It’s Time for Me to Be the Good

I received this shirt to review from Cents of Style. This post contains affiliate links.

As my son was turning eleven years old and getting ready to graduate from elementary school this spring, I wrote a little letter to him about being the good this world needs right now. I’ve seen him shine in loving his friends well, taking care of his younger cousins, and being bold about his values and love for Jesus.

This week, he hosted a lemonade stand with his brothers to raise money for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation in honor of his friend who has Type 1 Diabetes.

In two hours, they raised almost $115! It also meant a lot to Big J’s friend and his family. Seeing him think of this “be the good” idea, put it into action, and have great results was rewarding for all of us!

Now, it’s my turn.


I have lots of “be the good” ideas, but they often just stay ideas in the busyness of life. I am a dreamer, but I want to me more of a doer when it comes to blessing others.

This Bible passage came to mind as I was thinking on what “be the good” means to me:

“What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that? So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.” -James 2:14-17

We have to make time for the things that are important to us in life. Living out my faith is important to me. Making my family and friends smile, helping in my community, and loving our neighbors well are important to me, so it’s time to make time for more of that!

You know I like to wear my reminders to myself, so this “Be The Good” tee from Cents of Style is perfect for my passion right now. Our world needs more helping hands, more smiles, more encouraging words – maybe this shirt will inspire someone else to also “be the good!”

All “Be the Good” items from Cents of Style are 40% off with the code BEGOOD17 this weekend! The bags are under $9, the hat + bracelets under $15, and necklace + tees under $17! Shipping is free, too! For your reference, the t-shirts run very true to size and I wear a small in both!

How do you like to “be the good” in your home, neighborhood, and community? Let’s inspire one another today!

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“Love in a Box” + Embrace Grace

I received this product from Embrace Grace in exchange for a review. This post is part of the FrontGate Blogger Network.

In a time where there is lots of division, arguing, name-calling, and finger-pointing, I am always looking for things that are lovely and wonderful to share with you! Today, I want to introduce you to Embrace Grace.

Embrace Grace is a non-profit organization working to provide support in practical, emotional, and spiritual ways for young women who are experiencing unintended pregnancies. They partner with churches to train and equip them to be a safe, non-judgmental place these young moms and their families. It is a beautiful thing to see this kind of loving support system being spread throughout churches and Embrace Grace is on the front lines!

I just love their “why” statement:

Most churches advocate life and discourage women from getting abortions, but once a brave and courageous girl chooses life, a lot of times the church then steps away and has nothing to offer her for support at that point. She is then left with nine months of being scared, worried and feeling alone. She journeys into a season of being a single mom without direction and guidance from a spiritual family. This is where the Body of Christ can minister to women who are desperately searching for a Savior. This is where we can speak into their lives and hearts that will have an impact for generations to come!

This beautiful necklace and journal really represent Embrace Grace well – they are pro-love for these young moms and want them to know they can make brave, strong choices because they are not alone!

Embrace Grace provides curriculum, resources, and training for churches, but they also have another cool initiative involving pregnancy centers.

“Love in a Box” is a box of hope-filled resources distributed to pregnancy centers to be passed along to a young, single woman with a positive pregnancy test. Each box includes a Fearless Journal and pen, a Bump in Life book, a baby onesie, testimonial letters from both girls that chose adoption and girls that chose to parent, an invitation to join an Embrace Grace group, and a Brave Girl letter that can be written by YOU!

I love what Embrace Grace is doing and I love how you and I can get involved with this wonderful ministry! Here are a few ideas:

  1. Start an Embrace Grace at your local church so young women with unplanned pregnancies have a support group.
  2. Partner with the Embrace Grace national organization through prayer and support!
  3. Download and print the brave girl letter and mail to the following address to be placed inside a Love in a Box: Embrace Grace, Inc., Attn: Love in a Box, 700 W. Bedford Euless Rd., Ste. G, Hurst, TX 76053

I am so thrilled to know of this kind of love and hope being spread around in the name of Christ. It is a chance for us to not just say we are pro-life, but to be the hands and feet of Jesus in supporting those lives!

One more thing: you can enter to win your very own journal and necklace from Embrace Grace! Just go to the giveaway page for your chance to win! Good luck!

Have you heard of Embrace Grace? Which resource in the box do you think is the most valuable for a young woman receiving it?

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Just Be Kind

This post contains affiliate links.

We pray every day on the way to school. The boys share prayer requests and I pray. As he has gotten older, the youngest developed quite the long list of prayer requests he likes to share. This year, he added this prayer to his daily requests:

“That the boys and I would be good friends to others.”

I’m feeling the weight of the world this week with all the negativity and meanness floating around amongst adults, but when he shares that hope and prayer in his sweet four-year-old voice, I can’t help but feel lighter.

To be clear, I don’t think we have to be friends with everyone, but in his heart and mine is this plea to all of humanity:

JUST BE KIND.

That’s all I want. Disagree, stand up for your beliefs, defend your rights, but I beg you to do it in a civil manner and treat one another with kindness.

Just be kind. We can do this, friends.

Want to spread the message of kindness with me? The “Be Series” from Cents of Style is just the way to do it and it is all on sale today!

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I shared my “Be Brave” tee and story before, but I think it’s time to add this “Be Kind” sweatshirt to my closet! Yep – there are sweatshirts now and they are fabulous!

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The whole “Be Series” is 50% off this weekend with the code BESERIES1 at checkout! This includes tees, sweatshirts, bracelets, and brand new designs! I’m grabbing a sweatshirt for less than $20 and shipping is always free!

Be kind. Be the good. Take some time to be still this weekend. And spread the word of the message you love most by grabbing it on sale and wearing it for all to see! Remember – this weekend only, use the code BESERIES1 for 50% off and free shipping!

Which “BE” message is your favorite and why?

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The 31 Day Pattern of Giving Challenge!

I didn’t know I could love socks so much until I learned about Mitscoots socks. Yep, these socks make me happy for two reasons: the BEST patterns AND the awesome mission of the company.

I first shared about Mitscoots two years ago and my collection has grown quite a bit since then!

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These are the latest Mitscoots socks to enter our home – three pairs on the left for The Hubby and the rocking patriotic ones on the right for me! These were the first pairs for him and I think I have him hooked – exactly as I planned!

Socks aren’t the only reason to love Mitscoots. They are all about spreading goodness around the world, so I’m excited to tell you about the 31 Day Pattern of Giving Challenge!

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The challenge officially kicked off yesterday, but we’re not too late to join in! Just take a look at the daily kindness challenges listed below. Take photos and share your kindness on social media. When posting your pictures, please tag #PatternOfGiving and three friends, so Mitscoots can also share your kindness!

Each day, Mitscoots will select one winner to receive a $20 Mitscoots gift card and at the end of the month, one lucky follower, that has participated in the majority of the event will receive SOCKS FOR A YEAR and be influential in helping us give SOCKS FOR A YEAR to someone in need as well. I LOVE ALL OF THIS!

Here are the daily challenges:

POG 31-Day Calendar_FINAL_2

Let’s make this month one of giving and kindness and spread it all over our communities, social media, and the world! Who is up for the challenge?!

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5 Must-Have Dresses for Dressember!

I have included affiliate and referral links below. When you purchase through these links, I may receive a small commission. Thank you for supporting this site and our sponsorship of our Compassion child, Samson!

I’m going to be wearing a dress every day in the month of December. Dressember, actually.

Dressember is a fashion movement that has women all over the world wearing dresses for all 31 days of December to raise awareness and money to end human trafficking and sex slavery. We need to be talking about the reality of these things happening in our world. Dressember is making that happen.

I formed a team – TRUE Dressember – just for us to band together to raise money as a part of Dressember. The money will go to several anti-trafficking organizations. Our goal is $1,000 by the end of December – I know we can do this as a community! Just sign up to join the team and start spreading the word! You can also just donate if you don’t want to sign up for the team – $1, $5, $100 – every donation counts!

You can also join us by wearing a dress every day in December! It’s going to be lots of fun, but it will also take some creativity! That’s why I’m planning ahead and giving you some ideas for having your dress game ready for Dressember! With these dresses, you could make it all the way through, no problem!

Here are my 5 must-have dresses for Dressember:

5 MUST-HAVE DRESSES FOR (4)

The Dressember Dress

Dressember Dress

Yes! There is an actual dress made just for Dressember this year in partnership with Elegantees! The Dressember Dress is ethically made in partnership with the Elegantees sewing center in Nepal, designed with locally available fabric, and sewn by women dignified by fair wages. They are available exclusively as a pre-order for Dressember in black and wine, so grab yours before they disappear! Use the code HOMEWITHTHEBOYS to get 10% off your Dressember Dress order or anything your order from Elegantees!

And I just need to add one more bonus dress idea from Elegantees!

Samarthya Dress

The Samarthya dress has the most flattering silhouette and could be worn so many ways for Dressember! It comes in charcoal heather gray and indigo blue. Yes, the HOMEWITHTHEBOYS code will get you 10% off this dress, too!

The Short-Sleeve Shirt Dress

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I’m a sucker for chambray, so a denim dress was a must for my Dressember wardrobe! The Everlane short-sleeve shirt dress is perfect because it is versatile AND ethically made! For those cold days of December, I’ll be pairing it with leggings and a leather jacket or a big scarf and dark skinny jeans!

The Go-To Dress

Go To Dress

I didn’t know how much I would love the Go-To Dress until I tried it on and then I fell in love. This is a great date night dress when paired with boots, but can also be worn as a day look with leggings and a fun hoodie. This fun + funky dress from Noelle Mae Boutique will be a fast favorite! Get 10% off when you order here!

The Convertible Dress

Henkaa Iris Midi Dress

Wearing a dress for 31 days straight requires some creativity. The convertible dress gives you lots of options! Henkaa offers several styles of convertible dresses – maxi, midi, mini, with sleeves, without sleeves, and so many gorgeous colors! I have the Iris Midi Dress in Charcoal Grey and it is super fun to style! The sleeves make it a great winter choice.

The Sweater Dress

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Dressember obviously happens in December which gets quite chilly here in Nebraska! A classic sweater dress is a necessity. Gray is my go-to, but a black sweater dress would be equally versatile! With the right accessories, a sweater dress can be worn for any occasion! I love several from Target right now, including this cable knit one (in several beautiful colors) and this more feminine v-neck sweater dress.

Who is in for Dressember with me? Which dress is your favorite? What dresses would you add as must-haves?

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Be a Part of a Miracle with #MiracleMom Products!

This post is part of the #MiracleMom campaign with Children’s Miracle Network and Chico’s FAS, Inc. I was given these gifts as part of the campaign. I was not compensated in any other way for this post.

I have been connected to Children’s Miracle Network since my high school days. As part of our high school Key Club, every year we would stay up late working the phones for the Children’s Miracle Network telethon! It was so much fun and we heard lots of amazing stories of children saved through the medical care they received at CMN hospitals.

Now, as a mom, the work of Children’s Miracle Network hospitals is even more meaningful to me. Last year, I had the honor of touring our local children’s hospital and it moved me to the core. These hospitals that specialize in the care of children are so important, so life-changing, so necessary.

I am proud to be partnering with Children’s Miracle Network and the Chico’s FAS, Inc family of brands as a #MiracleMom to share a way YOU can be a part of the miracle through a few special purchases this week!


Support your local Children's Miracle

Every year, 10 million children enter a Children’s Miracle Network Hospital for treatment. That’s 10 million miracles. Some miracles are small, some are large, but they are all made possible by donations.

Each of these special products from the Chico’s FAS, Inc family of brands provides money to your local Children’s Miracle Network Hospital. These funds help provide so much for local kids receiving treatment for every illness and injury imaginable. Things like blankets in the NICU, child life services often not covered by insurance and funding towards research or specialized equipment.

Let me tell you about some of the beautiful products being offered as part of this fundraising effort! 

CMN charm bracelet

Chico’s will donate $10.00 from every $20.00 purchase of their “Miracle Charm” bracelet. I’m not usually a charm bracelet fan because they are often too big for my wrist, but this one is adjustable and has so much meaning! That balloon is my favorite – the symbol of Children’s Miracle Network!

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White House Black Market will donate $15.00 from every $30.00 purchase of their “Convertible Miracles” necklace. What a beautiful, delicate necklace that means so much. You can wear all three parts together – which looks fabulous – but you can also wear each piece separately or mix and match! It can go with any neckline! I included the picture above so you can see where each part of the necklace hits on a regular crew neck top!

Two other opportunities to purchase with a purpose  for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals include:

I love these opportunities to shop and support the causes we love. Children’s Miracle Network hospitals are definitely one of those causes for me. Get out and shop these #MiracleMom products – or shop online in your PJs! – this week to make a difference!

Which #MiracleMom product is your favorite?

 

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The Root Collective: Spring Line + Important Work

I have included affiliate links below. When you purchase through these links, I may receive a small commission. Thank you for supporting this site and our sponsorship of our Compassion child, Samson!

I’ve been a huge supporter of The Root Collective since I happened upon them over a year and a half ago. One look at their shoes and you’ll see why I love them so much, but the love goes much deeper than that!

The Root Collective partners with small-scale artisan businesses in marginalized communities to promote change through dignified jobs. The artisans own their own businesses and set their own pricing, but partnering with TRC enables them to sell to a larger market. Take a look at this video which share more of the TRC vision:


The Root Collective — Walk the Vision from Em Grey on Vimeo.
My favorite part of the whole TRC story is Otto. Otto lives in the La Limonada ghetto of Guatemala City, Guatemala, an area plagued by gangs and violence. Instead of falling in with the gangs like many men in his area, Otto started learning to make shoes at age 10.

View More: http://em-grey.pass.us/the-root-collective-guatemala-trip-february-2015-web-optimized-1

image by:www.shimmersofgrey.com

These skills allowed him to rise above his circumstances and go into business for himself. He now employs former gang members, teaching them business and shoemaking skills so they can leave their old ways behind.

View More: http://em-grey.pass.us/the-root-collective-guatemala-trip-february-2015-web-optimized-1image by:www.shimmersofgrey.com

The Root Collective founder, Bethany Tran, just returned from a trip to visit the artisans and I have a huge smile hearing about the way their lives have changed because of this amazing partnership. I just love this quote from Bethany…

This is important work. Not because we are saviors to these communities, but because we have committed to partner with them and uplift the people of La Limonada (and the rural areas). Without jobs, there is no way to provide for themselves or their families. Because many of these men are former gang members, they cannot find employment elsewhere because of their gang tattoos. This is important work.

This is why I buy The Root Collective shoes. This is why I share the shoes and the stories with you.

Wear cute shoes, change the world – it’s a real thing.

And the cute shoes just got even better with the new spring line that debuted TODAY!

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You’ve seen my green flats enough and I will never stop wearing them because GREEN IS MY FAVORITE. But look at these beauties. The coral striped ballet flat is just the right mix of spring color + neutrals.

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I’m thrilled to have these coral striped ballet flats in my spring shoe rotation to wear with maxi skirts and dresses and leggings…basically everything! Today was still a little chilly, so I paired my new flats with a sweater dress and skinny jeans, along with a few other fair trade accessories.

And I can’t wait for you to add a beautiful pair of TRC shoes to your spring wardrobe! From now through Sunday, March 8th, use the code SPRING to get 20% off your own pair of flats or peep toes! Did you see the lime peep toe?! I’m dying…

Did you ever think buying adorable shoes could be important work?! Well, it is. Thanks for being a part of this beautiful partnership. And when you buy yours, please share them on social media with the hashtag #ottomademyshoes!

Which pair of The Root Collective shoes are you buying first?

 

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These Boots Were Made to Fight Human Trafficking

I was loaned these boots by Colette Sol to style for this post. I was not compensated in any way for this post and all opinions are 100% my own. I have included affiliate links below. When you purchase through these links, I may receive a small commission. Thank you for supporting this site and our sponsorship of our Compassion child, Samson!

You know when you find something you think is probably too good to be true? That’s what I thought when I heard there were boots – handmade leather boots – being sold to fight human trafficking.

I’ve been on the hunt for the perfect ankle boot and I’ve found a few I like, but none I was in love with…until now.

Black Dressy Up Close Blog

Colette Sol is women’s shoe brand that came from the heart of one woman who wanted to better the lives of young women impacted by human trafficking. Colette Sol shoes have become very popular in Europe over the past few years, well-known for their elegant look, durable construction, and comfort.

Brown Casual Close Blog

What sets Colette Sol apart, however, is that they currently donate 100% of their net proceeds to anti-trafficking partners. They also use the sales of their shoes to raise awareness about human trafficking. Their mission is stated strongly on their website:

Colette Sol operates as a for-profit business with a strong social mission – namely, to fight human trafficking using proceeds and awareness generated by the sale of our shoes. This mission has, and will always be, more important to Colette than returning profits to shareholders. As a small but growing company, we strive to be both: (1) generous with our partner organizations, and (2) prudent in investing to build a sustainable business.

I think this is amazing. And to make it all better, Colette Sol has now expanded to the United States! That means we now have the chance to purchase some gorgeous boots AND fight human trafficking at the same time!

Colette Sol sent me their James Biker Boot in both brown and black to try out. Remember how I was looking for that great ankle boot? These are the real deal – very comfortable, versatile, and classy. Here’s just a few ways I’ve been wearing them…

Black Casual Full Blog

Black Casual Sitting Blog

Casual look with the black James Biker Boot: buffalo check flannel shirt {Target}, black puffy vest {Old Navy}, cuffed skinny jeans {old from Target}

Dressy Black Full Blog

Dressy look with the black James Biker Boot: black sweater dress {Target}, maroon fleece-lined textured leggings {Target}, gold feather necklace {The Root Collective}

Brown Casual Full Blog

Casual look with the brown James Biker Boot: Agatha beanie {Krochet Kids International}, ABLE scarf {fashionABLE}, Sophie hoodie {Evy’s Tree}, dark jeggings {WalMart}

Brown Dressy Full Blog

Brown Dressy Lower Blog

Dressy look with the brown James Biker Boot: Kissing Elephants tunic {Symbology Clothing}, black jeggings {WalMart}, Selam cuff {Johari Creations}

I’m head over heels for these boots and Colette Sol as a company. Real leather boots do not come at a small price, but buying these boots is not just about buying boots. It’s also about joining the fight and spreading the word about the horrors of human trafficking. Your purchase DOES make a difference.

I’m not offering a discount on these boots today because Colette Sol USA is just getting started and wants to continue making the biggest impact possible, but if you use the code HWTB now through December 31st, you will get free shipping on your order!

Tell your friends, put these boots on your Christmas list, use your Christmas money to treat yourself – these boots were made to fight human trafficking!

There are four Colette Sol USA styles right now! Which is your favorite?

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Janji Projects: Runners Crowdfunding Clean Water!

I just love when two of my passions collide!

Today, we’re talking about running and clothing companies who use your purchases to make a difference. Let me introduce you to Janji

Janji logo

The co-founders of Janji are runners with a desire to help bring safe drinking water to people all over the world. Runners and water are a natural combination, so Janji exists to do something with that connection. That “something” is running gear that makes a difference…

Through Janji’s high performance apparel, runners fund solutions and raise awareness for the global water crisis in a lasting and meaningful way. Rather than racing for a cause on just one day, Janji lets runners give back through their everyday training.

The Hubby and I each have a Janji shirt and we love them! We wear them all the time, even when not running!

Janji tee

Besides being awesome because it is green {my FAVORITE color}, this women’s Kenya Acacia running shirt provides one year of clean water for a person in Kenya through Water.org! The Hubby wears the men’s Janji logo short-sleeve running shirt, which provides one week of clean water for a family in the United States!

Janji has short and long-sleeve running tees, tanks, shorts, capris, and tights, all which benefit a clean water project somewhere in the world! And today, they are launching something new!

Janji Projects is a new crowdfunded giving platform which allows runners to preorder a design from a country and, if the design is 100% backed, supporters fully fund the construction of a water point that gives 350 people access to clean water for life.

The first Janji Project launches TODAY! It will be the Uganda Run for Another shirt. Made of a silky performance blend of polyester and rayon, the shirt takes inspiration from Ugandan basket weaving.

Janji Campaign.Shirt.W Janji men's shirt

The Project functions much like a KickStarter campaign and lasts a maximum of seven days. If the shirt is 100% funded, production for the design project begins immediately while parallel construction of the water point launches. The waterpoint will give 350 rural Ugandans access to clean water.

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I just love everything about Janji Projects and I hope you will jump on board to pre-order your Uganda shirt today to get this first water point funded!

Which piece of Janji running gear is your favorite?

 

 

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Free Devotional eBook + Praying for the Bibleless

Here I sit, surrounded by Bibles in numerous translations because I’m kind of a Bible geek. I’m not even going to tell you how many Bibles are in our home. I’m not hiding in shame over that huge number. That’s not what I’m thinking about right now. I’m thanking God for having all of these versions of His Word and resources in my own language.

Over a billion people are still Bibleless. A BILLION.

There’s not even a Bible in their language anywhere. Some people don’t even have a written language that a Bible could be translated into, but that is not stopping The Seed Company from getting the Word of God into their lives.

At the Declare Conference, we heard from Esther Havens, a photographer who traveled to document the work of The Seed Company in Africa as they bring Bible to the San people in spoken form. The pictures and videos were so compelling because they were visual proof of the work of The Seed Company AND the transforming power of God’s Word. The Gospel is highly treasured by those who have never had it for themselves before. And this inspired me to treasure my Bible even more.

While I can’t go out and translate the Bible for people in a remote village, The Seed Company has empowered me to do something just as important – to pray for the Bibleless. I can pray. And The Seed Company provides resources and reminders for praying for specific people groups.

I want to invite you to become a prayer partner with The Seed Company! It doesn’t cost anything, but your efforts will have a big impact. You can read more about becoming a prayer partner and sign up now at The Seed Company website!

Joy Devotional

I also have a FREE gift to share with you! It was an honor to contribute to this new devotional, Joy in All Circumstances, from the Seed Company. Just click here to download your free copy! It won’t surprise you to find out my devotional was inspired by running, but I know non-runners will find His inspiration in it as well! I hope you find joy in the whole ebook – so many of my favorites contributed to this devotional!

 

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