Weekend Reading


image :: pomegranate sparklers | simplekids.net

Looking for some weekend reading?  Here are few links I enjoyed this week.  Maybe you'll enjoy them, too?

Ringing in the New Year with kids, and a recipe for pomegranate sparklers :: @ Simple Bites

On Friendship :: @ incourage (if you only read one post, make it this one)

When you really want to wear new habits, and free daily planner printable :: @ A Holy Experience

Customizable goal planning worksheets :: @ Money Saving Mom

What posts or articles have inspired you lately?


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Commit To Daily Bible Reading: 5 Tips To Begin The New Year

***Precious mamas, this is part two of what I shared here yesterday. I shared these thoughts last year and have updated them a bit; I pray they are a blessing to you. They've been on my heart as we plan and prepare for this new year.***

"The Bible was written not to be studied, but to change our lives."

- Dr. Howard Hendricks

Yesterday, I shared my heart about the importance of reading the Bible, and I asked if you'd join me in making an increased commitment to Bible reading in the new year.

Today, I'd like to share something with you that made reading the Bible from cover to cover much easier for my husband and I, and that is the 90 Day Bible:


The Bible in 90 Days: Cover to Cover in 12 Pages a Day (New International Version)

One year it took me four months to complete this Bible, and another year it took me six months. Some actually do complete it in the advertised 90 days, but sometimes being a mama means that days aren't perfectly planned out.

By reading only twelve pages a day, it is possible complete this entire Bible in 90 days. Most days, you can read the twelve pages in about 45 minutes time. I usually do it in the morning, but you can break it up and do six pages in the morning and six pages at night, or whatever works for you.

If you don't want to purchase the Bible, you can find a similar reading plan available here and here, and you can simply print it from your computer (for free) and use it with your own Bible.  There are also Kindle versions available here.

The objective is to read the Bible.

Some will complain that reading it through this quickly doesn't give you a chance to really study it, absorb it, meditate on it. I know. I've heard the arguments, and I beg to differ. I enjoy the "big picture" aspect of reading it through this way, and then pausing to study in more detail when I come across an intriguing passage.

Reading the Bible through, whether you're reading it in 90 days, one year, or five years, will change you. Period. You will learn and you will grow; you will become a student of the Word and not merely a spectator. You will be a participant in the Word and no longer a passive observer. You will discover firsthand the truths that He has revealed in His Word. Your spiritual life will grow and mature. You will begin to crave that special time in the Word each morning!

Five Tips To Help You Begin:

1. Choose a reading plan, and then set a time aside each day to read. Do not say that you will read here and there as you can find the time.... the time will never come.

2. Commit to waking 45 minutes earlier each morning, and set your alarm.

3. Get the coffee or tea ready the night before so it's easier to grab a cup and stumble over to the armchair.

4. Do not do a "quick" check of your email before you complete your day's reading, and don't open Facebook, either. Stay focused! No computer time until you are done!

5. If you are unable to finish your reading goal that morning (perhaps the children awoke earlier than normal), then commit to finishing the reading during naptime or just before bed. Don't put it off until the next day; it will quickly become overwhelming.


In twenty years, will you still be wishing you had done it? Or will you make this year the year?

I'm praying for you - I know you can do it!


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Is Your Bible Dusty?

image by smalls photography

***Precious mamas, we've been using this week to plan and set goals for the new year. This post, which I wrote and shared here last year, has been on my mind as we plan our Bible reading for 2012. Maybe you need to read it again, too?  I'll share part two tomorrow.***

"Dusty bibles lead to dirty lives."

I've heard this - read this - a dozen times or more. To me, it's one of those thoughtful, impacting little nuggets that makes reading a whole book just to stumble upon it, well... worth it.

Sometimes the book I'm reading may not be spectacular, but there's one thought in it that changes the way I think, and this is one of those thoughts. It convicts me.

Is your Bible dusty? Is is reflected in the way you live? In your relationship with Him? With others?


As my dear husband and I begin planning next year's Bible reading, I stumble upon this, from Dr. Hendrick's book Living by the Book: The Art and Science of Reading the Bible:

"You see, a lot of people nowadays are making all kinds of claims about what the Bible supposedly teaches - claims that are simply not true. A closer inspection of Scripture reveals that the Bible doesn't, in fact, teach what they say it does. Likewise, there are a lot of things that the Bible does teach that many people don't even know about, because the truths are deemphasized or ignored altogether."

Dear friend, beautiful mama, do you know what the Bible teaches? Have you read it for yourself? Studied it? Poured over it?

Have you felt His love, His story in it?

Have your tears ever washed over its pages?

It is for you.

Many of us want a word from God, but not the Word of God. We may own a Bible, but the Bible does not own us, it's not in us, not in our hearts and minds.

If you were without face-to-face communications with your husband for many years, and he carefully wrote you a book out of His tremendous love for you, and you longed to be reunited with him again someday, wouldn't you read that book over and over again, savoring every sentence?

Surely you would. How could you not?

"Like newborn babes, long for the pure milk of the Word, that by it you may grow in respect to salvation." - 1 Peter 2:2

Later this week, I'll share some tips and a tool that we use in reading our Bible through, cover to cover. We've done it in years past, and plan to do it again this upcoming year.

Would you prayerfully consider reading the Bible through in 2012? Or perhaps at least one testament?

It will change you.



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*Updated to add: You can now read part two here.*


Also shared at Women Living Well.

12 Simple, Frugal Dishes For Potluck or Carry-In Parties

There are so many dishes you could bring to a holiday potluck, but what are your choices if you're trying keep things simple and frugal during the holiday season? Plan now for your upcoming family, friends, or church gathering by browsing these inexpensive dishes that are also simple enough to make while creating memories with the children.

Here are 12 ideas to get you started:

image by carolyn|umami girl

1)  Deviled eggs - Easy, yummy, and very inexpensive.  Add a layer of lettuce to the bottom of your flat serving dish to help keep them from sliding around.

2) Melon skewers - Try cantaloupe, honeydew, or any melon and use a melon baller to make perfectly round spheres, then skewer them.

3) Cheese and fruit tray - Children especially love cheese squares, so these make a great option if there will be children at the party.  Garnish with a few pieces of fruit, such as grapes or sliced strawberries.

4) Garlic hummus - My recipe is super easy.  You'll love it.

I'm sharing the rest of my list over at Raising Homemakers.  Won't you join me there?  I'd love for you to add your simple meal ideas, too!

Merry Christmas!

From our family to yours, may you have a wonderfully blessed Christmas.

“The Son of God became a man to enable men to become the sons of God.” -C.S.Lewis

Matthew 1:21 She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.

Romans 15:13 May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.

2 Corinthians 9:15 Thanks be unto God for his unspeakable gift.

James 1:17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.


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Christian-Themed Christmas Decor

Shop DaySpring Christmas Gifts, Cards, & Decor

If you are one of the many mamas who spend the day after Christmas stocking up on Christmas clearance sales, you may want to pop over to DaySpring!  Their Christmas clearance section already has ornaments and other items priced as low as $1.29.  This would be a great time to stock up for next year!

Until December 31st, you can enter the code SHIP25 and get FREE SHIPPING on any order over $25.


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