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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
TOMS just launched their Surprise Sale, and I’m swooning over the (majorly discounted) items from TOMS and their ethical marketplace partners (including my favorite brands like Krochet Kids Intl., Noonday, and Giving Keys).
The sale, which features much more than shoes, provides deep discounts starting at 40% off. And…there’s free shipping on $25+! I’m not going to lie, I’ve totally been adding to my cart throughout the day. (But, shop quickly! The sale ends Jan. 19.)
Tomorrow, I’ll share my picks for kids. (These are great to stock up on for Easter, too!)
Since it’s only ONE MONTH until Valentine’s Day — here’s my:
Valentine’s Day Gift Guide: Top 7 Valentine’s Day Picks for Her
- Price: Originally $89.00, now $53.40!
- Why I love them: Santa brought me some TOMS wedges for Christmas, and I’m in love. They dress up skinny jeans so easily (I’m a fan of the skinny cuff!). The wedges are comfortable — just the right height. Snag these while you can! I picked this tan color because they’re super versatile.
- Give back: With every product you purchase, TOMS will help a person in need.
- Price: Originally $60, now $30.
- Why I love them: These gorgeous natural wood coasters were handmade in Uganda from locally sourced Mugavu or Elgon Teak wood — so pretty! Each coaster is lightly sanded for smoothness while maintaining the raw charm of the timber.
- Give back: This item from Rose & Fitzgerald helps create jobs for artisans in Uganda
Pick #3: Bukenya Fringe Necklace (Noonday)
- Price: Originally $56 now $28.
- Why I love this: Fringe is in, and this handmade necklace is your ticket to the trend. Guys, this is a perfect gift for Valentine’s Day! This Ugandan necklace mixes paper and seed beads. And, how precious is this? The necklace is named for one of Noonday’s Ugandan artisans, Bukenya, who was recently able to marry his sweetheart, fellow artisan Coral, thanks to the fair wages he receives from the workshop.
- Give back: This necklace from Noonday helps provide employment to artisans in Uganda.
- Price: Originally $54, now $32.40.
- Why I love this: I’m dreaming of a time when snow isn’t covering everything, and when sweet, sweet spring comes, I’m looking forward to wearing these! I love the fun metallic spin on the classic TOMS look. And, that price? Yes, please.
- Give back: With every pair you purchase, TOMS will give a pair of new shoes to a child in need.
Pick #5: Women’s Dress (Della)
- Price: Originally $48, now $24.
- Why I love this: This lovely floral-print dress was handmade in Ghana, using locally-sourced textiles. I don’t often see ethically made clothes, and this is so sweet. I think it’d look cute with black tights and a cardigan for winter, and with strappy sandals for summer. (The dresses are also vegan, which mean they contain no animal by-products.)
- Give back: With every product you purchase, Della provides women in Ghana with employment, literacy classes and money-management training.
Pick #6: Marco Bordeaux Crystal Shades (TOMS)
- Price: Originally $98, now $39.20.
- Why I love this: Sunglasses are my go-to for when I’m feeling dramatic and slightly anti-social. Recalling vintage Alpine fashion, the Marco is defined by the larger teardrop lens shape and distinct double-bridged frame front.
- Give back: With every pair of eyewear you purchase, TOMS will help give sight to a person in need.
- Price: Originally $20, now $10.
- Why I love this: The Elliot fingerless gloves combine warmth and style creating a highly functional addition to your winter wardrobe. (And, since winter lasts until about May here in the Midwest, this is a thoughtful and sweet Valentine’s day gift. They’re made of 50% alpaca, 50% wool. The fingerless glove are made in Peru and hand-signed by the artisan. Joseph has a Krochet Kids winter cap and we love it!
- Give back: This item from Krochet Kids helps provide employment, training and mentoring to women in Peru.
Disclosure: Affiliate links used when applicable.
We’ve spent the day snuggled under blankets, watching sparkling snow add layer after soft layer, stretching as far as we can see. We’ve played trains and built towers and watched a little Mickey Mouse, too.
And that great big piece of my heart that is carved out for being a mama is filled to the brim. But while sometimes it feels like being a mama bear fills every corner of my heart, there are other spots, too. And I when I woke up this morning, I caught this hint of excitement that can so easily get glossed over if I’m not careful.
As the snow continues to fall and I look ahead to the new year, my heart feels a little more cleaned out and ready for whatever is coming. I want to dream and I want to create and I want to fill the canvas in ways I haven’t even thought of yet.
I’m in that stage in my life when I have a lot of friends having babies and raising little ones and making that never-easy decision of staying home or working outside the home.
I just want to encourage you who are doing this little thing called mothering: You’re wired for such a time as this. And that the time you spend investing into little ones and praying over decisions and making lists of pros and cons? It matters. Your big and small acts of mothering reverberate well into eternity. We sacrifice in different ways and bend in ways that we never thought possible, but we’re stronger than we know, and we never break.
And you know what we’re not reminded of enough? That we don’t have to follow a script. We don’t have to fall into cliche characters and repeat the motions.
We don’t have to be frazzled stay-at-home moms or disconnected working moms or whatever stereotype we think we’ve been cast.
We have the power to flip the script. We can wear yoga pants or rock three-inch wedges. (But, um, probably not at the same time.) We can create art or love running or take gourmet cooking classes or pursue a new language. Whatever. It doesn’t matter.
What works for her might not work for you and we should celebrate that. For me? Staying home with my little boys in this season of life is a privilege. Not everyone has a career field or a spouses’ schedule that makes freelancing possible, and I’m grateful. Staying home with my little boys in this season of life is a sacrifice. We make things work on one income and I stepped back from my career, and I’m humbled. Being a stay-at-home mom doesn’t make me a super woman or a failure, both of which I’ve felt at different times. Staying home with my little boys in this season of life is gratifying and humbling and it’s a big part of my life, but it doesn’t define me.
What defines me is the way my eyes crinkle when I laugh and the way my voice shakes when I take a stand. What defines me is the love that pours out of my heart and my desire to trust that God writes the best stories.
“To grasp the old faithfulness of God anew every morning, to be able – in the middle of life – to begin a new life with God daily, that is the gift that God gives with every new morning.” (Deitrich Bonhoeffer)
His mercies are new each morning and it’s never too late to catch a new perspective and ask for God to breathe new life into tired bones. This is our time to love well and live with compassion and light the darkness.
So let’s go let snowflakes fall in our eyelashes and make snowangels and revel in fresh starts and new beginnings.