Saturday, December 27, 2014

Excited For January!!

I know at this point, I have, like zero readers.  That is OK.  It's not about that this year for me.  I am excited to see January come!  I am excited because I finally feel like the right direction is coming, and that my husband and I have started making strides toward some really really great things.

We (I) knew that once I made the commitment to be more organized and structured, it would be hard break our old habits.  In November, I knew it was a commitment that was going to take time and preparation.  So, I started getting ready for January.

I sat down, and worked on a home management binder.  I knew I needed one to keep my sanity, but for years I had failed to make one work for me.  It was frustrating, and an expensive experiment as well.  I have a huge stack of printables that I printed thinking I would use it, and now it's wasting away, because they just didn't work for me.

So on my list, I decided on the following areas that were important to me.

1. Spiritual
2. Finances
3. Daily To Do Lists
4. Meal Planning
5. Cleaning

And a calendar in the front to keep my schedule in line.

These areas are important because they are the anchors of our family chaos.  If I can keep these going, in my own way, then I will be successful at getting things under control. After all, God is not the author of chaos, right?

The other thing my husband I and decided to do, was to sit down a few days before the start of a new month, and set goals for that month.  This puts us in the right frame of mind to start the month, and on the same path, so we are not pulling against each other with what we think needs to be done.  We felt so good last night when we went to bed, knowing we had set our plan out together.

I have several free printables I have designed for getting your year in gear with Bible Reading and Bible Study.  Both my husband and I are excited to start using these tools, because it is a way for us to begin a new course in our lives in growing closer to the God, together.

Until next year....

Monday, November 17, 2014

What's Going Into My Home Management Binder This Year...

As I have been working on and sharing the idea of a home management binder, more people have begun to ask me what I included in mine this year.

The first thing I did was sit down and ask myself what exactly I was hoping to accomplish by having a home management binder.  The reality is, this is my third or fourth attempt at said binder.  Could it be that it was because I was doing it someone else's way, and not my own?  Is it because my goals are different, and instead of making it work for my goals, I was making my goals work through it?  Probably.

So here is what I came up with:
1. I need to know what day it is, and what is going on that day.
2. Spiritual accountability.
3. Budgeting and Bill pay.
4. Daily To Do Lists.
5. Menu planning.
6. Cleaning.
7. Extra blank documents.

This is my monthly calendar.  I love it!  This blog has lots of great stuff.  You can find it here.  


Next up, I have my spiritual accountability.  This is divided into subsections.  The thing is my 52 week Bible reading plan on a single sheet.  I need a checklist.  In everything.  It's a problem, I know. You can find the link to print it here.  

Scripture Memorization for the Rest of Us: The Jesus Project #MemoryProject2014 *UPDATED: Printable Bookmark with List of VersesNext is the scripture memory.  I set out out to find a yearly scripture memory plan, and Anna Voskamp did not disappoint!  This is an old plan, but I like it because it starts on January 4, which is a Sunday, which made it easy to have an accountability group at church to work with.  You can find it here.  I love that she has awesome pretty printables to print and put up through your journey to remind you.  I am a KJV girl, so I might have to rework them, but still the reminder is awesome!

**I had problems getting the guide to print, but was able to use my snipping tool to get the first half of the year to print.  I just never could get it download and print.  It would send a blank sheet of paper through my printer and that was it.  Frustrating yes, but I was able to work around it, because I think the project is totally worth it.  I am not sure how to access the studies that go with each memory verse, but I am sure there should be an archive.  I am just working on scripture memory in general, so again I needed a check list.

Next up are the prayer journal pages that I shared previously on my blog.  You can print these out at your leisure. It is in seven different files.  I use these to give myself quick reminders of things I need to pray for.  I *might* do a prayer journal, but this is a good first step in disciplining myself in the area of prayer.  I know I shouldn't need a checklist for these things, but sad as it is, if I don't, I get started on the day and simply forget to do them.

You can find all seven files to download off of Google Docs here.

Next in my binder I have a Family Weekly Bible Study Planner Sheet.  I designed this because we plan to have weekly Bible Study as a family, and my children are getting old enough that I want to start giving them responsibility in this, and teaching them how to teach, because they will have to teach their families one day.  I love the thought of Family Home Evening, but we are not Mormon, so I thought I would take the principle and convert it to a format that we could use.  I am also providing this for download out of Google Docs and you can get it here.

I have all of these sub categories clipped together with pastel colored binder clips.  To save paper, I also try to print front and back as well.

The next section is the Budge & Finances.
I only have two sub sections in this category, as we are mostly debt free (my student loans are auto pay, and the only debt we have), so our finances are pretty straight forward.
This first thing I have is a paycheck budget sheet from Ms. Wenduhh.It's pretty simple, but has some color, and I am always about some color.  Get the Paycheck Budgeting printable here.
 The other thing I have is a Monthly bills sheet from Orchard Girls.  This gives me a place to write my paid confirmation numbers, the bill etc. Get the monthly Bills printable here. 

Section Number 4 is The Daily To Do lists.
The first thing I have is this reminder of why I do everything I do in the first place.  I found this great graphic on Pinterest, but sadly it only took me to a cache, so I took the exact image and put it on a document with a border.  If you know who's it is,  I would love to give credit for it!  Please let me know!

Next I am back to The Hand Made Home for my Weekly planner pages.  Instead of a full sheet of paper wasted for a To Do list everyday, I decided to use these sheets to make out my to do list.  I love the bright colors, wide lines, and that my home made calendar stickers work perfectly here on these lines.  The colors are great!! And it suits my purpose.  Get Them Here! 

Next Tab please!!
Day6Say Goodbye to Survival Mode Printable PacketThis is the menu planning portion of my binder.  I love to menu plan and shop for my menu plan.  I know, I am totally a nerd.  I got this great 4 week Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner/Snack menu from Crystal at Money Saving Mom, with her book Say Goodbye To Survival Mode.  I like that it's one sheet for a month basically. Get more information about Crystal's book and contact her for the printables here.   I hated wasting a whole sheet of paper per week.  I do not know if she is still offering this free packet of printables, but I loved the book, and this one printable was a great resource for me!  I also have a great weekly menu laminated on my refridgerator so that I can write the weekly menu out, so I do not have to constantly answer the "Whats for-?" question.  When you cook three meals a day, it gets asked, often!  You can find them everywhere, but this happens to be my favorite! I love the colors and the cute owls.  :) Get this cute Owl Meal Plan here at I Heart Planners. 

I have two printed grocery shopping organization sheets in my binder after the menu planner (because we plan first and shop second, right?) because it depends on where and how I am shopping.  If I have one place to shop, I use the editable grocery list printable from Erin at Happy Organized Life.  If I am making multiple stores, with coupons and price matching, I use the Coupon Queens Shopping list, but I had Erin make me a customized List with only two stores.  Examples of both of the printables I use are in the pack shown below, and if you have a need you cannot find a printable for, Erin is amazing to work with!  Her monthly club is great as well if you are just getting started and like printables sent directly to you.  You can find her Etsy Store Here.

Erin @ Happy Organized Life

The Streamlined Life CLEANING Kit - 9 documents - standard and half size included - INSTANT DOWNLOADNext in my binder is the Cleaning Schedule s Tips & Tricks Section.  In here, I have a once a week cleaning checklist, and a laminated monthly deep cleaning check list.  It helps rotate through the deep cleaning that normally gets forgotten about around here.  Also in this section, I have a laminated copy of our 30 Minute Clean Routine we are going to be doing every morning before school, it was editable and also came from Happy Organized Life.   I also have a copy laminated on the fridge.  The cleaning checklists are from the Clean Mama Printables Etsy shop, and well worth the $10.  You will save it in paper, I promise! You can get her products here at her Etsy Shop.

So far, that is all I have!  You can also download the tab pages I created.  I trimmed down the pages, and glued them onto matching cardstock and punched out my tabs to match and then laminated them.
I am offering them to you as well.  Here is a sample of what they look like! I added scripture to each so that I would know the Lord's purpose in all that I do!  You can download all of these here as well! 

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

2015 Prayer Journal- Whole Year!

The last time I tried this... I was not very successful because I gave up in June.  This year, I went ahead and made the whole year- ahead of time, so that anyone that was doing a home management binder could go ahead and print them off.

Here is a sampling:

Each month is completely unique, with a new scripture, and the amount of space for every day of the month.  This is just a place I use to jot down when people, things, or events come to mind through the day and evening so I remember to pray for them.  This helps keep me accountable!  

The first six months are individual files, and the last six months are a single file. When you click on the July image, it will load all the others, I promise! 


Monday, April 7, 2014

When You Feel Unloved

A Note To Myself-

It's easy to think in too high esteem of yourself.  To feel that you have finally arrived at a place of acceptance among a crowd, or believing you are a part of something that you truly aren't in the end.

To believe you are loved by someone, and you aren't.

Or to let Satan make you think that.

Sometimes, it's hard to discern between the two.

I struggle with acceptance.  Always have.  My heart yearns to be accepted into groups of like minded thinkers, loved by those same people.  And then there is always the disappointment that comes with realizing I had allowed Satan to help me believe the lie, because my flesh so desperately seeks the acceptance of others.

But I truly only needed the acceptance of one: Jesus Christ.

So as I take up the cross that no one can ever understand, and as I struggle with not understanding where I am in this world, or trying to find the place where I am accepted, I know where I should take my burdens to- Calvary.

Because there are trials here for me to learn from.  Accepting and loving those who don't accept or love me.  Because I was once unlovable.  Embrace that you are to love people right where they are, even when they don't love you, or embrace you in return.

Put a smile on, pull yourself up by the bootstraps and move on.

Sunday, March 23, 2014


And is very personal. Very.

ignorance- 1. lack of knowledge or information.
"he acted in ignorance of basic procedures"
synonyms: incomprehension of, unawareness of, unconsciousness of, unfamiliarity with, inexperience with, lack of knowledge about, lack of information about;
lack of knowledge, lack of education, unenlightenment, illiteracy;
lack of intelligence, stupidity, foolishness, idiocy

Sometimes, this is the perspective people speak from... it's not their fault, they just lack knowledge to make a legitimate and informed opinion. And then they voice it. In a public manner. And here's the kicker. I have to forgive them. Especially if it was said in a manner I was not privy to. Jesus calls us to forgive. Because it's not about them, and their opinion, and what they think that He is trying to develop in me.

God is trying to form a better person in me, a better, more Christlike Character.

In my reaction.

In my response.

In my heart.

Our family journey has never been the easy road. There are times when the very decisions we make are life altering. They are life and death. That is as real as it gets. My children, and their disabilities, are real. Our decisions have real consequences. When we set out to make decisions, we do it with counsel. We pray fervently, and seek God's face. Counsel comes from medical professionals, from our pastor, from our families, from the people that are close to us and desire the very best versions of us, and want what is is in the best interest of our family.

Disability is a completely different world. It is very easy to arm chair quarterback parents, who sometimes have to make moment to moment decisions, or who spend hours and hours of research and time with doctors making decisions about long term problems.

Ultimately, every medication, every surgery, every procedure, every piece of equipment, every decision, is a step.

A step in faith.

Giving our children back to God.

Asking for His protection.

His guidance.

His blessing.

His intervention.

Begging Him to pour Himself into our lives, with assurance, and love, and direction.

It's all in faith.

And when things happen the way God wants them, the blessings flow. Things just fall into place. Procedures that were supposed to be 6 hours suddenly become 4 hours long. Bones that were once twisted on x-rays "fall into place" miraculously. You no longer need body casts, because "the x-ray was totally different than the situation once we opened up his legs."

I speak experience, because these things have happened to me.

Coming full circle, I will say this. Every parent that reads this can say there has been a time in their life when someone has told them that they don't agree with a decision that you are making with your child. It's their opinion, and one probably made out of ignorance, dear mother. Ignorance is not a negative thing. It is a lack of. Simple.

So, as I sort through my emotions, and come to full grips with it- I must forgive.

Easy? No.

Necessary? Yes.

Because Jesus died for me, as an atonement for my sins.

Did I deserve an amazing gift like this? No.

Was it an easy task for him? No.

Am I supposed to forgive as I have been forgiven? Yes.

My daughter reminded me of a saying today- Words are like toothpaste- once they come out of the tube, there is no putting them back in. If you are someone who tends to form opinions on matters that you know nothing about- remember that those things hurt, and you can't take them back. If you are a momma who has been deeply hurt for your child, or on behalf of a decision you made for your child.
Forgive. Don't let it eat away at you.

It's not worth it.
I promise.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Why Raising The Next Generation Is Exceptional

An Open Letter to Amy Glass.

  1. 1.
    unusual; not typical.
    "crimes of exceptional callousness and cruelty"
    synonyms:unusualuncommonabnormalatypicalextraordinary, out of the ordinary,rareunprecedentedunexpectedsurprisingMore

In a day and age when young women are pushed to do anything but stay at home and raise a family- I feel like we are exceptional!  Families that have a mom at home all the time to take care of her children are rare.  We make sacrifices.  We make it a priority to be the primary influence in our children's lives, and take seriously the mindset of raising the next generation of young people.

I take exception to a statement I read today in an article by Amy Glass-  "You will never have the "time, energy, freedom, or mobility to be exceptional because you have a husband and kids."   I find that statement rather provocative, which I think was her intent.  I believe her goal was to provoke those of us that do "just stay at home" and "be average."  By provoking us, there is a hope in making us envious of the life in which she chases.  It's sad really- because there is a magic that comes from ordinary. We cherish ordinary.   But our ordinary and average is drastically different than the ordinary of most children these days.  

Amy, I have to say- yes doing laundry is every bit as important as being an engineer or a doctor- by doing laundry I am telling my family, every day, that I love them.  Love is so important.  I am showing them by doing laundry, it's okay to serve someone other than themselves.  Maybe if you took a moment to think about either a) the mom in your life that did those things because she loved you and wanted you to be the very best version of yourself you could be or (b) the mother you always desired to do those things for you (I don't know your growing up years, so I can't speak to why you seem to hate women who stay at home) and to love you.  

Raising the next generation to be something more than a selfish, self serving generation IS the exception, not the rule.  Look around you Amy.  There are more of those than there are of us stay at home "average" people.  It is okay to serve other people.  I didn't have children because I was lonely- I have a family to show Christ's love through our family.  As you so eloquently put it- you are making the life you want and not filling it up with kids to love you so you don't have to feel alone.  I pity people that feel that way- truly.  Children aren't here to make us happy- they are here to be raised to be amazing human beings that do great and amazing things.  To carry on traditions, and talk about strapping rockets to houses and launching them into space.  They bring joy, peace, chaos and excitement to life.  They give us a chance to make the world a better place in the next generation.  They give us a chance to change the world.  For The Better.  

My children give us a chance to share the gospel with the world, from our little corner of America.  They will go out to share the gospel with others one day.  They will (hopefully) show Christ's love every day with their every day "ordinary" actions.  They will be the exception, and in turn, will be exceptional.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Facebook- The Good, The Bad, && The Ugly

Ahhh Facebook.  I have a love/hate relationship with you. You are amazing in helping me keep up with my family and friends that are not close to me physically. You allow me to share our lives with the very same family so they can see our kids grow and what they accomplish. You give me a platform to share the gospel and the light with the world.

I love that on Facebook, I can follow great pages about The Lord, and family, and education, and news. I love that people share great recipes and I can try new foods.

What I Don't Love...

Is that we tend glorify ourselves on Facebook. Look at me, Look at me, look what my family can/is doing, etc. I don't think any of us do it on purpose, because we love our families, and we have a sense of pride in them for what they are accomplishing-, but it can come across as unhealthily prideful!  (Proverbs 16:5, Proverbs 16:18, Romans 12:16)

It can make others less than content with where God has them currently. If Susie Q has it so good, why can't I? What is wrong with me Lord? Why can't I have that success, or that kind of kid- or that kind of clean living room? What do I not have , that they do? Why aren't you blessing me like you are blessing that person? Instead of being content with where God has you, you can easily become ungrateful to God for the blessings you do have in the envy you have for someone else, and their circumstances. (Philippians 4:11-12, Psalms 23:1, Proverbs 28:25) 

It gives us a platform to say things we would never have the audacity to say to someones face. The anonymity of the internet appears to give people the guts to say what ever about whomever they choose. People-public figures, elected officials, etc- are people. They deserve to be treated as such, in my humble opinion. (Titus 3:1-3, Psalms 34:13).

For lack of a better way to say it- it gives people the opportunity to be the version of themselves that they really wish they were-but aren't. Essentially- I stay frustrated with people who want others to believe they are a certain type of person, but in reality they are completely different. I wish people would be real. Good, Bad, Indifferent-Be Real. I am perfectly okay with living in ignorant bliss, and not knowing who people really are sometimes.  The reality is, that is between that person and the Lord.  It's not mine to know. (Romans 12:2)

In being real, however, leave your drama at home. I think back to the old saying about airing dirty laundry. Some things, the world doesn't need to know. The world shouldn't know. Some things should be between you and The Lord. Some things should be between you and your spouse. They don't need to be a permanent part of the internet, to then be speculated about and then discussed. Because you know what? Then you potentially become a stumbling block to someone else. (James 4:8, Romans 12:18  Proverbs 4:23)

Not that I need any help, but at times when I scroll through my facebook feed- I see something that peaks my curiosity (aka my nosiness), and before I know it I have looked at someone's post, the comments, and then gone on a personal quest to "investigate" the source of the problem, and why? More than likely, in my flesh, I want to be able to gossip about it (gasp!). Women (and men too, no doubt!) need no help in this area. We are dying to talk about it, get in touch with our inner emotions about it. Come to some understanding about it. It's a part of our (my) sin nature. So, when I post on facebook, it's (in my opinion) my duty to only post things that do not create a stumbling block for another.

So, this is just a few of the things I have either allowed myself to or seen get out of hand. The Lord smote my heart the weekend before Christmas about something.

Matthew 12:36-37

Yes friends, we do. All that wasted time on Facebook, looking at things I shouldn't, not that they are "biblically bad" but none of my business nonetheless. All those posts with empty nothingness, no substance or direction toward the light and saviour. What I wasted that I should have, and could have, given to God, but chose to waste it on the idleness of this world.

Talk about God stepping on my toes for awhile. First I thought about deleting facebook entirely. I prayed about that, and eventually came back to the originally why I came to know Facebook-family. Family will always be on my facebook, but the rest are at the discretion of God's leading. Not my flesh, not my choosing, but what God convicts me about that I read.

So here is how Facebook is going to change in the coming months-

1-There will be no senseless posts. If there is no news to report, there will be no posts.
2-I will not grumble and complain on Facebook, period.
3-I will not continually read and be nosy about issues that are posted on Facebook- It's not healthy, and only fosters in me a spirit that is not usable for God.
4-I will be limiting the time I am on Facebook. There is a bigger and brighter life out there beyond my phone and Facebook- It's time to live it.
5-I will (with God's leading, I pray) learn to be content with the life God has for me, and how I can be a blessing to someone else- in the here and now. Not the future, NOW. God wants to use us NOW.
6-If The Lord tells me that I shouldn't be looking at things on Facebook, I will be eliminating it. Period.

This was God's wake up call to me- and how I personally use my time, and what I see. I am by no means telling you this is what you need to do. That is your conviction from God. But I have to do what God tells me, because I want to stay in the closest fellowship with Him, and I want to grow more in Him this year than ever.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year everyone!

I felt so blessed to be in God's house praying in the New Year at midnight.  As a family we have done this for several years, and I wouldn't have it any other way.

Last year, I chose to participate in a One Word 365 challenge, where you pray about what God would have you focus on this year for your family.  I chose the actual word Focus.  It was a goal to focus more on home and family, but most of all God.

I can't say that I excelled in that area, quite honestly.  There were times when my walk strayed, and while I focused on things, I didn't have my main focus in view- The Lord.  Lucky for me, I serve a great God who forgives, and as my husband preached last night- God is still concerned with my fragments.  And I am so glad.

So, I decided to give the One Word 365 challenge another go- drum roll please........

This year, we are striving for all things peaceful.  I have really taken stock of how chaotic and dramatic life has become, and I know that God is not the author of chaos (1 Corinthians 14:33)  I know that striving with man is also not what the Lord desires for me (Galatians 1:10) because we are to be in the world but not of the world (Romans 12:2).  I am standing on God's promises of love- and joy (thank you Br. Brian for that message last night, too!), and the knowledge that my happiness is circumstantial, but my JOY is eternal.  Thank You Jesus!  

I am so grateful today.  I woke up with Jesus in my heart (and a five year old cuddled up against my back, lol) and an understanding of what I believe he has called for me this year.  

This is the year I choose peace, joy, love, obedience, inspiration, and to do my very best to choose God's will in my life, even when it doesn't seem to make sense to any one else, because it's not about everyone else, it's about what God says in my life.  

It's your decision.  You can choose to put the past behind you, and move forward in the Lord.  It will be brutal at times, because God will confront you with the truth, and then you will have to choose.  God will love you always-either way- but His ways are so much better than ours, I promise (II Samuel 22:31).