Wednesday, April 27, 2011

31 Days to Clean

I am not an organized person.  Everyone thinks I am...but I'm only organized on paper!  Off paper, things go downhill fast.  So I'm really wanting to read the new ebook "31 Days to Clean." 

I'm desperate for an easy way to clean and organize my home.  I'm just over two months away from starting dental hygiene school, so I'll be an almost full-time student and working almost full-time.  Its going to take a super organized home and family to pull this off.

Want to find out more about the book?  Check it out at:

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

For Moms Everywhere...

I found this beautiful blog via Twitter...
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Please pray for this family today.  Even though today was my first time to read it, my heart is breaking for this family.  As moms, let's surround this family with prayers and love as they cope with the unimaginablr.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

The Never-Ending To-Do List

I am a listmaker.  Okay, I'm an obsessive list much so that if I do something that's not on my to-do list, I'll write it in just so I can mark it off.  Yeah, I'm that bad.  Needless to say, I always have a to-do list, and there are several recurring items on my list...
  1. Laundry - Need I say more?  I hate laundry, because, unlike other chores, you can't ever say it's done.  It's never ending. 
  2. Quiet time - I absolutely have to have my quiet time every morning, or the day just doesn't feel right.  This little bit of time when the house is quiet is where I draw my strength through my Bible study and prayer.  It's also a chance to go over the day's plans and get myself mentally ready for the day ahead.
  3. Studying for something - Even though I'm out of school this semester, I still find myself always studying for something, whether it's work, a Bible study, or children's ministry.  Once college starts back in July, I'll have my nose buried in textbooks all the time.
  4. Cleaning - I'm so busy that cleaning often gets pushed to the back burner.  There's always, always cleaning to do.
  5. Exercise - It doesn't necessarily happen every day, but I try to work out five days a week or more.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Prayer Journaling - Part One: How I Came to Prayer Journaling

Prayer can be overwhelming sometimes.  Does it shock you to see a pastor's wife posting that on her blog?  It's true.  I became a Christian as a child, and I was raised in church.  All my life, I heard people referred to as "prayer warriors" or someone who "knows how to touch the heart of God."  I would often think, "Wow, I want to be that kind of person."  I always had good intentions, but somewhere along the way, I would get overwhelmed.  There are so many prayer requests, so many areas I want to cover, but somehow my prayers became a quick, "Bless my family and keep them safe."  Then it just kind of tapered off.

When I read Stormie O'Martian's The Power of a Praying Wife as a newlywed, it changed my prayer life forever.  That was really my first practical introduction to praying Scripture.  I really wanted to pray over all of those areas for my new husband, but again, it was overwhelming, and my plans trailed off.  It wasn't until I read Lisa Whelchel's Taking Care of the Me in Mommy a few years ago and starting looking around her website that it really all came together for me.  It still took a while to pull it all together, but earlier this year I completed my prayer journal.  I finally had just what I was looking for.

For me, my prayer journal has become an essential part of my daily quiet time with God.  It has deepened my walk with God so much!  I'm so excited to start this series and share my journey.  During the next few weeks, I'll share more specifically how prayer journaling has helped me, and I'll show you how I set up my prayer journal.  I'm also planning to do a link-up at least once, because of the best part of praying journaling is that each person's journal is unique.  I've already seen some amazing ones from some of my Twitter friends, and I'd love for others to share their journals!  I hope you'll enjoy sharing this journey with me.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Mommy Envy

Did you ever get jealous as a kid?  I did.  I'll never forget the day my best friend got a horse.  We were 13, and I had dreamed of having a horse from the time I knew what a horse was.  I had posters of them all over my bedroom, I read books and magazines about them, I dreamed of taking riding lessons...but she was the one who got the horse.  I was green with envy.  (I got one about a year later...which is quite a story in itself.) 

It doesn't change too much as a mom, does it?  Tell me I'm not the only one who finds myself envious of other moms sometimes.  I must admit, I get jealous when I hear stay at home moms talking about their days with their kids.  I get jealous when I miss homeschooling my boys or going to storytime at the library.  I'm jealous of the moms who drop their kids off at school, run errands, work out, shop, and start dinner, spending the whole day being productive before they pick their kids up from school again.

But it's too easy to see only what I want to see.  It's easy to forget the days of not talking to an adult all day unless the UPS driver stopped to drop off a package or the boys had a doctor's appointment.  It's easy to forget the days when we struggled to make ends meet and worried about the debt we couldn't pay off.  It's easy to forget the days I felt like I spend the whole days running in circles, never accomplishing anything.

It's hard to see other moms living the kind of life I often miss, even when I remind myself that it wasn't always an easy life.  Being a stay at home mom was very rewarding, but very challenging.  It's in those times that I have to stop and remind myself of the unique blessings that I have because I work outside the home.  We have more financial stability.  We're now debt free (thanks to Dave Ramsey).  I've had the opportunity to meet many people that I would never have crossed paths with anywhere but my job.  I know that I am doing what God wants me to do.  Sometimes, though, I need a reminder to be thankful for my blessings instead of envious of the blessings of other moms.

How do you handle being envious of other moms?  Is that something you struggle with?  Click the My Community tab to join the discussion on my Blog Frog community!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

A Huge Blessing

I love the upbeat prompts for this week's Working Mommy Wednesday...

#1. This week, I've been blessed by...

#2. My best physical feature is...

The past couple of weeks have been a roller coaster.  On April 1, we received work that my husband's 88 year old grandfather would probably not live more than two days.  On April 2, I received my long awaited acceptance letter to dental hygiene school, and on April 3, Robby's grandfather went home.  I missed an entire week of work as we made the 13 hour drive to Missouri and back for the funeral.

When I got back to work on Saturday, this is what I found...

The members, and my coworkers, at my gym are truly amazing.  They have been my cheerleaders as I struggled with the decision of whether or not to back to school, dealt with the reality of going back to school at age 30, and the four month wait between turning in my application and getting my acceptance letter.  Now, they are celebrating with me.  I already have people volunteering to be my patients when I start clinicals, and I have the promises of many (much needed) prayers while I attempt to balance everything.  These women are awesome, and they are all a huge blessing to me!

Monday, April 11, 2011

When You're Running on Empty

When I first decided to start the series Working with Delight, I posted a question on Twitter about the issues Christian working moms deal with most.  Two issues came up over and  over - time management and exhaustion.

Being a mom is exhausting work from day one.  The sleepless nights, sleeping only two or three hours at a time, is draining.  I kept thinking that as my kids got older, the sleep deprivation would ease up.  It did, to an extent, but when I went back to work, it returned with a vengance.  Suddenly there were not enough hours in a day to get everything done.  I found myself (Oh, who am I kidding - I still find myself doing this!) staying up late and getting up early, trying to squeeze in everything that needs to be done.

The exhaustion can be overwhelming sometimes.  I'm in the middle of one of those time myself.  With a family funeral (and a long trip) last week, Easter just around the corner (a huge stress for my pastor hubby and myself, since I'm the children's minister), and lots of prep work to be ready for dental hygiene school in July, my tank is definitely on empty.

When I find myself exhausted, I try to do little things to help.  I try to go to bed and get up at the same every day - even if I'm not getting much sleep, being on a schedule seems to help.  I also try to drink plenty of water - I often realize that I'm not drinking enough when I feel tired.  I would love to hear about your tips for overcoming exhaustion - click on the My Community tab to join the discussion!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

When Family Comes Together

I've been pretty absent from my blog and Twitter this week.  Sunday night, my husband's 88 year old grandfather passed away.  It wasn't unexpected...but you're never really prepared for the death of someone you love.  We left Monday and made the 13 hour drive to Missouri for the services.  The funeral, including full military honors at the graveside service, is later this morning.

Robby's grandfather was a wonderful man.  He and Robby's grandmother had been married for over 70 years.  His relationship with Christ came first in his life, and he was so proud that all six of his grandchildren, and both of his adult great-children, are in the ministry in some way.  He loved his two children, six grandchildren, 18 great-children, and his first great-great-grandchild.  Family was top priority to him. He will be greatly missed.  Please keep our family in your prayers.  I know today will be hard, and tomorrow we all face the long trips back home. 

Next week, all should be back to normal for my family.  Or, I should say, we'll start settling into a new normal as I pull my paperwork together and prepare to start dental hygiene school in July.  There's a lot to think about in the days and weeks ahead.   Prayers are appreciated!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Heart of Ice - A Review

A cold-blooded killer is at work in Portland.  Seemingly random acts of arson, theft, fraud and multiple murders that appear unrelated are happening around the city, orchestrated by a master criminal.  This time, the threat is right under the noses of the Triple Threat Club, and they have no idea how close they are to the killer...close enough to be in danger themselves.  The danger intensifies as the crimes start hitting closer to home.  Add to this the life-changing medical crisis one member faces and the family crisis of another, and you have a page-turner that you can't put down until the very end.
I've been reading Lis Wiehl's Triple Threat series from book one, and they just keep getting better.  Lis tackles each mystery is a unique way, bringing you three different perspectives – a prosecutor, an FBI agent, and a crime reporter.  As the three friends work together to solve the case, Lis also delves deeper into their personal lives and the struggles they each face.  I am now a dedicated fan, and I look forward to the release of each new book.  This series is a must-read for mystery fans!

*In exchange for reviewing this book, I received a free copy from BookSneeze.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Battling Distractions

I will be the first to admit, this is a tough one for me.  I tend to be flighty unfocused easily distracted.  In the middle of working on one thing, I'll think of something else that has to be done, so I'll start it.  Then something else comes to mind - and I end up leaving for work or going to bed with a string of half-finished jobs behind me, feeling like I accomplished nothing.  Sound familiar?

So how do you keep distractions at bay?  Here are a few tips I'm trying...

1. Step away from the computer and/or the smart phone!
The internet is far and away my biggest distractor.  I could easily spend hours on Twitter, Facebook, blogs, or even Angry Birds.  (I know, it's sad, but true.)  I have found that the best way to get avoid distraction is to step away from it.  Otherwise I'll be checking every email, every tweet, and every status update as they come to my phone.

2. Set a timer.
I used to hate loading and unloading the dishwasher.  I don't know why, but I hated it, dreaded it, put it off - it was bad.  So one day I decided to time myself to see how long it actually took me to finish the dreaded task.  Do you know how long it look me?  Five minutes.  Suddenly, it didn't seem so bad anymore, and it was much easier to just get it done.  It's also easier to focus on a large job knowing that once that timer beeps, you can quit, even if it's just for a short break.

3. Focus on three to five main goals.
I love the Daily Docket printable at Simple Mom!  It's such a great way to have your entire day's plan in one place.  I tuck one into the front pocket of my day planner.  I especially love the MIT list for your three most important tasks of the day.

What are you best tips for battling distractions?  Jump over to the My Community tab to join in the discussion!

Saturday, April 2, 2011

A Dream Becomes Reality

It was a day late...but today is the day I dreamed of.  I received my acceptance letter for the dental hygiene program.  I'm so excited!  This is the beginning of a new life for me and my family - a new career (once I graduate), more stability, more flexibility.  I've worked so hard for this.

Now the stress begins...along with my acceptance letter is a three page list of deposits due, supplies to purchase, dates to meet for advisement, shots to get, and more.  The supplies with the costs listed equal $1,400 - that's before books, tuition, uniforms, blood pressure cuffs, and stethoscopes.  I have to buy all of my own supplies for the program, so it's definitely going to be a financial burden for us for a while.  Not to mention balancing my almost-full-time college schedule with an almost-full-time job as a manager.  But I know it will pay off.

I'm thinking seriously about framing that acceptance letter...

Friday, April 1, 2011

Today Is The Day That Could Change Everything

Today is the day I've worked for and waited for.  It's the day I've waited over a year for as I studied and took classes.  Today is the day my letter should arrive telling me whether or not I've been accepted into dental hygiene school.  I'm excited and I'm terrified.

This is the day that could change everything.  Getting into the program, and launching a new career when I graduate in just over two years, will change our lives.  It will mean a great, stable, flexible career and a salary three times what I earn now.  It means so much to me and my family.  So I wait on pins and needles, hoping nothing gets delayed and I learn my fate today...

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