Thursday, May 17, 2018

Grace at Home No. 299


Hello, friends! I'm so glad you're here for this week's Grace at Home party, where we celebrate all the ways we make our homes places of grace.

Today is a special day in my life: my oldest son turns 27 today. I've been a mom for 27 years! Even as I type those words, I can scarcely believe it. My oldest son is an aviator in the U.S. Navy, so I don't get to see him very often, but he was home for about 15 hours a few weeks ago, just long enough to adopt this darling puppy from our local beagle rescue organization:


I'm excited to tell you that I'm not in my home this week—I'm away on a writer's retreat, working mightily on my book. Y'all, my manuscript is due to InterVarsity Press on August 1—that's less than 2 1/2 months away! I'm making good progress, but there's still so much work to do. I want this book to be a real blessing to everyone who reads it, so I covet your prayers for the writing process.

Anyway, with all that's going on this week, I haven't had a chance to visit folks who joined last week's party. I'm sorry about that, but I look forward to catching up with everyone next week. In the meantime, I appreciate your being here to share your posts.

Now for this week's party!  Grace at Home is a place for you to share anything related to making your home a place of grace. I invite you to link posts about
  • DIY projects
  • decorating
  • recipes
  • hospitality
  • homemaking tips
  • parenting
  • marriage
  • faith
  • self-care
  • soul care
Whatever you do to make your home a place of grace, I'd like to hear about it.  Here's what I ask of you.  Please include the permalink to your post, not your blog's home page.  Please let people know that you've linked up.  No more than three posts per person, please.  Note that if you link a post here, you are giving me permission to share your post, including a photo.  And visit at least one of the other party participants--that's what really makes it a party!





Thursday, May 10, 2018

Grace at Home No. 298


Welcome, friends! I'm so glad you're here for the Grace at Home party, where we celebrate all the ways we make our homes places of grace.

Here are some links from last week's party that caught my eye.

Jenny from Refresh Living explained how to care for succulents so they last a long time.


Marie from DIY Adulation showed us how to make a darling jar for a travel savings fund. Such a good idea!


If you're looking for some easy ways to save money so that you'll have spare change for a travel fund, check out this post from Nadine at The Kindest Way.


I'm always on the hunt for fresh recipes for summertime. This tortellini salad from Erin at DelightfulEMade looks scrumptious!


Just in time for Mother's Day, you'll appreciate this inspiration from Tiffiney at Welcome Home. Be sure to read this!


As for me, a simple shower reminded me of the blessings I often take for granted. I'd love for you to read "Another Chance to Be Grateful" and let me know what you think!


A big thank you to everyone who joined last week's party!  I'm so grateful for each person who links up each week. If you've been featured, feel free to grab the "I was featured" button.  I'd be so proud if you displayed it!

Now for this week's party!  Grace at Home is a place for you to share anything related to making your home a place of grace. I invite you to link posts about

  • DIY projects
  • decorating
  • recipes
  • hospitality
  • homemaking tips
  • parenting
  • marriage
  • faith
  • self-care
  • soul care
Whatever you do to make your home a place of grace, I'd like to hear about it.  Here's what I ask of you.  Please include the permalink to your post, not your blog's home page.  Please let people know that you've linked up.  No more than three posts per person, please.  Note that if you link a post here, you are giving me permission to share your post, including a photo.  And visit at least one of the other party participants--that's what really makes it a party!





Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Another chance to be grateful


Isn't it interesting how the smallest circumstance can cause a shift in your thinking?

Not long ago, the events of one morning conspired to prevent me from taking a shower. Nothing was wrong, really; I just wasn't able to bathe before I needed to be dressed and out and about. I'd taken a shower the morning before; I wasn't disgustingly dirty or stinky. I just wasn't freshly clean.

By midday I felt sticky and itchy. Oh, how I longed to smell fresh and soapy. I wanted my skin to feel smooth and satiny. I coveted a deep breath of the aroma of a freshly-laundered towel.

In a word, I was cranky.

So I took myself off to my nice, big, clean shower. I stood under the steady stream of steaming hot water. I lathered up lavishly with my fragrant body wash. All was right with my world again. "Boy, I'm thankful for a good shower," I thought to myself.


And then it hit me: the ugly truth, right square between the eyes. Actually, I'm not at all thankful for a good shower. To tell the truth, I rarely give it a second thought. Only on a day when I was prevented from having it at the usual time did I stop to realize what a blessing a bath is.

How many, I wondered, how many busy women just like me would love to be able to bathe once a week? Even once a month?? How many would give nearly anything to stand in a shower of clean, hot water? How many would consider it the height of indulgence to wash their bodies with the soap I use every single day?

I am struck by the fact that this everyday blessing which I take so lightly is actually a great luxury. I think wryly to myself that there's nothing wrong with me that flood or fire wouldn't cure. And then I wince at the knowledge that there are millions who have endured flood or fire or even worse, while I sit here securely in my nice snug house.

Dear God, what would I have left if I were to lose all the things for which I never stop to give thanks? I realize now that I must begin my prayer of thanksgiving with one of confession.

I never intended to be blasé and complacent. I didn't mean to be ungrateful. I realize now that ease has affected my perspective. I spend too much time thinking of all the things I don't have and not nearly enough time being grateful for all that I do have.

I want my perspective to change—indeed, I need my perspective to change. Dear God, I confess my poor attitude, my thankless heart, my ungrateful spirit. Change me, Lord.


How about you? Are you, like me, grateful for another chance to be grateful?

Joining these lovely parties:
Share His Story with Jennifer Dukes Lee

Thursday, May 3, 2018

Grace at Home No. 297


Welcome, friends! Happy May!! Can you believe that it's already May? My head is spinning at how fast time is passing this year. Maybe it's because I have a book manuscript due August 1. . . or maybe it's just because time flies!

Anyway, I am grateful you're here for the Grace at Home party, where we celebrate all the ways we make our homes places of grace. Here are some features from last week's party.

Cinco de Mayo is coming up, so I think you'll love having this recipe for Chipotle Copycat Burrito Bowls from All That's Jas. 


Or you could try this Mexican Lasagna from Home Cooking Memories. Doesn't it look yummy?


Of course, May brings special tasks and challenges as well as celebrations. If you're in need of teacher gifts, you'll appreciate these ideas from Dara at Not In Jersey.


As you prepare your outdoor spaces for summer living, you'll want to check out this garden chandelier from Maria at Simple Nature Decor.





I'm always encouraged by the words of Amy of the blog From Wasteland to Graceland. I think you'll appreciate her writing about being confident in who you are and in whose you are. 


A big thank you to everyone who joined last week's party!  I'm so grateful for each person who links up each week. If you've been featured, feel free to grab the "I was featured" button.  I'd be so proud if you displayed it!

Now for this week's party!  Grace at Home is a place for you to share anything related to making your home a place of grace. I invite you to link posts about

  • DIY projects
  • decorating
  • recipes
  • hospitality
  • homemaking tips
  • parenting
  • marriage
  • faith
  • self-care
  • soul care
Whatever you do to make your home a place of grace, I'd like to hear about it.  Here's what I ask of you.  Please include the permalink to your post, not your blog's home page.  Please let people know that you've linked up.  No more than three posts per person, please.  Note that if you link a post here, you are giving me permission to share your post, including a photo.  And visit at least one of the other party participants--that's what really makes it a party!






Thursday, April 26, 2018

Grace at Home No. 296


Hello, hello! I'm glad you're here for the Grace at Home party, where we celebrate all the ways we make our homes places of grace.

Here are some highlights from last week's party.

Jenny from Refresh Living made a desk from the bottom of a vintage baker's cabinet. Isn't this awesome?

Jenna from Rain on a Tin Roof created a wall-mounted drop-front desk for her daughter's room. Her post includes detailed step-by-step instructions for making your own!


Mother's Day is fast approaching, and Victoria from Dazzle while Frazzled shared a fun idea for a Mother's Day gift: a photo vase made from a tin can!


If you're looking for good ways to update a home on a budget, you'll appreciate this post from Margo at Joyful Homemaking.


Cinco de Mayo is next week (what??), and if you're looking for good Mexican recipes, you might enjoy this easy fajita recipe from Sarah at Bombshell Bling.


Pam at A New Lens shared some powerful thoughts about the importance of relationships with different kinds of people. I really appreciated this post.


As for me, I shared a review of a new parenting book (a genre that doesn't usually interest me, to be honest). You'll want to take a look at First Ask Why by Shelly Wildman. I'm giving away a copy, and you can enter the giveaway by leaving a comment here.


A big thank you to everyone who joined last week's party!  I'm so grateful for each person who links up each week. If you've been featured, feel free to grab the "I was featured" button.  I'd be so proud if you displayed it!

Now for this week's party!  Grace at Home is a place for you to share anything related to making your home a place of grace. I invite you to link posts about

  • DIY projects
  • decorating
  • recipes
  • hospitality
  • homemaking tips
  • parenting
  • marriage
  • faith
  • self-care
  • soul care
Whatever you do to make your home a place of grace, I'd like to hear about it.  Here's what I ask of you.  Please include the permalink to your post, not your blog's home page.  Please let people know that you've linked up.  No more than three posts per person, please.  Note that if you link a post here, you are giving me permission to share your post, including a photo.  And visit at least one of the other party participants--that's what really makes it a party!






Tuesday, April 24, 2018

A new book for you (and a giveaway!)


Many years ago, I attended a blogging conference. Before I attended, I believed that the conference would answer all my questions about blogging and that I would leave with everything I needed to become a highly successful blogger, blah, blah, blah.

Honestly, the conference was pretty good. I most certainly did not have all my questions answered, but I was glad I went—not because of the information I collected, but because of the people I met. And here's one of the best of those people:


This is Shelly Wildman, and today I'm especially proud to say that I know Shelly. Because today, Shelly's first book launches into the world. First Ask Why: Raising Kids to Love God Through Intentional Discipleship isn't a typical how-to-parent book (I'm not a fan of typical parenting books, actually). This book is different.


I met Shelly when were both in the thick of parenting teenagers. Shelly has three daughters who are almost the same ages of my three sons, so we had lots to talk about. And I quickly ascertained that Shelly was remarkably intentional about how she was raising her daughters. More than anything else, Shelly wanted her kids to be followers of Jesus, and it seemed that all her parenting decisions were made with that in mind. This is what Shelly shares in First Ask Why: the wisdom that she's gained through years of intentionally raising her kids to be disciples of Jesus.

I've known Shelly long enough to know that she's the real deal, and I'm so glad she's written a book to share her parenting wisdom with the world.

I was blessed to receive an advance copy of this book, and I can tell you that it would be an especially good read for parents of kids ages 2-12. But it would also be helpful for parents of kids of any age. It would be a great book for grandparents to read. I'm also thinking that it would make a great baby shower gift!

I don't have to purchase my own copy of the book, so I'm going to buy a copy for one of you. Just comment below or on Instagram or Facebook if you'd like to win a copy. I'll order it and have it sent straight to you. (Bonus: Shelly is donating all the proceeds from the sale of the book to a wonderful organization that is dedicated to helping kids who live in high-risk, inner-city neighborhoods have abundant life.)

You can order the book through Amazon.comBarnes and Noble, or Christian Book Distributors, or ask for it at your local bookseller. (These are NOT affiliate links; I just believe in this book and want to make it easy for you to order.)

Happy reading!