"Look and see, for everyone is coming home!" Isaiah 60:4

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

The Elusive Day 7 Update!

Hi all!

So, if you're following along with me, I was to tackle Day 7 of this challenge exactly 13 days ago. !!! Seriously, has it taken me this long to get it done??


Let's back up. I left off talking about the fall and how it is evident almost everywhere we look. Our world tends toward chaos, disaster, despair, and disorder because of the fall. We as humans tend toward those things as well. It's summed up in our sinful nature. Our homes are also subject to the same kind of  results because of the fall.

It takes work to keep things in order and when you have to do it day by day praying you're making progress along the way, it's VERY difficult. I never put two and two together in that just as our hearts, our sin natures are part of the fall, so is the chaos in our homes.

But there is hope!
Romans 8:20-21 states:
20 For the creation was subjected to futility—not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it—in the hope 21 that the creation itself will also be set free from the bondage of corruption into the glorious freedom of God’s children. (HCSB)

Our hope to be set free from the bondage of corruption is in Jesus Christ alone! There is a way out of the despair, away from the disaster and disorder. Only through Jesus and His saving power can we ever have a hope of digging our way out of the rubble. We have so much more than what meets the eye against us, but we also have our God who is bigger than all of that and who is FOR us, if we so choose to trust in Him. 

Little by little I am learning this along with a host of other things God the Holy Spirit has chosen to show me and teach me. I still feel overwhelmed at the thought of it all, so I try to not dwell on all that has to be done. When I do get overwhelmed I remember that this is exactly what the enemy wants me to feel because it brings a false sense of defeat. It paralyzes me and makes me feel like he wins. If he can get a foothold there, then he can get a foothold elsewhere too to whisper lies into my ears. 

As another part of this challenge, I had to clean out my kitchen cabinets, purge and rearrange. Well, that was what was mostly holding me up from an "official" update for this passage. I finally got it all done yesterday! Here's my progress and what I ended up throwing out/donating:

Over the past thirteen days I've thrown out/recycled/donated a total of 56 items! YAY! That averages out to about four items a day :D My kitchen feels much lighter and I have more space which is just visually appealing. I hated looking at all that clutter!

 I also cleaned out the pantry just yesterday (ouch). I was able to get rid of seven more things out of there and got the rest of it cleaned up and straightened out, reorganized. I've been waiting to update until I actually accomplished that bit of the challenge. Type A much?  Sorry for such a long delay because of that one little thing. For some reason, I would have felt dishonest without having done that first.

On top of all this, I'm actually posting from Hubby's computer. "My" computer's power cord no longer works, so it is currently dead. We've ordered another one, but I don't think it's going to get here until early June. Ugh. So.Over.This. All that to say, I won't be able to access the rest of the 31 Days to Clean study because it's on the dead computer. Makes me want to cry. So this will probably be one of the few posts until I can get the dead computer back up again. I'm committed to picking back up again. I'm also going to continue to do the Clutter Busting Challenge and am going to continue to chronicle the rest of that challenge. Hope to see you back!

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Clutter Busting Challenge Day 7

For the month of May I'll be spring cleaning 
through the ebook 31 Days to Clean by Sarah Mae and joining 
Join me on this journey! 

Good Morning all! This is Day 7 of the 31DtC/CBC!

Today the reading spoke about the curse and it's role in what we're dealing with in our striving for a clean home.

I know there are times when I feel like I can't make any progress on the house, and I get so overwhelmed by it, by how much I see needs to be done. I don't know about you, but I feel so frustrated sometimes when it just doesn't seem to go the way I intend for it, or when it takes twice as long to get done. All of this is because of the Curse.

I don't want to go into too much detail and take away from the book, but I will say I'm not sure I agree with the reason the author gives for the Curse. Regardless of that point, the Curse is something we all deal with daily. Sometimes we realize it, sometimes we don't. But either way, turning things around in our home is that much more backbreaking, now that I realize what we're up against. The Curse of all things! No wonder I haven't been able to do this cleaning thing on my own. I now realize just how much I NEED Jesus with me while I tackle this. Amazing I would even try to do this on my own. Wow.

What do you think of what we're facing during this challenge? Do you feel it's something else entirely?

Clutter Busting Challenge Day 6 Update

Hi all! This is Day 6 update.

 Sorry I didn't post it last night. D-baby was not wanting me to go anywhere and wanted to cuddle with mama to go to sleep.

So yesterday I had to make a "Six List" for the day and start checking things off. Here's how my list ended up:

Not bad for the first try!

I also had to clean out my cabinets, reorganize an purge some stuff if it didn't belong anymore. Here's what I got rid of. I'm going to make this stone count for two birds and use this for my Clutter Busting Challenge.

~ Four coffee mugs
~ Two sippy cups
~ Three lids with no cups
~ One flip top cup that I've never really liked.

10 things for the day. I only got through 3 cabinets, and I have 6 left. We'll see how today goes. I'm hoping to get through most of them today.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Clutter Busting Challenge Day 6

For the month of May I'll be spring cleaning 
through the ebook 31 Days to Clean by Sarah Mae and joining 
Join me on this journey! 

Good morning all!

I hope everyone's weekend went well! We've been battling more sickness here, so sorry for the lack of posts on time. I'm praying and taking action to make sure this week will be much better.

Today was day 6 in the 31DtC/CBC and the book reviewed "The Six List". You can see the original story here, but it's basically getting into the habit of writing down the six most important things for the day and then tackling them one by one.

I've seen this in Mary Kay before, but I never really took it to heart then. Now, I do something like that to keep the two most important chores going every day. I go through my morning routines and then start on the dishes and laundry. I figure these are the most important things to tackle here because if we're too busy for anything else, we'll at least have clean clothes and diapers for D-baby and we'll have clean dishes. Then I'll tackle the rest of the chores/projects the rest of the day. 

I've tried to do it more like this before, but never really made it habit. I don't know if I'll stick with it like this, but I'll try for the challenge. I know there are a couple things I've been putting off for awhile, so maybe doing it this way will help me remember them much better than my current method, which can be a bit scattered at times.

So, how do you organize your day's tasks? Have you tried "The Six List" or something similar? I'd love to hear your thoughts!

Friday, May 10, 2013

Clutter Busting Challenge Day 4 and 5 Update

For the month of May I'll be spring cleaning 
through the ebook 31 Days to Clean by Sarah Mae and joining 
Join me on this journey! 
Hi all!

Usually I don't update 2 days at once, but it had to be done. 

Anyways, so here's the results of my day 4. I didn't get anyone invited over, but I did call a few people that day which resulted in me sitting down for a while instead of multitasking and cleaning while on the phone. It was so nice to be able to just sit for awhile and intentionally not worry about what mess was lurking behind the corner. 

For day 4 I was also to clean the oven and microwave.

BLECH! I am so glad that's gone now!
Here's the oven. I've got it all sprayed down with oven cleaner. It's been sitting overnight, so I'll clean it up later on today.
For day 5, I thought about the way my priorities seem to be lined out right now. I still haven't come to a conclusion for how to best realign them to what I think they should be. Is it just that I need to spend more time on those that are important to me or do I just need to make it a heart adjustment? I'll really need to think on this more. For now, I think I'll use what was written in the book as a springboard for crafting my own set of priorities. 

Today, I also cleaned up the glass door and the window in the kitchen. It was ugly, ya'll.

Here's the before of the door:

and the after:

I forgot I had needed to get 14 things for the Clutter Busting Challenge and ended up only getting 7 instead. I'll try to remember again today. Here's what I'm getting rid of:

~5 old, expired medications. I emptied out the bottles, but our recycling program doesn't take prescription bottles, so I just took off the old labels, washed them out and will re-purpose them to hold seeds from the garden. I am so glad these are out of my house!
~A bag of cheerios I found in my purse
~A plastic container 

Hope to be back with a Day 6 post in a bit!

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Clutter Busting Challenge Day 5

For the month of May I'll be spring cleaning 
through the ebook 31 Days to Clean by Sarah Mae and joining 
Join me on this journey!
Good morning all! This is day 5 of the 31DtC/CBC!
I haven't gotten to post my Day 4 update yet, mostly because I haven't done it yet, so I'll be doing Days 4 and 5 together and posting them together tonight, including getting rid of 14 things total, since I didn't get to that yesterday either.

Today's passage is about the priorities in our lives. Most of us would say we have our priorities in line. But do our lives reflect what we say our priorities are? Probably not as much as we would like them to. I know this is true for me most every single day. I say certain things are at the forefront of my day, but are they really? Right now, my focus is getting to a more personal relationship with God through prayer at the start of my day. I know that if I don't do it first, it won't get done. And there have been many days I didn't put the effort into it.
I want my priorities to be God, Hubby/Marriage, Kids/Parenting, Home, Personal. But usually it ends up more like this: God, Home, Kids, Personal, Kids (again), Home (again), Personal (again) Hubby. This obviously isn't how I say I want my priorities to be lined up. God does get the first little bit of my time, but that's the only time He gets. Don't you think he deserves so much more. The house and kids are the next big areas, but mostly because I spend most of my waking moments with both of them in some capacity. I do get a little bit of personal time during naptime and sometimes when the kids are in bed. Hubby ends up dead last, mostly because he and I don't see each other much unless the kids are sleeping. We also rarely make an effort to spend time together apart from the kids during the times he is with us. Something's gotta change. 

Today I'll be praying and focusing on what my priorities are as they stand, and how to get them where I want them to be. I'd like to hear your point of view too!

What are your priorities, and how do you get them back in line when things get off track?

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Clutter Busting Challenge: Day 4

For the month of May I'll be spring cleaning 
through the ebook 31 Days to Clean by Sarah Mae and joining 
Join me on this journey!
Good morning all! This is day 4 of my 31DtC/CBC!
I'm feeling pretty good about things, so this is exciting for me!

Today we talked about how to make sure you have a house others feel welcomed in and not that is "untouchable". I've been in houses like that before. Not only is it untouchable, but to me it generally feels cold and unloving. That's not what we're aiming for here.

I've discussed with my husband a few times before about this kind of thing. He's always laughed and joked with me that I dream of a huge, fancy house that looks perfect and belongs in a magazine. Secretly my type A self would love that, but I don't want something that looks perfect for that reason alone. I want a house, any size house, that looks lived in and most of all, allows whomever walks in to feel loved or to see that "those who live here love here". Sterile and cold is just not my thing. 

So, what do you do to fill your home with love?

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Clutter Busting Challenge Day 3 Update

For the month of May I'll be spring cleaning 
through the ebook 31 Days to Clean by Sarah Mae and joining 
Join me on this journey!
I'm so bad at getting things done on time....sorry all!
But I did get everything done on my list! I'm excited, especially since today my Graves was acting up pretty bad most of the time. 

31DTC Challenge

For the first part of the challenge I was to find out what makes my family feel the most loved when I care for our home.  These are the responses I got:
~Keeping the bedroom clean, making it feel more relaxed and less cluttered.
~When we go to the store to get more food.
~When I can be a helper.
For the second part I cleaned off the top of the refrigerator, and cleaned off the outsides of the cabinets, including the oven door. 
Yikes....um, seriously needed to do this today. I had no clue it was this bad!

SO much better! Now I don't feel gross about it anymore.

Um, so I just noticed how awful the dishwasher door looks. I don't know why I didn't do that along with the rest of the cabinets.

Clutter Busting Challenge

Here's what I'm getting rid of today:

~ A movie
~ A book
~ A cute "Yard Sale Money" jar
~ A candle
~ 6 jarred baby foods
~ A can of formula

I love getting rid of all this stuff! Tomorrow I'll show you where it's all going and why I haven't gotten rid of it just yet!

Clutter Busting Challenge Day 3

For the month of May I'll be spring cleaning 
through the ebook 31 Days to Clean by Sarah Mae and joining 
Join me on this journey!

Morning all!

Today is day 3 of the Clutter Busting Challenge! 

Sorry for the weird hiatus. We've been battling allergies with Isabel for the past week or so, and then randomly my middle and the baby started with allergies and I came down with flu-ish symptoms. On top of that, around dinner time last night, Isabel scratched her cornea and we had to make a trip to urgent care. They think it'll be healed by tomorrow at the latest, but she has to wear a patch on her eye for today. Please be praying for her. She's a bit self conscious about wearing that to school. I don't blame her. 

Today's passage covered specific ways we can give life to our homes. I so needed this. I had a generalized idea of what this would look like in my head, but this really helped me see much more clearly what it would look like in real life. It also pointed out several spots where I'm lacking greatly. 

As I was going through this list I realized the first three points centered around controlling the tongue. The same tongue that is talked about in James 3:2-10. Yikes!

Oh boy.
Tackling this list might take a bit lot longer than I thought.

The next two points centered around what our eyes see.  Not just what we perceive, but really what we see and take in consciously and sub-consciously. The first part of Psalm 101:3 speaks clearly to these things. And let's face it, clutter is worthless. 1 Peter 2: 4-5 talks about the church being built into a "spiritual house". We are also told to remember we are "temples of the Holy Spirit" in 1 Corinthians 6:19. When I picture these two "houses" I don't see them as cluttered. They are beautiful.

The last five points are either of a spiritual nature, emotional nature or both. It's starting me straight in the eye how none of these things that really bring life to our homes are really about just the clutter. It centers around a heart issue or an emotional/spiritual issue. 

I don't know how God will lead me to resolve these issues in the next few weeks but I'm praying for healing in these areas. If you're following along with me and you need healing in these areas, know I'm praying for you. If you care to leave a comment, please do. It's so amazing to see how God weaves this all together. But even if you don't, know that God knows you and knows every bit of your situation, down to where it hurts the most and how to heal it.

I'm planning on being back with a Day 3 update by 6 pm tonight. Praying for you.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Clutter Busting Challenge Day 2 Update

For the month of May I'll be spring cleaning 
through the ebook 31 Days to Clean by Sarah Mae and joining
Join me on this journey!

Hi all! I'm back to give the results of Day 2!

For the 31 Days to Clean I cleaned out and wiped down my fridge. I would have done the freezer, but Hubs wasn't home yet and it goes so much faster (and more fun!) when we tackle it together. Plus we cleaned out the freezer about a month ago, so I don't think it's too gross.

 Then I wiped down the doors, the water/ice dispenser, especially the door handles! Yikes!

For the Clutter Busting Challenge, I was able to get rid of 7 more things:

~An old Walkman
~A votive candle
~A bottle of fish food (our fish died about a year ago)
~A pants hanger
~A movie
~A book
~An almost expired phone book

How much were you able to get rid of?

Friday, May 3, 2013

Clutter Busting Challenge : Day 2

Good morning all!

We're on day 2 of the challenge. Today talked about how as women we are life givers, to those around us and the environment we live in. What can I do today to bring life to my home, my family and those around me? Here's what I can do specifically in today's important areas of life:

Marriage: Having a date night with hubby tonight! yay!
Kids: Have a game time with them today after school! Maybe pop some popcorn, a favorite around here.
Home: Get 7 items in the box and complete Martha challenge day 2, clean fridge and freezer.

I've never thought of myself as a life giver. I'm not sure I've even known of the concept of being a life giver til I read today's passage. But I do agree that we as women do have that role. We all just need practice on being life givers in different areas of our lives. I personally need to practice it in the last two areas listed above, Kids and Home. I'm not great in the marriage area, but I do try to make conscious decisions about what I could do for my hubby daily to improve/maintain our marriage.

I mentioned I would share a little about my new morning routine and how excited I was about it! After I completed the Early to Rise Challenge, I knew I wasn't going to stop getting up at 5 am. But I also wanted to be able to incorporate some other goals into my morning, specifically prayer time. So, for now, my morning routine is:
~Prayer time
~Coffee and toast, Bible Study and Daily Bible Readings
~Write 31DtC/7 items recap
~Get kids up and ready for the day

I really like the way this is set up to put prayer as the very first thing I do in the morning. I tried this morning just a typical one on one with God prayer time, but I think I need to do something different than a traditional prayer method. I found my thoughts wandering ALL OVER the place and couldn't get a handle on what I was exactly saying. I'm thinking prayer journaling  would be the way to go. I know a lot of people set up their prayer journal with just entries of what to pray for during their prayer time, but I'd like to figure out a way to do that plus an area for writing out my prayer to God while I'm praying it. I think just the act of writing it while I'm thinking it will slow my thoughts down and make them clearer for me to process. Plus I can write down updates and answered prayers and be able to cross reference them to see the process God lead. I'm excited!

Oh, and I know I mentioned a picture of my Mary challenge from yesterday so here it is:

We were told to write out our why so we have a vision for what we're doing and can focus back on it when we need to remember why we're doing this in the first place.

Hope to be back today with a recap!

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Early To Rise Challenge Day 30!!!! and Recap of Clutter Busting Challenge Day 1

Good Morning all!

This is Day 30 of the Money Saving Mom Early to Rise Challenge!

Day 30!!! EEKKK!!

*happy dance*

I honestly didn't think I would make it all the way til the end. My track record shows I typically give up about 1/3 of the way into something, so this is big for me. I can't tell you how encouraging it is to tackle something like this, and complete the task. This really gives me motivation for other challenges in the future.

Thank you so much Andy Traub for writing this book. It really has been a catalyst for me to start changing my life in so many different ways. The rising early habit I have learned is now time that I value instead of dread. I can already see a difference in the way I tackle the day and that in itself is a big accomplishment. No more ruts for me!

Now, I have to be honest. Not everything is changing. I still stay up WAY too late for my good, sometimes I still hit the snooze button and I am still way too hard on myself for not having loads of progress at times. Old habits die hard, huh? I suspect progress will come with time for those goals too.

On to tackle more challenges!

Yesterday I mentioned I was joining in on Money Saving Mom's May Clutter Busting Challenge. I'm also combining this challenge with Sarah Mae's ebook 31 Days to Clean just to have a chance to spring clean too. Then we'll tackle two birds with one stone. By the end of this month I'll have less stuff to try to keep clean. Makes sense to me!

Yesterday went well. I was able to get the 31DtC challenges done that morning, but hadn't done the CB challenge by dinnertime. I don't know why I waited so long. It took me all of 3 minutes to do.

Here's what I ended up getting rid of:

2 plastic containers, 3 boxes of breastmilk storage bags, a package of bottle nipples, and a baby monitor. I didn't take pictures of my 31DtC accomplishments, but will try to remember to have those up with today's Day 2 post. OH, and sorry for the lack of post on "actual" day 1. I had planned to after dinner, but we had to make an emergency run to the doc.

Isabel had been having itchy watery eyes since the day before and I thought nothing of it at first. I gave her the typical allergy eye drops and benedryl because I thought they were her seasonal allergies, but nothing was working. Finally I suspected pink eye and realized if we didn't get her to the doc within the hour she'd have to wait until today to go, meaning I would miss a meeting at Renew this morning, not to mention she would be miserable. I was right (I hate it when I'm right sometimes) We didn't get back home til after 9 pm. Oh well. She won't be going to school today, so the kids can afford to sleep in this morning.

Anyway, I'll try to get my 31DtC/CBC done before dinner tonight! See you in a bit!

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

New Month, New 31 Days to Clean Challenge

Hi all!

I am so stoked for the new month!

With the ETR challenge FINALLY ending tomorrow, I decided it would be a perfect time to start a new challenge.This month, I'll be doing the 31 Days to Clean by Sarah Mae as well as Money Saving Mom's Clutter Busting Challenge. I missed Money Saving Mom's April spring cleaning challenge :( so I thought I would do my own during May. I was planning on catching back up with her in June, but her May Clutter Busting challenge just fit right in.

Here's what'll happen...

Tomorrow I'll put up my last ETR challenge post AND my first morning Spring Clean post and share with you my new morning routine come May 3! I'm pretty excited about it, if you can't tell ;) I'm finally able to set myself up to tackle several goals at once with my early mornings. I've been trying to figure out how to work tackling more goals into my day since January.

So, be on the look out for this button:

(I made it myself!)

and be sure to follow my Pinterest board if you don't already!

Tonight I'll post my first 31DtC/CBC post for day 1!
See you in a bit!

*Please note: As far as I know Sara Mae is not doing a challenge on her blog that I'm following. I'm just going out of her 31 Days to Clean ebook. I have no affiliation with her otherwise. Over and out.

Early To Rise Challenge Day 29

Good Morning!

This is Day 29 of the Money Saving Mom Early to Rise Challenge!

This is a busy week at our house and I'm excited to share some of it with you later today!

For now, we'll just get on to the passage for today. It was a great reminder for my type A self to not pressure myself so much. I really love that the passages are real. Today we covered how not every morning will be amazing, yield massive progress, etc.

Like I said, I need the reminder daily pretty much that things just won't go quite as I planned. I get so caught up in making sure I have enough time to complete what I was hoping to that I have actually sent my kids back to bed after they unexpectedly got up (it was summer, so they could afford to sleep in, and they got up around 5:30 for cryin' out loud!)

Worrying about the older two getting up too early is no longer an issue since they discovered they like their sleep and have to grudgingly get up at 6:30 am every morning. Now it's D-baby that I'm dealing with. Lately he's not too much of a morning intruder, but I really did struggle when he would wake up around 5:30 am too. 5:30 was NOT a time I wanted to allow a 1 year old to get up and start the day.

I've had to remember not to beat myself up for it too much and have actually had to deal with feelings of inadequacy because I wasn't able to get to everything I wanted to. Usually I bite off way more than I can chew anyway. Another habit I need to get rid of.

How do you deal with unexpected interruptions, either during your quiet time in the morning or other times of the day?

So what time did I get up this morning? I was up by 5:04 am and was able to start on my new challenge for the month of May. I'll share more later today. I'm very excited to pursue another challenge and really hope it will be as beneficial as this one was.

Thank you so much for sticking with me through this challenge! One more day, one more day!

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Early to Rise Challenge: Day 28

Good Morning all!

This is Day 28 of the Money Saving Mom Early to Rise Challenge!

Today's passage covered praying. I am so glad the author included this passage in his book. I think prayer is such a necessary thing and there are so many (I'm mainly talking about Christians here) who don't take the time to do it often enough. I'm one of them.

My prayer life is something I struggle with doing consistently. Most of the time I forget to do it at all. Bible reading/study is a bit more consistent, but not by much. And then there are things like scripture memorization that I know I should be doing, but most of the time just plain old don't. Blah.

Prayer is something I'd like to incorporate into my morning routine along with Bible reading/study. Does anyone have good resources on becoming a prayer warrior? I feel like I don't know where to even start to make prayer a regular thing in my life.

Has prayer always been a consistent thing in your walk with Christ? Or have you been more like me and not even known where to start?

Today's action tip is to start thinking about what I'll do to celebrate my ETR victory! This is kind of fun, but I'm having trouble thinking of something fun. I would like whatever I do to coincide with my new habit of getting up early, either by making it easier, more motivating or more fun when I do it. Usually I would reward myself with something edible, so all I've thought of so far is to go by myself a new kind of coffee. Maybe I'll celebrate by making Pioneer Woman's Iced Coffee recipe, you know since we're headed into spring/summer around here soon (hopefully after this last winter blast gets through with us). Anyway, if you have any other ideas, let me know!

Tomorrow I'll be posting what I hope to incorporate in my morning routine after this challenge is over. On to new goals and challenges!

Monday, April 29, 2013

Early to Rise Challenge Day 27

Good Morning all!

This is Day 27 of the Money Saving Mom's Early to Rise Challenge!

Today we're encouraged to change our outlook on  whatever or whomever we're frustrated with. Currently I am personally frustrated with my health issues. I'm also frustrated with the seemingly never endless housework. But for now we'll just go with my health issues.

 So instead of focusing on the bad, we're challenged to change our outlook and focus on the good. Here's my list of the good that has come out of my diagnosis with Graves:
1.  I have an immune system  - This alone is huge because lots of people are born without any kind of an immune system in place. I cannot imagine all the complications that could come from that alone.

2. I have a thyroid - again, huge because some people have had to take theirs out or have it destroyed.

3. We have awesome health insurance - kinda, but it's better than most. We've heard horror stories from friends about their health insurance and all the struggles they go through. I'm glad we are not currently in that boat

4. We have access to various medications and doctors - we can find a medication that not only works best for us, but we also can change doctors if we feel the need to.

5. We have transportation to get to and back from the doctors or pharmacy.  - This is huge too, because it means I can get myself to the doctor safely and quickly if need be.

So even though I feel like I'm going through a tough time right now, I have this and so much more to think about and keep me positive. I don't think it will make me start liking my Graves Disease, but to change my outlook on it will help me not dwell on it so much.

So, what time did I get up today? 5:15 am. Not too bad, but I'm really feeling the need for a cuppa joe right now.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Early To Rise Challenge Day 26

Good Morning all!

This is Day 26 of  Money Saving Mom's Early to Rise Challenge!

I struggle with what to write today about our subject, loneliness. Am I scared to write about it? I don't know, we'll see.

Loneliness is often an indicator of something bad, a dark time in life, or possibly even a time of depression. Being lonely, not having anyone notice you exist and are worth getting to know, feeling lost as if the ones you love deeply and who are supposed to return that unconditional love have decided they no longer want to know you or have turned against you. Shutting everyone out not because you want to but because you can't bear to be around anyone else and you don't know why. Loneliness can be all these things and so much more. Loneliness can be one of the most feared emotions we face.

But loneliness can also be an indicator that you are getting somewhere. When paired with a goal, loneliness can be a sign that you are different, in a good way. You are doing what others don't want to do to reach those goals. You're putting away all the lies that whisper in your ears and keep you from even attempting whatever your challenge is. 

I can't say I've felt lonely on this challenge, but I have felt it during several other times in life, some of the worst ones right now.

So, what time did I wake up today? 5:02 am! I lied awake in bed for a couple minutes listening to the rain on the roof. It was quite relaxing and I'm so glad I started out my day that way.

If you are feeling lonely in this journey, or whatever your challenge is, let me encourage and pray for you. Your willingness to "sucker punch your challenge", make some goals and change your life, and possibly the lives of your family is inspiring to say the least.

Heavenly Father, I pray for those out there reading this. I pray for the ones who are on a journey to be different with a goal planted in their hearts by You. Lord, these challenges you've placed on us are worthy to be walked, and You are Worthy Of Praise during the successes and during the loneliness. Please use these emotions you have so graciously given us to experience as tools to draw us closer to you as reminders for us to seek you when we feel lonely. So, Father God, I ask that you bless those who's journey has told them day in and day out that they are different. I ask that you remind them they are never truly alone because we know you are always with us. Cover them with Your Love, Your Grace, Your Mercy. Give them the endurance to meet their goals. Give them the eyes to see Your Hand in this. Help them to know they are moving the right direction. We love you! In Jesus name, Amen.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Early to Rise Challenge Day 25

Good Morning all!

This is Day 25 of Money Saving Mom's Early to Rise Challenge!

This week has been a fight. I wish I could declare it over, but seeing as it's not the weekend yet, obviously I can't. Yesterday I broke out in hives from my medication. UGH! Just when I thought we were getting somewhere with this hyperthyroid stuff. They are everywhere and I am miserable. I was able to take a benedryl yesterday along with some hydrocortison cream. This combo seems to calm them down a bit, but I still have to take my meds until my doc says otherwise. I will be putting in a call this morning!

Anyways, on to the book!

Today's challenge is to spread the word about the Early to Rise Challenge. We are to tell 5 people today about our challenge and where they can get the book, www.earlytorisebook.com . I've actually already been talking about this to a few people, but I'm not sure more than 3 people know about it. Hubs knows of course, and so does my mom. I'm pretty certain I've mentioned it to at least 1-2 friends. Does this count?

I think I might wait for the weekend to try to tell 5 people all in one day. I don't see five people in a day around here sometimes (besides the kids and I don't want them thinking ETR is for them!)

I do love the idea of spreading the word though. I love that it could change someone's schedule and thereby change someone's life, making them better at what they do, how they live. Once this challenge is over, I will continue to get up at 5-5:30am on the weekdays. I know I have some goals I need to work on during this time and some quiet time to spend with God.

So, what time did I wake up this morning? 5:23 am. Fredrika did her thing at 5 am on the dot, but I didn't get that great of a night with all the itching and what not. Benedryl, kick in now please!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Early To Rise Challenge: Day 24

Good Morning all!

This is Day 24 of the Money Saving Mom Early to Rise Challenge!

I highlighted a lot in today's passage. It covers how you can have a "creator" life vs. a "reactive" life. Basically, are you doing something or are you waiting for something? This fits in perfectly with a subject I heard spoken at a conference I attended last Friday. Our church hosted Jill Savage and she spoke on friendship. It was a message I so needed to hear and it hit home with me. I think on what she said daily, and this applies perfectly too. Am I a reactor or a creator? Am I a "here I am" or a "there you are" kind of person? I hate to elaborate much more as I really do want you to read the author's words in the book. I think you'll be blessed by them just as I am.

So, what time did I wake up today? Right at 5 am when Fredrika did her thing. Yay! I do really enjoy this time when it's so quiet in the house and now feel my day just didn't start right if I don't get in my morning quiet time.

What kind of person are you going to choose to be? A reactor or a creator?

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Early To Rise Challenge: Day 23

Good morning all!

This is Day 23 of Money Saving Mom's Early to Rise Challenge.

So, I didn't write my invite to Hubs yesterday. It was a bit of a stressful day and it just never happened. Hubs and I have had a hard time communicating too, so that's put a strain on us the past couple weeks. We were doing ok for a while, but last night it just kinda fell apart. I know every couple goes through times like this, but it doesn't make it any easier. It does help to know that we're not alone. I just wish we could fix it for good.

I'll pursue this challenge again today after Hubs goes to work.

Day 23 talks about writing. This is not something I love to do, or even something I feel I'm good at. I tend to write the way I think and speak. I have no idea whether or not this is even a good thing. A writing challenge is both a bit intimidating to me and a little uninteresting at the same time. My type A personality wants to do it because it's the next step in the challenge, and I do want to write for my blog. But it's also a bit uninteresting at the same time because I don't want to write a book, only my blog. Maybe I'll think on this a bit more. Never say never, I suppose.

Our action tip for today is to write down ideas for a book. We also have a word count goal to start us out. Now since I've never been a writer or thought of myself as a writer, I can't say I'll pursue this part of the challenge immediately, but if God is leading me there, of course I will follow.

Here's my ideas:
1. Continue to blog, possibly daily, about our family, adoption, daily events, just as a log of what happened in our daily lives.
2.Gardening/sustainable living (though I feel I need more experience in this area first)
3. Children's books - There are so many children's books out there, and while I know I don't have the ability to be a good illustrator, I do love the simplicity of telling a children's story. This could have potential.

So, what time did I wake up? 5:22 am, and I have to confess I did hit the snooze button once. D-baby was freezing in his room, so I brought him into our room and warmed him up a bit. It was good to cuddle with him for a little while, and I think it was time well spent.

What do you think about writing? Love it or hate it? Have you always wanted to or does it intimidate you like it does me?

Monday, April 22, 2013

Early To Rise Challenge: Day 22

Good Morning and happy Monday!

This is Day 22 of Money Saving Mom's Early to Rise Challenge!

Today's passage is about asking your spouse to get up early with you. I'm kind of excited for this because I sometimes feel Hubs and I don't get to spend a lot of time together. I know we won't be able to both do this all the time, but it would be great to be able to just once a week or so.

Our action tip for the day is to write our spouse an invitation to rise early with us tomorrow morning. I'll be doing that in a minute. Thought I know Hubs doesn't entertain the idea of rising early nearly as well as I do, I think he might just go on this with me, if only for tomorrow. I think I'll make it into a coffee/bible study time for us, so I might not make it back here to blog before Wednesday. I'll let you know how it goes!

So, what time did I get up today? Fredrika went off at her normal 5 am, but I didn't get up and about until 5:17 am. I'm pretty sure with tomorrow being a challenge for both me and Hubs, I'll be up on time. Maybe I'll even have pictures of us tomorrow! We found the camera cord!

Will you be inviting your spouse to join in with you tomorrow? If not, who do you think you'll invite?

Friday, April 19, 2013

Early To Rise Challenge: Day 21

Good morning all!

This is Day 21 of Money Saving Mom's Early to Rise Challenge!

This morning D-baby woke up around 4:50am. So into bed with me he went again (I need to quit that. >:{ ) But this time I got up like I should! I didn't have any trouble with D-baby tossing and turning like we did last night, so that was a blessing!

Today's passage was about smirking. The thought behind this is you aren't smirking, just to smirk, but rather remembering when you wake up early in the morning you are "sucker punching your day" by getting a jump start on it. Not much to the idea, just something nice to remember as a little motivation.

It's cute, but IMO, doesn't add much to the experience. I am starting to feel getting up early isn't nearly as hard as it used to be, and for that I am grateful.

How are you doing on the challenge? Is it still difficult to wake up or are you up before your alarm clock?

Early To Rise Challenge: Day 20

Morning all!

This is Day 20 of Money Saving Mom's Early To Rise Challenge!

I'm trying my best!

Wednesday night was rough for D-baby. I think he's headed through a growth spurt right now. He woke up around 2:30 am, so I brought him into bed with us ( bad mama!). I had a feeling I was going to have to fight him pretty hard to get him back to sleep otherwise. I hate when I'm right sometimes. Poor D-baby tossed and turned for 2 hours until I finally realized he could be hungry. Hubs ran downstairs and got him a cup of milk which D-baby heartily drank, smiled, handed the now empty cup to me, and curled up almost immediately asleep. By this time it was a little after 4:30. I didn't know how hard he was going to sleep so I just stayed in bed with him until 6. It was good to cuddle with my little love for a while.

Day 20 is about silence and how hard it can be sometimes. I was pretty neutral on silence and whether or not I liked it until I became a mom. Now silence is something I crave unless the kids are awake. Then silence can mean trouble, especially coming from a baby. Then silence scares me.

Our action tip for the day is to be silent in the car. No radio, or any other kind of device plugged in to distract you from the silence. To be honest, I never find silence in the car stifling. In fact, it's where I enjoy silence the most. If I'm in the car, 99% of the time, the kids are with me. Silence in the car, with the kids, means they're either asleep or they're observing the world going by. But it's a safe silence. It's a freeing, relaxing silence.

Yesterday, in fact when we were out running errands, I had the radio off and didn't notice it until I was almost home. When I turned it on my oldest exclaimed "Hey, music!" as if it was something she'd never heard in the car before. Sometimes we observe silence even when we don't notice it.

Being silent in my prayer life is one area I've never quite understood. I believe silence in prayer is a good thing, a necessary thing, but how does it work? What does it look like? How do you DO silent prayer? The logistics are a little lost on me.

 What does silence during prayer look like for you? Any tips on how you do it?

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Early To Rise Challenge: Day 19

Morning all!

This is Day 19 of the Money Saving Mom Early To Rise Challenge!

Today's passage talked about one of my favorite words. Planning!
We don't just stumble through our day, (or our life, really) waiting for something to happen to us. If we do we have a victim mentality. The author explains this more in depth in the book.
But first, we need to back up and do something to take control of our day, and that would be planning!
Here's my schedule for the day:

5am: Wake up, blog for ETR Challenge, read Bible if time allows
7am: Kids up, get ready for school, wake baby. Drop offs begin
9am: Housework, baby down for morning nap
11am: Pick ups begin
12pm:Lunch, back to housework, stop for some time to play with the kids
1:30 pm: Homework time
2:45 pm: Run errands if there are any to do, afternoon nap for baby
5:00 pm: Start preparing dinner if it's not already in the crockpot.
6:30 pm: Hubby home (hopefully), dinner time!
8:30 pm: Kids get ready for bed, spend some one on one time with the baby. Wind down with hubby.
10:00 pm Baby down for the night. Read a little, then bed time.

Now that I know what my day looks like, I can take control of it more instead of stumbling through and hoping something somewhere gets accomplished. This also allows me to have more goals and be more effective in getting them done. I'm going to tell my time what to do today!

What does your schedule look like? Do you like planning or do you prefer living in the moment?

Early To Rise Challenge: Day 18, or Fredrika didn't wake me up!

Good Morning all!

This is Day 18 of the Money Saving Mom Early to Rise Challenge!

I'm so sorry for the lack of post on "actual" day 18. Let's see. We left off on Stupid Early. Here's what went down:
1.  I went to bed around 10:15 ish...but couldn't fall asleep until 11:30 :( Lying there really made me think about deep and profound things.
~ Did I turn off the light in the kitchen?
~ Oh yes, I did.
~ Is there any chocolate in the house?
~ Oh, no, there's not.
~ Is it time to get up yet? I would really enjoy a cup of coffee.
~ Liz, do you realize it's only 10:21 pm?
And then I realized the last answer was hubby, who I was apparently annoying with my questions. He suggested I read a book for a bit, to help wind me down. I guess annoying questions are not the way to wind down?

P.S. The part of the above story involving hubby is untrue. But what does remain true is annoying questions are not the way to wind down, whether asked to ones self or to their attempting to sleep hubby. Mine, for the record, was out cold.

2. 11:45 : Yes, that's right. 15 minutes after I'd been BLISSFULLY asleep....D-baby wakes up and will NOT go back to bed for Hubs.

3. 12:10 : D-baby is finally asleep again (PTL!) and I'm headed to bed, fall asleep quickly (and blisfully) and don't wake up until 6:00 am when Hubby's alarm, Steve, wakes us up.

4. Wait. 6 am? But Fredrika was set to go off at 5 am. I ask Hubby if he heard her go off this morning and he notes he didn't hear a thing. Which leads me to believe she didn't go off this morning, cause he HATES the sound of my alarm. Indigenous Tribe Preparing For War was how I believe he described my alarm. Not the way he likes to wake up in the morning.

So instead of having enough time to get down here and post, I just got on with the day, sans ETR Challenge :( .

But here's what I would have written had I gotten up on time. (Thanks, Fredrika!)

Today's passage covered the sum total of the effects waking early will have on the world and how many small good choices will lead to a bigger good cumulative effect on your life. We also choose who we're going to be today. But what ever role we believe we are for today, fill it, and fill it well.

Our action tip is to write down the rolls we fulfill and then pick two we are going to excel in today. Here's mine:

Daughter of the King, daughter, sister, wife, mother, housekeeper/manager, friend, citizen.

The two I'm going to excel in today are sister and friend. These two rarely if ever get picked, and I need to focus in on them and their cumulative effects. Maybe bringing a family closer together, maybe letting one know they're not alone.

What are your roles in life and what two do you think you'll excel at today?