God knows….

I’ve been amazed (well I really shouldn’t be though…) at some of the things I’ve seen God do lately. I know many of us have very different views on how God talks to us. For me I think often it’s that voice I hear reminding me to call a friend that’s been on my mind a lot, or say a prayer for them, and things like that. Here’s what I mean…

An online friend has been battling satan and his effects in her life for quite some time now. I haven’t heard anything new on her situation in many months. But she had really been on my mind. We belonged to a forum together. Well today when I checked the forum there was a post asking if anyone had heard from her. Then when I looked at the replies- nearly everyone that knew her (around 20 ladies) had posted that they had been wondering the same thing lately. She had been on all of our minds lately. I don’t know what is actively going on in her life, but God does and He knows she needs prayer support. So I personally feel that He is the one who put her on all of our minds.

Another friend is going thru family struggles and I told her I would pray with out stopping. I hadn’t heard from her so I let her know I was still praying. She responded that her situation appeared to be improving but she couldn’t go into detail. But- God knows all those details. He reminded me to let her know I’m still praying.

Situations like these come up all the time. I have been asked many times to pray for someone or a situation with out knowing the details. I actually find that very comforting b/c I know that I don’t have to know the details. God knows them all. He knows our requests before we even ask. So listen to the still small voice and when it says “check on your friend” do it! God is talking, He knows they need you, even if they don’t. Isn’t it awesome to know that no matter what God KNOWS!!

Advertisements

Surreal

This weekend while sitting on the couch watching TV with my hubby I discovered a girl I graduated with was convicted of plotting her ex-husband’s murder, another person from the same area is a serial killer. Two other people from there are famous country music singers. And then there’s the rest of us, who sit here watching our TV’s wondering- what happened to make these people’s lives turn out so different from mine. What did I do, or not do that has put me where I am. The more I think on this the more I discover that in the grand scheme of things it doesn’t really matter. What does matter is that I have a God who loves me enough that He gave His son for me- and I’m just plain ole’ me. I’m not famous for doing anything (good or bad). So I am safe and secure in the fact that no matter what happens to me in my life I will be okay. I will win in the end. Then I think about the fact that these people are God’s children too. He’s there for them just as he is me. That’s not something we often want to think about. That God love’s the murderers and serial killers just like He loves us. (God loves famous country singers too, :-D, but the point of this is more focused on the other two people I mentioned) He gave up His son for them too. In God’s eyes, a sin is a sin. The punishment for sin is death, separation from Him. I was a very lucky child to be raised in a family that loves God and showed me that love every day (whether I wanted it or not). So at an early age I decided to give my life to Him and accept His forgiveness. I didn’t have to face any part of my life without Him. Unfortunately that’s not true for a lot of people out there. They think that He doesn’t exist or they aren’t good enough- or any number of thoughts that prevent them from accepting. I know that in the case of the above mentioned people I will likely never see them in person to tell them that God loves them and accepts them no matter what, sins, scars, bumps, bruises and all. So as I sit here in my life cozy comfy and wrapped in God’s love I can pray. I can pray that God will find someone to reach them. Someone to show them the love that my parents showed me. Someone to teach them that God loves them too.

Snow days!!

I remember being SO excited about snow days as a kid. My dad was a teacher so that meant we got to stay home. I remember making snowmen and snow forts out in the front yard, and the neighbor kids from across the street coming over to play. It was a blast.

Now that I’m a mom with 2 of my 3 in school I find I still look forward to them (well at least the first few anyway, lol). The last snow day the kids played great together. It was so nice to see them being friends with each other. Today—well, not so much. But!! They did let me stay in bed and read while that sat in the next room and watched a movie. Then we had a yummy breakfast complete with hot chocolate. I even managed to get them to pick up their rooms while I cooked. Of course there were a couple of breaks in there for managing scuffles which I still can’t figure out how they happened since they were in their own rooms “Just like you said MOM”…..hmmmm. They got it done and then we all played DDR while eating breakfast, and no- no one lost their breakfast. I figured this was a great way to use up some of that energy b/c Mommy wasn’t quiet so ready to go out side yet. Now it’s movie time- James and the Giant Peach!! All three, for the moment are sitting quietly watching it on the couch as I sit here typing.

On days like today I marvel at the blessings I have in my life- 3 beautiful children who are very healthy, active and energetic. A hubby who carefully travels back and forth to work on days like today so I can stay home. Then I look outside and see this

isn’t it amazing. God made 4 seasons for us to enjoy. He gave me the blessing of living here in the country so I can see things like this a much more every day!! I really don’t know how people can look at nature and not see God’s hand in every detail. We are SO blessed. I hope you get to have a nice cozy day at your home whether it’s snowing or not.

Budget time

Ok- so another definition of simple living- MUST include living with in your means and living frugally (at least for me anyway). Now- the big problem is HOW??? For being relatively young I don’t think my hubby and I have done bad. We have no debt now other than our mortgage. But–we haven’t done well in the savings dept…So that leads me to today. I decided to sit down and make a simple budget- I’ve done it many times, but the real trick to a budget is to FOLLOW it- that’s not something I’ve done. It is completely by the grace of God that we are where we are financially. Back when we first got married hubby gave me the job of paying the bills, etc. And because now I stay home, I still have it. So I’ve got my budget, I know how much I’ve spent so far this paycheck, and I WILL pay attention to it. I decided too that because we get paid twice a month that I should base my budget on that and on what bills are due around each payday. I’ve divided the amount of grocery/Wallyworld money that way too.

There are other tips that I think help a person live more frugally.

  • Making a menu- then you only by what you need.
  • Use coupons if you have them (the people who have the ability and time to do the mega couponing can really save $$, but I don’t have stores that coupon that way or the place to store all the stuff).
  • Pay attention to where you shop- don’t go to the most expensive store just because it’s closest to you. Likely if you drive across town to other one you’ll more than make up for the cost of gas.
  • Don’t get caught up on labels. Often store brands come from the exact same place, and sometimes they are better. There is one exception- Velveeta- there’s nothing else like the real thing (even though it’s not healthy at all, lol).
  • Watch the sale adds. If you know you are about to run out of something and it’s on sale- get it. You can even try to plan your menu’s around what’s on sale.
  • Look in your cabinets-what do you have that you need to use.
  • Cook at home more, and if you want to let someone else do the cooking, try take out. You save tons on drinks and on the tip.
  • Also, if you eat out at a sit down restaurant, order water you’ll save bundles if you have a family. Watch for kids eat free nights too!!
  • Pay yourself first- (something I’m not good at). Put the money you want to go into savings directly in first thing. A lot of banks offer automatic transfers and it can do it for you.

There’s a lot more things you can do out there to save money, but the biggest thing is to pay attention and be responsible. Our income is a gift from God. If someone gave you a valuable treasure you wouldn’t just throw it around and be careless with it. We shouldn’t be that way with our money either. Hopefully I can remember my own tips and maybe they’ve helped you too. 

Simple Rules to Live By.

This is a brief recap of our sermon this am. I felt it was really good advice to pass on.

Rules to Live By

1. Love one another
2. Live a quiet life
3. Mind your own business
4.Work with your own hands
5. Live a good life before outsiders (others)

All of these “rules” came from 1 Thessalonians 4:9-12.


1Th 4:9 But I don’t need to write to you about the Christian love [fn] that should be shown among God’s people. For God himself has taught you to love one another.

1Th 4:10 Indeed, your love is already strong toward all the Christians [fn] in all of Macedonia. Even so, dear brothers and sisters, we beg you to love them more and more.

1Th 4:11 This should be your ambition: to live a quiet life, minding your own business and working with your hands, just as we commanded you before.

1Th 4:12 As a result, people who are not Christians will respect the way you live, and you will not need to depend on others to meet your financial needs.

Preacher Pat ended the sermon with this:

“How many people are going to be on the other side because of you? People are watching you.”

Definitely something to think about.

Ah the Simple Life

No one ever says “I want to live the over scheduled, extremely challenging, complicated and stressful life.” But that’s what we all do isn’t it. I’m as guilty as the next person on this. Last year I found myself as a stay at home mom to 3 with 1 in school, PTO president, working at Weight Watchers, in charge of meals for the sick and new mom’s at church, Sunday school teacher to 3&4th graders, cake decorator, Close To My Heart consultant, embroider and wife- UGH!!! What was I thinking!! I wasn’t- obviously. So I cut back, slowly, now I only do a few of those things and some I only do occasionally. I only have the Monkey at home this year and I didn’t want to miss out on that for anything. This is our year. She’ll start preschool a couple of days a week next year.

Of course, cutting out all that extra stuff should leave me TONS of time to keep the house up, laundry done and kids fed- right?? Noooo. Some how I manage to use my time up just the same. So I started looking for info I’d seen in the past that helped me be a bit more organized. It does work IF you use it, the trick of course is using those tips. I must admit, I’m going to give you a few more of these “simple steps” and I don’t always practice what I preach, but I do know from experience that these things do work. At one point (I think at least 1 child ago) I had it figured out and kept the house up and actually had time for fun stuff I like to do, like sewing, and scrapbooking. So here it goes a few more simple things:

  • Do 1 load of laundry a day-  throw it in to wash before you go to bed, then put it in the dryer when you wake up. Somewhere later in the day fold it and put it away.
  • Run the dishwasher every evening and empty when you are fixing breakfast
  • Set out all the breakfast stuff you can the night before (bowls, plates, cereal, etc).
  • Clean up as you cook. Use a spice, put it right back. Keep a “trash bowl” on the counter and put all your trash and peelings in it, and empty it as soon as you are done. Keep the sink full of warm water to soak dirty dishes as you are done with them
  • Make a menu. I try to make a list of dinners a day or two before payday and then I shop based on that and I can just pick and choose from it for dinner rather than sitting there trying to think of what to cook.
  • Use a timer. If you’ve got something you need to do and don’t want to- set a timer and only work on it for a few minutes, then stop where you are and move on. Repeat as many times as it takes to get it done. 
  • Make sure your Monkey has something to entertain her whenever you want to do something on the computer (you might use that timer for stuff you enjoy too- so you don’t leave that Monkey alone for too long and then she comes hunting for you, lol).

Ok- I have to admit these are not my ideas exclusively. I got most of them from these two websites which I would recommend to anyone!! The first Christian Homekeeper Network amazing place with wonderful info on many subjects. Probably one of my all time favorite places on the internet!! The second FLYlady. A great place to help those of us who seem to flit around from thing to thing all day long. There are several places out there to help you on your journey to have a simple life, but these are two that I love. Good luck! And thanks for following me on my journey to the Simple Life!!