Monday, February 29, 2016

Vision Boards: Check up

This weekend I met with a good friend of mine. We were discussing vision boards and the things we had placed on them as well as our Top Ten lists. One thing we talked about was what to do once we achieved a goal.
You see, some of my top ten goals were less specific, yet even early in the year, I've achieved some of those things. So what do we do now that we've achieved some of those goals? Well, we cross the old one off and put a new goal in its place!
My friend gave me seven areas to consider when making my list, too. She said to make goals for each of these areas:

When looking at each of these topics, we can probably come up with two or three things for each. That will give us a list to draw from as we complete things of our vision boards or Top Ten lists! All that we need to do is prioritize those things from the topics above.
And lastly, don't be afraid to remove things from your vision boards either. If you haven't worked toward accomplishing it or done anything to move toward that goal, it's likely that you're not really as passionate about that thing as you had once thought you were. Remove it and put something else in its place!

How are you doing with your vision boards and goals? Share them here!


Friday, February 26, 2016

Friday 'Fess Up

The past two weeks have been unlike anything I've ever gone through. I had the joyous experience of spending four days with my grandsons in Nebraska while their mama recovered from surgery. We laughed, we played, we had so much fun just being together. It something I wish I were able to do more often.

Unfortunately, on the heels of all the fun and happiness while I was away, one of our puppies fell ill. We discovered too late that she had contracted Parvo, an extremely violent virus that attacks the dog's intestinal tract. After the passing of our sweet Peri, we decided to have her sister, who had started exhibiting symptoms, tested, and she, too, had Parvo.

Over the course of the next several hours, my oldest son helped to train us in the care of these puppies by giving them fluids subcutaneously and injectable antibiotics. Our days from Friday through Tuesday consisted of giving the fluids every 4-6 hours, until one of the pups needed more, then it became every two hours around the clock and antibiotics every 8 hours. Anyone who thinks that MIGHT look like caring for a baby has never had to sticks hypodermic needles into a puppy!
The one pup is almost 100% back to normal. Our male pup is working on getting there. It's going to be a long week or so, but they are worth it.

The Bible says that "And the Lord God said, “It is not good that man should be alone; will make him a helper comparable to him.” (Genesis 2:18, NKJV). God gave us animals to love and enjoy, and that is what our dogs are to our family. I am so sleep deprived, so mentally, emotionally, and physically exhausted from the past week. But through prayer, I've pressed on and so has my 18-year-old son.

By now you may have realized I have yet to share my confession for the week. My confession is that I have had to neglect some things in life, my blogging being one of those things. I have neglected sleep, food, and the celebration of my birthday to use whatever means God gives me to help these puppies thrive. It is my hope and prayer that next Friday, I will be able to share more on their battle with Parvo.

Your prayers over this situation are appreciated!


Wednesday, February 24, 2016

"Triggers" Book Giveaway!

We all have those moments as moms where we feel like our kids push our buttons every day or things seem to set us off. Well, Amber Lia and Wendy Speake share common triggers that our children display and common triggers in our lives, too. This book is so encouraging for moms, even me with older children!

Because I think this book is a must-read, I'm giving away a copy! For the next week, you will be able to enter the drawing and share with your friends about this book!

Think you're alone when you get angry with your kids? Well, here is what Amber and Wendy have to say about their own triggers:

Wendy: Without a doubt, it’s chapter 15, sometimes daily. It’s easy for me to get into a negative pattern, wondering, “When will my children ever change?!” Writing this chapter was absolutely me preaching to my own heart. What I’ve learned is that I’m the one in need of change, over and over again. Does anyone remember the song, “Let there be peace on earth, and let it begin with me”? Yes, that!
Amber: Sibling Rivalry in chapter 7! I feel myself immediately tense and prone to react when they fight amongst themselves, especially if they get physical with one another. It sets me off like nothing else can. I think that the hardest part is taking the time to calmly investigate, and to release the old pattern of thinking that I have to fix everything. Instead of rushing in with a quick punishment, I want to take the time to ask them probing questions that get them thinking about their behavior and reach their hearts. I don’t want them to get along to avoid my angry reactions. I want them to have harmony in their relationships as siblings because they love and respect one another. That can often take an entire childhood.

Enter the drawing here starting tomorrow:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Winner will be announced on Friday, March 4, 2016!!

Friday, February 12, 2016

Friday 'Fess Up

This week, I was reminded that the Lord's favor is all around us, even when we least expect it. I had a situation arise with the organization I work with, and the Lord was all over it, even when I wasn't expecting it. But then I meditated on that for a while...His favor surrounds us when we LEAST expect it. The problem here is that we don't necessarily EXPECT the Lord's favor in our daily lives.

Do you expect favor when you go to the grocery store and you're looking for a parking space? Do you expect favor when you go to the bank drive through and get behind a line of other cars? Do you expect favor when a situation arises at work? Do you expect favor when you're schooling your children, doing Bible studies, or as you scroll through Facebook?

These are just a few examples of areas we can EXPECT the favor of the Lord to be operating in our lives! What areas have you experienced God's favor? I believe expecting favor increases our faith because it causes us to trust in the Lord more and more. Today, let's extend our faith by expecting favor in every area of our lives!


Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Homeschool Hump Day Encouragement

I was reading
a post on one of the homeschool sites I follow, and a new homeschooling mom wanted to know if anyone had used this particular curriculum successfully from Kindergarten through high school graduation. Let me first tell you that when you are starting out, don't look at high school as you begin Kindergarten. Homeschooling is a year by year decision, and while you can certainly have high school graduation as the end goal, you will stress yourself if you look at that rather than the current grade your child is in.

When we decided to homeschool all of our children, we knew public school was not an option. The overall plan was to homeschool through high school. We have done that successfully with five of our eight children and look to the same conclusion of homeschooling with the remaining three. But you have to take homeschooling year by year. We need to present here and now as we educate our children and focusing on the end as we begin Kindergarten could sabotage our homeschooling efforts altogether. Even public schools don't use the same curricula from Kindergarten students to high school students! And we certainly made adjustments and changes to our base curricula as we schooled our children, mainly because each child learns differently.

Today, as you homeschool your children, remember to be here with them and their learning now. You can definitely plan to school through high school. But if you have young children, don't be concerned with if this curriculum or that is going to make you successful for the next thirteen years! Focus on providing them, instead, with the best education you can no matter what curriculum you choose to use.


Monday, February 8, 2016

Vision Boards: One Step At A Time

If you're like me, you have a nearly finished vision board, a clear direction of the things the Lord has spoken to you to accomplish this year. But you're still not sure how to begin on this journey. Well, like anything else, you have to take a step. That may be a step of faith toward your goal such as signing a contract on a house or putting down a deposit for that family vacation you've wanted to take. It may just be a step in the direction of your goal, such as sitting at the computer and typing the first few paragraphs of a book or making business cards for your new business. The bottom line is that no matter what your goal is, you have to make yourself constantly take steps that move you toward accomplishing your goal.

Here are some ideas for a variety of goals:

  • Find a writing prompt website and begin to write from there
  • Make greeting cards to sell at local businesses
  • Put a deposit down on that dream vacation
  • Make savings jars for big purchases
  • Photograph a scenic location near you
  • Enroll in a gym
  • Write lyrics to a song
  • Write music to lyrics
  • Research recording studios
  • Seek out craft shows in your area
  • Enroll in a college course (there are FREE online courses if you don't want to spend money!)
  • Price that camera and set up a plan to purchase
  • Ask the Lord for creative ideas for funding your vision!
I've said it before, but I'll say it again...You have to START! If you don't start moving toward your vision or goal, you are less likely to actually achieve it!

What plans can you make to accomplish your goals this year? I'd love for you to share your ideas!


Monday, February 1, 2016

Making Lists: Get Organized, Stay on Track!

Last week, I posted about completing some things on my daily to-do list. A well-meaning friend sent me a comment because she thought it sounded as though I was finding my worth in my to-do lists. So that made me stop and think for a moment. Do I gain my worth from my lists? Actually, I think I do...but in a positive way!

I asked my Facebook friends to share what they consider to be a productive day. What does that look like to each of us? Many had lists, literally, of the things they like to accomplish in a day. So I began to think that accomplishments make us productive and accomplishments make us feel more like we're getting things done because, well, we are. One of my good friends offered this insight:

"(There is a) feeling of success at having accomplished your list. Most of us feel it by some sense of having done something. (This friend is) mixing up accomplishment with worth!"

Another friend said that she considers a productive day to be one in which she is able to get up, get coffee, and spend time in the Word before she tackles her daily list of things to do. Still, another makes lists on clipboards for different areas of her life like housework, her home based business, and homeschooling.

I began to see a pattern in each friend's response. We all seem to make a list of some sort throughout the day or week. Our time is valuable to be used spending it with the Lord in devotion time and prayer, serving our families, and working on the things that need to be accomplished everyday.

When we make lists we are organizing our time. When we organize our time, we stay on track with accomplishing things for the Kingdom of God and the direction we're headed where our visions, dreams, and goals are concerned.

While I agree there is a danger in finding our worth in our lists, let's not forget that our time is worth something, too, and we need to make sure we stay focused on accomplishing our goals and those things on our vision boards! Those goals, dreams, and visions were given to us by the One Who holds us as highly valuable!