Sunday, January 22, 2017

God of Details

God is truly a God of details and for that I am so very thankful! 
This morning I woke with a super stinky headache & my sweet hubby has bronchitis
 & so we stayed home from church.

I happened to open Facebook on my iPad right about the time our church starts a
nd saw that for the first time our church service was on Facebook Live!
 I don't believe in coincidences- not only did I get to attend church in my pj's from home 
BUT they sang a song that I so needed to hear this morning! 
(Don't have a church to watch online? Check out mine- Central Baptist HERE
We would love for you to join us!)

During my brain tumor journey the song and phrase that I clung to like no other was: 
God is Able. 
He reminded me of this truth over and over and over again during those scary months.

When I clicked on Facebook live this am, what song was just starting? 
God is Able! 
Thankful for a God who loves me so that He provides exactly 
what I need, exactly when I need it!

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Beautiful Things

This morning I listened to the song Beautiful Things by Gungor and loved the lyrics (posted below) so much that I decided to find out where the inspiration for the song came from. 
It's such a beautiful song that reminds us that regardless of our daily circumstances we need to remember that one day all of the angst & suffering 
we have now will be made NEW!
 God is present even in our difficulties!

I read an article where Gungor said: 
"My wife Lisa and I wrote the song together based on experiences at our local church. We were seeing our friends going through suffering and pain. This song is an expression of hope that God will make beautiful things out of the dust in our lives, and God will somehow use us, use our obedience and love, our feeble human effort, and build Himself a kingdom. I see that God is using suffering to bring us closer to Him."

The verses used as inspiration were Isaiah 2:4 and Revelation 21:4-5

You make beautiful things
You make beautiful things out of the dust
You make beautiful things
You make beautiful things out of us

You make me new, You are making me new
You make me new, You are making me new

Sweet Blessings on FB

Even though it's been suggested many times I never started
a Facebook page for Sweet Blessings 
(for fear that I wouldn't have time to keep up with it & that there really wouldn't be enough folks interested) 
instead just linking to my personal Facebook page- until NOW!

Lately I have been overwhelmed with friend requests 
& never seem to be able to keep up with them. 
Currently I have 593 pending requests. 

So I decided that it was time to give folks a place to easily find the scripture plans and 
blog posts on FB- plus a great place for me to share awesome 
blog posts, books, videos, etc that I find on a daily basis. 

So if you'd like to follow along, you can find Sweet Blessings on Facebook HERE

Happy Weekend friends!

Courage Scripture Writing Plan CORRECTION

So I don't know about you but I am FAR
 from perfect and make mistakes all the time. 
I mess up.
Big and oh so often.

If you are doing the Courage Scripture Writing Plan this month than you are 
going to notice on the 22nd that I made a mistake.

The verses for the 22nd are the same verses for 1st. 
This wasn't intentional- just an oversight on my part.
(Truth: I was hurrying to post the Courage plan 
and didn't have my sweet proofreading friend check it. Haste makes waste!)
I apologize and will replace the linked version with a corrected plan soon.

For the 22nd you can...
write 2 Corinthians 12: 9-10 in a different translation 
or pick a favorite set of verses to write!

Thank you for understanding and grace! 

Friday, January 20, 2017

Fear is a Liar

I am crazy fearful. 
I worry about everything. 

It’s something I’ve always struggled with but it seems the older I get, the more fearful I have become. I think it’s because I’ve lived more life and seen so much brokenness and 
sadness and witnessed so many horrible things happen. 
 I know so many precious friends who have lost children, so many who have battled illnesses and addictions, watched so many families explode, seen first-hand so many heartaches and losses 
and conflict that it’s hard NOT to worry because I know how awful life can be. 

I so often stay awake at night 
(thankful to have concealer to cover the massive bags under my eyes- at least partially) 
worrying about everything from a snarky comment that someone left me on social media (Do I respond? If so what do I say? Maybe I should just stop all social media?), to did I pour enough love into my sweet girl while she was growing up (Oh how I pray I did), to a friend who is struggling with a burden so heavy I’m not sure how she is carrying it (& wondering what I can do to help her), to the health of myself and 
those I love (& pondering what I can do to keep them healthy & happy for a long, long time), 
to a million other things- both big and small, real and imagined. 

My words for 2017 are 

Because I KNOW that worrying about everything is NOT what God intends for me. 
I can feel afraid, but I don’t have to live my life afraid. 

God says in Joshua 1:9: 

"Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. 
Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, 
for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.”

Praying this verse for you and for me today- 
that we are able to reminded and say out loud if necessary when fear comes knocking…. 

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Parenting Is Hard

Parenting is hard & beautiful. 

Recently the amazing and fabulous 
Ann Voskamp posted the following on Facebook

I loved it so and shared with several friends that I know are 
walking through some difficult & painful times with their children 
who they love so very much.  

I loved Ann's post because it's a reminder that
we are not alone and holy work IS hard work!

I created a printable of this quote for my friends who 
might need to print it out and keep it is a daily reminder. 

You can print a copy in the folder HERE in either JPG or PDF. 

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

January Scripture Writing Plan: Courage

As we start a new year this is a great way to spend
a few minutes each day focusing on what is truly important! 
There is something about writing out scripture that seems to 
make the word come alive for me- 
and I'm thankful it's been a blessing to so many of you as well!

If you like the general plans can find a copy of the January plan
 to print out for yourself in the folder HERE.
This is the same general plan as last year. 

I've also done a new topical plan for this month that focuses on Courage. 
It can be found in the folder HERE in both regular and plain versions. 

For those that have asked, there is also a blank form 
to write your verses on that can be found HERE

Thanks to a sweet reader named Carolyn, you can find the 
Spanish version of the January plan HERE

and the Courage plans in the folder HERE

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Delivery Driver Treats

Our Amazon delivery drivers are crazy hardworking & so appreciated-
especially this time of year. 

We had 4 deliveries (one before 8am!) Saturday alone! 
So after the third I decided I needed to leave them some little thank you treats! 

I made a little sign and grabbed some Gatorade and snacks and set them on the porch. 
I was super excited to see some missing after the 4th delivery driver left!
My snacks weren't super fabulous since I just used what I had on hand
but when I went to the store today I got some good stuff and lots
more Gatorade- since it seems like everyone has taken that. 

If you'd like to print out your own copy of the note you can find one HERE
I printed it out and taped it to a paper sack and my basket came from the Target $ Spot. 

Lets bless those hard working delivery drivers! 

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Christmas Ring and Run

Several years ago I wrote about something super fun we did 
one year for Christmas- Ring and Run!
Ring and Run is based very loosely on the song The 12 Days of Christmas
and is kind of a Christmas random acts of Kindness!
It was so much fun I'm thinking of doing it again this year! 

Here's how it works:
You choose a family to surprise and every day for the 12 days leading up to Christmas 
you leave a little treat on their doorstep along with part of a poem, 
ring their doorbell, and run away!

The year we did it we chose a sweet family with 3 little girls
 and I cannot tell you how much fun we had buying and delivering little treats for them! 

Although this tradition is supposed to be totally anonymous, 
we altered that rule just a bit and let the parents know what we were up to. 
{Sneaking around in someone's front yard might tend to cause the police to get called
 and so we wanted them to know that we were not prowlers or burglars &
filled them in on what we were doing.}
It was so much fun sneaking up to their front door, leaving a treat, and speeding away!

If you just want a copy of the poem, you can find it HERE.
{Only the first page is listed below but the link is all of the poem!}

I made some fun tags that you can use to print out
to leave with y our gifts- and even included the gift for the night
at the top of each tag.  

You can print out your own tags HERE
{Don't try to just save the little images above, they'll be too little and blurry!}

Who can you bless with Christmas Ring and Run?  

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Baby Jesus Kindness Christmas Tradition

I am a girl who so LOVES traditions!  
And in our family we have many- especially at Christmas time. 
One of my absolute favorite traditions that we did for many 
years while Madison was growing up involved our nativity scene. 

As we decorated for Christmas I put out the entire nativity scene-
 except for baby Jesus. 

We left His manger empty- until Christmas morning. 
Until that time we had WORK to create a soft bed for him. 

How did we make a soft bed for him? 
Each day we tried to do as many kind deeds for others- 
above and beyond the normal. 

For each of those kind deeds we did, 
we got to place one piece of straw in the manger for baby Jesus.  
It was such a great reminder to all of us (Tony & I included)
to stop and truly think of others during the busy holiday season. 

Each night at dinner we would share our kind acts and get straw 
to add to the manger for baby Jesus. Our goal was to have a super soft, cozy bed
 for him by Christmas morning- built by our kindness to others. 

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

CUTE & Quick Christmas Gift Ideas with Free Printable Tags

I LOVE coming up with easy and cute ideas for gifts that are 
great to have around to give during the Christmas season. 
This time of year everyone is super crazy busy and hurried so it's nice to have 
a few things wrapped up and ready to give when you realize you need them-
for teachers, co-workers, friends, neighbors, etc.

Here are four easy, inexpensive, but cute gifts I put together this weekend- 
and all are between $1-6 each!

Idea #1: 

Soap from Bath and Body Works ($5 or less) with a tag that says

Idea #2: 
$5 Fleece blanket from Walmart (or anywhere you find them on sale)
with a tag that says: 

Idea #3: 

Aloe socks ($3 found at Walmart) 
filled with a tiny bottle of lotion ($1 each from Amazon here
and some candy ($1 from Kroger)
with a note that says: 

Idea #4: 

Cute notepad (from the Dollar Spot at Target) with a tag that says: 

You can print each of these tags as a JPG from the folder HERE
I usually select the wallet size and print them on 
regular copy paper although with the blanket tag I made them 5 x 7
and the notepads I did 3.5 x 5. 

Monday, November 28, 2016

December Random Acts of Kindness Calendar

A few weeks ago I spoke to a super sweet group of
 young mamas at my church about RAOK (random acts of kindness). 
It was a sweet time sharing how committing to doing RAOK had 
been a blessing in my life & what the Bible has to say about blessing others.  

The one who blesses others is abundantly blessed;
those who help others are helped. 
Proverbs 11:25

I wanted to leave them with a little something to encourage them to do RAOK's 
with their children so I created something for both November and December. 
I shared the November idea HERE 
and thought I'd share the December idea today!

It's a simple calendar with an easy idea for blessing others listed for each day. 
In this crazy hectic season it's nice
 to have a simple idea at hand of how to bless someone else!

Just print it out HERE, add it to your bulletin board or fridge 
and get your kids involved in blessing others this December!