Book Review – Satisfied by Jeff Manion

“It is possible to live a life of deep joy while not having everything you want.”


“Many of us attempt to heal the wounds of the past by overfilling our already-full homes.”


“My identity does not depend on what I buy. My identity rests in who bought me.”


“Generosity is at the core of the satisfied life.”



The above quotes are a few of the ones I underlined as I read “Satisfied” by Jeff Manion. This book reminded me to be more grateful for what I have and that comparison is the thief of joy. It encouraged me to be a blessing to others and to give freely. Everyone who knows me knows that I’m a fiction book reader. I am a read-for-pleasure-not-for-growth type of person, but this book actually held my attention, more than that, I loved it.

I’ll be honest. This book was deeply convicting to me. Like most middle-class Americans, I am guilty of always wanting more – a better car, the latest fashions, a better vacation this year than last year – and I often forget how truly rich I am. In “Satisfied,” Manion focuses on dissatisfaction in finances, but I found myself thinking of other areas in which I have unhealthy dissatisfaction. As I read the book, I was convicted for dissatisfaction with my physical appearance. The Lord reminded me, just like I need to be content with my finances, I should be content with my looks as well.

I’m considering using this book for a small group study. It’s easy to read, and the chapters are short with reflection/discussion questions and a project with actionable steps to take at the end.

What do you know? Martha actually liked a nonfiction book!




The No-Drama Mama

We were at the Wal-Mart Supercenter in Van Buren, Arkansas. It was my weekly grocery shopping trip, a dreaded, but necessary task.

“I’ll help you pick that up, Mama. It’s too heavy for you,” my three-year-old, Kale, told me as he stood up in the grocery cart.

“Sit back down, right now. I’ve got it.”

As I bent to pull the humongous bag of dog food from the shelf, my ten-month-old let out a deafening scream.

“What’s wrong? What happened?” I rushed to my baby who was sitting in the seat of the cart with his chubby legs sticking straight out of the leg holes. Tears were already forming in his eyes and his face was bright red. He pointed to the cart at his two brothers who squatted inside with angelic faces.

“We didn’t do it!” My two-year-old, Keaton, professed his innocence.

“Karter wouldn’t cry for no reason and then point to you just to get you into trouble.”

Let me pause here and say that in the fourteen years that have passed since that day I have learned that Karter would, in fact, do just that . . . often.

Karter’s crying continued, and I couldn’t figure out what was wrong with him. He held his hands out to me, begging me to take him out of the cart, and I caved.

Let me pause again and say that I have since learned that my youngest child can be quite manipulative.

So, I held my stocky baby with his crazy, wavy, thick brown hair and quivering lips as I stood in the dog food aisle wondering how I was going to get a twenty-pound sack of dog food into the cart with a baby on my hip.

“I’ll get it for you, Mama.” Kale, always the helper, stood and threw a leg over the side of the cart, preparing to jump out.

“No, no, don’t –”

It was one of those moments that seemed to happen in slow motion. I saw what was going to happen before it happened, but couldn’t react quickly enough. The metal grocery buggy, containing half of my grocery list and my two older boys, fell over on its side. Poor Keaton and Kale screamed as it fell and then crashed to the ground. After they were over the shock of the cart falling, they looked at each other and began laughing.

“Martha, is everything okay?”

Just my luck. Of course, someone would see me like this – messy ponytail, no make-up, screaming children, toppled grocery cart.

I turned on a fake smile and said hello to the woman and her teenage son who stood at the end of the dog food aisle.

“I knew that was you! When we walked in the entrance, I heard you. I told my son, that sounds like the pastor’s family.”

I laughed like I thought it was funny that when they heard children’s screams in the grocery store they immediately thought of my family.

They helped me raise the cart, gather the spilled groceries, and set the boys back into their places, and I thanked them and chatted with them for a few minutes, but the whole time we talked the same thought kept running through my mind: I just wish I could go to the grocery store without causing such a ruckus that everyone in the whole store knew I was there.


Those noisy trips to the grocery store have long past for me. Now that my boys are all teenagers and don’t have to accompany me everywhere I go, my shopping trips are quite peaceful. However, there are plenty of other areas of my life that are still noisy and chaotic.


     That’s the mom life, though, isn’t it? Messes, accidents, noise, dirt – all of these are part of the package, and there’s nothing wrong with that. However, there is another level of chaos that has become very important to me to avoid.

What I want to avoid is drama.


We are going to have trouble in this life. As a mom, your child will get sick, your husband will irritate you sometimes, your appliances will break, you will be late for work, you might be involved in a car wreck, be sued, lose a job, and on and on. In John 16:33, Jesus assured us that we will have trouble.

     John 16:33, “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (New International Version)

None of us want trouble, but it is unavoidable. Drama, on the other hand, is avoidable. It is possible to face trouble without drama. I’ve decided that I don’t want to throw tantrums, give people the silent treatment, get into Facebook wars with people, cry uncontrollably, suffer overwhelming depression, hold offense, or let fear rule my emotions. I want to have the fruits of the Spirit evident in my life.

Galatians 5:22-23, “But the fruit that the Spirit produces in a person’s life is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these kinds of things.” (Easy-to-Read Version)

Is it possible to face difficult times with peace in our hearts? Yes, it is! Is it possible to go through persecution and maintain love toward those persecuting us? Yes, it is! Is it possible to be in the middle of great trouble and have joy? Yes, it is! The key is found at the beginning of Galatians 5:22 . . . “The fruit that the Spirit produces.” We must abide in the Spirit if we want these fruits. John 15:1-8 expounds on the idea of abiding, or dwelling, or living each and every day in the Spirit.

Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control are called the fruit of the spirit. That means they are the outcome of a life lived in the spirit. These attributes are not something you can force yourself to do in your own strength for very long. You must have the Holy Spirit living in you and you must abide in the Lord.

I encourage you today that as you begin to abide in the Lord, you WILL experience the joy and peace that comes from being a No-Drama Mama!

My book, How to Have a Drama Free Life is available now!

Hold Onto Your Joy!


Most of us have been there. We’ve been in line at the buffet in grandma’s kitchen with a paper plate in our hand, or sitting around the table at our in-laws house, or maybe crowded around the Christmas tree with our loved ones when one of our relatives says something hurtful or discouraging. Whether it’s a wisecrack about how much weight you’ve gained or a scoffing remark at your son’s dreams or an eyeroll at the lasagna rolls your brought, whatever words that were spoken or facial expressions that were made, they hurt you . . . deeply.

Now that the holidays are over and you’re packing away the tree and spending the gift cards that you were given, maybe you’re also mulling over what was done to you. Maybe you’ve been thinking about it so much that you just can’t stop thinking about it. Maybe you’re planning words you’ll retaliate with the next time you see them. Maybe you’ve internalized the put-downs, and now you believe that what they said about you is true. Maybe those hurtful words are the first things you think about when you wake up and the last thing you think about when you go to bed.

You hate to admit it, but you think, “What happened to that joy I used to have? That relative who said that STOLE MY JOY!”

But, I’m here to remind you that Jesus told us He would give us a joy that “no one can take away!”

If you know Jesus as your Savior, NO ONE CAN STEAL YOUR JOY! So, what happened? You GAVE your joy away!

When I was a kid, we used to sing a song in church that said, “This joy that I have the world didn’t give it to me – the world didn’t give it and the world can’t take it away.” Anybody remember that old song?

Here is a New Years Challenge – Decide to LIVE IN THE JOY that Jesus has for you. Decide that you aren’t going to give it away. Stop rehearsing and re-playing the hurtful things that were said or done to you, and choose to live in the perfect JOY that only Jesus can give!

My Bedroom Carpet

Bedroom Carpet Image

When we built our house ten years ago, we decided to not put very much carpet in it. After years of cleaning carpet stains and eradicating smells from carpet, we decided it was time for the Fouts Family to live the life of the carpet-free. We were ecstatic – hardwood floors and tile was all it was going to be for us in our brand-new house! That was the plan, anyway. Until it came to our bedroom.

As we were finishing up our master bedroom, I started to have doubts about hardwood floors in the room in which my feet would hit the ground straight out of bed each morning. Even though we discussed area rugs around the bed, I still just couldn’t wrap my head around the idea of hardwood floors in my bedroom. It just seemed cold, somehow. It just didn’t fit.

So, after much discussion and debate, we decided to get carpet in the master bedroom and in the master bedroom only. (That would be for me, aka mom, the princess.) I got to pick it out and everything. For a few years, I loved it. It’s the perfect oatmealy color and loosely looped shag that I wanted.

Of course, that was before someone spilled fruit punch on it.

And the outdoor water faucet on the opposite side of the wall burst and leaked.

Four times.

Now, over a decade later, my Pinterest boards are filled with pictures of master bedrooms with hardwood floors and area rugs.

However, even though I have so many reasons to detest my bedroom carpet, there is one reason I still like it – the Prayer Trail.

You see, I’ve developed this strange habit that when I pray, I walk. Round and round my bedroom. Over the years this prayer walking has worn a path that has special meaning in my heart. That path has been walked unenthusiastically by a tired mom who was just completing her regular morning ritual of praying for her family, and that path has been walked by a woman who was so moved by desperate circumstances that her prayer walking was so intense it’s a wonder her feet moving across the carpet didn’t spark a fire.

I remember requests I prayed on that carpet that seemed like they’d never be answered. For days, weeks, months, years, prayer walking and tongue talking for specific needs that seemed impossible – but then, finally, miraculously, in God’s timing, those prayers were answered! And right now, with three teenage boys and pastoring a church and just life in general, it seems like there’s always something that needs to be brought to the path.

And so I walk. Round and round. Sometimes I trudge, exhausted ″from the day and from how cruel and frustrating people can be, and sometimes I almost dance, overjoyed at the results of answered prayers.

            I don’t know how people who don’t communicate with the Lord make it. I really don’t. This life is so complicated and confusing and heartbreaking that I can’t imagine trying to navigate my own way through it.

If you haven’t ever claimed a Prayer Place, I encourage you to do so.  There’s just something about having a go-to spot, a dedicated time and place that you meet with the Lord. It gives me great hope when I can look back and remember prayers I prayed in that place that seemed like they’d never be answered – and they were.

What about you? Do you have a prayer path worn smooth in your carpet? Do you have a closet dedicated to prayer? Knee prints in the rug next to your bed? An outdoor spot that’s your meeting place with the Lord? Please share! I’d love to hear where you pray, and how the prayers you’ve prayed in that sacred location have enriched your ministry, your family, and your life.

The Bad Hair Day Blues

The Bad Hair Day Blues

Grab a microphone and sing along if you know what it’s like to have

the Bad Hair Day Blues!

Maybe your alarm didn’t sound,

or the humidity is 98% percent,

Your bangs refused to lay down

or your hair dryer was on the fritz,

Whatever the cause, whatever the reason,

Even if your outfit’s on point from your dress to your shoes,

None of that matters when

You’ve got the Bad Hair Day Blues.

At first you try to fix it with all your hairstyle powers,

but then you realize the only thing you could do

would be to stick your head back in the shower,

and at that point there’s no time for a hairdo re-do,

Because you can’t be late one more time, your boss said.

So you grit your teeth and slap on extra lipstick,

Cause no matter how much you try to re-arrange that mess on your head,

you’ll just have to accept that today’s bad hair ain’t gonna change a lick.

So you ignore the out-of-place curl.

You try not to think about the frizz on the side of your face,

And your day goes okay, despite a few funny looks from that mean girl,

But you smile at her cause someday she’ll need some grace,

And you discover that even though your hair looks affright

You’re still pretty cute, and you’re still alright.

So, come on you gals with the not-so-perfect hair,

Let’s kick those blues to the curb,

Focus on what matters and set your mood straight.

Today can be great, even if your hair ain’t!


A Mother’s Day Treat!

As a special Mother’s Day treat, I’d like to share the first chapter of my book, The Mother’s Day Letter, with you! I hope you enjoy it, and remember to . . . “take a leap, let someone help you, share your heart, and sing your song . . .”  

TMDL Front Cover



The Mother’s Day Letter

By Martha Fouts

Chapter One


Place cards? Yep, all tent-folded and precisely placed above the empty gold charger plates. Natalie touched the screen of her tablet computer with the stylus pen, checking place cards off the list.

Guest gifts? Check, right where they’re supposed to be, the pyramid of shimmering crystal jewelry boxes reflecting the light of the chandelier as planned on the cherry wood buffet against the back wall of the large banquet room.

Centerpieces on each round table? Check, Natalie should know she came in twenty minutes early just to water the clusters of white roses and hydrangeas perfectly arranged with Queen Anne’s lace and maidenhair fern in white ceramic French country pots.

Decorations on gift table? Yep, the spotless white wrinkle-free tablecloth (starched straight after forty-five minutes of Natalie steam-ironing it last night in her living room while she watched the evening news), huge centerpiece arrangement of more white roses and hydrangeas, and gold satin table runner were all perfectly in place. Check.

She checked the rest of her responsibilities off her list: gold organza chair shashes tied to every chair, pewter candleholders of various heights with white candles grouped in the center of the drinks table, the bride’s portrait prominently displayed on a wrought iron easel next to the French doors that separated this rented banquet room from the hotel lobby, and finally, the thorn in Natalie’s side of this whole bridal shower, a surprise gift to the bride from her future mother-in-law, the rich, connected oil-money wife who’s throwing this lavish shower, the blasted ice sculpture in the center of the room, a frosty likeness of the bride’s beloved Bichon Frise puppy, Lucy. Natalie rolled her eyes and touched the screen of her tablet with the pen. Dog ice sculpture. Check.

“Do you think she’ll bring the dog today?” Elizabeth wheeled in the appetizer cart overflowing with grapes, sliced melon, raw vegetables, humus, crackers, cranberry relish, and an assortment of cheeses.

“I hope not. That’s why I sent you that email, though. Did you get it?” Natalie asked with a raised eyebrow. Elizabeth is the best chef and caterer in Oklahoma City, and is an honest and pleasant business partner, but a few things about her drove Natalie crazy. One of those things is that she doesn’t check her email regularly. Natalie made it a rule to check her email at least four times a day.

“Not since last night. I’ve been so busy this morning with all of the last minute details.” Elizabeth explained as she sliced mushrooms at the omelet station. “What was your email about?”

Natalie swallowed the urge to tell her that she should always check her email the day of an event. She casually tucked a strand of her long brown hair behind her ear, hoping her irritation didn’t show.

“We have a Dog Emergency Plan.” Natalie found the plan she typed this morning on her tablet and handed it to Elizabeth.

Elizabeth giggled. “Aw, I was kind of looking forward to another doggie emergency. You’ve got to admit, Lucy made the photo shoot very exciting.”

Natalie shook her head as she recalled the day she and Elizabeth ran up and down the winding pathways of Myriad Botanical Gardens and the Crystal Bridge trying to keep Lucy from getting dirty, because the bride wanted her puppy in some of her bridal portraits, and Lucy had been groomed that very day for the pictures.

“Looks good.” Elizabeth handed Natalie’s tablet back to her and pulled a pack of disinfectant wipes out of her pocket and rubbed a towelette on her hands before she resumed filling the garnishings bowls on the omelet station. “The park across the street will be perfect if Lucy gets out of hand. Who’s Jackson though?”

Natalie nodded toward the concierge’s desk at the front of the hotel. “See the bellboy standing next to the concierge?”

Elizabeth’s clear blue eyes found the African-American teenager standing in the lobby in his clean and crisp hotel uniform.

“That’s Jackson. If we have any trouble, we get Jackson, and he’ll take Lucy to the park across the street. Of course, we’ll have to convince the doggie mama to let us take her furbaby away from her.”

Elizabeth laughed at Natalie’s nicknames for the bride and her dog. “I’ll let you do that. I think that responsibility falls squarely on the wedding planner’s shoulders.”

Ten minutes before the bride and her guests arrived for the bridal shower brunch, Natalie and Elizabeth stood at the French doors and admired their handiwork.

“I hope Mrs. Murphy likes it,” Elizabeth referred to the bride’s future mother-in-law, a social butterfly in all the right circles in Oklahoma City, who annually hosted some of the most coveted parties in the city. “Can you imagine if we got the opportunity to do her Jingle Bell Dinner?” Elizabeth grabbed Natalie’s hand and pumped it up and down. “That’s exciting, Natalie! Come on, you planning the most exclusive Christmas event of the season, and me catering it? Haven’t you thought about that?”

Natalie had done more than think about it. She had already started planning the Jingle Bell Dinner. She already had a portfolio full of sketches of room layouts, tablescapes, and color schemes ready for Mrs. Murphy to look at.

But Natalie didn’t say that to Elizabeth. All she would admit to was, “Let’s make this wedding shower brunch perfect, and then we can start thinking about future projects.”

After the omelets, speeches, and toasts, the gift table was laden with dozens of beautifully wrapped presents, and Mrs. Murphy approached Natalie. “Natalie dear, you did a beautiful job today. Everything was lovely.”

“Thank you Mrs. Murphy.” Natalie thought about Mrs. Murphy’s Jingle Bell dinner. The Jingle Bell Dinner would promote Natalie to an entirely new level of clientele – no more kids’ birthday parties with clowns in backyards.

“You certainly exceeded my expectations. When Shelby suggested I use you for the shower because you were planning her wedding, I was apprehensive. I have a party planner I’ve used for years who I wanted to use, but I thought I’d give you the chance.” The elderly woman patted Natalie’s hand, like she was a five-year-old. “I’m glad I did. You’re a sweet girl.”

Mrs. Murphy patted her hand one last time and returned to her seat next to her future daughter-in-law.

A sweet girl? Natalie fumed. A sweet girl? Planning an event like this had nothing to do with being sweet. It took hard work, attention to detail, organization, and –

“Lucy, no!”

Shelby’s sharp scolding interrupted Natalie’s thoughts, and Natalie looked to where it came from.

In the center of the room, next to her icy twin, Lucy stood, leg lifted, threatening to tinkle on her would-be rival.

Without hesitation, the always-prepared Natalie grabbed a tablecloth from her stock of extras folded and stacked underneath the gift table, swooped to the center of the room, enveloped the dog in it, looked to Elizabeth and said through clenched teeth, “Jackson.”

Elizabeth jumped from her position behind the omelet station, ran to the lobby and summoned the teenage bellboy.

In milliseconds, Natalie met them in the hallway, delivered the dog to Jackson’s arms, and the young man had the dog out the door and on the way to relieve herself in the park before anyone in the wedding shower even figured out what was happening.

Two hours later, the guests started to leave, and more than one person commented that they hated to go from such a perfect party. After most of the guests left, a few male members of the hotel staff loaded the gifts on a cart and wheeled them outside to the bride’s awaiting car, Elizabeth began clearing away food and dishes, and Natalie began the task of packing away the decorations. When she saw the bride pick up her doggie carrier, Natalie went to the lobby to look for Jackson and the naughty pooch. She found them standing on the sidewalk in front of the entrance to the swanky hotel.

“Jackson, thank you so much for taking care of Lucy.” Natalie was truly grateful to the young man for taking care of her doggie crisis.

“No problem.” Jackson transferred the leash to her hand. “It was kind of fun. I’ve never owned a dog before. I think she just wanted to play.” He reached down and rubbed behind Lucy’s ear, and the dog looked up at him and wagged her tail appreciatively.

“Well, thank you. Here’s a little something for your trouble today.” She handed him a few folded bills.

He took the bills and stuck them in his pocket. “Thanks ma’am. Do you need any help with anything else?”

“Sure, can you help us load some boxes into our cars?”

“Yes ma’am,” the teen said again.

“How old are you, Jackson?” The normally non-personal Natalie couldn’t help but ask. The gaunt boy looked young enough to be in high school.

He laughed. “I’m eighteen, senior in high school. Been working here for three years.”

“Really? You’ve worked here since you were fifteen?”

He nodded as they entered the lobby together. “Yes ma’am. Started helping my cousin with odd jobs around here, moved up to dish washer, now I’m a bellboy – moving on up in the world,” He said with a grin. “Gotta pay the bills.”

Natalie stopped at the French doors that led to the banquet room and looked at the boy. “Bills? Don’t you live with your parents?”

Jackson shrugged. “Nah, foster kid. Got out of the system a few months ago. Now I’ve gotta make it on my own, you know?”

Natalie did know. She knew exactly what, Gotta make it on your own meant.

“Natalie,” Mrs. Murphy called to her from the center of the room, where she stood admiring the ice sculpture she purchased for the occasion.

“Yes ma’am?” Natalie noticed that she sounded like Jackson.

“Come here, dear, let me talk to you.” Mrs. Murphy waved Natalie to her like a grand empress.

Natalie thanked Jackson again and crossed the room, leash in hand, to Mrs. Murphy. She kept an eye on the puppy, though, ready to stop another potential ice sculpture defacing threat.

Mrs. Murphy put her hand on Natalie’s shoulder. “I saw how you handled the incident with Lucy,” she said with an ornery smile playing on her lips. “That could’ve been disastrous, but you saved the day, didn’t you?”

Natalie tilted her head and said with her most professional-event-organizer-can-handle-anything-but-still-humble tone of voice, “Just part of the job, ma’am.”

“Well, I was quite impressed. It didn’t interrupt the shower at all.” Mrs. Murphy reached into her designer handbag, pulled out a pair of designer sunglasses and propped them on her nose. “Give me a call next week. Let’s discuss my Jingle Bell dinner. If you can handle Lucy, then you might be able to handle my banquet.”

“Yes ma’am,” Natalie said again. “I’d love the opportunity to work with you again.”

Mrs. Murphy gave Natalie a knowing look through her dark glasses, said goodbye to Shelby and exited the room with the flair of a movie star.

Let’s discuss my Jingle Bell dinner. Exactly what Natalie had hoped for. She closed her eyes and prayed a silent thank you to God.

When she opened her eyes she saw that Jackson the bellboy was helping Elizabeth load dishes into a plastic tub. She wondered if the hard-working young man would want another job to supplement his income. She suspected he would . . . she remembered exactly what it was like to be eighteen and fresh out of the system – no parents to rely on, working to exhaustion, scraping together every penny to make the rent and buy mac and cheese. The boy would be an excellent addition to their staff, and, if this Jingle Bell dinner played out the way she hoped it would, and she impressed all the right people, they would soon need additional staff to help with social events that were sure to fill their calendar.

“Hey Natalie,” Elizabeth caught her attention, “Shelby and her bridesmaids wanted to know if we can go with them to the nail salon for pedicures this afternoon. Let’s go. It’ll be fun!”

Natalie didn’t even bother to respond. She just smiled at her business partner and started folding tablecloths. Elizabeth knew better than to ask Natalie to socialize with a client. She knew Natalie had a rule about that.





Every time my mom comes to visit she enters the door with brown paper grocery bags hanging from both arms, a 13×9 pan tucked into one arm, and she’s also got my dad loaded down with full sacks and random items. Inside the bags are things she’s seen at the store that she, “just knew one of us would love,” clothes she doesn’t want anymore that she thinks I might like, and miracle creams from the Estee Lauder counter that came free with her make up purchases. The pan in her arm is always filled with “Baked Fudge,” her special dessert that my husband and boys love.


I used to attend church with my mother-in-law, when we lived near them. She never entered the church house empty handed. She always had a homemade peach cobbler for someone who’d recently had a baby, or a pot of chicken and dumplings for an elderly person that had been sick, or a sack of groceries (You know, extra things from her pantry – wink, wink.) for a struggling family, or new coats that she just happened to find on sale for people she’d noticed needed them.


A very dear friend of mine opened her home to foster kids a few years ago. Now, her family of three suddenly has seven, with beautiful kids of all different skin tones calling each other brother and sister, being raised together in a home filled with lots of love and hilariously crazy adventures.


There are a lot of takers in this world, that’s for sure. Sometimes it’s easy to focus on that. We think about the co-worker who stole our idea, or the family member who doesn’t do their fair share, or the people who you do, and do, and do, and do for and they still don’t seem satisfied. But instead of focusing on all of the takers, let’s decide to focus on the givers . . . the servicemen and women who’ve given so much to our country, parents or grandparents who’ve poured love into our lives over the years, church pastors and leaders who’ve loved us and shown us the way, or maybe you’ve been blessed with friends or neighbors or co-workers who have proven themselves to be givers.


But instead of focusing on all of the takers, let’s decide to focus on the givers


And let’s also focus on the Lord, the ultimate giver. John 3:16 says that God loved us all so much that He gave His one and only son for us. God is certainly the supreme giver, and aren’t we supposed to be like Him?


We’ve all heard it said that it’s more blessed to give than to receive . . . the joyful feeling that accompanies giving, the rewards from the Lord when He sees our giving, the satisfaction of knowing we are imitating our God when we give . . . these are all evidence of that fact.


Perhaps the best way to help us to give cheerfully is to remember that everything we do we are really doing as unto the Lord. Once I heard Billy Graham’s wife, Ruth, talk about a sign that hung in her kitchen. The sign read, “Divine Service Conducted Here Daily.” Ruth explained that sign reminded her that every meal she cooked should be done as unto the Lord. Wow! What an awesome perspective! This perspective is an eternal one, and when we look at things through eternal eyes, we will understand that the life of a giver is truly blessed life.

I Can’t . . . My Kid Has Practice

Hey Guys! I’m guest blogging again today on the One Faith Boutique Blog. Today’s blog is for all of you tired moms out there – just a little encouragement to let you know that you’re not alone and to cherish these days filled with game schedules, practices, school projects, groceries, and laundry. I hope you take a minute to click on the link below and read today’s post!

Lots of Love,


I Can’t My Kid Has Practice . . . One Faith Boutique Blog

I Can't My Kids Has Practice!

God Always Keeps His Promises – Kids Ministry Idea


As I’ve been filling in as the Children’s Pastor at our church, I have discovered that Kids Pastors are a lot like school teachers in this . . . they always need new ideas!

This last Sunday I did something that I was nervous about at first. I didn’t know how the kids would like it, especially the older kids . . . especially the older boys. I was pleasantly surprised that all of the kids seemed to love it! So, I thought I’d share the idea, because I know how it is as a Kids Pastor – you always need new ideas!

Our lesson was about baby Isaac being born, and our main idea was, “God Always Keeps His Promises.” As an opening introduction, I did the following skit with photo booth props. The kids thought the photo booth props and funny voices and repetition of words starting with “P” were all hilarious.

Princess Penelope’s Birthday Party 

Characters – Hold up a different photo booth prop as you act out each character. Also, give each character a unique voice.

Princess Penelope – tiara prop & sweet voice

Her friend Poppy – glasses prop & nerdy voice, snorts when excited

Her friend Piper – green bow on head prop – silly English voice or some other accent

Popular Paula  – pink masquerade mask prop & snotty voice

Her papa the king – top hat and mustache props & royal King voice

Princess Penelope – “Hi, I’m Princess Penelope, and I’m so excited because I’m planning my birthday party! I got decorations and a ordered cake and I called my best friends and invited them to come. First I called my best friend Poppy!”

Poppy – Oh yes, Penelope! I would love to come to your party! I just love coming to your house, the palace and playing at your parties! We always have so much fun!

Princess Penelope – Well Poppy was so excited that I PROMISED her that she could come and that we would have the best time ever! Next I called my other best friend, Piper.

Piper – OH yes, Penelope! I want to come to your party! Thank you so much for promising me that I could come! We will have a blast!

Princess Penelope – So, I called and promised my two best friends, Poppy and Piper, that they could come to my party, but then I got an unexpected phone call from the most popular girl in our class, Paula. Popular Paula never calls me! I’ve always wanted to be friends with Paula and all of her popular friends, but they’ve never noticed me.

Popular Paula – Penelope, I’ve called to tell you that my popular friends and I want to come to your birthday party, however, you must make sure that those loser friends of yours, Piper and Poppy are not there. My popular friends and I would never go to a party with those lame-o’s.

Princess Penelope – Well I just didn’t know what to do! I had already promised Piper and Poppy that they could come, and we’ve been friends since Pre-K! But, I have always wanted to be in the popular group with Popular Paula and all of her popular friends. So, I did what I always do when I don’t know what to do. I asked my Papa, the king, for some advice.

Papa – Dearest Penelope, you promised your friends Piper and Poppy that you’d invite them to your party. We should always keep our promises. God keeps His promises to us, and we should try to be like Him, so we should keep our promises too.

Princess Penelope – I realized my Papa was right. I needed to keep my promises. So, my two best friends Piper and Poppy came to my party, and Popular Paula and her popular friends didn’t come, and Piper and Poppy and I had the most perfect time at my party!

This is a fun skit to go along with lessons about friendship or keeping your promises. Enjoy!