Friday, April 27, 2012

Friday Fun - Pinterest Style!

Alright, so who's glad that it is Friday!? I've noticed a lot of blogs do fun Friday posts and I wanted to join in so I am choosing five of my favorite pinterest pins to share with you today.  


  •  Did you know that if you put warm chicken in a stand mixer with the paddle attachment that it will give you perfectly shredded chicken?! I was a bit skeptical, but tried it and was amazed! I absolutely hate shredding chicken by hand or with forks so this was a total life saver! 

Source: Via AshleyRR on Pinterest

  • I recently discovered an awesome website called Dashing Dish. The author Katie is a Christian and has a desire to share her faith and passion for food and fitness with others. She posts recipes that she has revamped to make them healthier! I tried this one earlier this week. It is stuffed Italian style red peppers. This is way out of the ordinary for me but I was pleasantly surprised with how it turned out! I'm trying another one of her recipes for dinner tonight!
Source: Via AshleyRR on Pinterest

  • I love crafty things and have a board dedicated just to wreath ideas. Not too long ago I used this one to help me create my newest wreath that now adorns my front door. I changed it up a bit though and used burlap instead of yarn and ribbon instead of a sewn sash but you get the general idea. 

Source: Via AshleyRR on Pinterest

  • I came across these adorable little flowers the other day. They are called cabochons which are basically resin or some other material placed in a mold to create different shapes. They are sold all over etsy and you can get them fairly inexpensively. Some shops sell items made with them such as earrings, necklaces and hairpins. In other shops you can buy the flowers and make your own creations with them. They come is so many shapes, sizes and colors! 
Source: Via AshleyRR on Pinterest

  • I chose this last one because it reminds me of a post I read this week by Jolene at the alabaster jar about modesty. There is so much debate about what specifically is okay for women to wear and though I believe that we do need to have standards for how we dress I love how Jolene has a bit of a different take on it. Read her post here
Source: Via AshleyRR on Pinterest

Wasn't that fun?! I'm thinking I may do this more often. Have a blessed weekend. I won't likely be posting again until next week about the next discipline challenge. I am also working on putting together a post for the let's get organized series about menu planning and grocery shopping so stay tuned for that next week as well.



Thursday, April 26, 2012

Let's Get Organized!...An Introduction

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 Today I am going to introduce a new series where I share with you some things that have helped me to get organized. Before I do however I should tell you that I am by no means an organizing queen but I have found some things that work for me and have over time discovered the freedom of having a plan and a place for everything. In these posts I hope to cover some home management and organization ideas as well as some help for organizing your spiritual life and ways to help keep you on track. For today I want to share a story with you.

Organization and I didn't always get along very well. As a kid my room was usually pretty cluttered, not dirty just cluttered, and though I didn't necessarily like it that way I had a hard time keeping it clean. When I did get around to cleaning it usually meant stuffing everything somewhere so it was out of the way. I did get better with this over the years but wasn't really kicked into getting better organized until college. Suddenly I shared a small room with two other people and I had to learn to keep my things better contained. No I won't lie to you and tell you that I did a great job with it then, but just to say I began to recognize the necessity of being better organized as it became more and more apparent to me that everything needed a place to go or it would just end up in a pile. However, organization is not just about where to put stuff it's also about having a plan, a way to organize not only your things but your life.

Since college I have also grown to be more of a planner. Even though I resisted many of these ideas at first because I didn't want to be tied down to a tight schedule or a strict menu, I can surely say that it has made life much easier. I can also definitely say that planning my own wedding made me realize how important it is to have a plan! And after almost two years of marriage I've finally come up with some things that work for me. So in the following posts under this series, I will share some of these with you in hopes that you can glean something from it that may help you better organize your home and your life.

Also, don't forget that we are focusing on the spirit this week in the discipline challenge. So far, I have read my bible everyday before getting on the computer which is a big improvement for me!


Monday, April 23, 2012

Discipline Challenge: Week 3

Wow, it is hard to believe that we are on week three of the challenge already! If you are just now joining me, I have been blogging about discipline along with Courtney from Women Living Well. The first week was about the body and the second was time. For the first challenge, my goal was to get moving more. I have been doing better at this but need to schedule more actual time for working out. Though I did go for a nice long walk with my husband one day last week, it ended up being almost five miles! For the second challenge, my goal was to make God time a priority, as I was convicted that I had been falling short in this area. I have been doing better with this and am feeling more accomplished in my daily tasks as well now that I am trying to adjust my focus to be on God first.

This week the challenge is about the spirit. Courtney mentions that we need to be tenacious in our walk with God. This means that we must persistently seek and cling to him. Does this mean that you must spend every waking hour pouring through the bible and praying? No it doesn't. If all that is all that you did, you would surely be neglecting other responsibilities. However, if you do not take time to read your bible and pray then you are neglecting your spiritual growth and relationship with the Lord. This is why is it important to make these a priority. I know it is easy to get hung up on the details like how to pray or what to read but those are just excuses. I made those excuses for years and my spiritual life suffered for it. I read this post by Gina from Keepin' It real the other day. I like how she poignantly addresses more excuses that we often make about spending time with God. Excuses like:

~"I'm not a morning person. It's too hard to get out of bed to be in the Word."
~"I'm too tired at night to be in the Word. It's just not effective!" 
~"I don't want to do it just because someone tells me I have to."  
~"I don't want to do it if my heart isn't in it."

What we must realize is that it takes discipline to make God our first priority. It will not always be easy but we need to do it. We cannot not know God without spending time in the word and in prayer. Think about it this way: Would you feel close to your husband if he hardly ever talked to you and didn't care to make time to spend together? I have a hard time believing anyone could say yes to that so why do we expect that we can be close to God without ever opening a bible or talking to him through prayer?

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 So for the challenge this week we are seeking to strengthen our spirit by spending time with God before anything else. Here's the challenge from Courtney:

Purpose to not read ANYTHING else before you have read God’s word for at least 1 minute in the morning Do not read the newspaper, facebook, a spiritual devotional  or check your email.  Go straight to God’s word first.  And in case you think 1 minute seems a bit stingy with our time – I want to suggest – that once you get started most likely you will go for much longer than 1 minute.  But I want this to be doable.  After reading your Bible, I encourage you to leave your Bible in the kitchen open and every time you walk past it, pause to read it for 15 seconds and then go on.  Squeeze all the nourishment you can out of the scriptures you are reading. 

 This weeks challenge is pretty straightforward. As opposed to the others, where you set a personal goal this one is simply to spend time in the word for at least one minute before reading anything else. This will be a great way for me to continue my challenge from last week to make God time a priority.

I know that last week I mentioned about my home management and organization tips. I'm still planning on posting about that, hopefully sometime this week.



Tuesday, April 17, 2012

A Bit of an Update: Stepping Out in Faith

I'm posting an update today as I feel compelled to share how God has been working in me just within the past 24 hours.

Yesterday I posted about how I need to improve my time management, specifically time with God. I have been seriously failing in this area and knew something needed to change but was still unsure about where to go from there. Not long after I published yesterday's post however I found an answer!

Have you ever heard of Good Morning Girls? If not, check it out, it an amazing resource! Anyway, I happened upon a post about summer session sign ups and it hit me...this is exactly what I need! One problem, I don't have anyone to be in a group with and don't know too many people that I could ask. I know that you can sign up with a group through the message boards but for some reason I knew that was not the route I was being called to take. Part of the reason is that I really wanted this to be more personal as I desperately need Christian women in my life whom I can physically meet and fellowship with. The online communities of bloggers and other women online have helped me immensely and I get great encouragement from those of you that have decided to follow along on this blogging journey of mine. But for this to really dig deep for me I knew I had to find a way to get people involved that I can physically meet and fellowship with.

My first thought was to start with the women in my small group but I was unsure if they would be interested and wanted more than just a couple of other people involved. I'm not sure why, but I felt God calling me to share this with my church. This was a bit scary for me as I attend a fairly large church where I only know a handful of people. But nonetheless, I knew I needed to do something.

In light of this, I decided my first step would be to share the link to the information about the new session on the facebook pages for my church. We have one for general information about the church and a group called Fresh Followers. So I posted it in both places asking anyone interested to contact me. I wasn't sure if I would get much of a response but was hoping to at least get enough people to have our own little good morning girls group. A little while later I got one response!

That's when I suddenly realized something....What if it became more than me just seeking a group of my own? What if I could get multiple groups of women from my church and surrounding area to participate? What if this became something bigger than me?! 

By this point I became rather nervous and thought...Wait a minute...God, you want me to do WHAT? Um, I'm no leader. I'm not qualified for this! Are you sure?...After a gentle prodding of yes, I said okay and took another step of faith.

That is when I composed and e-mail to our small groups/community life pastor asking for some guidance in how I could get the word out to more women  in hopes to get enough people interested to form several groups. My mind kept reeling with ideas about how this was going to work and what kind of role I would need to take for it to be successful. I have yet to hear back from him but have so far gotten four other women to respond to my posting!  One of them was my mom. After I got the e-mail from my her asking if she could be a part of it too, I got another idea.

My mom does not attend my church as she lives about 30-45 minutes away from where I do. I was glad that she wanted to be a part of this with me but I thought; how cool would it be if she could get some women from her church to be a part of this too?! My mom is very involved in her church and also very respected and appreciated as she does a lot to help others. So I asked her to get the word out to women in her church as well to see if there was any interest and decided to post on my own facebook page as well. 

I have absolutely no idea if I will get any more of a response about this but even if all that comes from it is my one group with four other women than I will be glad! 

However, I think it would be totally amazing if we were able to get several groups together and held a sort of kick-off event where all the area Good Morning Girls participants would get together to meet each other before the session starts.

So that's my little story about how God has worked on me in just one short day.

Oh, and I am happy to say that I made time for God today! I worked on a few things in my prayer/bible study binder and read a few Psalms. It definitely felt refreshing!

Below is a picture of a path that I took on my honeymoon. I edited it and added the text of a Psalm 25:4-5 which I read today and have decided to make it my new memory verse.

Do you want to start a Good Morning Girls Group of your own?! Awesome! Go to here to find out more about the summer session and get some people do do it with you! You can find a group from people on the message boards, but I strongly recommend that you find people that live near you so that you can really get to know each other personally and dig deep together!


Linking up with: 

Monday, April 16, 2012

Discipline Challenge Week 2: Time Management

Over the weekend I have been following along in the ultimate blog party and as a result have some new blog friends! So before I begin today's post I just want to give a warm welcome to my new followers. I am so glad that you are here!  If you want to see my party post or find out more about the party, go here.

Now on to the challenge... 
Today I am continuing my series about discipline as I follow Courtney from Women Living Well in her 5 weeks 5 disciplines challenge. Last week, I began by talking about what discipline is and introduced the first challenge which focused on the body.  

My first challenge was to get moving more by exercising at least 15-20 minutes 5 times a week.  

I am happy to report that I have been progressing in this area! I will admit that it was difficult to get motivated, but I did do my workout today and feel much better! I picked up a Leslie Sansone walking DVD on my trip to the library this weekend, which is what I used for today's workout. I like having something like this to workout with because it helps me stay on track better since I have limited space and no equipment to use.  I will keep recording my progress on this challenge and let you know later in the week how it is going.

This week we are focusing on time management. 

Time management has always been a huge struggle for me. It also doesn't help that I tend to be indecisive and a procrastinator - two things that do not mix well at all. Thankfully, I am aware of these struggles and have been able to work on them but I still need a lot of help and grace when it comes to how I use my time. I have realized that one thing that can help immensely in this area is to have a plan.

This picture describes me when I was in college all too well..... 

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Just a few short months ago, when I became a stay at home wife, I really began trying to work on my time management because I knew it would be incredibly important to be organized and have a plan in order for things to get done at home. Now let me first say that planning and organization do not come naturally to me, I have to work at it, but I have learned to find joy in it. As a result, I started a home management binder as well as a prayer and bible study binder. These have been immensely helpful tools in organizing my life. In preparing to make these I did a lot of research and found some great resources and even created some of my own printables that I have used as well. I hope to share more about my binders and organizing systems that I use later in the week, so be looking for that! For now I want to focus on the heart of this challenge and that is time with God. Courtney shared this quote from Elizabeth Elliot: 
Time management, a highly developed science today, begins for the Christian with time set aside for God.  Other things cannot fall into a peaceful order if this is omitted.”
Wow...that is so true but oftentimes overlooked. We have so many things to get done that time with God often takes a back seat to our to-do list or even want to-do list. Can I be real with you and share something?...Time management as it relates to how I spend it with God is probably my biggest downfall. Ouch...that hurts to say, but it is the absolute truth and I know it. I honestly cannot recall the last time that I consistently made an effort to spend daily time with God.

Sure I read Christian books, listen to Christian music and browse Christian blogs. I went to a Christian University where I was a discipleship leader. I spent three summers as a Christian camp counselor. I go to church every Sunday and volunteer in the coffee shop once a month. I am even a part of a small group that meets in my home every Monday. I have a desire to follow God and be a good wife for my husband.    But what I need to realize is that none of that means anything if it is not first based on a personal relationship with Jesus Christ where I make Him my first priority.

I am working on this but could still use improvement as I struggle with making time for God first above all else. So this challenge is exactly what I need to help keep me accountable. I had hoped that with this blog I would find ways to draw closer to God and am so grateful that it already is! 

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 So here's the next challenge....

 Week 2 Challenge: 
  1. Sit down and look at your calendar. Think about your priorities, 
  2. Pray and ask God to give you wisdom as to what you should be doing with your time. 
  3. Write out a list of what you need to get done this week - don't forget to write in time with God. 
  4. Every morning this week, look over your to-do list. Pray and ask God for wisdom. Add, take away or move things on your list accordingly. 
  5. Continue this discipline next week and the week after. Soon you will find order and rhythm to your days and weeks. 

I'm planning on posting this week about how I am doing at making God time my first priority as well as some of my home organization tips. I hope that you find something that is useful for you!

To read Courtney's current post and get a free printable to do list, click here.


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