Saturday, December 28, 2019

January Scripture Writing Plan: God's Timing

Happy almost January friends! 

The scripture plan this month is over a topic that I often get asked about: 
God's Timing


Maybe today you are in a season of waiting. Maybe you’ve been waiting and waiting and waiting- for a break, for a breakthrough, for healing, for a miracle- and you are weary. Maybe you feel like you are walking through the wilderness and it’s taking a sweet forever, you are losing hope and you truly can only see sand for miles and miles ahead. Whatever the desert you are walking through, whatever need you have (seriously, WHATEVER it is)........God’s got this. He is able to completely and fully provide what you need and give you the strength and endurance you need to walk through the desert you are in. 

Deuteronomy 29:5-6 says….
Yet the Lord says, “During the forty years that I led you through the wilderness, your clothes did not wear out, nor did the sandals on your feet. You ate no bread and drank no wine or other fermented drink. I did this so that you might know that I am the Lord your God.” NIV
God is THE great provider. Deuteronomy is full of amazing reminders of God’s provision. The verses above are incredible. 40 years and they didn't need new clothes or sandals? 40 years with no food? That isn’t possible. Only God could do that! 
I love these verses because they are a beautiful reminder that..... 
𝗘𝘃𝗲𝗻 𝗶𝗻 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝘄𝗶𝗹𝗱𝗲𝗿𝗻𝗲𝘀𝘀, 𝗚𝗼𝗱 𝗽𝗿𝗼𝘃𝗶𝗱𝗲𝘀. 𝗔𝗹𝘄𝗮𝘆𝘀. 
It may not look as we hope or desire or be in our time table but He does provide. 

My prayer is that when you are weary of the desert you are in, 
you are reminded in these verses below, 
that He will satisfy your needs, even in desert times
and that He is with you in the waiting. 


FYI: I made the plan 31 days and plan to do that with
all topical plans in the future so that they can be done any month-
not just the month I write them for.

TO PRINT: You can find a copy of the plan in the folder HERE.

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Personalized Scripture Cards

Did you know that God wrote His word you? 
He did. 
It's His love letter to each of us. 
I love putting my name in scriptures as I read them
 as a reminder that He is speaking directly to ME! 

I love it so much I decided to create a set of 
personalized scripture cards to give to friends and family. 
This set of personalized scripture cards is the perfect gift to 
give to a friend, neighbor, teacher, family member as
 a reminder of God's promises and commands. 

The set includes 20 verses, personalized with any single name you request. 
You can find the listing, which is for a digital file only 
(that means you print it yourself- no product is mailed to you), 
in my ETSY store HERE.
(From now through Dec. 17th use code MERRY for 20% off!)

You can choose from: 
-Blank with a plain black border

-Black gingham border

-Multi colored gingham border (each card has a different color gingham border)



Verses included:

  • 1 Peter 5:7
  • 1 Thessalonians 5:24
  • 2 Corinthians 12:9
  • Colossians 1:22
  • Ephesians 3:20
  • Exodus 14:14
  • Hebrews 12:2
  • Hebrews 13:5
  • Isaiah 41:10
  • Isaiah 43:1
  • Jeremiah 1:5
  • Matthew 28:20
  • Philippians 2:3
  • Proverbs 3:5-6
  • Proverbs 4:23
  • Psalm 46:10
  • Psalm 118:24
  • Romans 8:37
  • Romans 8:39
  • Romans 12:2
I just printed mine card sets on cardstock and bought 
these cute little stands on Amazon HERE
Package them up and they make a fabulous little gift! 

Wednesday, December 4, 2019

Delivery Driver Thank You Printables


I don't know about you but I am a HUGE online shopper. HUGE.
I'm crazy thankful for my mail carrier and UPS driver.
These folks are crazy hardworking & so appreciated-especially this time of year
when we all have a million and two packages to be delivered.
A few years ago I started leaving them little treats as a tiny thank you. 
I made a little sign and grabbed some Gatorade and snacks and set them on the porch.
They were so appreciative and one even left a little thank you note!

I re-did my note this year an if you'd like to print out your own
 copy of the note you can do so at the link below. 

I also made individual little notes to give our mail carrier 
and UPS driver and garbage man with a treat or gift card. 







You can find all three in the folder HERE.


Let's bless those hard working delivery drivers!

Notes to Myself 12-4-19


Friday, November 29, 2019

ETSY Store Black Friday Sale

My ETSY store is having a Black Friday SALE! 
Every order ($5 and up) is 20% off from now through Dec.15th! 
No coupon code needed, just add $5 or more worth of product to your 
cart and the discount will be provided. Easy, peasy!

I've recently added some fun Christmas printables and treat notes
that are perfect for your favorite co-worker, neighbor, friend, or teacher!

December Scripture Writing Plan: Peace

Happy almost December friends! 
The scripture plan this month is over a topic that we all need more of
PEACE!
Are you weary? Deep, soul weary? 
Is there something in your life that has your heart physically aching? 
Something heart breaking that you simply can't understand or fix or make better? 
Me too. 
As someone who is a person of action- who loves to help and to serve and solve problems- 
facing a situation in the life of someone I love greatly that I can't?
 It is hard and painful and heartbreaking. 
And to be honest it's something I struggle with. 

But I am thankful, oh so thankful, for a heavenly father who meets me in my weariness. 
A father who I can sit at His feet and weep- knowing He hears me and loves me and that although I am weak, He is strong and I can rely on His great strength. I'm thankful that God's strength, not mine, is all powerful and that in moments of despair and weariness, I can lift my prayers to Him- He who is always listening and is fully in control. He promises in His word over and over again that He will be our peace and our strength- always. 

In case you need reminders of the peace that can ONLY come from our Heavenly Father,
here are a few of those many promises about peace God gives us in His word. 


FYI: I made the plan 31 days and plan to do that with
all topical plans in the future so that they can be done any month-
not just the month I write them for.

TO PRINT: You can find a copy of the plan in the folder HERE.

Thursday, November 21, 2019

DIY Christmas Sign

I needed a Christmas sign to go in our living room but could not find one that I loved that didn't cost a million dollars. So, we made our own! Best part? It was less than $8 and super easy to make!


Step 1:
Purchase a print you love. I purchased mine from Caravan Shoppe. They had adorable prints that are formatted to print large. I've been buying from them for years and they are fabulous!

Step 2:
Have the print printed at your local copy center. Be sure to ask for an engineering blueprint. These are super inexpensive. Mine cost $1.44 and I had it printed 24 x 36. The paper is super thin so I don't expect to keep it after this year. The low price makes it disposable!

Step 3:
Go to Home Depot and purchase a 1 x 4 piece of wood. You can even cut it into 24 inch (or however wide your sign is) pieces there in the store.

Step 4:
Stain or paint wood. Cut 2 pieces the width of your sign- one for the top and one for the bottom.

Step 5:
Staple sign to the wood on the back. I used a regular stapler.

Five easy steps and less than 30 minutes and $8 and you have your very own super cute sign!




Tuesday, November 12, 2019

God Knows Our Potential

Have you ever NOT done something God has called you to do because you felt inadequate? I definitely have- ALL THE TIME. When we feel inadequate, we usually feel inadequate in our calling.
1 Samuel 9 is the story of Samuel anointing Saul as King. In verse 21 Saul says: 
"Saul answered, “But am I not a Benjamite, from the smallest tribe of Israel, and is not my clan the least of all the clans of the tribe of Benjamin? Why do you say such a thing to me?”
It seems so ridiculous that he wouldn't just accept that if God said it would happen, it WOULD happen- regardless of how Saul felt or how inadequate he was. But clearly it wasn't and honestly- I am exactly the same way. When God calls me to do something my default is to first think...."I can't do that! There's no way."
The good news is that when God calls us, He calls us to be who He always knew we were- who He created us to be, not who we are in our own head. He knows our potential. He doesn't need to us to be perfect, to be a superhero or to know all of the answers. All He needs if for us to be willing, to be available, and to be obedient when He calls.
So my question for you today is....What part of God's calling are you ignoring because you feel inadequate or unequipped?

Thursday, October 31, 2019

November Scripture Writing Plan: Contentment

Happy almost November friends! 
The scripture plan this month is over a topic that many folks have 
suggested when I asked for topic suggestions on Facebook, 
CONTENTMENT!

Contentment is such a struggle in our world for so many today.
Because of social media it's easier than ever to compare 
our lives to others and feel we are lacking. 
Relationships, homes, jobs, kids, friendships- you name it, we compare ours to others. 
We see the pretty perfect pictures many post on Instagram and Facebook and look
 around at our own lives thinking....my life is so NOT like that. 

When we compare, we often spend lots of time thinking "If only....". 
If only I had a bigger house, a bigger bank account, better behaved children, 
a better job, more friends, a more romantic husband, etc.
When we focus on "If I only had..." we start to wallow in it
and almost always become discontent.

We have to remember that God has placed us or allowed 
us to be right where we are right now. 
He wants us to fix our eyes solely on Him and
 to look to HIM for our worth, 
not our circumstances or our position in society. 
The truth is, we don't have to like where we are or what we have, 
but if we will choose to thank God for His provisions regardless of our 
feelings towards those things, we will grow content. 
It's difficult to be thankful in imperfect circumstances, 
but Jesus enables us to be content through His power and His strength.

My prayer is that this month, as we focus on these verses about contentment, 
we take our eyes off of others and instead fix them on Jesus. 
May we find peace that comes only from Him, no matter the circumstances of our lives.  
May we find gratitude in all that He has provided for us 
and peace so that we may truly be content in His faithful provision and blessings. 





FYI: I made the plan 31 days and plan to do that with
all topical plans in the future so that they can be done any month-
not just the month I write them for.

TO PRINT: You can find a copy of the plan in the folder HERE.

Bible Study 101: Verse Mapping Part 2

I had so many great questions about verse mapping from this post  
on verse mapping that I decided to do a quick follow up post! 

Frequently asked questions about verse mapping: 

Where to start? What do you recommend? 
I think starting with a few of your favorite verses is a great idea. Because they are verses you love you probably think you know everything about them. It's fun to verse map them and find out even more info about them! 

How do you decide what verse to map? 
I either do a verse from a list I keep on my phone (of verses I come across that I want to study) or a verse from a Bible study I am doing or hear in a sermon or podcast.

How long does it take you to do a verse map? 
It takes me around 20-30 minutes to do a verse map. 

What do you do with your finished verse maps? How do you store them? 
I do mine on loose leaf graph paper so that I can keep them in a binder, 
sorted alphabetically by verse. 

Can you give us a list of verses to map? 
Sure! I'll post a list of 100 popular verses below for you to start with. 

Can you save the Instagram stories about verse mapping to your highlights? 
Yes! It's saved under the highlight titled Bible Study 101

I created a quick worksheet with the basics of verse mapping 

and a list of 100 verses to verse map. 

You can find the PDF in HERE to download a copy. 


Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Bible Study 101: Verse Mapping Part 1

I often get questions regarding what Bible I use and how I go about studying the Bible. 
I decided to do a couple of blog posts regarding this topic so 
when someone asks, I can easily reference this list and send them a link.

Previous posts on the topic are listed below: 

Today I am sharing one method I use for Bible study- verse mapping.
Verse mapping is simply taking a verse (or two) and 
breaking it down and researching the verse. 
I love verse mapping because it's a way to dig into a scripture pretty quickly. 
I always learn tons when I verse map and just love the process!

There are tons of ways to go about doing verse mapping but I typically do the following:

Read and Write it:
  • Read the verse in context. I typically read the whole chapter and sometimes several chapters.
  • Read the verse in several different translations. I use Bible Gateway for this. 
  • Write the verse down on a sheet of paper. I use graph paper but any paper will do!
Map it: 
  • Research the background of the verse and write down what I discover (who wrote it, when, where, who was the audience, etc.)
  • Circle words to define. Define words using a dictionary-both using a regular dictionary and a Greek/Hebrew dictionary. I use Blue Letter Bible for this.
  • Box important phrases
  • Read what several commentaries say about the verse. I use Blue Letter Bible or Study Light verse-by-verse commentary for this. Highlight the part of the verse the commentary talks about and make notes highlighted in the same color.
  • Write other related scriptures using a concordance
Summarize it:
  • Summarize what I've learned about the verse in a few sentence. 
  • Ask questions: What can I learn from this verse? Are there any promises/commands/warnings in this verse?
Apply it:

  • Pray to God about this verse and ask him to help me apply the lessons I learned from this process. 

Below are a few examples of my verse mappings. 
Remember, there is no right or wrong way to do this. 
Do what works best for you!




If you want to learn more, you can find some great videos HERE and HERE
I also shared an Instagram story showing the process and it's saved in my highlights. 




Thursday, October 24, 2019

Bible Study 101: Online Resources

I often get questions regarding what Bible I use and how I go about studying the Bible. 
I decided to do a couple of blog posts regarding this topic so 
when someone asks, I can easily reference this list and send them a link.

Previous posts on the topic are listed below: 

BIBLE STUDY 101: STUDY AND READING SUPPLIES


Today I am going to share a little detail about the online resources that I use and LOVE!
Now these are not the only resources out there, 
there are TONS of resources out there online that are fabulous- 
these just happen to be my favorite! 

Two quick things regarding Bible study and tools: 

1. We should never rely solely on other's knowledge of the Bible. 
We MUST read it ourselves! 
Bible studies and commentaries are great 
but we need to learn God's word firsthand, not secondhand!

2. We need to be sure not to read verses in isolation. 
For context, reading the whole chapter 
(sometimes the whole book) is so important
in order to truly understand it.


Resource #1: Bible Gateway
Bible Gateway is a site I use all the time for reading different
 translations as well as reading commentaries. 
They also have some fabulous devotionals and reading plans! 


I use Bible Gateway to read various translations when I don't have my Bible handy 
and when I'm working on a scripture writing plan. 

Here's how that works: 
When you search for and find a verse in one translation, click on the Add Parallel icon (looks like two pieces of paper siting side by side) at the right side of the passage. 

Doing so adds a second translation that you can select from the drop down menu
and you can see the translations side by side!

If you click the icon again, you'll see a third translation. 

You can also click on the listen to icon (speaker icon) to have the scripture read to you. 

There are lots of other great things to check out on the site, 
especially those under the Study tab. 

There's also a great  Bible Gateway app that you can use- 
although I usually just use it in the browser, even on my phone. 




Resource #2: Blue Letter Bible

Blue Letter Bible has some incredible resources including some of my favorite commentaries.

    Just like Bible Gateway, you can search and read any Bible verse/chapter. 
    But what I love to use is the text commentary feature. 

    Search for the verse and click Go. 

    To the right of the verse click the Tools icon to reveal a bunch of options. 

    My favorites are Interlinear and Commentaries with Cross Refs as a close third. 
    Interlinear is the first tab and is a list of all the words from the scripture in Greek and Hebrew. 
    (The definition of Interlinear is written or printed between the lines of a text)
    You can even click on the icon on the right to listen to the pronunciation. 

    Learn more about how to use Interlinear  HERE

    Cross-Refs lists words that are in the scripture and used in other places in the Bible. 


    Commentaries lists audio, video and text commentaries. 
    Commentaries are a series of comments, background, 
    historical details, etc by biblical scholars. 
    I typically use the Text Commentaries. There are lots of great ones
     but my favorites are Matthew Henry and David Guzik.


    Clicking on one takes you to the commentary for that verse. 
    Each is set up like an outline. 
    It starts with a short summary and is followed by the text in dark red. 
    Below that are thoughts, details, and historical facts related to the scripture. 
    I like to think of reading a commentary as sitting down with a Biblical scholar 
    who is explaining the scriptures and giving me additional background. 
    If you are ever struggling to understand a scripture or 
    want more information or context, 
    a commentary is for you!

    I will warn you that reading commentaries is a little addicting. 
    The more I read them the more I want to read them and learn more!
    Learn more about reading commentaries on BLB  HERE

    The Dictionaries tab shows different words from the scripture 
    and their definitions in different dictionaries. 
    Learn more about the Dictionaries HERE

    There is a ton more to learn about on BLB and you can check out their 
    Help section HERE or check out their awesome video tutorials  HERE




















    Tuesday, October 22, 2019

    White Texas Sheet Cake

    As the mother of a child who HATES chocolate, I'm always on the look out for desserts
     that do not include chocolate. I've made Texas sheet cakes (aka Coke cake) for 
    years and years but until recently had never made a white Texas sheet cake. 
    I have no idea why I waited so long to make this but gosh- it is GOOD! 

    Cake:

    • 2 cups flour
    • 2 cups sugar
    • 1 teaspoon baking powder
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
    • 1 cup butter
    • 1 cup water
    • 2 large eggs
    • 1/2 cup sour cream
    • 1 teaspoon almond extract


    Frosting:

    • 1/2 cup butter
    • 1/4 cup milk
    • 4 1/2 cups powdered sugar 
    • 1 teaspoon almond extract
    • 1 cup walnuts (optional)


    Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9 x 13 pan. In a large bowl, whisk the first five ingredients. In a small saucepan, combine butter and water and bring just to a boil- string constantly. Stir into flour mixture. In a small bowl, whisk eggs, sour cream and extract until blended; add to flour mixture, whisking constantly. Transfer batter to prepared pan. Bake until golden brown (do NOT overbake) and a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, about18-20 minutes. Cool before frosting. For frosting, combine butter and milk in a large saucepan and bring just to a boil- stirring constantly. Remove from heat; gradually stir in confectioners' sugar and extract. Stir in walnuts. Spread over warm cake.

    Bible Study 101: Study and Reading Supplies

    I often get questions regarding what Bible I use and how I go about studying the Bible. 
    I decided to do a couple of blog posts regarding this topic so 
    when someone asks, I can easily reference this list and send them a link.


    Today I am going to share the supplies I use when doing Bible study. 
    There are tons of products out there for Bible study (and I've bought my fair share of them!) 
    but what I have found works best for me are simple, basic supplies. 



    When doing a Bible study I use all or most of the following:



    My Bible

    I have lots of different bibles but my preference is a dual NIV and the Message Bible. 
    I love this Bible because it has both translations on the same page. 
    I used to use two separate Bible but love this so much more. 
    Mine came from Amazon and you can find it HERE

    A notebook

     Although there are tons of options for Bible study journals and notebooks out there, 
    I use a good old-fashioned spiral notebook when doing a Bible study. 
    I usually grab mine at Target or Walmart- just looking for one that 
    is cute and college ruled. This is the one I am currently using. 


    A binder
    When I am doing verse study, I use a simple three ring binder with dividers. 
    Instead of regular notebook paper, I buy loose leaf graph paper 
    from Walmart but notebook paper would work just great too.


    Pen
    My favorite is the G2 black pen.




    Bible highlighters

    I have several sets and my two favorite are below.
    THESE from Amazon and I love them because there are two of each color in the set. 
    I have one set in my purse and the other with my Bible study stuff in a bag.
    I also have THESE from The Daily Grace Co and love them. 
    They don't bleed through the page and they are precious!
     (While you are there, check out all of their things- 
    so many cute products and GREAT Bible studies!) 

    Sticky Notes
    I use sticky notes to write notes and place in my Bible. 
    Usually just to jot down something I don't want to forget. 



    Online Commentaries & Study Guides
    My favorites are Bible Gateway and Blue Letter Bible. 
    I'll explain more about how I use these sites in an upcoming post, 
    but below are some basics about them. 


    Bible Gateway is a site I use all the time for reading different

     translations as well as reading commentaries. 
    They also have some fabulous devotionals and reading plans! 
    I love that I can check out different versions side by side. 



    Blue Letter Bible has some incredible resources including some of my favorite commentaries.


    I'll follow up in a few days with another post showing HOW I use these items! 
    Stay tuned!