My Top 10 Things to Spur on JOY {Masterpiece Weekend}

1)            Head outside and make a snowperson (or if you don’t have snow, just head outside — fresh air has a way of clearing the brain and decluttering the heart).

2)            Find your favorite apron and cookbook, and bake some cookies.

3)            Make yourself a cup of tea, grab your bible and read Luke 2 by the fire (or your furnace — wherever the warmest place is in your house). Slippers may also be utilized.

4)            Stare at your Christmas tree and absorb its beauty for 10 minutes solid. Breathe in the evergreen freshness (or if you have an artificial tree, imagine the smell while enjoying the lack of pine needles). Refrain from looking at the bare parts under the tree where you have yet to place presents.

5)            Listen to your fave peaceful Christmas album all the way through (save the peppy ones for Christmas baking).

6)            Take a drive by yourself and look at all the pretty Christmas lights. (This is a great time to ponder how Jesus is the Light of the World. Notice the beauty of all the sparkling festive lights in contrast to the night’s inky darkness.)

7)            Make a special mama concoction of hot chocolate and marshmallows, maybe with a hint of candy cane. (Please note: This is not to share).

8)            Partake in a spontaneous family game night.

9)            Grab a fuzzy blanket and watch your favorite Christmas movie. Add popcorn for pleasure and flavor.

10)          Read a Christmas book from when you were a child. Then share it with your children. (I cannot guarantee they won’t laugh at the old school illustrations. But it’s part of the legacy.)

Part of spurring joy into action is learning to pause long enough, where we can truly enjoy what’s taking place – in our homes and in our hearts. (See Monday’s post for more on Learning to Embrace CHRISTmas (with Joy, Grace, and Childlike Wonder).

For in the slowing, in the rest, we find the root of JOY: Jesus. As we look at His creation, enjoying the family He’s blessed us with, listening to songs telling of His birth and declaring His promises, we find the purpose of this season. The remembering. The celebration. The proclamation. The GIFT!

Take time today to find your joy. And when the lost has been found, share it. The more you give it away, the more He overflows our hearts with more joy.

Here’s a few more fun ideas for your family this Christmas:

-       Candy Cane Craft (with pipe cleaners and beads) — It’s a great way to chat with your children about the Christmas story. If you haven’t read Legends of the Candy Cane, find a copy today. I think you’ll enjoy it. (Think salvation – red for blood, white for cleansing of sins, J is for Jesus, shepherd staff…)

-       Giant 3D Snowflakes — A visual reminder of the wonder of His creation.

-       Cookies & Snowy Treats — As you cook your way and lick your fingers to delectable sweetness, remember: We were not meant to be cookie cutter version of one another. We are one of a kind. A masterpiece.

-       Watch Charlie Brown’s Christmas. (My favorite part is when Linus quotes Luke 2. Best ever!)

-       Read Holley Gerth’s post: Help When Christmas is Stressing You Out. (Amen and amen.)

More Read-ia, Less Media {Masterpiece Weekend}

Do you ever just get sick of the internet? of gadgets, phones, and the like? I do. But quite honestly, I don’t do much about it. Much of what I “do” is there. So maybe that’s why I get so sick of it.

But you and I both know that it’s near impossible to sneak on and off the internet by doing exactly what you set out to do, and nothing more. It’s hard. Or maybe your thing is the TV, or Netflix, or, or, or…

This month and beyond, I’m hoping to be more present in my life. And do you know what? I’d like to do more reading. Real paper book reading. Screen-less reading.

This weekend, I’m proposing (if you’ll join me), that we move into a season of More Read-ia, Less Media. And if you’re on social media, tag me so I can see what you’re reading by using the hashtag #morereadialessmedia

It sounds like an oxymoron to use a hashtag on social media at a time like this. But I’m not saying we fast from social media (but you can if you want!), I’m just saying we be more intentional.

So how about it? I have a whole stack of books that are begging me to read them faster than the snails pace I’ve been allowing myself.

If you’re curious, here’s what’s in my stack of real paper books this month:

The Best Yes by Lysa TerKeurst (I’m almost done with this one. Love it.)

Interrupted by Jen Hatmaker (I’m 1/4 through. Ooh, it’s good.)

The Greatest Gift by Ann Voskamp (Reading this one through for the second time. A beautiful Advent companion.)

Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott – (“Some instructions on writing and life”)

of course, The Bible


What’s in your stack this month? I’d LOVE to know.

Just scroll up to the top and leave a comment! Happy weekend, everyone.

Still Giving Thanks  {Masterpiece Weekend}

These weekend features are to remind us of all the INGs of life. The Doing. The Nothing. The Speaking (of the Holy Spirit). The Listening (of our hearts).

Some Thanksgiving Favorites to Soak In and Be

Now we’re going to take a peek over at Ann Voskamp’s farm. Do you know her? She is the voice of gratitude of our generation. Her book One Thousand Gifts is a game-changer. Here are some of my favorites of hers on the topic of gratitude and giving thanks.

**  Printable “Everyone gets to decide how happy they want to be…” – frame THIS one.

**  The Thanks Giving Tree – we’ve enjoyed assembling this tree in the past, along with the printable leaves.

**  Goodness, I love this. 15 Ways to Happier, Grateful Kids


Happy weekend, friends. I’m praying for us as we build the fire of gratitude and continue to stoke it to insure it’s burning bright all winter long.

Beyond Luggage {Masterpiece Weekend}

These weekend features are to remind us of all the INGs of life. The Doing. The Nothing. The Speaking (of the Holy Spirit). The Listening (of our hearts).

the TRUSTING mama

On Monday, we touched on the topic of praying for our kids.

Moms want their kids to be okay, almost more than anything. But we moms also know that we have no way of guaranteeing that. Admittedly that freaks me out a bit. But it also brings great comfort. Comfort trumps freaking out. Or at least it should.

I’d much rather have the lives of my children in the hands of our most capable Father. That’s comfort. God truly has our children. Even when things seem bleak. Even when we don’t understand. Even when we don’t know what’s coming next.

Essentially, if we choose anxiety over trusting, we’ll be a wreck. We’ve all been there.

But we don’t have to be.

This weekend, let’s vow to be mamas who trust. Leaving our children in His loving arms.



**It’s time to announce Monday’s contest winner: Congratulations to Laura Fenwick, we’ll be in touch shortly!**

Guess what!? We’ve got one more copy of Praying Circles Around the Lives of Your Children by Mark Batterson to give away. How fun is that? Just enter the contest below, and we’ll announce the second winner on Monday morning!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

It’s a B.I.C. Kind of Holiday  {Masterpiece Weekend}

These weekend features are to remind us of all the INGs of life. The Doing. The Nothing. The Speaking (of the Holy Spirit). The Listening (of our hearts).


Lately I’ve been pondering unconditional love and the building up of the body of Christ.

And I’m remembering that our children are part of that body too. They have unique giftings, callings, and work God has given them to do. So it’s important that we’re helping build the body by strengthening its members.

Our children.

What a thought.

This weekend, may we strengthen the body of Christ both in spirit and in number as we encourage and build our children up, knowing they are important and strategic members of God’s kingdom.



Early Risers vs. Night Owls  {Masterpiece Weekend}

These weekend features are to remind us of all the INGs of life. The Doing. The Nothing. The Speaking (of the Holy Spirit). The Listening (of our hearts).


Today I made a list. But it wasn’t a fun list like one I’d make for a shopping trip to Target: eyeliner, Mrs. Meyers hand soap, birthday gift, wipes.

This was a list of all the things that feel impossible in my life right now. Sadly, there are many.

I’ve been making myself crazy these days dwelling on everything that seems like an impossibility. I know, I know: “Set your mind on things above, not on earthly things.” (Col. 3:2)

I know this isn’t where I should park my mind because the more I dwell, the more impossible things seem. But when you have hard things staring you in the face, you can’t just think about other things all the time. Sometimes you actually have to do some hard work. This verse in Colossians isn’t encouraging us to daydream our troubles away. But instead is encouraging us to trust, hope, and believe Christ is doing something good in the middle of our trials and for us to remember that our citizenship is in heaven. These earthly trials are temporary.

It seemed like a good idea to get the impossible things out of my head and onto the page. And it was. My list isn’t pretty and some of it is downright embarrassing, but it was incredibly therapeutic to acknowledge the hard things. I wasn’t kidding. It’s all hard.

In order to get my thoughts and perceptions in the right place about the things I listed, I decided to sort the items on my list by this criteria:






Hmm. This makes a difference.

The things I’m sure that God has assigned to me are non-negotiables. I want my heart to beat after His heart for me. I want to do the things He’s asked me to do well and for His glory.

But the things I’ve assigned to myself? Well, those need some work. Am I taking on things that were wrong to say yes to in the first place, or for this season of my life? (This all sounds so familiar. The Best Yes, anyone?)

Am I assuming that something God asked me to do years ago is still something I should be continuing to this day? I’m investigating that. Because honestly? I’m not sure.

Most of the things on my list fall somewhere in the “I’m not sure” realm. And maybe that’s why they feel impossible. To help with the conundrum I feel in these murky waters, I’m talking to some trusted people and bringing my concerns to the Lord in prayer asking Him to make the path clear.

Do you need help sorting out the impossible things too? Try it. Make a list and then sort them out. It might make things a bit clearer.

This weekend, may we bring our hard things before the Lord, trusting He can turn our impossibilities into triumphs.

How about a soundtrack this weekend? It’s been encouraging me to no end.

Did you catch Monday’s post on Worry and the newest podcast episode? Both are important things to think on and talk about. Thanks for being a part of The Masterpiece Mom community!

Happy Weekend, friends.