Tag Archives: mom

A Thank you to Money Saving Mom from a Very Blessed Mom




I recently read Say Good-Bye to Survival Mode By: Crystal Paine. (Blogger for the famous Moneysavingmom.com).  I enoyed her book so much that I sent her a letter thanking her for her book and for inspiring me to faithfully care for my family and my home.  I wanted to share my note to her with you all because it gives you a taste of what God is doing in my life.  Although she does not share scripture and biblical application in her book (which is my main criticism), her intention is to be very practical and easy for anyone to apply.  She does make it very evident though that she is a Christian and that God is her ultimate priority.  I do recommend this book and highly encourage you to read it!

Also, I am going to be doing a conference call MONDAY MARCH 10th @  10PM EST on Understanding Time Management and having an organized planning system.  Anyone is welcome to join. Feel free to invite friends! I will share for about 45 min and then we will have 10-15 min of questions and comments. To access the handouts please post your email below and I will add you to the google drive docs. (You will need to print them yourselves)

The details for the conference call are listed below my letter…..here’s the letter:

Crystal, (or whomever is helping her to filter through emails 🙂

Thank you for your book, your time and your energy put into blessing women with your love for God, family, and living a life that is joyfully rich. Right now my husband and I (and our 3 children) currently live in Louisville, KY while he attends Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. I am in a seminary wive’s class with Mary Mohler (wife of President R. Albert Mohler (acclaimed radio host, author and conference speaker)) about REDEEMING THE TIME! It’s a 6 week class that basically expands on almost everything in your book! In fact, Mary’s co-leader Jodi Ware (wife of seminary professor, author and speaker Bruce Ware) laughed as she handed me your book to borrow because she was so pleased and humored by how much of your book matches up with exactly what they are teaching! God’s timing has been perfect for me to renew my commitment to redeeming the time in my relationship with God, with my husband, children and my priorities/goals. Especially at this season of life, raising children and being away from home, it’s been a blessing to me to really take the time to think through how I want to live my life! And, because (Lord willing) I am going to be a Pastor’s wife, I want to not only learn and implement the truths and practices you have shared in your book BUT I really feel called to share, inspire and encourage other women to follow along with me as we strive to redeem our time and say Good-bye to survival mode. Since I’ve started class and reading your book (which is on their recommended reading list!) I have been SO encouraged….to make a day-planner (which is amazing and no iPhone app could ever replace writing things down!!!), build routine into my day (especially for the sake of the joy of my time with my kids), and ACTUALLY finally do the things I WANT to do instead of just the dot to dot, mundane day to day muddle! And when I say things I want to do I don’t mean the lazy, sit-around and wish I could take a nap and ignore my chores, time-wasters (like watching pointless tv all night after the kids go to bed) that actually don’t make me happy (and STEAL joy and energy) BUT the real things I truly want…the best things…time with God, blessing and helping my husband, caring for my children’s bodies, minds, and souls, creatively and excitedly caring for my home-our haven, and pursuing hospitality…Which ironically truly makes me me happy and joyful and fulfilled. (Unlike the lies of those ridiculous time-wasters!)

Let me give you a little history on why this is all so exciting for me and why I am grinning from ear to ear and doing an internal happy dance just thinking about God’s work in my life right now…

I am NOT the quintessential home-making machine. I wasn’t “born-that-way”. I don’t have the “clean-gene”. I wasn’t raised in an organized home. I don’t love cleaning. In fact, my idea of enjoying life had nothing to do with anything in the home or about the home….So, when I left home and got married my life was full of procrastination, undone lists, ignoring my work and problems, piles of laundry, stacks of papers, restaurant receipts, last minute meals, dishes across the counter, living room and bedrooms. My remedy for all this chaos? Ignore it. leave it. go somewhere so I didn’t have to see it! I thought I had a good excuse for why it was against my “personality”. This summed up my life for the first 3 years of our marriage, and I assumed would sum of the rest of my life because I was “born” that way…always late, double-booking, and constantly walking around with a mental load on my shoulders feeling guilty for what I wasn’t doing but not willing to do anything about it. THEN, I got to the point where I was ready to DO. SOMETHING. ABOUT. IT. The only problem is that I started making lofty and ridiculous goals! (NOT S.M.A.R.T. goals -Specific, measurable, attainable, reasonable, and time-orriented) I would decide that I needed to get my house clean so I’d sit for an hour making this extremely complicated chore chart and then I would only survive one day of it and then my chore chart would fall behind the fridge into eternal dust-land never to be seen again. I continued on this path of making “goals” that had no specificity and really weren’t 100% in line with my main priorities…and again and again I would set up 10 foot walls for myself and then watch my self jump and skid down the side with my fingers aimlessly trying to grip the slippery slope of “my plan s”. It was depressing, more depressing in fact than ignoring my home. Well, thank GOD for godly older women and faithful teaching…because He used some wise women to instill some godly basics in my haphazard life- not judging me, but coming along-side me with the most practical wisdom I have every received! Things like: start by making your bed every day (which was actually pretty monumental for me!), pick 2 days a week that you will carve out for staying home, embrace your season of life (don’t wish for the next and there by missing out and ignoring where God has me!), make a menu and shopping list before you go to the store, DO FIRST THINGS FIRST!!! And as Elizabeth Elliot so wisely put it, “Do the next thing.” I went from being the fun, disorganized, leaving my house every day for any reason, unhappy woman who couldn’t have people over or make a place for my family to feel at ease– to a wife and mom that wanted to finally do what I was called to do! Prioritize my Savior a nd love my home! I went from ignoring jobs to getting them done first and still having time for things I enjoy (and with joy now because now I’m not out doing something else or sitting on Facebook feeling guilty about my life.) It’s been a trail of ups and downs since my home has taken a turn for the good…we’ve moved once a year over the last 10 years (once out of state), so each time I’ve gotten my home organized we’ve picked up and moved again!! But, God is faithful and I’ve learned it’s not about me and I do need to give myself some grace for transitional times!! I also need to remember to not give up. This class I’m in right now and your book have given me a wonderful ZAP to renew my commitments to my ultimate desires, priorities and goals. And I am SO GRATEFUL! It’s been a joy to see God working in my heart to desire to be faithful with what He has given me and where He has me. Right now, I am not called to the next big thing, to be a conference speaker or perfectly execute every second of my day…BUT I am called to be faithful…and I want to be. Thank you for loving me (even though you don’t know me personally!) and investing in my life. Your investment in my heart and the hearts of millions of other women has been a divine appointment with fruitful eternal consequences. Thank you!

To my surprise Crystal herself responded to my email 🙂


AND here’s the conference call info I told you about 500 sentences ago….

Conference call #1: Monday March 10th 10pm/9c Topic: Understanding Time Management and having an organized planning system

Here’s how to join: please promptly join 3 minutes before the start so we start right at 10/9c

Dial–in Number: (712) 432-1212
Meeting ID: 232-633-541
PIN: 4451
Press *6 to mute yourself during the first part of the call and again to un-mute for questions/comments

If you need to miss this call but would like to listen to a recording please let me know and I will give you the number and ID for that after the call.

***reminder: this call is at 10pm for EST and 9pm Central***



no tv summer





This Summer we decided to remove tv and video games from our daily life.  I thought it was an awesome idea and my kids thought a nuclear bomb was going off on their social life!  The plan was to completely remove the Wii, which happened and has not re-appeared…yet.  The next step was to remove the television….well, I had nowhere to store the tv so I decided to use self-control instead.  Here’s my what/why/when of how this came about…

WHO:  MY KIDS AND ME.  I realized my kids were watching too much television and the responsibility fell square on my shoulders!  For me it was becoming an easy fix for not needing to think, plan, or interact with my kids (SO sad but true!).  So this summer plan was just as much for my heart as it was for my kids.

WHAT: NO TV, NO VIDEO GAMES….with the exception that on very few occasions I would let them watch one show in the morning (initiated by me and not them) or we would have a movie night about once a week.  It has become more like the cherry on top instead of the whole cake and frosting to our week.


WHEN:  THE WHOLE SUMMER…and honestly this plan may be slightly adjusted and adopted into our lives permanently!  The results don’t lie.  We are only half-way through the summer and based on how it’s gone so far I don’t want to ever go back to the way it was.  In the fall I will probably allow a little more tv, but school, play and art will take up more of their time.

WHY:  There were things happening in my kids and I that I realized were detrimental to our interactions with one another and more so affecting the spiritual tone and love in our home.  There was a lot of fighting, toys were collecting dust, and I was leaning heavily on the tv-crutch.  My creativity switch was turned off (except when it was turned on for very rare occasions) and my interactions with my children didn’t venture much outside the realm of discipline, outings, bedtime stories and meal times.  And my kids were not playing “pretend” except for when friends were over.

There are 4 things that have happened since the beginning of summer.

1. My kids have been enjoying themselves immensely!  Right now, as I am typing, they are playing “Rockets to space” with a box and a pile of random toys that are slowly taking over the living room. (which is a good thing!)

2.  It’s harder on me than it is on them.  Parenting your kids in a way that is consistent and engaging is harder than plopping your kids down in front of an electronic babysitter.  I’ve found myself more tempted to turn the tv on than my kids!  But, it has gotten easier over time and I’ve also learned that the goal is not perfection…but a desire to keep trying.  And I remind myself that hard work is a good thing…just working hard at keeping my house clean isn’t good enough- more importantly my work should include quality time with my kids!

3.  Creativity and summer activities have abounded much!  I am enjoying my kids more and thinking outside the box.  Here are a few things we’ve done because our brains weren’t turned off:

a. went to the park, splash pad, and zoo many times

b. went for slushies and walks

c. I joined my kids playing in a massive puddle

d. we’ve had family craft time and played Yahtzee all together

e. reading lots of books and enjoying the reading program at the library

f. playing squirt guns on the patio and digging for worms

g. writing encouragement notes and making little gifts for our friends

4. We’ve had more time for the Lord!  The kids and I are memorizing the ABC’s of the bible.  (bible verses-one each that starts with each of the letters of the alphabet)  We’ve been singing more together and talking more about God in the milieu of life.  I find myself more in tune to discipline opportunities too, which means more time for talking about the gospel.

Because we don’t want to be push-overs and seen as just our kid’s best friend OR we don’t want to be the parent who disciplines inconsistently OR the mom who doesn’t get her stuff done; we throw the baby out with the bathwater (figuratively)!

There should be time for slushies that run all over our faces, laying on the floor and building the gigantuist tower ever, jumping through a massive puddle that’s going to soak our clothes…building smiling faces out of our lunches, reading books that have “too many words”, doing activities that are a lot of work for us- but so enjoyable for the kids…

I don’t want to be my kids’ best friend. I don’t want to be the cool mom who lets them get away with whatever they want.  BUT- I want to be the engaged mom who pays attention, interacts, listens, plays, helps, and encourages creativity and learning.  I want to show mercy, grace and treat them the way I want to be treated (within the bounds of biblical parent/child relations).  I want to give my kids a home where they will grow, flourish and see Jesus Christ…and for us right now that means less tv and more togetherness.

Since we’ve moved




I can’t believe it’s been 8 months since we moved for my husband to attend Seminary.  Since we’ve moved so many things have happened…

-we’ve joined an amazing church full of some of the most loving, caring, hugging, smiling, inspiring, genuine Christian people

-my husband is able to attend seminary, work and intern for Sovereign Grace AND be a great husband and father at the same time (and has now officially signed up to be a full-time student for August!)

-I am learning and growing through the teaching at the Seminary Wives Institute

-Hannah was diagnosed with tethered spinal cord and just had surgery 2 weeks ago.  God provided peace, finances, physical help and meals.

-we have a lovely little home that is meeting our needs as well as providing us a place for hospitality

-many opportunities have allowed us to go home to visit almost every month

-we have had many visitors from home including my mom who was a great help with our move and transition

-I learned how to get to the grocery store, church, and the seminary without using my GPS!

-the seminary has a free place (like a thrift store) where we’ve been able to go and get clothes, shoes and other items for free which has been a great help.

-relationships with our friends from church are starting to blossom and grow- including movie nights, packer games, crafting, meals, sitting up late to chat, discipleship and MUCH laughter~

-my husband was able to attend a song-writing retreat and has co-written a song that will be on the next Sov Grace CD

-we’ve been able to plan and attend many wonderful events: Christmas and New Years parties, birthday bashes, weekly Packer game parties, park dates, library story times, bridal shower, ladies gatherings, easter egg hunt and more!

-we’ve enjoyed much great weather which has included weekly trips to the zoo

I share all these not as a brag list, but as a testimony of God’s kindness, love and grace!  Even our trials have shown a testimony of God’s perfect timing and as Romans 8:28 says- that all things have worked together for our good and God’s glory!  I pray that as you read this your heart would be drawn to God.

I also have  a few prayer requests.  If you can, please pray for these specific things…

-our parenting (amongst a lot of school work and changing schedules) that we would stay consistent and our desire would stay on proclaiming the gospel to our children through what we say, teach and how we act towards them- especially at home.

-for opportunities to disciple, serve in our local church and share the gospel where God has planted us.

-for humility in heart and mind to see where God wants us to grow and change and to see areas in our hearts and lives that need correction and pray for godly men and women to come along side us to show us those areas.

-for school for Jon.  We do not qualify for any loans which I am sure is a true blessing because we will incur no debt while in school.  Pray that we can be good stewards of the financial support God has and will provide for us to continue through and finish school.  Pray for endurance and perseverance for Jon with his studies.

-our housing.  Right now we are living somewhere that does not fit our budget well (although it was good for the time we had it and we’re thankful it was available when we wanted to move) and we are praying for God to lead us to somewhere that can help us invest more into Jon’s schooling.  Apartments here require 2 people per bedroom and most 3 bedrooms where we are range from $750-$1,200/month. (and the $750 ones are hard to come by) BUT we know that God has it all taken care of, we just need to trust in Him with all our hearts and lean not on our own understanding. (Proverbs 3:5-8)


31 days to organize your home




OK LADIES- IT’S DAY 1 of 31 Days to Organize Your Home

Join me in doing these three things today:

1. choose 1-2 things on your counter that COULD be stored in cupboard to clear counter space. Now, move em!

2. pick one cupboard to clean out- today it’s the glasses/cups. Get rid of some mugs, glasses or old well-worn kid’s cups. How many of these do we actually need? Not 20 mugs! Not a kid’s cup with a hole in the plastic! Not those wine glasses with dust on them!

3. Find at least three things in your pantry you don’t use and throw them out or put them in a bag and hang them on your back door to give away.

THERE! That was easy! Join me tomorrow for day two! Off to my kitchen I go….

Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ.
(Colossians 3:23-24 ESV)

Day 2

Today we are going to piggy-back on yesterday a little and give ourselves some liberty to tackle those areas that are unique to our kitchen.  And honestly, don’t be AFRAID to get rid of something because you think you’ll need it back.  Make sure your organizational pendulum isn’t swinging too far to the KEEP SIDE and also not too far to the GET RID OF EVERYTHING SIDE.  If you need to, now is a good time to get some accountability from a close friend! Oh kay- here we go:

1. Hows the counter top looking? Still dissatisfied?  Maybe by clearing out another cupboard you can store a few more of those “eye-sore-counter-top-clutter-bugs”.  If you haven’t pulled everything off your counter and given it a good clean in a while, today is the day! Crumb buddies like to collect behind toasters and coffee pots for regular meetings- they can have their next one in the garbage!!

2.  Tackle the un-reachable cupboards today.  Where’s the dust? Is keeping these unreachable things a must? Let that stuff go! Grab your Good-will box and turn on your good will!  Don’t just get rid of junk, get excited to get rid of really nice things that you just don’t need!!!!

3.  Where else are you storing pantry items, snack foods around your kitchen- try to organize in a way that condenses everything to the same area.  Too many cans, bags and boxes?  You are either shopping too much or not taking a stock of what you have before going to the store…hmmmm…just a little food for thought 🙂

Day 3

you can join me in doing these three things today:

1. choose 2-3 drawers or cupboards that over filled and re-arrange and use some tough love and get rid of a few things to open up some space! We don’t need overflowing containers of forks, spoons, knives, kid utensils…Which cool gadgets are sitting in your drawer that are never used… avocado peeler….etc.

2. Head to the pantry and tackle another shelf or two. Make sure to take the ripped bags and either throw them out or move the contents to container.  There’s no excuse for chaos! A trip to the dollar store for containers can be just what’s needed!

3. Take 5 minutes to shift some stuff around in your fridge, throw out the stuff from the back of the fridge and do a quick wipe down.  If it needs more than that plan a time to pull everything out and do a deep clean either today or tomorrow.  It’ll feel OOOHHH so good!

THERE! That was easy! Join me tomorrow for day 4! Off to my kitchen I go…

Day 4

Let’s head together to the dining room!
Here’s 3 things for us to do:

1. If you have a buffet table, storage bins, or shelves in the dining room: clean off the top of them and organize the inside including throwing out as much as you can! It can be painful but every crevice of our houses do not need to be stuffed or overflowing. Pick out a few things you can put in the Good-will box.  This box should be overflowing by the end of the week!

2. Head to the closet/drawer where your table cloths, napkins, and place-mats are stored. Let’s get rid of what we don’t use or don’t want!  Just because it’s nice or not broken doesn’t mean it should be kept!

3. Look around at the walls, lighting etc. Grab the Good-will bin and see if there’s anything else you can get rid of. Take a damp cloth and wipe spots and dust off the light.


Day 5

Let’s take a stroll today into the living room.  Here is where most of your day culminates!  Therefore, here is where stuff collects!  A clean living room is not only one that looks clean, but one an x-ray machine would reveal is also organized!

1. Send the toys where they belong- in the kid’s bedroom! If you don’t have any toys in your living room than survey your knick knacks and see if you can send some to your Good-will box.

2. Pull out the cushions and clean out the toys, change, garbage that has collected there. Now, vacuum or sweep under your couches.

3. (my favorite thing to do) Re-arrange your furniture to better fit what the room is most used for. Maybe you need to take out a table or chair to make it roomier!


Super Mom VS Abiding Mom



I saw this today on facebook and thanks to Confessions of a Homeschooler we can all have a printable version — just click on the image!


Print this off and read it often as a sober reminder of where our hearts as women and mothers should be focused!

Here’s what I did with my cereal boxes!


Here’s what I did with my two cereal boxes that I wrote about the other day:

Box #1

1. cut the box in half

#2. Take the top 1/2 of the box and cut one inch slits on every corner

#3.  Fold in all four sides, small sides first and then long sides next.

#4. Using packaging tape (mine happens to be leftover Christmas tape), tape the

bottom of the box.  DONE!


#5. What to do with the box…I found a great idea!  My boxes that the baggies come in always falls apart so…

#6. Take baggies out of old crummy box and put them in your “new” box!  When the baggies run out use the box again for

the next baggies you buy.

For the other half of box 1- follow the same instructions except cut out a square on the top for straws to stick out (you will

see what I mean in the ‘AFTER’ picture below)

For your second box, cut a rectangle out of the front of the box.  I used mine for napkins and a place to put my baggie of twisty ties.


Who would’ve thought that not tossing a couple of cereal boxes in the recycle would end up helping me organize a drawer!

Think twice before you throw away or recycle something- maybe there’s a creative idea just waiting to happen!

Home tips we’ll all love!


Tip #1: LETTUCE AND SPINACH 50% off!

Don’t spend $4-$5 for a bag of lettuce, spring greens, or spinach at the grocery store!  How is that possible??? Well, here’s the tip of the day…

If your grocery store has a salad bar, you are in luck!  Take one of the clear salad containers and load it up with all of the greens you’d like for:

  • sandwiches
  • hamburgers
  • salads
  • calzones

the cost will be 1/2 the price of buying bag salads, lettuce and spinach in the fresh produce department!  Most times I spend $1-$2 per container!  AND unlike a bag of lettuce the container is re-seal-able and re-usable after the greens are gone!


Check back tomorrow for another home tip!