A Generous Grace

ideas on practical spirituality and loving each other

Month: February 2016

Freebie Friday! Free Printable Poster: Reminders for Handling Anger

So many of you resonated with my struggle with anger and the ideas I’d collected for this post, and this one on my need to seek forgiveness from my kids. In an effort to keep pressing in to the destruction I cause in my lack of control, I put together this “fridge art”-style poster of “angry” reminders–to hang up inside a cupboard, perhaps, or tape beside the bathroom mirror. (I hope to put mine where my kids can see it–so they can learn, too, but also hold me accountable.) Enjoy–and if you like it, please share it!

DOWNLOAD YOUR letter-sized FREE PRINTABLE POSTER HERE!

Find more freebies and printables on this page!

Angry Reminders-1

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God Is Like a Mango, and Other Metaphors from Life

One of the ways I’m continually fascinated in the Bible are the vivid word pictures God sets before us. I’m like bread, like water. My kingdom’s like yeast—but be careful, the bad guys are, too.

I’ve been turning this over in my brain more recently as I pick my way through Lauren Winner’s latest book, Wearing God: Clothing, Laughter, Fire, and Other Overlooked Ways of Meeting God. Winner and I occasionally diverge theologically, but I still get so much out of her writing (how can I not, withnuggets like, “Cupid came and shot me with a Bible arrow”?).

This book spirals around the idea of our metaphors of God. It unfurls how our favored images influence us and define our responses and ways of being with God (and the resulting images of ourselves!), fleshing out some unlikely pictures of God found in Scripture and in life.

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Guest post: 25 Low-prep Service Projects for Kids that Teach Gratitude

Happy to be posting again on my friend Kristen Welch’s site, WeareTHATFamily.com: 25 Low-prep Service Projects for Kids that Teach Gratitude!

I’m stoked about her new book, Raising Grateful Kids in An Entitled World. Hop on over and check ’em out!

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If it makes you happy: Why happiness doesn’t equal good lovin’

If it makes you happy

Maybe it was the most obvious with the guy who showed up at my gate a couple of years back. When I (um, naively) requested our guard open the gate for him, the guard respectfully bowed his head, an unspoken “no.” Maybe I should have been tipped off by the sweat beading on our visitor’s forehead, or the darting of his eyes as he presented me with the medical bill for his daughter, being treated for typhoid.

I remember praying fitfully while I listened to him, for wisdom from the God who actually knew this guy’s story. From what I know about African ways with money, Super White Woman! swooping in to save the day seemed to disintegrate what his community did actually have to offer. I declined his offer for cash. He turned away, angry and possibly hopeless (I thought) that he was no closer to a solution for his daughter.

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God loves strugglers

Today I’m writing for those of you who identify with Thomas more than Peter. Who peer at the Bible with head cocked, your mouth a line of thoughtfulness. Who tend to uncover more questions than answers in your faith. Whose pain has resulted in a series of unsteady steps backward, confused but holding on.

I’m writing to the strugglers.

god loves strugglers 2

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The stories He writes

the stories he writes

It’s strange being back here, in this place.

I can still see the Nile directly out the window, though my husband and I actually stayed in the banda next door that night. They still leave in triplicate the same brand of packaged soap in the bathroom. I remember how the Nile had stretched before us in the morning, pink sunlight pooling on its surface while men fished from canoes hollowed from logs. On the banks, monkeys leapt like kamikazes from limb to limb. The scene is the same four years later. I remember crying, weeping, actually, from this very porch that night after dark under a spangled sky. I had been so very excited; so very afraid.

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New freebie for educators! Speech/oral presentation rubric

I’m excited to share this free printable for educators: A super-cool rubric (evaluation tool) for peer, self, and even teacher evaluation form for speeches and oral presentations. It’s roughly appropriate for grades 2-6, complete with Lego minifigure clip art! There are two per page. I laminate these for reuse with dry- or wet-erase markers.

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Real-life Motherhood Moments, #6

Real-life Motherhood Moments!

…Because there’s just too much real life not to share.

 

Me, to second son: Um, what’s that on your eye?

Son: Well, [my older brother] asked me if he could suck on my eyeball. So I let him.

Me (more alarmed): So you let him put a hickey on your eye?!

Son: What’s a hickey?

 

 

Son, helping himself to more dinner: Mom, what’s this called again?

Me: Lo mein.

Son: Lo mein, lo mein…(thinking)…Rogaine. Rogaine! Mom, does this have any Rogaine in it?

Me: Um, no. No Rogaine. I think that may be the first time someone’s ever asked that about my cooking before.

 

 

Check out the last few slices of real motherhood here, here, here, and here. Feel free to add your own real-life moments in the comments section! You might also enjoy 25 Ways it is Okay to Fail as a Mom.

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Love is the new sexy

love is the new sexyI was brushing my teeth that night in my PJ’s, mulling over the day, when I had one of those moments–y’know, where God just tugs my chin upward a bit, lets me peek in a bit to what’s solid: to what He’s really doing in all these mundane days that slip by, another X on the calendar.

I walked to the bed, sat down next to my husband, suddenly overcome. It was late; we’d just had a struggling friend over, and my husband had spent hours in conversation seeking out practical solutions with her.

I recalled how my day had begun. A close Ugandan friend had lost a family member in the night—one of three family members he’d paid for to go to the hospital this week. I spotted him the loan for transportation to his village, for the goat he was expected by tradition to provide. But it was my husband later who texted him, telling him it wasn’t a loan, but a gift.

My husband went to work, faithful to his role in management. He came home and loved on his kids, tickling my son before all of us sat down to dinner with our guest. As I type this post, he’s at a friend’s house who was robbed just a few hours ago. (I guess you could say it’s shaping up to be a rough week.)

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