Friday, September 19, 2008

Day 5 - Winner Announced!

Congratulations to Dorothy!

Since I never heard from Breien, Dorothy is our runner up! Dorothy,
please email your mailing address to me (knitsandknots at gmail dot com) and I will get your info to Hearts at Home so they can get it out to you right away!


Congratulations to Breien in Lansingerland !!

Her name was drawn** to win a free copy of Ordinary Mom, Extraordinary God. Breien, pl ease email your mailing address to me (knitsandknots at gmail dot com) and I will get your info to Hearts at Home so they can get it out to you right away!

Thanks to everyone who participated, I hope you enjoyed learning more about Hearts at Home this week! If you haven't already done so, check out to check out all the free mothering resources!

**note: Winners were chosen by assigning a number to each commenter, and then using the random number generator at to determine the winning entry. If I don't hear from Breien by the end of the day Friday, Sept 26 a new winner will be drawn and announced.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Contest Day 4 - Resources

Hearts at Home has tons of resources available to support the development of any mom in any stage of life. I bought two books last year, Ordinary Mom, Extraordinary God and My Heart's at Home by H-a-H founder Jill Savage. These both seemed timeless and like great long-term resources as my kids won't be tiny forever!

Since I already shared about Ordinary Mom, Extraordinary God on Monday, I thought I'd share about My Heart's at Home today. Jill Savage is a mom to 5 children - she knows what she's talking about when it comes to mothering! Here's an excerpt from the website where you can buy the book:
Founder and CEO of Hearts at Home Jill Savage explores the important role "home" plays in a family's journey. With her personable and engaging style, Jill shares practical ideas, grace for mistakes, and spiritual insight from her experience as a mother of five and conversations with many other moms that will inspire you to create a home environment that fills your heart in more ways than you can imagine.
I really loved Jill's casual writing style that both encouraged me as a mom and challenged me to think. One thing Jill talked about was making my home a refuge from the cold, cruel world - not just for my own children, but for each child who enters my door. As a part-time childcare provider for my nephew and various other children through out the year, this was a huge encouragement and challenge to me!

Don't forget, today is the last day to leave a comment on my blog to be entered in a chance receive a copy of Ordinary Mom, Extraordinary God! Or you can visit to purchase your own copy of My Heart's at Home or any other of their wonderfull resources. You can even sign up for a free e-newsletter to stay connected to Hearts at Home throughout the year!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Contest Day 3 - Conferences

Hearts at Home holds 3 conferences annually in the center of the country. I attended the Great Lakes Regional conference in Grand Rapids last year. I'll share with you what the experience was like for me at my first Hearts at Home experience.

We arrived on a Friday evening and joined thousands of other moms for an evening of music, drama, and fun. The speaker was Lisa Welchel ("Blair" from "The Facts of Life" for those of you born by 1980) who was very entertaining and encouraging. At the end of the evening we had a chance to shop through the huge store of resources that they had brought along and set up in the conference center. The Friday night session is considered a "Mom's Night Out" and it was a great way to spend a Friday night!

We enjoyed a leisurely evening and woke up early the next morning for the full day of workshops. We had a few main sessions featuring Lisa again. My friend and I also attended 4 workshops that day. Some of our workshops overlapped, some did not. We each had picked 10 sessions that seemed interesting to us, and the conference coordinators made sure that each person got to attend 4 of the 10 they had picked. A lunch was provided for us and we met up to eat together. The day was capped off with a great worship session and send-off. We took some time to look through the "store" again and then walked a few blocks to the downtown area and had a great meal.

One of my favorite parts of the whole experience was when my friend and I sat down that evening and looked over the notes we had taken. We shared what we learned at the sessions we weren't in together. It was like I had gone to 7 instead of my 4! It was a great time of processing what I had learned. It was that night that we decided we were making the trip back to the same conference this year! It was so moving and impactful that we knew we needed to make it a priority to come again. I returned home renewed, refreshed, and "recharged" with a new outlook on how to be the best mom and wife I could be!

After all this talk of what Hearts at Home is all about, it makes you want to go, doesn't it? Well there's still time to sign up for these conferences:

October 3-4, 2008 Grand Rapids, Michigan
November 7-8, 2008 Rochester, Minnesota
March 13-14, 2009 Bloomington, Illinois

If you don't live close enough to drive to a conference, and hopping on a plane isn't an option, you can also order a Home Conference Packet which gives you the conference via CD. That's a nice deal for the nursing mother that's not ready to leave her little one and come as well! Visit for more info.

Don't forget to leave a comment about how you keep your "mommy batteries" charged to be entered in the drawing to receive a Hearts at Home resource!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Contest Day 2- Founder interview

Tanks for all the great comments yesterday. I have a great list of ideas now of how to keep my "mommy batteries" charged! Remember - if you leave a comment on this or any post this week, you will be entered in a drawing to win a valuable Hearts at Home resource! (See Monday's post for more info) Today's post is going to include a question and answer style interview with Hearts at Home Founder, Jill Savage.

What is the meaning of the name "Hearts at Home"
There are so many good things that a mom can do---not just in the workplace, but also in the volunteer arenas. Before we know it, our heart is tugged in so many different directions. We encourage women to keep their heart at home---making their family their first priority---because we only have one chance to raise our kids.

Briefly describe your ministry and its purpose.
Hearts at Home is a Christ-centered organization designed to encourage, educate, and equip women in the profession of motherhood. We offer encouragement through our conference events, website (, published resources, bi-monthly magazine, and our newly launched radio program. Our National conference alone, held in Central Illinois every spring, hosts over 5,000 moms each year. The women who attend represent over 30 different states.

What does it mean to professionalize motherhood?
Most moms answer the "what do you do" question with "Oh, I'm just a mom." That answer alone speaks volumes about the lack of value she feels about what she does everyday. However, when a woman thinks of motherhood as a valid profession, she carries herself differently. A professional sets goals, seeks out continuing education, and sees her contribution to society in a positive way. When this woman answers the "what do you do" question, she responds with I'm a wife and a mom and I love my job. I'm a woman committed to the profession of motherhood.

How do you run an international ministry and still be the mother you're instructing others to be?
15 years ago when Hearts at Home had our first mothering conference, we were expecting about 500 moms to attend. When 1100 mothers from 10 states showed up we realized that what we meant for a one-time event, God meant for the birth of a ministry. One of my early prayers was, "Lord, if this is going to be bigger than my vision, you have to send me many moms to make the work light." God has answered that prayer over and over again. We have over 150 moms and about a dozen dads that serve the Hearts at Home ministry year-round. They each take one little piece of the puzzle and do their job well. I may be the most visible voice and face of the ministry, but home is still my priority.

Why must mothers make sure that their hearts are at home?
Most of us don't realize just how fast our kids grow up. In the blink of an eye your kid moves from a Happy Meal to Value Meal #9! When you keep your heart at home, you make the most of this unique season of motherhood.

How do you become the "intentional" mom that your family needs? What exactly does it mean to be intentional about motherhood?
Being intentional is about deliberately using the moments we are given with our children. It's about being proactive rather than reactive. An intentional mom has a vision for her family and home environment and she pursues that with purpose and goals.

Jill Savage and her husband Mark live in Central Illinois with their five children ranging in ages 8-20. Jill is the founder of Hearts at Home (, and is a sought after author and speaker.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Blog Contest Week!

One of my favorite ministries for mommies, Hearts at Home, is hosting a Blog Contest Week and I wanted to take part! Hearts at Home is a Christian-based ministry, dedicated to supporting and encouraging mothers through every stage of motherhood - from bringing home their first newborn baby to helping their adult children cope with a newborn of their own! Each day this week I will be sharing a little bit about the ministry of Hearts at Home and what it has meant to me as a wife and mother of 2 preschoolers. Stay tuned for info on how you can win a valuable Hearts at Home resource!

As a college student, I always pictured myself as a career woman who would easily balance the pressures of business and the priorities of being a mother. All that changed drastically the moment I found out I was expecting our first child! Suddenly I wanted nothing more than to be home with my baby all day every day to watch him or her grow.

I began to stay home with my son the day he was born and soon discovered that this mothering thing is not as easy or "natural" as everyone had made me think! I was now the main source of care and and love for this tiny being. How was I to take care of him and still find room for caring for myself? It got even harder as another child joined our family and I began to feel like I no longer existed.

I had heard about Hearts at Home through some friends at church who attended a conference every year, but had been unable to attend. Last year I decided it was time to invest in motherhood they way I invest in any business prospect - I needed to get some training! I convinced a friend to attend, and we headed up to Grand Rapids, MI for the Great Lakes Regional Conference. I'll share more about my experience there in a later post, but for now I will say the conference awakened me to a whole new concept of mothering and really recharged my "mommy batteries"!

And now for the contest!!!
One of the best resources I bought at the conference last year was a devotional book called Ordinary Mom, Extraordinary God, by Mary E. Demuth. Its a wonderful book full of 1-2 page reminders of why it is we do what we do as Christian women, mothers and wives. I found it to be invaluable over the last year as I sometimes read the same devotionals day after day, soaking in God's truth about me time and again! If you leave a comment on this post, or any post this week, your name will be entered into a drawing to win your very own copy of Ordinary Mom, Extraordinary God provided by Hearts at Home. Here's what I want you to answer in your comment: what you do to keep your "mommy batteries" charged?

Check out for more info on the ministry and conferences available!

Friday, September 12, 2008

Upcoming Trips!

The next few months before holiday season is going to be busy for me. I am heading to a Mom's conference over a long weekend in October and then to India for 10 days in early November! I'll be posting more about the mom's conference next week, but today I'll share about India.

Here's an excerpt from the support letter I have sent out:
God has been doing many things in my life lately, not the least of which is giving me a desire to develop a heart of compassion for the people of the world. Living in a supportive and loving community surrounded by people who are in many ways very much like me has been wonderful for my spiritual growth, but it has served to insulate me from the needs of people around the globe.

On November 8-18, I have the opportunity to join a team from my church to serve at an orphanage in Raxaul, Bihar, India and dive head-first into the world as it is experienced by many people today. If you don't know much about the region, Bihar is a north-central Indian state, bordering Nepal. I am told that there are 85 million people there, less than 2% of whom claim Christianity. Bihar is considered the "graveyard of missions". ServLife, a Christian organization, has an orphanage there and is building a new building, as well as a school, resident guesthouse, and training school building. They are a bright light in a very dark place. We hope to support the local Indian missionaries and build eternal relationships. (If you would like to know more about ServLife and how to participate in what God is doing around the world, please check out their website:

The orphanage will also be hosting a pastor's conference for indigenous Indian pastors while we are there. We will be spending time with the children, encouraging the staff, and providing some basic medical care including vitamins and protein supplements. We will also help out with the pastor's conference, and some from our team may provide teaching as well. It is our prayer and hope to encourage the saints in India doing God's work, and to play a small role serving while we are there.

I am really excited about the trip and trust that God will provide the funds for me to attend. Matt and I have been considering adoption for a long time, and having the opportunity to serve in an international orphanage will hopefully go a long way in truly breaking my heart for the children of the world. Please pray with me as I prepare to leave! You can also keep my family in your prayers as Matt will be staying home with the kids the whole time I'm gone - a mission all on its own!