beaded crosses! {2/40}

Welcome to Day 2 of our 40 Days of Birthday Gifts! (And congrats to Cheryl, yesterday’s winner of a tube of Ava Anderson Dream Cream!)

Super-excited today to introduce you to a gal I’ve got a lot in common with. We even share blood. My dad & her mom are siblings, just a few years apart. And I won’t go into it all here, but we used to NOT LIKE EACH OTHER EVEN ONE LITTLE BIT.


11659294_621587248530_2766522075310293582_n(Those are the exact words I used to begin my blog post three years ago when I gave away one of Jen’s gorgeous beaded crosses. Why mess with a good thing?)

(PSA: If there’s someone in your family you don’t like very much right now, who knows? Maybe someday you’ll be the best of friends. Anyway.)

Let’s talk about my cousin Jen’s GORGEOUS BEADED CROSSES.

First, the boring part (not really): The crosses are made with a variety of colored beads (glass, acrylic, paper, faux pearls) and are hand-wrapped onto a cross form with petite metal wire.

(Oh my gosh. How in the world??)

Basically, Jen is a CREATIVE GENIUS.

And a really good dancer (even at 40 weeks pregnant with twins), but that’s beside the point.


The “We’re All in This Together” crosses feature recycled magazine beads handmade by women in Uganda.


As you can see from the pics, you can use them as home accents, Christmas ornaments, bouquet adornments. They make GORGEOUS gifts.

And they’re great for anyone, but do you know who I think would LOVE, LOVE, LOVE one? Your sweet, precious grandma who loves Jesus & is so hard to buy for.

And I LOVE this part:

20150415_120113_listingA portion of all profits are donated to help working mothers in Uganda, Africa: empowering them through hope and opportunity to rise above their circumstances. 

Fifty percent of the profits from the sale of the “We’re All in This Together” crosses are donated to Amazima Ministries to help feed children living in the slums of Uganda. Each cross purchase will provide approximately sixty (60) meals for a child in Uganda. 

Twenty-five percent of the profits from all other crosses will be donated to and provide micro-loans to business-owning mothers in Uganda – giving them the hope and opportunity to use their talents and abilities to lift their families out of poverty.20150411_160650_listing 


In honor of my birthday, Jen is giving away YOUR CHOICE of ANY 3.5 inch cross from her Etsy shop! (excluding heirloom & custom) $28 value + FREE shipping in the U.S.

All you have to do to be entered to win is go to Jen’s Etsy shop, pick your favorite cross, and leave a comment telling us what it is! Easy!!

And, if you don’t win, YOU SHOULD BUY ONE. Because you’re supporting Jen’s beautiful family AND a beautiful family (or many families) in Uganda. That’s STILL WINNING.20150417_134814_listing

And generous Jen is offering 10% off any order through September 25! Just use the code MARLATURNS40. Woohoo!

I’ll leave you with these super-encouraging words from Jen:

It can be really hard to feel like you’re doing “enough” to serve the poor when so much of your time as a mom is spent serving your own family.

There are two things I’ll say to that: One, don’t miss this precious season of raising, training and loving the children God has placed right in front of you. Allow it to be a time for God to mold you into the example He needs you to be for your kids so that as they grow, they can be witness to and involved along side you in loving others.20150411_160907_listing

And two, try to find something that you can do with the talents, time and opportunities you have right now (however small those “mites” might be). Pray about it and see what ideas God gives you.

Okay, friends! Head on over to Jen’s site, pick your favorite cross, & leave a comment! We’ll draw a random winner 24 hours from now!


44 thoughts on “beaded crosses! {2/40}

  1. Bethany silva

    They are also beautiful but I really like Sands on the shore or vintage ivory. And I would really like to donate to your 40 days of gifts Marla. I was thinking maybe Beth Moore’s new book Audacious.

  2. Michele Anderson

    One of my favorite is the Emerald Raven 3.5″ Beaded Cross (Green and Black, with Pearl Accents wrapped with Silver Wire).

  3. Charity bernard

    There isn’t a # but I love the 2nd one with turquoise and red… they are all beautiful and you do an amazing job with making them… Wow thank you for allowing me to be in this…
    God Bless You
    Charity Bernard

  4. Kathy Reynolds

    I had to laugh at myself – here’s a clarification from my post: Jen has children; I’m the one with grandkids. My 20 month old grandson has the same name as one of her kids – I think it’s one of the twins.

  5. Jackie Redmond

    I love the Vintage Ivory Cross. It reminds me of Jesus. The pearl in the middle reminds me of His grace and love that covers our sin. Beautiful!

  6. Kathy Reynolds

    These are lovely! Picking a favorite is impossible. As I tell my grandkids (and one of mine shares the same name as one of Jen’s), I don’t have a favorite color – I just love color! God gave us the colors of the rainbow, the eyes to see them, and the ability to enjoy them. Beautifully done!

  7. Emily M

    I love what your cousin says about doing what you can do in the season of raising littles. I’ve been praying about this very thing. I love these crosses – especially Multi-colored African Magazine Beads. And I remember you posting that video of her dancing at 40 weeks pregnant – awesome.

  8. Tara Haneu

    Wow!! I love them all! What an amazing talent! They are so beautiful! But, I think my favorite is the Sozo, the colors in it are all my favorites! Reminds me of a sunset/sunrise on the ocean!

  9. Sharon Meekins

    I love all of them!! My dream is to get back to Uganda! Right now, my church is offering Financial Peace University and I’m trying to get my finances back in order. I would love prayer! Praying you and your family are doing well.

  10. Jennifer Martinez

    There isn’t a name but I love the second one with the turquoise and red, it would match my daughter’s room perfectly!

  11. valerie

    They are all so beautiful, Jen! I so admire the way you are using your talents right where you are at this season of life. Love the Summer Sunshine – it’s my daughter’s high school colors! 🙂

  12. Sharon

    I like the Sozo Orange, Teal, and Brown, wrapped with Copper Wire the best. Well, not really. I like Jen and Marla THE best. The cross is second best 😉 No Marla, I’m not sucking up 😛 Bah, better get control of myself!!!!

  13. Stacy

    I love the Lavender Fields cross! It reminds me of the grandmothers I have lost who loved the Lord so, and of my mom who does, as well. What a beautiful way to Serve!

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