Get Ready

batteriesAre you prepared?  This is a question I hear a lot around this time of year because it’s hurricane season here in Florida.  Thankfully, my husband is a planner.  So, we have gallons of water, batteries, a generator, canned goods, and other emergency supplies stockpiled in our garage.  The latest addition to our arsenal is a watersafe, a plastic bladder that transforms our bathtub into a sanitary water storage container.  We learned about this product on a reality tv show called Doomsday Preppers.  (My husband had me DVR all the episodes of season 1).  Have you seen the show?  The National Geographic Channel website describes its premise:

“Doomsday Preppers explores

the lives of otherwise ordinary Americans

who are preparing for the end of the world as we know it.

Unique in their beliefs, motivations, and strategies,

preppers will go to whatever lengths they can

to make sure they are prepared for any of life’s uncertainties.”

Each episode highlights three preppers, describes their well-laid doomsday preparations, and provides an expert assessment of their plan’s effectiveness.  I must admit that I think the people on this show are a little crazy.   One prepper made his kids eat meals made with bugs in order to prepare them for what he considered to be the inevitable end of the food supply during an apocalypse.  I seriously wanted to grab his kids and take them out for a Happy Meal.

I am not over-fascinated with doomsday scenarios, but as a Christian, I do believe we are living in the end times.  This week, as I was reading I Peter 4, I realized that this epistle provides us with our own “end times” preparation list:

The end of all things is near.

Therefore be alert and of sober mind so that you may pray.

Above all, love each other deeply,

because love covers over a multitude of sins.

Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling.

Each of you should use whatever gift you have received

to serve others, as faithful stewards

of God’s grace in its various forms.

If anyone speaks, they should do so as one

who speaks the very words of God.

If anyone serves, they should do so with the strength God provides,

so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ.

To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen.”

vs. 7-11, NIV

Christ followers, like Doomsday Preppers, are people unique in belief, motivation and strategy.  I believe Jesus is the way.  I am motivated by His love for me, and this passage provides my end times strategy:

As the end draws near, I am called to be a servant.

I am called to be alert and prayerful.

I am called to love.

I am called to speak the very words of God.

I am to open my home and my heart as a safe haven.

God will give me all the supplies required for survival.  In the end, He will be glorified.  Victory is certain.

Q4U:  Are you ready for the end?  How are you preparing?

My one-word focus for the year is “fruitilicious.”  Find out what that meanhere.

Thanks for stopping by!  I would love to connect with you on FacebookTwitter, or Pinterest.

Joining like-minded sisters today at Hear it on Sunday: Use it on MondayFaith-Filled Friday, Thought-Provoking Thursday, Tell His Story,  Playdates with God and Soli Deo Gloria.

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Photo Credit

On Display

Melting Gold

“Pure gold put in the fire comes out of it proved pure;

genuine faith put through this suffering comes out proved genuine.

When Jesus wraps this all up,

it’s your faith, not your gold,

that God will have on display as evidence of his victory.”

I Peter 1:7, MSG

Joining like-minded sisters at

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Photo Credit: Eric Chegwin

Lessons Learned in 3D — I’m Late. I’m Late…

How was your week, friends?  This week, my theme song has been “I’m late.  I’m late… for a very important date (I just have way too much on my plate!).  We spent a few days away last weekend, and all week I feel like I have been playing “catch up.”  If only I could squeeze a couple of more hours into my day….

Time passes so quickly!   That’s why I am using these weekly posts to chronicle some of the things God is teaching me.  I don’t want to let things “slip by”… I want to be intentional about remembering what’s important.  So, here in no particular order are ten things I learned this week:

1.  My spouse deserves my focused attention  (i.e., put down the phone and close the laptop, Lyli).  This past weekend, my husband and I attended Family Life Today’s Weekend to Remember Conference for couples.  I am so thankful that we took some time away to re-connect and invest in each other.  My big takeaway from the weekend is that I need to be more intentional about focusing on “us.” 

2.   Elisa taught me the 4 T’s of Communication — timing, tone, technique, and truth.  This is such a practical post, and it came at the right time for me after our weekend away. 

3.  Shauna outlined 7 things I should do to be a great dinner party guest. Have you read her book Bread and Wine: A Love Letter to Life Around the Table with Recipes?  I am love, love, loving it so far.   Here  are the details on the (in) courage book club — I would love for you to join us in reading this great book.  

4.  “God is comfortable in my chaos.”  — I missed this encouraging word from Lisa Jo a couple of weeks ago and was so happy to discover it this past week — I love her “Monday Morning Check List.”

5.  I need community.  Max Lucado is one of my favorite authors, so I was so excited when he guest posted for Ann at A Holy Experience.  I love what he shared about not isolating yourself during dark times.  (He also has a new book coming out in September!!!)

6.  Community is hard!  That’s why this post by Robin for (in)courage really challenged me.    Am I really going to live out the Gospel and forgive as Christ calls me to do?

“Love and forgiveness are possible when we surrender our right to have rights, when we relinquish any sense of entitlement–

  • to expect others to behave how we want them to
  • to withhold a loving/forgiving response until they’re truly repentant or compliant
  • when we’re the wronged party, or in any obvious sense, are ‘right'”

7.  Jean at Healthy Spirituality reminded me to “fasten my helmet” and intentionally choose joy and thankfulness.  I love this story she shared about her granddaughter.

8.  “Our lives, our brokenness, our flaws and failures are precisely what God designed to reflect a perfect love.” –– This beautiful guest post by Adele  for (in) courage touched me deeply. 

9.  I need to be more intentional about carving out times for quiet reflection during my day.  Rachel at Finding Joy provided some helpful tips on how to do this in her post “Five Steps to Finding Quiet in a Noisy World.” 

10.  Face to face time with those I love is important.  I need to spend less time “socializing online.”  Holley explains this well in her post for (in)courage “What It Looks Like to Have a Cyber Sabbath”:

“Sabbath realigns us with love.

It reminds us we’re not created for tasks but for relationship.

It reassures our hearts that we’re not slaves

but instead cherished sons and daughters.

It relieves us of the burden of controlling our own lives.”

Q4U:  What did you learn this week?

Thanks for stopping by! I would love to connect with you on Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest.

I am joining Jesse and friends this weekend for


Inspection Overload

home inspection

For ten years, I lived in a cozy town house filled with lots of love and laughter.  My favorite activity was curling up on the couch in the tiny living room and grazing on kettle corn while watching endless hours of the Food Network.  Then, I met him — the guy with the big heart who swept me off my feet.  A year later, we got engaged, and I packed up my cozy little life and moved north to be a wife.

Around that same time, one of my former students was getting hitched, and she needed a place.  So, my quaint little town house became hers — at least temporarily.

This past month, my friend and her husband made a big move north themselves — back to his home state.  So, now that town house full of memories will soon have a For Sale sign posted out front.

My June calendar was packed to the rim with activity, so I bribed another dear friend to go check the place out, assess the damage two big dogs had wreaked on one small town house, and do some clean up.  She needed the extra cash, and she is a meticulous OCD neat freak — a quality that I lack.

Tuesday afternoon, we met for her “assessment.”  I received several pages of very thorough notes — dirty grout, smudged paint, smelly carpets, damaged blinds, etc.  She noted many things, but she didn’t say a thing about the kitchen cabinets.   She hadn’t noticed the imperfections I thought were glaring and obvious.

That night, we met with realtor at the home.  I got there a bit early and walked around noting things to do on a note pad — adding to the already lengthy list I’d received — replace baseboards, change out bathroom fixtures, repair back fence, install new fire alarm.

But, that all changed about twenty minutes later when I met Debbie — my tiny dynamo realtor with the eye for what sells.  “Don’t do a thing,” she told my husband.  Pull the carpets.  Touch up a little here and there.  The  new owners will want to put their stamp on the place anyway.

I looked around the place and noticed flaws.  Firecracker Debbie viewed potential — the updated kitchen appliances, the hurricane shutters, the tiled back patio.    Her suggested list price made my eye brows raise.  Really?  You think it’s worth that?

So now, it’s 24 hours later.  I am reading in I Peter 2, and these words jump out at me:

So clean house!

Make a clean sweep of malice and pretense,

envy and hurtful talk…

Present yourselves as building stones

for the construction of a sanctuary

vibrant with life…

Friends, this world is not your home,

so don’t make yourselves cozy in it.

Don’t indulge your ego

at the expense of your soul.

(vs. 1, 5, 11 – MSG)

God has an eye for my heart’s home.  He sees potential in me where I see flaws.  I am a living stone — solid material the Master Builder is using to design His kingdom.  I need to clean out the cob webs of hate and hypocrisy in my heart, but I don’t need to display OCD perfection for Him to create a beautiful sanctuary out of my life.

Q4U:  Do you tend to “over inspect” your life?  Where do you think God sees potential in you?

My one-word focus for the year is “fruitilicious.”  Find out what that means here.

Thanks for stopping by!  I would love to connect with you on FacebookTwitter, or Pinterest.

Joining like-minded sisters today at  Hear it on Sunday: Use it on Monday, Faith-Filled Friday, Thought-Provoking Thursday, Tell His StoryPlaydates with God and Soli Deo Gloria.

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Photo Credit:  Kostya Kisleyko