Hi, I'm Kayla.

I’m happy you’re here. I’ll go first: I’m a full-time journalist turned work-at-home writer. I’m hitched to a shaggy-haired pastor and we’re smitten with two wild + crazy boys: Joseph (4) and Asher (1). I drink strong coffee, I like pretty things, and I believe there’s beauty in the broken.

I hope this little space will encourage you to find worth and live a story worth sharing.

Let's do this.

What is Many Sparrows?

This little corner of the Internet aims to encourage women, spurring them on to find worth and live a story worth sharing.

God tells us He cares about the little things — even down to a teeny, tiny sparrow. And if He cares about a little bird, how much more does He care about us — who are worth far more than many sparrows? Let’s dwell in the truth that He loves us with an arms-stretched-out kind love. Let’s rest easy, knowing we’re valued, loved, and worth more than we can even fathom.

I’m a person who’s blemished and blessed. All good things in my life flow from Jesus. My mission is to reflect his generous, grace-filled love with all my heart, soul, and mind. I’m passionate about shedding religious cliches and living an authentic, Kingdom life. Sometimes I get frustrated and often times I fail. I’m a work in progress.

Find Your Worth & Live a Story Worth Telling

Faith

My heart is to use this corner of the Internet to make much of Jesus. To use my words to reflect the creator of all things who gives extravagant grace, who radiates beauty and light in a very dark world.

Style

I’m a mama of two little boys, and sometimes I just need a space to talk about things like shift dresses and wedge booties and dry shampoo. Let’s share our secrets, shall we?

Motherhood

Motherhood is messy. My hope is that my words + stories can be an encouragement to you in your parenting journey.

Happy Thoughts

Couldn’t this world use a little more joy? Whether I’m recounting a sweet story or sharing a book review, maybe these little posts will bring some happiness your way.

31 days of living free: five tips for authentic networking (and a minted giveaway)

Minted Foil-Pressed Chic Business Cards // Many Sparrows Blog // Tips for Networking: How to Create a Memorable Business Card

I spent two years hustling as a newspaper journalist, writing and editing a daily business networking page in our metro paper’s business section. I lugged my laptop and notebooks across downtown to morning coffees and lunch-and-learns and late night galas, zipping from suburb to suburb to cover the 5 p.m. after-hours networking events. I sipped soda out of little plastic cups and shook all the hands and snapped awkward photos and decorated my cubicle with towers of business cards I collected.

(Speaking of business cards, Minted gave me some gorgeous foil-pressed cards to take to Influence Conference ANNNNND we’re giving away a $50 credit to the Minted printed shop so you can get some stunning business cards or prints or holiday cards of your own — keep reading!)

During my time in the networking world, I navigated seas of elevator speeches and listened two-minute pitches and waded through e-mails asking for features.

But most of all, I learned quickly that authentic networking is more We’re in this together and less What can you do for me?.

When we collaborate and connect in authentic and engaging ways, big things happen. As women, we’re taught to tuck away our gifts and talents. But when we’re brave enough to share our stories? It illuminates the room, and others can’t help but glow, too.

Tips for Networking for Women // Inspirational Quote #fireworkpeople // Many Sparrows Blog

I’m not sure any of us can ever really call ourselves networking experts, but here are a few tricks and tips I’ve picked up along the way to help you tell your story and engage others to form brilliant collaborations and connections. I met Ashley, the founder of #fireworkpeople, at the Influence Conference and I’m so thankful for the team of women across the she is building up and encouraging to chase their dreams. I’m joining forces with her network of writers, thinkers, encouragers, dreamers, and doers to share my tips for authentic networking.

5 tips for authentic networking

  1. Ask questions. And then genuinely listen to, and care about, the answers. When you meet someone, whether it’s at a networking event or in line at a coffee shop, don’t instantly make it about you. Fight the urge to be a Me Monster! I’ve found that most folks are happy to share their stories, if they’re asked. Chatting with someone whose business you admire? Ask her what her most exciting project is right now. Engage. See what she’s passionate about, and go from there. Networking isn’t about selling yourself, it’s about connecting with others. And sometimes all it takes to get sparks flying is a question or two.
  2. Relax. I know, meeting new people can be awkward. I like diffusing awkward situations with a little humor, but we all have different ways that make introducing ourselves and tip-toeing out of our comfort zones a little easier. Take a deep breath and just do it. You know that cheesy quote that you miss 100 percent of the shots you don’t take? There’s truth to that cliche. Give yourself a pep-talk, take a deep breath, and make a joke about how you had to try all the appetizers because free food, you guys.
  3. Go all in. Be present. I always tell my sons (4 and 18 months) to give me “good eyes” when we’re talking. Eye contact helps me know they’re listening. Body language matters. When you’re networking, put away your phone (unless it’s to follow your new friend on Instagram!) and give them your attention. Whoever you’re talking to, go all in. Even if you chat for two minutes, be fully present for those two minutes. Let’s throw in another cliche, shall we? You never get a second chance to make a first impression!
  4. Share your stories. You have something only you can bring to the table. Avoid “yes” or “no” answers and add a little color to the conversation. I know, easier said than done, right? Be honest and be you — people will remember that.  Her: I like your bag! You: Thanks! I ordered it at a blogging conference I went to in Chicago. Her: Oh, my husband went to college in Chicago You: Whenever I’m there, I load up on Intellegista coffee. Are you fans? Her: Oh, definitely — we’re actually planning a fall trip in a couple weeks and plan to stock up! (See why you should always answer with a little story instead of a yes or no? Also why you should always talk about coffee because if people you’re networking with don’t like coffee, you’re just wasting your time. I kid, I kid.)
  5. Minted Gold Foil Business Cards // Networking Tips (Including What to Add On Your Business Cards)  // Many Sparrows BlogHave an amazing business card. It’s great if you hit it off with some potentially stellar connections, but what happens when folks have no way of reaching you? In the digital age, business cards have evolved, but they’re definitely not obsolete. How to create a card that doesn’t end up at the bottom of a purse or in a pile on someone’s desk?
    1. Pick a design (I like this one and this one) that coordinates with your personal style and aesthetic. (I can’t recommend Minted’s beautiful, high-quality designs enough!) Keep fonts to a minimum and stay consistent. Everyone opts for white — why not pick a pattern or bold color? (I chose black with gold foil-press on my latest Many Sparrows cards.)

    2. Add your social media information. Make sure it’s easy to read. In my demographic, friends care more about connecting on Instagram than calling a phone number. Pick and choose what works for you.

    3. Add a photo! Choose a photo that looks like you and conveys your personality. Minted has the option to add a photo on the back of the card, and I totally did that. A photo, even a small one, helps others remember you long after the networking event is done. (If you’re like me and mess up on the first draft, their team of designers will help and you will be like OMG THANK YOU.)

    4. Hand ‘em out! Don’t forget to give your cards away — and remember to snag a card from your new friend, too. Follow up within a week with an e-mail, friendly tweet, or Facebook message.

Minted Foil-Pressed Chic Business Cards // Many Sparrows Blog // Tips for Networking: How to Create a Memorable Business Card

We’re better when we’re together. I say it all the time, but we’re not meant to do life alone. We live free when we link arms with each other and brainstorm and collaborate and encourage? When we run our races and we realize that we’re chasing after the same goal? That’s the heart of authentic networking. (And if you’re new here — hey! Let’s connect!)

Now, let’s get you on track with some Minted swag, shall we? I’ll draw a winner Monday — good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

31 Days of Living Free: Rooted Love for Women Who Dream | Many Sparrows Blog

This part of 31 daily posts of living free. Living freely is something we do momentarily, but to fully live free? That’s a transformation — a total change not only in what we’re like, but in who we are. You can find all the 31 Days of Living Free posts here. Disclosure: Minted provided my business cards and affiliate links are used when applicable.

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31 days of living free: love well

31 Days of Living Free: Love Well // Little Boys at Pumpkin Patch // Many Sparrows Blog

How do we love well?

That’s a tough question, isn’t it?

Loving well is running through the field and letting them be little. It’s sitting up late at night with a cup of coffee when words aren’t enough. It’s an encouraging fist-bump and an embrace that says you mean something to me.

I want to live free as the type of mom who loves well. The type of wife who loves well. The type of friend who loves well. The type of neighbor who loves well.

31 Days of Living Free: Love Well // Little Boys at Pumpkin Patch // Many Sparrows Blog

Love isn’t one-size-fits-all.

It grows and it multiplies and it takes the forms of all sorts of shapes and sizes and shadows we never knew were there.

Loving well looks different from one person to the next, from one moment to the next.

To love well is to let grace spill over.

31 Days of Living Free: Love Well // Little Boys at Pumpkin Patch // Many Sparrows Blog

It’s using our hands to lift someone up. To give a high five. To wipe a tear away.

Sometimes loving well is crying right along with someone.

And sometimes it’s digging deep and finding those jokes because joy can always be found.

I break away from city lights and I look up at the stars and I know that I’m just Kayla, but somehow in this amazing universe, that’s enough. I’ve been knitted together by the maker of it all. I have a purpose and a mission and I am free to love well, right where I am.

31 Days of Living Free: Love Well // Little Boys at Pumpkin Patch // Many Sparrows Blog

How are you loving your people well? Can you think of a moment when you felt well loved?

31 Days of Living Free: Rooted Love for Women Who Dream | Many Sparrows Blog

This part of 31 daily posts of living free. Living freely is something we do momentarily, but to fully live free? That’s a transformation — a total change not only in what we’re like, but in who we are. You can find all the 31 Days of Living Free posts here

 

31 days of living free: when your son has autism

Encouragement When Your Son Has Autism: What This Mom Wants You to Know About Parenting an Autistic Child // Many Sparrows Blog

I’m encouraged and inspired by my friend Katrina’s mama-bear strength and positivity. Katrina’s heart for God and others just shines, and I’m honored to share her story of living free while parenting a child with autism. Chances are, someone close to you is a parent to a little one on the autism spectrum. I hope Katrina’s perspective will encourage you to rest in God’s grace and remind you to give a little extra love to those parenting children with special needs — those you see, and those you don’t see.

When you’re pregnant or adopting, you find yourself imagining the conversations you’ll have with your little one.

I’m still longing for that.

This is my journey of living free as Zeke’s mama.

My husband and I walked a long battle with different doctors and different exams. All of them came back normal except the last one…and I’m pretty sure we both knew before we got the diagnosis. We’d talked to each other and to other medical people. Before that last meeting, I had a good long talk (okay, with a lot yelling) and crying with God. This is where God met me.

He was molding me into the mama and woman He wanted me to be —  a mama who advocates for her son and a woman of God who is free to love and free to live.

Living free isn’t easy when you have a child with autism. Worrying about what outside triggers will spur on ‘The Meltdown’ or if the happy squeals he does for stimulation will kick us out of the restaurant. Wondering what the phrase he is saying over and over means but having no clue what he’s saying, because he’s speaking his own language. It’s not an easy road. But those times when I’m questioning if I’m doing anything right? That’s where God meets me, molds me, and creates the woman He knows I am to be.

Living Free is a mixture of getting those checklists done as well as being flexible to follow my son’s lead when it comes to how he’s going to learn best each day. Especially when we’re out and about, I’m figuring out what will stimulate Zeke and trying to staying true to God’s word while helping him soothe himself in the world that he truly doesn’t understand. Just like I truly don’t understand how some people are so rude with their facial expressions or their words that my son “just needs some discipline.” When that happens, I try to remember to look at my God who created me and created this “Ausome” boy for me to look after here on Earth.

I still have my moments when I question God and ask, no beg, Him for a complete healing for my Zeke. In those moments, God wraps his arms around me and shows me that He created my son. That Zeke is Fearfully, Wonderfully and Beautifully made. God reminds me to look for those little, seemingly mundane events that are so special in showing growth in Zeke.

I know God choose my son specifically for me. I know I’m far from being a perfect mama, but Zeke and I are the perfect fit. (Along with the help of my wonderful husband and our daughter, we’re the pieces to help Zeke grow.)

My son has showed me that living free is rejoicing in the little things, and always pressing for something bigger, looking to God when the world tries to drag us down. My son is amazing at drawing, loves music, is using more words, and loves cuddling and laughing. We’ve seen a lot of growth in him at school, even in the short few months he’s had. Since that diagnosis day, I feel like I’m a better mama for Zeke, and my other kids, too. As I learn more about him and what triggers him, I’m better able to help him in this world. Sometimes, it’s a struggle for me to fully live free as Zeke’s mama, but I know that for me, living free is loving without warrant every person God puts in my path. And I know to love God more than anything is key to helping me live free with an autistic son.

31 Days of Living Free: Rooted Love for Women Who Dream | Many Sparrows Blog

This part of 31 daily posts of living free. Living freely is something we do momentarily, but to fully live free? That’s a transformation — a total change not only in what we’re like, but in who we are. You can find all the 31 Days of Living Free posts here

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hi, i’m kayla

I'm a full-time journalist turned work-at-home editor. I'm hitched to a shaggy-haired pastor and we're smitten with two wild + crazy boys: Joseph (4) and Asher (1). I drink strong coffee, I like pretty things, and I believe there's beauty in the broken. I hope this little space will encourage you to find worth and live a story worth sharing. Join me?

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My favorite part about writing is connecting with you! Whoever you are, wherever you are, you have a story worth sharing. Let’s talk.

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