Christmas Gift Exchange Ideas

Christmas Gift Exchange Ideas

Every year my friend Holly hosts a Christmas gift exchange for our friends. For the past several years, she’s asked me to help with a theme for the gifts (because I love both research and a good theme party). Having a theme adds to the fun and keeps us creative (so we don’t give the same thing every year). Last year, after someone else asked me for theme help, I thought I should write a blog post so I can have a handy list, and, well, it just seems like the perfect topic for a blog. We generally set a price limit (mostly we stay around $15), and we swap the gifts dirty-Santa style, so you never know what you’ll end up with! We keep things simple—we have snacks and desserts and just chat and catch up before the main event of the gift exchange. We look forward to this tradition every year! Color. I think this was our first theme. We picked the color green. So, every gift was either literally green in color, or was “green,” as in good for the environment. We had some recycled jewelry, to-go coffee mugs, green tea, etc. You could pick any color and encourage people to think outside the box! (Red could mean a book you read, for example.) Christmas Carols. For this theme, we had everyone pick a Christmas carol (you could also assign one to everyone or each person a different one), and they brought a gift on that theme. We had fun trying to guess the carol based on the gift. We had a Christmas welcome mat for “I’ll Be...
It’s Election Day—Now What?

It’s Election Day—Now What?

Today I wrote about the election, or rather, about after the election. What do we do now that we’ve voted?  Today in the United States, we go to the polls to vote for our next president. We understand that voting to elect officials is a fairly new privilege and right for many of us and one still fought for by many others around the world. This year, perhaps for the first time, we’ve felt the full weight of our right. Perhaps you have voted or will vote today and perhaps you chose not to vote. This year, more than ever, we’re asking what our future holds. No matter who we voted for, or didn’t vote for, we’re asking, now what? Read more at the LifeWay Women...
Tweets of the Month Club | October 2016

Tweets of the Month Club | October 2016

Y’all. I’ve been doing recaps here to provide context and historical record, but this month was all about the election. Crack open your history books, future self. You’ll figure it out.  Here are the best tweets to cross my feed this month.  Taking 5th wheeling to a new level by fighting falling asleep while my friends compare honeymoon stories. — Rachel Trammell (@racheltrammell) October 1, 2016 If you're a child of God & you feel like you don't belong here, there, or anywhere, it's because you don't. You weren't made to belong here. — Lore FergusonWilbert (@lorewilbert) October 1, 2016 The feeling of otherness, alien, outsider? It abates one place: eternity. Don't strive to belong here—expend yourself inviting others along. — Lore FergusonWilbert (@lorewilbert) October 1, 2016 I get weary of the message to women (esp) today: "This will make you feel whole! Beautiful! Desired! Valuable! Included!" And it never does. — Lore FergusonWilbert (@lorewilbert) October 1, 2016 Once you get it, you realize how it doesn't satisfy, how it primes you for yet another awareness of insufficiency. — Lore FergusonWilbert (@lorewilbert) October 1, 2016 Here is the truth: you are not enough. Not pretty enough. Not perky enough. Not present enough. Not perfect enough. You just aren't. — Lore FergusonWilbert (@lorewilbert) October 1, 2016 BUT GOD—rich in mercy—because of great love with which he loved us— even when we were DEAD in trespasses—made us alive TOGETHER w/ Christ. — Lore FergusonWilbert (@lorewilbert) October 1, 2016 Alive together in Christ? That's the belonging you have. That's all the belonging you need. Because He IS enough. — Lore FergusonWilbert (@lorewilbert)...
Friday Five

Friday Five

1. GUYS. SOOKIE. JESS. EMILY IN A TSHIRT. 2. The Intimidating Single Woman: A Parable. Related: May You Not Be Weird and 30 Other Prayers for My Future Husband. 3. Sponsor a Millennial. I would probably change this to “hipster,” but whatevs. 4. This is heartbreakingly beautiful writing on the loss of a daughter and the birth of a son. 5. Because here we are. A simple way to figure out who you should vote for. A post about the scandal of this heated election. A speech about religion and the election (An hour long, but completely worth it, especially for those of us who grew up in the church. Pro Tip: change your phone auto-lock to “Never” then pull up the video on your phone. You can listen to it like a podcast while you clean, cook, drive, etc. Visuals aren’t necessary, so it works great just listening.) And a call to love our neighbors in this wild world. BONUS Podcast Recommendation: Home Row with Jen Wilkin. Great for anyone trying to write something that means something. Favorite quotes: “Everything on the internet wants to present itself as thought provoking. … Sometimes it’s just clutter.” “The job of the Bible teacher is not to say new things. … My job is not to write what’s new but to write what’s old for the sake of new ears.” BONUS BONUS Podcast Recommendation: Happy Hour with Jamie Ivey: Tara Leigh...
Untangled

Untangled

  Today I wrote a post for the LifeWay Women blog on becoming untangled from the sin that so easily ensnares us. (They let me write about the upbeat, fun things.) When we thought about the word release for our prayer this month, we thought of Hebrews 12:1-3. Therefore, since we also have such a large cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us lay aside every weight and the sin that so easily ensnares us. Let us run with endurance the race that lies before us, keeping our eyes on Jesus, the source and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that lay before Him endured a cross and despised the shame and has sat down at the right hand of God’s throne. Even though I’m not a runner, I love the picture this passage paints. Running is not an easy task. Sure, there are Olympic athletes who can run 100 yards or 26 miles in seemingly impossible times. These athletes have spent their lives training, though. They’ve worked hard, been in pain, refused to do other—perhaps more enjoyable—tasks. They have oriented their lives around running. And you better believe they have taken great pains to lay aside every weight and thing that will entangle them on race day. Click here to read the...
Friday Five

Friday Five

We’re back! 1. I’ve had so many discussions already about this article. A lot to think about as a reader, writer, and editor. 2. I just thought this was funny. 3. This is so, so good. Thought-provoking for single women and for those who love them. 4. Jen Wilkin made me laugh and challenged me in this piece on the Instagram Bible. 5. Also funny. BONUS PODCAST RECOMMENDATION: This interview with Jimmy Wales, the co-founder of...
Tweets of the Month Club | August + September 2016

Tweets of the Month Club | August + September 2016

Guys, guys! August and September gave us a lot to tweet about. Unfortunately, I was not on Twitter as much as usual and I was in Alaska on September 1st. So here we are with a double feature. To recap (for context), we had the Olympics, Instagram copied Snapchat, the election, etc. etc. Without further ado, the best tweets I read in my feed in August and September. This morning I hid in my bathroom for 50 min. when the handyman unexpectedly came in my apt. So that's how I'd handle a zombie apocalypse. — Molly Gentry (@mollsabeth) August 2, 2016 Year of the This is Fine Dog — PJ Vogt (@PJVogt) August 2, 2016 Instagram becoming Snapchat is like those women who sneak zucchini into their potluck brownies. NOBODY WANTS THOSE BRITTANY. — Jamie Golden (@jamiebgolden) August 3, 2016 If you haven't made an Instagram vid about how insta is trying to be snapchat then you are REALLY MISSING OUT ✌🏼️ — erinmcgown (@erinmcgown) August 3, 2016 Proud to announce that I'm starting a nonprofit that brings old people with premium cable together with youngsters who just need passwords. — Eddie Kaufholz (@EdwardorEddie) August 4, 2016 Writers, thank your editors today. They have a tough job killing our darlings and making our work stronger, better, and clearer. — Lore FergusonWilbert (@lorewilbert) August 5, 2016 Yes, I, as an editor, favorited this and am putting it here. As a writer and as an editor, I agree. Me normally: "Lifting a Mountain Dew can to my mouth is exercise."Me during #Olympics: "I'm confident I could medal in judo with ease."...
Tweets of the Month Club | July 2016

Tweets of the Month Club | July 2016

Here’s the deal. There was a lot of tragedy in July 2016. I also accidentally took a week off from Twitter. Those things combined make this an unusual Tweets of the Month Club. I’ll just leave it as these are some, but not all, of the best tweets to cross my feed this month.  Pretty sure this means I found where they filmed Deliverance. pic.twitter.com/NAFJyPqxrX — Rachel Callahan (@ObjectivityRach) July 1, 2016 We pray, talk, write, read, teach, counsel, and even tweet because words matter. Don’t waste them on hate, slander, grumbling, or division. — Brandon D. Smith (@BrandonSmith85) July 2, 2016 My family’s taking a break this weekend from complaining about America so we can celebrate America. 🇺🇸 pic.twitter.com/JBcSRvM5G0 — Jamie Golden (@jamiebgolden) July 2, 2016 I appreciate our youth pastor's patriotism & creativity, but that'll be the last time we attempt a Roman candlelight service. — Fake J.D. Greear (@FakeJDGreear) July 3, 2016 Quick acknowledgment of the first world struggle that is traveling on a Sunday when @ChickfilA is closed. — Dean Inserra (@deaninserra) July 3, 2016 If I spent as much time hustling as I do picking a 4th of July outfit, then I’d be the Republican AND Democratic Presidential nominee. — Jamie Golden (@jamiebgolden) July 4, 2016 “We don’t have any hobbies. But we do try to get together a few times a month to judge people and complain…” pic.twitter.com/r66KX4wFR4 — Brandon Stanton (@humansofny) July 4, 2016 #goals “He must have so much time for interesting hobbies” — me, thinking about the guy behind me who verbally shortened “possession” to ”possesh“ — Tennessee Grimes (@10ehC)...
Friday Five

Friday Five

1. When to Use an Exclamation Point. Agreed. And, let me just add, they go even further in print than on a screen. 2. I just love this. 3. An interesting insight into the process of being vulnerable with your writing. 4. This article says what I want to say to so many women struggling with identity. “Our primary problem as Christian women is not that we lack self-worth, not that we lack a sense of significance or purpose. It’s that we lack awe.” 5. You may have heard, NEEDTOBREATHE has a new album out. You know the drill. Download, listen, dance, repeat. And if you want to see some fun, check out the #hardlove hashtag on twitter. They had a dance off that is a joyful respite to the rest of Twitter this week. BONUS PODCAST RECOMMENDATION: Invisibilia has been fantastic in season two. I have loved every episode so far, but The Problem With The Solution was...
Tweets of the Month Club | June 2016

Tweets of the Month Club | June 2016

This month featured the start of summer, Father’s Day, Brexit, and various other events, both happy and tragic. Here are the best tweets to cross my feed during June. All I know is I never want to be the person who shuts the airplane window because they're bored & unmoved by the view. — Jenna (@jpeyt) June 1, 2016 Attention and influence are not the same thing. — David Qaoud (@DavidQaoud) June 1, 2016 "If I were a superhero and my arch nemesis was Saran Wrap, the earth would be doomed." —@KeithPipes helping with dinner — Carol Pipes (@carolpipes) June 1, 2016 I really just eat dinner as a bridge between lunch and late night cereal. — Brandon D. Smith (@BrandonSmith85) June 2, 2016 Preach the gospel at all 🕐🕙🕞. If necessary use 💬. – St. Francis of A🌊🌊 https://t.co/Qida933IzA — Fake J.D. Greear (@FakeJDGreear) June 2, 2016 @sammyrhodes Dear Lord, yes. — Beth Moore (@BethMooreLPM) June 3, 2016 He’s smart, loves Jesus…his texts are green. — Jamie Golden (@jamiebgolden) June 3, 2016 Writing (or creating anything, really) isn't about achievement. It's about connection. It's a hand reaching out, a bridge, an invitation. — shauna niequist (@sniequist) June 5, 2016 imagine if sesame street was a tv show for adults and you just heard about it and you're trying to get caught up pic.twitter.com/Z3czwHsUYq — Judson Collier (@JudsonCollier) June 5, 2016 I’m convinced I will never confidently fill out a W-4. — Laura McClellan (@laura_mcclellan) June 7, 2016 really appreciate the effort my grocery store put into this pic.twitter.com/NxX4EqCpQx — Amber Krogel (@amberkrogel) June 8, 2016 Step 1: Download...

Pin It on Pinterest