When we are going through hardships, it becomes difficult to think about the many blessings we have in spite our present circumstances.
I want to encourage you to take a moment to reflect on God’s love, strength, and guidance in your life, today.
Here are 5 scriptures that will encourage you to express gratitude during difficult times:
God gives you a new start every day
The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases;
his mercies never come to an end;
they are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
‘The Lord is my portion,’ says my soul,
‘therefore I will hope in him.’” -Lamentations 3:22-24
God wants you to be thankful in every situation
See that no one repays anyone evil for evil, but always seek to do good to one another and to everyone. Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” 1 Thessalonians 5:15-18
God makes you complete in every trial
Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.- James 1:14-17
A lovely reminder of the faithful God who cares for you
Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever!- Psalm 118:28-29
Don’t give up! This is all for your benefit and His glory!
For it is all for your sake, so that as grace extends to more and more people it may increase thanksgiving, to the glory of God. So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self
Thanksgiving is soon approaching, and now is a good time to incorporate lessons on gratitude.
Although being thankful is something we should practice all year long, encouraging our homeschoolers to exercise gratefulness is a wonderful way to build and teach godly character.
This simple activity displays helpful reminders of what we have to be thankful for. The awesome part is that you can use arts and crafts items you may already have at home!
For this project, you will need:
- Construction paper (optional, I think it makes the ornaments more sturdy)
- 8-10 Branches (we collected ours from our own backyard)
- Vase or reusable large jar
- Crayons (optional, for decoration)
- Yarn, and/or ribbon
- Hole Punch
The DIY Thankful Tree is great for preschool and elementary aged children. The circles and writing space were created large enough to accommodate little hands and young writers.
You can also use your tree as a centerpiece during Thanksgiving. Invite friends and family to participate in the fun! Click on image to download.
My homeschoolers enjoyed this craft project, I hope yours will too!
Have a happy Thanksgiving and homeschool break!
In today’s society, it seems impossible to live off of one income. But I am here to tell it is possible. My family has been living off of my husband’s income for over 10 years and I know many other families who choose to live this way income as well!
I know this may seem scary, it was for me. I was unfamiliar with this new way of thinking and living.
But, now I know.. its worth it!
It takes humility, giving up a few creature comforts and a whole lot of resourcefulness.
Choosing to live on a single income is more than missing out on material wants, it’s choosing to make sacrifices where they are needed to live a life for the betterment of our families.
My husband and I desire for me to be home full-time to educate and train up our children, manage our home and assist my husband with our family business.
If you desire to come home full-time but are concerned about money, this post is for you.
Over the years, many women have shared with me a desire to come home, but believe that they can’t because of lifestyle and financial reasons, or personal reasons like losing their identity, we will talk more about the latter in a future post.
I find that the primary factor is financial stability, and I can understand that.
The journey of coming home full-time ultimately begins with trusting God as your Provider. I have seen God bless our family and meet our needs in extraordinary ways, which gives me the confidence to tell you that if I can be home, you can too!
It begins with you, you have to make the decision to surrender to the Lord and let Him lead you and supply all of your needs.
Once you have embraced God’s will, there are practical ways you can help your husband by stretching the family finances. 🙂
Creating a budget is an important tool to help you spend your money wisely. A budget allows you to see the real numbers and encourages you to make careful decisions as you allocate each dollar towards your necessities (and wants). Also, it helps us to live within our means rather than overspending.
Without a budget, we can easily lose money and waste it. I am not perfect at this, but having a clue of where our money goes has been a great help to my family.
Meal plan and cook at home
I’ve talked about this subject a lot, you can read about it here and here. Planning my meals and eating at home often has saved my family money over the years! Because I have kept a budget I know that my grocery budget is the most flexible. When necessary I have had to lessen my food costs, or as my family grows I have had to increase it.
Meal planning has also allowed us to cut down on spending extra money on dining out, instead, we’ve designated how many times a week we eat dinner out, there is a budget for that too!
Developing a regular habit of getting rid of items you no longer need saves time and money. Ever bought an item you thought you needed and later found it in a closet or pantry? Guilty! This is a good reason to cut down on the stuff and keep an inventory of what you already have.
Being satisfied with what we have instead of focusing on our wants or what someone else has, keeps our finances under control.
It also teaches us the art of delayed gratification and gives us the opportunity to get creative.
Buying the latest shiny new toy adds unnecessary stress to our family. We must learn how to count the cost, research and consider the needfulness of the item.
Taking time to learn how to save money for your family makes you an invaluable asset to your husband.
You can do this by not shopping impulsively. Learning how to use coupons, shopping the sales and/or buying at the best value can be very helpful to your family’s finances.
Also, learn to do some things at home that you would normally pay someone else to do like your hair, nails, laundry, mending clothes etc. There are plenty of tutorials on online to help you in these areas.
This requires patience, critical thinking, calculating, organizing and planning. These are wonderful skill sets that should be developed and practiced.
Your diligence and thoughtful planning of your husband’s income is an invaluable service to your family.
She looks well to the ways of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness.- Proverbs 31:27
What ways do you take care of your household finances to live on one income?
In your eyes, she has it all together:
A good marriage.
You admire her, but secretly there is a tinge of jealousy… you want her life.
But your missing something. You only see a portion of her story, the part she wants you to see, but it’s not just her…you and I do this too.
Rarely do I share on social media or invite others over on days my house is messy, I look a hot mess, my kids are misbehaving and dinner is a flop.
And these things happen… often.
Not that we dare to classify or compare ourselves with some of those who are commending themselves. But when they measure themselves by one another and compare themselves with one another, they are without understanding.- 2 Corinthians 10:12 (ESV)
In this information age, we have more access to people’s lives than ever before.
Social media has its positives, but it also has its downfalls. We are able to highlight the best parts of our lives. And that’s kind of deceiving.
Sure we all desire to display our best self. But we have to remember no one lives a perfect life. Everyone has a bad day, week or season.
When we glance at someone’s life on social media, we have to be careful to view them with the right heart and motives.
We can overcome the comparison trap by practicing the following:
We must learn contentment.
We can start by being thankful for and doing our best with what we have. Contentment teaches us to stay in your own lane, this prevents envy, bitterness, and greed from rearing its ugly head.
Make sure that your character is free from the love of money, being content with what you have; for He Himself has said, “I will never desert you, nor will I ever forsake you,”- Hebrews 13:15 (NASB)
Mind your own business.
When we are busy at work doing what we are supposed to do, it’s difficult to focus on others. Diligence gives us a sense accomplishment and responsibility that allows us to appreciate what we have. I believe working hard keeps us busy from coveting others.
and to make it your ambition to lead a quiet life and attend to your own business and work with your hands, just as we commanded you, so that you will behave properly toward outsiders and [not be in any need. -1 Thessalonians 4:11-12 (ESV)
But let each one test his own work, and then his reason to boast will be in himself alone and not in his neighbor. For each will have to bear his own load. Galatians 6:4-5 (ESV)
On the contrary, when we are slothful…ok, lazy, we have too much time on our hands which tempts us to become concerned about others people’s affairs.
Timothy gives this warning and instruction for young widows in 1 Timothy 5:13-14:
At the same time they also learn to be idle, as they go around from house to house; and not merely idle, but also gossips and busybodies, talking about things not proper to mention. Therefore, I want younger widows to get married, bear children, keep house, and give the enemy no occasion for reproach.
When we are purposely diligent we give no room for the enemy to distract or interfere in our lives!
Take a break from social media.
Taking a hiatus from social media can bring you back to your own reality. It gives us the opportunity to become present in the lives of family and friends.
I removed the Facebook app from my phone and I found a great desktop app that keeps my Facebook activity under control. News Feed Eradicator removes your timeline feed and displays helpful quotes instead. You can click on a friend or group to get their latest status update.
Renew your mind.
Studying and meditating on the Word of God provides us with wisdom and the proper perspective regarding our life and the lives of others. By focusing on the Lord, we are able to find joy in the life we live.
Peter must have thought, “Who am I compared to Mr. Faithfulness (John)?” But Jesus clarified the issue. John was responsible for John. Peter was responsible for Peter. And each had only one command to heed: “Follow Me.” (John 21:20-22)- Charles R. Swindoll
Let’s not get distracted by someone else’s life. God made you fearfully and wonderfully with unique gifts and talents. He loves you and created you with a purpose.
for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.
– Phillipians 2:13(ESV)
Let’s find gratitude in our current lives and genuinely celebrate the successes of others.
Baked oatmeal is a delicious breakfast staple, especially during the Fall and Winter months. Its warm, flavorful and full of good nutrition.
We occasionally eat cereal, because of its convenience. Although, we’ve realized it’s not the best choice for our children. Here are a few reasons why:
- It’s not filling. I still have to add fruit and toast or a bagel to make a complete meal.
- It’s more expensive for our family size and grocery budget.
- They have several ingredients that are not beneficial for our children’s health.
- Cardboard might be “healthier” than cereal. What???
Read more below:
Years ago, my husband and I read a similar article that mentioned an experiment that changed our regular consumption of cereal:
Another unpublished experiment was carried out in 1960. Researchers at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor were given eighteen laboratory rats. These were divided into three groups: one group received cornflakes and water; a second group was given the cardboard box that the cornflakes came in and water; the control group received rat chow and water. The rats in the control group remained in good health throughout the experiment. The rats eating the box became lethargic and eventually died of malnutrition. The rats receiving the cornflakes and water died before the rats that were eating the box! (The first box rat died the day the last cornflake rat died.) Furthermore, before death, the cornflakes-eating rats developed aberrant behavior, threw fits, bit each other and finally went into convulsions. Autopsy revealed dysfunction of the pancreas, liver and kidneys and degeneration of the nerves of the spine, all signs of insulin shock.2 The startling conclusion of this study was that there was more nourishment in the box than in the cornflakes. This experiment was designed as a joke, but the results were far from funny.
Most Americans eat boxed cereals today. Because these are fortified with synthetic nutrients, the USDA can claim that they are as healthy as the grains from which they are made. Many of these cereals contain at least 50 percent of calories as sugar. Those sold in health food stores may be made of whole grains and fewer sweeteners. However, these whole grain extruded cereals are probably more dangerous than their refined grain counterparts sold in the supermarkets, because they are higher in protein, and it is the proteins in these cereals that are rendered toxic by this type of processing.
You can read the entire article here.
As I mentioned above, we do eat cereal occasionally when its convenient…because life happens. However, we choose a cereal that has less sugar and healthier ingredients.
Also, when we are on vacation our children are allowed to enjoy a bowl of cereal of their choice, as a treat. 🙂
Our regular breakfasts consist of:
- Old-fashioned rolled oats (stove top, baked oatmeal, cold oatmeal) We eat this often during the week. Its cheap and it has nutrional value. 🙂
- Eggs, bacon and toast or bagels (with grits or hashbrowns added sometimes)
- Waffles/Pankcakes and sausage or bacon
- Homemade muffins or quick breads
- Yogurt and granola
My husband noticed that giving our children a protein-rich breakfast, keeps them satisfied longer.
When I serve cereal they want more and this causes frustration at the breakfast table. This observation alone is enough to opt for breakfast made at home, even with the “inconvenience” of waking up early and preparing it myself.
For The Busy Mama
I know life gets full and this may not seem like a realistic option. However, let me encourage you that your children’s well-being is worth it, and you will be glad you did it. You can do this!
Here a few breakfast ideas that can be made ahead of time:
- Waffles and pancakes
- Fruit bowl
- Breakfast casserole
As I mention often, choose what works for your family, try one recipe then add others. Baby steps!
Here is my apple baked oatmeal recipe. This recipe can be easily prepared the night before and put in the oven the next morning.
What is your favorite nutritious breakfast meal?