The Start of Something Beautiful: Women’s D Group Binder

Our church is focusing heavily on discipleship, and I couldn’t be more thankful for this!

I wanted to share a few materials I created to keep my little group (and my silly self) organized. I first want to tell you that, though I love my church, I am not an official representative of it, and don’t feel I have any authority to represent it publicly, so I’ve included a million links in this post to more “official” sources.

Second, I want to share the D Group materials I created tonight based on materials from our church. What’s a D group, you ask? Well, I’m so glad you did.

The process goes something like this:

We individually read the F260 reading plan. Our pastor and his wife designed is as a Biblical overview that can be completed in 260 days. You can read right along with us here.

Then, each week, Pastor Robby chooses one scripture reading from the week and preaches an expository sermon based on that passage. If you want to know what that fancy-pants word means, you can click here. To watch one of our messages, you can click here.

We have Life Groups that meet each week. These are sort of like Sunday school classes, and we keep rebranding them. I am giggling as I type (for the record, I like all of these names). Through the years I’ve been at LHBC, they’ve been “connect” groups, “small” groups, and “life” groups. We’re flexible people, y’all. But, just because the name changes, it doesn’t change the heart of Life Group! You can read about life groups here.

We’ve gotten to enjoy being in the same Life Group with a few of the same people for about 8 years now. This means that, when I show up, I am known and loved! When I’m away, people check in on me. When I’m having a hard time, these are the friends I can text or call any time. And we actually like each other enough that we hang out, call, text, Facebook stalk, and pray for each other (even on days besides Sunday, hence the name Life Group).

Fair warning. This was not automatic. It took time, trust, patience, and many years of loving each other well to build our little community. I hope it continues to grow! Also, only kindness intended, but if you hate absolutely every life group you’ve walked into, it’s time to take a good, hard look in the mirror (Are you giving as much grace as you’d like to receive? Or are you just judging everyone harshly, sensitively being “offended” about every little thing, and generally being a bit egocentric? If so, I guarantee you won’t find the right group for you… I know this because I have foolishly done all of these things). 

Life Groups are mixed gender and up to about 30 people. If they grow too much bigger than that, you start to walk in and feel anonymous again, defeating the purpose. So, at that point, our church encourages groups to multiply (not divide) into two different groups.

Life Groups engage in open-ended discussion based on the sermon. Everyone is encouraged to contribute, and we always end the discussion with applications and real-life takeaways.

From those Life Groups form real, authentic relationships. After praying (for months) and talking with our college pastor, a group of girls were highlighted to me who were growing already in their relationship with the Lord, who consistently attended and served in our church, and who were eager to learn more. I approached them and invited them to be a part of a Discipleship Group (D-Group)

D Groups are much different than Life Groups. D Groups are intentionally closed, small, single-gender groups. This means I get to walk closely alongside those few, precious girls. We get to go through The Word together, pray together, enjoy accountability, pray together, share insights, memorize scripture together, and so much more! You can read about D Groups here. Then you can get information about the books we chose here.

So, in summary, we have a large-group sermon/message with teaching and worship on Sundays where everyone is welcome, small classes called Life Groups where we talk about that week’s message and where everyone is welcome, D Groups with single genders that are itty bitty and exclusive so people can be totally transparent and grow deeply, and one-on-one time with the Lord (which I call “quiet time” but which you may have heard called “devotionial”) which consists of daily praying and reading  His word (and, for me, includes worship).

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Poor girls.

The girls in our group have totally different schedules, from full-time students with part-time jobs to a recently-graduated night shift nurse! We are using an app called “Group Me” to keep in touch during the week. With it, I can send the girls videos (like one today of me fumbling through my scripture recitation), reminders to keep up with their reading, encouragement, and even photos of daily journal entries. So cool! Best of all, they can mute me (Haaaaaaa! Sorry, Ladies.)!

But, as much as they probably will want to throw their phones across the room and kill me after I bombard them with messages (on the daily), how cool is it that we can touch base all week (without everyone’s phone going off all the time)?

I was blessed to be mentored by a couple of incredible women during college and my first year of teaching. My walk with the Lord, my marriage, my professional life, my home, and my heart itself all grew so much from those times (more than I can say in a tiny little blog post). So I’m so grateful to be able to do the same! However imperfect I may be (which is VERY, in case you were wondering) and however much I don’t know (which is a LOT), I get to rely on The One who IS perfect and all-knowing!

I wanted to help the girls, who are living VERY busy lives, stay on track and organized. So, like any (former) teacher, I created a binder with a little too much glee.

The content of each item is straight from our church publications, but I made things a little… Girly. Because, to me, that is worthy. That’s right. Fancy-shmancy notetakers, pretty fonts, and doodled embellishments excite me, and I can’t lie about that.

I’m giving each girl a binder with a pretty cover, a copy of the covenant they’ll sign, a copy of the scripture we are memorizing (the girls voted to learn the ENTIRE book of Philippians; go big or go home, amiright?) a reminder about the daily disciplines, and a weekly notetaker to help them remember how to pray for our group after all the inevitable gab is done.

These are not meant to form a legalistic checklist for the girls. However, they are meant to help wandering minds (like mine) stay focused and encouraged.

Click on each item to download it yourself. Feel free to print and reproduce the items for your own D group.

D Group Binder Cover.png

Click on the above image to save the Binder Cover

D Group Covenant.pngClick here for a PDF version of the D Group Covenant: d-group-covenant. I took this right from our church, but modified it a little just because of the scriptures I personally wanted to read with my ladies as we read each item.
D Group Weekly Note Taker.pngClick here for the Weekly Note taker: d-group-weekly-note-taker

The above resource is only expected to be used as it is useful. Not every area has to be filled in each week.

HEAR Journal.pngClick here for a daily H.E.A.R. journal: hear-journal

 

Daily Disciplines of a Disciple.pngClick the above image to save a copy of the Daily Discplines of a Disciple IMG_4331.JPG

I hope this is useful to someone. If this blesses even one lady, it was worth frantically typing at nearly 4 in the morning. 🙂

Warmly,

Lindsey

 

Printable Christmas Gift Tag Freebie

Hello, All!

I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving this past Thursday; the Great American Holiday is one of my favorites. But, for me, it pales in comparison to what’s coming!

A thrill of hope
A weary world rejoices
For yonder breaks
A new and glorious morn’

I’m excited to share this printable set of gift tags to enjoy at home.

I don’t know about you, but gathering, buying, stashing, and wrapping gifts for people during this time of year is one of my favorite things. I love to show people I love and think of them. I actually get teased by my family because I cannot stand to wait to give a gift; I insist that my gifts are opened immediately. And keeping a gift a secret is a real struggle for me!

You’ll want to print this on plain ol’ white paper from your printer, or even better, card stock if possible. 🙂 Then, cut them out and glue or tape them to packages as you wrap away.

 

Christmas Tag FreebieChristmas Tag Freebie color

Merry Christmas and much love from our family to yours; whether you are part of a family of one or twenty, I know our Heavenly Father has made a way for you to be part of His, too!

XoXo,
L

Deuteronomy 6:5

New Print available in Etsy Shop! IMG_7840One quote comes to mind:

I’m IN LOVE, I’m in love, and I don’t care who knows it!
~Buddy the Elf

Why? Because I love the nautical feeling of two trends; indigo and brass!

IMG_7843Inspired by these, I decided to create this little piece based on some earlier calligraphy practice with one of my favorite scriptures.

Isn’t it fun when multiple passions just go together like PB&J? Memorizing scripture and penmanship practice… Penmanship practice and Adobe Illustrator practice… Adobe Illustrator Practice and a love of home decor…

It all came together to inspire this totally IMperfect piece featuring a totally perfect scripture:

You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.
Deuteronomy 6:5

Available for download at our Etsy shop here.


Hope this little printable brings you some encouragement in your walk to do just that!

XOXO,

Mrs. S

 

It is Well

IMG_7471Hi, friends! Just popping in with this little download for you.

We’ve been walking through one of those weird seasons in life. Truly, it’s never my intention to be vague or mysterious, but this time, the specifics don’t matter for our purposes. 🙂

Recently, we thought we’d come to the end of a challenge, only to find out we were merely halfway through.

But our hope isn’t in outcome out circumstance!

Whatever the Lord has in store, we can truly say, “Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say,”

Print

 

Available for download at our Etsy shop here.

 

 

I’ll let this hymn’s lyrics speak to your heart, wherever it may be:

When peace, like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say,
It is well, it is well with my soul.

Refrain:
It is well with my soul,
It is well, it is well with my soul.

Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come,
Let this blest assurance control,
That Christ hath regarded my helpless estate,
And hath shed His own blood for my soul.

My sin—oh, the bliss of this glorious thought!—
My sin, not in part but the whole,
Is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more,
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul!

For me, be it Christ, be it Christ hence to live:
If Jordan above me shall roll,
No pang shall be mine, for in death as in life
Thou wilt whisper Thy peace to my soul.

But, Lord, ’tis for Thee, for Thy coming we wait,
The sky, not the grave, is our goal;
Oh, trump of the angel! Oh, voice of the Lord!
Blessed hope, blessed rest of my soul!

And Lord, haste the day when the faith shall be sight,
The clouds be rolled back as a scroll;
The trump shall resound, and the Lord shall descend,
Even so, it is well with my soul.

Feel free to click the image to download, print, and enjoy.

With Love,
Mrs. S.

Just A Little…

I really do make it a steadfast rule that Christmas decor doesn’t go up before Christmas, but just this project couldn’t wait 4 more days.
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The sweetness of joy, apart from circumstance, comes into our hearts when we accept Christ!
My hope isn’t in outcomes in this world. I have fullness of joy, no matter the trial or season, because of this simple truth: God came to Earth as a humble baby, He died sacrificially for my sin, He rose again, and one day He is coming back!
Merry (early) Christmas, friends!

A Little Pruning

IMG_4927.PNGThis is one of my lovely Southern Maidenhair ferns. Huge and full, I loved watching it thrive.

IMG_4924.JPGThis is my Southern Maidenhair fern this afternoon. Scraggly. Bare. Cut down.

As I, with surgical precision, cut away fronds and watched them fall to the tabletop below, I thought of how the Lord cares for me, tending to my heart like the most watchful gardener tending to a prized rose…

IMG_4926.JPG…Carefully removing the parts that are dingy and damaged.Even if it’s a little painful. Even if I don’t want to see it. He loves me too dearly to leave me alone, blind to my sin and unrepentant.

Because, though on the day of my salvation, I stood fully cleansed by Christ’s blood, He’s still not finished with me yet.

IMG_4925.JPGHe’s making way for abundant newness everyday.

I look at the new life springing forth.

He is doing a new thing. Do you not perceive it? He is making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.

He is making those dry dusty places, our wagon tracks, overflow with abundance.

He is removing my heart of stone and replacing it with a heart of flesh.

I pray you too know that He didn’t stop at salvation, though that was a gift beyond measure.

No, friend, He continues to shape those who love Him. We need not walk the earth alone and wait for our time in heaven. He has good things for us now.

If we’ll only remain clay in His hands. If we’ll only come eager, like the children who gather around my feet at school each day.

If we’ll endure a little pruning, friend, He’ll shape our hearts in ways we couldn’t imagine.

Reblog: What the North American Church is Most Hungry For

Because this broke my heart open in a million different ways, and because it should stay that way, I’m sharing this original post from A Holy Experience…

Please click the link to continue reading. I promise it will bless and soften you this morning.

So yeah, dear North American Church, Anywhere, if you dared to look into eyes and didn’t turn away, you’d care. Yeah, yeah, I know — another day, another cracking news flash, another crisis we’re all supposed to give a caring rip about.

http://www.aholyexperience.com/2014/10/what-the-north-american-church-is-the-most-hungry-for/

2-Year Anniversary

Choosing joy today! And it’s easy to do!

Today, it’s been two years of marriage. Two years of the sweetest friendship this world has to offer.

Together or miles apart, the day is just as special. Together or apart, the covenant is just as strong. Together or apart, the goodness of the Lord’s blessing doesn’t increase or decrease.

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IMG_4597.JPGLove this lion-hearted man who’s as strong and steady as they come. His servant-minded attitude, his sense of humor, those kind blue eyes, and the way he says, “Yes ma’am,” all make my heart skip a beat.

Small Group Fall Gathering

We are blessed beyond measure to have a Small Group at church of people we love to pieces. Nothing sweeter than friends who encourage you in life and faith, and most importantly, who crack you up. There’s no lack of laughter when this group is together. I wouldn’t have it any other way!

IMG_4584Our amazing leaders are a husband and wife who have been in the lives of Mr. S and I for many years now. Since we were 19 and 20, they’ve taught us God’s word and hosted various groups in their beautiful home.

This weekend was her birthday (and our anniversary), so we decided to have some fun! We went to Shuckle’s Corn Maze, then everyone headed back to our place for some goodies, hot chocolate, spiced apple cider, coffee, pumpkin cake, cupcakes, and cookies were all enjoyed.

I think birthdays are the perfect excuse to have a little lot of sugar, don’t you? IMG_4581.JPGIt was so much fun to get our little apartment ready to host people who have hosted us time and time again.

IMG_4585.JPGCinnamon stick for cider and marshmallows for hot chocolate were the first things on my shopping list.

IMG_4583.JPGA thoughtful parent gave me these sweet paper tags, and they have brought me so much joy. Today, they were labels. They’ve also been place cards for dinner guests tied around napkin rings. I can’t wait to use them for gifts, too.

I searched desperately for pumpkin creamer, but alas, none could be found. IMG_4586.JPGNext was a local pumpkin patch. We played some games, and one couple was hilariously lucky and seemed to win everything. We took a hayride, watched the boys fly out of the biggest slide you’ve ever seen, picked out pumpkins, and got lost in a corn maze.

IMG_4587.JPGOne of the sweetest little baby girls you’ve ever seen in her Mamie’s arms. She took it all in and was probably the best “attraction” of the whole outing. 🙂 IMG_4563.JPGOne of our wonderful couples is expecting their first child. It is such a blessing to be able to rejoice with them! IMG_4594.JPGThe whole group! These faces make me smile.

IMG_4588.JPGWe gave one of our Bible teachers (the birthday girl) a card, and a dinner-and-a-movie date night. 🙂 My friend presenting a cupcake was the mastermind behind that idea. IMG_4589.JPGShowing her (happy-go-lucky, energetic, superhero, break-dancing) grandson the card. 🙂 IMG_4590.JPGLucy was thrilled to have a living room full of people. I was thrilled to have a living room full of people who tolerate and enjoy my hyper little pup.

Thankful to share life and celebrate seasons with these folks.

So we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another.
Romans 12:5

Froggy Fun

Today in Science, as I was rifling through an animal encyclopedia of sorts, I realized there were no amphibians to be found in my book. I could NOT find my original source to save my life… That can happen in a classroom shared with 28 children who are welcome to touch any materials they choose.

With a gaggle of first-grade children at my feet eagerly awaiting pictures and information, I muttered quietly to myself, “Oh… Please let there be some frogs in this book.”

Suddenly, a few of the children began to pray. For frogs, y’all. 🙂

And a kid yelled, “DEAR JESUS, IN THE NAME OF THE FATHER, SON, AND HOLY GHOST LET THERE BE SOME FROGS!”
Another one said,
“Oh, Lord, pleeeaaaase let some amphibians appear!”
And a third exclaimed, “JESUS PLEASE GIVE US SOME FROGS. Amen.”

Apart from a few kindergarteners during my first year arguing about whether the trinity is comprised of three distinct persons or three in one (yes, it really happened one day in snack), today had to be my favorite kids-and-faith moment at school so far. 🙂

The great news is, The Lord answered their prayers faithfully and helped us to find frog facts after all (in another book).

I continued wordlessly as though nothing had transpired, but couldn’t help the huge grin on my lips.

Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.
Matt 18:3

It is with tears of gratitude that I give thanksgiving for this profession and opportunity to love on the sweetest children.

Fellow teachers, I pray for you. If you’re worried about whether your time with your students counts in the Kingdom, especially if you’re in the public school system and feel you have to “check your faith at the door,” I want to encourage you with this scripture:

And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’
Matt 25:40

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