Category Archives: Relationships

#giving is #agoodideayearround

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Tuesday greetings!

I have as many thoughts swirling around as the snowflakes outside our windows. 

I wanted to take a movie and send it to the kids because it literally looked like our house was inside a snow globe and I consider that one of the most fun kinds of snow…but alas…my phone didn’t capture the effect so instead I decided to learn how to make a poached egg. 

Don’t ask.

This is the kind of mind we are dealing with here, people. 

And I am in full on scattered thinking mode as I pulled out all the green tubs and started putting up Christmas late yesterday afternoon. 

So far we have a miniature forest of small lighted trees taking up residence in the corner of the dining room and the first nativity and advent wreath stationed on the fireplace. But stay tuned…none of this is sealed in stone until I have pondered the dickens out of how much is too much and figure out where to begin and how to end the process.

And speaking of Dickens…tee hee….tell me you didn’t see that coming…

I told you Russ took me to see A Christmas Carol on Saturday and I may have mentioned it is such a favorite of mine. I was literally choking back sobs at some parts of it and it isn’t the parts you might think for one as sentimental as me might get weepy over. 

Oh sure…Tiny Tim is so sweet and the joy of the Cratchit family that supersedes their lack and poverty is touching…but it is Ebenezer himself who makes my throat tighten and tears like a fountain can’t be held back. 

It’s the complicated suggestion of various rejections and wrong choices made at strategic cross roads that constrict my heart into some strong emotions. 

It’s the disappointments and roadblocks to happiness that worked in cooperation with a natural bent toward a need to find security in something that wouldn’t let him down and then the unfolding of the hypocrisy of his idol as he becomes the spectator of his own life. 

It’s the way he can’t help but engage in the fun he has missed out on. 

It’s the way he is offered redemption and he takes it. 

Because I see Christ in everything, I see the Christ of Christmas in this story. 

I see the Spirit of Christmas as the Holy Spirit and I see the keeping of Christmas always as the keeping of Christ and His teachings in how we treat others throughout the year. 

This may or may not be what Dickens had in mind, but it is what I see every year in the story. 

I see how an encounter with the Christ of Christmas helps us see our past….our present…and our future…with truth and healing and hope. 

I see how an encounter with the Christ of Christmas and the Christ of eternity changes our perspective and our hearts…how Christ transforms us and renews us and brings us true Joy. 

Like Matthew the tax collector…Scrooge gives back and then some…he forgives debts and his actions reflect a changed heart. 

Ironically…

our John sent us this picture last night and asked us to share on social media so please indulge this mom as I encourage you to give generously on this #givingtuesday to any and all of the causes that the Lord would prompt you to support. 

John works for an agency in Texas that supports foster care, adoptions and also provides care for the children affected by immigration issues. 

So if you are inclined to donate to his organization….

Link is here….  https://www.upbring.org/giving-tuesday-2018/

However, there are many worthwhile places to drop some cash today so prayerfully consider where God might be leading you to give <3 

Thanksgiving Eve <3

Happy Thanksgiving Eve to you!

Full disclosure, I am writing this to you on the eve of Thanksgiving Eve…not because I am hyper organized but because I had some thoughts to share so hitting up the keyboard while they are in my head.

It has been quite a day as I ran to three different grocery stores, along with roughly 87% of the local population, to gather supplies for what will surely be way too much food for the guests around our table. 

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I also managed to encounter a Facebook nightmare this morning and attempted to share my post multiple times but it wouldn’t go through. 

Imagine my delight this evening when I noticed it had been shared a grand total of 7 times…most by me. 

Looks like we will be having humble pie along with the pumpkin this year…sigh…

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I decided to make a short list of things I am thankful for and so here they are in no particular order and certainly not inclusive of the many things that I could list:

#1 I am thankful for the grace of God to love me before I loved Him and to save me through His Son. We have a friend who never prays a prayer over a meal that he doesn’t end with that reminder of gratitude. 

People may think we Christians are holier than thou and self-righteous and hypocritical and all the other stuff we get labeled with, but …and this leads me to..

#2 I am thankful for the group of people God has surrounded me with who are believers who know it is only by the Blood of Jesus that we are saved.

I am thankful that the people I do life with understand what we are still capable of but by His grace, and that we didn’t receive Him so we could waltz up to the Cross and be whatever we have made up our minds to be. 

I am thankful for a community of believers who weep over their own sin and over the sins of others and over the sins of this nation and the world. 

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#3 I am thankful for the guy who was pulling into the chiropractor’s office yesterday morning who was paying attention instead of checking his phone and braked in time for the lady who was carefully watching the car next to her as she backed out and totally missed him in her rear view mirror…

yeah…

that would be me…

#4 I am thankful for a call back on a test this month that showed nothing amiss and for the people God placed in my path along the way who encouraged me and prayed for me. Most of all Russ, who had faith where I lacked. 

#5 I am thankful for the way women who have had call backs that didn’t go that way expressed tears of relief that I would not walk the journey they had walked.

And I will tell you that goes back to #2…

because….

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#6 I am thankful that I live and move and deal on a daily basis with people who love with a love that can only come from the Spirit of God planted deep inside them. 

A love that dies to self all the time so that Christ can live in them.

So there’s my thankfulness list today. 

Oh, there are more…many more…but that will do .

What are you thankful for today? 

I would love to know.

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I hope and pray whatever your Thanksgiving looks like tomorrow that God will plant seeds of gratitude and hope and joy in your deepest places. 

You are loved <3

A Giveaway!!! Whhhhhaaaattttttttttt?????????

Good morning! 

I managed to dodge all the cold germs from those cute little runny noses…but in spite of diffusing On Guard like it was my oxygen…alas, I have succumbed to the congestion and discomfort of a cold. 

Sigh.

I will say the symptoms are bearable and I will push through.

Because we have some family celebrating to do in honor of Thanksgiving, you know…

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I do have some fun news to share with you. I was invited to team up with three friends, one local and two from Texas, who attended the Declare Conference with me in October. 

We have been having way too much fun on a video chat site called Marco Polo and then my friend Melanie came up with the idea that we sponsor a Giveaway from our four websites and social media in honor of Thanksgiving. 

 

It’s a three fold purpose, this Giveaway…

First and foremost, it is our opportunity to thank YOU who follow our ministries for being the supportive and loving tribe who shows up and encourages us to keep doing what God has called us to do. 

Second, it’s way for each of you to check out the ways God has led us to live with purpose our redeemed lives. 

Third, and to be honest, if you benefit from the work we do, we would love it if you would help more people find us on the internet <3

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If you are here, you know what I do…write about life on the Journey as God works me through the process of sanctification…all in the hopes that stopping here is like meeting a friend for a cup of coffee or tea and then heading on out to do your thing each day.

Lisa Wagner has a ministry called The Warrior She. Through podcasts, teachings and Bible study guides, Lisa is all about equipping women to realize the warrior within them who is prepared for battle each and every day.

Shelly Templin is our other Texan. A published author and speaker, Shelly has a website where she shares how faith is played out in real life and she does it straight forward and with great humor. 

Then there is our fearless leader who has boundless energy and an effervescence that lights up every room she enters. Melanie Brown has a health and wellness ministry that is about the WHOLE person….physical, mental, spiritual. And she is the mastermind behind the graphics and such for the Giveaway. 

So…here are the details to enter. The more you engage, the more times your name goes in the hat <3

  1. If you already subscribe to my blog, you are automatically entered.
  2. Go visit and then like/follow on social media:

Instagram:

*Email list
*Insta names:
@MotivatedbyMore
@sdtemplin
@journey.onward
@thewarriorshe
*Facebook links:
@MotivatedbyMore
@ChucklesintheChaos
@TheWarriorSHE
@JourneyOnward
3. Share the posts, comment about what you are thankful for, sign up for the email list
4. Tag a friend who needs encouragement in the comments

And if NONE of that is your jam…it’s okay. Just know how very thankful I am for the known and unknown faces on the other side of this screen today and every day <3

The hostess with the mostest… right down to clean up detail <3

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As promised yesterday, I am sharing a suggestion from the first chapter of the book Get Yourself Organized for Christmas by Kathi Lipp. **

I actually marked the passage and then wrote “Genius!” out to the side. 

But let me forewarn all who venture here to journey with me on a daily basis. 

Some of you can totally relate to me and the way I am wired and some of you can at least hopefully glean some insight into your family and friends who drive you crazy. 

So as I share this EUREEKA!! moment of enlightenment today, I am picturing a few of my dear friends who struggle not at all with indecisiveness and hesitancy to complete tasks.

I can imagine you shaking your head and possibly dismissing this as nonsense….but for those who are like me and for those who are not…this is useful because people like me are not being difficult or stubborn…we just lack direction in how to direct others….let alone ourselves…

In the opening pages of the this book, Kathi writes about the scenario that invariably occurs in a kitchen when friends and family gather for holiday meals. 

I would add that this will apply to ANYTIME you have opened your home for entertaining guests throughout the year. 

She writes on page 17:

“Every year we have people over for our celebration, and the most common question is, ‘How can I help?’…In the heat of the moment…I’m almost always at a loss for how to direct people on how to assist.”*

Yes.

I so understand this. 

When I prepare a meal for guests, you will find stashed in a drawer a stack of the recipes, a timetable for preparation, oven settings, additions to be made to each dish and the time frame to make it happen and what to pull out of the fridge five minutes before they will arrive. 

But when the meal is over and one to nine women are gathered in the kitchen with me amidst stacks of dirty dishes and food that must be stored away, I become overwhelmed. 

Russ attempts to gently remind me before guests arrive that they will want to help clean up and to be nice when that happens…he truly is my better half. 

When I read Kathi’s words, I felt understood. 

It’s not that I don’t appreciate the help, it’s just that I find my head spinning as I am being asked a variety of questions and decision making is something that takes me quite some time to commit to…and if you don’t believe me, simply pull out that drawer I mentioned and look through all the recipes I weeded out…the adjustments to the schedule I made to tweak my timing…etc…etc….

So what is the solution to my dilemma? 

Kathi suggests pre-planning for those who will want to help. 

Take all that hyper-planning gift a step further so that I am prepared for the inevitable.

For me, this would mean having containers already in place for the leftovers, and Lord help me, room in the fridge for them to stash it! It involves knowing in advance what can go in dishwasher and what will need hand-washing and helping the helpers help.

It’s not cheating to have a list of ways people could help me with clean up so that I am not left offending my sweet friends and family because I can’t process all the questions and end up alienating the people I worked so hard to make at home in our house. 

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I am looking forward to applying this knowledge, not only for the holidays but for our get-togethers throughout the coming year. 

Such a simple concept, Kathi ends the chapter with the truth that a little planning in advance for how others can help will bring much relief to the hostess, her guests and her poor husband who loves her in spite of herself. 

Be blessed <3

If you are interested…here are the resources and information for the book <3

* Get Yourself Organized for Christmas, Kathi Lipp; Harvest House Publishers, 2015, p 17

**Information on how to order book:

https://www.kathilipp.com/get-yourself-organized-for-christmas/

It’s always the re-entry that gets me <3

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Oh my…I have so much to tell you.

Only I am fighting to just say you…because I want to say “y’all”….

because I spent three full days in Texas and well…Y’all….it fits everything.

It’s inclusive when you are speaking to a known or unknown crowd…and works when just speaking a friend.

It finishes a thought or sentence with a much sweeter connotation than our Midwestern go-to “Do you know what I mean?”

So please forgive me if you see me and I slip up and use it…but I think if I didn’t love and live right here in God’s country…Texas would be my next best choice <3

So here is a short recap of the past few days and then I will be spilling out some of what got poured in so…y’all come on back…sorry…last time…I promise <3

First off…

huge shout out and thanks to Russ for showing up and for all you sweet friends who supported us with donations and being at the walk on Saturday.  I kept getting pictures sent and email notices of donations and my heart was so blessed.

And Russ cheesing it with the local news celeb…may have laughed out loud on that one <3

So thankful for each one who showed love for the caregivers and patients of this disease.

Also a very big thank you to Robin who is an amazing gift from God tech person who helped me unglitch my email list in a panic on Wednesday so my scheduled posts could go out.

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The Declare Conference was amazing and I will be sharing more from that this week.

I got home around 1 AM…and hit the ground running Sunday morning because we went up north to hear our favorite brothers in Christ sing…and then Papi thought we needed an overnight so…

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the band of brothers…including the rookie in the middle…climbed in Papi’s truck and the adventure began.

We detected a bit of maybe too much smiling from…

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momma bear since Little Miss Thing looked really sleepy and the house looked waaaaayyyyy too quiet….

Because our truck was anything but.

You know we had a blast doing the most unPinterest worthy things like…

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taking a spin through Menards….

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using a box of crayons that has “Sarah Reimer” written in black marker on the top…yeah…circa 1996 art supplies.

My sous chef and I made pumpkin bread and muffins…

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Boys played their favorite game…

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count the change in Papi’s big baseball bat bank.

After a restful nights sleep for them and not us, of course….

We took a trek down to the butterfly fields and the creek…

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Learned why it’s important not to have an open glass of water in front of you when you are playing cards with the band of brothers….

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Met up with mom at the pumpkin patch…

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introduced Caroline to the wonderful culinary world of Pumpkin Donuts…

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and had…

all in all…

y’all…

another series in the on-going series of ….

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Best. Day. Ever’s.