child several times, but just never have. I don’t know why we have waited!

We are quickly approaching Cora’s Heaven Day and Birthday. Each year we try to think of a way we can celebrate Cora’s life by investing in others. This week as I’ve read the beautiful yet heartbreaking stories of the people of Ecuador and seen the impact that Compassion has had on the lives of these precious sponsored children, my heart was stirred to sponsor a child this year for Cora’s birthday. Like Ashley said, I long for my boys to know that our world is far bigger than our farm in Kansas. Sponsoring a child through Compassion seems like the perfect way to celebrate my daughter’s life and begin to give my boys eyes that see outside our little white farmhouse. I am praying that God would use this small, small gift in big ways to impact two sweet boys across the globe. But more than that I am asking that He would change our hearts and give us a bigger vision of who He is and what He is doing around the world.

I can’t wait to get our packets and dive into this new adventure!

Go check out what Shannan, Ashley and Ruth are doing in Ecuador and consider sponsoring one of these precious children!

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  • Mary K - Wow! Compassion is such a wonderful organization – awesome people! So glad that you’ve become a sponsor – you’ll have a major impact on the lives of two boys in Ecuador! I sponsor a little girl in the Dominican Republic. I hope that everyone who follows your amazing blog becomes a sponsor!ReplyCancel

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    Jess Reply:

    Mary – So fun to hear about all these people who are involved in the Compassion sponsorship program. We are excited to be a small part of this now!

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    • Jess - Mary – So fun to hear about all these people who are involved in the Compassion sponsorship program. We are excited to be a small part of this now!ReplyCancel

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  • Amanda - I just wanted to share with you that because of THIS post, my husband and I sat down together and sponsored a little girl this morning. I have heard about Compassion before, and have even read similar blogs in the past … but recently, I just felt led. Your words and links definitely helped, so I wanted to thank you. Genesis in Ecuador now has a sponsor because you listened to Jesus and shared this post. God Bless, Jess! Thinking of you and your family as you near Cora’s anniversary.ReplyCancel

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    Jess Reply:

    Amanda- Thanks so much for sharing this with me. I am so excited for you and this new journey with Genesis. We can’t wait to invest more in the two little boys we sponsored as well. Thank you for praying for us!

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    • Jess - Amanda- Thanks so much for sharing this with me. I am so excited for you and this new journey with Genesis. We can’t wait to invest more in the two little boys we sponsored as well. Thank you for praying for us!ReplyCancel

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  • Becky Fouts - Jess, It was the earthly loss of our beautiful, wonderful, smart and funny little 3 1/2 year old niece, many years ago, that prompted my husband and I to begin sponsoring our first Compassion child. It felt good to help a child still living on earth, in honor of our Megan. She loved Jesus, and would have loved that we did this. Years later, we sponsor 8 kids, and are so thankful to God for this opportunity!! You will be blessed, and you will continue to honor Cora, and glorify God!! I love reading about your sweet boys, please keep blogging!!ReplyCancel

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    Jess Reply:

    Hi Becky! Thanks so much for sharing this. What a sweet thing to do in honor of your niece. That is so awesome that you sponsor eight kids now! Wow! What a blessing to each one of them to have you in their life. I am excited to start our journey with Compassion. And I will do my best with the blogging! 🙂

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    • Jess - Hi Becky! Thanks so much for sharing this. What a sweet thing to do in honor of your niece. That is so awesome that you sponsor eight kids now! Wow! What a blessing to each one of them to have you in their life. I am excited to start our journey with Compassion. And I will do my best with the blogging! 🙂ReplyCancel

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