Trusting Jesus & Counting Pennies

The real reason I’m able to be a stay at home mom? The Lord! God worked everything out and is still working everything out. My husband and I took a huge step of faith when we had our daughter.

Just a few weeks before our daughter was born, my husband entered into a new position at his job, but on paper, it looked as though I’d still need to return to work. I had always longed to be a stay at home mom, but came to peace about working part time when I was pregnant. Then I had my baby girl and that peace was shaken quite a bit. I couldn’t imagine leaving her, and longed to invest all my time and energy into taking care of our home through cleaning and cooking, nurturing my baby girl, loving on her, and (most importantly,) prayerfully raising her up to know and love Jesus as her Savior. My husband felt the same.

We began to pray and seek God. Then we sat down and looked at everything financially, and realized that we could do it – but we wouldn’t have much wiggle room. No room for any big surprises in life (in other words no major car or home repairs etc.). We continued to pray for the Lord to reveal what His will for us was. He spoke to us clearly, that we were to take this step of faith and trust in Him.

Since that day, we’ve had our heat break, our washer break, had issues with plumbing, had to replace big appliances, etc. God provided for every single need. We were able to buy a home closer to my husband’s job, save on gas, save on utilities, etc. By trusting in the Lord, even though we couldn’t see what all was in store for the future, God made a way for us to cut down the cost of living and provide over and above our basic needs.

If you’re hesitant to take a step of faith in this area (or in another area), seek the Lord with your spouse. If your desire is one that is godly, sometimes you may be called to take a step of faith. It may not always be a smooth road, but God will provide and make a way.

“Honor the Lord with your possessions, and with the firstfruits of all your increase;” -Proverbs 3:9

God instructs us to be wise with our money, so we are careful to budget out every penny, and try to save in every area that we can.  I decided to share some basic ways we have been able to cut down the cost of living, and since I love finding new ways to save money – please share your tips in the comments!

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Money-Saving Tips:

-Try using utilities less in general. Open up the blinds instead of turning all the lights on. Hang your clothes up to dry. Open up your windows in the summer, and dress warmer in the winter (but don’t roast or freeze yourself!). Take shorter showers. Join a cheaper phone company (I’m with Republic Wireless and pay $22 a month!).

-Cloth diapers! This has been a huge money saver for us. And I love it! It’s not complicated at all (don’t be intimidated). I also love that I’m putting a natural cloth against my daughter’s skin instead of chemical filled diapers (yes, even the companies that are all natural, free of dyes etc., and are organic are still filled with junk).

-Speaking of cloth, try to use cloth whenever possible instead of paper towels or napkins. Use cloth rags and cloth napkins.

-Cook/Bake from scratch. This really is a huge money-saver and not nearly as tough as it may appear. This includes making baby food from scratch – definitely way cheaper.

-Coupon. I’m not able to find incredible deals too often on organic products, but am still able to save a nice chunk of money through coupons. Check out this post.

-Start a garden and freeze or can extra produce for the winter. For a cheaper start-up, start your own compost, and save egg shells to start your seeds.

-Take a hobby or craft that you love and turn it into an Etsy shop. That’s how I started Garden Light Candles.

-Phone apps. I love to use these apps: Raise, Ibotta, Checkout51, ReceiptHog, and Swagbucks.

-Save on health insurance by joining a medical sharing program such as Christian Healthcare Ministries. Message me if you have any questions about this amazing ministry, at hillsideblessings@gmail.com (If you sign up, please let them know you heard about their ministry from member #165214)

-If you homeschool or if you’re looking to homeschool in the future, check out my friend’s blog post over at The Woolly Homestead.

-Celebrate your birthday with freebies! Check out this list of birthday freebies.

-Buy kids clothes from yard sales. My daughter wears like-new clothes and they are all either hand-me-downs or from yard sales. I spent probably $30 and was able to get enough clothes in the next size she’ll be in just from going to a few yard sales.

-Simplify your home. There are so many items that we really don’t need. I started selling items on my local Facebook mom swap, and was able to earn some extra cash, and enjoy having a less cluttered home.

-See if you can clean someone’s home, or a church for a little extra money. I have two cleaning jobs, and each of them take just under two hours, and are only once a month (and I can bring my daughter along).

-Look for free activities to do with your kids. My local library has a baby class that I go to once a week, as well as a ton of free summer activities to get involved with. In the summer, look for free concerts at local parks.

-Start making homemade gifts to save money on birthdays and holidays. Check out my post on homemade gift ideas.

-Follow money saving blogs by downloading the app, Bloglovin’. After downloading the app, follow blogs such as, The Krazy Coupon Lady, The Penny Hoarder, Passionate Penny Pincher, Hip2Save, Money Saving Mom, Passion for Savings, The Savvy Bump, Thrifty Littles, Thrifty Nifty Mommy, and The Greenbacks Gal.

-Make your household and body products. Try making some homemade cleaners, laundry detergent (I use this recipe with a bar of castile soap), lotion bars, etc.

-If you’re looking to go out to a restaurant or other fun outing, look for local deals, coupons, etc. first. We almost always refuse to eat out or do an activity without a coupon. Also, consider splitting a meal with your spouse. Here’s an example: go to Texas Roadhouse and get free rolls (you could even ask for extra), use a free appetizer coupon (they send these frequently if you sign up for their e-mail or text list, but they can only be used when dining in), and split the Texas Size Combo of BBQ Roasted Half Chicken with Pulled Pork. All for only $13.99!

I hope these money saving tips help you out. I’d love to find new money-saving tips, so comment away! 🙂

Garden Light Candles – Official Grand Opening!

My Etsy shop, Garden Light Candles, is open for business!

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I’m so excited for this new journey! I’ve been enjoying making homemade candles for the past few years, and have spent a considerable amount of time researching the most natural ingredients. I use a natural soy wax for candles and wax melts, and fragrance them using 100% organic fragrance oils.

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Organic is very important to me, so I also wanted to have a completely organic candle. What better wax to use than beeswax? Beeswax candles are my favorite kind to make, because they are the most non-toxic and natural candles out there. Beeswax purifies the air when burned, and is thought to help with allergies and asthma. How incredible! My beeswax candles are made using organic beeswax and organic, unrefined, non-GMO, coconut oil. Some are left plain (they have a lovely light, honey fragrance), and some are scented with organic fragrance oils.

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All of my candles are hand-poured into a lead free and BPA free glass jar. To start off, I have four amazing fragrances. Honeysuckle, Cinnamon Bun, Lemon, and Vanilla Sugar. I’ll be releasing a new fragrance (watch out for a giveaway!) in one month.

This month ONLY, you can get 10% off using the code: MAY10. If you are local to the area that the candles are made, you might qualify for free shipping, so message me to find out (and if you live in the area, orders placed by Wednesday, May 4 by midnight, will arrive in time for Mother’s Day). You can reach me several places:

E-mail: GardenLightCandles@gmail.com

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/gardenlightcandles/?hl=en

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/gardenlightcandles/?fref=ts

And of course, Etsy: https://www.etsy.com/shop/gardenlightcandles

10% of each candle sale will go to a ministry.

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What fragrances would you like to see available?

The Role of a Wife

 

flowers-260897_1280.jpgYesterday my husband and I celebrated four years of marriage. As I think back to life before my husband, lots of memories come flooding back. Specifically the years before we met. When I turned 20, I had an encounter with God, and truly understood what it meant to really follow Jesus (and not just ‘believe’ in Him) for the first time in my life. In the years following, I sought out what it meant to be a godly woman. My heart longed to be a wife and mother, and to serve my family from home. I prayed that if it wasn’t God’s will, He would remove that desire in my heart.

God fulfilled that longing in my heart with a man far beyond my deepest desires and dreams. Throughout our courtship and engagement, I studied God’s word to discover what God says about a woman’s role in marriage. I spent my days preparing and praying that I would be an encouraging wife, a praying wife, a selfless wife, a submissive wife, and a loving wife.

I remember anticipating becoming a wife, and sharing with others how excited I was to cook for my husband every day, pack my husband’s lunches, take care of our home through cleaning and doing the laundry, and I was just giddy about spending forever together. I was quickly informed by many, that I would start out that way, but quickly lose motivation for things like packing my husband’s lunch etc. Some women thought it was ridiculous that I would even desire to do those things. “He can pack his own lunch!” was a phrase I heard from so many women, many of which were Christians. They thought my ideas were old fashioned.

Well… maybe they are:

“Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good. Then they can urge the younger women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God.” -Titus 2:3-5

“She gets up while it is still night; she provides food for her family.” -Proverbs 31:15

Four years later, and I still enjoy doing those things for my husband. I take great joy in being the one to keep house for my family. Don’t get me wrong, my husband helps out a ton at home! He regularly takes care of yard work, and is constantly jumping in to do dishes or vacuum or clean. In fact, when we first had our baby girl, he was so incredible with making sure laundry and things at home were kept up with.

My husband works so hard to provide for our family and protect and lead our family, as Scripture teaches him. I delight in working hard in the home so that he has a hot meal to come home to, and a peaceful environment. I want him to feel that our home is a place where he can be encouraged and feel the Lord’s Presence. I love being able to pack his lunch or wash the clothes he works hard in. I’m a blessed wife and so thankful for a man who loves the Lord!

I’m not saying any of this to boast, but instead to show that when you seek the Lord about your role as a woman, you can find great joy in the daily tasks of being a keeper at home. In fact, I realized on my fourth anniversary, that I haven’t really dug deep into studying my role as a wife in a while. I know it’s something I should never stop praying about and reflecting on. I want to grow as a child of God, and I want to grow as a wife and mother. I thought I’d dig in to some Scripture and share it with all of you. I should continue to pray and study that topic just as much as when I prepared for marriage four years ago!

When I’m striving to fulfill my role God gave me as a woman, everything in my marriage and life flow so much better. And when I try to resist the role I was designed for, I face nothing but trouble and end up feeling miserable. God’s plan for man to lead their spouses and families, and His plan for women to be gentle in spirit and submissive, is such a beautiful representation of Christ and His love for us. In a world that is getting further and further from what male and female roles are supposed to look like, I encourage each of you to study what God’s Word says about your role as a man or woman!

Here is some Scripture on what God says a woman’s role is as a wife:

“Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.” -Ephesians 5:22-24

“The Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.”” -Genesis 2:18

“I also want the women to dress modestly, with decency and propriety, adorning themselves, not with elaborate hairstyles or gold or pearls or expensive clothes, but with good deeds, appropriate for women who profess to worship God.

A woman should learn in quietness and full submission. I do not permit a woman to teach or to assume authority over a man; she must be quiet. For Adam was formed first, then Eve. And Adam was not the one deceived; it was the woman who was deceived and became a sinner. But women will be saved through childbearing—if they continue in faith, love and holiness with propriety.” -1 Timothy 2:9-15

“In the same way, you wives, be submissive to your own husbands so that even if any of them are disobedient to the word, they may be won without a word by the behavior of their wives, as they observe your chaste and respectful behavior. Your adornment must not be merely external–braiding the hair, and wearing gold jewelry, or putting on dresses; but let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is precious in the sight of God. For in this way in former times the holy women also, who hoped in God, used to adorn themselves, being submissive to their own husbands; just as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord, and you have become her children if you do what is right without being frightened by any fear.” -1 Peter 3:1-6

“A wife of noble character who can find?
She is worth far more than rubies.
Her husband has full confidence in her
and lacks nothing of value.
She brings him good, not harm,
all the days of her life.
She selects wool and flax
and works with eager hands.
She is like the merchant ships,
bringing her food from afar.
She gets up while it is still night;
she provides food for her family
and portions for her female servants.
She considers a field and buys it;
out of her earnings she plants a vineyard.
She sets about her work vigorously;
her arms are strong for her tasks.
She sees that her trading is profitable,
and her lamp does not go out at night.
In her hand she holds the distaff
and grasps the spindle with her fingers.
She opens her arms to the poor
and extends her hands to the needy.
When it snows, she has no fear for her household;
for all of them are clothed in scarlet.
She makes coverings for her bed;
she is clothed in fine linen and purple.
Her husband is respected at the city gate,
where he takes his seat among the elders of the land.
She makes linen garments and sells them,
and supplies the merchants with sashes.
She is clothed with strength and dignity;
she can laugh at the days to come.
She speaks with wisdom,
and faithful instruction is on her tongue.
She watches over the affairs of her household
and does not eat the bread of idleness.                                               Her children arise and call her blessed;
her husband also, and he praises her:
“Many women do noble things,
but you surpass them all.”
Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting;
but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.
Honor her for all that her hands have done,
and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.” -Proverbs 31:19-31

Living With Less

When my husband and I moved a few months ago, I began to realize how much we had accumulated over the past three and a half years. I also realized how much of our stuff we really don’t need. We had boxes full of odds and ends that I didn’t want to part with, yet it sat collecting dust, just in case one day we came up with some great use for it. I had clothes in my closet that I just couldn’t bring myself to part with, even though certain items had been there for years and only gotten worn a handful of times.

I began to question why we felt the need to hold on to so many things. I started to really reflect on what God’s Word teaches about materialism and apply His Word to our ‘stuff’.

“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” -Matthew 6:19-21

“Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will never fail, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” -Luke 12:33-34

When I read these passages, it really put things into perspective for me. Letting these Scriptures soak in, made it easy to begin to part ways with the things that we really don’t need.

It’s important to decipher what items are just taking up space and what items might actually be beneficial to keep (we try to reuse and re-purpose everything we can). I find it more challenging to get rid of household items than clothes. But even still, I’m continuously trying to go through things and decide what we really need. I’m big on sentimental items and have had to learn to weigh out what’s actually of great sentimental value or not. Creating small memory boxes has helped me keep some of my most sentimental treasures safely stored away

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At one time, women had their everyday dress and their Sunday dress, and this was plenty. Once the dress was thoroughly worn out, only then was it replaced. I can’t recall many times where I waited until a piece of clothing was actually ‘worn-out’ before getting rid of it.

In my mind, I liked to open up my closet and see a nice selection to choose from. But in reality, I would end up continuously choosing the same articles of clothing (about 1/3 of what was actually in my closet), while the rest of the clothing just hung there day after day.

While the idea of a big selection seems nice, it can also be overwhelming to have too many choices. How many times have you weeded through all of your clothes saying ‘I have nothing to wear!’ I’ve said this plenty of times, and I’m realizing how selfish and silly it sounds. There are some people who aren’t able to choose from a large selection of what they’d like to wear each day.

I’m tired of the American mentality that we always need more. As a Christian, I need to look at everything with a Christ-like mentality before looking at my surrounding culture. Our culture says it’s silly to only own the bare minimum of what we need.

I’ve recently been really inspired by capsule wardrobes, where you basically have just a few solid colored shirts, maybe 2-3 sweaters, a jacket, a coat, 2-3 pairs of pants, 1-2 skirts, and a dress or 2. Everything can be mix and match! You end up with a wide variety of outfits from just a few articles of clothing. This is a drastic change and obviously isn’t for everyone, and I’m not even completely there either. But it is what I’m moving towards the more I pray and really think about what I value in life (my relationship with the Lord, serving my family, and then serving others).

As I began giving things away from our closet as well as the rest of our household items, I realized how freeing it is to simplify our possessions. The hardest part is physically putting items into that donation box. Once it’s sealed up it becomes a lot easier to get rid of. I quickly forget what I put in the boxes since the items haven’t been getting used anyway.

I’m not suggesting that we deprive ourselves either, but that we find a balance, and be willing to part with certain items that someone else could get use out of. But before jumping up and tossing items into a box, pray and go through God’s Word. Get the right perspective on why you’re simplifying your possessions.

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“The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever.” -1 John 2:17

I’d love to hear the ways that you’re simplifying your home. 🙂

 

 

Thankful For Colic

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Thankful for colic? How terrible does that sound? What mommy could possibly be thankful for a baby who cries all the time and most likely has some discomfort causing the insane amount of crying? Well, I’m not exactly “thankful” for the fact that my baby girl cried and screamed hours upon end (6pm-2am just about every night for a while). In fact, so far it’s been the toughest parenting challenge I’ve had. It hurt me deeply to not be able to figure out how to fully calm and comfort my baby.

In the midst of that season, you could have told me, “God is teaching you something through this,” and I would have wondered what good lesson could possibly come from colic. But God is faithful in teaching us something from every situation in life. I didn’t understand at the time why God allowed my little one to suffer from colic, but I’m beginning to understand what He was trying to teach me through it all.

My personality has always been that I need to have control over situations and be able to fix things and do things on my own. In dealing with colic, I learned that I had to completely trust in God and wait on Him for it to pass. I researched colic to death and tried every natural remedy I could find. I don’t regret doing so, because I found ways to bring comfort and relief to my little one. (I wrote a separate article on colic and reflux that I’ll post in the near future). For a while I refused to call it colic, because I personally feel that term is often thrown out every time a baby is extra fussy. I didn’t like when anyone else said I had a fussy or colicky baby because it felt they were implying she was a “bad baby.” There are no bad baby’s. All are just as sweet and precious, fussy or not! I do think we have to research and fight for our little ones who can’t speak for themselves and say what’s really going on. But I cried many tears along with my girl thinking, “Why can’t I just fix this and make her feel peaceful?!” There’s nothing more frustrating and hurtful for a mommy than to watch her little one be hurting or unhappy and not be able to make things better. Through many tears, I learned that after I’ve done all I can do as a mommy, my baby’s well being ultimately rests in the hands of her Creator. He loves her even more than her father and I, and He is in control of every situation, not me.

Another aspect of my personality is to go, go, go. When I’m at home, I’m baking, cooking, doing laundry, cleaning, scrubbing, tidying, and making homemade household products from morning to evening. I absolutely love being a homemaker and taking care of my family. Having a baby with colic who needed to be held almost nonstop the first 3 months changed all of that. I knew my first six weeks would probably be an adjustment and I pictured myself getting back into the swing of things by then. But I was wrong. And that reality was tough for me. I wanted to keep our house clean and tidy and have dinner on the table every evening as soon as I felt up to it.

We had over thirty days of freezer meals prepared, and we were so blessed to receive even more from friends and family. I’m so thankful I had so many meals stored away, because my baby girl did not like being put down for more than five minutes. I resorted to wearing her in a wrap to get things done, but suffered severe back pain and could only wear her for so long each day. Through colic, I learned that I couldn’t have total control over our household and that it was OK to receive help. I realized more than ever how blessed I am with a selfless and serving husband who constantly helped around the house despite the long hours he works. And I realized that God wanted me to see what things in life are most important. Holding and comforting my sweet baby is so much more important than anything. If I had a more laid back baby, I might have put her down all the time to focus on the house and I would have missed out on those precious and wonderful moments of holding and rocking and singing to my baby.

Now that those long sessions of tears are in the past, I’ve got one of the happiest little baby’s, who is full of smiles and giggles. I’m so grateful that colic is a thing of the past in this house. I don’t regret picking her up every time she cried (or every time she still cries) or deciding to hold her for most of her naps because she just slept better that way. And I’ve fallen in love with baby wearing her all throughout each day still.

I’ve gotten back into the swing of things with keeping our house in shape and getting meals prepared. I still love being in the kitchen, but I’ve learned to keep a lot of meals simple and quick, while still being healthy and homemade. Someday I’ll have more time in the kitchen again, but I will never get these wonderful days back. I’m not glad about my baby having gone through colic, but I’m so thankful for what the Lord taught me from it. I’m so thankful for every snuggly moment and only wish I could slow down time from passing all too quickly with my baby girl.

Have You Heard…?

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I was recently talking with a few women, and had to step into another room to put my baby to sleep. While I nursed my baby to sleep, I listened to their conversation and realized how most of the talk was centered on discussing other women. I then thought to myself, I wonder what women would talk about if they never talked about others. Don’t get me wrong, women still have plenty of other conversations from cooking, to being a mom, to healthy living, but it seems gossip too easily sneaks it’s way into a conversation. Some women struggle with it more than others, but I think it can be easy for all of us to fall into the gossip trap.

I know that I have been guilty of gossip far too often. The Lord has really placed this on my heart through the years, and I’ve recently become even more convicted of it as I’ve observed how consumed women are by it (this doesn’t exclude men, but I think women seem to struggle with it more than men). I spent some time really thinking on why we get so drawn into gossip, and there were three main reasons that stuck out in my mind.

1.) Comparing ourselves to other women. I think all women tend to do this with or without gossip. I know there are times I see a woman that’s pretty, or seems like she has everything (house, kids, appearance, etc.) under control and I immediately start counting all the areas in my life that don’t match up. I’m feel like I’m not pretty enough or a good enough mom. This can be such a dangerous poison to our minds. We can start harboring these ungodly feelings and start making ourselves feel better by pointing out flaws in other women.

Of course, there’s nothing wrong with looking to other godly women as examples, and genuinely searching our own heart for ways we can change and grow to become more Christlike. But unfortunately we often try to find flaws or faults with other women instead of recognizing all of their wonderful traits.

Pointing out an area that a woman is struggling in as a wife or mother, or doing something that we’d just never do, somehow makes us feel like we have it all together in comparison to that woman. Sometimes we even point out an area of sin in another woman’s life. We feel ok doing this because it’s something that goes against God’s Word. Instead of praying about how to approach her as a sister in Christ, we justify talking to other Christian women about her. And we are left feeling good about ourselves because her struggle is something that we don’t struggle with, so we must be a much better wife/mom/woman than her.

2.) For the sake of a prayer request. Christians often feel it’s ok to share something about someone else for the sake of prayer. If the person has given permission to spread their prayer request, then by all means, tell everyone to be praying! But often times we feel it’s ok to share people’s private lives with other people for the sake of a prayer request. Bringing the word ‘prayer’ into anything makes it feel justified in our minds, but gossip is still gossip with or without the word ‘prayer’.

I once shared a prayer request with a friend and a few days later had someone I barely know come up and say they were praying for me. I was a little embarrassed knowing that my request was not kept private. Thankfully it wasn’t anything too extremely personal, but it could have been, and that would have been even more embarrassing and hurtful.

When someone shares a prayer request with you, lift that person up in prayer daily! Understand that it may have taken them a while to come to you with this request, and that sharing it with another believer could be very hurtful to that individual.

3.) Genuine, harmless concern. Sometimes we truly just feel concerned for an individual, and our intentions are completely pure. But this still doesn’t make it ok to gossip. Sometime’s we might see a ‘flaw’ in someone’s character or something they struggle with and genuinely want the best for that person. If the situation happens to be that someone is in need of financial help or groceries, it can still be handled discreetly by anonymously collecting for that person.

There could also be certain situations that are very serious, and do call for another opinion on how to help that individual, but in this situation it would probably be best to seek both your husband and your church pastor on how to proceed.

I know at one time or another I have been guilty of talking about someone else, instead of keeping my thoughts to myself and praying. It is my desire to be more vigilant about the words that come out of my mouth in regards to others. I hope this post has helped you to examine your heart, and encourage you to hold your tongue next time you’re given the opportunity to gossip about someone. Instead, let’s pray for each other and build one another up!

“Set a guard over my mouth, LORD; keep watch over the door of my lips.” –Psalm 141:3

“Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.” –Ephesians 4:29

Ministry Ideas for Stay at Home Moms

God calls all of His followers to a daily lifestyle of ministry. Everything from your job, going out shopping, eating out at a restaurant, to being a stay at home mom, are all forms of ministry. Being an at home mom is such an enormous ministry, yet it seems a lot of stay at home mom’s feel that they should be serving outside of the home more. It can be easy to get caught up in the daily tasks of diaper changes and naps and dishes and laundry, but raising children in the ways of the Lord is such a wonderful and great call of ministry to women. Teaching your children to know and love Jesus, and being a godly wife, are some of the greatest ways for women to serve the Lord.

It is very important to teach our children to serve and minister to others, and the best way is to teach by example. It can be challenging trying to find ways to serve outside of the home when you’re busy taking care of your home and family. This post isn’t to make you feel like you aren’t doing enough, however, it is to encourage you to find small ways to serve outside of your home. This is a great testimony to others, as well as a tremendous example to your children. Here are a few ways I’ve found to serve others without leaving my home, or without going too far outside of my home.

-Bake something for your neighbors for a holiday or “just because.” Attach a note with an encouraging Scripture.

-Double a meal you make and drop it off to a mom who has just had a baby, or is sick, or is just plain overwhelmed.

-Send cards of encouragement to others. Also send thank you cards to others who have blessed you.

-Make care kits for the homeless. My husband and I are currently putting these kits together to keep handy in the car. As the cold weather approaches, this is a great time for making something like this. You can make the kits however you want, but here are the items we’ve put into our care kits:

-Water bottle

-$5 McDonald’s gift card

-2 fruits cups/2spoons

-Granola bars

-Crackers

-Christian track

-New testament

-Small first aid kit

-Pack of tissues

-2 maxi pads for women

-Deodorant

-Petroleum jelly

-Shampoo

-Conditioner

-Small bar of soap

-Antibacterial hand wipes

-Hair tie

-Comb

-Toothbrush

-Toothpaste

-Cough drops

-Rain poncho

-Socks

-Gloves

-Winter hat

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We placed the items in two large freezer bags (to keep the items from getting wet), and then we placed the two bags inside of a drawstring backpack. These can be purchased in bulk from Amazon.

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-Visit a retirement home with your little ones. What a blessing little ones are to the elderly! You’re sure to brighten up their day and receive many smiles in return.

-Open up your home to others. Invite others over for a meal, a cup of coffee, or dessert. Don’t try to overdo anything and bring stress on yourself, or you’ll likely not to want to continue opening up your home. The goal is to encourage other families or individuals, and make them feel valued and welcome in your home.

-I coupon as much as I can for organic food items for our family, but there are tons of non-organic coupons out there for products we don’t personally use. While we may not have a need for those items, there are many people who would be so blessed to receive some of those products. I’ve recently started to coupon for non-perishable and household items. My husband and I can then give these items directly to someone in need or donate them to a local food pantry.

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These are some simple ideas for reaching out to others, despite the business of life. Be sure to balance everything and don’t neglect your most important ministry opportunity of all, which is your family. I’d love to hear what ways you have found to minister to others while being a stay at home mom.

What This Blog Is All About

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Welcome! My name is Brittney, and this is my blog. My posts are written from inside our cozy home, which is tucked away on the side of a hill. My family and I are so very grateful to have a relationship with the Lord, and are constantly reminded of how many blessings we are surrounded by. I am thankful for all the resources I have to provide our family with a natural lifestyle, while still being frugal and living on a budget.

After about six months of writing, picture-taking, and brainstorming ideas, I’m finally prepared to launch my blog today. I’m just a stay at home mom who loves Jesus, my family, and everything natural. Being a housewife is my passion, and I am blessed to be able to take care of our house, prepare meals, and save money!

While I can’t wait to share housekeeping, money-saving, and food tips, I also can’t wait to just be real with you and share my heart. Being a Christian, mom, and wife has its challenges, but the joy it brings surpasses every hardship. I hope you enjoy reading the stories shared from my heart, and find my ideas and tips helpful for you, as you care for your family and household as well.