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


Lessons Learned in 3D — Going Steady

Last week, my husband got down on one knee in the kitchen and asked me to go steady.  In case you are wondering, I accepted.  I find him rather irresistible.

I don’t want to take my man for granted ever.  I am thankful that he still romances me, and I am learning that cherishing your spouse is a daily intentional choice.

Likewise, I create these lists every Friday because I want to earmark memories, so that I won’t forget what God is teaching me.  So, here in no particular order are ten things I learned this week:

1.  The church is a sanctuary.  I love how Jamie the Very Worst Missionary explains this through an emotional encounter she almost didn’t have with a stranger.

2.  Kendal at A Spacious Place is a gifted poet.  This week, she reminded me that “when we hold fast to things-not-god” we become a broody hen that God has to push off her nest.  Ouch!  Check out “on broodiness (oh, it’s a word).”

3.  Marriage requires unselfish investment in your spouse.   I love the wisdom my friend Rosanne at Free Indeed shared in her post “Twenty Years of Marriage — A Reflection.” 

4.  Lysa TerKeurst reminded me that my identity is in Christ in her guest post for (in)courage.  I am not in a popularity contest:

“‘For in Christ

all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form,

AND YOU HAVE BEEN GIVEN

FULLNESS IN CHRIST,’

(Colossians 2: 9-10).

I have been given fullness.

In Christ.

I can place

the wholeness of my identity in that reality…

and see everything else as small in comparison.”

5.  As a Christian, I am called to pray for my enemies.   I love Sarah’s story in this guest post over at (in) courage —  her 5th grade daughter “gets it” when it comes to the Gospel message.

“Praying for our persecutors is a grace-filled,

innocent request on the part of us, the wounded,

to honestly ask for blessings on those who do us wrong.

We must be a people who want to rain love

and grace and blessing on those who hurt us

and those who take from us.

We must be a church who prays,

with genuine hearts, for our enemies.

And we must, at the same time, wish them well.”

6.  Something magical happens when we gather around a table with friends and food.  Shauna Niequist is reminding me in her amazing book Bread and Wine: A Love Letter to Life Around the Table with Recipes.  Have you read it?  The Bloom Book Club for (in) courage will be digging into this amazing book this summer.  Go here for the details.  Here is a quote from the “Introduction” to whet your appetite:

“What’s becoming clearer and clearer to me

is that the most sacred moments

in which I feel God’s presence most profoundly,

when I feel the goodness of the world most arrestingly,

take place at the table” (p.13).

7.  In Christ, I have “an inheritance of living hope.”  I read about it this week in I Peter 1 as part of the She Reads Truth community.

8.  This week, I shared how God surrounds us with songs of deliverance.  Philippians 1:19 reminded me that my prayers are a powerful and necessary part of the equation in seeing God set my loved ones free from the bondage to sin.

9.  Studying the Bible with a group of girls can be a life-changing experience.  This week, I started reading Jennie Allen’s book Anything: The Prayer that Unlocked My God and My Soul as part of the Good Morning Girls Study.  I am sharing this journey with 20 amazing women.  I am so excited about what God is going to do in our lives!

10.  Russian Chicken with rice is a magical recipe that is easy peasy.  Try it out on your family — you will thank me.

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 Rachel, Jesse, and friends this weekend for

fridayfavoritethings

Lessons Learned in 3D — Reserved

My doctor left her practice, so today I made a visit to my new doctor — a Vietnamese physician that my husband has seen for years.   As I drove to work afterward, I realized why this medic gets along well with my man.  You see, what troubled me about the appointment was that my doctor was not “chatty.”  I am a verbal person.  This Cuban girl talks with her hands and tells long stories with many tangents.  Dr. Le was all business.  He spoke in monosyllables.   My introverted husband finds the doctor’s reserved bedside manner very appealing.  I might need a bit more convincing…

It always amazes me how people with different temperaments interact.  Being an outgoing person married to a shy guy requires making some complicated dance moves — we are still learning the right steps.  We are still learning each other’s rhythms.

Be encouraged this week as you rub shoulders with that “not like you” personality… Their strengths will meld with your weaknesses.  You will learn to walk to the same beat if you stay on the dance floor.  It’s worth the effort.

Here in no particular order are ten things this “chatty girl” learned from listening to others this week:

1.  Apparently, Big Mama and I are on the same wave length this week.  Last Sunday, I shared how God spoke to me about a  light potentiometer, and yesterday, Melanie shared about “The Light of His Grace” over at Ann’s  A Holy Experience blog:

“I don’t know if any of us

have the capability or the comprehension

to ever fully grasp the love of God. It’s too big.

But I know that the only way we’ll ever grow

and become what He has called us to be

is when we expose ourselves to the light. 

That’s where we bloom.”

2.  Laura at Missional Women helped me see how I could organize a prayer retreat for a group of friends.  I love this resource:  “Mosaic Prayer Experience.”

3. “I am not the Savior of the World” — Melanie at Unexpected “tells it like it is” in her post “Ten Things You Need to Know Before Going on a Missions Trip.” 

4.  I am learning that I need to build quiet space into my week to breathe new life into my spirit and to listen to God.  I love these practical ideas about how to celebrate the Sabbath provided by Jean at Healthy Spirituality.

5.  I was a single gal until I was in my early 40’s.  One of the best pieces of advice someone gave me about looking for a mate was that “time is a great revealer of things.”  You learn a lot about a guy by interacting with him in many settings and with many types of people.  I am realizing now that this holds true for friendships as well.  How do your friends treat others in their circle of influence?  I love how Felicia explains this concept to singles in her post  for Start Marriage Right.

6.  Kristin at Moments in the Story wrote a beautiful guest post titled “Love and Cough Drops” for (in) courage that explained how we must put love into action.  (If you are a mom, you will love the story she shares about her four-year old.)

7.  Laura at The Wellspring reminded me that each new day is teeming with new possibilities — anything is possible.  I love her post “When You Oughta Get Your Eyes Examined.”  (Keep jumping, Laura!)

8.  Angie Smith at Bring the Rain is one of my favorite writersReading her blog brought me a great deal of healing during a difficult season and inspired me to become a blogger myself.  I love how she unpacks the phrase “The Joy of the Lord is my Strength” in her post for (in) courage.

8. Intimacy in marriage is fostered as I intentionally open up my heart, soul, mind, and spirit to my spouse.  Samuel Rainey outlines “Three Ways to Grow Trust and Deepen Intimacy” in this helpful post for Start Marriage Right. 

9.  Kelly from Love Well describes how parents and Christian school teachers must leave room for kids to have their own unique way of  approaching God.  I love what she shares about how she parents in this guest post for Deeper Story

“God is the good stuff, dear things.

I will not force-feed Him to you

to the degree that you no longer taste His sweetness.”

10.  I am thankful I am no longer teaching high school.  May is brutal on teachers, students, parents, and anyone within firing distance.  I love how Jen captures the spirit of borderline insanity in her outrageously witty post “Worst End of School Year Mom Ever.” 

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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 Rachel, Jesse, and friends this weekend for

fridayfavoritethings

Lessons Learned in 3D — Memorial Stone

Hello, three-day weekend!  I am happy to see you!!!!

Memorial Day is about remembering.   I am prone to forget.  That’s part of the reason that I put together this weekly Top 10 — to keep a record of how God is working in quiet ways to shape me.  This blog is my “Memorial Stone.”

So, here in no particular order are 10 things I learned this week:

1.  Amanda at Hill and Pen gave me permission to have fun at work.  I love her post “Top Ten Ways to Laugh More at Work.” 

2.  This week, I shared how spouses need to “Get our pom poms ready.”   Lisa with Club31 Women expands on this idea in her guest post at The Time-Warp Wife.  I love her sage advice in “The Best Move You Can Make in Your Marriage.” 

3.  This week Lisa at Lisa’s Notes  and I both wrote about how God longs to sprout up some fruit in the “Dirt.”  Her post “Up By the Roots” reminded me that I need to make room for good things to grow in my heart.

4.  God forgives everything. I love how Michelle explains this to her son here.

5.  Deidra at Jumping Tandem highlights how everybody is welcome in her fabulous post “Pentecost + Abercrombie & Fitch”:

Pentecost said, “You! Yes, you!

You’re invited! Put your dancing shoes on!”

6.  I did not want to turn my TV on this week.  Some days there aren’t enough tears.   Jennifer said it best:  “We are all Oklahomans this week.” 

7.  Favorite Quote this week is this little gem I discovered on my friend Becca’s Facebook page:

Don’t you know that day dawns after night,

showers displace drought,

and spring and summer follow winter?

Then have hope!

Hope forever, for God will not fail you!

– Charles Spurgeon

8.  Prayer brings healing.  I love this prayer based on Mark 4 shared by the Presbyterian Mission Agency:

Prayer For Peace Amidst The Storm

Living God, our refuge and strength,
even the wind and sea obey Your voice.
Put the wind back in its place,
and say to the sea: Peace! Be still!
Fill us with great faith,
and save us from the surging water,
so that we may tell the Good News of Your saving love;
through Jesus Christ, our hope in the storm.

9. On Thursday nights, I meet with a group of girlfriends to study God’s Word.  This past week, we got on the subject of “dysfunctional family histories,” and the Lord brought to mind a prodigal story I’d heard years before by Jim Cymbala from The Brooklyn Tabernacle Church.  I did a little You Tube search this week and found this gem on-line.  If you are praying for a family member who needs to make peace with God, this will encourage you. (It’s a little long, but he tells an amazing story about his daughter toward the end… so stick with it. You won’t regret it!)

10.  This week Lindsee with Living Proof Ministries opened up a forum here for mentors to share advice (This is a great resource with wonderful wisdom!).  I love how she ended her post:

“The Lord doesn’t always allow us to see the fruit of our labor,

but when He does,

it’s the sweetest, most rewarding gift ever.

Your investment will be worth it, dear friend.

Do not grow weary in doing good!”

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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 Rachel, Jesse, and friends this weekend for

fridayfavoritethings

Lessons Learned in 3D — Cherry Cheesecake Joy

Today is my dad’s birthday.  He thought he was turning 68, but apparently he lost a year because I know for a fact that he turned 68 last year.  We had a lovely dinner in his honor at one of his favorite restaurants, and we all shared one piece of cherry cheesecake.  Who knew that one piece of cheesecake split four ways could bring such joy?

As I grow older, I have come to learn that small things take on great meaning if I experience them in community.   Breaking bread with others sweetens the taste.  I pray that this weekend you spend some quiet moments sharing a piece of pie, a dance, or sunset with those you love.

Here in no particular order are 10 sweet tidbits that I learned this week:

1.   Walmart and mini-vans are magical and romantic.  Sarah’s post to her husband in honor of her anniversary made me cry — oh the ache of true love!   (As I type this, my husband is peacefully snoring in bed beside me.  I love this man!)

2.  Intimacy is a pearl of great price — hard to find and much more valuable than just having sex.   Tricia Lott Williford is one of my favorite writers.  Her husband passed away unexpectedly a couple of years ago, and now, she is figuring out her new normal as a single mom.  She explains the heart of the matter so well in her post “Do You Miss Having Sex?”

3.  Marriage is a covenant, not a contract.   I love how Justin and Trisha at “Refine Us” explain the difference here.

4.  Rachel at Finding Joy encouraged me to capture simple moments during my week.  I love the printable she provided — great journal prompts that will help me remember the simple and sacred from my week.

5.  Are you familiar with Lisa Leonard’s jewelry?  I own a few of her lovely hand-crafted pieces.  Love her!   Besides running a business and blogging, she is also a hands-on momma to two handsome boys.  In her post “One Wish,” she answers the question: “If you had one wish, would you ask for your youngest son’s disability to go away?”  Her answer is so wise…. oh, her answer!  (You must remember that I am the girl with “The Limp,” so this blessed me beyond measure!)

6.  Julie, The Happy Home Fairy, is full of sparkle and fun.  I love her blog — she has great ideas for celebrating just about everything.  This week, she reminded me that the best thing to do during a storm is to shout God’s praises.   (Love her mama’s heart!)

7.  Michelle reminded me this week that I need to be intentional about unplugging and spending time getting refreshed.  I loved her post “4 Steps to Living a Spacious Life.” 

8.  Abraham Piper shares his prodigal story and provides practical advice for parents in his post for the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association entitled “Let Them Come Home.”  — I e-mailed this to several friends who are hurting parents.

9.  Best Scriptural gem discovered this week:

“…the cheerful heart has a continual feast.”

Proverbs 15:15b, ESV

10.  Facebook is a great tool for online Bible study.  Are you familiar with the blog Good Morning Girls?  I am going to lead a Closed Facebook Group through this study this summer:

GMG

I would love for you to join me!  Shoot me an e-mail at 3dlessons4life at g mail dot com if you are interested in participating in my group.

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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