Living Out Your Faith

Little ones are no different than us… they learn life’s most important lessons when they feel it and experience it. We can tell them 129 times not to touch something too hot. When they finally touch it and it burns their hand, well – they don’t forget. This works for the good things in life too – we can tell them 100 times that it is “better to give than receive” or “your life can impact others” and “you can be a light in this world” but until they actually feel it, its more just like words.

It is one of my life’s biggest missions is to get my girls hands and hearts in the game.

I don’t want to tell them about God’s love. I want them to feel it. I don’t want to tell them about serving – I want us to serve. I don’t want to tell them about orphans – I want us to feed them and hug them. The list goes on and on.


Here are a few stories that will make you smile.


Meet Reese.

She’s headed to Kenya on an amazing trip with her mom and dad. Her family just adopted two children from Congo. This story is so long and beautiful. Learn more about the Whites here. I just can’t wait to hear what she is going to do on this trip. She’s so mature and compassionate. Honestly, I have thought “we will go on a family missions trip overseas, when my girls are older”. Reese inspires me. She’s 7 and she gets it. She knows where she is going and why. Here she is at Chick-fil-A raising funds for her trip. I know she is going to light up those around her and serve so humbly.


Meet Marshall.

He’s Ashley’s little boy and dear friend of Reese’s (and ours!). He’s going with them on the above trip. He’s taking his mom and dad with him too, of course. His fundraising letter blew me away. At 7 years old, he understood serving and compassion in a way many adults do not. He is so wise just like Reese. He is about to be the hands and feet of Jesus. I am so proud of him. Here he is with his Dad talking to his friends at school about his trip – the situation in Kenya – and why he would be going there. He’s already impacted this classroom, many families through fundraising … I just can’t wait to hear how God is going to use and grow him while in Kenya.




Meet the two newest members of the DeFeo family!

I have been thinking about Compassion International for YEARS. I knew I wanted to sponsor a child at some point and I am so glad I waited on God’s timing. I was so struck by Edie and Ann Voskamp‘s stories. And I sat down with my girls and showed them pictures and stories. We went online and looked for two girls just their ages. I felt strongly about a country we could and would visit one day. I want these kids to know we are committed to them for life and we WILL come to them. I felt Haiti was for us.


I found one little girl for Larson that was just DAYS from her birthday. This would help me remember her birthday AND help Larson have a special bond with her. I found a sweet little girl just a couple months older than Ella. Would you believe they were from the same exact church/school in Haiti? Almost every other girl was being supported by another place. These two happened to be together. So neat. I can’t wait for this to be a way that my girls can feel and understand how to love others. Write to them, send them birthday money and eventually we WILL go visit. I want my kids to have perspective outside of their little bubble. This is just the beginning of a journey that is already moving the hearts of my girls.




The Sunshine Bag.

This is crazy cool. So, Friday – I had a killer headache and went to get Ella about 15 minutes early. She came out so sad and asked so sweetly if she could go back in for some drawing. I said ‘yes’. She came bouncing back out – and of course, her name was randomly drawn to receive the “Sunshine Bag” for the weekend. I am so glad I said YES. The bag is basically “Light ‘Em Up” challenge for a weekend. As I read the instructions – to be a light/sunshine in the community and write in the journal what you do… I smiled so big. I smiled because this wasn’t new information to my sweet girls. They knew what to do. I had to get to Publix for some more medicine and asked them for ideas when I REALLY wanted to get in the bed. Larson said – lets get some drinks for hot people. It was 95 degrees. Ella said “let’s make some notes for those in a nursing home.” I went for the drink idea since we were headed to Publix and I needed to get back in bed.

We bought two cold waters and drove back through our neighborhood – each girl had one hunting for their victim. Someone hot, working outside that needed a special treat. It was late on Friday and we weren’t seeing so many workers. Ugh. Finally! On Ella’s side of the car – we spied a man doing yard work and appeared super hot. We stopped and told them, “Hi! We got two cold drinks and hoped we’d find some people that could use a treat on this very hot day!” Ella smiled and passed him the water. He was so happy. “Well, thanks! I picked the right day to do yard work!” So fun. Sunshine spreading in the hood. So, off to find Larson’s person and no one. Literally not a soul. So, I did another lap. Head POUNDING. We are making the final loop back to the house – I was giving up and I spotted  a truck full of stuff looked like they moved. I jumped out with Larson and this guy beamed. He thought we were his neighbors welcoming him to the neighborhood. I explained. Larson handed water. Are you ready for this?

They just moved here ONE NEIGHBORHOOD over from me in Atlanta – like the same street – same exit.

Crazy! We both couldn’t believe it. Had so much fun talking. He had small kids. We exchanged numbers. He was so surprised at the nice gesture. We were excited to welcome a new neighbor (few streets over from us). God is so very cool. So glad, even on a head-pounding day that we can choose to say YES. We will obey. Share your light and sunshine with those around us. Even through two tiny bottles of water.


So, how have you seen God’s LOVE sink deep in your child’s heart?

What are some ways you plan to have more DOING less HEARING?


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  1. Oh, what a blessing this post was to me this morning. And, what a grand job you are doing with your girls. It thrills my heart to see young couples that are “doing it right.” I didn’t say perfect because we all know that is impossible, but as I said, “doing it right.” May the Lord continue to bless your efforts as you raise your daughters to be a light in this dark world.

  2. Love these stories and how you keep it easy with simple ways to bless our neighbors. Missed seeing you at Lake Keowee this weekend.

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