Month: December 2019

Christmas Reflections

I don’t want to be one who makes New Year’s resolutions just because it’s a new year and I feel compelled to change because the calendar year did. Though, I do believe it is important to reflect and make goals. 2019 has been a hard year, but a good year. I worked for the first half of the year until I gave birth to my third child. I started my blog. I have learned a lot about the business of blogging! I got serious about my YouTube channel… It’s been good, but I want 2020 to be even better!

I now have 7 Christmases under my belt and I am used to the process, but I never want to lose the meaning and the wonder of the season. Christ is everything and this year, my relationship with Him has been tested. I shared this before, but pregnancy for me is like a spiritual fight. My pregnancy with Manasseh was pretty good, but there were a couple of health problems I was uncertain about and I sought the Lord for peace and healing. He gave me both! Manasseh was born healthy and labor and delivery went well.

One thing that not only me but all of us have to come to terms with is that we will never know all we want to know and that we are not in control of life. Doctors don’t know just how our hearts beat, scientifically. It’s the Lord’s call to keep each of us alive another day or not. I never want to lose that awe of His power and forget that I am His dearly beloved.

New Year’s resolutions: Well, I have already set a couple of goals to improve myself and my life. I don’t want to share them here yet. I am still organizing and planning. I turned 35 this year and now have three babies as well as my husband depending on me to do my best and go beyond what I ever thought I could do!

Aside from my main ‘get your stuff together’ goals for 2020, I will be reading more self-improvement/self-help books. I read some this year, but I need to make it a regular happening. As I am an avid reader, I do read every day, but I have focused on fiction for the past few months and got sort of complacent with my personal growth. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with reading fiction, but I may need to stay away from it for a while so as not to lose myself in the escapism of the stories. That’s what I tend to do. I gotta stay focused!

If you’ve been following me for a while, you know I’ve been making it through the Old Testament. I still am not done! I am more than halfway through the book of Psalms and I am still going to finish! I have tried and quit a couple of times before, but I will make it through this time, though it is taking me longer than I wanted to. Overall, I want to strengthen my relationship with the Lord and be more diligent in reading and studying the Word, then obeying what He commands me to do.  This year, I have learned more to accept the Lord’s grace and rely on His forgiveness. Also, I have learned to release bitterness and forgive others!

Something that I thought I was doing well is teaching my kids about Jesus. And I still think they have no excuse with all of the prayer and Bible reading that goes on in our house. But I recently learned that my oldest believes his teacher over me. He believes that Santa comes and brings presents to our house, though I have told him over and over that it’s not true. That really disappoints me. So I may let him see me wrap the presents this year and put them under the tree myself. I don’t want my kids to believe that lie. Also, he disappointed me to my core when he couldn’t tell me that Christmas is about Jesus! He said Joseph! I asked him again and he said gifts! So I have to reassess and reinforce how I teach my kids about the Lord and keep them in constant prayer, not to be influenced by the World over what my husband and I are teaching them at home.

I did not celebrate Christmas before I met my husband. I just really, had no reason. So once I received Christ and started a family, my whole life changed, now I’ve got great reason to live and thrive. I want 2020 to be a year of thriving! I am going for gold! I am so grateful for the Lord’s presence in my life and I want to honor Him by taking full advantage of the life He has given me, as well as create a better future for my beautiful babies.

I will update you all on the changes in my life and the goals I achieve as everything comes to pass. God bless you, and Merry Christmas!

 

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Women Of Courage 40 Day Devotional Review

Links are Amazon affiliate links. If you purchase through one of my links, I will get a small commission, but you will pay the same price. All opinions/statements are my own.

This devotional is a little different than other devotionals I’ve read lately. The Women Of Courage 40 Day Devotional from the (in)courage community is the companion devotional to the (in)courage Devotional Bible. I do not have the Bible, but this devotional has been a good companion for my own daily Bible reading. You can find this devotional here.

Each day of this devotional features a woman from the Bible. Some of the women are well known and some are lesser known; But they all have something we can learn from them. The format is the passage of scripture, a devotional elaboration, then a prayer. Each devotional is about 3 pages long.

The stories and prayers in this book have really been helping me identify with Christ and who He says I am. I, sometimes lose sight of what the Word of God says about me and start to identify with the Old Me again. When that happens I need a reminder, A good proverbial kick in the butt. This book has been that for me since I picked it up.

Especially helpful is the way that the devotions have helped me see the way that God honored certain women’s faith as well as how he loved each woman featured, uniquely.

If you’re a woman looking for a new devotional, this one could be the one you’re looking for. I’m sure even men could identify with this!

I have not been reading this every day. I still have my other personal Bible reading time and other Christian books I am going through, but I certainly am enjoying this!

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10 Awesome Last Minute Christmas Gifts Under $30

Links are Amazon affiliate links. If you purchase through one of my links, I will get a small commission, but you will pay the same price. All opinions/statements are my own.

It’s the Christmas season! Most of us will forget someone until that last minute, to buy a gift. Unless you’re one of those who is a stickler for lists and buys Christmas gifts in July! I think those people are a rare breed, so you may need some help. I’ve compiled a list to point you in the right direction for your last-minute shopping:

Affordable Gifts For Everyone!

 

Your friend’s teenager

This great backpack is a good gift option for a teen boy or girl. With six colors to choose from, it has a USB charging port and headphone jack and fits a laptop. It’s durable and useful for any teenage boy or girl.


This pullover hoodie sweatshirt is just great. It comes in various unique patterns for males or females.


A Toddler In your Life

With this drawing mat, I don’t think you have to worry about little ones making a mess. And they will hopefully, play for a good amount of time. Keeping a toddler occupied is of vital importance and this mat comes with a refillable pen and the color disappears on the mat after a few minutes.


I don’t think there’s a toddler alive who wouldn’t want their own camera. This one is a great, affordable option:


Gifts For Mom

You may want to save this gift for a woman who doesn’t take herself too seriously. Oh, and she must love to be warm! This soft, long-sleeved shirt says, ” I am Freaking Cold.”

 


A great gift for a young mom or older mom alike, this mug will be enjoyed by any mom. It comes with a spoon and a coaster.


Dad or Uncle

This hat, glove and scarf set is practical for any man in your life. It’s also very stylish!


Whether your man (or uncle or Dad, or man-friend) has a short beard, no beard or a full one, this grooming kit is everything he needs to take care of his facial hair or the hair on his head (if it’s short!)

 


Your Coworker

This stainless steel wine tumbler is great for a coffee-drinking or wine drinking coworker who is simple to please. Practical and sentimental at the same time, this mug says, “A truly great coworker is hard to find. Difficult to part with & impossible to forget.”


Who doesn’t take notes? Nobody! But this gift may be a great one for a coworker you know who has trouble with keeping things together. Or even for someone who has it together, but may need a little sprinkle of positivity in their life. 12-Pack Lined Notebook Journals


These are my suggestions for last-minute gifts. I hope you find one or two (or a few!) ideas here to help you out.

God bless you and Merry Christmas!

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How To Develop Healthier Habits

Let’s face it. It’s not always easy to stay healthy. In this world of convenience (assuming you’re in the U.S.), we sometimes grab and go when it comes to our health. Grab a burger on the way home from work, grab a coffee and an energy bar on the way into work, make quick PB&J for the kids when they come home from school; And forget about exercise! Who has time for that?! Well, just as you have bad habits, you can have good habits. You just need to switch up what you’re doing! Some may need to just change a thing or two, others may need a whole overhaul. Depending on how far you are into the realm of unhealthy habits, you will need to come up with a plan; A simple switch up if you’re not that bad. Or a complete life redo if you’re just completely unhealthy. Wherever you are, it’s not too late!

 

Start with one or two new habits at a time.

 If you need to drink more water, set the goal of drink 8 glasses per day; Or a gallon! You choose how extreme you want to go. How serious are you about changing your health? If you’re a late-night snacker, try cutting off the time when you stop eating at night to 8 PM. Don’t eat late at night and you could get rid of that muffin top a little quicker. Or maybe you want to start one new eating habit and one new exercise habit at once. Try incorporating two servings of vegetables per day and 30 minutes of walking three times per week to start. Start small and build yourself up once you get comfortable. You don’t want to set yourself up for failure. You’re going for long term life changes, not quick fixes.



When you set your goals, stick to them! Don’t look at these new habits as chores or as restrictions. Look at them as new habits that will change your life for the better! Also, keep in mind, your ‘whys’. Why do you want to get healthy? Why are you incorporating these healthy habits into your life? Is it to have the body you’ve always wanted? Is it so that you can be around for your family for years to come? Maybe you want more energy. Whatever it is, put your finger on it and don’t forget it! This will be your motivation when you don’t want to go running, when you want to have cookies at night, or when you’re sick of drinking water.

Create accountability.

If you don’t already have someone pushing you, find someone you know who you can tell about your health goals and check in with them regularly. Or maybe they’d like to get healthy with you! Whether it’s your spouse, a child, a sibling or a coworker, tell someone your plans to get healthy. Not only will you create accountability, but hopefully that person will also support you in your endeavor to create healthy habits that will change your life.

Change your mind.

Yes, diet and exercise are important, but your mind is too! When you think about getting healthy, reading and other mental exercises probably aren’t first on your radar. But when you change your mind, your habits will follow! Make it a habit to read for at least 30 minutes per day. Even if you don’t like reading, do it. Discipline yourself to do things that are uncomfortable but are good for you! Find good self-help titles that are going to give you a go-getter mindset. Cultivating success starts mentally first. Sudoku, crossword puzzles and word searches are also good tasks to incorporate into your daily routine to sharpen your mental state. Another good way to increase your mental function and focus is to listen to brain-wave music or classical music. If you have the time and resources, even take a class of some sort. Creative writing, dance, painting, pottery. There is an endless number of classes you can take to sharpen your mental state, even to get exercise. Google what classes you can take in your area or online, whichever you want to do.

All in all, I believe we all want to be healthier. I think some of us just don’t know how to. But there are so many resources to help you get started. You just have to look! Are you actively pursuing a healthier life? Here are some healthy new habits to start today:

 

Walk 30 minutes per day

 

Floss before bed

 

Meditate for 10 minutes in the morning

 

Eat 3 servings of vegetables per day

 

Drink 8 glasses of water per day

 

Stop eating at 8 PM

 

Sit under a sun lamp for 20 minutes per day (In Winter)

 

Only allow yourself one sugary snack per week

 

Stretch your whole body in the morning

 

Cut out all sugary drinks

 

Moisturize the whole body after shower with olive or coconut oil

 

What new healthy habit are you going to start today?

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How To Stop Stressing Yourself Out

Anxiety is so prevalent in American society that it has sort of become a regular emotion. But it is not normal! Anxiety is caused by stress and we were not made to live full of anxiety and fear. That is not freedom! I am one of those who has experienced a lot of anxiety and I decided that enough is enough! I doubt that I will go through life without ever experiencing anxiety again, but there are ways to just stop stressing yourself out. Here are a few ways:

Keep the right perspective.

No matter if you have a little or you have a lot, there’s only so much you can do at one time. You are not in control of all of the circumstances around you, so don’t try to get it all done in one day! Don’t stress over what you can’t do anything about at the moment anyway. Your peace is important, so keep the right perspective!

Take control and plan.

Tale control seems counterintuitive to my first point but there is a way to eliminate worry. If you plan to be successful and healthy, then carry out those plans, there will be less reason to worry. Educate yourself, create a good daily schedule to reach good goals that you set and take one day at a time. Diligence and persistence will see you in reaching your goals. Become your best self by reading self-help books and actually put to practice what you read! We were meant to not just survive, but to thrive. When you become the best version of you that you can and set goals then make them, you are thriving. And that’s the best you can do. When you know you are doing your best, you don’t have to stress.

Live healthy.

Cut out junk from your diet and get (at least minimal) exercise. Don’t stress about going to the gym daily, working out like an olympian and keeping a strict to the book diet (unless that’s what you want to do!). Start with small habits to incorporate healthy changes into your lifestyle and stick with them. If you are drinking lots of good water, eating fresh food and keeping sugar and fried foods out of your diet, then you are going to feel better and stress less. Don’t eat fast food every day and drink soda, then expect to be stress-free. You are inviting sickness into your body without thinking about it, eating that way. And you may not like exercise, but find something fun that you will enjoy. Even a 30-minute walk around a nearby park at least 3 times per week will become enjoyable once you make it a habit.

Change your thoughts.

The source of your stress and anxiety starts in your thought life. If you have negative thoughts regularly, those negative thoughts are going to pour over into your words, then into your actions and you are going to be a mess.. Watch what you’re thinking! Sit for a few minutes and think about it: Are you bombarded with regular negative thoughts? How’s your attitude? Do you have a bad attitude because of these negative thoughts? Change that now! Be grateful. It has to start as a practice before it becomes natural, but give it a try. Sit with a pen and paper and write down all of the reasons you have to be grateful. You can start with the fact that you are still alive! If you can read this post, there is still a purpose for you here on this earth.

Take note of who you are spending time with.

Who are the people closest to you? If they are complainers, gossipers, and fault-finders, you are probably that way yourself. Or at least it is stressing you out! If you are constantly in a negative environment, I can guarantee that you are affected negatively. If it is in your workplace, plan to change that. If it is at home, have some discussions with your significant other, your parents, your children, whoever you live with to change the attitudes or whatever situation is going on that is toxic. You may need to cut some people out if your life. You may grieve a relationship or two. But you will be better for it. You will stress less when negativity is nipped in the bud.

Have regular self-care time.

As a busy mom, I have a lot to handle, so I know what daily stress can be. I don’t know what your situation is, but I’m sure if you’re reading this, you have some source of stress. It is important to make time to take care of yourself. Have YOU time! When you shower, take a couple of extra minuted to massage on lotion. Light a candle with a scent that you enjoy when you are sitting at home. Go get a manicure when you have a little extra cash. Make a delicious smoothie and sit and enjoy it for a few minutes. Give yourself an at-home facial. Sit with some soothing music and do deep breathing exercises for 5 to 10 minutes. These are all suggestions, but get creative and do whatever you can to make sure you take time for self-care. You are important!

What are some ways you cut out stress?

 

 

 

 

 

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Holiday Gift Guide For The Whole Family – Shopping For Christmas 2019

I am shopping for more this year than I was last year. Babies have been added to the family! I wanted to create a shopping guide for those who aren’t great at shopping for certain individuals, or even for those who just need fresh ideas for loved ones they want to get gifts that will be enjoyed. Here are a few things I picked out.

Links are Amazon affiliate links. If you purchase through one of my links, I will get a small commission, but you will pay the same price. All opinions/statements are my own.

Gifts For Husband

If your husband is a foodie, or would just appreciate having a great hot breakfast or lunch without having to bug you when you are busy, he will appreciate this Hamilton Beach Breakfast Sandwich Maker. It makes perfect hot sandwiches, just like if you were having continental breakfast at a hotel. Another great thing about it is you can use it too, since it will be in your kitchen!


If you want to get your hubby a thoughtful, affordable and classic gift, this engraved bracelet may be what you pick out for him. It has a special message that he will see every time he looks at his wrist and it’s handsome as well. Not expensive, it is pretty good quality!

If your husband loves wine, or even if he drinks it once in a while, this electric wine opener may be the gift for him. You don’t want him to have to search for a wine opener and struggle to get the bottle open every time he wants a bottle (or just a glass!) It definitely will come in handy when you want to enjoy a little wine together and get some mommy and daddy time.


Now, this gift is sort of simple, but something that every man needs. Your man may already pair, or he may need a new one ’cause they are scruffy. If his are scruffy, get him these Dream Pairs men’s slippers. They come in a few different colors and are faux fur lined.


Wife Gifts

Now, I know a lot of women are hard to shop for (I am not one of those women), so if you are a husband and reading this, I hope I help you out. But you know your wife better than I do! These are some suggestions:

This mug is so nice. Now, if your wife loves coffee, tea or any drink for that matter, she will appreciate this beautiful mug. It says, “This Lady Is The Best Wife Ever” and it is a pretty marble pink. I’d def love it if my hubby gifted it to me!


This sterling silver pendant necklace is just gorgeous. Its message will make a wife’s heart smile. It will tell her in 120 different languages that she is loved. It is one of the pricier gifts on my wife list, but not too expensive. I’m sure she’d love this one for years to come!


I don’t know what woman wouldn’t appreciate this gift (but then again, as I mentioned I am not one who is hard to shop for). But this real rose dipped in Gold is just beautiful. It would be a great ornament to decorate your wife’s makeup table or her bathroom.


A woman needs a robe. Period. Sometimes she may not want to get dressed right away after she showers because she wants to do her hair and makeup. Or maybe she wants to throw on her robe when she gets out of bed because she doesn’t want the kids to see her in her nighty. This terry cloth option is nice. A classic gift, she can’t be mad at you for this one!


Gifts For A Boy

This beanie hat with built-in stereo speakers and mic is just great. It’s gray, so can be worn with anything. Some boys may like it, some not. It’s like a punk/rocker type gift, but other personality types may like it too. I think it’s awesome! It’s not expensive, and you can throw it in the wash!


This vintage canvas crossbody bag is a great gift for a boy of any age or personality. It’s classic and can be enjoyed for years. Great quality, even if he is 6 or 7 years old, he can still be using it when he’s a teenager.


My son loves cars. He has since before he could talk, and I’m sure he will when he’s old enough to drive one. For now, toy cars will do. This is a nice one! It’s got a remote control and lights that add some extra fun.


This next gift is great for boys who like to build. But I might even get it for a kid who isn’t so much into building. It would definitely give him something to do when he claims he’s bored! It’s educational too! IQ Builder Stem Stem Learning Toy – Construction Engineering Toy


Girl’s Gifts

This VTech Touch and Learn Activity Desk is perfect for ages 2 to around 5. Before your little girl goes to school, this learning desk is like school at home. It’s got different cards you can insert into the desk with various lessons. Requires batteries.


This princess castle/tent type playhouse is a dream for any little girl. I know my 3 year old would go crazy over it. I’m pretty sure my 10-year-old would enjoy it. This tent lights up and fun can be had for hours in it.


Adult coloring books are sort of big right now. This is a kids’ version! Meant to help your daughter, sister or another little girl in your life relax, this gift is great for a wide age range.


This pastel print crossbody bag is really cute for any girl. It can be used for a backpack for school or a purse!

 

Gifts For Baby

These adorable toys can be put on your baby’s feet or wrists for them to play with. So even if they are too young to hold onto something yet, they will have something to play with!


Dr. Seuss will always be a classic! This collection of Cat in the Hat, One Fish Two Fish, Green Eggs and Ham, Hop on Pop, Fox in Socks will be a favorite for your baby for years! And it’s always good to start reading to them young.


Babies always need something to grab and something to chew on. This cute gift is perfect for both! With beads, a pacifier clip and a teether on the end, your little one will enjoy this gift for months. Whether you wrap it up and put it under the tree or use it as a stocking stuffer, any baby will enjoy this gift.


This cute owl figure white noise machine is adorable to look at and will play soothing music for your baby to go to sleep. Use it during the day and at night! It’s also great because it can be used when your little one is a toddler and big kid too!

So that’s my guide! What’s on your Christmas wish list this Christmas? I am just thinking about what to get everyone else. Especially, my husband. He does the most. I hope I helped you out with your Christmas shopping! Have a blessed time shopping experience!

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