About the Author

Kristen writes at her parenting blog, We Are THAT Family and is author of Rhinestone Jesus: Saying Yes to God When Safe Sparkly Faith is No Longer Enough and founder of The Mercy House. Follow Kristen on twitter as @WeareTHATfamily.

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  1. I would love to win this book!! I made a choice of who to room with in college. We ended up getting engaged the same night, married 2 weeks apart, our first apartments were buildings next to each other, our houses were 5 apart. Our kids (all 9..I had 4 and she had 5..twins the last time; are all 3-6 months apart. The moved out to NM with us to start a church) One of the best decisions ever…led by the Lord. =0)

  2. It’s so easy to get preoccupied with the “big choices,” and neglect the vital importance of the “smaller” ones. It’s more dramatic and pride-stroking in Christian circles to be the leader in a Bible Study at church or be on the forefront of some edgy ministry to the homeless (or move to a foreign country). But, I am constantly being reminded that my love and Christ-following is best measured in the small acts I do daily. The way I talk to my kids. The way I pursue my husband. The places the money in my purse goes.

    So, to answer the question about a good choice . . .

    Today, I kissed my husband before he left for work. I stopped his car as it backed out of the driveway. And even though I didn’t really FEEL that romantic, I put the baby down, reached through the window and really kissed him. And I think that was a “small”, but important, choice.

    Thanks for the post, Kristen.

  3. After moving halfway across the country and basically starting over I have been struggling to get a schedule so I put my foot down with myself and made a schedule and a menu. I’m a happier person and a better wife and mother when I feel the housework is under control. It’s not a huge thing, but it’s something that affects every day life.

  4. Despite having aspirations to be a success at work after earning a doctorate in engineering, I realized I could not balance both work and family. I was stubborn and tried to hang on with both, but eventually stopped working, when my health suffered. Our family life is so much better now and I enjoy it – I stay busy volunteering at church and school, being a DIYer at home, a Compassion sponsor (thru your blog) which teaches my girls so much, and more. “Simple” works best for our family. Thank you.

  5. I recently made the choice to consider the internet “off” to me during the day. I think our whole family has benefitted.

  6. I made a choice to stop working from home, because my boss was asking me to be dishonest. I really miss the income, but nothing was worth doing something I knew was wrong.

  7. We have made the choice to send our children to our church’s school so they will receive a faith based education. We don’t drive new cars or live in a big house but it is our prayer that our children will spend eternity with us and cannot think of a better choice for their spiritual well being!

  8. A good choice I made was to buy 3 plane tickets and fly my friend and her three precious children out of really awful, unsafe situation. This decision led to many things in my life completely changing. At times, it has been hard. But, when I see their faces, I know that they are SAFE. My choice affected them in a way that I couldn’t even imagine. Some of the changes that came from that choice were hard and uncomfortable. But, they were and still are ABSOLUTELY worth it!

    I’d love to win this book – it looks and sounds like a favorite to us already!

  9. I LOVE children’s books…hope to write some myself one day. And would love to add this beautiful one to my collection.

    Today I chose to take two long walks instead of succuming to my toddler’s desire to watch TV. This helped me feel better, helped calm my fussie 2 month old, and allowed my toddler to enjoy the outdoors as we talked about all the things we saw.

    I’ve also been trying to make daily choices to reach out and cultivate community with other stay at home moms. I know I desperately need friends and I believe that others like me do, too. I met a new mom last week and called her yesterday to schedule lunch next week. It’s hard to put yourself out there but I trust that there will be a great benefit for us both!

  10. Oh sweet Kristin, you bless my socks off every time I read your posts. One of the best decisions I ever made was marrying my Hubby. We both were walking the broken road and together we met Jesus, our walks taught our kiddos to love Jesus, and we have the privilege to have walked with many friends and family who now know Jesus. So thankful Jesus knows better, but gives us a chance to decide anyway!

  11. That sounds like my kind of children’s book!
    Today I chose to play in the backyard with my girls for over an hour, when at first I didn’t feel like it. It affected me by renewing gratitude in my heart, and each of my daughters by communicating love and value to them in a way they understand, and all of us had a much happier heart after some running and tickling and playing and giggling outside. Our time together also led to some great opportunities for conversation about things the Lord has been prompting me to discuss with them.

  12. I made the choice to report a suspected case of child endangerment to the police. I had befriended a teenager and was concerned for her safety. It turned out she was struggling with a lot of issues and she was perfectly safe, but she had lied to myself, my son and numerous other people. I forgave her, or course. She was amazed that I would. This has affected her and her family as well as my son and potentially even other members of our youth group and church. God put in me a huge love for that young lady. I hold her accountable to the truth now, but I also love and support her in everything she goes through and she knows she can count on me no matter what.

  13. I made the decision to become a doula and it has influenced all the clients I have had along with many friends who I have been able to talk to and help with their birth choices. It has been a wonderful way to extend God’s love to other women, especially in my postpartum doula work and pregnancy loss support.

  14. Sounds like a GREAT book! Thanks for the chance to win. I (along with my husband) made the choice, ten years ago this November, to make the sacrifices necessary to be a single-income family and a stay-at-home mom. A few short years later, I (along with my husband) made the decision to homeschool my kids. Those two choices have changed our family forever…and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

  15. Wow, I can’t think of any good choices I have made lately…we have an almost 6 week old, an almost 3 year old and a 4 year old. I think the best choice I have made recently is to keep busy w/my family as I battle ppd. That way, we can still enjoy each other as family even as mommy is walking through some stuff of her own.

  16. This sounds like a wonderful book! One of the best “good choices” we’ve made is to pray for others with our children. They are 6 and 3 1/2 and I love to listen to their prayers at the end of each day.

  17. The best choice our family made was for me to stay home full-time when our first daughter was born. I loved my job in banking and when I quit our household income fell by 60%. It has been hard on our budget, hard for me at times, but now our girls are 7, 5, and 3.5 and as each season flies by faster than the last, I am happy that I have seen each day. Today as I watched my big girls walk to school, I was undone by love for them. Thank you Jesus for the privilege of parenting.

  18. That book sounds excellent!

    Today I made the choice to avoid unnecessary “no’s” when my son asked to do something. This meant we had a wonderful day outside instead of heading in early so Mommy could sit down and rest.

  19. I chose to walk to walk the difficult road of healing so that I can experience a freedom that I’ve never known, which I know will affect me…but those around me as well.

  20. There have been times in my life when I thought I was justified in avoiding people; I just didn’t want to be around them. I thought it was enough to focus totally on God and nourish that relationship while ignoring my neighbor. However, several years ago I was convicted that people were important to Jesus; He was all about people. Since then I have tried to see people through Jesus’s eyes…I can make that small effort to smile, say a kind word, chat with someone in a wheelchair…I’ve stopped ignoring people and I found my life is much richer.

  21. I have eyeing that book for awhile.
    We started sponsoring a compassion child in the last few months. The crazy thing is we/I have been more effected then I ever imagined. She is a sweet 10 year old girl in Uganda.

  22. Beautiful book! I made a choice to follow the Lord, though the going is sometimes rough, and to submit to His holy will as I strive to serve Him in this foreign country (the home of my husband) when I would so much rather be in my home country.

  23. oooohhh! This book looks fantastic!!!

    Yesterday at a convenience store, an older man was trying to buy a candy bar on a credit card. The power was out (which happens a lot locally), so it was cash only. I dug in my change compartment and bought his candy bar – the equivalent price of $0.75. He was shocked. He actually struggled to accept it. Then said, “I didn’t know Americans were generous – but you are American, I hear it in your accent. You’ve changed my mind”. He thanked me and we parted ways – but this encounter will stick with me.

    Change happened when I wasn’t intentionally trying to create it… but when I was just helpin’ a brother (okay, older man) out!

  24. I am excited about this book! There are so many people I know who are not enjoying life by choice & I so don’t want that for myself & my children! Knowing that our God has big plans for us & seeking His will puts us in just the right place to seek joy. That is the choice I have made, to seek joy in Christ & ptl my kids are joyful people too!

  25. This is the second time tonight that I have found this same book recommended as a great read, so I am going to have to check it out (which I am sure will lead me to purchasing it). A good choice I made was moving into this neighborhood after much prayer to God to put us into the area he wanted us to be in. It has been a great move for my entire family and for the friends that we have made. I see God moving in our lives and that of the others around us. It is good to pray and ask God to do His will in our lives, because we still can make a difference in the world that we live in. πŸ™‚

  26. A good choice I have made is to live in the moments. To try my best to really be present with my husband and my sons when I am with them. To soak up all I can about the moments we have together. Doesn’t matter if we’re playing outside, reading a bible story, or watching TV.

  27. The most recent decision was to homeschool my daughter for K this year. It really has been a huge blessing to have that one on one time with her and help her learn and grow – and she has enjoyed it too. It may not be something we continue to do – we will take it year by year – but for this year it was the right thing! πŸ™‚ Thanks for the chance to win – I keep hearing about this book!

  28. One of the good choices I’ve made is to always be there for my friends. They know that at any time they can come talk to me, and i’ll be there to listen.

    I’d love to win that book and give it to my nephew. πŸ™‚

  29. Way back when……I was having babies 3 under 4. I decided to stay home.
    We really needed the money. But God had other plans. Somehow I was able to be the mama that I was supposed to be.
    At the time, I had no idea the impact that my mothering would have on my kids. Now, my oldest is in college (20 yrs) and my daughters both in high school. I see what that investment really meant.
    I was able to teach my kids such valuable life lessons and to instill in them a real foundation with Christ.
    Not only do I see a difference in my kids…….so do others.

    Looking back, I see….that was the best decision I’ve ever made!
    Thank you Lord for making that work for my family. And to my hubby who listened to God when He said, “Mama should be home!”.
    πŸ™‚

  30. I made the decision to be intentional in my friendships. Not only has it benefited myself and my friends, but my family because I am no longer feeling stretched quite as thin. I don’t have to be a friend to everyone but in the moment, I need to focus on the friend I am with and remember the friends who help me become a better version of myself.

  31. Thank you for this post. “Hurting people hurt people.” WOW.
    I moved to Australia in 1998 and worked for two years with college students there. It was SUCH a good decision to remove myself from the familiar, be in a place where reliance on the Lord was a must, and live at a much slower pace. It will never cease to amaze me how the Lord uses the things we might not expect.

  32. wow – big and small decisions all impact. on recent practical one is no phones or internet between supper time and kids bed time. this has resulted in more focused family time, play and chats.

  33. One of my best decisions happened earlier this year when I left my full time management job to stay home and be a wife. My husband and I don’t have any kids, but with his crazy work schedule and health issues in our extended families there has been much that needed attention and working around. The positive impact has been greater on our marriage and our families than I could ever have imagined!

  34. I love things like this that communicate big truths to my little ones! Would love to win a copy. On choices, staying home with my children, being involved in their lives, homeschooling them – these are big things that affect them for the good and by God’s grace for eternity!

  35. I work at a very high-stress job and there is a lot of negativity in my workplace among my coworkers. I try, no matter what the circumstances or current crisis, to have a smile on my face to reflect my joy in Christ. Many days someone will comment on this, saying that I seem to be smiling no matter what – glory to God! πŸ™‚

  36. That book sounds amazing! I made the decision to move to Scotland to help plant a church, and then to South Africa to help start a charity. The choices have been hard and the years have been long, but I’ve seen the impact they’ve had, on a life here, a day there, and it is glorious to believe that I’m a tiny part of Jesus changing the world!

  37. We made the decision to move several states away from where we were living. I’m so glad we did, we’re much happier, we’re able to live closer to work so we can spend more time with the kids and we’re in a safer area, so I don’t need to worry about our kids as much.

  38. My husband and I have chosen to pursue moving to Uganda. We have felt God calling us to help the orphans that are at risk of human-trafficking. This will be a life altering change, but so much joy comes when we let go and let God!

  39. Thank you for this lovely post today. Very timely for me! My choice was to “retire” from a good paying job when my son was born. I was a career woman, but when I had my son that changed. We had kids later in life, adn I wanted to be able to spend time with them, as well as my aging parents. I worked part time as long as I could after maternity leave, then “retired” at 40. I sometimes miss my salary, but that’s really all I miss! :o)

  40. I chose to teach a sunday school class that needed a teacher, even though it was a lot of “trouble” and extra work. (Getting my 3 kids under 5 to church is enough work). It’s been a blessing to me, and I hope the kids I now teach.

  41. Following my husband’s wishes that I go back to work after sending our youngest off to school. It was not a necessity but a smart plane in this economy, my husband’s industry is volatile. The days that I dislike being outside my home I remind myself that if anything were to happen to my husband’s job we have health insurance and an income to fall back on. The perfect, flexible job at a Christian company became mine so I feel that God blessed our choice.

  42. I chose to move home after grad school. Doesn’t sound unusual, but my plans were big, and God changed them. If I hadn’t moved, I never would’ve worked for a children’s charity, met my husband, had kids, etc… my life and the lives of those around me would be completely different.

  43. I made the decision to forgive myself. Even if others choose not to…I still can. That decision has made my relationship with God so much stronger. It has had a profound effect on my own life and that of my son’s.

  44. I decided to actually serve at our local soup kitchen instead of just donating food. My life is forever changed after interacting with these neighbors of mine, who I probably wouldn’t have met if I wasn’t serving there. Seeing how excited my kids are to go and help each week – and to see their new friends – makes it all worth it to me.

  45. I made the choice to work part-time (I carry our heatlh insurance) and not keep up with the “Jones'”! We have shelter, food, and clothing but most of all we have Jesus and each other and that’s the most important thing. I’m still praying about jumping out of the boat and into the water by leaving work to be a SAHM, but my faith hasn’t caught up to my heart yet.

  46. I think our best choice was that to homeschool our kids. Moving out of the big city I grew up in was probably the 2nd. Our kids have grown up with the luxury of time on their hands, and space to run. They also love us, love the Lord, and value our family life and culture. This is exactly why I had kids in the first place, to enjoy them as people.

  47. Last night my husband was crabby….tired and had a bad day at work. When he’s crabby I want to try to help by talking about what is bugging him.

    He doesn’t want to – so it really doesn’t help when I nag at him.

    Last night, I literally was biting my tongue! Hopefully in the future I’ll continue to make that choice! He’s not crabby often so I have to remind myself over and over when it does to bite my tongue.

  48. Wow, so many great comments! πŸ™‚ I would love to win this book for my children because it sounds like what I am trying to teach them at home. I think, amidst all the bad decisions I make as a parent, one of the good ones has been trying to cultivate a missions heart in my children from a young age. We sponsor 2 children and we pray for them daily, write them letters, we pray for other missionaries from our church, we read biographies of famous missionaries. I love this aspect of our homeschool! πŸ™‚

  49. I made a choice to serve as a leader for VBS. I am not a singer, nor a great performer. I am not pretty or even attractive. I learned my lines, I led the kids ( with a lot of great support) not only did several children come to the alter to seek Christ as their personal savior on the last day, but I found that Jesus was so close .. so real, so absolutly perfect.. That led to leading a Moms in Touch International group… and to being a Christian presence in our public school, so that others are given the opportuntiy through Christ.. He opens the doors, He empowers me, and He uses me to bless others…and they find him…IF ya ever meet me.. you would not beleive it. I truly beleive that he Qualifies the called!

  50. Good choice… to make family devotions before school a priority.

    Who it affected… it has afftected me more than I ever excpected, also my family, their friends, their teachers, my friends, and I imagine that there are others who have been and will be affected that I will naver know about.

  51. Though I don’t like to “toot my own horn”, one of the best decisions that my husband and I have made (in terms of blessings to us and hopefully others) is to have children. I pray that they will one day change the world, as well!

  52. 10 years ago my husband and I met our children for the first time. They were beautiful. Upon meeting our daughter, we realized that she was special needs although the agency and orphanage director would not be open and honest about that. We were not prepared, both financially and emotionally, to raise a child with special needs. Courage spoke that day as we accepted both our daughter and son telling the judge that we wanted to adopt both children. I felt that God led me down that path for a reason and he believed in us and our children. Had I known before hand that our daughter was special needs I would have not chosen to adopt her. I am forever grateful that we did not know. She is a blessing. Our son doubles the blessing with his patience, compassion, and brightness. My children have made me a better wife, a better mother, a better daughter, a better sister, and a better friend. God raised the roof for us that day when he spoke to us.

  53. I would love to win a copy of this book to read with my two little boys! The best decision I ever made (only by the grace of God) was to attend a small Christian College for school instead of a large state school. I was a new believer in High School and I fear I would not be walking closely with the Lord now had I not been immersed in Bible classes and surrounded by more mature believers who had a heart for discipling.

  54. My husband and I made the choice to lose a second income and for me to stay home with our son. It has affected all of us in the best way possible!!

  55. I made a choice to get up with my husband each morning to pack his lunch. I know it encourages him, and is a tangible way to show my support and appreciation for all that he does for our family.

  56. I would love for my children to grow up reading this book.
    We recently took the step to give outside of ourselves. We have 3 small children, 3 and under, and are financially very tight. We learned of a family that just had their first child. They are both needing to work to make ends meet and desperately needed someone to watch their little girl.
    Even though we are extremely busy we decided to take on the challenge and the Lord has truly blessed our being willing to give outside ourselves.

  57. We adopted another Compassion child! His name is Henry and he lives in Guatemala. Adding him to our family has undoubtedly changes his life, but I know it will change ours! To God be the glory.

  58. I chose to go for counseling for a problem I kept minimizing. HUGELY HELPFUL. I am functioning better, more fully present, better equipped to minister to others. I think the people in my care are benefitting greatly from my choice.

  59. We made a choice to move to a new city in order to be closer to family. What I didn’t know is that God chose to bring us to be a witness in our neighborhood. We’ve only been here for 4 months and already have had opportunities to witness to a family who lost a child (like we did) and a family with a special needs child (like we have). We have been so blessed by the fact that God has chose to work thru us and are excited to see what else He has in store.

  60. We’re getting ready to over-haul our kids’ collection of books. This would make a wonderful addition to the new and improved collection.

    Recently, I made the decision to close my Facebook account. It was tempting me to waste oodles of my time. It was also tempting me to be judgmental or critical. Yuck. The decision has impacted me and everyone around me: my children get more of my attention and time, my husband gets a more productive (and, therefore, more fulfilled) wife, and my relationships with my friends have been put through the refinery. Some have burnt away and others have turned to gold. It was a *great* decision!

  61. I think one of the best choices that I (and my husband) was to be a stay-at-home mom. Sometimes the days are very long, and sometimes I just want to get away…but ultimately, I’m so glad that I have the privilege of being the one to care for them. It affects the whole family, because I am able to provide stability and security for my children. Now, as my oldest has headed off to kindergarten this week, I pray that she will be confident and secure in who she is and will change the world around her. She’s already been witnessing to one of her new little friends! I’m so thankful for the opportunity to be a mom.

  62. The Best decision my husband and I have made, was for me to stay home when we had our first son. I was a Christian School Teacher for 7 years, and have my days where I miss it. However, it has been SO rewarding to work with our boys on a day to day basis installing biblical virtues just through out our day. Just recently my husband and I have established “date night” at home. It is hard with 2 boys (3) and (8months) to make time for us. So, we have Wed. night and Friday nights reserved for this. And it is a bonus if both nights work out for us to do something fun after the boys go to bed. It has made me appreciate all that God has blessed me with and has really made our marriage healthy and blossom. What a great book to have for our boys. I would love to add this to their library!

  63. I’m actually struggling with this A LOT lately. I do not feel like I can do anything to make a difference… I just keep failing. But one good choice I have made (together with my husband) is to let God give us the family he wants, not the one we think we can handle… so far we have 6 amazing people here. Some of them would not be here if we decided differently πŸ™‚

  64. I made the choice to stick with my husband when he did not want to be with me.
    God is slowly restoring our marriage.

  65. My husband and I made a choice to spend 10 days in Cambodia this summer. It totally rocked our worlds, and now we’re saving up $ to go back with our 3 girlies. Would LOVE this book!!

  66. I am not bragging! I worked in nursing homes for about 25 years. I saw some residents whose families brought them there and never came back. I saw people whose minds were going or gone. My greatest privilege each day was to make their lives brighter. I tried very hard to do that. Maybe it was just walking down the hall with my arm around a resident. Maybe it was sitting with them for a few minutes and listening to them. Maybe it was feeding or bathing them. My greatest joy was seeing their smile or their eyes light up when I came into their rooms, or greeted them in the hall. They were special people to me and I have many good memories.

  67. Hmm…good choice…
    My newly-divorced sister-in-law and my 3-year-old niece are moving in with us in 2 weeks. I know this is dramatically going to change the atmosphere of my home and the dynamics of my family. While it wouldn’t be my first choice, I know opening my home to them is a good choice because it is the right thing to do. I’m hoping that this choice will be for the good of my family, as well as my sis-in-law and niece.

  68. I love this post Kristen! The book looks great. I will have to check and see if it is at our library here.

    I think for me a great choice is when we as a family committed to our first compassion child. We chose a girl the same age as my daughter who actually has a birthday the same month as mine. So in our family we celebrate two little girls birthdays in April.

    My prayer was that my children would have compassion and know that not everyone has a life like there’s. When we chose Guiselle from Guatemala, I knew that this would be a lifetime investment for our family. And I am not talking about the money. Everytime we talk about Guiselle or pray for her and her family, I am making a spiritual investment in my children’s life. It’s a WIN/WIN!

  69. That book looks wonderful! A good choice I’ve made recently has been to get serious about becoming debt-free! My husband and I started Dave Ramsey’s Total Money Makeover in May and it has affected everything for the better, from our checkbook to our marriage. I was able to throw my son a wonderful first birthday without stressing about how to pay for it and we were able to pay cash for a new one when our old laptop died a few weeks ago. Most importantly, we NEVER fight about money anymore. What a blessing!

  70. Good choices are not always easy choices. I spent 40 years at one church, loving the people and serving God, but things changed. I had to make a choice and with God’s leading my family found a new church to worship in and love new people (& still love the old people) and servce God in amazing ways. But the greatest thing, I have grown so much spiritually since the move, I am closer to God than ever.

  71. I made the decision about a year ago that if in this journey called life I have no choice but to be a single mom — I’m going to use that time to Disciple the little girl that God has given me. We sing songs about Jesus, we read a devotional each night before bed, we just LOVE God. And the other night when we were reading my daughters devotional it asked, “When terrible things happen in your life how does that make you feel?” and my daughter simply said, “Terrible things don’t happen in my life mama.” And after facing a horrible divorce, a move half way across the country and 2 years of counseling… I couldn’t help but praise God for her comfort and peace, that she has no idea that people get to make painful decisions and that life isn’t perfect…The Lord is faithful.

  72. I’ve waited all week to find the right opportunity to share the decision I made just last weekend. Saturday I wasted away an entire day cleaning house and trying to make everything meticulous. I’m somewhat anal when it comes to housework and laundry. I struggle when there is a load of laundry to be done or dirty dishes in the sink. I kept telling the boys all day “Wait a few minutes until I’m finished and we’ll do (insert whatever they were asking to do)” … next thing I knew it was bath and bedtime. The boys hadn’t got to do anything they wanted to do because I was never finished. They didn’t seem to mind but I did! It wasn’t fair to them. Then and there I decided that the laundry can wait … the dishes can wait too … the house doesn’t have to be meticulous … these little boys are going to grow up and I’m going to miss it because of my anal OCD. I walked away and never turned back … This week we have played outside in the dirt till dark, we went to a community reading/craft program, we went to the county fair, last night we played at the park until dark. Sure it’s pushed their bedtimes to a later hour but to see the joy in their eyes, hear their laughter, and to hear them say “That was so much fun Nanny” is worth every stitch of dirty laundry I was washing at 10:30 last night and every dirty dish I was loading in the dishwasher at 11pm. I’ve closed my eyes to what I thought was the horror of a dirty house and opened them to the wonders of little boys having more fun than they know what to do with and it hasn’t cost me one penny. Life is to short to worry about the little stuff when you’ve got little ones growing up way too quick!

  73. After 3 years of trying to give my toddler a sibling….we decided to seek outside help through a clinic and today we are expecting twins in january. My little guy is quite excited to be getting a baby brother and sister. It was a good decision to seek outside help.

  74. What an awesome sounding book.

    The choice I made was to not be like my parents and it will affect me and my children positively because of it. My parents screamed alot. They were demeaning and hurtful. Mentally tormenting my brother and I for our entire childhood. I chose to not repeat the cycle. I chose to be a different person and speak in loving tones and admiration to and of my children. My prayer – EVERY DAY – is that my kids will grow up to be loving, giving, happy adults because of the choice I made.

  75. After taking a couple of years off teaching bible study in a church, I was asked if I were interested in teaching young adolenece girls. The though tuged at the very heartstrings of my heart, I wanted to say no, but my heart answered yes before I could stop it… After teaching these last three months, my life is filled with so much joy as I deposit seeds of Gods love to these tender-hearted gitty girls. We laugh we share and we grow… Thank you incourage, for the daily posts, that inspire and remind us of the real purpose why we are here….

  76. The choice that I’m living out right now is to be available and present. We moved across the country last year and it was tempting (still is, sometimes) to focus on myself and what I miss about our last home, church, neighborhood, to be lonely, to resent this new place. I choose to embrace this new home, church and neighborhood – to put myself out there to make friends and to be a friend. God has been so good – I’ve met some great people, my children are making solid friendships, and our family has recently started a Bible study with new friends from our church.

  77. I would love to win a copy of this book! I am trying to change the world through http://www.beamsofgrace.com. God has given us great vision – now we are just trying to walk in obedience according to His plan! Sometimes it’s scary, trying to change the world. We are just one person…but God can do so much with someone who is committed to Him! You already know, Kristen, that you have inspired me through your commitment to follow His calling in Kenya! Blessings!

  78. Kristen,

    My husband is in full time ministry right now in an urban church and I so relate to your opening paragraphs. We’re trying to figure out how to do ministry, and really make a difference in people’s lives. It’s a painful process.

    I’m so glad to see you’ve come through it, and come out on the other side not just surviving, but truly following God.

    Tozer said: β€œIt is doubtful that God can bless a man greatly until He has hurt him deeply.” I believe we’re going through the hurting deeply phase right now. I hope we can come through it with the same beauty and grace that I now see in your family.

  79. A good choice I’ve made is no debt (except my mortgage). It takes a lot of pressure off. I was off work for 8 months with medical bills and was okay financially, even without unemployment. I have a budget and pay cash for items, no credit. My emergency fund covered my expenses. My emergency fund is now back to where it was after being back to work for a year.

  80. About a month ago I started doing a devotional every morning with my 3 yr old daughter. This has improved our relationship and day SO much!!! I really can tell the difference in her of when we spend time in God’s word and when we don’t!

    Oh, and I recently switched from playing children’s songs on our ipod to worship and the peace of God dwells in our home so much when I do that!!!

  81. I’ve made the chioce to stay at home with my children, it’s changed my children and my family and allowed me to raise our children in a Godly manner and try to instill in them the values we would like them to have. But it is a challenge daily to struggle financially! With my husband as a full time minister, with no helath benefits offered through the church, we often wonder if i should get a job to help supplement some income…God is good, He is our provider, and will honor the choices that we make if we follow Him!

  82. Love your post, Kristen! Life is about choices. I’ve made some pretty bad ones over my lifetime and had to face the consequences as a result. The scripture passage in Deut 30 is about God’s instruction to us concerning life. The ending portion reads, “This day I call heaven and earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life so that you and your children may live, and that you may love the Lord your God, listen to His voice, and hold fast to Him. For the Lord is your life and he will give you many years in the land he swore to give to your fathers, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.” The Lord has confronted me with this passage to help me learn about the choices that I make and teaching me about consequences. I’ve suffered the pain of divorce and am seeing the ripple effects it brings to children….my children and grandchildren. It’s not easy to watch. I’ve had a hard battle with depression, and what I’ve learned through this is that there’s a choice we make that brings on those feelings, and this scripture taught me that I was choosing death. Learning to choose life brings the blessings and peace of God to my life and inspires me to give and share what God has given me with others, my life. I started teaching a Sunday school class for ages 5-7 this year. I see the expressions on the children’s faces and hear their responses as I share with them. They are precious. This is one of the effects of the choice I have shared here. God bless you and may you be encouraged to continue to share with others!

  83. I adore children’s books – to this day. As a matter of fact, I’m an aspiring author of them. (Process takes time, as we all know.) I would love this book!

    Listing a way that I positively affect another person, is honestly not easy for me. I’m not prone to poke at the nice things and declare them out loud. I know that’s not how I’m supposed to be, and God is taking me through it each day, trying to wash me clean of this.

    That being said…I tried to think of one that would work here, and I think I have. 2 1/2 years ago, I packed up my small car in Texas, and drove 24 hours (stopping in between of course) to the East Coast. Massachusetts was to become my new home. I’ve been here since and have soaked up every moment in joy. A few months after arriving, I found an amazing church to be a part of. I found friends and fellowship. One of those friendships was with the youth pastor and his wife (we’re the same age). He sat me down and hit me with “So, what would you think about doing youth ministry?” I have an extensive background with children. I’m talking over half my life working with them, caring for them, etc. I did children’s ministry at my college church and even at my home church growing up. But middle schoolers??? High schoolers??? Seriously? Him just asking the question got my stomach in flips.
    I don’t want to drone on about the process. But fast forward past nervous laughter, prayer, and ultimately deciding to jump in the icy cold water and hope to feel exhilarated.
    I did.
    I’ve been doing it every since. Almost two years. The relationships that I’ve formed with these kids…I have to believe they were meant to be. God intended it. I, so often, think I have nothing to possibly offer. I have lived life – the ups and downs – following Christ, yes. But I’m not “super-Christian”, particularly “super-wise”, or a work of completion yet. But God doesn’t care. He knows I’m not, and even more, doesn’t ask me to be all those today. And you know what? The kids don’t seem to care either. Surprise of surprises. I love them, show them where that love comes from the best I know how, and listen. I think that’s the beauty in it all.
    I recently felt moved to start mentoring one of the youth girls. We started last week. This is something I literally never thought I could do. And you know what? I’m not even doing it. Abba, Father has somehow decided to use me for this glorious fellowship, and is working through me. Breathtaking!

  84. The choice? To foster kids. After seeing my parents do it, I know it’ll be the hardest thing we ever ever do. But there’s a need, and this is where it seems He’s leading us…

  85. What a wonderful book! Even if I do not win, it will be on my reading list. Recently my daughter, 8 year old grandson and 1 year old granddaughter moved in. It is nto the best of cirumstances for anyone be we are making the best of it. I know that, despite my home once again being messier and louder than in recent years, I am blessed to have this time with the grandkids when they are young. Being able to help tuck in at night, seeing them first thing in the morning…joy to this grandmothers heart.
    But, in addition to opening my home up to them, I recently doubled back while out running errands. Had pulled in to gas up my car and noticed the van in front of me was full of kids. The doors were all open. No one was pumping gas. Something not quite right but I figured it was none of my business. I filled up and drove away, intent on finishing my own errands. God told me to go back. It was hot – 95+. This particular gas station was one of the few that was gas only – no convenience store attached. I got back and realized that the van had 10 people – grandma, mom and 8 kids, one being a nursing infant. They had car trouble. They did not speak English and I do not speak Spanish. But, I communicated that I was going for water. I headed to the nearest store and came back with 10 bottles of cold water. By the time I returned the husband had returned from walking to a phone to call for assistance. I know that it does not seem like much but knowing that they at least had cold water while waiting was what God told me to do. The difference I made that day was in being obedient to God’s leading. My prayer is that because I showed kindness that they will pass it on. One step at a time, one person at a time, we can change the world!

  86. My husband and I chose to live on 1 income so I could stay at home with the kids.
    I know it has had a positive effect on my kids as well as our family life as a whole.

  87. I choose to constantly work on my marriage. I read and listen and learn new things so that we are always trying to make things better, even if they are not bad. This morning (and most mornings) I chose to get up early and make my hubby breakfast because he has such a hard time in the morning. I want to make him life easier and bless him like he has blessed me.

  88. I made the decision to tread my stay at home mom job like a job and be done with it when my kids come home. So I do all “my stuff” between 8 and 3. Then I’m done. No more. The rest of the afternoon and evening I make available for my family.

    Who has benefited? ALL of us!

    Discipline. Healthy Choices. in His strength.

  89. I decided to live “poor” by the world’s standards so that I could be a stay at home mom. Great choice!

  90. My good choice is to try and be a good wife and mother to my children. I have realized that if I have a positive attitude and faith in God then that bubbles over to the rest of my family as well as my friends. Thus causing a multitude of faith, believing and happiness to others.

  91. I love children’s books like this one! I have a small collection started at my house for my future children πŸ™‚

    I made the decision to put my husband and marriage first. I’m a college student and a wife so that is hard sometimes. College- and college friends- don’t understand turning things down because they are draining on me and limit my ability to be a good wife. It affects my husband, who is having a hard time right now and who is grateful to have his supportive wife nearby.

  92. The book looks Amazing!!!

    I made the decision to stay with my husband even though his family made it very clear that they would prefer to have me out of the picture, and we went on from having 3 children to adding two more to the mix, and are getting ready for our 6th blessing in 4 weeks! Things aren’t necessarily better with his family, but God has blessed this decision and we as a family living for God, are indeed very blessed!

  93. a small choice but …. This week I chose to go to the bakery to get some goodies for our monthly group lunch. Whle there, the young employee who waited on me fainted. I ran to the back kitchen, no one there. Ran to the coffee shop a few doors down and asked for help. A firefighter followed me back. At that time, the girl was waking up. Said she was fine, insisted that we not call 911, and immediately went down again. Woke up the second time. We stayed with her 20 minutes; she called the owner of the bakery. She kept saying, sorry, I’m fine, sorry. Admitted it wasn’t the first time she fainted. Finally the firefighter called the EMTs. I left after the EMTs arrived.

  94. Three years ago my husband and I received a phone call asking if we’d be interested in adopting. We had just decided to stop pursuing infertility treatments three weeks prior to the phone call, so my grief was still fresh. I wasn’t thinking anything along the lines of adoption, and certainly wasn’t thinking of how we might be influential in the life of a scared birth mother, but we knew we absolutely could never say no. Heartbreak came when that birth mother changed her mind at the hospital, but a few months and two other birth mothers later our son, Jeremiah, was born! Our life has forever been changed by the decision to obey God’s leading, and I know the birth mother’s life has been changed forever as well. Knowing that we wanted her baby prevented her from following through with the abortion she had planned. The world will no doubt be changed because of Jeremiah…..ours most certainly has.

  95. I’d love to win this book! It looks adorable!! I’m planning on fostering/adopting in the next few years and would love to add this book to the collection.

  96. My choice was (and it always comes around again!) to take things off my plate, to keep our family priorities straight. The whole family feels the difference! Each season looks different.. .sometimes I have many irons in the fire… and others nothing but my home and family… but the choice to obey in each season has ripple affects we all benefit from!

  97. As you grow older the priorities change and the goal to simplify life becomes more important. As I sit here in my kitchen today, look at the dirty floor…..laundry…….clutter….my hearts desire is to make the choice to listen to God, allow Him to lead…..to spend time in prayer for my young adult children who are still engulfed in decisions of life! Who does that effect? Only the world.

  98. I chose to move to Texas, away from my family in Florida, to allow my husband to be closer to his family here and in Louisiana. I miss getting to see my family at casual get-togethers, but we stay in touch via Facebook and e-mails and Shutterfly photo sites. And for now, we are getting to spend more time bonding with his family. I think it was something he really needed and I am happy making him happy.

  99. The choice I have recently made is to be present in each moment. I am easily distracted by life’s obstacles but focusing on the moment and thanking God for every single blessing is so rewarding to me and those around me.

  100. When our own girls were 1 and 3, my husband and I decided to take in my sister’s girls to raise and care for them as long as was needed. The girls were then 6 and 7. Realizing that it might be a permanent decision, my incredibly precious husband simply said, “We will take care of them however long God needs us to.”
    Nearly four years later, they are still part of our family. There have been struggles to overcome, and plans for our two daughters were adjusted to meet the needs of having four children, but God’s grace has always provided everything we need.
    Taking them into our home was definitely one of the best decisions we have ever made. We are learning more and more every day about patience, cooperation, and trusting God!

  101. The best decision I made, aside from giving up my career to be a stay at home mom, was to nurse both my children for more than a year. I loved every minute of it and sometimes miss that bonding! thanks for the giveaway!!

  102. An opportunity opened for me to work outside my home four days a week instead of my current two days. Although it was a great opportunity, I chose to stay at my two days a week to have more time to invest in my growing children, self employed husband and maintaining a supportive, loving, comfortable home. Thanks incourage for being an encouragement to me.

  103. I love Andy Andrews! I saw him at Women of Faith this year and am now reading two of his books! I have felt that God is tugging on my heart to “do something” lately and would love for my kids to have that tug and the empowerment that they can change the world. Just this week I asked my daughters competition cheer coach if they could pray before or after practice each time and let the girls voice any needs they have. She loved the idea and told me I made her remember why she started her business which is called “Spirit of Cheer”. So, each little thing we do is really a big thing!!

  104. I made a good decision to read a couple of blogs that had Compassion trips written…It changed my family. Me, my hubby and our three sons…because now we have a new family memeber’s picture sitting on our mantle. He’s our sponsored child. And I hope we can change his family and his life! We’re praying for a ‘ripple effect’.

  105. What cute illustrations from the book! I have an eight-year-old daughter that loves reading and books. I love to listen to her read, makes me realize how big she is. A very, very good decision I made recently that had a positive impact on myself and my family was after being led by the Lord, I left a job. I still wonder if I done the right thing since my current job is a contract one and not providing the hours I had hoped. I know that I followed the path the He opened, so I try to look forward. A medication for high blood pressure that I took while I was there has decreased, almost immediately. I have a clearer mind and know I’m better for it. I think about how we can change the world by what we do especially when we open our lives up to His great plan. We all have a ministry.

  106. Last week I sold 350.00 worth of unused or unneeded “stuff” in our house. Mostly furniture. I used it to purchase Christmas gifts for my family. But I bought them all from fair trade so that the money would go to assisting those in impoverished third world conditions. This Christmas is going to be different. No mall, no Wal-mart, no Target. Just gifts that give back. We’re one excited family πŸ™‚

  107. In many ways I’ve been living in survival mode for the last 5 years. They’ve been tough. I’m not sure that I think it’s going to get better for us, but I want to live above all that. And Make My Life Count! We’ve been getting involved with the international students at the local university. Such a HUGE mission field that comes within 2 miles of my home! We were recently at a beach bonfire with 71 international students…and my 3 kids had a blast getting to know college kids from Nigeria, Finland, Germany, Korea, China, Japan, and more.

  108. This book looks precious! I think one of the best decisions I’ve made was to come to the University of Alabama 3 years ago. It hasn’t always been easy or fun, but I have been able to see God use other people in my life for certain situations and also how He has used my experiences to minister to others and their situations.

  109. Wow, the other comments are inspiring.

    A good choice I made has been to start praying for my husband. I asked him, what can I pray for you? He asked me to pray for his work. It has affected him and me: he feels encouraged that I am taking the time to pray for him, it bolsters him a lot. It lets me feel like I am “doing” something t help him, and draws me closer to the Lord.

  110. I really think that every small decision we make has implications for the people around us. When I choose to compliment my daughters rather than criticize them, it makes a difference. When I choose to take a deep breath and avoid a conflict with my husband, it changes the lives within our home. When I choose to get involved with serving others, it not only impacts those I serve, it impacts me. When we, as a family, choose each day to serve God wherever He’s placed us, that makes all the difference.

  111. I would love to get this book for my kids! Well, Kristen, one good thing I did which was completely inspired by you…..is, I coordinated our own “dresses to africa” project at our church and were able to send 100 dresses to our friend in Uganda who takes care of 200 little ones. I just got news that the dresses arrived yesterday!!! We had so much fun helping you with your dress project, that we just had to do it ourself!! I cannot wait to get pictures of all the girls in their dresses.

  112. I made a choice, along with my husband, that we would take care of his aunt and not let her go to a nursing home. It has made her life much happier, my husband’s father is so grateful that his sister is being taken good care of, and our lives are richer for having her with us!

  113. God is so good…My husband and I were just taking about this this morning. I am going through breast cancer and I told my husband that I wanted something good to come out of this..If I could help just one other woman out there who is going through this..if I could “change the world” as you put it. I have two very young grandchildren and want to be an example to them and show them that indeed you can change the world.

  114. Wow, that sounds like a great book!

    I recently made a choice to go back to church (haven’t been since childhood) and it’s making a huge difference in my life, as well as my toddler’s life, and my husband’s life. The best part is that I only see it getting even better and I can’t wait!!

  115. I am quite curious about this book!
    Two years ago I felt the call to go back to school to become a speech-language pathologist. Last fall, after completing a year of undergraduate work, I entered into the graduate program. My first semester I was assigned clients, which was overwhelming but also SO rewarding! I was able to watch individuals who had difficulty communicating begin to express themselves to their loved ones and those around them. I absolutely love what I’m training to do, and am grateful God called me to this!
    Your post really touched me today, as my personal life has been filled with adversity since I began the graduate program. You helped me to realize this morning that I’m in survival mode…and I want to dream again!! Thank you so much for your post! God has used it to touch my heart and to speak to me! God Bless~

  116. I would love to win a copy of this book!
    I have been so fortunate in my life to have encountered many valuable role models, and many were teachers. I decided to follow that path and become an educator and counselor, and feel that I have been able to have a positive influence on many children and parents in my role.

  117. My husband and I are in the process of becoming foster parents to an assessment home for teenage mothers and their children. Hopefully by the end of the month, we will be in the home. And it hasn’t affected the girls or their children YET, because we haven’t moved into the home yet, but it most definitely will. It has already affected me and my husband greatly. Seeking to further God’s kingdom instead of living for our own personal luxuries and success has already begun to make a huge impact in EVERYTHING we do.
    We would love to have this book to share with our own daughter and the young girls and their kids in our home.

  118. What a great book! This is exactly what I want to teach my kids!!!!
    Reading thru all these comments is so encouraging! I love it!
    Let’s see….I chose to stop letting my past regrets and bad decisions hinder my present and future. I left it at the cross. (Literally. I went to a woman’s conference last weekend and we wrote a burden on a card and actually nailed it to a cross. It was so powerful!)

  119. looks like a great book!
    i made a fabulously wonderful choice (well, God did most of it) in my husband. it has had a positive effect on most everyone around us, i hope — especially our 5 (with one more to add to the mix next month!) kiddos.
    blessings,
    shana

  120. Wow–I definitely want that book for our family.
    We’re in a stage of life where it feels like we have more money than time or energy, which makes me feel like a slacker in the world-changing department. But I hope that every time I choose to say “yes” to someone asking for money for a good cause, it really does change the lives that I pray it does.

  121. I have just made the decision to homeschool my children. While it’s a little early in the game to see the fruits of this decision, I feel like I am honoring my family and my Lord with it and therefore it is a decision that will change the world (our little one, at least!)

    This book sounds like a good one. I love teaching the children through literature. Thanks for your post. It made me not feel so alone in my feelings.

  122. This book sounds amazing – I WANT IT! My children need it.

    A recent decision I made was to pay cash for EVERYTHING. Now, I will be debt-free (except my home) by year’s end. I am free to tithe, free to share, free from financial stress. As a single mother of three, this choice has helped me prioritize and to be more available to my children by working less and loving more.

  123. We made the choice 5 years ago to allow our niece (a high school freshman at the time!) to move in with us–a decision that ultimately led us back to church (she wanted us to take her), and back to God.

  124. I started a full time ministry organization 11 years ago. It’s a difficult line of work that really tears at my heart. I help families that have lost a firefighter in the line of duty. This past July I had a very difficult case to work and I had all but decided to close the organization down. After a lot of prayer and wise counsel from others, I made the decision to keep it going knowing that God will always give me the strength that I need to keep going.

    Thank you for this post. I really needed to read it today.

  125. I choose to keep my focus on Christ and the cross and relinquish the urge to rely upon self. I can do nothing apart from Christ…I choose to put Christ first and not allow my flesh to rule me….but….to be led and ruled by the Holy Spirit. PRAISE GOD!

  126. I have heard many great things about this book. I would have to say our best choice was to homeschool our children. It has effected everyone in our house, in great ways. A way to surround our kids with the Lord, when the world is always trying to come in and smother.

    SHAWN

  127. I made the decision to quit feeling guilty / beating myself up about being a working mom because financially it is a necessity for our family’s survival. I’m a better person because I have come to peace with what is required of me at this moment in my life and know that I am still a good mama to my boys.

  128. My choice – to smile even when I feel like crying. it’s made a huge difference for me and I hope others around me. With all that’s been going on around and in my life, it would be so easy to have my pity party every day and have others shoulders to cry on. But I’m choosing to smile and laugh….life only happens once. My kids need to know things are going to be okay cause God is in control.

  129. One of my better choices was seeing the need for a group to reach out to single moms who have raised their children and now have a very empty nest. We are women who are influencing adult children and crowning glories while not being married to the father of our kids. Our group of amazing women are known as Lemonade Ladies – when life gives us lemons, we are sweetened by the Holy Spirit. No bitterness can survive when God enters into our story. And we are created for good works and have a voice in the lives of those who are walking this difficult path. I would love to win the book to read it to my Crowning Glories!

  130. Love the idea in this book–love Tommy Nelson books, too! We’ve decided to read to our son a LOT and it’s developed in him a love for reading. We’ve also chosen to be thankful in all circumstances, and it has shown up in our son as he is constantly thanking God for “all we have” as well as being very specific in his thankfulness. It is a joy to watch!

  131. My husband and I made a choice this summer to go to Maai Mahiu, Kenya, Africa to help build an orphanage (Naomi’s Village Orphanage). We have also had dreams of changing the world but having a child changed things in our lives. The decision to go to Africa was one of the best ones we ever made. We saw love, compassion and hope in the children and adults in Kenya that we had never seen before. Our work building the orphanage will bring Hope to abandoned children. We can’t wait to teach our son how he can change the world on his own and share in life changing experiences with him when he is older.

  132. Lately, I too am in a fog so decision-making of any kind is painful for me. But I would say that any choice/decision I make, I always have my daughter in mind. She is 15 months old and has inhabited my life and the way I make decisions for it for much longer than that. I really want to raise her to be a God-loving little girl who treats people with kindness and compassion. I pray the decisions I make along the way lead her to that path.

  133. I was recently laid off after 7 yrs, I am curr on severence. I am staying home w/our grandchildren 16 mons and 2 1/2 yrs old. I have turnd down 2 awesome jobs one making a huge salary to stay home w/our grandchildren. We decided it was for the benefit of our grandchildren for me to stay home w/them instead of putting them in daycare. We had them in daycare for 2 mons prior to the layoff and it was a total nitemare, being bit 8 times (one child) then the other being bit, then constantly being sick, little one had to get tubes in her ears. The tears in the morning when my grandson didn’t want to stay (I think because of the biting) it was just horrid. This was a well known highly recommented A rated Daycare. So for now we are forgoing me going back to work putting our grandchildren first. Things may change next year but for now I am teaching and enjoying every moment of being home with them. It is hard I am so tired but I know this is what God wants us to do. We are the sole caregivers right now for our grandchildren. We feel our grandchildren are benefiting from being home at this point in their lives.

  134. This book looks wonderful! I would love to share it with my children, and if I don’t win the giveaway, I will be buying it RIGHT AWAY! I made a choice a few years ago to be content. I quit living life saying, “One day, when we have a bigger house…” or “When you get a raise…” or “If only ___ would happen…” It has allowed me to enjoy life homeschooling seven kids, ages 8 and under, so much more. It has allowed me to see God in the not-so-happy moments. It has blessed my family and my friends, and especially me, to learn and embrace living a contented life.

  135. A few weeks ago, I was so busy getting ready to lead a church retreat. That small voice urged me to take some time and go see my friend Greg, who was dying of cancer. I didn’t think it was urgent (I had seen him recently and he seemed fine), so I almost put it off. After all, I was so busy. But I paused and listened. I went and spent a whole afternoon with him, just laughing and remembering and quietly talking about his next big adventure (dying). When I called him the next week to see how he was doing and to tell him about the retreat, his son answered and told me Greg had died. I’m so glad I chose to put my own self aside and spend that afternoon with him.

  136. Sounds like a great book that would be a beautiful addition to our own collection. The last “life-changing” decision I made was to track down the guy I had initially waved off when he offered to clean my windows for change. When I caught up with him again and offered him some simple help for the day I whispered a simple, “God bless you.” He locked eyes with me in an instant and changed my world when he replied, “He already has, through you!” Had I followed my initial instinct to pass him by without a second look, I would have missed out on the greater blessing!

  137. I am so inspired by all these good choices, my own seem so humbled. Moving home with my mother after my dad died…waiting for my husband to figure out that we were supposed to be together instead of marrying the other man who asked before my now-husband was ready…moving out to a different city to make my own path…saying “yes” to new experiences… this book sounds great and one of my kids is truly struggling with the choices he’s making lately and I’d love this for him. Blessings to you!

  138. Yesterday, I chose to attend a council meeting at my children’s school. I chose to speak. I chose to volunteer to write an article for the newsletter. It is my hope that what I write will bring inspiration and information that will forward knowledge, understanding, and cooperation in our school, our community, our world. Eek.

  139. I schose to serve an LDS mission in Guatemala. I was privelidged to work in one of the most primitive areas serving amazing people. I hope there were many lives touched while I was there. I do know that my life was changed and the stories I have told others have opened eyes and hearts.
    Unfortunately, life has gotten busy with raising four children and my heart aches to do more. However, I know that raising my children to be caring contributors in this world is as important as jumping on a plane to participate in the service projects that I hear about and so want to be a part of. For now I am learning to be patient and focus on the good I can do now and the good I have to share.

  140. I make the choice daily to love my 5 children with fresh eyes and a renewed heart each morning. The previous days’ troubles are gone, forgiven. Our 4th child, John Michael, has Down syndrome, and I also make the choice every day to just love him for all he is and can do and not to worry about what others think. We are “THAT” family, too, but in a different sense. We love children’s books and especially ones with a good message that asks for a response from the reader. Whether we win this or not, I hope to find it on my bookshelf soon.

  141. My good choice came from a bad one. At 19, as a freshman in college, I got pregnant. I remember someone saying, “What are you going to do?” And I said, “I’m keeping the baby.” My ‘baby’ is now a gorgeous, well-behaved 15 year old honor student who loves his family and his God. He is one of the most important decisons I’ve ever made.

  142. I would LOVE to win this book. I am a teacher and an absolute fanatic about books! I’ve made lots of good choices and lots of bad choices. The best choice I ever made though was to follow God’s call on my life to be a teacher. I was not patient, I was not all about the cutesy kids, and I was not a hard worker. God said, Sarah, This is the plan I have for you and I followed. I have NEVER EVER been the same since. Besides my parents, this is the best fundamentally most life changing decision I have made. The jury’s still out on if marrying my first love was a good decisions! πŸ™‚ This decision affected me, my family, and the students I reach every year… Not to mention the principals, other teachers and parents I work with!

  143. We made the choice to adopt 11 children in 10 years. One went home to her Heavenly Daddy last weekend .. and so now we have 10 here on earth πŸ™‚

  144. A few weeks ago Holly wrote a post that she ended with “less of me, more of Him” and that has become my guiding principle. When an argument is brewing, I remember it. When I feel proud, it comes to mind. When I am grateful, the glory is His. The peace that fills my heart comes directly from God as a result and I am so thankful that she wrote it when she did. A small choice – but it empowers me to live well.

    And the book would be marvelous for our grandchildren, I know. Thank you for sharing!

  145. I’m a grandmother. Very happy, proud grandmother. I love my g-kids. Planning on having a tea party with them (have done this in the past) and want to read to them “Let Me Hold You Longer” by Karen Kingsbury. Time has just gone by so fast and it’s hard to remember when we held them in our arms the last time. This book on children changing the world will have to be one I get also. I don’t want them to grow up not realizing that their Grandmother knows that they too, can change the world. Thanks for such delightful stories.

  146. One of the best choices I ever made was to stay home with our kids. After ten years of being home with little ones, the youngest just started school. My husband and I chose it because we wanted them to know that every little thing does matter. It meant significant sacrifices to our lifestyle but one that no dollar can match. Staying home impacted our entire family but it’s also opened our home’s door to other kids in our neighborhood to show them that what they do matters. I would LOVE to have a copy of this to read to the gang!

  147. I made a choice to go to a program called TruRehab…where I stay at a nursing home and undergo physical therapy, psychotherapy and spiritual growth…for my chronic pain issues that were affecting my relationship with family and friends. I feel like I am stronger now and have learned how to be able to manage and continue working on my pain, and I will be a better person now to my family and friends by not putting so much burden on them and understanding what a True Friend Is.

  148. What a special book! I think I will purchase it for my nieces and nephews for Christmas!

    A good choice I made? Well, I am working hard to remember how much God loves me and that I am NOT my messy house or disorganized life or dirty dishes, but that i am a much loved daughter of the king! When i remember that, i am a better mom, a better wife, a better woman of God. The days I prepare myself with these thoughts (take the time to do that) I am a better person for the day.

  149. I made a choice to buy a house in our new town (where I got a career-advancing job, and which is an hour away from where we lived previously) before our old house sold. Two and a half years later, our old house still has not sold. Now we are riddled with debt (two house payments–ouch!) and are the brand-new parents of a little girl who was a “surprise.” Because of that choice–and a few others–I’m feeling like the author did in the first paragraph of her post today. Because of the debt, and the fact that I make a good chunk the income we use to pay it each month, I am unable to stay home with my little daughter, and this breaks my heart.

  150. The thing I am most proud of this year is the 62 dresses I made & sent to you for Little Dresses for Africa. Other than my daughter asking her church ladies to donate any pillowcases they had, we didn’t tell anyone about what we were doing. It wasn’t a “seeking approval” type of project for us. “Hey, look at what we’re doing, aren’t we great?” but rather a quiet, feel good in our hearts choice to help these children so far away. Thank you for bringing the need to our attention and allowing us to be a part of
    it. The moment that helped me KNOW without a doubt it was the right thing to do – I was explaining to my 3 year old who the dresses were for and what an orphanage is and she asked “who rocks the children to sleep at night if they don’t have mommies & daddies?” When I told her no one, her lip started to quiver and her eyes welled up and she started to cry the biggest tears I have ever seen – which made me cry and my oldest daughter cry. The magnitude of it all hit home right then – I am very blessed to rock my babies to sleep any night they wish.

    I would love to have this book to read to my kids!

  151. I made a decision to care for my father during the last years of his life — he passed away in April at the age of 100 1/2 + one day. Even though it took its toll on me over time, if I had it to do over, I would still want to be his caregiver. He was such a wonderful Christian man and being able to serve him and, in the process, become much closer to him, is a privilege I will always remember.

  152. Oops, I didn’t realize you were asking for a GOOD choice.

    My good choice is the church we chose in our new town. Often I regret moving here because of all the complications it caused, but I’m thankful because we have such a supportive church family here.

  153. This sounds like a great book!

    A recent good choice… this morning I made the decision to sit down at breakfast and do a Bible story with the kids while they ate. This is our usual pattern but I’ve been battling morning sickness and frankly would rather stay in bed with the covers over my head these days. And tho’ I haven’t been able to stay in bed, I’ve been mentally checking out and not following thru with our stuff. Not only this morning did my kids get to hear about God, but I actually received just the lesson I needed from the story we happened to be on this morning. I can’t tell you how many times God teaches me thru my feeble attempts to each my children!

  154. My husband and I chose to leave our two toddlers to go on a mission trip to Africa for almost 14 days. It has radically changed our priorities and our plans for the future.

  155. A year ago my husband left his “safe” church job and we looked for a new adventure. When he told me he wanted to start a church in the heart of the people we’d grown to love, I was scared and yet I knew this was what God wanted and my fears and the affects of that decision wasn’t important in the scope of doing what was right. So I told my husband, “Are you ready for an adventure?” And an adventure it has been, not easy, but the right choice. I’d love to read this book with my family as a celebration of what we’ve been through and where we’re going.

  156. Wow. This post made me cry. The reason being in the past I have made a lot of very bad choices. Choices that hurt those that I loved the most. Just last night I was discussing this with my son, how at the time I did not realize I was hurting others. I thought I was only hurting myself. But the choices we make DO effect everyone around us. Especially those we lovbe the most. But now the good news! πŸ™‚ By God’s grace and mercy, I turned to Him. He is my everything, and He ALWAYS leads me to make GOOD CHOICES.

  157. The best choice I ever made was the choice to get to know myself from the inside out … and I must admit I was definitely guided by God to this opportunity to choose!

    I was a young Mom attending a one day parenting class at a beautiful retreat centre. It was the first and only time such a class was held at this location. I loved the peaceful feeling of the Centre and on my way out after the class, I stopped to choose a brochure or two about future events being held at this Centre.

    It was then that a brochure chose me! When I learned that two Jesuit priests were coming to the Centre to teach a process called Bio-Spiritual Focusing I was ready to sign on before I even knew what it was all about. The rest is history.

    I signed on and met the True Me … and I met God in Me …

    What greater gift could a choice have brought than to receive, and then to share with family, friends and the world, the experience of knowing without a doubt that the presence of God is within me and within each of us, ever present to us and ever loving to all.

    Thank you so much for this opportunity to recollect and share memories of the beginnings of this beautiful inward journey, and also to enter the draw to receive this beautiful book !

    God bless one and all with Love, Beverly …

  158. This book looks great! I hope to win! My husband is currently unemployed, so we’ve decided to sell our house and move to a smaller, less expensive house. Funny thing is, even just having the decision made feels good.

  159. My husband and I made a good choice last year. A choice that has changed us, and will continue to change us. We chose to open our hearts and risk heartbreak by becoming foster parents. We love it and know this is a God thing….even when its difficult.

  160. Thank you for your post and your book giveaway today. The book looks great and has such an important message. I would love to read it to my little 5 year old daughter over and over.

    I have made plenty of poor choices in my life, but one good choice I made was years ago in my 20’s. At the time, I didn’t realize the choice I made would have such an effect on my own life as it did on another person’s life.

    A friend of mine had a roommate that I didn’t know well, but knew her through my friend. During a conversation with her one day, the roommate mentioned that she wanted to be baptized, that it was something that she had never had done as a baby because her family never attended church or believed in God, but it was something she felt she missed out on.

    I told her that my church has a program to help people understand what baptism was all about and then when they were ready they could be baptised. She said “You mean they do baptisms for adults too?” I said “Sure thing, but I think the church wants you to have a sponser go through the course with you and if you want to I could be your sponser.” Not sure why I piped right up and said that because at that moment the last thing I had was extra time to do this for this woman I hardly knew.

    The course was several weeks long, but I remember leaving work in the evenings it was after dark, during the coldest winter nights in Minnesota but we would met at the church and went through the course together. We had a chance to know each other better and I was enjoying what I was learning from the course so much that I began to wonder who was doing who a favor?

    She completed the course and was baptized before the entire church. In her innocence when it was her turn to be baptized (she was the first in her group to go) she laid her head down just like a baby. She didn’t realize that for adults they didn’t need her to lie down like that but the assembly laughed with her, but I kept thinking to myself “Why not come before God like a baby, that is how He is looking at her”.

    She was baptized that day and gave her heart to God. Several months later, I moved away from the area and we lost contact with one another, but some time later I received a Christmas card from her that told me that she had married, had two sweet babies and she and her husband went on to serve in ministries to help other grow closer to Christ.

    For myself, the gift for saying yes to her during that simple conversation was that I became changed about the way I look at serving and that often I just have to blurt out “Sure thing, I can do that for You!” without thinking it over too much.

  161. Today’s writings are exactly the point that I am in my life! Being an empty nester, I now
    wonder what have I done to change the world and make it a better place? Depression, questions and no answers, yet, are overwhelming me…I became a SAHM 22 years ago
    and I am hoping that it has made my sons better human beings and I know that I saw every first with both of them!
    Thanks, Cindi

  162. I would love to win a book as we are starting a collection of good choldren’s stories for our newborn daughter, Amelia.
    My husband and I have spent the last year on the adoption road which was preceded by three years of infertility issues. We decided that we didn’t just want any baby. We wanted the baby the Lord had for us. We tried to seek Him patiently each day as we waited. We were very public about our situation. People have been so supportive. Through our journey we have been able to be used as instruments of his grace as we sought his perfect will for our family. With a very short notice, we became parents three weeks ago to a precious baby girl! We are praising the Lord for his perfect timing and faithfulness!

  163. I made a (very difficult) choice to leave my husband and 3 children (11, 9 and 6 at the time) to go to Ghana for 6 weeks and work in hospitals and clinics as a student nurse. I know our group made a difference for the people we cared for, as well as other incredible people we met who are serving in their own country. It also made a difference for my family and I. Expanded our world view, and showed my children that doing something scary is good sometimes!
    Would LOVE a copy of this book! My husband is principal at the Christian school in our city, and will forward this to him to consider getting a copy for the school library!

  164. If I don’t win this book, I think I’ll buy it. I have 5 grandchildren and will probably have more. I want to read it to them.

    My decision along with my husband’s was to have multiple children. (Really seems like God’s decision) We have 4 grown daughters and they all have a passion for God. I’m so grateful – My oldest has 3 children and my next oldest has 2. Both want more. Both want their children to love God passionately, to love Him foremost. Both are in stable, loving marriages to men who love the Lord. So grateful – therefore by that decision, lives touching lives, more and more

  165. I made the choice to stay home with my kids and pour myself into them. I am awaiting the reaping of and believing for the benefits of that decision. This book would make a wonderful addition!

  166. Last week my friend’s husband was diagnoised with Stage 4 Pancreatic Cancer and she asked for prayer. I was all ready to pray for God to give them strength anf surround them with His love but she asked that I pray for a miracle. I decided to pray for his diagnosis to be changed – for cancer to be gone. A week later at the Oncologist there is now no cancer!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  167. Several years ago, I made the choice to be available for my grandson whenever possible. Over the years I’ve picked him up from school and helped with homework; gone to sporting events and Grandparents Day @ school; kept him on my days off during the summer; and taken him to swim lessons, to the doctor, and for eye exams. My daughter and son-in-law, who both work full-time, know I’m here if needed; and my grandson likes spending the night at my house and still gives me hugs. From a 10 year old boy that is awesome!

  168. I made a choice to stay home with my daughter and resign from my job as a flight attendant. The night I made the decision, I looked at her and thought – “15 years down the road, will she be glad she can fly for free or glad I was home with her.” I made the decision to stay home right then. It was priceless and I’m so grateful for the ability to be able to be home with her.
    The book sounds excellent!

  169. Today I chose to pour my heart out to God instead of whining to my husband (or anyone else close by ). I chose to be filled by His provision and not my own.

  170. We made the choice (actually we re-make the choice every day) to live as simply as we can and teach our children that things don’t matter– people do! Part of the way we’re hoping to impart this to them is through the children we sponsor with Compassion. We also hope to downsize more in the future and instead focus on taking the kids on missions trips and finding other ways to build life-changing relationships. Thanks for sharing about this book!

  171. My husband has a fellowship for one year at Harvard. We decided to move the entire family here for 11 months, sell our stuff, and leave geographic stability, change kids’ schools, etc. We felt being together as a family for this year is more stable than being apart. We moved from San Diego, over 3k mi away, with three kids, 5 and under. It has been awesome thus far!

  172. Several year ago I decided to support my husband when God called him to be the pastor of a church. My ready willingness has served to encourage him and our family many times. Which in turn has enable him to freely reach out to those he ministers to with out having to worry about my response. The whole package has been a great example and opportunity for my kids to learn to serve and minister to others. Not to mention the many things God has taught me along the way.

  173. The best choice I made is adopting my little man. He is such a blessing and not only have we changed his life, he has changed our. We are so blessed.

  174. I would love to read this with my girls! A good choice I made was homeschooling my kids, even though at first I really didn’t want to. It has changed our entire family dynamic and my oldest – who used to want to be a movie star – now dreams of being a wife and mom and a missionary to orphans or having foster children.

  175. I guess the most applicable choice I have made is to be a mom who passes on the love to read to her child. Although my boy is interested in books that I would never read for myself, I dig in and read for him, to him and with him. More importantly, when he asks questions about God and I don’t have a good answer, we dig through the Good Book to see if we can find an answer. I know this matters and I know it works, because I have a boy, nearly 8 now, who when he got in trouble and missed storytime, got in bed and found his flashlight so he could read the Bible to himself.

  176. My husband and I made a choice for purity when we met (neither of us had made a choice like this with previous relationships) and kept it until our wedding night. We have been married 6 years and have experienced much blessing on our marriage.

  177. I chose to adopt two daughters, to add to my two homegrown sons. We are all affected by that choice and generations to come with our grafted in family!

  178. One good choice:
    To spend the money and expend the effort to take a short trip home with my daughter so we both could have some quality time with extended family! priceless

  179. Yesterday, I chose to neglect some household things, and just love on my son. He wanted to snuggle, and we did. He wanted to sit next to me and talk, so we did. I put the “to do” list out of my mind and focused on being a loving mother – my most important job. He responded with a great deal of affection, and improved behavior. It seems so obvious, but I don’t do that as often as I should. Thanks for making me more aware of the simple choices I make, at home and in the world.

  180. Sound like a book we need to read!
    A chioce I’m making is to truly live in the moment, right where God’s has me now. To not worry about future, just LIVE in this season. To enjoy, to laugh, to love…. I hope my daughters will see the importance of not being clouded by the “what if’s & if only’s”.

  181. I made the choice to refrain from putting myself down. I hope that I am helping my children (especially my daughters) by showing them how to value yourself and see yourself how God sees you.

    Thank you!

  182. I have decided to leave my job in order to stay home to raise our “coming soon” first child. What a change that will be, but it will be all for the better! We now have the peace from the Lord that passes all understanding that we are making the right choice.

  183. After 10 years of working as a high school teacher, my husband & I made the choice for me to stay home with our three children. It certainly will have a positive impact on my children but I have noticed that my relationship with my husband is getting a boost also! Thank you God!!!!

  184. I (with my husband’s blessing and cooperation) made the choice to stay an unplanned extra day when we went to visit my sister and her family in August. We had a sweet, long-overdue heart to heart, and our relationship (that I had accepted as less than I would have wanted) has begun to flourish again because we BOTH took a step toward one another. God is the God of restoration, and He chose to make this relationship beautiful again. We both submitted, and we’ve both been blessed because of it. Thank you for the book recommendation! I’ll be putting that on my wish/gift list regardless!

  185. My kids and I have befriended a new boy in our neighborhood. This young man’s family doesn’t go to church and they don’t have many rules for him. We have tried to help him with the usual things that kids need to know, but are lacking most of the time like taking turns, being polite and being safe. Not a big deal, but it’s our first time to include our kids in a witnessing type of act.

  186. “The Boy Who Changed The World”…what a wonderful story to be told.

    I made a choice to send a friend of mine a card from the FREE encouragment card pack, and I was blessed and encouraged by her facebook post comment.

    “Sitting here sobbing. Just received the nicest most sincere, wonderful card I have ever received and I will treasure it alawys, Love Tina I taped it to the back of my wedding album to keep forever.”

    Talk about a ripple effect. She is willing to watch my son after school (sigh of relief) So often people choose to look at my son through the world’s eyes, but if you give him a chance and see him through “God’s Eye’s” you will find a BOY that can CHANGE the world. Just because he can not talk does not mean he doesn’t have so much to tell you!

  187. I made a choice not to dwell on my physical problems but to give thanks every time I’m tempted to complain.

  188. I made the decision to stay home with my kids, too. It was a very painful choice (giving up the career I wanted at my “dream job”). While I don’t wish to go back (it’s been 5 years now), there are many days when I wonder whether I’m making a difference. But, I know I’m honoring God and His Will for my life, and that has to be enough.

  189. A good choice that I made was not immediately going back to work after my first daughter was born. It was originally supposed to just be a year off, but after another child and now beginning homeschooling, I think it will be much longer. My being home has impacted our whole family in good ways, and it also allows me to be more involved with church.

  190. As I just read this post I’m literally listening to Andy Andrews The Noticer on audio. I LOVE LOVE LOVE Andy Andrews and his book The Traveler’s Gift changed my life.

    I had NO IDEA that he wrote a kids book… this a new MUST in my home!

  191. As I just read this post I’m literally listening to Andy Andrews The Noticer on audio. I LOVE LOVE LOVE Andy Andrews and his book The Traveler’s Gift changed my life.

    I had NO IDEA that he wrote a kids book… this a new MUST in my home!

    **on prior comment I forgot my info**

  192. I made a good choice when I said “yes” to marrying my friend, now husband. I don’t think there could be anyone better for me.

  193. A recently good choice that I made was to NOT spend all of our money. My husband is one of 1000’s without work right now in the construction field and while God is/has provided for us in so many ways, I still like to go “buying” at my local target or mall and feel that I can always justify it. Today I was out running errands and I walked out with what was only on my list, no extras. While such a simple feat to others, it took major self-control for me to show love to my family by getting our needs, not always our wants.

  194. Saying yes to adopting an older child. changed our lives, my children’s lives, and expanded our world. Our world is a much bigger and more colorful place now. Wouldn’t change it for anything!

  195. I love it that we’re focusing on good choices instead of bad ones (it’s easy to dwell on those!)
    One good decision (and probably one of the hardest) is to stay home with my children. I miss my career a lot, but I know that I will never get this time back with them, and they grow up so fast. I want to have every memory with them that I can, and I know that this is what God wants me to do right now.

  196. I chose to give life to our daughter, Savannah Grace, despite pressures to abort after receiving the diagnosis of Triploidy. Savannah’s life, however brief it was, showed God’s love and continues to be a light and encouragment and testimony to so many people.

  197. Regardless of if I win, I will be adding this to our wish list for books. LOVE that message.

    The greatest “Good Choice” I ever made, apart from giving my life to Jesus, was waiting for my husband in every way. Only by God’s grace did I do it, but now that I have children, I see how our baggage-free marriage has a positive affect on them, and I am so grateful that God knew what He was doing, even when I didn’t.

  198. This book sounds like a great fit for our family — and some others I know.
    We make big choices all the time. Today I made a little choice that had a big impact. My son was playing with a book that is off limits to him and ripped a page — not just a little tear; it almost came out of the book. What I really wanted to do is scream and punish. What I did was close my eyes and take two deep breaths. I gave him a hug and told him I was glad he told me about his misdeed, but I was still very sad about the torn book. His apology was much more sincere than the kind that follow my screaming, and his four-year-old mind offered a few suggestions for fixing the book.

  199. So many choices we make every day! I know one choice that has had a tremendously good affect on my children was the choice to homeschool them. This has opened doors to many adventures in our lives together. This looks like a tremendous book! Wish my daughter could read it right now!

  200. One good choice I have made is to have my three children and I involved in Community Bible Study, an incredible interdenominational Bible study ministry. We all love it and my kids from grade 1 up are studying the same passage as I am each week. It is one of our favorite parts of homeschool.

    I would love to win this book. I taught a class on missionaries last year at our co-op.

  201. I have made a choice to live on a schedule so that I can accomplish the things I need to do quicker and create space in my life to do the things God created me to do. Who will benefit from this? Me, my husband, my son, and anyone else that God has planned for me to encounter.

  202. The divorce papers were on our table. We signed them. I moved out. I was miserable even though I thought I was on my road to freedom! He was miserable, too, even though I couldn’t understand why he’d want me.

    I had the choice to change my ways and become the wife he deserved or I could live miserably and be divorced from the man God chose for me.

    I made the choice to change. We chose to shred our divorce papers. Six years later, life isn’t perfect but we’re living our imperfect life together and I’m so thankful for it.

  203. I made the choice to become a teacher. I love my job! Some days I feel as though I’m a better teacher than Mom! Teaching is very difficult, but also VERY rewarding.

  204. The first and most important choice i think was to be aware of the choices I had, and to make them, rather than avoid them and drift along allowing life to happen to me, rather than acting in the life I was given.

    Next was to marry my husband.

    Third was to say yes to the people God gave me to love, starting with my husband, my children, my neighbors and their children, the people in Thailand who asked us to help them take care of the orphaned hill tribe kids from Burma, the church that wants us to start a teaching program for migrant worker’s kids, the tribal villages that want us to come and teach them better agricultural practices and the gospel. The little yes prepared me for the bigger ones and now the world around me is changing, people groups are changing, in ways I couldn’t even imagine a few years back.

    I would love to have that book to read to my kids. πŸ™‚

    I would love

  205. I would love to win this book to read to my girls!

    I made the hard choice to stand up for what’s right & it affected our family, friends, and countless people that I may not realize until heaven.

  206. Thank you for youru post. I have felt the same way these past few years–that I just want to survive the world. We’ve had several setbacks the past few years and I have struggled with thinking I can make much of a difference anymore. But I keep on trying to pull myself up, stay in scripture and hope that I can somehow help my son to understand that he can make a difference by dreaming his dreams. This books sounds very good.

  207. wow! I would love to win a copy….

    but if I do not I think I will BUY it. πŸ™‚

    made a life changing decision to sponsor a child through Compassion Int., and to try to pay off some debt so that I can sponsor more….

    teaching my children that they can make a difference!

  208. This is one of two books on my list to give my boys at Christmas time this year. I read through it at our local Christian bookstore last week and knew that it was something I want to help impart on their hearts as they grow up. It is a wonderful children’s book.

  209. I can’t say that mine is something I did, but something I am learning to do.
    Last year my husband told me he didn’t love me, that there was absolutely nothing left.
    He still lives with me and our four children. At first I cried and screamed and was always living in fear of what was going to happen to me and the kids. I was thinking so much about my pain that I forgot my kids were hurt and suffering. I decided to really listen to my Lord, really listen and obey Him. Although it is still hard, everyday I struggle and pray to give up myself for the sake of those I love, and that I might be used by Christ in anyway He sees fit. I am learning to love, in a real way. To love this man, God’s creation, the way Christ would have me to. To separate the enemy from the man and accept and love him. Sounds so simple in words.
    Although, I have not seen a change in my husband, I have in my children. They have become more accepting of people and a lot less judgmental of others actions. This is a huge deal for my kids who used to find fault in everyone and everything. I think the biggest change has been that they know they can still love their daddy with all their hearts.

  210. I found your website the other day and marked it as a favorite-your heart is my heart-and not only my heart-but the heart of my whole family. I have a burning desire to change the world (for Christ), and I have an even BIGGER desire to let the Holy Spirit lead me to teach my boys to do the same. I would love to win this book to share with my children-and then pass it to another family to bless. Thanks for your website-keep up the good work and stay encouraged-your are changing the world!

  211. My husband and I made the decision to adopt two HIV+ from Ukraine– hoping to bring them home this winter. I can’t even begin to describe how this is changing us and the lives of our friends and family.

  212. I made a choice or should I say “God gave me the opportunity “, for me and my 2 girls to live with and to take care of my parents in the last years of their lives. It was the best choice I could have ever made, and also the hardest times of my life to give my parents an honorable way to pass onto heaven. I took care of my Dad for 6 years , he passed 6 years ago, and I took care of my mom for 6 years also until she passed in June of this year. We were very blessed to have them in our lives.

  213. Ok, so please pick one of the parents who entered a comment… we don’t have kids, so definitely would love for these books to go to a parent πŸ™‚

    But I wanted to “play” so here is my story… Mine is a story about a decision I did not make in 2007. I did not make the decision to become a short-term missionary in Nairobi, Kenya. That decision still haunts me because the question “who was not impacted because I chose to stay here?” has not found a good answer in my soul… my prayer is that since that time… I can remember that question… and respond differently… lessons learned πŸ™‚

  214. How did you get beyond that fog of depression, and survive survival mode?

    A choice I have made is, “Lord, whatever it takes… even if it’s messy or hard, I’m ready… just let me get through this!”

  215. I need this book for myself as much as for my children!
    I am deciding to get out of survival mode, but I’m not quite sure how to go about it. I’ve been seeing this theme today in everything I read, and I feel like things are starting to line up to make some changes for the better, but I’m not sure yet what those changes should be or which ones to start with. It will affect our family – hopefully me, but also my children and my husband who need to start thriving again. I think I will need to give some things up, not sure which ones. I think I will need to get creative, and efficient. I think I will need rest and also hard work.

  216. I made the choice to walk 60 miles in 3 days so that less women in this world with have to fight breast cancer. It affects women worldwide but mostly it shows my children how to give of yourself to others.

    I would love to read this book to my children.

  217. I just spent a few hours wondering how to convey this very message to my own children!I have recently made a choice to make wiser decisions about myself so that I can be the wife and mother I was called to be. I would love to use this book to help!

  218. Sometimes it’s a bit difficult to think of the GOOD choices I’ve made; sometimes they seem so few. I know I made a good choice though, when I committed to caring for my dying mother at home; in those 3 years, I got to know her far better than I ever had. She taught me many valuable lessons about life, while she lay dying.

  219. This book sounds beautiful!
    A good choice I made was to stop complaining about how my church wasn’t engaged enough in a particular area of ministry I had a heart for, and instead I stepped out in faith to help start that ministry. By doing so, I have been blessed to see God’s hand move in ways I never could have imagined, and I have grown in my love for Christ’s Bride, the church.

  220. I try to do something everyday to brighten someone elese day. I paint and creat art. Lately I have given more away than I have sold, but it is what I felt that I should do. I create and use scripture it my art and I will wait until I feel that God has given me the scripture for each piece before I put one on the canvas. Sometimes I have to wait weeks sometimes only hours, but I try to listen and then follow the lead. If one of my paintings can bring a little bit of joy then it is worth it

  221. I have chosen to keep on fighting for my health, my sanity and my marriage; I can breathe better and am not weeping daily and we are still together. Our kids and our kids kids and our community and church will all benefit from these decisions.

  222. The choice my husband and I made were for us to home school our daughters this year. After a lot of prayer, we jumped in and discovered we are having moments with our two girls that are priceless. This decision has not only affected our girls (ages 6 and 3) but us as well. I see my husband in a new light and vice versa. Our daughters are growing closer, learning from each other, working as a team and realizing the actions that they do and those they don’t do matter not only for them but for those around them. I would love to win this book and share it with them. Thank you!

  223. Today my 8 year old’s pet mouse died. My choice was to confront death, not be afraid of it. Explain it honestly and openly with her rather than hide from it. We has a burial service and cried. I think this will effect her through life. It will help her to deal with death head on and she knows it’s okay to be sad and to miss our loved ones, no matter how small.

  224. I want this book so bad. πŸ™‚ The night I started my relationship with my husband was the night I humbly decided to help a friend babysit who needed help. If I had selfishly carried out my plans that night, I would not have set up the first date with who turned out to be my partner for life. Who knew. One simple act of obedience changed my entire future.

  225. I chose to befriend a couple of people who are almost my opposites. We constantly make challenging decisions and conversation and are changing each other.

  226. The book sounds wonderful – exactly what I want to teach my kids. I’ve recently made the choice to pray with my girls each morning before we walk out the door. It’s helped us all stay focused.

  227. I made the choice to stay home with my kids and it was the best decision ever! It will change who I am and who they become for the rest of our lives. I can’t imagine not being here with them every day, even on the hard days where I’m tired. They are what life is about. I pray that I can teach them that they can do anything in the world. Along similar lines to this book about changing the world, I think it’s important to teach kids (and adults) that we can change our brains too! It’s important to realize that if we aren’t satisfied, we can make a change…I pray God’s blessings on your family’s new adventures.

  228. I chose to forgive someone and have compassion rather than telling them off. I am so glad I did, God has shown me that my telling this person off would have devastated them.

  229. I chose to stay home with my children to be their full time mom. Our family has made sacrifices, but I pray that I am leading them in the right direction so they can be all that God, not the world, wants them to be.

  230. I made the choice to sow into my great-nephews life. He has a love for animals and I have a friend with a goat farm. I’ve been taking him to the farm twice a week for 6 months. He comes from a broken home. He is becoming more secure in the fact that HE matters. I would like to win this book for him. I would like for him to read this book and really learn that he matters and what he does matters. I’m a big Andy Andrews fan! I love the Butterfly Effect! Andy has opened my heart over the years. I love Storms of Perfection! Thank you for your site!

  231. My husband and I made the choice to adopt through the foster care system. It was a decision that changed our daughter’s life…and ours for the better!

  232. Letting my son go at age 16 to live with his dad. The hardest choice, but certainly the most rewarding. My son, who now is older says ” I thought I was akward, then I realized I was just like my dad.” Both found themselves in each other, GREAT CHOICE!

  233. 5 years ago, after we adopted our little girl, we made the choice for me to be a SAHM. This choice, while difficult in many ways, has greatly affected the attachment process for our daughter…it has been an abolsute blessing to be able to stay at home with her and for her!

  234. One of the best choices I ever made was as a young woman just about to graduate from high school. Five classmates received full scholarship from a local manufacturer that employed a parent – my mother worked for a subsidiary of that manufacturer but wasn’t eligible for the scholarship benefit. My scores were higher than my classmates – and I was quite distressed about the unfairness of the situation – now forced to attend a local state university and pay for my education myself.

    One of the girls who had received the scholarship was absolutely brilliant – but lived in poverty. She was a really sweet, kind girl – but had been shunned during her school years because of her mismatched clothes and shy personality. And though, I was still a little down in the mouth about my lack of fortune — I really was happy about hers. She so deserved it – and she never would have had the opportunity to go to school otherwise.

    I stopped her in the hall to congratulate her – and she told me she wasn’t going to go.
    She had chosen a ‘ivy league’ school but was convinced she’d be shunned and made fun of even more than her high school experience and was considering rejecting the scholarship!!

    I was astounded – and there was no way that CLOTHES were going to keep her out of college if I had anything to do about it! I went home – and ‘Bobby Brooks’ queen that I was in the 70’s – I loaded up my excesses – dresses, pants, jackets – even a winter coat with a hat and gloves – and gave her a college wardrobe that she wouldn’t be ashamed of.

    I ran into her at a high school reunion a few years back – she reminded me then what I had done – I had forgotten but she hadn’t – she told me she never would have gone – and my generosity provided her with a wonderful education and a fabulous career. I’d tell you what her contributions have been but I wouldn’t want to embarrass her. Needless to say – I didn’t get that ivy league education – but I did graduate college – and I’ve put my husband, daughter and son through school since and my path has taken me on a marvelous journey that’s continuing now that my children are grown and our home has sold….a journey different than my friends…but the right journey for me – just as God planned the right journey for her. Our words, gestures, acts of kindness and charity all play a very big part in God’s kingdom – for we all are part of His family. May God bless you all.

  235. Sweet Kristen, thank you for your honesty and humor. You bless my heart. Thank you also for the opportunity to win this wonderful book for my precious grandson. The decision that stands out the most to me was made over 30 years ago. I was a driven, career oriented, type A personality. Then the Lord blessed us with two children. I knew I was being called to stay at home to raise our children full time (my husband had a job that required 60 hour work weeks at the time.) So, scared to death, I quit my job, left my career and began the journey of a lifetime. Our entire family benefited. Although we had to make some extreme financial compromises, our family never suffered. Our house was small, but our love was big.

  236. I made a decision to go into counseling to get help for my eating disorder. So that my kids can have a happy, healthy mom. My best friend and several other close friends prompting me, lovingly…affected my decision. Still working on it πŸ™‚

  237. I made the choice to raise goats for my son when he was 8 for 4H…which became a lot of family time and a small herd to supply other childeren in the county an affordable 4H project…..never thought I would be GOAT FARMER but we love it!

  238. I made the choice to go to grad school when all I really wanted to do was stay home and have babies. I’m waiting to see how the Lord uses it, but truly know that me doing grad school was His design for us right now.

  239. Today my good choice was actually slowing down and enjoying making dinner. When we actually sat down to eat together, I wasn’t frazzled or harried as I usually am, and we had such a good time together at the dinner table. I’m thankful for that.

  240. I made a choice to let go of my wants and dreams and let God take charge by applying to the The World Race, an 11-month long Christian mission trip to 11 countries. The trip hasn’t started yet, but it has already affected people around me by giving me a chance to share about my testimony to my friends, my students and even people I don’t know. I know God is going to do great things through this experience.

  241. I have made the choice to homeschool my children – which is contrary to anything I have ever wanted to do… and it is impacting them in a good way. I have also decided to help a dear friend with a ministry she is doing in Turkwel, Kenya. Not sure where this is leading us yet, but it has impacted me big time. Hope this counts! I would love to add this book to my Bible lessons!

  242. after a trip to haiti this summer, i made the choice to quit my part-time job and follow God’s leading and find another job that would allow me to influence other mom’s and help them to see how they can bring “missions” into their own families. God provided a second job for my husband the same week which will pay more than they job i had allowing me to be able to volunteer which will open the doors up way more.
    i would LOVE this book for my girls and family =)

  243. I made a decision to sell one of those house party products. In doing so, my best friend signed up to sell also. We both signed up for the same reason. We are stay at home moms, in a struggling situation, and she is doing AWESOME at it. If that alone is the reason I signed up, then so be it! πŸ™‚

  244. Wow…. I just now read this but today I blogged about the good choice I made. I decided to stop being too proud to ask my doctor about depression therapy. Since starting antidepressants four months ago I feel like I’m myself again. I feel like I gave myself back to my kids, my husband, my church. I’m interested, I have energy, and I haven’t felt overwhelmed once since then. I am so thankful to live in a time and place where this treatment is available, because I don’t want my kids to grow up under the cloud that ‘other’ me couldn’t get out from under.

    Thanks for this giveaway. Would love a chance to win.

  245. I made the choice to open up my heart and the wounds inside, to God and some people I trusted. In doing so my life has been changed from pain, to freedom and to knowing myself and God more intimately. And now I have chosen to share my story with others. I help led a breakout session at our Women’s Retreat last weekend where I shared. I don’t know if I impacted anyone. I hope I did. But more importantly choosing to share my story has changed me, because I no longer hide behind masks and will tell everyone around me to take theirs off.

  246. I made the choice to show grace and patience to my 3-year old daughter. I made the choice to clean, cook, do laundry, and rearrange my living room furniture to make for a more relaxing weekend with my family. I made the choice to go out of my way to make my husband feel loved and appreciated. Every small step in my day changes the world for me, my family, and others we come in contact with. I want to change my world every day!

  247. We recently made the decision to read the New Testament together every night before we go to bed. It’s been an amazing way to connect with my DH at the end of a long day!

  248. I would love to have this book for my children! I hope I’m making decisions every day that change the world. Sometimes we think it has to be big. I have realized in my job, that even though I can’t change some difficult situations for women, just by building a trusting relationship with them, I am making a difference when they feel safe enough to share. Or sometimes at the very least, I just hope I make a difference by providing them an opportunity to get out of the house and be surrounded and encouraged by other women.

  249. I would love to have this book to read to my own kids and my kids at school. Your blog was so good for me today as lately I too have felt like I just want to survive the world…survive teaching young moldable minds and wills rather than help be an agent of change for them.

    A choice I made was to write a note to someone the Lord had laid upon my heart. Too often, I just let these moments pass because of busyness. The woman later told me she was very encouraged and the note was part of what God used to draw her back to the church.

  250. The best choice I ever made was to trust Jesus with my life! That choice has transformed my life for 15 years and impacted everyone I come in contact with.

  251. The most significant small thing I do to change the world is talk to my three children about Jesus. I answer question, but I ask them questions too. My oldest just started kindergarten and I’m amazed at the things he comes home and asks me. I try not to brush anything off, but answer him appropriately and let him continue to ask questions until he understands.

    The book looks wonderful. I’d love a copy to read to my kids!

  252. Shot, I am coming to the party too late, BUT…love this book, will absolutely HAVE to have a copy for the Kids Ministry at my church and will HAVE to tell each and every one of my mommy friends about it too! Thanks for sharing it with us Kristen!

    xoxo, Melissa πŸ™‚

  253. A good choice: to submit to my husband and not work outside of the home. A bad choice: convincing my husband I needed to work or I would be bored. A good outcome: getting pregnant that year, and God humbling me/teaching us to follow His word. He provided and now I am a happy stay-at-home mom!

  254. […] How to Change the World After a rough season in full-time ministry with a baby and toddler in tow, a budget stretched beyond it's capabilities and a fog of depression, I remember the moment I said these words to my weary husband: “I used to. […]

  255. A good choice: quitting my full time job to stay home with my sweet baby boy. I cannot imagine doing anything different. It has affected me as a person, my sweet baby, and my husband! All in a way that I cannot describe:)

  256. A tough but good choice we made was to become a one-income family so I can stay home with our kids. Loving it but make no mistake, it is tough.
    Thanks for this opportunity!

  257. I am very eager to read this book! It sounds like something my family would really enjoy. I would say a great choice that my husband and I made was to start homeschooling our oldest daughter. We took the leap of faith and have never doubted our decision. God continues to be there every step of the way!

  258. Oh my, I really need to get this book for our family too! I was reading your post and was thinking about how I am in ‘survival mode’ right now. I used to have so many dreams, ideas, thoughts, but now I won’t let myself get ‘caught up in that sillyness’! I can’t afford or don’t have the time to do the things I want to do, to make a difference the way I want too, etc. How ridiculous! THanks for the wake-up call!

  259. I decided to go to Women of Faith this weekend. Sounds like it would only benefit me, but we heard a teaching and it turned my whole frame of mind upside down … The way I relate to my kids, my friends, my hubby … all is going to change!

  260. I can’t wait to read this book with our children! Of course, my best decision was to marry my husband who loves God and lead our family fabulously. 2nd would be to have each of our 4 children, including adopting our youngest, Mya.

  261. Hope I’m ot too late. A good choice I made: choosing to help my mother in law after her surgery when she had cancer. She was far away and it was a sacrifice for all of us to be there, but choosing to take the enniciative, it’s chanced our relationship.

  262. Hope I’m ot too late. A good choice I made: choosing to help my mother in law after her surgery when she had cancer. She was far away and it was a sacrifice for all of us to be there, but choosing to take the enniciative, it’s chanced our relationship.

  263. I’d love to win this book so I could snuggle up w/my babies and read it to them! One good decision I made is the decision to stay home and homeschool my children. It isn’t always easy, but I couldn’t imagine doing otherwise- it just works for our family. It totally affects our family- it is our way of life. I feel God has called us to do this, to educate and bring up our children in Him every moment of the day. I’m so thankful for the children we’ve been blessed with that He allows us to teach!

  264. I’d love to win this book! Once good decision I made was to cancel our family vacation this summer to give more time and stability to my third son (almost 18 months but developmentally delayed) to hopefully help his adjustment when another baby is born any time now.

  265. I have to say thank you. For this post. I am so aware that each choice matters. I pray I make good ones – every day.

  266. I am making good decisions this week…we just lost our tiny baby (10 weeks) on Thursday, so I am making conscious decisions every moment to cling to God’s new, unending mercies. I have to decide for hope.

  267. My husband recently lost a job, a lifelong dream of his for over two decades, kind of job. When I heard the door knob turn on that sad Monday morning, I just knew something was wrong before he even told me the news. I am so thankful God rose up within me and I have chosen what He must have as better over the bitter that could come from such a devastating loss.

    And I plan to choose that every day until God leads us to our new adventure.

    Thanks for being such a that family… as in, that family who inspires!

  268. Joining our church. It’s blessed us as a whole family as we truly learn what it means to be in covenant with one another. Actually seeing what it looks like to live the gospel out in each others life, rather it be in joy or in trials.

  269. I would love this book! I have recently made the decision to eat local, healthier foods. This has benfited our familes as well as the local farmers we are buying from. And it’s so much fun! I’m learning all kinds of new recipes!

  270. A few weeks ago I made the choice to start purposefully teaching my 2 year old son how to serve others so when he grows up, loving others and serving them is rooted deep within him and just flows out.

  271. I’ve been a Medical Doctor for more than 10yrs in the Philippines when i migrated to Australia to join my family, i was 40 by then. After 3 yrs i got married to our church youth pastor whom i have known since 5 yrs back. My husband became the head pastor on our 3rd wedding anniversary and our lives became busier than ever – all these while i am still studying to be registered in the Australian Medical profession. As we stuggled to keep our jobs and at the same time serve the church needs (i was in-charge of the Ladies’Ministry, teaching SundaySchool and an alternate songleader while trying to achieve my proffesional pursuits and hopes of being a first-time mother). After a failed IVF (by this time i was already 47), a failed medical registration exam, a car accident and the death of a beloved friend, we found ourselves drifting apart… and i was a mess! I left my husband, moved back to my parents and made plans to go back to the Philippines. He was heartbroken and amid tears we decided we’re going to make some changes. I have now moved back with my husband who have since gone to full-time ministry – and I know God will honour the choice I have made to stay with him. I am now my husband’s fulltime secretary, personal assistant, friend and ally. I realize that hardships and struggles will always be there, but my life is here now – serving with my husband in a small church that we both love. To GOd alone be glory.