Welcome, New Friends!

Two blogs I love are sending traffic my way this week! Please stop by these Internet gems, both with long-time spots on my blogroll, and say konnichiwa:

The Flourishing Mother : This week, I’m being featured for Andrea’s Momma Monday column! Last March, I quoted from Andrea’s Post, “I Made a Meal for Jesus,” which challenged me to think of Jesus as a friend and to do things, like making dinner, as if was doing them directly for Him. It was life-changing for me.

Feminia: Nancy Wilson, who has written of some of my favorite books, coauthors a delightful blog with the ladies in her family. Recently, she invited readers to post their blogs for a Tour the Readers’ Blogs Party… so I did! There are many great bloggers who responded to her post. How about you add yours?

You’re also invited to check out my Welcome! page as well as send me an email to introduce yourself. Please let me know how I can best pray for and/or be of encouragement to you. If you have them, please let me know your Twitter handle and blog URL so I can check out your corner of the Web.

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Photo credit: chez_sugi via Flickr

Carried Away March Giveaway : Five Kawaii Japanese Canvas Totes

“Many hands make light work.” – John Heywood, English playwright and poet

Have you ever used your chin to hold onto a stack of library books? I have… and that’s when I’m just carrying my books!

With plenty of children who love to hear stories read, two of whom are avid readers themselves, trips to the library (on the base, two hours away) would be pretty daunting if I didn’t have my helpers!

Across the street from our house is a grocery store. Next door is a farmers market. How sweet it is to have children who help bring home food that will nourish our family!

More than moving items from Point A to Point B, having children help out in this way is good for their little hearts and souls.

Helping to carry things…

  • teaches them to lend a hand and to help others from an early age
  • gives them a job they can do (one or two books or a loaf of bread may be a light load, but it is important.. and they feel important carrying them!), showing them that they’re not too little to make a difference
  • teaches them how to stick to a task, one that builds character (it’s not always easy to carry things, and the distance isn’t always short!)
  • helps them to be responsible for the items in their care (like their library books) as they have to transport them carefully and not lose their bag
  • Burdens, or things that have to be carried, are also a great Biblical metaphor for teaching our children about entrusting Gods with the things in this life that weigh us down. This burden could be anything from sin, an illness, a difficult relationship situation, to a house that doesn’t sell.

    Trusting in Him gives us a soul-deep version of the feeling we get when the very straps of our heavy bags are cutting into our hands and dad comes along and carries it the rest of the way home.

    Psalms 55:22 Cast thy burden upon the LORD, and he shall sustain thee: he shall never suffer the righteous to be moved.

    Matthew 11:28-30 Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.

    This month’s giveaway is of five kawaii (that means painfully cute in Japanese!) totes so you can carry your things to and from wherever you need to go. There are four smaller totes, a pink bunny, an orange pig, a brown bear and a yellow lion, to encourage your helpers to lend a hand, and a larger tote for you!

    To enter, in the comments of this post, please leave a story about carrying something or something being carried for you. The burden could be a physical one or a metaphorical one. Please mention how carrying this burden, or having it carried for you, shaped who you are today. You must leave a pertinent comment to win!

    My hope is that this giveaway will encourage others to help bear one another’s burdens (Galatians 6:2) and to trust that the Lord is carrying us through.

    1 Peter 5:6-7 Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time, casting all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you.

    * * *

    Want to improve your chances of winning? Add these skills to your giveaway repertoire to gain up to three bonus entries:

  • Add SarahJoyAlbrecht.com your blogroll and leave the link to your blog with your comment
  • Write a post about this giveaway and leave the link to your post with your comment
  • Tweet about this giveaway (via @mrsalbrecht) and mention it with your comment
  • Please leave your comment and complete bonus entries by 9PM EST, Friday, March 26, 2010.

    The winner will need to provide their mother’s maiden name, social security number, and a valid US credit card number + three digit secret code. JUST KIDDING! I will, however, need their name and mailing address which will be kept strictly confidential.

    If they’re agreeable, I’d like to interview the winner and feature them in a future post. I would consider including links in the post to the winner’s blog, favorite cause, home business, etc.

    Winning contestants may not enter my subsequent monthly giveaway contests for a year following their win. In other words, if you win in March, 2010, you cannot enter again until March, 2011.

    Best wishes! :)