“The Best Laid Plans…” Five Minute Friday

I’m joining up with the #FMFPARTY Five Minute Friday group again this week! If you haven’t heard of Five Minute Friday go check out Kate Motaung’s page about it over at katemotaung.com/five-minute-friday. Blogging for Five Minutes on Friday about a specified “Prompt Topic” I have to say that only typing about a topic for 5 minutes is a HUGE stretch for me, but I’m really enjoying it.

This week the prompt is “Plan”. I’m excited to get started! So here we go…


If you’ve ever heard the phrase, “The best laid plans of mice & men often go awry.” You know the basis of my life.

I am a planner. I love lists & preparing for upcoming events. I used to be a wedding planner (that’s another post entirely in and of itself!) & I loved the entire planning process from beginning to end.

The thing is, my plans for my life & the lives of my family DO often go awry. I’m not a foolish person. I don’t just jump at every opportunity that comes up. I’m a detailed planner. When I graduated High School I “planned” to get a business degree then own my own bakery, definitely NOT what ended up happening. So why do some of my “plans” come up short?

They don’t work out when they are MY plans & not God’s.

James 4:12-15

” Look here, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we are going to a certain town and will stay there a year. We will do business there and make a profit.”  How do you know what your life will be like tomorrow? Your life is like the morning fog—it’s here a little while, then it’s gone. What you ought to say is, “If the Lord wants us to, we will live and do this or that.”

When I get an idea or start to make a plan of action I need to step back and really evaluate WHOSE plan it is. Am I coming up with this all on my own or have I truly been guided by The Lord?

This blog is a great example of that. I felt God calling me to write. Now, he originally called me to write a book (and I am), but when I got stuck in the process and was about to give up on it He pointed me toward blogging. I questioned & doubted whether it was me or God that came up with that, but after lots of prayer & searching for His answer, He has begun to open my eyes to His plan for it all.

Well, my five minutes are up! This five minute thing is CRAZY! I could probably go on forever… Hmmm… I think I’m already coming up with my next post! I’ve been inspired!

How have the “plans” you’ve made on your own changed? I would love to hear how God has moved in your life!

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Surprise! Free Printable!

So I’ve been stuck at home the past couple of days due to the snow storm that came through Friday Night & all day Saturday. Crazy! I was SO NOT expecting that!

I’ve organized the towel closet, published my 2nd post in the Ruth Study Series (Check out “Loss”), had a dance party with my girls in the kitchen, and done UMPTEEN loads of laundry. I decided I needed to get a little creative this afternoon. So…

Since the weather has snow bounded me… You get something FREE!

That’s right! I created an 8×10 printable from a verse I used in my latest post on Ruth and I’m making it available for you!

Psalm 9  8by10 printable

I love Psalm 9:9! Feel free to Pin, Save, Share, & Print! It’s created to fit in an 8×10 frame so enjoy!

Do you have a favorite verse that you would like to see as a free printable on Made To Bloom? Comment below & let me know! I love this kind of stuff!

Shout Aloud & Sing For Joy!

This past Saturday was an incredibly warm & beautiful February day!
Usually at this point in February we’re hunkered down in our home keeping warm. I’ll admit it. After the festivities of Christmas & New Years are over, I’m basically ready for Spring. So I was thanking God for a nice warm day so that I could recharge on sunshine and make it a few more months until Spring arrives.

I opened all of the windows in the house, turned on my Gungor Pandora station & cleaned my poor neglected kitchen. Sun streaming in, fresh air rejuvenating the house (and me), I stood at the kitchen sink & watched my daughters and husband playing in our backyard. I couldn’t help but smile.

It was then that I really started listening to the song that was playing. I became completely overwhelmed with love & thankfulness. Everything that I have, our home, our daughters, my husband, even my job have all been desires that I have prayed for, sometimes even pleaded God for.

All at once I remembered

  • Being told that my then boyfriend & I would never last because no one finds their future husband their first semester of college.
  • Crying & confiding to a close group of women at church on our anniversary because another pregnancy test had come up negative.
  • Crying & praying with my husband after our 2nd appointment when we found out that although I was pregnant I also was in a very early stage of cervical cancer.
  • Receiving a clean bill of health from my surprised doctor as I held my infant daughter in my arms.
  • Celebrating with my husband after he was offered his first (and current) teaching position.
  • Finally purchasing our home that was NOT a fixer upper.
  • Informing my surprised husband that I was indeed pregnant again.

As I stood there, my eyes welling up with thankful tears, I raised my hands high and praised the Lord for everything He has done for me. It continued to build up inside of me until I finally had to fully give in and kneel on my kitchen floor, crying & praising God.

Now I must interrupt this awesome picture with what happened next because it’s pretty common for things in our life to have an “and then…” turn in the story.

AND THEN…My husband came in the house, walked in the kitchen and immediately assumed that I had injured myself somehow while cleaning. This serious, heartfelt moment of worship ended in tears & laughter after he calmed down and I explained that I was just fine… MORE than fine.

After I got up and cleaned my face off I started to think again about all of the awesome things God has done. Not just in my life but in the lives of others, of everyone. We are told to count our blessings and be thankful, but how often are we truly overwhelmed by all that he has done & is doing in our lives. I know that sometimes my prayers of thanksgiving, although genuine, are maybe not a deeply set as they should be. I feel that he deserves more than a prayer list of the items & people that I am thankful for. He DESERVES to be honored. He DESERVES to be praised for the Awesome and Holy God that He is.

“Shout aloud and sing for joy, people of Zion,
    for great is the Holy One of Israel among you.”
                                        -Isaiah 12:6

I came across this verse and I absolutely love it! I feel like it completely describes the feeling of being overwhelmed with who God is & what he has done for us.

Through all of the storms and trials of my life He has been there. He has shown up in doctors offices, living rooms, classrooms, & parking lots. He has answered prayers, comforted me, & healed me. Most of all, through his son Jesus Christ, He has forgiven me and is helping me grow one day at a time. He is awesome & He deserves all of my praise.

I would love to hear what God has done for you!
Leave a comment below, or email me your story!

A New Generation of Addicts

When I think of an addict, I get a picture in my head of a person sitting on the floor in the fetal position. She’s rocking back & forth with a wile look in her eye.

She is jumpy and her eye makeup is running because she has been wiping away the tears. She needs something desperately, and feels like she can’t live without it.

It’s scary & sad.


Is this you when you can’t find your cell phone?

You may have chuckled a little to yourself just now, but unfortunately I’m not joking.

Our Youth Group goes to this amazing church camp for a week each summer. It is the most fun, energy filled, youth centered, & Jesus focused week. Seriously, the week after camp we all tend to get homesick… for camp! That’s how much we love it there.

The camp doesn’t have a lot of rules, but one of the BIGGIES is… no cell phones. No Joke, if a camp counselor sees a Youth with their phone in the middle of camp they will take it away & it will be mailed back home at the Youth’s expense. I agree with the rule. Too often we are too caught up in what is going on in the world and we can’t focus on what God is trying to tell us.

So when we go over camp rules a few weeks before we leave each year it always amazes/scares me to see the reactions from some of the Youth (mainly girls) who have not been to camp before.

They Freak Out. I mean REALLY freak out. One year, a few days before camp, a girl told me she was already having anxiety attacks just THINKING about being away from her cell phone for a week.

Cell phones have become a crutch to way too many teens & adults. (Don’t worry, I know it’s not just teens) The next time you’re out somewhere eating look around and see how many people are on their cell phones. Now, how many of those on cell phones are sitting with other people? Talk about a quiet meal…


So… Are you addicted to your cell phone?
1. Do you constantly check your phone even when it hasn

2. Do get a panicked feeling when you reach in your pocket/purse & can’t find your phone?

3. Do you put off schoolwork, sleep, or other responsibilities to be on the phone?

4. Do you feel depressed when you haven’t been on your phone?

Maybe you need to take a serious look at your NEED for your phone.

A phone can be very important. When in an emergency it can honestly be a lifesaver, but be careful of how much you depend on your phone. Is it what makes you happy? Is your social media & texting how you feel appreciated & loved. Do you spend more time on your phone that with actual people… talking… not on the phone? Are you spending more time on your phone than reading your bible? Praying? Spending time with God?

“I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery. You shall have no other gods before me.”  Exodus 20:2-3 (NIV)

Has your phone become your addiction?

If so, take it to God. Confess that you have put it before him & other things. Ask him for help with this temptation.

Maybe you need to talk to your parents about setting up some specific rules about cell phone use.

And Guess What…
There’s An App For That!

No Joke! I found out while researching this that there are actually apps that are supposed to help you with your cell phone addiction.

1. PAUSE
For iPhone
Pause Description:
It might not be a drug, but a digital based addiction can still keep you away from your real life.

2. BreakFree
For Android
BreakFree Description:
BreakFree is the best Android app for monitoring and taking control of your smartphone usage habits and your digital life. It helps you check your addiction levels and also helps you unplug and disconnect from your smartphone. With BreakFree you can focus on what’s important.

Disclaimer: I am in NO WAY endorsing either of these apps. I do NOT own either of them nor am I being paid to mention them. I ONLY give them as an option that teens should discuss with their parents as a possibility.

Take a step back. Put the phone down. Go find something to do without it. Maybe even have a REAL conversation with someone.

I would love to hear from you! Do you struggle with this? Do your teens struggle with it? Leave a comment below.

When you don’t feel God

Have you ever felt far away from God?

I was listening to the radio on my way to work the other day and the two morning DJ’s started talking about feeling like God isn’t there, like “God where are you?”. One of the DJ’s said he felt like that sometimes & the other said that he has never felt that way. So I had to ask myself, “Have I ever felt that way, and if so why? What can be done about that?”

First let me say that YES, I have felt like that. I have felt distant from God in good times and bad times. It creeps up on me. Everything seems to be going fine and then all of the sudden (or at least it FEELS all of the sudden) I feel like I’ve lost that close relationship with God and I can’t feel his presence. The feeling is awful! It’s lonely & empty.

So I ask YOU again. Have you ever felt far away from God?

If you honestly have never felt distant or far away from God then FANTASTIC! I’m so glad that you have never in your Christian walk felt this way. It is something that I wish none of us would ever experience because of how awful it feels.

If you have felt that way know that you are not alone. (And I mean that in more ways than one!) There are many Christians who have walked through difficult valleys in their life and felt alone and out of the presence of God.

The problem with saying “I don’t feel that God is with me” is the key word in that statement. FEEL. You may not FEEL God with you or around you, but that does not mean he isn’t there. He is ALWAYS there.

When Jesus Christ, God’s Holy Son, died for our sins as the perfect sacrifice, God not only created a way for us to go to Heaven but he also sent the Holy Spirit to be a messenger or presence in us. The Holy Spirit reminds us of Jesus Christ’s teachings.

This Holy Trinity of God, The Son (Jesus Christ), and The Holy Spirit means that:

1. God created us, loves us, & sent His one and only Son to die for our sins.

2. Jesus Christ died for our sins & if we accept that he is The Son of God, confess we are sinners, ask Christ to forgive us our sins, & to come into our hearts & lives we can have everlasting life through him. Jesus promised to guide us through his teachings, God’s Word.

3. The Holy Spirit was sent to be the presence of God & The Son that helps guide us. When we do FEEL God’s presence we are FEELING God through The Holy Spirit.

In John 14:25 & 26, Jesus is talking to the disciples about what will happen when he is gone. He has just said that those who love Him will obey Him. Those who do not love Him will not obey His teachings. Then he says,


All this I have spoken while still with you. But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all the things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.”

You are NEVER alone!

Ok, so now you KNOW… but, sometimes that’s not enough. Sometimes just KNOWING you’re not alone doesn’t change the fact that you FEEL alone. So how did we get to feeling this way? How can we change it?

First you have to ask yourself, “Am I being a good friend?”

I’m not talking about a good friend to your BFF, your classmates, or even your siblings. Are you being a good friend to Jesus?

Think of how you would grade yourself.
Are you spending time with God? (prayer, church, reading your bible, worship…)
Are you listening to God (obeying his teachings, having a quiet time in prayer & quieting your mind to be open to him…)
Are you talking to God?
Are you thanking Him for the Blessings he gives you? (Home, Family, Food, Extras that aren’t NEEDS…)
Do you need to ask forgiveness for something, but haven’t?

It all comes back to our RELATIONSHIP with God. A healthy relationship comes from two individuals doing their part. God loves you & promised to listen and take care of you. So are you doing your part?

Sometimes when we FEEL distant from God it’s because we have been slowly slipping away and suddenly realized that there is an ocean between us.

So jump in & start improving your relationship with him. Pray even though it’s hard, read even though you think it might be boring, go to church to worship The Lord & be in fellowship with other believers. Share with close friends & family members what you are feeling.

Keep reminding yourself… I AM NOT ALONE! HE IS ALWAYS WITH ME!

I would love to hear from you. Please feel free to leave a comment below.