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.
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
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.
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 is messy. My hope is that my words + stories can be an encouragement to you in your parenting journey.
It’s a bit surreal, but in few weeks, another little one is joining our crew. (Boy or girl? What do you think? Yes, we know! And no, we aren’t telling! Hehe.)
Thanks to the whirlwind adoption of our amazing little Miss Eliza, we’ll essentially have a sweet, squishy set of twins. As we prepare for two babies, our house is full of gauzy swaddle blankets, boxes of diapers, and — my favorite — itty bitty shoes.
I’ve been pining over some Freshly Picked moccasins after watching them on Shark Tank and watching their mama-ran business explode. They’re all-leather, handmade baby moccs that are pretty much the cutest thing I’ve ever seen.
They’ve rocketed to cult-status among millennial moms, and I have to say: These teeny shoes are worth the hype.
Yes, so many shoes are swoon-worthy when they’re in tiny sizes, but rarely do they stay on those squirmy, wiggly toes.
Eliza has been wearing hers for a few weeks now, and thanks to the stretchy elastic inside, they actually stay on her feet. (This is so rare for us, especially because her toes are a little differently spaced because of her extra chromosome.)
I was so thrilled to parter with Freshly Picked for a review (And giveaway! You’re going to want to keep reading, friends!), because I really wanted to know if the little leather moccasins were worth the higher-end price point. (You can snag them online or at Nordstrom.) The honest verdict: They are.
Freshly Picked moccs would make a wonderful, thoughtful baby shower gift to go in on with one or two other people.
They’re really heirloom quality (and made in the USA!), and they’re made to take the shape to your little one’s feet. (I’ve heard that they’re great for crawlers and new walkers, but I haven’t been able to test that yet!) Eliza has teeny feet, so she is still in the newborn (size 0) size.
I like that so many color options are gender neutral, which means the soft-soled shoes could be passed on from child to child.
Freshly Picked was so sweet to send newborn moccasins in Petite Blush, Petite Sky, and Petite Birch. I’m having a hard time picking a favorite color. No matter baby #4’s gender, we’ve now got adorable moccs on lock.
What do you think? Will it be an even split of boys + girls? Or will Eliza and I be outnumbered? Only time will tell. (Though, I won’t lie — I wouldn’t hate it if baby decided to make his/her arrival sooner rather than later!)
I’m so thrilled to join Freshly Picked in a giveaway of one pair of soft-soled baby moccasins. Lucky you, you’ll get to pick the size + color for your little one. I’ll randomly pick a winner on March 28. Good luck!
When I hear of the Syrian refugee crisis, I often think of my great-grandparents, who fled Germany with their two young daughters during WWII.
Their ability to resettle in the U.S. was only because of the kindness, compassion, and generosity of an Iowa family.
I grew up hearing the story told and re-told. My great-grandmother — in the middle of an air raid with sirens blaring — made her way under a tunnel where winter coats from America were being distributed. She received a couple of random coats and left.
Later, when she put on the wool coat, her hand found a small, folded note, tucked away in a pocket. There, in inky scrawl, was a note from a family in Iowa, sharing that they were praying for the recipient. An address was included.
She wrote to them, they wrote to her, and the Iowa family became sponsors for their immigration. They helped my great-grandparents and their girls secure passage to the U.S., and opened their home to them when they arrived.
Hearts healed. Lives changed. Futures altered.
All because of a seemingly random letter.
All because of compassion from the other side of the world.
it’s happening today
Intense fighting in Syria has forcibly displaced more people today than any other country – and there is no end in sight to the conflict.
It’s considered the worst humanitarian crisis since the second World War.
Every day, thousands of Syrians flee violence to seek out food, protection, medical care and other urgently-needed aid.
There are 12 million people inside Syria displaced or in desperate need of humanitarian aid. At least half of the displaced are children.
sending hope #withsyria
CARE, a leading humanitarian organization dedicated to fighting poverty of the oppressed, has connected WWII survivors who were refugees as children with Syrian children who are current refugees.
These survivors, who were recipients of the world’s first CARE Packages, are paying it forward 70 years later, sending compassion — and so much more — to Syrian refugee children. The result? Deeply moving connections between people who, though separated by decades and distance, share so much.
- Former child war refugee Gunter Nitsch, now 78 and living in Chicago, shared his story – and more — with 8-year-old Zaher, a Syrian refugee in Jordan.
- When 16-year-old Sajeda opened the letter from 87-year-old Helga, she couldn’t have known how it would bridge the distance — and the decades — between them.
- Hope is exactly what Renata Senter wished to express when she wrote to 13-year-old Duha. “I would like to get to know you and hope that I will be able to help you … achieve your goal.”
- Joe feels a kinship with 12-year-old Shadi, and it doesn’t end with their shared child-war-refugee experience.
CARE has created a free online letter writing portal so all of us can write a very short letter of support to a Syrian refugee child. A selection of these messages will be translated into Arabic and shared with Syrian refugee children. Here’s what I wrote:
Things might be hard right now, and maybe even sad or scary. You can be brave. There are people around the world who love you and are praying for you. Stay strong, and don’t lose hope. There is always hope. I love you!
I really encourage you to hop over and write a quick letter.
Syrians inside and outside of Syria have endured five years of war. Millions have been forced from their homes, seeking refuge in other countries.
I know writing a letter is such a seemingly small thing, but really, it can mean so very much. Never underestimate the power of words, and the power of hope. Reassure them that they are not forgotten. That you care. Send your message of hope.
It can be all the difference in the world to know you’re not alone.
If you’re unable to contribute monetarily, please join me in sharing this post on Facebook or Twitter to help share about the hope-filled work CARE is doing to come alongside children and families who are in a very dark situation.
This isn’t about politics or nationalities or any other lines in the sand that we draw to divide us. This is about compassion. About hope. About letting hurting people know they are not forgotten.
And that’s something I’m incredibly grateful for.
After all, I wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for someone scribbling a small little letter of hope and prayerfully tucking it away in a donated jacket.
Photos courtesy of CARE.
Today, 3-21, is World Down Syndrome Day, and my first of many celebrating as a mama to a little one with Down syndrome.
By no means am I an expert on the extra chromosome, but I’m eager to share a bit of our story — a bit of Eliza’s story — with you.
When we learned of sweet baby with Down syndrome waiting for a family, Jonny and I both had misconceptions and myths pop into our heads. We don’t know until we know.
I am grateful for families and people who have been touched by Down syndrome that I have had the privilege of watching and learning from, which helped confirm our “yes” toward Down syndrome adoption. I have seen the joy and value of each life God has created, and most of all — I have learned that we are more alike than different.
So, here are four quick things I’ve learned about Down syndrome:
- What is it? Down syndrome occurs when a person has an extra copy of chromosome 21. This extra genetic material can cause delays in the way a child develops. Down syndrome is a lifelong condition. With care and support, children who have Down syndrome can grow up to have healthy, happy, productive lives. (Babies with Down syndrome are not only born to “old” moms — and what triggers the extra chromosome is still unknown.)
- What’s normal? Each baby, child, and adult with Down syndrome is different. We don’t define people who have Down syndrome as “one of them” or “a Down’s baby” — each person has unique qualities, strengths, and challenges. At three months, Eliza is much more like a “typical” child than a child with Down syndrome. She has strong muscle tone, rolls over, and holds her head up.She sleeps through the night and has earned the nickname of little snuggle bug due to her love of cuddles. She giggles, coos, and even belly laughs when something is really funny. My hope is not to hold unrealistic expectations over her, but at the same time, empower her. One of the most common things young adults with Down syndrome express? “Don’t limit me.”
- Will she have health issues? We are so very grateful that Eliza has not had eating or feeding issues, and her congenital heart defects look to be healing on their own. As we have done with any of our other children, we will continue to have check-ups with proper doctors, specialists, and therapists to make sure we’re doing all we can to keep her healthy and strong. While there are medical conditions associated with Down syndrome (including heart and intestinal problems, visual and hearing loss, thyroid function fluctuations, leukemia) no person will have them all. Down syndrome is very rarely a complex or severe disability. It is more commonly described by experts today as a ‘mild to moderate developmental delay‘.
- What does the future hold? People with Down syndrome have as much hope for the future as you and me. So much has changed, even in the last 10 years.
In 1983, the average life expectancy of a person with Down syndrome was a mere 25-years-old. Today, it’s 60. While behavior, mental ability, and physical development varies from person to person, many people with Down syndrome grow up to hold jobs, live independently, and enjoy normal recreational activities. College, career, marriage…these are possibilities, and the more we support inclusion, the more hope becomes reality!
Community is so important in the parenting journey, and having people who “get it” is even more important when you’re parenting a child with special needs. I’m so grateful to have connected with Jen Jacobs through a mutual friend. Jen is a fellow Iowan and mama to a little one with Down syndrome, and she formed the nonprofit Down Syndrome Diagnosis Network and co-wrote The Parent’s Guide to Down Syndrome: Advice, Information, Inspiration, and Support for Raising Your Child from Diagnosis through Adulthood.
This book is written with compassion (not fear!) and clearly walks you through key points to expect as you raise a little one with Down syndrome. It includes lots of excerpts from real-life parents, and it’s easy to flip to the chapter you need. It’s clear and easy-to-read (not overly medical, which some Down syndrome books are). It uses positive language and I’m so grateful to have it in my toolbox.
What I want you to know is that Eliza is a blessing, not a burden.
She is treasured and loved and we are so grateful for the profound privilege we get in raising her. She makes the world sparkle by just being her, and the joy she has brought our family and friends is palpable. I pray I’m worthy of the calling of being her mommy. Eliza has two older brothers who love her beyond words and a daddy who would do just about anything to make her happy and make sure she knows just how loved she is.
Happy World Down Syndrome Day!
- Watch: Olivia Wilde will change the way you think about Down syndrome.
- Give: Ruby’s Rainbow (College scholarships!)