Category Archives: {inspired}

{inspired} She Reads Truth

I have been inspired by so many amazing resources in the last few months, and I keep thinking, maybe a few of you in my blog family would like these as much as I do! So I’m going to try to get a handful of {inspired} posts put together for you over the next few weeks. Let’s start with one I use nearly every day.
Do you know about She Reads Truth? It’s a super encouraging website consisting of many different devotional collections and Bible reading plans for women. Each day, SRT posts a new devotional to their current series, but you can access old collections for free on their website. A few recent plans include Esther, Hosea, Hebrews, The Risen Christ, and Hospitality.

In addition to their website, SRT has apps for both iPhone and Android. I love the convenience of their free iPhone app, which includes the complete Bible in a few versions and artistic lock screens and photos with inspiring verses and quotes. The actual devotionals do cost money, but they are only a couple dollars for each series and you can then get them right on your phone. Since we’re not spending anything extra right now, I added a link to their website on my home screen where I can access the devotionals for free. Both options are great!

If you’re looking for a beautifully written, encouraging devotion to help you get in the Word every day, I definitely recommend She Reads Truth.

Do you have a favorite devotional book or resource?


Discolsure: I have not been compensated in any way for my thoughts in this post. All opinions are my own.






{inspired} I Run 4

Do you workout? Ever think it’d be nice to have a little more motivation to get your workouts in? I Run 4 is a perfect reason to get your run in, to complete your yoga workout, or go for a long walk.

I was first introduced to I Run 4 one year ago. The organization started in January 2013 when a runner named Tim started dedicating his runs to a guy named Michael, who has Down syndrome. A few friends joined Tim in dedicating their miles, which started that official group. By September of 2014, the group had grown to 30,000 members consisting of runners and their buddies. That’s crazy growth!

I began following IRun4 on Facebook last spring. Being a part of the Facebook group has been wonderful. Every time I check Facebook, I see at least a couple posts from a few runners to their buddies or from the buddies to their runners. They encourage one another and celebrate the big & small events of their lives. It’s a beautiful group that is creating awareness of many conditions and building relationships between families all around the world.  This video is a small gimpse into the awesomeness of this group!

Finally, last fall I decided to complete the form and get a buddy for Sam. Just a few days later, we got a very exciting Facebook message that Sam had been matched! Kim has been clocking miles through the bitterly cold winter months and dedicating them to our little man. She posts her progress on my wall or with the iRun4 group with cute graphics and sweet pictures. I always show them to Sam who smiles and points at the pictures. Of course, he doesn’t quite understand what it’s all about quite yet but he will before long.  Sam will continue to be Kim’s buddy while we’re in Kenya, because all we’ll need is a connection to Facebook, and most days we will have that! We do hope to someday meet Kim in real life so Sam can cheer her on during a race and maybe even run across the finish line with her. Wouldn’t that be amazing?


Not only does Sam have a buddy, but as of last night, Ella does, too! The organization has developed the irun4 sibling group to develop relationships between runners and siblings of those in the iRun4 group. Ella is going to be thrilled to connect with her runner. It will be her own special thing.  I can’t wait to tell her after school!

Do you know someone who would be interested in matching up with a runner or buddy? Send them to! I especially encourage you to do this if you know anyone who is not able to run, no matter their age. The list of runners is quite long, but buddies are not as plentiful. Let’s help spread the word and get more runners and buddies connected!



Last-Minute Life-Changing Christmas Gifts

There are only a couple days left until Christmas and I know not all of us may have finished our Christmas shopping yet. It’s okay! These three organizations have some fantastic gifts that mean a whole lot more than a random gift picked up at the store on the corner. Even if you don’t need any more gifts for your family or friends, I still encourage you to check out their websites. They are doing some incredible things around the world!

Christmas Gifts



Formerly Compassion International, our family has been a part of this organization for more than five years. They have an online catalog filled with gifts that truly change the lives of mothers, widows, and children all over the world. A few examples: baby’s medical care for one year, provide a newborn care package, provide safe drinking water, provide shelter for children at risk. You can purchase the gift right now and then print a card at home or send an e-card to tell your recipient about the gift you’ve given in their name. Make it as last-minute as you want!


Last week I hosted a Sole Hope shoe cutting party to help make shoes for kids who desperately need them in Uganda. Sole Hope provides jobs for those who put the shoes together in Uganda and then gives shoes to children to protect their feet from tiny little bugs that crawl up in their feet and lay eggs. It’s incredibly painful. The cost of sponsoring one pair of shoes in $10. You can donate directly to Sole Hope or you can purchase something from their shop that will also help provide funds for the shoes.

3. NO. 41

I learned about No. 41 after meeting their founder at a conference last year and absolutely love what they are doing for students in Rwanda. This is an organization that provides meals for kids who would otherwise go without. A simple donation of $5 provides a month of 2 meals a day (20 meals!) for students. You can purchase the gift and then print a card right from their website. They also have bags & shirts that can be purchased if you’d like to give an actual gift to a friend. The proceeds then go to providing lots of meals for students.

We purchased gifts from all three of these organizations this year and are really looking forward to telling our gift recipients about them!

Do you have any organizations you love at Christmas? How did you find out about them?



{inspired} to reflect + a really great download

Friends, I have been doing a whole lot of reflecting through the last month. All that reflecting inadvertently resulted in a very quiet blog. I apologize if you have been checking and have not found anything beyond my last post of our backyard picnic. I needed a little focus-on-me time, and I’m really glad I did it because I’m at a far better place now. Here’s a little of what I was thinking about & experimenting with…


1. Fitness. If you’ve known me longer than 2 1/2 years, the time that our little Sammy baby arrived, you’ve known that fitness is really important to me. I used to run a lot and do all kinds of Beachbody workouts. Pete and I were also starting to do some pretty sweet obstacle races, including the 11+ mile Tough Mudder. I ran three marathons between the arrival of Ella and Sam. Then, in the wildness of an unexpected diagnosis, grad school, a bake shop, a husband in residency, and a trip to Kenya, I lost track of my physical health. I tried over and over to get it back on track, but I seemed to fail every single time. It was incredibly discouraging. I’m uncomfortable with what has happened to my physical self. I’ve had to say no to friends when asked to join them for races. I don’t feel I’m a good example physically to my beautiful little girl who is always watching me. And I don’t feel like my outward appearance matches who I am on the inside. One month ago, I decided to make a big change and fully commit to my daily workouts. I’m very happy to say that I have had a successful month! Mentally, I’m at a far healthier place now, knowing that I am on a strong path to getting my fitness back. I’ve taken the time in the afternoons to workout, the same time I had been using to write. That’s why you haven’t been seeing new posts. It’s been very, very good for me. I plan to have further updates as the weeks pass, though now I’ll be writing in the mornings, so I can continue to workout in the afternoons.

2. Get a job? Go back to school?  Now that Ella is in kindergarten throughout the day and Sam is a rock star of a napper, I’ve had much more time to myself. I went through a period of time a month ago wondering if I should get a part-time job. I don’t want to put Sam in daycare, though, so it would need to be something I can do from home. After praying about that quite a bit, I didn’t feel like a job was the right thing for me. (I’m incredibly fortunate to be in a position to make that choice.) Then I wondered if I should use the time to go back to school. Another Masters degree? Yes, I just finished my Master of Education, but I’ve struggled with the idea that I’m not doing anything here at home. I know, parents who stay home with their kids know that’s a silly thing to say. I’m certainly not doing nothing here. But I’m a do-er. I need to be doing something that makes me feel like I’m moving forward. That in itself requires a lot of prayer. Is that really how I should be feeling? Is that just the spirit of busyness making me feel crappy for not doing more? That’s a hard balance. Do you feel that, too? It can be so tough to know the right thing to choose.

So this is what I’ve decided. After steering away from getting a job, I actually applied for another online Masters program. I applied and then prayed & prayed and just felt it wasn’t the right timing for me. I feel instead like God is moving me in the direction of writing and women’s ministry. I seriously could not be more excited about these two things! I’ve wanted to start a mom’s group at our house for a pretty long time, but now that we’re in our new home, I feel like it’s the right time. I also have such a love for writing and a deep desire to learn how to do it better. I just registered for an online blog class and soon hope to join a writing group with a few friends. I don’t know exactly what it will look like, but I feel like God is lighting my heart for expressing myself even more through words. I do think that will result in a far more active blog, which I’ll cast vision for soon. I’ll be sure to share when I do. I hope all of you come along on the journey! It’s going to be exciting, especially as I learn to dive further into what it looks like to parent my two darlings, prepare for life in Africa, do ministry, and to express myself more authentically.

So, I mentioned in this post’s title that I’ve got a really great download, and I surely do! My friend Jen is an incredible life coach and has been helping me process all the big life thoughts I mentioned above. As we near the end of the year, it’s a perfect time to process what has happened in our lives in the last year, and she has created a fantastic tool to do just that. I’m really looking forward to going through it in the next week or two. CLICK HERE to download it for yourself!

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Also, Jen is doing a FREE webinar tomorrow – Tuesday, December 2 at 1pm CST – and she’s invited all readers of The Mango Memoirs to participate! I’ve known Jen for years and love listening to her share her heart, so I know this is going to be so worth the time. CLICK HERE for more information and to register. I’ll definitely be participating!


PS I have not been compensated in any way for promoting Jen’s download or free webinar. She’s a friend and I want to share the awesomeness!

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