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!