5 things to help you through the holidays

It’s that time of year again. You know the time of joy & peace & love. Also, of depression, uncertainty, & how in the world am I going to get this all doneness? But y’all. How do you make it through the holidays without the annual hair falling out conference (as I have attended for several years)? I have to keep myself psyched up & organized (to a degree, because who am I kidding?) Here are a few things that may help you combat the bah humbug syndrome.

Christy Jordan, over at Southern Plate, has the best printables to stay organized at Christmas. To see these click here.

FREE Christmas Planner Printables

If you need a good  Southern recipe, she has that covered, too.

Whether you are eating, cooking, shopping, or just having a good ol’ fashioned meltdown for the holidays, remember to take a minute for yourself. This is priority. I have found that taking time to stop & study my Bible & spend time with the Lord COMFORTS ME SO.  Here are some verses to consider during this time.

  1. Good news! There’s hope in the Lord. No where else. Jesus came, lived, preached, & died on the cross for our sins. Because of this, we have forgiveness of sins & a home of heaven, if we are faithful.                           Proverbs 14:32 promises                                                                                                   32 The wicked is driven away in his wickedness: but the righteous hath hope in his death. (KJV)
  2. You know that meltdown I was talking about? That’s real. Many dread the holidays because of the fact so much has changed in their lives. Loved ones have gone on. Health problems may keep some from enjoying the holidays, as they always have. There may be family problems, money problems, or any kind of problem that makes a person feel helpless. However, the Lord comes right in with another promise-                                                                   Matthew 11:28 28 Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. (NKJV)
  3. Remember to trust. This was my “One Word” that I focused on this year. And let me tell you, it has really brought me through some tough times. Just knowing God is with me & that He will take care of all my insecurities.   Psalm 46: 1-2God is our refuge and strength,
    A very present help in trouble.
    Therefore we will not fear,
    Even though the earth be removed,
    And though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea;(NKJV)
  4. How can you make it without love? Jesus says you can’t. That’s why in the scriptures He continually tries to drive home the message that we as humans need love.                                                                                                                            1 John 4:1111 Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.(NKJV)
  5. And last but not least, expectations are the devil. These kids expect costly electronics, name brand clothes & shoes, the latest gaming system with you know, the expensive games. All of that costs money, right? You know the money that’s so hard to come by.  Make this season about love, joy, & peace. Let’s show our families that they are important. Because it doesn’t matter how fancy your house is, how new your car is, how much money is in the bank. If it costs you your soul, all is lost.                                                        Luke 9: 25 For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and is himself destroyed or lost?  (NKJV)

Y’all. Let’s make this Christmas what it’s supposed to be. Don’t let the burdens of expectations take a hold of you. Pray about it & then do your best with the situation you have. Ask others for help, if need be. Things tend to work themselves out. Don’t fret! I hope you are having a blessed week. I have to be going because I should be washing clothes.

photo credits: pinterest

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Birthday wisdom & various photobombs & selfies

 

 

 

Bday selfie

It was my birthday.  My Daddy called to say he wanted to take me out.  Well, you don’t have to tell me twice.  We selected a restaurant.   Then me & some of my other peeps met up with him.  You should know everything we do revolves around eating.  I don’t know if that’s a Southern thing or we just like to make sure we are doing our part to keep farmers in business.

Bday EAThere was this girl who was supposed to be taking birthday snapshots.  However, sometimes she was taking pictures of herself.  Which is ok.  Because she is really pretty.

Bday NEENThen, there was this cutie.  I don’t know what she was doing.  Just entertaining herself with selfies I suppose.

PureBday Nee

Bday neelyEntertainment

bday lakeIIThere were some pictures of me & my honey by the lake.  Hey, who is that standing on the picnic table??    What’s the big idea??

Bday lake

Here is another picture of us.  Wait, do you see the little girl sticking out from behind my honey?  She’s waving.  This is what happens when you have silly kids.  You will never have another good picture again.

Bday girlsThat is unless you can get them both in the picture at the same time.  Don’t they look like angels?

Bday coupleThen here we are again.  Still trying to get a good picture.  Not that ya’ll care, but the wind was blowing like a tornado was coming through.  My hair was everywhere.

Bday NksHere’s this guy again.  Miss Neenee says she loves him a lot.

Bday daddy girls

Pretty sure he loves them a lot, too.

He is always in the mood to give advice.  I was telling EA that night that I had found a way for her to save her money & have $2 million by the time she retired.  In which Daddy advised her:

“Don’t save your money.  When you get that age, you won’t feel like doing anything.  Do everything you want to do, while you are young.  While you can.  Anyways, $2 million dollars won’t be that much by the time you retire anyway.”

I think he was trying to get across to her this:

James 4:14 whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away. 

Life is short at best.  We should make sure we take care of our problems the best we can & be ready always.  I also think he was trying to make sure she understood money & earthly possessions are not important.  They will all deteriorate in time.

Matthew 6:19- 21 says

 “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; 20 but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

Daddy has always made it clear what the Bible says about what is important.  I’m glad he takes the time to tell my kids about these life lessons.  Pretty thankful for my Daddy.  We laugh a lot when we are together.  Sometimes so much it’s hard to get our picture.  And by the way, this is one of my favorites right now:

Bday DaddyI hope you have had a great week.  It humbles me to know how blessed beyond measure I am.  Count your blessings.  They are everywhere!  Until next time, I have to be going because I should be washing clothes.

 

The time I broke up with Walmart

it's over

It was the summer of 2009 & I had had it.  Every time I turned around, I was running to Walmart for something.  My husband had been laid off from his job.  We were turning off lights, taking shorter showers, limiting our cell phone usage, and basically only going to church & to & from work.  We cut way down on eating out.  Lots of things we learned quickly we thought we had to have, we didn’t.

One day, after coming out of Walmart, I was studying my receipt.  Now, I know Walmart is the place you have to watch out for falling prices.  They also price match anyone’s ad that’s a lower price than theirs.  So why, pray tell, could I not come out of there under $150?  Hmmm….I got to investigating more on this mystery. I went down the list & low & behold I found the answer.

walmart

Walmart was sucking my bank account dry.

I was going in & making my price slashed purchases.  However, I was coming out with stuff I could very easily do without.  I made up my mind right then & there, I was not going to take it anymore.  So, I did what any full-blooded Southern, penny pinching consumer would do.

I broke up with Walmart. 

There were others there to comfort me through this life changing decision.  K-mart stepped right in & gave me a card, that when you buy your wares, you start racking up points.  In return, you can cash those boogers in & get money off.  Right off your total purchase!  I thought they were just flirting with me, until I bought a nice birthday present for nearly nothing out of pocket.

Next, Dollar General became my new love.  Do you know you can get $5 off coupons that make $25 worth of necessary things only cost you $20?  I’ll take $5 free dollars.  The Dollar Tree got on my list of favorites, as well.  Do you know how many things you can get in Dollar Tree for $50?  (Yup, 50, that’s how many.) They even have food now.  As I happily started seeing my money being put to better use, I realized Walmart had too many distractions.  Yes, I can get soap cheaper at Walmart than Dollar General.  However, I am not bombarded with stuff, as soon as I walk in the door.  Stuff that I & lots of other well meaning, moneysaving shoppers think they have to have.  (But honestly do not.)

Sometimes my spiritual life seems to get spent the same way.  Temptations & enticements easily lead me away.  There are times I have so many things that try to get in the way of me reading my Bible.  Often enough, I don’t take the time to stop & encourage someone.  Or I let other things get in the way of me stopping to send a card to someone sick.  I don’t take the opportunity to acknowledge someone’s problems because I’m too busy doing things that really aren’t helping me at all.

Such as reading all the wonderful, uplifting posts on my Facebook news feed.

(Ha. Haha. Hahahaha.) 

Or perhaps I might find a wee bit of time to help someone if I weren’t on Pinterest pinning funny sayings to my board.  Or looking for new hair styles, or pinning lots of lovely things to my crafty project boards – that I will probably never get time to do anyway.

James 1: 22 says  But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.

That means I have got to be a doer.  A doer for good.  Then, maybe my temptations won’t seem so big.

John said in

I John 2:16 For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world. (NKJV)

This means all the stuff I was seeing that I just HAD to have, was not only not necessary, it’s not of the Father.  SO, I had no business with it anyway.

The apostle Paul cautioned Timothy in

I Timothy 6:9 But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and harmful lusts which drown men in destruction and perdition.(NKJV)

Buying more things than I needed was foolish & harmful.  It just wasn’t doing anything but leaving me with less money.  At the time, I just didn’t need to be doing that.  While things are more on track now, I still don’t need to throw our money away.

Now that we are in 2014 & we have been back to a 2 job home for a while, I still do not go in Walmart very often.  My break up with Walmart taught me a few things.

  1. I have to hold myself to my shopping list. If I go in to buy notebooks for $.10, but still wind up with $103.17 worth of stuff in my buggy, those $.10 notebooks weren’t really that cheap, were they?
  2. I can survive without Walmart.
  3. Change may not be as bad as you think.
  4. I am not willingly subjecting myself to a store’s ploy to take my money. Because, hey I admit it. I am a sucker for a bargain & Walmart is FULL of them, plus lots of other stuff I don’t need.
  5. I can do without a lot of things I thought I could not.
  6. Even if I have money to purchase things, I need to ask myself if it’s a need or a want.

Just so the elephant in the room can move on out, this is not a paid endorsement from Kmart, Dollar General, nor The Dollar Tree.  These are my own personal opinions, in which have been perfectly approved by the president & CEO of I should be washing clothes (Which is me.)  I’m not bitter with Walmart.  I think they taught me some valuable lessons.  Some that I would have never experienced, if not for them & their stuff.

Thank you for coming by to visit with me today.  I have enjoyed our time together.  I hope you are able to provide for your family’s needs and wants.  Just remember, too, God will provide.  He provided for us while we were a one job household & He will provide for you, too.  I hope you enjoy this beautiful holiday weekend.  As for me, I have to be going because I should be washing clothes.

walmart shopping

photo credits: sodahead, tattoodonkey, & howtobreakup.net

Taking some advice from Honey Boo-Boo’s Mama

We could take some financial lessons from Honey Boo Boo’s Mama. I just read an article on OMG! In which Mama June tells about what she does with the $15,000-$20,000 per episode they receive. The answer? The money is equally divided into 5 different trust funds (one for each of her children.). The children are not able to access the funds (except for schooling or medical emergencies) until they are 21 years old. Read below an expert from the article:

I want my kids to look back and say, ‘Mama played it smart. Not like those other reality TV people,'” she told the website, adding that she never actually receives the money. “TLC puts the money into the girls’ trust accounts for me and then I get an e-mail telling me how much everyone gets.”
June said Sugarbear (Honey Boo Boo’s father) provides for the family by working as a contractor and no matter how much dough they rake in from their reality endeavors, they will never blow it all on material items.
“You’re never gonna see me drive a Range Rover or a Mercedes,” she said. “I’ll drive one if someone else pays for it. Never gonna live above my means.
honey boo boo
I don’t know about you, but sometimes things just aren’t what they seem. I know there has been lots of speculation about this show, the way they live, how they act, what they were thinking…. It may seem that these folks are ignorant or dumb- However, I just don’t think Mama June is too far off, when it comes down to what it’s all about. Not blowing money on material items, with the thought that material things more important than they really are. She says she’s never gonna live above her means…hmmmm, There is a lesson in that all of us can learn.

In the gospels Jesus says we can only serve one master. He says if we serve man, we cannot serve God.
Luke 16:13 No servant can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.
Also, the apostle Paul talks about what we should regard as important. Not our standing in society, not our car, not our home, land, or any other tangible thing. We should love one another, be kind to one another, ….

Galatians 5:22 & 23 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self control. Against such there is no law.

I just want to thank Honey Boo Boo’s mama, June for reminding me of what I need to keep my focus on. It’s not anything tangible, that’s for sure. I will heed this reminder with COURAGE. Courage to be thankful more for people than things. Courage to appreciate what I have & not think I have to have more. Courage to know that no matter what amount is in my bank account, my family still loves me. I think that’s a good way, today, to use my one word for 2013. I am so glad you stopped by to visit with me today & listen to me ramble about Honey Boo Boo’s mama. I have to be going for now, because I should be washing clothes.