Complete Randomness…

I LOVE FALL. I don’t know about any of you, but Fall actually energizes me and makes me happy!  I love the cooler weather, the changing leaves, the crunch of them underneath my foot – even the rain.  How do you feel about Fall? I don’t see it as a precursor to Winter, so much as an end to (hot, humid) Summer – so that’s where I’m coming from!

Speaking of Fall, one reason I enjoy the season is that I love to COOK with Fall ingredients, and I really enjoy making soups & stews and baking breads!  I’m planning to share some recipes (some of my own – and some of my friends!) over the next couple of weeks, so stay tuned!

Don’t forget about the Moms Online Bible Study with Jean StockdaleHigh Stepping in Heavenly Places.  (Look how cute the cover of the workbook is – SO totally like my girls!)

Speaking of Bible Study – the Lies Women Believe study I’m in is REALLY impactful!  It really nails some deeply rooted stuff that so many women (not just me) live with.   If you can’t get into a study with someone else, I highly recommend getting the book and the workbook to journal through it yourself!

So, more announcements are coming, but I’ll keep it short & sweet today…

Have a Blessed Day!

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Planner Forms, Home Organization, and Challenges, Oh My!

Maybe you know how much I LOOOOOOVE organizer forms.  Organization – especially Home Keeping – is something I’ve written about many times in the past, and has been a subject of research and serious study in my life for about 18 months.

I’ve tried the Flylady – more than once – and even though her system is great and really works for so many and she is gentle and encouraging – I was still very overwhelmed by the process and so many steps.

I’ve found other organizer forms from a variety of sources and have used many different products – both free and paid for.  I love the pretty forms Cindy Rushton has to offer in her Organized Mom Super Set. Her products are especially geared toward stay at home moms and homeschooling moms.

I love Donna Young’s variety of forms and the sizes and layouts she offers at her site.  They are efficient and they are free, but they are not girly or fancy…

I’ve found several other forms and styles I liked – at places like D*I*Y Planner, Amy Bayliss and others, but they didn’t offer a complete set of matching forms for my needs.  Cuz yes, I AM the kind of woman who wants coordinating sets…

I stumbled across an organizer site several months ago – checked it out – even had some contact with the owner who answered a few of my questions, and then never thought about it again.  Until last week.

And I found the site again – as well as the owner’s corresponding blog which gave great views of the pages and products:

Grace Works Purpose Planner

His Graceworks (blog)

With whole planner sets (including binder) or individual pages, they are designed to coordinate and work together beautifully.

What I love about them:

  • Price.  Reasonable prices for refills and page sets.  They even have beautiful binders (classic size or petite size) that are very reasonably priced!
  • Beautiful.  In beautifully scripted fonts that are still easy to read and follow, I am inspired just by looking at the pages!
  • Variety.  Seriously – GW has an incredible variety of pages – whether you are a homeschooling mom, stay at home mom, a mom in ministry – there are great pages for personal devotions, personal planning, and grocery / menu planning!
  • Christian.  This is my favorite part – created by two Christian women, the pages are designed with Scripture verses sprinkled throughout each page – reminding me of my value and purpose as a mom, helping me stay on track and keep focused on what really matters.

Check out the Planner site – but also check out the blog.  Tricia is starting a NEW 28-day challenge to help you with Menu Planning!  If you need help in this area – don’t hesitate to follow along.  There are points awarded and prizes to be earned – and if you can’t participate now, you can still get some inspiration and guidance to help you practically plan and prepare your family meals!

Some Good Stuff!

Do you love Fall?  Oh – it’s my favorite season!  I love the cooling weather, the rain, the colors changing – the anticipation of the first snow! (If it WAS raining coffee, I’d play in the rain without an umbrella!)

Over the summer, I had the blessing of getting to know Alyssa Avant better.  She’s posted here a few times and she has a ministry that reaches out to Moms and Moms of Girls, specifically.  Have you read her stuff?  It is GOOD STUFF!

She & I have been able to get to know each other a bit better – as much as motherhood and the digital world have allowed – and I really admire her heart for God – and her heart for moms and daughters.

She has a FREE seminar series coming up that you won’t want to miss!  Back to the Basics of Life!  She even made a short YouTube video to tell you about it herself:  Back to the Basics of Life.  I encourage you to watch it and then sign up for the series – 4 seminars with 4 different speakers on topics that moms and daughters deal with!

Oh, and if you read the post about Christian Charm School some time back, you might be interested to know that the products are available in both a digital format and a print edition!  Alyssa was very excited to see this come to fruition – and it’s pretty exciting to share with her the way things are moving forward.


CCS Student Workbook

If you haven’t taken advantage of her free 7 day How to Journal ecourse – it’s a fun way to think about journaling with purpose! I have my journal of thoughts (aka – DIARY) and then I have my journal that I pour my heart into and can look back and see where God has worked in my life. It’s pretty cool and if you want a bit of guidance in journaling – she’s got some fun exercises to work through to get you thinking about what you write!


7 Day Ecourse

It’s Raining Coffee!!!

Woohoo!  Company Girls – Happy Friday!

Wouldn’t it be GREAT if it was raining Coffee???  Or Tea???  Sure our clothes might change colors, but think about how the caffeine would affect our, ahem, cellulite!  When I’m brave enough to make my own soap, I think I’ll use coffee grounds as an exfoliant!

Speaking of dirty clothes – I was brave enough to make my own laundry detergent last week – and so far so REALLY good!  It’s very inexpensive and made about 3 gallons and has done a bangup job on the piles of laundry I accomplished this week (no applause necessary!)  I plan to keep using it – although I need to find an essential oil to add a little bit of fragrance.  I DO love the fresh, clean scent of good laundry detergent.

I found my laundry detergent at Tip Nut’s 10 Homemade Laundry Soap Detergent Recipes.  I used Recipe #1.  It is IMPORTANT to allow the soap to fully melt or you’ll get a gritty mess.  I also plan to use 2 gallons of WARM water next time, because I think it will help everything incorporate.  My first batch was better after I used my stick blender to stir it up really well.

Vinegar really is a CHEAP, effective fabric softener. I love the way vinegar works as a fabric softener – it really makes everything soft and doesn’t leave a lingering scent. I can get 2 gallon jugs of vinegar at Sam’s club for about $4, and vinegar is useful for other cleaning in the house, too!

About 18 months ago we started using more eco-friendly products for home and cleaning – and making our own detergent and cleaners is not only something I enjoy, it’s very cost effective and I’m finding GREAT sources for recipes online!

My other favorite thing for laundry is Dawn dish detergent.  I saw several posts on my Homemaker Mentor Society group this week about using Dawn for greasy stains.  I had a little bit of some Dawn Pure Essentials left and used it on a STAINED shirt that I haven’t worn for months but couldn’t bear to get rid of.  The stain is GONE!  Hello, my Little Friend, Dawn!!!  (Now I have 3 favorite Dawns in my life!)

I have another recipe I hope to try soon – for Lotion Bars.  Do you like lotion bars?  With winter and dry skin coming – I hope to find a more natural and inexpensive way to keep our skin softer…  Once I’ve tried it, I’ll let you know and share the recipe. =)

Do you have any favorite homemade cleaners or skin care products you use?

(P.S. – check out 1001 Uses for White Distilled Vinegar for more info about how awesome it is to use in laundry, for cleaning, and more!)


More Than Enough – Part 3

Sadly, because I did not believe God was Enough for me, I began my pursuit to find ENOUGH for my life.

Enough money.

Enough status.

Enough friends.

Enough worth.

Enough stuff.

Enough food.

Enough. Enough. Enough!

ENOUGH ALREADY!

As I was washing dishes before lunch on Sunday – feeling raw from the aftermath of discovery and acknowledgment of my sin of discontentment and lack of faith in God – rather than bashing me over the head or pushing me down with guilt, God spoke the words of this song into my heart:

All of You
is More Than ENOUGH for
All of me
for every thirst and every need
You satisfy me with Your Love
and all I have in You is
More than Enough

More Than Enough

The truth is this:  God is everything anyone ever needs.  Not only is He our Creator, He is our Sustainer.  He can provide our NEEDS down to the food we eat, shelter to protect us, fellowship to encourage us.

He provided manna in the desert to feed a nation.

He provided a ram in the nick of time for a faithful father.

He provided an ark for anyone who would believe Him.

He provides not just a Saviour, but New Life in our Savior.

He provides healing – our Jehovah Rapha.

He is our Provider – Jehovah Jireh.

So – enemy of my soul – let me tell you what you can do with your lie from the pit of hell – you can have it back.  You have no power here.

God is My Father, Jesus is My Saviour and whatever may come – He is More Than Enough for me.






God is Not Enough – Part 2

What a devastating realization to be brought face to face with a lie that has been embraced as a truth in my life for so many years.

God is Not Enough.

If you haven’t read yesterday’s post, start there. As you’re reading this, maybe you have the same reaction to this idea.  A reaction of shock and disbelief.

Of COURSE God is enough.  Isn’t He the Creator of the Universe, Lord of All, Supreme Ruler, Omnipotent, Omniscient, Lord God Almighty!?!  Sure, He’s enough.

Isn’t He?

I found myself staring blankly at a mirror in my mind, coming to the full realization that I had embraced this lie of the enemy and allowed it to seep into every corner and almost every waking thought of my life.

How do I know?

Discontentment.

Discontentment with practically everything in my life, at one point in time or another – or for long periods of time.  Where I live.  Who my friends are or aren’t. What I have or don’t have.  What I drive or don’t drive.  My clothes.  My singleness.  My friends.  My job.  My education. My marriage.  Motherhood.  My body. My identity.

On and on the list goes.

Now I’m not here to simply confess this to you, but my purpose instead is to share with you that the lies of our enemy are so silky smooth, we may have held onto them for decades.  We may have grabbed on to some twisted truth that has entered our life in the midst of some trauma – a lie that has seeped in and changed our perception of the Truth about God.

God does not change.  God is forever Alpha & Omega – unchanging, reliable, steady, sure.

But the enemy, oh how he loves to capitalize on our pain and speak into our wounded souls lies that initially bring comfort, that bring intellectual satisfaction or emotional justice – or lies that just drive the wounds deeper and make us howl with pain.

But that’s where God comes in.  Remember the C.S. Lewis quote from yesterday?  How God shouts into our pain?

God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pains: it is His megaphone to rouse a deaf world.
~ C.S. Lewis

He is relentless.

In my ignorance – in my clinging to the shreds of a lie that sought to destroy my life – to keep me bound in chains unable to live the purpose God has for me with the gifts He’s blessed me with – He shouted into my pain.

Inexhaustable.

While sitting in the Bible study, as the “light bulb” came on and flashed in my face, I realized how and where this lie began its most powerful impact in my life.

I had grasped onto the lie at some point in my youth, but its most devastating effect came with my decision to have an abortion at age 17.  My physical relationship with my boyfriend was evidence of having believed the lie, but it wasn’t until I came out of the recovery room after my abortion that the lie left me wounded so deeply.

I didn’t believe God was enough to carry me through that pregnancy.  Still in high school, terrified of my dad’s reaction, terrified of being alone to raise a child – I didn’t think God was ENOUGH to provide for me or my child.

Despite my pregnancy with Mikhael and his adoption experience which showed God was MORE THAN ENOUGH – I’d done more damage to my soul than I could even fathom.

And that’s where the enemy had power.  Where I gave him permission to speak into my soul.  Just like Eve, I walked right up to that ONE forbidden tree and listened to what the enemy had to say despite God’s warning to stay away.  Thoughts and ideas filled my mind and I became consumed with believing that I had to do for myself and that God was not ENOUGH…  That I COULD do for myself because God was not enough…

But still He was there.  My Abba Father God still pursued me – shouting into my pain – waiting for me to turn to Him again so He could show me just how He was more than ENOUGH for my life…

more tomorrow…


A Lie I Believed – Part 1

Although I missed last week’s Bible study (due to Georgie’s’ sickness), I was determined to be there yesterday.  Despite spending 3 hours Saturday night studying for my Math exam, and 3 hours again yesterday morning – preparing and taking the exam – I thought I had plenty of time.  But Math – well, it breaks me down.

It was 8:00, and we were supposed to leave by 8:30 for church.  I was still taking my exam. Roy got Curly ready – although there was much loud discussion upstairs (since it’s not normal for Daddy to get them rolling in the morning).  I thought I’d prepared enough and gave myself enough room for the test – but I was wrong.

So at 8:20, I was done (I passed) – and ran upstairs to get dressed (no shower!) and get Georgie dressed.  I got my hair brushed (but not my teeth!) and scrambled to get our things together and out the door to church.  I could not miss another worship service and the Bible study is far too important.

CyndiMac is teaching our class – and I have to tell you – I ADORE this woman to pieces!  She is ALL Southern, and she spoke at a spring event called Dressing for the King.  I’ll share more about her later.

We are studying Nancy Leigh Demoss’ book  Lies Women Believe and the Truth that Sets Them Free.  She talked about the chaos that had been in her house this week, particularly yesterday, and how she really believed it was a spiritual battle.  She wanted to spend the day studying and in prayer – preparing for the study with us – but many things kept her from it.

I could relate.  I had that kind of week.  Actually, the past 2 weeks have been filled with sick children, chaotic schedules, changing schedules, and general upheaval and disturbances.  It wasn’t until Cyndi began talking about the spiritual battle that I had a “V8” moment and REALIZED what has been going on.

Now, I’m not saying that Satan made my girls sick or that it’s his fault I didn’t prepare enough time for my Math homework.  I’m just saying that for the past 2 weeks, many pressures came to bear hard and by the end of things, I was rushing into my days without spending much time with the Lord – or in His Word.

It’s as if I painted a target on the front door of my home and said, HELLO, enemy – here’s an open door for ya…  Welcome and have a seat, won’t you? SHEESH!

After a catastrophic afternoon Saturday – where I was the one having the screaming & yelling meltdown in the direction of my husband & girls – an evening & morning of MATH and stress – sitting in that class, showerless and feeling “messy” everything “clicked” for me.

I hadn’t even read the entire chapter of “homework” I was supposed to read, but I think there was purpose even in that.  As CyndiMac was speaking, God began shouting into the storm of my life.

God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pains: it is His megaphone to rouse a deaf world.
~ C.S. Lewis

When she read that to us – as I spent half the class wiping tears away – I could HEAR His voice shouting to me through my pain.  See, I had been listening to her present the “lies” that women believe about God – and I was thinking – oh, how sad for people to believe that.

And it dawned on me just exactly one particular lie that I had not only believed but lived out for 20+ years:

My Lie:  God is Not Enough.

Now, I’m going to stop here, because I have more to chew on, and some writing to get down.  God spoke to me last night, and I wrote a post – not even understanding that He was preparing me for facing this disabling lie with His Truth in a way that would set me free.  That post will come this week, but I need to share more about this particular lie and the truth that God has revealed to me already today – with more to come I’m sure.

So stay tuned and be ready…  Here is Part 2.