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! 


December Scripture Writing Plan 2016

Happy almost December!

Once again- thank you from the bottom of my heart
 to those that have emailed me this month to
tell me how much you like these little scripture writing plans!

I try to respond to each email but please know if I don't that I
seriously LOVE hearing stories of how families,
and Sunday School groups, and churches, and friends,
and even prison groups
are working through the plans together.
GOD is so cool how He uses our simple works for HIS good and glory!

Here's the plan for December which is just an updated version
 of last year's since it focuses on Christmas.


Writing scripture down each day is such a great way to really focus on God's word!
During this super crazy hectic time of year- this is one way to spend
a few minutes each day focusing on what is truly important! 
You can find a copy to print out for yourself of the above plan in the folder HERE.


You can also find the Spanish and plain versions in the folder HERE




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

FAQ's about the plans can be found HERE.

Friday, November 4, 2016

November RAOK Paper Chain

I spoke to a super sweet group of young mamas at my church yesterday
 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 a fun little fall paper chain full of ideas. 

Most are no cost but a few ideas have a cost associated with them. 
They can cut the strips apart and make a chain 
and each day have one of their children pull off a link for the family to complete. 





Wouldn't this be fun to add to your thankful tree in November? 
You can print out your own copy HERE





Friday, October 28, 2016

November Scripture Writing Plan 2016

Happy, happy, happy almost November!

Once again- thank you from the bottom of my heart
 to those that have emailed me this month to
tell me how much you like these little scripture writing plans!

I try to respond to each email but please know if I don't that I
seriously LOVE hearing stories of how families,
and Sunday School groups, and churches, and friends,
and even prison groups
are working through the plans together.
GOD is so cool how He uses our simple works for HIS good and glory!

Here's the plan for November which is just an updated version
 of last year's since it focuses on Thanksgiving and being thankful.

If you already did the November plan last year,
you might want to.....

  • Do a month you skipped earlier this year. You can find all the plan linked on top right corner of my blog. 
  • Do the November one again, using a different version. If you used NIV, try using the Message. 
  • Do the bonus Kindness plan from last month. You can find it HERE.  




Quick NOTE: When doing the monthly plans (especially the topical ones)
I may occasionally repeat verses- since they are appropriate for more than one topic.
Please know that I work to keep repeats to a minimum
(I actually keep a big old spreadsheet to keep from having too many repeats) 
but occasionally it will happen!

You can find a copy to print out for yourself of the above plan in the folder HERE.

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 also find the Spanish version of both HERE.



Another reader asked for a version that was more manly (for her husband) 
so you can also find that version HERE



And I've also added the Spanish plain versions as well!


FAQ's about the plans can be found HERE.


Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Scripture Writing Plans FAQ

I get emails often about my scripture writing plans (which I love!)
and many times the person writing asks questions.
I thought I'd post those answers here in case anyone else had those 
same questions and so that I can reference it in my replies to those sweet writers!


What is the benefit to writing down Scripture?

​I wrote my first scripture writing plan (and all the ones since) for several reasons. For one, it helps me memorize scripture which I so desperately want to do. In Sept 2013 I had brain surgery. ​In the days before and directly after my surgery ​I was so thankful for the scriptures I had memorized because they are what I repeated over and over and over again t​o myself during those scary pre-surgery​ and post-surgery ​pain-filled days. ​For a while after surgery I couldn't read or do anything on a computer or ipad {because it really hurt my head} and so those scriptures I had memorized ​comforted me. Since then I've really worked on memorizing more scripture (because you never know when the ability to open and read your Bible could be taken away)​ and I've found that writing them down really helps me to memorize them. Secondly, I love writing the verses down because it really helps me to think about and specifically focus on a set of scriptures. It's a great time to listen to God's voice and truly only takes a few minutes a day. ​ He never fails to show me exactly what He has for me to learn when I'm writing scriptures and I love finding new bits of truth from a verse I may have read hundreds of times before! ​A sweet reader shared this quote with me and it sums up perfectly how I feel about writing scripture:
“To me, the Word of God is like music. You can listen to the same piece several times and get the melody of it. But to hear the whole sound of it, every instrument, each line, you have to listen several times and pay a lot of attention...the word of God is so beautiful, the more time you spend in it, the more you appreciate it.”
​I did some research and found the quote is from ​​Marek Kaminski​ and is in the book A Year in the Psalms by Brenton Cox. (and Marek's story is pretty neat too!)


How do you develop the plan of which verses are for each day?
​Since I started doing the plans just for myself- and then shared them with others- my approach is different depending on the month. Some months I have a specific theme (Feb. is love, November is Thanksgiving, December is Christmas) that the verses follow. Other months the verses might come from a Bible study I'm doing​ or a loosely based theme (like January is about beginnings and new starts). Other months are just filled with verses God put on my heart to use. I really like the theme months so I've alternated a few months between general and topical plans. I'm also working on adding more topical plans soon!

Why are some verses repeated? 
I simply use the verses that God brings me to. Believe it or not I actually keep a spreadsheet of the verses that I use each month so that I do not repeat too many, too often. But because I've started doing months that are topical- there are definitely some repeats since some verses are perfect for more than one topic. Just know if you see a repeat that it's because they were PERFECT for the topic and that I felt led to use. Please feel free if you see verses that are repeated to substitute with any other verses.

How does scripture writing work? 
There is no right or wrong way to write scripture. You simply copy the verses down in whatever version you prefer. I typically write mine in a notebook in two versions (NIV and the Message) since those are the two that I love. There is just something about writing the verses down that helps us to see them in a new way. I often speak the verses outloud as I write them. 

If you have any other questions please leave them below and I'll be happy to answer them!  

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

October Scripture Writing Plan 2016

Happy, happy, happy almost October!

Once again- thank you from the bottom of my heart
 to those that have emailed me this month to
tell me how much you like these little scripture writing plans!

I try to respond to each email but please know if I don't that I
seriously LOVE hearing stories of how families,
and Sunday School groups, and churches, and friends,
and even prison groups
are working through the plans together.
GOD is so cool how He uses our simple works for HIS good and glory!

This month I felt it would be good to do both a general plan AND
 a topical one so you have a choice!

The topical one is on kindness.


Quick NOTE: When doing the monthly plans (especially the topical ones)
I may occasionally repeat verses- since they are appropriate for more than one topic.
Please know that I work to keep repeats to a minimum
(I actually keep a big old spreadsheet to keep from having too many repeats) 
but occasionally it will happen!
You can find a copy to print out for yourself of the above plans in the folder HERE.

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 also find the Spanish version of both HERE.



Another reader asked for a version that was more manly (for her husband) 
so you can also find that version HERE


And I've also added the Spanish plain versions as well!




Thursday, September 8, 2016

Don't Let Your Crank Conquer Your Joy!

Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters,whenever you face trials of many kinds... (NIV)

Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides. 
You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors. So don’t try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way.
(The Message)

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Put on Your POSITIVE PANTS Today!

NO cranky pants allowed today! 
Positive pants ONLY! 


Saturday, August 27, 2016

Be Alert

Early this year I started working on eating better and exercising.
I vow to do this most years- but this year I actually kept up with it 
and have lost 50 pounds! Woo hoo!

Part of that included walking early in the morning. 
Since I'm now deaf in one ear and wear headphones while walking 
I've learned that I have to really be super alert and pay close attention to my surroundings. 
This is because I can't tell what direction sounds are coming from 
(call me from behind and you'll see- I turn to the left always!) 
and unless I'm looking will not know of any oncoming car or walker/runner. 

I've almost walked out in front of a car or run into a runner coming in the 
opposite direction countless times because of this. 
As I walked early this morning in the dark and yet again 
almost ran smack dab into another walker 
(because I was looking down and didn't see or hear him) 
I thought about what a an example of life my needing to be alert was. 

Because the enemy is ALL around us-
(The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy- John 10:10
just waiting for us to slack off and let our guard down so he can swoop in 
and pull us away from the Lord and His works- we MUST be super aware and diligent. 
And that even though I know I need to be uber alert- 
I get distracted so often that my eyes stray from looking ahead- 
where I should be looking to be safe. 

Memorizing this verse today as it's such a great reminder!
Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls 
around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. 
-1 Peter 5:8