A Perspective of Joy

CI-Buff-Strickland_Christmas-Gift-Wrap-nature_s4x3_lgI had the honor of sharing a Christmas devotional at an event my friend, Sarah, hosted this week. It’s something called Homes of Light – a time to slow down and reflect on the true meaning of this season of Christmas. {you can learn more about Homes of Light at its Facebook page}

Today, I thought I’d share with all of you what I wrote, and shared with the ladies who attended Sarah’s Homes of Light this year.

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Erma Bombeck said, “There’s nothing sadder in the world than to awake Christmas morning and not be a child.”

We all remember what Christmas morning felt like when we were kids. The excitement. The anticipation. The joy. Continue reading

titus|tuesdays: Wrapping up Philippians

to-live-is-christ-and-to-die-is-gain_wide_tOur fall semester has come to a close for our Titus2Women Bible study. The fall semester always flies by so quickly and this time was no exception. We had just enough weeks to get each of session of this Matt Chandler study – To Live is Christ, To Die is Gain – completed. It went by quickly, but was packed with so much truth.

The very last question we had to answer was this:

Summarize the teaching of the book of Philippians. Write some of the life lessons that you will take from this. Continue reading

The Need for Growth

sub_page201_picture0“There is a misunderstanding of our faith that has put all of the weight on conversion with very little expectation for afterwards.”

~Matt Chandler~

Once again, Matt Chandler articulates something that’s been on my heart for quite some time (and he does it in a way that I couldn’t)

The quote above is from the Philippians study I’m doing with our Titus2Women’s group at church – and it encapsulated something that God’s been impressing upon me for more than a year now: How important discipleship is in the church. Continue reading

Skewed Grace

dietoselfYes, I have been absent from the blogging world for quite some time now. As usual, things get busy and the first thing to go is the blog. But now, as our ladies Bible study gets back up and going – I find myself writing and journaling more. And that usually leads to more sharing on the blog :)

As I prayed and searched this summer for the right study for our Titus2Women’s group this year, God kept impressing upon me the idea that we really needed to focus on the idea of total surrender – of dying to ourselves and our perceived “rights.”

That led to a study from Matt Chandler that we just started digging into today – and I’m so excited about it!

I’m sure I’ll be sharing on here some of what I’m learning through that study. But first I wanted to share some of what God’s been teaching me on this idea of dying to self – and why it is so vital to our lives and our relationship with Christ.

You know, we often say, “All I have to give is myself.” And honestly, that is all Christ asks of us – to give ourself to Him. But do we really give it all? Or do we hold back? Continue reading

titus|tuesdays: It’s a Process

lump-of-clayI can’t believe the Spring semester of our Titus2Women’s group is wrapping up. (it’s especially hard to believe we’re about to take our summer break – when it doesn’t even feel like Spring outside in Iowa today!)

Today, we had our final discussion on the book, “Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World.”

Wow. This book has been life-changing for me. God gifted Joanna Weaver with this message, I have no doubt about that!

This final chapter’s title is the same as the book title: “Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World.” And what really jumped out at me in this chapter was the discussion about transformation.

If you hold a lump of clay in your hand, it doesn’t look like much. Continue reading

Stirring Up Passion (for Christ)

14942In this week before Easter, I knew I wanted to be focusing on that FIRST week before Easter.

The week Christ walked on the earth, just days away from the cross.

For our Bible lessons this week, the kids and I have been focusing on reading from the Word what happened on those fateful days – and I’ve so enjoyed it.

When I was looking for a “reading list” of scriptures for this week, though, I couldn’t find something that was exactly what I wanted. So, I took pieces from lists I found, and then just dug into the Word myself.

I wanted to go chronologically and, of course, wanted to hit on the key events of the week. But I also didn’t want to do so much that I overwhelmed the boys.

So, I chose pieces of the story from each of the gospels (and held myself back from including ALL the versions from ALL the gospels… though it was hard. but I may read through them all on my own.)

I came up with a chronological list that I could split up this week, so we could study that last week of Jesus’ life on earth.

I know, it’s now Tuesday, and I’m just sharing this information with all of you – but I didn’t get it all sorted out until yesterday (let’s be honest, Mommy’s not exactly ahead of the curve lately). But I wanted to at least share it now while it’s fresh in my mind. AND you’ve still got plenty of time before Easter!

So here’s just click the link (below the image) and you’ll find a reading list – PRINTABLE for you (if you like hard copies of things)

Passion Week Reading List {from friedkristy.com}

Passion Week Reading List PRINTABLE

I figure if I do this now, then I can just share this post NEXT year – earlier than a few days into Passion Week. (that counts as planning ahead, not laziness, FYI)

Even if you don’t read it THIS week – you can still read through these passages about the final days before the cross. With your kids – or by yourself.

This Passion Week, I want to stir up a passion for Christ. Not only for my kids, but for myself.

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Simple Meals that are Simply Delicious

SimpleMeals-Image-CroppedLooking for a few SIMPLE meals to add to your repertoire? I know I always am!

The thing is, I didn’t want “easy” to mean just another frozen pizza.

Don’t get me wrong, frozen pizzas have been my friend on more than one occasion! But I wanted a little variety for my “easy meals.”

Thank goodness for the Internet – it makes finding new recipes so much easier.

Continue reading

titus|tuesdays: Lessons from Lazarus

ERquote-TeaBag

I love the quote there from Eleanor Roosevelt. But I’d like to apply to EVERYONE – not just women.

And really, I’d say it this way: “A person is like a tea bag, you never know how strong THEIR FAITH is, until they’re put in hot water.”

I just love how God has worked in this semester of our Titus2Women’s group through this study – Having A Mary Heart in a Martha World.

As if I needed more proof His timing is perfect – I feel each week like the message from the chapter is exactly what I need to hear, what I need to be learning or I’m in the midst of learning — basically that God has a personal message in it for me. Continue reading

titus|tuesdays: The Better Part

bible-by-candlelight As our group continues reading through A Mary Heart in a Martha World, I find myself equally encouraged and convicted. Joanna has such a great way of writing and saying things that we need to hear – but does it in a way that is convicting, but not condemning.

If it isn’t clear already – I highly recommend this book!

This week, we read Chapter 7, “The Better Part.” It’s all about spending time with God – finding that quiet time in your day with Him.

At the beginning of the chapter, Joanna used an illustration that really resonated with me. She talked about the picture of a girl who was spinning multiple hula hoops, but she appeared calm. Continue reading