When Giving Thanks Is Hard (#EverydayJesus Linkup)

Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving, dear friends. I thought about taking today “off” but I remembered I wrote this post a couple of years ago… God prompted me to re-share it in case this year’s Thanksgiving finds you struggling. Because let’s be honest, sometimes giving thanks is HARD. Be encouraged. Be blessed. And feel free to link up if you feel so led. Thanking God for your faithfulness to Him and this 7 Days Time Ministry. 

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The smell of turkey wafts through the house… family piles into the kitchen, clamoring for their “special” chair and debating on which slice of pie will be most worth the calories.

Thanksgiving. A beautiful time of year. A time for family. A time for food. A time for giving thanks.

But sometimes, that’s easier said than done.

Thanksgiving [Read more…]

Clarity in the Chaos

You might have noticed that in this current season,  Wednesdays are my days to work toward some super-awesome God-sized dreams. So here is a blast from the past straight from the archives. Enjoy, dear friends… and thanks for the grace. 

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Today I have a little brain teaser for you… What does this mean to you?

DLEKMTRUSTIPWETRTIINWIGNXTHESLEQP
PDRELORDADVCWITHOIWTHIALLSLGMDIW
CYOUR XSAQLKHEARTCRETWMEAMENLSGF

Is it just a random jumble of letters to you? Or were you able to break it down and see something hidden in the chaos? Not sure? Look again… [Read more…]

9 Humorous Holiday Hacks

Holiday_Hacks

The holidays are looming.

Some of you out there have already made your list, checked it twice and bought gifts for all those who have been naughty and nice. I know folks who have their holiday meals planned with grocery lists at the ready. Others have already began creating a magnificent Pinterest centerpiece with hopes that guests will talk about it for centuries to come.

If you fall into that category, more power to you sister. (You should invite us over for Christmas. I will bring a store-bought veggie tray. And maybe some Wal-Mart cupcakes.)

I like beautiful Christmas décor. I love eating delicious food. But girls, we are army wives. Managing Household 6 is enough without adding more hoopla to our holiday plate. Society’s Pinterest expectations can only be met when the army/kids/hubs are all in sync.

Around our house, sometimes the only things “in sync” are the dirty dishes. #SeeWhatIDidThere?

If you ever celebrate the holidays at our house and everything is magazine-ish-styled-gourmet-matchy-matchy, just assume my dormant craft/cooking skills blossomed after one too many cups of eggnog.

Perhaps you identify. If so, never fear.  I have found a way to work smarter instead of harder this holiday season.  All it takes is a bit of creativity, a great sense of humor and refined excuse-making skills.

Now presenting: 9 Humorous Holiday Hacks

 Holiday_Hacks1. “Arrrggghhh!! I am almost done wrapping these gifts but am four inches short of having enough paper. The stores are closed and I have to give this gift tomorrow.”
Hack: Use newspaper, old magazines, or even the kid’s used coloring book pages if you are desperate. If anyone questions your methods, simply say that you decided to “Go Green.”

 2.“I tried a new recipe and it tastes funky. It is still edible and safe for consumption (I think), but definitely tastes weird.”
Hack: Tell everyone that you wanted to “experiment” with a new type of eating like Vegan or Whole30. If you don’t want to risk them calling you out (“Wait, Paleo doesn’t use cheese and this thing is smothered in it!”) claim that you are trying to eat “healthier” or that the dish is a “tradition” passed down for 35 generations. If you are really feeling salty, invent a new type of cuisine on the spot. Do this by spelling your favorite holiday food backward and stating it is from your favorite country. “Yeah, this is called yekrut from Morocco.”

3. “I gave my sister a pair of blaze orange Crocs and it was just awkward.”
Hack: When a gift is not well-received, always have a sentimental story on standby. “Sis, don’t you remember when we went to the zoo as kids? You were wearing an orange blazer and your favorite animals were the crocodiles.”

Want to read the rest of the list? Pop on over to Army Wife Network to check it out.

What humorous holiday hacks would you add to the list? I would love to hear from you. Feel free to leave a comment.

Hang onto these hacks and before you know it, everyone will want to know your “secrets” for a stress-free, seamless holiday season. #IsItNewYearsYet?

Here’s to Holiday Humor,

Initials Signature Blog

“She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come.” ~Proverbs 31:25

Linking up today with Kelli via Unforced Rhythms,  Laura at Playdates with God,  Joan’s  Beauty in His Grip Jen over at Soli Deo Gloria Sisterhood,  and Hazel via  Tell Me a Story. Be sure to join our #EverydayJesus link-up  community right here at 7 Days Time every Thursday!

 

 

Four Steps to Freedom (EverydayJesus Link-Up)

4 Steps Freedom

Welcome to another week of our Everyday Jesus link-up. Be sure to link-up below this post, comment on your neighbor’s blog and share with your friends… Because Jesus is everywhere, every day! 

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Blackness is all around me. The mechanical sound of artificial rain fills the room. I stand, towering over her, willing my heart to slow because I am sure she can hear it.

My nose itches but I don’t dare scratch it because she detects the slightest hint of movement. My lower back starts to ache and I listen for the rhythmic sound of her breath. For the next two and a half minutes, I argue with myself as I cling to the top rail of the crib. Is she asleep? Can I escape undetected? Wait, did she just squeak? Maybe I should wait another minute or twelve? 

I breathe a silent prayer. The time is right. Stealthily, I engage my mama-ninja stills and silently turn to face the bedroom door. Ok, Jesus. I have just four steps to make it out of here undetected by this anti-sleeping, cry-puking tiny human. Please, God in heaven… Make it happen.  [Read more…]

Because Jesus Told Me To

You might have noticed that in this current season,  Wednesdays are my days to work toward some super-awesome God-sized dreams. So here is a blast from the past straight from the archives. Enjoy, dear friends… and thanks for the grace. 

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People think I am crazy. Hey, sometimes I think I am crazy too. (We have covered this thought in several posts prior to this one.) But sometimes a little crazy is a good thing.

Last week during my quiet time, God led me to the Message version of Philippians 3:13-14. I literally laughed out loud because it reminded me of this ministry.

“I’m not saying that I have this all together, that I have it made. But I am well on my way, reaching out for Christ, who has so wondrously reached out for me. Friends, don’t get me wrong: By no means do I count myself an expert in all of this, but I’ve got my eye on the goal, where God is beckoning us onward—to Jesus. I’m off and running, and I’m not turning back.” [Read more…]

Practicing what we Preach: Serve

I like to stay busy.

I don’t just like it… I am programmed that way. I dig the feeling of motivation, doing, going, changing the world and am pretty terrible at resting. (Rest is something I am working on… but that is a post for another time.)

Motivation, especially for Jesus can be a great tool. It helps us to love, forgo judging others, and act in obedience.  It can also help us to serve.

Which is what today’s blog post is all about. Welcome to our latest entry in practicing what we preach through service. [Read more…]

The Right Kind of Pride (#EverydayJesus)

Welcome to another week of our Everyday Jesus link-up. Be sure to link-up below this post, comment on your neighbor’s blog and share with your friends… Because Jesus is everywhere, every day! 

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Do you struggle with pride? I do.

It is zero fun.

But there is hope.

Especially when Jesus is in our everyday.

If you are reading via email, click here to watch the video.

So… what are your thoughts? Do you think the Double A plan of awareness and action will work for you? In what areas of your life do you struggle with pride the most? What is your strategy to deal with spiritual pride? Join the conversation and leave a comment below.

Don’t give up on the battle with pride, friends. Know that God will equip you.

After all, he is oh-so-proud of you!

Humbled by Him,

Initials Signature Blog

“Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before the fall.” ~Proverbs 16:18 NIV

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Ink Pen in the Dryer

You might have noticed that in this current season,  Wednesdays are my days to work toward some super-awesome God-sized dreams. So here is a blast from the past straight from the archives. Enjoy, dear friends… and thanks for the grace. 

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You recognize it immediately.  You feel like you have been sucker punched. Your breath gets cut short. You gasp. Your heart leaps into your throat and your stomach drops. There it is…

The aftermath of… an ink pen in the dryer. [Read more…]

10 Ways to Show Love to Someone who Loves a Veteran

Veteran love

Ah, Veterans.

Veterans are amazing. Dedicated. Courageous. Focused. Determined. They are willing to lay it all on the line to serve our country.

Just that thought alone makes me want to stand in the middle of my street wearing a pearl-snap American flag shirt singing “The Star Spangled Banner” at the top of my lungs. (If only I had that shirt…)

#AMERICA

And yes, I am extra-biased because I just happen to be married to a veteran. One that has been rocking the army-infantry blue for over a decade, deployed three times for 45+ months in the Iraqi sandbox. (I can brag on him if I want to, right? OK, good.)

Each Veteran’s Day, we make efforts to show those who have served how much appreciate them. Which is awesome. I wish everyday were Veteran’s Day.

But here is a new way to honor veterans. Maybe one we haven’t thought much about before.

Honor veteran’s by showing love to someone who loves them. [Read more…]

Practicing what we Preach: Grace

It was a typical night.

Baby girl and I had completed the day, successfully avoiding major tear-filled meltdowns (from either one of us.)

Hubs came home after his normal 12+ hours of doing army-ish things. Supper was consumed. And then the debate began.

We were both tired from the day (ok, life in general) and we started negotiating on who would give Tiny Human a bath. She was sticky all over and had somehow managed to get smashed blueberry in her hair– and stuck on her forehead.

We recently changed her nightly routine from supper, play, bath, bedtime to supper, bath, play, bedtime. It seemed to be working and I am a huge proponent of “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”

But Brandon agreed to give her a bath *if* he could do it right before bedtime.

Exhausted, I agreed. Anything to keep the peace, right?

Well. [Read more…]