She Cooks (& an announcement and giveaway!)

Hi friends! Boy have I got a treat for you.

Today you’ll meet one of my “favoritist” people (as one of my boys used to say) in the world, LeAnn Rice, who has launched a new website you are gonna LOVE! And yes, there is a giveaway involved :-)

But first, a fun little announcement you may be interested in.

Beginning this Saturday, I will be a guest on all four weekends in July on Focus on the Family Weekend.They are spots I recorded last August when I flew to Colorado Springs to the headquarters of Focus and most are practical tips from my book The Complete Guide to Getting and Staying Organized. Mark your calendar and join us! If you don’t know when the show airs in your neck of the woods, you can find it online and listen by clicking here.

And FYI….I will be missing-in-action from all things cyber–including blog, Facebook, & Twitter— until Tuesday morning July 6th in order to hang with my family. See you then!

Okay…now for our guest.

LeAnn Rice is an amazing woman. A single mom who became a widow over a decade ago, she is an inspiration to many and an example of how God can use us despite our sorrows and the blows life tries to throw at us. She is the Executive Director of Proverbs 31 Ministries, where  she says “I get to spend my days surrounded by the most Godly women I have ever known. Truly… I am blessed to have each and every one of them in my life.” And we say back…”We call her Queen”. Not just because she is our director, but she is royally wonderful and gracious. She resides near Charlotte, NC with her son Nick, age 16.

LeAnn has just launched a fun and helpful site for women called She Cooks. I’ve asked her to share a bit about it and then…..the giveaway!

Leann, as a busy single mom and mother of a teen-aged boy, what is life like at your house this summer? Well… it’s messy. And I mean that literally! Nick is 16 years old so basically he just eats and smells. With the launching of She Cooks, and our annual She Speaks conference around the corner, I am working crazy hours. Nick spends the days playing Xbox (while eating, of course). I make him breakfast before I leave for the office and I bring dinner home around 8:00 or 9:00pm. It’s a crazy schedule. But we try to take time after church on Sundays to see a movie and grab a bite to eat. Notice that there is no mention of doing dishes or dusting. Hence “messy.”

Tell us a bit about how God prompted you to begin She Cooks. I work with the most amazing group of women (like YOU for instance) who share the Gospel of Jesus at speaking events. Time and time again I hear one of you say that people came to Jesus at one of your events. I never get to experience that. I don’t have the gift of speaking or writing and it kind of bothered me that I wasn’t sharing the Gospel in such a life-changing way. As I was feeling sorry for myself and struggling with feelings of envy, God woke me up at 3:00 in the morning a few months ago with the idea for She Cooks. I very clearly heard Him say that, while He had not given me the gift of speaking or writing, He had given me the gift of hospitality and that I could most definitely use it to extend His love and His grace with others. I drove to work the next morning and immediately checked to see if the domain “She Cooks” was available. It was. And that was it.

What is the greatest challenge when it comes to hospitality and how can women overcome it? I think overcoming our tendency to compare ourselves to others is the greatest challenge. Girl… you know that most of us will walk into someone else’s home and survey the area! “Look at Sally’s new furniture.” “I could never set a table as gorgeous as Aunt Mary.” You know… I do it all the time. The thing is, all of us do things differently. It’s not so much the result of your attempts to set a fancy table as it is about the love you put into it. It costs absolutely nothing to make a person feel welcome and cared for.

What do you hope your readers experience as they follow along with your blog? I hope they will feel welcome at my table. I hope they will be inspired to invite others to sit around their table to share good food and laughter. I hope they will discover recipes that will become new family favorites, and ideas that will make their next meal an event. I hope they will be encouraged, despite my blunders and imperfections, to attempt the extraordinary to make someone else feel special. Most of all, I hope and pray that those who come simply for recipes and menu ideas, will find the hope of Jesus Christ through the stories I share of life around my kitchen table.

Now for the giveaway. I’d planned on giving you some summer recipes today, but when you hop over to She Cooks, you’ll see LeAnn has already done this. So instead, I am giving away the following:

*A copy of the “Cook Out” summer issue of the Food Network Magazine

*A packet of Raspberry Zinger herb tea. Great iced!

*Some patriotic Sour Stars to give to the kids or grand-kids, if you have them, to keep them out of the kitchen! Otherwise, give them to a neighborhood child :-)

*A $5.00 Walmart card, to buy yourself some new measuring cups or other kitchen gadget for cooking. (Not pictured. I still have to buy it!)

*Watermelon not included. Kinda hard to mail!

Okay…hop on and leave a comment telling us what you love about cooking. Or what you hate about cooking. Or what you plan to do over the Fourth of July holiday. Or, if none of the above applies to you, simply say “I’m in!” Winner will be announced Tuesday morning when I return.

Happy 4th! (to those of you from the U.S) Happy summer to the rest!

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