Stop and Refocus

When I sat down to have my quiet time this morning, I looked at my Bible study book and just couldn’t pick it up.  So after a little prayer, I began getting the kiddos working on their lessons for the day.  I really felt God wanting me to stop and refocus.  Not exactly what I wanted to do this morning.

Here’s a little insight…

Ok, so we’re working to get settled in.  Unpacking is just as much fun as the packing was. Moving-Homes-The-Unpacking-Nightmare-700x466I’m honestly, OVER seeing boxes everywhere.  But, unpacking and living in a place at the same time makes it slow-going.  That’s ok.  It really is.  But, here’s what happened over the past few days.  The hubby has started officially at the church.  He’s keeping regular office hours (and not just across the parking lot), so he’s not around during schooling hours if I need a little assistance.  (That’s really ok, too.)  I, however, during this transition have not been as diligent in keeping the Enemy out of my thought life.  That’s a very dangerous thing!  Little unpacking has been accomplished this week.  All of my time has been spent schooling & cleaning.  (I mean, you have to clean if you are going to live in a place…even if it isn’t unpacked.)  Insert LOTS of frustration over not being able to find items needed for cleaning.  More frustration over being interrupted by children needing assistance while I was looking for missing items needed for the cleaning task I was involved in.  Dishes. Laundry. Creating a home atmosphere. Sweeping. Vacuuming. Dishes. Laundry. Trip over a box. (Did I break my toe?) Try to develop a cleaning/shopping routine.  Realize it doesn’t work.  Try again.  Redirect kiddos back to school.  Etc. Etc. & repeat.

During all of this, the Enemy is whispering: “You are going to have to do this all by yourself.”  “Look at them all, playing around & not helping at all.”  “You’re never going to get anything accomplished.”   See where he was taking me?  UGH!!

Insert God saying “STOP!” “My daughter, I need you to refocus!”

Strength and honor are her clothing, and she can laugh at the time to come. She opens her mouth with wisdom and loving instruction is on her tongue. She watches over the activities of her household and is never idle. Her sons rise up and call her blessed. Her husband also praises her: “Many women are capable but you surpass them all!” Proverbs 31:25-29 (HCSB)

He directed me to read and meditate on Proverbs 31, again.  I love my Abba for times like this!  Sure, I may get overwhelmed at times, but I don’t have to listen to the Enemy’s lies.  As long as I recognize them, I can rebuke them.  God created me for the purpose of “watching over” my household.  That doesn’t mean I have to do it all myself, but I do have to delegate responsibilities & ask for assistance when needed.

Why do we, as women, make things SO much more difficult than they need to be?  😉

May I encourage you, sister, if you are feeling overwhelmed or discouraged with simply everyday life, take some time to stop and refocus.  Pray.  Listen to God.  Obey Him.  Maybe read through Proverbs 31. (And please don’t feel that you EVER have to live up to her example.) Be inspired by her!  Be encouraged by her!  God created you for a beautiful purpose!

Be blessed!

-De

Maintaining Our Home in 2014

I don’t make New Year’s resolutions, because I inevitably break them, but one of the things we’ve pledged as a family to do better this year is cut down on clutter.

Personal Confession: Hi, I’m DeAnna, and I’m a “messy” personality.  😉  Well, maybe not messy as much as piler an pack-rat.  My downfall is found in my piles.  I tend to just “pile” it before “sorting” through it.  This carries on until I’m tired of looking at said pile, sort through it, realize how much of it was simply trash to begin with, fuss at myself for not tossing said trash when it arrived…etc, etc.  Also, I’m easily emotionally attached to things.  I trait that my children have inherited, and thus have caused me to realize how bad I am.  If someone gives me something, I feel terrible to part with it.  I NEVER want to hurt someone’s feelings by allowing them to think I didn’t appreciate the gift.  But some things JUST take up space.  I need to free myself from this.

So, here we are, the first full week of 2014, and so far I’m on a slow moving track to cut back.  (Pray for me that I can keep motivated and keep my family motivated.)

Around November we started using a modified version of this cleaning schedule from Smile Like You Mean It.

Daily Homemaking Schedule  semi-cleared version

Click the pic to download the file from Smile Like You Mean It.

So far, it’s been working pretty great for us.  Yes, we have busy days & may not get everything done, but it’s about creating a new habit!

Just remember, don’t be overwhelmed.  You CAN do this!  You are in good company, but just sitting and stressing over it won’t get anything done! (I say this to myself every day!)

She looks well to the ways of her household
and does not eat the bread of idleness. – Proverbs 31:27 ESV

Be blessed!

-De

My Prayer for Today

Father, today I come to you in awe of all You are.

The simple fact that You love me in spite of me is more than I’ll ever understand.

Thank You for that.

Thank You for blessing me with wonderful people to fill my life:

My husband and best friend, help me to ever be his help-mate and biggest fan.

My children, help me to teach them of You and model Your love to them.

My family, help me to live You for them to see.

My friends, help me to listen more than I speak and give more than I take.

Father, thank You for the many blessings You give daily.

Food to eat, clothes to wear, a home to live in, and so many other things I take for granted.

Thank You for supplying everything we need, and so many wants that we don’t.

I pray that You help us to always remember how blessed we are.

Most importantly give me the courage to share You with others,

To teach, tell, and show the world about Your perfect, unconditional love.

Help me to lay aside my judgmental views of society and love the way You love.

Help me to not be argumentative and defensive, but humble and patient in Your strength.

Amen

 

-De

“Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.”  Proverbs 31:30 (ESV)

 

You May Think I’m Crazy!

Over the past five years, I’ve learned a lot about being frugal.  Going from a pretty decent two teacher yearly salary to living on one quarter of that same amount has not been the easiest adjustment.  Seriously.  I’m just like most women in the world…I like pretty things.  I tend to have expensive taste.  Point me to 3 nearly identical items and this chicky will pick up the priciest one nearly every time.

Little did we know at the time God called us both from our teaching profession, that His ultimate plan would bring us to seminary.  Well, maybe we did know, but never seriously considered it because, really, how could we EVER afford to pay for school?!?

Let’s just say, our GOD is AWESOME!!!

Now, back to the crazy.  Part of adjusting to this low income lifestyle meant learning how to save money everywhere possible.  I took up learning to coupon.  I feel I do pretty well, but southern Louisiana isn’t the most coupon friendly area.  Every now and then you’ll find a great deal, but with no stores that double…I find only minimal savings, but still, pennies add up, so I’ll keep at it with items we regularly use.  (We just don’t have space in seminary housing for stockpiling.)

I did really great our first year here and managed to score enough sales to stock what space we do have with laundry and dish detergent (seriously, like 6 months worth).  But when the stocks ran low, and those same great sales non-existent, I started looking elsewhere.  That’s when I listened to a few other ladies on campus who made their own.

WHAT?!?  That’s just pure craziness, right?  I mean, who has time for that extra work?!?

Yes, it is a little extra work, but I tried anyway.  Guess what?  I LOVE it!  In about 30 minutes time this evening, I made several months worth of laundry detergent.  It just took a little soap grating (which the kiddos LOVE to help with) and some measuring & mixing of ingredients.  I’ll never go back to the store bought stuff.  I seriously am so happy with the results, that I’ve been looking into all other sorts of DIY supplies.  As I try them out, I promise to share my results.

Give it a try…save yourself some $$$$$

I use the Duggar Family detergent recipe.  Find it Here.

Be Blessed!

-De

“She looks well to the ways of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness.”  Proverbs 31:27

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Check back soon, as I’m trying out a DIY facial toner.