Monday, October 28, 2013

What's for Dinner?

Do you ever make things harder than they need to be?
Some days, I think that’s my whole goal in life.
Proverbs 3:5 Photography

 
    For example, dinner. Since technically I’m classified as a ‘stay-at-home mom’ I should have these wonderfully fabulous made from scratch meals every night of the week, right? I mean the world thinks I sit around on my rear all day and eat bon-bons so I could at least cook a decent meal. Well on Wednesday, one of our busiest nights of the week, I held nothing back. Wait for it, we had grilled cheese sandwiches, salad and, that’s right, ramen noodles! I was getting everything out to start the “cooking” and I was thinking, ‘boy, what an awesome mom I’m being. I’m sure going for the super mom of the year award tonight.’
    Later after the events of the evening came and went, I apologized to my husband about dinner. His sweet comment, “Why?” He told me it was more than fine. I of course already knew that. But sometimes I get wrapped up in the world’s view of ‘bigger is better’ and forget that sometimes… simple can be better.
    With the dinner I fixed, the kids were able to help with the making of the grilled cheeses. They unwrapped cheese slices and buttered toast and loved it. I had less stress with the preparations and cleanup was a breeze. We got to fellowship over dinner more because no one needed reminding that supper is indeed a time to eat and not the time to stab a pea with a fork as if that is its only use. And to top it all off, my husband requested for me to send him two packages of ramen noodles for his lunch the following day.
    Colossians 3:23 says, “Whatever you do work at it with all your heart, as if working for the Lord, and not men.” NIV. Whether it’s ramen noodles or made from scratch chicken and dumplings remember God sees our hearts and the attitude we have when making dinner.
     Do you need a simple night? Go ahead and try one out this week. Your taste buds might beg to differ but I beat they will be over shadowed by the extra time you get to spend with your family.
Bon app├ętit!
Don't forget about the free book giveaway. Contest ends tomorrow!
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with love and prayers,
Megan

Monday, October 21, 2013

Book Giveaway and Review: 'Women Living Well'



 As a mom and wife, life sometimes gets mundane with dishes, laundry and cooking that comes day in and day out. I often find myself just going through the motions. Don’t you?

I wanted to read the new book Women Living Well by Courtney Joseph because, well, I like her blog! I have enjoyed reading her postings on womenlivingwell.org and goodmorninggirls.org. The Lord has used her words to speak His wisdom and teachings to me so many times.  Especially her free e-book,  The Proverbs 31 Woman One Virtue At a Time; I have absolutely loved that! So I had the wonderful idea to write a book review for my own blog. Small problem… I have no idea how to write one.  I mean what else is there to say besides: 'I really enjoyed the book and yes, of course, I would recommend it…’ So thanks for bearing with me. But I do have some awesome news: I’m giving away one free copy of Women Living Well! (Hint: keep reading to find out how.)
 
Daily I should be striving to be a God fearing woman who is a helper to my husband, who shows my children how to walk a Christ-filled life and who provides a welcoming home for my family. But the truth is...Sometimes I’m-Just-Plum-Worn-Out!

 Courtney shares tips and real life stories that made me laugh out loud. And think 'Yes, now that is real life.' Her book is set up covering being a wife, mother and our household duties. Inside each chapter are mini sections, making it ideal for this busy mom to read a snippet here and there between stirring dinner or waiting in the van for my child to arrive.
 
  ‘Self-improvement’ books usually are not my favorite reads. They tend to be decent until about half way through, then they start losing me. However, Women Living Well kept my attention and most importantly it didn’t repeat the same information over and over. I read the book with a pencil in hand, underling and circling important words that I wanted to remember and nearly writing ‘LOL!’ on every other page.  She provided helpful lists on how to improve in our daily tasks, gave me a ten day challenge to enrich my marriage and showed scriptures of God’s truths.

  She asked me to evaluate my walk with God, my marriage, my children and my homemaking. Courtney gives encouraging words to us women, things we often know but need reminding at times.
 
Here are some of Courtney's words from her book that have touched me: “I’m sure you have felt the exhaustion, fatigue, and the drain on your emotional and spiritual life as you balance being a wife, mother, and everything else you have to do.”
“God has used marriage, parenting, and homemaking to show me my ugly sin and to sanctify me. That is the process we face; sanctification, or becoming more like Christ. On my own, I am feeble at best.”
“Let’s aim to not be distracted and distant, but always there for our loved ones with a hug, a smile, a warm meal, clean sheets, and some lines in the rugs from our vacuum. It is one way we can show, without words, our love to our families.”

Courtney also has a chapter by chapter companion study guide to Women Living Well and it's free! Her book along with the free study guide would make an excellent devotional and simple bible study. I encourage you to check them both out! And see if God will use them to enrich your life, as it has mine.

Don't forget: You can win a free copy of Courtney's book!

Click on the link below and follow the directions to enter a chance to win a copy of Women Living Well.


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Monday, October 7, 2013

Are You Busy?


Are you busy?

 You’re laughing at me right now aren’t you?

No, perhaps the question should be, when are you not busy?

Honestly, I would love a morning where I could sleep in…Good and real sleep where there would be no early requests for chocolate milk and no refereeing between who gets to sit in the blue chair. But there’s that thing called breakfast that my family likes to do and of course the world does not stop just because I’m tired. To sleep in until eight in the morning, yes that sounds like a dream I once had.

                I need sleep! You need sleep. People need sleep. But I don’t get enough, do you? If I can’t sleep in, how do I get more? Oh right, yes there’s the go to bed earlier thing. Yeah, first of all no! I had caffeine at four in the afternoon so I could make it through the remaining part of the day and now there’s no way I could go to bed at nine. Plus I have a blue dozen things on my to-do list, my I-should-of-done-yesterday list and the list I still have to make for tomorrow.

                I’m busy, worn out and getting cranky because there’s not enough hours in my day. And there is no time for rest!

                Yesterday I finally made time to stop and sit down. I started reading Courtney Joseph’s new book Women Living Well. She’s right. The world tells us the more we have, the more we do, the more, more, more. Now that will bring us happiness. And that’s a lie! One I fall for way too often.

                She says in her book, “Do you want to be a better wife? Study your Bible. Do you want to be a better mother? Study your bible. Do you want to be a better homemaker, friend or coworker? Study your bible.” You know what? She nailed it! And I already knew that! But how am I going to add one more thing to my mile long list? If I don’t have time for God, then something’s got to go…and NO it can’t be my bible time.

                Why am I really here on this earth? Unfortunately, it’s not to be a professional shoe and purse shopper. And no one seems interested in performing a study on how long I could sleep in each morning. No really, I am here to give God glory, to be a loving and supporting wife and to be a mom who walks with Jesus so my children can grow up loving and serving Him. That is it! I don’t have to write this blog, my kids don’t have to be in fifty sporting events and yes, sometimes even good things like church activities can hinder my walk with Christ. By the way I’m not giving you an excuse out of helping and teaching at church. But I am saying pray about those things! And sometimes saying No, is the right response.

                The old saying: Take time to smell the roses. Have you lately? Join me this week as I take more time to rest and study the bible. Spend extra time in prayer. Ask Him if there is anything you need to get rid of so you can spend more time with Him.

                Show me your ways, O Lord, teach me your paths; guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long. Psalm 24:4-5 niv

 God used David to pen those words so many years ago; they will be my prayer this week.

If you need rest, if you need sleep, if you need extra time, if you need… Matthew 7:7 tells us to ask!

 Pray and ask God for time and strength this week to get you through each new day.

 My God is faithful! Just remember He doesn’t always answer things the way we have it planned out in our heads.
 
with love and prayers
 

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Posts to look forward to: Recipe for Ham Gravy and The Full Book Review on Women Living Well by Courtney Joseph.