My Favorite Planner

A few people have asked me about my planner, so I thought I’d share…

Screen shot 2016-02-09 at 11.39.07 PM

My support coach, Becky, taught me during support raising that I needed to use a planner with an hourly layout (ie: the google cal.). While I am our social media coordinator, me and The Googs just aren’t super compatible.

I love tangible notes. If I don’t write notes down, they don’t get done. Writing notes helps me focus. Also, there’s nothing like crossing something off your To Do List. I’m a tactile person, I suppose.

A few years ago I began the quest to find the perfect planner that Becky would approve of. I liked Target’s designs best, but weekly planners leave me wanting. And that’s pretty much all Target has. My job is pretty “entrepreneurial”, so I set my own schedule. There’s a lot of moving parts and I tend to overdo my hours. When I can see 12 hours (9-9) laid out, I can figure out how to block off 2/3 of my day and only work those hours. Well, try to only work those hours.

While I could put all my info on Google Cal and then print it out, that’s not super pretty.  I am tactile, but I am also highly obsessed with aesthetics. Since I couldn’t find anything that met every criteria I had, I decided to design my own planner. I found IHeartOrganizing’s planner, and while it was working for a while, it starts so early and it’s not the cutest. [Who has 5-11 days? Does that person only sleep from 11-5? I’d be exhausted.] I tweaked hers a little bit to fit more of my schedule. Here’s mine. Feel free to download a copy for yourself here: Calendar

Screen shot 2016-02-09 at 11.24.36 PM

I slipped in some of the immovable, weekly things in my schedule (staff meetings, Bible studies, weekly meetings, training, etc) and printed those out, but wanted to keep the things that sometimes change (discipleship appointments, my planning time, CityWides, Outreaches, Ministry Partner Development times, etc) off. I’ll write those in each week just in case a student cancels or for some reason I have to move our time around. Like this week.

Screen shot 2016-02-09 at 11.35.13 PM

I insert into this schedule (by hand) my weekly meetings with students. That way I can confirm with them that we’re still good as a reminder of the commitment they’ve made, but also just to make sure I maximize my time just in case they can’t meet one week.

Okay, so here’s what else I’m doing…

Since my schedule will be changing in May for Summer Mission and again in August, my hands are pretty tied with making a planner for the whole year. That’s kind of a bummer.

Jan-May: Print the filled in design.

May-August: Print the blank design.

AND THEN.

Print THIS WONDERFUL MONTHLY PDFs. And organize them. January sheet- 4 weeks of filled in designs. February Sheet- 4 weeks of filled in designs. ETC Until May, then I use the blank ones. And then until August when I have to put a pause on my schedule until I know what’s going on with LIFE.

I print all these at FedEx. Organize them how I like. And then take them in to be bound and covered. And then I have the perfect planner!

I hope this is a good resource for you. I love doing life this way and the only thing I could see working better would be to jump on the Google Cal life. And that life just ain’t for me.

Let me know what you think and if you’d like me to email you the PDF or design one for you with another phrase up top, I can! 🙂

MLou

 

 

Advertisements

MOO Business Cards

I was sitting in a meeting with about 23 professionals this week when I realized, “Oh, this is real life networking, and I probably should have business cards for this.” #Millenials #LinkedInWasMyBusinessCard.

I had some down time today after speaking at group meeting and decided to finally get those business cards made. I wanted something eye-catching, yet professional and gave the rustic-industrial feel to Detroit. I landed upon Moo.com’s website {sidenote: Why is it called Moo?}. They have a very large selection of fun designs and a ton of do-it-yourself options.

I chose to order 200 square business cards in the Frame It design. Here’s what I like about these designs: most come with different options for the back, so you’re essentially getting more than one design per pack. For example… I ordered one pack and was able to choose from five designs in the Frame It design. I could have 40 of each, or I could delete two designs and have 60 something of each three designs. Here’s the options I had:

I picked 2, 3, and 5.
I picked 2, 3, and 5.

Also, I really like that you can change the text layout for the front of your cards look however you want it to. Here’s a screenshot of some of the options I had:

You can change the font, size, color, background color, add a picture. There's a ton of variation that's doable.
You can change the font, size, color, background color, add a picture. There’s a ton of variation that’s doable.

For level of ease on Moo.com, I would give it a 9. There were a few kinks in regards to being able to position in my own photos and wishing there were more options, but overall it was super simple and easy to use.

Options: 10++++. Really, really great options.

Pricing: 6.5? It was a little on the high side for me, and there are not too many valid promo codes for Moo.com online to help with that. It ultimately became worth it because they were memorable. Really, who has a square business card? So unique! I did get a first time customer discount. With your first purchase, you save 10% on your order. You can click here to get that discount

I’ll let you know how I feel about them once they are here on March 2nd, ish.

The Sprouting Up.

Sometimes I get discouraged because I see grapes when I wanted watermelon.

I picture the harvest, and I don’t see these little fruits you have to prick individually off a vine. I see huge fruit; I see watermelons. The problem is ministry isn’t always going to be full of fruit so large you trip over it. While I wish life was like going to a 5 year old’s Easter Egg Hunt where the treasure is oftentimes in plain view, it just isn’t. Sometimes our role is pulling weeds, prepping the soil, sowing the seeds. Sometimes you don’t see any fruit and other times you see grapes. And sometimes you look to heaven and see the garden of God’s promises and faithfulness.

I took this morning and afternoon off to pray, seek the Lord’s wisdom, to cry out to Him [literally] and lay my heart bare before the Lord. “God, I need you to show up. I need You to provide. I need you to move.” I will admit, I’ve been through a week of increasingly hard discouragement. I called my sister two times in a row {sign of distress} and she finally called me back and I said, “I called. And you weren’t there. I needed you. I’m in the pit of despair.” To which she laughed and said, “Dramatic much?” [TRUTH.] We both laughed and then I got to share my heart about what is hard about this season of life and where I’m struggling.

I went before the Lord with the same concerns this morning and asked for Him to show up through His word. I began reading in Isaiah 50 and continued to Isaiah 52. In Isaiah 51:3 God’s word says,

“The Lord will comfort Israel again and have pity on her ruins. Her desert will blossom like Eden, her barren wilderness like the garden of the Lord. Joy and gladness will be found there. Songs of thanksgiving will fill the air.”

I had to remember this morning, even the little sprouts that spring up are reminders of God’s faithfulness. He is worthy to be praised at all times even when I can’t see any fruit or I don’t see what I want. I hold on to this promise knowing that God has redeemed my life and is working in me. I might feel as though I’m in the desert but God will cause it to blossom. I am seeing grapes right now and need to remember that there will be the fullness of the Lord’s garden. It may take time to cultivate, but the Lord is faithful to make produce fruit for His glory and His name’s sake.

I’m holding on to the promise of joy and gladness this afternoon knowing that our God is good. Always.

Missionary Prayer Cards

I love design and I love the fact that I get to use this passion in a couple different facets of my job as a Career Missionary with Cru. Prayer letters, prayer cards, outreach materials, etc. YUM. It’s slightly therapeutic for me to mix and match patterns, colors, overlays, new fonts (Thanks Maggie) and see what works and what doesn’t!

Here’s what I’ve been playing around with for my prayer cards. I haven’t decided if I’m going to put magnets on the back so that people can put these on their fridge or not, but… I probably will. I want to create something for people to put in their Bibles as well to remember to be praying for our ministry. But right now, I got the hook up with a friend who is printing these for me at cost, so I don’t want to do too much. You know. I’ll only be able to afford so many Starbucks gift cards for payment.

Prayer Card 1:

Option1

Prayer Card 2:

Option2

I’m still tweaking these of course. And, yes I’ll have my real phone number in these. I’d rather the interwebs didn’t have access to that. 😉 Sorry guys.

And I got to play around a little after realizing I didn’t need to create a back to these if there was going to be a magnet for a back. 😉

Screen shot 2014-10-05 at 9.31.45 PM

THAT IS ALL.

Expectant Faith in Climbing the Mountain

I listened to a break-out session from a woman with SoulSurvivor during one of our breaks at New Staff Training. She was talking about expectations versus expectant faith. We tend to think of that having expectations is such a negative thing. Really, we need to be checking where our hope and trust is found even in having those expectations. Expectations=not bad. Misplaced hope and trust=detrimental.

This lady, I’ll have to look up her name soon, then talked about expectant faith. She talked about having faith in God’s promises knowing that they will one day be fulfilled. We can pray big, huge prayers that align with scripture knowing that God will one day cause them to be fulfilled. I just love that.

Because God is good and faithful, we know that He is working even when we don’t see instant results. We can know that He is calling the nations to Himself even when we see little fruit in hard to reach countries like Senegal. I can trust that even when my eyes can’t see it, I can have expectant faith that God is and will do an amazing work in the 10/40 window.

I can trust, with this new shift to full-time campus staff stateside, that not only is God reaching college students but He is using them to reach the nations. He is bringing all tribes, tongues and nations to Himself. I am excited to be a part of this in the US getting the amazing opportunity to reach out, pour out and send out college students to the nations.

If you can’t tell, I have expectant faith that God will rebuild the movement at ECU and blow all of us away at what He does through these students. So here’s to climbing the mountain (maybe the Appalachian!) with expectant faith trusting God to provide and to move in my heart and the hearts of college students everywhere.

Cru Beginnings

🙂 Howdy y’all!

It’s been a few weeks since I’ve blogged and I really want to update you on my placement!

First, let me post this celeb picture:

VonetteBright

That is me and the co-founder of Cru, Vonette Bright. She is amazing. We got a chance to hear her speak twice at our New Staff Conference. One, she’s very entertaining. Two, she is one of the most humble persons I’ve ever met. Everything she said about Bill, Cru, other ministries was saturated in grace. If I ever grow to be half the woman of faith and grace that she is, I’ll be completely content.

Also, ignore my awkward hand. I was trying to not let my certificate from the Commissioning Ceremony touch the floor. I ended up losing it later that night as I took home my roommates instead of mine and then I’m not sure what happened to mine… I’m still kicking myself.

Placement update!

As you know, when we join staff with Cru we’re joining staff with Cru being willing to go wherever there is a need. I am excited to announce that I have been placed at East Carolina University in Greenville, North Carolina!

ECU Pirates I do realize that I left UTC who are the Mockingbirds to go to ECU which is a bearded Pirate. 🙂 Maybe the UTC train conducting moc can be on the Pirate’s shoulder.

I am really excited about working with the staff team there at ECU. So far, Jeff and Lindsey Rhea are the only full-time staff on campus. There are two guys who are currently completing their Ministry Partner Development, and one girl (who is THE cutest) intern, and another staff woman Jen who is engaged to Kevin! She’s not back yet from serving overseas, so be praying for her right now. And then whenever you think about her. Due to her secure location, I’m not going to post her picture. But I’ll post SO many as soon as we’re both on campus together! Which fits nicely into my next transition… I am hoping to get to campus by January to jump in on the spring semester! Please be praying for that!

Here’s a picture of the Rheas, Kevin and Adam! (Thanks Kevin!)

1501674_10203101485404294_480245435_n

And of course, sweet Danielle!

img_0102

 

 

Lil Jen!
Lil Jen!

So that’s my new staff team! It’s coming together quite nicely! Thanks so much for your continued prayers as we all seek the Lord and seek to make Him known among the nations! Check out our website: http://www.ecucru.wordpress.com!

XOXO

Mary

Sisterhood of the Traveling.. Stuff. #WCW

Welp, it’s my first night back in my Tennessee loft. There’s a lot more quiet around here than at New Staff Training (NST) and a lot less humidity. I suppose I should praise the Lord for both of these variants, but boy am I suffering from NST withdraws! I wish I could go across the hall to Amy and Cait’s room or Leslie’s and Rach’s room and laugh for hours.

I’m sorry. RUDE. I haven’t blogged in FOR_EV_ER, so you don’t know who any of these people are. Before I begin explaining who these beauts are, I want to share such a fun “spiritual yummy” with you.

My first year on STINT, a part of our team covenant was that we’d fight to believe that all the members on our team were God’s provision to us. He provided those people, specifically placed each one on our team, and we were fully complete in Christ and not lacking anyone. I loved that idea. It really helped us to value each person and seek deep relationships with each other. I learned so much from each person on my team and love them mucho.

Going into NST, I had some expectations about training, but did not expect to walk away with a new group of prayer warrior, spunky, fun and inspiring girlfriends. I really just expected the Lord to revitalize my heart, recast vision for college ministry stateside, and to leave 100% certain this was where the Lord was leading. He exceeded all of these expectations and lavished His blessing on me through these women (and MANY others!). Truly, they were God’s provision in my life. I LOVE sisterly community and felt the Lord work through these women in my life in deep ways! Each person was specifically placed to help teach me something about myself, joy, prayer, the Lord, and community. I love each of these girls!

For my first Woman Crush Wednesday in a while I’m posting a picture of all these ladies. Here’s a few of my favorite memories with them: anointing oil, wobble dance party, mooing at people in Chick-Fil-A, EATING A STINKING LEAF, nerdy bowling, Gary, 1000 puppies, “Can I borrow that?”, “Stop.”, “Doesn’t this African kid look like Mary Mac?”, dock time, what are the odds, “I just want to dance”, skin & cheese cooler, “I’m not one of the 9”, whole fears, and my last but of course not least the one and only Jasmine Foulda.

Girls, I love everything about y’all. Happy Wednesday Friendsday 😉

New Staff Training Provision.
New Staff Training Provision.