Sunday, March 18, 2018

Shoes: Or Why Sunday Mornings Are the Worst!

This is the introduction to another 12 week series of short Sunday morning devotionals for my readers. Last summer’s series focused on the Lord’s Supper and this summer will be focused on the heart of worship.  They will be about 5 minutes worth of reading, just right for enjoying with a cup of coffee before the kids get up. They’ll will arrive in your in-box before you wake up on Sunday morning.

“SHOES!”  I bellowed.  

Shoes: Or Why Sunday Mornings are the Worst!  Are Sunday mornings hard at your house?  Need something sweet and centering to start your day, get you mind ready for worship?  I have just the thing!I don’t like bellowing.  It’s almost always a bad choice.  Unless someone’s life is in danger-- say from an oncoming train-- that is an acceptable time to bellow.

Once again, Sunday morning was a proverbial train wreck.  I had to make an emergency run to the supermarket for one last ingredient for Sunday lunch.  The kitchen was a mess from the frantic lunch preparations and somehow while I dashed out (still not dressed for church), my youngest had not managed to get out of her pajamas.  

With minutes to go, papers to print off for my Sunday school class and maybe children’s church, clothes to throw on, and my mind in a whirl, I spat directions at the kid.  I zipped through the last of my tasks, found the checkbook, grabbed my purse, put my phone on silent, thanked God under my breath that we live a 30 second walk across the parking lot from the church building and turned to see my tween staring at the ceiling.  

That’s when I looked down at that phone, saw we were supposed to start in less than 5 minutes (Who knows what the kids are doing in my class?!) and bellowed for her to put on her shoes. 

I’d like to tell you that this is very unusual and that we typically have an idyllic Sunday morning (to be fair since the disaster I just told you about we have done some better), but this kind of chaos is not out of the ordinary for us.  I wondered if your Sundays are similar.  Do you walk in the doors to your auditorium, thinking more about needing sanctuary from your crazy day, than about the time you get to set aside to sing, pray and spend time with your sisters and brothers learning about God?

If so I have an idea for you, from June through August, I’d like to drop a little devo in your in-box.  Something to help you center your mind on God first thing in the morning before the chaos of getting everyone ready gets started.  You send me your email (you’ll be subscribing to get a couple of other freebies and I’ll be sending you an email every couple of weeks letting you know what’s new on the blog) and I’ll get those devotional emails started in June!  Click here to subscribe.  If you are already subscribed, you’ll be getting those emails automatically, don’t worry!

If you are thinking that you don’t want to wait until June, I’d love to send you over to “Around The Table” with Sharon Fleming.  I am guest posting over there with an expansion post from last summer’s devotional series.  Check it out and then come click through to sign up to get those devotionals too! 

Catch me linking up at any of these fine places: Mommy-MomentsSpiritual Sundays, Inspire Me MondayHolly GerthThe Mom GeneGood Morning Monday,  The Modest Mom BlogMoments of HopeGod-sized DreamsGlimpsesBreakthrough Homeschooling,Be Thee Inspired,

Saturday, March 10, 2018

Everything you need for a Ladies' Day, Ladies Night Out, or Ladies' Retreat

This post contains affiliate links.  Your price is the same when you click through our link.  But MaidservantsOfChrist does earn a small commission on your purchases.* 
Free Ladies Day Themes including "Don't Be a Twit," "Becoming Christian Adults," "Warrior Princess,"  "Walking in His steps" and "Stuff We Say To Self."  From MaidservantsofChrist

Are you in charge (or part of the committee) for an upcoming Ladies' activity?  Maybe it's a retreat, a Ladies' Day or a Ladies' Night Out.  The planning can be overwhelming.  Themes, speakers, lessons, decorations, food, hymns to sing: there are so many details!

Welcome to your one stop shop! In this post you can find FREE themes complete with descriptions, lesson outlines, scriptures, Pinterest boards, ideas about decorating, crafting and food!  Also at the end of the post you can find profiles of the speakers who contributed ideas and a link to a site that catalogs speakers for Ladies' Days! 

Walking in His Steps

Description: We don't often focus on our identity as "disciples": people who walk in the Savior's steps everyday.  Yet this idea should rule our ethics, our pace, our relationships and doctrine. 

Lesson ideas: 

  • Following the Savior's Steps: 
    Free Ladies' Day, Ladies' Retreat Themes including Walking In His Steps: Learning to Follow Jesus From MaidservantsofChrist
    • Stepping into Christian Life 
    • Stepping into our daily walk
    • Stepping up to our cross
  • Walking with God
    • Walking in the Light
    • Walking in the Spirit  
Scriptures: Matthew 3,4, 10, 1 John 1, Galatians 5.

Songs: Stepping in the Light, Footsteps of Jesus, I Have Decided To Follow Jesus

Decoration ideas: I have a Pinterest board dedicated to craft, decoration, and bulletin board ideas.  The craft ideas are really fun; for instance buying white flip-flops in bulk (or making them from foam) and allowing each guest to write her scripture on the bottom in permanent marker.  This could be especially fun at a Ladies Retreat if everyone had matching pairs. I also liked these floor stickers and cupcake toppers from Amazon. 

If you decorating budget is slim, a problem many congregations face, think outside the box!  Could you chalk footprints in the foyer?  Cut footprints out of foam?  Let a Sunday School class of littles make a cute decoration out of butcher paper, paint, and their footprints after church?  Perhaps you could make centerpieces out of fresh flowers and old shoes.

Amazing Grace

How Great Thou Art is only one of the many themes and lessons for a Ladies' Day or Ladies' Retreat you can find free at MaidservantsofChrist
How Great Thou Art
Designs By DJ
Description: There are a lot of options here.You can use any hymn that you like and use the scriptures that it comes from. I immediately thought of three that would make wonderful lessons.  


  • Amazing Grace: a study on the grace of God. 
  • He Leadeth Me: a study on following God. 
  • How Great Thou Art: a study on the glory of God revealed in nature.
Scriptures: Grace-Ephesians 1-2, Leadership-Luke 9:18-27, Greatness of God-Psalm 19 

Songs: Use the hymn you chose as a theme.

Decoration Ideas: There is a lot of really cool "hymn" art out there.  (See some here).  You could use Canva (free here) or Adobe Photoshop to create it.  Or my virtual assistant Designs by DJ would love to help you out.  She could put together an affordable image personalized to your congregation and help you turn it into magnets, bookmarks, invitations and art. A Pinterest board with examples of her work is here.  If you have the right skills, chalkboard art or plank art are also great ideas.

Tis So Sweet To Trust in Jesus - FREE Ladies' Day Ladies' Retreat Themes from MaidservantsofChristBonus idea: "Tis so Sweet to Trust in Jesus."  Talk about the promises Jesus gave us and how sweet they are.  (For example John 3:5-8. John 4:13-18, John 6:35-44, John 7:37-39, John11:25-26, John 14:1-4).  And then have desserts for your food and decorations.  You could do Ice Cream Shop theme, Cupcake Theme,  Banana Splits or my favorite Root Beer Floats complete with Mason Jars!  Find my Pinterest board with more ideas here

Save For A Rainy Day

Saving for a Rainy Day: Free Ladies' Day or Ladies' Retreat Themes from MaidservantsofChristDescription: Heaven's economy is so different from our worldly point of view.  We focus so much energy on work, education, buying the newest toys, the best house and car and saving for retirement.  Yet Jesus emphasizes storing up treasure in a heaven.

Lesson ideas:  

  • Storing up Treasure in Heaven 
  • A Heavenly Retirement Plan 
  • Saving for a Rainy Day
Scriptures: Matthew 6:19-21, Matthew 19:16-26, Luke 12:13-34,  Luke 18:18-33, 1 Timothy 6:6-10

Songs: I"ve got a Mansion, There is Sunshine in My Soul Today

Decoration ideas:  You could do rainy day decorations-umbrellas, rain gear, rain boots with flowers for centerpieces.  Check out my Pinterest Board HERE for lots of ideas or click through to any of the pictures to shop for rainy day decorations.  

This is a great theme to save money on.  You can gather up umbrellas from members of the congregation instead of buying them.  You could also check out some of the great DIY ideas on the Pinterest Board! 

Jesus IRL! Social Media and the Life of a Christian

Description:  Our social media use needs to be in line with the whole of our Christian lives.  For instance we need to avoid crass talk and pictures (Ephesians 5:1-14,) show our integrity online, and avoid anger, wrath and vengeance even in our Facebook feed. 

Scriptures: Matthew 5-7

    Saving for a Rainy Day: Free Ladies' Day or Ladies' Retreat Themes from MaidservantsofChrist #FaithBlog #MaidservantsofChrist #LadiesDay
  • Jesus IRL: Social Media and the Life of a Christian
    • Pause before you Post: Be quick to listen, slow to speak, slow to become angry
    • Like and Share: Using social media to spread the good news about Jesus. 
    • #NoFilters: When Jesus,  IRL, and Onscreen meet.

Decorations: One idea is to set up a photo booth.  Once it is set up you can either have a lady stationed there to use everyone's individual cameras to take the photos and encourage them all to share under a single hashtag. Or could use a members DSLR camera and tripod (or iPhone and tripod). Then post all the photos on the church's Facebook or Instagram account and encourage everyone to drop by and tag themselves. My Pinterest board on this theme includes DIY photo booth tutorials as well as everything Social Media/Emoji themed! Also check out these cool social media cookie cutters for food ideas. 

The Warrior Princess

Description: Women and the Armor of God.  The women of God are soldiers in His army, warriors in prayer, and daughters of the great King.  


Warrior Princess: The Christian Women and the Armor of God This and other FREE Themes for Ladies' Day or Ladies' Retreats
  • Stand and Be Strong: Putting on the armor of God
  • Belts and Breastplates: Integrity and the warrior princess
  • The Sword of the Spirit: Bible Study the weapon of God's warrior princess.
Scripture: Ephesians 6:10-17 and Isaiah 52:7, 59:15-18

Decorations: One fun way to go is with a medieval party.  Amazon has lots of stuff to chose from at this link.  If you'd like something more modern, it might be fun to go pink camo for all your decorations like here. And don't forget there are some really awesome T-Shirts!  (For a retreat the cost of the shirt could be built in or it could be optional.  Each RSVP would need to include a shirt size).  My pinterest board has more ideas here


Becoming Christian Adults: Making the Transition from Childhood to Adulthood 

By: J.A Busick

Becoming a Christian Adult: Making the Transition from Childhood to Adulthood This and other free Ladies' Day and Ladies' Retreat Themes at MaidservantsofChrist
Description: When our young people go from teenagers, living in their parents' homes under their parents' authority, to adults who are expected to be responsible for themselves, they often fail to make the transition with their faith intact. What can we do to better prepare our young people to make this leap without jumping right off a cliff? 

  • Welcome to the Endless Debauch! or The False Promises of Worldly Adulthood. 
  • Foolish Disputes: Rethinking Apologetics
  • Come Into the Kingdom, Go Into the World -- What Christian Adulthood Looks Like 

Scriptures: Judges 17:6, Judges 21:25, Genesis 6:5; 1 Peter 3:15, Titus 3:9, 1 Cor. 2; Matthew 28:16-20, Ephesians 6:13-17

Songs: Purer in Heart, O God; If Jesus Goes With Me; Exalted; Remember Who You Are

Decoration ideas: Graduation decor. You can catch some fun ideas on this Pinterest Board.

Stuff We Say to Self: Mental Monologs as Old as Job’s or as Motivating as those from that Woman with Issues

By Lynette Gray

Like a food pantry, our mental babble feeds us or poisons us. Scripture records negativity what Abraham, Hagar, Esau, and Saul said to self. But, in Matthew 9, an unnamed woman with a hemorrhage talks faithfully to herself. Then this anomaly reaches out to connect with Jesus’ power. He bestows healing, praise, dignity, and kinship.

Lesson: Let’s discern what we are silently saying. Ask: What funds my self-talk? Is it poisonous propaganda or God’s soul food for my spiritual nutrition? What self-talk will move me toward Jesus so He can rid me of my issues? 

Scriptures: Matt. 9:20-22;  Mk. 5:25-34; Luke 8:43-48;  2 Cor. 10:4-5;  Jer. 17:9;  1 John 3:20;  and six psalms.

Songs: Prince of Peace Control My Will; Jesus Savior Pilot Me; My Soul Be on Thy Guard; Nobody Fills My Heart Like Jesus

Decoration ideas:  Cartoon-type speech balloons with self-talk inside them. Ropes to lasso our thoughts and take them captive.  Tassels to remind us of the tassels on Jesus’ tallit. 

Speech Balloon decoration ideas include this fun LED backlit speech bubble and photo booth props.  Check out these affordable tassel earrings your staff can use or that could be a great giveaway at a retreat! Or check out white thread and blue thread in bulk to complete this DIY Tzitzit knots tutorial. If you decide to go with a rope theme, there is a lot of great western themed party gear out there to choose from.  Catch all kinds of DIYs on my Pinterest board

Looking for a Speaker?

Each of the ladies including myself who contributed a theme to our list is available to speak on their topic or others. 

Jennifer (J.A.) Busick

Contact Info and Social Media: jenbusick@gmail.com256-278-8095

Biography: J. A. Busick has been a professional freelance writer for two decades. As Jennifer Busick, she writes about occupational safety and health for employers in health care, manufacturing, agriculture and construction. As J. A. Busick, she writes educational materials, Bible study materials and humorous essays about parenthood and life in general. 

Read a review on J.A. Busick's books Strong Plants and Sculptured Pillars and The God Who Sees

Geographic Area: North Alabama

Lynette Gray

Bio:  As a daughter, sister, wife, mom, artist, and teacher, I’ve been a victim of my own crummy self-talk. But as a wimpy cancer patient, I determined to replace my mental monolog with faith and hope. See some of my Christian books below. My articles are in: Christian Woman Magazine, Power for Today, Forthright Magazine, and Heartlight. 

Hello My Name is Jonah- You can find my review of this book here
Letters of Hope
Feasting on Assurance - you can get a copy of this book by emailing Lynette directly. 

Geographic Area:  Within 4 hrs. of Knoxville, TN 

Tassie Helene Smith

Contact Info: 

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Bio: Whether it's suffering the consequences of an entire bucket of snails in Hunan, taking evening bike rides at the beach in Vietnam, or hurtling down the mountain on wild sled rides at home in Wyoming, I love a good adventure.  The greatest adventure of my life has been walking where God leads with my husband of 18 years and my two sweet girls. 

Geographic Info: I can speak within driving distance of Rock Springs, Wyoming (parts of Utah, Idaho, Montana, Colorado and all of Wyoming).  Or anywhere you want to fly me! 

Designs by DJ

Contact Info:

Bio: Designs by DJ takes on design piecework like invitations, bookmarks, business cards, and personalized magnets, and dabbles in social media management (Pinterest and Instagram).  She will give you an estimate based on your project and can offer intermediate drafts to be sure your final product is just what you need! She can help you submit a print order or send you a jpeg/png file. 

A recent project for the South Knoxville church of Christ

These were made into magnets for a total of 75 cents each.

Also you can find an extensive list organized geographically of Ladies who speak at these kinds of events HERE.

Don't forget to check out 9 Tips for an Amazing Ladies' Day! And don't forget to subscribe so you don't miss out!  (Subscribing also means bonus material including a free devotional as well as free curriculum for you and your tween.)


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Catch me linking up at any of these fine places: Mommy-MomentsSpiritual Sundays, Inspire Me MondayHolly GerthThe Mom GeneGood Morning Monday,  The Modest Mom BlogMoments of HopeGod-sized DreamsGlimpsesBreakthrough Homeschooling,Be Thee Inspired,