Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Psalm 139 Study

This week, a group of delightful twenty-something gals and I are reading Psalm 139.  It's going to be so much fun!  

Here's the "personal" version of our study on Psalm 139 (minus large and small group discussion).  Use the outline and questions below to engage the Lord and the scripture on your own time.  

And, PS - I'm a firm believer that reading the bible, praying and spending time with the Lord does NOT have to be boring or mundane.  I like to incorporate music, art, commentaries, sermons, different bible translations, videos - even Pinterest! - to keep my time with the Lord fresh and exciting.  Use the links towards the bottom of this post to add an "extra" dimension to your time with God.


BEFORE you read the scripture...
Prepare your heart to hear from God. Try listening to the video/song below. As you listen, prayerfully
breathe OUT all the crap and baggage you are holding on to. Breath IN God and His Spirit. Focus on the lyrics, pray the lyrics. Relax, "dial" or "tune" in.

Seek God and PRAY that He’d speak to you as you read today!  Believe His promise.  If you seek Him, you WILL find Him! 

Matthew 7:7-8 - Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for.  Keep on seeking, and you will find.  Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you.  For everyone who asks, receives.  Everyone who seeks, finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened.

READ the scripture...
Find Psalm 139 in your Bible or favorite bible translation.  As you read, journal or take notes and prayerfully ask the Lord these questions.  (If you like ambient music to listen to AS you read, try this playlist: Psalm 139 Ambient Playlist)

  1. God, what part of this scripture are you highlighting for me today?
  2. What do you want to say to me through this? In regard to my life?  In regard to who You are or what You’re doing?
  3. Now that you have spoken, how do you want this to change the way I live?  How can I apply this to my life, God?
  4. Write down any questions that you have in regard to the scripture.
MOVING FORWARD Ideas (totally optional!)...
  • Read through this passage for a week, at least once per day.  Continue to journal your thoughts, your prayers, your questions, etc.
  • Post a verse or phrase from the scripture as a reminder of what God spoke into your heart.
  • Whatever you do in your day – take the Lord with you.  Be mindful of His presence.  Be communicating with Him as you go about your regular business.  If you keep forgetting, write a note on your hand, tie a string around your wrist, etc.  Figure out a way to remember Him.


This Pinterest board is a compilation of fun things (art, prints, music, translations, commentaries, quotes, prayers, etc.) relating to Psalm 139.  Click HERE or on the Pinterest picture to snoop around.

If you are in the Sioux Falls area, available on Tuesday nights, and wanting to JOIN us at bible study, please leave a comment below with your email address.  I'll be in touch!

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Golf & The Weekend

Oh, I am trying so hard to be good at golf.  I have one good swing for every five terrible ones.  Don't worry.  I'm working on it.  And I have blisters to prove it.

Part of me doesn't really even care if I ever excel at golfing (which I'm sure drives my competitive husband nuts).  The grass smells so sweet, the sun is warm on my skin, the birds are chirping...  And every once in a while when I DO hit a winner, the sound is just the most delightful "ping" I have ever heard.  Heart.

Mark and I will sleep well tonight.  Saturday was filled with golf, friends, drives through the country, pita pockets and fresh veggies.  Such a good day.  Happy weekend, folks!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

No Fat Talk


This is my first time "guest" posting on someone else's blog.  And, let me tell you, it has been a lot of fun.

Check out my "No Fat Talk" story at espressoandcream.com.  Check out more posts on Espresso for great recipes and healthy food ideas!


Monday, May 21, 2012

Beautiful Mamas - In Honor of Mother's Day (A Week Late!)

Things that make my mom beautiful...
Mom is artistic and spontaneous, goofy and firey, an extravagant gift-giver, an adventurer.  Though she hardly ever plans ahead, life is always fun and exciting.  She is a thrifty and imaginative decorator, and she has a new-earth-shattering-sort-of-idea every five minutes.  Mom always says it like it really is and leaves no room for drama.  She is so mushy, it sometimes makes me sick, but I suppose that's what mamas are supposed to be like.  :)

Things that make my mother-in-law, Bev, beautiful...

Bev is such a learner...always reading a new book, always excited to share a new truth about the Lord.  She is a gifted hostess, has a contagious laugh, and is always up for a deep conversation.  Mark gets his passion for discipling from his mama...her week is full of loving on kids, having coffee with the elderly, and encouraging young moms.  Best of all, Bev makes me feel like one of her biological daughters.  I'm blessed to be so "enfolded" into her family.

Happy belated Mother's Day, mamas!  You are delightful.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Oh, My Darling...

I am so excited!  Darling Magazine has reached its fund-raising goal to create their first print issue!  Thus far, I've subscribed to their daily articles via email.  I can't wait to have a beautiful hard copy to sit next to my cup of coffee.  Holy moly.

Darling Magazine stands for everything wonderful that I can think of...  They see beauty in every type of woman, they believe being "fit" means being the healthiest version of you, they promote respect of women's bodies - seeing "sexy" as modesty + excellent fashion, they offer tangible and deep advice on painful issues facing women, they encourage saving and living within your budget, and...the best part...they believe in living a life connected to God in order to live well and love others.  (For a full description on what makes Darling Mag different click here.) The icing on the cake, at least for me, is that Darling manages to stand for Truth in a classy way.  No Comic Sans, great photos, simple and modern design and color palettes...  Work. Of. Art.  

On Darling's website, you can select a "profile" based on statements that best describe you, and...TA DA...the site selects several articles that best fit your taste and personality.  

So...WHO are YOU?  

Today, I'm a dreamer.  Yesterday, I felt more like a humanitarian.  Ah, well...both profiles have great articles, so lucky me!  Click your profile below and try an article!


Saturday, May 12, 2012

Birthday Cheer

It's Mark's birthday today!  He's the best husband ever, and he is my most favorite person...so today is one of my favorite days.  Special thanks to Dave and Bev DeYounge for making, birthing and raising him.  Even specialer thanks to the Lord for giving him to me.  Oh, how I love him.  May 12 is such a great day.

He is celebrating right now with some good friends and some golf and sun.  We will celebrate some more with other friends as we attend lots of graduation parties this afternoon.  We will celebrate MORE tonight with some of Mark's favs - Cracker Carrot Casserole, Bohemian Meatballs and Butterfinger Cake.  

We will celebrate even MORE on Monday by going...  Oh, wait.  That's still a surprise.  I will tell you more about Monday's festivities later.

Happy birthday, Mark!    


Wednesday, May 9, 2012

S&Bs from Wednesday

Simple and beautiful things to enjoy from Wednesday include:

Doing devotions on our tiny deck this morning with a large cup of dark coffee.  Do you see the cute gravel trail right below us?  And the little creek in the distance?  So fun to have such a nice view.

To all of my friends who dread their devotions, like I think every normal Christian does from time to time...  Pick something that you really enjoy doing (I like coffee and the outdoors) and invite the Lord to come along.  He would LOVE to do your favorite activity WITH you.  

Also...  Sending my very first letter to Canada!  Who knew it took two stamps?!  How I love snail mail.  I am making a point to send many more letters this summer the old-fashioned way.

Have you had any simple and beautiful moments today?  I bet you have, if you really stop and think about it!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Extreme Easter Hunt 2012

Time to catch up! 

We had a great Easter weekend with my family in Northeast Iowa.  This year was the fourth annual Tegeler Extreme Easter Hunt.  

Though most Easter hunts involve plastic eggs, a large yard and jelly beans, the Tegeler Hunt has included GPSs, ammunition boxes, rock climbing, lots of hiking, Astro Van rides across 3 counties, picnic lunches, and snakes.  We are talking about a real, live adventure, folks.

This year's Hunt started with a loud knock on Mark & I's bedroom door at 5:30 in the morning, a note "from the Easter Bunny" shoved under our door, followed by strict instructions to be dressed in layers and ready to go by 7 AM sharp.  

The rest of the clues took us on a more urban adventure this year...

...to our local small town coffee shop, where we received not-so-quality, slightly drippy, but personalized coffee mugs from Mom!

...40 miles away to Grandma Betty's house for Easter breakfast-in-a-bag.

...to random signs along the interstate, in search of more clues...

...30 more miles away to the Field of Dreams!  All of Mark's life-long dreams have been fulfilled.  I would also like to mention that my 85-year-old grandma played baseball with us.  In addition to this, I would also like to mention that I totally slid into home.  It was epic.

...30 more miles away to a quaint little cable car ride...

...we all packed in...

...went up a steep, steep hill...

...to enjoy the pretty view...

...to some cute shops...

...to a yummy pizza place...

...to the Mississippi River Museum...which was much more fun and interesting than I expected!

...Mark Twain was even at the museum!  Mark DeYounge got jealous of Mark Twain and left...

Phew.  It was a busy and crazy and fun and adventurous day, friends.  Special thanks to my mom and dad for their planning and clue-creating, and decorating!  Here's to next year!  

Sunday, May 6, 2012


To say we love peanut butter is an understatement.  We LOVE it.  When's the last time you scooped out a spoonful for a snack?  Heck, when's the last time you stuck your finger in the jar?  I highly recommend it.  My bestie, Lisha, calls those "butterfingers".  Yum.

Friday, May 4, 2012

The Art of Being a Woman: Darling Magazine

Hey beautiful, creative, stylish, authentic, Godly ladies!  Check out this great, new magazine!  Though they're not offering a print version yet, you can subscribe to their articles via email.  Very refreshing.

Check out articles here: http://darlingmagazine.org/all-articles


Friday's 10

Do you journal?  I do.  Journaling is so delightful.

Lately, I've started to write a list of 10 things per day that I am especially thankful for or really enjoying.  Do you want to hear my 10 for today?  
  1. Josiah's (my nephew) little hugs
  2. Thunderstorms
  3. Finding freedom in skirts and NO shorts this spring
  4. Chats with good friends
  5. Starbucks coffee and print material (I like their fonts and design)
  6. Heaping spoonfuls of peanut butter
  7. Chopping real, whole carrots...bright and fresh oranges and greens
  8. Some precious introverted moments including my dark living room, a cozy blanket, the quiet...
  9. The Lord...I am loving His mercy today
  10. Discovering the lasso tool in Adobe...my life is forever changed
Here's to celebrating the simple things that make life beautiful...

PS - Happy Star Wars day.  May the 4th be with you.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

The National Day of Prayer and My Love/Hate Relationship

This Thursday is the National Day of Prayer, friends.

I have to admit, I have always been semi-turned off by the corny NDP logos, the predictable Christian radio announcements, the expected conservative leaders joining the NDP task force as spokespeople, the brochures and bumper stickers, the token theme verse, the obligatory endorsement by the President...

Please don't hate me.

My irritation stems from a heart wishing that prayer could be much more organic and much less programmatic, more heartfelt and less obligatory, more diverse and less canned.  And, I wish their logo was a little less predictable.

Here's comes the "however"...  It is a big however.

HOWEVER, I love prayer.  I love my Jesus, my Best Friend.  I love communicating with Him.  I appreciate the hard work and long hours that many people have put into organizing the National Day of Prayer.  If I could, I would hug David Jeremiah and Shirley Dobson.  And, I don't even like hugs.  Heck, I even plan to take part in the National Day of Prayer.  I'll be at a prayer meeting Thursday night, and you can bet I'll be interceding on behalf of our nation.  


Please don't feel obligated to play along or pretend that you like prayer on Thursday just so you will look like a respectable, moral, patriotic sort of person. 

Please don't jump on the prayer-bumper-stickered-bandwagon just because our buddy David Jeremiah endorses the whole thing.  

And, please don't disregard the it all (whether that is prayer or God Himself) even if you are turned off by the conservatism and the hypocrisy of Christians like me.  We're so sorry we've come across in strange and hurtful ways, at times.

Please, please please...
Use the National Day of Prayer as an opportunity, an invitation, a reminder.  Remember the Lord.  Know He is inviting you to join Him in interceding on behalf of our nation.  Make the most of the opportunity to genuinely and sacrificially turn, to seek, to repent, to listen, to follow well.  He will hear.  He will come and meet with you...  Even if you don't attend an organized prayer meeting on Thursday.

Please use the National Day of Prayer as a springboard - the first of many days that you will continue in a lifestyle of prayer.  When the logo is obsolete, when the Christian radio has moved on to the latest MercyMe hit, when the spokespeople are no longer encouraging you to take part, when the brochures and bumper stickers are in the trash can, and when the President has moved on to "more important" things...may we still be living our lives in an atmosphere of prayer.  Always listening, always communing, always submitting to His lordship.  May it be so, Lord!  Help us! 
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