Just Say THANKS

FELLOWSHIP FRIDAY This past week during my lunch breaks I’ve been reading through articles in this months Christian Woman magazine.  One article in particular, written by Becky Blackmon, has been resonating in my mind this week! The entire article was about saying “thank you” to God for the things he blesses us with, and in return we will be able to recognize His work in our lives.  GREAT ARTICLE.. and you should definitely try to read it if you can!

My favorite part of the entire article is when she’s talking about her mother and a frequent memory she has of something her mother told her.  She said, “Do you know how to make your washer and dryer last a long time? …. You thank God for them every time you use them.”  So simple, but so profound to me! 

When I go to bed at night, I thank God for everything about my day.. even the teeniest little things, like “Thank you for popcorn we ate during movie night”.  When I start thanking Him for everything I can think of .. I feel so blessed.  It’s so hard to feel like you have nothing, when you start thanking God for the things you do have, You realize that you have quite a lot.  And it’s TRUE, I am starting to see the ways He is working in our lives.  He is everywhere.. even in that little bag of popcorn we eat in the evenings.  I’m sure some people in the state of Mississippi would love to have popcorn to eat, or an electric blanket to sit under, or a couch to sit on, or lights in their living room.. the list could go on forever.  Our family doesn’t have much, but we are so incredibly blessed and I am trying so hard to not take ANYTHING granted.. no matter how small.  

To Cultivate Stronger Friendships

MINISTRY One of my goals for 2015 is to be a better friend and to build better friendships.  Out of that desire to be a better friend, I came up with something that I currently call A FRIENDSHIP MINISTRY.  

I want to invest TIME into my friends and my friendships.  I feel like I’m so busy sometimes and I know that my friendships suffer from that.  I want to be the type of friend who is thoughtful, and caring, and loving.  I want to do things for my friends, and not do it for praise, but do it out of love for that person.  God just wants us to LOVE each other, and I think that if I show my friends this type of love – they will (hopefully) pay it forward to their other friends, who will hopefully pay if forward to THEIR other friends, and so on.  When I think about the possibility of people making an effort and investing LOVE and time into their friendships, I can’t help but think about how much love would surround us all.  I know I feel loved and appreciated, and I would love for everyone to feel that way!  

So what do I do in a Friendship Ministry?  

I made a little sheet to help me stay on track, and to help me SEE what it is I’m doing for my friends throughout the month.  I want to make sure I am investing the time and love that I should! (you can click on the link at the bottom of this post, SAVE, and print your own for FREE)

FRIENDSHIP MINISTRY

Who will I pray for : – Pick a few friends and make a point to pray for them everyday.  Thank God for them, and pray for any needs they may have .. known or unknown to you.  You may know of some friends who DO definitely need your prayers, or you may not know of anyone who’s really struggling at this time.. so pick some people that maybe you wouldn’t normally think to pray for.. and make a point to pray for those people everyday during that month.  

Who will I encourage, uplift, and inspire : If you notice any of your friends are down or struggling or asking for help, be there to build them up, to squash the lies Satan may be telling them, and to remind them how important they are to you and to God.  Do they have a dream they are trying to fulfill? Are they working towards a goal? Have they started a new venture? Commend them for a job well done so far.  Let them know that they are an inspiration to you, as well as others, and you are cheering them on.  Sometimes knowing that others are cheering for you is all the motivation you need to be more creative, push harder, and accomplish those goals.    

Compliment and Congratulate them : make a point to compliment a couple friends at least once per week.  You’re making one of their recipes for dinner – shoot them a text letting them know how much you enjoy their recipe and that you think of them everytime you make it.  You notice they have a new haircut, message them personally and let them know how AWESOME it looks on them.  Someone had a new baby, or got married, or engaged, or graduated, or a new job – the list goes on.  Send them a card in the mail congratulating them.. they will love that thoughtful gesture so much!

Celebrate their birthday : do more than just say “HAPPY BIRTHDAY” on Facebook (because it reminded you to) … look ahead into the month ahead and see who’s birthdays are coming up.  Make a point to send them a birthday card, or a starbucks gift card, or something FUN and festive and THOUGHTFUL.  It’s so much more fun to see “Happy Birthday” written on something you can hold and keep.  

Surprise them : pick one or two people per month and do something thoughtful for them..out of the blue.  Do they have a favorite candy you know about? Send them some! Do you know they’re getting ready to make a trip somewhere? Send them a little travel goody box! It doesn’t have to be expensive, even just sending them a handwritten note out of the blue would make them feel special and loved! Unexpected surprises are the BEST, am I right? Think of those you’d like to bless and do it! 

Thank you notes : writing thank you notes to those who have done things for you during the month are such an easy and thoughtful way to say “THANK YOU”.  Going that little extra mile, putting in the effort, to write out THANK YOU and some nice words can really brighten someones day.. and, they may even be motivated to bless someone else because they know YOU appreciated the blessing they gave to you.  

The main thing I want to do, is LEAD BY EXAMPLE.  Be the friend you want others to be to you.  Start a legacy of kindness and be someone who puts value on your friendships.  Others will want to be like you, they will pass it on to their friends in return.  Imagine a world where friends were constantly praying for each other, encouraging each other, building each other up, inspiring each other, complimenting each other, congratulating each other, celebrating each other, and making them feel loved “just because”.  The blessings would absolutely overflow. 

A Friendship Ministry : Free Download A Friendship Ministry

 

For more FREE Printables to go along with A Friendship Ministry, click HERE to be taken to my Free Printables page!! You will find printable notecards you can use to send those you are going to bless for the month!  

 

Freshening Up After Sickness

I feel like I’ve (unfortunately) become an expert at this lately.  At least 1 person in my family has been sick since October.  Colds, strep, stomach bugs, colds, strep, stomach bugs … we just can’t catch a break! I am so thankful for Lysol and hand soap, because those 2 things have kept me from getting a stomach bug of my own!

After we’ve been through a round of sickness, I feel like I crave a fresh home.  I want things to feel clean and smell clean.  I make my rounds with my trusty can of Lysol, make sure all bathrooms and the kitchen are fully stocked with some nice smelling hand soap, and I wash my laundry with those Purex Crystals.  Slipping into bed on clean smelling sheets is such a wonderful thing to experience after cleaning up puke and runny noses all day. Purex Crystals

Have you tried Purex Crystals before? They’re seriously so neat.  I just put some in my load of laundry with my laundry soap, and run it through like a normal cycle! They are my go-to thing for freshening up laundry after we’ve been sick.  They really brighten up the process and help us feel refreshed while we’re recuperating.Purex Crystals

If anyone would like to try them, I actually have 2 coupons for a free bottle.  You can try them and see if you like them before you buy.  (I’m 99% sure you’re going to love them)

The first 2 people to comment on this post will get them! See, it pays to read my blog.  Haha (While you’re commenting, could you please share with me your tried & true way to get rid of a cold?! We are starting another round of them! Ahh!)

Purex Crystals

The Purex brand provided me with a sample of Purex Crystals in exchange for a product review. (it couldn’t have come at a better time!) However, all the opinions expressed here are MY OWN! I actually purchase these for our family! 

2015 : The Year of Regrouping

2014 has been a wild ride.  I feel like I’ve been hanging on by my fingernails the entire year. My feet haven’t even touched the ground once.  No feet on the ground = no foundation.  I feel so lost as this year comes to a close.  I feel so disorganized.  I feel so BLAH.  I’m ready to make a change towards a good life.  An intentional life.  A life where I feel content with my decisions and with what I’m doing to make things great for my family. 

Time to Regroup

I feel like I’ve been given a couple resources to help me regroup for 2015.  I love Emily Ley and Lara Casey.  They have done something in their own life that is a dream of mine – but I can dive more in to that later.  The resources I’ve been given is their advice and their tips for making 2015 a spectacular year.  I LOVE planners, so for 2015 I bought Emily Ley’s Simplified Planner.  I follow her on Instagram and on Facebook, and a few weeks ago she advertized about a webinar that she and Lara Casey were going to give.  If you had previously bought a Simplified Planner (or Powersheets, in Lara’s case) you could listen in for FREE.  I didn’t exactly know what the webinar was going to be about, and I didn’t know ANYTHING about Lara Casey, but I loved Emily and I wanted to participate!

What I got was the answer to my prayers.  A prayer I hadn’t even sat down and realized that I had.  They opened the door to goal setting and living life ON PURPOSE and basically how to make 2015 the BEST YEAR YET.  I still feel a little overwhelmed.  I am so unorganized, both mentally and physically, that I feel like I have a lot of catching up to do before January 1st.  I’m trying so hard to stay focused and to take things seriously.  I truly want to regroup for 2015 and LIVE THE LIFE THAT GOD HAS PLANNED FOR ME!

Lara Casey focuses a lot on having a “core statement”.  Things you are passionate about and things that basically set you on fire.  Things you wouldn’t give up for anything.  You take this core statement, and you live your life according to that.  It is helpful when you’re trying to make decisions throughout the year.  If it doesn’t support your CORE, you don’t do it.  You will never regret staying true to those things you are so passionate about.  I’m still working on my “core statement”, but I think these goals help define what’s important to me and what I’d like to accomplish in 2015.  I really hope that this coming year is a learning and a growing year for me! I’m tired of feeling like I’m just hanging on by a thread.. missing lots of important things.. and focusing on the wrong things.

My Goals

To determine what my talents are and use them.  And, I pray for the resources to be available to me and that I’m brave enough to pursue these talents.  I want to be able to use these gifts and talents that God has given me ON PURPOSE. 

To have a life that is lived on purpose.  To be intentional with my time and do what matters most.  Make PLANS to do those things that matter most.  Follow my “CORE” and just MAKE IT HAPPEN.  Make LIFE Happen.  To have more purposeful planning, where there is actually physical action to go along with those plans.  To stop focusing so much on Social Media, feeding my heart with useless things .. take that time and use those minutes intentionally on my family or my children creating memories.

To be content being me.  Stop comparing myself to others and their successes.  Followers on IG or Facebook or Blogging aren’t what matters most.  I’m not a failure if I fail to have success with social media.  I need to focus on being TRUE to ME and just being happy being ME.  

I want to conquer each day.  It doesn’t have to be perfect, but I want to go to bed each night full of contentment about my day.  To have stuck to my goals and to have stayed true to my core.  To not live in laziness.  To not have regret about not spending enough quality time with my kids.  I just want to own each day, and let each day build upon the one before it, making 2015 the best year yet. 

To be more creative.  Do those crafty projects I want to do.  Make small steps towards those creative goals (and DREAMS) I have set for myself.  To try some new creative ventures.

To be the wise overseer of our finances.  I need to have a God-led budget.  I truly need to stop living in fear about our finances, and trust God and his provisions for our life.  I believe God has led us here, to go back to college, and I have to believe He will take care of us while we are here. 

To honor the body God has given me.  I need to take better care of my body, feed it healthy and nutritious food, give it exercise, give it enough rest, etc.  Satan uses my body and unhealthy habits as a trap for me and as a way to have control over me.  I need to be brave, be strong, and defeat the “demons” that are holding me down. 

To implement a healthy and fulfilling routine for my family. Our family is going through this life with no direction and no routine.  It’s so draining.  We need structure.  I think with a productive and functional routine, we could make so much more progress on our goals for 2015.  

To cultivate stronger friendships.  I want to be a better “behind the scenes friend”, which is something I can elaborate further on later.  I want to create amazing bonds with women who have a like minded core.  I want to create some friendships with women I can “do life” with.  I want to invest in Godly friendships.

To create stronger bonds within our family.  Be intentional with family time.  Give my children and my husband my undisturbed attention every.single.day.  To learn more about Godly parenting.  To be a supportive partner in life to my husband.  To create wonderful memories for my children and to never take advantage of the short time I have to spend with them. 

To follow God’s heart ONLY.  I want to be brave and take the path He has laid before me.  Do things in my life that please Him greatly.  Continue to be brave about following His will.  To STOP WORRING or complaining.   Start using every moment in life to His glory. Have more quiet time with Him, focusing on what matters most. 

So, there are 11 goals that I will be praying over for the rest of 2014 and all throughout 2015.  These goals will help shape my CORE, which will guide me throughout this coming year.  I’m so excited to live a life on purpose.  To SIMPLIFY and to focus on what matters most.