November 24, 2018

Gift Guide-a-Palooza

We're still enthusiastically celebrating pie-a-palooza around here (pumpkin, chocolate cream, and muddy turtle), but if your thoughts are turning toward Christmas gift-giving, here are a few guides to help you along. 

(I'm sorry to post and run, but I've got a chocolate cream pie that desperately needs neatening.)

For your favorite introvert: Gift Guide for the Beloved Introvert from Welcome Heart.

For your favorite woman who appreciates a good deal (dear family, if you're reading this, I'm a size small in the "cardigan with pockets"): 25 Gifts for Women—All Under $25 from The Not So Busy Mom.

For your favorite dancer (as a fellow dance mom, I can tell you that this list is spot-on): Gift Guide for Dancers from A Modern Mom's Life.

For your favorite outdoorsy kid: Top Ten Gift Ideas for Outdoorsy Kids from The Hunting Mom

For your favorite teen or college kid:
2018 Holiday Gifts Under $50 That College Kids and Teens Will Love from Grown and Flown

For your favorite hard-to-buy for dad (which is to say, every dad in the history of dads): 
16 Perfect Gifts for the Dad in Your Life from Her View From Home.

And for your favorite mom (there's a twist on this one): Real Moms Share the Best Gift They've Received from A Modern Mom's Life.

November 20, 2018

365 Days of the Great Names of God

Hello, lovely friends. I've shared here before that I try to start each day by praying pretty much the moment my brain has figured out that I'm awake and that going back to sleep is not an option. This is not because I'm "holier than thou"...quite the opposite: it's because I need to fix my mind straight-away on the One Who is holier than me before it (my mind) gets bogged down with less holy things like what I'm going to make for dinner and if I ever transferred the load of laundry from the washer to the dryer.

I try to start these prayers by praising God before I launch into my litany of requests, and one way I do that is by telling God what His name is. He knows, of course; the reminding is for me. Every name of God tells us something about His character and nature, so often, I try to praise God for both Who He is (His name) and what or how He is (His character and nature). For instance, "God, You are El Shaddai...You are almighty and all-sufficient."

A few months ago, one of my favorite Bible study tools, the website She Reads Truth, did a study on the Names of God, and I loved being able to open their site on my phone first thing every morning (before I got sucked into the social media vortex) and be greeted by a name of God. I used that name to launch the praise portion of my prayer, and God and I were off and running. (Okay, He ran...I usually crawled, which at 5:20 a.m. is the best I can do.) I missed this resource when the series ended and so thought about doing a daily name of God series of my own in this space.

I originally planned to start this tidily on January 1st, but when the founder and leader of TruthBytes, the daily devotional app I've been privileged to be part of, announced she would be retiring the app after December 1st due to some major changes in her life, I decided to kick the series off early. And honestly, I can't think of a better way to keep my mind and heart on track during the whirlwind that is December than by starting every day thinking about Who God is and what He's like. 

ALL of which is just to say that, God-willing, starting December 1st and going for 365 days, I'll be posting a name of God here every day. This will not be a full-fledged study (I know my limitations) but will instead be simply a name of God ("name" being a very loose term...some will be official names, some will be more like descriptions) with a supporting Scripture and possibly a little background.

My hope, if you're interested in joining me on this journey, is that you'll be able to just open your email if you're a subscriber or open this blog's home page and be greeted with one of the great names of God. Then I'll let Him take it from there. 

Questions? Not sure what in the world I'm talking about? Feel free to leave a comment or send me an email at I hope to see you here on December 1st!

Onya (that's "verbal shorthand" in my ladies' Bible study group for "the blessing of the Lord be on you"),


November 6, 2018

7 Good Things To Tell Yourself When You're Having a Bad Day as a Mom

The best gift I’ve ever gotten from my children was a yellow sticky note left for me on my kitchen counter. The note read, “We love you.”

I can guess what you might be thinking. “Hmmm…really? This is the best gift? Not the Christmas ornament with your firstborn’s handprint preserved in clay? Not the wall hanging with the names of every family member spelled out like a Scrabble game board?”

I did love those gifts, too. But this one was the best, because my children gave it to me on a day was I was so very unlovable as a mother.

I’d had one of my typical mom meltdowns. I’m sure there was yelling and door-slamming involved. I’m sure I freaked about something that was, in fact, nothing. I’m sure my daughters snuck off to their rooms to commiserate about “mom being mom”…and to write me this note, which they surreptitiously left for me to find.

All of which is just to say that I’ve had more than my share of bad days as a mom. I’ve had to learn how to reset my defaults…to reprogram my thinking. If you’re having a day that’s headed toward bad in a hurry, I've got a little list up over on my friend Ruthie's blog that might help bring it around to good...

This post may have been shared at some of these blog link parties.