July 6, 2017

10 Bible Verses to Share With Someone Who's Celebrating (or Struggling)

I've had the great privilege of facilitating* women's Bible study for the past 12 years, and one of my favorite moments is when my study sisters and I discover a "who knew" verse in God's great love letter...as in, "who knew this was in the Bible?"

Some of these lesser-known** verses have become my standbys when I'm sending a text message or a card to a friend or acquaintance who's celebrating a gain (a new baby, a new job, a new house) or grieving a loss. If you're trying to rejoice with someone who's rejoicing or mourn with someone who's mourning (Romans 12:15), one of these might give you a place to start.

For someone who's just had a baby: "See, the Sovereign Lord tends His flock like a shepherd; He gathers the lambs in His arms and carries them close to His heart; He gently leads those that have young." (Isaiah 40:10a,11)

For someone who is graduating: "Love the Lord your God, listen to His voice, and hold fast to Him. For the Lord is your life." (Deuteronomy 30:20) 

For someone who is grieving: "The eternal God is your refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms." (Deuteronomy 33:27) Also, "But you, O God, do see trouble and grief; you consider it to take it in hand." (Psalm 10:14)

For someone who is starting a new job: "May the favor of the Lord our God rest upon us; establish the work of our hands for us--yes, establish the work of our hands." (Psalm 90:17)

For someone who is suffering: "I will be glad and rejoice in your love, for you saw my affliction and knew the anguish of my soul. You have not handed me over to the enemy but have set my feet in a spacious place." (Psalm 31:7,8)

For someone who has moved into a new home: "My people will live in peaceful dwelling places, in secure homes, in undisturbed places of rest...how blessed you will be." (Isaiah 32:18, 20a) Also, "By wisdom a house is built, and through understanding it is established; through knowledge its rooms are filled with rare and beautiful treasures. (Proverbs 24:3,4)


For someone who is overwhelmed: "In all their distress He too was distressed, and the angel of His presence saved them. In His love and mercy He redeemed them; He lifted them up and carried them." (Isaiah 63:9)

For someone who is waiting for something: "All my longings lie open before you, O Lord; my sighing is not hidden from you." (Psalm 38:9)

For someone who is starting something new: "The Lord Himself goes before you and will be with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged." (Deuteronomy 31:8)

For someone you appreciate: "Your love has given me great joy and encouragement." (Philemon 7)




Do you have a favorite "who knew" verse? 
Please share it in a comment or over on Facebook! 


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*"Facilitating" rather than "leading," because "leading" implies I have all the answers (as if), whereas "facilitating" merely indicates that I set up chairs and make sure our stash of pens and tissues is replenished regularly.

**Or, at least, these are lesser-known to me. You might be thinking, "Honey, everyone knows these verses. Some Bible study leader you are." To which I would only ask you to see "facilitator," above.

Click here for a free printable of all these verses.

Previous post that might have something to do with this one: So You Want to Start a Women's Bible Study Group.

This post have may have been shared at some of these blog link parties.


June 6, 2017

Chocolate Caramel S'mores Snack Mix

A few weeks ago, I made a double batch of this snack mix for our church youth group. The sheet pans were sitting out on the kitchen table, cooling, and my family kept stopping by for quality assurance testing. I told them to keep their hands off, that they were eating the Lord's food. But they were wholly (though not in any way holy) unrepentant.

All of which is just to say that if you're planning to feed this addictive combination to anyone other than the people living in your house, you might want to make a double batch, too.



Chocolate Caramel S'mores Snack Mix {print}

4 cups graham-cracker type cereal (I used Golden Grahams)
4 cups corn or rice or combo cereal squares (I like Crispix)
6 tablespoons butter
3/4 cup brown sugar
3 tablespoons light corn syrup
1/4 teaspoon baking soda (yes, this matters)
approximately 1 cup M&Ms
approximately 2 cups mini marshmallows

Line a large sheet pan with wax paper or parchment paper. Gently combine cereals in a large microwave-safe bowl. In a 2-cup microwave-safe measuring cup, microwave the butter, brown sugar, and corn syrup uncovered on high power 1-2 minutes, stirring after one minute, until the butter is melted and the mixture is smooth. Remove from microwave and stir in the baking soda until dissolved. Pour this mixture over the cereal and stir gently to coat. Microwave on high power for 3 minutes, stirring after every minute. 

Remove from microwave and cool 1 minute. Sprinkle with marshmallows and gently fold in. Turn the mixture out onto your prepared baking sheet and immediately sprinkle the surface with M&Ms, pressing them gently into the cereal mixture. Cool completely before breaking apart and storing airtight. Makes 8 cups.



**This post may have been shared at some of these lovely link parties.**

May 17, 2017

10 Lists I Love (None of Which Has Anything to Do With Groceries or Buckets)


If this isn't your first time stopping by Guilty Chocoholic Mama, you've probably figured out that I'm a big fan of list and that most of my posts are lists. (Also: thank you so much for coming back!) 

In fact, if I had to rename this blog, I'd probably call it "I've Got to Make a List."

In the interest of reusing, re-purposing, and recycling, I've put together this list of lists. Okay, fine: this is actually total self-indulgence. Up to this point, these are some of my favorite posts in full-on list form. But it's also time management: I've got a high school graduation party to throw, and that list is titled "101 Things You Absolutely Must Do Before June 23rd and Honey, There is No Way You're Going to Get to All of These." 

Self-indulgence aside, I'd love it if something here somehow made your day a little bit better--if only by giving you a "me, too/I'm not the only one" moment. Which, when it comes down to it, is really item #1 on a theoretical list of why I have a blog in the first place.


1. 20 Classes Moms Would Take If Motherhood Was a PhD Program. Stain identification and removal, maybe? Or how about math for moms?

2. 10 Things I Don't Wish I'd Done Differently as a Mom, Parts 1 & 2. Oh, mama, believe me: I've got plenty of things I DO wish I'd done differently. (Two words: potty training.) But here are a few things I'm grateful to say I wouldn't change, even if God did offer me a maternal do-over.

3. You Might Be the Mom of a Tween Girl If.... "You have accepted that life runs more smoothly if 'it' is clean. Whatever 'it' is." For example.

4. 5 Ways to Feed Your Child's Faith (Without Preaching at Them). My husband and I are far from being the wisest parents ever to be sent home from the hospital with a baby, a bill, a birth certificate, and best wishes for our utterly changed lives. But we've tried to feed our girls' faith, and so we've learned a few things about what's worked for us...and what might work for you, too, while you lead your children along the way home.

5. Dear Children: 25 Things I Think You Need to Know. Some practical (hand sanitizer will get ink and Christmas tree sap off your hands), some preachable (as often as possible, try to "disrupt the world with grace"). 

6. 7 Reasons I Love Being the Mom of a Teenager. Among other things no one ever tells you, having a responsible teen driver on hand is the best thing ever. 


7. Four Kitchen Tool Must-Haves, Plus One I Just Really Like. Don't even talk to me about life without my batter bowl. 

8. These Are a Few of My New Favorite Things. With bonus "how I met Julie Andrews (yes, that Julie Andrews)" story!

9. Chocolate-Covered Popcorn...and 5 Other Habits of a (Mostly) Happy Family. One day, I asked my children a Very Important Question: "do you think we have a happy family?" Here's what they said and why I think they said it.

10. My Top 5 Mom Lessons (So Far). I've been a mom for more than 18 years now, and I'm not sure I could have learned these life lessons any other way.


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Bonus round...or, rather, a roundup of lists from some of my favorite bloggers. These ladies are hilarious and encouraging and you need them--and these practical, purposeful lists--in your life.




Thank you so much for stopping by. 
You're on my list of "people I may not have met but am really, really grateful for."

**This post may have been shared at some of these blog parties.**