It’s Just One of Those Days

Happy Thursday morning, everyone!

At least it’s still morning here…I’ve got less than an hour before I’d have to greet you with a “Good afternoon.” But that’s just how it’s going today. The past week or so have been “off” for me. Nothing wrong, really. Schedule’s a little off. I am a pretty scheduled person. Not regimented or inflexible. I just have things I do on certain days. We have had rain, rain, and more rain. (Yet we still have a drought, I understand.) It’s been cold. I haven’t been able to get my walking in. So I feel sluggish. So just a lot of little things came together to get me a little off track. So today is just one of those days where things don’t go exactly like I want them to. No bad stuff…just not the usual. (I’m working on my attitude, by the way. :p)

How do you feel when your schedule gets out of whack? Or your plans get changed? Or appointments get cancelled? Aggravated? Stressed? I get stressed. I’m sitting here right now rolling my shoulders and neck to relieve some of my stress. My Thursdays are for walking and Weight Watchers. I’ve walked four miles and been to Weight Watchers. We had a home appraisal. I am babysitting my nephew this afternoon. My daughter and I have to go get my allergy shots (not our usual day). She has to have blood drawn today to test for an allergy. (She may faint. This has happened before. Twice. I’m interested to see how it goes.) I (or someone in this house) has to go to the grocery store. Have I mentioned that I hate grocery shopping? With a passion? So my day is not going the way I planned it, or at least the way my Thursdays usually.

However, as Teresa pointed out to me, family comes first. Before the blog. Before the Facebook page. Before my schedule. I am happy to keep my nephew. He’s such a sweetie. And, of course, I’ll go with my daughter to get our shots and then to watch her faint. I mean, I’ll go with her to have blood drawn. I may have to adjust my dinner menu. I may not get the living room dusted and mopped. But it’s okay.

Schedules are guidelines. They are not so strict that you get punished if you don’t stick with them exactly. And certainly don’t punish yourself! In fact, being willing to be flexible often leads to unexpected blessings. I mean, today I get to snuggle with a cutie-pie and get some baby love. It doesn’t get much better than that!

So…I just wanted you to know that while I have been on you to get on and stick to schedules, just know that there will be days when it just doesn’t happen. It’s okay. The world will not come to a screeching halt. Your house will not fall into chaos. (I hope!) It’s just a day. one day. I’ll get back on track tomorrow. When you have those days, just try get back on track the next day. It’s all good. Don’t stress! Don’t panic! Just go with the flow.

Have a blessed one!

Lynne

 

 

Motivational Quotes

Good morning!

Hope all is well. Here we are halfway through another week. I hope you are still progressing with your weekly challenges, though we have had no pictures to show it. Sadness. 😦 I hope you are spending some quiet time by yourself every day. Doing the little 15-minute challenges. Staying on top of the laundry and keeping the monster at bay.

Anyway, I wanted to share some quotes with you today that I have found to be motivational. Some are posted here and there in my house. On the bulletin board or fridge. I keep a list in a notebook and read through them periodically. I’ll share my favorite ones – my top ten. Though my top 10 might change depending on the day and what’s going on. I am needing some motivation myself this morning so I hope that reading these will get me up and at ’em. This dreary weather we’ve been having has me down, man. So these are my top ten for today.

So here they are. Not necessarily in any order (other than the first one.)

1. “I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.” ~ Philippians 4:13

2. “If you want what you do not have you must do what you have not done.”

3. “Everyone hears what you say. A friend listens to what you say. A best friends listens to what you don’t say.”

4. “Very often a change of self is needed more than a change of scene.” ~ Arthur Christopher Benson

5. “Worrying about your gray hair when your weight is soaring out of control is like mowing your lawn when your house is on fire.” ~ Edward Ugel 🙂

6. “Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going.” ~ Jim Rohn

7. “Perfectionism doesn’t make you perfect. It makes you feel inadequate. ” ~ Maria Shriver

8. “The best thing about the future is that it only comes one day at a time.” ~ Abraham Lincoln

9. “There is more to life than increasing its speed.” ~ Mahatma Gandhi

10. “Things which matter most must never be at the mercy of things which matter least.” ~ Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

I hope you find some little nugget of inspiration in here. I’d love to hear your favorite motivational quote or saying. Please share!

Have a blessed day!

Lynne

Tuesday Tips: Tips to a Happy Hubby (or Wife)

Good morning, all! I hope that your Monday was good. Sometimes Mondays are good despite their reputation of being quite the opposite. Mondays are not known for the goodness and loveliness. I wouldn’t want to be a Monday. For me, any day can feel like a Monday if you let it. Any day without coffee would feel like a Monday to me…a week of Mondays – maybe even a month – all rolled into one actually. Don’t stand between me and my coffee. You could get hurt. Consider yourself warned. 🙂

Just a side note: If we continue to get rain like we’ve had for the last couple of weeks, next week’s posts might be sent from a boat. Just saying. Maybe not an ark, but a boat nonetheless. Geez.

So I pondered and pondered about what today’s tips should be about. I decided on tips to a happy hubby (or wife as we do have a few male readers)  because it’s pretty important that your spouse be happy. Now, we can’t MAKE anyone happy, but we can do our part to create a joyful environment that promotes happiness. (That sounds like psychologist-speak, doesn’t it?) So here are our tips to a happy hubby.

1. Make your house one that he wants to come home to.

Before my hubby comes home, I try to have the downstairs nice and tidy. His spot on the couch is free. The big TV is his for the watching. “A man’s home is his castle.” That’s an old saying. It’s a true saying. Make him feel like the king for a while. (This does not mean you bow down to serve him dinner.) But make your home a welcoming place for him. He’ll appreciate it. He might not say it, but he will. I also try to be looking pretty decent when he gets home. I’m sure he doesn’t want to come home every day to me in shabby sweats and looking all kinds of rough. So I try to get “cleaned up” before he gets home. 🙂

2. Cook dinner.

A hungry man is never a happy man. (You can quote me on that.) Walking into the house with the smell of something yummy simmering on the stove or in the crock pot – divine! I don’t know about you, but my husband will call from work just to see what’s for dinner. No, he can not ever remember what’s on the menu plan. Sigh. If you are one of those people whose husband does the cooking most of the time, just surprise him occasionally by doing it yourself.

3. When he comes home, put aside the things that distract you.

My husband comes in from work, takes a shower, and then wants to watch “Seinfeld.” (When he’s on night shift, #2 does not apply. He doesn’t do big breakfast.) I am working hard to be done with my computer work by the time he gets home. I am trying to be better about setting my phone aside as well. So I play my games and check Facebook and all that before he gets home. This is a tough one for me. I didn’t realize how much I was attached to my phone until I tried to un-attach myself. I’m a work in progress here.

4. Compliment him.

Men need to feel appreciated. Thank him for working hard. Compliment his amazing lawn mowing skills. Tell him he smells good. (This will probably not apply immediately after his demonstration of his lawn mowing skills.) Thank him when he takes his day off to build your raised garden beds. Make him feel special and important. I try to remember to say pretty often, “I appreciate that you work so that I don’t have to.”

5. Spend time alone with him without distractions.

Take a walk. Sit outside and enjoy nature. Take a ride on a pretty day. Have a picnic. Any of these things can be done without leaving your neighborhood. Other than the walk, they can be done without leaving home. My husband and I frequently sit outside and just laugh at the antics of the birds and squirrels. And of our cats who are fascinated by the birds and squirrels. Our kids think this is lame, so they don’t bother us. Works well. 🙂

6. Date your spouse.

Dating does not and should not end with a marriage certificate. It does not and should not end when you have kids. If you have small kids, you probably have friends who also have small kids. Work out a babysitting swap. You watch their kids while they go out on a date; they watch yours while you go out on a date. If the kids go to their house, you can have a date right at home. Dinner and a movie for cheap. You can actually light those candles that sit on the dining room table. Make your favorite meal. Cook it together. Just a few hours every month will do. If you can manage it every week, then by all means, go for it! Remember that your spouse comes before the kids. It’s especially hard when the kids are little. And when they are teenagers. Well, it’s just hard. But remember it.

7. Do things that he likes to do.

Watch football. Watch action movies. Watch wrestling. (My husband likes wrestling. I once went to a wrestling event with him and his friends. I wore the “championship belt” they bought. I cheered. It was a good thing.) If your husband watches a lot of sports and that doesn’t interest you, just sit in the room with him. Snuggle on the couch beside him and read. Note: This does not work during football season when yelling and jumping around are frequent occurrences. You could get thrown from the couch. It’s safer to sit in a chair nearby. Go fishing. Go hunting. And if he loves fishing or hunting and you don’t want to go (I wouldn’t if my husband did those things), encourage him to do what he loves and send him off into nature without making him feel guilty for not being home with you.

8. Spend time with his family and friends.

Unless there is some serious dysfunction or animosity going on, spend time with his family. When you marry the man, you marry the whole family. Encourage him to spend time with his parents, siblings, etc. Do your best to spend time with his family as you do with your family. If it’s not possible due to distance, do the best you can to keep them in contact. If you have a man like mine, talking on the phone isn’t his thing. Encourage him to pick up the phone and call his parents, his sister or brother, whoever. Encourage him to spend time with his friends. Unless they are bad influences. Then encourage him to find new ones.) Have the guys over to watch football. Make friends with his friends and their wives. Take the time to get together with them. Have one or two couples that are fun to be around and who model a good marriage. Spend time with them. It’s good for everyone.

9. Get away.

Like away away. Overnight. Once or twice a year, take a little trip. Just the two of you. Farm out the kiddos and hit the road. When your kids get old enough and reliable enough to stay home alone, oh what a happy day! And don’t let anyone make you feel guilty about going away. Take a honeymoon every year. If finances are tight, have the kids sleep over at grandma’s or a trustworthy friend’s house, and stay home. Have a “staycation” as they are called these days. Focus on one another. Try to resist the urge to check on the kids 1,208 times a day. Keep your cell phone on you (charged, of course) and have grandma call only if it’s really important. Check in on the kids a couple of times a day. But just enjoy being alone with your spouse.

10. Sex.

Have sex with your husband. Frequently. No further explanation required.

Have a great Tuesday!

The Pantry Project

The Pantry Project. It’s really the pantry challenge but the word “project” just went well with “pantry” so there you go. 🙂

My pantry. I love it. I hate it. Sometimes at the same time. It’s pretty big and roomy. But one of these days I’m going to add the shelving I really want. There’s too much wasted space in there. Also, it is not close to my stove so I also (at my daughter’s urging) have a cabinet that IS next to the stove where I store things that are used frequently.

Not too long ago I had my pantry and cabinet clean. Things were nicely lined up. It made me happy. Since the beginning of the year, I have been stocking up on stuff as it comes on sale. Olive oil. Pasta. Lots of pasta. I had made one of those stocking up trips on the day before Valentine’s Day. I hate to shop and I was tired. So I just stacked everything on the table. I babysat my sweet nephew on Valentine’s Day. Are you aware that 7-month-olds do not care about whether or not your pantry is straight? They do not care one bit if there are boxes of pasta stacked on the table. They just want you to play with them. And it’s really hard to be motivated to clean out the pantry when you can get a little baby snuggling time in. Anyway, the time for Valentine’s dinner rolled around and well, we needed to EAT at the the table. So I madly and irrationally shoved all the stuff on the table into the pantry and cabinet. Order did not reign. No semblance of order reigned. I had to warn my family members to remove things from the pantry with care lest a box of spaghetti or ziti fall on their head. And I left it there. In that condition. Until this week.

I would love to tell you that I spent 15 minutes every day this week working on my pantry project. But I didn’t. I spent a couple of hours instead – all at one time. I realized that everything had to come out in order for me to arrange things the way I wanted them. So that’s what I did. If it had just been a little disorderly, I could have done the 15 minutes a day. But I had so much stuff crammed in there that I couldn’t put things where they belonged. So out it all came. Onto the table, of course. Then I decided what needed to be in the pantry and what needed to be closer to the stove. And I went from there.

So here is my sage advice for you pantry project. If you can work on your pantry shelf-by-shelf, then 15 minutes a day will be a good time frame and you should be able to knock it out in a few days. If you do like I did and just make a big mess of it, getting all done at one time may be the best idea. Just be sure you have that time to dedicate to it. You don’t want to take everything out of there and then leave it for days on end on the kitchen table. I hope you don’t want to do that.

Either way, once it’s done and arranged to your liking, take the 15 minutes each week when you are putting away groceries to do a little “maintenance.” Put things where they go. Label the shelves/baskets/bins if you need to – or just want to. If I had taken the time when I got home from the grocery store even though I was tired, I wouldn’t have had a mess to clean up. Sigh. Lesson learned.

Happy cleaning!

Lynne

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Sunday. It’s so nice to see you, again!

“This is the day the Lord has made. We will rejoice and be glad in in it!” ~ Psalm 118:24

Good morning!

I hope your day is off to a good start. I must say, I was less than thrilled when my alarm clock went off earlier. Decidedly less. (I did only hit the snooze button once, though.) I don’t mind getting up early; I just don’t like alarm clocks. I don’t like being shocked or startled out of my sleep. Sigh.

I hope you have a day of rest planned. I know that I do! After serving and worshiping this morning, I really, really hope my Sunday afternoon nap happens. I’ve missed it! If a nap doesn’t end up in my immediate future, I’ll take coffee and some reading. Just some quiet time. And I always look forward to my small group meeting on Sunday afternoons. It’s a nice way to end the day…learning more about God and growing together in our relationships with Him and with each other.

So enjoy your day. Relax a little. Take some quiet time for yourself. Spend some time with God. It’s His day, after all.

Blessings,
Lynne

Simple Saturdays

Simple Saturdays…nice, right? How often does that happen for you? Do you get to enjoy your Saturday with little or no work required of you, or do you spend it playing “catch up” with the laundry and other household chores?

If you are not getting to enjoy your weekends, please consider taking on one of our challenges next week. Start with Weekly Challenge #1. Start with the laundry challenge. Just pick one and start there. By picking one, you will gain a restful Saturday since you don’t start challenges until Mondays. Sweet, right?

We haven’t gotten many pictures in the last couple of weeks. Are we not taking challenges? Are we losing momentum? Don’t let that happen! Keep working at it until your home is the peaceful oasis it was meant to be. Until you sigh with contentment when you walk in the door. Until your Saturdays and Sundays are really weekends.

Weekends are meant for resting, enjoying your family, and refraining from work (when at all possible). Simplifying your life in different ways lets you take back your weekends. Figure out what is robbing you of real time off and determine to do something about it. Just not today. Today you can just think about it. Maybe write it down…an idea or a little bit of a plan. I know that some people work on Saturday and/or Sunday so they don’t have “normal” weekends. I hope you have another day or two off somewhere during the week…treat those days as your weekends. The same principles apply.

The pantry challenge is coming Monday. Yikes! What a challenge that has been for me this week. And  my pantry was nice and neat just a few weeks ago. How quickly that changed!

I think I’ll spend this rainy day catching up on my TV shows that I have DVR’d and reading. 🙂 Y’all rest up! Monday will be here soon enough.

Lynne

Guest Post by Terry Lee

Simplify by Pruning

      A tree may need pruning for a variety of reasons. Diseased or storm-damaged branches may need to be removed, or maybe the tree just needs to be thinned to permit better growth overall. Sometimes branches need to be removed because they obstruct the view of other branches, again affecting the overall health of the tree. Pruning also takes place to shape the entire tree for design purposes.

Isn’t it funny, maybe a little bewildering, how quickly the trees that we plant can sometimes take on a life and shape all their own when left unattended? We have a tree in our front yard that fits that description perfectly. We planted it several years ago, right outside one of the front windows. We added water…and fertilizer….added more water and kept the grass cut around it periodically, too. It grew and grew, beautifully at first…….but then the branches got taller and taller and the tree became harder to tend to. One of the branches even began to make an annoying scraping sound against the window as the tree was allowed to grow without much care or attention. What was once a great addition to our front yard had become a nuisance.

There is a striking similarity in the need to prune the branches on the trees in our yard and the desperate need that we have to also prune the number of things that are scheduled into our daily calendars. We often times haphazardly add so many things to our to-do lists and to our daily or weekly schedules that the most important or beautiful things end up getting totally obscured from view. Sometimes there are just too many branches on the tree!

So……….open your calendar or Day-Timer and take a look at it. Do you have things written all over the page? For some of us, there is not even a discernible margin on the page because so many things have been added. It’s time to simplify and do some pruning on your calendar. You will be pleased with the results…..new growth will begin to take place in areas that have been neglected or just crowded out by the excess activity or commitment “branches”………”Son-light” will be able to nourish every part of the tree again as the excess is pruned away and the diseased or storm-damaged branches are removed.

That tree is going to take on a whole new shape…….a beautiful design that no longer just makes an annoying scratch at the window. I am going to get those pruning shears out right now!! I hope you will, too.

Terry Lee

Phil. 1:9-11

Both of you are awesome!

Life of Haiti

So this morning, I woke up thinking about a sweet blog post, but as I was writing it, I thought about a photo that stopped me in my tracks a few months back. But 1st, lets backtrack. One day I grabbed James’ iPhone to play with it and when I opened the lock screen I found this as his background.

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Then I slid the lock bar to see this photo.

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He told me he took this photo somewhere at the airport or in a plane or something.

His backgrounds absolutely melted my heart. Seeing his lock screen showed me that he left part of his heart in Haiti. I might be dead wrong but I imagined whenever he would go to look at his phone, he would remember that moment of the little kid holding his hand while walking on the path to our construction site.

Thinking about that story…

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Friends…You Can’t Live Without Them

Good morning!

The ladies from my church small group had our monthly “girls’ night out” last night. As we were sitting around the table, Teresa and I were discussing what today’s post should be about. Sometimes there are things that just pop into my little brain and I could write and write. Some days…well, it’s just not that easy. As we sat there with our friends laughing, talking and eating, Teresa suggested writing about friends and friendships. So that’s what I’m going to do. 🙂

I know we’ve already written a post about the importance of friendships. But it really is an important topic, so I’m going to touch on it again. Seriously, you need friends. Not hundreds of them. Just a few – even two or three – really close ones that you can call on no matter what. Looking around the table last night, I knew that those women sitting there were among my “chosen few.” 🙂 We are a mixture of women…different stages of life/children; different occupations; home schoolers; full-time workers; black; white. But what we all have in common is a love for God, for our families, and for each other.

When difficult or stressful or exciting  things come along – and we’ve had a few of those in our group in the last few months – we’re there. Need a meal? Gotcha covered. Need a shoulder to cry on? Done. Need someone to help you move into a new house? Alrighty. We cover each other in prayer when a crisis hits. These are the kinds of friends you need. The ones who walk in when everyone else is walking away or walking out. The ones who walk right along side you either physically or emotionally – sometimes both – through whatever it is that you are going through.

And we can celebrate the good stuff, too! Birthdays, new jobs, new houses. Our monthly girls’ night is a regular celebration of our friendships. Those nights we spend laughing and talking bring us a little closer together each time. (Oh, and eating. Don’t forget the eating. We certainly won’t!)

You need friends. People who try to drag you into their drama aren’t good choices. People who bring you down more and more with each minute you spend with them…not so much. Friends cheer you up, lift you up in prayer and hold your hand when the going gets tough. But they don’t drag you down when the going is good. Everyone has bad days and a good friend will listen to you gripe and complain about yours. Then she’ll tell you to put on your big girl panties and deal with it. (She’ll put her big girl panties on and help you deal if necessary.) She might offer to beat up the source of your anxiety and stress. (In jest, of course. Maybe.) Somehow, she’ll make you smile in the midst of the craziness and give you a glimpse of happiness and joy in spite of what’s going on in your world at the moment.

Friends are with you when you are at your lowest point…physically, emotionally, spiritually. True friends will recognize when they just need to sit and hold your hand. When they need to cry with you. And when you’ve passed the point of being upset and have started wallowing. Friends don’t let you wallow in self-pity. Friends help you up out of the miry mess, hose you off, and push you on the path to something better. Even if you don’t want to go there. Maybe especially if you don’t want to go there. Good friends don’t let you keep wallowing. They just don’t.

Surround yourself with people who lift your spirits. Who lift you up in prayer. Who aren’t afraid to say, “Alright. That’s enough. He/she/it is not worth you being miserable. Forgive him/her/it and move along now.”

The best way to find the kind of friend you want and need is to BE that kind of friend to someone else. Be supportive, but don’t be a crutch. Be sympathetic, but don’t let someone wallow in sadness forever. Be honest, but don’t be hurtful. Be available, but don’t enable. Be the kind of person that you would want to hang out with.

Remember, you don’t needs tons of friends. Just a few select friends. And this is a situation where you need to be selective. Very selective. You can’t tell your innermost secrets to 20 people. Those 427 friends on Facebook? Nope. Fewer than ten…with a couple of those being very close. Those are the ones you can call at 4:00 in the morning. Those are the ones who sit with you at the hospital. Those are the ones you’d fight for. Those are the ones who cry with you and then make you smile. Those are the friends you need.

NOTE: Airing your drama on Facebook to all your “friends” will not win you any real friends. Your real friends will tell you to take that crap off of there. Just saying.

Make time for your real friends. A call, a text, an email, a note or card in the mail (gasp!). Don’t neglect them as you go through the day-to-day stuff that is your life. Don’t get so busy that you don’t have time for your friends. A good friend is hard to come by and nurturing friendships takes some work. So worth it! So. Worth. It. Because you’re going to need them one day. Don’t let that day come and you turn around and find there’s no one there because you haven’t had time for them.

Treasure your friends. Value them. Let them know how important they are to you! In fact, call or text or email one of your closest friends RIGHT NOW and tell her you hope she has a spectacular day!

Blessed beyond measure!

Lynne

Good morning! (Or afternoon, as the case may be when I get to finish this post)

Hope your week is going well! Did you choose a challenge this week? Are you spending your 15 minutes a day on it? Are you starting to get into the swing of a new routine or schedule?

My pantry was my chosen challenge for this week. However, my husband has his long break this week so he’s been home since Friday so I haven’t done much other than take a “before” picture and start an inventory of sorts. I don’t like working on projects and ignoring my beloved on his days off. So instead, he and I got started on our garden. We got five raised beds put together and in place, and shored up the ones from last year. While I am volunteering at church today, he is pricing the soil and amendments we’ll need to fill those beds. I am so excited! I love growing my own veggies!

I am going to have to keep this post short and sweet. My small group has girls’ night tonight, so I was up early making two big dishes of manicotti (one for home, one for the girls). I got my devotional done, loaded the dishwasher and came to church. I don’t want to spend a lot of time here working on this, so I’ll have to run for now.

We are wanting some more people to do guest posts for Friday. I have one for this week, but would like to have one of you write our Friday posts. They can be short and sweet, just like this one. We just want a glimpse of what you’re doing to simplify your lives…it’s so encouraging to hear from you. If you are willing to write a post, email us directly at lynneandteresa@yahoo.com. Thanks!!!

Have a blessed day!

Lynne