Thursday, January 29, 2015

What am I going to do? I am going to PRAISE HIM!

I hope you read yesterday's article about trials and perspective. If not, click the link. It's a good read, especially if you are dealing with some trials in your life.

Today's article will be the complete opposite of yesterday.

Now, before I go on, I want to give you a little insight into my blog.

When I write, I like to share what God is doing and what I am learning. I usually write when I get some free time, whether it's during my kids' nap time or at night. However, most of the time, you will NOT see an article that I wrote that day, posted the same day.  Why?

1. I have an editor.
2. I write multiple blog posts at one time.
3. I write when my heart is touched and then wait for a good moment to share.

So, some of my posts were written days and sometimes weeks apart.

This is the case of yesterday's post and today. When I wrote about the trials, I was going through, I really was going through a lot. So, I was preaching to myself as I wrote that blog.

I had to get my perspective right.

Today's post is not saying that if you do all three steps that you will receive earthly blessings, but it's encouraging you that good times WILL come and we must praise Him when they do.

So trials come...and so do blessings ...and when I get blessed, I just have to tell everyone.

God spoils me.

I don't know why but He does and I am just very grateful.

In fact, He has really just opened heaven and dumped the earthly blessing box on me:

When I wrote that "trails" post, we thought that our sewer lines were going to have to be replaced, instead it was a $150 fix....WAY cheaper than what we were expecting.

Then the next Wednesday I was digging in my diaper bag and $100 fell out on the ground!

Two very close friends brought over bags and boxes of clothes, shoes and accessories to go through that I could keep or pass on. In those bags were 3 VERY classy purses. These were purse styles that I had drooled over and wanted but never spent the $$.

One thing that has really been a WANT in my life was a new stove.  I should take a picture of the one that I have right now.  It's over 40 years old and recently one of the large burners died after a small fire occurred on the stove. It's an old style where the oven is over top and the stove sits on your cabinets.

So I was hoping that we could get a new-to-us stove for my birthday.  I was discussing this with a family at our church.  The husband is very handy.  I was asking him some advice as we would have to cut out a cabinet for a different stove. He offered to do the project for us and then came back and said that they had an extra stove that we could have. OH MY!  I am, seriously, doing a little happy dance over here while I write. It was just the neatest blessing.

It's almost been like God took my wish list and checked everything off.

I received chocolate and notes and more blessings over the week.  I just can't contain my joy.  I am so blessed by my friends, family and mostly GOD!

One thing to point out:  If I had not gone through those trials recently, these blessings that I received wouldn't have been so shiny and wonderful.

Think about that.

Now, just like with trials in my life, what am I going to do with the blessings? I'm going to praise Him.

What about you?  Has God been blessing you? Please share below. - Rejoicing in the Present

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

What are you going to do?

I was recently telling my mom that I thought that maybe I was going through postpartum depression.  She came back with the thought that it could just be this set of trials that I was going through....

....and, friends, it's been a ride. Many of you know that our daughter has had a time of it for the last 3 months. We've practically lived at the doctor's office and been to the hospital too many times. From pneumonia to RSV to to surgery, I'm a favorite with my insurance company.  In fact, when my phone rings, my son automatically thinks it's Daddy, Bebe(Grandma) or the doctor.

In addition, two of the three showers in our house are leaking and the toilet in the third started overflowing this weekend, due to a backup in one of the pipes.

Our closest friends are moving halfway across the country and it will be extremely hard and rare to see them again.

With all this, we just found out some news that will effect us financially. You got to love the involvement of the government in our lives. 

Additionally, my health is not good and, due to the medical issues of the kids, I have not been able to be at church more then a handful of times over the last 3 months....

Now, I did not write this for you to feel sorry for me; I wrote this because I wanted you to see where I was coming from when I wrote this post.

In the middle of all this I am doing a ladies Bible study through our church and we happen to be studying the book of James.  The second week - first homework lesson- was exactly what I needed.

Beth Moore discusses James 1:2-4 "My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing."

I have heard this passage before, but I don't think it has ever been so applicable. Beth teaches us to "count it all joy." In other words, be excited when you fall into these trials. 

On a side note, notice that it's "fall into." These are not trials that we plan or look for; they are trials that just happen to us. This is not drama that we run to and get involved with; this is simply a trial that happens to us, unawares.

We need to have contentment, knowing that God is in control and that He is going to make us better, more whole. (as long as we are open to learning) We are going to learn patience and that is going to perfect us. 

It won't be easy but it will be worth it.

Beth says "What are you going to do with all your going through?"

I would say this "You can't always decide your circumstances but you can decide how you are going to react/respond to them."

Here are somethings that help me...

  • Look up! See God working. Be excited at the knowledge that you are going to grow. 
  • Look out! There are so many people that are hurting.
    • In fact, I recently shared some posts about helping others. I hope you read them and that you will reach out. When you are looking at others, it will diminish your own problems.
  • Thank Him! Thank the Lord for the trials that will bring perfecting, but also thank Him for all the blessings in your life.
So now, when I look at the list I see this...
  1. I am thankful for the doctors that were able to help my daughter get better. I'm thankful that her medical problems were fixable.
  2. I am thankful that we have 3 bathrooms. I am thankful that we are going to be able to get some of these problems fixed. I am thankful that we have indoor plumbing and I'm thankful that they are not all broken.
  3. I am thankful for my friends. I am also VERY thankful that their move means that they got the ministry position that they were praying for.  This is going to be very good for them.
  4. I am thankful that God always takes care of us financially. I am thankful that we are not in debt. I am thankful that our bills are covered. I am blessed.
  5. Lastly, I am thankful for my good days. I am thankful for my bad days because that means that the next healthy day I have will be appreciated more. 
It's all about perspective! What are you going to do with the plate you have been given? - Rejoicing in the Present

STAY TUNED!!!! - Tomorrow, I want to follow-up on this post.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Warning-> Parenthood

This post (below) was inspired by a sweet momma blogger. I read her story. It was beautiful but it didn't quite capture the warning that I personally felt needed to be shared. Thank you for sharing your heart and inspiring me to share mine. 

When we go through pregnancies, we have so many warnings thrown at us.  From "get sleep now, because you never will again" to "enjoy your free time because you will never have freedom again."  We are warned about the sleepless nights to come and the money that we will never have again. We will be given some pretty scary warnings that will leave us awake at night, asking us "ARE WE READY? 

Our gift mentally turns into a burden and we become stressed.

But I must warn you that it's a much bleaker picture. You will be overwhelmed. You will be exhausted. You will cry. You will mentally lose it and then you will realize your one mistake!

The day that you give birth.  WOW, just let me just warn YOU! You will be sooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo exhausted and overwhelmed. 

Yes Ma'am!  You will be so overwhelmed that God gave you such a rare and beautiful gift, that He would trust you with the care and upbringing of this sweet little treasure. 

Your heart will literally collapse into a puddle of goo when you hold her/him for the first time. You will cry, but it's tears of relief, tears of joy.  I remember that when I had baby A. I cried tears of joy. I  had seen it in the movies but hadn't really experienced it.  In fact, I thought it was kinda fake, but then I cried. I cried because I had just birthed that sweet baby boy and I was now holding his sweet wrinkly body against mine.  I cried because this was my baby. It was surreal. It was amazing. It was so beautiful.

Let me TELL YOU! Let me warn you. You will be overwhelmed and you will cry and it will be a most beautiful moment you will never forget!

Oh and let me tell you about loosing it. It's coming, momma! 

You will realize that you have lost it when you stop your life and whisper to your husband to come see this funny occasion. 

You will find yourself excited to tell him about all the funny and cute things that happened that day. Those things will be "small" things like her lifting her head or his first scoot across the crib. I mean can't we have a more grown up conversation then this? It will be the "little things" that start making up your life. 

Oh, and let me tell you about her tiny little fingers.  They are ridiculously cute.  She will wrap them around your finger.  You will realize how tiny and precious she is, but in the back of your mind you will also note who is really wrapped around who's finger.

Your husband may want to give you a break.  He will offer for you to go shopping or get pampered, but you won't want to leave and, if/when you do, you will be missing that sweet baby boy curled up in your arms. Your heart will lift when you pull back into the driveway and you will find yourself nearly running to the door. ...but wait, don't we live for our mom times. 

Oh, and you know that something is seriously wrong when you revert to your high school cheerleading behavior the first few times that your son goes to the potty on the toilet. You've lost it, for sure. 

Your son walks away while you are reading him a story, but you finish it because you want to know the end of the story. I must warn you that little kids' books can be quite entertaining at times. 

Let me warn you about something else. Your babies cheeks will be so soft, like nothing you have ever felt. You will want to kiss and snuggle up to them ALL THE TIME.  In fact, you won't be able to get enough of them. 

You know what else is addicting--their snuggle. When they fall asleep on you or curl right into you, you will lose your mind and forget about all the work you need to get down....and can you believe this -> you might even close your eyes and sleep along with them. I mean PEOPLE, come on! 

Mornings are slightly rough too. If you're a stay-at-home mom like me, you don't have a time you have to wake up, which means I am awakened by my toddler.  Yes, he crawls into my space and then I have to cuddle, sometimes tickle, but usually I am ALWAYS greeted with a HUGE smile!  It's such a hard life.  I'm warning you!

Another warning! Your bed is often full with more then just your husband and you. Yes, sometimes your baby or toddler will sneak in. These are those nights when you "have to" get to cuddle your angels around you and thank the Lord you got the opportunity to spend the night sleeping with them. 

As a responsible parent, I should tell you to RUN.  

YES!  Run to the idea of motherhood.  Embrace it.  Be excited that you get the opportunity to have a little baby. A little sweet gift from God. 

It's really a hidden secret. A lot of woman are running away from it, but it's a really REALLY special gift that God has given us. 

I'm warning you! ONE DAY, you WILL realize your mistake. Your mistake? -- not having them sooner!

It can be quite addicting. In fact, there is some moms that couldn't break that addiction (20 and counting). ...but dear, you don't worry if you have 1 or 20. You'll be proud of the number that God gives you. It's a blessing, all of it. Embrace it. Love it. Inhale it. It's amazing, I'm just warning you.  - Rejoicing in the Present

This post was inspired by a sweet momma blogger. I read her story. It was beautiful but it didn't quite capture the warning that I personally felt needed to be shared. Thank you for sharing your heart and inspiring me to share mine. 

Thursday, January 22, 2015

4 Things...Saving $$

I couldn't sleep the other night and so I was online and come upon this article from -> thrifty, frugal mom. I love some of the ideas for saving money on your grocery bill. She is hard-core but she saves! Here are excerpts from Lydia get the WHOLE article, click the above link. 

1. Choose to do Without

While choosing to do without is not really popular or even always a fun, it honestly is probably one of the biggest ways we save.

Some of the ways we do without are: 

  • Speaking of cheese, we hardly ever eat cheese just by itself....  But it is something we’ve decided to consider a luxury around here to help keep our spending low. 
  • Orange juice is a splurge item that I get only when I can buy it for $0.99 or less....we can easily eat fruit and get our recommended serving that way much cheaper. 
  • We don’t buy lots of snack foods.
  • We do several different things to save money on meat. But one of the big ways that we save is simply by not buying expensive cuts. In fact I have a maximum buy price of $2.00/lb. for meats (and actually for cheese too) which means that we don’t often eat things like bacon or steaks. 
2. Don’t be Brand Snobs
When I began using coupons I started realizing that I could save a lot if I chose to be open-minded about trying brands than I didn’t typically use... I’ll be honest, there are still a couple of products that I am a brand snob about but overall I purchase whatever I can get for the least amount of money.

3. Cook from Scratch

Yes, cooking from scratch might take a bit more time but with a bit of planning ahead I’ve learned that it can be relatively fast too. 

One of the things I do that helps save time is to cook up large quantities of ground beef and chicken and then put it in the freezer in smaller portions. 

Making twice as much of something doesn’t take much longer at all and when I have an usually busy day it’s so handy to be able to just pull dinner out of my freezer.

Want to see what kinds of things I cook? Check out my recipes on my blog or on Pinterest.

4. Have a Price List

By keeping track of which stores have the lowest prices on certain items I have been able to save a lot. And it also helps me know when something is a good stock up price too. 

If you want more tips check out my post Save Money by Using a Price List!

These are some GREAT ideas! Check out her website for more ideas - Rejoicing in the Present

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

The Parenting Race

I noticed that after my husband watches my son for an extended period, the little guy usually comes back to me with a better attitude. This has happened on a number of different occasions, so the other day, I approached hubby and asked him what his secret was.

He commented that he doesn't focus his eyes on the immediate fix, instead he focuses on the end product. 

It wasn't a profound statement but it was something that clicked with me. I know I've heard it before, I'm sure I've read it a thousand times but THAT time it spoke to me.

As you may know, I live with fibromyalgia and one of the big symptoms of it is nerve pain. When I'm having a bad fibro day, my nerves are SHOT.  Thus, when my child cries or wines, it literally hurts my body.  So, I tend sometimes to just focus on the immediate fix. 

How do I get her to stop crying?  Pick her up, soothe her, rock her...?

Why is he whining? Give it to him? Shut him up? Discipline out of anger because I'm annoyed? How do I respond?

Many times I don't respond right. This is why my husband's comment was so valuable. It reminded me to not look at the quick fix.  Not to just "get them to be quiet," but to decide what I want in the end and to slowly pursue that goal. 

This may mean that I need to move my whinny child to another room until he can ask properly for the item or so that I can calm down before I discipline him. 

It also may mean that I need to turn off the baby monitor while my child is crying herself to sleep.  She is learning to self-soothe and I have to be able to give her those tools that will help her in life.

Hebrews 12:1-2

Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God."

Parenting is a race, not the 100-yard dash, but a marathon.  It takes LOTS of patience and comes with many trials and weights. We have to put those aside and look to Jesus. 

We have to see the goal, the finish line, and keep our eyes set on that. We can't throw our hands up, fall down and cry when life gets us down. We have to focus our minds on what we want and persevere to the end. 

If our eyes are on Jesus and the goals He has for us, it makes it a little easier to respond to our children even when it's hard.  

Maybe that means that you need to take a breather and walk away for a second. 

 Don't hand it to your child right away.  

Teach them.  

Whatever it is, go against your instinct for the quick fix. In the long run, it will be worth it. - Rejoicing in the Present

Monday, January 19, 2015

Not Why but "WHO"

"Often I hear news of tragedies, suffering, and conflicts in the world, like Ebola, those contending with cancer, marriage breakups, sickness, death, and the current persecution of believers at the hands of radical Muslims. What should we do upon hearing of such news?"

I'm sure many of you mothers, wives, and women in general have these thoughts and concerns. It's a scary world in a scary time and if it were not for the protection of God and the hope of eternity, I really don't know what I would do. 

This is an encouraging article by Mem Luton over at Overcomer Outreach. - Rejoicing in the Present

“Busy” is the only way to describe a typical day during this season of my life.

As a wife and mother of four children aged four to eleven, with no grandparents, each day is very full…especially with ministry to others outside my home. I cling to God’s promise that He will never leave me nor forsake me (Heb. 13: 5). Although my husband is very loving and supportive, it is to the Lord that I have to look daily to meet my deepest needs. Often I hear news of tragedies, suffering, and conflicts in the world, like Ebola, those contending with cancer, marriage breakups, sickness, death, and the current persecution of believers at the hands of radical Muslims. What should we do upon hearing of such news? Truly, there is no end to the frustration we can experience when we obsess over “why” these things happen.

The question I must continually ask myself is not “Why?” but “Who?” Who is it that is ultimately in control of His universe? In whose sovereign hands are those people who are currently facing trials and adversities? We live in a fallen world, but we have a wonderful Savior. His name is Jesus. And whereas love compels me to not brush off such tragic events and preoccupy myself in my own little world, the Bible counsels me in Phil. 4:6 and 7 to:

Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus

What would happen if we truly believed this verse and put into practice what is commanded us, especially in difficult circumstances? Do we really take our requests and cares to the Lord in a spirit of thanksgiving, trusting that God will indeed work all things together in a pattern for our good according to His promise in Rom. 8:28?

Every time I put these truths into practice, God’s peace returns, and I feel better. Because of the power of God’s Word, I am inspired to choose to do the work that the Lord has given me to do today, namely to be a servant to my family with all the incumbent duties of cleaning, cooking, doing laundry, playing with my youngest children, checking homework, and listening to after-school stories. In the world’s eyes, this work doesn’t seem important, but the time invested in one’s family will not be wasted in the long run. We are touching another generation, and I don’t want my faith to end with me. Neither do I want to have regrets after my children are grown wishing that I had done things differently.

I’m so thankful that God chose to entrust me with five souls to serve, including my husband, and my perspective is renewed by the motto that Billy Graham’s wife Ruth had mounted above her kitchen sink: Divine service is performed here every day.

When I serve those whom God has placed in my family, I am actually serving Him (Col. 3:23) by doing the work that He has given me to do each day. God also, however, wants me to rest in Him in order that I might renew my strength (Isa. 40:31). This requires wisdom and discernment on my part, because all too often, I become so busy doing the work that I want to do that I end up running myself ragged by the end of a day and neglect the work that God has given me to do. When this happens, I invariably fail to serve my family effectively. Believe me, this lesson is one I learn daily. The Lord has promised that His yoke is easy and His burden is light (Matt. 11:30). When I start my day in His presence, worshipping Him, and prayerfully spending time in His word, He gives the grace I need to walk by faith rather than by sight (2 Cor. 5:7) and experience the rest that comes from placing everything into His hands.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Saving Money Without Coupons - Humbled Homemaker

I QUIT with the coupons. The newspaper started charging almost $5 a week for the paper and I figured what is the point, when all I wanted was the coupons. I was paying for coupons and that just didn't seem right.

I also had the problem of buying products because of a great deal and then not using them. So I spent money that did not need spending. No beuno.

So instead of writing about my changes, I decided to share this article from since she said it perfectly. 

I added a few purple comments :-)

Here she is...

Here are my top 6 tips for saving money on groceries–without using coupons:

1. Buy on clearance.

When I am shopping for produce, I almost always check out the clearance produce racks first. Most stores do not want bruised or softening produce on their shelves because it looks unattractive–and could eventually attract fruit flies, etc.

However, just because a piece of produce doesn’t look pretty, it doesn’t mean it doesn’t still contain nutritional value! - BUT you will need to eat it quick and check for mold.

I’ve also occasionally found organic meats, milk, etc. on clearance. Meats and most dairy products usually freeze well. - YES. THIS! 

2. Shop at discount stores, like Aldi or Save-a-Lot. - YES, YES and YES!... did, do and will do!

My love affair with Aldi started when my husband and I were newly married (don’t worry–he loves Aldi, too!). I was having a hard time reining in our grocery budget, and someone tipped me off to the fact that shopping at Aldi had literally cut their grocery bill in half!

I gave it a try and have never gone back to regular grocery shopping again! Now, Aldi does not carry everything–and their natural and organic selection is limited...

I have recently started buying toilet paper at Aldi (under the brand name Willow Soft). It is not like what you would imagine cheap toilet paper to be at all! If my husband gives his stamp of approval, you know it’s good! ME TOO! I love it and it's only $.25 a roll!

3. Shop for bulk items at club-type stores like BJ’s, Costco and Sam’s. 

When my husband and I first married, we purchased almost all of our paper supplies from a local Sam’s. We now live near a BJ’s club store, and we absolutely love it! The prices at our BJ’s are usually much better than at other stores–especially on natural and organic products.

I will say that we don't do this, because I am too cheap to buy a membership and I have felt like it doesn't make that much of a difference. However, I have some close friends that shop at Sam's and do quite well there. 

The key here is price checking. As Anne Simpson suggests in her book Your Grocery Budget Toolbox, keep a price book. In this book, record the various items you purchase regularly and how much they cost at the stores you frequent. This will help you know which stores to buy each item.

Make a list of what you always get at each particular store–and don’t deviate unless something is on clearance or deeply discounted!

4. Buy online.

I still feel fairly new about buying groceries online, but I’ve been saving money for a while by purchasing our family’s vitamins and other supplements at I will be writing a post that goes into more detail about Vitacost later this week, but for now, suffice it to say that you can get a whopping $10 off your first order (of $30 or more) when you sign up!

I have friends who regularly use and rave about purchasing bulk grocery items on So far, I have only gotten some gluten-free flours there, but I am hoping to maximize on this a little better this year. I LOVE AMAZON PRIME

5. Buy whole foods instead of relying on convenience foods–and cook from scratch.

Simply put, buying real, whole foods (i.e. meats and cheese that aren’t processed, fresh or frozen produce instead of canned or packaged with added flavors and seasonings, whole grains instead of pre-made baked good, etc.) and cooking from scratch WILL save you money.

I’ve been slowly but surely learning how to cook this way for the past 3 years or so. It has not come easy, but I can say that it’s really not as hard as it seems. Sure, I burn things, but more often than not I can take pride in the food I work hard to serve my family.

If you want to start with something very, very simple, try making your own spice mixes, like homemade taco seasoning or pumpkin pie spice. - GREAT IDEA!!!!!!

6. Make a meal plan.

Making a plan of how you will use the food you buy will help you maximize on what you have...

Two resources I highly recommend for meal planning are Stephanie Langford’s eBook Plan It, Don’t Panic (another one I edited) and Plan to Eat, an online meal planning resource.

I love these tips. This is pretty much what I do and it works for us. We have a great food budget and I'm hoping to keep it that way. If we need to make a few cuts we do. We are not entitled to steak and shrimp every night. We are only entitled to frugally spend what my husbands makes. Just a thought. :-) - Rejoicing in the Present

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

"Help"ful Suggestions

At this moment someone is sitting alone in a hospital room with a sick child or maybe just by themselves.  I get it!  I understand.  Gas is expensive and people don't want to bother their friends social media is everyone's best friend.  You can get on FB and find 30 comments of people saying they are praying for you. You see all the "likes", knowing that you are in people's thoughts. 

But the truth is, they are lonely.

I want to encourage you to look at your church family and people that are hurting; I want to give you some suggestions.  Go to them, or text them or call them and tell them how much you care and are worried and want to help them. 

Here is a GREAT phrase "I want to help you, tell me something I can do to help you!" 

Here are some ideas of things you can do and give... 

For those who are more private...

  1. Send a PERSONAL handwritten note
    1. Let them know you are praying for them, but also send a verse or note sending your love and care
  2. Send a gift 
    1. Baby - Teddy, blanket,
    2. Child - book, toy, balloons, mess-free stuff to do in bed
    3. Adult - flowers, books, products that could make them more comfortable (chapstick, lotion, ...) - ask for favorites
Other suggestions: TAKE:
  •  Food
    1. This is such a help to SOOOO many families. Even if it's a child in the hospital. Providing food is a great way to relieve stress from the family.
    2. Ask for allergies and dislikes; you can also ask for favorites.
    3. Make it easy to get the food you provide. Find a central location where they can pick it up or you can drop it off. Make it EASY for them to get the food at their convenience.
    4. If it is too hard to link up with them, collect gift cards to restaurants so they can just pick something up.
  • Clothes and Home Items
    1. Offer to pick up items to take to them that they would need from their house, like clothing, body products and so on
GIVE to help provide for needs:

  •  Those who are traveling far from home
    • Gift cards for gas
    • $$$ to help with tolls (if you live in a big city).
  • In general
    • $$ to pay for medical expenses
    • Food gift cards
  • Once again you will need to call ahead and make sure that they don't need to rest, but visits are always special. If it is a distance, make it a trip. Go for dinner out after your visit or go shopping at nearby stores so it becomes fun instead of a hassle. 
  • Take some balloons or a large handmade/decorated poster and brighten up the room with some cheer.
  • Bring some laughter to the room, don't dwell on the problem, bring happiness, Scripture and love when you come.

There is always something you can do. ...and of course, PRAY!  Please seriously pray for the family.  Do not just say you will.  Do it! I hope this helps you help others. - Rejoicing in the Present

Monday, January 12, 2015

How to Show You Care

People care!  I know they do!  In fact, most of the people that surround us are some of the most giving people.  Having said that, this post is not to discredit; it is only to help guide you as you are helping those in need. 

I'm writing this because, as a pastor's wife, I see this problem way too often. People want to help but don't know what to do. People that should be helped are not getting the help they need

Social media has left society lonelier then ever. 

Today I'm going to help you help others. 

This is WHAT NOT TO DO... 

NEVER SAY "If you need anything, let me know." 

Scratch that phrase! Do not say it, do not text it, do not think it! It is the one of the most polite but unhelpful things you can say. 


...because your patient-friend is in the hospital or has someone dear to her in the hospital. She has a thousand needs. Her family needs to be fed, her house needs to be cleaned, her laundry needs to be done. Her kids need to be watched. 

She knows her hospital bills are going to be high. She doesn't always know how long this trial is going be. Her family is in need of her at home. Her husband is trying, but has work and his own needs (he may even be in that hospital bed)

Do you really think that she is going to call you and say "Hey, do you mind bringing dinner over or finding friends to bring some food? Can you clean my house? Can you pick up_______?  How about giving me some $$ for gas? 

Unless your friend is extremely close to you, she isn't going to ask. She may ask something for her kids but not herself. 

...and so when that phrase is said, it is even more frustrating, because she wants to unload her needs, but just smiles and nods. 

Throw social media DOWN THE TOILET when it comes to your close friends.  

Ok, I get that half your friends on FB are really acquaintances BUT if this is a friend or a family member that you really care about, then do not just reply to a status.  Go to her, or text her, call her and tell her how much you care and are worried and want to help her. 

When you text, let her know your reasoning. "Can I call you?" "Can I visit OR would you like the rest?" "I want to help you, tell me something I can do to help you!" You will see suggestions tomorrow.

Communicate and gauge the situation. Your friend may not want anything but her privacy. There are people that like to be left alone, that would rather you not drop in or send messages. They would rather have their privacy. So this is where you have to communicate with them and find out what they want. "I want to help you, tell me something I can do to help you! If you want privacy and rest, please let me know :-)"

Be the advocate for your friend. Sometimes it takes just one person to step up and coordinate the care.

Tomorrow I will give you some specific things that you can do to help. Please care, someone needs it! - Rejoicing in the Present

Friday, January 9, 2015

New Year, New Ideas - MYO Toothpaste

Did you know that you can make your own toothpaste?  I mean I guess I did.  You can make about anything. You just have to investigate. I was super excited to get this recipe recently and had to share with you.

What you need...
  1. Fresh Peppermint leaves 
  2. 1/4 Cup of water
  3. 1/2 tsp cornstarch
  4. 1/2 tsp of sunflower oil
What you do...
  1. Boil the mint leaves and water in a small sauce pan. 
  2. Once the water starts to boil, remove the pan from the heat and let it cool for about 15 minutes, then strain the leaves out..
  3. In a separate pan, mix the oil and cornstarch until smooth.
  4. Combine all the ingredients. 
  5. Heat the mixture and as soon as it reaches boiling point, turn off the heat and let it cool. 
  6. Once it is cool, stir and place in a clean container. 
If you can't find peppermint leaves, I'm sure you could also use peppermint essential oil in place of the leaves. - Rejoicing in the Present

This recipe is from Janice Cox (Natural Beauty at Home)

Thursday, January 8, 2015

New Year, New Ideas - Fort Kit

Are you sick of all those electronic toys and gadgets?  I mean even Legos are a bit overrated. What ever happened to the good 'ol days when you had tree houses and you brought home frogs and lizards in your pocket? 

Here is a fun gift/idea for your child or another child. 

Buy a large tote bag and decorate the outside with markers or paint, with the child's name as well as the words "DIY FORT KIT" 

Inside place these items. 

  • Re-purposed household items
    • Old sheets
    • Rope
    • Bungee cords
    • Clothespins
    • Twine
    • Clamps
  • For extra fun add...
    • Flashlight
    • Treasure map
    • Batteries
    • Snacks
    • Compass
The child that receives this gift will have an awesome time building their imagination as well as their fort. 

Thanks to Crystal Stevens (motherearthnews) for this idea. - Rejoicing in the Present

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

New Year and New Ideas - MYO Body Butter

It's a new year! Time to experience new things,  make new things and step out of our comfort zone. So, here is a Make-Your-Own recipe to try.  :-) 

So, I LOVE back massages. Due to all the physical pain I experience, a good massage will relieve stress, relax my muscles and give me a boost for the rest of the day. So lotion and body butters are a must in my house. 

Here is a MYO recipe from hensandhoney. - Rejoicing in the Present

What you need...
  1. 1 cup organic coconut oil
  2. 1 cup organic cocoa butter
  3. essential oil of you choice
What you do...
1. Measure out one cup of coconut oil and one cup of cocoa butter. Depending on the temperature of your kitchen, the coconut oil will probably be in a soft solid state similar to the consistency of Crisco. The cocoa butter on the other hand is more solid. I usually take a butter knife and hack at the cocoa butter container until I get enough chunks to fill the measuring cup. It’s a great way to take out your frustrations from the week!
2. Put the coconut oil and cocoa butter into a small to medium saucepan on medium heat. Melt the contents until completely liquid, and there are no longer any chunks. It usually takes 4-5 minutes.
3. Transfer to a mixing bowl and refrigerate until the liquid becomes a soft solid again. This took about a few hours for me, but I’m sure all refrigerators are different.
4. Add your essential oil to your liking. 
5. Mix until light and fluffy, similar to whipped cream consistency. This took me about 10 minutes on a high setting on my Kitchenaid stand mixer.
6. Transfer to a jar, and enjoy. That’s it!
Note: Because the body butter is made partially from coconut oil, you’ll want to store it at a comfortable room temperature. If it’s too cold, it’ll become pretty solid, and if it’s too warm it’ll turn to liquid. If it happens,  no problem, just transfer it to a more temperate area.

Monday, January 5, 2015

Let Every Breath

When you're seeing your child struggling to breathe, the air that you breath becomes more precious. You think about it more and you appreciate it way more than before. 

As I was singing along with our service, in the hospital, the words to "Shout to the Lord" rang a bell with me...

My comfort, my shelter,
Tower of refuge and strength;
Let every breath, all that I am,
Never cease to worship You.

Every breath. That can be a lot especially if you're hyperventilating. On the other hand, that can be very few if you are struggling to breath.

Whether its normal, whether it's a lot, whether it's few, EVERY breath that we breathe needs to worship Jesus. Breath is life. You can't separate breath and the body. If you do, it means suffering, illness and, all to soon, death.

If we want to have a godly life, you can't separate Jesus and you. Every breath, every part of your being, it needs to be praising and worshiping your Savior. Every thought, every deed, every breath, ALL that I am.

My Jesus, My Savior,

Lord, there is none like You;
All of my days
I want to praise
The wonders of Your mighty love.

My comfort, my shelter,
Tower of refuge and strength;
Let every breath, all that I am
Never cease to worship You.

Your entire being, every breath, let it be fully connected to Jesus. He simply is the Way the Truth and the LIFE. - Rejoice

Friday, January 2, 2015

Watering Your Grass

Sometimes the grass IS greener, but only because "they" water their grass. If you have not "watered" your relationship, it WILL get burned out and eventually die. I love what Courtney from WLW said when she wrote for

"To be honest, the neighbors on both sides of us literally have greener grass. They both have in ground sprinklers and spent time tending to their yards this summer.... My husband and I have laughed and said – “the only green part of our lawn is where the neighbors sprinkler has actually sprayed over onto our yard!” lol! We could have exactly what the neighbors have if we would simply water our yard and tend to it!"
Could this same principle apply in marriage? Before we jump ship or sit in discontentment, I wonder if we watered and tended to our marriages if we could have the greener marriage!
In what ways can we water and tend to our marriages?
1. Accept the fact that all marriages are flawed. “Conflicts are not a sign that you have married the wrong person.They simply affirm that you are human.” Dr. Gary Chapman

2. Make your husband second priority only to God. Flip flop your life so your marriage is not coming in dead last and you will find grass that looks burnt out start to grow green again.
3. Set aside one night a month as a date night. Spend some time just enjoying your husband. Hold hands, steal kisses, talk, and listen. Slow down and enjoy each other like you 
did during the dating days!

4. Smile at your husband.

5. If your grass is looking brown in some spots tend specifically to those spots with prayer. Do not let it die!

6. Do not neglect your marriage and assume that it will grow all on its own.That’s not how it works. My brown grass is not going to turn green on its own. It needs our attention. Discipline yourself to tend to it.

Read the WHOLE article here - Is their Grass Greener?