How to Fight Distractions

how to fight distractions

I love to start new projects, buy new journals and pens, find new recipes, make new friends. I love to try new foods, go to new places, and see new things. I love to start new Scripture reading plans, new Bible studies, and new Scripture writing notebooks. But in the daily doings of life, when I am all too easily distracted, I can lose my way if I don’t remember some important tips.

It is really in my “makeup” but if I don’t keep a handle on it, I can find myself discontented and frustrated. As I’ve grown into adulthood, I continue to struggle, but have learned some tricks to help me get back on track when I follow a rabbit trail…

 Remember the Spirit

One reason I get distracted is that I fall for the belief that “something better” is out there, and swallow it hook, line & sinker. I find a newer, better way to do something, only it requires effort and learning curve and I end up spinning in circles rather than actually following through. It is human nature to think that maybe what I have is not as good as what else might be out there. It’s probably the reason Eve listened to the serpent in the first place… I have to remember that my flesh wars with my Spirit and that I have to choose to die to my flesh. What good does it do to have 1,000 different purple pens if I don’t ever use them? And who needs 1,000 pens anyway – even if they are purple?

Remember I am Uniquely Created

No, this is not about my favorite lip gloss. It is about how I am built – my bents, my quirks, my personality, my nature. Watching a butterfly fly, it appears as though they just flit around on the breeze without much direction. They rarely fly a straight line, but they are intent on finding their next meal. Now, if you have seen a hummingbird fly, they appear to know right where they are going, zooming here and there, appearing as though they have a purpose and direction they intend to follow. See that comparison thing I did there? Well, that’s something I also struggle with. I don’t do a lot of things like a lot of other moms I know. I tend to be more like the butterfly with my home & family. But when I compare myself to a “hummingbird” who has everything lined up, organized to the hilt, on schedule, and on time – I feel like a complete and utter FAILURE. But I am not. I am just a butterfly. And when I remember that I don’t have to be like anybody else, I can relax and enjoy being who I am. (Would you all pray for me in this area? cuz it is probably where I struggle the most as a mom.)

Remember my WHY

It is so important for me to stay rooted in what is real and what is not, and in. My WHY is the same thing as my purpose for living. It is the WHY I am here. It is the WHY He created me. It is what God wants to and does reveal to me when I walk with Him – but I don’t remember it unless I stay faithful to walking with Him. When I remember how important it is to stay alongside Him – and not run off ahead or lag behind – I keep My WHY in focus and can accomplish so much more!

Remember my Primary Role

Y’all. I do not know how any mom does it, really. Sometimes I find this responsibility of motherhood to be choking and heavy (but again, that is usually due to the fact that I am trying to run ahead of what God has for me). When I think it is MY responsibility to “be Jesus” to my children, I take on the role of savior. When I remember that it is my primary role to lead my children into the direction of Jesus, I must choose to walk with Him – but it is their responsibility to follow. Only Jesus can save, redeem and restore my children to Him in their brokenness. I can live a life that shows them His redemption and restoration – but they also get to choose whether to follow that or go another way.

Remember my Redeemer

And this ties directly into my previous point. Frankly, when I am constantly focused on myself, or comparing myself to some “super mom” or “super Christian” – I lose steam and become inefficient and unsettled in life. It can be seen in my home, in my relationships, in my job, and in my own little corners of the world. When I remember my Redeemer, I remember how much I am loved, how much He longs to know me and how He already sees me in full bloom. When I remember my Redeemer, I remember my value and the distractions of life fade away into oblivion. This is KEY to remaining focused on the value of the life I have been given, and my decisions are based on that value, rather than by the illusion of some passing fancy (no matter how glittery or purple-y it might be).

It is not always easy to keep my eyes focused like I should.  Much like Peter, I am caught off guard by waves and wind.  But when I Remember to shift my attention from myself back to Him, He lifts me up and helps me find solid footing again.

Last Chance Today!

Today is your last chance to purchase the Ultimate Homemaking Bundle.  This deal goes away at MIDNIGHT tonight, Pumpkin!  If you have ANY desire to purchase it, whether through my links or another one of your favorite bloggers, I really hope you will.

I have unpacked quite a few of the e-books in the bundle and signed up for some of the *Sweet* bonuses over the weekend.  I got my *Molly Green membership* which always provides some great articles about DIY home stuff including recipes for natural living!  I am getting ready to order my f*ree lip balm kit from *Orglamix* and am shopping for my book from *Bookroo* (ACK!) My *Kiwi Crate membership* is something I am looking forward to for fun summer projects!!!

I have also been digging into the coloring books!  Oh my goodness!  I love the Garden Therapy coloring book and the Bible Verse Coloring Through the Year!  I have printed off several pages and the kids & I colored off and on over the weekend.  That has been fun.

I also got really excited as I went through the Adventures in Bible Journaling book.  First of all – bethany floyd, the author does a TREMENDOUS job of breaking things down and making it so much easier to wrap my head around!  Secondly –  she addresses some common fears that might keep Newbie Bible Journalers from really getting into their Bible.  (Spot on!) and I love the beautifully illustrated ebook with her simple instructions!  That has me thinking about some of my favorite Bible verses and how I want to signify them for my walk with Jesus.

 

Today, I will be looking into all the Recipes books included in the bundle.  I already found a couple of new recipes in the Delicious Dinners ebook. With summer approaching, I know I will want more Slow Cooker recipes, too – and I hope to teach my girls how to make some great bread from the Never Buy Bread Again ebook (already printed off a couple of recipes!)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Later his week, I hope to dig into the Intentional Living portion of the book bundle.  I have been seeing RAVE REVIEWS about A Peaceful Home by Crystal Brothers – and I Love My Home looks to be really good, too! :

 

If you want to purchase your bundle today, just click any of the graphics to get yours before they are gone!


 

In other news, I attended a Priscilla Shirer simulcast at my church on Saturday.  OH MY SOUL!  It was so wonderful.  I feel like she is the kind of woman who I could definitely sit and have coffee with and just enjoy every minute.  But she isn’t just fun to be around.  No.  This woman can rightly divide the Word of Truth y’all.  And my toes were smartin’ pretty good when I left.

My primary takeaway that still sticks with me is this message:

Chosen, Not Cheated!

I’m going to write a little bit more about that and what it means to me later this week.  In the workbook we were given for the simulcast, I also noticed that Lifeway / Living Proof Ministries is going to be in TOLEDO, OHIO in September.  MOTHER – I AM TALKING TO YOU – YOU SHOULD PLAN TO COME!  I have already decided I have to go – and have a couple of gals from church who are going to wrangle up some other gals from church to go.  And I think you should come, too, Mama, if you can spare the day!!!  =)

Now that it is May, the sun is up earlier and going down later – and my kids just DON’T want to even bother with school anymore.  Y’all – it is getting BAD at my house in the mornings!!!  UGH!  I think I am gonna have to look up some of those smoothie recipes in the Ultimate Homemaking Bundle so breakfast can be faster and maybe it will put a pep in my kids’ steps in the morning – cuz we need it!

How do YOU manage that last month of school before summer?  Do you change things up or just tough it out through those few agonizing “Summer Fever” weeks?

 

I Am Not A Sales Person

I don’t push products for people to buy just because it makes me money.  Even though I am an affiliate for several products, I am not going to recommend anything that I don’t like or doesn’t save me time or money.  In fact, I’m just one of those people who gets excited about good deals and good products and I can’t help but share my enthusiasm when I find it.

I am fun at home sale parties.  But I hate selling.  I love to share great products at incredible savings – but I am NOT going to hard sell anybody successfully.  I know what it’s like to live on a budget and to know that $30 can be a major expense sometimes.  I don’t want someone else to go into debt because I recommended something to them that they really couldn’t afford or won’t use.  That makes me nauseous.  If someone says “No,” I tend to just walk away instead of using more sales tactics.

I can admit that on many days, I feel overwhelmed or unmotivated or frustrated with my management skills at home. The Ultimate Homemaking Bundle is a great resource I have always found to be useful and helpful to me in the past.   I have found printables that I can use for my schedules, routines, and my homemaking binders.  I have found encouragement from e-books on the heavy days of motherhood when I feel like I haven’t done anything right.  I have also found quick & easy recipes that make dinnertime less stressful. SCORE!

That’s what I love most about the Ultimate Homemaking Bundle.  I can download all my resources – save them on a flash drive or load them to my Kindle – and use them when I am ready and able.  I know there are items that I will probably never use, but there are so many that I go back to again and again!

If you don’t have any problems managing your home and family – this bundle isn’t for you.  If you don’t have $30 to spend, then DON’T buy it (please!)  If you don’t like to use printables or PDFs – then this will be a waste of your time and money.

Click the link below to learn more about the Bonus Offers that come with your purchase of the Ultimate Homemaking Bundle.   (Sale ends at 11:59 pm on Monday, May 1)

Ultimate Bundle Sale Coming Soon!

I have blogged for several years and still like to share great deals when I find them. Ultimate Bundles offers several deals each year, but one of my favorite bundles is the Ultimate Homemaking Bundle!

Every year, the UHB is packed full of resources including printable e-books, e-courses, printable forms, and more.  This year’s bundle is really exciting, but let me tell you first what the Ultimate Homemaking Bundle is!

The geniuses at Ultimate Bundles create this valuable collection of resources for busy wives, moms, and women to encourage and support you in all the busy things you do! Whether you want encouragement and support for parenting or marriage, faith based products to grow your walk with Christ, financial advice and guides, products to help you live more intentionally, or guide you with planning meals or managing your home, THIS BUNDLE IS FOR YOU!

One of the new categories this year is the “Creativity” section which includes resources for Bible journaling and printable coloring books! (eek!)  And this year, the bundle includes over 400 recipes!

Why is the Ultimate Homemaking Bundle such a great deal?  The original value of the entire bundle is almost $2,000.00 but that is NOT the price you will pay.  In fact, you will be able to purchase this bundle once it goes on sale live on Wednesday, 4/26 for 97% off!

97% off!

That is a good deal no matter how you look at it, right?  In addition, if your purchase your bundle during the Early Bird Special – you will get your e-books in your favorite e-reader format – FOR FREE!

As with every ultimate bundle, there are bonuses that sweeten the deal even more!  I have always found that the bonuses offered are equal to the cost of the bundle, and usually worth even more!

Now, let’s be real – this bundle will NOT clean your house for you, will NOT pay your bills for you, and will NOT turn you into June-Cleaver-Betty-Crocker-Martha-Stewart.  But I can tell you that every time I have purchased an ultimate bundle, I have found greater value in the products than the price I paid.

(P.S. – I can’t give you more specifics about the exact products or bonuses or even the price of the bundle until next Wednesday.  But if you don’t want to miss out on your chance to get your own bundle, CLICK HERE to enter your name & email address so you can be reminded and get all the details of the bundle for yourself!)

Next Wednesday, I will share the details of the bundle with you and you will be able to see all the products in this years Ultimate Homemaking Bundle for yourself.

You know, if you decide to purchase the bundle via one of my links, I will earn commission for referring you.  But I want you to know that this bundle has always been more valuable to me than the price – and I really believe it is a worthwhile investment! Don’t forget that if you purchase the bundle before Thursday, 4/27, 11:59 pm (EST), you will also get the free e-reader upgrade so you can take your ebooks with you wherever you go!

Happy Birthday, USMC!

To the few  men I’ve known who have served or are currently serving in the United States Marine Corps:

Thank you for your service.  For defending your country with Honor.  You ARE the Few, The Proud.  

Semper Fidelis!

It Ain’t Easy Doing Right

The thing about Christian Living is that it ain’t easy.  It ain’t easy to go against our flesh when the better choice is love.  It ain’t easy to go against our feelings when the better choice is grace.  And it certainly ain’t easy when you feel like you’re all alone and the only one who cares about doing right.

Anybody feel me here?

That’s why when I saw the new Ultimate Bundle, I knew I would share it here.  I know Christmas is coming and maybe (like me) you have expenses like a busted out rear car window, or fees for a traveling volleyball team for your kids, or house insurance coming due.  I have invested in a couple of the Ultimate Bundles for myself and have felt like I invested in myself and my family.  I have yet to work through ALL the materials, but I have found some encouragement for health and homemaking.

This bundle contains incredible resources for Business & Personal Finance, Christian Classics Series, Christian Living, Devotional Life, and even resources For Kids!  The author list blew me away when I saw it (Seriously!  Calvin. Tozer.  Moody. Mueller. Spurgeon.  And that’s just in the Classics section!!!)

If I could encourage you to buy ANY bundle ever, it would absolutely be THIS one!

The Ultimate Christian Living Bundle!

The ebook selection is phenomenal, and you can choose either PDF format for printing ($34.95) or in eReader format for your Nook or Kindle ($39.95).  You can see the categories and individual book selections by clicking here.  (Seriously – just go check it out.  In many cases, just 2 of these books would cost you $40, so go see what you can get at this steal of a price!)

Sometimes, we need a little bit of encouragement.  Sometimes, we need to read about someone else’s experience to grab hold onto hope!  This bundle is sure to offer hope – from author after author!  Go check it out!

Click the banner below to get your own Christian Living Bundle!

Oh those Minions!

My family & I just watched the movie Despicable Me for the first time over this weekend. OH. THOSE. MINIONS! We actually watched the movie twice and Little Man was as entranced by the minions as the rest of us.  They were humorous and Little Man sat for the whole time the movie was on!!!

What are the minions exactly? Does anybody know?

Little Man called them “Beedos” – at the beginning of the movie the little minions were talking and made this sound – and it stuck and that is how Little Man has referred to them ever since!

A few weeks ago, we all went and watched Monsters University – we had already seen Monsters, Inc., but hadn’t watched Despicable Me yet. Now I’m dying to take my kids to see Despicable Me 2.

Despicable Me – for those of you like us who missed out on it the first time around – is really sweet, heartwarming and totally family friendly! We loved Gru’s transformation from villain to hero and the overall message of love and family.  It is one which we will invest in by purchasing a DVD and one I won’t mind my kids watching again and again!

Have any of you seen DM2? What did you think? Did you like it the same, better, or not as much as the original? I’d love to hear from you before I actually take the kids to see it!

On a sidenote: we really enjoyed Monsters University, too. It was a fun flashback to when Sully & Mike met at university and was a good family movie to watch together!

Blog Rewind: Saving Money on TV with a Streaming Device

This is part TWO of a Three Part series I originally posted when my links were not working. I thought I would repost them with updated links so you can read them. A lot of people look to save money on cable and want to know some alternatives. I thought I would share our experience with you here! Enjoy – and let me know what you think!

Earlier, I wrote about the Roku 2 XD Streaming Player 1080p and how we watch TV since we cut off our cable.  Today I want to compare costs for the two so you can see the overall savings over one year.

Our Cable TV service, even in a bundled package, was costing us just over $60 per month.  That’s quite a bit considering the handful of channels we actually watched.  It was, however, one of our only avenues for entertainment at home.  We decided to get rid of cable and stick with internet and home phone.

On a side note, have any of you gotten rid of your home phone and stick only to cell phones?  What are the Pros and Cons of that for you?

We agreed to give Netflix a try for free for 30 days.  We watched movies we hadn’t seen in a long time, and even new movies we hadn’t ever seen.  There were TV shows (series) that my kids loved and missed from cable TV.  All for $7.99 per month!  Hello savings!

Switching from my laptop for streaming to the Roku 2 XD Streaming Player 1080p added a one-time cost of $88, but divided by 12 months averages $7.33 per month.

$7.99 + $7.33 = $15.32/month – still a $45 savings per month.  That’s a BIG deal!

Since the streaming device only required a one time purchase price, it really will cost less over time.

In addition, since connecting to the Roku 2 XD Streaming Player 1080p, we have subscribed to HuluPlus (which offers several of our favorite series, including recent episodes we missed after cable went bye-bye), and Amazon Prime which costs $79 per year.

Essentially, on a per month average, we pay $22.56 for the 3 subscription services.  The longer we have the Roku device, the less cost that will average out over time, and it will become moot.

In addition, the Amazon Prime allows for MORE than just streaming movies, but I will share more about THAT tomorrow!

*affiliate links for Amazon are included in this post

Good Times on the GoodTime

Roy has a new job.  He’s been there about a month – still in counseling – but no longer in private practice (that is a WHOLE other blog, let me tell you!)  Anyway, he got some awesome discount tickets for a 3 hour tour, er cruise, on Lake Erie from Sandusky, Ohio.  Our boat would be the GoodTime I.  So, with Roy’s parents, and our 3 kids, we ate a quick bite at the golden arches for supper, and headed up to the bay.

All the while, storm warnings were being issued for Sandusky and the lake in general…

ahem.

We arrived early and walked along a pier, watching a few folks fish or sit on benches watching the birds on the pier and the water.  sandusky collage

We were aware of the storm clouds moving in from the distance, and I (for one) was thankful that the breeze was cooler near the water.  We kept the girls entertained while trying to ignore the rumbles of thunder.  We wondered if we were going to get to go on the boat at all, or if we’d have to forego the non-refundable prices we’d paid for the tickets.

We eyed the building clouds, streaking lighting and small whitecaps with guarded interest, assuring ourselves that we would CERTAINLY not go on the water if there was a storm, right?

Welllllllll.

We stood in line for a short while, then quickly boarded, grabbed our yummy (and complementary) Sun Chips and soda and found ourselves a comfortable table with great views.  Before we left the dock, the rain began.  It was only sprinkling, and the sun was still shining, so we hoped things would stay light and we could enjoy our little trip.  As we moved out into the bay, we rounded little islets covered with herons, seagulls, and black cormorants.  They were beautiful!

birdsHint: click the photo for a bigger view!

And then the storm hit. 

It thundered and lightninged with great vigor and noise.  Picture it:  My husband, my in-laws, my three kids, and myself – along with dozens of other families – all on this lovely little cruiser on Lake Erie.  It rained so hard we could barely see 10 feet off the boat.  The thunder roared and the lightning flashed, and for a few minutes we all just kinda looked at each other like,

What?

Raining

And eventually it let up.  And we were able to open the windows and enjoy the views again.  But there were DEFINITELY some breath-holding moments, met with “Okay, who is gonna be Gilligan and who is gonna be the Skipper?” bravado…

fearfulThe thunder was VERY loud!

As the rain let up and the storm moved past, we began to see the shorelines of Sandusky and the many islands that dot the bay.  The boat resumed its tour and we began to enjoy our time on the boat.  The girls had a GREAT time looking out the large open area near our table, and eventually began throwing out bits of crackers to the birds that were following the boat.  We visited with some of Roy’s coworkers and their families and just really enjoyed a nice evening away from home together.

Of course, we cruised past Cedar Point – more than once – and the girls BEGGED to get off the boat to ride some rides, but that will have to wait for another trip.  It was well worth the few dollars we paid for the tickets, and one of the highlights of our summer so far.

Have you done anything different or unusual with your family this summer?  Do you have plans to do anything fun before you start planning your Back to School madness?