1 must-do can-do summer activity

what are you doing this summer?

when we chat about the summer, we are quick to highlight vacations and travel. but what are you doing when you're at home? 

i know what we're not doing - letting the screen lull us to lethargy, fearing the fog in our city, nor eating our way through the pantry and fridge. in fact, i'm making a "kitchen closed" sign as you are reading this! 

i’m giving away a summer series grid i created with minimal instructions and maximum creativity! if you missed it, you can click here to get the free download delivered as a pdf to your inbox. 

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thank you.

thank you.

the past 7 days has been a beautiful reminder to me that when we pursue a dream,

God grants us grace in the form of people to champion and cheer.

your kindness was felt by me as i opened my hands and released this book...

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...this book that sheds light on our first days and months in a new place far from what was normal to us.

what i thought would only ever be a "i'm not going to be numb and paralyzed by the unknown" plan to be vulnerable to learn a new place and love a new people, has been written to give you courage to love the place and people around you.

so thank you for being courageous so early in 2015.

if you've downloaded the book, i'd love to hear how you will step to action.

how you will mobilize your family, your small group, your neighborhood, your church.

as the summer will be here before we know it, download now and start envisioning how you will engage your community with love and make a difference in the daily movement of life.

our cities will be better.

our families will be stronger.

the body of Christ will be more like Him.

it's a call to LIVE SENT. it's been HIS idea all along.

here's what some beautiful people are saying in cities around north america...

This book will be your first friend in your new location! I leaned into every page of this book, wishing I had read it years ago! Keep this book nearby as you’re unpacking boxes in a new move. No matter what location you’re in, it creatively guides you to discover purpose and adventure in the place God has sent you. Every time I turned a page I found myself smiling. Not just because of the winsome way in which it’s written, but because I could identify with the thoughts and emotions unpacked in this book. Get a pen and you’re shoes on, you’re going to be motivated, and the adventure is just beginning!

- Lori McDaniel, Global Mission Catalyst, International Mission Board


As an urban church planter in our nation’s capital, Washington, D.C., 31 Days in the City is an excellent resource for anyone who feels called or led to move to a new, unfamiliar, place. It would have been awesome to have Shauna Pilgreen’s book as a means of instruction and encouragement on what it means to “live sent” as a follower of Jesus when we moved to D.C. almost eight years ago. Even now, having lived in the city for a while, I plan to implement 31 days of “living sent” here in D.C. It will allow my children and I to discover our city in a new and fresh way, and hopefully be a blessing to those around us.

A great read, an excellent resource and a challenge to live the way that God has called us to live!

- Amy Graham, Discipleship Pastor, The District Church

When I (a small town/suburban girl) moved with my family to San Francisco five years ago, I was overwhelmed with the challenges and pace of city. I longed for a wise friend to come alongside me and show me how to be a mom in the city, how to be a follower of Jesus in the city. This is the book I needed then. Shauna Pilgreen is a friend to guide you through those lonely days of feeling new and overwhelmed. Her words are an encouraging whisper that you are here in this place because you have been sent, because God is on the move and you part of God’s renewal in your city.

- Micha Boyett, Author of Found: A Story of Questions, Grace, & Everyday Prayer

Get LIVE SENT here.

Living Sent {ebook}


you've got 30 seconds to describe where you live. go...

"ummm...it's a small town. half a dozen traffic lights. everybody is related to everybody. i grew up here. yeah. that's about it."

"well, it's a pretty big sized town. i mean, we're growing. lots of nationalities moving in. shopping centers popping up every mile or so. the towns nearby are coming to our town now. they're more or less touching each other."

"i live in a great place. there's so much to do. we've got a university and a research hospital. tons of green space and lots of events and festivals and concerts are here on the weekends."

"it's so different from home. so different."

"i live in a tight-knit community. most people who were born here, stay here and raise their families. our kids go to church and school and play sports together. it's a nice place to raise a family."

"it's a city. skyscrapers. mass transit. people on the move all the time. multi-cultural. apartment living. transient. delicious foods. strange smells. thankful for google maps. yep. that's where live."

"i don't know yet. we just moved here. check back in next year!"

10 seconds. why do you live where you live? go...




i don't know.

it's far from home.

i believe there is purpose in where you live. beyond your job or schooling or family.

and i believe the places you call home need to receive and gain more of you.

it's time for us to live sent.

and i've written an ebook on how to do just that...

Live Sent: 31 Days in the City

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I've written an ebook that's a planned adventure for how we met our neighbors and experienced  a diverse culture and began opening our home to others.

Every chapter is a day and every day is a leap of courage.

The book is filled with my personal journal entries and the stories of struggle and deep joy. It's a concept that is sure to grow your love for where you live and those who live around you.

see the 31 days {table of contents} here.

Christ followers, of all people, should love the places God has us in. We learn to love our cities and towns by knowing them. We know our cities more by engaging. We engage our cities when we attend sporting events, get a library card, dine at restaurants, play in the parks, ride transit, run marathons, shop locally, meet the neighbors.

Sink roots where you call home for now. Your zip code, your street, your neighborhood will be a better place if you do.

Because I believe this: We, of all people, should laugh the loudest, give the most, and love better than anyone else in the places we call home.

Live Sent extended version is on sale exclusively here for only $2.99!

In addition to the 31 days, get more of an insider’s view into how this can be lived out and be the first to receive future templates and ideas. Over 10 additional chapters with highly practical and useful ideas to Live Sent:

31 Days of Prayer

Craft ideas and recipes

templates for neighbor gatherings, family structures, and celebrations

practical ways to invest in school

teaching lesson called, God of the City

and more

I'm a sojourner with you on this earth to live sent for His purpose and Kingdom. Just as the rope was extended to me, I boldly and excitedly extend it to you. Whatever coast, mountain, farmland, valley, or desert you are in. Whatever zip code that is now assigned you. Whatever color the sky. Whatever challenges and adventures await.

{exert from Living Sent - 31 Days in the City}

To you, the new ones to your town or city...may God grant you the courage to explore. To embrace a new culture, a new process on how things operate, a new community. To you, the ones who are comfortable where you live...may God give you a fresh new look at your surroundings. What's that part of town that still needs your footprints?

{exert from Living Sent - 31 Days in the City}

Get Live Sent here.


i want to see you thrive where you live, not just survive.

i want God to use our family to model it well by His grace.

how to thrive.

how to make family out of friends.

how to engage a school community.

how to learn to love your city.

come into our story as we entered our city a few years ago with a mission to explore and give back in our first 31 days. and we did so with  2, 4, and 6 year old boys while trying to start a church in a brand new culture.

just for you, i've got all 31 days lumped together to the right over here...

yep. that's it. the 31 days in the city box. you're so smart.

new to your city? start exploring. use this guide to get your creativity going.

lived there for a while? explore new parts. take on a neighborhood challenge. buy local this Christmas season.

whatever you do, love your cities well.

Christians, of all people, should know their cities and serve their cities the best!

We, of all people, should laugh the loudest, give the most, and love better than anyone else.

How will you laugh, give, and love this month in the places you call home?

Whoopie! to our 31 days!

Foodies are raving about Whoopie Pies in the city. History shows that this tasty dessert originated on the east coast like the clam chowder, but has become a hit on the west coast.
So, we gave it a try to celebrate our 31 days in the city!

Easy Classic Whoopie Pie filling:
2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup powdered sugar
7 oz. jar marshmallow fluff
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

Cream butter and sugar at med-high speed until thoroughly combined. Add marshmallow fluff, salt, and vanilla. Mix on medium speed until combined.

Lark Creek Steak's Red Velvet Whoopie Pies
2 cups all purpose flour
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons red food coloring (or as much as the little bottle that comes in the four pack!)
1 large egg
1/3 cup canola or vegetable oil
1 cup granulated sugar

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Sift the flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt; set aside. In a separate bowl, combine buttermilk, vanilla, and food coloring; set aside. Combine the egg, oil, and sugar in the mixing bowl. Beat at high speed until light in color for about 1 minute. On low speed, add 1/3 of the flour mixture, followed by half of the buttermilk mixture. Repeat, ending with the last third of the flour. When thoroughly mixed, scrape the sides of bowl to ensure everything is evenly distributed. If made ahead, refrigerate; bring to room temperature before baking.
When ready to bake, use a 1 oz. scoop to portion 2 tablespoons batter onto the baking sheet. Bake, rotating the sheet halfway through, until cake springs back when lightly touched, about 10 minutes. Remove the cakes to a wire rack; cool completely.
Once cooled, pipe or spread the filling onto the bottom side of half the cakes. Top with the remaining cakes to make the sandwiches.
Makes about 15 pies.

[cited from SF Chronicle on Sunday, June 27.2010]

Someone asked me the other day what my plan was now that the 31 days are over. I never expected it to be all that is has been! Our 31 days of adventure has forced us to get out and about, make mistakes, meet people, discover favorite spots, and stay active.
I believe that our 31 days has also inspired others to make their own adventures and has kept our friends and family up to date with our lives.
We will continue to live the adventure God has before us and I will blog about it on a weekly basis now. I'm glad you enjoy our stories. I sure do find pleasure in writing them!