Living in the World

We live in a world where people have different spiritual views, many have turned away from God. So how do we prepare our children to be a light in the world, to show love, while still keeping a holy life? Here are some thoughts.

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I believe that since my job is to prepare my children to be adults in the world, shining a light for Christ, I need to show them how to handle the world. This means I do not “hide” them from the “evils” of this world. However, I also do not throw them into it and say “good luck”. If you have read through many of my articles, I am very intentional about the books we read, people we interact with, shows we watch etc.

What I Do

Identifying Sin

I believe a solid foundation starts with a strong spiritual foundation at home. We talk about sin, what sin is, what people might do that is a sin. We focus on age appropriate sins–sins they may encounter.  Much of this comes up organically, but I don’t hold back when the topic comes up, I say what the truth is, I do not try to make “everyone feel happy”, because sin is sin and the result without Christ is death, this is a SERIOUS matter. Continue reading

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Working the Sales

Part of my job is staying within our grocery budget, while that isn’t always easy there are a few things I use to assist me.

  1. Have a Meal Plan
  2. Create a Shopping List
  3. Cook in bulk and use the freezer
  4. Work the sales (can relate directly to #3)

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There are groceries that every family uses often. For example, my husband loves a particular kind of whole grain loaves of bread, we also used canned tomatoes in a lot of recipes. We watch these items and when they go on sale, on a GREAT sale, we stock up. You should be watching the prices regularly to know what a great sale is. For example a $1 off a loaf of the bread we get is okay, but 50% off is great. When this happens we typically buy 5-10 loaves. When Cheerios get down to a certain price we buy everything on the shelf.

How do I know what a good price is?

If you do the grocery shopping regularly, start looking at the prices and keep a mental note. If you want to get really good at tracking prices you could write them down, but that would really be a time investment, and time is money. As long as you know how much they generally go on sale that should be enough. When you see the prices drop lower than that, stock up.

What items should I look for?

I would recommend only doing this for items you use regularly and items you know how to store long term. For example, we use Tahini for making hummus, but I sure don’t use it regularly enough to buy 10 bottles when it goes on sale. Here are items we commonly buy in bulk when on sale:

  • Bread (freeze)
  • Shredded Cheese (freeze)
  • Fresh Fruit (Chop and freeze for smoothies)
  • Meats (cook and freeze or freeze individually raw)
  • Any shelf stable item that you use regularly (i.e. chopped tomatoes, stewed tomatoes, beans, cheerios, pastas, rice, flour, grains etc.)

How often should I do this?

We leave enough margin in our budget that I can get what is on my list and stock up on anything on sale. The number one way to save money is to make a budget and STAY ON BUDGET, so if you haven’t put any margin in your budget, either up your budget OR cut back on other items so you can stock up when items go on sale. The goal is to never pay full price for items that regularly or occasionally go on sale.  Continue reading

Finding Friendship

As a mother of 3 young children I often hear of moms who have no free time or no clue how to even start making friends with other moms… it’s almost like dating all over again. While motherhood is busy it is no excuse to not have friends. God created us to be in fellowship with him and with others.  In Genesis, after God created man he states that it is not good for man to be alone, he therefore creates woman. Today as well, it is not good for us to be alone, God created us to be with others.

I know some of you are saying, I’m an introvert, I don’t need friends. I am sorry, you may be an introvert, but you do need friends, maybe not as many as those crazy extrovert people… As a mom, especially a mother of a preschooler, it is easy to forget how to have an adult conversation, or that there are books without pictures, or real food that people actually eat. Other moms understand what you are going through and can meet you where you are. As your friendship develops they can be a support and encouragement to you and maybe even give you some helpful advice or inspire you. You may also be able to give that mom the encouragement she has been needing. Often times as a mom it is easy to feel lonely and isolated.

How to find friends:

In today’s world with smart phones finding new friends is as easy as asking to swap contact information. If you run into a mom at a park or other venue don’t be afraid to start up a conversation, if you hit it off, swap info and plan a play date, maybe even at the same location.

Another way to find friends is at your church. Get involved in a life group. Many churches have life groups for women or young families. These can help you get more involved in God’s word and help you meet some people.

You can also try joining a group. MOPS (Mother’s of Preschoolers) is a wonderful group for meeting MOPS moms. MOPS is an international organization and most groups are ran very similarly. MOPS is focused on building community and encouraging relationships to help moms realize their potential as a mother, woman, wife, and creation of God. Some other great groups to check out are Mom to Mom, CBS, and BSF. These other groups are more bible study focused and not limited to just mothers of preschoolers, these aspects offer other benefits. Continue reading

Multitasking with Audio-books

The kids are napping and you have a list of housework. Not feeling so motivated to do the laundry? There are many things to improve motivation, start by praying about your attitude, stay positive, and make a plan so you don’t get overwhelmed. Another tool I use to help me enjoy my work even more is listening to audio-books. Not only do I get my “work” done, but I also get to enjoy it and maybe even learn something new!audiobooks

In today’s culture, most libraries carry a wide selection of audio-books, which is where I get all of mine. I can request books online to pick up or browse the aisles. I prefer requesting them since I have the toddlers tagging along, and one of them thinks it is really fun to run up and down the aisles screaming.

The only problem with getting a physical audio-book is that now I am chained down to a location by a cd player, or I have to spend a horrible amount of time transferring the book to my mp3 player. My favorite method of listening to audio-books is through my library one-click-digital app. I download the app onto my phone, then browse my library’s selection of books on the app and check it out instantly. Now I can stick my phone in my pocket and walk all around, so I can “read” while I do housework or exercise. Check and see if your local library has a similar app for listening to audio-books.