Lessons Learned in 3-D — O Christmas Tree

Linky Love

I cannot believe that December is already here.  Oh my, how quickly time slips by!  That’s why every Friday on the blog I like to put together a list of things that I am learning to help me “take note” of how God is working in my life.

Here in no particular order are 10 things I’ve learned lately:

1.  This month, my parents celebrated 48 years of marriage, and my grandparents celebrated 68 years.  That’s a lot of years people.  My grandfather says that secret to a good marriage is to treat your spouse with respect.

2.  I love old family photos.   Don’t you?  I need to be more intentional about taking pictures of my family because time slips by so quickly.   Here’s a little “Throwback Thursday” action with my adorable abuelos.  My grandparents still look amazing, right?

abuelos collage

3. On another note, I am slightly obsessed with PicMonkey.   I cannot stop making cute graphics for my blog’s Facebook page I may need to join a support group to deal with my addiction.

christmas quote graphic

4.   Paula Deen’s corn casserole is always a huge hit at the office Potluck.  I love this easy peasy recipe!

5.  I have been counting down the days until Thanksgiving because that is the day that we put up our tree and pull out the Christmas CD’s.  My new favorite Christmas CD is Peace on Earth by Casting Crowns.

6.  I am a huge fan of Amazon Prime.  Free two-day shipping has rocked my world.  — Imagine my surprise when I learned about Amazon Smile.  Order anything and a percentage goes to the charity of my choice.  Love it!

7.  Do you follow She Reads Truth?  They offer great Bible reading plans for women, and their devotionals are AMAZING.  On Wednesday, they shared a verse that really encouraged me:

“If your heart is broken,

you’ll find God right there;

if you’re kicked in the gut,

He’ll help you catch your breath.”

Psalm 34:18, MSG

8.  I recently discovered this awesome song and had to share it with you.  Love the last line of the lyrics:  “When nobody stands, stand on your own…”

9.  If I spend time with women who are passionate about the Great Commission, then my passion for Him ignites.   I am so honored to be a Contributor for Missional Women.  Have you heard about the upcoming Missional Women Conference?  Early Bird tickets go on sale on Black Friday.

missional women conference

10.  This weekend, God sent me a sweet surprise.  Don’t you love surprises?    I am excited to share with you that this blog will soon be hosting a link- up blogging community on Thursdays.  In order to get that party started, I am working with the folks at OutstandingSETUP to move my blog to wordpress.org.

Q4U: What have you learned lately? I would love to hear about it.
Thanks for stopping by! I would love to connect with you on Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest.

I am joining Jessie and Emily and friends this weekend.

Lessons Learned in 3-D — Spiritual Warfare

Linky Love

What a crazy month this has been!  God is stretching me and teaching me so much through some “fiery situations.”   I want to be intentional about remembering the lessons learned during this season.  That’s why I put these weekly Top 10 posts together.

Here in no particular order are 10 things I learned this week:

1.  A rat can crawl up into your car and eat away at some belt that controls the power steering on your car.  This may or may not be spiritual warfare, but probably is if your step-son calls five minutes earlier to say that he is having car problems, too.  And then, your husband plugs a piece of equipment into the wall and almost starts a fire.

2.   Sometimes the best therapy is to pull out an old CD for a road trip and sing off-key karaoke at the top of your lungs.  (Thank you, Jeremy Camp.  Your album Restored has helped restore me.)

3.  Michelle reminded me that “A holy endorsement  is the only one you’ll ever need.”

4. On a similar note:  “Here’s the lie: that our worth as humans is dependent on what any other human says, does or thinks.”  (Thank you, Melanie, for pointing me to this “spot on” article by Sam Ponder titled “Examining Truth and Twitter.”)

5.  My new daily prayer:  “Lord, keep my loved one who needs you so desperately.”  — Thank you, Leila, for sharing your story and showing me how to pray.

6. Favorite Pinterest Pin this week:  12 Days of Love Notes (a great Christmas idea from Dating Divas)

7.  I just completed a study of Ephesians with an amazing group of women as part of the Hello Mornings Challenge.  In studying the armor, I read David Guzik’s commentary on Ephesians 6 on Blue Letter Bible, and he provided an eye-opening explanation of “demanding moments” in spiritual warfare

– A flood of depression or discouragement, feeling like a black cloud.
– When a relatively insignificant thing gets blown way out of proportion.
– An opportunity to speak with someone about what Jesus did for you.
– Opposition against a sense that God wants you to do something, to follow through on something.
– A sense of panic and helplessness.

8.  I want to be a “dangerous woman.”  Thank you Lynne Hybels for sharing this prayer creed on your website:

Dear God, please make us dangerous women.

May we be women who acknowledge our power to change, and grow,

     and be radically alive for God.

May we be healers of wounds and righters of wrongs.

May we weep with those who weep and speak for those who cannot

    speak for themselves.

May we cherish children, embrace the elderly, and empower the poor.

May we pray deeply and teach wisely.

May we be strong and gentle leaders.

May we sing songs of joy and talk down fear.

May we never hesitate to let passion push us, conviction compel us,

     and righteous anger energize us.

May we strike fear into all that is unjust and evil in the world.

May we dismantle abusive systems and silence lies with truth.

May we shine like stars in a darkened generation.

May we overflow with goodness

in the name of God and by the power of Jesus.

And in that name and by that power, may we change the world.

Dear God, please make us dangerous women. Amen.

9.  I am beautiful.  I am meant for so much more than all of this.  I am treasured.  I am sacred.  I am His.  (Thank you, Mercy Me and Patty for reminding me.)

10.  Kid President made me smile and shared some wisdom in his VLOG “20 Nice Things We Should Say More Often” :

Q4U:  What have you learned lately?  I would love to hear about it.
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 — The Procrastinator’s Edition

Linky Love

A while back, I decided that each Friday on the blog I would share what I am learning in the form of a top 10 list.

And then, life decided to get a little crazy.

So, I am just a tad bit behind.

Actually, I am three months behind.

Oops!  How did that happen?

Obviously, I have some catching up to do.

Here in no particular order are 10 things I have learned over the last 12 weeks:

1.  A home-cooked meal during a stressful week can be a game changer and help lighten the mood.  I suggest you pull out your crock pot and try Carolina Hot Pot.  (I added an extra jar of mild salsa at the end to cut the heat a bit.)

2.  A two-week vacation away from internet and cell phones will refresh your spirit (until you get back to civilization and discover that you have 300 e-mails). We had a wonderful time in Alaska.

vacation3.  Beth Moore reminded me that these “4 words resound in your mind, leap from your mouth, and strengthen your step this day” — THE LORD JESUS CHRIST.  Name the name.

4.  Writing a blog post every day for 31 days is not an impossible task.   (Remind me to send The Nester a thank you card.)

5.  Pinterest is packed full of fun ideas for Thanksgiving.

6. Biggest take-away about relationships from Beth Moore’s Sacred Secrets study:

  • Authenticity with All
  • Transparency with Most
  • Intimacy with Some

7.  Kevin DeYoung taught me a new framework for praying using Scripture — The 3R’s. 

8.  Praise and worship is a great prescription for a heavy heart. 

9.  I am clinging to this truth:

“And The Lord is faithful,

and He will strengthen

and protect you from the evil one”

(II Thessalonians 3:3, NASB).

10.  Cowboys make great theologians.  I snapped a picture of this sign when we had dinner at Longhorn Steakhouse earlier this week:


Q4U:  What have you learned lately?  I would love to hear about it.
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 — Giddy Up


Tonight, we went to the theater.  My best friend’s kiddos were in drama camp production that re-told the story of Jonah as a Western.  I enjoyed the adorable show, but now I desperately want a pink cowboy hat and possibly some spurs and a lasso.

The story of Jonah always jars me — God told him to go one way, and the stubborn prophet decided to go in the complete opposite direction.  Am I a little like Jonah?  How quick am I to respond to God’s directives?

On Fridays, I like to create a list of what God is teaching me.  I want to be purposeful in noting what God is telling me.   I pray that I will be obedient, rather than stubborn and willful.

Here in no particular order are 10 things I learned this week:

1.  I get a great deal more out of Bible study if I meditate on a verse one phrase at a time throughout the week.  I am so thankful for Heather at Transformed who taught me a great technique called “verse mapping.”  

2.  I need to be more purposeful about praying for world missions.  Jen at Being Confident of This showed me a great framework for organizing my prayers called the T.H.U.M.B. Method. 

3. Favorite Quote from my She Reads Truth Quiet Time this week (written by Stacy at A Servant’s Life):

“He redeems, restores and renews.

His love for us is pure grace – scandalous grace.”

4.  I need to “go there” and discuss tough topics.  I am so thankful that Jamie wrote this important post on abusive relationships for Start Marriage Right.

5.  “God’s purposes are not for me to understand His plans: His plan is for me to understand Who He is.” — I love this sweet post about answered prayer over at Ann’s blog.

6.  “When I finally took responsibility for the needs I’d spent so many years trying to pawn off on my husband, I was astonished–and delighted–to discover all the ways he blesses me and contributes to our marriage.” — I love the marital wisdom shared by Cheri Gregory in her Guest Post at Come Have a Peace.  

7.  Emptying my hands is a risk worth taking.  Jennifer reminded me this week by sharing her mom’s beautiful story (Get your tissue ready!)

8.  Becky at Time Out – Devotions for Moms taught me a valuable technique in her post “When Hubby Leaves His Socks on the Floor”: 

“I discovered a remedy

for all my husband’s annoying habits.

I stop thinking about them.

9.  Favorite Facebook Status that filled my  heart with peace goes to Shelly from Redemption’s Beauty:

“Because I’m a nerd, I looked up the word pinions

and buckler in this portion of scripture.

Did you know that pinions

are the terminal section of a birds wings

and a buckler is a small shield

worn on the left arm?

Think of that imagery today as God protects you

with his very life because he loves you that much.

He will cover you with his pinions,
and under his wings you will find refuge;
his faithfulness is a shield and buckler.

(Psalm 91:4, ESV)”

10.  Today is National S’mores Day.  — This is a holiday I can firmly get behind.  (I’d like to thank Mary at Giving Up on Perfect for educating me on this fact — plus, I love her recipe for S’mores Rice Krispy Treats.  Yum!)

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


Photo Credit:  Jenny Kennedy-Olsen

Lessons Learned in 3D — The Soap Box

Over the last few days, I climbed up on my soap box once to many times.  Do you ever rant uncontrollably?  This week, I did.  Not pretty.

I know why I am striving and not resting — I rushed my mornings and my quiet time.  My spirit is sounding an alarm.

So, tonight while my husband is working late, I am slowing down and taking time to reflect and remember.

Here in no particular order are 10 things that this crazy girl learned this week:

1.  Shauna Niequist’s blueberry crisp is even better for breakfast.  Have you read Bread and Wine: A Love Letter to Life Around the Table with Recipes?  I love the Shauna’s passion for community:

“When you offer peace instead of division,

when you offer faith instead of fear,

when you offer someone a place at your table

instead of keeping them out

because they’re different

or messy or somehow wrong,

you represent the heart of Christ” (p. 250).  

2.   On the subject of blueberries, I loved how God used them to speak to Sarah about brokenness and redemption:

“Each one of us has fallen out of the door,

so to speak, and instead of a wide sweep

and an I’m-done-with-you,

we’ve been picked up carefully.

Chosen, even.

And we’ve gently been made okay again.”

3.  I am fleshy.   Erin Davis shared this “Fleshy Assessment” over at True Woman, and I found was convicted after reflecting on the questions she posed.

4.  Church should be “a big, wacky family.”  Jamie says it so beautifully in her post for A Deeper Church.

5.   I need to focus on the positive, rather than whining.  Michelle’s personal story reminded me this week:

“What we’d assumed was harmless complaining

was actually fueling an undercurrent

of negativity and discontent in our marriages.”

6.  “Renaming our fears, and reclaiming our courage, takes away the power of unseen monsters.”  — Jennifer taught me 3 step to remove fear. 

7.    “Pretend your boss is Jesus.”  — These words from my pastor about Colossians 3:23 hit me hard this week.  (Check out the whole sermon on Ecclesiastes 1 here.)

8.  I  need to meditate on Ephesians 3:20 more regularly.  Elizabeth at Just Following Jesus reminded me that He is able to take care of those I love.”

9.  “He’s got you and this week and the next one” — I loved this end of the week reminder by Lisa Jo for (in) courage.  It refreshed my spirit at the end of a long week.

10.  80’s TV Sitcoms were the best.  This week, my husband was channel surfing, and we came across a gem — A Laverne and Shirley episode where Lenny and Squiggy go on The Dating Show.  So funny!  I could not find an episode clip for you on You Tube (bummer!), but I did discover the meaning of “Schlemiel! Schlimazel! Hasenpfeffer Incorporated.”  It’s a Yiddish-American hopscotch chant.  “Schlemiel” is a clumsy person, and “Schlimazel” is an unlucky person.  “Hesenpfeffer” is a type of stew.  So, the “Schlemiel” drops the “Hesenpfeffer,” and it lands on the “Schlimazel,”  or something like that… 🙂

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