Friday, January 25, 2013

He's Got the Whole World in His hands...

Today was tough. Maybe one of the toughest days I've had in a long time. Before getting to the hospital, I got a text from a friend who has been in Cleveland clinc undergoing surgery and procedure after procedure for cancer. She said that she was praying for me and to please text her how the surgery went so that when she woke up in a week she would know. Red flags went up! A week?!

Taryn is being placed into a medically induced coma. The doctors are baffled as to why they aren't able to treat some of the symptoms. All they can think to do is to induce the coma so that her body can rest.

I am so scared and anxious. To explain what kind of girl she is would not be possible. Words cannot express.

So for the next week, I will probably use my blog as a sounding board for my fears and someone to "listen" to as I am anxious to her from her.

I end this entry with an encounter I had today when I was getting being discharged from the hospital...

Today this little old lady walked Andy back to see me in recovery. As they walked up, I noticed that she
was holding Andy with both hands. I know that I am a bit groggy but ... she came over and whispered in my ear that she had been praying for me that morning and that I was in the palm of God's hands. She kissed me and walked away. I have joked about it today but it touched me in ways I cannot explain. Today, I know for sure that God sends angels to comfort those He loves.

As I pray for Taryn, I am sad and scared but I know how amazing she is... I cannot blame God for wanting to go another day without her by His side. So today, I pray for God's will and I pray that I have the strength and grace to accept it. Tonight I pray for the many people who love her. I pray for peace of mind and heart.

I am in love with a Savior who has the hold world - even Taryn and myself- in His hands.

Will you join me in praying for Taryn?

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Day 12 - Replacing The Negative Stuff

Negative thoughts invade. I find that when I am alone with my thoughts they push their way in. Washing the dishes and humming a favorite song suddenly turns to the dark thought side.

How could I do that?

What's wrong with me?

I cannot believe I thought that. I am so stupid!

Then comes the comparing myself to others.

Today I urge you to dream big and rid yourself of all those negative thoughts and self-doubts the Devil is feeding you. While you're at it, take a minute and read an old post that I wrote. It rings just as true now as it did when I wrote it. :)

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Day 11 - When Stuff Happens

Stuff happens... Goodness - it happens often.

I feel Satan attacking me. I feel him threatened. He is attacking me from every direction. He knows he's losing the battle with me - so he attacks more and harder.

Death, sickness, uncertainty and spiritual battles have been been one after another this new year.

What happens when we feel stuff continually happening?

An old hymn my grandpa used to sing proclaims...

"My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus blood and righteousness. I dare not trust the sweetest frame but wholly lean on Jesus' name. On Christ the Solid Rock, I stand. All other ground is sinking sand!"

My answer is to give it all to Jesus. The good, the bad and the ugly. Give it ALL to Him.

Will you join me?

Lord Jesus - I give it all to you... My faith and in times, my lack of faith. My fear and my strength. My marriage. My children. My finances. My womb. My health. My possessions. It's Yours. Be glorified.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Organizing Your Stuff

I feel kind of like an imposter writing a post on organization.

Honestly quite often, I do the bare minimum. Enough to get by. But often times, it is not nearly enough and I find myself ready to pull my hair out.

This year and on, I want to be diligent in being good stewards of my blessings by organizing them.

My first step is my time. I have been allowing time to run me and not the other way around. I want to be intentional about a routine and putting events directly on the calendar.

There are also many different daily planners (also known as homemaking binders) that you can put together. (Click here to view mine... ) You can go to almost any homemaking blog and search and there homemaking binder will appear. The important thing is to mold it to what works for you and your home.

The next area to work on is organizing the material stuff. After I have decluttered, every will have a "home" or a place it belongs. This is vital when trying to teach little people to put away. If there is a specific home, they know the place it belongs and there is no question.

There are MANY organizational tools and products out there. Many homemakers and moms find that Organized Junkie is an awesome resource.

As soon as I have my home decluttered from the Christmas craze, I am going to begin finding homes for everything. I feel a long road ahead of me but one that I am sure will be worth every minute!

What are your organizing tips and secrets?!

Friday, January 4, 2013

Day SIX of our Journey - Decluttering that STUFF

I think I have found the key to cleaning and decluttering. Almost anything that I HAVE to do but don't necessarily like to do...

Do it with a friend!

When I say, "Declutter with a friend...", it has to be a special friend. 

A friend that has stuck around through those bad monthly times. Those times of crazy hormonal pregnancies and crazy melt downs. A friend who will stick with you through the thick and thin. A friend that really loves you. 

The kind of friend who can say, " I love you but you don't need five popcorn poppers." 

The kind of friend who can handle it when you exclaim, "But we LOVE popcorn and one might BREAK!"

It is important to remember a few things when you find a cleaning/decluttering buddy and dive into it - 
  1. Make a plan before you jump in. Think about it rationally. If you are a new declutterer, don't resolve to get rid of everything. You will go into shock and regret it and get bitter after.
  2. Think of where you want the stuff to go. I know for myself, thinking of giving the excess stuff to people who will need it or turn it into cash to put towards debt excites me. This helps me push through.
  3. Find a friend that is patient and will continue to plow through all the stuff even with your nasty comments about how she just doesn't understand. You need that large tote of wire hangers! 
  4. Find a friend that you can tell your goal and they will hold you accountable. For me, I know that my husband is not a good fit. We both are hoarders (we like to call it frugal!) by nature and we always find some kind of reason to keep everything. Also, I often get very offended when he wants me to get rid of my treasures. (He just doesn't understand. I NEED 73 pair of flip flops!)
  5. Carry out your plan. It will hurt but if you made a realistic plan, it will feel better - not worse.
  6. Remember! Remember that you are going to help your friend in turn go through their clutter. Make sure you treated them how you want to be treated because its their turn to be nasty about their plastic plate collection to you! (We NEED 27 plastic plates. We might have GUESTS!)

All the "conversations" above are just a couple of the crazy pack-rat comments that I come up with. All have been said by me at one time or another. This summer, we decided to get serious about getting rid of our clutter. We get rid of about 30% of our stuff in the downstairs. People have walked into our house and asked if we've been robbed. 

We still have a lot of stuff but we have drastically cut down. 

If I can do it, anyone can do it. It was painful. I wanted to cry. However, it was so worth it. I can clean my house faster and there are many less toys to fight with my children to pick up. We can find and LOVE the things we have even more. 

When I think of clutter and STUFF, I think of a zap to me. It zaps my energy, I have to clean. It zaps my joy because I am continually harping for people to clean up. It zaps my time. I have more time to spend loving on my children and doing fun things with them. 

Getting rid of the clutter has really brought more peace and joy into my life. Have I "arrived"? No way. I am still on the journey to rid our house of unnecessary things but I am trying and making progress. 

How about you? Do you struggle with the clutter and stuff that is all around you? Or do you have a good system to rid your home of clutter?

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Day FIVE of our Journey - Hmmm....

Yesterday I wrote about how I wanted to start a series on stuff. I began the series and was sure to continue it today... but I'm not going to. 

Today I am going to write about letting my self be still and silent. Listening to His small voice. Our 2013 has started out on a sad note. I am in the midst of what some would consider a spiritual battle and I just need to be still. I yearn for His voice. 

So today, I am putting down the stuff and waiting patiently for His voice and guidance. 

 "Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations. 
I will be exalted in the earth"
- Psalm 46:10

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Day Four of our Journey - Stuff

I am going to be starting a series on stuff. Just that stuff. Could I get more specific? Eh. Maybe but probably not. I will narrow it down a bit ... Here is a list of what I intend on covering.

  • Stewardship of the material stuff we have been given. 
  • Decluttering the material stuff.
  • Organizing the material stuff.
  • Getting rid of that negative stuff in our minds and replacing it with positive.
  • When "stuff" happens...

Stewardship of Stuff - 

It's a new year. A new beginning. I know in my family we were so blessed to receive more stuff. Our family and friends were so gracious and gave us not only what we wanted but a lot of what we needed. This year I was pleased with how intentional and thoughtful people were. I truly know they were thinking and praying for us as they browsed for our gifts.

I really feel the need to be more intentional about the stewardship of the stuff we have been given. I need to take better care of and maintain it better. If it is broke, fix it. If it out, put it away. If it is dirty, clean it. 

So often I leave it for tomorrow an it becomes a bigger mess than if I would have just taken care of it today. Beginning today, I am going to be more intentional about taking care of all the material possessions we have been blessed with. 

What about you? Are you a good steward over your material possessions? Do you work a little harder to keep them nice and maintained?

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Days two and three of our Journey - Contentment

Philippians 4:11-12
Not that I speak from want; for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am. I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need.
Being content. I struggle with being content. I always want to move on to the next thing. I never sit and rejoice in the moment. 
That needs to change. I need to be happy where I am. I need to be content. Enjoy this season of life. Enjoy where the Lord has me. Be a witness in the day in which I am living. 
My next step in making all the changes from 'Burb Girl to Cowgirl is to find contentment where I am. Even if it's in the middle of this stinkin' suburb where the neighbors are drunk and rude. Where my soul and spirit feel dampened. I will lean on God. He knows the plans for me (Jeremiah 29:11). He is guiding me. He has blessed me.  He does good for all those who love Him. He knows my heart and I must trust in His timing.
It's OK to make plans and work towards the future (Proverbs 6:6 - 8) but I should not get so wrapped up in them that I miss out on today. 
How about you? Do you struggle with rejoicing right where you are in life? Do you long for the next thing?