4.30.2012

Heaven Come Down

Believer, my heart is that you are soaking in prayer and pressing in like never before. Let a song of hope come from the depths of your soul, and may it encourage you knowing that Jesus is by your side always.

"Lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age." Matthew 28:20

Kindness Begets Kindness

Kindness begets kindness. I'm sure I've heard that somewhere before. It bubbled up when I pondered about an unexpected act of thoughtfulness I received through the mail last week. Surprise! A thoughtful card with kind words and a $5 Starbucks card.

Often are basket looks empty, but if we look hard and long enough we can be a blessing sharing kindness in ways that are more meaningful than handing someone a large check, or paying off someone's debt. Nonetheless, these are things I wish to do someday—and if it be God's plan too I'm excited about Him fulfilling that secret desire.

Lately I've turned my focus to a more heavenly prespective. Meaning bringing heaven down -- it's beauty, love and comapssion -- in intentional tangible ways to others.

My heart is always alert and ready to share my wealth in whatever form to bless and share kindness with those I know and don't know.

Summer is approaching, and with warmer weather and bright colors all around it stirs my spirit to give. My prayer is that God continues to reveal ways where I can be a blessing and to appreciate the gift of being blessed as well.


"The generous soul will be made rich, And he who waters will also be watered himself." Proverbs 11:25

4.21.2012

Who Am I Kidding?!

I have these fabulous Sticky Notes on my desktop that work wonders for reminding me of upcoming bills and due dates. Last week I wrote two new sticky notes that specifically were about avoiding the grocery store and to find free recreation. I was thinking my daughter could venture to the park and ride her bike like the week before. It was a great idea and with motivation behind it, but it was short-lived. We have embarked on summer weather here, and it's only going to get worse. So, I did what any good mom would do—I ignored that sticky note and joined the Y for family fun.

The grocery store reminder though equally warranted was unsuccessful as well. Unfortunately, food is a necessity. Even though a short-term goal fails I'm confident of the bigger picture -- making one right choice at a time. I have realized that money can be a blessing. Nevertheless, the mismanagement of it can be quite burdensome.

Summertime means different things to different families. Some look forward to summer vacations out-of-state for an extended time, while others schedule for camp at weeks at a time. Disney vacations are often a highlight too for families. However, for me and my family we're excited this summer about using less fuel (staying close to home) and visiting the local Y.  As an overseer of sorts, I'm committed to making the most of what's realistic for our family budget.

"Act your wage." ― Dave Ramsey

"If you will live like no one else, later you can live like no one else." ― Dave Ramsey

4.12.2012

Attention Kids! Money Lessons for the Carnival

There's a carnival in town setting up for this weekend. We're excited, but not the part about spending lots of money. Reality can suck the pleasure right out of excitement! Nevertheless, I'm thankful for new learned habits and realizing how destructive instant gratification can be. Not to mention the letdown when we get home from the carnival (or arcades) and find out how much money we spent because of the thrill of it.

The other night I surfed Dave Ramsy's site and found on Kids (3-12) "Careless at the Carnival" an MP3 Audio Download for only $2.99. A lesson on spending. Bonus is at the end of the audio the listener is asked, "Let's see what you learned."

"Have you ever wondered how you spent so much money without even realizing it? Junior learns this lesson the hard way."

My dauther especially liked the story and requested to hear it twice! After listening we have a plan to eat before and go with a set amount of money for rides only.

4.10.2012

Family Lives in Tiny House


Downsizing is a must for some, and should be for most. 

Watch the video and visit their website

Could you do it?  I think I could while watching my bank account grow!

4.09.2012

Change of Habit

Last November, I challenged myself to ditch the papertowels in bathrooms and in the kitchen leaving only one roll in the laundry room for messy messes.

Having a senior cat then it was difficult taking the first step knowing there would be those unfortunate accidents or incidents that paper seemed best for. Still, I made up my mind, and my family followed my lead.

It's now April, six months later, and we have successfully converted -- using other means rather than disposable paper towels to wipe or clean up. I'm thankful we changed that expensive habit, especially considering the rising costs of fuel, food, and healthcare.

There's a sufficient amount of undue stress on all of us trying to move money from one column of our budget to another, but we're still learning of ways to do without and be okay in the process.

"Money is 80% behavior, 20% head knowledge. It's what you do, not what you know." - Dave Ramsey

Related Link: I Did It!



4.08.2012

The Real Easter Story

"Some used to say the sun actually skipped for joy every Easter morning, and if you got up, you'd see it."

A touching story about Easter traditions and the real reason Christians celebrate Easter.

Easter Bunny, Are You For Real?

Buy book here.

Christ Is Risen



Christ Is Risen by Matt Maher

1 Corinthians 15:54-55
Isaiah 25:8
Hosea 13:14

4.07.2012

Yes I Did!

On New Year's Eve I returned a Christmas gift and left with $43.03 store credit. I was happy to use the credit in the near future. Then I dared to return another Christmas gift from the year before found in my closet at the end of January. I'm very organized and so is the gift-giver so I had gift receipts for both. Those handy receipts really make life less complicated. Before going to the store I pondered for about thirty seconds at the possible rejection at a gift purchased in October 2010, but it would be worth it. I was able to add another $33.91 on store credit to my tin can.

Some saavy retailers have lienant and straightforward return policies and it makes for a postive experience. No huge hassels, just in and out with a friendly smile. They're betting that I'm coming back to spend my credit and then some. A win-win for both of us!

Friday my daughter and I had fun shopping and spending the last of our store credit.

$76.94 well spent for:

1 Ladies Flip Flops
1 Candie's Sunglasses
2 Girls Leggings
1 Designer Purse

4.05.2012

Creative Adult


Yes indeed! I love to color, create, and design using a plethora of resources online to personalize gifts as well as organize photos and videos to share with family and friends.

I've been in "creative mode" all day—literally. I'm shocked at how many hours and hours these things take to do. The only bad part is the crick in my neck. I really must put the brakes on, but with gas prices at such a ridiculous high I need to find other ways on how to fill my tanks*.

Commuting long distances are a real issue now and so I'm waiting on new opportunities and ideas to fill the gap on what was usual last year or the year before. Adjust and adapt. Change is like a welcomed friend.

But I digress.

Have you checked out ArtsCow? I have hit them twice in two weeks with sales that were harder to pass up for items of good quality. It's not nonsense stuff either.

First Order: 4 XL Cosmetic Bags (10"x8") for $12 total with FREE shipping. A savings of $61.92.
Second Order: 3 L Cosmetic Bags (9"x6") for $14.97 total and FREE shipping. A savings of $34.97.

I received my first order today in the mail and I was eager to open the package. Wow! I was not disappointed—hence, my order this evening.

There's nothing worse for me than daily routines without humor, friendship, or anything creative to make an okay day better.

Ancient Proverbs say it best, "An idle mind is the devil's workshop." or "Idle hands are the devil's workshop."

Devil, please find the nearest exit!

Matthew 18:18 Believers have authority in Christ.

*spiritual, creative, love...

4.04.2012

Mistakes!

Mistakes, they happen to the best of us—and I'm no exception. I've made a few recently that thankfully weren't life-altering. At worst, they imitate a child's owie on the playground. It's true; adults are not immune to letting excitement, thrill, and convenience win over logic.

In February, I decided to take myself first, and then in the same week my daughter to replace a pediatric sick visit with a conveniently close walk-in clinic. Mistake -- costly, misdiagnosed, and incorrect doses for OTC medicines. I can only surmise that in this case my own nasal congestion had interfered with rational thinking.

This month, I chose to order a product featured on a TV infomercial. Happy to admit this was a first and last time for me. It was only an hour after calling in my order that I had buyer's remorse while searching for reviews online. Insert hand gesture, "L" on the forehead! Mistake -- overly influenced by the ad's enticing pitch and cost me out-of-pocket shipping and handling $25.14, after forthcoming credit for product returned.

Allegorically I'm sitting with skinned knees writing about my missed jumps on the park Jungle Gym these past two months.

Hoping next time I'll be the wiser!

Let us all remember the old truism, "look before you leap!"

© Cup of Goodness. Made with love by The Dutch Lady Designs.