Do you know the cost of being a host/hostess?

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Being mindfully thankful this season…

We had the pleasure of serving new clients this week.  They spent

nearly $500 of their hard earned money getting ready for their Thanksgiving guests.  I wonder if we think of the work, sacrifice and money spent on us when we are privileged to be guests in someone’s home?  Mind you, this home was already in great condition and people could have stayed there without us coming in.  However, they believed that their guests, “deserve,” better.  We cleared out clutter, organized items, cleaned the house (very lightly, as it was in great shape already) and ‘dressed’ the rooms/bathrooms (my FAVORITE part).  All this could have been done by the homeowners and/or the guests could have shuffled around stuff and still had an amazing time with their family.  The host and hostess were willing to spend money and time on their family and friends to provide an even better experience.  I charge each of us to make sure that we deeply and gratefully thank anyone willing to put us up in their home.   Maybe, we could even leave the space as nice or better than we found it.  That’s all for this post.  Love one another!  Remember – 1.) In all you do, work hard, as for the Lord.  2.)Be kinder than necessary; everyone is fighting some kind of battle.

It’s been a while!

A lot has happened since we last met.  I don’t have time to write it all down, but I do have some things I’d like to share with you.  I want you to know how my relationship with Christ has helped me ‘leave Cramalot’ a little more each week.  Please take the time to read my experiences and journey, as well as tips for the minimalist who loves, works with or lives close to a ‘crammer’.  Just scroll down past our logo to find my story.nook & cranny eyes85

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Please visit us any time @ nookandcrannyservices.com.

I believe that a clean and organized home is one factor that leads to a peaceful home. When you know that every item has a place and that you can find it right where it should be, it brings a sense of security. That may sound strange to some people, but I look at it this way…the world can be a crazy place where you have no control of the chaos, constant activity and dis-order. Our homes should be a place of solace, comfort, order, and security.   Knowing that you don’t have to hunt for hours to, maybe, locate something you need helps you feel ‘put together’, settled and prepared for most anything that comes up within your home or office.  I don’t mean people should live in a museum where nothing can be touched or enjoyed.  The pathway that leads to a reasonable balance, between never knowing where anything is and using the Dewey Decimal System to catalog everything from your spices to your socks, is one we strive to stay on.  We have a passion to help guide others toward that same path.

We have 5 biological children (18 down to 2) still at home and our two, ‘from the heart’, children are out on their own. We love to spend time with our family so there is always something going on here. It’s definitely never a dull moment. All that to say I understand full well the tendency to hold on to things. I have used all the common ‘arguments’ attempting to justify having so much stuff. Greg is a minimalist…I am most definitely not. I love to paint, sew, attempt to play the guitar and sing my favorite songs about the Lord, and educate myself in counseling, mentoring, mediation and non-violent communication. Needless to say, all of those interests can equal a ton of things to go along with them. Those items and all the rest of our pasts excess led me to name our home, ‘Cramalot.’  I have made great strides in my goal to ‘leave Cramalot’ behind.  However, I am still learning how to let go of more and more…so, please know that I don’t claim perfection. I know the stress and pain caused by having so much to do and feeling completely overwhelmed. I had times of feeling like I couldn’t even begin the process of purging things because it just seemed like no matter what I did, it wouldn’t make a significant difference. I would walk down to the heart of ‘Cramalot’, in our home it’s the Garage, and try to figure out the right place to start getting something ‘big’ accomplished.  Sadly, within seconds, I  often felt a sinking feeling in my gut and a wave of despair would crash down on me. In defeat, I would slink away, promising that I would, “get to it soon…just not today.”

The Word of the Lord says that where our hearts are, that is where our treasures are also. In other words, our heart’s desires, misdirected or rightfully tuned in to what really matters, direct our actions, where and how we spend our money, and with what and whom we spend the precious 86,400 seconds we have to manage each day. I had spent too long managing my piles and looking for things. Too many hours had been spent stressing over the to-do list and what needed to be left out in order to tackle the mountain of stuff we had.

I wanted to live in complete freedom, just like Christ promised I could if I just let everything be under His Kingship. I bet you’re wondering what changed, how I finally conquered one of the Goliaths in my life. I carry my own 5 stones to help in my struggle against ‘Cramalot’. My first and biggest stone to throw at my doubt and fear is prayer.  I ask God to help me let go and not be overwhelmed; to remember that I am not in this alone.

My second shot toward the target of my, “stinkin’ thinkin’,” comes from Phillippians 4:13. “I can do all things, through Christ Who gives me strength.” It’s not ‘some things’, or ‘only what comes naturally or easily to me’; it’s “ALL things.” Therefore, I can do what needs to be done and don’t need to let ‘the list’ intimidate me into inaction.

The third stone I use to clobber the lies is a line from the only book about clutter/organizing I ever took the time to read (on Audible, of course, and only partially at that). Andrew Mellen says in, “Unstuff Your Life”, that a helpful thing to accept as truth is, “I am not my stuff and my stuff is not me.” This really helped me to see that my worth and identity do not equal what is or isn’t in my home or office…even though the world wants us to believe this lie. The commercial media, whether through print, radio, TV or internet, wants us to believe that we have to fit in this little box, look a certain way and own just the right things to be ‘okay’ or ‘good enough’. This simply isn’t true. If you research, you will find that some of the most respected men and women throughout history have had or came from very little compared to our modern culture’s indulgent, impulsive, ‘the boys with the most toys wins,’ mentality.

The fourth piece of ammunition in my arsenal is a line I use with myself and my children quite often. It’s the old addage, “how do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.”  It is just a reminder that each step, no matter how small, brings me a step closer to the goal.

My final piece of ammunition is to visualize life after the work. This is a huge thing for me. I take a trip in my mind and try to connect with the feeling of peace, security, and happiness the changes will bring. I focus on the freedom I will have to spend time in a better way. Also, thinking on the money I will save by not having to purchase things I already have, but can’t find. This helps me to motivate me into actually carrying out the plans I made.

For those of you who struggle with this, you know that its’ not a one time, overnight change that lasts forever. To help friends, family, co-workers, and neighbors understand, most people who deal with chaos in any area of their life, be it hoarding, over-scheduling themselves, living in clutter and ‘organized piles’, being late to every appointment, constantly trying to locate items, etc, are living out of a broken place and/or a lack of training. More times than not, there is at least one wound in their soul that dictates their action or inaction toward living an ordered and organized existence. This change is a marathon, not a 50 yard dash. They will need gentle correcting if they start to veer off course. One great thing is to help them visualize life in order. If they have achieved making one area of their home or office organized, take them to it and ask them how it makes them feel. If it’s a positive thing, direct them to imagine every area being like this and how great it would be to feel this way about their whole living/work space. If it’s a negative feeling, you must work through this before urging them to move forward. They may feel confused, overwhelmed, sad, angry or bitter about the change they see there. There must be a heart change before there can be any further space/lifestyle changes. The greatest tool in making changes in people, is to connect with their heart. We must understand where they are coming from and why they make the choices they do. If we don’t take the time to do this, we will be viewed as a bully or dictator if we force the change(s) we feel need to be made. Or, we just drop it, letting it continue and risk their well-being, the future of the relationship, and/or our becoming bitter about the situation.

We use sure fire techniques to help each client purge and organize their home or office. Honoring our clients is one of our utmost goals. Whether we are cleaning for them, making repairs in their home or office or helping them organize, we want them to feel that they received services worth the hard earned money they spent. We truly believe in our motto. “In everything you do, work hard, as for the Lord,” isn’t just a verse on our ad; it’s our goal in life. The greatest command ever given is to love the Lord with all our heart, soul and mind. Jesus also said that it was just as important to love our neighbors as ourselves. We work for our clients in a way we would want someone to work for us.

I still war against an all or nothing outlook on life. I am more and more successful in each battle as time goes on and use the tools I’ve collected. This way of thinking was developed throughout my childhood and I’m still walking the road to recovery. This ‘all or nothing’ mindset can also be known as, ‘perfectionism’. If I have it all done and looking great, it’s good and therefore, I’m good. If I forget something or neglect to fulfill a promise or intended action, then it’s hard for me to see any of the good I did and I find myself only focusing on what didn’t get accomplished…how I ‘failed’. When it comes to my mind that I’m ‘going down that dark road again,’ I remind myself that it just takes a step at a time to reach any summit, no matter how high; and that any step toward it is a good thing.

The world also wants us to believe that to be great, we have to, ‘be it all’, and ‘do it all’. This is not true. The opinions of ‘men’ are just that, opinions. One day, you’re the hero and the next, you’re the goat. One person will praise you and your accomplishments and another will tell you, “it’s not good enough.” The reality is, you were made and are loved by the Creator of the universe. Whether you do/don’t own this or that, He loves you just the same.

As far as the techniques we use to help clients have a super clean, show ready home, those are our trade secrets. We have been blessed to find ways of bringing items back to life after months, or even years of neglect.

It is a passion of mine to help people. I knew it when I was 13. I want to help people find freedom. Ultimately that comes from a close and personal relationship with Christ Jesus. He paid the price for our sins and became the ‘bridge’ between our sinful selves and The Holy God of the universe. All we have to do is believe Jesus is God and that He came down to this fallen world to die upon a cross for us. Sacrifices would no longer be needed to make things right between us and God. Jesus was the final and ultimate sacrifice. He didn’t stay dead though, He is risen and alive. He sent the Holy Spirit to comfort us, guide us and convict us in love when we fall or jump into sins. We do need to be serious about walking with the Lord daily and growing in knowledge of Him and His ways. We can’t just say some lines and expect God to adopt us as His and bring us into eternity with Him after our earthly death. He tell us in the Bible to, “take up your cross daily and follow after me,” That can be hard…impossible on our own. But, if we truly believe and repent of our sins, He promises to give us the strength to do everything He wants us to. Examine your heart; have you truly died to your old ways? Have you made Jesus not only your Savior, but your King? Do you attempt to live according to His ways? Do you even know what all this means…I didn’t for years. Get a Bible and read for yourself, meet with someone who really walks what they talk, ask a reliable pastor for answers to your questions. Just remember, there will ‘always’ be tension between your human mind and your belief. We can not understand all the ways of God. Thank Him, we can not know all He knows and do all He does. If He fit in our tiny little boxes, He wouldn’t be the great, all powerful, merciful, gracious God He is. He wants that none should perish and spend eternity in Hell. He wants all to come to the saving knowledge of Jesus. If you have questions, or need someone to talk to, please feel free to reach out via our email. nookandcrannyservices1@gmail.com Thank you for reading and have a very blessed day, I know I will.

Leave Me With Nothing…Part 3

Thanks so much for staying with me on this journey.  I had all intentions of finishing this so long ago.  I’ve let too many things get in the way.  I find myself sad because I was so passionate about this message I had received from God and now, even though I will continue to tell about it, I fear the passion may not come through to you.

The whole reason I wrote this series of posts is because God showed me that night that I still have much to leave at the alter and let Him consume it with His fire.

That night, we sang a song titled, “Open Heaven (River Wild).”

 

“Open Heaven (River Wild)”

Signs and wonders from above

When You pour out Your Spirit

On the old and the young In the power of Your presence [Chorus 1:] Holy Spirit rain Falling like a flood Break upon my praise As I sing of Your love Holy Spirit fire Burn within my soul As I call on Your Name As I call on Your Name (Jesus) Dreams and visions of the Son As we stand in Your presence Revelations of Your love As I look to the heavens [Chorus 2:] Holy Spirit rain Falling like a flood Break upon my praise As I sing of Your love Holy Spirit fire

Burn within my soul As I call on Your Name [x4] (Jesus) Oh Holy Spirit Burn like a fire All consuming, consume me Here in Your presence Lord I surrender to Your glory For Your glory [x2] Living water River wild in me Immerse me in Your mercy Open heaven Crashing over me Restore me in Your glory Oh Holy Spirit Burn like a fire All consuming, consume me Here in Your presence Lord I surrender to Your glory For Your glory [Chorus 2]

 

I truly want You, Holy Spirit, to consume all my junk.  Consume everything that I put in Your place.  Consume everything that I let drag me down and stress me out.  Consume everything that I try to find myself in instead of You.  Help me to continue to surrender to Your will and Your all consuming fire and please, please leave me with NOTHING except what You want me to have in my life and heart.  I know this is a ‘dangerous prayer, but I want to mean this and I want You to help me stay focused on You and You alone.  In Jesus’ name, Amen!

Leave Me With Nothing…Part 2

Greetings.  Back to the night at The Grove I was talking about in Part 1.  After we had some more praise and worship time, Kerri Stanfill (Kerri’s Instagram and Kerri’s Twitter) shared that not only are we supposed to lay our burdens down at Jesus’ feet, but sometimes, we are supposed to share them with others.  She reminded us that we are to carry each other’s burdens so that no one has to feel alone in their struggles.

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Kerri shared about a time in her life when she felt weary, drained and worried.  Her worry or concern was connected to her daughter’s hardness of heart toward the Gospel at a certain time.  She had a woman contact her and let her know that even though they’d never met, Kerri was on her heart and she wanted to pray for Kerri and whatever she was burdened down by.  Kerri reached back to this woman and a prayer relationship was born.  When Kerri and Christian’s daughter decided to accept Christ, this prayer warrior was one of the first people they contacted to share the great news with.  This valiant and persistent prayer warrior was a part of this victory story and we’re all so thankful she was!  After telling us about this great lady, Kerri directed us to go and pick up a stone from the trays and baskets that we had laid our own stone down in.  We were to pick up a stranger’s stone as a commitment to pray for the author of the message on the rock we picked up.  We would be a part of their journey through whatever they wrote down.  We would know that we are helping to carry part of their load by praying for them and their burdens.  Remember, no one can help you if they don’t know of your need.  If you’re feeling overwhelmed, write down what you’re struggling with to get it off your chest so to speak.  Another step you can take is to share it with a vault.  A vault of is a person you know will treat you and whatever you share with respect.

 

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So, make those lists and remember guys, not only women need to share their burdens.  It’s a sign of a strong person when you can admit you need help in something.  None of us is immune to the problems of life and we are commanded to bear one another’s burdens.

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In order to share our struggles, we must be willing to lay down our pride and let people in our private life.  That can be intimidating especially when we think that other people have it more together than we do.  Remember EVERYONE has a struggle whether they allow people to the truth or not.  Let’s tear down those walls of perceived perfection and get real with one another.  Let’s be transparent and put aside our pride in order to really connect with others who need to do the same thing.  Maybe when we put ‘it’ out there, they will feel free to do so as well.

All this had me thinking of leaving our cares with Jesus.  Can we really do that?  Is it worth it?  What will happen if I lay it all on the alter as a sort of sacrifice or worship and trust in Jesus?  Please read Leave Me With Nothing…Part 3

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This week, I will share a cleaning hack.  I use a lot, and I mean A LOT, of wipes each week to clean hands, walls, counters, toilets, switches, handles, etc.   I don’t like the idea of spending $2.54 on 35 disinfecting wipes.  They aren’t just expensive, they have ingredients I can’t pronounce and definitely don’t want in our systems.

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Only 35 measly wipes in here for $2.54! That’s $.073 each wipe and I use A LOT of wipes each week so this is not okay with me.

I make my own.  We just buy unscented wipes in a big case (bulk shopping = savings) and 70% alcohol.  I add 1/3 of a bottle of alcohol to each individual package of wipes.  This gets me 500 pure disinfecting wipes for $8.97 (500 wipes) + $3.75 (alcohol). Coming out to $0.025 a piece!  I’ll take that savings any day 🙂

 

 

Leave me with nothing…part 1

This world has a message.  “Get all that you can, as quickly as you can and don’t worry about counting the cost.”  It says, “believe only what you can see, touch, and hear.”  I live in this world, but I am not of it; at least not completely.  I’d love to say that I have nothing left of the world in me but I’d be lying to myself and to you.  There are times I care too much of what people think about me. Sometimes I see things people have and how they live and there is a part of me that longs for more than I have been blessed with.  I’m not wishing to take it from them, I just want it too.  Then there are times I see the way some women are put together, organized, fit and fashionable, etc. and there is a part of me that dislikes that about them and, if I’m crazy transparent…maybe, I actually dislike them a little bit for a minute.  Do you know what that’s called?  I’m not exactly sure but I have some ideas.  How about petty, envious, shallow, prideful, and selfish for starters?  Wait, there’s more…insecure, defeated, uncomfortable in my own skin, etc.  I do know this; God did not send His Son for me to live buried under these feelings.  He sent Jesus for me to be set Free…totally free.

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Monday night at The Grove (info on The Grove here) we talked about laying our burdens down at Christ’s feet.  The first speaker, Emily Vogeltanz (Emily’s Twitter and Emily’s Instagram), shared about her 2 year old, Wren, who desperately wants to help carry the groceries in after they return from the store with a determined, “me do it,” attitude.  Emily told us how she tries to let Wren know that she doesn’t require or want her to carry those heavy bags up to the house.  I can see Marissa a year from now doing this same thing as she already has a mind of her own, is quite determined to do things for herself and in her own way.  Emily likened her daughter’s struggle under the weight of the bags, to us carrying burdens we were never meant to bear.  She talked about the moment when little Wren’s arms finally give out and she can’t move those bags one more step.  All Emily has to do is reach down, grab those too heavy for Wren bags with her own pinkie fingers, and then scoop little Wren up in her capable and willing arms.  She then carries Wren’s bags, the rest of the groceries and little Wren, herself, up to the house.  She brought it all around to say that our relationship with our Father is often just like this.  What I took away from her time of sharing is a simple but profound truth I already knew, but haven’t fully applied in my life.  I know He is completely able to carry our junk…all of it. He can and wants to bear the load of all our worries, trials, burdens, shame, sins, fears and doubts. He isn’t taxed by the load, it isn’t hard for Him at all.  He is all powerful and wants to carry them for me and for you.  After all, Jesus died for us to be free from carrying these things around on our shoulders.

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How many times I find myself limping through the day, frazzled, worn down and feeling like if anyone needs one more thing from me, I may just collapse on the ground dropping not only all the hats I wear, but all those heavy burdens I’m carting around as well.  The bad news is, they’re kind of a natural byproduct of modern-day life.  The bad news is that I have a habit of piling them on without mindfully laying them down and leaving them with Jesus.  I go through my days gathering brick after brick, stone after stone of work, guilt, comparisons, worry, and doubts about myself and yes, sometimes I doubt that the God I believe in so fiercely can do what He says He can.  It makes me cringe to be so double-minded in my faith.  On one hand I believe deeply and even encourage others to believe in, trust in and fully follow Christ.  On the other, I find myself not laying everything down at His feet in full surrender; believing that He can and will provide healing, relief and all that I need.  I don’t intend to be this way.  I desire unity between my beliefs and my actions.  I desire to fully walk out my faith.  Of course, there have been times I have exercised my faith and it has never gone wrong.  Each and every time, God has come through and given me exactly what I needed.  It may not have been what I thought I wanted, but it was what I needed. Looking back, I can say that in full confidence.  I know everyone is short on time these days so I’ll wrap up part one with the Good News.  The Good News is that He loves us…passionately.  Our loving Father is just waiting for us to lay those bags down and let Him do what He’s so willing and wanting to.    Here’s Leave Me With Nothing…Part 2 (If you read this shortly after I publish Part 1, you’ll only see the title. Please check back. 🙂

Today’s life hack.  This one cracks me up because there’s no way I could ever get my head down in the hood to actually get a bite but it is right there for the grabbing and anyone who knows me knows I  ***L O V E*** popcorn!  Real hack down below ;-p

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But seriously, here’s my mom hack from a last week.  I took the kids to the playground and packed a picnic lunch but forgot a spoon for Marissa’s Gerber Sweet Potato, Apple, Carrot and Cinnamon bits…which, btw are so yummy!  Here’s a quick video of the hack 🙂

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Hi, I’m Tara. I am…

Wow, when you introduce yourself in person it’s one thing, but when you get ready to put it down in black and white for the world to see, it’s an entirely different task.  I mean, who am I really?  I have a lot of relationships, roles, dreams, likes, dis-likes and beliefs but what defines me?  I have a marriage certificate that lists my best friend and knight in shining armor, Greg, as my husband, so I am a wife. uskidslalalovvorns

 

 

I claim 8 people as my children (5 are at home, 2 are out on their own and one lives with Jesus), so I am a mom.  One of those precious 7 has a son that knows me as Grammy, so I am a grandparent.  I love to sew, paint, draw, sing and create so I am an artist.  I care for other people’s children in my home, so I am a business owner and caretaker. I like warm weather, but not hot.  In fact, I don’t do well above 85 or below 50, so I am a self titled extreme weather wimp. Although all of these things describe me, they aren’t who I am.  I could lose my children to a tragedy (I do believe you are still a mom even if your children aren’t here on earth any longer.  I’m not saying you have to have living children to be a mom.  I just wouldn’t think of ‘mom’ as a daily title for myself if I lost my children because that role would no longer be one that I was able to do.) I wouldn’t say, “hi, my name is Tara and I’m a mom, etc.  The mom title would probably fall after things I still carry out daily with an explanation of how I lost my precious children.  I could lose my husband to a unforeseen accident or old age (a long, long time from now) and I would no longer be a wife, I would be a widow.    I could lose my ability to create things and I would lose the title of artist.  I will actually be closing the daycare down in about 10 weeks and when that happens, I will no longer be a business owner (until God provides a new opportunity).  I don’t know if I’ll ever get used to extreme temps but it could happen and then, I would no longer call myself an extreme weather wimp.  But, there is one thing I have that can never be taken from me and my title can never be erased.  You see, I believe that God is the Head of the Trinity (the three Persons of God) and that He created this world and everything good in it. I believe that God came to Earth in the Person of Jesus.  I believe Jesus died as the final sacrifice for our sins, rose again and still lives today.   I believe that Jesus is the ‘second’ Person of the Trinity.  I believe that the Holy Spirit is the ‘third’ Person of the Trinity and lives in me because I accepted Jesus as my personal savior. These beliefs make me a disciple of Christ, a Christian.

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No matter what life throws my way, no matter what comes and goes, I am a daughter of the Most High King, secured by the blood of Christ Jesus.

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So, there you have it, a brief summary of me.  I hope you’ll come back to learn more.  On a side note, here’s my life hack of the day.  It happens to be a mom hack.

We co-slept all 5 of our bio children. They got so used to mom and dad’s bed that none of them have ever slept a single night in a crib. They just hate the feeling I guess. So I Googled the junk out of, “big crib, twin size crib, full crib, giant crib, etc”, to NO avail. There were some Ikea hacks for one of their bunk beds but I honestly didn’t have the time for a building project. We had this Summer Sure and Secure Custom Fit Gate already in use on our main floor. I was brainstorming AGAIN about how to solve the, “I need a place she can play, nap (or play on me while I get 20 min lol) and sleep at night that I don’t have to worry about her falling out of. Our bed is high and not up against any walls. It hit me like a bolt. Just use the two walls and our gate and make it like a giant play pen bed. It’s worked great and she loves it. We bought a full size memory foam mattress and a waterproof cover (protect that investment!). I THINK you could buy two gates and connect them for a larger bed if needed. Hope this helps someone :^>

Here is a link to the gate Summer Infant Sure and Secure Custom Fit Gate

There is Miss Marissa in her giant crib.  She loves it most of the time and it really allows me to have peace of mind when she’s asleep and I’m downstairs.  It also gives her a place to play while I steal a shower.  😉

Welcome to LeavingCramalot. This blog will be a concoction of life hacks, parenting tidbits, marriage insights and spiritual memos that God has opened my eyes to over the years.

kids“Please come in, but watch your step.  Oh, and please excuse the mess…things have been, well, a little crazy lately.”  You’re likely to these phrases when you come into our home.  It’s funny, because the ‘crazy lately’ part…well, that’s been going on for so long I can’t really recall when things were calm and orderly. Honestly, things haven’t been orderly very often since we only had one child.  Still, I’d never trade this mess for my babies  (yes kids, y’all are my babies no matter how old you are).  On the other hand, I can do some practical things to make our home run better, be more organized and less stressful.

I’ve jokingly named my home, life and mind Cramalot.  I can see Greg’s face when he reads this.  He’ll say, “that’s the perfect name, haha.”  This place is something I’ve created with my own two hands but, I’m committed to leave Cramalot and settle into a place that I haven’t officially named just yet.  It will come to me in time, I’m sure.  I wouldn’t choose to call it Utopia because I’m not naive enough to believe that life on this earth will ever be perfect.  I’m leaning towards ‘Serenity’ because that is what I’d like to experience in my lifetime.  Living in a home that has a place for everything, doesn’t have closets overflowing and a garage that could fill up 2 yard sales sounds like a dream.  Having a mind that is at peace is a goal I’m going to reach.  Currently my mind is burdened down with the stress of what I know I could change but haven’t.  I also struggle being able to accept the things that I can’t change, like how some people can be and certain circumstances in life.  Serenity to me would be a baseline of peace and harmony that I can return to quickly whenever life gets bumpy instead of getting waylaid in self-pity or hopelessness.  serinityThis should be on my lips continually as I struggle to gain control over things that I need to let go of. I need to let God be God and stop trying to manage everything.  I need to prayerfully consider what and who needs to be in my daily life and then ask for the courage and strength to do what He shows me.  There will be things He wants me to remove and things He wants me to add.  I’m sure of it.  The struggle will not be in the desire to follow Him, I’ve been wanting that for years.  The real struggle will be in the actual carrying out of what He has and will show me.  Realization is nothing without utilization.  Realization is like having money in your hand and knowing it can buy you something worthwhile.  This is no good on it’s own.  Utilization is using the money as a tool to get what that orthwhile item..  I realize that I live in Cramalot and that my life and home are crammed full and have been for quite some time.  I realize that I have taken on more than I can chew and need to simplify my life.  But, just realizing that doesn’t do anything for me or for my family.  I need to find tools to help me leave Cramalot behind.  I also need to focus less on me and my problems and more on God. I believe if I keep my mind set on Him and do my part, He’ll bless my efforts and things will get better.29749502d5f47a61b8bbbb07e9df7f32.jpg

Y’all! I just got back from Bible study (this was two days ago by now.  Ugh, life is busy) and you won’t believe what Priscilla Shirer said.  She was talking about stepping out on faith and doing what God tells us to do whether it makes sense or not.  Whether we feel like anyone will pay attention or need what we have to offer.  She specifically mentioned that if you feel called to start a blog, then start one!  I feel like it was confirmation on me stepping out to do this.  Maybe I’ll only get one reader a week, but I’ll know that I’m being obedient…and that will be enough.

Now, back to my first blog entry!

So, here’s to packing up the junk…literally and metaphorically.  Here’s to finding some peace and serenity while I’m still on this earth.

Lord, please help me to keep my mind set on You.  Help me to see You in everything. Please God, help me to rely on the Holy Spirit to run my mouth and life so I can be in perfect peace because You know I’m not there yet.  In Jesus’ name, Amen!