Spring Brings a Newness of Life {Blessed At Home}

Every year has four seasons, though sometimes depending on where you live you might not really notice them. Most of my life I lived in Texas, where we have summer…and that’s about it. I love it. I’m a t-shirt and jeans kinda girl who loves to walk on the beach with her boots in her hands. It’s where I always thought I’d live. Texas is where my heart is. It’s where my family is from and where I’ll always feel at home.

God had different plans for me though. I’m married to a Mainah fisherman and we have all four seasons here, though my favorite one is the shortest of them all. Summer isn’t just short here in Vacationland, it isn’t really summer. There aren’t three months to live on the beach and swim in the ocean, you might get a week…and you’ll still need a hoodie once the sun begins to set.

Since God has me in Maine, I’ve learned to look at the different seasons and enjoy the unique things they bring. Though they might not bring my favorite things, I have found that each season has a blessing to be found.

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Throughout winter we long for the spring. We wonder when will the flowers begin to bloom or the birds return to sing? Will winter ever be passed? Each year we think these same things as if we’ve never faced winter before.

Spring is upon us and with this season comes the newness of life. In the springtime I am reminded that in Christ we have new life. What a wonderful blessing that is to be reminded of as the world brings forth a new season of life. As I begin looking around I also see the many things that have new life as the snow begins to melt away. From the trees that bud to the flowers that bloom, the sound of a running stream and the muddy boots too, all of these truly sing of the newness of life we find in spring!

Here in Maine spring often has another name, mud season. Really and truly. We don’t put up the snow boots and slip on the sneakers around here. We live in mud boots for approx. 2 months. When the snow begins to melt and until the sun gets hot enough to dry it up, mud boots are required. Most of us have a “mud room” as you enter our homes and you’re expected to leave gear in there before going inside. If a kiddo forgets to do so, Momma is sure to know.

Spring has become my favorite season in Maine. Winter is very long and at times depressing, so I love and cherish the spring days when they come my way. Feeling the sun beat upon my face, the crocuses breaking through the ground and the promise of many fun filled days outside truly bring a newness to my life every spring.

What season do you most look forward to each year? What about spring speaks new life to you?

 

The Ultimate Homemaking Bundle is HERE!!

{Looking for WholeHearted Wednesday #88 Linkup Party? Go HERE}

HURRY, HURRY!!

The Ultimate Homemaking Bundle is HERE!!

 

This is an AMAZING BUNDLE of books to have in your personal library!!

What a sweet deal!!

If you are floundering in your homemaking,

THESE are the books You NEED!!

 

 

Do realize how blessed you are to have an AWESOME resource like this at the tip of your fingers?

When I got married, I knew very little about homemaking!! I didn’t even know how to boil chicken. I thought it should take about 10 minutes  (yes, honestly) and other than about 3 cookbooks, I had NOTHING to encourage me in homemaking.

I would have ABSOLUTELY jumped at the chance to HAVE this HUMONGOUS Bundle of books!!

The Ultimate Homemaking Bundle is an ABSOLUTE MUST!!

YOU NEED THIS BUNDLE!!

WHAT’s IN the Ultimate Homemaking Bundle?

 

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Ultimate Homemaking Bundle – 6 Days ONLY!! + WholeHearted Wednesday #88

The Ultimate Homemaking Bundle!!

The MOST AMAZING Bundle

of

E-Books is Almost

HERE!!

Sale STARTS at 8am Wednesday, April 23rd 2014!!

6 Days ONLY!!

Subscribe to my mailing list for a

FUN FILLED WEEK!!



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Having a Company Ready Home When Life is Crazy

Having a Company Ready Home When Life is Crazy {WholeHearted Home}

Having a company ready home when life is crazy?

We all have different circumstances and our ‘crazy’ will look different than the next person. Days like today make me feel like it has taken me the whole morning to get ‘control’ of my home and after all that it still looks a mess!!

I have 14 month old twin granddaughters who often have lived with us. Today was a busy morning and they just wore out and went down for a late morning nap. The toys are strewn over the living room and kitchen and there are still a few household chores waiting to be done.

Although I somewhat live out in the sticks and know only a few acquaintances, I have a few things I would want to have done should someone stop over by surprise.

Where friends enter your home makes all the difference in the world.

In a home we lived in for many years, friends entered through the front door at the landing on the stairs. The kitchen sink wasn’t in plain view when friends entered my home.

I love where I live now!! People enter through the kitchen door. No one ever comes through our front door since it faces the woods so you can sit on the porch in the summer. It is natural to come in through the kitchen. I love the warmth that conveys.

BUT….I have dishes drying on the counter!!

And toys on the floor!!

How about you?? Do you relate??

My living room is clutter free and so is my kitchen. It could use a deeper cleaning (like in my cabinets . . . today?) but if someone was to drop over it really doesn’t look so bad if you look higher than the floor.

Who Do Friends Come to See? My House or Me?

Although I am not here to encourage you to live in a cluttered home that is never vacuumed and the kitchen floors never washed, I am not here to tell you to dust daily.

I want my home to be inviting. People live here and so there might be toys to step over. I might pick them up when you stop over just so you don’t trip, but I’m sorry if you came to see what sort of house I live in or how well it is decorated!!

I hope you came to fellowship with me, not my house!!

My home is a home and NOT a house.

When you stop over, I hope you’d like to sit down and have a cup of coffee or tea of your preference as we share about the Lord and exchange notes about balancing life as a wife, mother, and homeschooler who is a real person and blogger.

You DID Want Some Tips, Right?!

1. Make your bed as soon as you get out of it!!

2. Did you shower and dress before you groped for that cup of coffee? The other day was unusual because I lost my chance for an early morning shower. I opted to read my Bible first and then one thing after the other happened until late morning found me showering!! I would have been mortified (that means dead!) if you had dropped over!! As for coffee, I’d prefer water first thing.

3. Wash & tidy up the bathroom before breakfast. Have you ever had that friend stop over to ‘borrow’ an egg at 7am?? Once my day is started, I forget that the sink has cat hair on it (crazy cat) and that the sink has toothpaste in it, and the toilet is visibly dirty. Everyone knows I had a housefull of children but it is nice to know that everything is neat and tidy when a friend needs to use your bathroom.

4. It is a simple thing to do dishes right after eating. Or load the dishwasher. My mother always said that it made everything look better in the kitchen, and she was right!!

5. Take a basket and collect homeless items and put them in your closet. If your children want them back, you could fine them a nickle or require an extra chore. Help is the best!!

Doing just those five things is an AMAZING step towards having a home that is ‘company ready’ when life is crazy!!

Is your life crazy? Do you have a baby? Toddler? Hurricane? Allergies? Cancer? Or _________?

What makes your life crazy? Just remember what counts the most is that your friends are likely coming over to see YOU and NOT your house!!

I’m so glad that you surprised me and dropped over!! What would you like, coffee or tea??

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Ingratitude or Gratitude

Ingratitude or Gratitude {WholeHearted Home}

Jesus healed ten lepers but only one returned to show his gratitude. Nine went on with their lives never choosing gratitude but instead demonstrating ingratitude through their lack of thanksgiving.

We live in a society that is filled with ingratitude. We are rarely thankful and few see the goodness of God in it all.

How I see it is that there are three types of people in the world.

1. Those who completely take God’s blessings totally for granted.

2. Those who are thankful for how God has blessed them.

3. And those rare few who are grateful to God just because He is God.

Which one are you?

Do you remember the Israelites when they were wandering in the wilderness for 40 years? We’d just about die if we ever really had a ‘wilderness’ experience. But wait. The Israelites DID have an experience like that and many of them did die!!

They died out of ingratitude!!

If people actually died every time they made a statement out of their extreme ingratitude, it would hit the internet news!! Fast!!

God is gracious and we think and say many things out of the ingratitude of our heart without dropping dead.

According to Chuck Swindoll, if Moses’ wife had a cookbook it would probably have been called, “1000 Ways to Cook Manna.”

Manna was the food that came down from heaven like rain every day except Sunday while the Israelites were in the wilderness. They had to eat the same thing, day after day after day after day after day for forty long years.

Can you imagine eating the same thing day after day for forty years? I don’t think so!!

The Isrelites never had to prepare those meals. How about that? A dream come true? Not if you were eating the same thing day in and day out. The Israelites weren’t filled with any more ingratitude than you or I would be!

No one needed to ask, “What’s for dinner?” They knew!

They hated it and grew weary of its sameness to the point that they lost their appetite (Numbers 11)

They looked back to the years in Egypt and longed for the delicious leeks and onions, forgetting that they paid dearly for them with their slave-labor toil.

They now had manna, ‘labor free’ as God supplied their every need.

As Chuck Swindoll put it, “Already having much, they now wanted more. Having plenty, thy now wanted variety. Having tired of manna, they now wanted meat.”

Life is so daily.

God gives us manna daily. If we were able to observe and see with the purpose of testing our level of gratitude or ingratitude.

Will we pass the test?

Will we show gratitude for what God is providing for us?

What if it doesn’t seem like God is answering our prayers, should we still have gratitude or in ‘this’ case, is it alright to have ingratitude?

Maybe for whatever reason, you have a fair amount of debt. Maybe your house payments are extremely high. It originally seemed like you would be able to easily make the payments. Your situation changed, you miscalculated. You have several loans and it makes things tight. Certainly in THIS situation, God wouldn’t expect you to have gratitude?!

Certainly. Positively. No matter what circumstances you find yourself in, God does expect us to show gratitude and say “NO!” to ingratitude.

Just as God gave the Israelites a day after day, week after week test to see if they would have obedience and patience with determination to continue despite the monotony of the situation. God also wants us to come in close to His side and be thankful for the monotony of your life.

He wants you to have gratitude for Him just because He is God.

Are you in a monotonous situation where you receive daily blessings from God without even realizing?

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A Bundle that you Ultimately CAN’T DO Without!!

!

I’m telling you!! I am just ecstatic over this year’s BUNDLE sale!! Seriously!! I really CAN. NOT. WAIT. for next Wednesday, April 23rd, when the sale begins.

There is nothing I love better during the summer than sitting outside soaking in the summer with a good book.

This is NOT just any book.

THIS is over 80 ebooks!!

I am so absolutely thrilled about this A-M-A-Z-I-N-G collection of homemaking ebooks that my thoughts are coming out all jumbled in an over-caffeinated tumble (I drank just one Dunkaccino tonight!!)

Maybe this cute little boy can help me explain:

So yeah!! You CLEARLY must hurry!! Get up early this next Wednesday (April 23rd) and be online by 8am!!

Yes!! That’s 8am!!

Hop on over to WholeHearted Home to see what I have cooking (remember, it is a homemaking BUNDLE)

You only have SIX days (like only 6 days) so hurry!!

Last year I bought the Ultimate Homemaking Bundle for 2013 and found it to be such an outstanding blessing in my life. I love anything homemaking and write about it constantly. One of the things I love to do most is to read about homemaking.

So, for less than the actual value of all 80+ books, YOU can do JUST that!! You will have a whole stack of e-books for your book shelf that won’t even get dusty (since they’re e-books) that you can devour this summer!!

 

Because last year’s e-book was such an awesome success, we’re bringing you another book but this time with a whole slew of NEW books to choose from!! How ULTIMATELY amazing!! You will be nourished, grow, and thrive!!

What You NEED to KNOW!!

When? 8am EST Wednesday, April 23 until midnight EST Monday, April 28

What?  78 ebooks, 2 eCourses, 2 audio files, and 2 printable packs PLUS over $200 worth of bonus products you’ll love using!

Where? Right here at WholeHearted Home!

How much? This is totally awesome part. It’s like going grocery shopping and filling 5 carts to overflowing and paying under $30 when the entire package is worth nearly $900, and we’re selling it for less than $30.

Are you doing your ‘happy dance’ yet?? Woo Hoo!!

So, meanwhile, stay tuned as the saga continues and I keep you informed!!

There are affiliate links within this post. Affiliate sales are what keep this blog afloat, so I truly appreciate your purchasing the Ultimate Homemaking Bundle this Spring!! Please go HERE.

The Ultimate Homemaking Bundle will equip you to minister to your family and ultimately those outside your family. You will learn all aspects of  homemaking that you likely never learned before!!

Come back each weekday to see if I make a HUGE reveal of WHAT is COMING on Wednesday!!

You never know since I love the element of surprise!!

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Gethsemane: He Came Alone

Gethsemane He Came Alone {WholeHearted Home}

He Came Alone

Without Gethsemane, without Christ’s death and most importantly His resurrection, there would be no hope. All of our faith hangs on this fact: that Jesus is ALIVE!!

“And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain.Yea, and we are found false witnesses of God; because we have testified of God that he raised up Christ: whom he raised not up, if so be that the dead rise not. For if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain: if ye are yet in your sins.”

~1 Corinthians 15:13-17~

I am so thankful that Jesus chose to come alone to die for our sins. My sins. He is ALIVE!! He has given me the Comforter to abide in me when life is hard with trials, fears, and filled with stress and worries.

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A Resurrection Celebration

I want to welcome Kate from Teaching What Is Good who shares today for our Blessed At Home weekly feature that is published every Thursday here at WholeHearted Home. This month we are focusing on Easter so that we are equipped to encourage our families as we prepare to celebrate our risen Lord this month.

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Our family is not huge with traditions.

We do our Family Outreach on October 31, we tell our children’s birth stories on their birthdays, we do Christmas shopping for one another at the Dollar Store, we have communion first thing on Christmas morning, and we do an egg hunt on the first day of spring we call our Spring Fling. But we’ve never come up with one really great tradition for Resurrection Sunday.

Last year we purchased a lovely wreath from Family Life Today called Behold the Lamb. It is really lovely, can be used on a stand or removed from the stand and hung on the wall.

A Resurrection Celebration {Blessed At Home} Thursdays at WholeHearted Home

This starts on Palm Sunday, with a little booklet for each day.

Resurrection celebrationhttp://www.wholeheartedhome.com/resurrection-celebration/

Each booklet teaches a lesson about that particular day between Palm Sunday and Resurrection Sunday.

Resurrection Sunday

Some are for younger children and some are for older children. There is also a prayer at the end to focus on praise and thanksgiving.

It is a really nice and easy devotional to day each day during this week of reflection, thanksgiving and celebration leading up to the JOY of the resurrection of our Lord Jesus; Messiah and King!

What do YOU to with your family to focus on the spiritual reflection of this special day?

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I am over at Missional Call today and thought you might want to follow me over HERE!!

 

 

Call to Action on Social Media + WholeHearted Wednesday #87

Call to Action on Social Media

Are you polite and dislike asking your reader for a call to action? When writing a post or making an infographic, you will likely invite more interaction when you include a call to action.

Doing Unto Others

When you give to others in your niche, you will most often get back in return. If you are a selfish blogger because your life is lived to the full on your home front, you will become ingrown and out-of-balance.

Now, what blogger isn’t out of balance trying to juggle her home and blog?! The thing is that in each area you need to prioritize and leave off the fluff.

If your blogger-friend’s linkup party is bigger than yours, you might think there is no need for you to share her party on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, or Pinterest. You don’t have to share it everywhere but occasionally taking the extra time to bless her will actually bless you too!!

If a blogger is promoting a book, it is helpful to her if you do a review on her book. What goes around comes around and someday you might be looking to promote your own book. If you have never bothered to promote a friend’s book in your niche, you might not have friends wanting to promote yours someday!!

You get the point??

Call to Action

Do you have a call to action included in your blog post? When someone asks you to do something (or you ask them to do something) you know better what needs to be done.

Blogging is about community and communities grow. If you want your blog to grow it is to your advantage to interact with another blogger’s community. Somehow it just works that way. What goes around comes around!!

There are words that are paramount in calling your reader to action.

Facebook Words that Call to Action 

1. The Word “Like”

2. The Word “Comment”

3. The Word “Share”

Twitter Words that Call to Action

1. Please ReTweet gets more action than Please RT

2. Please Help gets even more action than Please ReTweet

3. Singular Words used without ‘please’ get action but not so much: Please, ReTweet, Spread, and Visit (in respective order.) Funny that even in the Social Media world using the word ‘please’ produces the highest action. Being polite does still matter!!

If you are not convinced yet that using specific words calls your readers to action, then stop over and read THIS post by Dan Zarilla who is an expert and not a novice like I am.

Do you use a call to action when you post on social media??

Have you found a word that works as a call to action on social media??

Share in the comments below how you will intentionally improve your call to action on social media.

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When You Don’t Have Time for Spring Cleaning

When You Don't Have Time for Spring Cleaning

April brings on the urge to clean but most of us don’t have the time to devote to spring cleaning. I never do. Do you?

Have you even had the urge day after day to clean and organize, yet the realization that you have absolutely no time whatsoever to do it?

If you only have 10 or 15 minutes (or how about 30 seconds?) you can make a dent in the piles on the kitchen counter, and that overflowing junk drawer, or that pile of papers on the desk! Where does all the paper come from when we live in an almost paperless society?!

Not Exactly Spring Cleaning

We all have problem areas in our homes that need attention from time to time. I am not spring cleaning as I rotate Zones (somewhat) but I do have some projects I am working on in what little spare time I have.

1. Kitchen Cabinets – I don’t know if I will clean all my kitchen cabinets, but I have two shelves that are problem areas. I have been procrastinating this task for a month or more. Finally today I tackled just one of them. Right now, I really do not have large blocks of time for cleaning, so taking 15 minutes for one task, works for me!!

2. Cleaning/Tidying Pantry – I am so blessed to have a pantry. It has always been downstairs under the stairway. Before we ever thought to have a pantry was back when we had only two children. My husband built an enclosed area under the stairs. I made it into a ‘club house’ for my two young children. Eventually, I needed a storage place for our dry food while we were raising our children and buying lots of food each month. Occasionally I need to clean up and reorganize this area (now turned pantry) as it has become a royal mess. Hopefully I will tackle this job on Monday or Tuesday.

3. Master Bedroom Closet – I am blessed to have a nice walk-in closet. I didn’t always have one. In our first house, a cottage, there wasn’t one single closet in the whole house. When we moved to our current home, too much ended up in our closet since our 3 unit bookcase wasn’t assembled yet. Gradually I have been moving things out of my closet to other places in our home. It takes so long after you move to think through how you are going to organize. Do you intend to clean out and organize your closet? Mine is an on-going project!!

So, those are 3 areas that I am focusing on this Spring. Not really because it is spring but just because those areas have gotten out-of-hand.

What areas are you focusing on (no matter whether it is Spring or Winter when you read this 

 

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