“Living Life” With The Next Generation Of Women

  1. Have you ever felt frustrated with the next generation of women?
  2. Do you question whether they are serious about their walk with God?
  3. Does it appear as though they don’t want to be Godly wives and mothers?
  4. Do you have a burden for wanting to help these women live the life that God has for them?

If you said “YES!” to any of  these questions, then read on …

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1 Thing To Help You Make The Most of Your Day

Did you know that you could make the most of your day with just 1 thing?  I didn’t either but it’s true!!

It’s really quite easy!

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Teach Responsibility By Paying A Ticket

Yes I got a speeding ticket!  It was one of those “Photo Infractions”…my vehicle picture was taken speeding.  When I first saw it in the mail, I was REALLY hoping that it was my husband and not me.  Unfortunately it wasn’t.  Once I realized it was me, I was just mad!  My first thoughts were “I’m going to fight this”, “I’ll show up for a hearing and they’ll cut it in half automatically” and “there must be some mistake”.  Well, after looking at the video (yes, they include video for your viewing pleasure), it was obvious that is was me and that I had just not noticed the change in speed limit.

You see, I was in an area of town that I’m usually not in so not as familiar with it as I am other areas of town.  When I started to think about what I would tell the judge at my hearing, it was things like “Your Honor, I wasn’t paying attention” or “I just didn’t see the sign” or better yet, “I was distracted by …..”.  It became obvious that none of those were going to get me anywhere and they weren’t even legitimate reasons, let alone legitimate excuses.

At this point, I became embarrassed!  Not because I had gotten caught but because it had happened in the first place.  I’m normally very conscientious about the speed limit or changes in the speed limit.  I pride myself on being very aware of what is going on around me.  Sigh …

I spent 2 days thinking about what I was going to do.  I finally told my husband that I was just going to pay it … in full.  He indicated that if that was what I wanted to do that was fine.  But he did ask for an explanation as to “why” and “how” I came to that conclusion.  It’s a valid question!

So this is how I got to this decision —

  1. There was no denying that I was guilty
  2. My “reasons” weren’t legitimate, they were just excuses in the hope of getting off the hook
  3. My embarrassment didn’t make what I had done go away (as much as that would have been nice)
  4. I needed to just take responsibility for what I had done

So hear me out as I get to the lesson to teach!

As parents, we attempt to teach our children that they need to take responsibility for their actions.  They don’t always “mean” to do things wrong and it might truly be a mistake BUT that doesn’t take away the fact that they did it.  There are consequences even when they don’t mean to do something wrong.

I didn’t mean to speed … but I did!  What message am I sending, if I make up excuses?  What lesson in responsibility am I teaching, if I tried to get out of the consequences?  Is my pride more important than taking responsibility?

Do you see where I’m going with this?

  • I’m not arguing about whether I deserved a ticket
  • I’m not coming up with excuses in the hopes that the consequences will go away
  • I’m just going to “plead guilty” and take my punishment

Sometimes to teach a lesson to our children, we need to swallow our pride and admit that we messed up.  It’s a tough thing to do!  Don’t you think that in the long run, it’s more beneficial to show them how to take responsibility rather than just tell them that they need to?  I don’t want my kids to see the attitude of “do as I say not as I do” from me.  I want them to think “if mom can take responsibility for a mess up then so can I”.

Isn’t that what being a role model is all about!

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How To Make Praying A Habit

Praying can sometimes be really hard to make a habit…at least it is for me!  I toss up quick one liners throughout the day and call it good.  I’ve been convicted lately about how casual I am about my prayer life.  I think that it came to a head on the National Day of Prayer .  Suddenly I felt a very real urgency to pray diligently!  In the National Day of Prayer pamphlet, there were suggested prayers regarding government, military, media, business, education, church and family.  Suddenly the light bulb went on – 7 areas of focus and 7 days of the week!!!  This is frequently referred to as “The 7 Pillars of Prayer” — who knew?  Probably everyone but me!

“I urge that entreaties and prayers, petitions and thanksgivings, be made on behalf of all men, for kings and all who are in authority, in order that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life …”  1 Timothy 2:1-2

Going forward, I have decided to pray for each of these areas on each day of the week.  I even came up with a chart to keep track (you can find it here).

This is the basic idea that I have (following the order in the pamphlet) —

Monday – Government

Tuesday – Military

Wednesday – Media

Thursday – Business

Friday – Education

Saturday – Church

Sunday – Family

“If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”  2 Chronicle 7:14

If you haven’t downloaded the weekly prayer chart, do it now.

Please join me in prayer!

Blessings,

Heidi

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Older vs Younger — Where Do You Fit In?

Are you an older woman or a younger woman?  This is kind of a loaded question, isn’t it?  We don’t really want to put ourselves in a category because it usually has to do with “age”.

I recently got a book called “Journal-A-Day the Titus 2 Way – 365 Journaling Prompts for Growing in Godly Womanhood” by Rachel Ramey.  I normally don’t  journal but wanted to get some ideas for blogging and thought this might help.  Needless to say, I love it!!!!

One of the first prompts was asking the criteria of an older woman and a younger woman.  It was thought provoking and I was kinda of surprised where I found myself.  Here are some of my thoughts –

  • The initial inclination is to say that this all has to do with age (i.e. over 50+ years old is an older woman/under 50 years old is a younger woman).  Using this method of determination, I would fall into the “older woman” category.  Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m perfectly okay with that description BUT it’s not necessarily a complete description.
  • Does it have anything to do with life experiences?  Absolutely!!!  It’s very true that “older women” have more life experience.  Their guidance and knowledge comes from a “been there, done that” perspective.  They can share what worked and didn’t work for them as they experienced life.

Younger women may be just starting out this journey of married life and motherhood OR they have come to a point where they want to make changes and don’t know where to start.  They are searching for someone to guide them and walk along side them as they figure this out.  The need and desire for someone to understand and give words of wisdom and enlightenment is strong.

  • Can younger women teach older women?  Again absolutely!!!  This is a new generation of women and they’re smart!  They are innovative and think outside the box.  The phrases “we’ve always done it this way” or “it’s just how it’s done” just don’t always fly with these ladies.

Technology has changed so many things in the last 20+ years and homemaking, motherhood and womanhood are no exception.  There are things that can be done differently AND be more efficient in the process.  I know it’s hard to believe but it’s true!

  • What about the women who are in the position to pass on life skills, insight and wisdom but also still need some themselves?  They have raised kids and managed a home but now find themselves empty nesters, looking at retirement, caring for grandchildren and also watching their parents age and see the need care for them, as well.  This group is quite often referred to as “the sandwich generation” … sandwiched between caring for kids and/or grandkids and caring for their parents.  These women continue to seek guidance on being a parent to adult children, being a grandparent, transitioning to empty nesters and maybe even retirement.  Where do they go for advice?  The reality is that they often go to those aging parents … or a friend who is in the same stage in life … maybe even those adult children (remember they have lots of information at their fingertips).

It’s not easy to figure out which group you might fall into.  Perhaps there is a great deal of overlap.  I decided that I’m a “sandwich” (a reuben sandwich, I think — diverse flavors that go great together!).  Wherever you find yourself, embrace who you are and where you are in life!!!

Remember that we’re all in this together.  Each of us has our own individual life experiences that made us who we are.  So grab a girlfriend (no matter what the age) and let’s travel this road of life together … hand in hand … and learn all that we can from each other!

Blessings,

Heidi

Note:  This post has affiliate links.  When you click on these links, I may receive compensation.  Thank you!

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5 Easy Spring Decorating Ideas!

Spring is here!!  With spring comes newness, freshness, lots of new growth (leaves, grass, flowers).  That usually leads me to want to freshen up a few things in my decor.  I want that freshness all around me!

  1. I start with fresh flowers!   Actually I start bring home fresh flowers in late February or early March.  This is when I’m tired of snow, gray and cold.  Fresh flowers brighten my mood and my home.  I recently discovered that one of my local stores has a “50% off” stand in the floral section.  I was so excited!!!  These are the flowers that didn’t sell in a timely manner so they mark them down to get rid of them.  You have to be selective but I guess I figure that I can buy twice as many so if I need to toss a few that are heading downhill, so be it.

2. Change out throw pillows!   I got this idea a couple of years ago.   End of season sales are a great place to get pillows that you like without having to pay full price for them.  Pack them away in the linen closet until next spring.  Try to do this at the end of summer sales and after Christmas sales so you’ve got the rest of the seasons taken care of too.  Since they are only out for a few months, I don’t get tired of them and then I change them again with the next season.  The whole room looks new and different!!!

3. Pick up or change throw carpets or area rugs!  I have hardwood floors so I change up the look of my rooms by changing out small carpets … welcome mats, kitchen mats, etc.  In fact, I have room sized carpets that I put down in the fall and winter (to make it feel cozier) so I lift them and put them away for spring and summer.

4. Table clothes, place mats and napkins!  This is the same idea as with throw pillows.  Have spring themed (or whatever colors that you like for spring) coverings for your table — whether that be table clothes or place mats.  My family likes cloth napkins so I have several sets that I just rotate through the year.  Again, since you’re only using them a couple months out of the year, they don’t ware out and you don’t tire of them.

5. Wash your windows! OK I can hear your moans from here!!!  What does washing your windows have to do with spring decorating?  Well, all winter, the sun has been sitting lower in the sky so it hasn’t come through the windows the same.  As the sun begins to be high in the sky, you can see how dirty your windows are (or at least I can).  I begin to open my shades and windows this time of year, and having clean windows makes that so much more enjoyable.

So there are my 5 easy ways to freshen up your home decor for spring!  I would love to hear from you if you have any others!

Enjoy Spring!!!

Blessings,

Heidi

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Spring Is Here SO Let’s Get Our Sexy On!!!

Spring is finally here!!!!  I don’t know about you but I love spring!  Spring is a time of new beginnings — new grass, new leaves, perennials coming up.

After being wearing those yoga pants all winter, (you know the ones — the ones that expand and you don’t have to hold your tummy in) now it’s time to put them away and lighten up a little!

It’s also a time when “love is in the air”!  Remember in school when you started getting those crushes and couples started showing up EVERYWHERE.  Things haven’t changed much, I don’t think.  Now that we’re married, we just need to get a crush on our husbands.  Oh come on, you know you want to!!!  It’s time to get our sexy on!!

For woman, the biggest part of feeling sexy is feeling pretty.  We’re made to want to feel pretty!  When we were young girls, we wanted to be a princess … it made us feel pretty and special.   As we grew up and got married, that “pretty” turned to “sexy”  when we were with the love of our life.  We still want to feel that way!

So how do we do that?  Here are some things that I do when I want to take it up a notch —

  1.  Change your hair – a new hair cut and style, or maybe high lights.  Just something that will make you feel “new” and “fresh” — and yes sexy!
  2. Get a manicure and/or pedicure – I love manicures and pedicures!  I know that some people don’t like to have their feet touched and that’s totally okay.  You can always do one yourself!  But, again, I love them!  Sometimes I even splurge and get tips put on rather than just a manicure.  There is just something about having soft hands and feet and polish!  My husband is partial to RED so I usually do my toes with that for him.
  3. Shave – teehee!  I know, I know!!!  But let’s be honest, we sometimes neglect this during the winter when we’re in our yoga pants and not shorts.  It’s not that we go all winter without doing this but it’s not as often.  So take care of it!
  4. Smelly lotion – Go buy (or get out of the bathroom closet) a nice, pretty smelling lotion.  It you get a hint of the scent during the day, it will remind you that you smell good … and I mean GOOD!!!
  5. Take a long, hot bath – Yes it’s okay to pamper yourself!  In fact, it helps you be a better you!  Hot water, a good book and a drink of your choice and life is good.  (just for the record, when I’m feeling really sexy, I may do several of these things and then be waiting in a hot bath when hubby get home … just sayin)
  6. A new nightie – Sometimes we just need a little push to get our sexy on and this can help.  I usually sleep in a t-shirt which serves it’s purpose but it just “is”.  One of the things that I like to do is put on a button up dress shirt … then hubby can unbutton it (woohoo).  I have lingerie too (yes red) that I pull out for these sorts of occasions.
  7. Initiate love making – This one is more difficult for some and I get it!  But the reality is that nothing makes us feel sexier than our husbands wanting us!  So be a tease, flirt a little, lead him to the bedroom … whatever!  He’ll enjoy it and so will you!!!

This is a great book that I would recommend to those of you who would like to take “sexy” and “sex” to the next level.  It’s written by Sheila Wray Gregiore and titled “31 Days to Great Sex”.  (this is an affiliate link)

So take some time and do something that makes you feel “pretty”!  You’ll feel like a princess that wants to “woo” her prince.

Enjoy Spring in a whole new way!!!

Blessings,

Heidi

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Couple Appreciation Month

When was the last time you told your husband that you appreciate him?  Do you say “thank you” for the things that he does for you?  Those are convicting questions to ask ourselves, huh?  It’s so easy to just take someone for granted.  Especially the people that  you’re closest to.   Do you find yourself saying (even to yourself) “they know how much I love and appreciate them” or “I do his laundry, clean the house, take care of the kids and cook for him so I’m sure he knows”.  Perhaps he does … or perhaps he doesn’t.  Either way, it’s still nice to hear that someone appreciates you and is willing to take the time to say so.

April is “Couple Appreciation Month”!  I had no idea but it’s true.  I came up with some ways — big and small — to show the love of your life how much you appreciate him.

  1. Just say “thank you”!  A sincere thank you can go along way.  If your hubby likes notes or cards, take a few minutes and write a short note letting him know how much you appreciate all that he does for you.  Thank him for being the man that he is.  Leave the note in his briefcase, in his car, on his pillow, on the mirror, wherever.
  2. Fill his car with gas This may sound a little odd but it’s one less stop that he has to make on any given day.  He does so many things for you … this little thing shouldn’t be too difficult.
  3. Wash his car This one piggy backs on the previous.  He’ll notice — I promise!
  4. Make him his favorite meal  Or one of his favorite meals.  Nothing says “I appreciate you” like making his tummy happy!
  5. Let him have his hobby    Whether it’s watching sports, going golfing with the guys, fishing or whatever it might be.  He works hard for you so let him have his “down time”.
  6. Be affectionate Whether in public or not, affection is a wonderful thing and doesn’t have to lead to anything other than “I’m enjoying you and this moment”.  So hold his hand, put your head on his shoulder, walk arm in arm, just kiss him on the cheek.  Go ahead — it’s okay!
  7. Get your nails done  I know this sounds like it’s more about you but hear me out.  Sometimes in our day to day routines, we forget that we have someone we love coming home to see us.  Doing your nails might be a way of saying that you wanted to do a little “something” to make yourself pretty just for him.   You never know, it might lead to a little more “something, something”.  My husband likes red!!!
  8. Plan a night out or a weekend getaway  This may not be as easy as it sounds if you have kids and lots of activities but try to work something in.  If the budget is tight, check in your area for free or low cost things to do…museums, high school or college sports (if he likes sports), hikes (and maybe a picnic), volunteer opportunities to do together, or a class that you can take together.  Be creative and think outside the box!
  9. Give him a massage  He’s worked all day and he deserves to relax a little.  Perhaps he just needs a little help and encouragement.
  10. Make love  I know, I know … you knew this was going to be on the list but, seriously,  not much says how much you love and appreciate him more than showing him by stimulating all of those feelings and desires.  So have fun!

There are so many ways to show you appreciate your husband and this list is just the beginning.  Take a few minutes and plan something … you’ll both feel good about it!  I would love to hear your ideas so share with the rest of us.

Blessings,

Heidi

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HELP — This Is NOT The Man I Married!!!!

Have you ever felt like this?  You look at this person that you thought you knew everything about and they have just thrown you a curve ball.  SMACK!!!  Sometimes these surprises are good ones (even really great ones) and sometimes they’re not.  I think we can all look at our spouses and realize that because of maturity and life experiences, they aren’t a person that you married.  Sometimes that’s a good thing!

These changes can come for a variety of reasons.  My favorite is that transformation that God takes each and every person through.  Now that’s change!!  It could be a life changing event that causes you to rethink your priorities or change your goals.  They can also come about when you are entering a new “chapter” in your life.  This is where I’m coming from right now.

See, we’re empty nesters … and we’re adjusting to that.  Because we both had kids when we got married, we didn’t get the “honeymoon” stage of marriage.  You remember that, don’t you?  It was just the two of you and you could do whatever you wanted, whenever you wanted.  I know many couples who easily go back to that time but we don’t have that time to fall back on.  It’s been causing some interesting realizations about each other.

At some point, I may let my darling husband tell you what he’s learned about me but now it’s my turn.  This is a list of a couple of things that have just kinda surprised me about my beloved.

  1. He asked for a collection of romance movies for Christmas.  Really?  It was a collection of 20 movies by a specific company that dated back to the 1940’s.  We’ve enjoyed them but just never thought he’d ask for them.
  2. He’s indicated that he would like to go to a jazz bar and listen to live music.  Now this is the guy who didn’t want the kids music to be loud enough for him to hear it when they were in their rooms.  He endures concerts because I like them.  So where did the desire for jazz music come from.
  3. He can come home from work before 6:00 PM.  Sometimes he’s even called me at 3:30 in the afternoon to say he’s on his way home (he starts 6:30-7 so he’s not cutting his day short).  Then he comes home and just relaxes!  I didn’t think he knew how to really relax.
  4. He’s talking about opening a business.  The conversation about retirement has come up lately and he just doesn’t see himself retire.  What he does see is that he would like to do something different…perhaps something we can do together.  WOW!

So here’s my advice when your husband throws out an idea that feels like a total curve ball:

Try it, you might like it! –  I have never thought of myself as a “jazz” person but I’m certainly willing to try it.  If it means that I can get dressed in something other than jeans and a t-shirt or sweatshirt and go in public, then I’m all for it!  Besides, doesn’t a little corner table, just you and your sweetie, a drink or two and listening to live music sound divine?

Adjust your routines – Coming home from work a little early shouldn’t frustrate me.  He wants to spend time with me!  Adjusting my normal schedule and routines can be easily done (most of the time), in order to get “reacquainted” with the love of my life.

Be willing to take chances – Within reason, take a chance!  Opening a business won’t ruin us.  My husband would never allow that to happen!  He always has a plan … a thorough and detailed plan … so implementing it should be considered teamwork and bonding.

Make a memory – As you’re trying all of these new things and taking in all the new things about your husband, you’re also making memories.  Some of these things you may decide you don’t enjoy, but you’ve still made a memory.  You may find the perfect activity for the two of you to do together so that you can make tons more memories.  Go for it!

Think outside your own box – What have you always wanted to try?  Where have you thought you might like to go?  Everything from international travel to taking a local cooking class to being a tourist in your own town.  Use your imagination!  Now is the time to perhaps bring up the subject.  He might surprise you and try them with you.  Remember he’s still getting to know you too!

So you’re right — he’s not the man you married.  He’s better!  And so are you.  Be refreshed by what you continue to learn about each other.  Be excited, happy, glad, and even silly as you discover things.  Don’t be scared to take a chance and try something that you’ve never tried before.

Blessings,

Heidi

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Unplug Your Life!

Yes, that might be a challenge!  Could you do it?  Even for a short period of time?  We have so many things in our lives that distract us from the simplicity that we desire and crave — at least I do.

A couple of years ago in our area of the country, we had an amazing wind storm that took down trees and power poles by the dozens.  Now only was the damage to homes, streets and cars like nothing that we’ve seen here in ages, it also lefts thousands (and I mean thousands) of people without power for days and days and days.  We were without power for 8 days!  Our oldest daughter and 2 grandchildren lived with us at the time so after a couple of days, I sent them off to my parents because they had power.  Then I just hunkered down …

We have a generator so we hooked it up and ran it for awhile each morning and evening so that the freezers would run for awhile, so that the water heater would heat up so we could shower (every couple of days) and charge phones and tablets (for emergencies only).  Besides that, we used candles for light, wood stove for heat and I transferred all of my refrigerator items to my greenhouse (it was November so it was cool enough and it just became a walk in fridge).  We have a natural gas stove/over so I was able to cook, for the most part.

I had a great time!!!  Some of my friends and neighbors called me crazy then and still do.  Perhaps I was born at the wrong time because I became Laura Ingalls Wilder.  I made corn bread on the wood stove.  While it was daylight, I did whatever cleaning I was able to do with the limited resources that I had, prepped meals, made sure I had wood to last the day and night, and checked on neighbors.  I read 3 books that week!  In the evenings, my husband and I read, played games, talked about our dreams and just spent time together … actually talking!!

But it got me thinking —  I could live like that!  Now don’t get me wrong — I love the modern conveniences of flush toilets, hot and cold running water, and a hot shower (I LOVE a hot shower!).  But when it came to just doing what I needed to do to survive and provide for my family and then spend time just enjoying life, I could totally get into that!

Our world runs on technology so completely taking it away wouldn’t be beneficial.  Having said that, how do we balance how the world of technology with the simple life? Something to make you say “hmmmm”.  I think that I’m going to start by “unplugging” more than I have been.  It can be a part of each day, a couple of days each week or even longer periods of time.  Just enough time for me to reset to an easier way … a simpler way … the “Little House on the Prairie” way.  Yes, I might be a little crazy but I like it that way!

So unplug!!!  Or at least consider it…it will be good for you.

Blessings,

Heidi

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