When I asked Tamara if she wanted to host a booth at Hearts at Home this year she was even more excited to attend when she heard Bob Goff was the keynote speaker. God was leading and providing when two of her paintings sold the day before she had to decide if she should do a booth. Guess what the paintings sold for? The exact amount she needed for the booth! God did the same for me when He provided through a generous donor (and friend) who wanted to make sure I was there if I could be. This person and I met at Hearts at Home two years ago the first time we had a booth. God has crossed our paths in several cool ways the last few years and we have loved partnering with her to help women grow closer to the Lord. Tamara and I are both so grateful for God's hand in guiding these ministries. 

While Bob was speaking Tamara did what she does. She art journaled the message and the art on the top right was what she took away from the talk. The bottom left Bible journaling is from a talk Bob did at Willow Creek Community Church that tied into this message. His humor makes him fun to watch, but his message cuts to the heart. He said "Don't be right. Be Jesus." How often do we damage a relationship by having to be right? It reminds me of that saying "we win the battle, but lose the war."
Bob said we make sharing our faith more complicated than is necessary. He made the point that if the joy of Jesus was pouring out of us we would be so attractive to others that they would want to know our Jesus. He also said if we are not living on the edge of "yikes" than we might be a tad too comfortable for our own good and for God's good. God never asked us to play it safe. His book is Love Does and right now there is a
We met some great women and got to hear their stories.These three sisters attended with their mom - which I thought would be so fun! Kim Eplett and Marcia Starck in the bottom left picture have attended the Hearts at Home conference together for the last 17 years! How cool is that? 
If you want to hear the conference recordings too you can choose which ones you want to hear and order them at this link. If you are in love with these beautiful paintings by Tamara, there are still a few of the originals remaining from her "True Colors" Art Exhibit she did at the Nixie Gallery just outside Chicago. That exhibit was a tribute to her deceased mother and grandmother. Her mother had a love for animals and her grandmother had a way of seeing people for who they truly were and loving them right where they were. You can buy prints from this collection for just $10 on her website. If I was having another baby I would buy one of her originals and decorate the whole nursery around it and maybe even do the kids bathroom. They are all so gorgeous! 
I was thrilled to be asked to speak at the Illinois Christian Home Educators conference in Naperville, IL this June. I attended last year and was impressed with the entire event. I met ICHE board member Wanda Dowell when she attended one of our day retreats near the Wisconsin border. She mentioned an interest in having me speak at this conference, and praise the Lord he worked it all out. 

I was excited to see that ICHE mentioned the journal and upcoming talk in their recent newsletter . I noticed Kathy Koch will be speaking there too. She is an author and speaker I loved hearing at past Hearts at Home conferences. You can learn more about our talks by clicking the "read more" button under her picture in this newsletter. This links to all the speakers. The ICHE conference has so many wonderful topics that fit ALL christian parents, not just homeschool parents and it is very affordable. See a link in their newsletter for registration information.   

We had an awesome giveaway at our Hearts at Home booth thanks to author Carol Kinsey. You can have it now too for FREE! It is a 14-day companion devotional for kids to use with or without the Spiritual Circle Journal for Kids/Teens. 

I have loved reading Carol's Christian fiction books "Greater Love" and "Until Proven Innocent." They were so filled with suspense it was hard to put them down! Carol included two FREE chapters of her 3rd book "Under the Shadow of the Steeple" with this kids devotional. Her books can be found on Amazon and she has Creative Writing homeschool curriculum that can go with a few of them. How nice to have a good book you can enjoy and discuss with your kids! 
One of the best parts about having a booth at the Hearts at Home conference is all the great friends we make who are also hosting booths. They have such great products that make fabulous gifts and they love the Lord. In future issues I plan to feature several of them. This green tote came from the Thirty-One Bags vendor and it is now mine! I have a great story to share about how I got to take it home for practically nothing and I will tell you all about it in the next newsletter - so stay tuned! 
A few times a year I put the Spiritual Circle Journal on sale. Since the journal was created out of my desperation to find God deeply in the small pockets of time I could find after having my third child, it would make sense to discount it for Mother's Day. 

If you have been wanting one you can order it here. If you know a frazzled, tired mom who is missing her deep walk with God, help her find it by gifting her a journal this year. She will thank you and her family will thank you because it will help make her a better, more focused mom and wife. 
May 20th in Palatine, IL
If you want to hear a Spiritual Circle Journal class there is one right around the corner in Palatine, IL (a suburb outside Chicago). This morning mini-retreat is open to all women. After my two-hour, interactive workshop a Christian yoga instructor will lead the group through an hour of Holy Yoga. Can't wait to give it a try because I hear she is a great instructor who leads with scripture and uses worship music as we meet God on our mats.  Here is a link to the event flyer. T o attend, register on the shop page. 
If you want Tamara and I's speaker information sheets with topics/retreats we offer for your women's ministry events, mom's groups, or conferences please reply to this email with "speaker info"  in the subject line. Now is when we start booking for the next school year so please get your requests in early.  To listen to our Moody Radio Interview, click here . Hope you enjoyed this special edition of the newsletter. Feel free to share these freebies with your friends and family!