Keeping the 4th of July Simple

I love having people over for cookouts and outdoor fun–our house is set up perfectly for it!  But I do tend to go a little overboard with everything and then I end up running around like a crazy lady at the party and never really get to enjoy my efforts.  I know I’m not the only one guilty of this, so I gathered up a bunch of my favorite ideas from around the web and put them all in one place!

More than 40 patriotic ideas to help you keep it simple. If you need help finding ideas for decorations, appetizers, drinks, outdoor games for kids & adults, main dishes, desserts, or party favors--look no further!

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Why Everyone Should Have a Life Verse

I think everyone should have a life verse that casts a vision for their future. Plus--get a free download when you sign up for The Modern Mary newsletter.

My Life Verse

Psalm 40:1-3

I waited patiently for the Lord;
    he turned to me and heard my cry.
He lifted me out of the slimy pit,
    out of the mud and mire;
he set my feet on a rock
    and gave me a firm place to stand.
He put a new song in my mouth,
    a hymn of praise to our God.
Many will see and fear the Lord
    and put their trust in him.

What is a life verse, anyway?

A life verse is a part of the Scriptures that can become a touchstone in your faith journey. It can illuminate, reassure, uplift, and energize us to live a life you’re called to live in Christ. Once you prayerfully pick out your life verse, you will probably start to see or hear it everywhere. That’s what happened to me–it was showing up in books, sermons, podcasts, and Bible studies.

It’s like a secret language between you and God.

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The No-Fail Recipe My Kids Will Always Eat

I have found the perfect recipe that will satisfy all of the picky eaters in your house. This is the no-fail one-pot recipe that my kids will always eat!
I have found the perfect recipe that my super picky kids will always eat–and even ask for seconds!

This is so thrilling to me because it’s an actual recipe you guys; nothing from a box or the freezer–or something simple like scrambled eggs, grilled cheese, or french toast. But an actual recipe with ingredients!  You see, my kids like to torture me at meal time by hating what’s on their plate before even tasting it. Ugh!  And because I am not a short order cook, they only get one choice for dinner and so that means that meal time often ends in the beep of a timer followed by a consequence.

So a while back I came across this awesome recipe on Facebook and it looked so good just based off the pictures I assumed my kids would despise it–ya know, since it looks amazingly delicious!

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9 Qualities of an Amazing Small Group Leader

Being a small group leader is such an awesome experience, but it requires a certain skill set. Check out these 9 qualities of an amazing small group leader.

When I was first asked to lead a small group, I was terrified. It seemed like I wasn’t qualified for such a task. Part of me felt like I didn’t have enough “Bible-knowledge” to make a difference in another person’s life and I that I was too broken to be a good enough example.

The other part of me likes a challenge.

So I took it on—jumped right in—and I’ve never looked back.

I’m not saying I have it all figured out or anything—in fact, I’m still just as broken as I was when I was first asked to lead, but now I have come to realize is that it is in the brokenness that real growth and bonding can happen.

When I can look at a sister in Christ who is crying because she feels like a failure, I can cry with her and say, “me too…”

There is some true honest-to-goodness power that happens in those moments, people.  We aren’t alone, and that’s why I LOVE small groups, because it’s a living example of doing life with other people—the way it’s supposed to be lived.

“How good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity!”   -Psalm 133:1

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3 Important Reasons to Keep a Journal

I think that when you talk about keeping a journal as an adult, people’s minds often go to the image of a little girls writing in her diary …

“Dear diary….today I brushed my teeth, washed my face and wrote a love note to Peter.”

Um no, that’s not what I’m talking about here. 

I’m talking about a grown up journal—or call it a diary if you prefer.  Haha

Ever wonder if you should keep a journal? Check out these 3 important reasons to keep one and you'll starting writing today!

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The BEST Prayer Advice I Have Ever Received

This simple piece of advice changed my prayer life forever.

If you’re like me, then there are times when praying is hard for you.  I’ve written in the past about ways that I pray when I don’t feel like praying.  But today I’m writing about the very best piece of advice about prayer that I have ever gotten–and it has really transformed my relationship with all of those names on my prayer list.

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