Archives for December 2014

How M&M’s teach self-control

Right before Thanksgiving, I shared my super secret strategy for enjoying my hostess duties. It involved a small bowl of M&M’s, remember? Those same candies taught me a valuable lesson in self-control.

I struggle with self-control.

It’s an issue around my favorite foods (like chocolate). But it’s also a struggle when I wander through Target, or when I lay in bed long after the alarm goes off, or when I play Candy Crush instead of cooking dinner, or when I let the kids watch a Pokemon marathon instead of making them home school.

It’s bad. I realized that there were things I don’t even TRY to accomplish because I felt I lack the self-control to see them through.

And so, I began to pray.

In part, my prayers were answered with a tiny bowl of M&M’s.

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Three Steps to a Simpler Saner Christmas

Today’s the day to give myself a simpler saner Christmas! It’s Sharpie Day!

This is my fifteenth Sharpie Day, so you would think I’d have it all figured out by now.  I thought I did.  I really thought there was nothing about Sharpie Day that would surprise me.

But this year, things are a little different.

What is Sharpie Day?  (You mean you haven’t heard of this awesome day? It should be a National Holiday and you’ve never heard of it?)

Sharpie Day is a simple, 3 step process that simplifies Christmas and restores my sanity (and quite possibly saves my marriage).

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The LORD has done great things

Just a few quick thoughts on Psalm 126:2 for today.

The LORD has done great things for us, and we rejoiced.

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When a gift is not what it seems

This morning, as I was sorting through a box of “treasures,” I found them again.  They are faded and stained, they were imperfectly made, and quite frankly, they aren’t exactly my style. But they are a treasure.

They were a gift from an elderly relative, one I was reluctant to receive because they were useless and unwanted. But the real gift… was the story. [Read more…]

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Dear Beginning Blogger, Learn

Dear Beginning Blogger,

It’s time for another tidbit of wisdom and encouragement from me to you.  Today’s message? LEARN.

Little by little, I’m writing to you with all the things I wish I’d known in those first months of blogging.

Step one: just focus on writing. Get comfortable with words and discover your voice.

Step two: just be awesome on social media. Engage in conversations and not just infomercials for your blog.

Step three: learn.  This blogging thing isn’t easy. There are a lot of different things to learn and you don’t have to do it alone.

It’s not just writing. It’s figuring out all the technical “hosting things”, the fiddly bits of HTML and CSS, and the incomprehensible logic of when to post what to where. It’s all the statistics you slept through in college. It’s the unspoken etiquette on Pinterest and Twitter.

It’s enough to keep you up at night. All night. Every night.

But it doesn’t have to be that way.

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It’s OK to touch Jesus

I had a little guest in my home last week, and it was my delight to tell her calmly

It’s OK to touch Jesus.

She was transfixed with the nativity scene I had set on the hearth of my fireplace. I watched with joy as she reached out hesitantly and caressed baby Jesus. Just like my own kids, she scooped the tiny figure into her hands and cradled it as she sang him a lullaby.

That’s when her mom walked into the room and began to scold.  “No, No, No! We do NOT touch.”

I looked at the mom and calmly repeated.

It’s OK to touch Jesus.

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E is for Excellence

I’m so excited to get to FINALLY share this post! It’s the fifth installment of my “alphabet” series where I’ve introduced some big themes. I think this one is my favorite. Then again, I’ve felt that way each week.

But somehow, “E is for Excellence” is making my heart sing.

Want to know why? Because I finally figured out the big secret to excellence.

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Changes (i owe you awesome)

If you’re a long-time friend, you’ve likely noticed a few changes on my blog over the past six weeks.  I’m not done, but I wanted to give you an idea of where I’ve come from and where I’m heading.

No matter if you’re a long-time friend, a brand new one, a casual acquaintance, or a total stranger, I want you to know

I owe you awesome.

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Guilt transformed into Grace

I woke up this morning with the Hot Dog Story on my heart.

The original story happened in the summer of 2008. My kids were in preschool. I wish I had the exact date circled on my calendar because it’s the day in my life that mom guilt transformed into mom grace.

I had no way of knowing it, but I was forever changed by the hot dog incident.

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Pea Salad for a Crowd

When I first shared my pea salad recipe in the summer of 2012, I shared a recipe that makes two servings. It’s perfect for everyday  family life. It doesn’t leave leftovers – yay!

But for holiday gatherings and crowd pleasing picnic or barbecue buffets, I need to scale the recipe up.

Since my pea salad tends to be a popular item on Pinterest around the holidays, I thought I’d share the scaled up quantities for the best pea salad ever.

(for more photos and the original recipe, check out this post on the best pea salad ever)

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