Growing up I was under the impression that life was about the bigger and better things of life. Looking back, I realize the pressure to appear to be something you’re not. People will go in debt to look the part. Is it worth it?
Now that I have my own family now and our own expenses, we choose to live within our means well enjoying our lives professionally and leisurely. Living less doesn’t necessarily mean you don’t have the means to live, but you choose to live without the stress of living check to check. Get it?
For a few years now, my focus has been on my family and being debt free… Â from mortgage to a piece of mind! It is easy to get wrapped up in the latest trend and way of life, but when you are focused on your goals, no trend can even tempt you! Don’t get me wrong a nice pair of shoes always makes a girl smile, but it should not be the source of your happiness.
I want my life to be full of adventure and thrills… risks and rewards. How can this happen if I’m living like the next person?! As Christians, we are to live a purposeful life. A life that is a refection of God’s love, grace and favor! When people see you, do they see Christ or the things you throw in their face? My hope is I’m seen “naked” and completely “transparent”. No one should ever question who I belong to or what I represent.
When you see me, I hope you see patience. Patience is a very complicated and “offensive” word for this day in age. We live in the express or gimme now society. No one waits for anything! My husband and I have a goal to build our first home (with our own hands) before age 33! This is unbelievable to many and some even have to offend their reason why they did something different. One person once said, To each its own” and I fond this to be valid. We never compared ourselves with the next couple, but being the light God has called us to be, some people feel the need to validate themselves. What people fail to realize, our decisions does not affect yours. You want the suburban life? Go for it!! We are godly proud of you! You want the most popular gadget?! Yessss, werk it out! But for me and my house, if we want those things, we believe we rather do it off of impulse or for popularity, but to fulfill our OWN goals! And in doing so, patience and hearing from God plays a huge role in our lives.
When you see me, I hope you see ingenuity. For the past year, we have been transitioning into a homestead life. Growing our own fruits, experimenting with farm animals, and farm fresh eggs, the works! Who would have thought that a couple of city kids would love the country life so much!! From big city contracts to building chicken coops and pig pens, who would have thought?! My hope is that people are encouraged to live out their dream even if it’s not very popular to do.
When you see me, I hope you see confidence.Â Being confident in your decisions can make you stand apart. People’s opinions begin to flow into your personal space. Once you are secure i your goals and livelihood, their opinions will not matter. When we decided to follow God and move to Texas, we had people praying against us…LITERALLY!! People told us they were praying against our hast decision. When we moved into a mobile home, we were told to just buy a home and worry about building one later. That may have worked for someone else, but not us! We are confident in our decision…even in our struggle.
When you have your life goals together, everything else doesn’t matter. Living a life of less is so relieving. Less drama, less negativity, less stress. You would think everyone’s goal is to be with less of these things, but some actually thrive on it. To each its own.
Actually, during this time of living within our means, I’ve been able to really enjoy nature. Living in the country has taught me to enjoy the beauty of God’s creation. It has also taught me to be a better steward of the things we are given. Too often we are concerned about artificial and man made fashions of this world and are easily wrapped up in fantasy that we lose focus of the things that matter…God, family and relationships. This Less is more journey is focused on those three things. I want all that God has in store for me…the true riches of life. One of my favorite songwriters (Jimmy Needham) sung,
“Â Why are we so convinced a bigger audience
Is simply common sense to have?
Maybe success is measured best
By nothing less then our obedience”
If we put our focus and our energies to the Source of our being, we will enjoy the promises of God. If we stayed committed to God, our obedience, patience and long-suffering will be rewarded. What a way to be!!!!
Are you on a Less is more journey? What ways are you freeing yourself to enjoy the bounty of God’s promises for your life?
Yup! it’s that time again!! Checking off supply lists, early registration, buying more clothes… it’s almost a love/hate time of the year as a parent!
LOVE- your children won’t raid thee kitchen in the middle of the day. No fighting or unnecessary spills.
HATE- you have to get the kids in the habit of going to bed even though the sun is still shining… and you have to buy school supplies and clothes again.
I can only imagine how it feels to be a teacher this time of year! (I’ll know soon enough though)
Well, with the busyness of the new school year, moms have to step up their organization and time management game! Mine this year is set waaaayyyyy high! Now that I have FOUR children going to school this year, I need to manage my time wisely. This means having a plan for their clothes all week long!
My plan is to wash and prep my kids clothes during my wash day (Thursday). I will iron and hang up all (labeled) outfits for each day of the week. (ClickÂ sample to view.)
I’ll do a part two to show you my actual weekly clothing set up! Stay tuned!!!!
Until then, what are some ways you are preparing for Back to School?
Obviously I put my own personal spin the the popular quote by Vivian Green
….but you get the point, right?
What does greeting cards, candy, flowers and Â breakfast in bed all have in common? Mother’s Day! Yes, the all too common holiday is just days away. If you’re unfamiliar with this holiday,Â Mother’s Day is a day to celebrate the things moms do (and didn’t do for your sake LOL) throughout the year. If you ask me, Mother’s Day means more work for mothers! How? Well, the weekend of Mother’s Day is just like any regular weekend for me.
Friday, I spend the day washing and folding laundry and completing housework. Saturday, a yard day and preparing the night’s dinner and getting the kids clothes together for Sunday. Sunday, we have church and the struggle to keep the kids clean. After service, back home to finish yard work, feed the family and get ready for the school week. Sounds pretty depressing huh?
So, how do I make this year’s Mother’s Day eventfully and different than the rest? Honestly, I don’t know! I love doing things for my little family. I enjoy cooking and time spent with them. Mother’s Day for me is everyday! Everyday, I am given all the love and honor just Â by being me… a mom! Now don’t get me wrong, QT is needed when you have a husband, 5 kids and a homestead, but enjoying my family is a blessing!
If I had to choose my top 3 gifts for Mother’s Day, I would pick:
3. The kids to get along for a full day. I have five kids which means 5 unique personalities clashing every 32 minutes (Trust me I have them down to a science!)
2. A slice of strawberry cheesecake and Oreo cheesecake TO MYSELF! I rarely eat sweets anymore because I am trying to keep make new figure, but when I want to splurge, I would like to do so on my own! My family love to share (on their own terms)! LOL
1. A clean house! Now I keep a fairly clean home but to have it cleaned without my help and done my way would be FREAKING AWESOME!!
(I hope my husband reads this so #2 can come true ASAP! The rest can happen over time…no rush! LOL)
So, now the tables have turned… what would be your top 3 gifts for Mother’s Day??
In the middle of yet another EXCRUCIATING, frustrating, exhausting conversation with my almost 20-year old daughter, I realized we just donâ€™t understand each other. We are not communicating, weâ€™re just talking. And worse, she has no idea what Iâ€™m talking about and thinks I have no idea what Iâ€™m talking about! She doesnâ€™t even care to listen to me. I never want to say â€œIâ€™m 46 and Iâ€™m right.â€ But the fact is, Iâ€™M 46 AND Iâ€™M RIGHT! Iâ€™ve been there done that and failed miserably at it. When I looked at her all I saw was myself at 20 making all the wrong moves, having the wrong attitude and not thinking like someone on the path to being a productive adult. So, I began to think how much better off I would be if I knew then what I know now and what things I would want my 20 year old self (and my almost 20 year old daughter) to know.
What I would tell my 20 year old self:
1. Listen more, talk less.
2. It’s ok to be wrong about something.
3. Be good to yourself.
4. Save/spend your money carefully. Don’t try to keep up with the Jones’…the Jones’ are in debt.
5. Take responsibility for your bad behavior (choices, decisions, actions, etc.)
6. Forgive…..yourself and others.
7. Know your worth and walk in it. Don’t settle.
8. Dream big. But wake up, get up and actually DO SOMETHING to make your dreams happen. No excuses, just results.
9. There’s a big difference between taking a “leap of faith” and “taking a flying leap”. Choose wisely.
10. Think. Then react.
11. It’s OK to ask for help. But remember to show gratitude not attitude. YOU need the help.
Thanks Tracie for your continual support and posts on my blog!
If you would like to be the next featured blogger on In The Life of a Virtuous Woman, comment below!
A word I thought Â I would have never said a few years ago. Yes, I am married with a handful of babies, but you wouldn’t catch me in any such conversation. But, now is a different story! I grew up where no one talked about it, but EVERYONE did “IT”. My eyes have also see things that scarred me, but that is only because it wasn’t shown any respect or class. I am talking about sex. God created sex ONLY for one man and his wife to enjoy and to create. But why are CHRISTIANS so afraid to speak up about it?! Sex was created for married Christians! The world is unafraid and bold when it comes to sexuality, but the people whom sex was created for is silent and embarrassed. Well, not anymore!!
I was 19 years old when I got married and up until recently, I was afraid to engage into conversation about sex, even with my own husband! Sad, I know! There are a lot of people who are stepping into marriage blindly because someone was too embarrassed to be real with them. SEX IS NOT A BAD WORD!! Sex is a very spiritual and submissive act between husband and wife that has been abused by the world AND ignored by the church!
In marriage, sex is for creating but it is also for pleasure. Sex should not be a chore….it should be something you enjoy intimately with you husband or wife. BUT do not expect it to be your only form of expression for your spouse. Have date nights, text each other or write notes! Yes, people still do that…I still do that!… Surprise visits at the job. These small tokens help to enhance your marriage. Intimacy does not begin in the bedroom. Intimacy is a relationship. You can’t KNOW your husband or wife unless you know them. Same with Jesus; He is longing to spend time with you and to know you. You can’t know Him without a relationship!
Speaking of the bible, have you ever sat down and read/listen Song of Solomon? Oh my my!!! Talking about deep! Give it a go! Now i will not give you my interpretation of the book, but I will express ways to create sparks in your relationship with your husband or wife in the next post to this series!
Yes! Surprised? Well don’t be. Many of you feel the exact same way.
Recently, I discovered that my biggest influence, my online pastor, my role model, Pastor Bob Coy of Calvary Chapel in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida had resigned April 3, 2014 as Head Pastor for “moral failure”….simply put, for admitting adultery and porn addiction. I was and still is in disbelief of the news. All I wanted to do is hear a Word as I have in the past from him on his Activeword.org website to find all of his materials and archivesÂ gone. I am absolutely disappointed and am hurt to know that the person whom I received “counseling” from all these years, has committed the sin he speaks against all the time! Yes, he is only a man, but if you could only hear his passion (what now may have been a cry for help) about marriage saying, “our marriages and ministries are under attack” “guard your relationships” “don’t take family for granted”. He wasn’t your typical Megachurch Pastor who only told people what they want to hear; he spoke Bible! Pastor Coy backed up EVERYTHING with scripture and I supported him. Now why am I sick of the church? Well, that’s simple!
For years, the church has becomeÂ an all you can eat buffet; a place where people come to stuff there faces with food with no limit. They are becoming sick because of the mess they consume and choose to indulge in. It is no longer a hospital for the sick and lame, but it has become the place where sinful people come to be reassured about their situation and not change a thing because the Grace of God will rescue them each and every time!
Pastors are living “secret lives”, their messages are no longer life-changing but more of a “Wa“. People are leaving millions of churches empty. The creation usually represents the creator, so if the pastor is living an empty life, he can only pour into people what he has inside of him.
No one talks about sin, because everyone is covering up theirs. Pastors being excused of adultery, pornography, theft, and an array of things. Usually, when their sin is brought to light, they are “praised” and encouraged saying the devil won’t steal our joy.Ha! Your pastor just got caught up Â WITH EVIDENCE and you’re defending him? While pastors like Bob Coy confess because the Holy Spirit is yet working on him and is convicting him so he confesses and people are calling him a “false teacher”? It bothers me! If anything he is forgiven.
Th church has become lukewarm in everything and even questioning the bible they are suppose to live by for the sake of comfort and numbers. I feel as if I don’t want to be apart of that group of people everyone is talking about. My standard is the bible! The bible is my road to life everlasting and my light will be seen, but it feels like if I am with a bunch of watered down Christians, that I will be looked at as the same. I know that out of all the madness the church is allowing, there are a FEW in the church who remains and will stand on the Word of God, who will not give in to the culture that the church is allowing to influence them. Every person I come in contact to will know and SEE the difference.
I have never felt this type of sympathy for the church like I do now. I am on a mission and God will get the glory out of every aspect of my life!
Be the difference, even in the church. Timeout for playing church! Souls need deliverance and conviction!
What is the most popular thing on television? You guessed it! SCANDAL!!
It all over the popular social networks and the talk of the town! I hear people rooting for this “Olivia Pope” and how her relationship to the President is unbreakable and real. One thing that has me highly offended and bothered is that “Mr. President” is married. What happened to the blessings and favor of marriage? Today’s society has no respect for it and sad to say is that we (Christians) are allowing such damaging content to enter into our homes. The bible clearly states, “Â Learn not the way of the heathen, and be not dismayed at the signs of heaven; for the heathen are dismayed at them.” (Jeremiah 10:2) The bible also declares, “No man can enter into a strong man’s house, and spoil his goods, except he will first bind the strong man; and then he will spoil his house.” (Mark 3:27)
So why are we so intrigued over lust and infidelity? What are we trying to figure out? Honestly, I tried to see what the fuss was about. I went on Netflix and saw the first episode of the first season and I could not stomach it! Television has motives now. .There is no such thing as wholesome entertainment. Marriage is under attack.
I am a woman and if you know me, you’ll know that I take my role as a wife and mother very seriously. Some may be offended by this but hey!! Women… saved women…whether you’re married or single: YOU ARE TO BLAME! We allowed shows like “Scandal” to play throughout our homes and wonder why you can’t have a committed relationship or a faithful marriage because you are basically expecting your husband or future husband to do what “Mr. President” did to his wife. You want the relationship that he has with Olivia which will send you BOTH to Hell!! Marriage is honorable and to disrespect this sacred covenant and GOD makes me question your “Fruit”. Â We are glued to this foolishness! Let me ask you this? Where’s your husbands when you watch this show? And if he’s sitting next to you with a bag of popcorn…smh!
Nothing will come in and dilute my home and marriage. It’s crazy because the same people who will change the channel when that disrespectful little boy, “Caillou” comes on because he will have a negative influence on your child is the same one who watches this show. That is so hypocritical!
Tell me what you think?