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The Student Planner, Daily Math &ELA Workbook Every 5th Grade Teacher Needs

If there was one product that is extremely near and dear to my 5th grade teacher heart…. It would be this one. After surviving my first year of teaching I went into Summer Break with a desire to create a product with MY specific needs in mind. I NEEDED to better incorporate Language|Grammar standards into the classroom, I NEEDED to be more organized & consistent with what I required of my students, and I NEEDED something that would require as little of my precious prep-time and mental space as possible. I struggled to find time to effectively teach the Common Core ELA Language standards (Grammar). I also hated sending my students home with math homework on a concept I had just introduced. Lastly, I couldn’t believe how many parents and students expected me to know what their homework would be three weeks in advance. Thus, the idea for a student planner, self-propelled grammar teaching, spiral review, math homework hybrid was born. I began to brainstorm what I could do to meet these needs, and through that mental grind, the 5th Grade Student Planner\Daily ELA & Math Workbook HYBRID was born.

 

Obviously I still have no idea what to call this beautiful work of blood, sweat, and tears, but I do know that I love it. I’m also confident that once you catch my vision, you will love it too. A quick way to get an idea of what is included is to watch the video above, I’ll also give you a rundown here.

In a nutshell, this product includes 40 weeks worth of painstakingly, fantastic 5th grade curriculum aligned material. Each work page is made up of 25 glorious fifth grade problems: 20 math, and 5 ELA|Language.  4 math problems and 1 language problem a day. Week 1 – 4 spiral reviews through 4th-grade material. This is great because it allows you to assess your student’s needs and identify any gaps in their learning as well as give your students enough time to become familiar and confident with 5th grade material before it is assigned to them as independent work during week 5. Once you get into 5th grade material you will notice you go about 4 weeks then the pages begin to spiral review. This keeps content current, and familiar. I can not stress how important or necessary this is.

Example of the bottom of a work page.

As mentioned above I NEEDED to better incorporate language and grammar into my daily instruction. I realized that much of this can be self-taught or reviewed. The students just needed the support to be successful… You will notice on the work page that the 5th problem of each day is in a gray square, this problem will always be a language question. Each week students will work on a specific ELA|Language|Grammar topic. The topic can be found at the bottom of the page next to the HINT. The hint is  a paragraph that describes the topic, how to use it, as well as examples and non-examples. Students are able to read through the description and apply what they have learned through their responses to the questions. Based on their responses you are able to decipher which language topics need more support and practice, and which ones the students understand. Again I can not stress how WONDERFUL and needed this was to have

This product includes student planner pages, there are over 20 planner layouts to pick from.

To Purchase the Student Planner Hybrid Click Here
Click Here to Purchase

I’ve created two separate products to make sure you have an option that fits your need. The first is the student planner hybrid. To use simply print the pages double-sided the planner layout on one side and the work page on the other.

If you follow me you know that I love to use student planners in the classroom. I also LOVE to have a planner for myself. Be warned… I’m not a digital planner type of girl, I’m a 30 tabs open, 30,000 emails in the inbox kinda girl. Not proud, just honest. With that being said for those of you that would like a digital version of this… Stay tuned. It’s. coming.

I really advocate using a student planner in the classroom. It’s a great way to increase student accountability, organization, and open up the lines of communication from the home to the school. Coming from a school where homework was encouraged I saw great advantage in combining the two. The first year I used this hybrid I used it as student planner and student homework for the ENTIRE year combination.

The planner version actually includes over 20 planner layouts with more being added. Surely, there is one to meet your classroom needs, if not please let me know. Some of the best layouts came from the suggestions of teachers!

Quick Tip: During the first week of school the students and I will go through and write down EVERY. SINGLE. DATE. into our planners as well as holidays, breaks, and birthdays. This can literally be accomplished in 20 minutes and will be a life-saver for the rest of the school year!

Example of Planner Page Layout. Over 20 different layouts to pick from.

Example of one of the work pages, 40 work pages included.

This product includes the weekly evidence pages in place of the student planner pages

To Purchase the Daily Math & ELA Workbook with Weekly Evidence & Reflection Sheet, Click Here.
Click Here to Purchase

The second option is your more standard workbook|bell ringer. In this version, the student planner pages have been replaced with a weekly evidence sheet. The weekly evidence sheet includes space for students to show their work and a place to rate and reflect on their understanding of the concepts that were reviewed that week. This is a fantastic assessment to quickly pin-point what your students need as a class as well as individually. To use this version you would simply print double-sided, except this time the weekly evidence page would be on one side and the work pages would be on the other.

Weekly Evidence page is available, this is used instead of the planner page and allows space to show work as well as a weekly rate & reflection of understanding.

Example of 1 of the weekly work pages. There are 40 work pages included.

Also included in this product (both Versions) are my planner inserts.
Click Here to Purchase

The inserts alone are pretty great, but add them to your student’s workbook and it really takes things to the next level. The inserts include Anchor Charts, Math Reference Sheets, an All About me Page, a place for students to keep track of passwords, as well as a page to record the books they’ve read, and books that have been recommended to them. Your students will love the pages that personalize this booklet to them… and you will LOVE the math anchor charts… ESPECIALLY the measurement anchor chart when you being to teach the Customary and Metric Systems.

This product also includes 4 editable cover options. The covers are editable through PowerPoint. I’ve updated this product to also include 4 Grit and Growth Mindset intricate coloring pages. These are perfect for students to flip to in the back of their book to work on as a fast finisher. They are also great to work as filler pages. When you print double-sided you may come across the need to add an extra page to make sure things align correctly. These pages are perfect to meet that need.

You will notice in the video I mention using a poem throughout the year that I challenge my students to memorize. This was something that my own 5th grade teacher did that I wanted to continue in my own classroom. In 5th grade we were required to memorize Robert Frost’s, The Road not Taken. Still to this day I can recite portions of this beloved poem, and still do this day it’s words will come to my mind when a situation mirrors the meaning behind it. I treasure this and wanted my students to have this throughout their lives as well. I have my students memorize Good Timber. 

If you would like to include a favorite poem in your workbook simply click here for my FREE template. Good Timber is ready to go, or you can edit the slide and title with your own favorite piece of poetry. This free and editable download is available to members of On Lemon Lane. Not a member? No problem! Sign up is free and easy peasy lemon squeezy!

You really have two options to decide from when it comes down to this product. All of which have to do with how you will use it in your classroom. I have used it both as a student planner and a student workbook and see great value in both. Technically I have also used the student planner and instead of requiring the pages for homework, I used them as a bell ringer. It really comes down to whether you want the pages combined with a student planner or not. The student planner and inserts are available for separate purchase if you decide you want to utilize both. Read to the end to see my list of pros and cons to the options listed.

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The Run Down

***Every 5th grade Common Core Mathematics standard is covered. Week 1 – Week 4 Review 4th grade concepts giving you time to teach your 5th grade curriculum before the students see that specific concept in their booklet. Each week is focused on a specific concept that the students would have been taught previously. Preventing them from seeing something that hasn’t yet been introduced in the classroom. My issue with the layout of math workbooks, mountain math, and spiral review is that a lot of times the concepts that I don’t teach until the end of the year were mixed in with concepts taught at the beginning. This led to students assuming they understood concepts they didn’t and led to mistakes that were tough to assess.

***Every 5th Grade ELA Common Core Language standard is covered. Here’s the best part. On each page, students are given an explanation of the language concept being taught. Students learn to read through and apply what they have read. They also are able to find and cite evidence to the responses given. Have I mentioned how much I LOVE this booklet.

These Math and ELA pages work great as homework, bellwork, morning work, stations, rotations, guided math levels… the possibilities are really endless.

The planner is beautiful and has over 20 different layout options for you to customize it exactly to your needs! The planner also has 4 different covers, 2 math anchor charts, and a fun get to know you, as well as a password tracker **Which is a gift that keeps giving throughout the year**

*** I print the cover on cardstock one-sided, followed by the All About Me pg, and Book Recommendation pg. The next 40 pages are front and back with one of the planner layouts on one side and the work pages on the back going from week 1 to week 40. Lastly, the math reference pg and measurement reference, and Grit and Growth Mindset coloring pages for fast finisher work.

Math Concept Schedule:

  • 4th Grade Review
  • Place Value
  • Multiply Whole Numbers
  • Divide by One Digit Divisor
  • Divide by Two Digit Divisor
  • Add and Subtract Decimals
  • Multiply and Divide Decimals
  • ***Spiral Review Previous Concepts
  • Expressions and Patterns
  • Fractions and Decimals
  • Add and Subtract Fractions
  • Multiply and Divide Fractions
  • Measurement
  • Geometry
  • ***Spiral Review Previous Concepts
  • ***Spiral Review All Concepts

Friends have asked about how to go about getting the booklets bound. At our school district, we had a service within the district that would take care of printing and binding needs, if you are a new teacher make sure to ask if this is something your district offers. Your school may even have a binding machine that will allow you to bind the booklets by hand. Simply, ask someone to show you the ropes and off you go. If not try your local print shop, make sure they know you are a teacher when requesting a price quote. You can also ask for their suggestions to make the booklets as economically priced as possible!

Can’t wait to hear how you use these in your own classroom! This is the resource I simply couldn’t teach without. Do you have a favorite resource? Tell me in the comments, or let’s connect through Instagram or Facebook. I LOVE hearing from you.

Pros of using Planner Pages and Work Pages as Homework:

  • Students know the expectation for the YEAR
  • Parents know the expectation for the YEAR
  • If a student was going on to be out of class for a week, they knew where to start for missing work
  • Students should never see anything new, or something they had just learned as their homework.
  • Each Language topic for the week includes a description, examples, and non-examples so parents and students can effectively apply the skill.
  • Students only have one booklet/assignment to keep track of.

Cons of using Planner Pages and Work Pages as Homework:

  • Like any homework assignment, not every child will utilize, or complete the work.
  • Students must use another sheet of paper to show their work.

After putting in all the work to put this together I decided that I needed every student to utilize this. So the following year instead of using the work pages for homework, I decided to use them as my bell ringer for math class. I loved this as well.

Pros to using Work Pages as Bell Ringer

  • Whether math class was first thing in the morning, or right after lunch, students knew exactly what to do as soon as they came into the room.
  • You can quickly identify the most missed problems and go over as a class to clear up misconceptions.
  • The 5 problems a day can be completed within 5-10 minutes.

Pros to using Evidence page as opposed to Planner pages:

  • Students have a space to show their work.
  • Students rate their understanding of the topics each week to give you a quick and simple assessment.
  • There is a space where students can write a quick note to you about anything they want you to know. Great line of communication between student and teacher.

Pros to using Planner page as opposed to Weekly Evidence page:

  • Increases Student organization skills.
  • Increases student accountability and responsibility in learning.
  • Opens the lines of communication between home and school.
  • Parents gain a better idea about what is being covered in school and their student’s proficiency.

Cons of using Reflection Pages:

  • Like with any Bell-Ringer you run into students completing tasks at different paces. Make sure students know what to do if they finish the page early.
  • You may need to make accommodations for students that work at a much slower rate. Assigning only the odd problems was a solution to this issue for me.
  • Stick to your scope and sequence. Many times you will find holes or misunderstandings while students spiral review though the concepts you’ve already taught. Review the concept, address the misconceptions, and move on to the lesson you have scheduled. With how this is set up you will constantly be coming back, and exposing students to similar concepts. Rest assured it will come with more exposure and practice. Keep moving at the rate your scope and sequence requires.

 

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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.
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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. ...