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

Courage

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

Exif JPEG

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!)

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Q4U: What did you learn this week?

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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



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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



Lessons Learned in 3D — Sheltered

rainy window

It’s Friday night.  Hubby is reclining in his favorite chair, and I am cozy on the coach with my laptop.  We had sausage ravioli for dinner, and the work week is behind us.

The rain poured down earlier tonight — I don’t mind the thunderstorm when I am safe at home in my jammies.  But, when the storm hits fast and furious as I am trying to reach a destination, I quickly grow weary of the journey.

I am so thankful that God is my shelter from the storm.  Aren’t you?  It’s rained a lot here in the last year, but God has carried us through.

On Fridays, I put together a list of what God is teaching me in hopes that I will never forget His mercy.   Emily inspired me to do this — and this week, she is hosting a link up and encouraging us to share what we’ve learned in July.  So, today’s post will be a review of 6 lessons I shared earlier this month combined with 4 new insights from this week.

Here in no particular order are 10 things I learned in July:

1.  I was overjoyed this month to discover Statigram (Instagram Online)

2.  I am passionate about creating memories and establishing family traditions.  I loved this great idea by Julie in her post for Do Not DepartFamily Vacation Faith Journal

3.  “There is a fine line between confiding and venting.”  Ashleigh from Ungrind shares much wisdom in her Guest Post for Start Marriage Right.  The title of her post, “The Fix-It Man and His Wife,” grabbed me because it could easily be the title for my memoir.  Her husband and mine sound like twins.

Side Note:  Start Marriage Right is a great web site for singles, engaged couples, and both newly wedded and veteran married folk.  I am honored to be a regular contributor.  Head on over here to check out my posts.

4.  Tip to the Married Gals who are Twitter Chicks:  Follow Kat Lee for daily prayer prompt tweets for your husband like this one:

5. “Procrastination is a slippery little bugger.”  — This is a tough lesson that I keep having to re-learn because I am a sssllloowww learner.  Ali at Embrace the Struggle reminded me it’s not worth it in this post.

6.  This month I celebrated my 4th wedding anniversary.  My marriage is not invincible.  I can’t grow complacent.  I need to keep fighting for “us.”  Here is Family Life Today’s list of 8 Lies that Destroy Marriage. 

7.  This week, Jessie at The Vanderbilt Wife shared a story that reminded me that I need to really “see people” —

“I want all my encounters to be like this:

to treat people like God sees them,

as absolutely precious in every way.

It doesn’t matter who it is or how they see me.

To God, you are amazing.”

8.  Nadine at A Secondary Heartbeat introduced me to a lovely concept:  “the second day” (which she calls “grace in action”).  I don’t know about you, but I could use a little grace and a fresh start on a tough day.

9.  Ali at The Art in Life wrote a great post that challenged me to “delight in choosing to love” my husband every day.

10.  Miracles still happen today.  I loved this amazing story by Stephanie over at (in) courage.  It filled this “wannabe momma’s” heart with hope.

Q4U:  What did you learn this month?

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

I am joining Jessie and Emily this week in a little linky love.

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Photo Credit: Pawel Kornacki