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Category: Giveaways

How an Internet Friendship Changed My Life

(Note: This post is sponsored by B&H Publishing Group. Read our disclosure policy here.)

Lisa-Jo and I met online soon after I began blogging (maybe in 2008 0r 2009?). We had mutual friends, we read some of the same blogs, and we started to get to know one another a little bit from the internet.

We met briefly in person at the Relevant Conference in 2010. Little did I know at the time that this was a woman who was going to profoundly impact my life.

I actually arrived at that conference wounded and hurting from a recent internet friendship break-up. I remember distinctly feeling so jaded by internet friendships that I told myself, “I will never be close friends with another blogger again.”

So, I wanted to put up pretty strong walls at that conference just to be safe. But there was such warmth and authenticity and kindness oozing from the women at this conference that I just couldn’t keep those walls there for long!

Lisa-Jo was one such woman who I almost instantly fell in love with. She was honest and funny, but most of all, when you were talking with her, you could tell that she really, really, really cared about you and your soul.

Over the next few years, we saw each other at multiple conferences and got to know one another a little better. And each time, I fell more in love with her. I was still leery of internet friendships, but I couldn’t get enough of her warm personality, so more and more, I let my thick walls down and let myself begin trusting her.

In 2013, Lisa-Jo asked me to read a pre-release copy of her new book, Surprised By Motherhood. Now you have to know this: I get asked to read pre-release copies of books a lot. I usually say no because, well, you know there are things like laundry and dishes and kids to care for… and if I said yes to every request, I’d probably never get a chance to sleep! 🙂

But I said yes to Lisa-Jo because she’d been such a cheerleader of me and I was excited about the opportunity to support her. Little did I dream what God had in store for the future through that pre-release copy of her book!

I loved Surprised By Motherhood so very much that I wrote her and — uncharacteristically — asked her if there was any way I could help her promote it. I look back and know beyond a shadow of a doubt that it was God who prompted me to ask that!

Well, the email she sent back just blew me away. She shared with me about this huge vision she has to impact the culture in South Africa — where she grew up, where three of her siblings are adopted from, and where her parents still live and minister.

As she shared about this massive dream she had to encourage women around the globe to come together to change a community of kids in South Africa, I knew I had to tell my readers about it.

SouthAfrica-ScottWadePhotography-153 (1)


Lisa-Jo didn’t know I was going to blog about it. We hadn’t talked ahead of time about the best strategy or post time or anything like that.

She just put her post up, I followed up with a post encouraging you all to Fall in Love With the World Next Door, and then dozens upon dozens of our readers and blog friends shared those posts with their friends.

We were absolutely humbled and stunned and overwhelmed by the donations and emails that came in — from all over the world. Hundreds of you gave.

It was one of the most beautiful Valentine’s Days I’ve ever celebrated. Because of your giving hearts, a community center, veggie garden, and playground was funded for the Maubane community in South Africa.

It still gives me goosebumps to think about.

But I had this nagging feeling that this wasn’t the end of the road for my involvement in South Africa. My heart kept feeling a pull that we were supposed to do something more.

I didn’t know what that more looked like, but I just felt like we weren’t done there yet. Lisa-Jo felt the same way.

And then one day, she asked me, “Would you like to GO with me to South Africa?”

Even though it scared me so much, even though I’d never really traveled outside the US before, even though I have a huge fear of the unknown, and even though it meant an 18-hour plane ride there and back, I said yes!


As my long-time readers well know, that trip changed my life.

I went to South Africa with Lisa-Jo to investigate the work there. I thought I was going so that I could see the playground, the water point, and the community garden that our blogs had fundraised for.

I had no idea that I was going to fall madly in love with this country and come back home with a longterm dream and vision of how our business and family could come alongside and support the work of Take Action Ministry.

But that’s what happened. And it was pretty overwhelming and exciting all at once.

When I got back home, I proposed to Jesse that we would fund the operational expenses of the ministry out of our personal budget.

Even though he hadn’t traveled to South Africa with me (yet!), even though he hadn’t met the wonderful folks from Take Action Ministry (yet!), and even though he hadn’t experienced any of the amazing experiences I had or seen anything firsthand, he didn’t bat an eye.

He did the math, rearranged our budget, and said, “I’m all in!”

Jesse has supported me in this crazy dream that God has given me ever since then. However, this is no longer just my dream and my thing. South Africa has become our family’s calling


Getting to go with my family and having Jesse and the kids fall in love, too, was one of the greatest experiences of my life. My friends in South Africa became their friends. My love for South Africa became their love. My strong and burning passion to make a difference in this country became their passion, too.

We’ve gotten to help build buildings and classrooms there, come alongside and encourage and support the locals, see amazing progress and change in the different Centres there in just a short few years, be a part of helping hundreds of kids have food and care and education every single day, and even take a group of readers to South Africa with us and have them fall in love with the country and the work there, too.

None of this would have happened if it weren’t for what started as an internet friendship with a woman named Lisa-Jo.

Lisa-Jo has shown me through her life what guilt-free, authentic relationship looks like. She’s walked it out as my friend.

And she’s the absolute perfect person to have written the brand-new book, Never Unfriended. This book is packed with encouragement and much-needed advice and encouragement for building and keeping lasting relationships with other women.

Deep, authentic relationships with other women is not something that is just reserved for a few, special, extroverted people. It’s something we all can experience.

And as someone who has struggled to build relationships, who has made many mistakes, and who has been hurt and burned in the past by other women, I can tell you that — for most of us — it takes work. It won’t just happen.

It takes being willing to step out of our comfort zones, show up, and not try to pretend we have it all together. It takes being uncomfortable, being honest, and being forgiving.

But it is so very, very worth it!

If you’ve struggled to develop meaningful relationships, if you’ve wished you could go deeper in your current relationships, if you’ve ever wondered whether authentic friendship was even possible, if you’ve felt lonely and left out, if you’ve been hurt or wounded in the past, Never Unfriended is for you.

Not sure if the book is for you? Get a sampler of the book that allows you to read the first two chapters for FREE. Just go here, enter you name and e-mail address, and the PDF of the sampler will be e-mailed to you!

Want to win a copy of the book + a $50 DaySpring gift card for you and a friend??

I’m excited because two readers will each receive a FREE copy of the Never Unfriended book and a $50 DaySpring gift card, plus an extra prize pack to give to a friend!

Use the form below to enter the giveaway.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Enter to win an Apple TV from JellyTelly!

Who wants to win an Apple TV?? I’m super excited to announce that JellyTelly is offering a FUN giveaway this week — and they are giving away an Apple TV to one reader!

JellyTelly is a kids’ streaming video app that allows you to instantly stream hundreds of hours of fun, family-friendly videos and movies for kids about God, the Bible, and faith.

JellyTelly was started by VeggieTales® and What’s in the Bible? creator Phil Vischer – a trusted voice in Christian children’s entertainment. He and the JellyTelly team work with the best voices in Christian family entertainment to provide new and classic shows the whole family will love.

We signed up for JellyTelly last year and our kids have loved using some of their daily movie time gathered around the computer or TV watching shows from it. I love that it offers a wide variety of fun and engaging entertainment options for kids, but that I don’t have to worry whether the content is safe or kid-friendly.

If you’ve been reading here for a long time, you know that our kids LOVE the What’s In The Bible? videos, so of course, those are some of our favorites from JellyTelly. But they also have many other great videos — including VeggieTales®, Hillsong Kids, the Jesus Storybook Bible, and many more!

In fact, they currently offer 1553 different episodes from 115 different shows — enough to keep kids entertained for a very long time! You can play the videos directly on a laptop or desktop computer or through the JellyTelly streaming video app.

The JellyTelly app is available for iOS, Android, Roku, and Kindle. We’ve used both the online site on our desktop computer and the app on our phones and not had any issues with either.

If you watch a show and you or your kids really love it, you can choose to click “Favorite” on it to add it to your My Favorites list. Your Playlist and Favorites list can be accessed from the menu button.

JellyTelly wants to encourage families to make screen time more meaningful. You can sign up at the bottom of any page on their site for their free weekly 5-minute family video devotional designed to foster important conversations with your kids about their faith.

You can go here to watch a video about JellyTelly to learn more about their overall mission and how it works.

Get a FREE 7-day trial to JellyTelly!

Want to try JellyTelly out? They are offering readers the opportunity to get a completely free 7-day trial + a free 50-page coloring pack. AND, when you sign up, you’ll be entered to win an Apple TV (see below).

Just use coupon code MSMEASTER to get a completely free one-week trial!

(Payment information is required when you sign up for the trial. If you do not wish to continue your membership once the free trial is up, visit the JellyTelly website and click on “Cancel Membership” on the “My Account” page and follow the instructions for cancellation under the heading “Cancel Membership.”)

Note: If you’re a PayPal user, you won’t be able to apply the coupon code directly, but you can email the amazing Customer Experience team ( with your JellyTelly account email and the coupon code “MSMEASTER” to be able to apply it.

Win an Apple TV from JellyTelly!

JellyTelly is offering an exclusive giveaway opportunity to readers! Sign up for a JellyTelly trial with code MSMEASTER (see details above), and you’ll automatically be entered in a giveaway for:

Giveaway runs until March 28, 2017. JellyTelly will contact the winner by email.

Fine print: NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. A PURCHASE DOES NOT INCREASE YOUR CHANCES OF WINNING. Open to individuals who are legal residents of the fifty (50) United States and the District of Columbia who are age 16 or older at the time of entry. Void where prohibited.

How to enter the giveaway: Visit HERE during the Contest Period and fill out this form to enter OR by visiting during the Contest Period and beginning a free JellyTelly trial using the code MSMEASTER. By entering your email address, you are agreeing to join the JellyTelly email list. You can unsubscribe from this list at any time.

(Note: This post was underwritten by JellyTelly. Read our disclosure policy here.)

Enter to win a $5,000 home renovation from Lowe’s!

Save 3% on the purchase of your next home + enter to win a $5,000 home renovation from Lowe's!

Are you thinking about buying or selling a home in the near future? If so, GoldenKey might be a great option for you!

GoldenKey is a commission free real estate company backed by Lowe’s Home Improvement. They allow home buyers to get a 3% commission rebate on the purchase of a home after the sale — the amount they would have traditionally paid the realtor. Customers can also sell a home commission-free.

GoldenKey recognized the value that a realtor brings to the complex home buying and selling process, but they felt that the industry’s commission-based model was outdated and in need of an updated approach that helped consumers.

GoldenKey’s mission is to turn agents into allies and flip the traditional commission-based realtor model on its head. They seek to help home buyers avoid going into debt to pay closing costs and commission fees, preserve & increase their home equity, and help them build greater personal wealth.

GoldenKey is a unique solution that provides access to comprehensive and tailored realtor services without paying the high commission. Here’s how it works:

  • Home buyers and sellers can choose from one of three tailored packaged realtor services — all for a clear upfront one-time fee that is paid upon closing.
  • If a customer doesn’t need an entire package, they can select the individual jobs they need as one-off services — such as arranging a house viewing or negotiating an offer.
  • The most comprehensive package that GoldenKey offers costs a maximum of $3,199, which is an attractive alternative to paying the 3% commission fee that is normal when hiring a realtor.
  • With a straight forward and clear fee structure, prospective buyers and sellers can get all the assistance they need and receive at least a 3% reimbursement of their home’s value upon completion.

GoldenKey’s average customer saves over $12,000 when they buy or sell a home using their service!

All of its agents are fully qualified and most are contracted workers, which means they are also able to work for other real estate companies. By joining GoldenKey’s network an agent can choose to accept a job if they have the time, safe in the knowledge that they will be paid for the services they provide.

GoldenKey’s website and mobile application works like a digital marketplace, connecting home buyers and sellers to local certified realtors in return for an affordable upfront fee.

Would you like to win a $5,000 home renovation from Lowe’s?

To celebrate their recent million dollar funding from Lowe’s, GoldenKey is running a contest for one person to win a $5,000 home renovation from Lowe’s!

Just use the form below to enter for your chance to win.

GoldenKey Lowe’s Giveaway

(Note: This post was underwritten by GoldenKey. Read our disclosure policy here.)

Shop AXE Holiday Gift Packs at Walmart + enter to win a $100 Walmart gift card (2 winners!)

Sponsored post by Mirum Shopper.

If you’re looking for a last minute gift idea for a man in your life, be sure to check out the AXE Holiday Gift Packs at Walmart! There are over a dozen different varieties to choose from and they are all priced between $9.88 and $14.88.

We picked up two different AXE Holiday Gift Packs — one for Jesse and one as a gift for someone else.

I loved the $14.88 gift packs as they come in a really nice zippered travel bag.

Plus, check to see if your store has gift packs with peelies on them for $5 off. You can use these immediately — knocking the price down to $9.88!

The zippered gift packs come with 4 full-sized products + the zippered travel bag.

And right now AXE is running a sweepstakes for special AXE Stage Passes to see select top music artists in concert. Just go HERE and sign up for your chance to win a 3 day, 2 night trip for you and three friends to see a concert of a top, must-see artist. There are other great secondary prizes, too!

You can also check out Walmart’s Axe page for exclusive artist interviews, concert footage from top artists, and more.

Would you like to win a $100 Walmart Gift Card?

I’ve got two $100 Walmart gift cards to give away! To enter to win, head over to this post on my Facebook Page and leave a comment sharing who you’d love to buy an AXE Holiday Gift Pack for. I’ll choose two winners from the comments to win a $100 Walmart gift card!

{This post is sponsored by Mirum Shopper Opinions. The giveaway portion is sponsored and provided by Read my disclosure policy here.}

Enter to win an exclusive mystery deal from Gwynnie Bee!

I’m super excited that Gwynnie Bee is running an exclusive mystery deal giveaway for my readers right now!!

Gwynnie Bee is a clothing rental subscription service for women sizes 10-32. They are similar to Stitch Fix in many ways, but different than Stitch Fix because instead of having items sent to you to try on and possibly consider buying, they are a “lending service” where they lend you clothes to wear for as long as you’d like and then you ship them back and they’ll send you more. It’s almost like what Netflix used to be, only for clothes!

I recently did a completely honest review of Gwynnie Bee, and overall, I was very impressed! I love that you know exactly how much you are going to spend each month, and that it’s a way to have an ever-rotating closet without ever needing to leave the house to go shopping.

Yes, it’s pricey and not for everyone (especially those who are regularly thrift store shoppers!), but this might be a great way to be able to find lots of cute clothes that are in your size at a set price every single month.

Want to try Gwynnie Bee for yourself?

Head over to their Deal of the Season page to enter a fun mystery deal giveaway! Everyone is a winner, and will win one of these three offers:

  • Free one-month trial to try their service for free
  • Free one-month trial + free additional outfit
  • Free one-month trial + free additional outfit + holiday clutch

Go here to enter the Gwynnie Bee Deal of the Season Giveaway and see which mystery deal you win!

Giveaway ends on December 20, 2016.

{This post was underwritten by Gwynnie Bee. Read my disclosure policy here.}

Rocky Mountain Oils: Christmas gift ideas + enter to win a $100, $150, or $250 RMO shopping spree!

I’m SO excited that I get to give away three shopping sprees to Rocky Mountain Oils — a company that we’ve been getting our essential oils from over the past 6 months.

I love that Rocky Mountain Oils offers high-quality oils, that they have a 100% satisfaction guarantee, and that they price their oils significantly lower than many other essential oil companies.

You can go here to see my full review of Rocky Mountain Essential Oils, but it’s safe to say that I feel like I can wholeheartedly endorse them. {For those of you who know me well, you know this is a big deal.}

If you are thinking of trying out essential oils and you’re not sure which company to start with, I definitely recommend checking out Rocky Mountain Oils. I think you’ll be really impressed with them, too! (Be sure to scroll to the bottom of this post for an AMAZING giveaway! I can’t wait to see who wins!)

Also, if you’re looking for unique gift ideas this Christmas, Rocky Mountain Oils has an essential oils gift guide to help you out! Here are LOTS of ideas:


Want a chance to try Rocky Mountain Oils for yourself?

Rocky Mountain Oils is running an amazing giveaway this week for my readers!

They are offering the grand prize of a $250 shopping spree to Rocky Mountain Oils, a secondary prize of a $150 shopping spree, and a third prize of a $100 shopping spree.

Use the box below to enter the giveaway.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

This giveaway will end at 11:59 pm MDT on Sunday, December 4, 2016.

(Note: This post and giveaway was sponsored by Rocky Mountain Oils. Read our disclosure policy here.)