Jan 31, 2015

Weekly Update--January 30

Life Update for the last week of January.

I did ZERO FLYlady, again as far as specific zone work.  Did no yard work, but did clean the front bathroom and get dressed to the shoes every morning.  I need to figure out WHY I'm having a hard time sticking to my cleaning routines. Our house is never THAT bad, but it could be SO MUCH BETTER.

Did much better here.  Still a struggle, but two out of five days I was up on time (goal is getting out of bed at the first alarm with no snooze) and when I did that I was able to get both Bible reading and prayer time taken care of. The other days, I had to scramble and squeeze it in a shorter amount of time and I LOATHE that scramble.  Now if I could just remember  that when my head is still on my pillow and get up on time!

Bombed.  Did the bare minimum, which means when I get up in the morning stuff is still out of place, there is still wet laundry in the washing machine getting smelly, my desk is not set up for a peace filled morning routine, and I'm stepping through crumbs in the kitchen.  A good morning truly DOES start the night before.  This coming week I'm going to make it a point to do my evening routine right after dinner if at all possible, because if I wait till before bed, it never gets done. Again. Still.

STILL really struggling to figure out how to motivate one of my boys.  I refuse to give into panic over what he's "behind" on, even though he's just a couple of years away from being an adult.  I took a lot of time praying this week for his motivation and heart change and for me to have inspiration and insight, because most of the time, school is really ugly with him, which makes life ugly for every body.  I tried a new technique on Friday, that seems to help and he did really well, even smiled once or twice as we were reviewing his work.  THAT is HUGE.  So I'll stick with that for him and see how next week goes.  Praying that this is the Lord working in his heart!

I'm thankful so much for each of you that read this blog and inspire me to keep writing and doing!  I'm having so much fun lining up posts and thinking of ways that I can pour out into you.  I'd still LOVE to hear what you want to read!  I've got a whole month of simple Bible Journal posts lined up for February, one each day.  You'll get the notices every M, W, F, and Sunday, but pop over to my blog daily to see them on that day.  I'm hoping you will join me in doodling each chapter of Acts through February too. Or even just writing a sentence, or a heading in your Bible each day/chapter.  

I'm through writing Galatians!!  I'm working on the doodles and formatting now and hope to have that up soon! I've started writing 2 Corinthians now and am floored with all the great stuff there.  God's Word never ceases to amaze me, the more you read it, the more you learn.  I love that we'll NEVER be able to plumb the depths of it!

Just finished reading Own Your Life by Sally Clarkson and will review that next week. EXCELLENT book.  Also finished The Dip by Seth Godin, amazing short book packed with TONS of insight and encouragement about pushing through the messy middle of anything you are working on.  I'm also halfway through Ruth Soukup's Living Well Spending Less.  It's so much more than a financial book!

As read-alouds we are reading Madeline Takes Command in the mornings before homeschool and it's been good. The boys are all enjoying it, despite my lousy French accent attempts.  And in the evenings before bed we're laboring through The Prince and the Pauper. It was GREAT to start with, but now that the pauper is living the Prince's life in the castle everyone talks THUSLY with LABORIOUS and WEARISOME WORDINESS which OVERTAXES the narrator (me) and SUFFERETH the boys PROSTRATE with ENERVATED SOULS.  We may be switching back to the next in the Narnia series.  

The book I want to blog, Future Me, is in the works.  I have a lot of research I want to do first, so I can be really clear and laser focused.  I'm gathering loads of information and would love any input about what you'd like to read in that. (Send me a note about what you'd like to read in either the book or the blog by using the sidebar "contact form" space--scroll down just a touch and you'll see it. I'd love it!) 

Jan 29, 2015

Bible Journal keyword study video--Titus

I finally was able to record a video for how I do a Bible journal page!  I'm so excited to share this with you.  I tried to keep it short, but the video comes in at about 10 minutes, so I hope you have time to grab a hot drink, kick up your feet and enjoy the process.  Let me know if you have questions or comments, and if you'd like to see more like this.

(If you are viewing this on email, you'll need to click through to the blog or youtube to see the video.)
Verses are taken from the book of Titus, NASB.
Titus 1:16, 2:7, 2:14, 3:1, 3:8, 3:14


What do I do that is useful and benefits others and is done for and by Christ?

How can I be ready to do these things?

How can I be careful to do these things?

How can I better learn to do these things?

Jan 27, 2015

How do you live brave?

As some of you might have noticed, I've been tweaking my blog heading and theme this week.  I've been trying to narrow my focus on the top things people are interested in and hone in on what I'm passionate about... and after a lot of thinking, talking, and soul searching it all comes down to 


There are always ALWAYS obstacles.  

Obstacles are what separate the brave life from the average life.  

What I hope this blog does is inspire you to LIVE BRAVE.  I want you to jump into life with both feet and stop messing around with worries and what if's.

For some of us living brave looks like getting out of bed before the kids and taking time to be in solitude with our Creator.

Maybe it's finally sitting down to write out that budget that scares you to death because it's going to radically change your lifestyle.

Others live brave by facing yet another doctor's appointment and possibly bad news, but going anyway.

Some of us might really desire to do more and be more, but are afraid of the work and time it would involve.

A lot of us might have to let some things go--some good things--to have time to do the things that require crazy amounts of bravery and line up with who we are and what we were meant to do.

And some may simply need to be brave by taking the time to sit in silence and figure out what their brave looks like.

I love this theme because it fits in everything that has been popular on this blog so far... and most importantly: I'VE BEEN THROUGH ALL OF THESE, and I bet you have too.

Being brave is taking the time to do art and study in your Bible Journal.

It means preparing for and planning your days and weeks so you can enjoy family, friends and the gift of relaxation.  

It means making that call, going to that scary appointment, waking up at that crazy hour, devoting precious time to the Bible and prayer...

Guys, this is not the stuff of wimps.

This is the brave stuff of heros. 

So starting today, right now, let's make a pact to figure out what our brave looks like and LIVE BRAVE, despite the obstacles.

YOU are a hero.
Let's do this thang!

(If you are brave enough, post what your brave life would look like below. We're all in this together!)

Pre-prepping Meals-- Dry Roasted Veggies

To save time and money in the kitchen dry roasting veggies are a great way to add variety to your meal side dishes when you're bored with opening cans of beans and/or corn.  Plus they are so flavorful and inexpensive when done this way and they add nutrition and health to a tight budget.

There are so many fabulous uses for dry roasted veggies:

A quick and easy side dish:  Saute a bit of garlic and onions and olive oil and toss in the veggies and cook till heated through.

A cold salad: Add to lettuce, toss with dressing. Also good served by themselves cold and tossed with a vinaigrette. 

A main dish:  Reheat and toss with hot noodles and some protein (diced chicken, steak, salmon).

A base for a hash:  I like to dice them a bit more and reheat and serve with over easy eggs and shredded swiss cheese. It's like a breakfast hash with a bit more flavor.

I don't use oil or any seasonings when I roast these, because I add that when I reheat them for dinner time.  Dry roasting the veggies cuts about 20 min out of my meal prep in the evenings and they store well in the fridge all week.

Here's how I do it:

Heat the oven to 450.

Jan 24, 2015

Pre-prepping meals--The Lettuce

This blog post goes out to Jame.

(My brother-in-law who is busy helping my sis-in-law who is very sick right now and struggling with all kinds of ugly health issues.  Jame is my husband's twin brother and they live too far away from us for me to go help like I want to.) 

I hope this helps you, Jame,  pre-prep some of your dinners so when you get home from work the dinner is pretty much made and ready to go.  I hate not being able to help out more, but I hope this helps a little.

NOTE:  I am doing this pretty much like I'd be doing it for Corey, who knows next to nothing about meal prep and cooking.  You probably know a bit more, but just in case, here we go.  Step by step. With pictures!

The Lettuce and Salad Prep

We will eat salads pretty much every day if they are easy to grab and make.  To make it quick during the week, I start by pulling off the outer leaves about halfway down the leaf and soak those in a bowl of cold water to rinse them off for sandwiches.  I used to put the chopped lettuce on the sandwiches, but it falls off and you get those big chunks of crunchy stem, so pinching the tops off works best for us.

Jan 22, 2015

Prayer Binder update, hacks, tweaks and extras!

After using my prayer binder regularly for a couple of months, I've realized that there is not always 35+ minutes each day to pray through it.  But, I have had fun figuring out ways to use it without always having the full time to devote to longer prayer times.

I'm sure most of you have figured out how to make it work for you, but here are a few ways I've changed it up on the days when I don't have time or focus to pray for the full time I'd like.

Jan 21, 2015

Book Review-- Farewell, Four Waters by Kate McCord

One Aid Worker's Sudden Escape from Afghanistan

Last year, one of the best books I read was In Land of the Blue Burqas by Kate McCord and I loved it.  It gave me new insights into the mysterious and sometimes scary Muslim world and a view into what Muslim women in Afghanistan experience and how they live.

Jan 20, 2015

Coming in February! 28 Days in Acts

Each day in February, I'll share a page from my Bible journal from each chapter in the book of Acts.

I'm so excited and hope you'll join me in journaling through the book of Acts in February!

It will be simple.  No Bible study guide, no rules, no stress.

Just doodle or write something from each chapter each day in February!


Jan 19, 2015

Weekly Randomness

I quit Facebook at the beginning of January and it's been hard (very similar to being sucked in a black hole), but good.  I've been clearer minded and off the computer more, which is always good.  I've also got time to work on goals, if I discipline myself to do so...

Jan 18, 2015

6 steps to a Streamlined Bible Study you can do anywhere--and a GIVEAWAY!

I love office supplies! All the office supplies!!

And sticky notes!  Name brand and generic!!

And tabs!  Binders!  Paper clips!  Pens!

And lots and lots of books!
And Bibles!
And commentaries!

And I love schedules... and plans... and goals... and plotting BIG achievements.

And then I mess up one day.

Jan 16, 2015

4 lies you are telling yourself about your hard kid

This is for those of us struggling through parenting the hard kids. 

The kids who take up so much of your brain that you can't even concentrate on the simplest of tasks.  
The kids who overwhelm you, drive you daily to utter exhaustion, and don't ever seem to change.

These are lies that I've told myself, and I'm willing to bet you've entertained them more than once or twice also.