31 – Tomorrow’s Plan

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So here we are at the end of the 31 days of Focus and Refresh. It’s been a crazy month, to say the least. Here’s how I stacked up against my goals.

1. Study the Bible and/or pray for 31 minutes a day.
I have spent far more time than usual with my Bible and in prayer. I missed a few days. I am in a study at church and doing the homework for that. I find I am excited to learn in that study, but also eager to just read and study where I am led. As expected, I find storms much easier to navigate, when I am focused on God.

2. Exercise for 31 minutes a day.
Going from no exercise to daily exercise would have been great, if I had taken it more slowly. I started too fast and too long and hurt a muscle. It’s better now and I am back exercising every day, but more carefully. I loved walking outside and am really looking forward to the days when it is warm enough to do it again.

3. Spend 31 minutes a day working on my blog.
At the beginning of the month, I did this every day. As I have been spending more time creating for etsy and working, the blog has fallen off a little. I am anxious to get back to it.

4. Spend 31 minutes a day creating something or listing something in my etsy shop.
Oh goodness! I have spent plenty of time on etsy work! Figuring out the processes, finding the right supplies, creating. This was so fun and I have lots more to do.

5. Get rid of one thing I don’t need, every day during October.
I wish I had kept track of everything I got rid of. I donated some of my clothes and clothes my daughter outgrew. I sold some of her clothes and things to a children’s resale shop. I threw out things that were useless and went around the house every day or so looking for “one more thing” to get rid of. It gave me a new sense of freedom to let stuff go. I plan to continue doing this every week. I got rid of around 150 things.

Beyond all that, I created the stage, rearranged her room, made Halloween cookies and got to spend time regularly with one of my nephews. It has been a whirlwind month. Here’s what I learned that I will carry forward…

I can accomplish a lot in one day.
When I have clear goals in mind and give myself tasks to accomplish, I am really productive. I am going to keep a list of things I COULD work on, so if there is a lull in my paid work, I won’t wander aimlessly. I’ll have clear options for what to do next.

I work better in longer periods of time.
It was hard for me to work on something for 31 minutes, then switch gears and do something completely different. I know that wasn’t the point, but in order to accomplish all I set out to do, I had to keep jumping from one thing to the next. Going forward, I will set weekly goals for each task (like 5 hours blogging in a week). If I am on a roll and it all happens in a day or two, perfect. If I have nothing to say, I can work on something else for a while.

I love people.
Ok. So I already knew this. But I work from home, without any co-workers around and it’s my daughter’s first year of full day school. So I am REALLY alone. And for a person who just loves to be around people, that is very hard. My sister has invited me to come work at her house sometimes, where there are kids and activity and always something happening. I think I’ll do that! I also find that I am going to love being a part of the blogging community. It’s so fun to read what other people are up to and to interact online.

Overall this challenge has been a lot of fun and has helped me to accomplish so much and learn in the process. I loved it!

Thanks to Erika for hosting the linkup and to Mary at Owlhaven and Amanda. “See” you all soon!

 


31 – Jewelry Organizer

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On Oct. 9, I told you about a new project I had in mind. I have been wanting to make myself a jewelry organizer and I found tons of drawer knobs at a fabulous rummage sale. If it turned out as well as I hoped, my plan was to make more and add them to my etsy shop.

The last 19 days have been an adventure of finding the right pieces and learning to do some things I have never tried before. Here’s the journey.

First, I spent several hours removing half of the knobs I bought from their wooden displays. Yes, half. The other half are attached with rivets and are very difficult to get off. I will tackle them as I need them, but I got enough off to get started.

 

I found the board that matched the vision in my head.

 

 

I measured and marked where the holes would go.

 

 

I drilled the holes, all by myself!

 

 

I tried out several paints and settled on a beautiful color with a slight sheen to it, Satin Beetle Black, and painted the board, front and back.

 

 

I went to Home Depot and found the right diameter and length of screws, again, all by myself! Then I attached those beautiful knobs.

 

 

I finished the whole project, photographed it and listed it in my etsy store.

 

I am so excited. It actually turned out just like I wanted it to! I have plans for lots more similar projects. I love it when a plan comes together!


31 – Who Would have Thought?

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Ok. So I am not a fan of cleaning. Never have been. My mom loved to clean when I was little. It did not rub off on me! I don’t like the chemicals, I don’t like the activity of cleaning and I have so many other ways I would rather spend my time. Like snuggled up with my little one.

I have been wanting to use more natural cleaning products and have wanted to try a steam mop for quite some time. No chemicals at all. Just water, turned to steam that cleans and sanitizes the floor. Seriously?

Enter Target (our second home). A couple of weeks ago we were wandering the store looking at clearance sections as usual. I decided to see how much steam mops cost. Behold! One was actually on clearance! A floor model, fully assembled, half price and a steal at $30.

Why, yes. It did go immediately into my cart. 🙂

Tonight, I finally tried it out. All of the floors in our home are now sparkly clean. Oh my word! I never thought it would feel good to me to clean! I would show you a photo of the dirt on the cleaning pad to prove it works, but it’s too embarrassing! Not worrying about the chemicals is a totally new thing for me and makes me excited to keep my floors clean.

A month ago, you could not have convinced me I would be refreshed by cleaning the floors, but here we are. Ahhhhhh.

 



31 Days – The Stage

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We live in a great house. It was originally the servant’s quarters to the oldest home in our town. It’s probably a hundred years old and it has GREAT character, including the bunks in the basement where the farmhands used to sleep.

When I first saw this apartment, I walked in to this room downstairs with 2 bunks and thought they were really cool. The image of them stuck in my head and I knew they had a different purpose for us. I woke up the next morning and thought “STAGE”! My little girl is very imaginative and loves to pretend. What could be better than her very own stage?

So I cleaned it all up (with the help of my mom!). I added 3 layers flooring mats I had from our previous apartment so the bunk would be more comfortable.

Then I hung purple curtains (that don’t fit her window in our new place) on the existing curtain rods and tied them back with pretty ribbon.

Added a shiny pink comforter and her box of dress-up clothes.

And the stage was all set!

Her reaction? “Mom, you did all this for ME? It’s wonderful!” Yup. That’s my kid.

So using only things we already had around our home, I spent no money at all and was able to give my sweetness her heart’s desire. She is thrilled and so am I.

 


Standing in the Gap

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This is the 3rd anniversary of the day my life changed forever. The day my marriage ended. It’s amazing to look back at how far we have come since then. I don’t want to look bad in sadness at what was lost; I want to keep my eyes focused on God and the wonderful future He is calling me to.

But once a year, on this day, I want to remember the people who came to my rescue that day. My friend who dropped everything and showed up within minutes of my call. The friends who offered us a place to stay if we didn’t want to be in our apartment. My uncle who reached in to my despair and hysteria and reminded me to breathe. My cousin and her husband who showed up just to be there. My mom, who couldn’t be kept away. My sister who listened to me for hours on end, crying about the same things over and over, as long as I needed to.

And so many others who prayed and called and emailed and sent notes and left me anonymous gifts in my church mailbox.

They all stood in the gap for me that day and on so many days that followed. I will always be grateful.

I thank my God every time I remember you. Phillipians 1:3


Drawing Close

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James 4:8  Draw close to God and he will draw close to you.

Growing up in church is a wonderful thing, but it is equally wonderful when something you have heard so many times before suddenly becomes real. This verse just became real to me.

In the past, I heard it (in my head) as “Draw close to God and you’ll be closer to God.” I imagined Him standing in one place and as I moved closer, He maybe turned toward me, and certainly didn’t move away, but He stayed in that place.

Then I heard it again a few days ago. And suddenly I heard that God himself draws close. He is just waiting for us to turn to Him and seek Him and draw close. Then God Himself, moves towards us.

The God who created the entire universe. Who made the intricate leaves on the trees and the indescribable creatures of the earth and each individual snowflake. The God who made each and every star and can hold back the waves and quiet the storms with one word from His mouth. That God wants to draw near to me. He is waiting for each and every one of us. As soon as we take a step towards Him, he takes a step towards us. He draws close.

I cannot imagine anything more humbling and wonderful than that.


Gratituesday

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My daughter is on an inhaler that I purchase once every two months. It isn’t covered by our insurance and it’s quite expensive, so sometimes I wait until the last day to purchase it. That was last week.

The pharmacy assistant said what he always says, “I just want to warn you; this is expensive.” Then he tells me how much. In the past they have even asked if I still want to purchase it.

This time, I truly heard it. There must be so many moms (single and married) who can’t afford medicine for their kids. How heartbreaking that would be.

I CAN purchase it. It may be hard and we may struggle, but I have never had to turn down my daughter’s medicine. I am so grateful for God’s continued provision for us. And grateful that he opens my eyes to see it.

 

 

Join us for Gratituesday at Heavenly Homemakers!


Refreshing my Sweetie’s Room

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As many moms of 6-year-olds know, it seems a nearly impossible task to keep the kid’s room clean. Toys and books end up everywhere. And my daughter loves to make things beautiful, so she “decorates” and moves her stuff around all the time. Her room is not big and was not working as we had set it up when we moved here.

I had an idea of how to rearrange the room to make it work better. So this morning, my mom came over to help. We worked for about 3 hours, rearranged the furniture, hung a great shelf, cleaned the room and sorted all the boxes and baskets. I can’t wait for the kiddo to come home from school and see her new and improved room!