Happy Planner Free Scripture Printable Colossians 3:1-3

Free Printable Happy Planner Scripture

Hello friends! Just a quick post this morning to let you know that I’m going to be offering some FREE scripture printables to fit the Happy Planner!

I’ve decided to make a prayer journal with the extra pages of my current planner– I have July-Dec 2015 that I didn’t use and it seems like a huge waste to toss such nice paper! I’ll be covering up the dates and days of the week with washi tape and cut outs and using the space to journal. I struggle to regularly spend time reading and praying but I know how important it is and I genuinely want to prioritize this time each day. I think creating a journal to focus my time will help tremendously!

One of my favorite verses is from Colossians 3. I need this reminder daily to keep my mind focused on things above as I am constantly getting bogged down with the things that are on earth. What a great comfort and joy it is to remember that “I have died and my life is hidden with Christ in God!”

I’ve created a Free Printable of Colossians 3:1-3 that is sized to fit the Happy Plannerclick here to download a copy! I think this would make a great divider or dashboard. I may even laminate mine and use it as a cover or to section off a prayer section from a bible study or sermon notes section. Oh, the possibilities!

Since I’m relatively new to the Happy Planner in general, I’d love to hear from all you “master planners” out there about how you use your planner for journaling. What tips do you have for us?!

Advice From the Person Least Likely to be a Mom

 

I stumbled across this post that I wrote over three years ago about how difficult I found parenting to be… oh, how true that remains! I thought I would re-publish it because 1) the book I recommend is still one of my favorites, and 2) the pictures of baby Jeremiah are cracking me up! He was such a mess! 

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I’ve never been a kid person. When Michael and I first got married (and for many years after that) I would walk by the baby isle at Target and inwardly cringe at all of the baby stuff. I didn’t hate babies, I just had no idea what I would do with one of my own. Kids were something for later… waaaaay later.

And then something happened and now I was living in “later.” It was time to think about having a baby. When we talked about having children, we always jumped ahead in our thinking to when they would be cool. Like when they were 9 or 10 years old. When they would be able to read and play guitar and have a conversation. We didn’t really focus on what it would be like to have an infant– largely because we had absolutely no idea.

For instance, did you know that new moms can become slightly irrational about their little ones? I do not usually consider myself to be the irrational type, but within 12 hours of bringing J home, I became obsessed with the temperature in his room. He was born on July 1, but I was convinced we were keeping it too cold in the house. I bought two thermometers for his room because I needed to know at all times what the temperature and humidity level was. I needed two thermometers so that I could make sure they were accurate.

I didn’t realize how much this child would change me. I knew he would change a lot of things about my life– sleeping, to name a big one– but I didn’t realize how much he would change me. I didn’t know how much I would miss him while he spent an afternoon at Grammy’s. I didn’t know how much I would love making him giggle hysterically by yelling “Boo!” at him. I wasn’t prepared for how hard it would be to listen to him cry in his crib. I had no idea how much my heart would leap when he placed his hands on either side of my face, looked me straight in the eyes, and leaned in super fast for a kiss (which turned into more of a head butt.)

I had no idea about anything baby-related and I didn’t really try to fix that. I read a few books when I was pregnant about how to swaddle a baby and help him sleep through the night, but that was it. In my mind, there was a good reason for not reading tons of books about becoming a parent. I didn’t want to obsess over every decision I made. I didn’t want to read books that would contradict each other and leave me frustrated and confused. I didn’t want to read about all the things I should be doing and create more and more metrics to judge myself by. I’ve been down that road before and it never ends up where I think it will. It took a really long time, but I’ve mostly embraced the idea of grace. The idea that I am going to make mistakes but there is grace for me.

I didn’t dive into all the books that I might have read. Instead, I turned to a few dear friends who probably did read all those books and I said, “Help me please!” I have learned a ton from them and I am grateful for their patience with me. I know they think I’m a bit strange with all my [basic] questions, but I would rather ask someone I love (and who loves me!) what they tried and how it worked, than try and sort through what books are going to be helpful and what books are going to make me hate myself.

So, this next part is going to be pretty ironic because I am now going to recommend a parenting book that I read and really loved. I am not against books. I love books! I’m just trying to be more discerning about what I read and whose advice I take. This book is one that has really stuck with me and I find myself thinking about throughout the day. Especially in those “melt-down” moments.

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Give Them Grace: Dazzling Your Kids with the Love of Jesus by Elyse Fitzpatrick and Jessica Thompson- The authors do a fantastic job of showing us how to bring the Gospel into our parenting. What I think about the Gospel is the most important thing about me. So to have a book that demonstrates how the Gospel dispenses grace into every aspect of parenting is incredibly refreshing. There’s good theology in this book, but there are also good, practical discussions on how to raise your children to love, adore, and be captured by the Gospel.

“Every way we try to make our kids “good” is simply an extension of Old Testament Law– a set of standards that is not only unable to save our children, but also powerless to change them. No, rules are not the answer. What they need is GRACE. We must tell our kids of the grace-giving God who freely adopts rebels and transforms them into loving sons and daughters. If this is not the message your children hear, if you are just telling them to “be good,” then the gospel needs to transform your parenting too.”

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Shhhh…

Let’s talk about Quiet Times.

I’m terrible at them. Though I understand the importance of spending time reading the Word and praying, I have always been baffled at how exactly to have a Quiet Time. This probably has a lot to do with how I have approached education in general over the years. Do I love to learn and passionately pursue knowledge just for the sake of learning? I’d like to believe I do, but realistically that has not been my pattern. (For example, when I read The Lord of the Rings, I kind of always skip the songs. And the part where Tom Bombadil is hanging out with the hobbits in the forest– I skip that, too. Michael was aghast when he found out that I have no appreciation for Bombadil. But to me, it doesn’t seem like it moves the narrative along very much. And I need the storyline to progress… I mean, that book is so long!) In school, I was always a good student and figured out how to make an A, but I’m not sure that I learned a whole lot in high school, college, or even grad school. That is quite embarrassing seeing as how I’m a teacher and all.

Do not judge– that’s a sin, you know.

Anyway, when I first started trying to have Quiet Times back when I was 13 or 14, I thought there was a magic formula that I needed to figure out. My youth group had given out workbooks of some sort and insisted that Quiet Times had to be in the morning. That didn’t work for me very well because I am not a morning person. It was especially difficult because school started so early and I already had a getting-ready routine that took over an hour (let us not discuss the copious amount of hair spray and curling irons involved.) So I failed at having my Quiet Times early on and felt like, well, a failure. I didn’t try again until a few years later when I was in college. By that time, I had a better idea that what mattered was spending time learning about my great God. I also started to really pray deeply and even found myself late to class once or twice because I lost track of time. Because I was praying. So weird.

Those times were so sweet and I still look back at that time and treasure how close God and I were. We were tight, yo. But then the fire of my Quiet Times started to go out. I realized that I didn’t really understand what I was reading. I had this terrible habit of making everything in the Bible about me. I would read the Psalms where David describes fleeing from his enemies, and I would think, “Hmm… I don’t really have anyone trying to kill me. David seems kind of dramatic here.” Or I would read passages in the Old Testament where God made specific promises to specific people and feel all warm and fuzzy as I claimed those promises for myself.

You know you do it, too.

The book of Ruth gets so abused in this way. Single women read it and are encouraged that they, too, will find their Boaz. Older women read it and identify with Naomi and cling to the promise that God will give them grandchildren. We are a messed up lot of folks who do not understand scripture or even how to go about trying to understand it. But do not despair– there is hope!

I was listening to my good buddy, Tim, the other day and realized something. After years of  hearing him preach, I think I’ve actually learned some things about the Bible. And I think they are starting to sink deeply into my soul. This morning I listened to a sermon about forgiveness (actually, I listened to it twice) and kept thinking, “Yes, yes! This is what I’ve been talking to Michael about!” We’ve been talking about how forgiveness is costly. We’ve been discussing what it means to pour grace out on people who’ve sinned against us. We’ve been encouraging one another to remember how we, too, are sinners in desperate need of grace. You see, the same themes keep coming up day after day… Grace. Forgiveness. Trust. The Gospel. And though I haven’t done a study on forgiveness with a shiny workbook to point me to the right passages to read, I’ve been learning about it.

I still struggle to have an official Quiet Time that follows any kind of consistent pattern. I do try and find some time to quiet my soul and pray each day, but even that is hit or miss sometimes. If you struggle to read scripture and apply it (or heck, even understand it) then here is my encouragement to you: You do not need to follow some prescribed formula that works really well for someone else. There are lots of great suggestions for how to read the Bible through in a year (and one day I will do that… I hope) but for now, that is daunting and discouraging for me. And honestly, even if I did read the 10 chapters of Leviticus that were prescribed for me to read, I do not think I would have any idea what I had just read. I am not a dumb person, but I do not have the background to open the Word and instantly know what it’s talking about. In fact, doing this over the years led me to create my own special brand of heresy.

Though I don’t want you to make the error of believing that there is only one way to learn and grow, I don’t want to lead you into the other possible error which is not doing anything. For a long time I didn’t try and do anything to feed my soul because I thought that I couldn’t do it the right way. Getting up early is still difficult– with little children occupying my house for the foreseeable future, I’m just not sure I will ever leave my bed before I absolutely have to. But I have found some things that do work; primarily I listen to sermons by Tim Keller. I listen to them while I clean the kitchen or pick up toys around the house. When I drive anywhere longer than 5 minutes, I listen to Tim (Jeremiah is going to grow up very confused about why he never gets to meet Uncle Tim, but always listens to him in the car.)

What works for me right now is listening to Keller when I can, talking to my husband about what I’m learning, and when I’m feeling especially time-enriched, I read books that help me understand scripture better (this one is great.) What works for me might not work for you– but there is something that will work.  And if you try something and it doesn’t work, try something else! Make it your quest to spend some time learning about the Gospel in a way that excites you, and I promise you will keep doing it. And if you miss a day (or many days) because life happens at you, for heaven’s sake don’t beat yourself up. Learning about God isn’t something to add to your This-Will-Make-Me-A-Good-Person List. After all, there’s no hope of that– but where we can have hope is that by learning about the Gospel we will be people who are captured by its beauty. And that, my friends, is what changes us.

 

The Woman

My husband has a test that he often applies– it can be summed up with this question, “What would ‘The Man’ do?” For as long as I’ve known him, he has had this image in his mind of the kind of man he wants to be when he is 65 or 70 years old. The Man is well-read, wise, full of grace, generous, and a master musician. He knows how to build things- from furniture to guitars. He knows philosophy, church history, and has read the classics. He loves his friends well and spends his time wisely. He speaks truth and above all, he follows Christ.

I think he has pieced The Man together from biographies he’s read of Schaeffer and Wilberforce, the writings of countless theologians, and the older men in his life that he looks up to and respects. Regardless of where exactly The Man came from, he is a very real motivating factor in how Michael spends his time and what he chooses to pursue.

Contrast this with what I, and most women I know, tend to do. We compare ourselves with other women in our social spheres. We notice their clothes and hair, their homes, their children. We comment on how fabulous they look and how quickly they lost the baby weight. We spend our time reading Facebook and magazines to discover who we should try to be.

Back in June, I attended a women’s conference held by The Gospel Coalition (TGC). TGC was founded by Tim Keller and D.A. Carson, with folks like John Piper, Matt Chandler, Mark Dever, and CJ Mahaney making up the board. The theme of the conference was “Here is Our God.” To be a women’s conference, it was surprisingly not focused on women, and that was their intention. Something that was repeated often that weekend was that “this conference is for women, but it isn’t about women. It’s about God.” What I love so much about TGC is the reminder that the Bible isn’t about me, it’s about God.

I heard some great new speakers, my favorites being Paige Benton Brown and Kathleen Nielson. I learned a lot of theology, but more than that, I came away with a vision for what I now think of as The Woman. The speakers were inspiring– they were deep and lovely, full of grace and wisdom.They were teaching other women theology and raising their children to know the true God.

The Woman I want to be when I’m 65 or 70 is wise and gracious. She loves her family and friends well and has time to spend on others. She reads books that matter. More than that, The Woman has spent the last 30+ years reading books that matter and raising her children to do the same. She knows theology and church history. She pursues passions like photography and writing.

I am a long way from being The Woman, but that’s okay. The things I do today and tomorrow matter– the people I love on and the books I read will shape me into who I will become. I may not have consistent quiet times or even understand what I read when I do, but I think I’m growing. I’ve been shaken up a bit recently and the result is a much sharper understanding of what matters, and what doesn’t. Here’s to pursuing what matters and leaving the rest behind.