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.

believe

Believe, NIV, a Bible designed to help Christians lead a more Christ-like life. A follow up to Zondervan’s popular, The Story, Believe, NIV is designed as an easy-to-follow topical abridgment of the best-selling NIV Bible, focusing on the 30 key beliefs, practices and virtues intended to help readers uncover the core truths of the Christian faith and apply them to their lives.

What do we believe? Like, what do we really believe?

I think I believe a lot of good things about God. But sometimes I wonder — where did these good things come from? Have I formed my view of who God is based on my circumstances? My culture?

Do I hold a set of beliefs because I’ve created my God in my image?

We live more vibrantly when we we lay down our preconceived notions of who he is. We come to the table of life abundant when we realize we’re on this big, giant journey of belief.

Zondervan sent me an advance copy of Believe, NIV, a Bible designed to help Christians wade through the muck and mire to see God’s truth through a fresh lens. A follow up to the popular, The Story, Believe, NIV is designed as an easy-to-follow abridgment of the NIV Bible. (They also have a giveaway copy for one of you! Enter at the end of the post.)

Believe, NIV, a Bible designed to help Christians lead a more Christ-like life. A follow up to Zondervan’s popular, The Story, Believe, NIV is designed as an easy-to-follow topical abridgment of the best-selling NIV Bible, focusing on the 30 key beliefs, practices and virtues intended to help readers uncover the core truths of the Christian faith and apply them to their lives.

I’ve never seen anything like Believe, NIV, and I thought it’d be really interesting to get a pastor’s perspective. So, I asked Jonny (Remember when he graduated with a Master’s in Christian Thought?) to share his thoughts on Believe, NIV.

Here’s what he had to say:

What it is: Believe, NIV is a collection of scripture passages (with intermittent editorial comments, helpfully made in italics to differentiate them) that have been curated and organized to move a Christian through three stages:

  • What we believe (the basic doctrines of the Church)
  • What we should do (the practices of the faith)
  • What we are becoming (this section is built around the fruits of the Spirit).

In a pleasant twist, Believe completely ditches chapter and verse numbers, which allows the reader to move through passages as a whole which helps the reader lose themselves in the story. So often we see scripture as being segmented and divided, and this fresh (or rather, ancient) approach moves the reader away from segmented thinking and toward a more holistic understanding of the Bible.

What I liked: Believe, NIV makes the Bible more accessible than it often seems to be. Without chapters and verses, passages flow in a way that is more natural and helpful to readers who are seeking big ideas rather than tiny details. Overall, it’s a helpful book with a very natural progression that could help Christians to read and understand their Bibles in new and better ways.

What I’m hesitant of: By their very nature, editorial choices about what passages to use and how are ultimately interpretational and theological decisions. Readers should approach Believe, NIV with this fact in mind, recognizing that the organization of the book is putting forward a particular interpretation of scripture, not necessarily the only or even most correct interpretation. I don’t have any specific issues with the editorial decisions in mind as I make this caveat, but it is important for readers to understand nonetheless.

Who might like it: While Believe, NIV is a book that could be helpful for any Christian, whether they’ve spent their whole life in the Church or have recently converted, it is probably those Christians who haven’t spent a ton of time in Scripture who could most benefit from the layout and editorial choices made in Believe, NIV. While the Bible as a whole can be intimidating, Believe, NIV breaks the major themes and story of scripture into easily understandable and consumable portions.

A companion book, Think, Act, Be Like Jesus released jointly with Believe, NIV this month. Written by Randy Frazee with Robert Noland, it explains how to grow as a follower of Christ and become more like Him in our thinking, actions and character. It can be read either in conjunction with Believe or separately as an individual study.

Does this Bible/book combo call out to you? Or does it sound like a good fit for someone you love? January is a great month to start fresh, and it’s not too late to start a resolution to spend more time in Scripture. Zondervan let me know that they would love to send a copy to a Many Sparrows reader — how sweet is that?

Let’s make it easy to enter.

Comment why you’d like to receive a copy in the mail. Want an extra entry? Follow me on Instagram. I’ll draw a random winner next week! xo

Disclaimer: Affiliate links used when applicable.

play with your kids

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Parenthood is a straight-up adventure. These imaginative little boys of mine take me on wild rides all the time. And while there are certainly times when I want to tuck-and-roll, most of my motherhood moments are magical. My heart swells when I see them slay dragons and fight fires and tackle monsters. Sometimes I have to remember to toss my phone on the laundry pile and imagine right along with them.

While Joseph was at preschool this morning, Asher and I had a little adventure of our own. We grabbed a couple tablecloths, popped some popcorn, and tucked away to create a cuddly fort-for-two.

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I’ll be honest — this past week wasn’t fun. Asher had RSV (what a nasty bug!) and Joseph had a terrible cough that kept us hiding at home when we weren’t at the doctor. I’m so thankful for a new week, with brighter eyes and happier hearts. (Clear eyes, full heart, can’t lose, right?)

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There’s something about raising boys that I can’t quite put into words. They’re young, wild, and free. And somehow I get to be the one to help them uncover the world. To find the sunshine and discover their brave.

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I don’t want to be the type of mama who’s too busy to play with her kids. I want to be the type of mama who says, you’re special. You matter.

Let’s go slay the dragons together.

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And sometimes, being a mama means leaving the dishes in the sink and grabbing your little one’s favorite stuffed friends. It means popping some Pop Secret at 10 in the morning for a private screening of another episode of Curious George. It means choosing cuddles over chores, snuggles over to-do lists.

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Hey, mama friends? Can I share a secret with you? A secret that you’ve surely heard from your grandma and your aunt and the cashier at Target?

This precious time we have with our little people? It goes fast.

It’s cliche and it’s true. It seems like I was just getting off a plane in West Africa to adopt Joseph. And wasn’t I just waddling into the hospital, eager to meet Asher?

I don’t want to get lost in memories or be so focused on the future that I miss the adventures right in front of me. I want to build towers and knock them down and build them again. I want to head to Gap for the billionth time because the knees on my jeans keep fading.

I want to be the kind of mom who spontaneously builds forts. Who finds popcorn kernels in the carpet

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Moms (and dads): You’re doing the work of investing into little hearts. You’re modeling how to dream and how to explore. You’re showing them how to be brave and how to do hard things. Little eyes are watching you when your nose wrinkles when you laugh. They see you when close the laptop and wrap them up in a bear hug.

Here’s to spontaneous dance parties and silly popcorn fights and Monday-morning forts.

Play on.

Disclosure: Pop Secret sponsored today’s post, but words are my own.

Need some inspiration for imaginative play with your little ones? Hop over here for a $1-off coupon for Pop Secret. (Seriously, the Movie style? Yes.) Send Pop Secret your pillow fort stories and pictures on Facebook. You can upload them right to the Pop Secret timeline and tag them #PopSecretForts. They might just share a little something back.

love notes

Conversation Heart Valentine Party Decor
I rocked cowlicky bangs and thick wire glasses in elementary school. I was a chronic teacher’s pet and I wrote more than one letter to our senator requesting updated technology in our computer lab. I was quite the catch.

You're a Blast Classroom Valentine's Day Cards

When Valentine’s Day rolled around, I put down my Babysitter’s Club books and was giddy to hand-pick valentines for each student in my class. I methodically picked the ever-so-subtle “BE MINE” for the class charmer and the lackluster “Happy Valentine’s Day” for the mouth-breather that sat behind me. I dotted i’s with hearts, applied coordinating stickers, and affixed mini Snickers with style.

Layered Heart Classroom Valentine's Day Cards

I adorned my shoe box with Lisa Frank puppies and more glitter glue than any one human should ever have access to.

I loved Valentine’s Day.

Thank goodness that teachers had the common sense to require that students brought valentines for each person in the class. This rule allowed me to feel like a queen when the end-of-the-day classroom party came around. The mysterious red punch would glug into Dixie cups and volunteer moms would show up with little pink cupcakes. And finally, we’d grab our bags of valentines and I’d float across the classroom, stopping to deliver little envelopes to each desk like a little valentine fairy hopped up on too many conversation hearts.

Milk & Cookies Classroom Valentine's Day Cards

And then, the best part of the day came. It was the moment we all (maybe just me?) had been waiting for. It was time to crack open our boxes and collect our valentines. I’d unwrap each one, pouring over what each little card said, dissecting the true meaning from each pre-made message. I didn’t know then that most boys just scribbled their name on each perforated Power Rangers card, randomly stuffed them in envelopes, and only did it because their moms made them before they could play Super Mario Brothers.

Love Machine Classroom Valentine's Day Cards

Because I’m me, I have about 27 years worth of dramatic Valentine’s Day stories. (Some of them sweet and most of them embarrassing — remember this post about my first Valentine’s Day with Jonny?)

Now that I found my forever-Valentine (awww) and I have two mini-valentines of my own in the form of Joseph and Asher, I’m looking forward to the day when I can help them make their own little love notes for their friends.

Love Bandit Classroom Valentine's Day Cards
If you’re looking for some Valentine’s Day inspiration, my favorite online design + print shop is Minted, by far. Their quality is amazing, and you can get a pack of custom classroom valentines fairly reasonably. I’m really swooning over these foil cards. (Mamas, no need to bend over backwards on some Pinterest craft!)

But here’s what I’d really love to know: What’s your favorite Valentine’s Day memory as a child?

Affiliate links used when applicable.

 

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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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