Tuesday, September 24

Restorer of Homes...Restoration Farm

I am excited to introduce you to one of my best friends, Jami.
I have known Jami for about 5 years now. Jami is a fellow creative and dreamer. She is a singer/song writer (and she is really good might I add). Jami is the mother of four children, Owen, Oliver, Miles and Hannah. She is also the wife of one of Phillip's best friends and the love of her life, Camron. Seriously...they have been together for like 20+ years... since they were kids...
And she is Co-Founder (alongside her husband) and Executive Director of Restoration Farm.
One of the things that first attracted me to Jami was her sensitivity to the Holy Spirit and her walk with The Lord. It's contagious. As well as a bunch of superficial things like her amazing style, (not only her style for herself but for her kids, and her home), her creativity, her musical abilities, her spunk, her amazing gift of giving and serving, sense of humor etc.

Jami is one of my dearest friends and I am excited to share with you all a little about the ministry that God called her and her family too. She tells it way better then I could so here is a little from Jami herself:

A little under 2 years ago, my husband and I decided to walk through a house that was for sale. One that was our "dream house" kind of house. It was really just out of curiosity. Never did we imagine that God was about to change our lives in a big way. Through this one, seemingly unimportant moment, God began to speak to us and He showed us two roads we could take. The road that is wide, comfortable, quiet and safe or the narrow road that is sometimes rocky and filled with trials but also full of His blessings. My husband and I began to feel a calling to buy this piece of property that our church owned and turn it into a place of refuge and restoration for single moms and anyone else that God might bring to us. He gave us this scripture found in Isaiah 58: 7, 12...

"Share your food with the hungry, and give shelter to the homeless. Give clothes to those who need them, and do not hide from relatives who need your help. Some of you will rebuild the deserted ruins of your cities. Then you will be known as a rebuilder of walls and a restorer of homes." 

This is how Restoration Farm was born. It all happened so quickly. We sold our house we loved, bought this farm,  and within 2 months we already had apartment #1 full and within 5 months we had apartment #2 filled. A total of 12 people living and doing life together in a matter of a few months. 

Our prayer is that this place would be a place of refuge, safety, love, encouragement and growth for the people we host. Our biggest prayer is that they leave here well-equipped to face the world and have learned to trust in God with all their heart, soul, mind and strength! 

Our short-term goals right now are to turn our garage into another apartment and to build a swing set and playground area for all the children that live here. We know that God will come through. He is so faithful and his plans are always bigger and more beautiful than we could ever have imagined. 

Camron and Jami Stotts

Restoration Farm...
is a personal, intimate ministry that helps restore the lives of single women and their children who are needing a fresh new start after coming out of hard places or other ministries such as Teen Challenge or Mission Messiah.

Our Mission...
The mission of Restoration Farm is to provide Christ-centered transitional housing to women and their children and restore hope by meeting their spiritual, emotional, and physical needs while equipping them for a self-sufficient future.

How Do We Do This?

  • Affordable Housing
  • Spiritual Mentoring
  • Financial Counseling and Budgeting
  • Restoration Farm Family Dinners
  • Training in Boundaries, Nutrition, Parenting and Housekeeping
Some of Our Needs...
  • Gently Used and New clothes for women and children
  • Basic Toiletries/Cleaning Supplies for new tenants getting started
  • Godly women who would want to meet with the women weekly as a mentor/accountability partner
  • Financial supporters
  • Volunteers to babysit for the women who have children so they can enjoy time alone once a month
  • Service team to help build a swing set/play area for the children
  • Committee to help with future fundraisers 
  • Prayer as we plan for the future
  • Prayer as we consider who to ask to serve as a Restoration Farm Board Member
  • Prayer as we continue to plan for Restoration Farms future
  • Prayer for continual Godly wisdom in this ministry and those that serve along side us 
Restoration Farm is a special ministry and a MUCH needed ministry here in our community. I have had the privilege of meeting every woman that has lived at Restoration Farm over the last two years. There is no doubt that this is a God ordained ministry and that His hand is in the works of our dear friends. When Jami told me some of their dreams. Some of their tangible dreams. I knew I wanted to be apart of seeing those dreams for the Farm come to fruition. They currently have 2 apartments on the farm with the hopes of another one and they have had the dream of a playground on their property. 

With our growing Instagram Community and Social Media Community, I thought we could host an Insta-Sale on our @lilliesofthefield Insta-Store. So tomorrow night, Wednesday September 25 at 8:00pm cst, we will be hosting a sale benefitting Restoration Farm. 100% of the proceeds from this sale will go directly to the New Apartment Fund and Play Ground Fund for Restoration Farm

Jami has cleaned out her closet and has some pretty amazing things to sell. I am so wishing I was her size, I would buy it all.
So if you don't already have an Instagram Account, now is the perfect time to sign up for one. Its simple and easy and a TON of fun.
If you do have one, set you alarm for 7:59pm, sign on and get ready to Purchase with Purpose. 

If you are not interested in the clothing sale but you are interested in giving a monetary donation to Restoration Farm or if you are interested in serving within this ministry please contact me by email (jennaknight(at)gmail(dot)com) and I will get you in touch with Jami and her ministry Administrator Brooke.

Thank you for supporting our friends and their dream and Ministry. To God be all the Glory.
"The generous themselves will be blessed..."Proverbs 22:9

Be sure to check out and "like" their Facebook page HERE

Monday, September 23

Eat: Meal Plan Monday + a confession.

 Meal Plan Monday today! I have discovered that I am a better vegetarian then I am a vegan. *Gasp* I am not ashamed of this. I love cheese and I cannot part with it.  I just cannot imagine life without cheese and to be honest a little meat. *Double gasp* We have gone strong on this "vegan" venture and I gave it almost my all. My kids have given it almost their all and my husband as well. Good job team! I am proud of us.

However after a full year of really pressing in I have discovered that I am a closet cheese eater. I crave it and I might even dream about it. But I would never admit that because that would be embarrassing. I am a FIRM believer in all natural, non precessed and non genetically altered food. I DO NOT think that a little meat or cheese will kill you. But... I do believe things such as those will kill you over time. If they are pumped full of fats and other "fake" products made in factories. I think we are to be good stewards of our bodies and we are to fully examine what we are putting into them. Whether it be too much sugar, caffeine, fat, oil, red meat, high fructose corn syrup...the list really could go on and on. I want to manage my body well and the bodies of those I am responsible for, i.e. my children and my husband.

Heart disease, high cholesterol, clogged arteries and Diabetes run in my family. I have some immediate family struggling with these conditions and it scares me. Honestly. It does. I think illnesses and issues like this are reversible. Before you get angry and throw stones at me please take the time to read a couple of books on food and watch a few food documentaries. In Defense of Food and Forks Over Knives are our favorite.  I will step down from my soap box now.

With my confession about not being able to forsake my beloved cheese I will share with you my healthy Vegetarian Meal Plan. I alter and tweak recipes I find online. I think we as Americans can go a little over board with the oils, cheeses and creams in our dishes, so I alter those to a healthier standard. You would be surprised at how little oil, salt, butter and cream you actually need to make a meal taste yummy. So here is our Meal Plan. I hope you feel inspired and try some of these meals on your family.

Monday: Veggie Stir Fry and Brown Rice
I created this on my own and its different every time I make it. It really just depends on what veggies I have left over in the fridge come Monday. I shop on Tuesdays.
This week I am using:
Asparagus chopped
Red, Green and Yellow Bell Pepper sliced
1/2 Red Onion sliced
2 tsp minced Garlic
I sauté this in a skillet with a little veggie stock until tender. 
I make instant brown rice and then I throw it all together. 

Tuesday: Left over Veggie Rice mix Stuffed in White corn tortillas to make wraps. 
This is a dance and soccer day. We always eat left overs on this day.

Wednesday: I am trying out THIS soup I found on Pinterest.

Thursday: Tostadas with Mashed Pinto Beans, salsa and guacamole
This is a bible study and soccer night. Nothing fancy on Thursdays

Friday: We are having dinner with friends...
Saturday: Emersons party night. Eating Pizza/Sandwiches 
Sunday: Quinoa Patties and other Veggies
Monday: Going on for Emerson actual Bday. 

Thats all for this weeks dinner plan. Enjoy your meals this week!
And since I hate posts with out pictures here a pic of the Cup Cake truck in Austin TX. I got to enjoy a delicious little treat from there for my birthday. If you are in Austin you need to try these. De-licious!

Thursday, September 19


I found this a while back on Pinterest. I saved it on my lock screen on my phone for awhile. Have you ever met those people?
The dreamers.
The doers.
The believers and the thinkers?
The people who see greatness in you even when you are feeling the most beaten down, the most discouraged and the most funky?
These people are gifts. Blessings. And somehow I have the privilege of walking life with many that fit this title.
Each friend I have is a special gift from God and I cherish them deeply. Each beautiful woman challenges me in a unique way. They each have their own way of encouraging me and challenging me and each other.
I want to encourage you to find some these people. Find the people who are going to help you discover and live your dreams. Find them, love them, be one of them.

Here are some of my favorite verses in the Bible on Friendship and being a Friend:
Walk with the wise...
He who walks with the wise grows wise... - Proverbs 13:20
Sacrificial love demonstrated by Jesus...
Greater Love has no one that this, that he lay down his life for his friends. - John 15:13
Stronger together...
As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another. - Proverbs 27:17
The power of two...
Two are better then one, because they have a good return for their work; If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up! - Ecclesiastes 4:9-10
Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisors they succeed. - Proverbs 15:22

Life is so rich and beautiful with friends isn't it?

Wednesday, September 18

Another Year Older

Another year has come and gone. I love Birthdays. They are special to me. I love to celebrate others on their day and make them feel extra loved and extra special. And...admittedly I like for people to do the same for me. Is that embarrassing that I said that out loud? #sorrynotsorry
I had a really relaxing Birthday. The weather was nice and cloudy and the temperatures were down a few degrees. Giving us a nice break from the rigid heat we still have here in West Texas. It was perfect "Birthday" weather. Im pretty sure the clouds came just because they KNEW it was my Birthday.
I spent the day "Fallifying" my front porch. Im not done but these already bloomed Mums and Cinderella pumpkins and gourds were just the touch I needed to get into the fall spirit.
I also got to enjoy a kid free lunch with some of my Africa sisters where, I enjoyed a nice slice of warm Vanilla Butter Rum Cake. I got surprise flowers from my sweet husband and my momma made me a delicious homemade enchilada meal. De-licious! We ended our celebrating with some yummy Tres Leches Cake. Its probably one of my favorite cakes. Anything moist, milky and creamy is pretty much my favorite. We couldn't find candles so this year we celebrated my 55th Birthday. Maybe when I really am 55 we will celebrate my 27th. I think I will be ok with that. :)

Thanks to everyone who celebrated me yesterday and left me Birthday Wishes on Facebook and Instagram and sent me texts throughout the day! Birthdays + Social Media make a girl feel like a Rock Star!

Heres to another wonderful year. I cant wait to see what this next year has in store.  

Thursday, September 12


It's about time this post gets written. I am excited to finally share with you a little about an Insta-Store that I have and share with @wynne4. (its a store that is on Instagram for those of you who do not "Instagram"...which you totally should if you don't already) Back in May, Wynne and I started a store on Instagram called "Lillies of the Field" to help raise funds for our Mid Cities + Man Up trip to Africa.

We had a ton of fabulous left overs from a "designer sale" we had at Wynne's house a couple of weeks before. Wynne is the fabulous "Brain" behind this whole thing. We drew inspiration from the super fun Insta-Store @denimandstripes that her friends in Austin have. So we thought why not? Why not have one of our own? Thus began the birth of @lilliesofthefield.

What started as a simple fundraiser for our mission trip, has turned into something really exciting and bigger then we ever thought! Fundraising is the main purpose or our store. If you have ever fundraised for anything, you know how tough it can be. Ive been there, I know.

The name, @lilliesofthefield came from the verse in the Bible:
"And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is throw into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?"
-Matthew 6:28-30
We were in the middle of our Jen Hatmaker 7 study and it just fit. We had all this excess lying around in our homes and closets and it seemed fitting to clear out our "stuff" while we were clearing out our hearts getting ready to lead our mission trip. Wynne has had friends and family members mail her boxes full of clothes they no longer want to donate to our "store" and we were off! We launched our first sale!

Since our return home from Africa, we have hosted lots of sales to help other people fundraise. The store has helped fund adoptions, mission trips, missionaries in the process of moving, a local church and homeless ministry etc. The response and the support has been truly amazing. We are so thankful for all of our shoppers, donators and promoters. You guys rock! Purchasing with Purpose and now Selling with Purpose has never been more fun! 

Anyway, Wynne and I have a stack of "vintage" Sevenly/Ordinary Hero/147 Million Orphans shirts that we've been wanting to sell. We have been praying about which family this sell should be in honor of or where the money from the sell should go. Wynne, in the middle of her praying, searching and blog reading stumbled across a blog about the Grubbs family on her friend Mandy's BLOG

They brought  home a little girl from Ethiopia around the same time Camp and Asher came home, and now that are in the process of adopting these two TEENAGE boys from Ethiopia. If you don't know Wynne, THIS is her heart. Her passion. She was instantly moved. Watch this video HERE. They have had an opportunity to get this amazing MATCHING grant through HANDINHAND and God just said... "Yep, this is it!" And I am in total agreement. Its perfect! 
[Read more about how to donate directly to their grant until October 8th HERE]

SOOO...TONIGHT...Thursday 9/12 at 8pm CST we are having a sale to repurpose all these wonderful t-shirts Wynne and I have had lying around. So you might want to join us. You might want to get yourself an Instagram account, follow @lilliesofthefield and join in. I am praying big things for this special family. I believe God is going to deliver HUGE for them and you have the opportunity to be apart of that! 

Monday, September 9


I have the privilege today to share about how God can use Anybody the "change the world" over at my Best Friend's blog today.

Wynne has an amazing series going on over at her blog. One of her many gifts and passions is to tell stories. I love this about her.

I want to encourage you to follow her series and be encouraged. I have been touched in many ways by EVERY story shared on her blog.

How will you let God use you to change the world today?

Wednesday, September 4

The Color of Hope

While on our mission trip in June we got to meet our daughters birth mom. The experience was surreal.
Eye opening.
Life changing.
And again surreal.
To be able to stare into the eyes of the one who gave me daughter life. To hold her hands. To embrace her in my arms. To welcome her into our family as another mother.
It was lovely.
Everything I could have imagined it would be.

This story has taken awhile.
Awhile to process.
Awhile to capture.
Awhile to feel ok to share it.
While I recognize that this story is something many have waited on and many have asked about, it is a story that I wanted to (and still want to) handle with great sensitivity and respect.
This story is my daughters story.
This story is the story of my daughters mother. I want to respect and protect both persons. Both whom I love dearly and deeply.
I share this to not exploit poverty or a mother who was faced with the most difficult decision any mother can ever face. I share this story to show you God's glory. His glorious redemptive plan.
Our God, our creator, He is in the business of redemption. I have seen it first hand. To Him be all the glory. For it is only He that could write a story so beautiful out of something that was tragic and so hard.

When we adopted Emerson we knew she was half orphan. Meaning she had a living birth parent. We knew she came from poverty. We knew her father had passed away. We knew she had older brothers. We knew these things but not much more.

We had received a couple of pictures of her and her mother on the day of her mothers court date. And some more on the day of her mothers embassy date. We don't plan on showing these pictures to Emerson until she is grown. These pictures are full of emotion. Emotion that I cannot relate too. In these pictures a mother's heart is breaking. These pictures captured a moment in my daughters life that would change her forever and a moment that would change this mother forever.  These pictures captured the rawness of what it was like on the day this mother said "Goodbye" to her baby girl forever. My heart burns thinking about this moment.

We always knew in the back of our heart that we would return to Ethiopia to find Emerson's mom. We just didn't know when. Last fall God burdened Phillips heart to go and find her. We longed to know her and to know her story and to tell her that she is loved and cherished in our home. So we began to pray.

Phillip and I were going to be in Ethiopia this past June so we thought now was the perfect time to meet her. We contact a social worked in Ethiopia and had him find her. We waited a couple weeks to hear back from him. Finally a couple weeks before our trip we got an email saying that she wanted to meet us.  I cannot describe how I felt reading that. Knowing that we would be meeting my daughters mother for the first time. Not knowing how she was going to respond to us. Not knowing exactly what to expect. It was all so exciting and nerve racking.

We scheduled to meet her the first day we were in Ethiopia with our team. Our team went off to serve that day and we stayed behind waiting on the arrival of Emerson's mom. Our hearts racing and our anxiety levels at all new highs.

And then her car pulled through the gates of our guest house. She stepped out of the car and was greeted first by Phillip. She embraced him and showered him with 5,000 kisses and then she came to me. She took my hands and stared into my eyes. Tears began to well up in hers as she leaned in to showered me with those same 5,000 kisses. It was the warmest most tender moment of my life.

We led her inside, with along with our 2 translators.
(She is from a rural area and doesn't speak Amharic so we had to have an extra translator.)

Once inside we began to tell her about Emerson. About how beautiful she is.
How smart.
We told her how LOVED she is by her brothers and by us.
We told her that we reunited Emerson and her bio brother who lives in Illinois. Story about that here
Tears of joy filled her eyes. She clasped her hands and brought them to her face several times and lifted them to the sky in praise. It was special. And emotional.
We gave her a photo-book full of pictures of Emerson's life after adoption in chronological order. That way she could see the progress and see her daughters joy grow and to see hope be colored back into her life.
We also gave her art work and photos made by Emerson and art made by her brother. 

She pulled these gifts close to her heart and kissed them and praised God. 
God is so good to orchestrate such a thing. He is so good. So faithful. He sets the lonely in families. From orphans to widows. In our story he has done both. Though Emerson's mom does not live in America in our home, she is apart of our family and always will be. 

Phillip was able to share his love for her through our translator. We told her she is a mother in our home. We are not separate. We are the same. She is valued and treasured. She will never go hungry again and neither will our daughters 4 brothers who live in Ethiopia with her. 

We were able to get the details on her life. On Emerson's brothers. How her dad died. What kind of work he did, what her mom does etc. We were able to ask her about religion and I am proud to say that she is a believer. A born again Christian who LOVES the Lord. For the sake of respecting her, my daughter and Emme's brothers I wont be sharing the details of her past life on here. For if I did it would be exploiting the poverty, the sadness, the devastation. But I want to share just enough to show you how BIG our God is and how detailed he is in EACH of our lives. 

Emerson was born in 2008. Her dad passed away when she was 7 months old. Her mother was then a widow. A widow with 6 children. Emerson being the youngest. In the words of her mother "It was the hardest time." Darkness and despair fell on this family. Emerson's mother had to become a day laborer. Meaning she did any work she could find. Maybe it was chipping away at boulders for 13 hours a day to make gravel. Maybe it was hauling water for MILES and MILES. It was hard labor. All while having a baby strapped on her back with a scarf. In the fall of 2010 she came to a place where she felt she had no other option then to give up her only daughter. Her baby. For the sake of her family, her other children, and for the well being of Emerson. She described how Emme would get hurt while she was at work. She was too big to strap on and her milk had dried up and she was running out of hope. Consumed with despair. At this same time, Phillip and I were here in the states. Fervently praying for our referral from our adoption agency. Our dossier arrived in Ethiopia for approval in December 2010. The same time Emerson was being relinquished. The days, weeks and months following Emerson's relinquishment took a devastating toll on this mothers heart. She described to us how when she went back to work she would find herself looking for her daughter and then she would remember... This mother cried out to God for hope. She described a hopelessness that I will never know. But 3 years later. Hope has been colored back into the life of this mother. These children. And this family. Our big ole American Ethiopian family. 

God's story is great. His redemptive plan is powerful. He is working in the details of our lives. Even when we don't know it. He sees the big picture when we just see the present. I feel incredibly humbled that we live this redemptive story. I feel in awe that God sees one broken family in Ethiopia and one family desiring to aide and care for the orphan and the widow and he pieces our puzzle pieces together. Only the One true God can write such a story. 

It's incredible how our Yes's in life can alter those around us and even those across an ocean. Our Yes's change lives and so do our no's. If God is stirring your heart to say yes to adoption or missions or something else kingdom building I want to urge you to say yes. To push the fear, the reluctancy, the doubt... push it aside. Our Yes's define our lives, our children's lives and the lives of those we may never come in contact with. But you can rest assured and know that our God is great and he works in the fine print and tiny details. He takes care of his people. He paints the color of Hope back into his peoples lives. 

How is God moving in your life? Is there a life altering Yes waiting for your response? How has God colored hope back into your life? 

Tuesday, September 3

Goodbye Summer

Yesterday was the last day of Summer 2013.
Sad day.
For us Labor Day marks summers official end.
Although... here in the Texas desert we have a couple more months of sweltering heat.
This summer was fast and full of adventure and memories. Here is our summer via Instagram: follow me on Instagram here.

We got to host some children from the Mwangaza Children's Choir (Uganda!) and their lovely chaperones who are from the UK!

My oldest cousin got married.

My youngest sister in-law graduated High School and so we took a road-trip down to South Texas, visited the beach and watched her graduate.

Two days later we left for Africa!!

While in Africa we found and met our daughters birth mother. (Story coming this week!!)

One day after returning home from Africa we left for Phoenix Arizona. (I do not recommend driving 12+ hours after returning home from Africa. Its terrible)

We celebrated the 4th of July with my family out at my parents house.

We also got to celebrate the adoption of this beautiful girl this summer!

My big boy lost his first TOOTH! and shortly after lost the one next to it!

My little guy turned 5!!! Cannot believe it! He had a rad Ninja Turtle party! And we celebrated his birthday at a lawn concert on the day of.

Took a roadtrip to Dallas to attend the Declare Conference with this girl! Good times my friend!

Our amazing Pastors wife (and on of my BFFs) hosted an amazing women's conference!! It was really one of the greatest most encouraging conferences. I felt recharged and encouraged when I left.

My Big Boy started 1st grade again! We are really excited about school this year.

And my littles started TODAY!

I love summer.
I love lazy days by the pool. Sleeping in until whenever. Sleepovers with the kids friends in the middle of the week. I love the freedom to travel whenever. I love the warmth of the sun. I love the warm evenings sitting outside watching the kids on our street play soccer until its completely dark.
Summer always hold fun memories and lots of adventure. But I am looking forward to fall.

Crisp cool air. Boots and scarves. Pumpkin flavored everything. Warm scents of cinnamon. Changing leaves. Everything about fall is glorious in its own unique way and I am ready for it!

What are your favorite things about Fall?