God Don’t Need Your Ducks

God Don’t Need Your Ducks

Jumping back into the world of blogging feels a bit like trying to jump into a game of jumprope. Two friends, spinning the rope… you stand watching, waiting for just the right time to jump in, hoping to stay in rhythm with the rope as it swings.

When Holy Spirit told me to take a 6 month break from writing last December, it felt right and good. And, as the weeks progressed into January and February, it was quite obvious that I needed the break, as I wouldn’t have had an extra minute to get my thoughts down and submitted to cyber space.

In mid-June, I felt like it would be time to jump back into the blog world in July but, over the last 11 days, I’ve watched the rope turn, waiting for the right words, the right time. And, as in life, there often is no “right timing” – and sometimes you just have to jump and hope for the best.

A few years ago, my husband spoke a profound statement that rings completely true in this season of life. “God don’t need your ducks.” (Yes, that’s terrible grammar. But yes, that’s the way it really needs to be said.)

I seem to really want to have my, proverbial, ducks in a row. I am a planner – who loves the planning more than the carrying out of the plan. I love schedules and organization, and when there is none, I throw up my hands and just watch the chaos, not quite knowing just what to do. I like schedules. I like new seasons because of the fresh start of getting things in order.

But, lately, there is no order. I feel like I’m watching ducks run around the room like curious toddlers in a new space. I can’t quite get my sh** together as I’d like.

No, as it is, this post is being written at 2am after laying in bed, willing to go to sleep, but the words just started to fill my head and there was no falling asleep. My “ducks” are disobedient children that I can’t control.

And so I will just… jump. Jump into the spinning rope and hope for a rhythm. It’s a game of trust. Trusting that God doesn’t need my ducks in a row and that He truly has the reigns of my life.

Indeed, I speak of a world much bigger than the one of written words on a blog page. Yes, in this season, He is taking away my security of ducks and rows, and He is asking me to trust.

Trust in His faithfulness. Trust in His planning. Trust in His organization. Trust in His calendar.

THIS is not easy for someone He’s gifted to plan, to schedule, to organize. Laying aside the things you do well is dang scary. Because, if you aren’t doing the things you do well, you’re left with the things you don’t do well. And no one likes to suck at life.

But THAT is exactly where I am. Unsure of where and when to jump in… because I don’t want to fail.

Even in that, I am reminded of the familiar verse,

“Each time He said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me.”  (NLT)

2 Corinthians 12:9 is a great verse to quote, a daunting one to live.

I love living in my strengths, my gifts, my capabilities. I love having my ducks in a row and then asking God to come bless the row of ducks. I love already being in the rhythm of the twirling jump rope.

But this time – right now – I am learning to trust that He is able to move without my strengths. He is able to move in weakest moments and without my ducks.

Wonder, Magic & Joy

Wonder, Magic & Joy

There’s a question I’ve been pondering the last week or two. It’s one I’ve asked several times, one that’s been asked of me multiple times.

“Are you ready for Christmas?”

This question usually means, are you ready for December 25th? Do you have your gifts bought and your menu planned?

I get that.

But this question has made me think that we’ve {I’ve} relegated Christmas to just one day and that makes me sad.

When I relegate Christmas to just one day, I stress about the planning and “getting things done” instead of enjoying the entire process as “Christmastime”.

Christmas is about the preparation, the decorating, the cookie baking… not just having those things done before December 25th.

So in these last hours before December 25th, let’s commit to enjoying the journey. Let’s remember that Christmas isn’t just one day but a season of special preparations, generosity, wonder, magic and joy!

5 Texts Your Teen Needs to Receive from You

5 Texts Your Teen Needs to Receive from You

Parenting, in any stage of your child’s life, has it’s challenges. Parenting infants and toddlers can be physically exhausting.

Parenting tweens, who are geniuses at figuring out where the boundaries are, can make you want to sit in a corner and cry sometimes.

And then there are the teen years… Our culture tells us that these are the hardest, and, in some ways, they may be. But if we understand that our children are growing and learning in each season and that it’s all necessary for them to reach adulthood, we don’t have to approach the teen years with dread.

Generally teens are busy with school, extracurricular activities, and possibly after school jobs. They are often consumed with a social schedule that can make a time management guru cringe.

Connection with teens can seem impossible as they are busy and also developing their own life, apart from you as their parent.

But connection is so important in these years. Intentional connection (or not) sets the stage for what your relationship with your child will look like for the rest of their adult lives.

One simple way to maintain connection and communicate with your teen is through texting. It certainly doesn’t take the place of face to face communication but it is a way to stay connected in a fast-paced world.

Here’s 5 texts that your teen needs to receive from you. Words that will help make them secure in your bond as parent and child. Words that will fill their love tank!

  • “I’m so proud of you.” Send it after a good report card, game well-played, concert performed… or after a horrible day, that is filled with the opposite. Your teen needs to know that you are proud of him or her and that you are ‘for’ them – no matter what.
  • “Do you have time for coffee/icecream this week?” Schedule a time for personal connection. Show that you are wanting to spend time with them.
  • “I bought you that ______ you’ve been wanting!” Some people feel loved by receiving gifts. You will make their day with this one.
  • “Thank you for {doing the dishes/taking out the trash/cleaning your bedroom}.” Even when certain chores that are your kids’ responsibility, being thanked goes a long way in them feeling loved and appreciated.
  • “I’m praying for you today.” Find out when they have big tests or hard practices. Make sure they know you are praying for them.

Parenting teens has been one of the most enjoyable seasons of my life. Connect with your teens using their ‘language’, i.e.: texting. Be intentional about it. Make sure they are secure in your love for them! Send that text today, parent!

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Black Friday Shopping Frenzy

Black Friday Shopping Frenzy

Happy Thanksgiving to all my American readers!

We will be celebrating at home with just the five of us… missing our oldest daughter as she’s away at ministry school. It’s a new season in this household, one I’m still getting used to.

But I’m looking forward to turkey dinner with the fam and hopefully some board games and movies before the kiddos head out with friends for Black Friday shopping – which now begins on Thursday. **rolling my eyes and shaking my head**

I haven’t joined the frenzy for several years now. I prefer my laptop and Amazon.com for my gifts shopping as much as possible.

If you’re like me, check out this list of things I’ll be browsing and pondering the purchase of, in about 48 hours…

 

Minecraft is new to this generation but Legos are classic. There’s a whole selection of these kits worth checking into.

Boys and girls of all ages would have fun with this crafty loom to make cool rubber band bracelets.

My four-year-old has been asking for roller skates for months. They’ve come a long way since I was young!

One of my teen daughters has Disney shirts on her list. Amazon has lots of them!

We love TOMS! In fact, it’s the only brand of shoes that my husband loves to wear daily {read: comfortable}. They have come out with so many new and cool styles over the last couple years.

Books on the Kindle don’t add to an already cluttered home. 🙂 This one is sure to please audiences of all ages! Great read aloud to kids but profound truths adults will love.

Who on your list is organized (or maybe isn’t and needs a little help?) and needs a planner to start 2017 off right? There’s so many to chose from – with prices varying.

Looking ahead to Christmas break in a few weeks, board games and puzzles are a great idea!

Movies are always a hit! One of our favorites that came out on DVD this year is “Finding Dory”. What about you?

I’m thrilled that Amazon is a one-stop shopping place for people like me, that don’t love the frenzy of the crowds on Black Friday. Great deals on gifts but low stress on me. Maybe I’ll have my Christmas shopping done by Monday – without leaving my couch!

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What’s on the Bookshelf Next?

What’s on the Bookshelf Next?

Looking forward to a bit of down time over Christmas vacation? I am! I actually am choosing to be very intentional about not getting caught up in the frenzy of life before Christmas hits.

I have plans to enjoy the next 6 or 7 weeks of holidays. I plan to put my tree up early and enjoy some reading beside the twinkling lights.

There’s nothing like sitting next to a beautiful tree and a fireplace with a hot drink in a beautiful mug, and a book in hand. {I can feel it now}

I haven’t read a book all the way through in months and it. is. time.

I love to read. I go through seasons where I read more and then some when I have less time to read. This has definitely been a season of less but it’s time for that to change!

Below, are a few of the books on my shelf that have been waiting for me. Now, where to start? Any suggestions?

 

new dani whimsy

Write 31 Days – Day 31: The Play is Over

Write 31 Days – Day 31: The Play is Over

“When the author steps on the stage, the play is over.”

~C.S. Lewis~

One more by C.S. Lewis that may not be “not-so-famous” but I needed to include in this 31 days because of the profoundness.

Honestly, I don’t know the context of this quote but I think of Jesus and His imminent return. But until He steps onto the stage, I have the responsibly to live my life well. To love well, to be a good steward of all He’s given me.

The play is not over, until He is on the scene.

new dani whimsy

This is the LAST of my “31 Days of not-so-famous Quotes” – part of the #write31days challenge. To read all about this 31 day venture, please visit the overview page HERE.

Thank you for reading this month! Whimsy in my Cup will not run another article until Wednesday, November 16th. We’ll see you back here then!

Write 31 Days – Day 30: Too Busy or Prioritizing?

Write 31 Days – Day 30: Too Busy or Prioritizing?

“Instead of saying, ‘I’m too busy’, say, ‘That’s not a priority’, and see how that feels.”

~unknown~

I heard this quote a couple months ago and it’s profoundness has impacted me greatly.

I’m in a season of life being extremely full. I can’t do it all or be it all and some things I’m not able to get to.

I choose the things I will not let fall to the ground by holding them up to this quote. If I can’t in good conscience say, “That’s not a priority.”, then I shift things and create time to make sure that happens.

On the other hand, there truly are good things that I cannot get to, because, in the scope of life right now, it’s not a priority.

I encourage you to try this little assignment this month and see if your time gets managed a little differently!

new dani whimsy

This is Day 30 of my “31 Days of not-so-famous Quotes” – part of the #write31days challenge. To read all about this 31 day venture, please visit the overview page HERE.

Write 31 Days – Day 29: What’s the Problem?

Write 31 Days – Day 29: What’s the Problem?

“The problem wasn’t that I wasn’t doing the right things, I wasn’t believing the right things.” 

~Marie Sheets~

As believers, it’s so easy to get caught up in the doing. There are lots of good things to do.

But when we’re not finding victory or freedom in life, we need to re-evaluate what our belief system looks like.

Asking the Lord to help us believe and think like He does will lead to living life abundantly and victoriously!

(To read a full article on this quote, click HERE.)

new dani whimsy

This is Day 29 of my “31 Days of not-so-famous Quotes” – part of the #write31days challenge. To read all about this 31 day venture, please visit the overview page HERE.

Write 31 Days – Day 28: The Same Story

Write 31 Days – Day 28: The Same Story

“That is a different story… but perhaps it is the same story.” 

~movie line~

And honestly I don’t remember which movie (but it may have been Lord of the Rings). But I love, that as different as each chapter in my story can be, it is all a part of the same story – my story.

The interwovenness in life is truly amazing!

new dani whimsy

This is Day 28 of my “31 Days of not-so-famous Quotes” – part of the #write31days challenge. To read all about this 31 day venture, please visit the overview page HERE.