Opportunity Call Giveaway

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Because it’s the holidays and I am in the mood to give things away, when I get 10 people to listen to this call, leave a comment sharing what they found most surprising, I will give away a FREE Lip Balm, your choice of Peppermint and Calendula (retail, $18).
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Must listen to the call by Sunday evening. Drawing only takes place when there are 10 participants, so if you like what you hear,share it with your friends and family!

No purchase necessary. Offer ends 11/30. Drawing will take place at a later date.

Happy Thankgiving, Y’al!

First, let me wish all of you a very Happy Thanksgiving. It is my hope and wish for you that each of you are able to spend the day eating good food with the people you love.

I thought today was going to be hard. I had been getting sad as the holidays approached because I knew that I wouldn’t be spending it with my friends and my family. As I looked back on pictures, it brought up traditions that I knew I would miss, but actually,  I’m okay.

Last night, as I finally laid down, after a busy day of making and cleaning and crocheting and sewing, I realized that while I might not have my friends and my family right down the road, God has blessed me with some truly awesome people down here in Texas. Right?! I didn’t think it was possible either. :)

But seriously. You all know how awesome and great the people are that I had to leave. They were my world. They are my world. And it’s been hard trying to navigate life without them. There are times when I can’t even answer the phone or pick it up to make a call because it hurts too much and I dare not risk crying on the phone. My friends and my family are so important to me, and I still hope deep down that one day we will make it back to North Carolina before too much time has passed, but in the meantime, God has truly provided me and my family with some amazing people.

It’s been hard to go out and make friends. Not because I don’t want friends, but because it’s awkward. I mean, I’m almost 30 years old, you don’t really think about making friends at this age. And with us going down to one car, well, it has pretty much ruled me going anywhere to meet new people, but somehow He has still brought these amazing people to me.

I haven’t known them for very long, but I trust them. I feel comfortable talking about anything with them and I know that if I need anything that they are just a phone call away.

Not only have they been perfect for me, but I took it really hard leaving my best friend’s three girls. I had been apart of their lives from the absolute beginning. Jaxsyn had grown up with them and their friendship was important to all of us. My biggest fear was that Jaxsyn wouldn’t have that kind of friendship ever again. I have prayed and prayed and prayed about it. And you know what? He provided. Of course his friendships are nothing like the one he left with his best friend, but it is because of these new friendships that he isn’t filled with sadness every single day. We still talk about Nollie and Jo Jo. He knows Haddie from the pictures, but he also loves all of his new friends too. And because I was so grateful for their relationship I prayed that Adelaide would have a friend that she could grow up with, like Jaxsyn did, and you know what? He provided. He provided me with a new friend, a friend that I’m certain I can be close too, who has a daughter just 2 weeks younger than Adelaide. Sound familiar?

You see, Texas is not North Carolina, it never will be. I’m not sure that Texas will ever be home for me, and I’m pretty sure that He knows that, but He is making it feel like home. He is giving me what He knows I need to enjoy this new adventure. He knew I needed a church family, one that was exactly like I had imagined it to be, and He provided. He knew I needed good friends, ones that would have huge shoes to fill, and He provided. And He knew that I needed family that would step in when I couldn’t be around my family, and He provided.

I thought that moving to Texas was the end of the world. I was devastated and for awhile I couldn’t understand why God would do this to me, why He would take me away from everything I knew and loved, and slowly I’ve begun to try and understand why, and I think I have a good grasp on why we had to move, and I’m okay with it, but it makes it that much better knowing that He has provided all these wonderful people just for me and my family in both places.That’s a lot of love!

So this Thanksgiving I’m thankful that I have an abundance of family here and in North Carolina that love me and that I love. I am thankful for my old friends back home who have been through everything with me, and I am thankful for my new friends and our new journeys together. I am thankful for my old church family and I am thankful to be apart of my new church family.

But most of all, I am thankful that He loves me enough to give me exactly what I wanted, needed. I am thankful that He knows me and He knows what I need. And I am thankful that He always, always, ALWAYS provides.

Remember that, He ALWAYS provides.

Happy Thanksgiving, Y’all!

 

I Love Me a Bargain.

It’s true. I love me a bargain. I love saving money. I’m not as good as most people I know who are always on the hunt for a good deal, but I have my days.

I’m always on the look out for a better price. I’m always comparing prices, asking for deals, looking for coupons. Always.

Saving money is essential for my home. If I don’t save money and cut costs where I can, well, then we go without somewhere else. We have food in our cabinets and in our fridge because I shop for deals. I hate buying things at full price because I know that there are always deals. Always.

I stick to a budget for everything. I don’t go over my budget for anything. I think it’s important to stick with a budget. It teaches responsibility and it allows for no financial surprises.

I have always been on a budget for Christmas. Of course, it’s just been Jaxsyn until now, and so it was easy to splurge (within our budget) on him, but now that there’s two, well, now I really have to make sure that I stretch my dollar as far as it will go.

My number one rule when deciding to have another child was that neither of my children would go without because of the other one. I didn’t want things to dwindle for Jaxsyn just because he had a sister. And so I am ready to clip coupons, search stores top to bottom, and do anything I can to catch a break, well, almost anything, I won’t be shopping on Thanksgiving.

I know, I know, I know. I’m going to be missing big deals. Huge deals. My dollar would go so much further if I got up after dinner and headed to my favorite stores where I would be sure to find the best and the cheapest, but no thanks.

Thanksgiving is about family, friends, neighbors. It’s about love, and football. It’s about food, and stretchy pants. It’s about naps, and games. It’s about being, and doing. It’s a day that we can do exactly what we should do on a regular basis but can’t. It’s a day about slowing down and stopping to smell the roses, or the coffee, or whichever you prefer.

So no matter how many deals I will be missing, no matter how many sales I will be missing, I just can’t do it. I just can’t take Thanksgiving away from someone else. I urge you to follow my lead.

The sales can wait. The time with loved ones, and friends cannot. Besides, wouldn’t you rather get the rush of shopping while navigating your way through the crowds on Black Friday like we’re supposed to?! Nothing says ‘Holiday Spirit’ like throwing elbows and curse words! :)

I am Thankful. I am Thankful. I am Thankful. I am Thankful. I am Thankful.

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With Thanksgiving just a few days away, and the month of November dwindling down, it got me (and I’m sure a lot of people) thinking about thankfulness.

Every year it’s the same thing on Facebook. Thirty days of Thankfulness Challenge. I never participate. I enjoy reading the different things that my friends are thankful for, but I’ve never been good at remembering to do something and I wouldn’t want to feel forced to be thankful for something and share it, but then as I thought more, I realized that being thankful is something that is forced.

I’m a glass half full kind of gal. I am genuinely a happy person. I can usually make the best out of every situation, and the silver lining tends to catch my eye, but I’m not sure that I am genuinely thankful.

I have a lot to be thankful for. I mean a whole lot. But most of the time I think that I should just have those things because, well, because I deserve it. Because I am a nice person Because I am good. Because I do good things, and then I realized how terrible that actually is. I don’t deserve any of it. Like Any. Of. It.

On Sunday, our Bishop began talking about being thankful all of the time. I brushed it the idea off because I was convinced that I was thankful for most things, i.e. my children, my family, my house, my car, etc. But then I began to reflect and well, nope, turns out, I’m not thankful all of the time, I’m not even thankful most of the time.

So what would it look like to be thankful all of the time? I’m trying to change my attitude and truly be thankful all of the time. I can tell you it isn’t easy to maintain a thankful heart, it’s easy to find what you are thankful for, but it’s easier to get mad and angry then it is to praise God for providing it all to you. Let me give you an example.

Last night, my sweet husband shipped a package for She Made It Homemade’s. It was my first sale on Etsy and I was super excited about it. I was thankful that I was able to make my first sale. I charged my customer $3 for shipping. After all, it was just a small package of Lactation Cookie Mix. I even thought that $3 might be high, but I based it on what everyone else was charging for shipping. The total cost for shipping plus the mix was $7. I would make $4, minus the monthly charges, but it was no biggie. So back to my sweet husband. He went to the post office for me. (thankful) He put my mix into an envelope. It was even cushioned because he was going the extra mile for me. (thankful) He waited in line while only one person worked behind the counter. (thankful) Not to mention he had just had a long day at work. (thankful) And it was pouring down rain. (thankful) He was also running to the grocery store for me too. (thankful) But then he called me after he left. I had missed his call because I was helping Jaxsyn. I called him back only for him to tell me that he had just paid over $9 to ship my mix. I didn’t even know what to say. I listened to him tell me that he couldn’t understand the postal worker and that he was just ready to get out of there. I listened to him tell me about the huge line behind him and how he didn’t want to be a pain to those people. I listened to him tell me that he didn’t understand why it had cost so much, but that next time we would do a little more research on our shipping options. I listened to all of it, but I was mad. Not only did I end up paying way more for shipping than I had ever expected, but I had actually lost $2.62 on my first sale, meaning I was under by $2.62. The last thing on my mind, at that moment, was being thankful.

So, I’ve been doing this new thing where instead of yelling, or screaming, or getting mad at others, I yell and scream to God. I tell Him exactly what’s on my mind (I mean, He already knows anyways) and I let Him take it from me. So I did just that. I yelled. I screamed. I told Him how angry I was. And why? “Who loses money by making their first sale?” I was furious. But then, I remembered what we learned in church on Sunday and I tried to change my attitude from ‘angry’ to ‘thankful’.

Immediately, my attitude changed. It wasn’t hard at all to find the things that I was thankful for.

I was thankful for:

1. Having a shop on Etsy

2. Having a husband who was willing to go to the Post Office whenever I asked

3. A car that my husband could drive to the post office

4. The fact that I had the money to cover the costs before I received payment

5. Someone who wanted to buy my products

6. An important lesson before I ship anything else

Those were just a few, to be honest, the list goes on and on. And when you learn to have a thankful attitude, it never stops.

We shouldn’t thank God when things are good. He provides it all. ALL OF IT. And so even when things look bad, He’s got a plan. He knows what He is doing. And so yes, I did lose $2.62 on my first sale, but later that night, I had more customers interested in getting their hands on some She Made It Homemade’s products, and then the $2.62 I was upset about was nothing compared to the sales I was making.

I know that Thanksgiving is the time to be thankful, but I want to encourage you to be thankful all of the time. Look for thankfulness in everything. It’s not hiding. It’s there, it may be harder at first, but once you figure it out, you’ll notice a big change in perspective, and an even big change in your heart.

Anyone Want to Give Me a Push?

Oh my. I know it’s been a few days since I’ve posted anything, and part of me wants to blame it on being so busy with the rest of my life, but the other part knows that I’ve just been struggling and when I struggle I tend to shut down. Me not writing is shutting down.

Now, it’s true I have been busy with other things. I’ve been making, and doing, and creating. I’ve even decided to launch my own business. Get ready for the shameless plug in 3, 2, 1…It’s called She Made It Homemade’s.(You can find me on Facebook right now) I am simply selling homemade, natural, simple products for you and your home. I’m in the beginning stages right now and so I’m busy getting numbers together, and figuring out the best way to market, and figuring out costs, and shipping. I didn’t realize just how much work it was! But I’m having fun. I like to keep busy and so, this is perfect.

But I would be lying if I said there weren’t times when I was just sitting here. Quietly. Not thinking about anything really except how much I don’t want to deal with anything.

I’ve been straying from God. Don’t get me wrong, I still believe and deep down I know that He’s in control and I know that He’s got it figured out, and I even notice that He is still providing for me even though I know that I really don’t deserve it now, but I’m angry.

I am so flipping angry. And part of me knows that if I turn it over to God, completely, that I won’t be angry anymore, and I’m not sure how I feel about that.

I know that sounds crazy. I mean, why would anyone want to be angry. And it’s not that I want to live a life full of anger, but I am so tired of having to be the better person. I’m tired of biting my tongue and turning my cheek. I’m tired of pretending that everything is okay, when in reality it’s not. It hasn’t been for a long time and I’m not sure that it ever will be.

I have to be careful with what I say on here because even when my words aren’t meant to hurt others, they have. People believe that I write to attack, I don’t, but I just have to be careful because it just makes me angrier, and I don’t need that at all right now.

But it’s true. I’m angry. I’m angry at how life is panning out. I’m angry about having to make sacrifices all the freaking time. I’m angry because I feel so very, very alone. I feel inadequate. I feel like I have no one to depend on. I feel like I am always competing, and losing for that matter. And this isn’t meant to discredit any of my friends or family, but I’m missing something that I just can’t get from anyone, except God.

i know I sometimes put too much faith into other people, or things, and I know that i should be putting my faith strictly into God, but something is holding me back.

Here it is again, my biggest struggle…control. i know that’s what it is. I understand that I can’t control what happens, and I don’t even think that’s the kind of control I am seeking, but I can control my relationships with others and I feel like if I completely surrender and give myself up to God, that I will be sacrificing that control and I don’t want to.

I don’t want to put myself in a position where I will be hurt. Not where I think I’ll be hurt, but where I know I’ll be hurt. I know that if I am expected to love as Jesus loves no matter how I’m being treated, it will hurt me. Unfortunately, I am not big enough to only care about what Jesus thinks of me or my relationship with Jesus, but if I’m being honest, I very much worry about what others think and I am very much affected by what others do.

So this is where I am. It’s like I am standing in the middle of the road and I can see the cars coming, but instead of moving out of the way, I just stand there. I am just standing here.

This is why I wish I could just run away and in a since I’ve already begun retreating back to where I came from. I am lost without Jesus and his guidance, but at the same time sometimes you just don’t want to hear what’s best for you.

I know that if someone were to talk to me about this I would offer endless support. I would tell them to pray more. I would tell them to talk more. I would tell them to forgive and let go. I would tell them not to worry about everyone else. I would tell them exactly what they needed to hear, but I just can’t go with that.

I know that until I forgive, and truly, truly forgive that I will never truly be happy. I know that. I know that it will never matter what I do or what they do or what anyone does until I truly forgive. I’ve talked about it before, and I know the answer. I know the right answer, but I don’t want to.

I know that if I let them continue to control my life, my mood, my heart, my relationship with God, that they are winning. I know that will make me second place. I know that.

I know that eventually my hands will no longer be busy. I will not have 1000 things to do and eventually I will have to sit down and face this. I will have to make the choice. Will I let Him be in control or will I let them be in control. When I look at that sentence and I look at my choices, I think it’s funny because it’s obvious what the answer is, and it’s obvious that my struggle, or at least what I’ve convinced myself of my struggle to be, is not even listed. No where is the choice between me being in control and something else being in control. I have completely been taken out of the picture.

I think this is an important observation to make because when we start to live a life for Christ, we are always taken out of the equation. It’s never actually been about myself. It’s never actually been about me having any type of control. It’s a matter of who you want to control you. And I know that I want God to be in control of my life. And it’s not doubt, or a lack of faith that prevents me from just giving it all up to God, it’s, well, it’s…fear.

So what do you do to stop fearing something? I’ve heard of people who fear snakes and who just face it head on. Is that something that I could do? Could I face my fear of giving up control to God? I’m not sure how I would do that except just diving head first, but I don’t want to dive head first. I’ve never been one to take chances, and so here I am. I’m standing on the edge, with my toes gripping hard into the ground, waiting for myself to let go and jump, but the thing is, I’ve been here for awhile and I don’t think I’m going anywhere. Anyone want to give me a push?

And

November Already?? Well You Know What That Means…

Is anyone else having a hard time believing that today is November 1st?? I mean, I get that we went trick or treating last night and so it would make sense that today would be November 1st, but seriously? Another year is almost over. Part of me is excited that this year is almost done because it has been hard and it has been a struggle and there are days that I’d like to forget, but then the more I think about it, there are days that I want to do again because they were just that great.

As November approaches each year and we get ready for the holiday season, with Thanksgiving just around the corner, I find that people start to think about the things they are thankful for. There are usually little games on social media where you can share what you are thankful for throughout the entire month. I’ve never participated in those because I could never remember to update, but this year I want to do something.

Since I homeschool Jaxsyn I’ve decided that I want to do something to reflect on what I’m thankful for with him and make it, not only a family thing, but a school thing too. So this year, as simple as it sounds, we will be making a ‘thankful jar’. We will be writing down things that we are thankful for and putting them in our jar. On days where we are sad or struggling we will dig some out and remember just what we have to be thankful for.

As I’ve prayed over the last week, I’ve realized that I’ve been spending a lot of time upset that I don’t have everything I want. No, I’m not talking about money or possessions, but I’ve really been under the impression that, well, the grass is greener on the other side. And then as I prayed and I really reflected, I realized that I have everything I want and need right here. I’ve actually never gone without. You see, I want my family. I want a husband who loves me even though I can be hard to love most days. I want a husband who would do anything for me. I want a husband who may not always get me, but he always tries. I want a marriage where I know no one is ever going to walk away. I want a marriage that is fought for, and is fought hard for. I want to be able to spend time with my kids and watch them grow up. I want to be a part of their lives. I want to always be there for them. I want them to be happy, always. I want to do what I love. I want to be able to write, as much and as often as I can. I want to read. I want to craft. I want to make things. I want to touch people with my words, my experiences, my stories. I want a church family who is always there for me and my family, who doesn’t judge and who is there when it’s good and when it’s bad. I want true friends. I want friends who don’t let 1100 miles change anything. I want friends that I can go weeks or months without talking to, but when we pick up the phone, it’s exactly as it was. I want a deep, intimate relationship with Jesus. I want to rely on Him to get me to where I’m going. I want to build my faith and I want to help others build theirs.

So, you see, I’ve always had what I wanted. My prayers didn’t go unanswered. I asked, He gave. Yes, I’ve been complaining a lot lately, and I’m not discrediting the hard times I’ve faced, but I’ve always had what I wanted. I just got distracted. I was too busy looking at the grass on the other side, that I forgot to look at my grass. I forgot to listen to God. I didn’t take the time out to be thankful. I wasn’t always giving Him a chance to answer my prayers. But He did, He does. And as I’ve said before He always does more than I expect. He’s always made sure I’ve had what I needed and wanted, not to mention the little added bonus He gave me of living in a place where it is still 70-80 degrees in November! And we didn’t wake up sick as dogs like every other November 1st after trick or treating in the freezing cold!

So this November, be it a ‘thankful jar’ or a game on social media, I encourage all of you, to take time to not be distracted. Sit back and reflect on what you’re thankful for, and then thank Him for always providing, just as He said He would.