Almost every blogger I’ve ever met (online) has also called themselves a reader. Writer. Reader. They seem to go hand in hand. Here’s another thing. If you’re a true bookworm, many genres catch your attention. I’m usually reading at least three books at once and often they’re completely different from one another. So, this week, I want to review four totally different books. One nonfiction on simple living, one literary fiction, one praise & worship coloring book and one on leadership (I'm giving away two of Jenni Catron's books in this one). Today's post includes a giveaway as well. We're giving to foster kids in Jesus' name.
I have a dear friend I consider a mentor. Her love for Jesus and others brightens up any room she enters. I always know I have her support and that brings me endless encouragement.
She also offers excellent advice. I told her once about some clothes we gathered to give a friend’s sister. This girl had left a bad home situation and took next to nothing with her. When we hear about people like this, we find it so easy to give don’t we? I went right to my closet and starting pulling out clothes I never really wear anyway. A whole bag full in no time. Evidence of a life of privilege.
Of course, the giving was good. However, my friend immediately said,
Always tell them we do it in the name of Jesus.
Her words never left me. I always pray the work I do would point others to Jesus.
But whoever drinks some of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again, but the water that I will give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up to eternal life. John 4:14
When I heard about Braden’s Closet, a new ministry to foster children our church supports, I thought of the bags of clothes in our garage my daughter has outgrown. But I also began asking God how we could give in the name of Jesus.
Meet my friend, Crystal. She’s an amazing foster parent. I took a meal to her family once. The meal instructions said to prepare a meal for twelve people. That’s like double the number of people I cook for on Thanksgiving!
Crystal’s first foster child was a little boy named Braden. Over the years, taking in all those foster kids, Crystal noticed they often show up with few possessions. Sometimes, even the clothes on their back are soiled or a few sizes too small. In their young lives, they’ve already lived through circumstances I cannot even imagine.
Crystal and her mom, Sharon, decided they could do something about the clothing needs. They designated a large closet in her mom’s house for foster kids who don’t have the right size clothing. They collect items for newborns up to teenagers. The most beautiful part of the story is the kids get to pick out their own outfits! The ladies found this brings a great deal of joy to the kids. Sharon even gives them a little trinket of their own when they visit.
I knew I could help with the clothes. When Family Christian asked their blogging partners if they could think of a way to show love to others this February, the month of Valentines Day, I immediately thought of another way to give.
In the name of Jesus.
What if Sharon had a supply of Christian devotionals and Bibles to give the foster families when they visited Braden’s Closet? I presented to the idea to her and we discussed how that might work.
Right away, there were things to consider. Most of these kids wouldn’t be able to understand the whole Bible if it was given to them. I began researching devotionals but quickly realized most of them frequently talk about parents and siblings. Often a painful topic for these foster children. So, I decided on the devotionals and illustrated books that focus primarily on how much Jesus loves us. They teach us how to walk with God in our everyday lives. Remind us He’s always at work around us. A message they need to hear presented to them at their age level. Here are the books I decided on:
We’re going to give away these first wave of books and look forward to hearing the reaction from the foster families. If they’re well received, we can ask future donors to consider purchasing books or ones like these. Monetary donations could be used to replenish our supply as needed.
Donated clothes, trinkets and books about Jesus won’t solve these kids’ problems. We do pray it gives them joy and hope. Even though we don’t fully understand it, loving on these kids in Jesus’ name will make a difference for all eternity.
I'm pleased to be partnering with Family Christian Stores for this post. While the post is sponsored, the opinions expressed here are my own.