Monday, April 14, 2014

{Monday Musing} Catching Up

Hi everyone!  We had a wonderful vacation last week, but I think both my husband and I are finding it a little difficult to get back into the swing of things. : )  I've been working through my BLM page slowly but surely this morning, and I'm just about ready to start on the orders that we weren't able to get out last week.  If that was your order, then THANK YOU for your patience!  I hope that everything will be caught up by tomorrow afternoon, if I can manage to work around the workmen who are installing our new furnace today... YAY!

I have a fun and informative organizational post planned for later this week, but it still needs some work, so I'm going to sign off now and get busy catching up.  See you later!!



Today's Happy Monday prompt... (because I'm thinking of heat and air conditioning that works!! LOL! )
I prefer to be (hot rather than cold) or (cold rather than hot) because... 

Monday, April 7, 2014

{Monday Musing} - A Prayer of Faith

Good morning, friends!

First, a little public service announcement...  Shipping and emails will be slow this week.  We're going to be taking a computer break as our "Spring Break", and we won't be checking in for a few days, so if you don't hear back from us before the end of the week, don't be concerned!  We have plans for some fun projects during the week, including resting and recharging, and I'm looking forward to spending some quality time with my dear ones! : )

I have been thinking a lot about prayer lately and the difference between a prayer of faith and testing God.  I was thinking about the verse in James where it says that we should "Ask in faith, nothing wavering", and then the verse came to mind about Jesus being tempted in the wilderness to throw himself down at the mercy of the angels and Christ answered, "Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God."  Then, in Psalm 95 it talks about the Israelites tempting God, proving Him and seeing His works, and then it says He was grieved with them, that they erred in their hearts and did not know His ways.  That made me think.  They complained again and again, and again and again He did more than what they asked, proving He was God.  They saw this... and still they did not truly know Him.  How could that be?  So what is the difference between tempting God and asking in faith??   The Pharisees asked Christ for a sign and received a reprimand instead, and yet a Gentile woman asked for her daughter to be healed and Christ commended her.  What makes the difference??

And then I saw it.  The angels would have taken care of Christ.  And he could have turned the stones into bread... He fed 5,000 plus people later in His ministry.  The difference can be summed up in two short words...

'If'?' or 'Since'.

The temptation wasn't as much to jump off the temple or make bread.  It was to question God.  He didn't say, "Since you are the Son of God"... He said "If you are...", and tempted Him to prove it.  Are we tempting God when we pray?  Are we like the Israelites and the Pharisees and like Satan in the desert?  Do we say (or think!)  "If you are really God, then you can... heal her, get me a better job, fix this", or do we come to Him like the blind man, or the Gentile woman, and say, "Since you are God, I ask your mercy in this area..."  If? or Since.  Do you see how one is a challenge for God to prove Himself, and the other is a plea for God to reveal His glory?  One is a questioning, a testing, a tempting. And if the answer isn't what we wanted we blame God and complain and go our own way.   The other is a statement.  "You are God.  And because of that I can come to you with my requests and know that You will answer the way You see best -- the way that will reveal Your glory.  And that will be what I want.  For You to be glorified.  Whether your answer to my prayer is Yes or No or Wait it won't change my love and trust for you.  Even if I don't understand it You will still be God."

Doesn't that give a richness to this verse in James? 

 "If any of you lack wisdom let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally and upbraideth not, and it shall be given him.  But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering, for he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea, driven with the wind and tossed.  Let not that man think that he shall receive anything of the Lord. A double minded man is unstable in all his ways."

Nothing wavering.  No "If' You are's", only a calm assurance - a trust - and a "Since You are".  And He will be glorified through our prayer and our lives.  It is humbling.  It is certain.

It is glorious.

So how is your prayer life?  Are you challenging God to prove Himself to you rather than coming to Him humbly, claiming His promises, and resting on Him in faith? May each of our prayers this week be prayers of faith to our Lord and Saviour!


Your Happy Monday prompt for the week...
"My God is..."

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Building a Planner {that Works} - Having a Backup

Did you ever need to remember a locker combination at school?  A mailbox combination? A combination to the lock of your car, toolbox, briefcase or bike?  As much as I love a good puzzle, remembering combinations has always been a challenge for me.  I remember, a couple of times in particular, having to trek to the school office between classes in high school because I couldn't open my locker.  It was so embarrassing!  As I've gotten older, life has presenting far more interesting combinations for me to crack. 

 How do I care for busy toddlers and keep up my home?
How can I spend meaningful time with the Lord in the midst of filled-to-the-brim days?
How do I keep up with all these different schedules?
Which bills need to be paid when?
How can I keep track of upcoming events?

and on and on the list might go.

We've talked about different combinations of pages that might help you in each of these cases, but another combination that we haven't spent much time with would be to combine your paper planner with a digital device... your computer, phone, or tablet.

From calendars to list makers, there are a wide range of apps available that may mesh wonderfully with your planner.  In fact, many people rely on these "electronic minds" exclusively... 

until they crash.

And therein lies the problem.  And the reason that I could never go completely digital with my planner.  When I write something down I trust that it will be there to remind me and I put it out of my mind.  If I went completely digital and it crashed...  oh, dear, it would be much worse than forgetting my combination in high school!

So, today's tip for Building a Planner {that Works}... 

Have a paper backup for things you don't want to forget.

Those things will be different for each of us.  For me it might include a list of my upcoming cross stitch projects.  For you it might be the record of books used in your homeschool, or your monthly list of menus.  If it is important and/or required much thought or time to assemble, make a paper backup with the basics.  It will be the perfect combination with your digital device and you'll be ever so thankful for it in an emergency!

Monday, March 31, 2014

{Monday Musing} Joyful and Pleasant

I am so enjoying hearing the birds sing again!  The robins are singing "pretty bird, pretty bird" and the cardinals are trilling and the sounds of Spring are all around, even if the warm weather is somewhat lacking!

Their song reminds me of Psalm 147:1...
Praise ye the Lord: for it is good to sing praises unto our God; for it is pleasant; and praise is comely.

or, as the olde English prayer book says...

"O praise the Lord, for it is a good thing to sing praises unto our God: yea a joyful and pleasant thing it is to be thankful"  

I don't think any of us would disagree that we like things to be pleasant.  A pleasant day is nicer than an unpleasant one.  A pleasant person is better than a grouch.  So how can we carry "pleasant-ness" with us??  Here it is again...

A joyful and pleasant thing it is to be thankful.


Try it as an experiment this week.  When things around you are unpleasant, practice being thankful.  I love the old song, "Count your Blessings"... "When upon life's billow you are tempest-tossed, when you are discouraged thinking all is lost, Count your many blessings, name them one by one, and it will surprise you what the Lord has done."  and when it seems like all your blessings have been swept away like Job's were, then be thankful that God is in control and you can still trust Him and not be afraid.

Praise the Lord!!


Happy Monday Prompt...  
Five things that I am thankful for right now are...

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

A Timely Tip - Food in my Freezer

Do you ever lose things in your freezer?  Forget they are there?  Forget to take them out to thaw?  Have trouble deciding on menus?

Start a "Food in my Freezer" section in your notebook!

Here's how to begin...

1.  Schedule a morning to clean out the freezer above your refrigerator.

2.  This shouldn't take long, so, for now just set the food on your (already cleaned) kitchen counter.

3.  Wipe out your freezer.

4.  Toss any frozen food that is unrecognizable, freezer burned, or otherwise inedible. : )

5.  Start a page for each type of food in your planner... meat, dairy, vegetables, fruits, breads.

6.  Jot down each food as you place it back in the freezer.  Be sure to mark "cooked" or "uncooked" by the meats, and the specific kinds and amounts of veggies or fruit.

7.  As you use a food from your list cross it off.  If you add something to your freezer, add it to your list.

Now when you look ahead to add things to your menus, you can check your Food in the Freezer list and see what is available!  I'm off to make a section for my refrigerator, too! 


Monday, March 24, 2014

Monday Musing - Praying for the Men in Our Lives

I was reading in Titus 1 this morning - a section that I usually read through as "not really applying to me" because I'm always aiming for Titus 2 and its description of a godly woman.  Today, though, the Lord impressed me with the fact that Titus 1 has a wonderful list of things to pray for our husbands and sons as they seek to follow the Lord and become men of God.  I noticed things like...

- Being a man of integrity
- Training his children well
- Having a godly wife (I need to be that woman!!)
- Being blameless in behavior, not self-willed or arrogant
- Not being quick-tempered or violent
- Not given to drink
- Not greedy or ruled by money

- Having a love to meet other's needs and minister to them with gladness
- Choosing good friends
- Being thoughtful and sensible
- Being fair
- Being a devout man who enjoys what is good and holy
- Being self-controlled
- Being a lover of God's Word so his conversations are instructive and not empty

Isn't that a fantastic list of prayer requests?  So much better than the more ambiguous, "Please bless him and help Him to love you more.", and such a precious way to live out our role of being a helpmeet to our husband and a loving mother to our sons... both young and old.

May you be blessed as you seek to be a blessing this week!


Today's Happy Monday prompt for your Happy Monday notebook is...

Someone I need to pray for this week is...


Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Building a Planner {that Works} - Adding Color

My "Building a Planner" tip for today is a simple one...

Add Color

Use colored pens for different categories of tasks, or different children's schedules.

Use highlighters to mark your daily "must do's", or to cross out your tasks when they are completed.

Fill a zippered pouch with some colorful Post-It notes and flags, to mark your pages.

Add dates or designs to your pages with rubber stamps.

Switch out your basic tab set with a full-color version that makes you smile.

It has been my experience that color can affect my mood and my inclination to actually do what I have listed.  Having some pale blue snowflakes stamped on my pages made me feel serene and cozy during the winter.  On a gloomy, rainy, sleet-y day like today, having my list written in orange encourages me to keep going despite my inclination to curl up in a corner and nap until the sun comes out again! : )  Color can be a great encourager!!

Are there any other ways that you use color in your planner?  I'd love to hear them!