Wednesday, June 27, 2012

The Proverbs 31 Wife - Week Forty

Question #40:  In what ways is your relationship with God an influence on your life as a Proverbs 31 wife?

Wow, shouldn't it be in every way?!  Yes, it should, but what is the reality?  Hmmmm.

Well, if I am to be an imitator of Christ, then I wouldn't be a nag, or a hindrance, or a manipulator, or spend all the money on shoes, etc.  If I want to live like Christ, I will treat my husband as I am told to do in the Bible.  I will also treat money Biblically, and have a work ethic according to Colossians 3:23; do everything you do as if working for God not for man.  If I have a relationship with God that is true and not just a mask that I put on for others, all other relationships, including and especially the one with my husband, will fall into place.  Now, I don't mean it will be perfect and with out bumps in the road, I mean my wants and wishes for the relationship will fall into line with the will of God.  Will I still screw up along the way?  Of course I will, I am human.  That doesn't mean I will screw up on purpose, but it does mean I will learn from my mistakes and keep improving with time.

The short answer: If I want what God wants, then I want to be the Proverbs 31 wife and will do whatever I can to be a Biblical wife.  This will not happen overnight, and some days I will feel like a complete failure.  But I will pick up every day and keep trying.  

How have you been doing?  Remember that any improvement or lesson learned is valuable!  For example, when I do the laundry, there is a place in my laundry room to hang things as soon as I take them out of the dryer.  I have always left my husband's clothes here and he was supposed to take them to his side of the closet and hang them up.  He got into the habit of going to the laundry room to dress and left all his clothes there.  It got to the point that almost all of his closet was hanging in there and it made me mad that I had to keep saying something.  Recently I was thinking about it and just started hanging his clothes up in the closet for him.  I was taking my clothes to the same place, so why not carry his along?  Yes, this does mean a couple extra trips, but I'm trying to get 10,000 steps a day anyway!  He works hard and he was just trying to make a shortcut for himself.  I'm the one who has more time so why not do it for him?  So that's what I've been doing.  If he has noticed he hasn't said anything, but that doesn't matter.  Remember, we are working for God and what is right, not for recognition.

I know it's only a baby step, but any improvement is still improvement!  Good luck in your journey, and I hope you will join us for the next Bible study!

Until Next Time.....

Monday, June 25, 2012

1 Year to an Organized Life - June Week four

This week you can:

  • learn how to pack like a pro
  • pick up tips from a busy business traveler
  • get tips on car travel

Dream vacation number 4 for me; any place with nice water where we can kayak and paddleboard.  We have kayaks and I know how to do that, I'm no professional by any means, but I enjoy moving around through the water.  I really want to try paddleboarding though.  I don't know if I can do it, but I want to try!

First and one of the best tips, I think, that Regina offers is to store all your travel stuff in your suitcase.  This makes perfect sense.  There is empty space in your suitcase!  She stores her passport here.  I have travel size shampoo and etc. that I store in the bathroom, if I put it in my suitcase it would be out of my way for the everyday stuff.  Of course if you don't travel often and don't have these things, your suitcase is also a great place to store off season clothes!

I LOVE that she suggests taking underclothes with you on vacation that you were ready to throw out because you've gotten new, and then throw it away after you use it on vacation.  I just did that a couple weeks ago when I went to visit my mother!  Great minds think alike ;).  

When packing think ahead to the way contents will shift once you pick the suitcase off the bed.  Put shoes towards the bottom and fill the shoes with things like socks or underwear to save space.  Be sure to store toiletries in zip top bags in case of leaks.  You might want to take a couple extra bags if case some need replaced during travel.  

I like the "cheating" idea Regina offers about the purse.  We ladies are allowed a purse and a carry on bag on a plane.  She uses a large purse that holds her documents as well as her actual purse and a few extra things.  Good idea!  

If you are traveling by car, be sure to clean it out first and only take the things you will really need to save space for comfort and also to not weigh down the car and lose good gas mileage.  Check the spare tire and any other mechanical things to be prepared or to avoid any breakdowns.  Also have an emergency kit pertaining to where you are traveling.  Winter; have blankets, food water, candles, maybe small shovel, etc.  If you normally have things like wipes in your car be sure they haven't dried out.  

Don't let all these details drag you down and stress you out.  Plan to do these things ahead of time, literally.  Write it down on the calendar and do a little each day if pressed for time.  Then enjoy your trip stress free!  

Other tips:
  • call your bank and/or credit card company to tell them you are traveling
  • take a space saver or other bag for dirty laundry
  • take a small roll of duct tape....duct tape fixes anything
  • first aid kit, flashlight and swiss army knife (where allowed)
If you are going on a trip this year, I hope this chapter has really helped and it will be stress free and you can actually enjoy the before, during, AND after!  Next month, we can scrapbook all our photos!

Until Next Time.....

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

The Proverbs 31 Wife - Week Thirty Nine

Question #39:  What Parts of the book made you think about your own life as a wife?  What are things you do well?  What are things you'd like to do better?

Of course, the entire book made me think about my role as wife, but probably the most influential part was when Sara learned that having a job outside the home isn't always what it's cracked up to be.  I struggled with that one more than anything myself, so to hear her talk about it made me see things differently and also made me feel a whole lot better about how I thought about my situation.  I understand that some people don't have a choice, but when you really think about it and pray about it and look at your finances but don't forget to consider the actual COSTS of working, you might find that staying home is worth it.  I may not be able to stay home for much longer financially, but this one year has been so helpful in so many ways!!  Not only for my health, but for my family, the work I've been able to do in the home organizationally speaking, but most of all the time I've had to spend with God everyday.  I have grown so much in the past year!!  I wouldn't trade that for a million dollars!

What do I do well?  I am a pretty good cook, I budget well, and organize.  And with my year off those things have only improved.  If I have to go back to work I don't think it would be as bad as it was least I hope not.

What would I like to do better?  I'm still not as good as I want to be when it comes to my husband.  I can still snip at him sometimes.  It has improved and I'm thankful for that, but I still lose my patience with him sometimes.  I wish I didn't ever, but I have my doubts that will happen!  I hope he thinks I've gotten better.  I might actually get the nerve to ask him.  Wonder what he will say....

So how about you?  Where has this journey taken you?  What have you learned?  I'd love to hear from you.  There is only one week left for this study and I'm kind of sad it's over.  I hope I never forget what I've learned and I hope I continue to improve over the years.

Until Next Time.....

Monday, June 18, 2012

1 Year to an Organized Life - June Week Three

This week you can:

  • identify things to do before you leave home
  • create a home inventory
  • prepare your home for your absence
My dream trip for this week...Vegas, Baby!! No, I'm not a gambler, I want to go for the shows and stuff.  I went there one time for just a couple days.  I went with someone I didn't really want to go with, but the trip was planned long before our kind of falling out so we went anyway.  It wasn't that great of a time.  But I did like seeing The Lord of the Dance, and the talking statues, and the water show, and the pirate show, and the white tigers, and the Coke museum, etc.  Now I would like to go and see more of these things, but this time actually enjoy myself.  

Our task this week is some final preparations before leaving the house.  We need to check out our suitcase to be sure it still works, zippers and such, and that nothing is growing in it....yep, really happened.  Make sure you have an ID tag on each piece that everyone is using.  Do you need to pack a smaller bag into your suitcase for all the stuff you plan to buy on vacation?  Do you need to buy any special items like a travel clock or jewelry case?  FYI, a hard eyeglass case makes for a great jewelry keeper for travel.  Do you plan on doing any kind of activity where you might get separated from your party?  You might want to consider some walkie-talkies.  I have a set that have come in mighty handy over the years!  What about your cell phone?  Will it work where you are going or do you need to buy a prepaid one?  Taking kids?  Make sure they have something to be entertained while traveling.  At the same time don't let the kids bring everything they own.  Tell them how much space they can fill with only their most favorite things.

The other thing to do is create a home inventory.  This could be the home you live in and/or the contents of your vacation home if you have one.  In that case the purpose is to not overpack and use the items that are in that home.  This inventory is a great tool to have on hand whether vacationing or not.  Keep it in a safe deposit box in case of disaster or theft.  One way is to take pictures then write or type out an inventory.  Another way is to slowly take a video from one end of the house to the other making comments along the way.  Just be sure you have everything on the video.

A few other things to do before you go that will make life easier when you get back:
  • clean, laundry done, trash out
  • pantry stocked with basics
  • set timers on lights, be sure all bulbs are working
  • stop mail and or newspaper
  • tell a trusted neighbor to keep an eye out
  • consider care for plants and animals
  • give someone a complete itinerary
  • unpack as soon as you get me, you'll want to do this!
Until Next Time.....

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

The Proverbs 31 Wife - Week Thirty Eight

Question #38: Do you think Sara has changed since the beginning of her experiment?  What lessons do you think she learned?  What do you think she's still working on?

Of course Sara grew throughout this experiment!!  The whole book is filled with the lessons she has learned, but in my opinion, one of the most valuable lessons she learned was while they had moved away for a job for her.  Now, don't get me wrong, sometimes that is exactly what a family needs, but not this one.  She learned so much about being a wife and mother and about her career, but mostly what was most important to her in each area.  That might be something different for each one of us than what she learned, but we can all takes notes from her lessons!

Well, I follow Sara some (click on the above link so you can too!) and I know she's still working on cooking, and I know some days are better than others for her, but the point is she is still working, key word!

I hope we are all still working on this!  I hope we never actually stop.  Because just like our Christian walk, our role as a Proverbs 31 wife is to keep going, keep working, and keep loving.  There is no place in that passage where she said "there! all done, now I can sit on my hiney and see what I've got on the DVR!" OK, maybe at the end of the day, but not forever!

I can hardly believe there are only two more weeks to this study.  I hope you have gained some perspective and maybe learned something too.  If so, I would love to hear from you, as would Sara, I'm sure!

Until Next Time.....

Monday, June 11, 2012

1 Year to an Organized Life - June Week Two

This week you can:

  • create travel lists so you understand what's really needed
  • learn how to pack a light suitcase

This pic is the next stop on my dream vacation list.  I want to go someplace with a white sand beach and blue water.  I've only ever seen the Atlantic ocean, which is kinda green or brown depending on where and what day you look at it.  But it's still the ocean....I'm not complaining!

Regina's first suggestion is making a computerized list of everything you normally would take with you on a trip.  I have always done this by hand in the past and it wasn't until last year (slow, I know) that I realized I was constantly reinventing the wheel.  So I did just this!  At the bottom I left room for trip specific things, such as if I'm just going to visit my mother I wouldn't need some of the things we might take if we ever go to the beach again.  I like her extra suggestion of then taking this list with you in your suitcase so when you are coming back home you don't forget anything.  Simple, yet brilliant!

Regina shows us a sample list that we can then use to make one specific to us, our family, and our trip.  Following that are tips for traveling with children, knowing where you are headed, and planning your wardrobe.....always the hardest part for me!!  

I'll have to talk to you later.  Funny thing, I have to pack today to go visit my mother.  I need to re-read the section on the wardrobe!  Happy planning!!

Until Next Time.....

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

The Proverbs 31 Wife - Week Thirty Seven

Question #37: What's the silliest cooking mistake you ever made?

Oh, I wish I had a video of this one to share with you, because apparently the look on my face was worth the loss of gravy for this particular meal!

I was having about 14 people for dinner including my husband and I.  I had made a large roast, potatoes, carrots, rolls, etc, etc.  BIG meal.  I organized it within an inch of its life too.  I used the oven, stovetop, and crock pot so that everything would come together all at the same time and nothing would have to be kept warm.  The only thing is, when making real gravy, you have to wait for the meat to be done to get the juices.  

Here came my brilliant idea.  To save a pot, and to not have to try to pour meat juices out of the crock pot, I decided to sit the crock pot liner on the burner and just make my gravy  in there.  All was going well, and they gravy was almost done.  We all heard a loud pop and conversation completely stopped.  I looked all around the crock pot liner and didn't see a single blemish, so I and a friend looked at everything else in the kitchen that we were using.  Couldn't find an explanation.  Back to the gravy, because it's done now, and beautifully thickened I must say, without being lumpy.  I lift the crock pot liner and a friend was holding the gravy boat so I could pour into it.  

As I lift the crock pot liner off the stove, the entire top and sides come with me, but the bottom of the liner stays there.  Well, we all know from science what a liquid, that was once in a whole container and now is not, is going to do.  Gravy spread over the entire stove top and thankfully the edge of my stove was JUST tall enough to hold in the flow so it didn't go running down the sides.  I felt like I stood there for 10 minutes with my mouth hanging open.  I just couldn't believe it.  I had checked and couldn't see any thing wrong with the liner.  But it had made a perfect clean break in a complete oval all the way around it.

I sooooo wish I had that on video.....  BTW, read the instruction booklet that comes with your crock pot.  It says not to place it on the stove. Huh.

Until Next Time.....

Monday, June 4, 2012

1 Year to an Organized Life - June Week One

This week you can:

  • learn how to use your organizing skills to plan a trip
  • glean tips from past travel mistakes for future adventures
I will not be taking a vacation this year, and some of you may not either.  But if you are keeping a notebook, go ahead and follow the steps for this month so when you are ready to take a vacation, half of the work will already be done.  Then the rest of the month, you can go back and maybe finish an area that you didn't get to either because of time or money constraints.

So are you intrigued be the story Regina share on pages 147-148?  I am dying to know how she can travel with only a suitcase that can fit in an overhead compartment!!  I hate carrying around a ton of luggage, but I am always packing for the what if.  I can hardly wait to see what wisdom I shall gain this month!!

Once again we begin with journaling.  This is one thing you might want to do with family....because maybe you blocked out a huge vacation blunder, but you can always count on family to remind you!!  I know that on our last vacation, which was three years ago, I let my husband pick everything since he wanted to go to a place that he and his family enjoyed when he was a kid.  The only problem?  There hadn't been any improvements made to this area SINCE he was a kid!!  Our expensive accommodations were so gross!  I had a very hard time sleeping, in fact I think I got about 1 hour each night.  Lesson learned: never let my husband pick everything by himself!!

I have to laugh at the question we are supposed to answer: name 4 things you always pack and never use!  Let's see...tweezers, extra 2 sets of skivvies, that extra 4th or 5th book, and extra snacks.  I always take food wherever I'm going, and I usually do eat a little of it, but most of it I don't.  I know....I'm working on it!!

Then the research begins.  Since I am not taking a vacation this year, each of my entires will have a picture of a place I would like to go.  This week we have the Holocaust Museum in Washington DC.  I have actually been there once shortly after it opened, but my sister, whom I was staying with, was pregnant for the first time and was not a happy camper.  I got one afternoon to see all the museums in DC.  Needless to say, I need to go back!

Until Next Time.....