January Favorite Things

What I am loving in the New Year…

It’s barely 2 weeks into the new year and the goals have been  stated, the new routines are forming, and here are a few things I’m loving…

Smoothies

Smoothies are by far the easiest way for me to get in several servings of FRUITS and VEGGIES. I can always tell I have more energy when I’m having a daily smoothie! I have had this blender for years now and *love it.*

Here’s what I toss into the blender for my smoothies, and without measuring, which would feed a few of us:

  • 1 banana
  • 1 avocado
  • 2 big handfuls spinach
  • small handful frozen strawberries
  • small handful frozen blueberries or any frozen fruit
  • greek yogurt
  • orange juice (half my household likes MILK in their smoothies, I prefer the citrus taste)

Water

I am drinking a GALLON of water everyday! I’m feeling GOOD!

My Journaling Bible

I have a renewed love for my Bible at the beginning of this year. I think it must be reading the book Women of the Word and realizing just what a treasure we have in those pages! And the journaling Bible just provides so much room in the margins for note taking and prayers and such…

Bullet Journal

Super uber simple, I followed Edie’s methods in her free video found here.  So. I was NOT going to jump on the bullet journal band wagon. I wasn’t going to do it! Til I was at a goal setting workshop with the amazing Dr. Edie of LifeinGrace blog and she pretty much convinced me. {grin} She has a free video you can sign up to receive in your email and it goes over exactly how she does it. Her ideas are so simple that we can all benefit from it!

Essential oils

I also have a growing and somewhat renewed love for my oils. I have been using Young Living oils for a little over a year now. I can tell such a difference in these oils and the ones I used to use. My mood and overall emotional well being is more STABLE, I’m using their fruit juice supplement and have more ENERGY, our house is generally very WELL. I taught my first class on DITCHING THE TOXINS via video on facebook. I am just loving it all!

Exercising regularly

Ouch. Yep. It’s the beginning of a new year, of course I am exercising. LOL! But I feel so.much.better. I told my husband that weight lifting and walking/jogging 3-4 times a week leaves me feeling empowered. Like I really CAN do hard things. Maybe I’m not a wimp after all. And, handling stress is something I actually can do when I’m exercising. My body needs it.

Live videos for inspiration

Are any of you enjoying  live videos from your favorite bloggers and online authors as much as I am?? Some of my favorites:

Edie Wadsworth of LifeinGrace blog, she also leads the essential oil group I’m in, she does videos and classes online and also does AMAZING videos and talks in our business building group. She has done a goal setting workshop, a talk on living out of LOVE and not fear, how to grow your business and more. If you want to join our Young Living team, please send me a message.

Crystal Paine of Money Saving Mom – I’ve done a few of her courses which are video based but I also have loved her periscopes and facebook live videos through 2016 as she talked about her year of rest.

5 Tips for a Happy Morning

5 Tips for a Happy Morning

Mornings can be tough. But they don’t have to be. And, I am learning, when I put my mind to it, I can *sometimes* even change the bad attitudes that might be present in our mornings. Notice I said sometimes. {grin} With 2 teens and 1 pre-teen, the challenge is definitely there.

As most of you know, we homeschool. Thankfully, we don’t have to rush out the door most mornings this coming school year. However, bad moods and grumpiness can appear at any time, no matter what time you start your morning.

5 Tips for a Happy Morning

1. Turn on happy music! I recently finished reading The Happiness Dare (we have an online book club starting today! More details here.) Jennifer Dukes Lee, the author of this awesome book, has a HAPPY PLAYLIST on Spotify that is AWESOME. Go check it out. {Search for The Ultimate Happy Playlist if this link doesn’t take you there.} If  you prefer more quiet music in the morning, there are lots of options for that too. This is my current favorite. The acoustic versions of these beloved songs are amazing. Maybe worship music as you read your Bible! I have found that my kids – when we are starting our morning school routine – do really well with the happy playlist and upbeat happy music!

2. Get a warm cup of something you love. For me, it’s coffee. For you, it may be hot tea. Use a favorite coffee mug. And no, you can’t have too many.

3. Read your Bible. Even just 1 Psalm a day. Even just one chapter from a gospel. When we turn our eyes upon Jesus, the things of this world fade away. I’m currently reading and discussing 1 Psalm per day with my children. I have loved the discussions we’ve had! Read a short devotional. See my favorite devotionals for moms.

4. Adore God. Pray. Tell Him how good He is. Name your gifts. When we focus on gratitude – even for just a few moments – our spirits are lifted. Start a gratitude journal. Write down 3 things each day that you’re thankful for.

5. Get moving. My son especially does much better with our first round of schoolwork in the mornings when we have moved a bit. Maybe it’s a dance party. (This isn’t typical for me, in fact, when I tried it last week my kids looked at me like I had lost my mind. HA!) We are also using this 7 minute workout app! Some of those exercises are a challenge, but we are at least trying the ones we can do. And I have also found some free work-outs on youtube recently!

BONUS TIP: eat something yummy. I try to get my kids a good dose of protein in the mornings, but sometimes a donut doesn’t hurt helping to start our day on a HAPPY note.

2 E-Courses for Your Mornings & Evenings

Crystal Paine, from Money Saving Mom, has 2 online courses to help you make over your mornings AND evenings!

Read more about Make Over Your Mornings!

Read more about Make Over Your Evenings! 

 

Homemade Body or Face Wash That’s Good For Your Skin

Homemade Body Wash

I have been slowly trying to remove toxins from our home. There are many unsafe things in so many of our products these days, so as I am able I have been replacing some of them.

More Healthy Options I’m Trying

Items Needed for Homemade Body Wash

1. Find an empty foaming soap bottle (I prefer foaming, but you don’t have to make if foaming!) I wanted a glass container, so here is the one I used.

2. Dr. Bronner’s Castille Soap – we use this for so many things! Love it! This link is for lavender, but there are other options as well!

3. Water

4. Essential Oils – only if you want to add more of a scent to your body wash! 

Directions

Ok this is SO SIMPLE that I feel silly typing this out – but here goes! 🙂

For body wash, I like to use 2 parts water and 1 part Dr. Bronner’s. For hand soap I think you can go even less, but I like it to be a little more soapy for body wash. You may play around with it and see what ratio you prefer!

Each soap dispenser is going to be a different size, but an example would be to mix 12 ounces of water and 6 ounces of castle soap.

Just mix into your soap dispenser, add 3-4 drops of essential oils and YOU’RE DONE!

Homemade Body Wash ingredients

Essential Oils Good for Skin

There are several oils that are known to be helpful for skincare!

  • Frankincense
  • Patchouli
  • Lavender
  • Purification
  • Bergamot
  • Tea Tree Oil (Melaleuca)

More About Essential Oils

You can learn more about my experience with essential oils here!

Sign up to become a wholesale member with Young Living here!

 

 

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Free 6-Day Evernote Course

EN-challenge

A new FREE e-course from Simplified Organization that starts MONDAY 4/18! I love everything that Mystie does so I knew I had to share this course with you.

Do you feel like your digital devices should be more useful to your real life? Do you feel like you aren’t taking full advantage of the power in your pocket? Are you tired of all the random bits of paper in your purse and on your counter?

Evernote is the perfect place to begin using technology to make life run more smoothly.

  • Learn how to use Evernote for homemaking, managing the family, and homeschooling.
  • Move to a more paperless information storage routine to reduce the clutter.
  • See how technology can work for you, even if you aren’t techie yourself.
Join this 6-day Evernote challenge and grow confident and efficient in how you use the program!

Designed for moms less comfortable using apps and digital solutions, this course will walk you through how to first set up Evernote in a clear and organized way, then teach you how to use it effectively and simply.

Register now for a free 6-day Evernote Challenge and learn how to effectively and efficiently use Evernote to manage your home and homeschool.

More Organizational Help

Mystie has several e-courses with multiple modules at various prices. She also has help for the kitchen! Check out all her options.

Thieves Cleaning Wipes

Thieves Cleaning Wipes

When my babies were little, I made my own baby wipes! What?! Huh? Yes, yes I did. I used to be that mom. {ahem}

Now, for several reasons I will share below, I’m trying my hand at some homemade wipes again. This time, they are for cleaning.

I will start off by admitting to you that I love clorox wipes. I mean, I really really love them. I pretty much clean my entire house with them. Yes I do.

I know, I know…there are harsh chemicals in them.

But, I can clean a nasty toilet and then just THROW THE WIPE IN THE TRASH. There is just something wrong about cleaning a toilet and then throwing that cleaning rag into the dirty laundry or even into the washing machine. I know people do it everyday and live to tell about it. But, not me. No thanks. Gross. I’m just weird and grossed out by toilets.

Enter my new obsession love for essential oils. Thieves, especially.

{Find out more about essential oils here.}

I tried the Thieves all-purpose cleaner months ago and was hooked.

But there are still toilets to clean.

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Homemade Thieves Cleaning Wipes

Enter the need for a homemade cleaning wipe! In trying to rid my home of the bad chemicals that aren’t good for us, I’ve been replacing things like lotions, shampoos, household cleaners, and more.

It was time.

It’s so simple. It’s even easier than the homemade baby wipes I used to make!

All you need are paper towels, Thieves all-purpose cleaner, water and a  container to put them in!

Ingredients

  • Paper towel roll (cut it in half with a large kitchen knife, then pull out the cardboard center.)
  • 1 capful Thieves Household cleaner
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 round container (I cannot find the exact one I have on Amazon, but it is rubbermaid and the EXACT size for half of a paper towel roll. Maybe  around 7 inches in diameter.)

Directions

  1. Cut your paper roll in half. I used a large serrated kitchen knife. Saw through it. It will be a bit crumbly.
  2. Place one half the paper towel roll into the round container.
  3. Pour 1 capful of Thieves Household cleaner into 2 cups of water to mix together.
  4. Pour liquid mixture over the paper towels, making sure to get all of the top wet.
  5. Let the liquid soak into the paper towels. Place lid on when not in use.

That’s it! Can you believe how easy that is?

Purchasing Thieves Household Cleaner is most affordable as a wholesale member! Become a wholesale member with Young Living here

More About Thieves Household Cleaner

The Thieves Household Cleaner is so affordable. For $22 you buy the bottle of concentrate, and then you just use 1-2 capfuls in a whole spray bottle with 2-3 cups of water! Potentially, ONE bottle of concentrate could last you 6 months to a year!

Thieves Cleaner Price Graphic

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An Organized Home

 

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Today I want to share the resources I’m using to get organized this year! Some of these resources I’ve been using for a few months, some are new to me. Some are free, some cost money. There should be something here for everyone. 🙂

I haven’t always needed to write down every.single.thing that comes into my mind, but these days, I do. I use my calendar on my phone, I use a wall calendar, I have a planner, I write down things for homeschooling, teaching piano, our meals, the kids daily to-do list, chore list…and on.and.on.

I pretty much forget every thing that goes into my brain these days, so if you text me and ask me to do something, you might want to remind me to write it down!

Setting Goals

I’m terrible at setting goals. However, I realize the importance of making priorities and realizing what I need to let go of and what I need to focus more on. I absolutely LOVE the Power Sheets that are created by Lara Casey each year. Her book, Make It Happen, is a great read along these lines also. Lara shares from a Christian perspective about utilizing the gifts God has given us to “make things happen” in the lives of our families, our businesses, our work place…really anywhere you desire to set goals and accomplish things for the glory of God!

On this page I wrote down things that fire me up! 🙂 It’s important to sometimes remind ourselves of what actually IS IMPORTANT to us! And from there, how can we make sure we are making time for THOSE things and not scrolling Facebook?

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What I love about Lara’s materials is that they aren’t your typical goal setting suggestions. She has you take inventory of what worked in the past and what didn’t, how God has gifted you, what you’re passionate about…one of her biggest points in all of this is to figure out what’s MOST important to you and MAKE TIME for those things! So, not all of these goals are work related. Sometimes (as sad as it may sound) I have to actually make a goal (or to-do list) to do fun things with my kids. Put the work away, put the schoolwork away and do something fun! This is all a part of looking through the Power Sheets and working towards making your life look like what you really want it to look like.

Day-to-Day Organization

I have bought (and not used) planner after planner after planner. It seems that planners seem to be a very personal thing. As women, we tend to be pretty picky about them! LOL!!

But, since September, I have been using the Simplified Planner by Emily Ley and it is the LONGEST I have ever stuck with a planner of any kind! One of the keys for me is LEAVING IT OUT on the kitchen counter where I can see it!

I also write down a list of what I want to do daily for my health. Each day I put a little check mark beside it: vitamins, essential oils, lemon water, plank, stretches, jog 3 times, smoothies.

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Tools for Managing a Household Well

If you are a homeschool mom or stay-at-home mom, you will LOVE the resources that Mystie Winckler puts out. She is both of these things as well and I think utilizing materials created by someone in your same position in life is VERY helpful.

When her course, Simplified Organization, came out, I shared that with you too! I also wrote one other post on using Simplified Organization in my home.

But, Mystie has so much more available to you!

Work the Plan

Work the Plan is a brand NEW video based workshop on creating plans that will actually WORK for our lives.

Work the Plan is a video training course that have you crafting and using a plan that makes you more effective and less stressed, every day.

Work the Plan has over 20 videos, each between 5-20 minutes, that will walk you through building the systems and practices that will make your planning useful in your day-to-day life.

When I heard Mystie talk about a “brain dump” that was one of the things that has helped me the most! I write my little list in the Simplified Planner (mentioned above)

If you are curious if this course might help you, watch this video below to hear from Mystie and see more of what will be included in this course.

Also, be sure to follow Mystie on Periscope, I’ve watched several of her very helpful videos over there!

5 Habits for a More Productive Year is also a very helpful blog post! 

FREE Brain Dump Guide

An Organized Home

Meal Planning

I have no fancy ideas for you. I’m just going to share what we do and it has been working. When I stick to it. LOL!

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I have a “master list” of dinners that we will mostly all eat. I also try to have a few meals as well as cooked, shredded chicken and browned ground beef in my freezer at all times. This really helps with meal prep. I look at my master list and choose a few things for the next week. I always choose crockpot meals (or a freezer meal) for the days I teach piano. We’ve gotten into enough of a routine that I know which days I need something QUICK and which days I can spend more time on a meal.

I make my list for the next week on Saturday mornings, make my grocery list from that, and then grocery shop after our Saturday morning clean up. It’s working for us.

Mystie also has helps for us in the kitchen! Simplified Pantry might be what some of you are looking for! 

Saturday Morning Clean Up

Our days have gotten so busy that for my sanity we HAVE to have a focused time of getting the house back together after the week. Saturday morning has been working very well for us.

If we all work for ONE HOUR, we can accomplish SO much.

Every week I have the following things on my list. If we are all working for around an hour we get it all done. (Except for the last 1-2 loads of laundry still in the dryer drying.)

Our Saturday morning clean-up pretty much helps keep the house from NOT getting out of control week in and week out.

  • Laundry – everyone do your own load
  • Bathrooms – sink, toilet, floor, mirror
  • Kitchen – dishes, floors, wipe all counters
  • Pick up basement
  • Pick up your bedroom

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Extra Tools to Help

Whew! That was a LOT of information! But, I would love to hear from YOU! What are YOUR favorite organizational tools or ideas?

 

For The Safe, Natural & Healthy Home

Safe Natural Healthy Home

Alright friends, I have a LOT of information in this post! Grab a cup of your favorite warm drink, find a comfy seat and join me in learning about how to keep our homes and families safe, natural and healthy!!

I am learning more and more about harmful toxins in our home. I have been learning about things in cleaners, candles, shampoos, lotions, foods and more. For a few years now, we have used unscented laundry detergent and shampoo, but I’m excited to continue learning more. I’m so excited to be able to share some of these items in a give away for one of you!

Simply Pure Soy Candles

I love candles. I enjoy having a home that smells inviting and fragrant. I love the warmth, the smell, just the atmosphere of having candles lit. I often light candles and as I walk through them during the day I will offer up prayers of thanksgiving or adoration prayers to Jesus, Light of the World.

So, when I started reading about the harmful effects of many of the chemicals used in fragrances, I was sad. I also have a mother-in-law who is very sensitive to environmental and chemical fragrances and smells.

That is why I am so thankful that I found the Simply Pure Soy Candles company because she uses ESSENTIAL OILS to give her candles a scent! Yay!

Find Simply Pure Soy Candles on Facebook and Etsy.

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Wise Wife Soaps

I’m so excited to introduce you to Katie of The Wise Wife Blog and Etsy shop! She has all kinds of fun things on her blog.

I have to admit, here, that I have made *quite* a few of these homemade and natural products for our home and family. You might recall the lotion that many of you ended up trying! I gave that to so many people as gifts a few years ago! LOL!

However, I have made many MORE recipes that ended up being big huge FLOPS. So, to find someone that has already perfected the recipe is kind of a big deal to me. If you look at Katie’s prices, you will see that they are VERY affordable. In fact, I’m a little embarrassed by how much MORE money I’ve spent trying to make many of these items and then wasted when they flopped.

You can find Katie’s Facebook page here

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Essential Oils

I have shared about various types of oils in the past. I have always used DIFFERENT KINDS and been pleased with what I used. I’ve shared recipes for 3-Ingredient Peppermint Scrub and oils used to calm down a nephew with Asperger’s.

Well, the diffusers I had been using died after we moved (possibly different water) AND I needed to order 2-3 new oils. That was going to be more than $100 worth.

So, my friend told me that for $160 I could get a diffuser AND ELEVEN bottles of oils! As well as some small empty bottles, rollers and samples. Over $300 worth and I couldn’t resist since I was  purchasing quite a bit already.

Within 1 week, the blend RC pretty much sold me on Young Living Oils. My son’s cough usually lasts most of the winter, this time ONE WEEK. I will admit, I was pretty skeptical, after all I’d been using 3-4 other brands of oils for years!

I hope to share more with you as I learn more, but for now, I wanted to make sure you knew about this deal on the starter kit that I just purchased myself.

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Green Matcha Tea

Hear me out! I have NEVER been a hot tea drinker. Until a few weeks ago. My sweet friend brought me some samples of green matcha tea and now I don’t go one day without having a cup!!

When I started reading about all the BENEFITS  (more benefits) of Green Matcha Tea, I was hooked. I’m not ready to sign an official document or anything, but the biggest thing I have noticed since drinking a cup everyday is that it curbs my appetite. Woo-hoo! An awesome, NATURAL and HEALTHY way to fill up on all those good antioxidants without all the bad stuff! {Benefits I’ve read about: high in antioxidants, increases your calm, energy boosting, boosts memory, burns calories, boosts immune system, and more!}

You can see more about these teas and order for yourself on her page!

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More Info on Soy Candles

From Simply Pure Soy Candle Company: All of my scents have essential oils as a base, some have a small amount of certified fragrances(clean) as well. If any fragrance oil is added to my EO’s it is less than 5% normally.

More Soy Candle Facts

  • Soy is the healthiest choice and give the least amount of pollution.
  • HOWEVER a soy candle has to be maintenance to provide the cleanest, best burn. Each time you light your candle you need to trim it to about 1/8th of an inch(try to get all the top black cut off) so that the lead free wick doesn’t mushroom.
  • The black soot that is put off from a soy candle is simply the wick getting to burnt and hot while burning.
  • Burning Soy Candles Support The American Farmer, soy beans are grown in the USA!!!
  • Soy wax burns 30-40 times longer than paraffin.
  • Soy wax burns cleaner than petroleum based wax candles, producing little to no soot.
  • Soy is non-toxic.
  • Soy is water soluble, cleans up with warm soapy water.
  • Soy wax is biodegradable.
  • Soy is a renewable source, paraffin is limited.
  • Soy wax contains no animal fats.

More Posts on the Dangers of Chemicals in Fragrances

More Alternatives to Scented Candles

I love for my house to smell good. I just am very effected by scent, I guess. So, when I received these lovely candles in the mail, I started looking around to see what options I had as far as fragrance free options for my home!

When we moved into our new house, our diffusers stopped working. So I was on the look out for a new one. I found out that when you become a Young Living wholesale member by ordering a “starter kit” you get a diffuser FREE. So, at the time I wanted to order Thieves, one other oil and a diffuser. If you’re going to spend that much you may as well get the starter kit!

Let me know if you have questions and I would be happy to answer from the experience I’ve had thus far or find out more information for you!

I currently have 2 Young Living diffusers as well as one that I purchased from Amazon here: Essential Oil Diffuser

Thieves All-Purpose Cleaner

For less than $1 for a spray  bottle FULL of all-purpose cleaner you can clean nearly your entire home with a NATURAL and EFFECTIVE (and smell-good) cleaner! I’m super excited about this!

I didn’t realize that there was a WHOLE LINE of items made with Thieves. Yeow! At this point, I have only tried the essential oil blend and the cleaner. We will see what I am able to try next! {When you sign up to be a wholesale member you get these products at a pretty nice discount.} 

You can mix 1 capful of the Thieves All Purpose Cleaner with 2-3 cups of water in a spray bottle — for less than $1 a spray bottle, you can safely and effectively clean your entire house! 🙂 I’ve been using this for a few weeks now and LOVE how my house smells! And knowing I’ve done it safely is a huge bonus.

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Safe, Natural, Healthy Home GIVE AWAY

 

This give away is now closed!

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Christmas Home Tour 2015

Christmas Home Tour 2015

Welcome to my little home on the web! I’m so glad you stopped by! If you’re new around here, I talk a lot about praying God’s Word and I have a lot of free resources for you here! I hope you’re encouraged in your faith by what you find here!

For the past few years I have participated in these online Christmas Home Tours! I love seeing all the pictures of lovely homes – big or small, Christmas trees, getting decor ideas and more! It’s not about the size of the home or the magnitude of the Christmas decor. Home sweet home is where our families find rest and solace from the world and I enjoy making mine cozy and beautiful. Find 31 Prayers for Your Home here!

Christmas Home Tours From Years Past

This is our first Christmas in our new home! You can see the rest of our home tour when we moved in over the summer.

Yes, I have the white couches from Ikea. Yes, I love them. Yes, I have 3 kids. LOL!! I hope to write a full post on these one day, but if you’re curious about them, search pinterest for “white ikea couch” and you will see lots of moms with kids love them! I’ve washed all the covers once and they looked brand new when I put them back on!

Christmas Home Tour LR

 

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This front porch is SO simple but I love it so much. I have always wanted a covered porch to sit in my rocking chair on and watch the rain. I love this big simple wreath.

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This is the first year we did Lego Advent calendars. I have looked at them in the past but this year I wondered if it might be the last year all 3 of mine would enjoy them. My kids all still LOVE legos, even the girls. We have really enjoyed these advent calendars and opening a piece each night when we read our advent devotions.

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As a piano teacher, my favorite thing about lessons in December is all the CHRISTMAS MUSIC!! Actually we started our Christmas music back at the end of October. 🙂 We want to make sure we have LOTS of Christmas music learned by December to play and enjoy for our families!

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I have always wanted a mantle to decorate!! We painted this brick wall around the fireplace white over the summer and I LOVE how it turned out! I created this simple burlap garland Christmas photo card display and LOVE how it turned out! So easy, too! You can read more about this Burlap Garland here!

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Thanks so much for stopping by! Come back again soon! 

Pray the Scriptures in December

Join me in praying 1 verse each day to help us find our JOY in Jesus!! Each month I have a FREE calendar of verses to PRAY. You can join me on Instagram with the hashtag #PrayingTheScriptures and find each month’s free printable here!

31 Verses for FindingJoy in Jesus

 

Inspiration for Hospitality: Opening Homes & Hearts

Inspiration & Favorite Books on Hospitality

What is hospitality? And how is radical hospitality different than just hospitality? What can we glean from the life of Jesus that shows us how to love others? Hospitality is more than a Pinterest-perfect home and a meal fit for kings. Hospitality is more about opening our hearts than opening our homes. We can find hospitality in the grocery store line. We can find hospitality at the bedside of a sick one. We can find hospitality in a jail cell. Hospitality is the heartbeat of our faith as believers. When we show love – true and unconditional love – to those that God brings our way, that is hospitality.

Radical Hospitality Book Discussion

As I worked on this 31 day series of prayers for our HOMES along with the book discussion on Radical Hospitality, I came across so many wonderful resources, quotes and blog posts that I wanted to share with you in a whole new post!

It is my hope that each of us can learn and grow in this area…continuing to open our homes and hearts to others and growing daily in how we love others as Jesus loves us.

Blog Posts on Hospitality

That Scary Hospitality Thing “Instead, shove aside your Martha Stewart imagination and resolve this one thing: Offer hospitality without a side of sin. Offer gracious hospitality. Offer grace-filled hospitality.”

3 Secrets to Radical Hospitality  “People don’t need a perfect guest room or a guest room at all.  They just need you.  The you that is comfortable enough in her own skin to offer herself to others.  The you that is not afraid to be vulnerable.  The you that will leave the to-do list undone in order to sit face and face and share your life and your stories. ”

What People Really Need From You  “And if we will open our hearts to others, we will never be the same—–because true hospitality is transforming.”

6 Tips for Hospitality Even If It’s Not Your Thing “Forget trying to impress.  This one was the hardest thing for me to let go (how’s that for honesty?). I want people to think well of us. To think well of me. Sigh. But you know what I’ve noticed? People always seem to remember the fellowship – and not the food or how well I’ve dusted (thankfully).”

Biblical Hospitality Defined  “Hospitality is not about showing off your house, your decorating skills, or your cooking abilities. It is not just having friends over to play games {although that can be an element of it}. It is not about you or your possessions – Hospitality is about God and how he uses you and your possessions to serve those you come into contact with – both friends and strangers, both believers and unbelievers.”

Honest Hospitality “Honest hospitality is a balance of putting our best efforts forward to bless our guests, all the while, being authentic, and as simple and difficult as it sounds, putting others before ourselves.”

She Reads Truth Hospitality Series “In Jesus we see that hospitality begins in the heart.” 

The Practice of Hospitality  “It is an offering of our time and company to others. It is a way for us to show our friends and family we care. It is a way to reach out to those in need of friendship and it is a way to beckon others to come to Christ – not through our words, but by our actions.”

How to Invite People Over When You Live In Your House and It Shows  “How do you invite people over when it’s not finished, fancy or perfect? You simply say…Come Anyway.”

 

Favorite Books on Hospitality

Favorite Books on Hospitality

Other

Shauna Niequist talk on hospitality at Allume 2014

Talks & Resources from a Radical Hospitality Course 

Free Hospitality Video Course 

Radical Hospitality for the Rest of Us — such a great video telling 7 characteristics of radically hospitable churches!

31 Days of Book Discussion on Radical Hospitality

Be sure to click back through the posts in this series if you are reading this book! There is a quote and discussion questions on each of the 31 days of posts. Even if you’re chiming in late, I would love to hear your thoughts!

Radical Hospitality Book Discussion

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Thankful Tree

Thankful Tree
“Let thankfulness rule in your heart. As you thank Me for blessings in your life, a marvelous thing happens. It is as if scales fall off your eyes, enabling you to see more and more of my glorious riches. With your eyes thus opened, you can help yourself to whatever you need from my treasure house. Each time you receive one of my golden gifts, let your thankfulness sing out praises to My name. ‘Hallelujahs’ are the language of heaven, and they become the language of your heart. 
 
A life of praise and thankfulness becomes a life filled with miracles. Instead of trying to be in control, you focus on Me and what I am doing. This is the power of praise: centering your entire being in Me. This is how I created you to live, for I made you in My own image. Enjoy abundant life by overflowing with praise and thankfulness.” 
{November 27th’s entry from Jesus Calling: Enjoying Peace in His Presence}

Thankful Tree

The last few years this Thankful Tree has become one of my very favorite traditions. I posted our tree for this year and got so many comments on it I decided to do a blog post all about thankful trees.It’s such a simple yet beautiful way to FILL your home with GRATITUDE.

Every day in November, our family adds 1 thing they are thankful for to our thankful tree. I love this simple act of saying THANK YOU to God through the whole month!

Every year our Thankful Tree looks a little different, but the process is still the same.

Thankful Tree

Thankful Tree

Several years in a row, I used the circle punch out of lots of scrapbook papers and we wrote on those. This year, I found these black chalkboard type tags at our walmart. {What I bought is very similar to these: Chalkboard Tags} And we are using sharpie gold/silver paint pens to write on them. {This is the exact set of pens I purchased at our local walmart: Sharpie gold and silver paint pens} I LOVE how it’s turning out!

Thankful Tree

Intentional Gratitude

There are lots of ways to help our hearts be grateful…as well as the hearts of our children. Now, we are not the Holy Spirit, so don’t try to be in the lives of your children. But, there are certainly ways we can foster a home of gratitude and pray for the Lord to do His work.

  • Keep a gratitude list/journal. Every morning write down 3 things  you’re thankful for. Or maybe do it at night before bed. My favorite journals that don’t fall apart after a few months are these moleskine journals.
  • Pray Scriptures of thanksgiving. Praying the Scriptures has changed my prayer life AND my heart. Use these verses every day in November to cultivate a heart of thanksgiving. (or ANY month!)
  • Print off this FREE gratitude journal and keep one as a family! Leave it on the kitchen counter and let everyone add to the list!
  • Memorize Psalm 100 together as a part of your devotional morning or homeschool morning. Use this free copy work page if you want your children to also WRITE the Word!
  • Learn the hymn Come, Ye Thankful People Come or Count Your Blessings together. Use these youtube videos and printable lyrics to help your kids in learning the hymns.
  • Keep a gratitude journal in your Journaling Bible . Note things you’re thankful for beside passages that the Lord has brought to mind or that you’re reading in your daily Bible time. Make sure to put the date beside it so you can remember all the times God has shown His faithfulness to you! Read more about using your journaling Bible as a journal, prayer journal or gratitude journal.
  • Include thank-you card writing in your homeschool day!
 Happy November, friends! I hope these ideas spark your creativity in cultivating a grateful home! If you have additional ideas to share, I would LOVE to hear them!
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