Saturday, June 29, 2013

My Favorite Ways to Follow My Favorite Blogs. . .

Do you know what happens on July 1?

I'm sure you've heard the news already, but Google Reader is going the way of the dinosaur.

What does that mean? 

Well, if you're following Growing in His Glory or any other blogs on Google Reader, then you will no longer know when those blogs have new posts--translation: no more updates to your favorite blogs!

So, what should you do if you want to keep in touch with Growing in His Glory & your other favorite blogs?

Here are my recommendations:

1. If you really like a blog, then subscribe via email. 

Just by entering your email address in the box provided (see image below for example), you will begin receiving all the new posts from your favorite blogs. That means that every time the blog has a new post, that new post will be sent directly to your inbox. 

Then, you can read the latest updates and posts whenever it's most convenient for you. This is my preferred way to subscribe to my favorite blogs. Don't worry; your email will never be used for anything other than sending you the latest posts!

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner

2. Follow your favorite blogs on Facebook

Most blogs--myself included--have Facebook pages where the blogs post their latest posts. Also, on Facebook, you can learn more about and connect with bloggers. I like to post random pictures of my kids, share links to posts I'm liking, and share my struggles in hopes YOU might have a solution (and you guys have some great advice!). 

To follow me on Facebook, click here.

3. Subscribe via Bloglovin', Feedly, or other Reader.

There are lots of reader options. I have chosen Bloglovin' for this blog because it seemed more user-friendly to me. To import all your feeds (all those favorite blogs you currently read on Google Reader), you simply create an account. It takes a minute tops to subscribe and then all your favorite blogs will be imported from Google Reader to Bloglovin'. That means, just like on Google Reader, you can go to Bloglovin' and read the latest posts any time you want. Plus, there's even a mobile app!

You can also group your favorite blogs by category on Bloglovin' (love that!):

To follow my page on Bloglovin' click here or the box below. 

Follow on Bloglovin

 4. Other ways to follow blogs: Twitter, Pinterest, & Google+

Not every blog has all these social media options, but if you like using Pinterest, then it might behoove you to follow your favorite blogs (or some of their boards). Or if you like Twitter, then follow your favorite blogs there. 

You can also follow me on . . . 




You can click on the icons or links above, or "Connect with Me" on the right sidebar at the top of the page.

There are many ways to follow your favorite blogs. These are just my personal favorites. 

I hope you will continue to follow Growing in His Glory. 

How do you like to follow your favorite blogs?

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Wednesday, June 26, 2013

When I Feel Like I Deserve ___________

Last week I stood on my soapbox, preaching on the war we must wage in our homes against entitlement. It's a battle that requires continual attention and constant work. If we hope to raise humble, grateful, count-your-many-blessings children, then we have to be proactive; we must have a plan; and we need direction. 

Why? Because this world we live in does not extol self-denial

Yet, as Christians, we are called by Christ to do that very thing if we intend to follow Him.

This week I want to share where all this starts:

with ME

My attitude, my heart, my priorities, my thoughts & actions

If I hope, in any way, to correct the assumption my children have that the world owes them something, then I must begin by addressing my own entitlement issues.

If I hope, in any way, to raise children who love Christ and desire to follow Him, then I must begin by modeling what "deny himself and take up his cross and follow me" means.

Yesterday, my kids would not calm down during nap time. The oldest wanted to read more books, the middle child kept complaining about her bottom hurting (not sure what's going on there), and the baby just wouldn't settle. And I desperately needed wanted quiet time. 

In my mind, I honestly believed I deserved for them to nap so I could get some much needed rest myself. When my kids weren't compliant, I turned into the Incredible Hulk, and, boy, was it ugly. 

In my mind I thought: "This is my time. It's not fair. I deserve a break. I've been fixing food, wiping bottoms, cleaning, and mothering all morning, and I need this." 

Satan was feeding me a pack of lies that I swallowed hook, line, and sinker.

So what did I do?

I started acting like my own toddler when she doesn't get her way: I threw a full-blown temper tantrum, complete with yelling (something I've really been working on not doing), dishing out "consequences," and making threats. Not only was I being selfish, but in the moment, I felt completely justified. Afterwards, though, I felt horrible. I knew I'd messed up big time.

When we expect or believe we are entitled to something--whether it's peace & quiet, a raise, an at-a-boy for a job well done, or to go first at the intersection--we stop following Jesus and start following self. Self-denial is thrown completely out the window.

If we claim to be Jesus' disciples, we must stop acting entitled. 

We have to quit this attitude of "I deserve better." 

We must give up all notion of "me" and surrender all to Christ, knowing He alone has the power to save. 

For me, that means I need to stop thinking I'm entitled to the following:
  • Quiet time
  • That new book
  • To take a break 
  • A nicer car 
  • A vacation (even a staycation)
  • A bigger home
  • More stylish clothes
  • Children who listen & obey the first time
  • More money 
  • To go first

I don't deserve quiet time. I'm not entitled to a vacation or a bigger house or more stylish clothes. Don't get me wrong: there's nothing wrong with any of those things in and of themselves. It's how we view them. 

Do we see these things as something we have earned, deserve, are entitled to OR as gifts from the Father of the heavenly lights (James 1:17)?

This life has been given to me. It's a gift. I haven't earned it. I don't deserve it. I need reminding over and over again--just like my small children--that I'm a mess without God.

When I surrender EVERYTHING, I see that God gives me even more than I could comprehend. When I realize that the quiet time I want is not something I need but a gift, then I can rest in Him who knows my needs and who gives His children good gifts (Matthew 7:11).

Surrender is a daily discipline. It requires giving up what we want for the good of others. And that's hard because by nature we are selfish creatures

What things do you believe you're entitled to? How do you deal with your own issues of entitlement? 

Next week I will post on some ways we can deal with issues of entitlement in ourselves.

Praying God's wisdom for each of us as we strive to be His disciples here on Earth,

Previous posts on entitlement:
Battling Entitlement in Our Homes 

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Friday, June 21, 2013

Battling Entitlement in Our Homes

"Mom, give me some gum." 
"Gimme a piece of candy." 
"I need a cracker."
"Can I have something to drink?"

Every.single.time we get in the car those are the very first words out of my children's mouths. We haven't pulled out of the driveway even, and they're asking for something

Sure, I'm at least partly to blame. I have acquiesced so many times that they've become conditioned to expect those things, so when I say "no," they don't understand.

And when they hear no from me, they cry and whine and demand

"Mama, why?" 

And the why isn't just: 

"Why can't we have a piece of gum?"

It's really: 

"Why can't I have what I want? Don't I deserve it? Don't you love me?"

Well, the truth is that I'm sick of it. I'm sick of this insatiable desire for more and the whining that commences when that demand isn't fulfilled.

I'm sick of feeling guilty for not giving more to my kids. This foolish idea that parents should want to give their children a better life than they themselves had is rubbish. The goal for our children should not be happiness but self-denial for the sake of the Cross. But right now they're not getting that, and that's largely my fault.

My kids aren't the only ones suffering from this heart condition, this "I'm-entitled-and-deserve-more" disease that distorts reality and diminishes God to god status. This illness afflicts many Christians I know and, I'd venture to guess, a great percentage of the population in this all-too-abundantly-blessed nation.

Don't get me wrong; I'm grateful to be living in this country, but if I hear one more time that everyone deserves to go to college, I think I'll be ill.

I'm sick of people feeling entitled, as if they've done something grand and wonderful like cure cancer or rid the world of mosquitoes, that they've earned the right to say, "I deserve this."

I'm fed up with people whining about missed opportunities and shattered dreams, about lost chances and wrecked plans, about misrepresentations and disappointing childhoods.

Get over it already. Move on. Count your blessings and name them one by one. Stop missing out on the good in your life by dwelling on the what-might-have-beens. There's a reason. Figure it out, and if you can't, ask God.
"Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled."
Matthew 5:6

I'm tired of hearing my own kids grumble when I don't oblige their every whim and buy them new princess dresses or sparkly bracelets, when I don't cave to their tantrums and take them to "McSonic," when they think I'm being outrageous for not giving them what they deserve.

"Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth."

Matthew 5:5

I'm annoyed at myself for thinking I deserve something more, something better than this beautiful life I've been given.

As if I deserve anything.

 As if this house, these clothes, my car are something I've earned.

As if this flesh is anything more than dust and dirt.

As if my breath is my own.

As if in one moment, I could choose to destroy everything and everyone.

As if I'm the Maker, Creator, Life-Giver and Life-Taker-Away.

As if God owes me something. 
"Blessed are those who are poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven."

Matthew 5:3

We are blessed beyond our own comprehension, and yet our human tendencies scream:

"I deserve more!"  

"Give me more!"

"Stop telling me no!"

"I'm special. I'm somebody."

And sometimes I want to tell those people--myself and my own children included:

"No, you are nobody. The only thing we deserve is death. We have done nothing and can do nothing to ever deserve what all we've been given. The only one who deserves anything, the only one who has earned the number 1 spot is Jesus, the one who gave up everything so we could argue we deserved it."

But then I would be accused of harming their fragile egos and destroying their self-esteem.

Those are three adjectives I never want ascribed to or characteristic of myself or my children. But right now, they're in danger--I'm in danger--of all three. Something has to change. 
So, I'm on a mission to reclaim my family from this pack of lies, empty half-truths that pollute our lives and whisper seductively in our ears that we are all those things and more.

I want to empty my flesh and mind of those lies and re-fill that void with these adjectives instead:

It's going to take some serious work and lots of prayer to see this happen, but the Holy Spirit has put this issue on my heart, so I know He will see it through. I'm not finished with this; expect to see more posts in the coming weeks.

What about you? Do you see this entitlement attitude in your corner of the world? If so, how do you work against it for your self and your children? 

I would greatly appreciate any suggestions you have to offer. 

Praying for wisdom,

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Saturday, June 15, 2013

"Eat Your Vegetables Day": Tips for Adding More Veggies to Your Diet!

Did you know that Monday, June 17, is 
"Eat Your Vegetables Day"?

One of my goals for the summer is to eat more fruits & veggies and less meats and dairy. We're trying to eat a little healthier and get our kids to see that vegetables are indeed yummy. Honestly, I haven't done the best job of incorporating a variety of produce into our diet, and that's a shame because according to the USDA, we're supposed to be eating between 2 & 3 cups of vegetables every day!

We are working towards that goal s-l-o-w-l-y but surely. I hope some of these tips will help YOU add more veggies to your family's diet.

  • Start a garden. Let your kids pick out vegetable and fruit plants and then help you plant them. If you have limited space, try using large pots or even 5-gallon buckets. Just be sure to drill holes in the bottom for good drainage.
  • Visit the local farmer’s market, and let your children pick out their own vegetables. 

  •  Try some new veggies you’ve never tasted before or cook up some of your favorites in a different way like braising, sautéing, or roasting.
  • Go vegetarian just for the day. Instead of meat, substitute beans and, of course, veggies. 

  • Make vegetables the main course instead of simply a side. For example, have a main dish salad or grill veggie kabobs. Let the veggies be the star of the show for once!
  • Challenge yourself to literally “taste the rainbow!” Your children will love creating a visual rainbow from the veggies you have on hand.

  • Add veggies to your kids' favorite foods. For example: add peas or broccoli to mac & cheese; grate zucchini and carrots into spaghetti sauce; finely chop veggies into quesadillas; make veggie pizzas.
  • Try a new veggie recipe like some of the ones listed below. You can even eat your vegetables at breakfast time!



On the Go Egg & Vegetable Breakfast Sandwich
Greek Omelet
Summer Vegetable Frittata

Source: via Keri on Pinterest


Grilled Vegetable Gazpacho
Grilled Farmers’ Market Sandwiches
Pinto, Black & Red Bean Salad with Grilled Corn & Avocado
Summer Grilled Vegetable Pizzas
Napa Cabbage Spring Rolls



Portobello Burgers
Fresh Vegetable Quesadillas with Corn Relish
Easy Italian Summer Salad

Celebrate "Eat Your Vegetables Day" on Monday with your family!

How do YOU get more veggies into YOUR family's diet? I'd love to know!


*For these and other great veggie recipes, follow me on Pinterest.

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Thursday, June 13, 2013

When Being Discontent is Good

Jennie Allen's book Anything has stirred up some serious internal questions in me recently. I've been grappling for a while with feeling different, not fitting in, feeling like I can't relate to my friends any more. 

At first, I chalked it up to discontent. I'm in a different place than most people I know: choosing to homeschool has distanced me from friends who are sending their kids to local public schools. I don't invite people over for play dates or dinner because our house is small, and we don't have much space or toys or it's too dirty (insert other excuses). My daily prayer has been to be more content with what we have, to count my blessings, to get over my excuses and be hospitable anyway.

In this nation where every earthly blessing we could possibly conceive of is at our fingertips, we are missing out on the one heavenly blessing we most need: 


Jennie says it perfectly here: 
When I feel like I deserve to be happy, that my unhappiness from being on a different path from everyone else is unfair, that the blessings everyone else has should be mine too, then I'm telling God, "You aren't enough for me. I need more. I deserve better, even though You gave me life.

And that's a lie.

Maybe this feeling of discontentment I'm having is a result of God telling me, "Keri, I have different plans for you. I don't want you to be the same. I have another path in mind."

Maybe instead of wallowing in my "I deserve more" pity party, I need to surrender everything to Him who gives above and beyond.

Maybe I need to stop looking down at the "problems" in my life, my idiosyncratic differences, my deficiencies, and look up to see what God has planned for me.

Maybe I need to stop praying for contentment and start asking for courage to continue in my discontent so that I can see what He wants me to do, where He wants me to go, what my new status quo should look like. 

Maybe being different is good after all. 

Can you relate, or am I the only weirdo?

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Tuesday, June 4, 2013

When We Rationalize Sin

If you're a Christian, then you probably know that you're a sinner. We've heard it so many times. And yet, as I'm training my children in the Lord, I find myself excusing their sins, dismissing their lies and selfish hearts as part and parcel of being a kid. I chalk up their defiance to no nap and say they need to eat instead of dealing with their disobedience for what it is.

The truth is this:


Despite being tired, hungry, or "just a kid," God cannot abide sin. His Word says that "[i]f we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us" (I John 1:8). 

As moms, we have a great responsibility in teaching our children right from wrong and that includes disciplining them when they break God's commands. We have to stop rationalizing sin and root it out once and for all! 

Ask God for help. Confess your own sins. Repent and turn from those sins. Make a change today.

Do you ever rationalize your sins or the sins of your kids?

What one thing can you do today to change that?

I'm praying for you, Mama, and covet your prayers, too!

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Sunday, June 2, 2013

How I Met My Husband: Or Why You Really Should Listen to Your Parents


I knew Daniel might be "the one" before I ever laid eyes on him.

As a young woman in my 20s, I had dated a few guys that my dad made very clear he did not like or approve of. In my mind, no one was going to be good enough. 

Until Daniel.

It was 2002, and I was 23 years old. I was riding in the car with my parents when my dad very casually mentioned this young man he had hired to work on one of his projects (my dad builds Food Lions & shopping centers).

"His name is Daniel Boone," Dad had said. "He's actually related to Daniel Boone, and he's from Manchester. He's going to be working in town with your brother this summer. Seems like a nice guy." {or something like that}

That's all he said, but the fact that my dad seemed to like this guy spoke volumes. {I'm telling you, he didn't like anyone I dated.} I deeply respected my father. I knew that if he liked this Daniel Boone character, then it might behoove me to meet him.

I didn't meet Daniel until a few months later. When I heard he was coming to the company dinner at our house, I got a little giddy. Silly me, I drove an hour to the J. Crew outlet store just to pick out a new dress. I wanted to look good for this guy even though I knew absolutely nothing about him and had no clue what he looked like. All I knew was that he was going to be there, so I had to look my best.

At the company dinner, I had my first glimpse of Daniel, and I admit he was very handsome. Blond hair, blue eyes, tan from working outside. But I was too shy to engage him in conversation. He was there with his parents, so I watched him from a safe distance, curious about this man who'd caught my dad's attention and wondering what in the world I could say to him. Did he even see me?

When Daniel left with his parents, I heard his dad say something like, "I think he's got a hot date tonight." Immediately, I assumed Daniel had a girlfriend. My heart sank and I suddenly regretted spending the money on the new dress. But oh, well, I thought.

My brother Brian worked all summer with Daniel, but I didn't see him again until August, when Brian invited him over to our apartment for Jen's (Brian's then-girlfriend, now-wife) graduation party. That's when we first spoke, and that's when I knew my dad might be right about Daniel. A few days later we went on our first date. And 5 years later we married. {That's another story for another day :) }

Besides surrendering my life to Jesus, Daniel is the best thing that has ever happened to me. He is kind, generous beyond belief, and an incredible father. As I think back to when we first met, I am reminded of the goodness of our Father, who gives good gifts to those He loves. I thank God every day for Daniel

How did you meet your husband? Did someone set you up? Was it a blind date? 

I'm linking up this post at Love Story Link Up at Beauty Through Imperfection. Stop by & read other great love stories by clicking through the button below.
Love Story Link Up

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