My PASSIONS

Good job if you have been working to instill NEW HABITS into your life.  It is so important to be able to conquer this stuff called CLUTTER.  Clutter will take over your life and start to OWN you.

You want to work to deliver yourself from clutter.

Some people’s passion is food or sewing, my passion is simplifying.  That is why you will find many series aiming to help you simplify your life.   My simple living lifestyle challenge takes you on a 52 week change of habits to help you live a simpler life.  My modest mom weight loss challenge, is all about simplifying your eating habits and adding exercise to your daily habits.

I am also offering a month long module targeting different areas of our life that need to be simplified.  If you want to join February’s it is on simplifying our diets by creating new habits that you can instill each day to provide life long better health.  It is FREE and you will receive accountability newsletters 3 times per week for ONE MONTH.  If you want to sign up  enter your email

I got the vision for my declutter your life …when less is more ebook and began to write it.  When God gives you something it is sooooo much easier to do it.  I wrote that book within 2 days!!!  I don’t know how, because I STILL had to run our household.  He just kept filling my mind with things and I typed away.  That is why I am excited to share it with you.

new 3d book2

If you want to support what I do here at plainandnotsoplain.com then I recommend you buy the book.  If you notice I don’t do ANY type of advertisements or ANNOYING pop ups on my blog.  I have resolved from the beginning that it is NOT necessary for my blog growth.  I want to write so that readers can enjoy what I share and benefit from it.  I want to think about the reader first and how their experience here will benefit them.  If you enjoy what I write then you can support my blog by buying my materials, but if you don’t then that means I need to learn to put out better things. (smile)

My first year starting out, I didn’t have many readers BUT the Lord provided me with some opportunities to write for someone else and earn an income from it.  Guess what??? The time my renewal came up the next year, I had enough income to pay for it again.  My second year, I had sold some ebooks and some plaques from our family business to pay for the blog.  I have been blessed that the Lord keeps providing me with a way to keep this going without taking from our family finances, which I would not do.

Another thing I wrote when I first started my blog was a FREE home economics curriculum.  It is ONE of the biggest things that draws  people to my blog.  I want to be able to help others who are looking to train up their daughters as keepers of the home.  I will ALWAYS offer that as a FREE resource.  But for those of you that can, I  have a downloadable ebook available that you can purchase.

home economics

This is an extensive version of what I offer online.  It is something that will help our daughters and sons immensely.  It is packed full of over 150 recipes and 170 pages of information to help train our children in the area of kitchen skills.  It is for one complete semester of Home Economics.

Now that I have shared most of what I LOVE……..pass along if you think any of this will help someone you know. Have a wonderful, enjoyable weekend.   Onto a new day, be blessed.

 

Be strong and courageous Mom

Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.
Joshua 1:9

We as mothers need to be strong and courageous to get through the tasks and jobs brought about in our life.  God wants us to step out of our OWN life and have courage to do it. He wants to bring about change. We are going to need a willing heart to do that AND it needs to be strong.

I have been reading in the Old Testament about the Israelite’s. In the book of Numbers, these people were afraid of what lie ahead of them. Even though God had spoke to them and told them what it is He was leading them to, among  their own anxiety and trials they wanted to turn back to Egypt. They would have rather subjected themselves to the bondage and slavery that the Egyptians would put on them again, then to endure and MOVE FORWARD with what God had for them.

We are not of those to go back!

Do we want to stay small forever?  Well if you are speaking of physical skinny then maybe yes (*smiley) —-but no we are talking about spiritual size.  We grow by having God stretch us from the inside. Just as our physical bodies also have to stretch to grow taller or wider—our spiritual bodies must do the same. When life feels uncomfortable and we feel a little hesitant to do what God chooses—– we oftentimes go back to bondage just as the children of Israel did because it is easier.  We operate out of FEAR instead of FAITH.  We need to recognize that it is God working through us to help GROW us.

What if you feel like your tasks are so mundane and life seems boring. Let’s face it, sometimes doing the SAME chores and the SAME routines over and over again can be boring. Think of Moses, where did God put him? He was a shepherd in the desert for 40 years!!! I would have to think caring for sheep on a mountaintop would become rather mundane after doing it for so long.  Sure you would have your trials—the occasional wolf trying to attack your sheep or carefully trying to navigate them safely on the mountain.  Just as we as moms have the usual mundane tasks of daily care sprinkled in with trials and issues that comes with raising children.  What was happening here?  God was molding and stretching him to become a shepherd of  people in time.

God will bring you out and move you up to an even greater place then what you expected.

Don’t be like the children of Israel who began to give up on the inside. They gave up because of their impatience.  They grew tired of not seeing results and figured they would return to what they knew. God’s words sounded great but because it did not happen today, they gave up.  How many of us get frustrated because the weight didn’t come off this week, you fell farther in debt this week, or your children took a step backwards in their walk with the Lord?

Don’t lose heart—- take heart, take courage.  Just as He led the children of Israel out…….God will lead you out of your situations.

Do first things first…..stop COMPLAINING.  Stop complaining because it is taking too much time to accomplish things.

DON’T:

  • look at the entire house filled with clutter
  • that teenager slowly slipping into rebellion
  • those hips and think they will never get smaller
  • your husband and wonder if that spark will return

Look at ONE thing you can begin changing today.  Start small.  Things in life WILL take time.  Weight loss takes time.  Simplifying a home takes time.  Children’s hearts need to trust and that takes time. Romance needs to be rekindled and takes time.

Work diligently in ALL that God has for you and be patient!!!

Take courage, be encouraged.

Adjust your time to His clock. Ask the Lord to show you what things you NEED improvement upon in your life.  Seek what it is He has for you.  Have the courage that is necessary to bring about change.  Courage comes when your awareness of Gods presence comes up.  When you do what God has for you, the courage comes for you to be bold and you do it.  You won’t stress that you might mess something up because you are operating with the courage and strength from the Lord.

I believe that I shall look upon the goodness of the Lord  in the land of the living!   Wait for the Lord;  be strong, and let your heart take  courage!

Psalm 27:13-14

The world needs us to be brave, we NEED to be brave for our children for our husbands and for whomever the Lord brings about in our life.  If God wants you to improve something in your life….do it!!! Be COURAGEOUS, start with something, and be PATIENT.  He will do the rest.

Large family declutter week 4

new 3d book2Have you grabbed the book?? For the cost of a cup of premium coffee you can enjoy reading and learning how you can declutter your entire home and start enjoying life in simplicity.

I hope you have been busy decluttering your kitchen. It only takes a few minutes each day or a couple hours on the weekend to get to a life of simplicity.  This week we will be focusing on the dining room.

Remember that no amount of decluttering will ever stick, if you don’t change your HABITS of how you go about in life.  If you are in the habit of putting things wherever you want to…then your home will soon become cluttered again within a matter of weeks.  I am trying to get you to focus on HABITS so that your decluttering will actually STICK in your life.

For most of you, the dining room table is probably a catch all for papers and objects that you bring into the home.  It is easy to be in a habit of setting things down when you first come home and the table is a convenient place to do that.

To declutter this area, start by taking things off your table and put them where they belong.  If you have old mail, throw it away.  Office paperwork, put in the office.  Children’s paperwork, give them a spot to hang a few papers up and the rest goes into the trash—probably when they are not looking.  Don’t put miscellaneous things into the junk drawer.  Remember you NO LONGER have a junk drawer, put it where it goes!!!

Use your table for eating on.  If you use it for projects like school, crafts, or sewing as soon as you are done, clean up and put everything away right then and there.  Do not leave it for a later time.  That time may never come and then you are left with a cluttered table.

We need to get into a habit of NOT setting things down wherever we want when we first get home.  Bring in all bags, papers, and things and put them away immediately.  It only take a few extra minutes to do that, but it completely gets rid of clutter that is left lying around.

Remember the saying “a place for everything and everything in its place?”  It is a classic because it WORKS.

Have a place to store your keys, purse, or other items that you need to walk out the door with.  Some choose to put these near the door so that they can grab everything when leaving out the door.  Have a spot that you put them in EVERY TIME.  If you put them there every time you will never have need to search for them when pressed to get out the door.

If you bring in paperwork such as mail when coming home, have a place for them like a drawer or basket that is out of sight.  If you see junk mail in your pile, immediately throw it away without looking at it.  Don’t just set it down on your clean tabletop.

Make this a habit that sticks.  Each time you come home, put your keys, purse, and other items in the SAME place.  Put away your mail and other paperwork immediately.  Do this over and over each day to help it form part of your regular habits.

If you find that you are still putting your items on your clutter free tabletop find out why.  Sometimes when I organize an area, I find that it still gets messed up and I realize that I need to change the way I organized it or find a new home for things.  If it continually gets messy then I need to find a NEW place for the items.  If you still put your purse and keys on the table, find a new spot for them.  Maybe a more convenient area to store them in.

If you keep up on these steps they will eventually form habits in your life and you will be able to enjoy clutter free tabletops.

Here is our table.  It almost always looks like this unless someone is eating on it or doing schoolwork.  Immediately after meals, I have children clear the table and put away water bottles and we wipe it off.  When school is completed I have one child pick up all papers and throw them away while the other grabs any type of writing utensils–crayons, pencils, etc.  They have to search under the table as well.  This keeps our tables clear always.  I don’t dare leave my purse or keys on this table or I am opening up the door for curious toddlers to go through it!!  I don’t normally have anything in the center, but this was a gift from a neighbor for Christmas.  As soon as the pine needles fell, I threw it away to avoid more work in cleaning.

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If you bought the book, there is one more step for this room.  We will skip that and go onto the next room…living room.

Keep working on decluttering your home.  Remember you just need to START somewhere and then EVENTUALLY you will get there.  It takes time, but in a few months you will be able to look back and SEE how far you have come instead of looking at the present and seeing how far you have to GO.  Be blessed.

 

 

Stuffed pizza rolls

IMG_20150116_185040This was something that we enjoyed making the other night when we had guests over.  It is super easy and tastes great!!

You will need:

  • crescent rolls
  • pepperoni slices
  • string cheese sticks
  • pizza sauce, for dipping

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First you can dump out the pepperoni—because you know all your children are going to beg for some.  At least this way you can do a mental count of how many you need!!IMG_20150116_134311To keep them busy while you are hurrying to rolls these up, have them open up the many packages of string cheese. Are those wrappers impossible to open or is it just me??  Cut them in half.

IMG_20150116_134302Unroll your crescent rolls into triangles and add 3 pieces of pepperoni to the wide end.

IMG_20150116_134307Add a chunk of string cheese. IMG_20150116_134328

Begin by rolling the triangle from the wide end to the point.IMG_20150116_134332

 

Keep on going……IMG_20150116_134337

It will look like this.  What I did was tuck in the edges so that the cheese doesn’t melt out when you bake them.IMG_20150116_134350

Place on a cookie sheet.  We put ours into the refrigerator until serving time.  That way they could be hot and ready.IMG_20150116_183019Bake at 375 degrees for about 20 minutes until golden brown.

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Serve with pizza sauce for dipping.  Yummy!!!

 

Toxic thinking new series

toxic

Image courtesy of samuiblue at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

When you see the word TOXIC for most all of us, that is something that we would want to avoid.  We try and avoid things that are TOXIC to our health–that would include cleaners, food, toys, paint, etc.   But how many of us will harbor toxic thinking without giving it much regard?

I have been enjoying a bible teaching series by Dr. Caroline Leaf. She is a woman full of the spirit of God and she is also a cognitive neuroscientist by trade.  She is a knowledgeable  woman in the field of science, and I have enjoyed listening to her series that correlates biblical teaching with scientific research.  It is like the scientific world FINALLY caught up with what GOD’S WORD has been saying to us all these years!!

Much of her research explains why we should be thinking positive thoughts versus negative thoughts in our lives.

75% to 95% of the illnesses that plague us today are a direct result of our thought life. What we think about affects us physically and emotionally. It’s an epidemic of toxic emotions.

Most of us have heard the revelation of “positive thinking” approach to life.  It is something that the “self-help” industry thrives on in our society.  But this was a great visual to actually see how negative thoughts can actually cause damage in our brains chemically resulting in negative health issues.

The bible says in Proverbs 17:22:

A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.

How true God’s word is.  I know I have read about MANY people that have beat cancer and cured illness just by having a “positive” approach to their disease.  Can you believe that God’s word is TRUE when it comes to healing ourselves from sicknesses?

Dr. Leaf gave a visual of what our brains looked like in a scan. Our thoughts appear as branches growing on a tree. She used a visual of a healthy looking tree and a dead tree.  The healthy tree is how our brains are working when in a positive state.  New branches form and they flourish and spread creating new ones, each time positive thoughts are processed.  But for those that choose negative thoughts and bad thinking their branches would literally dry up and become dead in their brains.   It made me realize the impact and importance of thinking positive thoughts in my own life.

God’s word says to take ALL thoughts into captivity.  If we allow these thoughts to manifest in our brains, we are creating toxic trees in our brains.

Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ

2 Corinthians 10:5

Thoughts are an electrical impulse.  When we think a thought, it sends out chemicals into the body.  If you are thinking positive thoughts it sends out “feel good” chemicals while bad thoughts release harmful chemicals that cause feelings of stress or fear.  These chemicals affect every cell in your body along with your emotions and attitude.  This in turn affects your physical health. If a person is fearful, anxious, or stressed this sends out abnormal bad chemicals which take a toll on a person’s physical health.

If a person is constantly thinking toxic thoughts and feelings this will lead to physical illness and disease.  Research proves that unhealthy thoughts leave behind harmful waste in our bodies that cause sicknesses such as cancer, heart disease, ulcers, depression, and so many more.  Your thoughts can either make you healthy or they can damage your body.

Our thoughts influence our physical health, our emotions, and our behavior. “As a man thinks in his heart, so is he.” What you think each day will set the course for your life.  The significance of your thoughts and the impact they have on your future cannot be emphasized enough. What you think is what you become. Think good and good will come; think bad and bad will come.

Are you a toxic thinker?

  1. Do you use the words: “could-have, should-have, or would-have” often?
  2. Are the words, “if only….” part of your vocabulary?
  3. Do you replay in your head a conversation or situation that pained you, or one that hasn’t even occurred yet?
  4. Do you create  scenarios of the unpredictable future?
  5. Do you ever make comments like “nothing ever goes right for me”; “everything I touch fails”; “I always mess up”?
  6. How distorted is your thinking? Are you forming a personal identity around a sickness or a disease? Do you speak about “my arthritis”, “my back “my heart problem”?

If you CAN answer “yes” to these, then you NEED a detox on your thought life.  How do you go about doing that? By changing the way you respond and think about things.

This will be a great series to help us retrain our minds into positive thinking.  We want to get out the “junk” that is negatively impacting our lives so that we can enjoy and live life to the best that God has for us.