Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Harvest....




What a great time of the year! The leaves are changing, the farmers are in the fields. It's all the sudden getting colder, especially at night. I love it, except for the cold part!

As I think about the seasonal changes, I think about how much we change throughout our lives. Much of the time our change is due to experience. Maybe we don't like barbeque potato chips because we got sick on them once when we were young or we enjoy strawberry ice cream because it reminds us of our favorite childhood vacation.

No matter the experience, whether it big or small, it affects us inwardly.

We need to realize that God is shaping us for his plans. Even when things seem downright unlivable, God has a mission for the pain that you're going through. We can't see it at the time, but given enough patience you will see the results, the reason, the purpose in the pain, sorrow, or grief. The Bible says, "I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord..." He's already got things set, we just have to follow his lead with patience.

Likewise, we must be careful how we as Christians affect those that are around us. A bad experience with a Christian can turn someone away from God so easily and it can be hard to recover their thoughts. We are looked at in everything that we do. We make mistakes, but sometimes others don't consider that we too are humans and we mess up, we sin. From my experience, so many people expect a Christian to have it all together when we don't, we're just forgiven.

I love that bumper sticker... Not Perfect, Just Forgiven. I wish everyone looked at Christians that way. I don't mean to say go on being sinful and with the mindset to make mistakes, not at all. Simply living as we feel God has intended for us to, knowing that we will unwittingly make mistakes along the way. Lets make an extra effort not to blow our top when things get heated or to say one thing and do another. We all mess up, but sometimes we can tough it out better than we do, and for God's glory let's try.

Gladly forgiven...

Saturday, October 4, 2008

New design...

I hope you all find the new design pleasing. I've been looking for a way to easy change the design and happened upon a site called The Cutest Blog on the Block. They have some really neat designs for just about any style and as you can see they do some seasonal designs as well.

Since, as I wrote in my last post, I love Autumn so I couldn't resist this design. The only thing that I'm not so keen on about it is the "Happy Haunting" sign, but I decided to go with it and that I would talk about my feelings about Halloween as the time approaches... conversation starter I guess. I tried to change what it said and was unable to, so there it stays.

How do you feel about Halloween? Too commercialized? Satanist holiday? Should our kids be allowed to dress up? If so, do you have limitations?

Just something to think about as the "holiday" approaches.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Love'n Autumn


I love this time of year... the weather changing, the leaves turning, the crops being harvested. Never mind the fact that I grew up on a farm & I'm terribly allergic to all the crop dust, it's still my favorite season. In fact, I've always thought that if I had a little girl I would consider naming her Autumn... even love the sound of it.

It never ceases to amaze me how fast time seems to go, and it seems like it goes faster all the time! Especially now with a 3 yr old running around and all the changes he keeps making.. just awesome to me!

My little guy just started preschool this year and adores it. He goes twice a week and the days in between he always asks if we go to school today. He's such a Daddy's boy, a people person.

I have to tell you that he loves school so much that Sunday morning when we went to get in the car to go to church our little guy told Hubby he was to sit in the passenger seat and Mommy was going to drive. Hubby asked him why and he responded, "Mommy knows the way." Hubby told me what the request was and I asked Hubby teasingly if the 3 yr old was now the decision maker of the household. I jumped into the driver's seat and our little one says something about us not going the right way. I told him we were going to church to which he responded, "No Mommy, you take me to school."

He had decided that when Mommy drives we go to school and when Daddy drives we go to church. Before he started school church was his favorite place to go, now obviously school has changed all of that. I gently corrected him and reminded him of all of his friends at church that we would get to see and he decided that it would be alright that we went to church instead. I was keenly aware that I had to be careful how I approached the situation so as not to upset him.

As I'm writing this, I wonder how often God is calling us to take a different direction in our lives and all we can see is the familiar road or maybe it's the fun road ahead of us. Maybe the direction he would have us turn is fun too but we just can't see it at first, until it's gently shown to us. I wonder how often God tries to nudge me carefully without making me cause a fuss. I'm sure much more often than I would care to realize or think about.

The church I'm a member of is currently reading the book, "One Month to Live." We just started with small groups to follow the series last Sunday and so far it has given me little insight on what it might be like to be told you only had a short time left. How would we spend it if we knew the limit of our days? What would we do with our time that's left?

Being that this is my favorite season, it would be a blessing to be in it if I found out right now that I had 30 days left. I would get to experience all the sights, sounds, smells and tastes (can't forget that wonderful apple cider!) one last time. I would hope to spend lots of time with my friends and family enjoying those things.

Most of all though, I think I would make sure that everyone around me knew how much I loved and appreciated them. I would want to be remember for being a kind person with time to share, not someone that was too busy to care... didn't intend for the rhyme :)

Take a moment to think about what things you might do if you had one month to live. Would you take a wild vacation, go skydiving, make amends with all your enemies, spend time with your loved ones? What can you do today to make memories and cherish the life you have today, so that if tomorrow is your last day you're not left saying, "I was going to get to that one day." Also, how do you want others to remember you?



I urge you to check out the book. See if it might be fitting for your church, small group, Sunday School Class, or Bible Study. It certainly makes you think about your mortality, but also gives you insight on how living for today can be beneficial to you, God, and all the people around you.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Movie Reviews for Fireproof??

I didn't make it to the new movie Fireproof this weekend regrettably.
I really want to see it with Hubby soon, maybe it will work out this weekend.

fireproofbanner


I'm excited at the chance for a date night just the two of us. The opportunity to go see something that is insightful and fit for Christians together is awesome and I excited at the idea that we may gain something that is on the big screen. Not something that happens often.

From those who previewed the movie it sounds like a great thing for any American couple to view... I just hope that many of them do. They have been talking about how real it is and how well put together that you can see yourself in some of the circumstances.

If you haven't heard anything about it, I encourage you to take your spouse or significant other with you to see it while it is in theaters. It is said that it may change your relationship and make it better! Go check it out!

Resources on how to fireproof your marriage can be found here.

I would love to hear any of your comments on the movie if you have seen it, or if you know someone who has.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Goodwill online....

Goodwill Too
Something new I found that might interest you. Goodwill has recently started a store online. They offer both gently used items and a few gently used items at discount prices.

Shipping is $7.99 for any order up to 150 lbs... That's a lot of weight!

Check them out and see if they have anything that might interest you and help Goodwills efforts. Their supplies change often, so you might check back if they don't have anything currently.

From their site...
Proceeds from Goodwill Too help support the Goodwill mission: To help people achieve their full potential through the dignity and power of work. We achieve this mission through job training, employment, and personal growth opportunities for people with disabilities and other barriers to employment. Your purchases through Goodwill Too help us provide services to thousands of people each year.

Save some money, help a good cause.

Animation of person pushing a collapsible wheelbarrow across the Goodwill Too Home & Garden banner.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Good deal alert!! Walgreens $5 coupon & overlap days!


Just got an email from Walgreens with a link to a coupon good this Fri & Sat, Sept 24-25 for $5 off any $20 purchase.

They have changed the wording on the coupon from previous coupons, so pay attention here. You now have to spend $20 after all of your other coupons, including manufacturer coupons in order to take the $5 off of your order.

This is still a great deal! If you haven't done the previous deals I posted for the week this would be a good time to do it. Also, if you can find the Reach Ultraclean toothbrushes or floss that are 2/$5 and the Crest mouthwash that is $4.49 you are halfway there!

Reach 2/$5 gives you a $5RR= FREE
Crest Mouthwash $4.49 gives you a $4.49RR= FREE
=9.49 total for these 2 items
Just need another $5.51 to reach $20 and then take $5 off of your order.

If you need milk and cookies buy 2 Oreos, Chips Ahoy, or Nutter Butters (which are 2/$5) and a gallon of milk $3.19(as featured on the front of the add) and get a $3RR (Almost free milk!)

$5 cookies+ $3.19 milk=$8.19
+ $9.49 from above= $17.68

Need $2.32 to get to $20
Buy filler item, rebate item, or something you need

$20-$5= $15 + taxes
Get $5RR for Reach, $4.49RR for mouthwash, $3RR for cookies & milk

$15-$5-$4.49-$3= $2.51 for $20 of merchandise ... almost 90% savings!!

Also...

For the last several months
the coupons and rebates in Walgreens EasySaver catalog have overlapped and many stores will let you use both coupons on a product (if there is one from each month) as well as a manufacturer coupon and you can send in for rebates for each month on these two days as well.

This will happen this month as well, today and tomorrow.

Do these deals in combination with the $5 off $20 coupon and you've really saved some $!! See some examples of deals with the coupon and find a link to the coupon here.

Here are a few deals I'm aware of and hope to do tonight:

1)Garnier Products 25.4oz are $6.99
Buy 3 for a total of $20.97
-$1 manuf. coupons X3= -$3
Oct. EasySav.coupon $3 off each = -$9
Rebate in Sept EasySav. catalog for $10
$20.97-$22=$1.03 profit(minus your taxes) + $1 if you opt for Walgreens card

2)M&M's on sale 4/$10
Oct. EasySav. coupon $1/2
Sept. EasySav rebate $5
=$10-7=$3 for 4 bags of candy - $.50 if you opt for Walgreens card

3)Platex Sport Tampons $4.99
Sept. ES. coupons $2
Oct. EX coupon $2/2
Buy 2= $10
- $4 Sept coupon
-$2Oct coupon
= $4 total (or $2 each)

4)Jergens 10 oz lotion $3.99
Sept ES coupon $1
Oct. ES coupon $1
= $1.99

4)Glade Scented oil Candle w or w/o Holder $5.79- $5.99
Sept ES coupon $2
Oct. ES rebate $2
Manufact. coupon $2
= FREE after rebate
You can do this up to 4 rebates ($8)

Frugal Dishes...


I've read several times that you can use vinegar as a rinse-aid in the dishwasher. I was hesitant for a long time to try it because I was afraid of the odor primarily, but I was also getting rinse-aid at a reasonable price with my coupons at the store.

A few weeks ago my bottle ran out and I found I only had one left in my stockpile. I decided to go ahead and try the vinegar to see how it worked before I spent any more money trying to restock my supply of rinse-aid.

I'm happy to say that I have used vinegar in my rinse-aid compartment of my dishwasher for at least a month now and find it works wonderfully. Actually, it probably does even better than the rinse-aid! Hubby and I will occasionally use a wine glass with dinner and I always had to check them over for spots with rinse-aid... not so with the vinegar. They come out beautiful!

The odor I was so worried about??? There is none. The only time I've smelled vinegar at all is when I filled the dishwasher compartment with it... nothing since.

Now.... what to do with that last bottle of rinse-aid?

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Giveaway... KnowHim Kids clothing



Moms by Heart is having a giveaway from the kids clothing line at KnowHim.com. If you've looked at Christian clothing before you've probably seen the brand KnowHim around and their clothing is always very nice.

Check out Moms by Heart to sign up for your chance to win and for a direct link to the KnowHim website.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Fireproof Movie....

There is a new movie coming out this weekend, Friday 9/26 to be exact, that I have heard rave reviews about on our local Christian radio station. They talked about the production of it and how many volunteers they had to put it together... astounding! Most everyone was a volunteer aside from their star Kirk Cameron and a few others.

You can catch “The Making of FIREPROOF,” a behind-the-scenes special, on Daystar Thursday at 9 a.m. There are lots of other interviews, etc that you can learn more about here. And of course, check out the trailer here.

This looks to be a great inspirational movie for couples, whether married or dating I would recommend it. I'm excited to check it out... just got to find a time when Hubby and I can get away for a few hours.

If you are planning to see it please try and do it opening weekend if you can. I heard a tidbit on the radio yesterday that the number of viewers on it's opening weekend determines how long it will stay in theaters. This is one that American couples should all be exposed to and it would be great if we could keep it around for awhile!






Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Shopping this week...

We're off to preschool today. My little guy just loves it! He's such a "people person" anyway.

While he's in school I try to get all of my shopping done for the week. I usually head for the deals at the drug stores on Tuesday and the grocery on Thursday. Sometimes I just mix it all up depending on where the best buys are that week.

I plan on getting to Walgreens and probably CVS today... I have some ECBs about to expire, and there are some great deals at Walgreens this week (see my last post) that I hope to maximize by going both days this week.

I haven't really spent too much time studying CVS yet. Just a glance at their add told me that Walgreens was better this week so that's where I concentrated my efforts.

I will be looking at Meijer before Thursday morning and hopefully will have a few good buys to share with you there. One that I know I will be trying to do is the Glade gel plug-ins. They are $1.79 in my store & are giving you a $2 catalina (coupon for next visit) with each one. There is a B1G1 free coupon from the newspaper that makes this a moneymaker. Beyond that I have to do my research.

I believe I read reports that Glade deal is working at Kroger and possibly Kmart as well if you don't have a Meijer near you.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Walgreens 9/21


Walgreens deals good this week....



Crest ProHealth Mouthwash $4.49 gives $4.50 RR (good through 9/27)= FREE

Reach Ultra Clean Floss or Ultra Clean Toothbrushes Buy 2 for $5 get $5 RR this week= FREE

Some Visine is $3.99 (this good all month!)
- $2 or $3 manufacturer coupons that are available
-ESC $2
= FREE

Robitussin/Dimetapp Buy 2 get $5RR, Buy 3 get $10RR through 10/31
There are coupons available here for $1 Robitussin
here for $2 Dimetapp

Triaminic $4.99 gives $2RR
-$2 coupon here
= $4.99-$2 coupon= $2.99 - $2 RR= $.99 each

Pepsi 12 pk products
3/$11 get $2RR = 3/$9 or $3.33 each

Adidas Antipersperant $1.99 with ISC
-$1 manf.coupon= $.99 each

Buy 2 Packs Nabisco Cookies (2/$5 this week) AND One Gallon Milk ($3.19 in my local add), receive $3 in RR.
So for $5 in cookies(2 full size packages) + $3.19 in milk= $8.19- $3 RR= $5.19
I count this as basically getting the milk for $.19. 2/$5 on the cookies is good in my area!
There have been reports of coupons for$1 off milk when you buy cookies, so if you find these kudos to you!

Possible scenario...
Transaction #1
Buy 1 Crest Prohealth Rinse $4.49
Buy 2 Reach RR products = $5
total = $9.49 get $5 RR and $4.50 RR= FREE

Transaction #2
Buy 2 pkgs of cookies and gallon of milk= $8.19- $5 RR from Reach = $3.19 get $3RR= $.19

Transaction #3
Robitussin on sale 2/$10
buy 3= $15- $3 coupons from here.
$12-$4.50RR from trans #1= $7.50
get $10 RR

In total you spend $7.69 + tax out of pocket and have $3 and $10 RR remaining. (out of pocket would be less for Dimetapp w/$2 coupon but I used Robitussin because I figured more of you would use it than the Dimetapp, you can mix and match on these 2 products and get what you need).
$3-$10-$7.69= $5.31 profit (-taxes) and you got all that above to take home!
**** Rinse and repeat as many times as you like and have fun!

You can use those leftover RR for items you need, or for an added bonus use them toward the September EasySaver Rebates that are free this month.

Please be a courteous frugal shopper and allow others to go ahead of you when you have several transactions. Also, try not to clear the shelves so others can enjoy the deals as well.

Also a reminder!!!
You can't use a RR that you earned on a product to earn again on the same product... for example, if you purchase the Robitussin and get a $10 RR you can't turn around and spend it towards another Robitussin deal. The computer will recognize the coupon as the same deal and not give you another coupon. Do it once and you'll never forget to pay close attention again. :)
See Walgreens 101 on more details on how to do deals at this store (from my money saving blog).

Been away....


It's been several days since my last post... sorry! Hubby's brother got married Saturday and we spent some time with his family Friday and Saturday.

His dad was in town, he has a home in North Carolina and one in Florida and we only usually see him if we go visit him or if a major event happens here. Hubby would like to see him more often, but due to the drive and getting time off work we just can't. We like to spend some of our vacation time on vacation and not just visiting family. He doesn't know his dad well because his parents divorced when he was young, but would like to have a chance to. We spent some time with him Friday evening and Saturday evening and had a good time visiting. I know Hubby and his brothers would have liked him and his wife to have spent a little more time here before they headed home.

I feel for Hubby because my family is intact and well. When we started dating he would come over for dinner with my family and we would all sit at the table and eat together and then either sit in the same room and watch television together or pull our a board game or card game and all spend the evening together. That was something he never remembered his family doing and relished coming to my parents home for the evening. Sometimes I wish I could change his childhood and memories and give him that experience but then he wouldn't be the man he is today that I love so much.

You hear so much that children of divorce, more often than not, end up divorced themselves because they didn't have the example of a good marriage modeled to them. I worried about that for a long time when we started to date seriously until one day he told me that he never wanted to divorce in his life because he saw what it did to his family, and he and his brothers, and would never want that to happen to his family. Since then he's said it multiple times and uses my family as an example in his life. He's learned from them a life lesson... you may not always get along or agree with everything, but you have to compromise and work together even when things are tough. If you can get through the tough stuff, there's always beauty on the other side of it.

Hubby and I are so different in so many ways. He's and extrovert and likes to be the life of a party, I'm the quiet one visiting off to the side trying not to draw attention to myself. He's the last born and I'm the first, he's the one that's ready for bed early and I like to go to bed late and sleep in, he's the spender and I'm the saver, and those are just a few of our differences. Sometimes it's hard to see how two people who are so different can work together so well, but I feel like that's where God has some humor and where God allows us to compliment each other. It remains that we both vow to love God and follow Jesus together until our mission here is complete.

We've had our situations and shortcomings, we've fallen and had a major struggle along the way, but with God's help we always find our way through these things together and better for it. We have determination to stick it through the tough stuff no matter how hard it is, how much it hurts, or how many times we have to step down and say "I'm sorry." God intended that if a man needed a companion that he be joined with one woman for life so that he not fall to the desires of the world.

I'm happy to say that 13 yrs of marriage for me has been good. I dearly love my Hubby, he makes me laugh, drives me crazy, and he's handsome too :) All those year together seem so much shorter, guess they say time flies when you're having fun!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Wordless Wednesday...

A picture can speak so much! I managed to snap this on our summer vacation while Hubby and I were on our way out to fish, just the two of us at sunrise one morning. It takes me back to that serenity of nature....

I know... Wordless Wednesday!


Tuesday, September 16, 2008

My mission... update


Last week I set out to find someone around me that needed something. Anything from a smile to money, time, whatever God seemed to send my way. I wanted to seek out what God would have me do for him. I think it is something that we need to be conscience of all the time, and I was doing this mission in an effort to make myself more aware of those around me and what of God's work I could be doing for people in my daily life.

It never occurred to me what would happen. I am a "night owl" so to speak and Hubby a "morning person" which has always been a challenge. I'm have most of my energy in the evening and he's ready to check in early most of the time. Lately it has been more that way due to some overtime he has been offered. His company is struggling, so overtime is a rare occurrence and you take it when you can get it. So, he has indeed been extra tired.

On top of that our 3 yr old has not been wanting to sleep at night. Once he gets to sleep, anytime he wakes at all he is hollering for me to come help him get back to sleep which disturbs Hubby's sleep as well. He's been doing this a few times in the first 2-3 hours of his sleep.

I have been having trouble going to bed when Hubby is ready lately, and knowing that our little guy will be up again soon. I've been staying up later than my normal just so my sleep isn't so broken. I seem to be more tired if I try that approach.

The other evening Hubby was ready for bed and our little guy went to bed a little easier than he had been. I decided to go ahead and turn in early too. Hubby was so happy to have me to snuggle with while he went to sleep he told me "Thanks for coming to bed with me." We have always been snugglers (maybe too info, I know) and he missed falling asleep with me beside him more than I realized.

Didn't think my mission would be so close to home, or at home for that matter. Something I will be working on now that I've realized it.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Morning Musings... Living Life for God, even when you don't like yourself


I'm finding that the longer I live, the more I cherish the small stuff of life. I've always loved plants and gardening, but it's seems to amaze me more and more how those little garden plants can grow up in 2 months and produce an abundance of vegetables or flowers for the season. They start from a tiny little seed and begin to grow. How do they know what to grow into? What size to be? What flowers and then fruit to produce?

I know that the scientist's will tell you it's all in the genetics, but I think there's so much more to it than that. They can do the same with us. We are made up of so many genetic combinations that blah, blah, blah and not one of us will be the same.

Well, have you ever seen a couple with an abundance of children? Not one of them look exactly alike, even twins are vaguely different. They each have their own unique personality as well even growing up in the same household at the same time.

Everything in God's kingdom is unique and different for a reason. Just like they say you will never find two snowflakes that are alike, I don't think you will ever find two people that are exactly alike.

If you're like me and you don't like everything about yourself. Maybe what makes you different makes you stand out. That's ok. God uses those differences, even the things you don't like about yourself, to glorify him if you allow him to use you.

Maybe you have a disability and you can't do some of the things you see others doing, but you have a genuinely positive attitude about life. That positive attitude can be used in amazing ways for God's glory. I know a young man just like that. He was born prematurely and is slow about doing things and knows his limitations, yet he is always happy that he is alive and that he is able to do what he is. I have trouble with my limitations sometimes and I think about him and his effortless positive outlook on his life. How can I complain when he isn't? It's definitely an eye opener.
God puts us where he does for a reason. We all need to build each other up on our strengths and our weaknesses. Maybe we don't like where we are, our work, our schools, our home's location, but God has us there this very moment for his purpose. We all need to realize that we can't all sing like a songbird, write like an author, dance like a ballerina, or cook like a chef, but that we all have our own individual duties that we are good at that God wants us to use for his glory where we are right now.

Maybe you don't know what you're gifts are yet... you're saying, "God, show me the plans you have for me." Be patient and I encourage you to try a few things. Maybe you have extra time and you could go volunteer and try that out. Maybe you get compliments on your cooking and love to have people over, start inviting your neighbors over and if the topic comes up invite them to church if they don't attend one. Maybe you love to shop and you've noticed a neighbor that doesn't have much time for her family, see if you could help her our out by grabbing some groceries while you're out getting yours so she can spend time with her family. There are lots of ways we can glorify God despite our downfalls, and we don't have to be perfect at our attempts to serve him.
Christians are not perfect, just forgiven.... I keep seeing that and so true it is. Don't think that if you are or choose to be a Christian that you have to be the perfect Christian. We all fall and have our shortcomings. I'm not giving you the permission to go out and do something that you know is wrong because you can always ask for forgiveness. I think that's an idea that can get in the way of being a true Christian. If you truly love God, just like your parents, you want to please him in everything you do and sometimes you just fail because you're human, not because you knowingly failed. If you do fail, he's always ready to pick you back up, just ask!

So, all in all, don't get caught up in life because of your differences, God planned them! You are the special person he made you with all of your strengths and shortcomings. Keep smiling and let God work.

May you find God in your life somewhere today.
Love & Blessings...

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Amazon... shopping for Christmas yet?

I'm finding that the internet is a great place to find good deals for my home and family. With Christmas coming, and my use of Amazon for the kids stuff this may come in handy.

I signed up awhile back for 3 month long trial offer of Amazon Prime and love it!
Free 2 day shipping on most any order (works on any item on Amazon marked with their "Prime" logo). If you need something faster then just pay $3.99 for expedited delivery.

I'm going to show you how I did it so you can too.

Because I'm a subscriber to Prime I can't link you directly to the deal, but I can tell you how to get it.

Here's how to do it:
  • Click on my link below to take you to the Amazon Prime area where you can sign up for a free 1 month trial of Prime.
  • search for "textbook"
  • find textbook store link at top of page and click on it.
  • Find link on side for free 2 day shipping and 3 month trial of Prime & click on it
  • Click link "shop for eligible textbooks"
  • Place enough textbooks in cart to reach $100
  • go along like were going to check out, you will probably be taken all the way up to where you would hit purchase. When you get to the last page before you actually hit purchase you will find the link to sign up for the free trial of Amazon Prime... sign up.
  • Clear your cart



There is no wording anywhere that you have to purchase the textbooks, just that you have to place $100 worth in your cart. Because I looked around the site before I did it I felt comfortable going ahead with it. If you're uncomfortable with it, I encourage you to try the 1 month trial before Christmas if you think you may order anything online... it's a great program.

Complete all these steps and you did it! You just got free shipping for 3 months on eligible purchases... great time to do it being that Christmas will be here before we know it.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Songs of Inspiration: MercyMe & Bring the Rain




I went to an amazing women's weekend a year ago and the theme song we had for the entire weekend was "Bring the Rain" by MercyMe. The song has spoken so much to me during this time in my life, more than I ever thought a song could.

My Hubby and I have been on the worship team for a long time and we were in charge of the youth group and their worship team before that, so we both have a love of music. I sing and Hubby plays guitar and we both love it. Our 3 yr old son knows how to hold a guitar and pick, and can carry a simple rhythm on the drums without ever having had instruction.

This song speaks to me because a few days after that weekend I hit one of my lowest of lows and I know it was Satan who spurred it and allowed it to happen at all. He wanted to get me because I was on a Godly high and he was determined to knock me down. This song let me know that I can praise Jesus even during those rains and storms in my life. They are going to happen and the best thing to do is to lift him up and allow him to work on me and through me. If I close the door to him during the hard times, they only get harder because I'm not letting him help me. Oftentimes, I've noticed, the points in my life where I spend the most time with God are my lowest.

If you think about it as a parent, you don't want your children to fall or to fail, but when they do you savor the time you have to help them back up on their feet or to hold them tight. That's a precious time to get close to them. We are God's children and he wants to do the same for us.

Here's a link to the song

the chorus:
So I pray....
Bring me joy, bring me peace,
Bring the chance to be free,
bring me anything that brings you glory
I know there will be days, when life brings me pain
but if that's what it takes to praise you,
Jesus bring the rain.


I found this picture of my son from this summer after a rain. I knew I'd taken some pictures of him playing in the water, but I hadn't realized that the expression that he had is the same way I feel everytime I hear this song. It almost brought me to tears when I found it. What a blessing to find a picture of your little one that speaks the words you feel... God is amazing!

This is the first song I ever sang a solo on for my church family. I'd never had the courage to do it before as I'm the quite type. Singing with someone else has become natural, but a solo was never an option. I've connected with this song so well that even during that first solo, I was able to do it almost entirely by memory.

Every time I hear it when I'm driving I just want to pull the car over and sing along at the top of my lungs! One of these days I just might :)

Online shopping... how sweet it is!



This is a great time to shop for something you want/need that you can't find a coupon for.

Amazon is offering a discount on groceries and a free subscription if you shop with them.
If you don't want the free subscription keep reading, there's another option as well.

There is currently a grocery coupon that takes 55% off of your grocery item purchase at Amazon(CLRNCFTY)...

Combine that with their Special Offer with $25 Order in Grocery or Health & Personal care stores
(I believe your total would have to be at least $25 after the coupon in order for this to work) and Get a one-year subscription to Self Magazine (a $12.00 value) included with your order when you spend $25 or more at Amazon.com’s Grocery and Health & Personal Care stores.

or

If you don't want th
e subscription to Self Magazine just make a copy of your Amazon confirmation/order and complete and send in the form to receive a $12 refund (the cost of the magazine subscription).

Hurry!!
Offer valid for purchases made between August 15 and September 15, 2008.



Just an example of what you could do with this
....


I'm looking at the Starbucks Coffee

1 order of 3 bags is $29.55- 55% = $13.30
Buy 2= $26.60 (shipping on these is free for me because I signed up for the trial of Prime and these qualify). My description of Amazon Prime is here in my other blog. or click on the link below (I love it!)
- $12 refund (I'm sending in instead of getting the magazine)
Total= $14.60 for 6 bags of coffee that would cost me $9-10 each in the local store.

So I could spend $13.30 for 3 bags or $14.60 for 6
Can't beat the gain for $1.30!!



To find out more about Amazon Prime or to sign up for the trial,
click on the link above & have fun shopping!

I almost forgot...
Find the form
here to get your refund instead of the subscription.


Thursday, September 11, 2008

New inspiration... Living Beyond Yourself

I managed to get out of the house Weds evening for some "me time". Actually, it was more like, me, God, and other women time, but I got out of the house by myself for a couple of hours without a task or errand to run. That alone was liberating!

The church I belong to is starting a new women's Bible study with the series called Living Beyond Yourself, by Beth Moore. The church purchased the video series she prepared and we began it last night. Beth gave us so much insight and inspiration on the first video that I'm excited to see where it goes from here.

She talked a lot about how she knows that the main passage we are focusing on is relevant today and some of her life experiences. She's a fun speaker! My pastors wife is leading the study and she previewed the first video and her husband from the other room asked her why the speaker was yelling all the time... well, she's excited about this series and I am too!

I learned something too that made me smile. As I have begun to blog and write other places I have noticed that I use a lot of exclamation marks!!!!! Well, Beth said when she began writing studies she did that all the time too because her excitement came through in her writing. She had her daughter search one of her Bible computer programs to find out how many times Jesus used "!" in his teachings, or how many times the author of each account used one. I don't remember the final count, but it was a lot! So now I feel ok to do the same, although I'll try not to overwhelm you with them.

The main focus of this study is about the fruits of the Spirit... love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control, from Galations 5:22-23. She had someone teach us how to sign the verse in sign language and we are supposed to work on memorizing it and although I know it pretty well, I seem to always miss one of the fruits so I have to work on that.

She talked a lot and how God can work in us and through us beyond what we are capable of. Wow... I always knew it could happen that I could do something that is beyond my means if your talking adrenaline or something, but the know something you shouldn't know one got me. Sometimes when God is using us he can give us knowledge beyond our own understanding. I can only imagine an experience like that and what an eye opener that would be.

We also have "homework" between sessions that I have to be sure and get into my schedule. She noted how important it is to keep up, so I will be doing my best.

I hope to share a little with you about what I learn from this study and maybe you or the women in your church would be interested in it as well.

Blessings...

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Pick a Project.... Do it Yourself to the Finish


My hubby and I are working on remodeling our farmhouse. We purchased it about 8 yrs ago and love it... location, home, property, room for a garden..... The only thing not so great is that it needed a lot of updating!

We began our process as soon as we moved in tackling most of the projects ourselves.
We've put a deck on the back, resided the barns with metal to make them last, remodeled the 2 upstairs bedrooms, turned the one large bath/utility room aside the kitchen with lots of wasted space into a small bath/utility and a decent size master bath, started a garden, remodeled the back storage room into a movie room and added countless updates like lighting and fixtures. The only things we hired out we didn't feel like we could handle ourselves... the roof, furnace & air, and taking down a wall between the kitchen and dining room.

We are currently replacing windows from who knows when and getting ready to put in a woodstove... yes, ourselves. We want to get this done before winter because our gas bills will be outrageous otherwise.

We've learned we can take on just about any project ourselves (although hubby says he's never doing drywall work again) so long as we do the research first. It's so rewarding too when you're done to look at it all and say, "I did that!"

We have been bad about starting a project, but not completing it before we start the next. One thing I've begun doing is reminding hubby of one of those projects at a time and that is the next one of focus until it gets done. For example... we needed to put a mirror up in the bath, but the next big project was ready for the undertaking.... before we started the "big" project, the small one needed completed. We had all the supplies for both, but the mirror kept getting put off and we'd had the supplies for it much longer... besides, I wanted my mirror! Hubby likes the new system so much he mentioned a few weeks ago to keep the project ideas coming.

We've managed to get a few things finished that had been waiting much too long and hubby feels like he's accomplished something when one of them gets done. This equates to a win/win!

There are some projects that are his, some that are mine, some that we do together, and some that our 3 yr old even get involved in... actually, we often end up doing them together to an extent even if we just visit while the work is being done.

Somehow the elbow grease of doing it ourselves makes it all the more feel like home and it's great to finally be finishing some of those loose ends to projects that should have been long ago finished.


Once we get all the loose ends finished from previous projects, and as we start new ones in between, our new rule is not to start another project until the previous is complete.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Amazon Grocery Deal...

I have come across a deal on Amazon that is good enough to mention here.

They have a code that takes 55% off of the total of grocery items through 9/30/08.
The code is CLRNCFTY, and you just enter it at checkout to get your discount.

I'm looking at getting some Starbuck's coffee myself! We brew it at home now (I actually bought a simple espresso machine so we could make it at home) and only visit the coffee shop when we are on vacation or the occasional date.

If you purchase $25 worth you get free shipping, otherwise sign up for the free trial of Amazon Prime and if the products you purchase qualify your shipping will be free no matter the price.

Check out the sale and Amazon prime at the links below....

Happy Shopping!

This week...

I plan on continuing to look for where I can be a light in God's world this week since I never could really pinpoint where I felt his calling last week. I pray that God shows me his desires clearly and that it becomes real to me.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Finances- Life on a Budget


I feel like as a SAHM a big part of my responsibility is finances and making our budget work for us as I have more time to devote to it than hubby does, and being the

A budget is a hard thing to sit down and sort out, but a budget truly brings freedom to your finances. There's so much irony in that way, yet I can say personally it can be a real eye opener.

When you go about setting a up budget it's good to look at the entire picture. From the bills coming in, debts owed, the money you have in the bank, and the things you have such as vehicles and retirement investments, these things are an important part of your budget, it's not just about the bills.

I found that by having a clearer picture of where we were financially, and where we felt we needed to be was a good thing to learn. Hubby and I did it together with the help of a financial advisor (she didn't charge us a thing until we opted to have her take care of our retirement accts and life insurance), and we learned invaluable information about how we each felt about our future.

I'm the penny-pincher, hubby the spender and we learned that with a budget we can do both. We can save wherever possible, yet when we have a certain amount alloted for something like entertainment, that's what we can spend on it. (I have to admit that me being the saver, I often try to stretch those dollars too, but not so far as to take the fun out of it)

When you have boundaries on your spending, it makes life so much easier in knowing that you're allowed to spend "x" amount on clothing and still pay the bills.

Since, in my family, the only real shopping we do is for the home, we're not big on the latest fashions and gear, and don't have to have the latest technologies or vehicles, I find that the best way to add to our financial health is to save money in the grocery. I've done the part of setting aside so much per week for groceries and household supplies. My current budget is $60 for the 3 of us and our beagle Sadie... who we ofen refer to as "SadieDog" Evey week I stop and take that amount out of our checking account and place it in it's own place in my purse. That money is only used for groceries and other household products. Some weeks I spend more and some less, but I rarely take any more than that for those kinds of items each week. If I didn't spend as much one week, I often find myself spending the balance of the extra the next week and it all works out.

I know many of you probably think $60 would never work for a family grocery budget, especially if you through in cleaning supplies, laundry detergent, and health and beauty supplies, but you'd be surprised how easy it is to bring your total out of pocket down. Now I want you to know as well that we are probably actually eating better as well, less processed food and more fruits and veggies.

I'll be sharing more about finances and saving money. Check back later for more details and ideas.

Blessings...

This Weeks Mission Report

I have to be real with you... I'm not sure what my mission was this week. I was certainly looking for an opportunity to do something for someone, especially as the week grew to an end.

The only thing that happens to come to mind is that a few weeks ago a lady that attends the same church my family does confided something in me. I approached and talked to her briefly and let her know that I've been thinking of and praying for her. I know she's going through a difficult time and she's brave for having shared it, and is working through her situation.

You might keep her in your prayers these next few weeks as Satan I'm sure will be working at tearing her down.

Walgreens 9/7


To see the deals for Walgreens this week check out my blog familycents.blogspot.com.

I also share about other deals there as well so check it out!

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Free trial of Amazon Prime



Amazon Prime is a subscription program that you can sign up for that makes 2 day shipping free on qualifying products, and next day only $3.99. This is a great find if you purchase much online!

Now try it free for 1 month and see how you like it and if you'll use it before you pay a dime. Perfect time for Christmas shopping!

Check it all out here....

Friday, September 5, 2008

Homemade Fire Starters

Camping has become a favorite activity of my hubby's and we have been going more frequently now that the little one is older. I'm always looking for ways to make the experience better and found one that is free and makes use of things we would normally just throw away.

Homemade fire starters! All you do is save your leftover toilet paper rolls, paper towel rolls, or even the rolls that hold aluminum foil or cling wrap and fill them with lint from your dryer. Dryer lint is a known fire hazard material anyway so it just makes sense.

I save mine in those baggies that they put your newpapers in when it's raining... perfect size for a weekend camping trip, just grab one and go.

My hubby was a little dissapointed on our last trip, I might add. We went with a Boyscout leaders family and while hubby was starting our fire, which took a little time, the other family's was off and blazing. I happened to be there when they started their next blaze & wouldn't you know it... lighter fluid was his secret!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Finances-God Provides!

I'm usually good natured about finances, so long as we're living within our means. I'm always looking for ways to save money though, and do a decent job of it most of the time. We've had quite the spending spell these last few weeks though and it's driving me crazy.

It all started about two weeks ago when we bought a woodstove off of ebay for our home. We had a woodstove in our previous home and loved it and can't seem to keep this one warm enough for us in the winter. We bought a corn stove and used it the last 2 winters, but wouldn't you know they started making Ethanol and the corn prices went nutso!

We started thinking about our alternatives, and now that I'm a SAHM we decided it might benefit us to see about a woodstove again. We were given one to try from an old friend that had purchased a new one but after looking at it we realized it would be too small for us and would probably just frustrate us to no end having one that wasn't sufficiant to do the job. Hubby started looking online and found one he liked and did a quick search on ebay and wouldn't you know it ... there it was! We ended up paying about 60% ($1800) of it's retail price for it... for those of you that know woodstoves it's a Hearthstone Heritage Soapstone Stove in Brown Enamel finish. It's beautiful!!

Then we have to purchase all of the supplies to install it. We have an old chimney but will need to purchase a flexible liner and all of the pieces and parts for it (between $400-$650) to protect the chimney because of its age, and we'll need to build a hearth (that's my job... how fun!)

Wouldn't you know hubby found someone selling oak firewood and he couldn't resist. He purchased about half of what he thinks we will need for the winter from him... a good chunk of change at $270. We already have some wood we split this spring that's been aging, so hopefully between the two efforts there's enough.

You say, "Why bother?"

Well, we live in an old farmhouse that has decent insulation as far as we can tell, but it's always cool. Summer or winter the kitchen is never warm (except for the days when I can or bake a lot) and we don't use the air-conditioning except for those really humid days. No matter the heat source so far, gas-forced or corn stove, we can't keep it comfortably warm within a reasonable budget. Plus... I have to admit, we could both use the exercise that cutting wood brings.

I grew up with wood heat used primarily and always loved coming in the house in the winter after playing outside and standing next to the woodstove until I couldn't take any more heat. The direct heat is so nice. Anytime you're cold you just stand up next to it and soak up the heat. Nothing else like it.

Well, I started talking about finances and have to tell you that the one that really breaks the bank for me is the car. It's ten years old and, I know, I know, I should expect some things to need repair once and awhile, but ... The breaks started squeaking a few weeks ago and hubby got to looking into it this week thinking he could just replace the pads and maybe the rotors and be done with minimal expense. Couldn't be that easy... the rotors wouldn't come off and then he realized that a boot and the calipers needed replaced as well. He called a mechanic friend of ours and found out that it will cost us $400+ on top of the parts we've already purchased.

I have to let you in on the good in all of this. Hubby has been able to do some overtime during all of this so the good Lord provides!

House to Home Happenings

Yesterday I was able to succeed at my goals of cleaning the bedding and clearing out that ever so dreaded corner (aside from hubby's box of college art he's going to find a home for in the shed). It didn't take too long so I set out to keep up on the rest out the house.

I spend some time just tidying up the place. We've had a crazy week, and there were several areas that needed some quick attention. I usually sort through the mail and the bills every day when it comes in and I had two stacks to go through. I'd already sorted them into important and not too important, but the final task was still at hand.

After I got through the mail I mopped the dining room floor and had my son put his toys away he had stopped playing with so they would be off of the floor in time for his Daddy to come home.

I find that quick spurts of effort make keeping the house in order much easier and more enjoyable. To top it off, hubby came in the door and said, "The house looks nice hun." Guess those couple of piles of mail were really noticeable.

I have to say that my house is not as tidy as they come, but I do put up a good effort to keep it presentable. We don't live without the occasional pile of clutter, and don't look in my closets! There are times that you might find yourself in an avalanche!

I'm sorry to report that I wasn't able to get anything done in the bedroom today. Between preschool and groceries it didn't happen and the evening is full.... I guess tomorrow's a new day to start anew.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Works-for-me Wednesday...Backwards Week (#1)



As you can see, this is my first time submitting to works-for-me wednesdays and this is fun! I happened to come along at the backwards edition which means instead of me giving you an example of something that works for me, you give me tips on what works for you....



Here goes...

In my last post I let you in on the fact that I am cleaning out the Master Bedroom. In that bedroom, as well as strung throughout the house, are Boyd's Bears that I have accumulated through the years. We have had the bears for several years and I'm sure they are all retired and no longer being made versions.

My husband and I are working on making our home more simple and calming and find the bears are no longer need to decorate our spaces. We're doing more with wall color and furniture arrangement and less with stuff just sitting around, and with a 3 yr old I just don't have time to move them around and clean them all the time.

My dilema... what to do with them? Many, but not all of them have memories attached to them such as getting them as a special gift, or purchasing them on vacation.

I have two options...
  1. Box them up and store them up in the shed where they'll be forgotten about until one day they're worth something, all the while and hoping the mice won't find them.
  2. Sell them, piece by piece or altogether on ebay. I have no idea if they would be worth anything to anyone... this might involve a little research.
What would you do? I don't think I could get hubby to give me an honest answer because he'd be afraid to hurt my feelings, but guessing I think he would say just get rid of them, even give them away..... but my response "What about the one we got on our first trip out of the country together? (Although it was just Niagra Falls) or "What about the one ....?"

I have no idea how many I have... some are already in the shed (didn't have room for them when we moved)... this could be ugly.

House to Home Mission...


This week I'm going to tackle the Master Bedroom. I'm always trying to keep the rest of the house presentable in case someone would happen by. I often forget about our bedroom because we don't "live" in it.



I realize that our bedroom should be a haven away from the busyness and work of the day, a place we look forward to relaxing in at the end of the day. Somehow stuff just accumulates there. We don't have a lot of extra storage in our home (we live in an old farmhouse we're updating) and what we do have is full, so when something needs a place it often finds a spot in a corner of our room.

I've been collecting things to take to Goodwill or The Salvation Army and have a small pile of my son's outgrown clothing worthy of putting on ebay. On top of that is a collection of Boyd's Bears that I've decided I'm ready to part with... but do I try to sell them, or store them away in case they're worth something someday? I'm trying to minimalize my home to make it more relaxing and pleasing to the eye, but all that stuff is finding it's way to my bedroom.

I'm not even sure I want to see what's under the bed! I know my hubby has hidden some of the little ones old outgrown toys under it in an effort to see if they'll be missed. It's also served to house some of my freebie finds that I didn't know when I would get to trying out, one of which is a sticky carpet roller? if I remember right.... maybe that one will go into the donation pile.

When I get through all of the stuff I'm planning to shampoo the carpet. My mom purchased a carpet cleaner years ago and we borrowed it when we moved in and have asked her several times to take it back. She doesn't have a lot of extra storage either and just says, "I know where it is if I need it." I guess it's good to have handy with a 3 yr old running around the house now.

Then I'm on the lookout for a nice basket or hamper to fit a small corner inside the bedroom, right next to the bathroom. I've been using a very old basket there, but it's too big and has some broken slats in it I'm afraid might catch on our clothing.

I need to search through my candle stash and see what I can do to decorate the room with what I have on hand. I may invest in a nice floating shelf to put them on and need to get a frame for a picture that I've been wanting to hang in the room.

I now get to face the fact that there's no way I'll get all of this done today! I have to take small steps throughout the week to make it work. I find that if I tackle something head on and full force I never finish it completely.

My husband was home Monday and we completely cleaned and rearranged the living room.... well, almost. I didn't get through the magazines on the ottoman yet, and hubby didn't take the speaker down off of the television that is no longer in use, but aside from that it looks like a new room.

I have to face the fact that two working together are much better than one with a 3 yr old alongside... on second thought, maybe I need to take two weeks in the bedroom!

Today I plan to clean all of the bed linens, fluff the pillows and replace them... I really need to get another set! I'll also try and tackle the corner of the bedroom since that's what I'm dreading most. I'm going to do things in small bits here and there as to not get overwhelmed by it, and so the rest of the home doesn't suffer by my concentration there. I've had that happen before too... clean one room and the one next to it becomes a disaster zone.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Grace on a Mission

This website is about missions in life. Being a wife and mother my main focus is my family, which means my home and everything that has to do with taking care of them. I'm always on the lookout to find better ways to do things, whether it be cooking something new and exciting, finding a new craft or game, saving money or having fun.... or having fun while saving money :)

I intend to share with you some of my journeys as a SAHM as I try to make life more fun for my family as well as more affordable. I hope to share thoughts, recipes, pictures, shopping finds and faith stories and yes, even a few failed attempts along the way.

It is my hope to share the reality of Christian life together as we walk through this crazy, mixed up world we live in, and try to make sense of where we should fit in it all.

Blessings...

Monday, September 1, 2008

My Weekly Mission...

I'm going to start a big mission every week to better allow God to work through me, and to help me open my eyes to see where he can use me. I want to see what God has in store and where else I could do things better.

I often think of ways that I think maybe I could be called but find myself never acting on it. I feel like this could be a way to help me to focus that energy on a weekly basis and help me to decipher what he wants me doing for him.

This week I will focus on finding someone that needs something, as the last post was titled, "It's not about me!"

I have to admit that I don't often like ask God to show me what I need to be doing. I'm usually afraid to ask because so often I know he will take me out of my comfort zone. I hope that I'm ready for the challenge and that I am able to follow through with it.

I will post back when I feel that I've completed this mission and let you all know the results. If you would like to join in my missions, let me know, I would be glad to hear from you. If I get a good enough response, I will look at setting up a link system so we can all check out everyone's results.

God Bless...

Sunday, August 31, 2008

It's not about me! -Cafe Chat



The catchphrase “It’s not about me” has become quite popular in our current world today. What does that phrase mean to you in your personal life? Explain.

I think in today's culture it's very difficult to not be worried about "me". In this fast paced, get it now, pay for it later, throw it away society, we tend to not worry about the next person and just live for the moment.

Since I've become a SAHM I realized that there is so much to life that is missing when you don't worry about anyone but yourself and your immediate family. There are so many needs just outside our doors that we don't even notice because we're moving too fast and feel like we only have time to care for ourselves.

We've also been trained in this today's culture that you get what's coming to you. Sometime's there's something to be said for that, maybe the lack of effort or drive to get things done. Yet other times there are circumstances that are unpreventable whether it be health, being in the wrong place at the wrong time, or other challenges.

It can be hard not to judge people if they are in a down situation. It's too easy to say that they could just try a little harder, or just move on from the situation, but it's not often that easy.

I think we need to be careful to watch for those around us that are hurting or in need and reach out to them. Those people in need may be us one day and we may be the one that is grateful for something as simple as a smile, a nice gesture, or a listening ear.

Since I started writing here, a song has come to mind and is stuck in my head. The song is from Alabama entitled Angels Among Us. The song speaks of angels that linger among us to help us through our darkest hours, from a kind word from a stranger, to a phone call from a friend, they're here to show us how to live, teach us how to give and to guide us with the light of love.

I can't help but think that we can be that "angel" to someone in need if we willingly listen to God's lead. I believe that God places those people in our lives that need us and that we are the one's he has chosen to do that job. If we don't do that job, it doesn't get done because it was our assignment from him. We are his arms, feet, mouths, and ears while we are walking the earth.

I'm prayerfully taking the challenge to look outside my family this week to see if I can find someone that need's something I can provide whether it be something as simple as a smile or a hug, or something that takes a little more of my being time or finances. I hope to be able to share with you what I feel God puts in my upcoming week.

I challenge you to do the same as you feel called to help in God's Kingdom and if you care to share anything God calls for you to do it would be awesome to hear about it!

So all in all, I think the phrase 'It's not about me' to me means that I am important, but overall it's about God and his Kingdom work, not me.

Lord lead me on....
God Bless!

Friday, August 29, 2008

In the Beginning of "Grace on a Mission"

My title and what it means to me... and no, my name's not Grace :)

It's hard to know exactly where to start! I'm a recently converted stay at home mom, I say converted because I was working nearly full time and loved it. I loved how it made me feel important and needed in my family. I didn't see much reason for change except that I was always longing for more time with my family, being that I had a two year old at home and he was always doing something new and I felt like I was missing out sometimes.

I went to work one day and asked if I could work a few hours less each week to have more time for my little one. I then went to a Christian women's retreat and began to think about my life a little more. I wasn't sure how to make it work, but I knew I wanted to see more of my boy growing up. I prayerfully thought about things during that weekend and knew we could financially survive if I stopped working, I just couldn't imagine it.

Time went by and nothing happened for a short time. Then on my day off one of my supervisors from work called and asked me to work more hours... What? How could that happen? Didn't I just request to work less? Maybe the message didn't get through, I thought. I had asked the office manager for the fewer hours a few months ago and she said she'd see what she could do, maybe she didn't let my supervisor and my boss in on the info?

I asked my supervisor a few questions and it seems it was an all or nothing proposal. My boss wanted me to work full time or on an as needed basis. I was shocked! I'd been there just shy of 6 yrs and done everything she had asked of me. What was I going to do now?

My husband and I had been talking about things and I knew the answer but couldn't believe how quickly it came out of my mouth. "I'm sorry." I told her. "I can't do that." She knew how I felt and told me she hadn't even wanted to make the phone call because she knew what my answer was going to be. She explained that the boss, the office manager and herself all wanted me to stay and wished they could do it another way. I asked about job sharing or other alternatives but none of the answers worked.

They asked me how long I would work in my normal capacity. They wanted me to stay until they found a replacement. I told them they could have their two weeks and then I would go. I didn't want to see what my replacement would be or how they would change my job, so it was just easier for me to step away.

My husband was secretly happy that this meant I would be staying home. I think he had dreamed that someday I would be at home making our house a home and being the nurturer that I was but didn't have time to be.

Now I'm on my mission! My mission to make my house a home in every way, from cleaning, decorating, and having good eats. To being the wife and mother to my family that God intended for me to be before I am anything to anyone else.

Sometimes that mission means giving up things I wanted for things better for the family. Sometimes it means doing everything I can to keep the grocery bill down so we can afford to do a home project or put money into savings. Sometimes it means taking care of me so I feel good about myself and can more easily conquer my day. I'm always on the hunt to make all of these things easier and more fruitful for my family.

I call my website "Grace" on a mission because I learned a very important thing on that women's retreat I spoke of. I learned that even I'm important to God! His grace is sufficient even for me! Now I don' t know about you, but I'm guilty of feeling down on myself sometimes and I needed a visual reminder that his grace is there for even me. Now every time I log on here I am reminded of that grace... abundant grace for you and me!

I chose this page with the picture of a lighthouse as well to be symbolic of Christ being the guiding light. It reminds me too that he is always there to guide me if I just keep my mind open and just look for him in my life.

I hope my site can be inspirational to you as I'm just an every day, average, Christian mom and wife trying to make it all work in this crazy, mixed up, nutso world we live in.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Me time... how important it is!

In today's culture women have so many high ideals to try to live up to. Many of us have found ourselves contributing financially to the family as well as still trying to take care of everyone else's needs and desires. This often times leaves us feeling needed but not worth anything because we are the ones primarily giving of ourselves, we have little time or effort left to take care of ourselves, and there's no one taking care of us.

Think about that a little. How do we expect to do a good job with a happy heart when we are burning the candle at both ends? God expects us to care for those around us, but we need to be sure we are cared for as well. This is something I have personally been working on and I have found so much truth in.

My husband has so lovingly told me for a long time that I need to stop running all the time and enjoy a little time everyday for myself. Have I been good about doing it? Well... not really. Not until recently that is.

I used to think that "someday" I would have time to stop for bubble baths, a movie I'd wanted to watch, a good book, or a day out with my girlfriend. I figured I would have time for it when I was done with college, then it was when I had good job, then after I had a baby. I was always trying to make excuses for not taking care of myself and allowing myself some down time. I found out that that extra time never just happens, you have to make it happen.

I've been trying
to make a small space in my day where I sit down for even a few minutes just for me. I might have a cup of coffee, read from a devotional or my Bible, or listen to some good Christian music or my favorite show on the radio. I find that I have to truly make an effort to do this, but it is so rewarding.

I've found that on the days where I've spent just a few minutes for me, aside from devotional time, the day goes much smoother and I am much kinder at the end of it all.

How hard it is to tell yourself you deserve a little "me" time. I struggle almost every time I stop for it. There always seems to be so much to do and not enough time to do it, but I'm always so much better off if I can just make it happen. My husband can usually tell a difference too.

Try it, you just might be a better person for it. :)

How do you take a little time for yourself? Do you?

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

A weighty issue...

On my mind today is what God has in mind for our physical bodies. God has called us to take care of our bodies as a temple for him.

I find myself struggling all the time because I love to eat and need to lose some weight.
I've tried Weight Watchers and done very well with it, problem is that I miss so many of the foods I love so much and honestly, most of them are healthy foods but by WW standards something that you can have very little of. Some examples of my food loves that I miss are nuts, oils and hearty wheat breads.

I recently started reading a new book by Joyce Meyer entitled "Look Great Feel Great: 12 Keys to Enjoying a Healthy Life Now. In the book she explains all the steps she's taken to maintain a healthy weight and lifestyle. She is open and honest about where her problems with her weight came from. She explains how important it is to take care of ourselves in all aspects of our
health, not just losing weight.

Some of the foods I mentioned before Joyce talks about. She talks of how these are good for you and how your body needs these foods. Hallelujah... I can eat them again!

Over the last week and a half I have started to adopt some of the ideas in her book and find that I am eating better and feeling better about my food choices. I'm satisfied when I'm done eating and don't feel guilty anymore when I have something healthy but not WW approved. When I'm satisfied I'm not grabbing for the things that aren't good for me that I would often grab for on while on WW. Sure I would write down the points, but so far I'm not craving them at all!

I'm by no means endorsing this book. It's simply something I picked up at the library thinking that it was probably like all the other weight loss/ health guides. I'm not yet finished with the book and want to implement some of her other ideas into my life, but I'm taking it slowly so I don't get overwhelmed with the changes and quit.

If you'd like to take a look at this book I did find it for you at ebay and half.com and it's very inexpensive if you're interested in having one for yourself. I may talk about it more as I continue my journey to better health.

Half.com
Ebay.com