Thursday, April 27, 2017

Grace at Home No. 247


Friends, welcome to this week's Grace at Home party! Can you believe it's nearly the end of April?

Here are some links from last week's party I thought you might enjoy.

Paula at Sweet Pea made this gorgeous farmhouse style tray. She gives step-by-step instructions on how to build one yourself.


Isn't this flower arrangement lovely? Jamie from Anderson + Grant created it from silk flowers from the craft store—and she explains exactly how to make your own.


I know that essential oils are all the rage these days, and I use a few of them myself, but I need to know how to use them better.  Stephanie from Wife Mommy Me gives very simple, doable tips on how to use essential oils for spring cleaning. I'm going to try some of these!


Angela from Living on Cloud Nine shared a recipe for making Fried Caprese Balls. What?! A cross between fried mozzarella and caprese salad?? Yes, please!


Dr. Michelle Bengtson from Hope Prevails shared some very helpful thoughts about anxiety and what Jesus would say about it. As a neuropsychologist, she has some very helpful insights.


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 20, 2017

Grace at Home No. 246


Hello, friends! Hope you're having a wonderful Easter week. Welcome to this week's Grace at Home party, where we celebrate all the ways we make our homes places of grace and beauty.

Here are some links from last week's party I thought you might enjoy.

Patti from Old Things New gave us a springtime tour of her lovely home. So much inspiration here!


Handan from The Navage Patch showed us how to make these beautiful candles. She created them from printable maps, LED pillar candles, and Mod Podge, and she gives excellent step-by-step instructions for making your own.


Marilyn from Marilyn's Treats shared 20 ways to use leftover ham. This is just in time for me, since I purchased a big ham for Easter dinner and we have a lot left over!


Lil at Embracing the Lovely wrote of the need to be still before God and shared a beautiful printable. Visit her blog to download it for free!


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!





Sunday, April 16, 2017

Happy Easter


Oh, my friends, I hope that today is filled with blessing for you. I pray that you can gather with others and hear the blessed words, "He is risen!"

But I know that this day may not bring that opportunity. You may be at home with a sick child. You may be ill yourself. You might be in a hospital room, either attending a patient or the patient yourself. You may be holding the hand of a precious loved one as they breathe their last. You might even now be weeping at the death of one of your nearest and dearest.

Wherever you are, take heart. Death has been defeated.


The tomb was empty.

Because Jesus rose from the dead, we will rise.

Because Jesus defeated death, death will not have the final say in our lives.

Wherever you are today, whatever your circumstances, this is the truth. Jesus died and rose again. As final as it seems to us, death will not have the final say. "Oh death, where is your victory? Oh grave, where is your sting? (I Corinthians 15:55).

May you be inspired as I was by reading the words to this old hymn.

We saw Thee not when Thou didst come
To this poor world of sin and death;
Nor yet beheld Thy cottage home,
In that despised Nazareth.
But we believe Thy footsteps trod
Its streets and plains, Thou Son of God.
But we believe Thy footsteps trod
Its streets and plains, Thou Son of God.

We did not see Thee lifted high,
Amid that wild and savage crew;
Nor heard Thy meek, imploring cry,
“Forgive, they know not what they do!”
Yet we believe the deed was done,
That shook the earth and veiled the sun.
But we believe the deed was done,
Which shook the earth and veiled the sun.

We stood not by the empty tomb,
Where late Thy sacred body lay;
Nor sat within that upper room,
Nor met Thee on the open way.
But we believe that angels said,
“Why seek the living with the dead?”
But we believe that angels said,
“Why seek the living with the dead?”

We did not mark the chosen few,
When Thou didst through the clouds ascend,
First lift to Heaven their wondering view,
Then to the earth all prostrate bend;
But we believe that mortal eyes
Beheld that journey to the skies;
But we believe that mortal eyes
Beheld that journey to the skies.

And now that Thou dost reign on high,
And thence Thy waiting people bless,
No ray of glory from the sky
Doth shine upon our wilderness;
But we believe Thy faithful Word,
And trust in our redeeming Lord;
But we believe Thy faithful Word,
And trust in our redeeming Lord.

                                                  --Anne Richter and John Gurney


He is risen indeed!

Friday, April 14, 2017

Good Friday


Today is Good Friday, and I find that my heart is impatient. Do you know what I mean?

I want to skip ahead to Easter.  I want to revel in the glorious fact of the Resurrection. I want to sing and dance and praise God from whom all blessings flow, delighting in the sure knowledge that we will proclaim to one another: "He is risen!"

Yet today is Friday, and today I must confront the fact of the cross.

Oh, God, help.

Help me, Lord, to be willing to consider the price that was paid for my salvation.
Help me to be willing to weep at your sacrifice.
Help me to be willing to marvel at your love.

Lord, I don't want to go, but I need to go. Please, Lord, lead me to Calvary.

Lead me to Calvary: a hymn for our hearts

May this old hymn bless you today as it has blessed me:

King of my life, I crown Thee now,
Thine shall the glory be;
Lest I forget Thy thorn-crowned brow,
Lead me to Calvary.

Show me the tomb where Thou wast laid,
Tenderly mourned and wept;
Angels in robes of light arrayed
Guarded Thee whilst Thou slept.

Let me, like Mary, through the gloom,
Come with a gift to Thee;
Show to me now the empty tomb,
Lead me to Calvary.

May I be willing, Lord, to bear
Daily my cross for Thee;
Even Thy cup of grief to share,
Thou hast borne all for me.

Lest I forget Gethsemane,
Lest I forget Thine agony,
Lest I forget Thy love for me,
Lead me to Calvary.

                               --Jennie Hussey

Is there anything special you'll do today to keep your heart in tune?  I'd love to hear about it!

A blessed Good Friday to you, dear friends.


Thursday, April 13, 2017

Grace at Home No. 245


Hello, friends! Welcome to this week's Grace at Home party. We're in the middle of Holy Week, and I pray you're having a wonderful week as we prepare to celebrate on Easter Sunday.

Here are some posts from last week's party I thought you might enjoy.

Sara from Find It, Fix It, or Build It gave us a step-by-step tutorial for building this picture frame–and she also provides several free printables that will fit perfectly in it.


If you're doing some last-minute decorating for Easter, you'll want to check out this post from Christine at Little Brags. Lots of inspiration!


I love a good cleaning hack, and Diane from An Extraordinary Day provided one of the best I've ever seen. She shares a method for cleaning silver I've never heard before–and just look at the beautiful results!


Belinda from Live Life with Your Kids shared a great way to celebrate Easter with your kids, including a way to tell the Easter story with–of all things—jelly beans!


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 6, 2017

Grace at Home No. 244


**I'm so sorry for the glitch earlier! Please link up now!**

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

Here are some links from last week's party that I thought you'd enjoy.

Lindsey from Repurpose and Upcycle gave us a tutorial for creating a shiplap wall with no power tools. Shiplap is certainly all the rage in home decor right now; here's a great way to get the look even if you have minimal DIY skills.



Home tours are always fun to see (I haven't done one in so long!), and you'll enjoy this one from Angela at Simply Beautiful.



Easter is right around the corner, and many of us need to make Easter baskets for kids. Eileen from Just Measuring Up shared over 200 ideas of non-candy ideas for stuffing Easter eggs.


Leslie from Journey to Imperfect shared some beautiful thoughts about the great gift of gaining a new perspective. Excellent read!


As for me–well, it's been quite a week around here. There was great jubilation in this neck of the woods this week when Carolina won the national championship in men's basketball, which got me to thinking about how Christians celebrate Easter. I'd love to 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, April 4, 2017

What I want to learn about celebrating


I am a lucky mom.

My house is located about halfway between Duke University and The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. A few minutes' drive in either direction can take me to an amazing university.

And I'm especially lucky, because one of my sons went to Duke and another went to Carolina. Which means I get to root for both teams. It can get sticky when Duke and Carolina play one another, but when they're playing other teams, I can cheer to my heart's content.

You can imagine the cheering that took place here last night.

At 1:00 this morning, I got a text from my middle son: a photo of himself:


Preston was hanging out on Franklin Street in Chapel Hill, one of thousands of Tarheel fans celebrating the NCAA basketball championship.

As much as my heart hurts for the Gonzaga Bulldogs (what a great team!), I'm so happy for the UNC community this morning. What a celebration they experienced last night! After coming so close to the championship last year, this year the confetti fell on their team.

Even if you don't like the winning team, you don't begrudge the fans their victory.

Celebrations are fun, aren't they? And the festive spirit is contagious. Today, although tired from a late night last night, UNC fans are walking around with a spring in their step. It's fun to be around them.

I don't mind telling you that I think the world needs more celebration. In the midst of so much doom and gloom, we need reasons to cheer. We thrive when we come together to celebrate.

All this celebration has me thinking about what's coming up in the church calendar. Less than two weeks from now is the celebration of an amazing victory: the resurrection of Jesus.

Carolina fans are celebrating what's been called a "redemption" victory. It's easy to understand that they're especially thrilled about this triumph. Who wouldn't be celebrating such a win? Their excitement is understandable.

I'm thinking that Christians on Easter should be more like these Carolina fans. We should get together to celebrate! The whole world should know we're jubilant. We should have such a spring in our step that we're fun to be around. Our joy should be infectious.

But how many times do Christians act like curmudgeons? How often are we the joy-killers instead of the ones who give the party? There's something wrong with that picture!


Jesus has defeated death. The good news is for everyone. We can celebrate with reckless abandon. Anyone who wants to come is welcome.

There's a huge victory celebration coming up. Are you ready to party?

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Grace at Home No. 243


Hello, friends, and welcome to the Grace at Home party! Can you believe that March is nearly over? The weeks are just flying by.

Here are some links from last week's party I thought you might enjoy.

Tarah from Grandma's House DIY shared the makeover of her kitchen–from old house to new, all in do-it-yourself projects.


Erin from The Usual Mayhem shared a system for spring cleaning your whole house in just one day. Boy, do I need this!

Carol from Blue Sky Kitchen showed us how to make two lovely centerpieces for spring. Great ideas!


Meg from No Small Life shared four verses to build your faith. Take a minute and read this--you'll be glad you did.


As for me, I was busy this past week celebrating my youngest son's 20th birthday! I can hardly believe my baby is 20 years old. In considering my years as a mom, I decided to share a little piece of parenting advice. Read all about how to use your phone to be a better parent.


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!





Wednesday, March 29, 2017

How to use your phone to be a better parent


In 1991, I had a baby boy. In 1993, I had another baby boy. And in 1997, I had still another baby boy.

Baby boys are my favorite.


Before 1997, I never had a cell phone. But not long after I had that third baby, I had to drive halfway across the country with only my six-year-old, my four-year-old, and my newborn sons for company. After carefully considering the monthly cost, my husband and I decided that I should have a phone with me, just in case of emergency.

I remember that the monthly fee included 30 minutes of talking time. I vowed never to exceed that limit.

Things have changed a bit, haven't they?

Today, I have a cell phone, my husband has a cell phone, and all three sons have cell phones. We do still have a "home phone," but we rarely use it. It's difficult to imagine how we'd get along in the 21st century world without our smart phones.

And yet.


Today is my baby boy's 20th birthday.

Yes, things have changed a bit.

I was proud and excited when my eldest son turned 20. My babies were growing up! Double double digits!

I was a bit more hesitant when my middle son turned 20. Wasn't it all happening a little too quickly?

But today? My BABY is 20 years old? What on earth just happened? And how did it happen so fast?

I know, I know–young mothers don't want to be told to treasure the time with their little ones.

I usually keep my mouth shut, but on this day, there's one thing I wish I could tell my young mom friends. Just one piece of advice: the best way to use your phone.

Use it to take pictures.

At every age, every stage, take pictures of your kids. Print some of them out. You don't have to make show-stopping scrapbooks with them, or even organize them into albums. Just take the pictures, because the years are going to fly by much faster than you think.

And then, after you take those pictures?

Put down your phone.

I'm serious. Put it down. Turn it off if you have to.

One of the best things about having a smartphone, one of these incredible little hand-held computers, is that we have the ability to keep up with the outside world even when we're stuck in one place. What an amazing gift! Yet it comes with a side effect: fear of missing out. "FoMO" even has a dictionary definition now: "anxiety that an exciting or interesting event may currently be happening elsewhere, often aroused by posts seen on a social media website."

The horribly ironic thing about the fear of missing out, of course, is that while we're busy being afraid that we might miss something exciting elsewhere, we actually ARE missing something right in front of us.

No, each event might not be exciting. Some are downright boring. Some are actually best forgotten.

But the events of our real lives and the lives of our loved ones are worth paying attention to. And by the time you scroll through Instagram or check the Facebook status of your friends, they'll have passed.

I'll never claim to be an expert mom. But I have learned one thing in two and a half decades of being a mother:

The days are long, but the years are short.

Put down your phone and enjoy them.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Grace at Home No. 242


Hello and welcome to this week's 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 I thought you'd enjoy. Springtime is finally here, so I was especially inspired to see lots of outdoor projects.

Shannon from Belle Bleu Interiors is on top of her springtime decorating game. Check out the way she decorated her front porch for spring. She even provides a step-by-step tutorial for making that beautiful swag.

Ash from Just Measuring Up showed us how he made a picnic table in one day–for less than $200! What an awesome project.


Tarah from Grandma's House DIY showed us how to build an outdoor grill station. This is brilliant!


Tehila at Women Abiding shared some compelling thoughts on three phrases we use all the time–but really need to change!


As for me, I've been slowly (VERY slowly) easing into springtime. I like to start with my front porch, and I shared one of my best tricks for transitioning a space from one season to another.


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!