What is a “Me Day?”

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Candace Me DayOur family just loves the cartoon “Phineas and Pherb.”  If you have never seen it, you have got to give it a chance.  This past weekend, I was thinking about one of the episodes where Candice is determined to give herself a “Me Day.”  Most of her summer days are spent trying to “bust her brothers” as they are building or doing something crazy and amazing.  But, this day was different.  While watching this particular episode with my kids, I began to imagine myself as Candice.  She looked so comfortable and relaxed in her robe and slippers just zoned out in front of the TV.  Why couldn’t I have a day like that?  A day where I could just turn myself completely off.  A day with no responsibilities and no parental obligations.  A day that I could call a “Me Day?”

Then, I realized that I’m not a cartoon.  I am no longer a teenage girl with a long summer break.  Nor am I a robot that can just be switched on and off.  I am a wife and a lover, a mother and a teacher, a sister and a friend.  I am a child of God, an intelligent human being, a lover of all that is good.  I am a blogger, an inspirational book reader, a gluten-free baker and cook.  I am a movie critic, a ballerina at heart, a quiet yet quirky soul.  I am a seeker of truth, an often overwhelmed thinker, a half-done homemaker.  I am Me!

So, what IS a “Me Day?”

To me, a “Me Day” is a day in which I am truly myself.  A day that is filled with everything and everyone that I love.  When I get to the end of a “Me Day,” I have the feeling of calm confidence and accomplishment.  I will have gotten up early to take a shower and make a large breakfast (something I did not do today!)  I will have spent time in quiet prayer and devotion before my oldest heads off to school.  I will have spent time playing with my children, connecting with friends and family, and writing notes of encouragement to my husband.  I will have danced to at least one song.  I will have eaten balanced meals and taken a walk to the park with my children.  I will have spent time teaching my children something new and written an inspiring blog post.  In the evening, I will have made a healthy and delicious meal for dinner.  After dinner, my husband would have taken over the parenting for the day while I get out of the house.  At the end of the day, I am in bed by 9pm for time with my husband.  By 10:30pm, we have talked about our day and spent time praying and preparing for the next day.  That would be my “Me Day.”

DepressionMost of my days, however, I would not call “Me Days.”  Most of my days start out with me throwing on a pair of jeans and a t-shirt or sweatshirt.  I get out the cereal for everyone to eat and quickly read through a Bible verse.  I rush through my morning, fill the dishwasher, and start folding laundry.  My 5 yr old and 2 yr old watch educational television while I take care of the baby.  Once the baby goes down for a nap, I plop on the couch to watch TV with my kids.  After a morning inside, we eat peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and take naps.  Since I have not eaten healthy food or had any exercise so far, my energy level is low and I don’t feel like doing much.  I sit down at my computer and have nothing to blog about, so I spend an hour or two watching a show on Hulu or browsing the web.  The kids get up from naps and I’ve hit another low point.  With the kids energy levels at their highest and my energy level at it’s lowest, this causes tension.  I rush to get laundry and dishes put away before it’s time to start dinner.  Since I didn’t spend any time thinking about dinner, I only have enough time to make something simple and high in carbohydrates.  My husband comes home with no desire to take on the mess he sees and quickly heads for the couch after grabbing a couple bites of pasta.  Since the kids have had no outlet for their energy, we spend the evening trying to relax while yelling for the kids to stop jumping around.  We rush to get them in bed and calm them down.  Exhaustion sets in and we both fall asleep by 9:30pm before saying a word to each other.

Normally, after a day like that, it is hard to recover.  I quickly realize that turning myself off like that only makes me feel worse.  It does not refresh the body or the soul when you have a day like that.  In fact, being unhealthy, tired, and overwhelmed can lead to depression.  Not what I’m going for!

For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.  Ephesians 2:10

We were not created to work ourselves into the ground.  Nor were we created to sit around and do nothing all day.  God has created us to “do good works.”  Those good works generally involve being a servant to others.  If we are not serving others on a daily basis, then we are not being who God has created us to be.  That is how I see it.  If I’m not being who God created me to be, then I’m not being ME!  How can I have a “Me Day” when I’m not being who God has called ME to be?

Now, I have never asked my readers a real question before, and I’m not sure If anyone is even going to read this.  But, I’d like to know.  What does your “Me Day” look like?  Try to picture a day where you’d feel the most like yourself.  I would LOVE to encourage you to be who God has created you to be!

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Public School or Home School?

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Abigail and Eliza
2nd Gr and K-4

We’ve had a lot going on these past couple weeks.  It all started when my husband and I finally went on a long overdue date, thanks to our wonderfully gracious Mothers who offered to watch the kids for a few hours.  We were able to talk through many things that have been looming over our heads during the summer months.  One topic in particular was the topic of this year’s homeschooling curriculum.  I had been asking him for weeks to help me get things set in stone for our 7 year old to start 3rd Grade Math and 2nd Grade Reading, Writing, Science, and so on.  We had gone through most of her 2nd Grade workbooks last year, but we were interrupted by my husband’s new job and our newborn baby boy, Timmy.

My husband had been able to help with homeschooling up until March of this year when he started his job as a web developer for a new company and was no longer able to work from home twice a week.  I had especially been needing help since our baby boy, Timmy, was born in December of last year.  Plus, I’m not always on top of things when he’s not there cheering us on.  So, needless to say, we were feeling a bit overwhelmed by the upcoming 2012-2013 school year.  Our heads just weren’t in the game like they should be.

Our conversation began over a couple of mocha shakes around 7pm.  We knew it was going to be a long night, so coffee sounded like a good choice at the time.  We began talking about what our schedules were going to look like for the Fall Season.  My husband talked about his desire to improve his health and activity level and I expressed the same desire.  We talked about the time we would need to focus on that and added that into the schedule.  Then, we began discussing our spiritual health.  We both would be signing up for our separate small groups in addition to our Sunday morning meetings with another couple at our church.  These things were all added to the schedule. Add in the date nights and grocery shopping trips every week and we had a full schedule to say the least.  Plus, my husband decided then and there that he would be signing up for a History course at our area technical college!  Well, that would mean that he would be maxed out for time.

After taking a few good sips of our mocha shakes, we came to the topic of education for our children.  Since being married, we had always thought that homeschooling would be a great adventure and superior to any public school education.

Some things we thought homeschooling would offer:

  • Flexibility with schedule and curriculum
  • A closer relationship with our children
  • A faith-based alternative to public school curriculum
  • The ability to advance our children as we see fit
  • Giving our children one-on-one teaching
  • Allowing our children to take part in daily activities and chores
  • A superior education and learning experience

What we’ve now discovered that homeschooling offers (in addition to those listed above):

  • An often stressful environment for parents with many small children
  • Distractions are everywhere!
  • Organization is a MUST!
  • Learning can take place at any time, not just during the day
  • Absence makes the heart grow fonder.  Having Mom in your face every day doesn’t.
  • “… with many advisors they succeed” Proverbs 15:22.  Having more than one teacher is a good thing!
  • A superior education and learning experience may be hindered at home

After discussing our findings from the previous homeschooling year, we trudged on to our options for the upcoming school year.  It was already mid-August!  What could be done?  We reflected on our public school experience and the statistics for the schools in our area.  We knew that our children would be in good hands if we were to enroll them in the public elementary school close to our home.  Our county schools are known for educational excellence.  If we were living in the city, we would not even have considered enrolling them in a public school.  But, we love the county we live in and know many of the people in it.

Our conclusion?  Add “start 2nd grade at the local elementary school” on to the schedule for our 7 yr old and call it a night!

The weeks following our date night were busy to say the least.  My days have been filled with paper work, e-mails, and phone calls to the school.  I was able to get my 7 yr old, Abigail, enrolled in 2nd grade and couldn’t be happier about our decision.  Everyone at the school has been very helpful and Abigail is super duper excited to start school next week!  I will still be homeschooling my soon-to-be 5 yr old (on Sept. 7th) since I couldn’t get her enrolled in Kindergarten for this year.  She is sad, but I know she will work extra hard this year to prepare for Kindergarten next year.  She may even be able to skip right to 1st grade!  Not sure she’ll want to, though.

We’re all excited for Fall and look forward to a year filled with learning and growing!

 

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The Importance of Women’s Fellowship

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women's fellowship

Our Fall Women’s Fellowship Bible Study sign up is here and I’m debating whether or not I should sign up.  I don’t know why I’m even questioning it.  I should have been zoned in to the sign-up table right after church on Sunday.  But, I hesitated and decided to think about it until next Sunday.

 

Some things that were going through my head at the time were…

  1. Is a women’s bible study important enough to take time away from my family?
  2. Should I spend money on the study book and the gas to get there every week?
  3. What if I can’t make it every week?  I’ll fall behind on the study.

All of these are, of course, excuses.  After all, I know the benefits of being in fellowship with other Christian women. 

For me, the benefits of Christian women’s fellowship are…

  1. Being lifted up every week through God’s Word and prayer
    Smile:  Maybe given a good face lift too from all of the smiling and laughing!
  2. Being encouraged by other believers
    Smile:  They’ll give you a good kick in the butt every week to be your best!
  3. Being refreshed and renewed, ready to face life
    Smile:  You’ll get a much needed break from the dishes, laundry, and crazy kids!
  4. Being blessed by new and developing friendships
    Smile:  We all need somebody to lean on… just call on your sister in Christ!
  5. Being fed spiritually
    Smile:  Maybe fed a few yummy carbs too!  Women love to bake!

So, what is my final decision?  I will be signing up first thing Sunday morning!  Praise the Lord!

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And the Winner is…

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Dean O. from Kirkland, WA, is our winner of two free bestselling Christian books!  Dean will receive his free books, “Sacred Marriage” and “Sacred Parenting,” for winning our blog contest for the month of June.  We will start another contest shortly, so subscribe to our blog posts to stay in the loop!

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Great Gifts for Dad!

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Time is almost up if you want to enter our free drawing for two free bestselling Christian books, “Sacred Marriage” and “Sacred Parenting.”

They would make great gifts for Dad!  Get it before Father’s Day by ordering now!  Or, enter our contest for a chance to get these inspiring books absolutely free!

CLICK HERE to find out more and enter our free contest, or just fill out the form below and submit!

*Contest ends June 15th

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Giveaway

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Enter to Win Two Free Bestselling Christian books by Gary Thomas!

 

I will be giving away, absolutely free, two amazing books by Gary Thomas.  My husband and I are currently reading through “Sacred Marriage” and have recently attended a Sunday school class based on the book “Sacred Parenting.”  I discovered these books at the perfect time in my life.  I was just beginning to think to myself, “What are the things that make marriage and children a blessing?  Why are blessings such a burden sometimes?”  I love my husband and I love my children.  These books helped me to discover God’s plan for marriage and parenting in a new and fresh way.  I now see my struggles in my marriage and within parenting as a blessing now more than ever.
I would love to be able to send all of you a free copy of these books.  Unfortunately, we don’t quite have the funds for that (bummer!)  So, this giveaway will be part of our giving for the month of May.  I hope that even if you do not win these free books, you will seek them out in your church library or purchase a used copy for a couple dollars.

 

Book #1 – Sacred Marriage

What if God designed marriage to make us holy instead of happy?

Scores of books have been written that offer guidance for building the marriage of your dreams. Yet, what if God’s primary intent for your marriage isn’t to make you happy . . . but holy? And, what if your relationship isn’t as much about you and your spouse as it is about you and God? In this popular bestselling book, Gary Thomas uncovers how your marriage can become a doorway to a closer walk with God and each other. You will learn how to:

  • Turn marital struggles into spiritual and personal appreciation.
  • Love your spouse with a stronger sense of purpose.
  • Partner in the spiritual growth and character formation of your spouse.
  • Transform a “tired” marriage into a relationship filled with awe and respect.

Book #2 – Sacred Parenting

How Raising Children Shapes Our Souls

Parenting is a school for spiritual formation—and our children are our teachers. Instead of discussing how parents can change their kids, Gary Thomas turns the tables and demonstrates how God uses our kids to change us. You’ll be encouraged by stories that tell how other parents handled the challenges and difficulties of raising a godly family. Grow closer to Christ and your children as you learn to:?

  • Freely enjoy your kids for who they are.
  • Build a closer, grace-based family.
  • Reduce the pressure felt for your kids to turn out perfect.
  • Manage anger and negative responses towards your child’s behavior.
  • Increase your sense of worth and respect as a parent.

Fill out the form below to enter our giveaway.  The winner of these free, brand new, paperback books will be chosen at random on June 15th and will be notified by e-mail.  The books will be shipped by Amazon.com by the end of June.

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My Free Calendar Has Arrived!

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I just got my free calendar from Joyce Meyer Ministries yesterday!  My free calendar looks exactly the way it looks on the website.  And, this FREE calendar has the same quality as a calendar that I would pay for.  Thank you Joyce Meyer for the free calendar and for the encouraging messages contained within its pages.  If you’d like to request a free calendar from Joyce Meyer Ministries, go to her website and request your free 2012 calendar today!

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2012 Free Printable Calendars

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Need some help saving, paying off debt, and being inspired in 2012?  Keep yourself on track with these free printable 2012 calendars.

About.com

About.com “Best Time to Buy” Calendar

Free 2012 Calendars and Planners

Best Time to Buy Calendar

What’s In Season Calendar

Free Printable Weekly Planner Pages

Free Meal Planners

More Free Printable 2012 Calendars

Redstamp.com

RedStamp.com on Facebook (2012 Calendar)

Free Printable 2012 Calendars

2012/2013 Year at a glance Calendars (Facebook)

JoyceMeyer.org
Free Inspirational 2012 Calendar

Enjoying 2012 13-month Wall Calendar

Smilebox.com
Free Personalized Calendars

Personalized Smilebox Photo Calendar

GraphicGarden.com

GraphicGarden.com “This and That” January

Free 2012 Monthly Calendars (VERY Cute!)

Year 2012 Country Living

Year 2012 Small Teddybears

Year 2012 This and That

MrsJanuary.com (Frugal Living)
Free 2012 Calendar

Horizontal and Vertical 2012 Calendars

Cozi.com
Free 2012 Printable Calendar

2012 Calendar with Holidays

Rkrichardson.com
Free 2012 Calendar Downloads

Rkrichardson.com “Faith, Hope, and Charity” Calendar

“Route 66 Bridge” 2012 Calendar


“Let This Mind” 2012 Calendar


“Faith, Hope, and Charity” 2012 Calendar


“God Put the Music In Me” 2012 Calendar

“My Piano” 2012 Calendar


“The Leaning Birdhouse of Grand Rivers” 2012 Calendar


“Sweet Reverie” 2012 Calendar

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