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How to Get MORE Out of Literature Circles with Weekly Assignments FREEBIE Included

If you’re reading this, I hope this means you have already read my post on, “How to Set Up Literature Circles in the Upper-Grade Classroom,” as well as the post on, “How to Keep Students Focused and Accountable During Literature Circle Discussions.” If not these are great places to start. If you also find yourself thinking I’m not here for information on setting up Literature Circles… Don’t go anywhere. These Strategy Focused bookmarks and student response pages are so extremely accommodating, their application and potential in the classroom go far beyond Literature Circles.

The idea for these strategy focused activities originated with my Literature Circle Groups. My set-up for Literature Circle groups evolved over the years, each year getting a little better, a little more effective, and a little more streamlined. What began as a weekly bookmark | summary and a letter to the teacher about what you read and the strategies used written in a reader’s notebook, eventually led to google classroom submissions, and finally to the finished product|program were going to explore in this blog post: Strategy Based Bookmarks and Strategy Based Digital Reading Responses.

Benefits Behind the Bookmarks and Digital Response Pages:

  1. These activities can be used with any text. Specifically fiction, novels, and digital reading passages. This allows you to use them again and again. Based on the text assigned you can easily differentiate amongst your students and apply rigor.
  2. These activities are editable through Google Drive. You can easily and quickly edit the text to your classroom’s needs, or alter the text to include more text-specific questions. The Active Reading Strategies are also editable in a way that you can completely customize the activities by moving different sections in and out of the response area.
  3. Use hard copies in the classroom, or assign the Digital Version Student Response pages in Google Classroom. Whether you start in the classroom, as a hybrid model, or distance learning classroom, you won’t skip a beat moving from one type of learning to the other. These pages are made to accommodate your unique needs as a teacher.
  4. By focusing student’s reading assignments on a single strategy you simplify your planning. Teach a whole class mini-lesson on the strategy of the week, practice together, then allow students to work independently with an appropriate text as they demonstrate the modeled strategy. This simplifies your planning 10 fold, while still allowing you to differentiate to your student’s needs.
  5. By focusing on a single strategy classroom discussions can be united and depth from different texts is added. No matter what text you are using, as long as the strategy is the same, students can connect, relate, and give great insight to a strategy that may have been one dimensional by only using a whole-class text.
  6. Active Reading Strategy Pages include my teaching notes, Elements of Fiction Pages include Anchor Charts. I’ve done my best to make the implementation of teaching these strategies through these products as seamless as possible. So much that I’ve included basically a script of how I introduce each active reading strategy (Editable text so you can make it your own) as well as a completed anchor chart that defines and gives examples of each Element of Fiction.
  7. The use and application of these pages are endless. Use these anywhere there is some type of reading assignment. Think ELA integration with History, Social Studies, or even use the Active Reading Strategies in Science. Use these as a Guided Reading lesson, Literacy Station Rotations, Whole-Class Novels, Classroom Book Clubs, or how they originated in weekly Literature Circle Assignments.
  8. This product is flexible across a large span of grade levels. Because it is text-dependent it can be used and implemented in grades as young as elementary looking to study chapter books or novels, to your middle school upper grades and High School Students.

Watch Video above for Preview of Making Connection Bookmark & Digital Student Response 

What’s Available

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Active Reading Strategies
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Elements of Fiction
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Watch the video above to preview everything included in the Mega Bundle.

How I use Them in the Classroom:

As was mentioned these originated as Strategy Focused Bookmarks that my students used during Literature Circles. At the beginning of a reading assignment. Students write the new reading assignment and due date at the top of the bookmark. We would do a quick lesson on the strategy we will be focusing on for the week, I like to follow the To, With, By model. Meaning I would introduce the strategy to them using a picture book. (High School | Middle School teachers… Don’t check out on me with the mention of a picture book. Big kids love picture books too, not to mention they are a WONDERFUL way to EASILY Integrate other subject material. If you can’t find a picture book or can’t bring yourself to picture book, find a brief reading passage instead! Model the strategy completely. This mini-lesson|introduction is done completely TO the students.  Notice with each strategy focused bookmark, I’ve included my personal notes with how I teach that specific strategy. This takes all the guesswork out for you and gives you a great base to start your discussion. Next, try applying the strategy to the remainder of a picture book or reading passage WITH your students. By the time you are done with this lesson students will be ready to work independently (BY) on their next assigned reading.

The Bookmarks lend themselves well to literature circle reading assignments or Classroom book clubs. Within the bookmarks, I’ve included strategy focused boxed activities. These boxes and the text within them can all be moved, manipulated, and edited to your own classroom needs. I’ve created these to be either printed double or single-sided.   These activities act as the assignment that corresponds with the reading that week. Students have the week to complete the reading and the Strategy Focused Bookmark Activities.

At the bottom of each bookmark and Digital Student-Response page is a scale of 1-10. This is a wonderful place to take a quick snap-shot assessment of your students. You can have them rate anything from their attitude towards the book to their effort of completing the assignment, to their understanding of the strategy they are focusing on for the week. To say I LOVE these bookmarks would be a complete understatement.

At the end of each week, I have students turn in their bookmarks and meet with their group to have a discussion on what was read. In order to keep their group discussions focused on the weekly strategy and meaningful, I created the Roll and Respond Activity. Click Here to Learn More about the Roll & Respond Pages and “How to Keep Students Focused and Accountable During Group Book Discussions.”

How to use in a Digital Learning Classroom:

Because of the need for resources that can be used in the regular classroom as well as adapted to a Distance Learning Classroom or Hybrid, I modified the bookmarks and created a Strategy Focused Digital Student Reading Response. Both are included in every Bookmark download. This allows you to use and assign these in a completely digital setting. If you are setting up Literature Circles to be completed through Distance Learning… WHICH I HIGHLY RECCOMEND. I still recommend printing off these bookmarks and giving them as a hardcopy to your students. I would include this in a packet and have students take a snapshot of the completed bookmark to show they have completed it. Each week I would hand out a new bookmark, with a new strategy to focus on while they complete the reading for the week, or handout every bookmark they would need with the start of a new novel! Maybe I’m old fashioned but I think something concrete like a book and a bookmark will help things feel a little more normal.

Mini-Lessons introducing the strategy for the week can be done easily over Zoom, Google Meet, or Screen Castify. If you want to go completely digital you can even assign the differentiated reading passages or assignments through Epic, Common Lit, Read Works, Newsela, or Freckle… Just to name a few of my favorite online resources for differentiated reading passages!

From these simply assign the specific Digital Reading Response through Google Classroom. To do so, begin by creating a student version of the slides. Once the Google Slide File is open, hold down the [control] or [command] key while you click on the slides your students will use.*** Only click on the slides you want students to see/use. Next, click on [File] then, [Make a Copy]. From there click on the [Selected Slides] option. Rename the file to include [Student Version] or something to that effect in the title. Then click OK. This will create a new copy of only the slides you selected and add it to your Google Drive. Making it EASY to assign these pages digitally or during distance learning.

Because the entire class is focused on the same strategy, having students respond to a strategy focused question, or having a group discussion can be really rewarding. Despite everyone using different texts, their response will be focused and just as meaningful to a student not reading the same text. Use the Digital Versions of the accompanying Roll and Respond Sheets to have students respond at the end of their reading assignment using digital tools like FlipGrid, Screen Castify, Zoom, or Google Meet! Click Here to Learn More about the Roll & Respond Pages and “How to Keep Students Focused and Accountable During Group Book Discussions.”

Give it a Whirl, Enjoy this Free Download:

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***Remember these downloads are for personal use only. Your membership is good for one license of each product, meaning sharing or emailing with a friend is strictly prohibited. However, telling a friend how to become a member and download on their own is warmly encouraged and very much appreciated!

Save Big with Bundles: Bookmarks, Digital Responses AND Roll & Responds

***Something to keep in mind, if you like the idea of using these in your classroom make sure to check out the Roll and Respond Pages. Both were made to be used in conjunction with the other.  Both activities are great on their own but are taken to a whole other level when used in a partnership. See options below to SAVE BIG by bundling!

Active Reading MEGA Bundle: Roll & Respond and Strategy Focused Activities

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Elements of Fiction MEGA Bundle: Roll & Respond and Strategy Focused Activities

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BIG BUNDLE: Element of Fiction & Active Reading Strategy Roll and Responds & Activity Pages

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Watch the video above to see what’s included in the BIG BUNDLE

If you liked this, make sure to check out these related posts! (Freebies Included)

   

All Bookmark Products include Editable Bookmarks AND Digital Student Responses

 Bookmarks & Digital Response BUNDLES:

Active Reading Strategies Bookmark & Digital Responses BUNDLE

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Elements of Fiction Bookmarks & Digital Responses BUNDLE

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Active Reading & Elements of Fiction Bookmarks & Digital Responses BUNDLE

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Individual Active Reading Strategies: Bookmarks & Digital Response

Summarizing Bookmark & Digital Response

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Questioning Bookmark & Digital Response

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Visualizing Bookmark & Digital Response

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Synthesizing Bookmark & Digital Response

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Making Predictions Bookmark & Digital Response

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Making Connections Bookmark & Digital Response

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Inferencing Bookmark & Digital Response

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Active Reading Strategies Bookmark & Digital Response

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Individual Elements of Fiction Bookmarks & Digital Response:

Character Bookmark & Digital Response

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Conflict Bookmark & Digital Response

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Elements of Fiction Bookmark & Digital Response

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Mood/Tone Bookmark & Digital Response

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Plot Bookmark & Digital Response

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Point of View | Voice Bookmark & Digital Response

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Setting Bookmark & Digital Response

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Story Map Bookmark & Digital Response

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Theme Bookmark & Digital Response

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If you’re interested in only purchasing the Digital Student Response Pages, Click Here!

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#givethanks 3:7
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I'm grateful for refinement. I'm grateful to have the opportunity to be a little better everyday. Though my growth pattern is for every step forward there's a few steps back, somehow, over time, minuscule little by minute little, there's been progress. Though I don't see it in the day to day, I do see it in the years gone by and though it is slow, and the curve to my chart is gradual, it's there. I know this is due to Christ’s enabling Grace, available through His atonement. I don't think I'll ever quite have the words, the comprehension, or the understanding to adequately express my gratitude for this.

Art by one of my very favorites Emily Shay
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Had to share Emily’s words when she debuted this piece, ”The Refiner’s Fire.”
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”...And yet, considering a piece of rough ore- a rock encased with minerals naturally contains impurities. However with those impurities, it also carries within it precious metals such as silver and gold. For the refiner to create something out of that piece of ore, he needs to begin the refining process by breaking the ore with a heavy hammer. The ore then must be exposed to the refiner’s fire, with temperatures as high as 900-1000 degrees Celsius, in order to burn away the impurities and reveal the precious metal inside.
...
Could there be a gold and silver lining to the trials we are experiencing? By clinging to hope, persevering in faith and trusting in the Master Refiner’s perfect plan, we are refined in the fire.

In this painting there are a few things I’d like to point out:
⁃ with the support of Jesus Christ and heaven raining down tender mercy to keep her from burning, she is safe, cool and unconsumed.
⁃ by accepting such love and support, this brings new growth – beautiful fiery growth.
⁃ Christ’s halo is made of all colors of the flame, as he takes on every and all the impurities.

“I will refine them like silver and test them like gold. They will call on my name and I will answer them; I will say, ‘They are my people,’ and they will say ‘The Lord is our God.’” Zech. 13:9”
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(Continued in the comments)
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“Hope is not knowledge, but rather the abiding trust that the Lord will fulfill His promise to us. It is confidence that if we live according to God’s laws and the words of His prophets now, we will receive desired blessings in the future. It is believing and expecting that our prayers will be answered. It is manifest in confidence, optimism, enthusiasm, and patient perseverance.” Dieter F. Uchtdorf ...

#givethanks 1:7
I've contemplated today what I would share and though I have SO much to be grateful for... There was no, ”aha!” ”that’s it!” moment!
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As I opened my photos to find a pretty picture to share I found a stream of these images from this morning that made me smile. It's not the picture perfect post, but it's our reality.
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Our reality is made up of a messy house, (that was cleaned today by the best daddy despite working full time from home.
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Our reality is made up of a boy that drags Alexa around from room to room to listen to his music like Chris Stapleton, or Jon Pardi way too loud.
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Our reality is made up of kids having more screentime than they should /taking pictures on mom's phone, left to fend for themselves or run to nana’s house.
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Our reality is a big sister giving her 8week old baby sister her brother’s medicine/ call to poison control...
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Our reality is an exhausted momma, wearing spit up as perfume, in an inside out nightgown, with who knows how long it's been since a brush has been in her hair, hair.
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Our reality is messy, and in the moment I'm not often thinking of how grateful I am for the mess.
But looking at this picture while the kids are sleeping sound... it’s like looking at things through a different lens.
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I'm grateful for the mess.
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LOVING this FREE coloring page to use with this weeks #comefollowme lesson. Head to the website for the link to this instant download and others 💛 ...

“There is no medication or operation that can fix the many spiritual woes and maladies that we face,” President Nelson said. “There is, however, a remedy—one that may seem surprising—because it flies in the face of our natural intuitions. Nevertheless, its effects have been validated by scientists as well as men and women of faith. I am referring to the healing power of gratitude.” – President Nelson ...

FUN & Free Download to help you brainstorm and get into an attitude of gratitude as you participate in @russellmnelson #givethanks challenge! Head to the website for this week’s #comefollowme weekly FREE Resource Roundup ...

Repost• @comefollowmedaily
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Sometimes I wonder, how did the Jaredites do it?

How did they have the faith and courage to step in those barges with everyone they loved, leaving behind their home, stability, and any semblance of control.

No steering wheel to steer. No sail to direct. No windows to see. No air source in the depths. No idea where they were going. No idea how long it would take. No idea if they had enough food.

No game plan but prayer.

Can you imagine those moments where they were running out of oxygen in the depths of the sea, praying fervently that the Lord would lift them in time? Because I’m sure they were imagining it as they stepped into that barge.

How did they do it?
The answer, I believe, is that God had prepared them.

Ether 2:6 says of their journey, “And it came to pass that they did travel in the wilderness, and did build barges, in which they did cross many waters, being directed continually by the hand of the Lord.”
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They had done this before. They had been in the barges. They had crossed over many waters, and had felt God direct them continually.

They knew God was with them. So, when their greatest challenge came, they were prepared.

How has God prepared you for your challenges today? What smaller waters have you already crossed to prepare you for the ocean you are now in?

Or, what smaller waters are you crossing right now to prepare you for the oceans ahead?

Remember, “God has already prepared the way. He is just preparing you.” (Tangie Ambrose).

Art by @yongsungkimart
Thanks to my friend, Becky Rowley, for the conversation that inspired this post ❤️
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Have you ever lost something, looked EVERYWHERE, all the while telling yourself “You don’t need to pray,” “YOU can find it,” ” We’re not to that point yet…” Only to get to the point of offering a desperate prayer, to find the thing you were searching for moments later, likely in a place you had already looked. This has happened to me more times than I care to admit. From my wedding ring to my only set of car keys. As I reflect on those little miracles or moments of God showing me His hand, I think those moments carry more weight because I left myself to my own devices for so long. I knew when I sheepishly found them after praying that the finding was outside of my own capabilities. Again I think this was an example of my own veil of disbelief.

According to President Harold B. Lee (1899–1973), the Lord’s question was similar to saying the following:

“‘Well, have you any good ideas? What would you suggest that we should do in order to have light?’ …

“Then the Lord went away and left him alone. It was as though the Lord were saying to him, ‘Look, I gave you a mind to think with, and I gave you agency to use it. Now you do all you can to help yourself with this problem; and then, after you’ve done all you can, I’ll step in to help you.’”
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“Sometimes the only thing separating us from the blessings we seek is our own “veil of unbelief,” and if we can “rend that veil” (Ether 4:15), we may be surprised by what the Lord is willing to do for us.”
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This excerpt from Come Follow Me this week really struck me. As I thought about what it meant, I realized that too often I had fallen victim to my own disbelief sometimes in the simplest ways and moments. I think in part it’s how my “natural” mind works. I’m quite an anxious person and my mind always puts things in worst-case scenario, that way when best-case or mildly-acceptable case come along I feel prepared and even happy with the outcome. I think it’s a survival mechanism. Whatever it is, it’s the default setting for my brain.
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An instance that sticks out to me happened about a year ago. A dear friend of our family was going through cancer treatments for a cancer that he had beat once already. Things looked pretty bleak. My family had helped to organize a fundraiser that I was quite involved with. I did everything within my power to make things ok. Notice I did everything within MY power.
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My husband and I were headed to the temple to do sealings with some of his old mission companions and mission president. As we drove to the temple I broke down filled with dread and hopelessness as our friend’s battle with cancer seemed to take another drive.
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This brought the question… What’s the point? What’s the point in praying, if God already knows the outcome. Because God knows the outcome and it’s ultimately His will why even pray….. (read the rest on this week’s Come Follow Me Blog Post)
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Comment below your thoughts, I’d love to hear what you think💛
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Fun Object Lesson for #comefollowme this week:
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Mormon and Moroni had faith that their actions, work, and sacrifice would bring about beauty for tomorrow.

What are you doing today? What seeds are you planting, or in my case SHOULD be planting? What is something you can do today that will bring about a more beautiful tomorrow?

If you are looking for a way to solidify this idea, it just so happens to be the perfect time to plant bulbs. Tulips and daffodils are one of my absolute FAVORITES.

If you’ve never planted bulbs before here are a few tips:

🌷Plant in a spot where it will receive full sun, or afternoon sun.
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🌷Tulips prefer well-drained soil.
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🌷Planting before a freeze is optimal, however, you will still have great chances with planting your bulbs in the winter. Tulips are surprisingly hardy.
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🌷The larger the bulb, the deeper it will need to be planted. Larger bulbs need to be planted around 6-8inches deep.
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🌷When you plant the bulbs the pointy side needs to be pointed up.
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🌷Leave them to their own devices and have faith that March will be made more beautiful because of your efforts!
I would LOVE to hear your thoughts on this! Make sure to comment below.

As you plant, consider making a commitment to the figurative seeds you can plant and care for each day. Come March, when your tulips bloom, reflect on your actions and document the beauty that came because of your actions.
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“To gain unshakable faith in Jesus Christ is to flood your life with brilliant light. You are no longer alone to struggle with challenges you know you cannot resolve or control yourself, for He said, ‘If ye will have faith in me ye shall have power to do whatsoever thing is expedient in me’ (Moroni 7:33; italics added). – Richard G. Scott ...

You may not know this about me, but I love gardening, especially flower gardens. I’m no good at it, and again my good intentions outdo any action on my part, leaving an often neglected and overgrown sight, however, I still love it and love learning, reading, and experimenting with different blooms.

One of my favorite ideas/thought process about gardening is the idea of planting seeds is a demonstration of faith. The ACTION of planting the seeds and caring for them demonstrates your belief or hope in the beauty that may come tomorrow.

As I read the heading form Come Follow Me this week, I was immediately reminded of this idea.

“Mormon and Moroni had faith that their record would inspire those living in the latter days. As you read Mormon 7–9, write the impressions that come to you about how you can apply what you are learning. “

Mormon and Moroni had faith that their actions, work, and sacrifice would bring about beauty for tomorrow.

What are you doing today? What seeds are you planting, or in my case SHOULD be planting? What is something you can do today that will bring about a more beautiful tomorrow?
📷: @spellandtell
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Have I Seen the Hand of God? FREE printable, November Gratitude Challenge.
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This fun download can be completed digitally by typing into one of the 30 squares each day for the month of November, or print out the page and write in one of the spaces each day.
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“I heard in my mind—not in my own voice—these words: “I’m not giving you these experiences for yourself. Write them down.” […] I wrote down a few lines every day for years. I never missed a day no matter how tired I was or how early I would have to start the next day. Before I would write, I would ponder this question: “Have I seen the hand of God reaching out to touch us or our children or our family today?”

-Henry B. Eyring
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New post with FREE Printable for #comefollowme this week! It’s all about making the effort o see the Lord’s hand in our lives every day. Download the November Gratitude Challenge and be ready to start come November 1st💛
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Art by Sammie Rose
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Gracelyn Jo
(See Full Picture in Profile)

“Grace is different from the Atonement. It is not Christ’s suffering, death, and Resurrection. Instead, grace is the power that flows from those sacred moments...”
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“Grace is different from the Atonement. It is not Christ’s suffering, death, and Resurrection. Instead, grace is the power that flows from those sacred moments.
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“The Bible Dictionary states, "Grace is an enabling power.”
-Brad Wilcox, His Grace is Sufficient
...

Gracelyn Jo
(See Full Picture in Profile)

“Grace is different from the Atonement. It is not Christ’s suffering, death, and Resurrection. Instead, grace is the power that flows from those sacred moments...”
-
“Grace is different from the Atonement. It is not Christ’s suffering, death, and Resurrection. Instead, grace is the power that flows from those sacred moments.
-
“The Bible Dictionary states, "Grace is an enabling power.”
-Brad Wilcox, His Grace is Sufficient
...

Gracelyn Jo
(See Full Picture in Profile)

“Grace is different from the Atonement. It is not Christ’s suffering, death, and Resurrection. Instead, grace is the power that flows from those sacred moments...”
-
“Grace is different from the Atonement. It is not Christ’s suffering, death, and Resurrection. Instead, grace is the power that flows from those sacred moments.
-
“The Bible Dictionary states, "Grace is an enabling power.”
-Brad Wilcox, His Grace is Sufficient
...

Had to share Emily’s post and this piece titled “The Refiner’s Fire”

@emilyshayart 2020 has been a YEAR.
Personally, it tops the charts.
My family has been drastically and painfully altered, bringing overwhelming heartache.

And yet, considering a piece of rough ore- a rock encased with minerals which naturally contains impurities. With those impurities, it also carries within it precious metals such as silver and gold. For the refiner to create something out of that piece of ore, he needs to begin the refining process by breaking the ore with a heavy hammer. The ore then must be exposed to the refiner’s fire, with temperatures as high as 900-1000 degrees Celsius, in order to burn away the impurities and reveal the precious metal inside.
God refines us by allowing us to go through painful trials and difficulties. One might think, “What is the purpose of letting Their children suffer if They truly love us?” Is it possible- one way to look at this allegory is to help us understand the purpose beyond our pain- to expose and purify the greatness within?
Could there be a gold and silver lining to the trials we are experiencing? By clinging to hope, persevering in faith and trusting in the Master Refiner’s perfect plan, we are refined in the fire.

In this painting there are a few things I’d like to point out:
⁃ with the support of Jesus Christ and heaven raining down tender mercy to keep her from burning, she is safe, cool and unconsumed.
⁃ by accepting such love and support, this brings new growth – beautiful fiery growth.
⁃ Christ’s halo is made of all colors of the flame, as he takes on every and all impurities.

“I will refine them like silver and test them like gold. They will call on my name and I will answer them; I will say, ‘They are my people,’ and they will say ‘The Lord is our God.’” Zech. 13:9

“Adversity should not be viewed as either disfavor from the Lord or a withdrawal of his blessings. Opposition in all things is part of the Refiner’s Fire to prepare us for an eternal celestial destiny.” -Quintin L. Cook

“God would not put you through a refiner’s fire if you were not worth refining.” -Brad Wilcox
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We’re BACK! Thank you so much for your kindness and patience as we took a brief pause to prepare for and welcome our sweetest new addition. THANK you to so many of you who reached out and checked in on us, to know that you have looked forward to and used these posts and even missed them...made me eager to return. ...

Hi There! So Glad You're Here

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