October Compassion Share & Tell

To say I have been busy this month would be a big understatement! But I never want to be too busy to write letters to my Compassion kids. And since I sent a pretty quick note to each of them last month, I wanted to take the time to go back through some of their older letters and answer some of their questions I may have overlooked in the last couple of months. Plus, I wanted to send them each a couple of extras with their letter.

Compassion binders

First off, I pulled out all of my binders which contain all of the letters I have received from my kids. In these binders, I like to keep a copy of the letters I mail out also. This way, I can remember what I wrote to each one of them, and I make notes of the extras I mail with their letters.

Abstract coloring page

One of the extras I am mailing this month are these abstract coloring pages I found on Pinterest. I colored one for each of my kids (that took a bit of time!), and I am mailing them a copy to color for themselves. I know I love when they take the time to draw pictures for me, so I thought they might appreciate something colorful from me in their letter.

country stickers

I also included these stickers I found at the dollar store recently. For each child, I put all of their items together, made sure their name and sponsor number, as well as my name and sponsor number, were on each item, then I just stapled everything together for each child. All of the letters were put into a 9x12-inch envelope and mailed off to Compassion.

As far as the content of each letter, I know I usually share that with you each month. But this month, each letter was so different. So I am not going to share a letter this month. But I am going to encourage you to write to your sponsored child. Your words matter to them, and they appreciate the time you take out of your day to jot down those words of encouragement.

iPhone Photography

One of my goals this year was to 'improve my photography by working through books and tutorials'. Of course when I wrote that goal, I fully intended to be working with my Nikon D3100 camera. But life gets busy and I have not put in the time I was hoping to when I initially wrote that goal.

What I did discover recently though was an iPhone photography course by David Molnar which has really changed the way I think about photography and editing. When I first starting shooting pictures with a digital camera, I was all about trying to shoot the best picture I could without having to do any editing. However, what David teaches in his course is that you edit to recreate the feeling you felt when you took the picture. So sometimes that means a bit of tweaking. 

Let me show you a couple of examples:

Here is a before photo of cream puffs...

Here is a before photo of cream puffs...

...and here is the after. Which ones would you rather eat?

...and here is the after. Which ones would you rather eat?

Before photo I had to stop and take on our way home from my daughter's class. Not really anything wrong, but...

Before photo I had to stop and take on our way home from my daughter's class. Not really anything wrong, but...

...I love the way the quick edit transform the basic photo into something much more beautiful!

...I love the way the quick edit transform the basic photo into something much more beautiful!

So you may be asking what apps I am using on my iPhone to take and create these photographs. Right now, I have an iPhone 4s and I must say I am really happy that when we got these phones about a year and a half ago, I went with the 4s over just the 4. Most of the time, I use the native camera that comes with the iPhone, but in some cases, I do use Camera+. The Camera+ app gives you more control over your settings than the native camera on the iPhone. And they have even just added a macro setting in their latest update which I am hoping to experiment with more soon.

For editing, Snapseed is my go to app. For one, it is a free app! And there is so much you can do in this one app to recreate what you saw when you took that photo. Even just minor adjustments to the brightness, contrast, saturation, and ambiance of a photo can turn your blah photo into something you want to share with friends.

Speaking of sharing, my favorite place to share my photos has got to be Instagram. As a photographer, I love to see the bits and pieces that my friends share, as well as having a place to quickly share something about my day. Whether it be books that I am reading, some project that I am working on, and the glimpses I see on the day trips we are able to take.

Even though I still love to use my Nikon D3100, I sure do love the convenience of using my iPhone for my daily photography habit.

Release 3

Have you ever thought about the small things you do each day that might change someone's life forever? A simple smile, holding the door open, paying it forward in the drive through lane. These are simple things we can do in our everyday lives to make a difference in someone's life. But have you ever thought about doing something to make an eternal difference in someone's life?

Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. - Proverbs 31:8

Compassion Release 3

This month, I am advocating for three Compassion children as part of Compassion's Release 3 program. During the month of October, sponsors and advocates have the opportunity to pray for and try to find sponsors for three children that have been uniquely assigned to them. Let me introduce you to the three children that have been assigned to me:

Compassion Release 3 child Katerin

This is Katerin. She lives in El Salvador with her family where she is responsible for running errands and cleaning. She also likes to play with dolls.

Compassion Release 3 child Richmond

Richmond lives in Ghana with his grandfather. Richmond helps at home by carrying water and he enjoys playing soccer.

Compassion Release 3 child Arjun

Arjun lives in India with his family. He works at home by running errands and he likes to play with friends.

Each of these children is currently waiting for a sponsor. Someone like you who will love them, pray for them, and encourage them as they grow up, learning more about Jesus from their local church and from you. As a sponsor, you have the opportunity to send them letters, reminding them that they are created in the image of God, and that He loves them very much.

Sponsoring a child has been such a life changing experience for me. There are things I am willing to go without in order for us to be able to sponsor children through Compassion. This life is temporary, heaven is eternal. Knowing that we are making an eternal difference in the lives of these children gives me more joy than any temporary thing here on earth.

Are you ready to take that step to be a sponsor? Comment below and I can get you started on your sponsorship journey today to help release one of these children from poverty in Jesus' name!

September Compassion Share & Tell

Blogging is taking a back seat in my life right now. So many things going on in real life...school started, volunteering a lot of Compassion events, a big sewing project, and a big baking project! Phew!

But I don't want to miss out on sharing with you what I wrote to my sponsored children this month. I was hoping to put together a few Christmas items to mail to the kids, but I will have to put that together in a couple of weeks once these crazy few weeks have passed.

Anyway, I decided to write my letters online this month and quickly share what I have been doing during my Bible time. Here is one of the letters:

Compassion makes it so easy to write to your child online. Once I had signed into my account and had written the first letter, it was really quick and easy to have letters sent to my other Compassion children. Since I was sending the same letter to each child, I was able to duplicate the letter, just change the name and template, and click send. It really is that easy!

When was the last time you wrote to your Compassion child? Has it been a while? If it has, I encourage you to log into your account and write to your sponsored child right now. These children love getting letters from you. They are encouraged by your words and your prayers.

Not sponsoring a child yet? For $38 a month, you can choose to be a blessing to a child. I pray you choose to make a difference today.